Monday, May 31, 2010

The Lair is Hot in June!





    We Banditas enjoy vacations as much as anyone but we don’t take the summer off....too many stories in our vivid imaginations to take a break. And boy, do we kick the summer off right this month!

    On June 2nd, Anna Campbell hosts debut historical romance author Maggie Robinson – or is she perhaps appearing as her alter ego Margaret Rowe? Maggie will be giving away a signed copy of MISTRESS BY MISTAKE.

    And that’s just the beginning of a bountiful week.



    Virna DePaul is visiting on the 3rd. Virna’s debut, CHOSEN BY BLOOD, is out with Berkley in 4/11 and she’s sharing her insights as she goes through the process of sold to debut. She’ll talk about Challenging Your Editor or Agent – when it’s really okay to speak up.







    We end this first week on a high note with a return visit from Carrie Lofty on June the 4th. Our very own Christie Kelley talks with Carrie about her new release SONG OF SEDUCTION.















    On June 7th Loucinda McGary hosts Vanessa Kelly to talk about her sizzling new release SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL.











    Swing by the Lair on June 12th and see how a teenager who already has social issues deals with the suddenly acquired ability to interact with ghosts. YA author Maureen Hardegree chats with Nancy about HAIN’T MISBEHAVIN, Maureen's new novel from Bell Bridge Books.










    The 16th of the month yours truly hosts a return visit with RITA award winning author Kristan Higgins to talk about honesty and her most recent release “the next best thing”. I’m fairly certain we can get her to spill about her August release “all I ever wanted”. (Yes, I have started a FB campaign for my kitten Cricket to be featured on her next cover. Hey! It worked for Betty White!).



    On the 21st, Kris Kennedy visits with us to talk with us about her latest THE IRISH WARRIOR.





    Pamela Palmer is visits on the 27th, talking about Writing on the wild side - or Where do you come up with this stuff? And her latest release, RAPTURE UNTAMED which hits the shelves June 29.


    We have one contest this month.

    Anna Campbell has a mini novella called ‘Upon a Midnight Clear’ in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE (released on 24th June in the U.K. and 27th July in the U.S.). To celebrate, she’s giving away two signed copies! All you have to do is email her on anna@annacampbell.info and name two authors other than Anna Campbell who have stories in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE. You might find the answer in her June Latest News: http://www.annacampbell.info/latest.html or on the publisher’s website: http://www.constablerobinson.com/?section=books&book=the_mammoth_book_of_regency_romance_9781849010153_paperback The contest closes 31st July, 2010 and for more details please visit her website: http://www.annacampbell.info/contest.html

    Whew! What a month! So fill up the lemonade (or margarita) glass, plop under a beach umbrella and prepare to have fun!
    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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No, No, No, No, No, NOOOO!!!!

    At the sight of the trailer for the upcoming "Morning Glory" Vulture at NY Magazine has declared: "Let's start talking about how Rachel McAdams is like Julia Roberts already." To which I say - as stated previously in the title - no, no, no, no, no, NOOOO!!!!!

    Over a year ago I covered the topic of who The Next Julia Roberts could be, should be, etc., and wrote "I think Rachel McAdams could do it but then she's more determined to be an Actress than a Movie Star (at least, I hope and pray she is)." In the midst of an inane rom com like "Wedding Crashers" she made you believe every single thing that happened to her. She single-handedly carried the completely implausible "Red Eye". She out-acted Russell Crowe in "State Of Play". In "The Notebook" she tracked down the tricky, nigh-impossible-to-find middle ground between melo & drama. In "The Lucky Ones" she took her weakly brewed Maxwell House of a character in the screenplay and turned her into a finely ground cup of Italian roast. I'm a little bit in love with her character from "The Family Stone". Ms. McAdams absolutely oozes mad acting skills and that is why statements like the one made by Vulture frighten me.

    Please, please, please, Rachel, do not be The Next Julia Roberts. Be The Next Kate Winslet instead. You're the one who can do it, the one worthy of taking the baton. I believe in you. Make that belief come true.Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Sunset over the New River

Guest Post: A Few of My Favorite Things

    + Sun-kissed freckles. Not only are they adorable, they give me an excuse to go easy on the makeup all summer long.

    + Architectural salvage yards. I have this dream of living in a modern home, sprinkled with rustic details, like this sliding barn door.

    + Being feminine.

    + Big, thick, oversized glasses. I crush on a new pair every week.

