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Posted by Teresa Jusino

After hearing the news about the revival of Marvel’s Runaways as a comic by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka, we’re also getting more insight into what the TV adaptation on Hulu will be like. It may or may not connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it will definitely give the Runaways’ villainous parents, members of the criminal organization The Pride, a bit more sympathy.

At a recent TCA panel, series showrunners Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) and Stephanie Savage talked about what they’ll be keeping from the original comics and what they’re changing for television to enhance the story. Even better, they’re working closely with original series creator Brian K. Vaughan to make sure the story doesn’t stray too far from what makes the comic special.

First, there’s how the show will be handling The Pride, the group of supervillains from whom the titular Runaways are, well, running away. Schwartz and Savage want to ensure that, despite the show having legit villains, they remain human and sympathetic. They also plan on kicking the show off with the events of the pilot being from the teens’ point of view, then having Episode 2 be the same story from their parents’ perspective, something the comics never really provided.

Says Schwartz, “It’s important to us there are no true villains in the show. The book tells the story from the point of view of the kids. It was important to us we take the time to build out the parent characters. Having Brian K. Vaughan in the room with us [allowed us to say], ‘Okay, if you could dig into these stories and these parent characters, what stories do they have to tell?’ The first episode is from the kids’ point of view. The second episode tells the same story from the parents point of view and then they connect halfway through.”

Also, whereas the comics series culminated in a battle between the Runaways and their parents in its first run, the show puts more focus on attempts to reconcile, with some of the Runaways hating their parents, but others assuming the best and trying to see the good in them in spite of everything.

So, will this all be tying into the larger MCU? Marvel’s Jeph Loeb was a little cagey about it, but he’s not ruling anything out. “You’re just trying to get me in trouble so I say #itsallconnected and have to explain it later,” he joked. “It all exists in the same world. How it’s connected remains to be seen. I think it much more lives in a world of if you’re a teenager, since it’s all connected through social media and connected in it’s own way, would you be following Iron Man or would you be following somebody more your age? The fact that they have found each other and are going through this mystery together is at the moment what they’re concerned about, not what Captain America is having for lunch on Friday.”

If you’ve read the comics and know that a few of the original Runaways don’t end up sticking around, know that for the show at least, they’re going to be around for a little longer than they were in the comics, though that doesn’t mean that the new Runaways won’t show up. They’ll just show up in Season 2 or beyond. Loeb stressed that “we’d like to get through a first [season]. We’re super excited about the story we’re telling now and that’s where we’re focused.”

Are you excited about what this version of Runaways could be like? Tell us below!

(via /Film, image: Hulu)

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I CAN POST AGAIN, YAY!

Mar. 12th, 2016 01:07 pm
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)
[personal profile] rainbow
after my last post, suddenly i couldn't post. i kept trying and trying in all my browsers, but nada.

i send in a support request on 9 jul, but nada. after a week, i stopped checking multiple times/day, just check for this week, and a test post went through, yay!

the support request is still open, nothing has changed on my computer, so i'm at a loss as to what happened.

i'm continuing to get stronger! for about the past 8 years, our garden swing in back has needed the metal parts washed. i'd get outside with some water, and by the time i did that, i was dizzy adn weak.

yesterday i washed 90% of it, and it was *easy*. O.O

i still have days where i'm sick and weak or hurt too much to stand for very long, but they're not every day.

i've gotten a couple plants set out in the garden, and holes dug for a couple more.

the inside cats are all doing pretty good -- although cw for inexplicable gore ).

cleo still wants to attack isis. sammy and min (and sometimes binx) tromp on cleo in retribution. isis says "hey, it's summer and i'd much rather enjoy the garden anyway! listen to me purr as i roll and flirt on teh swing!"

mr b is still thin and he's not keen on wet food at all, but he's gotten back a fair bit of energy and has been hunting. the other day i tried to feed him some wet food. he sniffed it, turned his back, and trotted down the steps with his tail in the air. i followed him, and he had the remains of something in the driveway and ate more of it. it was quite large, so he IS eating a fair bit.

and that's about it for news.

and yay again,i can post! <3
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

We’ve long known that Republicans have little respect for traditional democratic norms and ideals. We’ve seen it in their hostility toward voting rights, their decimation of traditional norms in the House and Senate, their refusal to give D.C. residents a voice in Congress, their obstruction of the Obama agenda despite being in the deep minority, and their worship of big daddy strongmen (like Putin, even before Putin installed a puppet regime in our White House). 

But conservatives used to at least pay lip service to the idea of democracy. Yet the last few weeks have been rough on that facade, as more of the truth comes out every day. Witness:

  • Mike Huckabee calling for the elimination of an elected Senate, and specifically, the 17th Amendment, which literally has the words “elected by the people” in it. Note, this tweet didn’t emerge from a vacuum. ALEC has been agitating for this for years, and they’re only doubling down on the campaign these days. Ironically, the Senate has a strong natural GOP gerrymander—for example, the Dakotas get four senators to California’s two. But that’s still not enough for a GOP hostile to anything that might get in the way of dictatorial power.
     
  • According to a YouGov poll, 45 percent of Republicans want the government to “shut down "biased or inaccurate" media outlets” (of course, they’re not talking about Fox News or Breitbart). And 35 percent are undecided about the bedrock U.S. guarantee of freedom of the press. Only 20 percent side with the First Amendment, apparently since everyone else has conveniently lost their pocket Constitution.
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Posted by Kylie Cheung

Welcome to The Week in Reproductive Justice, a weekly recap of all news related to the hot-button issue of what lawmakers are allowing women to do with their bodies!

