Posted by Jeanne Adams Apr 8 2015, 12:08 am in Barbara Devlin, Bestseller, British Historical, Caitlenn Ainnsley, Jeanne Adams, Launch Party, Lt. Dixon, Lt. Douglas, WWII
Some things you just have to share. And what better thing to share than a Launch Party in the Lair? Seriously, who does launches and parties better than the Romance Bandits?
So Lair favorite, and Bestselling author, Barbara Devlin is joining me today for a Launch Party for HER book, THE LUCKY ONE – the 6th in her amaaaaaaazing Brethren of the Coast series! WOOT! I have loved this series since it’s inception. I got to read almost every one of these books in draft and OMGosh, I LOVE them!!!! I’m not even the biggest historical fan in the universe and I confess, I just jones for the next Brethren book. Barbara never disappoints, and THE LUCKY ONE is no exception.
Those of you who’ve been around the Lair have met Barb, but if you’re new ’round here, you are in for a treat! For a great example of her writing, and a taste treat of THE LUCKY ONE, check out the excerpt at the end of today’s post.
So that’s the 19th Century part of this Launch Party…The Cabana Boys, Paolo, and the ever popular Sven, the Lair Chef and Chief Masseuse have been hard at work replicating some serious Regency party food and drink, so make sure you partake.
On the 20th and 21st Century end of the spectrum, I have two books launching, both of them re-releases. Some of our long term Bandita Buddies would remember and might have bought DEAD RUN in its original incarnation (Dark and Dangerous), but I’ve updated it for today’s market, and re-set it to start a series as it was originally intended.
As I mentioned last month, DEAD RUN is the first in the Faithful Defenders series and hopefully will please you just as much in this new incarnation. The second book in the series, DEAD RECKONING will be here before summer. Hopefully, I can do the cover reveal on that on the 8th of NEXT month!
In DEAD RUN, Dana Markham is up against her worst enemy, and a man who knows her all too well – her mobster ex-husband Donovan Walker. He wants their son in his hands, not in Dana’s. And he wants Dana very, very, dead. He’s also willing to go to almost any length to make sure of it. Caine Bradley is an undercover FBI agent working inside Donovan Walker’s organization. When he’s sent to kill her, Caine must make the desperate choice to reveal himself, and save her. Dana’s no slouch at saving herself, though. Between her own wits, her faithful defender, a German Shepherd named Shadow, and a full arsenal of weapons, she turns the tables on Donovan Walker at every turn. Can she and Caine work together to defeat Donovan Walker one last time?
And if German Shepherds weren’t enough….Grins…Let’s go back to Germany in the 20th Century!
The second book I’m launching today, is my World War II novella, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, originally published with the above mentioned Barbara Devlin!! Hopefully you remember that Barb and wonderful debut author, Caitlenn Ainnsley, and I launched the anthology A JEWEL IN TIME back in December. Barb’s story, LOVING LIEUTENANT DOUGLAS started the show, then my WWII story, then Caitlenn’s sexy Contemporary THE BRIT, THE BROOCH, AND THE BLIZZARD.
If you want all three, go for A JEWEL IN TIME as an anthology. If you just love historicals – especially if you love the Brethren Series! – just buy Loving
Lieutenant Douglas as a single. If you love WWII stories, the single of BEHIND ENEMY LINES is what I’m launching today!
BEHIND ENEMY LINES is set in 1939, right as the world began to realize that Germany, under Hitler, was a threat to freedom around the globe. These first stirrings of war were so dangerous, so dark, that my lady spy, Grace Corvedale, misses her chance to get out before the Nazi’s invade. Can handsome American spy, Lt. Robert “Dix” Dixon, save her – and himself! – from Hitler, and from the SS Officers who are hunting Grace?
Just so you know…I dedicated BEHIND ENEMY LINES to my father and all the wonderful men in my family who served. Y’all who’ve been with the Bandits for a while know some of my stories about Daddy. This is the picture I put up one Veteran’s Day. Grins.
So, as I said…it’s time to PARTY!!!!! WOOHOOO!!!
Snitzel, Schnapps, and all sorts of slurpy good pastries are on the party menu as well. SVEN!!! Bring on the beverages!!
So what is YOUR party preference? Scnapps or a lovely wine?
What’s your era of preference? 19th Century historical, WWII Historical, or present day contemporary?
If you could walk back in time for just a day, what day would you choose? What era?
Who would you want to dance with? Prinny? Lt. Douglas? HRH King George? Winston Churchill? (I’m going to claim Richard Armitage as John Thornton from North and South !!!)
And now, that Excerpt of THE LUCKY ONE!
Portsea Island, England
The diminutive, hooded thief, bearing a rucksack over his shoulder, skulked along the waist, hesitated for a scarce second, and then scampered below decks and into the cargo hold. Following in the scoundrel’s wake, Dalton Randolph hugged the shadows and grinned, as the unknown gadling lifted the lid on a barrel and retrieved several potatoes.
After a French ship had landed one too many direct hits to the Siren’s boards, Dalton had anchored off Portsea Island for an emergency field refitting. Once the leaks had been sealed, he had permitted the greater portion of his crew to indulge in a bit of local entertainment, while he remained aboard ship.
As a Nautionnier Knight of the Brethren of the Coast, a daring band of experienced sea captains descended of the Templars, the warriors of the Crusades, he savored the quiet hours, with nothing but the wind thrumming in the rat lines and the waves lapping at the hull. And even at the age of one and thirty, stargazing reigned supreme as a particular favored hobby, so he often doused the stern lanterns and studied the night sky, which is why the three bandits had not noted his presence, or the first mate, when they scampered over the larboard rail.
Given the interloper’s small frame, Dalton guessed the criminal could not have been more than a lad. As the Siren’s stores contained plenty of supplies, and hunger persisted during times of war, he abided the bit of mischief, in the spirit of generosity.
The plunderer bent to pilfer a tin of tea, and his breeches stretched taut over his backside. To Dalton’s amazement, he realized the villain was a woman, as he would know the telltale shapely, feminine derriere from a distance of fifty paces. Judging from the silhouette, the mystery lady had been blessed with a prime figure, which he ached to know on a more intimate level.
