Posts tagged with: romance bandits

The last Bandita…

1397951614000-ghostfield

“Build it…and they will come”, this quote from one of my favorite movies, A Field of Dreams, always makes me think of the Romance Bandits.

May, 2007 … a group of very nervous new authors stepped onto the web. We’d banded together to try and make our mark on the world. We were going to start a blog.

What if no one read us? What if they did? What if no one wanted to hear what we had to say? What if they did? Would it be a waste of time? Or would it be that safe place to launch our careers?

We had a few rules:

1. Be positive. We’d see blogs where people were snarky to the point of rudeness. We wanted the Lair to be a fun, positive place for readers to come and chat with us.

2. Answer each person’s comment on your day to blog. We figured if you took the time to respond, we should do the same.

3. Be real. We could talk about books, men, food, men, tuck nuts, men, embarassing moments, men…uhm…you get the idea, but we had to be open, honest…ourselves.

Then the coolest thing happened…

YOU guys!

Who knew that opening ourselves, our writing journeys, our lives to readers such as you would garner us such wonderful friends! I feel like I know so many of you like we’ve been friends for such a long time. You’ve supported us through those tenuous first days, through our first book releases, debuts for each and everyone of us…and become people we talk to daily…even if you’re half way around the world! We’ve bonded through stories about truck nuts, the Golden Rooster’s secret revealing blog, various parties, food wars, holidays, language barriers (okay, just the oddities in the English–British/American/Australian variations of it). Some of us have shared having new grandbabies together. Some of us have shared the heartbreak of losing a loved one. You’ve been the first people we share exciting new covers and wonderful news with. Changes in our lives as we’ve gone through the journey to publication.

Laughter. Tears. Hearts.goodbye

And now, it’s like the last episode of one of my favorite shows. M*A*S*H. Everyone has left the camp. BJ has driven Hawkeye to the helicopter pad on his motorcycle. Hawkeye climbs on board and BJ speeds off down the hill. And there is this:

But it really isn’t goodbye. In fact, I’ll be back next month to do a release party for Turner’s Vision. Others will pop in to let you know when they have new books out.

Some of you already follow me on FB and Twitter, but in case you don’t, but want to catch up with me, the Jazzman and Rusty Puppy, here’s some links:

FB:  www.facebook.com/suzanneferrell.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzFerrell

Website: www.suzanneferrell.com

Newsletter: http://suzanneferrell.com/contact/

 

My Luckiest Day

PJ1Well, I think it’s pretty fitting that my  blog day lands on Friday the 13th. It fit perfectly into the theme for this last post.

I am so damn lucky.

Yes, it was a choice to join up with a handful of 2006 GH finalist to build The Lair. I’ve learned a LOT from these ladies about a LOT of stuff…including but not limited to, writing, Indie publishing, networking, the wonder that is Costco 🙂 and loads of other things. Lucky for me we’ll still be together on FB, twitter and other venues. I also had a great opportunity to host some special guests over the years. I suspect it was to keep me from stalking them, but I know you added them to your TBR pile.

The luckiest part though? Was meeting all of the BB’s. I mean to tell you, you all are my friends. You are my readers and you are the BEST cheerleaders a girl could ask for as I took the step to Indie pub my Romans. Oh sure, you bought my books and yes…that’s great as I am career focused as an author (Please God let me be able to go part time as a nurse :0) BUT, more importantly, you liked my stories. THAT matters to me because I love writing stories. Must be the Irish in me 🙂

Here is a photo album from the past eight years:Louisa

 

 

 

 

 

AtlantaBanditss

 

 

 

 

 

I know I’ll see ya’ll on FB, Twitter as I launch my new paranormal series. I need the energy and time from blogging as I have 9 books to tell the Leithprachaun clan’s story. To help celebrate, one lucky BB will win a Kindle copy of Ruarc: Bound in Stone on it’s publication (expected by St. Patrick’s Day).  Now, I’ll be at work all day today (sigh) but will be able to read comments. Know this….I love you, each and every one!

Rurac Bound by Stone final for Barnes and Noble

 

Reinventing Ourselves–Again~~A Love Letter to Our Readers

Do y’all have certain memories that stick with you?

