Thursday, September 30, 2010

October - Coming Attractions

    posted by Donna MacMeans

    Prepare yourself for a wild time in the lair this month. We have loads of guests, a launch party and Halloween to celebrate. I've had to restock confetti, streamers, champagne and chocolate - just so we can make it through the month.

    We'll start with Lorraine Heath on October 4th. Lorraine and Suz talk about a brand new series Lorraine has titled, LONDON'S GREATEST LOVERS. They'll discuss the series and the first two books, PASSIONS OF A WICKED EARL and PLEASURES OF A NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN. Don't miss these very sexy brothers!

    Tighten the bolts on the chandelier! Christie is launching SCANDAL OF THE SEASON on October 5th. Talk about a hot cover! Our launch party might well be the scandal of this season (grin).

    On Wednesday, October 6th, Anna Campbell hosts debut historical author Tiffany Clare. We'll be talking about Tiffany's sizzling October release THE SURRENDER OF A LADY. (I do love meeting new debut authors, don't you?)

    On October 7th Banditas Kim Howe and Jeanne Adams will talk about their fabulous experiences at Writers Police Academy in Greensboro, NC.

    Lair favorite Kate Walker will be back on October 8th to talk about her new - and slightly different - Harlequin Presents Extra novel THE GOOD GREEK WIFE? She'll be telling us why the question mark is very important and why this novel is a bit different - and rounding out the celebration of her 25th year in publishing. (Yay Kate!)

    October 12th, another bandita favorite, Dianna Love, returns to the lair with a prelude to the spooky Halloween season and things that go bump in the night, as we talk about the unexplainable and give a sneak peak of her latest colaboration with Sherrilyn Kenyon, BLOOD TRINITY, first in the Belador series.

    Madeline Hunter joins us on October 16th to chat about her new release, SINFUL IN SATIN. (That heroine sure looks sinful in pink!)

    Breaking News Janet Mullaney will join us on October 17th to talk about Jane Austen and vampires - what a perfect month for her to guest blog! (sorry no cover picture)

    My old friend, Cathy Mann, will join us again on October 19th. THE MAVERICK PRINCE will be out in November, so we're diving a little ahead, but look at this cover!!! Well worth the anticipation!

    After talking about Cathy's November release, it won't be much of a stretch to look forward to Christmas and WICKED WONDERLAND. Luann McLane will join us on October 21st to talk about this fun anthology. Three bestselling authors steam up the pages with sexy tales of women who earn spots on Santa's naughty list...

    Desire author Jules Bennett will take us FROM BOARDROOM TO WEDDING BED on October 23rd. Priorities becomes skewed when faced with blackmail...will Cole Marcum risk his heart once again to confront the truth from the past?

    All in the lair know about the Adam's legendary Halloween parties. With a name like Adams, can we expect anything less? We'll close out October with a bang as Jeanne Adams invites us to celebrate her favorite holiday, Halloween.

    This month's contests:

    After the huge success of Anna Campbell’s last contest where she gave away a pile of signed books, she’s doing it all again in her latest website contest. The question is really easy. Other than English, please name three languages in which Anna’s books are available. You might just find the answer on this page of her website: She’ll choose TWO winners at random and those lucky entrants will receive signed copies of:

    MY RECKLESS SURRENDER by Anna Campbell

    DARK AND DEADLY by Jeanne Adams


    THE WICKED MARQUIS by Miranda Neville

    PROOF BY SEDUCTION by Courtney Milan

    Either WHAT HAPPENS IN LONDON or THE DUKE AND I by Julia Quinn

    Good luck! The contest closes 30th November, 2010. Email your answers For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page:

    It's a full exciting month in the Lair. Don't miss a day of it!
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My view at 6:30am

    Early morning is one of my favorite times with Toby. He's super mellow and talk-y, and we "chitchat" about lots of fascinating things while he plays in his crib. When Toby was first born, I was so anxious that I was doing everything right (he was so teeny), but these days I'm thankfully settling in, feeling more confident and just enjoying his awesome company. Oh, Toby, I adore you and your Jack Nicholson eyebrows!Source URL:
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Yes, We Do

    Like this, that is.

    JT and the other dudes from The Social Network on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. JT also gets his own cover. Cause he's Justin fucking Timberlake, bitch!

    Inside the mag, Justin talks about why he's breaking my heart by focusing on acting right now instead of making music. Here's an excerpt, grab a tissue and read on;

    EW: Are there people you work with who are telling you that you should put another record out sooner rather than later?
    JT: …Does a painter make a painting because he has to make it by December 21st? No, he doesn’t. It happens when it pours out of him. That’s how music is for me….

