Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's HER Fault!

a group effort posted by Nancy

Rain lashed the Lair's windows (mullioned casements in the historical wing, sliding sashes in the contemporary area and the kitchen). Wind howled around the stone walls. In the kitchen, Sven sat with Paolo, the new cabana boy, to help him with his first night shift.

"I'd say it's a dark and stormy night," Sven muttered, "but they have a rule against that particular line."

"I don't get it," Paolo said. "If none of them live here, why do we have a night shift? Why do they care what we say?"

Sven sighed. "Because--"

"They're writers." Wearing the Roman-style tunic, leather cuirass or chestplate, and short sword of a gladiator on duty, Marcus strolled in from the gladiator villa, as he and his comrades called their barracks. They pretended not to know the cabana boys called it The Sty. Sty, hah! They should've seen the lion pit under the Colosseum. He yanked open the fridge and peered inside. "They keep weird hours. It's almost like a rule. Besides, that 'dark and stormy' thing has a history of some kind."

Sven frowned at him. "Pick something or shut the door."

"Yes, Mater." Marcus chose a beer and let the door swing shut. "It could be worse. At least the dragon's asleep. Zach finished the repairs in her cave earlier."

"Dirty beast," Paolo muttered. He'd never forgive her for singeing his trousers when he left after his job interview. He'd taken the position only because it came with very attractive hazard pay. And did not require dragon wrangling. Not officially, anyway.

Demetrius walked in from the dining area, his sandals slapping on the oak flooring. "All secure. Some of them are up in the library, supposedly working." Glancing at Marcus's beer, he added, "Any more of those?"

"In the fridge." Marcus pulled out a chair. Plopping into it, he kicked off his sandals. At least these modern ones came off easily, allowing barefoot traction on any of the Lair's varied floor coverings in case he needed to fight something. With the Lair connected to the real world by a tesseract and people writing paranormals and fantasies and other tales of mayhem, you never knew what might suddenly pop out of air to confront you. He shook his head. Why couldn't women pick one type of floor and just go with it? He stuck his feet on the table, ankles crossed. "So, guys--"

"That's a food prep surface," Paolo snapped.

Sven rolled his eyes. Marcus and Demetrius both glared.

"Uh, sir, I mean," Paolo added with a quick nod at Marcus. "I can certainly clean it later, sir."

As the two gladiators grinned, Sven sighed. "Don't indulge them."

Demetrius closed the fridge, popped his beer and sat next to Marcus. Eyeing the scowling Paolo, he kicked off his sandals and slowly raised his feet onto the table. "Not like Sven doesn't wash the table every time he turns around anyway."

"Yes, because people get it dirty." Sven cast a pointed glance at the gladiators' bare feet. "Disinfectant costs money, so take your feet down. Donna came in here after that last party, and she was not happy about all the repairs. You gladiators need to keep a closer eye on things. Especially that diabolical bird."

The gladiators exchanged an amused glance, and Demetrius shrugged. "You're in charge of entertainment. 'Course, it's hard to be in charge when you're laid out under the table, like at that last blowout."

"Which is the only kind of party they have," Marcus said. "There's another one tomorrow, you know. Anna Campbell's new book."

Sven scowled. "Great. Just great. More cleanup. As for last time, I couldn't help it. Someone hit me."

"Probably the bird," Marcus said. Maybe that would cut off the budding spat. Listening to Sven and Demetrius snipe could be amusing, but he wasn't in the mood for it tonight. "Who has him today, anyway?"

"Someone far from here, I hope," Paolo said as Zach, the head hockey hunk, wandered into the kitchen. "I can't imagine why those buddy people WANT him!"

Hiding grins, the others eyed him. His one encounter with the notorious Golden Rooster had ended with him wrapped in various crepe paper streamers and covered in punch. He still refused to explain.

"Not 'buddy people.' Bandita buddies," Zach said. "You'd better learn the lingo if you want to last around here."

"But there's so much of it." Shaking his head, Paolo sighed. "Demetrius, what do you mean they're 'supposedly working' up there?"

"It's too quiet." Demetrius frowned. "Usually there's that clatter from keyboards. Or whine from printers. Or 'hey, can you take a quick look at this' kind of stuff. Tonight, nothing."

Zach headed for the refrigerator. "Maybe they all left. Forgot to turn out the lights or something."

"They're kinda spacey sometimes, some of them," Demetrius said. "Distracted. It's a wonder nobody whaps 'em upside the head and robs 'em."

"Yes, well that's what you're here to prevent." Zach opened the fridge, chose an apple, and shut the door. His quick decision earned an approving nod from Sven. Zach sat next to Marcus, leaned back, and propped one ankle on the opposite blue jean-clad knee. "You'd better remember, some of 'em know how to throw a punch." With a crunch, he bit into the apple.

"A girl punch." Demetrius chuckled. "Ooh, I'm so scared."

"I've spotted for them in the gym," Marcus said. "They hit harder than you think. Know how to blow things up, too." Frowning, he took a sip of beer. "I think some of them actually have. Blown things up. Got that arsenal, too, and a few of them know which end of a gun to point."

"Don't forget the nurses and their knives," Sven said.

"Scalpels." Demetrius took his feet down. Shifting uneasily, he said, "Hey, you didn't see that Goddess Sangria around, did you? She--" A buzzer interrupted him, and he jumped.

As the others grinned, Paolo hurried to the box by the sink. Pressing "talk," he said, "Uh, yes, ma'am?"

The other men winced. "No ma'am-ing," Sven said softly, shaking his head.

"Hey. Who's this?" came crackling out of the speaker.

"Cassondra," Zach mouthed silently, making air air quotes with his fingers, "the 'vampire.'"

Paolo shot him a grateful look. "Uh, it's Paolo. In, uh, the kitchen, ma'--uh, Cassondra. The kitchen."

"I know that, thanks," she said. "Listen, we could use a snack up here, please. Just the usual stuff."

"Uh..." Paolo glanced at Sven, who made move it along motions with one hand. "Uh, right. The usual."

"For nine," she said. "Thanks."

Zach whistled. "Nine. More of them here than I thought."

"Which makes it ominously quiet, for that many of them in one place." Looking thoughtful, Marcus rubbed his chin.

"The 'usual,'" Sven said to Paolo, "means nachos, chips and dip, wine, tea--iced and hot--and soda. And maybe a pitcher of the smoothies. Jeanne especially likes them. And the leftover desserts from Beth's launch picnic."

Gaping, Paolo said, "How many did she say were up there?"

Sven ignored the question. "I'll help you put it together."

"I'll do the nachos," Zach said. "So we have enough."

The gladiators leaned back in their chairs. The more food went upstairs, the more they could wrangle for themselves.


"Snacks are on the way." Cassondra plopped back into the window seat overlooking the front gate. "It was that new guy. I think he's afraid of us." She scrunched up her face and wiped at a fingerprint on the stainless-finished Sig Sauer P226 on the cushion beside her. "Or maybe he's just afraid of ME."

"Can't imagine why." Grinning, Suz directed a pointed look at the weapon before going back to her book.

The crackling fire warmed the various seating nooks. It cast a golden glow over the Oriental and Aubusson carpets, walnut paneling and conference table. Heads bent over books, banditas lounged on the cozy room's overstuffed furniture. The warmth and light provided a pleasant counterpoint to the rain still beating the mullioned windows and the wind rattling the myriad tiny panes.

"It's really coming down," Cassondra said. She stretched to put her feet on the big hassock the banditas moved around when they needed extra seats.