I don’t mean the big moments. If it’s the loss of beloved person, or a special miracle, like the moment you bring your baby home for the first time, it’s obvious that those memories would remain in your mind for many years.

kentucky summer welcometohoneybend graphic 30 percentI’m talking about the little things—the moments that aren’t huge.

Or maybe they are huge—but you don’t know at the time that they’re going to change your life forever.

If you’re like me, most of the moments of your life sort of disappear, buried beneath the busy.

But some remain.

I have a glowing, sharp, indelible memory of sitting at my desktop computer, staring at words that would change my life forever.

It was about this time of year in 2007. Snow was on the ground outside. A handful of writers, all with stars in our eyes, had formed an email loop. One of us typed, “why don’t we do a blog together?” and something happened in the ether around me. I barely knew what a blog was, but I remember sitting there, feeling the power—the potential—of that.

Some others were feeling it too.

A few keystrokes later, we owned the Romance Bandits name, and withinreinventing ourselves calendar pages turning weeks, we’d stumbled our way into the blog-o-sphere.

That was almost eight years ago.

Can you believe it?

I have the same kind of memory of the first time I wrote a blog.

That blog is gone now—the first two or three months didn’t make it to the new website, and that’s probably a very good thing, because we were all feeling our way—but I remember thinking, “I have no freaking idea how to do this.”

Writing a story is one thing. Writing a news article is another. Writing a blog? Most of us were clueless, but we threw ourselves fearlessly at the unknown anyway.

And by doing so, we became more than our individual selves. We reinvented ourselves and created something that was a reflection of all of us.

Within a few months, a lot of you had found us.

I still don’t know how that happened, and later, I’m going to ask you about that. But still…some of those moments I will never forget.

~The first time Helen posted a comment.

~The first time one of our blogs got 100 comments. Then 200.

~The day Louisa Cornell posted the first comment of the day and said, “What do I get, a golden rooster?”

Yeah, we were never the same after that.reinventing ourselves rooster bash 08

I remember, so well, the day in summer, 2008, that I  stepped up to the edge of the sidewalk outside the San Francisco airport, waiting for a shuttle.

I heard a voice from my right that said, “You’re Cassondra.”

I turned. I found a gorgeous brunette smiling at me. I must have looked befuddled, because she said. “I’m Deb Marlowe. I know you from the Romance Bandits.”

We hugged, and I felt like I was meeting an old friend.

Of course I knew her name, and had read her books. But having somebody recognize me on the street because of the blog? I will never forget that moment.reinventing ourselves cake 2008

Later that week we hosted our first ever Bandit Bash in the downtown San Francisco Marriott, and the entire conference was buzzing about the rowdy Romance Bandits.  That’s the cake we served, over there on the right.  It says, “Have you spent the night with the Golden Rooster?”

Yeah. The hotel chef had a good time with that one.

I will never forget the moment I sat down in front of a particular big-name literary agent to pitch my romantic suspense series. We shook hands, she gave me the once-over, then her eyes caught on a sparkly pin attached to my conference badge.

reinventing ourselves bandita pin“You’re one of the Bandits,” she said, and I nodded.

“I like that,” she said. “You take care of each other.”

She was right.

When I found this group of women, I found a group of sisters, of a kind I’d never had before.

It wasn’t many months later that someone said, “We need to do a big party at Christmas just to change things up.” And we did.

A few years later, I remember when the first rumblings started about the Lair.
“We don’t have enough room, and we don’t own our content unless we get reinventing ourselves Jeanne with roostera real website.”

And then we said, “But do you think our Buddies will come with us?”

We were all amazed and touched when you did. We reinvented ourselves, and you made the move with us. By doing so, you made it worth the trouble of packing all our things and moving to our new digs here at RomanceBandits.com.

When that happened, and you hung with us, I think we all realized that we’d done more than just build a blog.

The Lair is a community. It’s as much about you as it is about us.

If I don’t see some of you for a while, I start to worry. For a good many of you, I know when you have job changes, when you move houses, and when you go on long-awaited vacations.

A lot of you I’ve met in person. That happened because I met you first right here on our blog.

For me, that’s not just a virtual community. That’s real.

This month, we’re reinventing ourselves again. And just like the times before, we hope you’ll come along with us for the ride as we throw ourselves into the unknown one more time.