Oh, what a week it’s been in states across the country. Amidst a national health care battle to keep Planned Parenthood funded and not throw more than 20 million Americans off health care, as well as shocking discrimination toward the LGBTQ community from the Trump administration, all kinds of legislation good and bad soared through state legislatures. In one case, a federal judge even intervened.

No matter where you live, it’s important to stay in the know, and we got you covered.

Federal judge grants Kentucky abortion clinic temporary buffer zone

Obviously, a lot of problems arise when there’s only one abortion clinic left in a state, a situation, which is currently the situation for seven states—including Kentucky. These problems include increased costs and inconveniences for travel, and delayed and often more expensive abortions as a result of this.

But as intense, vitriolic protest in Kentucky’s last clinic, based in Louisville, demonstrate, another problem is that anti-abortion extremists can focus their full efforts on harassing one clinic. Last week on Friday, the anti-choice group Operation Save America, which has likened abortion rights to a modern Holocaust and claimed the Louisville clinic has killed 59 million babies, announced that it would play a video of an abortion on a “jumbotron,” and a federal judge responded by permitting the clinic to establish a temporary buffer zone around the clinic.

Buffer zones, which prohibit protesters from positioning themselves directly outside clinics, are controversial among free speech advocates, despite how they exist solely to protect women and clinic staff’s right to privacy and safety. There’s a long history of extremists who have it in their minds that clinics are literal murder scenes attacking abortion providers and setting fire to clinics.

Free speech is arguably the most fundamental right there is—but it’s a right that has to be balanced with the right to bodily autonomy, and the right to safety in one’s person. Kentucky’s last clinic faces an uphill battle when it comes to surviving intense pushback by the state’s abortion opponents, but the federal court’s latest decision offers some affirmation for the time being.

Anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers in Seattle must now post “This Is Not A Health Facility” signs outside

In another notable victory for abortion rights this week, King County in Seattle, which boasts at least eight of the state’s crisis pregnancy centers, will now require these facilities to post signs that state they are not health care facilities outside. The decision arose after a contentious town hall in the Seattle area.

Across the country, dozens of states continue to fund crisis pregnancy centers, known as CPCs, that deceive and emotionally manipulate vulnerable pregnant women. In many cases, CPCs can cost women more money by luring them into their facilities by offering free ultrasounds, as many states require women to have ultrasounds before they can have abortions.

However, most states require women seeking abortions to have their ultrasounds at the same facility where they will have their abortions. As a result, women who work hourly jobs and take off work to go to CPCs, which don’t offer abortions, for their ultrasounds will face additional costs when they have to take another day off work to go to a facility that actually offers abortion services for their ultrasound.

CPCs also tend to be sites for trauma, emotional abuse, pseudoscience and propaganda. If they have to operate at all, they should at least be required to be honest about the work they provide.

Texas bill suggests women are planning their abortions ahead of time

This week, the Texas state legislature voted on a number of bills, each of which will further restrict abortion access. The state passed one bill that prohibits local and state government agencies from contracting with abortion providers and their affiliates.

Per the Texas Tribune:

“State and federal law already prohibit tax dollars from paying for abortions, but SB 4 by state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, would broaden that ban to include any financial contracts—such as lease agreements—with clinics that are affiliated with abortion providers but don’t actually perform abortions. Such clinics provide other health care like HIV and family planning services, and breast and cervical cancer screenings.”

Additionally, the legislature passed another bill that will require women to pay a separate premium on their health insurance if they want their insurance to cover abortion. Some Democratic lawmakers in the state pointed out how this policy suggests that women plan to have their abortions ahead of time, feeding the typical anti-abortion narrative that women want to have abortions the way children want candy.

“Nobody plans for an abortion, but we surely darn well know that it’s not a woman who is pregnant after a case of incest or sexual assault,” state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston said of the bill.

TRAP laws halt abortion services at Indiana clinic

Since passing a law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges and meet other expensive, medically unnecessary requirements to stay open, Texans have watched more than half of their state’s abortion clinics shut down. Similar medically unnecessary, burdensome requirements have left states like Kentucky with only one clinic remaining.

And this week in Indiana, while the state somehow managed to retain six abortion clinics through former Gov. Mike Pence sharply anti-woman term, one Merrillville-based Planned Parenthood clinic was forced to halt its abortion services after losing its only doctor with hospital admitting privileges.

According to Guttmacher Institute, Indiana is among eight states with an enforceable hospital admitting-privileges requirement. The law exists to both further stigmatize abortion and inaccurately portray it as dangerous, and also force the shutdown of clinics that can’t afford to meet these requirements.

In either case, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Christie Gillespie doesn’t seem too concerned. According to Gillespie, the clinic will soon be able to perform abortions again, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.

(image: Kate Ausburn on Flickr)

http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/faith-based-pregnancy-centers-must-now-post-this-is-not-a-health-care-facility-sign/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/abortion-opponents-challenging-kentucky-clinic-buffer-zone-48820197

http://www.theolympian.com/news/business/article163494713.html

http://theslot.jezebel.com/missouri-votes-to-burden-women-with-more-unnecessary-ab-1797273215

https://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/26/senate-abortion-insurance/

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Posted by Charline Jao

When there’s little representation of people like you in the media, the few characters that do appear become all the more essential for recognizing where you fit into the world. When people have very little contact with a certain group of people, most of their conceptions become based on the media they consume. For many Indian-Americans or Indians in the United States, that character was Apu Nahasapeemapetilon of the Simpsons.