    + Hats. My mom had me in all sorts of different styles from an early age. Right now I'm enamored of a classic fedora I picked during a trip to Sonoma, California.

    + Boy things, like flannel, hiking boots, oversized watches, broken-in jeans, and super soft T-shirts. I'm always stealing my fiancé's clothes!

    + Cats that do human things. Like this one.

    + Cheeky accessories. I'm a true nerd at heart, with a soft spot for dry humor. I love these playful mittens from Kate Spade. Gotta find a pair on eBay!

    + The best days start with two slices of avocado toast.

    + Designer Paul Rand. Get to know his work here.

    -- By Kate from Wit + DelightSource URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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The Numerous Facets of Compassion


    Well, I spent a wonderful afternoon at WECARE's sprawling assessment complex on 51st street. I walk into a large waiting room, divided in two by the front doors and up to a long desk to announce that you have arrived for your appointment, and you take a seat. THEN YOU WAIT MOTHERFUCKER!!! Oh, yeah, get it straight into your mind, you are going to wait, and wait to the tune of five hours before you go through this entire process. I was called in within ten minutes to a room with four others, where I was handed a urine cup and booklets, and instructed that it will take about four hours to get through the entire evaluation. No, she was lying, it took FIVE.

    Most of it waiting in the waiting room. They had large monitors up at the ceilings, in the corners of the waiting room, where movies were playing. That was alright. I hate to come in the middle of a movie, even if it is a movie that I've already seen before. I had my book: Just Kids, by Patti Smith, given to me as a birthday present by July, that gorgeous redhead. It's a very interesting book. I never knew that Patti Smith had a relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe back in the sixties. Her life and his, were somewhat parallel to mine, barely making it by, living low to the ground. She was even homeless and had to live off the charity of the streets. Struggling artists syndrome I guess.

    I'm called and I follow a female social worker into an office filled with cubicles. She explains that this will go really fast if I don't offer explanations unless she asks for them. I nod. She calls up windows on her computer screen and starts to fill out digital forms, asking me questions as she goes along, and I give her terse responses. We fly through this strange form of interrogation in less than forty five minutes. Then I'm taken to a line of chairs in the hallway and told to sit. Someone will be coming out to get me. Here, let me describe the situation. There are a line of seven chairs. I'm in the farthest left chair, and this woman is in the farthest right, on her cell phone. She is going nuts. Firstly, she looks like a crack addict. Skinny, with skin like a wrinkled raisin, sunken eyes, frazzled hair. She's complaining to someone on the other end of the cellphone that she has been there for four hours and has seen NO ONE. I wonder if she is speaking either to her pimp or drug dealer.

    Well, as long as she keeps her shit clear down to the other side of the row of seats she's fine by me. I get into my book. Presently another woman, this one with suspicious, hungry features takes a seat RIGHT NEXT TO ME. There are at least five more empty seats in the row. Why sit all up beside me. I look at her and she smiles, then for some reason, she and the crack addict get into a conversation about waiting on 'these people'. The crackhead was there since 11:00am, and has not had anything to eat all day. Her hypoglycemia is acting up. Maybe her need for a crack rush was doing it more. The weirdo seated up against me offers her some cookies, which the crack addict hungrily accepts. A nurse comes into the hallway behind her, calls out her name, and tells her to follow. Both nurse and crackhead stride down the hall and turn a corner, forever gone from my sight.

    I feel the eyes of the weirdo boring into the side of my head, while I'm trying to read my book. I can see her burning eyes in my peripheral vision. It's as if she is trying to stare conversation out of me. I get uncomfortable, angry even, as was just about to ask her if I could help her with anything when a nurse emerged and called my name. I got up and gratefully followed her into an examination room. She checked my weight (wow, I had lost weight) , my height, my eyesight, took my blood and gave me an EKG, then she asked me to fill up my piss cup. I was led to the nearest bathroom and I went through the routine.

    The nurse led me back to the main waiting room and I sat and watched a movie that was just coming on: The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I liked that movie, and to see it from the beginning would be great fun. The timing was just right. Well, about forty five minutes into the movie my name is called. SHIT!! I rise from my seat and follow a male doctor into another examination room. I'm asked the fated question that they ALWAYS end up asking you in these reviews. "Do I feel like harming myself or others?" "Do I hear voices?" "Do I see things?" No, no, yes, yes. Well 'maybe' on the first one. Yeah, I tried to kill myself twice, but I've lived a long time, and when I was a teenager and then later, after I was married for awhile I made attempts, but that was water under the bridge, many, many years ago.

