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    The Hitchhiking Bride – LAST DAY of the Romance Bandits Invasion.
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  • Published: Jan 30th, 2009

Bride hitching Today is our last day with the Romance Bandits and what a perfect way to end an amazing week. We have Donna MacMeans, Kirsten Scott, Caren Crane and Nancy Northcott. These four fabulous authors chose “Hitchhiking Bride” as their photo. And what with the Texas skyline and mass murderers, get your thinking caps on and let loose. It’s your last chance to let your creative muse run wild with the Bandits.  Each vignette is almost complete, it only needs a line or two…

Today one lucky and final winner will receive, a signed copy of THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT by Donna MacMeans, two lovely bookmarks, $20 Amazon gift certificate, and a Romance Bandits journal (again, I want that).

Vignette 1 by Donna MacMeans

“What have we here?”  Colt Derwent peered at the figure in white, then pushed Donna_MacMeansDerek’s arm to wake him up.  “Damsel in distress at two o’clock.”
Derek pried an eye open.  “Dude.  She’s wearing a bridal gown.  She’s just looking to pick up a husband.”
“Then why is she hitching in the opposite direction of Reno?  I’m pulling over.”
“I’m telling you this is a mistake.  Just because this car is silver, doesn’t make you some kind of knight.  She’s probably got some big brute behind a bush waiting to jump out and steal the car.”
Colt laughed. “Steal the car?  Really?  With you sitting in it?”
“Wait!  I’m just saying — Look, if she’s got car trouble, where’s her car?  Huh?”
But Colt had already braked to a stop.  He pushed the driver’s door open then eased his way out.  He tipped his Stetson.  “May I be of assistance?”

Award-winning author Donna MacMeans publishes witty and seductive Victorian historicals with Berkley Sensation.  To read more about her upcoming April historical release and her historical paranormal novel currently nominated for Romantic Times Bookreviews Historical Love and Laughter award, visit

Vignette 2 by Kirsten Scott

Greta did not take her gaze from the dusty sedan bumping down the road. “Hide,” she hissed over herKirsten Scott 1
shoulder. “They’re slowing down.”
“You aren’t going anywhere without me,” a gravelly voice rejoined. “I don’t know what good it does for me to hide.”
“Because people like brides.” She gritted her teeth and fixed a hopeful – but suitably pathetic – smile on her face for the driver ahead. “People stop for brides. People do not stop for six foot tall, muscle-bound detectives with three days of stubble and a bad attitude.”
“Oh, my attitude is bad? Forgive me, hon, but since I met you I’ve been beat up, had my car stolen, and been left by the side of the road with a crazy woman who thinks she’s Nancy Drew. In a prom dress.”
“Wedding dress, and they’ll bring back your car after we get the jewels. Now hide!”

Kirsten Scott believes the world would be a better place if everyone would read a few more romance novels. You can usually find her blogging with the Romance Bandits on the first Saturday of the month.

Vignette 3 by Caren Crane

CarenCrane Tulle and Texas dust didn’t mix. Any girl stupid enough to try and marry Montgomery Calvin Blair III was bound to find that out.
The setting sun kissed my bare shoulders and a breeze shivered over them, reminding me how fast temperatures dropped in a Texas April after sunset. Why I let Calvin choose this Godforsaken farm for our hoedown of a wedding I would never know.
Well, that’s not true. I knew full well his loaded daddy was paying for the whole thing, so I let the entire pack of Blairs run over me roughshod. Now that I’d left Montgomery’s cheating, lying, overbearing self at the altar, I regretted playing doormat.
I’d been gone five long minutes already. Soon someone would notice the missing scooter, open window and overall lack of bride. I needed to escape. Please, God, let this car be anyone besides a late wedding guest.

Caren Crane is, was and always will be as Southern as buttermilk biscuits and country ham. She can’t keep that out of her award-winning women’s fiction…and doesn’t even try.

Vignette 4 by Nancy Northcott

If only she’d seen the connections yesterday, Gillian thought, sticking out her thumb.  She would be Nancy_norhtcott with the unit now, armed and wearing full gear, closing in on the mass murderer called Smoke.  Wouldn’t have hurt and humiliated Sam.
A truck roared by.
Her throat tightened, and a steel fist squeezed her heart.  Last night, Sam had teasingly said, “Babe, promise me you won’t go save the world tomorrow, that you’ll be in church at six.”
She’d promised, they’d laughed together, and now . . . Her cell phone and car were dead, and asking Sam for a ride–explaining, as he would rightly demand–would’ve caused a shattering quarrel and raised questions she didn’t have time to answer.  Might never get to answer if he didn’t forgive her.
A familiar gray sedan roared toward her.  Her heart lurched.  The car stopped, and the tall, angry driver got out.
Nancy Northcott loves romance, history, adventure, and magic in any and all combinations. Visit her on the web at

The Trouble With Moonlight

Add the last line, or two, or three, to one or all of the vignettes to be eligible to win : a signed copy of THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT by Donna MacMeans, two lovely bookmarks, $20 Amazon gift certificate, Romance Bandits journal.

231 Responses to “The Hitchhiking Bride – LAST DAY of the Romance Bandits Invasion.”

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  1. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:13 am

    Oh my goodness, I love this picture. Wonderful vignettes, fellow Banditas! Donna, yours and Kirsten’s could be part the same story. I love a man with a Stetson. And Nancy Drew in a prom dress, whoa!

    Great first line, Caren. Already I don’t want lying-a** Calvin to get this girl!

    Uh, oh, poor Gillian. Poor Sam!

    Can’t wait to see these endings.

  2. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:14 am

    Uh, I was first commenter. Does that mean Sven’s coming back to my house to give me a foot massage. Yeah, right, a . . . foot massage!

  3. DarleneW
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:31 am

    I popped in for a peek. Have to be up for work in 5 hours so I don’t have time but will be back… ah…. on Vignette #2

    Kirsten Scott believes the world would be a better place if everyone would read a few more romance novels. You can usually find her blogging with the Romance Bandits on the first Saturday of the month.

    I am presuming this is not suppose to be part of the vignette? I do not mean to offend anyone.

  4. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:32 am

    Hi, Jo–

    It’s okay with me for you to have Sven over. Dunno what the rest of the Friday group wil have to say about it. 🙂

  5. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:33 am

    You’re right, Darlene. That’s Kirsten’s tag line. So take what’s above that and run with it!

  6. Kate Carlisle
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:36 am

    Hi gang! I’m just finishing up Day 4 and here y’all are at Day 5 already! You chose a great picture of the hitchhiking bride, and I love these vignettes! You’re all amazing! Love you! But sorry, Sven’s coming with me, bwahahahahahaa!

  7. Helen
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:37 am

    These last few days have been fun and I am going to play again

    1. Yes please get me out of here quickley before they catch up.I need to get back to the cop shop to report a kidnapping

    2.The car pulled over and the driver leaned over and opened the door Well howdy honey what you doing out here by yourself. Greta jumped in the car as her partner came out from the bushes and jumped in the back seat the driver was stunned as the extra passenger said drive on buddy and quickley

    3. The driver was smiling as he pulled over late for your wedding honey. You have to help me get away. Are you running from Calvin Blair I owe that son of a bitch get in love where to.

    4. Sam don’t look at me like that I promise to explain everything but I need to get back to the unit something has come up in the investigation into Smokey.
    Trust me Sam you won’t be sorry.

    Have Fun

  8. Helen
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:38 am

    I could do with a back massage if Sven is obliging today

    Have Fun

  9. Pam Grootemaat
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:41 am

    Thought I’d get in early this time.

    “That depends on whether you’ve got a very big gun,” the woman said. Colt wasn’t sure he’d heard right.
    “My fiance just left me at the alter and I’m going to get him back. A big gun would help. The woman he ran off with needs to die.” Colt groaned. Why did he always end up with crazy ones.

    She ignored him as he sullenly crouched down behind a bush. The car pulled up and a man got out.
    “Madame. You appear to be in trouble. I am Pierre Mountjoy. I am here to help you.” Greta nearly laughed at the man who stood before her.
    “Ah…yes. Well. We need your car.”
    “We,” he questioned. Jake burst from the bushes and strode towards the car. He grabbed the man as he went and shoved him towards the passenger side door.
    “Hey, stop that you evil man. I am rescuing this woman. How dare you interrupt.”
    “Get in,” Jake roared. Greta hurried around the to the other side of the car but couldn’t stop giggling, even if she did feel sorry for poor Pierre.

    The man who got out looked like a Blair, except that he looked like he’d bypassed the pompous snob trait and gone right to the smoking hot dish trait.
    “Can I help you,” he said.
    “Um sure. You heading anywhere except the Blair’s place,” she said. He considered her for a moment.
    “Depends. Are you dumping my two faced prick of a cousin,” he said.
    “I might be,” she said.
    “Then no. I’m turning around right about here and heading back to New York.” She gaped for a moment then went into action. She tossed him her boquet and almost sprinted around to the passenger door. This had to be Cayden Blair, the family black sheep.

    “I can explain,” she said.
    “I’m sure you can,” Sam’s look was murderous and she knew if she survived today their relationship was probably over.
    “Haynes called. Get in the car. Seems we have a muderer to catch,” he growled. Gillian blinked for a moment.
    “What no argument,” she blurted. With one swift move he hauled her into his arms and kissed her with such scorching intensity she thought she might faint, and she did not want to faint right now. Sam broke off the kiss and gently pushed her towards the car.
    “I think that about says it all.”

  10. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:45 am

    Thanks, Kate, but you know you don’t get to keep Sven! Jo and Helen both want his, er, assistance.

    Your book is due any day! I’m sooo excited for you!

  11. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:46 am

    Helen, I love your #3! Looks like you’ll have to arm-wrestle both Kate and Jo for Sven, though.

  12. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:48 am

    Pam, you did, indeed, get in early. I’m staying up late so I can get a start on responding.

    LOL on the first line of #1! I really like your #2.

  13. Leslie
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:53 am

    Hello Banditas! It’s been fun reading all the vignettes and the reader contributions. Here’s my attempt:

    Vignette 1 – “Maybe. Do you own a gun and can I borrow it?” said the lovely but very angry bride-to-be.
    “Well, I was thinking more in terms of a ride not a weapon, when I offered assistance,” Colt replied with a grin, thinking she looked cute as hell when she was mad. Of course he wasn’t about to tell her that. She might just get a hold of that gun.

  14. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:04 am

    Hi, Leslie! Glad you’ve enjoyed the vignettes. The banditas have had a blast this week.

    Very cute conclusion for #1!

  15. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:17 am

    Another batch of great vignettes! Here goes:

    Vignette #3: The silver Lexus drew to a stop, the tinted windows hiding the driver from my view. I was leaning over, pressing my face against the cool glass when the driver side door swung open. A cowboy hat rose above the car, and kept rising. The driver was one long, cool drink of water.

    “Get in the car, Claudette.”

    What? No, it couldn’t be — I knew that voice. “My name’s not Claudette…oh. You mean, like that movie.”

    “Yeah, sugar. Just like that movie. Only there won’t be any walls of Jericho keeping us apart tonight. Now hop in, before my dumb-ass brother decides to come chase his runaway bride.”

    “Damn it all to hell, Rafe, I’m not going anywhere with you. I’ve had it up to here with the Blair family.”

    Quick as a snake, he was beside me, his calloused hands hot on my bare shoulders. “You would have had a lot less trouble if you’d picked the right brother in the first place.”

    I gnawed on my fingernail, what was left of it. Damn Blair family. They owed me a set of acrylic nails, at the very least.

    “C’mon, Cassie,” he urged, tweaking me under the chin as if I were five years old. “You know you want to. And you’ve already got your dress. Let’s go to Reno.”

    He was awfully cute, even if he was a blasted Blair. “Make it Vegas, and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

    “Hop in quick, darlin’, before the posse catches up.” It wasn’t easy squashing all that tulle into the front seat of a Lexus, but we managed it. Rafe kept looking back as if the hounds of hell were after us, and seeing it was the Blair family, he was just about right.

    I wasn’t worried, though. Before running away from his daddy’s ranch, I’d taken the precaution of pouring sugar into every blessed gas tank but one. Rafe was to be Calvin’s best man, after all. I had to be absolutely sure the best man won.

