Friday, December 31, 2010

Launching 2011 in the Lair

    by Nancy

    Happy New Year!!!

    Part of me can't believe we're already in 2011. I remember when that seemed soooo very far away, and now here it is. We're going to have a great year in the Lair, with lots of fabulous guests already set to join us.

    I hope it will be a terrific year for everyone. My fingers are perpetually crossed that the AYUs among the banditas and our buddies make the leap to publication this year and our APs climb the lists. Our Suz, aka Suzanne Ferrell, will debut this year, so stay tuned for details on the celebration.

    I'm looking forward to the completion of the Harry Potter film saga and am glad the movie will come out before the boy leaves home. Our family saw that series begin together, and we'll finish it together.

    I'm also looking forward to the boy going off to college, in a way. We'll miss him terribly, and thinking about his being gone far away makes my heart hurt, but it's such a milestone for him, a big step into adulthood.

    RWA National will be in the capital of publishing, New York City, with lots to see and do in addition to having face time with scattered friends and learning about the business. I always enjoy New York.

    I'm anticipating DragonCon, as always. That's the "let it all hang out" weekend for me, and the dh is getting into the swing. It will be strange without the boy, though.

    To help launch this year in the Lair with plenty of boom, we have a wonderful lineup for January. To start, of course, so many of us and y'all are here today, some of us taking a short break from various football games on TV and others of us seeking refuge from them. There's a lot of noise coming from the gladiator villa, I noticed. Lots of yelling, both enthused and curse-laden. They seem to get seriously into watching burly men crashing into each other.

    Our first guest of 2011, Stephanie Dray, will join us on January 3 to talk about her new YA historical fiction debut, Lily of the Nile, with Christie.

    Anybody besides me notice that the ancient world seems to be very popular in YA these days? Anyone besides me read Mara, Daughter of the Nile as a young adult?

    January 4 brings Sandy Blair back to chat with Suz. A great friend of the Bandits, Sandy is bringing us another Scottish tale in the THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF SCOTTISH ROMANCE. Her story is titled Her MacKinnon.

    On Thursday, 6th January, Anna Campbell hosts historical author Beverley Kendall who will be talking about her fabulous new Regency A TASTE OF DESIRE. Bev runs the popular website The Season and she’s terrifically supportive of her fellow writers – we’re looking forward to giving her a big rambunctious Bandita welcome when she visits. More prizes!

    On January 7 Aunty Cindy brings her good buddy Marie Force back to the Lair to celebrate the release of the second book in her romantic suspense series: Fatal Justice. Don't miss the fun and prizes!

    On January 8, Jennifer St. Giles's alter ego, J. L. Saint, chats with Nancy about her romantic thriller, Collateral Damage. This the first in the Silent Warrior series.

    On Monday, 10th January, Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe returns to the lair as Anna Campbell’s guest to talk about her wonderful new release MISTRESS BY MIDNIGHT. Maggie is lots of fun and we had a great day last time she visited the lair to discuss her debut historical MISTRESS BY MISTAKE. This should be a great day too – with prizes!

    On January 11 we're thrilled to have Regency historical romance writer and Word Wench Cara Elliott with us to chat about her sexy February release, TO TEMPT A RAKE.

    The middle of the month will be just us banditas and our usual coterie of cabana boys and gladiators and hockey hunks. And the dragon, who made out very well during the holidays.

    We can't give you details because those are classified, but I can tell you Christmas Eve was a very near thing for a certain reindeer. Santa refuses to visit the Lair again unless he has a special landing site away from certain flight-capable residents.

    On January 21, NYT Bestseller and Writer Beware co-founder A. C. Crispin joins Nancy to discuss the pitfalls writers should avoid as they dive back into their work during the New Year.

    On January 27, Kate will host Hannah Dennison, author of the Vicky Hill English Village mysteries, who will seek Bandita advice on how poor Vicky might find the right man and cast off her virginity once and for all.

    If the banditas can't help Vicky, I'm sure the gladiators, hockey hunks and cabana boys will have some advice (No, Paolo, she's not looking for volunteers from the Lair. Yes, I'm sure.).

    January 30 is a very special launch party as Tawny celebrates the release of her 10th book, Breaking the Rules. I'm allowed to say it's a Uniformly Hot Book about a battle of wills between a soldier home from Afghanistan and his best friend's kid sister. There will be what Tawny describes as "major prizes," as well as more details about the book.

    On January 31, Kate will host fabulous new author Regan Hastings, whose fiery VISIONS OF MAGIC promises to be the hottest book on the shelves! Who is Regan Hastings? Come get the scoop!

    In bandita news, we have the following:

    Anna Campbell is running a Backlist Bounty for the New Year contest until the end of January. Ten lucky people get their choice of one of Anna’s current books, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN, UNTOUCHED, TEMPT THE DEVIL, CAPTIVE OF SIN or MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. Just email her on and tell her which book you’d like and why.