In a documentary for TruTV called The Problem With Apu, comedian Hari Kondabolu talks about the impact the Simpsons character had on him and other actors and comedians in the industry. For Kal Penn, it made the Simpsons completely unwatchable. Also making appearances are Aparna Nancherla, Hasan Minaj, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Aasif Mandvi, Maulik Pancholy, and Sakina Jaffrey, all of whom talk frankly about being compared to Apu or the impact the Apu-accent has had on their opportunities. The comedian himself has spoken before about receiving auditions for stereotypes, and you can draw a clear line from the role of a bodega-owning “East-Indian” with an accent and a “soul-ful, philosophical air” to Apu.

The film also examines the fact the Apu is voiced by white actor Harry Shearer Hank Azaria, an act that Kondabolu once referred to as “a white guy doing and impression of a white guy making fun of my father.” Does that make him a minstrel? Kondabolu consults Whoopi Goldberg. We also get a glimpse of an interview with producer Dana Gould, who asserts that “there are accents, by their nature to white Americans that sound funny. Period.”

“Now I realize a some of you think I’m some annoying, PC, social justice warrior that’s very sensitive,” the comedian says, anticipating the comment section, “and you’re probably thinking ‘C’mon snowflake let it go!’ Well, I have let it go … for 28 years.”

Are you looking forward to The Problem With Apu?

(via BoingBoing, image: screencap)

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Posted by thebloggess

Every once in awhile some country decides to translate one of my books and then I look at the reviews and wonder if they hate me or love me or (like America) a little of both.  I just looked at … Continue reading
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Like thieves in the night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his health care raiders were set to vote on a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act. McConnell scheduled a vote on the "Health Care Freedom Act" (which would serve as a way to free tens of millions from having affordable health insurance) only 45 minutes after releasing the text of the bill. In the end, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski held strong in their opposition, knowing the damage this bill would do to their constituents back home. Even though they withstood tremendous pressure for weeks, including threats from other legislators, it was Arizona Sen. John McCain who rode in to hammer the final nail in this ill-conceived bill’s coffin.

Watch the video below to see him give a thumbs down while standing only a few feet from a scowling Mitch McConnell, and listen to the audible gasps in the chamber.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Donald Trump is waking up on Friday to find he has a bill to sign. However, his usual joy in making his seismographic squiggle of a signature might be a bit hard to locate this time. Because what the Senate has sent him isn’t his much-desired opportunity to dance on President Obama’s legacy. It’s the Russian sanctions bill.

The Senate on Thursday delivered Donald Trump the first big bipartisan rebuke of his presidency, giving final approval to a package of sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea that constrains his bid to defrost relations with Moscow.

The sanctions specifically target the areas of Russia’s economy that it depends on to fund military activities: mining and oil. That includes the deal made by currently-in-hiding Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while he was helming Exxon. The legislation not only locks down the sanctions that President Obama put in place following Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, it makes it difficult for Trump to lift those sanctions on his own.

So signing the bill would both punish Russia for something that Trump doesn’t want to admit happened and limit Trump’s powers. And it’s not as if this squeaked through with little but Democratic votes.

The Senate voted 98-2 to approve the sanctions bill that cleared the House earlier this week. Trump must now decide whether to sign a measure that allows Congress to block any attempt to ease or end penalties against Vladimir Putin's government and imposes new sanctions in response to a Russian electoral disruption campaign that the president continues to dispute.

Trump doesn’t get to bus senators to the Rose Garden for a victory party to celebrate ripping away people’s health care, and he’s handed a piece of paper that punishes his pal Vlad while carrying a huge implication that Congress simply doesn’t trust him. It’s a good day.
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04:  U.S. President Donald Trump (C) congratulates House Republicans after they passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, on May 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. The House bill would still need to be passed by the Senate before it could be signed into law. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Remember this?

If you were looking for the most bitter, most callous, hottest moronic take on the failed health care vote, then look no further! Fox News is here for you. Apparently unable to remember the spectacle of Donald Trump throwing a kegger in the Rose Garden for the Republican House members when they passed the original abomination of a bill, the hosts of Fox & Friends were bigly upset when Sen. Elizabeth Warren had the nerve to go outside of the Capitol building after the vote to talk with the gathered crowd and take a few selfies. 

As the Fox & Friends crew watched the footage of Warren with supporters, host Brian Kilmeade offered up the most moronic take (by a mile), “Congratulations! The healthy people are now paying for the sick people.”

Breaking news! That’s how insurance works! Do you think it would ever occur to Brian Kilmeade that most people are perfectly healthy … until they aren’t?

Hilariously, it took a while to find this clip because Fox & Friends spent much of the show blaming big, bad New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza for tricking new-to-politics businessman Anthony Scaramucci, the White House’s new  communications director, into running his big mouth. They largely glossed over the Republicans’ epic fail last night, but when they did address it, they spent most of the segment complaining about reaction from Democrats.

Watch it below.

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Senate Republicans failed in their latest attempt to take health coverage from 16 million people with so-called “skinny repeal.” So how’s Donald Trump responding? By lamenting the failure and promising to do what he can to blow up the system so that at least a few million people lose coverage:

x

Very presidential. So populist. What a champion of working people. After sleeping on it, Trump expressed the deep thought that “If Republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the Senate, they must immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60”—after a 51-49 vote.

As Trump’s initial tweet makes clear, Obamacare is still not safe. But things are a whole lot better than they would be if he was pounding out celebratory bragging tweets.