“You know, there are easier ways to earn a bit of coin and food, my dear.” He emerged from his hiding place. “Take off your hood, and let me gaze upon the rest of you. If I like what I see, we may broker a deal.”
The infinitely interesting prey shrieked and cringed. Then she edged toward the companion ladder, but he beat her to it.
“Come now, dove. There is no need to fear me, as we might strike a bargain, which benefits us, both.” Now he noted her ample bosom, as his soon-to-be bunkmate faced him. Fascinated, he longed to assess her complexion, as he splayed wide his arms. “And if you apply yourself, in earnest, and please me, I shall bestow upon you a handsome reward, and you need never burgle passing ships, again, as it is dangerous business.”
When he moved in her direction, she emitted the softest whimper and retreated. Clutching the bag to her chest, she skittered to the left and sheltered behind a few crates of vegetables. His quarry was fast, but Dalton was faster. As he closed the distance between them, she leaped atop a heap of sacks containing rice and dried beans.
The thrill of the chase burned in his loins and piqued the pirate in his pants, which had suffered serious neglect, in recent months. Given the importuning antics of his latest paramour, the well-used Lady Moreton, whose harbor had seen more action than Deptford, he sported for a new conquest, and it appeared she had found him, to his credit.
In the soft lamplight, he discovered the purest blue eyes he had ever glimpsed, peeking from the mask, and a lush mouth with lips as red as a pomegranate, and he had to have her. But the captivating swindler remained mute and refused to cooperate, as she evaded his spontaneous lunge. While his grand maneuver granted him nothing more than a close inspection of the wood grain on the deck, she availed herself of the opportunity to sprint to the companion ladder, and he shot to his feet and pursued what he vowed would be his future courtesan.
At the waist, she collided with one of her cohorts, just as shouts of alarm signaled the first mate and the cook, who wielded a large frying pan, chased the third conspirator.
“Come back here, you rascal.” Mr. Shaw bounded onto the deck, with a pistol aimed at the tallest of the boarders. “You there, hold hard.”
“As you were, Mr. Shaw.” Dalton stayed the first mate. “There is no need for violence, given the lady and I have just entered negotiations. What say you, pretty britches? I shall let your friends go free, if you agree to spend the night with me.”
For a few seconds, the odd trio shuffled their feet and exchanged wary glances. Then the two heartier thieves drew the woman to the rear and shook their heads.
“More’s the pity.” Dalton chuckled. “As you leave me no option but to summon the watch and have you arrested.”
The female flinched, and he could smell her fear. Together, the clumsy band of vagabonds inched closer to the rail. When the woman peered over the side, he guessed her intent.
“Steady, love. Do not attempt something you might later regret, as we are all friends, here.” With palms upraised in implied surrender, Dalton glanced at the first mate. “Mr. Shaw, lower the weapon.”
The first mate vented a snort of disgust. “But, sir—”
“Lower the bloody weapon. That is an order.” Dalton took two tentative steps forward. “Easy, love. Remain calm, as I will not hurt you.”
Just then, one of the bandits untied and kicked over an empty rain barrel, which had been lashed to the side, and sent it tumbling in Dalton’s direction. In a panic, the first mate discharged the pistol, and the female screamed.
“Stand down, Mr. Shaw.” Dalton cursed under his breath, as two of the thieves jumped the railing. After unleashing a second barrel, the last of the criminals escaped.
“Hell and the Reaper.” The cook blanched and scratched his chin. “I presumed you were joking, but they had a woman in their midst.”
“Sorry, Cap’n.” The first mate tucked the firearm in his waistband. “Had I known of the lady, I would not have fired.”
“No worries, as their theft consisted of nothing more than food from our stores, and I do not believe you hit anyone.” Standing a-larboard, Dalton smiled, as the brazen crooks eluded capture via a small rowboat. Then a scrap of red caught his attention. The velvet pouch, which he bent to retrieve, had protected a valuable artifact, but now it sat empty. “Did our uninvited guests invade my cabin?”
“Aye, sir.” Mr. Shaw nodded. “That is when I roused the villains.”
In that instant, Dalton frowned. “Then the nameless scoundrels are not harmless, and their cause is not so noble, as I had thought, given they have taken something invaluable to my family, so we shall meet again.”
“But how will we find them, sir?” The cook hugged his cast-iron skillet. “As they have disappeared around the bend.”
“Fret not, old friend.” Dalton lowered his chin and flipped his familiar coin, which landed, however apropos, on tails. “They don’t call me the lucky one, for nothing.”
Posted by Jeanne Adams Apr 1 2015, 12:08 am in 50 Ways to Kill Your Larry, Barbara Devlin, Caren Crane, coming attractions, Faithful Defenders, Jeanne Adams, Red Door Reads
Keep your eyes on the 8th of April – Bestselling author Barbara Devlin will be here with Bandita Jeanne chatting about her fabulous new book The Lucky One. This is the 6th book in her Brethren of the Coast series. It’s up on Amazon for a great low price right now and I must say, it’s FABULOUS!! Chalk up another winner for Barb!
Also, you’ll get a Launch Party for my re-release of my first book, as I mentioned last month. So come hang out on the 8th and win a copy of DEAD RUN as well!
Also, don’t forget, the fabulous TINY TREATS 2 is up on Amazon! It’s a St. Patrick’s themed anthology and is currently sitting at #21 on the anthology list!
Speaking of anthologies, be sure to pre-order the new Red Door Reads anthology 50 WAYS TO KILL YOUR LARRY. All new shorts by 10 fantastic Red Door Reads authors for only $0.99! Includes work by our own Caren Crane and Lair favorites Claudia Dain, Dee Davis, Lori Handeland, Deb Marlowe, Susan Gee Heino, Ava Stone, Jane Charles, Michelle Marcos and Jerrica Knight-Catania. Available everywhere for pre-order (click the cover for the Amazon link). Release date is April 15 and it is only available for a few weeks. Get it now!!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Mar 8 2015, 12:08 am in #FaithfulDefenders, Jeanne Adams, running, spring, writing
We got 10″ of snow in the DC area on Thursday. The kids were off Friday too, thanks to that 10″ snowfall. We’d already had a snow day on Monday, and two days off the previous week. So, with that, we’ve had only two weeks since January 1 where the kids have been in school for a full 5-day week.