    For more information, please visit the contest page of her website:

    What are you looking forward to in 2011? What book you read or movie you saw in 2010 was your favorite, and why?Source URL:
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Ah well here's 2011

Three highlights of the year

    Before I forget I would like to highlight three most pleasurable real life encounters with bloggers and other online folk.

    I did not get access to the internet at home until we got a digital set top box from out cable tv suppliers. The box provided very limited internet access and it was via this almost ten years ago that I came across Suzy, an artist who lives on the Wirral. We have kept in touch since, she and her partner have visited us twice but it was not until November that I made a reciprocal visit. A most enjoyable time was had despite freezing weather and a streaming cold. I hadn't ben to Liverpool let alone the Wirral in decades

    Back in 2004 I encountered an American-Argentine fellow with definite anarchist. We both used to go to a left leaning Yahoo chat room which could be quite enjoyable despite the trolls and the room owner who was a Stalinist prick (the owner and I didn't get on, believe it or not!). Anyway I kept in touch with Floyd over the years so it was an utter pleasure to meet him and his beautiful wife Mariela when they came to London in April.

    In July Bob from Brockley arranged a blogger meet. It was good to meet Bob. and quite a few other bloggers including Francis Sedgemore, Kellie Strom, Carl from Raincoat Optimism and Michael Ezra... not that I can match their political analysis

    Ach this will be my last post of the year. Onward to 201!Source URL:
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Dressing in heels

Main's site description:

    Let's start with the basic details for this domain, which is located at with hostname. The site is described as: A useful resource to visit. There are plenty of terms associated with this site . Alexa ranks it among 8 top sites in the world. You can get an idea about the traffic by reading further.

    It has a pagerank 6 and 430,891 backlinks. It received approximately 765,082 daily pageviews and has a potential to earn over $2,695. A site like this, if grows to its maximum potential, might sell for $4,004,514 but that's of course is just an estimate and does not mean it would ever sell for that amount.

    via websitedescription.comSource URL:
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Another year over (almost)

    Well give it 8 hours or so and we will see the back of 2010. It's been a curious year for ,me much of it dominated by knee pain and the swallowing of heroic doses of Tramadol - at least up until the end of August when a second operation sorted out the residual damage. Now ll I get are twinges from the arthiritis.

    Once the knee pain was out of the way I discovered the
    joys of methotrexate, It seems to be clearing up my psoriasis (slowly) but it is no fun to take. Even at the low doses used to treat skin problems I feel crap for a day after I take my weekly dose. Hi ho.

    It was ultimately health issues that made me decide to take voluntary redundancy- that and the prospect of massive job cuts across the civil service over the next few years. I revived a reasonably good settlement so I do not need to work for a while but not enough to set me up in a life of ease until my pension comes, dagnabbit! So I need to find some new employment but not until the new tax year. Whatever I do I intend to try and make at least some of my income from photography

    But I repeat myself. I won't make any new year resolutions as such. If things go a I intend the 2011 will include a lot more photography oh and and some other stuff too. I have it in mind to improve my French, reacquaint myself with basic and a bit more than basic level statistics, improve my Excel, Word and Powerpoint skills, write a CV for the first time since the days when Olivetti typewriters roamed the earth and also lose some of the weight I've gained during my forties. Heaven knows I might even have a shave for the first time since September! I suppose I had also better keep abreast of things in the accountancy world too

    As for the Poor Mouth keeping it going has been a chore at times. I hope to sum up the energy to deal with some of the things that have always particularly interested me. That means more photos posts but also getting back to the backwaters of history I love so much. Expect more on Ireland in WWII (including a major slag off of the IRA), some of the obscure far right parties of the time, minor British collaborators and at long last the end of the Red Cushing saga!

    Come April elfreda ica will be five years old. Around the same time, or maybe a little earlier it should get its millionth visitor. I suppose it goes to show that there are connoisseurs of (ahem) culture out there!

    Anyway, enough of this here's wishing both of my readers a very happy and prosperous new year, despite all attempts by the Toalies to thwart this objective!Source URL:
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Nicole and IU opening performance for the ‘2010 SBS Entertainment Awards‘

PD of ‘Invincible Youth’ takes pictures of the G7 members at the KBS ‘Music Festival’

    The producer of KBS ‘Invincible Youth‘ and ‘Music Bank’, Kim Ho Sang, recently revealed pictures he took of the ‘Invincible Youth’ members at the recently held 2010 KBS ‘Music Festival’.
    On the official Twitter of ‘Music Bank’, the PD tweeted, “The ‘Invincible Youth’ members at the Music Festival”, and uploaded pictures of 4minute’s HyunA, KARA’s Goo Hara, After School’s Jooyeon, and SNSD’s Sunny and Yuri.