  16. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:26 am

    Uh, sorry Kate, but you’re a little thing. I think I can take you! Sven is mine!

  17. Minna
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:06 am

    Becke, I just have to comment on that sugar thing. They tried that pouring sugar into gas tank thing on Mythbusters and what do you know, it actually made the cars run better.

  18. Anna Sugden
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:44 am

    Wow – talk about ending the week with a bang … and a bride LOL. Awesome vignettes, Banditas!

    And the gauntlet has already been thrown down! I sense Friday’s gals will have as tough a time choosing a winner as we did!

    Helen – great job!

    Pat – LOL at the big gun, poor Pierre, the sexy black sheep and even sexier Sam!

    Leslie – ooh – like it!

    Becke – top notch as always! Love the refernce to one of my favourite movies … and the line about being owed a set of nails!

  19. Anna Sugden
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:45 am

    Oh, and while you’re all fighting over Sven, I’ll just sit quietly in a corner and let one of my hockey hunks massage my shoulders 😉

  20. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:56 am

    Jo, I think there was some talk about a Golden Granny for the first poster…I’m not sure she’s materialized, though. You’re better off trying to catch the Golden Rooster on our blog!! We had a lot of fun with this picture. I was floored by how Donna’s and Kirsten’s could have been two sides of the same vignette!

  21. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:58 am

    Darlene, the last bit of Kirsten’s was the bio. It should have been bold like Kirsten! And she forgot to say she is published in YA with the most super-cool book ever…it’s just not out yet! Silly Kirsten.

  22. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:59 am

    I’ll let y’all fight over Sven. I’ve never really been into Nordic men, though I reserve the right to change my mind. 🙂 Now if he were named Paolo or Ricardo…

  23. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:01 am

    Oooh, Helen, a kidnapping! I wonder who was napped? The bride? Her groom? Her little dog? 😉

  24. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:02 am

    Helen, I love that you finished my vignette with a man out for vengeance! I have a feeling he could sweep a girl right off her dyed-to-match pumps!

  25. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:08 am

    Pam, I love the crazy bride in #1! I’m not sure whether I want to see the Bridezilla movie that’s in release now. It looks like it’s not very flattering to women in general, but it DOES look funny.

    #2 – Pierre is a hoot! He sounds a little like the mouse, Savoir Faire. Anyone remember him from the cartoons? “Savoir Faire is everywhere!” 🙂 Or maybe SF mixed with a little Dudley Dooright. Ha!

    #3 – Ooh, the black sheep. I do love a black sheep! I also love a smoking hot dish. Nice job! 🙂

    #4 – I also love a man who can move on after a break-up and maybe even move toward a make-up. Of course, I’ve never MET any men like that, but I love to dream about them.

    Great work, Pam!

  26. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:09 am

    Nancy, do Helen and Jo perhaps have KNIVES that need sharpening? I didn’t know Sven was a professional…tool sharpener. That slayed me yesterday!

  27. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:11 am

    Leslie, I love the vengeance angle in your #1! It cracks me up that everyone wants her to get her hands on weaponry. I mean, she’s armed with high heels, so she could do some damage, but a gun would be more effective!

  28. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:14 am

    Becke, your #3 is wonderful! Especially the sugar in the gas tank. Um…I may or may not know some people who have done such a thing before. That will slow the Blairs down for sure! Love it that she “held out” for Vegas. It’s so much classier than Reno. 🙂

  29. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:15 am

    Minna, honey, if you pour a 5-lb. bag of sugar into the tank of say, a Ford pickup truck, I can guarantee you that once the sugar reaches the business parts of your ignition system, you’ll be hosed. Mythbusters don’t know how to apply a principle sometimes. Then again, they weren’t pissed off women doing it, either. =:-0

  30. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:17 am

    Jo, Kate is a little thing, but so are you! I’d sell tickets to a match where the two of you mud wrestle over Sven.

  31. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:19 am

    Anna, this is a family-type blog. Are you supposed to mention “bang” and “bride” in the same sentence? 🙂 Oh, and I would fight you for one of your hockey players, but you do that fitness boxing and I’m pretty sure you could hurt me…

  32. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:45 am

    Hitchhiking Bride – love this one – and such great vignettes. Sorry about Kristen’s bio – I’ll bold it now – but first my attempt at #1.

    #1 Leah couldn’t believe the way her day was going! Could her luck get any worse? All she wanted to do was get the heck out of Dodge but she’d rather walk the next 100 miles in her satin pumps than get in the car with tall dark and handsome. And then she peered over his shoulder and realized that in fact her daycould get worse – there in the passagenger seat was Derek. That good for nothing man she just left her finace standing at the alter for.

  33. Beth Andrews
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:57 am

    Good morning! I love this picture and the vignettes and ending are fabulous! Each day I find myself wanting more of everyone’s stories *g*

  34. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:58 am

    Kristen I’m so about your bio – I love your vignette, it brought out the tv watching geek in me:

    #2. “Oh, my attitude is bad? Forgive me, hon, but since I met you I’ve been beat up, had my car stolen, and been left by the side of the road with a crazy woman who thinks she’s Nancy Drew. In a prom dress.”

    “Wedding dress, and they’ll bring back your car after we get the jewels. Now hide!”

    “And if you call me hon one more time I’m going to wrap this veil around your mouth.”
    Nancy Drew in a prom dress, Ha, she muttered to herself.
    “I’m definitely the Sydney Bristow of this duo and you’re certainly no Jack, you’re more like Sawyer and trust me I’m definitely getting off of this island. So shut up and hide.”

  35. Hawk
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:58 am


    “May I be of Assistance?” Colt shot a smile at the angelic looking bride in the white gown.
    Derek sat up taller in the passenger’s seat. A tremble passed through his body. The bride had a Nicole Kidmen paleness to her beauty. Her gown was clean but old, must be her grandmother’s hand-me-down. It creeped him out, though he knew it shouldn’t. Lots of brides got married in their mother’s gowns…a tradition, some say. A tradition he never cared for.
    The full body of the gown gave the appearance of her floating over to the front of the car. “Please, I’d be so grateful.”
    “Where you heading?” Colt asked.
    “I’m late for my wedding. Can you take me there?” She headed for the passenger’s side.
    “Ah, sure.” Colt nodded. “What church?”
    Reluctantly, Derek opened his door and slid out, tosses a warning glance at Colt; this was going to be trouble.
    “The Little White Chapel, in Las Vegas,” she said sweetly.
    “Just the way we’re heading. Get in.”
    “Colt!” Derek jumped out of the bride’s path as she passed. A sudden chill in the desert air stood the hairs on his arm. The sensation of cockroaches climbing up his back made him swipe at the nape of his neck. He hissed over the car as the woman disappeared into the front seat. “Don’t you think this is odd? We’re three hours from there and she’s standing out here all alone in a wedding dress?”
    “Shut up and get in. We both might get lucky before the ride is done.”
    Derek slumped in beside the bride as Colt released the brake and head south.
    “So,” Derek glanced at her with his side vision. She appeared normal but she smelled like dirt. “Don’t mind my asking…how’d you get all the way out here? I didn’t see a house or car anywhere.”
    The bride turned and looked at him with soft blue eyes. He shivered. They held a trust that felt too familiar.
    “You know, don’t you?” she said.
    “No.” Derek shook his head. “What?”
    “You’re the one who brought me out here.”
    “What?” His body stiffened.
    “You told me to wait for you,” she said.
    “I don’t know you, lady. It wasn’t me.”
    “Yes, my fiancée.” She looked at Colt. “He brought me out here…I got so hungry. It was cold and dark. There are wolves out here that will eat you, you know.”
    Derek shifted nervously. Something wasn’t right, but what? He looked at her hands. There was no engagement ring! He looked at her bare feet! They were mangled, and there was dried blood between her toes! “Colt! Stop the damn car!”
    Colt slammed on the brakes just as Derek jumped out and screamed at him, “Get out of the car, man.”
    The bride remained motionless as Colt leaned over her to look at him. “Are you crazy, Derek? What’s wrong with you?”
    “Look at her!” He pointed. “Get out of the damn car!”
    The bride’s head cocked at an awkward tilt, a leer stretched across the taught skin on her now emaciated face. Her eyes filled with lunacy. “I’m baaack. You can’t get rid of me now.” She hissed in a deep demonic voice. Turning with a ghostly speed, her nail flashed blood red just before they sank into Colt’s neck. Killing him.
    Faster than Derek’s eyes could follow, the bride was now in front of him. He threw a fist into her face, but it push right through her.
    “Holy Mother of Mary….you’re a ghost!”
    She gave an evil smile. “So sweet of you to join me, Derek. I’ve waited so long for your return.”


    The bride leaned into the stopped car. A beautiful woman driver asked, “Looks like you’ve been dumped. You, o.k.? Need a lift?”
    Greta waved her hand, motioning for the detective to come out. “Thanks so much, mind if my husband joins us?”
    The woman leaned further over to see the detective emerge from the bushes, and smiled. “Not at all. You’re just the two I was looking for,” she said leveling the magnum at them. “Get in, now! Or I’ll kill you both were you stand.”

    I’ll try to get back to do the other two later today!

  36. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:23 am

    Becke–nice twist on #3!

  37. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:26 am

    Anna S.–I’m afraid your secret is out. You should ever have publicly posted that you were hiding hockey hunks (say that 3 times fast!) in the Lair. Now everyone will want to hang with them.

    Caren–isn’t there a cabana boy named Paolo? I bet you could hire one. I thought that tool sharpening bit was a hoot, too! Um, did you know you put knives and “slayed” together? *g*

  38. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:28 am

    Marisa, cool endings to 1 and 2. I love the Sydney Bristow bit!

    I always did like that show, though not as much in the later seasons.

    By the way, thanks again for having us this week. We’ve had a wonderful time.

  39. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:29 am

    Hawk, you’ve taken a different slant. Spooky but well done on #1, and a great twist on #2!

  40. Elyssa Papa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:35 am

    Vignette 1

    The young woman pushed her auburn waves off her face and raised perwinkle eyes to them, clearly sizing them up. One puffy white sleeve drooped down her shoulder, and she hitched it up with an aggravated gesture. Her whole gown looked like it could come from sort of fairy tale wedding. Sparkles and lots of ribbons and other frippery littered the wide-hoop white dress like fallen confetti on New Year’s Eve.

    “Do you have a gun?” She looked between the two of them, and a dawning realization entered her eyes. “Oh. God. You’re Derek and Colt. The new Siegfried and Roy.”

    “We’re not gay,” protested Colt.

    Derek shot Colt a look. That’s not what he said last night.

    Vignette 2

    Sven grumbled but did as he asked. Of course, he would. Cabana boys, even if they were undercover detectives, were so reliable in that way.

    The sedan’s doors opened, and out piled a group of women with half-masks covering the top of their faces.

    En garde,” a dark-haired woman shouted, wielding a long epee, “I am Christine Wells. You stole my Sven. Prepare to die.”

    Greta held up her hands. “Um . . . really, this is all about a cabana boy?”

    The tip of the epee waved under her nose. “We Banditas take cabana boys very seriously.”

    “Seriously, you can have him. Like he’s not worth—”

    “Hey,” Sven protested loudly. “I work hard for my money.”

    Women surrounded Sven, oohing and aahing over his muscles. Greta felt it was in her duty to tell these women of the truth. So she cleared her throat nervously. “There’s something you should know about Sven.”

    “That he’s dumb as a rock?”

    “That he gives a good massage?”

    “That he makes a mean cocktail.”

    Greta shook her head no. “Sven is . . . well, that is to say . . . Sven is not foreign. He’s from Kansas!”

    The women swooned.

    Vignette 3

    My prayers weren’t answered. I recognized the car as soon as it crested the hill. Money practically rolled off the shiny black surface. As the car drove closer to where I stood, I could see those wheel crushing the bits of tumbleweed on the path, trampling gravel into fine-bits of dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    The car came to a stop. I waited, not really looking forward to this forthcoming confrontation. There was no way I was headed back to the church. All of my life, I’d been always going along with the flow. Never saying no, or going after what I want. Not marrying Calvin was going to be the best decision I ever made. Finally living my life would be the next.

