Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sizzling Hot February




    by Donna MacMeans


    It might be cold and snowy where you live, but February is shaping up to be a sizzling hot month here in the lair.



    We'll start off tomorrow, Feb. 2nd, with Harlequin Presents author Nicola Marsh and her February release, The Boss's Bedroom Agenda. Now why have my bosses never looked like that? Sure would have added some sizzle to the workplace. Fingers crossed that Nicola will bring some of the hot men from her website over to the lair to play.


    We'll move from international seduction to sizzling intrique on Feb. 3rd when C. J. Lyons returns to the lair. Her latest release from Berkley, Warning Signs, takes us back to the Angels of Mercy Medical Center and the women we first met in C. J' s debut, Lifelines.


    No matter the temperature outside, it will be party time in the lair on February 4th as we celebrate the fabulous bandita Kate Carlisle's debut with Homicide in Hardcover. In spite of the title this issue is being released in paperback (grin). Isn't it a gorgeous cover? You're invited to join in on the fun in the lair as we celebrate big-time.


    We have yet another fabulous Avon author joining us on Feb. 5th. Kathryn Smith writes both vampires and historicals. She'll be releasing a
    new series set in the Victorian era later in the year, but for now she'll be telling us about her just released fifth volume in the Brotherhood of Love series, Night after Night.


    St. Martin's Debra Webb will join us on Feb. 6th to discuss her new December release, Find Me. Romantic Times Bookreviews said "Webb moves to a whole new level with this book, and the ending is off-the-charts creepy."
    I think the chill that just tripped down my spine is unrelated to the chill outside.


    Seems like a lot for such a short month, but we're not through yet!


    On Feb. 13th, Renee Ryan takes us to Colorado in 1880 with The Marshal Takes a Bride, a Love Inspired February release - just in time for...



    FEBRUARY 14th Valentines's Day!!



    We'll be celebrating Valentine's Day bandita style with some massive bandita booty. So stop by to visit with Tawny and the rest of the gang - often.

    Be sure to stay warm the entire month by snuggling up to the computer with a nice mug of hot chocolate and an even hotter romance. We'll try not to steam up your glasses (grin).

    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Snowy Evening on Hunters Ridge, Part 2

Friday, January 30, 2009

Welcome NYT Bestseller Angie Fox!!

    Interview by Kirsten Scott

    Can I just say this? I love Angie Fox. I mean, I seriously do. First of all, she’s darn cute, super friendly, and a really great writer. She did hit the NYT Bestseller list with her debut novel, The Accidental Demon Slayer, so you might be tempted to hate her, but you just can’t. She’s that kind of person. 

    I “met” Angie as a virtual member of my local RWA Chapter, the Rose City Romance Writers, and then got to meet her in person last year at Nationals. But you really meet Angie when you read her work – and can’t stop laughing from page one.

    I’m delighted to host Angie today, and she’s got some fabulous prizes for us – so stick around and say hello. She can’t wait to meet you.


    Angie, how did you come up with the idea for The Accidental Demon Slayer?
    I started off with a kernel of an idea that amused me. What if a straight-laced preschool teacher suddenly learns she’s a demon slayer? And what if she has to learn about her powers on the run from a fifth level demon? Ohhh and wouldn’t it be fun if she’s running with her long-lost Grandma’s gang of geriatric biker witches?

    Sounds like you started with a great hook, and the perfect mix of quirky characters and a unique plot. When you’re developing your novels, does plot trump character for you, or is it the other way around?
    For me, it’s both. When I sat down to write The Accidental Demon Slayer, I had no notes about a sidekick for my heroine. But in the second chapter, when she’d learned she was a demon slayer and all hell was after her, she took comfort in her dog. As I was writing, I thought, ‘This is a sweet moment. Now how do I throw her off?’ Simple. I made the dog say something to her. Nothing big. After all, he’s only after the fettuccine from last week. And he knows exactly where my heroine can find it (back of the fridge, to the left of the lettuce crisper, behind the mustard).

    It amused me, so I did it. Thanks to her unholy powers, my heroine can now understand her smart-mouthed Jack Russell Terrier. I had fun with it. In fact, I suspect Pirate the dog is my editor’s favorite character. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if Pirate helped talk my editor into buying The Accidental Demon Slayer.

    So did plot influence character? Maybe there it did. But I can tell you that as the book evolves, Pirate the dog does his share of influencing the plot too. 

    I suspect Pirate is everyone’s favorite character – who can resist a Harley-riding dog? Which brings up an interesting question. How did you know you could put a dog on a Harley? Are you a Harley rider from way back, or did you have to do a lot of research for the book?
    Loads, actually. I’d never been on a motorcycle before, and I had to figure out how to get Pirate the dog onto a bike! I went online and learned about the Biker Dogs Motorcycle Club, made up exclusively of Harley riders and their dogs. I ended up meeting some of them, along with a few other bikers along the way. These bikers were so great to me. They hoisted me onto the back of their Harleys (with dogs in tow). They took me to biker rallies (note to self: don’t wear pink). And they laughed at me when I tried to put my helmet on backwards (I still say I was distracted by the Pomeranian wearing a tiny pair of motorcycle glasses).