    The last episode of KBS 2TV ‘Invincible Youth’ came to a close on December 24th.

    via allkpop.comSource URL:
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auld Lang Syne....

    by Jeanne Adams

    First, on behalf of ALL the elfreda ica, let me wish you a safe, happy New Year's Eve!

    If you're traveling today or tonight, partying, playing, or just staying home with your honey to watch the live festivities on the TV, may it be fun, cozy, happy, sexy, loving, delicious and fabulous, all rolled into one ROCKIN' New Year's Eve!

    So what ARE you planning tonight?

    I'd like to say we're planning some ritzy, party-filled evening here in DC, but alas, t'isn't so. We're going to pop over to a neighbor's house for a pot luck which should be fun. And my eldest wants to stay up till midnight, but other than making popcorn for him, and making sure our scared-of-fireworks dog has her last outing BEFORE midnight, we'll be homebodies, doin' nuthin' special. Grins.

    I have to confess that one of these years, maybe when my boys are a bit older, I'll plan something spectacular for New Years. I'm not big on crowds, so probably NOT Times Square, but, perhaps the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, just me and the darling hubby. Get a suite, bottle of champagne, great view of the Capitol fireworks....

    Yeaaaaaaah. I'd love that.

    Or maybe one year we'll take the boys and go skiing somewhere delicious, like Tahoe, or Aspen or up in British Columbia where the Olympics were this winter. (This would be predicated on a big contract, winning the lottery or some such, but hey, it's my imagination and I can make it whatever I want, right?) We'd spend the day skiing, have a great dinner, then "retire" to the lodge bar for toddies and a view out the big glass windows of the fireworks over the slopes.

    Another cool New Years Eve celebration to me, would be to be at a Disney Resort for New Years Eve. Again, not big on the crowds, but I think it would probably be an amazing show, all things considered. After seeing the "regular day" fireworks there this summer, when we were there for RWA National, I can only imagine how fabulous a special event set of fireworks would be. Wow...

    The ski vacation notwithstanding, I usually like to be home on New Years Eve. So I guess another fantasy event would be to host a huge, fabulous, Bandita-filled New Year's event at my house.

    Since I'm fantasizing here that no one would have to work on New Years (Suz!) and everyone could travel here to DC, I'd get everyone in by plane, train or automobile, get some limos lined up, and just have one big "Throw down" for the whole crew.

    Talk about a party! I'm not sure my neighbors could survive a Bandita Party in the 'hood. I'd have to be sure and invite them all so they didn't call the cops when the music got too loud, and the shield sledding started. (My hill isn't quite what the hill behind the Lair is, but it'll do nicely.)

    Then there's the Lair. Oh. My. Goodness.

    Given the usual state of the Lair, post-party - especially launch parties - I'm thinking it would be dangerous, and ill-advised to turn Sven and the guys (not to mention The Goddess Sangria!) loose in the Lair for a party on New Years Eve. Ermingarde would probably want to have a flaming boulder drop instead of a ball-drop. Then again, a toga-and-trouser-drop at midnight might be on tap (so to speak!) if Sangria had anything to do with the festivities. *shaking head, glad it isn't happening!*

    We don't have a lot of rules around The Lair, as most of you know. The Lair's a pretty...flexible...environment. Grins. However, anything that might cause:

    1.) Destruction of said Lair;
    2) Discovery of said Lair as the den of iniquity it really is;
    3) The Police to be Called (see #2);
    4) Seriously annoy the dragon (see #5);
    or 5) Thereby cause Fire, or Pestilence, or overall bleeding OR
    6) Disruption of the Deadline-driven, Cave-dwelling Writers is HIGHLY frowned upon.

    Hence, no New Years Eve celebration IN the Lair. Can you imagine it? Eeeek!

    Just. Too. Dangerous. (Snork.)

    Now, you've heard some of my ideas about where I'D like to spend a fabulous New Years, what about you?

    Going out? Party? Planned or spontaneous?

    Staying in? Party or going to bed before ten?

    What's the New Years Eve Dream Destination for you? The Bahamas? Turkey? London? New York? Brussels? Honolulu? Or your hometown, with the guy you crushed on in high school?

    Hey, it's your fantasy too...whatcha' got? Sexy? Skiing? Fine wine and food? Bubbly? A boat ride, cruise, or other destination vacation?

    And what's the absolute BEST New Years you've ever had? Mine was the year I got married to the DH...the last New Years as "just a couple" rather than parents. Pretttty coooool. *wiggles eyebrows*

    And the best movie with a New Years scene? For me, the New Year's scene at the end of The Holiday (Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet); and Queen Latifah in Last Holiday. That black evening suit, with the black bow in her hair, when she thinks she's gonna die....perfect. LOVE that movie!

