Monday, May 31, 2010

The Lair is Hot in June!





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

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

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



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







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















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











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










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



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





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


    We have one contest this month.

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

    Whew! What a month! So fill up the lemonade (or margarita) glass, plop under a beach umbrella and prepare to have fun!
    Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Tattoo Design

Hong Kong Egg Tarts

    I love Dim Sum and would love to go 'Yum Cha' which is our term for having a meal in the Dim Sum Restaurant, in any cities i visit.  Egg Tarts are one of the favorites to order.  The Egg Tarts served in most Dim Sum Restaurants are made with flaky pastry and they are so well baked with perfection, the pastry so light and flaky, the custard is smooth and sweet..  I have tried baking them but found it very challenging.  Have not been happy with my results and am still trying.  And, until i make some good flaky pastry egg tarts,  these Hong Kong  Egg Tarts which has shortcrust pastry, were accepted with glee by Renee,  she ate these in Hong Kong and loved them.




    Ingredients:

    Crust:

    8 ozs all-purpose flour
    2 ozs powdered/confectioner's sugar
    a pinch of salt
    4 1/2 ozs chilled butter - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract

    Custard Filling:
    3 large eggs
    4 ozs fine granulated sugar (take away 1 tbsp for lesser sweetness)
    225 ml  hot water
    3 fl ozs evaporated milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 drops of yellow yolk food coloring

     
     
     
     
     
    Method:
     
    To Make The Crust:
     
    Put all-purpose flour, powdered sugar and salt into the food processor and pulse to mix.
     
    Add in chilled cubed butter and pulse until fine breadcrumb like.
     
    Add vanilla extract to beaten egg and then add into flour mixture with the machine running and stop machine as soon as the dough is formed.  Do not overmixed.
     
    Remove and wrap dough with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
     
    To Make the Filling:
     
    Put sugar and water in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 to 1/2 minutes and stir until sugar dissolves.
     
    Add in evaporated milk, food coloring and vainlla, stir well.
     
    Beat eggs lightly and add in to the above.
     
    Pass through a very fine sieve, then fold a piece of kitchen towel into a strip and then run it over the top of the egg mixture to remove the bubbles.
     
    Leave aside while you prepare the tarts.
     
    To prepare the tarts:
     
    Grease the tart moulds lightly.
     
    Remove chilled dough, knead lightly and divide into small pieces(for my tart moulds, i use 3/4 oz).
     
    Form dough into a tiny disk that will fit the base of the mould, then using the thumb, press dough so that it comes up the side of the mould.  Dough can be slightly higher than the mould but not too much - higher will allow more room for more filling but if too high, it will form a lip as this dough recipe is very soft.)
     
    Repeat until all the tart moulds are formed.  Formed tart moulds can be kept in the fridge well wrapped until you need to bake them.
     
    Preheat oven to 450 f and put the rack to the lowest rung of the oven.(Friends at sea-level can bake @ 400f)
     
    Fill the formed tart moulds with egg filling to slightly lower than the rim, do not overfill.
     
    Bake @ 450f for 10 mins and then lower the lower the heat to 400 f(sea-level @ 375 f) for another 15 minutes.  Baking time differs from the size of the tart moulds, so visual monitoring is important.  The crust has to be browned and the custard should not be overcooked.  The custard will puff slightly - yes slightly, then it is a sign for doneness,  you might have to remove some of the tarts which will cook faster than the rest as there are hot spots in most oven.  If  the custard puffs up and the crust is not brown enough, the oven door can be opened and left ajar for a while to lower the temperature in the oven, then it can be closed to finish the baking) 
     
    Good luck and enjoy.
     
     
    Serves
    Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Girl Tattoo For Back Body

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Special Library Visit

    posted by josh hasrey

    The DH and I just returned from a little jaunt to Utah and Colorado for our anniversary, and a fun time was had by all, especially when I discovered both The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice in the Pikes Peak Library District collection!

    We had visited Arches National Park and then Canyonlands both in Utah before we decided to drive up Pikes Peak in Colorado. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the ranger station, we were told that the summit was closed due to 90 mph winds! ACK! We definitely didn't want to go up there even if they would have permitted us!