Now, for the kids, this has been fun. For those of us who are parents, trying to actually do jobs for which we get paid? Its a nightmare. As a writer who works from home, it’s already hard enough to get everything done. For those of you who’ve never tried it, working from home is a challenge.
It SEEMS like it would be great – do some work, sneak in an extra load of laundry, a little more work, do a little billpaying or whatever – then get back to more work, right?
Those home-things are the things you HAVE to turn off. You have to put the hours in at the desk, doing the work. If you start doing the other “home chores,” its too easy to get caught up in them. As anyone knows, there’s a never-ending supply of house stuff to do at any given time. When you work in an office, one where you get up and drive every day to a building that isn’t your house, there’s a definite pressure to actually Do the Job, right? Sure, everyone makes the occasional personal call – sets up a doctor appointment, takes a call from Mom – or steals a few minutes to write a few bills so they can be mailed. But those are stolen moments, and peer pressure makes you get back to the WORK of work.
When you’re home, working, no one gives you the “Get back to work!” stink eye when your mom/sister/brother/friend calls. No one cares if you take a two-hour lunch. There’s no one to disapprove if you do the entire week’s laundry when you should be working, or pop up to school for an hour to see the Halloween parade.
Just you and the dog or cat or the simple silence. So you, the worker, the writer, the owner of your business, YOU have to be the one who cares.
And that’s hard.
But I’ll tell you a scary secret….shhhhhh….lean in close…..Here’s the deal: If you don’t value your work time, your writing time, your creative time, or even you “me time,” and protect it with jealous fury, then no one else will value or respect it either.
You’ll be barraged with “Oh, since you work from home, can you pick up all the kids? I’ve got an important meeting…” And, “Oh, you work from home? Great! You’ll be perfect for PTA President next year, you have LOTS of time!”
Why is it that people assume working from home means extra time? I just can’t figure this out. It’s WORKING from home. Not Slacking From Home. Not Pretending to Work From Home.
This, however, is not how books get written.
Books get written by assigning working time, making SURE its undisturbed even if you have to put up a privacy screen, and putting ye
olde butte in ye comfortable chaire and yon hands on yon keyboarde.
I’m hoping to get out a number of books this year, so I am jealously guarding that writing time.
One book, which is forthcoming this month, is a single story form of the novella that was in the Christmas Anthology, A Jewel in Time. That story, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, is set in WWII. Its my first historical and I hope to revisit the time period next year in another series.
But for now, I’m working on getting back to my roots, sharpening my Suspense and Mystery prowess and delivering a whole lot of rollicking good reading as we head into Spring, and Bloom Time.
(By the way, don’t you just love that cover? Once again, the fabulous Lyndsey Lewellen delivers!!)
So for those of you who’ve been with the Romance Bandits from the beginning, you’ll appreciate that I’m actually going back to “The Beginning.”
Coming soon, I’ll be reissuing the very first book I every published with Kensington/Zebra. Originally titled Dark and Dangerous, the book will be updated, have a new title and some new scenes.
It will now start a series, as was originally intended when Kate Duffy and I started together. The idea was that Dark and Dangerous would come out. Dark and Deadly would follow it. Then there would be a follow up book to Dark and Dangerous, then a new two-book series, and then the final book in the Dark and Dangerous trilogy. Then more new stuff, then a follow-up to Dark and Deadly….you get the picture.
The illustrious dragon of the editing world, Kate Duffy, was a long-term planner. She built careers, not one-book-wonders. (Her words, not mine) Gotta tell you, I still miss her. She and I got as far as that two-book series….(Deadly Little Secrets and Deadly Little Lies respectively), but she died before we could execute (so to speak, bwahahahah!) the rest of the plan.
Now, with independent publishing, I’m going to be able to finish.
I LOVE the finish line. LOVE. IT.
I run. Not well, not fast, but I run. (Usually NOT in Reeboks, and definitely NOT like a springbok, tho I had fun playing with the names for the title of the blog!) When I enter races, I love the finish line. I love having run. Don’t always love DOING it, but love finishing it.
Same thing with writing. I don’t always love the process. I don’t always love the editing. I don’t always love the sheer amount of space writing occupies in my cranium.
But I love, love, love having written. LOVE. IT. I love creating stories. I love giving towns and people and love stories new life. I love showing that love can always find a way.
So, those characters that originated in Dark and Dangerous will now be the genesis – The Spring Bloom! – of a new series. Dana, Caine, Xavier and all the villains who chase them will leap forth to new, vibrant life. (How’s that for flowery prose?)
The first book (formerly Dark and Dangerous) is retitled DEAD RUN. Next month on April 8th, as we head into Bloom Time I’ll be back to Launch it.
Hope you’ll come back and see THAT new cover which Lyndsey Lewellen also designed. And in subsequent months, I’ll introduce you to the characters from Dead Run who have thier own stories in which to shine. You’ll find them in DEAD RECKONING, and DEAD WRONG. These three books are the start of the #FaithfulDefenders series, all of which feature highly trained guard dogs, guide dogs, working and retired military dogs, therapy dogs, or Search and Rescue dogs. (Those four dogs up on the right are my highly skilled BED dogs. They’re fearfully well trained at…nothing! Grins.)
So, Banditas and Buddies, have you ever seen a police or bomb dog working?
Have you ever seen a Guide Dog or Therapy Dog working or known someone who has one?
Did you watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show a couple of weeks ago? (Or have you ever seen Crufts??? Going to Crufts is on my Bucket List!)
Do you think working dogs are interesting?
What’s your favorite Spring flower? I know Aus and everything in the Southern Hemisphere is heading into Fall, so what’s your favorite Fall Flower?
For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, are you as ready for Spring as I am?
What books are you looking forward to???
Let’s chat! (That’s my guard dog over there…guarding the bed, and the clean sheets….)