    EW: Do you think it’s dangerous to wait so long? Christina Aguilera waited four years between albums, and her fans don’t seem to care about her right now.
    JT: If you’re asking me, no. I never stop making music. I don’t know what else to tell you, except that I just don’t know [in] what capacity I want to be involved anymore.

    EW: That sounds very final.
    JT: No. All I’m saying is, in very simple terms, I’ll know when I know. And until I know, I don’t know.

    I'm crying. But I also find it interesting that JT randomly picked December 21st. That happens to be my birthday. I'm pretty sure it means we're soul mates. Despite what this pesky restraining order says...Source URL:
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Roy Wilkins Auditorium Godsmack Tickets

    On Tuesday, October 19th, Godsmack will rock Roy Wilkins Auditorium at Rivercentre in Saint Paul.  This rock band from Massachusetts formed in 1995 and since then, Godsmack has released five studio albums, one EP, four DVDs and one greatest hits collection.  They've made themselves one of the most popular rock acts in the U.S., selling nearly 15 million records worldwide and have been nominated for four Grammy Awards. Godsmack has also won one Billboard nomination for Rock Artist of the Year in 2001. Godsmack is currently on tour promoting their latest album, The Oracle. Don't miss out on your chance to see them at Roy Wilkins Auditorium next month!  Check out our supply of Godsmack tickets and get yours now while they're still available!
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Laughter yoga

    Have you guys heard of laughter yoga? Indian physician Madan Lal Kataria encourages people to get together in small groups and start fake laughing; after a while, he says, the laughter will become genuine and euphoric. Dr. Kataria believes that laughter can cure physical and psychological ailments. It sounds nutty, but my friend Scott recently tried it with a group of friends and said it was surprisingly awesome. Would you give it a shot?

    P.S. Also, marshmallows!Source URL:
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Golden Gate Bridge dinner party

In Memoriam: Arthur Penn, Thank You

    "'Bonnie and Clyde' is a milestone in the history of American movies, a work of truth and brilliance. It is also pitilessly cruel, filled with sympathy, nauseating, funny, heartbreaking, and astonishingly beautiful. If it does not seem that those words should be strung together, perhaps that is because movies do not very often reflect the full range of human life." - Roger Ebert

    Arthur Penn, who passed away late Tuesday at the age of 88, directed many movies but one stands above the rest. A direct descendant of the French New Wave but without all the overt artiness, "Bonnie and Clyde" was upon its release in 1967 quite possibly the most revolutionary, most game-changing movie America had ever seen, so much so that it was unrelentingly trashed by film critics (aside from the esteemed Roger Ebert) likely because it wasn't exactly what they expected before they reversed course in droves upon realizing that what they were actually seeing was essentially the Sun Sessions of the cinema. "Bonnie and Clyde" - to quote Jason Lee in "Almost Famous" - is/was a movie that says: "Here I am, and fuck you if you can't understand me."

    If possible you want a film that opens with a scene, a line, an image that encapsulates the ride the audience is about to take and it is difficult to argue there was ever a more powerful image at a movie's open than Faye Dunaway as young Bonnie Parker (in a shot admittedly lifted from "Band Of Outsiders" but used to greater effect) holding her celestial face up to the bars of her bed to emulate a life that while technically outside them is behind them nontheless.

    From that instant you are with Bonnie, you are on her side, you two are a team even when Warren Beatty's Clyde Barrow turns up just a couple fingersnaps later to form the real team because who among us hasn't at least once - probably two thousand times more - woken up and wanted to put his or her face between the bars of a bed because you feel like all there is to do in the place where you are is - as Clyde says to Bonnie - "listen to the grass grow?"

    Sure, sure, Bonnie and Clyde rob banks and wield guns and, uh, kill a few people and so on and so forth and this is, of course, bad because upon watching it in my early 20's I immediately went out and committed a string of bank robberies that spread across....oh, wait, no, I didn't. I forgot. Crazily, I'm not an impressionable moron who blindly blames every bad thing in society on movies. (Although Faye Dunaway did cause an entire legion of young girls to begin wearing fanciful berets.)

    Arthur Penn & Faye Dunaway

    30 years after its release the esteemed Ebert wrote a commemorative piece and indicated how its "freshness"had been "absorbed in countless other films" and that it's impact "may not be obvious to those raised in the shadow of its influence." I will admit the realistic and insistent violence and many of the anti-classical filmmaking techniques that would have been so utterly shocking to a 1967 audience did not make as much of a dent on me watching long after its release but that was never what intrigued me the most. I was more interested in its storytelling, its ability to paint a kind of peaceful tragedy.