    Still I wasn’t prepared for the visceral punch to my stomach when Richard Blair, the oldest brother of the family, get out. He fit all Texan cliches to a perfection: tall, dark, and handsome. And he also was mean to the boot. The only good thing about him these past months when wedding preparations were underway was that not once had he gotten involved. That also may have been because he was head of the family corporation and traveled overseas to firm up some high-powered deal.

    His dark eyes searched mine, and the wind picked up, drawing my veil back over my face. Blinded temporarily, I removed the dratted thing and tossed it to the ground. “I’m not going back.” And to show Richard I meant business, I squared my shoulders and lifted my chin. I even think I’d managed to make my tone a bit nasty, which would be a miracle in itself.

    Something flickered in his gaze—gone so quickly, I couldn’t put a name to it. “Get in the car.”

    I didn’t move from my spot. “Didn’t you hear a word of what I said? I’m not marrying your lying, cheating, good-for-nothing brother!”

    “Good.” Before I could form a response that didn’t go beyond the highly intelligent “Huh,” he said, “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not dressed for the wedding either. I’m helping you escape. So get in before the rest of the cavalry figures out where you are.”

    I didn’t ask any questions. I hurried into the car, wondering why Richard was helping me. I would find out.

    Vignette 4

    Sam grasped her shoulders, hauling her to him. “You stupid, stupid, stupid woman.”

    She tried to tug free with little success. Didn’t he realize how precarious the situation was? “I told you not to call me ‘stupid,’ Sam.”

    He kissed her harshly. “Then stop leaving me any time you think it’s dangerous. I love you, and—”

    A gun shot rang out, and she lifted her hand away, covered in blood. Sam’s blood.

    It was one thing to ruin her wedding day. It was another to shoot the man she loved. She carefully helped Sam to the ground and lifted the hidden gun from her garter strap. These idiots were going to get a serious case of Bridezilla.

  41. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:55 am

    Elyssa–cool twist on #1.

    ROFLMAO on #2! Although you do realize Sven will be impossible now for at least a week. He may even ask for a raise. :-/

    Beautiful details in #3.

    Very neat twist on #4, which is, naturally, the one I feel closest to. 🙂

  42. Trish Milburn
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:00 am

    More wonderful vignettes, fellow Banditas. It’s been fun to see how the vignettes match up with the Banditas. I be the 20 of us could have picked out who wrote what without looking at the bylines.

    Maria and Marisa, this has been a really fun week. Lots of talented contributors giving those last lines. I’ve laughed a lot too. 🙂

  43. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:06 am

    #3 I needed to escape. Please, God, let this car be anyone besides a late wedding guest. And wouldn’t you know it, another Blair coming my way. A Blair from the wrong side of the tracks no less, dressed in levi’s, driving a 20 year old pick up filled with McDonald’s wrappers and smelling of cow. Ah well, Vera Wang please forgive me if I get kethup on my dress, but beggers can’t be choosers and I’m getting out of here, even if it means getting into that truck.

  44. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:07 am

    Oh man, oh man!! I am just LOVIN’ this!! 🙂

    I am on the west coast, so forgive me a later start than the rest of you. I’m also about to be descended upon by my small monkeys. So I’ll give a quick hello and then have to disappear for a bit. But I’ll be back, I promise!

    Helen, great job — love the unexpected passenger — I think my bride and her very grumpy detective would be unexpected for anyone! 🙂

    Pam, did you really just come up with the name Pierre Mountjoy? OHMIGOSH — just shoot me now! HAHAHAHAH!!! You rock, girl. 🙂

    Becke, I absolutely loved the way you brought #3 to a close. Masterful, dahling, absolutely masterful!

    Marisa, first off, don’t worry about the bio thingy. Second, loved your add, especially the Sydney reference. And I love that my piece made you think of TV. That’s a huge compliment in my book. Especially if it’s Sydney, cause she kicks some serious a@#!

    Hawk — that vingette #1 bit was super creepy — definitely gave me the willies, which means it was a great bit of writing. And I loved what you did with my piece — great twist at the end! 🙂

    Elyssa — my total LOL of the morning. I was howling by the time I got to #2 — can’t wait for #3 to be a Harlequin presents — and you could be the next Heidi Betts with #4 — you are seriously talented, girl! Way to go! 🙂

  45. Louisa Cornell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:08 am

    These are great, ladies, and some really great endings so early in the AM. Let me try my hand!

    Vignette 1

    “That depends,” said the slightly dusty and obviously highly ticked off bride with the hot dayum body and the face of an angel. She ran her eyes up and down him like a homeland security strip search. “Have you got a cold beer and a loaded gun in those jeans?”

    Colt didn’t find Derek’s rumble of laughter amusing in the least and he sure didn’t need the comment that went with it. “I’m sure Colt won’t mind if you rummage around in those jeans to find out. Who you gonna shoot?”

    “My soon to be ex mother in law,” she said as she climbed over him and settled into the back seat of the convertible.

    “This should be entertaining,” Colt mumbled as he started the car. “Who’s the dead woman walking?”

    “Celeste Van der Horne. Where’s that cold beer?”

    “Oh shit!” Colt slammed on the brakes.

    Vignette 2 :

    The car pulled onto the shoulder of the road. Oh he was SO not going to like this. Not at all. She’d forgotten all about the Miss American Drag Queen Contest in Vegas. Did these guys always travel in full regalia? Maybe she should have let HIM wear the wedding dress.

    “Honey, are you lost?” a Marilyn Monroe look a like called out from the front seat of the pink Cadillac convertible.

    “You have no idea.”

    Vignette 3 :

    Wait a minute. Is that what I think it is? Perfect. A Blair Country sheriff’s car in the county the Blairs owned. I looked up at the sky. “What did I do to deserve this?”

    The car pulled over and out stepped six and half feet of “can I have some of that on a cracker?” stepped out. Jet black hair, cool blue eyes and yards and yards of muscle beneath crisp khaki and I finally knew how a deer felt in the headlights.

    “Well this just has to be illegal somehow. Can I help you, miss?” He pushed back his hat and added a dazzling, sexy grin to the rest of his arsenal.

    “You could arrest me and keep me locked up until my asshole fiance finally figures out I don’t want to marry him.”

    “And the asshole would be?”

    “Calvin Blair.”

    Sexy turned to stone in the blink of an eye. He grabbed my arm and dragged me toward the car.

    “Wait a minute! You can’t take me back there. I’m not marrying that lying, cheating –”

    “You’re damned right, you’re not. That bastard murdered my sister.”

    Vignette 4 :

    And the preacher.

    “Sam, I can explain.”

    “Explain later. Say I do and get in the car.”


  46. Jeanne AKA The Duchesse
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:11 am

    Wow, MORE great endings! Pam, hot out of the gate with some great endings! I love the “why do I end up with the crazy ones?” line and the giggles and the black sheep.

    Way to go, Helen!

    Leslie…she might just get a hold of that gun…LOVED that!

    *wiping a sentimental tear* Minna and Caren, it just does my heart good to know that RBs and BBs know about sugar in the tank. And Mythbusters – great show – didn’t let that scenario run out to RE-starting the car. Ignition system? Shot to h*ll.

    Oooh, Hawk…spooooooky! Love it.

    Elyssa, GOOD!

  47. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:19 am

    Marisa! Your #1 is full of Complications. I adore complications! I also want to know more about Derek and why she left her fiance for him!

  48. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:21 am

    Ha! I love the Sydney Bristow reference, Marisa. She’s been my fave action heroine for a lo-o-o-ong time. IMO, Lara Croft has nothing on Sydney!

  49. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:24 am

    Oh, wow, knew I loved the banditas for many reasons, but now that I know you all love Syndey Bristow – well it’s a whole other level of love.

  50. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:25 am

    Hawk, you’re giving me chills! Your #1 is dark paranormal at is finest. Poor Colt! And what did Derek ever do to her, anyway? Derek must have a Dark Past we don’t know about.

    #2 – All About Treachery! I love the twists and turns these vignettes are taking. Things were never imagined, for sure!

  51. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:33 am

    Elyssa, I can hardly breathe!

    #1 – They’re magicians? And they’re gay?! That is hilarious!!

    #2 – Trust Christine to dress as Inigo Montoya! 🙂 I love Banditas on the hunt for revenge. But KANSAS?! I told y’all not to trust those so-called Nords.

    #3 – I love Richard already! Despite ‘Moonstruck’, though, I think it’s hard for a woman to take up with her fiances brother. 😉 I hope it works out for them!

    #4 – Oh, no, it’s gotten very ‘Kill Bill’ all of a sudden. Murdering a fiance is not the answer, you thugs! 🙂

  52. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:35 am

    Marisa, I love #3. His truck sounds like my husband’s car did when we were in college and dating and all in lurve! I wouldn’t want to break it to my poor heroine, but that man will never change and his bedroom will look just like his truck! 😉

  53. Gerri Russell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:10 am

    Hello Banditas!

    How clever are you!? Great vignettes. It’s been fun to read them all.

  54. K. Nelson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:12 am

    Good morning everyone!

    I’m headed out of town today and won’t have time to play but I just wanted to pop in and say thanks so much for this week of fun and frenzy! I had an absolute blast and it really got the hampsters in my brain working out overtime (squeak, squeak).

    Thanks to the lovely ladies at RNtv for hosting this week’s writing extravaganza!

    Special thanks to all the sexy amazing Banditas and the darlings from yesterday (Anna, Kate, Beth, and KJ) who voted for my work. It was my honor and a pleasure to take your stories and run with them. Kate….I even dreamed about foxes….those sexy little devils! Beth….I’ll see you at the next HOFFA rendezvous. LOL

    You don’t know how much this vote of confidence means to me. Thanks to everyone who left positive feedback for me. How wonderful it was to be in such splendid and talented company. Keep up the great work everyone!

    Best of luck to all the contributors today. This one will be lots of fun! There are so many wicked things you can do with this one!

  55. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:19 am

    Louisa, you’re priceless!

    #1 – The “hot dayum body” was so very…Southern! 🙂 I almost, but not quite, feel sorry for Celeste. She’ll never know what hit her, bless her heart!

    #2 – Oh, I like this! It put me in mind of ‘To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Neumar’. Patrick Swayze was fabulous in that, not to mention the other boys. 😉 No, her partner won’t like that a bit. But I don’t think she’ll mind his discomfort!

    #3 – Ooh, law enforcement with a vendetta! Sexy law enforcement at that! And I love “can I have some of that on a cracker”!! Girl, I like the way you talk. (To throw in a little ‘Slingblade’ ;-)) Love it!!

    #4 – Who knew Sam was so devious?!

    You knocked these out of the park, darlin’!

  56. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:21 am

    Jeanne, honey, I knew you would know all about sugar in a gas tank! It costs a LOT to get that fixed. I mean…I’ve heard it costs a lot to get that fixed. 🙂

  57. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:22 am

    Gerri, thanks for stopping in! Aren’t these the most fun endings ever?

  58. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:25 am

    K. Nelson, we’re so sorry we won’t get to read your stellar work today! I hope you’ll come play with us at Romance Bandits. Maria and Marisa are the best to let us invade their space. Travel safely!

  59. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:26 am

    Marisa, we love you right back. And if ever an alien tries to use you as a host, we won’t let you suffer, babe! 😉

  60. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:36 am

    Wow, Helen, great entries! Weren’t these wonderful vignettes? You can see why I was gobsmacked when I read them all for the first time! Thanks for being such a vital part of our week at RNTV! You’re the best!

    PAM!!! I love your endings. Especially Cayden, the kiss and the crazy ones. That crazy one line made me spit tea all over my keyboard.

    Becke, yours was gorgeous. Especially the twist at the end. Dang, gal, you can write!!!!

    I hope when all you girls are winning RITAs, you’ll acknowledge that you got your start when the Bandits invaded RNTV!!!

  61. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:41 am

    Minna, how very interesting! There go a million plots!

    Leslie, very cute ending! I’m loving the flirty battle of the sexes answers people are coming up with!

    Caren, Nordic men with golden hands can come visit me any time!

    While Jo and Kate wrestle in the mud, I might just steal young Sven away to Oz for the day!