    The doctor looks at me, nods and continues typing into his computer. A score of other questions come up. He marvels at the amount of drugs that I take on a daily basis. I'm up to fourteen different prescriptions now. I am well medicated. This process takes another forty five minutes and I am led out into the waiting room once again. I stop, look around....EVERY SEAT IN THE WAITING ROOM IS EMPTY. There is no one here in the building. Fuck. I sit down and wait. I read, and in time my name is called and I follow a little Latina down a hall and into her office. She has to schedule me for three more bonehead visits. Yeah, I've been through all of this before. This isn't my first time in the belly of the beast.

    After I am resched- uled, I am allowed to leave and head home. It's around 6:00pm and during the crush of rush hour. Oh, I am really miserable. I get home, sit down and watch television, make dinner, ruminate. I'm writing a play now, so far only two acts, but its for some friends in Florida who are interested in doing something big. I am completely excited to be a part of it. I haven't had the motivation to write anything in a long time. Well, I guess you can tell by looking at my blog recently. I'm just not into writing anything. Stupid me. Don't I realize yet that this is the only ticket out of Dodge? Stupid me.

    About July. She came down again, this time after Christmas, during the cold and snow season. We had a great time together. She took me to an Art museum. We walked around the city, I took her here and there, and she stayed at a hotel that night. In the morning I got up and went to her hotel which was down near 72nd street, on the West Side. I picked her up to take her to breakfast and then to the bus to the airport. We went to my favorite dive, Smith's Bar and Restaurant. All during breakfast I couldn't take my eyes off her, and I was pretty certain that I was making her uncomfortable, but her eyes were like open ocean, blue-green aquamarine. July turned a corner for me that day. She went from average to stunningly attractive. Just a natural beauty.

    I think, as with all men, that we are mainly brainwashed by our peers and the media to look for the supermodel, the covergirl. She has these proportions that don't match most of the women in American society, and we, the instant we meet a woman, measure her up to these impossible standards. Our brains quickly go from reasonable to ridiculous. But time, time is the true measuring stick. The more time that I spent with July, the more entrancing she became. I began to see her for the 'woman' that she was. A real, flesh and blood woman, and not something that you would see naked in a Playboy magazine. While we are eating breakfast, July gets a phone call. Her flight has been canceled for the day. Whoopee! I almost jumped out of my skin. I get to spend another day with her! I AM a fortunate son!

    She argued with the person on the phone, stating that she had nowhere to stay overnight. I offered to her my home. She frowned, then smiled. "You must be loving this," she says to me. I laugh, are you kidding me? I'm going to start slapping the shit out of myself in a few seconds! We hung out for the rest of the day, searched for an Indian restaurant and dined, then went to a wine bar that night and hung out pretty late. Then we left for my home.

    On the next day, her bus arrived in front of Grand Central and she poked me in my chest with a rigid finger: "You better take care of yourself!" I nod. She climbed aboard, the doors to the bus closed and the vehicle pulled from the sidewalk and turned down 42nd street, taking her from me to the airport. When the bus was out of sight, that's when I felt it, pure, sharp, painful. She had gouged out my heart, placed it in her bag and left. The Hobo had to finally admit it. He was completely stricken. This was not going to be an easy next five years. I knew that now. This was not going to be easy.

    This story is FAR from over.

    HobobobSource URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt announced the separation

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    Well, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt were separated, and the representative of Heidi from the announcement Friday afternoon, like any celebrity couple "of others, in the hope of minimizing the public relations and fashion. As short as the history of civilization was, Heidi & Spencer a commitment ceremony in Mexico in November 2008. then held a lavish wedding in April 2009, which was also for her reality show filmed, The Hills have. get both a lot of Flack, that his first marriage was not legally binding (and the civil marriage that was wrong too) to follow, but reported an official license and must be for the second time these last few weeks we have a lot of rumors that the marriage of Heidi and Spencer was a year is in trouble.


    [gallery_main-0614_heidi_montag_bikini_01.jpg]http://terhanddoel.blogspot.com/
    The stories on the control of behavior increasingly erratic and Spencer, including the U.S. Weekly cover concentrated in two weeks "The Battle of Heidi: Did you brainwashed. "It seems hard to separate fact from fiction with this couple who win more interested as holders of public perception. The voices seem real, even though the break, and I thought that the stories passed through the walls Spencer . These two are not enough decent players to withdraw a complicated system. And now I'm lost - perhaps. Sounds like a half-ass in the air the ad. Heidi Montag "has by her husband, Spencer Pratt, TMZ has learned separately.