Being on the internReinventing ourselves TGN Party invasion 2008et—and writing in the technology age—means we have to constantly keep moving, shifting and changing, to keep up with it.  I’m not gonna lie to you and say I think change is easy. It’s not. And this change is a little scarier for us than some of the others have been. But it’s also really exciting.

First, we’re moving to a much stronger presence on our Facebook page. There will be new posts there every day. Sometimes there’ll be a bunch of new posts.

If you like our facebook page, and if you interact with us by posting a comment or liking one of our facebook posts now and then, you’ll see our posts on your facebook feed.

We’re also going to put a widget thingy on our homepage that shows those posts, along with our posts on twitter.

But the bottom line is that we Bandits are all novel writers. In this brave new world of publishing, we need to write more books, and write them faster.

For some of us, it comes down to this. We can write books, or we can write blogs.

And we think if you, our buddies, had to choose, you’d choose the books. We hope so anyway.

Don’t worry. We’re not going away.

The Lair will still be here.

Some of us will still be blogging on our regular days.

But some of us won’t. That’s going to create some holes in our blogging calendar.

We know. If we’re not generating new blog contenReinventing ourselves RSS feed widgett every day, you don’t have a reason to come by.  We get that.

But we will still be posting about our new releases, we’ll still have guest blogs some days, and we still want to interact with you.

So there’s this thingy we’ve set up.

If you go to the comments page, you’ll see a thing on the sidebar that says “RSS Feed”—it looks like that, right over there on the right.

If you sign up for that, when we blog, that blog will come to your email inbox. That way you can come to the Lair and play with us.  I’ve been doing this for two weeks.  I don’t get anything except the blog sent to my email.  No spam. We promise. And when we blog, we’ll be around to talk to you, same as always.

During February, the Lair is going to go through some reconstruction. Some stuff will get moved around. That RSS feed thingy will be on the front page, along with a widget that shows our facebook posts and our twitreinventing ourselves grailter posts.

Basically, some of us are following in the footsteps of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. We’re swearing our allegiance to a cause, and we’re stepping outside the comfort of the Lair—like evangelists of a sort—to bring romance, and our books—to the larger world.

This month, while all these changes are in process, we’re going to have one giant party.

There will be prizes, and many hugs that involve wishes to “go forth and conquer!” all around.

The  Bandits will be giving away special goodies on the daily blogs this month.

The first week in March, when we hit social media like Thor’s hammer with a mask and a rose attached, we’ll have a HUGE party, with all of the Lair favorites coming around to say hello and do giveaways, and there will be prizes every day.

We want you, our Buddies, to go forth with us.

More than anything, we want you to understand what you mean to us.

We call you our Buddies, but really, you are our home. You are our family. You are the reason we’ve blogged every day for eight years.

Our hearts are on the line here. As we take a chunk of the Lair on the road, and reinvent ourselves one more time…

Will you go with us?

We hope so.

But for today…

This is the Lair after all, and all the staff–Sven, the gladiators, cabana boys, Hockey Hunks, the goddess Sangria–hey, even Ermingarde the dragon  is here– So….Let’s PARTY!

I’m giving away a grab bag of two books, and a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Bandita Kate Carlisle is giving away a copy of A High-End Finish (first in her new Fixer-Upper series) and some swag.

Bandita Jeanne is giving away a Starbucks mug and a Starbucks coffee card.

And Lair Favorite Dianna Love is giving away one of her Slye Temp ebook box sets!

To start the party off, let’s celebrate the first eight years in the Lair!

How did you find the Romance Bandits?

Do you remember the blog that made you leave a comment for the first time?

What’s your favorite memory of the Bandit Lair so far?

During our construction, you can help us by liking our Romance Bandit facebook page, following us on the Romance Bandits Twitter feed. The links are at the bottom of the page.

And if there’s a Bandit you haven’t liked or followed, do it!

But MOST IMPORTANT—sign up for the RSS feed.

If you don’t get our monthly newsletter, sign up for that. It will be in your inbox first day of every month without fail.

Now let’s party!