  62. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:44 am

    Marisa, I love the Vera Wang bit in #3!

  63. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:46 am

    Marisa wrote: now that I know you all love Syndey Bristow

    How could we not? She kicks serious butt, and we don’t got no wimpy heroines in the Lair *g*.

    We love you and Maria and RNTV, too, Marisa. This has been such a fun week for us!

  64. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:48 am

    Louisa, I love the Home Security strip search phrase!

    Wicked funny on #2!

    Great twist on three, and why is he working for them in that case, the reader wonders? 🙂

    Cool #4. Wish I’d thought of it!

  65. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:48 am

    #4 <i>A familiar gray sedan roared toward her. Her heart lurched. The car stopped, and the tall, angry driver got out.

    “Hey Babe, don’t you know it’s bad luck to see the bride in her dress before the wedding?”
    Sam looked at her as if she had two heads. But the worst part,the very worst part was underneath that incredulous look was a look of disappointment that made her heart hurt. She hated disappointing Sam and yet she always seemed to do it.
    “I love you Sam”
    “I love you Gillian, but it’s getting harder and harder to like you”.

  66. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:50 am

    Anna Campbell wrote: While Jo and Kate wrestle in the mud, I might just steal young Sven away to Oz for the day

    If this keeps up, Sven’s ego may rival that of the rooster. 😉

    Which bandita’s in charge of cabana boys, anyway? AC, is that you?

  67. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:51 am

    Marisa wrote: “I love you Gillian, but it’s getting harder and harder to like you”.

    Great last line!

  68. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:02 pm

    Marisa, how intriguing! I wonder what’s going to happen next. Brava, Miss M!!! And snort to the Nancy Drew one!

    Hawk, you have a seriously vivid (if scary!) imagination. That ghost one gave me the willies! Well done! Love the other one too but the evil ghost of Canyon Bend? Magic!

  69. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:07 pm

    Wow, highest of compliments from Anna C. — you just made my week! Year, maybe. Hats off to all the Banditas for their amazing vignettes and to Marisa for the cool photographs. (It was Marisa who picked those, wasn’t it?) You’ve made this miserable snowy and frigid January week the most fun I’ve had in awhile, well, with writing, anyway!

    It’s been so much fun to read all the different takes on the vignette endings, too. I’m sure I’ll be adding books by some of these scene-posters to my TBR pile before long. I hate to see this come to an end!

  70. Minna
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:12 pm

    Anna, you can always fill the tank with something else. I wonder how sand and small rocks would work?

  71. Maria Lokken
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:19 pm

    Syndey Bristow is my heroine. Seriously, who looks that young, that beautiful and can still wrangle away from a deadly assassin without a scratch. And those wigs! The make-up and hair department seriously knew how to create wigs that looked real. Why can’t they do that in real life. In real life, wigs look like wigs.

  72. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:39 pm

    K.Nelson, did you just call us Banditas SEXY? And you can write too? Oh, darling, you can stop by the Lair ANY TIME!! 🙂

  73. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:40 pm

    Louisa — are you trying to kill me? I’m suppose to be working here! Drag queens? MM look alike? And I love the “homeland security strip search” line. I can NEVER come up with killer lines like that. Hilarious!

  74. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:41 pm

    Marisa, “It’s getting harder and harder to like you…”

    Gah. I’m speechless.

    That’s amazing. Seriously — amazing.

    Fabulous line.

  75. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:42 pm

    Anna, are you inciting an inter-Bandita WAR? Are we going to have to set up a Bandita mudpit?

    Sheesh! 🙂

  76. Donna MacMeans
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:43 pm

    Hi all –

    Sorry I can’t take too long to chat. I highjacked my sister’s computer to drop by. I had to catch a flight to Florida for a family funeral. I understand my flight made the news. We were sitting on the plane – on the tarmack for eight hours – no food – no drinks. All for a two hour flight (hmmm…doesn’t that sound a bit like Gilligan’s Island?) Anyway – love the endings! You guys are sooooo good. Hawk – what a great switch. Becke – love the “best man” line. Pam – WoW! All I can say. Not sure I’ll be able to get back, but had to stpo to comment that I’m SO impressed with the incredible creativity in these endings. Great job!

  77. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:47 pm

    Vignette #1: The redhead started towards the car, flashing him a news-anchor smile. An answering grin slowly spread across his face. The bride was fiiiiiine.

    Suddenly that perky little nose scrunched up in horror, and she started fanning her hand, as if he smelled bad. He knew he had a diva on his hands when she rolled her eyes dramatically, hands on her hips in that don’t-even-go-there pose known to every man on Planet Earth. “Do NOT tell me the only freaking car to come along in a whole freaking hour is being driven by freaking Cheech and freaking Chong. God could NOT be this cruel.” Only she didn’t say freaking.

    Colt’s jaw dropped. He sincerely hoped he didn’t look as gobsmacked as his loser cousin. Derek, like the moron he undoubtedly was, had panicked and stuffed the still-lit doobie in his mouth — what was he trying to do? eat it? — and was now falling out of the car and hacking his lungs out. He’d gotten so used to his dipshit cousin and his perpetual fog of marijuana that he barely noticed it anymore.

    He was about to apologize, or deny it, when Miss Priss, or maybe Mrs. Priss, stomped over to the car and climbed into the back seat, fing and blinding all over the place. Shit, that woman had a mouth on her! She swore some more when half the wedding dress got stuck in the car door. When he finally got her, and the fancy white fabric store she was trailing, jammed inside, she wasn’t looking quite so prim and proper. Oh, she still had her nose in the air, but there were beads of sweat on her forehead and her hair wasn’t so perfectly tamed.

    Colt couldn’t wipe the goofy grin from his face as he climbed behind the wheel, rolling down the windows to let out the smoke. Derek slid down in his seat, trying to make himself invisible. Since he was almost as tall as Colt and twice as heavy, that would have been a neat trick even if his face wasn’t bile green.

    The constant flow of curse words in the backseat just tickled him, for some reason. Damn, that woman had a vocabulary that could shock a sailor. Now him, on the other hand, it would take more than a few anatomically impossible phrases to shock him. All it did was make him curious. What the hell had made her so mad? Well, the wedding dress was probably a clue.

    “So, Cheech,” she snarled, whacking poor Derek on the shoulder. “You got any more where that came from? I’ve had the worse day of my entire freaking life, and the least you could do is give me a freaking joint.” Only she didn’t say freaking. Derek rushed to oblige, like an eager little three hundred pound puppy.

    “Where to, princess?” Colt asked, trying not to laugh out loud. He hadn’t had this much fun in years.

    “Surprise me, big boy,” she growled, pausing to inhale.

    Oh yeah. He could do that.

  78. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:50 pm

    Just realized f-ing-and-blinding is an English term. Don’t know if it’s used here or not, and I probably punctuated it wrong.

  79. Christie Kelley
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 12:50 pm

    Great vignettes, ladies! I love how different they all are.

  80. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:07 pm

    Donna, good to hear from you! I’m so sorry about the awful trip as well as the reason for it. I hope the return will be smoother.

    Mud pit, Kirsten? Do we really want to go there?

    Christie, thanks. As you found, this has been great fun!

  81. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:09 pm

    Maria Lokken, I really did love Alias. The show was so well written that it just grabbed me.

    Minna, sand, especially, would seem to have potential. (speaking as one totally ignorant of all things engineering-related)

  82. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:10 pm

    Ely, you are HILARIOUS!!!! Love number 1. Just going back to read the rest. Laughed out loud at your last line. Brilliant! And then Sven had me chortling into my morning cup of tea – brilliant again! Ooh, I can see why he’s called Richard, he made me quite weak at the knees in vignette 3. Ooh, loved number 4 too. Seriously, fantastic stuff!!!!!

    Marisa, another great one from you! Man, choosing a winner is going to be as tough today as the other four days! So glad I can just cheer from the sidelines!

  83. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:10 pm

    Anna S., thank you. And no, I don’t look forward to having to choose!

  84. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:12 pm

    Becke–glad you liked our offerings. Your #1 is hilarious!

  85. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:18 pm

    Oh Becke, you naughty thing — what a fabulous bit of writing! Anyone out there watch “My Name is Earl”? For some reason, I couldn’t picture anything but that when I was reading your ending. And I think maybe we should pass the love (and the doobie) to poor Donna, who had to sit on the runway for eight hours. Poor thing! We’re thinking about you Donna!

  86. Joanie T
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:18 pm

    Hello all,

    Sending a shivering shout out to my Banditas. I’ve got a bit of juice left on the ole laptop (non for my HOUSE. Oh, an Minna, I’m not Mythbusters but I can tell you you CAN type with frostbite)

    Anyway, another fantastic set of vignettes and conclusions. Ya’ll rock! Seriously!

    Thanks again Maria and Marisa!

    Joanie T (send wool socks)

  87. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:19 pm

    Nancy, (whistling innocently) is there something wrong with mudpits? I’m not sure I understand what you mean? 😉

  88. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:20 pm

    Marisa, your #4 is breaking my heart. Why, oh why, has she made poor Sam suffer so?

  89. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:22 pm

    Nancy, Sven’s ego ALREADY rivals that of the rooster! That’s one of the problems I have with young Sven. Now, don’t get me wrong, he can give me a massage any time he wants. As to the….knife sharpening, let’s say, I will let people mud wrestle over that while I sip a sugar-free decaf vanilla latte and sell souvenir t-shirts. 😉

  90. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:25 pm

    Well, gee, Kirsten, there’s all that . . . mud.

    And cabana boys

    And gladiators

    Hmmm . . .

  91. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:26 pm

    Maria, I’m with you on Sydney’s hair. Is it the lighting or something that makes them look so good? Everytime I see someone wearing an extension it looks like an extension. Then again, the production studios have a few more dollars than most of the people I see wearing extensions, so maybe they can afford real hair or something. It would be so liberating to be able to plop a wig on and look fabulous! Now if only they could do that with rear ends – and I DON’T mean making them bigger!

  92. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:27 pm

    Thanks, JT. I’m so sorry for your frozen fingers! That storm has really done a number on a big patch of the country. Not only did it cause, as I understand it, the new president’s first declaration of disaster areas (a dubious distinction) but it has left something like a million people with no power.


  93. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:27 pm

    Greta ground her teeth when, instead of following her clear, words-with-four-letters-or-less instructions, the big galoot climbed out of the gully, brushed himself off, and stalked over to her. The first car to come by in twenty minutes whooshed right past them.

    She waved her hand toward the receding tail lights. “There! You see what I mean? Gone. All you had to do was hide for two more minutes, but noooo — ”

    Her words were cut off abruptly as he pushed right into her personal space and clamped his lips over her open mouth. He let the kiss go on just long enough to make a point, then he stepped back, watching her with narrowed eyes.

    “What the hell was that about? You can’t just kiss me like that!” He did it again. Held her chin and made whatever else she was about to say just go right out of her head. “Greta.” Another kiss. “Shut up.”

    Okay, she could do that. She wasn’t altogether sure she was capable of forming words right at this moment, anyway.

    “Your wedding dress is giving me ideas,” he murmured, biting gently on her lower lip. “Fair warning.”

    She struggled to force words from her throbbing lips. “Hey. It’s not my fault that the perp was using a bridal salon as a front for his money laundering business. How else were we going to case the joint?”

    She had to stop talking because Dane was nibbling her lips again. Who knew that was erotic?

    “Perp,” he said, and she could feel his smile against her mouth. “Casing the joint. Cute. First it was Nancy Drew. Now it’s Olivia Benton. Greta…” He sighed. “How can I put this? You, next-door-neighbor. Me, detective. Got it?”

    “Yes, but Dane — ” He cut her off again. He was getting really good at that, so good she was tempted to try it again to see if she could trigger the same response. Damn, Pavlov knew what he was doing.

    “You want games. Got it. Here’s one two can play: you be the bride, I’ll be the groom. But, I’m absolutely not kidding here, Greta. You have to promise to stay out of my cases in the future. Got it?”

    She swallowed. Twice. “I do. I mean, I will.”

    He grinned, and she felt something shift inside her at the gleam in his eyes. “Right the first time.”