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    TMZ is representative Heidi Heidi tries to leave because of all the bad press controls false Spencer. She is tired of her and search the place and wants to concentrate on his acting career. "We are told Heidi - represented here in Malibu last Friday - is to try a new place to live ... Malibu. As TMZ first report, Heidi and Spencer have called the police to the mother Heidi few weeks ago. .. It was so much confusion. A source close to Heidi and Spencer told TMZ the tension in the relationship for some time ... "It was not just a sudden thing." Now it makes sense ... Heidi until Tuesday, I am not Heidi Pratt, Heidi Montag, I am. "

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    [From TMZ] I know - like Heidi from the house of junk you are looking for charter with Spencer, or has already done? Not announced separation regardless whether you are just trying to get out. The people are reported as unconfirmed and it seems that Heidi not happy, but not yet ready to leave the relationship. If rejected, the search for an ad or a bit of both, remains to be seen. None of them seemed to be the head support what I think they were right made for each other. Everybody mad uneven . Spencer has a kind of Crystal Healing / kick military, while Heidi believes that all problems can be solved with the operation and make it unrecognizable. If both were very superficial and glory in search of work, but ..
    ...................................................................................................




    [gallery_main-0614_heidi_montag_bikini_06.jpg]Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Sandra Bullock meets with her daughter for lunch every day to prevent paparazzi

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    Radar Online has information to show the fate of Sandra Bullock that she has managed to hide from the paparazzi, although the star on the question of the moment. Sandra was at the luxurious Beverly Hills, but it is advisable to avoid photographers. Celebrity Paparazzi called Houdini. "He was known to have been at the hotel earlier this week his, although his current location is unknown. I think it is reasonable to assume that all the paparazzi photos that we saw after the scandal Sandra have been carefully orchestrated. I have great admiration for the way they handled this whole scandal. Even the ones I saw were probably approved before. I would have liked his condemnation of the conduct of her husband to hear, but don 'are only a part of me that is out for revenge.

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    It was elegant, yet open to respect and understand why they treated the way they are. It is a smart and tough. Under the radar report: Several sources have said RadarOnline.com Bullock spent a few days in the hotel to stay mostly out of sight and deliberately avoid the paparazzi are so desperate to be photographed as part of the confessions betray Jesse James "Nightline" on ABC. "It has become the biggest celebrity Houdini", a photographer RadarOnline.com. "You can escape any situation - but it does it without being seen." There were a few photos of the Oscar as the revelation of some James. And their public statements about her husband were good, given what he has done for them.

    [sandra_bullock_06.jpg]http://terhanddoel.blogspot.com/

    She filed for divorce in Texas. Beverly Hills Hotel is located in the privacy of its customers exceptional, this is the nightmare of hungry paparazzi snap of Los Angeles. Such protection, with luxury hotels and private bungalows, makes it an excellent choice for a celebrity Bullock. His movements were so secret that all the paparazzi is certain is that since it was early this week, but quickly lost track of. "She was," said a source RadarOnline.com. "But who knows, could make tomorrow in New Orleans." [Radar] Sandra could live there for the quiet time with your spouse, still living with his father, Jesse James. Star Magazine reports that he had lunch, at the hotel with some 'Sun, May 6 23 His story of how Sandra brought gifts for Sunny is sweet and pulls my heart. dressed Writing "The girls in the same dress in black and white rice in his arms and plays with a sketch Etch A increased during the meal. At some point, Sunny, also the tiara placed on her smile stepmother" to give up Imagine Sandra , a life with a girl she helped to enlarge and get one or two visits with her in the coming months. Sandra Jesse betrayed not leave to their children to live with the woman who planned to take had to be there for them as they grew up. It should not be considered as Sunny, the fact that there crying at the same age when he was mistreated. Jesse is, however, and when he was hurt when he hurts everyone around him .. with his selfishness .

    [sandra_bullock_04.jpg]Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Lindsay Lohan is a delusional narcissist fasting

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    I know, I know. Two stories depending on crack today. What can I do, I just saw these pictures of Lindsay walking in the financing of the campaign yesterday. After Fame Pictures, the new girlfriend of Lindsay Lohan continues its mission, so that only soft drinks, such as leaves Fred Segal in Santa Monica, CA 27th May 2010, Hide with a flamed orange juice over jeans SCRAM ankle bracelet with discretion. "Meanwhile, Lindsay clubs in the last two nights has gone.