    Instead, we drove back into town to the historic section called Colorado City. As soon as I spotted the beautiful old Carnegie library building, I urged my DH to stop. The library I'd loved so much as a child was a Carnegie building too!

    My DH dropped me off and I went inside to check my email. Since I didn't have a reservation, I could only use the internet for 15 minutes, but that was enough time to get my daily fix! So when I was done, just for the heck of it, I decided to put my name in the library 'author search.' To my complete surprise and delight, both The Wild Sight and The Treasures of Venice popped up!

    Matter of fact, The Treasures of Venice was in the very library branch where I was standing! With my heart a-flutter, I logged off the computer and went in search of 'the paperback collection.' After a few minutes of walking around, I discovered that all of 'the paperback collection' was contained on two sets of bookshelves (this was a small library after all).

    And there was MY book, on the top of the second set of shelves! How lucky to have my name start with "M" because A through L occupied the first shelf and M through Z the second. With such a small collection of paperbacks, I felt even more special to have The Treasures of Venice included! Best of all, as my DH pointed out when he came in a few minutes later and I dragged him over to see, the pages looked ruffled.

    Someone had definitely checked the book out and read it!

    I spent many happy hours in the library as a child and even more as an adult, so finding my book in a small library in another state was a very big thrill for me! Plus this was my first time seeing any of my books actually on the shelf in any library. As a child, I used to read all those author names on the spines of all those books and imagine how wonderful it must feel to have a book you wrote sitting there for people to read. Well, now I know, and IT FEELS GREAT!

    What about you? Do you have any special memories of libraries? Please share them with us here in the Lair. I know I missed the recent late night reading session, but we can certainly have another one. Please share what you are reading for this lovely weekend. SHHHH! Just don't tell Sven, the gladiators, and the new guy, Paolo!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Sarah Jessica Parker Sex and the City 2 London Premiere

    Last year, we loved Sarah Jessica Parker‘s iconic pale green Alexander McQueen dress and butterfly-covered Philip Treacy hat that she wore during the the Sex and the City world premiere way back in London in 2008.
    Alexander McQueen,Celebrities,Red Carpet,Fashion StylesAlexander McQueen,Celebrities,Red Carpet,Fashion Styles
    This 2009, for the London premiere of Sex and the City 2, Sarah Jessica Parker went for a black silk and lace bustier archive gown from Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 2008 line with a clutch from McQueen’s pre-fall 2010 collection and pre-fall 2008 lace shoes. To complete her stunning look, she had a black tulle cloud by Philip Treacy to compliment her sleek blonde locks.

    Source: People.com
    Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Friday, May 28, 2010

On This Day in History

    On this day 40 years ago, in a small town in Kentucky, I was born. No matter how many times I do the math, I can't believe I'm 40. I don't feel 40.

    Curious about what else might have happened on all the May 29th dates in history, I did a little research and here's what I found:

    In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks, who renamed it Istanbul.

    In 1660, Charles II was restored to the English throne after 11 years of commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. It happened to be Charles' 30th birthday. (Interesting, since I just started watching the first season of The Tudors.)

    In 1765, U.S. patriot Patrick Henry presented the Virginia Resolutions and said, "If this be treason, make the most of it." It was his 29th birthday.

    In 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

    In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state.

    In 1903, Bob Hope was born.

    In 1917, John F. Kennedy was born.

    In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first mountain climbers to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

    In 1958, Annette Bening was born in Topeka, Kansas.

    In 1959, actor Adrian Paul (of TV's Highlander) was born.

    Okay, everyone, play along. What historic things happened on your date of birth? With whom do you share a birthday?

    And for everyone in the U.S., have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy those cookouts! I know I will.Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Reckless Launch Winners!

    Oh, my aching head! Thanks so much to everyone for a wonderful launch day on the Bandits yesterday! I had real trouble picking three winners, but after much ado, they are:

    Chelley (who deserves a book after dealing with the chook!)