"Uh-huh," someone answered absently, too fast for her to tell who'd spoken. Aside from the sounds made by the storm and the fire, only the occasional rustle of paper or ssss of a finger sliding down a turning page broke the silence inside the room.

On the couch by the hearth, Kirsten shifted positions with a soft shushing of jeans against the leather upholstery. Susan, who sat by the opposite arm, moved the pillow behind her back without looking away from the page.

Nancy sat up from leaning against the hassock, put a finger in her book to hold the place, and rolled her shoulders. "Oh, wow. It's three a.m. already!" She glanced over at Cassondra. "We should get some food up here."

"On its way," Cassondra said, accustomed to the obliviousness of reading banditas.

"Thanks." Nancy cocked her head. "I think I hear the dumb waiter cranking."

"And the clop of gladiator sandals on the stair carpets." Surfacing from her own book, Donna stood and stretched. "Somebody must be bored on security detail."

"Or hungry," Jeanne suggested from her chair by the window.

The conversation pulled the various banditas back to reality. Their heads lifted, and their eyes turned toward the doorway. Banditas did love their food.

At the table, Anna Sugden laid her book aside. "Well, no one's likely to break in tonight."

"Unless they're desperate," Christine put in, sliding off the divan opposite the window seat.

The agreeable rumble of male voices drifted into the room, and then Demetrius's baritone became distinguishable. "...give you cabana boys credit--"

"However reluctantly," Sven said in a dry voice.

"--you know how to put together a spread," Demetrius finished. Judging by the sound of his voice, the guys had reached the dumb waiter near the stairs.

"They do know how to feed us," Jeanne said. "They really do."

Nods of agreement answered her as Sven muttered, "It helps when certain people don't eat all the food before I have the chance to fix it."

"What's everybody reading?" Cassondra asked. "I'm starting my 'summer of re-reads' and I'm starting with The Courtesan's Daughter, first book in Claudia's Courtesan series. I'd never even heard of TICD (The Incomparable Claudia Dain) until Posh brought her into the lair for an interview. Claudia's a nice lady too. But now I'm hooked. And I blame Posh. Of course, I'd be up anyway, not like some of y'all."

"I like those books," Nancy said. "If someone had told me you could put Native Americans in Regency England, I'd have said, 'no way,' but Claudia makes the combination seem natural. Great characters, too, and a way cool marriage competition plot in that particular one. But I can't blame Posh. I picked them up on my own."

"I love the heroine in this book," Cassondra said, "because she's gutsy. And I love the non-traditional background of her and her family, and in particular how it's woven through this book in just the right places. It was a fresh approach to the "exotic courtesan."

Suz chuckled. "Well, if we’re blaming people for hooking us on books or authors, I blame Addison Fox for my addiction to The Black Dagger Brotherhood! Today I just got my copy of JR Ward’s newest book, Lover Mine. Sigh. I adore this series. Who knew? Me, the person who really doesn’t like vampire books, never watched Buffy, (yes, I know I’m an oddity), but from the moment I was handed my copy of Dark Lover, I was hooked. I devoured that book then needed more of the Brotherhood. What was a girl to do? The next in the series wasn’t due out for months!! Egads! I immediately went to JR’s website where she had interviews posted with the brothers. OMG, it only whetted my appetite for more."

"So if you didn't love Buffy--and I didn't watch it either, I confess--why these vampires?" Nancy asked as Paulo led a procession of tray-bearing men into the room.

Paulo glanced around the study. He hadn't been up there much. His scan took in the window seat and the weapon on it, and he blanched. Then he stepped sideways, away from the gun, with a nervous look at Cassondra.

She favored him with a sweet smile while Susan, Anna S., and Kirsten, noticing the byplay, grinned. The gladiators snickered and shook their heads. Sven merely sighed.

"I knew it wasn’t that these guys were vampires," Suz said. "I hardly noticed the parts where they needed to feed off others to exist. Nope, it was the guys themselves, their larger than life bodies, personalities and flaws. With each book I’ve gotten drawn further and further into their alternate world. As the series becomes more urban fantasy instead of straight romance, I find myself going there…and liking it!

Jeanne and Nancy shared a triumphant another-convert-for-the-subgenre look. "Welcome to the club," Jeanne said.

Zach and the gladiators helped the cabana boys set out food on the long table. The gladiators nicked a few nachos in the process, earning glares from Sven.

Zach placed a tray with his signature fully-loaded nachos next to Anna S. and glanced at the book she was reading, Liz Carlyle's The Devil You Know. His face brightened. “You’ve given up on those hockey romances. I’m glad you’ve realised none of those fictional guys are as good as the real thing.”

Without raising her eyes, she reached across and nabbed a fully loaded tortilla chip. “It’s Caren’s fault. She introduced me to Liz Carlyle’s books and I had to go and buy her entire back-list!”

“So that was the big box the Amazon Pigeon dropped off earlier.” He frowned. “I thought you weren’t doing that glomming thing again. You promised after Suz introduced you to Julie Garwood’s Saving Grace and Lorraine Heath’s In Bed with the Devil."

“And, after Mme. Wells got me hooked on CS Harris. This is the last time.” Anna subtly slid another box of books under her chair with her foot, then decided to distract Zach. She stretched, giving him a sultry smile. “I’ve got stiff shoulders. I don’t suppose you could give me one of your special massages?”

He grinned and flexed his fingers. “Sure.”

Casting an envious look at the massage in progress, Christine filled her plate. "As you all know by now, I blame Anna Campbell for many things--not least of which is getting me addicted to her roast chicken and potatoes and Brumby's raisin toast!--but the main addiction she's passed on to me is a love for C.S. Harris's St Cyr mysteries. Of course, any book Anna C. recommends is one I'm guaranteed to devour in a sitting (hmm, there we go with the food again!), but the St. Cyr series has me slavering for more each time I read one."

She held up the book she'd been reading. "My lovely agent recently sent me the beautiful hardcover of What Remains of Heaven, which only fed my addiction."

Several banditas exchanged knowing looks. "Books are dangerous that way," Kirsten said.

Nodding agreement, Christine fingered the stem of her wine glass. "This is one of the best mystery series I've read in a long time because it combines a complex, wounded hero/detective worthy of a romance novel with a rich sensibility of the Regency period in which it's set and a mystery that has more twists and turns than a Seven Dials alley. The romantic thread that runs through the books is an absolute delight and keeps me clamouring for more. I hope this series continues for a long time--I'm already suffering withdrawal symptoms while I wait for the next one!"

Donna settled in her chair again, her plate skillfully balanced on the arm. "I also read and loved What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris as a result of Fo’s recommendation. I wish I had bought the whole series at the time and not just the first book. Fabulous characters and sense of setting. There’s so many good books out there. I often start one with great intentions on finishing, but another book calls me away. I finished What Angels Fear – couldn’t put it down, which isn’t such a good idea when on deadline. So I’m not sure whether to thank Fo or curse her name." She finished with a big grin.

Paulo circulated with red velvet cake left over from the launch party. Although he tried to avoid the gladiators, Marcus intercepted him and took a piece for himself and one for Demetrius.

"Hey!" Paulo hissed. Marcus said something back in an undertone and fingered his sword hilt. Glaring at Marcus and muttering, Paulo straightened the napkins.