    [spl81250_005.jpg]http://terhanddoel.blogspot.com/

    TMZ reported yesterday that Lindsay was up to 2 bar clock on Wednesday evening and this morning told People magazine that Lindsay was hopping New - no alcohol, but he looks nothing like a hole - not even an ankle bracelet monitoring can keep Lindsay Lohan on the club. taken with her new blonde hair, the star in Las Palmas in Los Angeles, clad in jeans and a hat. Laughter and smoke all night, avoiding alcohol and Lohan was honored with his group of friends. Lohan even danced around his office, Britney Spears sings during the busy evening.

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    [In] The people who go to clubs with Lindsay these people are? I mean, what is the budget? It's like the Boys Club to do with anything better? However, Lindsay has to notify his probation officer every night on the phone - the poor devil. Lindsay seems, is now at the Los Angeles club scene in Los Angeles, make sure that you want to use something beautiful, and tied everything wrong with the SCRAM bracelet. Then, at midnight last night, Lindsay foot "Chanel can please help me for stickers to put on my wrist so I can at least SCRAM wear a nice dress?" Hello? "X". A small hole. [From Twitter Lindsay] What is the Stone Cold Sober also (apparently), Lindsay is still a delusional narcissist, who is sitting around the creation of theater, break a whimper and F-cking idiot. At one point we must realize that this is a F-cking is personality. Speaking of his lies, said, remembers Johnny Depp came in and said goodbye? LaineyGossip denies that bullsh-t. And here a picture courtesy of Gawker pleasure - Lindsay is with the awarding of the "hide". There are, like, a million of them. It's funny when he says he does not want to be photographed ..
    [gallery_main-0316_lindsay_lohan_bardeluxe_03.jpg]Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Okay, so this one time?

    by Susan Sey

    Today is Memorial Day. Summer is now officially open for business. Up here in the north land, Memorial Day is when the swimming pools open up. It's when public parks turn on the drinking fountains & put out the portapotties. It's when we throw caution to the wind and finally plant the darn tomatoes, late season blizzards be damned.

    It's also the day our nation sets aside to pay tribute to the men and women who've died while serving in our armed forces.

    This is not a surprise to me. Nor should it be at the end of my What Memorial Day Means to Me list. My dad served in a National Guard unit in the sixties. My Uncle Harry was Air Force. My grandpa served the Army in WWI. My father-in-law spent his entire career in the Air Force, and my brother-in-law flew fighter jets for the Navy. My Uncle Bill was...well, he was colorful. As I believe a lot of sailors are. But they all came through their service --thank God--healthy & whole.

    And they brought stories with them when they came home. Lord, the stories these men brought home. My Uncle Bill especially. When we were kids we never got tired of hearing the one where he was standing guard on some ship & did the whole "Halt, who goes there?" routine on a superior officer named Marvel. A captain, as it happened. Captain Marvel.

    Uncle Bill: "Halt! Who goes there?"

    Captain Marvel: "Captain Marvel."

    UB: "Riiiiiiight. Really, now. Who goes there?"

    CM, with strained patience: "Captain. Marvel."

    UB, skeptically: "Mmm-hmm. Mmmm-hmm. Captain Marvel?"

    CM: "That's right."

    Thoughtful pause.

    UB: "Can I be Superman?"

    Apparently, they really do make you peel potatoes for mouthing off in the military. That's not just Beetle Bailey stuff. At least according to my Uncle Bill, who--admittedly--wasn't the most reliable of sources. We were never sure when we were kids where the line was between fact & fiction when it came to his stories, but it hardly mattered. That wasn't the point. It was all about the story and the picture he painted with his words and that three-pack-a-day-and-a-shot-of-whiskey voice.

    Now when most people die, their friends and relatives tell stories about them at the funeral. When my Uncle Bill died, we told stories about his stories. It was a powerful reminder to me of how important stories are. They're an honor and a tribute, a temporary recreation of something fleeting and human. They're a kind of magic, really. And I can't think of a better way to recognize the service and sacrifice of our soldiers than by performing that particular magic in their honor.

    It's war story day in the Lair! Pull up a log, sit around our virtual campfire, have a beer or a soda or a s'more and tell us about your favorite soldier. I'll bet I'm not the only one with an Uncle Bill hanging out in the family tree. Come on--share! Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Memorial Day, 2010

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