[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Dan Van Winkle

Donald Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, is already butting heads with people inside the White House, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigning and Scaramucci’s desire to go after leakers—even when those leakers are “leaking” public information. Last night, he called a New Yorker reporter to ask about a source on a story and then unloaded some colorful opinions, apparently forgetting to say the call was off the record, definitely leading by example on good communication.

The New Yorker, of course, published Scaramucci’s words, and they’re certainly illuminating about how the White House is working—or not, as the case may be. On White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Scaramucci indicated him as a source of information to the press and said, “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” He then went on to explain his theory that Priebus leaked information about a dinner Scaramucci was having, speaking mockingly as Priebus: “Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.”

But he reserved some even stronger words for Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, saying, “I’m not Steve Bannon; I’m not trying to suck my own cock. I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” His streak of phallically-inspired language also extends to his rumored nickname for Reince Priebus, too, and … well, I think you can probably figure out that playground-caliber insult for yourself.

It’s all pretty ridiculous and, though it seems Scaramucci’s promises of firing people may achieve Trump’s goal of clamping down on leaks, this all only serves to confirm the leaked picture of how dysfunctional things have been in the White House. Maybe better to let leakers make people think you’re a fool than hire Scaramucci and remove all doubt?

All that is what led to a full round of mocking from the usual suspects last night, with some extra tidbits about Trump’s attempts to browbeat Attorney General Jeff Sessions into resigning (probably in order to get the Russia probe shut down), as well as the Republican health care debacle:

And here’s Samantha Bee on Scaramucci, even though this bit is a day old, which puts it several news cycles behind with Donald Trump in Washington:

(image: screengrab)

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Posted by Marykate Jasper

Boots Riley’s directorial debut, Sorry to Bother You, is stacking up a seriously impressive cast. After already landing Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Creed), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Terry Crews (Brooklyn 9-9), and Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Atlanta), the film recently signed three more actors: Patton Oswalt (Mystery Science Theater 3000), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple), and David Cross (Arrested Development).

According to Deadline, the Oakland-set film follows “a black telemarketer with self-esteem issues who discovers a magical key to business success, propelling him to the upper echelons of the hierarchy just as his activist comrades are rising up against unjust labor practices. When he uncovers the macabre secret of his corporate overlords, he must decide whether to stand up or sell out.”

And according to the IMDB summary, this “magical key” is actually “a way to make his voice sound like it is overdubbed by a white actor.”

The genre film – described as “magical-realist” on IMDB and a “sci-fi drama” on SyfyWire, so maybe it’s both? – will be Riley’s directorial debut. He is perhaps best known as the frontman for The Coup, a revolutionary-in-the-real-political-sense hip hop group whose sixth album was also titled Sorry to Bother You. The Coup’s lyrics are biting, funny, and deeply critical of American imperialism, capitalism, and racism – so if the script is anywhere near as clever and hard-hitting as these songs, it’s going to be amazing. I already had high hopes based on the premise, and with the cast this movie is stacking up, my expectations are climbing even higher.

(via SyfyWire; image via Marvel Studios)

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Cartoon: Peak satire moonshot

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:51 pm
[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Here’s a little peek inside my brain. Week after week, I strive to stay one step ahead of the satire curve but reality quickly catches up with absurdity. It’s a fast-moving target these days as satire goes from imagined to the real world all too quickly.

Who would think that we’d see a president riffing in front of 40,000 Boy Scouts about sex and politics? Who would think we’d see a president savaging his attorney general on social media, or urging the military to do his political bidding? See, it’s probably not that far fetched that Trump’s caddy would become the new attorney general.

And for late-breaking news, surely it is some sort of dog whistle, and not pure coincidence, that Donald Trump would eliminate transgender people from the military on the very day that President Truman integrated the armed forces back in 1948! Enjoy the absurdity of my cartoon, before it becomes reality. (And in the meantime, stop by and go behind-the-scenes with me on Patreon.)

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Posted by Marykate Jasper

In the wee hours of Friday morning, after barely four hours of debate, the Republican-controlled Senate failed to pass their “skinny repeal” bill by three votes: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and John McCain (R-AZ). The bill would have left at least 16 million more Americans uninsured and hiked premiums. It would have torpedoed insurance exchanges.

And yet, 49 Republicans voted “yes” on this disaster.

Calling your red-state senators must be exhausting. I know this because I am very lucky; my senators are from Massachusetts, and when I call their offices about healthcare, I get to hear that one supports single-payer and the other will do whatever it takes to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I get that feel-good moment of doing my democratic duty without any humiliation, pain or mind-numbing frustration.

Calling someone like Ted Cruz, the man with as much compassion as he has charisma, is an endless cycle of rejections. You’re ignored or blocked from town halls. When his office does respond, it’s with canned lines of bigotry, misogyny, and trickle-down bullshit that you, the caller, have to listen to. Calling someone like Ted Cruz means suffering through all that to make your voice heard…and then watching him vote like an asshole anyways.

And yet, thousands and thousands of red-state Americans (most of them women) are still calling. Citizens from every walk of life call and call and call the terrible people who “represent” them. Groups like Indivisible, the Town Hall Project, and the Democratic Socialists of America organize and mobilize across the country, from Kansas to Missouri to Maine. Being an active, informed citizen of a democracy in a system which actively discourages you from participating, which relentlessly makes you aware of how outnumbered you are and how little your Tea Party representatives listen to you, is a miracle of civic duty.

If you’re a progressive who lives in a red state or under a Republican senator, working tirelessly to make the politics of your state less cruel, even knowing what monsters are your congresspeople, you’re a goddamn hero.