(All photos belong to the Author except the SpringBok which is from Wikimedia Commons)
Posted by Donna MacMeans Mar 1 2015, 12:05 am in Behind Enemy Lines, Caren Crane, Carol Warfield, Dangerous Secrets, Donna MacMeans, Ides Of March, Jeanne Adams, Red Door Reads, Tiara Wars, Tiny Treats, Tiny Treats 2
Finally March! Can spring be far behind? I sure hope not!
Welcome to the first month of the new, laid-back Lair. As you can see, we’ll be around from time to time, and we’ll also have guests on occasion.
Bandita Jeanne Adams will be in the Lair on March 8th to talk about Spring Books, Springboks, Reeboks and Heading Into Bloom Time (just kidding about the Springboks. Wanted to see if you were paying attention!) She’ll also be giving away a copy of her WWII Novella, Behind Enemy Lines.
On March 17, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Lair. We’ll have Sven’s special canapés along with other yummy treats and, of course, the traditional green beer. Rumor has it that the cabana boys will all join in the wearin’ o’ the green.
We’re also celebrating the launch of a new anthology, Tiny Treats 2: A St. Patrick’s Day Collection, which features micro-stories that are great for the occasion. Some of the authors will be dropping in. So come join the party!
Caroline Warfield will be back in the lair on March 24th to talk about sex (Heavens!) and her new release.
As Donna MacMeans will be on the road on March 23rd (at least she’s headed someplace warm and sunny) she’ll be blogging on March 25th instead.
Nancy Northcott will be in the Lair on March 26 to chat about books under the bed and other unfinished projects.
Caren Crane is taking part in a special IDES OF MARCH sale by some of the Red Door Reads authors! To get you in the spirit (or spirits?) of the Ides Of March, the authors at Red Door Reads have put titles on sale for only 99 cents! Caren’s TIARA WARS is part of this sale. Check out a list of all the sale titles at www.CarenCrane.com. (And while you are there, please sign up for my newsletter! )
If you want a reminder when we’re here and chatting, remember that you can sign up for the RSS feed. If you have any problem with that, email romance bandits AT gmail DOT come (no spaces) and let us know.
What’s your favorite thing about the month of March?
Posted by Jeanne Adams Jan 12 2015, 1:15 am in hot chocolate, Jeanne Adams, Snow Day, snowmen
Well, January is starting off with a wet, white promise of the kids having LOTS of snow days again this year.
Already, we’ve had one snow day off, plus a second day with a 2 hour start-time delay. Today (Monday) promises to be another snow day. Which means Tuesday will probably be another 2 hour delay day. The streets still aren’t fully cleared from last week’s snow “event” and now we’re getting an icy snowy mix on top of it.
ARRRGH!! It’s only January 12th!!
So, for those of you who aren’t parents, a school snow delay, or full snow day isn’t just a day off for everyone. Oh, if it only were that easy! It means is that the work plan you had for today is now screwed. Anything you expected to get done before noon – or worse, HAD to get done for work – is now pushed into the afternoon if you’re lucky. If you’re not, and schools close for the whole day, you’re stuck trying to do your regular work from home, while you deal with your hyped up, wow-its-a-snow-day, kids. EEEK!!!
Before I had kids, when I was working for the city, if we had a snow day or an “adjusted telework day” – I’d put on my snuggly sweater, jeans and wooly socks, settle into a big comfy chair with a quilt and get a ton of work done in the peaceful quiet of my house. Ahhhh. No phones ringing. No one popping into your office “just to chat.” No meetings. Just pure productivity.
I used to love those fabulous, productive, snuggly snow days. I love, love, love snow and cold as you all know, and the quiet and the warmth of a fire and a blanket? Oh. Yeah. Mmmm, snuggly! I couldn’t understand why some people in the office (the parents) didn’t like those extra days where we got to work from home. Ha!
When I was little, I used to plan for what I would do if we were lucky enough to GET a snow day. Where I lived, in the mountains of North Carolina, there was snow plowing equipment and they got the plows moving and plowing at the first flake-fall. If they could clear by 6 am, we went to school no matter how high the snow total might be. If it was too high, or the snow was still falling hard at 6 am and they didn’t think they could clear it? SNOW DAY! But they were few and far between.
For my kids, it’s amazing how many they’ve gotten in recent years. Not so much when my Eldest was young, but since 2010 and Snowmaggedon, snow days have been a lot more frequent.
My kids, just as I did, plan this out. I heard them doing it tonight.
“If it’s just a delay, we can’t do anything. No sledding.”
“But we can sleep in!”
“But if its the whole day, we could go sledding.”
“Better find your snow pants now.”
There was a whole lot more, but you get the gist. My Eldest figured out how to make snow creme a couple of years ago, on a snowy three-or-four-day-off school session. Now it’s de rigeur when it snows. I’ve got to get more condensed milk. Better go put it on the grocery list!
Last year was a record for snow days for us. We had to get special dispensation from the board of education not to extend school all the way till July. Yes, July. That’s how many snow days we had last year. In fact, as I was doing my 2015 planning, I was trying to figure out why I’d been SO unproductive in the first quarter.
Then I realized that there was only ONE WEEK in the first ten weeks of 2014 where my kids were in school for 5 full days at a stretch. One week. We kept having these snowstorms that would come in on a Sunday. The kids would be out for 2 days, then back to school, then the following Sunday, here would come another snow “event.” Ugh.
The kids loved it, but let me tell you, for the parents, it got old.
However, that said, the kids could use a sleep in tomorrow. They had a busy weekend and didn’t get to sleep in or laze around. If we have a two-hour delay, well, then the boys will sleep in. I might even indulge in that myself, at least for a little bit longer than my usual 7 am.
Did you have snow days where you lived when you were a kid? I know our Aus pals probably didn’t, but what about the rest of you Bandits and Buddies?
What did you do on snow days when you were little?
If you have them now, as an adult, do you work? Do you play? Or do you get frustrated?
If you got snowed in and absolutley HAD to take a snow-day-off, what would you do? Bake? Plan? Knit?
Would you build a fire in the fireplace and read all day or go out and play in the snow?
Have you ever built a snowman? What about a snow fort for snow ball fights?
If you’re a snow lover, do you prefer a sled, a saucer, or a toboggan?
And for when you come in from the cold…soup, hot chocolate, tea, coffee or chili? I’ll tell Sven to have some ready….