  94. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:28 pm

    Louisa! Yours are GREAT! What wonderful last lines! Hot dayum, woman, you gotta get published soon or I swear I’ll eat my trackpants! And your wonderful wit comes through so strongly in these – brava, La Cornell!

    Hey, Gerri, great to see you. Isn’t this a fabbo game?

    Kerri, yay, you winning yesterday! Congratulations!

  95. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:28 pm

    Caren–Sven’s ego. The rooster’s ego. Mudpits.

    Oh, lordy Pete!

    I think I want part of the t-shirt concession.

  96. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:29 pm

    That should have been labeled Vignette #2.

    Donna, I feel bad for anyone traveling this week. Cincinnati looks like the Arctic tundra.

  97. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:30 pm

    Becke, another great one for #2!

  98. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:30 pm

    Kirsten, if we set up a Bandita mudpit, I could put together a schedule, sell tickets, produce souvenirs AND make book!

  99. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:32 pm

    Donna, we’re glad you got to stop in, if only for a moment. I hope your trip home is less Gilligan’s Island! Funerals are never easy, but this one has been a real challenge all the way around. Take care, Bandita!

  100. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:33 pm

    Aaah, rats. It’s Olivia Benson, isn’t it? Should have Googled it to be sure.

  101. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:34 pm

    Caren, have you seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, that Wong Fu was based on? It was an Aussie movie with some amazing moments (I had problems with some elements of it but there were certainly some spectacular vignettes – can you tell what the word of the week is chez Campbell?). Guy Pearce was really attracted as a transvestite! 😉

    Marisa, oh, my goodness, that was genuinely poignant amongst all the mayhem surrounding it! I wanna know what happens next!!!! Hey, you and Maria know you’re honorary Banditas, don’t you?

    Becke, it was indeed Marisa who came up with both the idea for the invasion and the photos. Yay, Marisa!

  102. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:34 pm

    Caren wrote: Kirsten, if we set up a Bandita mudpit, I could put together a schedule, sell tickets, produce souvenirs AND make book!

    Yes, but you are not only an engineer (could probably design the mudpit) and an organized brain but a math person.

    I vote the banditas run the mudpit and someone else get in it. Mud–Eeew.

  103. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:36 pm

    Becke, I love your swearing-like-a-sailor bride and her ‘Pineapple Express’ companions. Sounds like a summer movie, doesn’t it? ‘Colt And Derek Find a Bride’. Ha!

  104. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:36 pm

    Anna C., I’ve seen Priscilla. A friend of mine loves that movie. And one of the guys is played by Hugo Weaving, who was Elrond in LOTR and also had a role in the Matrix. It was a kind of touching story, with comedy along the way.

  105. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:39 pm

    Donna, stay safe, travel well. We’re thinking of you in the lair!

    Ooh, Becke, that’s one of the sexiest ones of the contest! LOVE that last line and the moron cousin had me snorting more tea. I think there’s more gone on the keyboard this morning than has made it down my throat!

    JT, I’ve been hearing about your travails for the last couple of days and thinking there’s worse things than sitting in hot sticky Australia right now! Stay warm!

  106. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:39 pm

    Nancy, sand it too heavy and doesn’t dissolve. It would sink to the bottom of your tank. Some of it would eventually cause wear-and-tear on your valves, etc., but it doesn’t have the eff-it-up potential of lovely white sugar. Believe me, it works! Not that I have done it, but I may or may not have a relative or two who may have some firsthand knowledge of such a thing. And I may or may not have heard the tirade of a certain two-timing SOB who had to get his car repaired after such an incident. I’m just saying…

  107. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:40 pm

    An honorary bandita? I’m sooo honored! But does that mean I have to write? Cause you know, I’m no writer. Ok, just emails, blog posts, an occasional review and thank you letters. It I can do that, then I’m in.

  108. Maria Lokken
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:42 pm

    WOW – I’m humbled – but I agonize over writing thank you notes – so I have a proposition. How ’bout being the pequeña Bandita mascot. That I could most certainly handle!

  109. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:43 pm

    Becke, your ending for #2 is brilliant. I think Greta really wanted him to do that. Really!

  110. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:46 pm

    Caren wrote: Nancy, sand it too heavy and doesn’t dissolve . . .Not that I have done it, but I may or may not have a relative or two who may have some firsthand knowledge

    Trust an engineer to know these things. I will take your, er, secondhand knowledge as fact. 🙂

  111. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:48 pm

    Ooh, Becke! Love the sexy detective seducing his next-door neighbour!!! Fantastic stuff. And a bit of lip action at the TV station, I like it!

    OK, that’s me caught up. I’ll try and get back later! Dang, you gals are busy! Great stuff!

  112. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:49 pm

    Nancy, don’t be such a girly girl! (Bet you don’t hear that much.) Mud washes out! But I’ll let you in on the souvenir concession. We’ll make Kirsten and Donna wrestle. :-0

  113. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:50 pm

    Joanie, we are going to have to send Sven out on a rescue party and bring you back to the Lair to keep you warm! Hot toddies and a warm fire is waiting, darling! Sven is coming for you! 🙂

    Or perhaps Demitrius can pull you there on his shield?

  114. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:51 pm

    Nancy, can you see the promise in cabana boys and gladiators and a pit? Maybe we don’t want to obscure things with mud, though. Hmm…details, details…

  115. Minna
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:51 pm

    3. I soo don’t have any intention of going back, let alone marry that creep with a fancy name. Who would have thought I would one day find Montgomery Calvin Blair III, the son of ultra-conservative parents, making out with his best man AND with one of the brides maids? Geeze. Such a pity I didn’t have a camera. Wouldn’t that have been sweet? Blairs would have had the shock of their lives when the whole world would have seen THAT picture.
    At least the car was stopping and it didn’t look like the driver was on his way to the wedding. And wow, didn’t the driver look good?
    “Well, hi there! Where are you headed?”
    “As far from the church as possible.”
    “That can be arranged!” he smiled, as I got inside the car. What I saw made my jaw drop. The dashboard looked like an updated version of the dashboard I’d seen in Return to the Future.
    “Hopefully you are not afraid of heights…”

  116. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:51 pm

    Anna, I’ve never seen Priscilla, but need to plop it in the Netflix queue. My next older sister, who loves a transvestite movie, has been raving about it forevah!

  117. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:52 pm

    Anna, I think Becke’s ending for #2 is absolutely one of the sexiest things I’ve read! and it gave me shivers because it totally completed my thoughts for the scene!

    Becke — I was blown away. Awesome ending to my piece. Really amazing, and so romantic. Fabulous last line!

  118. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:53 pm

    Caren, I like this idea of getting in on the concessions…excellent marketing opportunity. Will have to think more about this. 😉

  119. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:53 pm

    Marisa, what do you mean you can’t write? Your “it’s getting hard to like you,” line was brilliant!

  120. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:54 pm

    Caren, you’re right–I don’t hear that much! But when it comes to gritty ooze, I’m as girly as they come. You can be the concessions boss. I’ll just do as I’m told (also something that doesn’t happen much! *g*).

    As for who’s in the pit–Kirsten may be onto something. Cabana boys and gladiators would, I bet, be a huge draw!

  121. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:55 pm

    Minna, cool twist on 3! Is the car a de Lorean?

  122. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:55 pm

    Kirsten, I think Demetrius has been MIA since the ice fell. He grabbed his shield, headed for the big sledding hill and he’s been missing ever since. I’m sure he and his “posse” are drinking and sledding and maybe stopping for pizza every once in a while. He’s just a boy at heart, you know.

  123. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:57 pm

    Minna, I love your #3! Calvin is bi-curious, getting busy before his wedding, and our lovely heroine is picked up by a time-travelling hottie. My kind of story!

  124. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 1:59 pm

    Oooh, think about it, y’all–gladiators drinking and sliding down hills on shields. Kirsten, while you’re thinkig of marketing opportunities, is there any way to get that on PPV?

  125. Minna
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 2:06 pm

    Minna, honey, if you pour a 5-lb. bag of sugar into the tank of say, a Ford pickup truck, I can guarantee you that once the sugar reaches the business parts of your ignition system, you’ll be hosed. Mythbusters don’t know how to apply a principle sometimes. Then again, they weren’t pissed off women doing it, either. =:-0

    Well, Caren, I guess someone should tell them to try it again and do it right this time.

  126. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 2:12 pm

    Wow, it’s such a buzz when such brilliant authors like our endings to your vignettes. We’re having such fun writing the endings because you’ve made it so easy for us to just step into the scenes. They really came alive!

    I only have one left. I don’t know whether to try for it now or save it for later. Decisions, decisions. It’s like knowing there’s a frosted fudge brownie in the refrigerator: eat it now or eat it later?

  127. Minna
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 2:13 pm

    Caren, I didn’t say he was time-travelling. 😉

  128. Karin
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 2:43 pm

    Goodness. It’s taken me forever to catch up and then come up with an ending for the first one.

    Vignette 1:
    Kate stared at her rescuer and felt saliva pool in her mouth. The tall cowboy looked good enough to eat with his hazel eyes and body to die for. She winced at that thought and touched her neck. It was a good thing the sun hadn’t set fully or the coven she had just escaped from might have decided to make a snack out of the beefcake her eyes were currently gobbling up before forcing her back with them. Swallowing, Kate croaked, “More than you know. But we need to get out of here now.”

    “At your service. Name’s Colt and that’s Derek. Get in.” Colt held the door behind Derek open and waited for the woman, who kept darting glances over her shoulder at the gathering darkness, to climb into the back seat. The two small wounds on her neck didn’t register in his mind until he’d already slid behind the wheel again. Casting a glance in the rearview mirror, he locked gazes with the pretty woman in the back, noting the fear clouding her blue eyes. “Are those marks on your neck what they appear to be?”

    Kate shuddered at the steel that came into her rescuer’s voice. It was a tone that told her he wouldn’t settle for anything less than the truth. She wrapped her arms around herself but forced her gaze to stay on his. “Yes,” she whispered, hating that she was forced to admit something she wanted to believe had only been a nightmare but had been all too real. All she wanted now was to get as far away as possible.

    Breaking eye contact with the woman, Colt turned to Derek, who had straightened in his seat but remained silent during their exhange. Their shared look told them they both understood the significance of her presence on this road. “Looks like we’ve found what we’ve been looking for,” he said, contempt for the monsters they’d been tracking dripping from every word.

  129. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 2:56 pm

    Hey, I just saw that Trish and Caren are coming to speak at my local RWA chapter — a Bandita invasion, what fun! Different dates, but still…

  130. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:23 pm

    The back doors of the sedan opened simultaneously. An elderly woman, dressed in a mauve suit with an orchid corsage pinned to the lapel, got out on the driver’s side. An elderly man wearing robes and a white dog-collar slowly unfolded himself from the other side.

    “Reverend Petersen,” she said, stunned. “Mrs. Petersen. What are you doing here?”

    Sam stomped over and clamped a fuzzy pink handcuff on her wrist, then — with some difficulty — fastened the other to his own wrist, then twisted his hand so their fingers entwined. His jaw was clenched, and a muscle was twitching at the corner of his eye. She felt his body, hard and hot, when he jerked his arm, forcing her closer to his side.

    “Sam?” she asked hesitantly. “How mad are you?” When he didn’t answer, she tried again. “Why are we wearing pink handcuffs?”

    He bent his head toward her, his expression fierce. “They were the only ones I could find, okay? Deal with it.”

    Ooookaaay. So. Pretty mad, then. “Um, I guess I can see why you dragged Rev. Petersen out in the middle of nowhere, but why bring Mrs. Petersen?”

    She heard his teeth grind together. “Minister. Witness.” She stumbled when he dug into the pocket of his black tux and pulled out a small velvet box. Using only the fingers of his free hand, he popped open the lid. She caught her breath. He’d said he didn’t believe in wasting good money on fancy rings! He winced when she gasped. “Ring. All right, I know I said I wasn’t going to but…it’s a wedding, Gillian. Our wedding. That means something — at least it does to one of us.”

    Ouch. That hurt. “I’m sorry…” What else could she say, really?

    “You’d better be,” he growled, tightening his grasp on her fingers. Rev. Petersen and his wife walked nervously over to them, her pastor holding the heavy Bible with both hands.