    After a few outings with my new biker friends, I was able to make my geriatric biker witch characters a lot more realistic. And I took home some great pictures, too.

    Now those are pictures we’d all love to see. Especially that Pom. But moving on, everyone in the Lair loves a Call story. Can you tell us yours?
    I’d entered the beginning of the book in the Chicago RWA’s Four Seasons contest. Leah Hultenschmit from Dorchester was the finals judge and she requested the full. I quickly finished the last eight chapters and sent it off to her on a Thursday. Then I spent Friday on email queries to agents. When the 212 popped up on my caller ID the following Tuesday, I was elated and thought it could be an agent I’d queried. Nope. It was Leah wanting to buy The Accidental Demon Slayer.

    It was the neatest feeling. But I could barely hear her because my two small children had picked that moment to battle over a lump of green Play Dough. Leah asked if I wanted her to call back and I said, “Nooo” and ducked into the garage. In August. I probably lost five pounds of water weight talking to her. So hey, a sold book and weight loss too! It was such a surreal moment to know an editor had read my book and liked it.

    When I hung up with Leah, I immediately called my husband, who was in a meeting. So I called my mom, who was gone. I called several friends, who weren’t home. Then I looked at the clock and realized that we had houseguests due in just over an hour, so I grabbed a quick shower and hummed a happy tune while scrubbing toilets and picking green Play Dough off the kitchen floor.

    The Accidental Demon Slayer is an absolutely hilarious and perfectly paced novel (something I could use some help with, by the way!). It was no surprise to me that it was an instant success. What was your reaction when you learned it was a New York Times bestseller?
    Complete shock. The phone rang on a Friday afternoon, as I was writing the climax of the The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, which is the sequel to The Accidental Demon Slayer. I almost didn’t answer the phone. After all, who would call in smack dab in the middle of a demon invasion?

    Luckily, I picked up because it was my agent, saying that The Accidental Demon Slayer would be #34 on the New York Times list the next day. I didn’t know what to think. Heck, I’d just wanted to sell enough books so that I could keep writing about biker witches, demon slayers and talking terriers. I had to ask my agent to please email me too, just to make sure I wasn’t phone-hallucinating.

    How does your family feel about your career as a romance author?
    Well, I admit I had these fantasies of my husband saying things like, “Oh let me fix dinner. You look like you’re really focused on getting that dialogue right.” Or my kids saying, “Wow. Mom is a published author. We’d better not use her laptop cord as a jump rope.” Alas, my home life hasn’t changed at all. Well, other than the fact that it might be a bit strange that my four-year-old knows what an editor is. She gets calls from her “editor” on her Tinkerbell play phone.

    What do we have to look forward to next from you?
    I’m really excited about the release of book 2 in the Accidental Demon Slayer series, called The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers – look for it on April 28th (available for pre-order NOW on Amazon.com!). In it, the straight-laced Lizzie decides she’s going to learn everything about her powers, and at the same time, write the proverbial book on demon slaying. And, as you might have guessed – things don’t quite go according to plan.

    Right now, I’m writing book 3 in the Accidental Demon Slayer series and also writing a short story for the next Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance.

    Angie has generously offered to give away a signed, first edition copy of The Accidental Demon Slayer, along with a “Kiss My Asphalt” t-shirt like the one that appears in the first chapter of the book. She’s also going to be around all day to answer any questions you might have about demons, biker witches, how you get little dogs onto the back of Harleys, or how you remove green playdough from the carpet (that’s actually my questions, not Angie’s--LOL)! 

    Thanks so much, Angie!


    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Daily Male: Kings of Leon

    "Rise and shine all you gold-diggin' mothers are you too good to tango with the poor, poor boys"

    I'm hardcore obsessed with Kings of Leon right now. Obsessed. In fact, I am listening to them right now. The boys played Madison Square Gardens last night. My boyfriend Chuck Bass was there. Jealous! Just as well, between the Followill cousin brothers and Chuck Bass, it would have been too much for my little black heart. So from a safe distance, KOL are today's Daily Male.




    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy birthday, Lucy!

A Horse is a Horse



    Here's Miley Cyrus and a beautiful horse. I want to feed her carrots and sugar cubes. The animal, too.

    I think Miley should have taken a page from Lucille Bluth when Lucille didn't want to give Lindsay an elephant brooch because she didn't want to "invite the comparison."

    Sometimes this shit is just too easy.Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Eight is More Than Enough



    Have you heard about that woman in California who gave birth to octuplets?

    The mother released a statement to the media saying "Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow...."

    Or that's what she should have been saying because unless you are a cat, you should not be giving birth to eight babies at once. I don't think you should give birth to eight babies AT ALL but especially not at once.
    We're humans, we're not supposed to deliver litters.

    News came out yesterday that this woman already has six kids. I ain't no John Nash-style mathlete but that makes 14 kids. 14 KIDS!?!?!! WTF??

    To top off this gem of a story, bitch is 33 and lives at home with her parents. That's some good decision-making.