"I have someone to blame, too." Kirsten ignored the staff dispute and poured herself a glass of tea. "Okay, I still love her. Susan Sey, that is. She's my critique partner, after all, a dear friend and married to my husband's best friend. I'm basically stuck with her for life, so it won't do me a bit of good to run around mad. Still,here it is, 3AM and I CAN'T SLEEP because of this damn Susan Elizabeth Phillips book!" She picked it up so they could all read the title, Natural Born Charmer.

"Ah, the joys of converting someone," Suz said. "Good choice."

"Yes." Kirsten nodded emphatically. "I told her I strictly read historicals and she said I need to try SEP. 'You'll love her,' Susan said. 'She's the best.' Of course, Susan didn't mention SEP is totally addictive, that I'd find myself buying expensive hardbacks just because I couldn't wait a second longer when a new book comes out...and she definitely didn't mention this whole 3 AM thing!! WAH! It's all her fault!!"

Susan grinned at Kirsten across her wine glass. “I don’t want to point fingers or anything but what the heck, I will anyway. Kirsten is totally to blame for my Johanna Lindsey addiction. She was writing historicals at the time and said I ought to check out Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory family saga. She really admired Lindsey’s ability to create a world and a family the reader wanted to return to again and again. Okay, she was right. Because ever since I’ve been returning and returning and returning….”

She held up her book so they could all see it. "So here I am reading Love Only Once. At three in the morning. Again."

Familiar with the phenomenon, all the banditas sighed and nodded. "Shades of the TBR pile," someone muttered.

Jeanne rubbed her eyes. "Paolo, bring me one of those wonderful hangover cure smoothies you have. No," she answered his unspoken question. "I don't actually have a hangover, but when I read until the wee small hours of the morning it makes me FEEL hungover."

Paolo frowned and passed the smoothie in a big frosty glass.

"Thanks. Now, don't glare at me. It's Nancy's fault. I told her one of my students in the Body Disposal class I taught for From the Heart Romance Writers mentioned Kathy Reichs." She waved a book with bones on the cover. "They're the books that the TV program Bones is taken from. Nancy said she'd heard they were great. Between the student, and Nancy, I couldn't NOT go get them. I'd read the first one years ago, now I'm burning through all the others. Of course, she also hooked me on Laura Anne Gilman's Vineart Wars series, but the second book isn't out yet."

There were groans of sympathy at the wait between books. Paolo frowned again, though no one could tell whether that was because of the hour, the reading, or Jeanne's consumption of smoothies when she didn't have a hangover. Or all three. "Does anyone need a refill?"

Jeanne handed him the smoothie glass, empty. "Nope, just tea for now, iced, and sweet. Thanks. Maybe some of those little sandwiches?"

Christine motioned to the book with the bones, "Which one is that?"

"Fatal Voyage. Fabulous on the forensic pathology, and set in both North Carolina and Quebec. Superb on the crime solving bits, and deeply, mightly engrossing if you're into that sort of thing. And of course, I am." Jeanne grinned at Christine.

"Whose is this?" Cassondra held up a paperback. The cover showed a desert scene with Strong Enough to Die written across it.

Waving acknowledgment, Nancy swallowed the food in her mouth. She wiped away crumbs before explaining, "KJ put me onto Jon Land. I liked his Middle Eastern thrillers, so I thought I'd give this a try. It's also a thriller, but it's about a female Texas Ranger who's learning the case she thought she'd wrapped up years ago might not be so tightly closed after all. That's partly because the guy she put in prison didn't do it. He's out and wants revenge. But in a terrific twist, he turns out to be the hero. Not that he's an angel, having been an enforcer for the mob and done his share of evil things. He just didn't do the one thing she sent him to prison for."

"That's a couple with conflict," Donna said.

"Definitely. But it works." Nancy's eyes glazed for a moment, and then she said, "Gotta figure out how. Anyway, they just walked into a trap. So it's KJ's fault I'm here and reading at this hour because I have to see if they survive. And if they end up together, at least kinda sorta, seeing as how this is a thriller and not a romance."

"More fun if they do," Susan noted.

Silence fell while banditas and staff munched. Zach's fingers slowed as the words in Anna's book caught his attention. After a few minutes, Susan said, "You guys don't have to hang around if you don't want to. We can load the dumb waiter when we finish and send everything down."

Sven, who'd been covertly eyeing Kirsten's book, muttered something noncommittal. Zach was blatantly reading now and said nothing. Marcus picked up Nancy's book. "This has mayhem?"

"Serious boom." She nodded.

Behind him, Christine chuckled softly and shook her head. As he leafed through the pages, Cassondra winked at Nancy.

"I'm not done with that," Nancy said, "but I left a couple of others with major boom on the table by the door. Linnea Sinclair, Laura Anne Gilman, Catherine Mann, and Jessica Andersen. And if you want sword work, Gerri Russell's latest is in the library." With a glance at Cassondra, she added, "If you want real vampires, Barbara Monajem's book is there, too."

Sven and Paolo drifted to the table she'd indicated, where they peered at the books.

Demetrius sighed. "Rounds to make." He punched Marcus on the shoulder, and they stood. Assuming an Austrian accent, Demetrius announced, "We'll be back" as they departed.

"I didn't know he'd seen that movie." Kirsten exchanged a surprised glance with Suz.

Donna shrugged. "They wheedled a flat-screen TV for their barracks out of the last budget. I think they go for movies that're heavy on testosterone."

"That'd figure," Kirsten said.

"They like that Spartacus show," Sven noted. "Also that Rome series from HBO."

"Except they won't shut up about what the filmmakers have wrong." Paolo sighed.

Banditas opened their books again. Jeanne raised her glass to Cassondra in a silent toast before turning back to Kathy Reichs. Cassondra strolled to the window seat. Paolo eyed her nervously. Giving him a tiny smile, she tucked her weapon behind a cushion, out of sight, before she picked up her book again.

Paolo breathed a soft "whew." Sven gave him a nod of approval. Books in hand, they chose seats, and silence descended on the room once more.

This was a nod to people who've made our TBR piles grow, and we hope you've enjoyed it. Who made your TBR pile grow, and how? What was the last book you fell in love with but might not have read if it hadn't been recommended to you? What's the next book you plan to pull off the stack? And last, to keep up with the food theme, what do you like to snack on when you read?


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey, is that bird coming home with me?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ah. He is. Good. After staying up late reading, I'm likely to fall asleep at tomorrow's warm, sunny baseball game. He can cheer on the boys, and keep me awake!

*Shoots a look at the stairs, hoping Sven can't hear*

I hope Sven's training that new guy right. He looked awfully nervous, Nancy. Maybe he IS afraid of Cassondra.

*smirks at Cassondra* Then again...who isn't?

*ducks flung pillow"

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, what a fabulous post! I LOVED it! You girls are so clever - hey, why don't we all blog together?

I noticed my name being taken in vain a few times there! Sheesh! You will all pay tomorrow when I host the launch of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. There will be some reckless surrendering going on or my name isn't Anna Campbell!

Loved the peek into the kitchen and then at everyone's TBR pile! What fun. Actually I blame Christine for the Liz Carlyle obsession - she got to me even before Posh did. And like Anna S. I've bought the whole backlist now! Poor, aching Visa card.

Actually my good friend Sharon Archer recommended Sarah Mayberry to me and she's become another auto buy. I love it when people tell me what books to buy!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, congrats on the chook!

And why is Paolo looking nervous?

flchen1 said...

LOL! How utterly fabulous, Banditas!