Posted by Jeanne Adams Jan 7 2015, 12:08 am in fitbit, January, Jeanne Adams, Workout
Seriously, does EVERYONE want to lose weight in January? I know I do. Here it is another year’s beginning and my gym is jammed to the rafters with new members. I went all through December and the place was steady, but not packed. Some days it was downright empty.
OMGosh. I tried to go today and it was chock-a-block with people sweatin’ on the machines. Yikers!
I think that’s great, even as I know most won’t keep it up past February 1. They’ll make it through January, then a snow will hit (like today – worst commute EVER!). That sort of thing sidelines everyone’s routine. They’ll come back…or not…and then….quiet in the gym once more. Ahhhh!
But some? Some will stay. They’ll get into the joy of moving again, and making those not-quite-so-flexible muscles do what they were meant to do once more. How wonderful is that?
I’ve come to really enjoy the gym. I didn’t start out there, though. No gym for me. I started getting back in shape with a little device called a FitBit.
I’d read about it in an article in Good Housekeeping. This is five or six years ago, maybe more like ten, now. It was a cool new gadget on the market, and I like gadgets. It sync-ed to your computer and let you track not only your steps, but your sleep. It told you how many calories you’d burned in those steps you took, and if you went online and entered what you’d eaten that day, you could see if you were over or under your target ratio of calories burned (steps taken) to food consumed. Pretty cool.
Several of the Bandits have them, and like me, are still aficionados after a number of years.
I got one for my husband within a year of getting one for myself. Being a numbers guy, he took to this like a duck to water. He’s on his second FitBit now. I’m on my third. I’d still have my original, and it’s replacement, but the clip broke, and, since I started carrying it in my pocket, I inadvertently washed it. Eeek!
(I wish I could show you his first FitBit. He used it until it was just done in. Had to be held together with a rubber band. Never let it be said that the man didn’t get value for his money!)
The original FitBit tracker has a clip and numbers and all sorts of things it shows on its face as you can see in the two examples above. The new, sleek version, just shows dots for progress and you have to go online to see your actual number of steps, etc. After living with the new sleek one for two years, as you can see on my wrist below, I’ve decided I like the old one. Ha! I like the readout rather than the dots.
However, I’m not ready to replace it. When it dies, I’ll go back to the original or maybe to the wonderful NEW FitBit Surge once the price comes down a bit. That one does everything but make you lunch and order groceries.
That’s not really the point, though, having it do stuff. The thing about the FitBit is that it’s really a simple weight-loss concept that can be summed up in two words:
How much are you moving? What are you eating? How much are you eating? Are you moving enough to call it a draw between moving and calories consumed? If so, you’re staying where you are. If you move MORE calories, burn them, then take in less calories in food, you’ll start losing weight.
Simple. Mindful. Easy.
Okay, so nothing about taking off the pounds is EASY. Especially when you sit to work all day as writers do.
This – using the FitBit – is just easier than most. Why do I say that? Well, if I realize at 5 pm that I’ve taken in a whole lot more in calories than I’ve burned on a given day, I lace up my shoes and go take a walk. I go to the gym and get on the treadmill. I take a book and get on a bike or do some time on the elliptical.
Better yet, I take the dog out and go for a jog.
If the FitBit isn’t your thing, there’s an iFit and a Nike and a cool one called VivoFit from Garmin. That one actually has a signal on it to remind you to move after two hours in one position! Love that!!
Of course, like most any kind of new program, all you have to do is set a goal and go for it.
“I’m going to do 5,000 steps every day this week. I’m taking the stairs, and parking further from the building. Then next week, I’m going to up that to 7,000 steps a day.” It’s both hard and easy. My motto has always been “Start with One” – one pushup, properly done. One lunge. One 10 minute session on the treadmill. One turn around the block. Next time, do two. Then three.
Don’t workout till you hurt or you won’t go back to it. The whole “no pain, no gain” is for gym rats and masochist. Grins.
But that mindfulness thing is step one for all of it. Over the last two or three years, I’ve lost about 25 pounds. I’m taking them off the same way I put them on – one pound at a time. I fluctuate, yes, but one step at a time, one pound at a time, I’m going down to the right weight, the healthy weight. The weight where my clothes fit and I feel good.
I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself and/or make it fun. Maybe I should get one of these workout desks. What do you think? Think it would work? Anybody have one??
I frankly don’t give a damn (channeling Rhett) about the actual NUMBER I weigh. All those charts and things the insurance companies have that say you’re obese at 156 or underweight at 185, or whatever? Mine says I should weigh 136- 146 lbs. That’s a size six and that is flat out Nonsense. My BONES aren’t a size six, nor will they ever be. If I weigh 136 – that target weight for someone 5’7″ with my small wrists – I look like a concentration camp victim. I’ve BEEN 136. I look terrrrrrrible. I have a friend who’s petite. The weight to height thing for her is equally ridiculous going the other way. Another friend, who’s tall, should be well over 200 lbs, according to the charts. Again, stuff and nonsense.
What I care about is feeling good and being able to move and groove and play the way I want to play. I want to feel good when I run down the block after the kids. I want to feel good when I shoot some hoops with my son, or chase the dog around the yard. I don’t want to need two days rest and 1/2 a bottle of Advil if I go dancing with my hubby. And I don’t want to have to resort to the SalonPas or ThermaCare patches and more Advil just to get my garden in shape this spring.
This year, with my gym, and my running shoes, and my FitBit, I’m going to lose the last ten. Then we’ll see. If I need to lose more, so be it, but with 10 more pounds down, I’m going to evaluate how I feel. From there, as I said, we’ll see!
Really, isn’t it ALL about how you feel, good or bad?
So what about you Bandits and Buddies?
Do you have weight loss goals for 2015?
Do you have a new exercise plan?
Do you have a dog to walk, or a walking buddy? If a dog, what kind and how far do you walk?
Do you do something else for fitness?
And last but not least, do you too, have a FitBit or a gadget?
(Photos are mine, or Yahoo Photos. No copyright infringement is intended in any way)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Dec 26 2014, 11:30 pm in Bandit Booty, Barbara Devlin, Cassondra's blogs, dianna Love, Enter the Brethren, Jeanne Adams, prizes
Hey everyone! Here’s some backlogged Booty from Jeanne And Cassondra!