And last night, your work paid off. Even if you weren’t from Alaska, Arizona, or Maine (and thank you to the constituents of those three states), even if your senator ultimately betrayed your best interests, your calls constrained the terms of debate and made it more difficult to craft and pass a repeal bill. Callers in states like Kansas, Ohio, Nevada, and West Virginia kept Medicaid and the opioid crisis front-and-center. This forced McConnell to craft compromise bills rather than Freedom Caucus bills, and it trapped him in an awkward bargaining situation.

Disability rights activists like ADAPT, meanwhile, kept the pressure on the media and refused to let McConnell and Ryan slink into the darkness to craft this bill. Even leading up to McConnell’s democracy-threatening midnight vote, do you know what cable news was featuring? Some showy Scaramucci story. Disability rights activists prevented them from pulling this shit. With their die-ins, sit-ins, and repeated protests in a country which already makes it very difficult to get a wheelchair anywhere, they drew constant attention to the House and Senate repeal efforts, and they forced local and national news to focus on healthcare. They went to prison for protesting to protect their fellow citizens from dying. There’s pretty much nothing braver or more inherently decent than that.

And, of course, thank Collins and Murkowski. They’ve faced enormous, often misogynist pressure from their Republican colleagues: wishful promises of violence, threats against their state’s funding, whinging about “female senators from the Northeast,” and pledges from billionaires to fund primary challenges against them. In the face of this, they’ve steadfastly voted on behalf of their constituents instead of on behalf of Mitch McConnell. (Imagine that.) Their resistance set the stage for McCain to join them. And while they own a whole lot of toxic bullshit – I neither forgive nor forget Betsy Devos – on this issue, they saved millions of Americans from losing insurance, dying, or going into bankruptcy. Let them know you see it and appreciate it.

And, yeah, I do think it’s worth emphasizing that they’re both women. When we look at “Republicans who didn’t vote to murder people,” the women of the Senate are 2 out of 5 (40%) and the men are 1 out of 47 (2%). Sure, that pool of women is rather small, but the discrepancy is telling. When it came to courage and rational policy-making, the Republican men did not deliver. (However, credit to vulnerable red-state Democrats like Joe Manchin (D-WV), who never wavered in their commitment to the ACA. That man showed courage.)

If you’re in Arizona, you do with McCain what you want to do. He really did the right thing, in the end, and that deserves credit. He didn’t cave to McConnell, and he made that showboat speech from a few days ago actually mean something. If you’re an Arizonan who called him, he respected your best interests – and he listened to the concerns of his state governor. Our national healthcare prospects would be grotesque without his principled vote.

But he also voted to put millions of Americans through the stress of watching this debacle. He had the gall to declare, “Watch the show” before making his dramatic “no” vote. This was not an Aaron Sorkin season finale; this was people’s lives, and McCain undoubtedly toyed with them for his personal brand. However, if he’s so willing to do the right thing in exchange for attention, I totally understand why you may want to call him and give him that positive feedback. You may also just want to experience the relief of calling your Republican senator to say “Thank you” instead of “Please don’t kill me” for once. You may also be too furious to say thanks to this man. You do you.

This fight is far from over. McConnell and Paul Ryan love killing poor people, and as long as they hold the House and the Senate, repeal will be back. But for today…today, evil lost. And you won.

(Via Politico; image via Shutterstock)

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[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

John McCain provided a crucial vote to kill “skinny” repeal of Obamacare Thursday night, and he deserves credit for doing the right thing. But we need to talk about how much credit he’s getting—and who’s being overlooked. Because this:

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Senate Republicans originally put together an all-male panel to kill Obamacare, shutting the six Republican women in the Senate out of the process. Then that group fell apart and the repeal bills, such as they were, were crafted in secret—still without input from the very women who were making clear that their votes would be hard to get. 

Collins and Murkowski voted against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s series of poorly thought through, cruel bills from the beginning. Donald Trump’s interior secretary was dispatched to threaten Alaska's energy industry over Murkowski’s vote. She and Collins withstood days if not weeks of pressure, and without them, McCain’s vote wouldn’t have been decisive. Let’s also not forget that McCain provided the crucial vote to get the Senate to the skinny repeal vote in the first place. And now the headlines are all about the night John McCain killed the GOP's health-care fight, or say that McCain, two other GOP senators join Democrats to reject last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare. And the cable news channels (minus Fox) are oohing and aahing over him.

I get it. He was the vote that was in doubt. He was the guy who had already voted yes once before switching to no.

But it also matters that he’s a guy. If West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito had been the senator to switch her vote to no, she would not be getting the breathless coverage McCain is. And it’s not about cancer, either. Sen. Mazie Hirono traveled all the way from Hawaii with stage IV kidney cancer to vote no, but her commitment and courage got only the smallest fraction of attention that McCain did, even when his journey was to deny other people the health care he was receiving himself.

So yes, we are rightly celebrating that McCain did the right thing. But can we take a minute to credit the women who were there before him, taking the heat and making his big moment possible?

This'll Cure That Freaky Fetish

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Well, not THAT one - what do you take me for, a miracle-worker? Sheesh.

No, I mean the one with the footsies. And don't try to deny it, 'cuz I know you're out there: loitering around the pedicure station, being overly helpful at the Payless, getting WAY too excited about peep-toe pumps coming back into style - yeah, you know who you are. Well, my foot-fondling friends, it's time for a little sole searching.

And for the rest of you: put down that coffee and prepare to skip breakfast (or possibly revisit it, depending on your constitution).