As for a couple authors who've made my TBR grow (besides all of you incredible Banditas!), I just finished Jess Granger's first two Beyond books (Beyond the Rain and Beyond the Shadows). These were wonderful--great world building, and I loved the characters. I think more's coming, and I can't wait!

Also, eagerly awaiting Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray's next books. And Larissa Ione's. All three of these might not have been authors I would have picked up on my own, but since I finally succumbed to recommendations, I was happily hooked.

I haven't decided what to read next, and as for snacks, I kind of like them all, but sometimes it's hard to snack while reading because I hate getting my books dirty. (Dirty books is one thing; making my books dirty is another!)

Have fun the ol' GR, Jeanne!

Bronwyn said...

What a great distraction from editing! Thanks for the chuckles =)

Anna gets the blame for my TBR, from Romancing the Novel in Adelaide where I got copies of My Reckless Surrender, Christine's Sweetest Little Sin and a few Sarah Mayberry Blazes right through to her recommending the Book Depository which delivered Robin Hobb's Dragon Haven yesterday and Elizabeth Boyle's Confessions of a Little Black Gown today. Phew! I really don't know what to read next! MRS has already been devoured... What do you think?

As to snacks. Doritos with grated cheese on top melted in the microwave do it almost everytime. Unfortunately with two little girls who demand a helluva lot of attention, most of my reading is done in the bath and I don't eat in there. Thankfully =)

Christine Wells said...

Hahaha!! Nancy, love the blog!! You're so, so clever, Bandita!

This reminds me of what in the law firm I called 'the chain of blame'--it's all about covering your behind. If my husband complains about our book bill, I just need to say, a Bandita made me do it and I'll be fine.

I hope you all will go home and practise that excuse:)

Yes, Foanna can blame me for the Liz Carlyle obsession. However, I can blame Posh for the fact that she introduced Liz to me without notice at a conference, and I promptly melted in an incoherent puddle of admiration on the floor. Wish I could rewind that moment and think of something cooler to say than 'You are a goddess!' or something of that nature. Maybe I'll do better with CS Harris if I get to meet her this year.

Congrats on the rooster, Jeanne! See if you can get him to tell you what he did to Paolo. Poor Paolo.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Jeanne.

I had no idea the GR was prone to violence. Can't wait for tomorrow's launch party. I love Liz Carlyle, too, but my favorite is "A Deal with the Devil." I've become a Lorie O'Clare fangirl after getting a recommendation from Amazon. I just started Dee Davis' current release. I like to snack on chips, lately it's been Cheetos(they've been on sale.)

Jane said...

I forgot to mention that Dorothy Sayers was recommended to me by one of the Banditas after I named Agatha Christie as one of my favorites. I've since become a big fan of Lord Peter.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning everyone! Settling into my chair for some late night writing. Nancy, you truely captured the Lair and its inhabitants. And those poor men, you'd think they'd figure out that writers are readers first!

I did finish Lover Mine and loved it!!! And suffering because it will be another year before another BDB will hopefully hit the shelves!

As for hooking people on books, I'm afraid I'm very guilty of doing just that!

I have several good friends who are avid readers. Megan loves historical romances, and I've hooked her on Lisa Kleypas and our own Anna Campbell. :)

Karen loves suspense and is guilty of hooking me on Steve Berry. In return I've hooked her on Kate Carlisle AND recoomended Jeanne's series!

OH and then of course I try to hook anyone who will listen on Jo Davis' firefighter series. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Late night snacks while reading? Hmmm...chips or nachos are always good, but when writing it's M&M's!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hmmm...wonder if we have a bag down in the Lair's kitchen?

**shoots a look over at Sven and Paolo, both engrossed in books**

Maybe if I sneak down and do a chocolate raid I might find an errant cowboy or gladiator. There are lots of dark corners in the Lair!

Suzanne Welsh said...

And I can pick up that copy of Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake I started this afternoon down near the pantry....

Suzanne Welsh said...

Bronwyn, Anna C. gets blamed for my new love of Sarah MacLean's books! She had her as a guest in the Lair and I just HAD to read her books!

Suzanne Welsh said...

flchen said:(Dirty books is one thing; making my books dirty is another!)...

A woman after my own heart!

Tawny said...

Oooh, I love it :-) I had to sneak away to Vegas this weekend and just got back. I'm so glad I didn't miss all the fun!!!

I'll happily blame the Bandits for my never-ending TBR pile. That sucker grows with each guest we have here :-)

Okay, back in the cave. A book is due next week and I'm waaaay behind. Can one of the boys bring me some tea, extra strong, in the back corner of the cave...

Helen said...

Well done Jeanne make him work out or the Guys may get a bit angry with him LOL

What an awesome post I loved it and I loved getting a tour of the lair with the Guys Whoo Hoo.

I won Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman here in the lair a couple of weeks ago and it arrived today so I will be starting that one after I finish reading Jenna Petersen's What The Duke Desires which I am loving.
I have just finished reading one of Pamela Clare's loved it and I also have started Sherrilyn Kennyon and Dianna Love's Bad series Whoo Hoo.
I have lots of the ones you Ladies are reading on my TBR pile I really just need to find more time to read LOL.

Again fantastic post
Have Fun

Helen said...

I forgot what I like munching on while reading Tim Tams chocolate and chips

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

LOL Christine - I'm glad to hear you're another fan-girl! I was like you when I met the awesome Karen Rose - luckily she was very gracious *g*. As were Lisa Gardner and Tess Gerritsen.

And I still stand in awe whenever I meet Linda Howard.

Perhaps we can bump into CS Harris together *g*.

My latest favourite snack is Cheese and Onion flavour crisps with sour cream dip. Perfect for munching while reading. Though I do love hot, buttered popcorn and nachos. That cheesy popcorn you can get in bags is lethal stuff - can get through a whole bag!

Anna Sugden said...

Suz - let's not forget you should be getting a comission from Julie Garwood for touting Saving Grace!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Other than a very few historical writers the Banditas are to blame for all my "new" authors, including some of the Banditas. I keep promising myself that I am going to get all books together in one room just to see what kind of damage has been done to my own Visa over the years. My favorite snack is just plain chips, no dip. I have to be able to eat one handed because I am not letting go of my book.
I totally loved the glimpse of the kitchen and reading room in the lair.

Caren Crane said...

Duchesse, how did YOU end up with the GR? That's a bit disturbing since you aren't that many hours up the road from me. Don't let him leave the house! *g*

I have lots of people to blame for my book addictions, but I'll choose one person who hooked me on three major series. My friend (and steampunk author) Susan Griffith turned me on to:

1. Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody books. Late Victorian/Edwardian Egyptology mysteries with exceptional recurring characters and satisfying romance. What isn't in there?

2. Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Which, apparently, will never end. Stephanie is a very inept bounty hunter with a couple of hunky love interests, zany sidekicks, a kooky family and villains both scary and hilarious. I love this series!

3. J.D. Robb's In Death series. She handed me the first one about 15 years ago and I have been right since then. We're about 21 books in now and it keeps getting better. I love Eve and Roarke and Peabody and McNab and...well, you get it.

Yes, I blame Susan for all of that. I love her for it. Oh, one more thing I have to blame her for...Joss Whedon's Firefly!! Best series ever cancelled. I have my other friend Susan's DVD set (which Susan Griffith gave her - evil!) held hostage in my house. *sigh*

She also writes seriously awesome steampunk with her husband, Clay. I shake my fist at you, Susan!

Caren Crane said...