It’s A Wonderful Life

Just like George Bailey, I thought we’d take a trip back to Christmas’ past in the Bandit time machine. Come closer….gaze with me into the crystal ball. See what we were up to in 2008:popcorn

We’ve been very busy here in The Lair getting ready for the holidays. Demetrius cut down the Christmas tree with his gladius and Lucien has been stringing popcorn which has taken longer than we anticipated as he eats two bowls of the stuff for every  one that makes it on the string! The GR was in charge of ornaments, flapping up to the boughs to place each ornament just so….which also took extra long as he kept getting distracted by all the shiny balls. The hockey hunks solved that by replacinbroken ones with pucks!

Marcus keeps shaking the packages while Sven insists that today is NOT the first day of Bandit Christmas but Lucia day….a tradition from his home country where it is believed man and beast require extra nourishment……..Stop! Boys! Stay away from the cookies!!!cookies

Sigh.
Yes, we are steeped in tradition, steeped in good will, steeped in eggnogg…..Oh, wait! That’s just Anna C.  and AC  (squints at shoes sticking out from beneath the table) maybe….Suz???

xmas tree

Tawny, Jo stop standing under the mistletoe winking at the glads….no…no. ack! Jeanne! Stop shaking the packages! No, there is not C4 in the green one…no! Really! Don’t. Shake. It.

Oh, wonderful. Anna S. just breezed in from England with a huge bowl of wassel….like we NEED more alcohol…and now she’s taking down the mistletoe and chasing the hockey guys around!
What? Yes, yes Donna that corset is very pretty in green and red. Oh, my…it lights up…and in the most interesting places. Look, Susan and Kate have just arrived from the cave…..nice Elf hats girls. Do ya’ll hear that? What is that carol Nancy, Caren and Christie are singing? “Deck the Halls with SuperHero Figures”…no, I think the words are…
Stop! Stop! Kirsten, honey really I don’t think doughnuts will hold up as a wreath..the glaze don’t you know. Ah, Christine…just in time….I need help with….what have you got on your head? A candle wreath? You say you’re name is Lucia??? Sven! Sven…come back here and finish the wreath! Beth, Trish….step away from the long, weapon like package KJ just put under the tree…um, don’t put it close to that green package!
Now, excuse me….Cassondra is putting TRUCK NUTS in the stockings!!!!
This party is getting out of control and we haven’t even served the cake…er, pie…er, cake.
(Collapses against reindeer) Never mind. Let’s get on with the Christmas trivia.
**Wow, that was so much fun! Remembering those early days in The Lair. Fond memories of our Bandits who are trailing other paths. Memories of fun with the young cock….er…GOLDEN Rooster! Yeah, that’s the ticket. He’s kind of creaky in the wishbone nowadays. A lot of wonderful BB’s and more characters than you can shake a cock..er, a chicken, er a magical shillelagh at. I’ll need all of you to get us through the day. I’ll be at work and will only be able to pop in now and again. So once you answer these Christmas trivia questions, post one of your own. Grab some eggnog and let’s do it!

"Naughty, naughty, ooo...nice..."

“Naughty, naughty, ooo…nice…”

 

1. What do the carolers in the song “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” insist they be given?

2. Who wins the decorating contest in “A Charlie Brown Christmas?”
3. Where did the Grinch steal Christmas?
4. When a Ukrainian finds a spider web in their Christmas tree, what does it signify?
5. Who was the first ghost to appear to Ebenezzer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol?”
6. What Christmas song was introduced in the movie “Holiday Inn”?
7. What non-traditonal Christmas movie sports the character Oogie Boogie?
8. What actor won an Academy award playing Santa Clause?
9. What branch of the American military is associated with Toys for Tots?
10. What did Carol Brady lose that jeopardized the Brady’s Christmas celebration?

He Said….

 

“What the?” Paolo put a hand to his chest.  He breathed out a sigh of relief at the three BB’s who had snuck up on him. “Oh, sorry. Ya’ll startled me. Can I get you a refreshing beverage?” It was after curfew. Nobody was supposed to still be in The Lair. Those gladiators would have some explaining to do. Not that he was brave enough to do it. He focused back on the BB’s ” No? What was I doing listening at the door? What door? There are lots of doors in The Lair.”door

“Shite on a stick!”

Paolo gave a nervous laugh. “You’re right. That was pretty loud considering it was, ah…behind a door. Accent? Oh, there might have been a bit of an accent, I wasn’t really paying any attention.”