    There is that moment early on where they have taken a few banks and they know Clyde but they don't know Bonnie and Clyde tells her she can still get out, she can still go home, but she she says she doesn't want to do that and he says "You won't get a moment's peace" and she asks, rhetorically, "Promise?" The bank robbing, frankly, could have been anything. It's the sensation of being alive, is what it is, and that is crystallized in the unforgettable bluegrass score by Flatt and Scruggs. It isn't dire and it isn't foreboding, it's joyful, it's expressive of this duo on the lam. They're young, they're in love, and they rob banks. Deal with it.

    But then there is foreboding midway through when the gang visits Bonnie's family and Penn films the encounter in that dustbowl haze, suggesting memories out of focus, and Bonnie realizes this is a life she and Clyde can never ever have, that there is no going back, that maybe they are doomed. And the third act could have been a spiral toward that doom but then she writes "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" and they send it in to the papers and there is the shot of the newspapers blowing away in the wind set to the bluegrass score again and you know what's coming but it's the movie being defiant to the inevitable tragedy.

    All anyone wants before they go is to know they lived, that they lived how they wanted to, that they embraced their time here, that they may have made bad decisions - who doesn't? - but that they don't regret them because they gave them this particular life with which they were satisfied. You wonder if that is how Bonnie and Clyde feel? She asks him in bed about the fantasy of walking away and starting over. The answer, of course, is in the fleeting moments before their end - their famous, horrific, beautiful end, when they catch each other's eyes and smile. They're done but they're at peace. We should all be so lucky.

    Arthur Penn's career arc was not the most traditional and I will admit to being familiar with very little of his other work but I know to a certainy that my movie-watching, movie-writing, movie-loving life would be much, much less rich and fulfilled without "Bonnie and Clyde." It's one of my favorite movies. I can pay it no higher compliment.  Arthur Penn, thank you.Source URL:
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Aria Pro II RSB Deluxe Modification

    David from Canada sends in pics of a beautifully modified 1985 RSB Deluxe bass. David says the bass, originally black, was damaged slightly on a plane trip. Although the damage was not severe, he took the opportunity to give the bass a complete makeover using exotic woods. The result is a bass that looks like it came out straight out of the Aria Pro Custom Shop!

    David selected Imbuia (Brazilian walnut) for the 'wings' and and the lighter shaded Zebrano (Zebrawood) for the middle and headstock. The bass also looks terrific under stage lighting. In addition to the woodwork, David also had EMGs installed.

    Unfortunately, David sold the bass but hopes to one day buy it back or even have another bass modified with exotic wood tops. Send in the pics if you do, David!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


    by Jo Robertson

    I’m very envious of those male bonding stories. You know the ones -- those about soldiers during battle, Jack Kerouac wanna-be’s, motorcycling across America or backpacking through Europe,or motocycle gangs like the fictional Sons of Anarchy on FX.

    Even men gathered around a wide-screen plasma TV on Super Bowl Sunday foster feelinga of envy in me.

    You see, I’m convinced that men are by far the SIMPLE sex. They rose out of that primordial sludge with the single-minde
    d focus of hunting prey. They tuned out the wails of infants, cast off the chills of winter, and set aside the circling of buzzards to either kill the animal they stalked or escape the one stalking them.

    This fall football dominates television and the men in my family watch with avid interest. Nothing detracts them from the kickoff or the run to the end zone on that HD wide-screen TV.

    It’s the same thing during basketball or baseball season, of course. The same basic instinct that allowed the strongest of mankind to survive
    their caveman era keeps their minds focused on the basketball game, oblivious to any sensory stimuli outside their narrow circle.

    But the nifty thing about men is they get to give those really cool speeches like St. Crispin Day’s Speech from Henry V – “we happy, happy few, we band of brothers.” And they get to pat each other on the ass and sling an arm around a brother’s neck in manly affection.
    I love that speech where Henry V, against overwhelming odds leads his soldiers "once more into the breach," where he talks about how those not there will consider themselves "accursed" not to have been part of that lucky group, the "band of brothers" who fought that day. "He who shares his blood with me this day shall be my brother." Gives me chills!

    And here’s the real thing I’m jealous of: men's bonds, almost entirely nonverbal, can be the most powerful ties that bind people together. They transcend love and family, careers and religion.

    the stories, the really great ones, portray those bonds. Shakespeare scholars call it “manly love.” They get to go to war and watch sports events.

    Medical science has pretty much determined that women are the stronger sex, regardless of the antiquated notions of many people. Women outlive men; fewer female infants die than male ones. In some villages that still practice the outmoded notion of female infanticide, they have to import brides for their sons. Yeah, women are pretty hardy.