Dianna, I recommend never assessing the damage to your Visa card. Ever. It is completely demoralizing and could lead you to make drastic decisions, like cutting back on book-buying. Been there, done that, lived to regret it, jumped back on bandwagon. It's a fruitless cycle! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Anna S., I can't blame Suz for my Julie Garwood addiction (which is really, really ancient), but every time she brings her up, I am tempted to read her entire backlist, which could take years!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Anna S: That cheesy popcorn you can get in bags is lethal stuff - can get through a whole bag!...

They have this white cheddar popcorn from Smart Foods that is to die for!!! I have to buy the smallest bag I can find because it is so addictive!

Caren Crane said...

Christine, I remember introducing you to Liz Carlyle at conference. She really did babble incoherently, y'all, but she's so darn cute when she does that! Liz is so down-to-earth and funny, though, it's impossible to be intimidated. I'm sure you carried on perfectly coherent conversation at the Bash, Christine. Really! *g*

Suzanne Welsh said...

Caren:I can't blame Suz for my Julie Garwood addiction (which is really, really ancient), but every time she brings her up, I am tempted to read her entire backlist, which could take years!!...

I did this, on purpose once.

We'd moved from Ohio to Texas and somehow my JG collection didn't make the move. So I bought the entire backlist again and reread them. Was fabulous!

Caren Crane said...

Suz and Anna S., I love that Smart Foods white cheddar popcorn. It's eeee-vil!

Caren Crane said...

OMG, Suz. You are a hopeless Julie Garwood fan! Okay, I'll admit that I rebought quite a few Anne McCaffreys that were "borrowed" by my siblings and not returned. Like the whole Dragonriders series!! I hooked myself on those, though. Or maybe it was my friend Nancy in junior high, I think it was my mother!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Caren, I think we'll have to add white cheddar popcorn to Sven and Pablo's shopping list for stocking the pantry!

Addison said...


So glad I could be the instigator of the BDB addiction..!!! :-)

I absolutely love, love, love that series. I'm reading LOVER MINE right now - it is awesome!

I always love getting recommendations from folks and reading new things. I saw you mentioned Sarah MacLean - she is someone to watch - 9 Rules is absolutely incredible.

My most recent recommendation wasn't romance, but YA. Meg Cabot did a piece on the Betsy~Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace and I picked them up right before the holidays. They were absolutely marvelous. Written in the 40s and 50s, they start at the turn of the century in Minnesota and follow Betsy Ray from age 5 (book 1) through to her marriage (book 10). The first four are written for children, but the last 6 are Betsy through high school and then into early adulthood exploring Europe and then marriage. Truly wonderful, amazing books!

As for adult reads, my good friend Tracy Garrett recommended SOULLESS by Gail Carriger to me a few months back and I'm absolutely devouring that series. SOULLESS was awesome and the second book in the series is CHANGELESS. Amazing! Victorian steampunk (without a ton of punk) and vampires and sexy werewolves and a heroine who has no soul. Check these out - absolutely magnificient reads!


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna asked: And why is Paolo looking nervous?

Why, because Cassondra insists on polishing that weapon when he's around...she does it on purpose, I know.


Anna Sugden said...

That's the stuff, Suz and Caren - man, is it ever addictive!

Dianna - I've mastered the art of the 'no look' dip so i can dip my chip and eat without losing my place and making a mess *g*.

Joan said...

Ok, this narrative reinforces what we've been seeing on the security tapes for a while....

Demetrius? Marcus? You owe us for the spike in Nacho fixins' for the monthly grocery bill.

The Goddess Sangria will not be pleased...she will exact her punishment.

Wait...(squints eyes)are you gladiators cringing or grinning?

Anyway, I blame you all for my TBR pile growing. CL Wilson was introduced here in the Lair and I LOVE her series Tarien Soul series.

The rest are too numerous to name....

Brilliant post Nancy!

Nancy said...

Jeanne, you have the bird! Paolo will be so disappointed to have him close to home. *g* Maybe he'll bring the baseball team luck.

I think Paolo is afraid of Cassondra. The gladiators seem to alternately make him nervous and annoy him. They do tend to wander into the kitchen and scarf up whatever appeals.

Nancy said...

Anna C., I have read the opening chapter of MRS, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's party. I'm not sure Sven and Paolo are, but that's what we pay them for, right?

I'm seriously intrigued by your description of the h/h being "like rabbits." I haven't gotten to that part yet. *g*

I'll check out Sarah Mayberry.

Nancy said...

Fedora, I also hate getting my books dirty. I'm more likely to have a beverage than food when I'm reading.

Up at the top of my TBR pile is the second of Ann Aguirre's Corinne Solomon books. I'm looking forward to that. If these Jess Granger books have worldbuilding, I have to check them out, too!

Nancy said...

Bronwyn, that's quite a stack! I also read Robin Hobb, but I haven't started the new series yet. Let us know if you like it, please, because several of us here also read fantasy and science fiction, as you may've noticed. :-)

The problem with doing this kind of blog is that I come up with other names to check out. *sigh*

I used to do bathtub reading a lot. Now that the boy is older and largely self-sufficient, reading time is easier to come by.

Nancy said...

Christine, you're going to meet C.S. Harris? Cool! I went by to see her (seeing as how I, too, started reading her because of Fo) at the RWA signing last year, but someone was talking to her, and I didn't have time to wait. I hope she'll be there this year.

Laughed at your law firm reference. When I first started practicing, an experienced colleague told me, "If Rule One is 'always get paid,' Rule One A is 'always cover your [behind]."

Thanks for your input on today's blog.

Nancy said...

I know I speak for all the contributors when I say we're so grateful for the kudos on the blog.

I slept in this morning in honor of being freed from driving duty by the dh's return after a week away, but I'm catching up on comments.

Bronwyn, Fedora, Foanna, and Christine, glad you liked it!

Nancy said...

Jane, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's party, too. Just started the book.

I also love Dorothy Sayers. I always like finding a "new" author with a big backlist. I ripped through Lord Peter and then was appalled to discover that there not only were no more but would not BE any more because Sayers was dead.

I looked at the sequel, Thrones, Dominations, which another author wrote (with the Sayers estate's permission) by completing Sayers' unfinished manuscript, but the voice wasn't the same, and I didn't love it.

Did you know Sayers had written some Lord Peter shorts for the London Spectator during WWII? I was able to get them via interlibrary loan.

Nancy said...

Suz, glad you like the finished result. Thanks for your contribution.

I like Steve Berry, too.

Really, if you ever tire of nursing, you could go into sales. You're a promo whiz, as your hooking so many people on so many authors demonstrates.

M&Ms make a tidy snack for reading--no danger of messing up the page. Maybe Sven will add some to the grocery list if they're not in stock.

Nancy said...

Hi, Tawny--I hope you had fun in Vegas. Good luck in the cave!

Nancy said...

Helen, glad you liked the post! We're so pleased we've been able to corrupt you. *g* I like the BAD books a lot. I hope you will, too.

I read the Gilman as soon as it came out, and I liked it a lot. You know I love "team" stories, though they seldom look at the formation of the team. I loved her take on that.

Nancy said...

Anna S., it's beginning to look as though we need to form a posse to meet C.S. Harris. *g*

Thanks for your input on today's blog.

I used to be in the same RWA chapter as Karen Rose--very nice woman!

Nancy said...

Dianna, I know I speak for the entire Lair when I say we're so pleased to have influenced your reading habits. After all, we have big TBR piles, and misery does love company. *g*

Glad you enjoyed the blog.