The BB’s took a step toward him. Paolo swallowed at their determined expressions. Gladiators v BB’s? Both were forces to be reckoned with.  “Ok, ok. It’s a new door, put in by Joanie T. Saw her directing several construction workers in putting in more than a few. You know those Banditas…they’re pretty secretive when they have new projects. But this one, THIS one is intriguing! Whoever’s in there had been going at before I started eavesdropping…er, I mean it caught my attention.”

“Of all the blithering edjits.”

Paolo raised a brow. sent a sideways look to the ladies.  “Care to join me?”

The BB’s exchanged looks then grinned. Paolo shuffled out of their way then joined them in a gasp. “Wow,” they said in unison. The door had shimmered into a clear window. “Ssshh…” said Paolo. Let’s listen.”

ian

“The blasted, infuriating woman!” Brady Sullivan fumed as he paced before his brother’s huge stone fireplace. “The stubborn, willful…”

“…beautiful, smart…” added another man lounging in an overstuffed chair. The man favored Brady–black hair, blue eyes the pulsating blue of a Star Wars light saber. Neither were built like bouncers but there lay the advantage when an enemy underestimated the strength and power of a Leithprachaun warrior.

“Aye,” replied Brady, throwing his hands up in the air. “and sexy. Don’t be forgetting sexy.”

The other man smiled. “Never, brother.”

Brady pulled up and sent a menacing glare to his brother. He might be High King of their clan, but he was a major pain in the arse. “Patric, ye’ll be watching what ye say about my woman.”

Patric’s lips curved into a knowing smile.

Brady ran his hands through his hair. “Ah, shite.”

“Now don’t be riling up the boyo, Patric. Ye know he’s on the edge.”

Brady opened his mouth to dispute  his other brother, Killian’s observation. But the plain truth of the matter was, he was right. Everything in him was trembling like a bowl of gelatin: his legs, his hands, his thoughts.

His magic.

“Aye, yer right. I concede it. Shannon’s my woman. Mine.” To protect, to cherish, to love. To die for. “That’s why I can’t be letting her do it.”

Patric sipped on a tumbler of Jemeson’s. “Ye’ve no say in the matter.” Patric raised his hand cutting off Brady’s protest. “Tis  the only way. Ye need yer treasure. We need yer treasure…”

“Don’t say it…” warned Brady.

Patric ignored him. “The world needs yer treasure.”

Brady sank into a chair. “And I need her. Ah, shite. Tis a fine mess.”

Patric poured another drink, handed it to Brady. “She’s yer cailin. She chose to do this, to make this sacrifice. Ye can’t deny her that.”

Brady downed the whiskey in one gulp. “Feck if I can’t. I’ll….”

He never finished the sentence but slumped in the chair. Patric waved a hand to keep the glass from shattering on the oak floor. He nodded to the woman standing behind Brady, her hands still glowing from the sedation spell. “Will he be out long, Bridget?”

Bridget nodded grimly. “Long enough…I hope.” She raised crystal blue eyes to her brother. “Will it work out then?”

Patric’s glass filled with amber liquid. “It has to sister. It has to.”

 

Paolo’s heart thumped in his chest as the door went to oak. Leithprachauns? High King? That was the guy who was hanging out in the barroom just last week. What was going on? What does the world have to do with it? Somebody needs to know about this. If danger’s been brought into The Lair, the Bandits need to know.

“Slow down cabana boy,” one of the BB’s said, “You’re not going anywhere.”

Paolo stared at her. Man, these BB’s were perceptive. “But we have protocols.”

“No protocols for this,” said another. “There are two sides to every story. We need to find this Shannon.”

“But…but…”

“But nothing.” The third one grabbed him by the collar. “Show us those other doors.”

 

Wow, some shenanigans going on and poor Paolo’s in the middle. Who are the mysterious BB’s? Is it one of YOU? Tell us how you managed to break in.  What kind of mission is Brady worried about? Give us your best guess.