    Okay, ladies and gents, let's DISH about YOUR New Years Eve!!! (Reality optional) Source URL:
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Rich liberals raise taxes on Poor. For their own good.

    Four of the richest men in America, all liberal Democrats, are endorsing the Obama plan to raise taxes on cigarettes and beer.
    $54 Billion

    Dec. 30, 2010. President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya, has proposed broad tax increases on unhealthy items consumed by poor people. If Congress passes these initiatives poor people can expect huge tax hikes on tobacco products, alcohol, snack foods, and other unhealthy products routinely consumed by those living below the poverty level.

    "By increasing the prices of these things we can curb consumption, and thereby improve the health of poor people in America" he told us via phone from his resort hotel in Hawaii. "And if they live longer, they will enjoy receiving more entitlements from the government."

    $18 Billion
    Bill Gates, spokesman for the new group "Billionaires For Obama" echoed the President's thoughts: "We support higher taxes across the board for both the poor and the middle class." 

    "You can even raise our taxes if you want, because we don't pay any taxes anyway. We hire smart Jewish lawyers and accountants so we can legally evade paying taxes."

    Gates went on to explain that "We didn't get rich by handing all our money over to the government. That's something only fools and Republicans do."

    $45 Billion
    Michael Bloomberg, another member of the group added, "Poor people need to stop drinking and smoking. So they can enjoy welfare life longer. Raising their taxes just helps these people quit their bad habits and start living a healthier lifestyle."

    Warren Buffett added, "This is especially important since President Obama has created so many more poor people in America. And thanks to the Obama economic policies, much of the middle class will soon be joining this group in poverty."

    Mr. Buffett emphasized that "President Obama has really done a spectacular job of destroying the middle class. If unemployment trends continue for a few more months, there will be more people in poverty, and these are always the easiest people for us to control."

    $14.2 Billion
    Wall Street financial wizard George Soros pointed out the financial opportunity these new taxes will bring to poor people. 

    "The poor should do like am doing and invest a few hundred million in shorting tobacco and alcohol stocks. If they play their cards right, they won't be poor for very long."

    "This is really a wonderful thing President Obama is doing for America. With any luck we should have 200 million poor people by the end of President Obama's first term."

    Mr. Soros said he is willing to spend "whatever it takes" to get President Obama reelected in 2012.
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Baby quilts

My favourite photo of 2010

BeefEater’s Signature Series Gold Plated SL4000 Grill

Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sold Out

Departed this life – part IV

    The last few months of the year do not seem to be rich pickings for notable or obscure deaths of interest to this warped mind still here goes.

    Eileen Nearne, whose body was discovered on 2 September, had been an SOE operative during WWII. Codenamed Rose, she was flown in to France on 1944 to work as a wireless operator for the Wizard network, one of several SOE operations in the country.

    In July 1944 her transmitter was detected and she was arrested. After torture by the Gestapo she was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp where she refused to do prison work. She was then transferred to a forced labour camp in Silesia. On 13 April 1945 she escaped with two French girls from a work gang. After arrest and release by the SS they were reportedly reportedly hidden by a priest in Leipzig until the arrival of United States troops.

    Nearne was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government but just a measly MBE by our own government.

    She died alone from a heart attack in her seaside flat. Her body is thought to have remained undiscovered for some time until found on 2 September 2010. She was 89 years old. Her wartime activities were not generally known about. It was only when her flat was being searched by council workers to try to establish her next-of-kin that medals and other papers related to her war career were found.

    Her funeral was paid for by the Royal British Legion

    On 12 September French film director Claude Chabrol died at the age of 80

    28 October saw the death of James MacArthur, the original Hawaii 5-0 Danno. The phrase “Book him Danno, Murder One” is a treasured childhood televisual memory. Accept no substitutes! Even if the remake features Grace Park!

    29 October saw the death of Geoffrey Crawley, former editor in chief of the British Journal of Photography, at the age of 83. In the 1980s he finally laid to rest the Cottingley Fairies hoax.

    Sycophant Adrian Paunescu died on 5 November. Paunescu was infamous for being Nicolae Ceausescu’s court poet. That job ended in 1989 when his master mysteriously died of lead poisoning… I featured one of his atrocious works at the time of his death.

    On 21 November Prince Chunk died at the age of 10 of heart complications Chunk was at one time 44lbs, just two lb short of the absolute record for the fattest cat. Robyn at one time weighed nearly 17lbs and we thought he was a big fellow… then again he was never a fasto, just a large cat!

    Captain Beefheart is the last person of note (for me anyway) to die this year. Like his foodstuff namesake his music was very much an acquired tasteSource URL:
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