    “You still want to marry me?” Because, the way he was acting, she wasn’t one hundred percent sure. Maybe he just wanted to punish her. She’d forgotten for a minute that he could read her mind, or near enough.

    “Oh yeah, you owe me, sweetheart. You owe me big time.”

    Rev. Petersen coughed once and gave Sam a significant glance. “Are we ready?”

    “Ready,” Sam answered before Gillian could open her mouth.

    Enough was enough — she kicked him in the shins, and her pointy-toed wedding shoes were going to leave a mark.

    “Keep it up, Gillie,” he muttered, squeezing her hand. “Just remember, payback’s a bitch.” He plastered a fake smile on his rugged face when Rev. Petersen frowned darkly. “Go ahead, Reverend, no time like the present.” As Rev. Petersen started to recite the solemn words, Sam bent and whispered, so only she could hear, “You’ll get yours later.”

    Gillian smiled. Promises, promises.

  131. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:24 pm

    Again, forgot to label it. That’s for Vignette #4. End of the week, I must be burning out.

  132. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:24 pm

    Minna, glad you’ve enjoyed the vignettes. As for the brownie, I wouldn’t find that a hard choice. If I have chocolate, it’s going to be eaten! 🙂

  133. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:27 pm

    Karin, cool paranormal twist on #1! Coven, huh? Is there a vampire lurking there, too?

    Becke, very intriguing ending to #4!

  134. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:40 pm

    Karin, way to take the bumbling country boys and make them into witch/vampire hunters. Neat twist –lots of atmosphere! Loved it!

  135. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 3:42 pm

    Hi Becke — this one was awesome too (though I must say I’m partial to #2). For some reason I melt when the guy gives the woman a nickname (like Gillie). So cute. Pink handcuffs were an awesome detail. Well done!

    (Am I starting to sound like Paula on AI? please, if I am shoot me now — these seriously are awesome!)

  136. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:08 pm

    Karin, I love that Colt and Derek are vampire hunters. Right when our fair heroine thought she was being rescued, she’ll be dragged into the fray Buffy-style!

  137. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:13 pm

    Kristen, Caren, Nancy — thank you all for the kind words. Your stories made this so much fun!

    Has there been any more news from Donna? It’s so sad she has to go to a funeral, but I envy the being in Florida part. Except I hear the weather isn’t that good in Florida today, either. Has to be better than all this snow, though — apart from the getting stuck at airports part.

  138. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:14 pm

    Becke, you made your ending to #4 ever so kinky! Wonder what Sam will do with those pink handcuffs when the wedding is over, eh? 😉

    You must be a member of OVRWA! Yes, I’m coming to speak in June. I’m good friends with Liz Bemis, so it’s an extra treat for me to come speak up there. I can’t wait to meet you!

  139. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:14 pm

    Part? Do you think I said that word enough times? Geesh, this is why I’m a night owl — I write better after dark.

  140. Kate Carlisle
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:17 pm

    Wow, y’all are rocking!! Took me a little while to recover from yesterday’s party but I’m back to read everyone’s endings. 🙂

    Becke, I looooove Rafe! Yum!

    OMG, Hawk!!!! Holy guacamole, girl! That ghost bride is freaking me out!! That was awesome! I want more!!

    I’m enjoying all the angry brides-to-be and the men who’re hiding the guns! LOL

  141. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:19 pm

    Yep, I’m OVRWA. Liz designed my website and my My Space page — she did yours, too, didn’t she?,

    Donna was here a couple weeks ago, and now you and Trish are going to be visiting. It’s a Bandita conspiracy — my favorite kind!

    And, as to those pink handcuffs — I’m thinking he probably got them out of Greta’s bedside table. Somehow they don’t strike me as a wait-for-the-wedding night sort of couple. And — oh crap, I just looked at the last line of the story: jewels. Oh well, money launderers can steal jewels, too, right? I hate it when I miss things.

  142. Vicki
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:57 pm

    OMG, Hawk. I want to read the rest of the ghost bride.

  143. Vicki
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 4:59 pm

    Vignette 1 by Donna MacMeans

    “You can offer me a ride to the nearest bus station,” Olivia said.
    “Wanna tell me what you’re doing way out here, dressed in a wedding gown.” Colt took in the worn features of the woman’s face. Dried mud clung to the bottom of the white lace.

    Olivia glanced down the road. What choice did she have? This was the first car she’d seen since in the past three hours. “If you’ve watched TV then you already know, I’m the run away bride.” She let out a sigh. “Look, I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying to find my way out of this god forsaken land. I haven’t slept and I really just need a ride.”

    “Let’s go. Bus stations about an hour up the road,” Colt said.

    She slid into the backseat, thankful for the cool air and soft leather. The man in front of her had his hat pulled down a low angle which wasn’t comforting, but as long as she got out of dodge she’d be fine.

    That is until he turned around and she felt the flush creep up her neck. Tyler’s cousin grinned and touched his hat. “Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t rent that tux after all.”

  144. Vicki
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 5:01 pm

    Vignette 2 by Kirsten Scott

    The car pulled onto the gravel and the elderly gentleman was a welcomed sign. She lifted the wilted flowers to her chest and willed the tears to spring into her eyes. Thank god her mother had insisted on acting classes when she was younger.

    “What seems to be the trouble, ma’am?”

    “My…my fiancé changed his mind. He beat up my brother and left us here. I don’t know, but I think he was drinking.” She wiped at the tears, smearing the mascara. “And my brother’s hurt. I think he might have a broken arm and need stitches.”

    The older man looked behind her and took a step backwards. “You’re brother? I don’t see anyone.”

    “Tommy.” She turned and ran to the bushes. “Oh my god. Please help us.” She gave the detective an I’m sorry about this look and stabbed the pin from her bouquet in his right forearm, slicing downwards. “He’s bleeding again.”

  145. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 5:22 pm

    Hawk, I forgot to mention, I loved this line: She appeared normal but she smelled like dirt.

  146. Hawk
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 5:34 pm

    The car screeched to a stop a hundred feet behind me. I hiked my gown and raced after the red taillights and just as I reached for the handle the kids inside drove off. Their screams to “run” really burned my already hot temper.
    “Real nice!” I shouted. “Like that’s never been done before you rotten little Bast—” The sudden twist of my ankle launched me forward as my heel gave way, and I went down with a thumb. “Damn! These were my favorite JC’s too!”
    I plopped down on my out of gas scooter and inspected my cuts. The gravel road did a bang up job on my hands. Could this day get any worse?
    A sudden humming drew my gaze to the road. Another car! I jumped up waving my arms over my head as I stepped into the center of the road.
    “Please stop!” I shield my eyes from the blinding glare the setting sun’s rays reflected off the car’s windshield. The strange humming grew louder. Odd, must be that new echo car engine’s sound. It didn’t hum like a regular car. Now that I think of it, those cars were usually silent. O.K., maybe it was a truck. Those crazy flashing orange fog lights this guy had on seemed to fit the height of a ford. I usually don’t do trucks but right now to stay out of Monty’s grip, I’ll do trucks.
    I squinted to get a better look at the vehicle. Was it a heat illusion or was the truck now above the road? Everything suddenly went completely still and silence. I froze with fear as the lights split and zipped past me. It wasn’t a truck, I knew that now. I had to look up…it was there. I knew it was there.
    “Oh my God!” I cried as my eyes focused on its shiny surface. They were real. UFO’s were real.

    “Sam, I don’t have time to explain this or anything else you’re about to see right now. You’re going to have to trust me.” Gillian stuck her thumb up again to test the moisture then pointed a small black box at an empty space in front of her. A loud crack smacked the air and a doorway to another world opened.
    “What the hell….” Sam’s face paled with shock.
    “I’m from the future,” she said as she stepped into the dark passageway. “Just let me catch Smoke. I promise to return and when I do, I’ll explain everything.”

  147. DarleneW
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 5:37 pm

    hello all, I have enjoyed visiting this week. My brain is to tired to participate but best of luck to all who have posted here… these endings are awesome.. I just came in from work so I may be brave and post one last vignette later if my brain doesn’t shut down completely or the computer behaves… server keeps kicking me off every few minutes.

    Totally off topice here

    How many dial a place and get the message if you speak any other language than English please press …….

    Makes me wonder…. if they DIDN’T speak English… HOW the heck would they know which number to press anyway?

  148. PinkPeony
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 5:41 pm

    Vignette #1 “May I be of assistance?”

    It couldn’t be. It surely was. Shit.

    Rivulets of sweat trailed down her neck into the swell of her breasts. The white silk of her gown was layered with dirt. Her unmistakably green eyes glared back at him.

    Tiger Abernathy.

    “Aw shit,” Derek groaned. “I don’t believe it! Let’s go! Leave her here!”

    “Naw, we can’t do that. She’ll spook the wildlife.” Colt grinned at her. “My, my, don’t you look like you’ve stepped off the cover of a bridal magazine!” The hem of her gown was torn and filthy. She was still as beautiful as ever, which made him want to poke her with a sharp stick.

    “Bridal grunge, is that the latest fashion?” He knew the look on her face all too well. “You didn’t even bother with a dress when we got married. Who’s the lucky guy you left at the altar? Tell me, Tiger, cause I want to shake his hand.”

  149. Karin
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 5:50 pm

    Vignette 2:
    Greta placed her hands on his chest and used all her strength to push him toward the bushes. She hadn’t counted on his quick reflexes, though, and went down with him when he grabbed her wrists and stumbled over a rock sticking out of the dirt just behind him. Rick’s soft grunt when she landed on top of him stirred the hair at her temple, and something else entirely in her belly. Warmth flooded her when their eyes met and she scrambled to climb off his hard body, trying to touch him as little as possible but still managing to imprint the feel of his flexing muscles on her brain.

    Finally getting back on her feet, Greta ignored the scowl on Rick’s face and moved out of the bushes back to the side of the road. It was her turn to scowl when she saw that their hope for a ride was now only two tiny tail lights in the distance. Growling in frustration, Greta turned back to Rick and stomped her foot, getting the heel of her white Steve Madden pump stuck in the dirt. “Now look what you’ve done!” she spat at him.

    “What I’ve done?” His tone was incredulous and his brows rose at her accusation. He raked a derisive glance over her currently disheveled state and gave a loud bark of sarcastic laughter. “Nobody’s gonna stop for someone looking like you do now, sugar.” The emphasis on the last word clearly told her that his opinion of her was the complete opposite of anything sweet.

    Glancing down at herself, Greta was horrified to see the many tears and dirt stains resulting from her recent tumble to the ground with Rick. Her sister was going to kill her when she saw the state of the dress she’d loaned her. She turned back to Rick with fire in her eyes and fury emanating from every pore. Steam practically poured out of her ears as she yelled, “I only look this way -”

    Greta’s tired was cut off midstream when Rick’s lips landed roughly on hers. She barely registered the strength in the hands that closed over her upper arms and hauled her against a sculpted chest, so focused was she on the feel of his mouth assaulting hers. The possessive sweep of Rick’s tongue wiped her mind clean and left her mute when he finally pulled away, licking the moisture on his lips and staring at her with a dazed expression.

  150. Karin
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:19 pm

    Vignette 3:
    I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the woman behind the wheel. It was one of the two women with Calvin in the pictures that had been delivered to the dressing room where I had been preparing for the wedding. The fact that she was barely legal, and my younger sister, obviously hadn’t bothered either of them.

    “Get in,” she called through the open passenger side window.

    Though I wanted to rip some of her perfect blond hair from her perfect little head, I decided that could wait until I was farther away from the Blairs and the altar where Calvin was waiting for me. I didn’t notice the man in the backseat until after I’d climbed in and buckled up. Why would the one man who had truly broken my heart be riding in the back of my sister’s car tied up and gagged with duct tape? Could the happiest day of my life possibly be any worse?

  151. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:22 pm

    Golden Granny! Golden Granny!! What the h***? I don’t want no stinkin’ Golden Granny! I AM a Golden Granny!

    Caren, at my age, the knife always needs sharpening. Sad, but true.

    Ooooh, Hawk, your ending to V-1 is danged wicked!!