    Psychological and sociological studies regarding men and women are interesting, particularly one such study that involved recordings in which the subjects were presented with three separate, unfamiliar stories read aloud simultaneously. They found that the men quickly focused on one of the stories and shut the other two out. The women, however, tried to listen to and comprehend all three stories at the same time. Resulting, as you may imagine, in a lot of headaches for the women!

    I mention this because it underscores one of the great differences between men and women and one, I believe, which leads to a great source of contention between the sexes.

    When men are engrossed in a project, large or small, their focus is immutable, much like their primordial ancestors hunting prey. If they’re watching football on television and you stomp angrily by three or four times, hoping to get their attention with your not-so-subtle annoyance, they really DON’T notice.

    Women, on the other hand, really CAN talk on the telephone, cook dinner, and know precisely the exact moment when a toddler is on the brink of grave mischief.

    The crux of romance stories is the relationship, conflict, and reconciliation between a man and a woman. Often the characters appear horribly unsuited to one another or have some basic differences that make their coming together seem nearly impossible. While we may not have such conflicts in our real romance lives, my experience has shown me that there's plenty of drama between men and women, often because of the way they think, approach situations, or react to them.

    Do you like male bonding stories? If so, what's one of your favorites?

    What's your favorite male-female conflict in a story? What kinds of romance stories do you like best? Least?
    Do you think the relationships between men are less or more complicated than female friends have?
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Aria Pro II SB-1010

    terhand doel
    from Wisconsin has obtained a very rare version of the SB-1000 called the SB-1010. His is from 1985. It's a medium scale version of the SB-1000. Fellow Aria fan Yutaka was able to translate the 1986 catalog info on the SB-1010. There isn't a photo of the SB-1010 in the catalog, just a short description. The SB-1010 has the same BB Circuit as the 1000. However the bridge is not brass, and does not have the narrow string spacing like the Sb-1000. The 1010 has a chrome bridge found on other SB models such as the SB-R60. The body and headstock are noticeably smaller on the SB-1010. Yutaka explained that it was designed for the smaller Japanese players. Although the catalog states they were available in black and padouk red, I've only seen black versions. Here are some pictures from terhand doel. You can see the difference between the 1010 and the 1000, and the shorter headstock:

    Another example of the SB-1010 can be found on Graeme's SB pages.

    Thanks again to terhand doel for sending in pics of this rare model. You can see more photos of his basses here.
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Wednesday giveaway!

Richard Marx Burnsville Performing Arts Center Tickets

    Richard Marx is an adult contemporary and pop/rock singer, songwriter, musician and record producer originally from Chicago, Illinois.  His music career began at the young age of 5, singing jingle commercials written by his jazz musician father Dick Marx.  Richard had a string of hit singles in the late 1980's and 1990's during the height of his career,  with slow ballads making up the majority of his hit songs.  Marx placed himself in the record books by being the first solo artist to have his first seven singles hit the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.  Richard has released a total of 22 albums, with two released earlier this year.  Don't miss out on your chance to see Richard Marx live at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center - Proscenium Stage on Thursday, Oct. 21st at 7:30 pm.  Ticket King has seats in the 1st or 2nd row of the center orchestra!  Check them out and buy yours before they're gone!
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Helmet style

Minnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue Jays Tickets

    Tomorrow evening at 7:10 pm, the Minnesota Twins will begin the first of the four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at their very own Target Field.  This will also be the last series of the regular season before the playoffs begin.  Ticket King is currently carrying a very nice selection of Twins vs. Blue Jays tickets for the entire series, with prices currently starting at just $15 for tomorrow's game; $20 for Friday's game; $22.50 for Saturday's game and $25 for Sunday.  We have a wide variety of seat locations and various price levels so there's something for everyone!  If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, check out our inventory and buy yours now while our selection is at it's best! Also, don't forget to check out our Twins playoff tickets too! GO TWINS!!!  Source URL:
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In Memoriam

    If you watch all or enough of a particular filmmaker's work there are certain names in the opening and closing credits that you begin to instantly recognize without ever stopping and considering and appreciating their contributions. Bonnie Timmermann as casting director on several Michael Mann movies and Henry Bumstead as Production Designer and Tom Stern as Director of Photography on many Clint Eastwood films and Barry Alexander Brown as editor and Terrence Blanchard as composer on numerous Spike Lee Joints.

    Any Quentin Tarantino movie you have ever seen was edited by Sally Menke. I can't really ever pretend to know precisely what goes into editing a major motion picture but I can say to a certainty that in directing my only short film (rejected all by film festivals it was sent to, thank you!) there were instances where I idiotically failed to provide all the necessary "coverage" for my beleaguered editor and he managed to make it look as right as humanly possible. That's part of what an editor does - saves director's asses.