This is a groom's cake, which begs the question: is the groom really that enamored with his own toe hair? And I know there's no good way to show severed appendages, but those ankle stumps are freaking me out juuust a little.

Side note: The words "cake" and "ankle stumps" should never, EVER, be used to describe the same thing.

 

Hahahahahaha! See, it's like a dead person's feet! With a toe tag! To remind you of your own mortality! Isn't that hysterical? Hahhahahaha!

Right. Two things:
1) What's up with the blue drapey bits?
2) Just for fun, try to imagine the position you'd have to be in to get your feet at that angle.

 

There is only one word to describe this next one:

AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!

Yep, that sums it up nicely, I think.

 

Then there's the delectable world of toe fungus, which I think you'll all agree is not only a great ice-breaker at parties ("Hey, wanna see something cool?"), but also really hits the spot come dessert time.

That Dr. Pachman, he's such a fun guy, don't you think? Eh? Fungi? Eh? Booyah!

I'm not sure why he would order a "cake" made from upholstery foam, though: that somehow detracts from the otherwise yummy-looking toenails.

Side note: Dr. Pachman is quite possibly the coolest doctor name ever. Right up there with Dr. Spaceman.


Ok, guys, this is it: time for the most disgusting, fungus-riddled foot cake mine eyes have seen. Proceed with extreme caution and strong intestinal fortitude.

Urp.

What's more horrifying: the green bugs crawling under the toenails...[pausing to swallow repeatedly]...or the fact that this is for a girl? Poor Teresa: I don't think the pretty pink icing nearly makes up for that yellowish... gelatinous...layer....

[sound of running feet]

UPDATE: Whew! Sorry, folks: my constitution just gave out, if you catch my drift. On the plus side, I just may lose those 5 pounds this week!

 

Hey, Sara S., Julie R., Christina B., and Jessica M., it's time to cut loose. Foot loose.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

UPDATE: All the downloads have been claimed! Thanks again to the team at Avon and we hope you found a good book (or two) for the weekend!

The Avon Publisher Booksigning (“The Avon Open House”) at RWA 2017 is from 8:30 to 9:30 am today. Our friends at Avon Romance have arranged a superb surprise for those of you who love romance but aren’t attending the 2017 RWA conference.

Are you ready for what it is?

Instafreebie copies of many of the Avon e-books at their Open House event! That’s right! Free e-books! However, be warned that copies are limitedFor many of the books, there are 500 digital copies available, save for the below Susan Wiggs title, which is capped at 100 digital copies.

Readers can download as many of the individual listed books as they like, until supplies run out.

Everyone can be part of Avon’s RWA book signing, which is so cool. Thank you, Avon, and especially Pam and Caro for all the awesomeness.

Go forth and get you some books!

Fall with Me by Jennifer ArmentroutFALL WITH ME by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

I Married the Duke by Katharine AsheI MARRIED THE DUKE by Katharine Ashe

Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?

On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never:

1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain,
2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach,
3. Battle thieves at his side,
and
4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.

But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job . . . and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.


Love Me If You Dare by Toni BlakeLOVE ME IF YOU DARE by Toni Blake

When the question is love, the answer is always yes…

Camille Thompson is the best at what she does—closing deals. That’s why real estate developer Vanderhook has sent her to Coral Cove, Florida, where the stubborn owner of the Happy Crab Motel is refusing to sell. Camille’s never had a problem turning a “no” into a “yes,” but then she’s never been so captivated by a man’s sexy smile before.

Laidback Reece Donovan likes life simple. No amount of money—or any other temptation Camille can offer—will convince him to give up the one link to his past. Of course, it would be easier without the powerful chemistry raging between them.

As a fragile romance begins to grow, can Reece trust Camille with his secrets? And when promises are broken, along with hearts, can the charm of Coral Cove help bring them back together?

A Study in Scoundrels by Christy CarlyleA STUDY IN SCOUNDRELS by Christy Carlyle

Sophia Ruthven is the epitome of proper behavior. On paper at least, as long as that paper isn’t from one of the lady detective stories she secretly pens. She certainly isn’t interested in associating with the dashing Jasper Grey, the wayward heir to the Earl of Stanhope, and one of the stage’s leading men. But when she learns Grey’s younger sister Liddy has gone missing, she can’t deny her desire to solve the mystery…or her attraction to the incorrigible scoundrel.

Responsibility isn’t something Grey is very familiar with. On the boards and in the bedroom, he lives exactly how he wants to, shunning all the trappings of respectability and society. Grey knows he should avoid the bewitching Sophia, but he’s never been able to say no to what he wants. And having Sophia in his arms and his bed is quickly becoming the thing he wants the most.

As Sophia and Grey’s search for Liddy continues across the English countryside, can this scoundrel convince a proper lady that he’s actually perfect for her or will their adventure leave them both heartbroken?

Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa DareLORD DASHWOOD MISSED OUT by Tessa Dare

A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir–only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

The Fixer by HelenKay DimonTHE FIXER by HelenKay Dimon

He’s known only as Wren. A wealthy, dangerously secretive man, he specializes in making problems disappear. A professional fixer, Wren hides a dark past, but his privacy is shattered when Emery Finn seeks him out—and what she wants from him is very personal.

Some people disappear against their will. Emery’s job is to find them and bring closure. Wren is the only person who can help solve Emery’s own personal mystery: the long-ago disappearance of her cousin. Just tracking down the sexy, brooding Wren is difficult enough. Resisting her body’s response to him will prove completely impossible.