    Danielle Ferries

    S7anna


    Congratulations, girls! Please email me on anna@annacampbell.info with your snail mail details and I'll sort out your books for you!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Tattoos Pictures

Round Crimped Loaf Bread

    I don't know if this bread is still available in Malaysia as this bread was my favorite.  It was there way before sliced sandwich bread and the crimp gave guide to slicing into very thin slices,  Bread of yesteryears was from cottage industry and mostly made by Hainanese (yes, the same clan who introduced the famous - Chicken Rice and Kopi(coffee)).  The bread made was white bread , tall with a lovely rounded brown top.  These bread was fantastic for making 'roti kiap' but the only set back is that this bread can taste very sour sometimes - not very consistent with the oven, which was wood fired.  Ah!  'roti kiap'  - how i miss it!!  =  2 slices of soft white bread cut into about 1 inch thick, squished(not really squished) with a grill basket and put over the charcoal stove.  Gone are the days of charcoal grilling, the bread toaster has conquered the kitchen. Oops, off track, sorry, now back to the round crimped bread -  this style of bread must be a legacy of the British and i found in the net that the moulds for this bread could be from 1800's.

    Ingredients:

    1 egg plus water to make 1 cup
    2 tbsp sugar
    2 tbsp powdered milk
    1 tsp salt
    2 tbsp oil
    2 cups bread flour
    1 cup whole meal flour
    1 1/2 tsp instant yeast

    Method:

    Put in egg and water into bread machine bowl, then follow by the other ingredients ending with the instant yeast on top.

    Select the 'dough' function and press start.

    When bread is ready, remove from bowl and shape into a log - length to fit the size of the bread mould.  Lock the mould and leave bread to proof.  It will take 1 - 2 hrs depending on the weather.  To check if the bread has packed the mould, give a tap on the top of mould and it should not sound hollow.

    Bake in preheated 375 f oven for 45 mins.

    Remove and let it rest for 10 minutes before opening the mould.

    Cool bread before slicing.

    enjoy


    Serves
    Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Scrub your lips with Lush

    Mad about Lush? Nah... been there, done that. I went through a Lush phase about two years ago and tried the bath bombs (or whatever they're called), the soaps, the massage bars, the hair products, the foot cream... you name it, all the bestsellers. I tried them for a few weeks, then gave everything away to friends. I don't like their packaging and the smells are sometimes too overpowering. Lush is not really my thing.

    But never say never. I recently read about the new Mint Julips Lip Scrub. Now, I don't usually need to exfoliate my lips but the past few weeks they've not been as soft as I like them to be... so I thought I would give this a try.


    Because it is a sugar scrub, and I am paranoid of having ants and other sugar-loving creepy-crawlies in the house, for my first try I stood at the kitchen sink and applied a tiny bit (you really don't need much) to my lips. I have since given it a home in the bathroom so I can scrub away in the bath or after I've washed my face in the morning or at night.

    And what can I say? Wow! It's an exfoliator all right, the bits are big enough that you can really 'scrub' your lips with them. The sugar dissolves after about 20 seconds of rubbing. At this point, I'm not sure if other people lick the rest off?... but I rinse my lips with water. It leaves an oily film behind - that's the peppermint oil. The fragrance is quite nice (I'm sure many would say delicious), it reminds me of After Eight mints.


    There was a pleasant tingling sensation for about three minutes after scrubbing. To finish, apply the Baume de Rose lip balm by Terry and voilĂ , perfect lips. Amazing scrub!

    This is much better than the only other lip scrub product that I own - a limited edition thing from MAC, called Prep and Prime Microfine Lip Refinisher, that is half scrub, half lip balm. Nice idea but the black bits don't dissolve and it's not as creamy as the Lush one.


    What is your favourite lip scrub?Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Avenue Cage the Elephant Tickets

    Originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Cage the Elephant formed in 2005 with influences from The Beatles, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana & more. These guys will be coming to First Avenue on Monday, June 28th at 5:30 pm. Ticket King has a great supply of First Avenue Cage the Elephant tickets for the upcoming show for just $45 per ticket. Remember that your tickets can easily be picked up from our Minneapolis office located at 212 Chicago Avenue.Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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First Avenue Cage the Elephant Tickets

    Originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Cage the Elephant formed in 2005 with influences from The Beatles, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana & more. These guys will be coming to First Avenue on Monday, June 28th at 5:30 pm. Ticket King has a great supply of First Avenue Cage the Elephant tickets for the upcoming show for just $45 per ticket. Remember that your tickets can easily be picked up from our Minneapolis office located at 212 Chicago Avenue.Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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She and Him First Avenue Tickets