Tune in tomorrow for She Said… drum

 

October Fun-Coming Attractions

The Frost is on the pumpkins and a nip is in the air. So October is a great month for more Lair Fun!leaves

 

 

sandra 1  OctOCTOBER 3rd  Anna C.  hosts witty Aussie romance writer Sandra Antonelli  who will be talking about her wonderful contemporary romance DRIVING IN NEUTRAL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close to the Fire final

OCTOBER 4th, the Lair heats up as Suzanne Ferrell launches her newest book, CLOSE TO THE FIRE, book 3 in the Westen series. Come see what’s happening in the small town of Westen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Land

OCTOBER 6th  Nancy welcomes USA Today Bestselling author Jon Land.  Celebrating the release of his latest Caitlin Strong thriller, STRONG DARKNESS Jon will chat with Nancy about the challenges of incorporating romance in a thriller.  Join us for “Romance With a Bullet”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 9th, Cassondra  hosts one of her new favorite authors– Amazon Bestseller Tracey Devlyn–to talk about an intriguing twist on historical romance.  You’ll get a taste of Book 1 in Tracey’s new Bones & Gemstones series, NIGHT STORM and find out why she calls her books historical

tracey devlynromantic thrillers.  Cassondra thinks they’re all that and a whole lot more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rac OCTOBER 11th, Christina welcomes friend and fellow Aussie, Rachael Johns, to the lair! Rachael will be here to chat about the U.S. release of her Aussie small town romance, JILTED. Isn’t that a gorgeous cover?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 16th, Christina  welcomes Amy Andrews  back in the lair with her hotter-than-hot NO MORE MR. NICE GUY. Can’t wait for this one!RB Oct Christine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fo Oct RB

OCTOBER 21st, the incomprable  Anna Campbell returns, hosting debut YA author Vanessa Barneveld  to the lair. She’ll be telling us about her first release, THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE, and her journey to publication. You won’t want to miss this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flirting_cover

OCTOBER 23rd  Robin Giana will join us to talk about her latest release, Flirting with Doctor Off-Limits.  This new medical romance involves a doctor and his best friend’s sister.  Sound familiar?  🙂  Robin will be chat with us about familiar romance tropes and why we love them so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dianna love

OCTOBER 24th, Lair favorite and New York Times Bestseller Dianna Love is returning to celebrate the return of the Beladors!  DEMON STORM, Belador Book 5, will be just off the presses, so join Cassondra to get the inside scoop on what’s happening with Dianna and this bestselling series.

 

 

Also in October Anna Campbell is hosting another great contest!

Anna Campbell’s RT Book Reviews Top Pick, WHAT A DUKE DARES, is out in the UK at the end of October so she’s celebrating this momentous occasion by having a cup of tea and giving two entrants in her current website contest a chance to win a signed print edition of the beautiful Mills and Boon edition of the book. To enter just email her on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) with the names of the other full-length novels in the Sons of Sin series. There are two of them and you might find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/. The contest closes 31st October, 2014, and entry is open internationally.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter! News from the Bandits, the Lair, prizes and great releases! Click here to sign up.

Taking the Pulse of the Lair

Lots of magazines, news shows, internet sites give us updates on the state of….well…things. Since many of us are attending RWA Nationals next week, I thought I’d see what the state of our BB’s and Bandits are.

What would you do with $100?     EKG

Favorite paranormal character?

Kindle or Nook? Or Print?

Funniest internet video you’ve seen?

Favorite new author?

Favorite hot Aussie? (Anna Campbell and Christine Brookes do not count) 😀

Pool or beach?

Favorite keeper book?

Orange, cherry or grape popsicle?

Favorite sub-genre?

Favorite Patrician character :D?

Let’s hear from you peeps!

2014 Starts Off Right-Winning!

The winner of a download of one of my books in The Patrician Series goes to…

 

Alyn Y!

 

Alyn, please choose which book you would like (The Patrician, The Patrician’s Fortune or Barbarian’s Soul), the email linked to your Kindle to JoanieT13@gmail.com

cha cha kitty

 

What’s up for January in the Bandit Lair?

2014 is here! freevintagedigitalstamps.comcom

I don’t do resolutions, but I will admit that  last year about this time, I set a goal.

I wanted to laugh more. Smile more during 2013.  And I have!

Sometimes it was just a matter of getting out an old I Love Lucy episode or choosing to go with my husband to his dental appointment, just because I know they keep a constant marathon of  Andy Griffith running on the tv in the waiting room. 