Anonymity is essential to Wren’s success, yet drawn by Emery’s loyalty and sensuality, he’s pulled out of the shadows. But her digging is getting noticed by the wrong people. And as the clues start to point to someone terrifyingly close, Wren will have to put his haunted past aside to protect the woman he loves.

Twisted by Cynthia EdenTWISTED by Cynthia Eden

In the second seductive LOST novel from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden, an obsessed Last Option Search Team agent goes looking for trouble—and finds her in the Big Easy.

Dean Bannon comes to New Orleans for one reason only: to track down a missing sixteen-year-old girl. That’s before he meets the drop-dead gorgeous con artist who makes him want to lose his legendary control.

With her past, Emma Castille doesn’t claim to be psychic. She just notices things other people don’t. Like the fear in a runaway’s eyes—or the pain in an ex-FBI agent’s heart. Her chemistry with Dean is blistering, but Emma follows her passion . . . not someone else’s orders.

Then a madman breaks into Emma’s home and leaves a twisted message: You’re next. Now Dean refuses to let her out of his sight until he pries every last secret from her full, sexy lips. And suddenly Emma’s aching to give him everything he wants.

Here and Now by Cheryl EtchisonHERE AND NOW by Cheryl Etchison

The Rangers of the 1st/75th fight hard, train hard and play hard. They are physically strong and mentally tough, disciplined and courageous. But all their military training hasn’t prepared them for falling in love.

Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for “her Lucky,” he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift “vampire”.

Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she’s finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenager pursuer, she blackmails him into helping move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex into a place all her own.

From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future. Until one day changes everything.

Why Do Dukes Fall in Love by Megan FramptonWHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE by Megan Frampton

In Megan Frampton’s captivating new Dukes Behaving Badly novel, we learn the answer to the question:

Why do dukes fall in love?

Michael, the Duke of Hadlow, has the liberty of enjoying an indiscretion . . . or several. But when it comes time for him to take a proper bride, he ultimately realizes he wants only one woman: Edwina Cheltam. He’d hired her as his secretary, only to quickly discover she was sensuous and intelligent.

They embark on a passionate affair, and when she breaks it off, he accepts her decision as the logical one . . . but only at first. Then he decides to pursue her.

Michael is brilliant, single-minded, and utterly indifferent to being the talk of the ton. It’s even said his only true friend is his dog. Edwina had begged him to marry someone appropriate–—someone aristocratic . . . someone high-born . . . someone else. But the only thing more persuasive than a duke intent on seduction is one who has fallen irrevocably in love.

I Do by Rachel GibsonI DO! by Rachel Gibson

In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson’s newest novella, Vince Haven and Sadie Hollowell are headed to the altar, and all their friends are headed to Lovett, Texas, to join them for the party of the year.

But Becca Ramsey doesn’t have time for all that. Fresh out of beauty school, Becca’s all business . . . and the last thing she needs is bad boy Nate Parrish anywhere in her life.

In the past, Nate was trouble. He’s been trying to repair his reputation—heck, he’s even got just one girlfriend. The problem is, she isn’t Becca. Now Nate’s in a whole lot of hot water. He needs to get Becca from “I won’t” to “I do” . . . but how can he do that when she won’t even say “I might”?

A Son's Vow by Shelley Shepard GrayA SON’S VOW by Shelley Shephard Gray

Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

CATCH A FALLING HEIRESS by Laura Lee GuhrkeCATCH A FALLING HEIRESS by Laura Lee Guhrke

She’s an American heiress. He’s a devilish earl. When these two collide, the sparks ignite a shocking scandal in USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke’s unforgettable Victorian-era romance.

Linnet Holland wants nothing to do with fortune hunters. No, she’s determined to marry a man who loves her. But just as she’s about to accept the perfect marriage proposal from the man she wants, the rakish Earl of Featherstone interrupts and ruins everything, including her reputation, with his smoldering kiss.

Jack Featherstone knows all about Linnet’s “intended”, and he’s determined she won’t fall prey to that villain as other women have in the past. But when his attempt to save Linnet ruins her instead, he knows he has to make things right. So he sets out to win this golden beauty . . . and prove to her that being ruined by him was the best thing that could have happened to her.

FALLING INTO BED WITH THE DUKE by Lorraine Heath

In the first in a dazzling new series, New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath introduces the Hellions of Havisham—three charismatic rogues destined to lose their hearts…

After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady’s desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.

A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime’s pleasure?

STEPPING TO A NEW DAY by Beverly JenkinsSTEPPING TO A NEW DAY by Beverly Jenkins

NAACP nominee and USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns to the town of Henry Adams with a story of family, friendship, love, and second chances.

In Henry Adams, Kansas, you can’t start over without stirring things up . . .

Many a good woman has had to leave a no-good man, but how many of them took a back-seat to his 600-lb. hog? On her own for the first time, Genevieve Gibbs is ecstatic, even if certain people preferred the doormat version of Ms. Gibbs. Finding someone who appreciates the “new” her has only just hit Gen’s to-do list when T.C. Barbour appears in her life.

A tiny Kansas town is a far cry from his native Oakland, California, but it’s just the change T. C. needs. While helping his divorced nephew acclimate to single fatherhood, T. C. lands a gig driving a limo for the most powerful woman in Henry Adams. It’s a great way to meet people—and one in particular has already made the job worthwhile. All it takes is a short trip from the airport for Genevieve to snag T.C.’s attention for good.

But it wouldn’t be Henry Adams without adding more drama to the mix. When Gen’s ex Riley returns with his hog in tow, it sets off a chain of events that can ruin everything—unless the residents pull together once again to save the day.