    The indie folk band She & Him will be making a stop at First Avenue in just over a week. The performance will take place on Saturday, June 5th at 6 pm in the main room at First Avenue. If you haven't purchased your She and Him First Avenue tickets yet, don't worry- Ticket King has a few left for just $60 per ticket. She & Him have released two studio albums since their debut in 2006 and have plans to tour Europe this year after their United States tour. Get your She & Him tickets today before they're sold out!!!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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She and Him First Avenue Tickets

    The indie folk band She & Him will be making a stop at First Avenue in just over a week. The performance will take place on Saturday, June 5th at 6 pm in the main room at First Avenue. If you haven't purchased your She and Him First Avenue tickets yet, don't worry- Ticket King has a few left for just $60 per ticket. She & Him have released two studio albums since their debut in 2006 and have plans to tour Europe this year after their United States tour. Get your She & Him tickets today before they're sold out!!!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Blog award!

    Who wants to talk awards?! I'm very pleased that I have received another blog award - this is my second one. I have a lot of friends and readers to thank, and I shall start with... Mr Pineapple Man, who gave me this bright orange sunshine award! Thank you! I'm not sure it really goes with my pink and white blog background but I'm proud to display it nonetheless!

    I'm so happy that my blog is off to such a good start. It's proving to be a lot of fun. Every day I can look forward to beauty, inspiration, pictures of deliciousness, product reviews... from all over the world! The best part is... the dialogue, the interaction with all of you. I'm grateful to all my lovely followers who read and comment regularly - I love to hear from you!


    The rules are:
    1. Put the logo on your blog.
    2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
    3. Link to the nominees within your post.
    4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
    5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.

    I am passing this award on to these lovely followers first (rest will follow... some other time):

    exPress-o
    Lipstick Rules
    Loveaudrey
    The Alternative Wife
    The Zhush

    Congratulations!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bob Marley Tattoo

Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays Tickets

    Holiday weekends are always a lot of fun during the baseball season, but this year will be especially fun for the Minnesota Twins with their new outdoor stadium. Independence day falls on a Sunday this year and the Minnesota Twins will be playing a series against the Tampa Bay Rays from Thursday, July 1st through Sunday the 4th. If you haven't made plans for the Independence Day weekend yet, this is your chance to get a great deal on Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays tickets from Ticket King! We have seats starting as low as $30 for Thursday's game; $50 for Friday; $57.50 for Saturday or $50 for Sunday. Get yours now while our selection is at it's best!!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays Tickets

    Holiday weekends are always a lot of fun during the baseball season, but this year will be especially fun for the Minnesota Twins with their new outdoor stadium. Independence day falls on a Sunday this year and the Minnesota Twins will be playing a series against the Tampa Bay Rays from Thursday, July 1st through Sunday the 4th. If you haven't made plans for the Independence Day weekend yet, this is your chance to get a great deal on Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays tickets from Ticket King! We have seats starting as low as $30 for Thursday's game; $50 for Friday; $57.50 for Saturday or $50 for Sunday. Get yours now while our selection is at it's best!!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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The O'Shaughnessy Jewel Tickets

    If you're a fan of Jewel and still haven't purchased your Jewel tickets for the show coming up in just over a week, it's NOT too late! The show will be next Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm at the O'Shaughnessy in Saint Paul. Ticket King still has a nice selection to choose from starting at just $67 each for main floor seats in row K. You may even get a chance to hear music from her upcoming ninth studio album scheduled for release on June 8th. Don't wait, these tickets won't last much longer!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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The O'Shaughnessy Jewel Tickets

    If you're a fan of Jewel and still haven't purchased your Jewel tickets for the show coming up in just over a week, it's NOT too late! The show will be next Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm at the O'Shaughnessy in Saint Paul. Ticket King still has a nice selection to choose from starting at just $67 each for main floor seats in row K. You may even get a chance to hear music from her upcoming ninth studio album scheduled for release on June 8th. Don't wait, these tickets won't last much longer!Source URL: http://castleofrock.blogspot.com/2010/05/
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