I love Andy Griffith.

If I had to, I went to Comedy Central on the internet, or one of the humor sites on facebook, and found something to laugh at.  And I felt better for it.

My goal for 2014 is to laugh even MORE.

  I want to find something to laugh at every day.  Or even on those days when it’s hardBrooke-The Greatest Lover Ever to find a reason, I want to at least find something that makes me smile and if possible, laugh out loud. 

One of the things that almost always makes me smile is the antics here in the Bandit Lair.  I love hanging out with all of y’all.

I hope it does the same for you in the coming year, as we talk about everything from books to ball dressing (ahem…Jeanne?), get to know authors and find great new reads, since the one thing we all have in common is a love for books and the joy of a happy ending.

We’ll get thinGianni-Changed by his sons smilegs romping right out of the starting gate with a monster launch party tomorrow, January 2nd, for Christina Brooke’s  THE GREATEST LOVER EVERHint–It was released yesterday–New Year’s Eve! 

I mean SERIOUSLY LOOK at that cover up there on the right.  Is that not one of the best covers you’ve ever seen?

So grab your copy and come to lair tomorrow to party like it’s..well..2014!

 Friday, January 3rd Losing Dani once was hard enough. Losing both her and their son is not an option!  That’s the teaser line for Robin Gianna’s new Harlequin Medical romance, CHANGED BY HIS SON’S SMILE

Join us  as Donna brings this debut author to the Lair for the first time.

  On TueBrannagh-Blitzing Emilysday, 7th January, Anna Campbell will host another new author,  Julie Brannagh.  

Julie will be talking to us about her sparkling debut BLITZING EMILY!

We love new authors in the lair so don’t miss Julie’s visit.

 Author Kelly Stone

We know our buddies love to get a look inside the writing life, so on January 9th, I’ll be hosting author and creativity expert Kelly Stone.  That’s her picture over there on the right. 

She’ll talk about her journey into writing, and how she’s gone on to help some of the writers you love, as well as other creative people who were having trouble setting their muses free.

Can’t WAIT for you to meet Kelly!

We’ll party hard in the lair in the middle of the month.

Osburn--Up to the ChallengeOn Sunday, January 12th, get away from winter with a trip to Terri Osburn’s Anchor Island.  

I’ve gotta tell you that I (Cassondra)  just read the first Anchor Island novel and I fell so hard for this series.  Thank GOODNESS the next one is already out! 

Terri joins Bandita Nancy Northcott to chat about weather and tension in romance.  They’ll also discuss the latest Anchor Island release, UP TO THE CHALLENGE.

TIP!–There is an awesome Christmas story FREE on Terri’s website as a gift to you, the readers.  Go to http://www.terriosburn.com/.  It’s right there

on the front page.

We claim Terri as one of our own.  She’s a Bandita Buddy from way back.  We are SO excited for her success!

Milburn-marrying the cowboy

Wednesday January 15th, we’ll all don cowboy hats for a monster party in the

lair.

We love launch parties, and Bandita Trish will host the celebration to launch the latest in her Blue Falls, Texas, series, MARRYING THE COWBOY.

This is Elissa’s story.

I know y’all have been waiting for this one, and can I say, as covers go, this one is…well…slurpalicious? Can’t wait!

 

Shepherd--The Summer They Never Forgot On Thursday, 16th January, lair favorite Kandy Shepherd returns with exciting news of her debut Harlequin Romance, THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT.

Bandita Anna Campbell is hosting.

Look at that….two beach/ocean covers in one week!  Not a bad thing for the middle of winter, is it?  

 

Okay, okay. I know it’s the middle of SUMMER in the Southern

Burton --Soul Slam

Hemisphere. But right now I’m cold, and those beaches and strappy sundresses are looking pretty darn good!

January 21st, Bandita Suz has a guest in the Lair. 

 “Raised by a ring of thieves, sixteen-year-old Olivia is on her first heist to steal an ancient Egyptian amulet when she inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut and the deadly curse that comes with it. And she’s not alone at the museum.”

That’s the teaser for Suz’s guest, Allie Burton, who will talk about SOUL SLAM, Book 1 of her Soul Force Young Adult series.