  152. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:30 pm

    Elyssa, oh no!!! Sven’s from Kansas?? Good grief, I thought only Dorothy was from Kansas.

    Louisa, great endings! I particularly like that “the bastard murdered my sister!” We’ve had so many comedic endings that it’s nice to see the drama!

  153. Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:34 pm

    Hey Everyone!

    I can’t believe our invasion of RNTV is almost over. 🙁

    What a WILD and CRAZY week we’ve had! I am absolutely amazed at all the talented commenters! Of course, I KNEW my fellow Banditas were AWESOME writers (and yes, whomever said this, our individual voices shine through even in 150 words or less), but some of these endings do make me wish I could read the entire book!

    Again HUGE thanx to Maria and Marisa for inviting us!

    You all KNOW where you can find us… hanging out in the Bandit Lair every day. Plus, we are also on Facebook, so come on over and friend us there! We are always up to something…

    Aunty snaps her crop in salute,

  154. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:35 pm

    Marisa! That line “it gets harder and harder to like you” just grips my heart. So poignant and often so true of the people we love!

    Kerri, didn’t get a chance to say congratulations on yesterday! You rock, girl. Keep up the writing and be sure to visit us again at We love to talk writing and reading as well as to party!

  155. Kate Carlisle
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:38 pm

    Becke, I loved Gillie and Sam! So romantic! Loved Dane & Greta! And Cheech & Chong just cracked me up!

    Ooh Karin, are your guys vampire hunters? I love that twist!

    Minna, LOL on the bi-groom and the futuristic possibilities!

    Elyssa, all four of yours are brilliant!!

    Kerri, travel safe!

    You’re all on fire today!! I’m a little slow myself but I’m still reading!!

  156. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:45 pm

    Becke, loved that “Colt” ending. We have f-ing over here, but blinding? I don’t know that one, although I could probably guess LOL.

    Yes, Kirsten! Becke’s reminds me of My Name is Earl. And we could all use a doobie, especially those who are stuck in that awful snow back east. Uh, not that I’d know anything about doobies.

  157. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:47 pm

    Becke, no word has come to the lair so far, but it’s sweet of you to ask. BTW, Liz did my site, too.

  158. Kate Carlisle
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:47 pm

    Before I go any further, I wanted to thank Maria and Marisa for an absolutely amazing week here at RNTV! This experience has been unforgettable. And wonderful! And crazy! Thank you so much!!

    Everyone who contributed to the vignettes, y’all are fantastic, talented, funny–and okay, some of you are just a little scary! You know who you are! 😉

    Come by and see us in the Lair. We’re always open. 🙂

  159. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:48 pm

    Vicki, that’s a neat twist ending on #1, and I really like that bride in your #2!

  160. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:49 pm

    Maria and Marisa, thanks from me, too! This week would have seriously sucked without this!

  161. Karin
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:49 pm

    Vignette 4:
    “How did you find me?”

    “I called your unit commander when you didn’t show for the wedding or answer your cell. He gave me your last known location and destination.” His curt tone matched his expression and the tense lines of his body spoke of his tightly leashed fury.

    “If you spoke with John, then you know what a critical time this is for the unit.” Gillian couldn’t quite keep a pleading note from entering her voice. She needed Sam to understand how torn she was between duty and love.

    “I know, Gillian. But John doesn’t want you there. Why do you think your car and cell phone died at the same time?” Something suspiciously similar to pity crossed Sam’s features as he continued to look at Gillian. He knew she would put it all together eventually. Her days as part of the unit were over.

  162. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:50 pm

    Okay, Caren and Nancy, enough with the mudpits! If you think Bandita Kate and I are going mano a mano in mud wrestling, well, just let me say. Slimy. Dirty. Slippery. We women know that the best cat-fights involve claws and teeth!

  163. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:51 pm

    Hawk, I like your SF twists. The UFO at the end of #3 is great! As for 4, I’ve always wanted to have my own sort-of Tardis. I like the Dr. Who-ish twist!

  164. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:52 pm

    Looks like I spelled it wrong:

    effing and blinding –
    swearing, cursing.
    “Much effing and blinding could be heard from the fans when they discovered that their team had lost.”

    One source says “blinding” is a euphemism for “bloody” which used to be a stronger curse than it is today. Another source says it refers to using blasphemy.

  165. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:53 pm

    Darlene, thanks so much for participating this week. I still live on Planet Dial-Up, which occasionally gives me trouble, so I hear you on that! Come back by if you get the chance.

  166. Karin
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:53 pm

    Thanks for all the kind comments. The guys are more like paranormal hunters, but they have a special vendetta against that particular group of vamps.

    Maria & Marisa, this has been such a fun week. Thanks for organizing it.

    Banditas, you guys are amazing. I’ve loved all of your vignettes and I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s endings. There are definitely some I want to read more of. 🙂

  167. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:56 pm

    Special exciting news–waiting for me at my local independent bookseller is the latest Bandita book, which isn’t even officially “out” until next week. I can’t wait to go pick up Homicide in Hardcover (but released in mass market paper)–our own Kate Carlisle’s debut novel!

    How cool is that?

    You rock, Kate!

  168. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 6:59 pm

    Pink Peony, great “attitude” in your #1 ending!

    Karin, I hope you’re doing something with those paranormal hunters. Sounds as if you might be.
    I like the turnabout in your #2 and the tied-up groom in #3. Nice twists. I love the bit with the dead car and phone for 4!

  169. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:01 pm

    Karin, Becke, and Vicki, more great vignette endings. I can see the Banditas are going to have a hard time choosing a winner again!

    PinkPeony, you’re back with another great ending! “Bridal grunge” indeed!

    I want to add my thanks to Marisa and Maria for this wonderful opportunity to play with the ladies at RNTV and their talented posters. It’s been a great week!

  170. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:03 pm

    Jo, my thought is gladiators and cabana boys in the icky mudpit. And maybe some of Anna’s hockey hunks if she can persuade them. The gladiators take orders from JT pretty meekly. Dunno about Sven, though, after he’s been so popular this week.

    Becke, I love little tidbits about words. Now that you’ve introduced me to this phrase, I may need to find a way to use it.

  171. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:06 pm

    I second Jo’s thanks to Maria and Marisa for having us this week. We’ve had a blast. I just wish I hadn’t had class so I could’ve been here more.

    The creativity here has been varied and intriguing and wild and fabulous. Thank you all for participating, either with additions to the vignettes or with greetings and comments. This has been great.

    And it’s not over yet. The contest is still open, and we’ll be popping back in.

  172. Karin
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:11 pm

    Thanks for clarifying that, Becke. I was wondering. Now I have more to add to my vocabulary to confuse everyone around me. lol

  173. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:15 pm

    My daughter, the English major, used to critique for me occasionally, but she got fed up with all the words I insisted were American slang and she insisted were British. I only lived in London for seven years — twenty years ago — but apparently it was enough to complete discombobulate my vocabulary. Or maybe it’s from living with an Englishman.

  174. Kate Carlisle
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:16 pm

    Jo, what’s with the mudflaps? Er, mudpits? Can’t we discuss this like civilized ladies? I’ve got a bottle of wine, meet me in the Lair. Bring chocolate. 😉

  175. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:17 pm

    Oh, Vicki — absolutely masterful work on #2!! I am loving the unnecessary roughness she showed him at the end there! 🙂 We women always know how to make those know-it-all men pay, don’t we? Fabulous!

  176. DarleneW
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:18 pm

    Frustration…. loosing service every 4 minutes but I will definately come to visit again… both places RNTV and all of you Banditas on your blogspot.

  177. Pat Cochran
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:20 pm

    1. Could you contact the police for me? I was on my way to a friend’s bachelor party when I was carjacked!
    The bride hired me to “jump” out of the cake instead of the girl hired by the groomsmen! She didn’t want
    to take o chance on having naughty bachelor party activities occur! She didn’t want her groom placed in
    harm’s way! You know, if you would give me a ride to the party, I still might be on time!

    2.” What are you going to tell them, you were carjacked by a crazy ex! You were dumped here by a nasty
    cab driver because you had no money! They will leave so fast!”

    3. ….And thank you, God, for letting me catch that cheating SOB with my so-called best friend BEFORE the
    wedding! She begged to be my maid of honor, now a life-long “friendship” is down the tubes! Friends,
    never again!!!

    4.” Sam, how did you know where to find me? Did my car send up smoke signals as it died?”

    ” No, someone called 911 and reported seeing a bride stopped alongside a road, …and I
    knew immediately that it was you!”

    ” Sam, why did you never tell me that your nickname is Smoke?”

    Pat Cochran

  178. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:20 pm

    Karin — you know, I hadn’t counted on how our talented readers were going to find a way to get my girl Greta a little ACTION! Yeehaw! This is hot! 🙂 And I love the twist to #4 — poignant. heartwrenching. Great way to start a story.

  179. Kate Carlisle
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:21 pm

    Ooh Karin, your ending to #3 is inspired! There’s just something about a duct-taped man in the back seat of the car! 🙂

    And PinkPeony, I love the bridal grunge! You really painted a picture there!

  180. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:22 pm

    PinkPeony — I want to read the book just cause of the name you gave the heroine. Tiger. So perfect. I have a horrible time with names and you nailed it — tough, but you know she’s going to have to crack in the end. I love it!

  181. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 7:26 pm

    Darlene, thanks for persisting!

    Pat Cochran, great endings! Fabulous twist with Sam and Smoke. 🙂

  182. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:05 pm

    Hey Pat! Lovely to see you stop by! Great job on the blog — these pieces are great. Love the bachelor party bit!

  183. Jeanne AKA The Duchesse
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:11 pm

    Hi gang! Just got back from basketball-then-baseball practice and running by church to help with with centerpieces for a function tomorrow. Whew! Tired! I’ve LOVED all this fun today. I’m going to go back and read what I missed.

    BTW, thanks again to the Divine M’s – Maria and Marisa – for hosting us this week. Wow, what fabulous and engaging reading and creating this has been!

  184. Vicki
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:13 pm

    Vignette 3 by Caren Crane

    The passenger window opened and I froze. No way in god’s green earth could this day get any worse. Jimmy Tucker, my ex-fiancé, pushed the black Stetson further up his forehead.

    “Caroline, honey, what’s it been, six months?” He grinned and pushed the passenger door wide. “Looks like you’re doing the gotta run number again. Who’s the sorry bastard this time?”

    Great. I find a desolate road and the one man who I didn’t leave standing at the alter shows up. Taking stock of my choices, I knew it was Jimmy’s Hummer or walking and giving daddy Blair the chance to find me and haul me back.

    So I did what any run away bride would do. I hike up my dress high enough to show legs dancers envied and hopped inside the car. “So Jimmy, what’s this going to cost me?”

    His gray eyes danced as he reached behind my neck and pulled me close. “Sugar, I’ll take payment in the form of a kiss.”

    What the heck, a kiss, and I’m out of here, I thought.

    Jimmy’s lips teased the sweet spot just below my ear. His warm breath blew lightly against my neck as he nipped and licked his way to my mouth. Heat spread through me and my body ached with need.

    Almost a quick as he started, Jimmy stopped. He leaned across my lap opened the glove box. Just the brush of his fingers on my bare thighs was enough to make me bite my lip to keep from moaning.

    It wasn’t until his fingers where replaced with cold hard metal, that my stomach sank. “Why Jimmy?”

    He shrugged, “Honey, you’re father-in-law pays his help very well. Since I’m on his payroll, I follow orders. Now be good and let’s get back to the party.”

  185. Pat L.
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:25 pm

    Vignette 4
    I could never that face and how it made by heart beat faster.

  186. Vicki
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:31 pm

    Vignette 4 by Nancy Northcott

    “One day. That’s all I asked, but hell no, you’ve got to snoop around. Just couldn’t let it go.” The afternoon sun reflected off the gun pointed at her as Sam continued the slow steady pace toward her.

    “Sam, it’s not what you think,” Gillian said as she stepped back and promptly landed on her bottom in the dirt.

    “Really, then why don’t you tell me where you’re headed. Did you really think I wouldn’t put a tracer on your car?”

    The dead quiet of his voice shook her. She’d never seen him this way, but then she didn’t know until yesterday he was deep into the mob.