    Does anyone else think this is some sick shit? Someone please neuter this cat! Where's Bob Barker when we need him?!Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Amish horses

Feeling Smitten...

Valentine card wallpaper

Thursday, January 29, 2009

GUILTY PLEASURES

    by Jo Robertson

    There’s a wonderful scene in the movie “Parenthood” where the wife of a very focused, rules-oriented man rebels against her husband’s structure by sneaking into the closet, opening a plastic box of goodies, and chomping down on a Hostess cream-filled cupcake.

    She has this wonderfully defiant look on her face.

    Guilty pleasures.

    We all have them, right? Those things we adore, but feel a teensy bit guilty about doing? Let me share some of mine with you.


    Guilty Pleasure Number One: When I was a young mother with seven kiddies ranging from 18 to 7, I often sneaked off to a movie by myself. I had a “movie purse,” just the right width and depth to fit an icy 7-11 Big Gulp, along with various snacks -- Skittles, M&M’s, maybe even a sandwich and chips. I loved the quiet, nearly empty matinee theater and the intriguing anonymity of sitting in a darkened movie by myself, chomping on my goodies.
    Hint: a diaper bag like the one above works best! Oh, and be careful not to tip the bag!

    I learned not to tell my friends of this penchant because, well, they thought only weirdos went to a movie alone. Ha! Not so. I’ve found that many people like to do this. Or only maybe people with large families who want to escape. By the way, I always saw lots of working-class men there, especially if the movie playing was an action flick.

    Guilty Pleasure Number Two: Pepsis. See GP#1 above. Fully-loaded with sugar and caffeine, none of that diet stuff for me. Sigh. This is more an addition than a guilty pleasure. I wonder if they’ve invented a patch that would help me kick the habit?

    Guilty Pleasure Number Three: Dexter. This wickedly funny and brilliantly witty and macabre drama show about a serial killer who targets only bad people aired on Showtime network. It's in its third season, but you can buy seasons one and two on DVD. The writing is superb!

    Guilty Pleasure Number Four: Romance books with covers of sexy men. Damn it! Why should this be a “guilty” pleasure?
    I read Anna Campbell’s Tempt the Devil on my recent trip to New York and felt compelled to hide the cover of this gorgeous man on the front. But I wanted to stand up in the aisle and shout, “Yes, I’m reading one of THOSE books and I LOVE the cover, damn you all!”

    I didn’t. So those books remain my guilty pleasures.
    Here are some fellows I'd love to see on the cover of a romance novel. I persuaded each of them to take his shirt off just for this photo session! Enjoy!

    What about you?
    What are your guilty pleasures?
    Reading in a hot, scented bath with candles and your favorite book?
    Shopping – can anyone spell S-H-O-E-S?
    Sunbathing even though you know it’s bad, bad, bad for your skin?
    Chocolate? Ice cream?
    And don't forget today's the last day of the Bandita Invasion at RNTV. Join us there for lots of fun, good company, and a chance at prizes.
    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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And the Winnah is....


    Jeanne: Hi Everyone! My fabulous friend Heidi Betts let her cats choose the winners...okay, not the most standard way to do it, but....Here's what she posted:
    From Heidi: Let's see...little pieces of paper everywhere, cats picked...
    Laurie
    Jo
    Terrio
    Congratulations, ladies! Please visit the Backlist page of my website (http://www.heidibetts.com/books/index.php/back) & pick a title you’re interested in...& this does include the HOTTER THAN HELL anthology...then e-mail me (heidi@heidibetts.com) with your book choice & mailing info, & I’ll get your prizes right out to you!
    Jeanne: Also, from my blog in early January, I realized I totally forgot to pick a winner!
    So...Gannon, drop me an email at Jeanne AT JeanneAdams DOT com and give me your snail mail so you can get some slurpy Godiva!
    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Countdown Booty!!

    A fabulous soiree at the Ritz ... a Top Chef challenge ... a chocolate party ... a Sydney Harbour cruise ... a luau! So many fabulous party ideas -- and I got woozy just reading the various cocktail concotions y'all came up with. Yummy! I'm going to be taste testing all weekend.

    The most intriguing idea for me was the murder mystery party, and there were lots of variations on that theme. I loved them all! But I'm going to go with the lovely lady who called it first ...

    Elyssa!!

    ... as well as the crazy darling who took that theme to its most insanely funny conclusion, with a feathered creature leading the entire Bandita Brigade on a worldwide food fest ...

    Louisa!!

    Now, that would be the end of the prizes -- but then someone special went and created her very own HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER party page, complete with men in kilts, gladiators, and oh my, cabana boys! Plus fabulous food, a delectible cocktail treat, and sensational fashions for everyone! So I'm thrilled to give away a third gift certificate to ...

    Dianna!!

    Congratulations, ladies!! Email me at katecarlisle99@yahoo.com and I'll send your $15.00 Amazon gift certificates back to you by email!

    Thanks so much to everyone for your fabulous ideas. Be sure to come back on Tuesday for the HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER launch party extravaganza!!
    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2009/01/
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Produce Blogging #157

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