Nancy said...

Caren, steampunk? I must check this out. 'Cause, you know, I NEED more books in the TBR pile. *sigh*

Steampunk was big among the costume crowd at DragonCon last year, and I expect it to be bigger this year.

The Lair turned me onto J.D. Robb. So many of you said, "READ this. You will love it" that I did. And y'all were right.

I love Firefly, too! The line was out the building and down the block when the cast appeared en masse at DragonCon a couple of years ago. I decided not to spend two hours standing in it, but I think Trish did. I saw the panel later on the CCTV re-broadcast (DragonCon TV. Seriously.)

Nancy said...

Addison, I read a lot of those older YA series and really loved them. Beany Malone by Lenora Mattingly Weber and the Parrishes and Jordans created by Janet Lambert.

You're the second person who has recommended the Gail Carriger books. Michelle Roper, who's half of Gillian Summers, also recommended them to me.

Nancy said...

Joan, glad you liked the post! Yeah, I think the guys have been exceeding their snack budget. Yet they stay so amazingly buff. . . .

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Fedora, I've heard great things about those two Beyond books. Sigh. Now I have YOUR recommendation too...sigh.

Wow, Bronwyn, you've been on a reading binge!

Christine...chain of blame...snork. Yeah, I can use that!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Jane. I've never taken a recommendation from Amazon.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: As for hooking people on books, I'm afraid I'm very guilty of doing just that!

Ummm, yeah, like you got me hooked on the firefighters...You DO push those at every a GOOD way! Hahah!

jo robertson said...

Great post, Nancy, and kudos to all the clever Banditas who contributed! I do love this virtual world of the Lair. In fact, I'm convinced it's not so virtual after all!

Both Fo and Mme turned me on to C.S. Harris' St. Cyr books. I love how she weaves the historical detail so naturally, never too heavy, and the back and forth romance of the protagonists.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna said: the Banditas are to blame for all my "new" authors, including some of the Banditas.

*pumps fist in air* WOOOT!!! I love being an enabler.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Caren said: She also writes seriously awesome steampunk with her husband, Clay. I shake my fist at you, Susan!

Snork. I am so laughing. Like this would stop anyone, including Susan, from addicting you to books. Hahahah!

I love the Amelia Peabody mysteries too, and JD Robb.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh forgot to answer a question - the next non-Bandita book off the stack will be ...

(stares at the various piles of books across her writing cave floor) Ummm ...

(Stares at the piles on her TBR bookshelves) Well ...

(Ugnores the box of TBR books in the corner) Probably ...

It's so hard to choose! Maybe Rachel Gibson's latest hockey hunks book ... or Karen Rose's Silent Scream ... or Debra Webb's latest. Perhaps I"ll get Zach to help me choose.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie T: Anyway, I blame you all for my TBR pile growing. CL Wilson was introduced here in the Lair and I LOVE her series Tarien Soul series.

Isn't it FABULOUS???? Love it!

Nancy said...

Jo, glad you liked it. What do you mean "virtual," though? Haven't you stepped through the tesseract? *g*

Another C.S. Harris fan. We really need to all meet her!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Laughed at your law firm reference. When I first started practicing, an experienced colleague told me, "If Rule One is 'always get paid,' Rule One A is 'always cover your [behind]."

SNORK!!! :>

Nancy said...

Anna S., you don't have to answer ALL the questions, y'know, just whichever ones you feel inclined to address. :-)

I know what you mean about choosing the next book. It's tough.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, the Wilson books are on my list, already. Just getting to things has been hard lately!

p226 said...

I don't eat/snack when I read. Unfortunately, I drink coffee. And this is how I wind up watching a sunrise over the spine of a book and wondering if I should try to sleep for an hour, or just jump in the shower and go to work.

Gannon Carr said...

Hmmm, who should I blame for various book series addictions?? I blame my friend Cyndi (but thank her at the same time) for introducing me to J.R. Ward and the BDB. I started when the first three books had been published and devoured them all quickly....then had to wait for each new book. *sigh* Oh, but it's worth it!

I blame PJ for my addiction to Robyn Carr's Virgin River series--I love it!

Of course, I return the favor and make suggestions and pass on the addiction. As my daughter used to say when she was little, "Sharing is caring!" ;-)

I don't snack a lot when I'm reading, but if I do, popcorn usually hits the spot.

Nancy said...

p226, you and the dh! Whenever he's working on something--or reading--he drinks coffee as though it were water.

But I'd imagine those are good books, to keep you at them all night.

Nancy said...

Gannon, isn't that "waiting for the next book" thing a pain?! I'm happy to say I've seldom been disappointed when the long-awaited volume arrived, but I get antsy in the meantime.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Gannon: J.R. Ward and the BDB. I started when the first three books had been published and devoured them all quickly....then had to wait for each new book. *sigh* Oh, but it's worth it!...

At least you got to read three at once. Me? Oh Noooooooooo...Addison handed me the first book right after the series started. I've suffered a year between each and every dang time!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!

**No, no, Paolo, that wasn't a war cry, I promise. Yes, yes, Cassondra has her weapon still holstered. You can go back to making lunch.**

Nancy said...

Suz, thanks for reassuring Paolo. I'm not sure he has the temperament to last around here, but we'll see.

I like discovering long backlists, as I share your dislike of waiting for what happens next.

That's the only problem, imho, with C.S. Harris--it's a year between books! Aaugh!

I've also started reading an alternate history/fantasy series, S. M. Stirling's Emberverse (I'll blog about it on June 19). Those are coming out, now, at a rate of one a year. They're weighty tomes, as is common in that genre. I'm on book 2, The Protector's War, and it's 500+ pages in small type.

Book One, for anyone interested, is Dies the Fire, about people coping after something much like an EM pulse kills all the tech in a heartbeat.

At this point, Stirling is several books ahead of me, but I know I'll catch up to him. At least he has lots of other books I can use to fill the time.

flchen1 said...

Oh yes, Nancy--I kind of hate getting hooked on a great series or author too early ;p Does that sound crazy? It's on account of how impatient I am--I hate waiting for the next release. Honestly, can't all of you authors write any faster? ;)

On the other hand, it's soooo delicious when someone hands me a juicy recommendation as the last installment is being released. I love starting and then being able to continue on through the next book--yum, yum!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, I'm going to have to go look at that Stirling series now. If I get hooked its YOUR fault! Grins.

I'm thinking Paolo will settle down once he learns the rules.

Ladies, TRY not to run him off, will ya? He's got that awesome hangover rememdy and all....and makes a fabulous smoothie.


Nancy said...

Fedora, I'm with you all the way. Getting a new author just as the next book comes out, with no waiting, is perfect. I know exactly what you mean by "too early."

I also wish the authors I like were faster. However, they all seem to have those pesky little things called lives. *g* Plus I hate to think how long a ms. produces 500 published, tiny-type pages.

Nancy said...

Jeanne said: Nancy, I'm going to have to go look at that Stirling series now. If I get hooked its YOUR fault! Grins.

I will gladly take the blame for that. He uses a lot of Wicca material in these books, which was new to me. Also lots of geeks and lots of references to conventions in the genre. As with a lot of SFF, there's also a great deal of worldbuilding.

Nancy said...

In Book 2 of the Emberverse trilogy, we find out what happened with the UK and Australia, areas of particular interest in the Lair.

Becke Davis said...

This is a FABULOUS post but it has unfortunately caused my TBR pile to increase significantly!