    “Baby, I just needed some air, bridge jitters. Really that’s it.” Gillian lifted a shaky hand, praying he’d believe her.

    The steel grasp that pulled her to her feet didn’t give her much hope, but his words chilled her to the core. “You’ve got an appointment with Don Pavone. He’ll decide if I’m to be married or if I’m a widow, Karla.”

    He pushed her forward, the barrel of the gun in the small of her back.

    My covers blown, he knows the truth, she thought, her head spun as her vision tunneled smaller and smaller. Strong-arms gathered her against a wall of hard chest before everything went dark.

  187. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:36 pm

    Jeanne, you’ve really been running today! Glad you made it back.

    Pat L, I like the next line you suggest for 4, but I think there’s a word missing?

    Vicki, great 3 &4. Very cool twists!

  188. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:46 pm

    Becke, Liz did design my website. My poor, neglected and seldom-updated website. I figure when I’m a pubbed author, I’ll need to update it frequently. But for now, I’d rather devote my energies to Romance Bandits, you know? Plus, I’ve become a Facebook-aholic, so I’m spending time over there too. I know you friended me already, but everyone else should friend me, too! Plus, we have a Romance Bandits group over there where you can stop by and say hello. We’re everywhere! 🙂

  189. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:48 pm

    Vicki, what the…? His cousin is the Groom that was Left Behind?! I love that!!

  190. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:50 pm

    Vicki, you did it again! In your #2, I love it that she stabbed him with a pin. So mercenary…and hilarious! The acting classes were just the cherry on top. 😉

  191. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:53 pm

    Hawk, I am flabbergasted that aliens have appeared in my vignette! I knew people in Texas were odd (I mean, come on, I lived there for a year!) but this takes the wedding cake! 🙂

    And time travel in #4. You are clearly hard core paranormal. I respect that!

  192. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:54 pm

    Darlene, it’s a question for the ages. 🙁

  193. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:56 pm

    PinkPeony, more revenge! I love the jilted getting back at the jilter. Good for Colt!

  194. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 8:58 pm

    Karin, there’s something about the fighting preceding (or perhaps presaging?) the passion that totally works for me. Nicely done!

  195. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:01 pm

    Karin, her sister was in the pictures? And she kidnapped the heroine’s true love and duct taped him? Wow! Now, see what a fabulous sister she has, sacrificing herself by sleeping with her sister’s fiance so she could prove what an ass he really is? THAT, my friends, is sisterly love at it’s “tough love” best. Excellent!

  196. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:05 pm

    Karin, you gave poor Gillian such tragedy! I feel terrible for her. Poor thing, thinking she’s all that and now she’ll find out she’s old news. Bless her heart! Btw, the name Gillian reminds me of Gillian Anderson who was Agent Scully on the X-Files. I loved that show! It makes what Karin did to her all the worse. 😉

  197. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:10 pm

    Nice try with the wine and chocolate, Kate, but I don’t think the Golden Granny – er, Jo – will back down. She sent us a picture for the GG t-shirt already! :-))

  198. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:12 pm

    Darlene, I hope we see you all over cyberspace! We are easily distracted from the things we SHOULD be doing, so you can find one of us online at most time of the day or night. You know, Anna C. and Christine are in Australia, Anna S. is in England, and the rest of us are stretched from the east coast to the west coast of North America…

  199. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:14 pm

    Caren, some of these endings would make great movies, wouldn’t they?

    Gillian was actually not inspired by Scully. I was just looking for a name I hadn’t used in a novel. I’ve always liked Jill, but I wanted something longer. Hence, Gillian.

  200. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:15 pm

    Caren wrote: We are easily distracted from the things we SHOULD be doing, so you can find one of us online at most time of the day or night.

    Entirely too true! And surfing the web is way more fun as an advoidance mechanism than, oh, cleaning bathrooms. 🙂

  201. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:16 pm

    Vicki, say it isn’t so! Her ex-fiance works for old man Blair? That’s wrong in so many ways!! I’ll bet she broke up with him because of his fear of commitment. That and the secrecy. He never would tell her where he was going or how long he’d be gone. And that business with the drug cartel in Bogota…well, that had been the very last straw. But on the BLAIR payroll? It boggles the mind!

  202. Hawk
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:19 pm

    Just wanted to say this has been a really awesome time! My thanks to all of you!

    Oh, for those who wanted to know more about the ghost bride…you find out in the end…in a past life Derek took his young bride out into the desert and left her there to die…she was eaten by wolves. That’s why her blue eyes seemed so familiar and the trust he saw in them creeped him out…he’d betrayed that trust. Now if you want to know what happens in between the beginning and the end…and I promise it will scare you…then I guess I’ll just have to write the book! ;-D So glad you all enjoyed it. I had a great time…now, it’s time for me to get back to writing my books…and selling them. LOL

    Super cyber hugs to each of you wonderful ladies!
    Hawk (Houston A.W. Knight)

  203. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:34 pm

    Hawk, what a cool story! Thanks for joining in the fun this week.

    Did we meet at Moonlight & Magnolias?

  204. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:42 pm

    Hawk, that’s awesome! I hope we get to BUY that book. 😉

  205. Vicki
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:42 pm

    I’ve had a great time this week writing and reading everyone’s post. I wish I’d had more time to play and comment back and forth, but life in the 24/7 world of TV sometimes takes over. 🙂

    There are some major talented writers here and it’s been a pleasure to gasp, laugh, and shudder while I’ve read them. Talk about getting the creative mind flowing. Wow.

    Thanks to Maria and Marisa and the Romance Bandits for doing this. You guys seriously ROCK. I’ve had a blast and although I’m sorry it’s Friday, my characters are talking their heads off. 😉

  206. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:49 pm

    Vicki, life does, indeed take over at times. Thanks for the kind words. Do come see us on our blog,

    And keep those characters talking!

  207. Kirsten Scott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:59 pm

    Thanks so much everyone for keeping me laughing, and my heart racing and spine shivering at all your fabulous excerpts! You all are incredibly talented. And special thanks to Maria and Marisa for having the great idea to do this! We had no idea it would be such a smashing success. Mwah!! We love you all!

  208. Tawny Weber
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 9:59 pm

    WOW!!! What an incredible day with so many awesome ending lines.

    This was so much fun. Ladies, thank you so much for letting us invade your lovely space, and thank you EVERYONE for playing with us. I’m overwhelmed with the fabulous input and exitement you all brought to our invasion.

  209. Saralee
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:09 pm

    What a hoot! These four vignettes were so wonderfully funny–you all rock!

    Actually, I’ve been enjoying all the vignettes on all the days. Emotional, suspenseful, romantic, hilarious, they’ve all been great.

  210. Marisa
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:22 pm

    Caren, Donna, Nancy and Kristen, we can’t thank you enough for such a great day! We know you’re going to have another hard choice to make on who the winner is.

    These past 5 days have been absolutely the best. The Banditas ROCK!
    We want to thank the 20 authors – a.k.a – the Romance Bandits for their time, generosity and creativity. The INVASION has become an annual event and so expect them back next year but until then you can visit with them daily over at the lair – They have a party EVERY DAY!

    We also want to thank all the readers who came out and shared their amazing talents with us. I’m in awe and expect to see new authors on the horizon very soon.

  211. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:24 pm

    Marisa – Thanks so much for letting us all come play at your house!

  212. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:25 pm

    Maria, too — sorry, I meant to thank you both! And thanks, again, Banditas, for inspiring us with your amazing vignettes!

  213. Lara Lee
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 10:50 pm

    I’ve been reading all these wonderful vignettes and endings. You all did a great job this week – such a unique and entertaining event. I hope you do it again sometime! Cheers, Banditas!

  214. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:06 pm

    Marisa and Maria, thanks so much! It is, indeed, a hard choice.

    Becke and Lara, thanks for joining in the fun!

  215. Nancy Northcott
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:07 pm

    Saralee, thanks!

  216. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:16 pm

    Dang, there’s been some great stuff today. I’m glad I don’t have to pick the winner!

    Maria and Marisa, just popping in to thank you both for hosting us this week. Hasn’t it been phenomenal? Way beyond anything I imagined – and as you know, I have a LURID imagination!

    And thanks so much to everyone who played along and commented and read without commenting and basically played a part in this amazing week!

    Man, I hope there’s a couch in the corner of the lair! I’m pooped!

  217. Maria Lokken
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:20 pm

    Anna – how can we begin to thank you and the Bandits for your incredible talent, generosity, time and FUN!!!! You women are fantastically, terrific. We LOVED the invasion and had a BLAST.

    Thank You!

    You need a couch, I need a heating pad – it’s freezing here.

  218. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:22 pm

    Vicki, you’re in TV? That’s seriously cool! I’ve noticed this little exercise this week sparked off about a million ideas in my weary little mind. I need a kick start, so it’s been fab!

    Marisa and Maria, THANK YOU so much for having us this week. It has been the Most Fun Evah!

  219. PinkPeony
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:26 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks to RNTV…Marisa and Maria and of course, all of you Bandits. 🙂

    This was a blast and having the opportunity to read all of these fabulous entries was a real treat. You’ve all inspired me to keep at it and to push through the “middling middle” as one famous author, you all know, told me once. Writing gets rather lonely at times and the camaraderie here has been great. Thanks again.

  220. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:30 pm

    Thank you to everyone who came out to play with us this week. ALL the Banditas have had a complete blast reading the awesome endings. I hope we see you guys in the Lair and, hopefully, at some events this year! We are deliberating, but will be announcing today’s winner VERY soon! Thanks again for a great day and a terrific week!

  221. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:37 pm

    PinkPeony, I think the loneliness inherent in being a writer is what makes lots of people give it up. Remember, there are Bandits everywhere waiting to keep you company, so give us a holler! 😉

  222. Caren Crane
    on Jan 30th, 2009
    @ 11:57 pm

    Okay, I can’t keep quiet any longer. WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

    The winner of today’s prize – a signed copy of THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT by Donna MacMeans, two lovely bookmarks, $20 Amazon gift certificate, a Romance Bandits journal and a bonus of chocolate(!!) goes to KARIN!!!

    And a special Honorable Mention winner – receiving a signed book from Donna MacMeans and chocolate(!!) – is Vicki!!

    Congratulations, ladies! Please send your full name and snail mail addresses to:


  223. Becke/Treethyme
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 12:00 am

    Congratulations to Karin and Vicki! Thanks so much for a wild and crazy week!

  224. Jo Robertson
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 12:27 am

    Yay, Karin and Vicki, mega congratulations!

  225. Anna Campbell
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 12:42 am

    Hey, congratulations, Karin and Vicki!!!! Yay, you!

  226. Karin
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 1:53 am

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! I’m so excited that you all enjoyed my endings so much and said such wonderful things about them. Congratulations to Vicki as well!

    It has been so much fun writing endings all week and it has definitely helped get my creative juices flowing again. I will definitely be popping over to the Bandits’ site whenever I can. 🙂

  227. Helen
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 2:17 am

    Congrats Karin and Vicki

    Have Fun

  228. Hawk
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 6:25 am

    Vicki!!! OMG!!! Congrats for the special Honorable Mention, hon!!! xoxox
    And Karin…Woohoo girl! Congrat’s to you too!
    Way to go ladies! This was an awesome week! Thank you.

    Nancy – Hi hon, yes we did meet at M&M…I’m still wearing the Bandit badge you gave me on my chapter badge! So nice to re-connect and at such a nice little spot in the cyber world!

    Hawk (Houston A.W. Knight)

  229. Vicki
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 6:34 am

    Yay Karin!! And thank you to the bandits for HM. I’m glad you enjoyed my take on your great vignette’s. It was so cool to be able to write from yours.

    I’ll be visiting the Bandits daily and hope to see you guys at nationals.

  230. PJ
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 9:56 am

    Congratulations, Karen and Vicki!

    Thanks Banditas for a terrific week and many thanks to Marisa and Maria for bringing you here!

  231. DarleneW
    on Jan 31st, 2009
    @ 11:11 am

    AFter hours of frustration problem is now fixed. I wanted to return, even though this week is now over and finish reading these wonderful posts and to say thanks again for the wonderful help to my rambling comments and questions. LOL SEE YOU IN CYBERSPACE

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