Oct 23 – The Winner of DEMON STORM from Dianna Love is..
– You’ve won a copy of DEMON STORM from Dianna Love. Suzette, if you’re in the Continental US, you’ll receive a print copy of DEMON STORM. If you’re international, you’ll get an e-book from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Dec 3 – From Jeanne’s December 3 Blog about cookies – The winner is…
Beth, you win a copy of the Christmas Anthology, A Jewel in Time, featuring Jeanne Adams, Barbara Devlin and Caitlenn T Ainnsley; a copy of Barbara Devlin’s Enter the Brethren, and a copy of Jeanne’s Deadly Delivery!
Dec 12 – From the blog featuring Debut Author Louisa Cornell, the Winner is…
December 17 – The first day of the epic Donut Food Fight – the winner of the DC Mug and $10 Starbucks card from Jeanne “Cake Donuts Rule” Adams is…
and the Two Grab Bag Books and Conference Swag from Cassondra “Glazed Yeast Donuts Are ALL!” Murray is..
December 18 – The second day of the epic Donut Food Fight – the winner of the Two Grab Bag Books and Conference Swag from Cassondra “I Love Peppermint” Murray is…
and the winnner of the Starbucks DC Mug and $10 Starbucks card from Jeanne “No Additives” Adams, is…
Y’all contact us at jpagryphon AT aol.com or Cassondrawrites AT gmail.com with your snail mail addy so we can ship your loot!
Posted by Cassondra Murray Dec 18 2014, 12:42 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Cake Donuts, Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, donuts, Doughnuts, Dunkin Donuts, Glazed Donuts, holiday meals, holiday shortcuts, Jeanne Adams, Krispy Kreme, Yeast Donuts, Yeast doughnuts vs cake doughnuts
Jeanne: So, Cassondra, were you surprised by yesterday’s food fight results? I know I was! So many people like Krispy Kremes! And I think you won the total overall vote for glazed donuts. (Pardon me while I roll my eyes, okay?)
Cassondra: Well, they’re popular for a reason.
Jeanne: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So moving right along…what about dipping? Do you dip your donut in coffee or tea?
Cassondra: Neither. I dip in milk. I like milk with my donuts. Ha! Bet ya didn’t see THAT coming. *grin* Do you dip?
Jeanne: I’ve done it on occasion, in my coffee. *looks smug*
Cassondra: *wrinkles nose* Speaking of coffee. How do you like yours? Do you go for the holiday specialties at the coffee shop?
Jeanne: Ew. I’d like to avoid it, but you know how it is this time of year. EVERYTHING has a “special holiday flavor” – I know that makes me sound like the Grinch,
Cassondra: *interrupts* You’re a MEAN one, Jeeeeeeanne Grinch…
Jeanne: Snork! Great, now I’ll have the song stuck in my head all day….Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Griiiinch!
Anyway, I really hate flavored coffees or teas. I like my Starbucks Mocha, or plain coffee with cream. No caramel. No hazelnut. No vanilla, and for heaven’s sake NO PEPPERMINT!!
Okay y’all, you might as well know. I could order for Jeanne at Starbucks. I’ve seen her do it often enough. In fact, I HAVE ordered for her. That’s it over there on the right. “I’d like a Venti non-fat, extra-whip Mocha.” *tries to look taller as she bats eyelashes, pretending to be Jeanne*
Jeanne: Snork! You do that far too well!
Cassondra: If only I could look blonde.
Okay, okay. Now when it comes to the fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks or Peet’s or Seattle’s Best–and Jeanne’s mocha definitely qualifies as one of those–or when it comes to a plain old cup of coffee, I don’t like many flavors. I like flavored coffee ONLY in certain circumstances, and only certain flavors.
But hey! This is one of those circumstances! It’s that time of year, right? Peppermint things are dancing around Christmas trees for cripes sake.
Jeanne: *shocked*: You mean you DO like peppermint coffee?? How could I not know this about you?
Cassondra: *gesticulates wildly* How can you not like peppermint?
Jeanne: Oh, I like all those flavors on their own. I just don’t like them in coffee. Or tea. OMGosh, I despise flavored teas. Give me good old Earl Gray, or a hearty black leaf tea like Orange Pekoe. Twinings. Constant Comment. Hearty tea. And if its gonna be hot – perfect for this time of year – there’s to be no milk. No lemon. None of this foo-foo flavoring. Bleech.
Cassondra: I really, REALLY hate to break it to you, but darlin’, Earl Grey Is. A. Flavor! So is MOCHA in coffee, for that matter. I like the idea of mocha, but honestly? It’s the texture. Mocha is chocolate flavored but it’s thick. It makes the coffee “thick.” So now I really want a peppermint mocha from Starbucks, but I can’t stand the texture so instead I get a peppermint latte with whipped cream and fancy fixins. That’s it over there on the left. Cuz I don’t want…you know…THICK coffee.
Jeanne: Snork! You are so picky.
Cassondra: YOU like thick coffee. Admit it.
Jeanne: Absolutely. Chocolate in coffee, and whipped cream, are naturally occurring additives. They’re fitting. They’re companion flavors. Adding other things, like the new Starbucks Roasted Chestnut Latte, are just icky. And seriously, they made a mistake the other day and made me a peppermint mocha instead of my usual mocha.
Cassondra: Yum! (except for the thick mocha part)
Jeanne: Hey! I’ve been going to “my” Starbucks since it opened – more than 15 years! – and they’ve never made it with peppermint. I took a big ‘ol drink as I walked out the door. Nearly choked. Turned right back in and handed it to the barista. Poor thing, he was the new guy. He blushed.
“What?” he asked as all the other baristas gathered around. They know me.
“It’s Peppermint,” I said, handing it to him. “Icky. No peppermint. Ever.”
Laughter from the other baristas.
“Just a mocha,” they chorused. “Not white mocha, not peppermint, nothing but mocha .”
“And extra whip!” the longest-serving barista added.
See? They know me. No foo-foo flavors.