Nancy said...

Becke, Bwahahaha on the TBR pile. Our misery loves your company. *g*

Glad you liked it.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Ladies of the Lair,

Recent additions to my TBR list
are varied and include the works
of Anne McAllister, Yvonne Lindsay,
Eloisa James, Sherryl Woods, Sandra
Marton, Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna
Love, and Allie Boniface. Thanks to all of you, I added more authors to my To-Be-Purchased list today!

Note to self: No late-night reads
tonight, so I can be up bright and
early for Anna C's launch party!

Pat Cochran

Becke Davis said...

No misery involved, Nancy, unless you count the hit to my bank account! (Which should be used to it by now.)

Pat Cochran said...

I meant to commiserate with Paolo
about life in the Lair and reassure
him that said life is really great!
I agree that first impressions can
be rather daunting at first, but
you couldn't ask for a finer group
of friends. They will always have
your back, especially Cassondra!

As for snacks, Honey would say
it's anything that doesn't bite
me first! Lately, it's been lots
of fruit and veggies!

Pat Cochran

Beth said...

How fun! There's nothing better than spending an evening reading and snacking - unless it's reading and snacking with my fellow banditas! (And those Cabana boys *g*)

Nancy, I blame you for getting me hooked on Jessica Andersen's Final Prophecy series! Love them :-)

And I became hooked on Kristan Higgins' books after Joan (I believe it was Joan) hosted her here at the lair *g*

p226 said...

**No, no, Paolo, that wasn't a war cry, I promise. Yes, yes, Cassondra has her weapon still holstered. You can go back to making lunch.**

Poor Paolo. He'd lose his mind if he knew how much hardware was floating around the lair. That crazy rooster could teach Paolo a thing or two about object-point fixation and tunnel vision. I call it the rule of +1. If you have one threat, there's probably another. If you have two visible threats, there's probably three.

Ole Paolo's focused on Cassondra like a laser, yet, there are BB's running around, crazy gladiators....

Hey Paolo, buddy.... tunnel vision will get you killed. :)

Just a little friendly advice from ole P226.


Nancy said...

Hi, Pat--We're always glad to add to your TBR pile. *G*

You won a prize a while back (look at the booty post that went up before May 6's blog). If you'll email me your info via the RB link, I'll pass it on. Congrats!

Nancy said...

Becke, we know the bank account misery well, here. Every time I discover a new author, it gets worse. I'm trying to _pace_ myself now!

Nancy said...

Pat, we hope Paolo will adapt. Unfortunately, he does seem a little skittish about the gladiators as well.

Thank you so much for the kind words about the Lair. I would have any of the banditas at my back anytime.

Nancy said...

p226, if you feel inclined to take Paolo under your wing, that would be very helpful. Last night's gathering was rather tame, actually, but he seemed a bit on edge. I hope he'll cope okay with tomorrow's big bash.

Weaponry in general seems to make him nervous.

This plus one rule is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Nancy said...

Beth, I'm so glad to have hooked you on something! At least the Nightkeepers come out more than once a year!

I have Do You Take This Cop here and am looking forward to reading it. Did you notice Faith's red velvet cake turned up last night? I love red velvet cake.

Unfortunately, Marcus snagged the tiny bit that was left for himself and Demetrius before the rest of us had any.

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Nancy, you've hooked the help on our TBR pile. :-) Bound to happen, I guess. We'll never get any work out of them now, though. Pity, that.

But who am I to grudge a person a good book?

Thanks for a whole list of new books to love. My TBR pile grows as we speak....

Nancy said...

Susan said: Thanks for a whole list of new books to love. My TBR pile grows as we speak....

Yeah, well you did your part there, y'know. *g* With the launch of Money, Honey, coming ever nearer, I expect you'll be doing more of it. I'm looking forward to that.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Pat said: I agree that first impressions can be rather daunting at first, but you couldn't ask for a finer group of friends. They will always have your back, especially Cassondra!

Awww, what a lovely thing to say, Pat! And as to what you said about Cassondra? Hear, hear! Totally correct!

gamistress66 said...

My oldest sister is ultimately to blame for my romance addiction. When just an impressionable youngun’, I went to visit her for a summer vacation. She gave me “Shanna” by Woodiwiss to read and I was hooked and still am ~ 30 yrs or so later. I discovered Johanna Lindsey not long after that and she became one of my first auto buys and still is to this day. Another long time must buy is Garwood (historicals).

It’s nice to find a new author with a large backlist so you don’t have to wait for the next book. But once you get through them, it’s a bummer having to wait. Last year I worked through several authors’ backlists. This year my TBR pile and TBB list seems to grow faster than I can read thanks in no small part to wonderful folks like that banditas & buddies who’ve introduced to so many new & new to me authors (with backlists to catch up on). AHH, but such fun it is trying to make a dent as well as add more to it. ;)

Suzanne – I can understand buy up Garwood’s backlist after it went MIA. Last year, some of my Lindsey & Garwood books went MIA as well. Went to reread or double check on prior book in a series and couldn’t find it, which resulted in a book audit. I know with out a doubt I had bought them, read them and can’t imagine having accidentally giving them away. So I’ve been slowly repurchasing them myself. Keeper shelf books must remain on the keeper shelf! Who knows when I’ll re-indulge in a particular favorite?

As for munchies while reading, popcorn is favorite of mine. Also good is cheese and crackers or pretzels. Now that summer is arriving, ice cream on a hot afternoon while reading on the porch is also good.

Kate Carlisle said...

Pass the nachos, please!! Fabulous post, Nancy and all y'all Banditas who contributed. You're too funny!

I'm about to return to the deep dark recesses of the cave, but first I want to point an accusing finger at whoever brought Kristan Higgins to the Lair. (Joanie, was that you?) I love her. She can't write fast enough for me, so I reread her regularly. And Ms. Anna, I'm another C.S. Harris addict, thanks to you. You pusher, you. ;-)

Jeanne!! Hope he helps you out at the game!

Awww, Suz, thanks for passing me on to your friend Karen! And count me in if you're going on a chocolate raid. :-)

Fabulous post, guys!!

Nancy said...

Gamistress wrote: It’s nice to find a new author with a large backlist so you don’t have to wait for the next book. But once you get through them, it’s a bummer having to wait.

So very true! My TBB and TBR piles grow constantly. *sigh*

I also love Shanna. I have an aged, yellowing copy on my shelf. I hate that your backlist copies disappeared. What a pain!

Nancy said...

Kate, glad you liked it! It was a lot of fun to put together.

I see you're another C.S. Harris fan. We really need to meet her.

Gerri Russell said...


You are just too clever! What a cute story. My TBR pile has left my bedside and now takes up a corner of my office it is so huge! There are a whole lot of Bandita books in the pile. :-)

Nancy said...

Gerri, we had fun putting this together. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

And I know what you mean, alas, by the spreading TBR pile.

Louisa Cornell said...

What a terrific post! I loved it and it definitely was a great way to unwind after work.

I fear you are ALL responsible for the TRB tower that is fast working its way toward a TBR ROOM!!

La Campbell turned me on to C.S. Harris too and my only complaint is that the books don't come out fast enough!

Aha! My fellow Duchesse has the bird! Do make him show a LITTLE decorum, Your Grace!

Snacks? Reese's cups in any size. Nachos and cheese. And a bowl of cereal actually, anything Kashi!

Nancy said...