    Did Sally Menke ever or routinely save Q.T.'s ass? I cannot say for certain. But it would seem to me that piecing together The House Of Blue Leaves sequence in "Kill Bill" in the editing bay would have been a herculean task. I always adored that little sequence at the end of "Jackie Brown" where Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson) and Max (Robert Forster) are driving back to Max's office where Jackie (Pam Grier) waits and the cutting back and forth between the two settings - the former with music and the latter without, Jackie's cigarette burning down in the dark, and then that close-up of Ordell's face as if the camera is cluing us into his fate before it has even happened. Maybe Tarantino had this shot progression in mind from the start, maybe not, but whichever way Menke had to make it come alive.

    She died yesterday at the age of 56. Too soon for anyone. I am certain we will all miss seeing that familiar name turn up in the credits more than we could have ever known.Source URL:
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Maine perfume

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buried Alive!

    by Susan Sey

    So I broke up with my old gym. We'd been happy together for two years or more but things had gotten stale. Boring. Expensive. It wasn't any one thing but sometimes you grow apart, you know? It's not you, it's me. These things happen. Maybe we should take a break.

    I decided to have a look around, see if there was an option that fit my life a bit better. As it happens, there was. The Community Center.

    The Community Center has a pool. My old gym did, too, but this pool is a zero-depth-entry, chock-full-of-slides-and-toys, warmer-than-bathwater type pool. Much better for my skinny children whose lips turn blue when they so much as stroll past the beach.

    The Community Center also has an indoor playground, access to which comes free with membership. A nice bennie when you live in The Land That Summer Forgot. Snow'll be flying up here pretty soon--an indoor playground will be nice to have.

    The Community Center is also next door to the library (this family's idea of nirvana), has a preschool (which my youngest attends), and costs less than half what my old gym did.


    However, the CC (as it will henceforth be known because I am a lazy typist) lacks one thing. TVs on the cardio equipment. Our old gym had TVs on all the treadmills & elliptical machines. You just plugged in your headphones, picked a station & off you went for your sweaty twenty minutes or whatever.

    At the CC, there's a bank of TVs hung on the wall & you have to tune your personal radio (who the heck has a RADIO anymore??) to the FM band indicated on the wall under each TV. That's the only way you can listen to the audio. Otherwise, you have to read the closed captioning they've conveniently turned on.

    Now this isn't a problem for me. I'm happy to read the screen. My husband feels this is a crime against fitness but that's a different blog. No, what I want to talk about today is the joy of being forced out of my usual TV watching rut.

    See, running isn't fun. When I run indoors, I need to be diverted. I need to be absorbed or I spend too much time thinking about how very unpleasant running is & wondering if it's over yet. (It's not.)

    So I need some gripping TV, & I'm not interested in taking a chance on an unknown quantity. I like shows I *know* I like: reality shows where talented people work under time & material pressure--Top Chef or Project Runway. I like a good soapy drama--Dawson's Creek is a big favorite. Or something clever and quick--That 70's Show still kills me. (I have a friend Kitty Foreman only wishes she were.) The West Wing is a good one, too.

    But at the CC now I have a whole smorgasbord of shows on at once & none of them are what I usually watch. It's talk shows (Ellen Degeneres), trashy talk shows (Maury Povich, I think), and soap operas.

    I went with the soap. Now I haven't followed a soap opera since I used to watch the Bold & the Beautiful in college and I have to say, it's nice to see they're still burying people alive. (And putting them in comas and having secret babies, all of which happened in the time it took me to log four miles.)

    My favorite was the buried alive story line. They'd sealed this woman (an exquisitely groomed sixty-something) into a crypt with a cell phone & a security camera. This allowed her to both see and rail against the idiotic young things who wandered by for some crypt-side musing, and have vitriolic chats with the villain who'd buried her.

    Watching a grande dame shriek, "I'M IN THE CRYPT, YOU STUPID COW!" at a clueless mourner remarking on the unlikeliness of her sudden death was awesome, too. We don't get enough scenery chewing from Women Of A Certain Age. I'm all for more of that. I wish they'd bring back the turban as a hairstyle, too, now that I'm thinking of it. Liz Taylor rocked the turban. More turbans!

    I think I'm going to like my new gym.

    So how about you? Do you follow any soaps--now or ever? What's your favorite storyline? Secret babies? Long lost lovers? Premature burial? Back-from-the-dead lovers? Evil twins? Do you watch TV while you work out? What do you watch? And if they brought turbans back, would you wear one? Source URL:
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