Cassondra: WAIT just a minute. YOU get to pick WHICH flavors are foo foo and which are not just cuz you like some and not others? *waggles finger* I don’t think so. And they aren’t saying anything about the CHOCOLATE flavor—and the THICK coffee.
Here’s the deal. I don’t like ANY pre-flavored coffees—like those pre-flavored beans you get at the grocery store? I know, I know, lots of people like those. But me? Blech. Gross me out the door.
Jeanne: Whew! I’m glad we agree there, I was beginning to worry!
Cassondra: Yes, but if I go to a coffee shop, and it’s the right time of year, I’ll get a peppermint flavored coffee. It just seems fitting.
And here’s a secret–once again—just a plain cup of coffee, with no fancy steamed milk or froth and no espresso. At home, during these long, dark days of winter, I’ve been known to pull the cinnamon out of my spice cabinet and put a tablespoon of ground cinnamon in the coffeemaker on top of the ground coffee. *slurp* I learned this trick from one of my favorite little restaurants in Nashville, Calypso Café. They serve fabulous cinnamon coffee year-round, and they’re known for it. Just the right hint of cinnamon. And it’s REAL cinnamon. You know—bark from a tree–nothing fake. It’s an antidepressant.
Jeanne: Okay yeah. I’ve had that coffee. It was decent. But I wouldn’t want it very often.
Cassondra: Oh! And y’all…..there’s this whole other thing. I happen to know that Duchesse Jeanne has drunk the Keurig Koolaid. *pauses for effect* Yep, that’s right. She’s gone to the “pod” coffee. Which to me, is kind of like having a pod person replace your husband, but whatever.
Jeanne: I LOVE my Keurig! I don’t make a whole pot and have to throw it out!
Cassondra: I make a whole pot, and I don’t throw it out. Just sayin.
Jeanne: That must be what puts the famous sarcastic bite in your humor. And seriously, if I drank the pot? *Boing! Bing! Smash! Crash! Boing!* That would be me, barreling off the walls for the rest of the day.
Cassondra: Hey. I own that sarcastic bite. But seriously. A pod-brewed cup, while a VAST improvement over sorry single-serving hotel packages, does not taste the same as a POT of brewed coffee.
Jeanne: Oh, yes it does. What do you think is different?
Cassondra: A pot has time to sit there and mingle. It has time for all the coffee molecules to dance around each other and become something fabulous. Coffee from a pod can never escape its humble beginnings. It just can’t.
Jeanne: *rolls eyes* I love my Keurig. Serious Keurig love. A hot cup anytime, always a great taste. And look at all those gorgeous colors you can get if you buy a mini Keurig! That’s like the desktop model!
Cassondra: So it’s a Keurig of mini colors!
Hey, looky there. I made a joke.
Jeanne: Snork! Always a comedian in the bunch. Coffee from a Keurig is damn close to as good as a pot –as in 99% close. And hey…NO PEPPERMINT in sight! How about that? Besides, as the only one who drinks coffee in the household…yeah, like I said, I’d drink the whooole pot… so really, by brewing only a cup at a time, I’m doing the world a biiiig favor.
Cassondra: Okay, I’ll give you that. Nobody wants to face either one of us on too much caffeine.
Jeanne: Which brings up an important point. You ALL need to know that, while flavorings are at issue here, and definitely worth a fight, my evil twin and I are akin in one MAJOR thing.
We drink coffee for YOUR protection!! (Bwahahahaha!!)
Cassondra: Alas, it’s true. You don’t want to talk to me between the time I’ve gotten up and the time I’ve had the first cup of coffee. Word to the wise.
Oh and speaking of tea–Earl Grey or English Breakfast. Herbal tea at night.
Jeanne: *raises eyebrows*
Cassondra: Hey, I’m not a complete throwback. *raises pinky finger in the air, sips mock cup of tea*
Cassondra: And although I’ve weaned myself off of sugar in coffee. I use cream. Lots of it. Real half and Half. No fake creamers allowed.
Jeanne: On THAT, my evil twin, we agree. Lots of cream
So…How about it Banditas and Buddies? Coffee or tea in the morning?
With cream? Sugar? Or black and strong?
Do you like any additions? Peppermint? (BLECH!)
Cassondra: Hey! So do y’all like peppermint? Especially at the holidays? Caramel? Chocolate? Chestnut flavoring? Hazelnut? Pumpkin pie spice? Cinnamon?
Do you go for the special holiday drinks at coffee shops? Like the Pumpkin Spice latte or the Peppermint Mocha?
Or do you shuffle in, caffeine deprived, and say, “tall dark roast coffee please”?
Jeanne: Do you have a favorite coffee vendor? Are you a coffee snob and like Starbucks, Peets, Seattle’s Best and their ilk? Or do you refuse to get into all that…
Cassondra: *interrupts*… Like my mom–she buys her coffee at the grocery store. If that’s what you do, is it Folger’s? Maxwell House? Store brand?Generic? Special roast or the plain old original?
Jeanne: Or do you have a substitute like Bandita Donna? She carries a sleeve of Diet Coke wherever she goes. While we’re waiting for the coffeemaker to get going, she’s on her way with a *pop..fffffffizzzz…ahhhhh!*
And just for the sake of a survey….do you use a Keurig? Or do you brew your coffee in a pot?
Cassondra: We’re doing the same giveaway again today… in honor of the 12 days of Bandita Christmas, Jeanne is giving away ANOTHER Washington, DC, Starbucks mug and a $10 Starbucks card so you can have YUMMY coffee with your Christmas Donuts.
And I’m doing another grab bag of two random novels plus one piece of fun swag from my leftover box of conference swag. (Both giveaways are Continental US only.)
Posted by Jeanne Adams Dec 17 2014, 12:08 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Cake Donuts, Cassondra Murray, donuts, Doughnuts, Dunkin Donuts, Glazed Donuts, holiday meals, holiday shortcuts, Jeanne Adams, Krispy Kreme, Yeast Donuts, Yeast doughnuts vs cake doughnuts
Cassondra: A really, really bad thing has happened.
Jeanne: Oh no!
Cassondra: That’s a picture of the bad thing down there on the left. See it?
Jeanne: *squints* Is that a donut shop?