Hi, Louisa--Glad we could help you unwind! And you must be the sixth or seventh person who's blaming a CS Harris addiction on Anna Campbell.

I assume you'll be here for tomorrow's party? Watch out for Paolo. He's in a bit of a mood.

Donna MacMeans said...

Great post, Nancy - I forgot that Cassondra and Jeanne wired the place with secret spy cams. I could have sworn they said it was for security - not to check on "the boys." Hmmm...wonder where else they've tucked away the vids.

This is absolutely the best place to great recommendations. I wish there were more hours in the day to read, read, read all these fabulous books. You guys are the best!

Bronwyn said...

Nancy, I'm glad to hear you love fantasy! It's mu second love although I don't think I could ever write it. Robin Hobb's new series is a follow on from the Liveship Traders series which I absolutely loved and is up there on my list of faves. This new series isn't as fast paced just yet but the first book was still very good. I just got the second and am already sucked back into her world of dragons and kids with scales. But. Well, here's my problem. I have trouble reading when I'm in editing mode (which I am right now) so I'm seeing heaps of repetative words and other no-no's that are drilled into us as new writers. But! She is still a magical writer and she could probably spell every second word wrong and I would still read a book with her name on it. Such is the 'brand' building I suppose =) Have you read the Soldier Son Trilogy? That was a fantastic one too!

I can't wait till my kids are a little older and I can do things. Last night I was on the couch, laptop on my lap (where it lives) and I had both of the girls snuggled up next to me. I could barely move my arms to type. And the little monsters have caught onto the me time. Apparently I spend too much time in the bath and they groan and moan when I start the fill... He, he, he. Gotta have something don't we?

Cassondra said...

Hi all!

I'm so sorry I slept almost the whole day after reading all night long! :0(

Jeanne, I might need to borrow the rooster to keep me awake the rest of the evening. I have to do laundry and pack for a flight tomorrow!

Loved hearing what everybody else was reading, and who hooked them on new authors.

And do y'all really think Paulo is scared of me? *pouts* I'm trying so hard to be nice to him.

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

**No, no, Paolo, that wasn't a war cry, I promise. Yes, yes, Cassondra has her weapon still holstered. You can go back to making lunch.**

We really do have to get that boy to grow a pair. I'm not that bad!

Maybe the gladiators could take him outside and teach him to fight or something. *pouts again*

Cassondra said...

In answer to Pat, Jeanne said:

Awww, what a lovely thing to say, Pat! And as to what you said about Cassondra? Hear, hear! Totally correct!

Aaaaawwwww! *sniff* Do NOT make me cry! I am such an ugly crier! *sniff*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: Jeanne, I might need to borrow the rooster to keep me awake the rest of the evening. I have to do laundry and pack for a flight tomorrow! can take him! Sheesh. He was pretty helpful today, altho I hate to admit it. He's not bad at filing. However, he managed to convince some sweet young thing at the baseball game - youth league, mind you - that the opposing coach was really a mafia "wiseguy" and that his yelling "C'mon, Drew, you're a hitter, be a hitter!" meant something entirely different.

Dratted bird!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: We really do have to get that boy to grow a pair. I'm not that bad!

Really, we do.

I think it was the dragon that started this because he interviewed so well, didn't even flinch when the cannon went off.


Then the old girl set fire to his pants. *eye roll* Donna wasn't happy about THAT reimbursement, but hey, what can you do?

Nancy said...

Donna wrote: Hmmm...wonder where else they've tucked away the vids.

Now, there's a thought! Could be interesting.

Glad you like the finished product, and thanks so much for your part in it. Alas, yes, this is the place to find additions for the TBR mound. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Bronwyn, my favorite was the Assassin trilogy--the first 3 with Fitzchivalry Farseer. In some ways, I prefer the more complex books of the Tawny Man trilogy,but there's Nighteyes and what happens in Book 3, and, well, let's just say I'm glad Fitz got his happy ending.

Have you read those?

I notice those things in a book, too. The other banditas can tell you I'm a little bit hyper about such things, but I've learned, as you have, to move past them when I enjoy the story.

I have not read the Soldier Son trilogy. I got about halfway through Book 1 didn't pick it up again. I keep meaning to.

I'm amazed you can write with kids so close. I never could. As for the bathtub, yes, we gotta have something.

I love fantasy and SF so much that I go to DragonCon in Atlanta every year. It's my purely indulgent weekend. I walk into the lobby of the Atlanta Hyatt, survey the assembled stormtroopers, super-heroes, Starfleet officers, elves, wizards, orcs, Klingons, Jedi, Browncoats, Stargate Command personnel, and assorted mythical creatures, and something deep inside me goes, aaah, yess.

Nancy said...

Cassondra said: We really do have to get that boy to grow a pair. I'm not that bad!

No, you're not. If we're ever in a true fight, I want you at my back! However, you do enjoy yankin' that kid's chain, don't you? *g*

In between being nice, like hiding your weapon.

Not sure the gladiators can help unless they make him really mad first. He's definitely antsy around them.

Have a great trip! We'll miss you.

Nancy said...

Jeanne said: I think it was the dragon that started this because he interviewed so well, didn't even flinch when the cannon went off.

You could be right. I'd forgotten we paid for those pants. That being so, he really has no grounds for complaint. She probably had mislaid her glasses and mistook him for a threat.

Or a treat. *g*

Nancy said...

Jeanne, you took the bird to a youth league baseball game? You're a braver woman than I am!

Suzanne Welsh said...

gamistress...A high five to another Garwood fan. And yes, keeper books should remain on the keeper shelf. Something we Banditas keep trying to impress upon poor Sven!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Louisa: Snacks? Reese's cups in any size. ...

Psst...don't tell Paolo, but there's a giant bag of minature cups in the freezer!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I figured he could cheer - or crow - at least as loud as I could. Grins.

Problem is, there are FEMALES there too...many of whome could care less about baseball and don't mind chatting up a wily cockrel. When he started that bit about the wiseguy...really, I had the WORST time not ROFLMAO.....I had to bring him home. He's watching a recording of NCIS from Tuesday night, the scoundrel.

Nancy said...

Suz, there may be a giant bag of miniature cups in the freezer, but I saw a trail of tiny, crinkled paper cup in the passageway to the "villa." You might want to check your stash when you get the chance.

Nancy said...

Jeanne said: He's watching a recording of NCIS from Tuesday night, the scoundrel.

Whatever keeps him busy and out of trouble. At least the women on that show not only are better armed and smarter than he is but are old enough to see through him!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nancy: but I saw a trail of tiny, crinkled paper cup in the passageway to the "villa." You might want to check your stash when you get the chance....

Those Dang Gladiators....I may have to drag the Godess Sangria in there to do battle with them...Of course true Roman wrestling was done in the buff wasn't it?

Nancy said...

Suz said: Of course true Roman wrestling was done in the buff wasn't it?

I'm pretty sure that's how the Greeks did it. Not sure about the Romans. Her Deityness will know, though.

Barbara Monajem said...

What a fabulous post! (Thanks for mentioning my book, Nancy.)

Book (although not necessarily the last one) that I wouldn't have read if it hadn't been recommended? Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase, a marvelous and unbelievably perfect book.

Next read: I never know until I pick it up and start it, but it might be Soulless by Gail Carringer, which I hear is really great.

Food: Well...I just tried Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and I am already dangerously hooked.

Nancy said...

Hi, Barbara--I loved your book, you know, and it fit perfectly with the theme of the blog.

I've heard good things about Soulless, too.