 Weber-A SEAL's Salvation

On January 31st, at the end of the month, Tawny Weber will launch the latest in her sexy Harlequin Blaze series about US Navy SEALs.   A SEAL’s SALVATION is signature Tawny Weber, mixing intense emotion with sexy, steamy romance.  

Sey-Talent For Trouble

 

WOOOOOT!–Watch for the big surprises during the month, when Banditas Susan Sey and Nancy Northcott announce their latest releases.

Susan Sey will fill you in on the second installment of her Blake Brothers Trilogy, when she releases TALENT FOR TROUBLE. 

This is the first view of her cover!  Isn’t it awesome?

Susan is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve been waiting for this release.  Nobody makes me swoon like Susan.

Northcott--SentinelNeed a little magic in your January?

Grab onto the edges of your seats, because at the end of the month, Bandita Nancy will be  releasing SENTINEL, the latest story in her Light Mage Wars paranormal romance series. 

I’ve read every one of these books, and the combination of magic, romance and intense emotion keeps me awake at night.

 

 If you don’t get our newsletter, be sure to sign up for it, as we have an awesome monthly contest with cool prizes.  Just read the newsletter to be included in the drawing.

Yes, we DO know who reads it.  Muahahahahaha! 

Okay, yeah. It’s Ermingarde.  When she came here, she had this crystal ball in her stash of jewels…and we can’t help ourselves.  We’re always nervous about our newsletter so we look into her crystal ball and…well…we know…*grin*

Bandita Anna Campbell is hosting a contest!

She had such fun with her backlist contest last time that she’s doing it all again for her January/February contest. THREE people (international) will win their choice from her books (except for DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES).

Just email Anna on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her which book you’d like. If you need help choosing, check out her books page on her website:http://annacampbell.info/books.html  For more information, check out her contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html

 That’s it for the month.  There’ll be plenty of laughter and smiles in 2014 here in the lair.  We look forward to sharing them all with you!

But tell me, Bandits and Buddies..

What do you do when you need to laugh?

Is your family naturally full of laughter and joking around?

Or are you like me, tending to be more somber unless you make the effort to find a reason to smile?

How do you break yourself out of a funk?  How do you cheer up when you’re down?

What shows do you watch?  What websites do you visit?

When you need a bit of joy–or a giant belly laugh, what do you do?

Happy New Year to you and yours from the Romance Bandits! 

“I dreamed my whole house was clean” from Free Vintage Digital Stamps.  Laughing Pig from RGBStock.

Five Foods of Summer

So, it’s pretty obvious in the years since we started the blog that people like to talk about food. The topic came to mind as I write this on the 4th of July….a day celebrating not only America’s independence, but great cookouts and the foods that say in one mouthful– SUMMER!

So here are my top 5:

1. Ice cream. Not just any old pre-formed Eskimo pie but hand dipped in a cone. My favorite flavor is chocolate chip. I’ve recently discovered a little Mom and Pop place less than a mile from my house that has THE best! My taste buds are leaping but my thighs…not so much.ice cream

2. Hot dogs. I don’t care what goes into them (and please, I don’t need to know) but there is nothing like a grilled, juicy hot dog on a bun. I’m a plain kind of gal so the most I might put on it would be a slice of cheese. Since it’s a monsoon around here today, I’ll be hitting up the Sonic for my holiday dinner.hotdog

3. Potato or macaroni salad. Man, my Mom made THE best! I can replicate the macaroni salad but the potato salad eludes me by THIS much! I can eat bowls of either….another challenge for my hips.

potato salad

 

 

 

       

 

 

                                      

 

 

4. Corn on the Cob. I have been craving, sweet, white corn on the cob, slathered in butter, salt and pepper. Messy as all get out to eat but so worth it. Summer wouldn’t be the same without it.        corn on cob

5. BLT’s. The reason I included this is a good BLT will only rank with summer ripe tomatoes. NOTHING compares to homegrown, beefsteak tomatoes layered with bacon, lettuce and ALWAYS Miracle Whip. No, mayonnaise will NOT do. Again, a juicy summer delight but that’s why you can eat it outside over a paper plate….and then run through the sprinkler to clean off 😀

blt

 

What about you all? What foods say summertime to you? What is your favorite?

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