Cassondra: Oh, heck yeah. That’s a brand new Krispy Kreme donut shop. It opened this week in MY town.
Jeanne: Ew. Yes. That is a bad thing.
Cassondra: *takes a moment* Wait. You’re serious? *takes another moment* Are? You? Kidding? Me?
Jeanne: Nope. Don’t like ‘em.
Cassondra: You are my evil twin! HOW can you not like Krispy Kreme? OMG. They’re from your home state! Wait…don’t say it. Just DON’T.
Don’t say you like cake donuts.
Jeanne: Yup! Grins. Love ‘em.
Cassondra: Okay buddies, I think the busy season has fried my evil twin’s brain. And I can understand why.
It’s that time of year, after all. It’s the time of year when we all get so harried and rushed that we’ll break rules. Rules like “I don’t eat that.” Not because it’s just so yummy it’s irresistible—though that may well be the case—but because we’re too darn busy to fix real food. It’s cuz of all those relatives visiting.
Jeanne: All those presents to buy.
Cassondra: All those presents to WRAP.
Jeanne: The house to clean.
Cassondra: The fridge to stock. The meals to plan.
Jeanne: And the travel. Don’t forget the travel. Up early and on the road at the crack of dawn.
Cassondra: What’s that? I’m not familiar with this crack-of-dawn thing.
Jeanne: Snork! Wish I wasn’t familiar with it… Anyway, it’s true. When everyone lands at your house on the holidays, what’s the fallback for breakfast?
Jeanne: Yep. A great big box of ‘em. Who can resist a donut?
Cassondra: I can. If they’re cake donuts. Or if they have gross filling.
Jeanne: *heavy sigh*
Cassondra: Hey. Sue me. I like plain, old-fashioned glazed donuts. YEAST donuts. Hot and fresh out of the oven. *closes eyes, imagines yeasty, sugary donut smell* See that box over there on the right? You bring me THAT at your theoretical crack of dawn, all hot and yeasty-yummy from the oven, and I might become familiar with the concept of morning.
Jeanne: *looks skeptical* Seriously? All that fat and sugar just dripping off of that round, air-filled fluff of a thing? Where’s the substance? Where’s the OOMPH! That’s what can get you going in the morning. I mean, really, if you haven’t got time for the serious eggs, grits, bacon, biscuit breakfast, this at least has heft to it!
Cassondra: Blech. Heft like an anchor. If I’m going to eat cake, I’ll eat real CAKE. Leftover homemade. German chocolate or red velvet with homemade icing. Not some thick, smarmy, heavy thing that’s been coated and deep fried.
Jeanne: You NEVER buy cake donuts?
Cassondra: Not for me. I have to buy apple fritters sometimes for Steve. And he likes those disgusting French Crullers.
I mean, really. French Cruller? Sounds like a fishing vessel.
Jeanne: Snork! LMAO
Cassondra: See that box down on the left? The one with the cake donuts? I could have missed all three meals in one day, and that would still gross me out. What is that pink thing anyway?
Jeanne: That’s a donut. With strawberry icing.
Cassondra: Can somebody open a window? I need air. Or maybe alcohol. Or both.
Jeanne: *fans Cassondra* Oh, come on.
Cassondra: I like my donuts to have YEAST in them. It’s fried bread, okay? It’s slurpy good. Simple. Yeasty fried bread with simple sugar glaze on it.
Jeanne: Cake is bread.
Cassondra: See that photo down there on the right—the one of the Boston Crème donut in the box? There’s a reason that’s the last donut in the box! Not only does it have icky icing, but it has disgusting gooey…filling…stuff. Ew.
Jeanne: Okay, okay. I don’t care for the fillings either, but don’t talk about the filled donuts in front of my oldest son. He loves those.
Cassondra: He’s a teenage boy. Need I say more?
Jeanne: Nope. He can eat his weight in donuts, no matter what kind, but really likes those icky filled ones.
Cassondra: I feel faint. The gladiators might have to resuscitate me.
Jeanne: *Grins* Yeah, nothing like a good gladiator for resuscitation! And you’ll probably need a second go at it when I tell you that my husband likes the Boston Cremes, and will fight my son for them. Do you think it’s because his family is originally from Boston?
Cassondra: *rolls eyes and tries to ignore the cake donuts* Maybe. It just proves, once again, that men will eat virtually anything.
Jeanne: As a caveat, I have to say that my younger son, like you and I, eschews (so to speak) anything with filling unless it’s a corn dog.
Cassondra: That’s a different food fight – things on sticks. Let’s–*grin*–stick–to the point here. Glazed donuts are the only REAL donuts.
I mean, c’mon, Buddies and Banditas, look at that yummy goodness over there on the left. It’s a glazed YEAST donut. The ooooonly donut. Don’t you agree?
Jeanne: *Scoffing* I beg to differ, oh, my evil twin. CAKE donuts are the original. Like those on the right.
Cassondra: Blech! But just so we can preserve our evil twin status on SOMETHING, I know you agree that none of this gooey-center glop should grace the box, especially if you have company.
Jeanne: Absolutely. But….What do YOU think, Banditas and Buddies?
Cake donuts? Yeast donuts?
Plain or covered in anything?
And please, really, tell us you don’t eat those filled things?
Cassondra: Or if you do like the filling, what kind?
And French crullers? Apple fritters? Bear claws?
*Cassondra hesitates* What the heck is the point of making a pastry with toes, anyway?
Cassondra: OMG! Look at that red blob on the left! What the heck is THAT?
Jeanne: That’s a star-shaped Christmas donut.
Cassondra: Is it alive? OMG! Buddies, run! Run for your lives!
Jeanne: *facepalms* Okay, in honor of the 12 days of Bandita Christmas, we’re giving away goodies! I’m giving away a Washington, DC, Starbucks mug and a $10 Starbucks card so you can have coffee with your Christmas Donuts.
Cassondra: And on top of that, I have a HUGE box of books. I’m going to do a grab bag. I’ll reach in and grab two random novels plus one piece of fun swag from my leftover box of conference swag, and I’ll ship it all to you if you’re in the continental US.
Tell us, Bandits and Buddies…how do you like your donuts?