ALL CHAINED UP by Sophie JordanALL CHAINED UP by Sophie Jordan

There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil’s Rock . . .

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste . . . until the only crime is denying what feels so right . . .

RIDE HARD by Laura KayeRIDE HARD by Laura Kaye

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .

MAKING THE PLAY by TJ KlineMAKING THE PLAY by TJ Kline

T.J. Kline launches a brand new series with the charming story of a NFL player who finds love when he least expects it…

Grant McQuaid has dedicated his entire life to his football career. Now an injury threatens his place on the team and he’s forced to return home to rehabilitate. But when he meets his “biggest fan,” a precocious, blue-eyed, hearing impaired boy named James—and his beautiful mother, Bethany—Grant begins to question whether football is the future he still wants.

Bethany Mills has been doing just fine since her husband walked out on them… and she definitely doesn’t need another man to disappoint her—or her son. But when James runs into his hero at the park, Bethany admits there is a void in her son’s life that she just can’t fill. Her attraction to the handsome football star is undeniable, but a man in the limelight is the last thing she wants for herself, or James.

Grant doesn’t want to subject Bethany to the chaos of dating a professional athlete. But the more time he spends with her and James, the harder it is to resist making a play for her heart…

SCANDAL TAKES THE STAGE by Eva LeighSCANDAL TAKES THE STAGE by Eva Leigh

Eva Leigh’s smart and sexy Wicked Quills of London series continues, with a playwright and a Viscount . . . together they may create a scandal worthy of the stage, but can their love last after the final curtain falls?

Successful playwright Maggie Delamere has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood. She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness . . . and vows to rebuff the wildly persistent—and irritatingly handsome—scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist…

For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s brilliant work, and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but if it means loosening Maggie’s pen—and her inhibitions—he’ll do exactly that.

But soon Cam’s plans for seduction become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake society believes him to be . . . and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL by Caroline LindenLOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL by Caroline Linden

USA Today bestselling author Caroline Linden’s third novel in her Scandalous series brings together a feisty heiress, a notorious rake, and a shocking book that could bring one woman the utmost despair—or the greatest pleasure…

Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need—nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel…

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. Though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage—until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful . . . beguiling . . . and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?

ALONG CAME LOVE by Tracey LivesayALONG CAME LOVE by Tracey Livesay

When a silly, impulsive decision lands free-spirited India Shaw behind bars in San Francisco, she has no choice but to call the only person she knows in the unfamiliar city—the very man she abandoned after a steamy two-day fling. The fact that she’s pregnant with his child is something she’d rather not divulge.

Tech executive Michael Black never thought he’d hear from the quirky beauty after she left his bed four months ago, much less be called upon to post bail. He’s got his hands full with a corporate merger that could make or break his career, but his honorable nature—and an overwhelming need to see her again—means he can’t just leave her in jail. And when India reveals the truth about her pregnancy, Mike insists she stay with him until the baby is born.

India doesn’t want to depend on him for anything, but their constant proximity stirs up feelings she can’t ignore. She’s never desired a family before and she knows a future with Mike isn’t possible . . . but then along came love to shake up all her plans.

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne LongHOT IN HELLCAT CANYON by Julie Anne Long

A broken truck, a broken career, and a breakup heard around the world land superstar John Tennessee McCord in Hellcat Canyon. Legend has it that hearts come in two colors there: gold or black. And that you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s love . . . or trouble. JT may have found both in waitress Britt Langley.

His looks might cause whiplash and weak knees, but Britt sees past JT’s rough edge and sexy drawl to a person a lot like her: in need of the kind of comfort best given hot and quick, with clothes off and the lights out.

Her wit is sharp but her eyes and heart—not to mention the rest of her—are soft, and JT is falling hard. But Britt has a secret as dark as the hills, and JT’s past is poised to invade their present. It’s up to the people of Hellcat Canyon to help make sure their future includes a happily ever after.

THE DEBUTANTE IS MINE by Vivienne LorretTHE DEBUTANTE IS MINE by Vivienne Lorret

From the Season Standard: “A true Season’s Original embodies the class, grace, and style of the ton. Such an honor ensures the recipient her pick of eligible suitors…”

Lilah Appleton’s prospects are looking dim. With one last chance to find a titled husband before she’s forced to wed her wretched cousin, she must make this Season count. Plain, forgettable Lilah must become the Season’s Original. Desperate, she seeks help from the devilishly charming, untitled, and thoroughly unsuitable Jack Marlowe. All she must do now is resist the tempting rogue…

Bastard son and self-made man, Jack Marlowe loathes the aristocracy. When he meets Lilah, he expects her to be like all the other greedy husband-hunters. But she’s far more dangerous. Her alluring smiles and sharp tongue intrigue him. Before he knows it, he agrees to help her find a husband, revealing tricks to ensnare any man. The only problem is, his plan works too well—on him.

When Lilah becomes the belle of the ball, Jack realizes he may lose her forever—unless he can take a chance on love and claim his debutante…

MATCH OF THE CENTURY by Cathy MaxwellTHE MATCH OF THE CENTURY by Cathy Maxwell

In New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell’s glittering new series, wedding bells are ringing… until the return of a rake throws a bride’s plans—and heart—into a tailspin…

Every debutante aspires to snag a duke. Elin Morris just happens to have had one reserved since birth. But postponements of her marriage to London’s most powerful peer give Elin time to wonder how she will marry Gavin Baynton when she cannot forget his brother, Benedict.

Already exasperated at being yanked from the military to meet “family obligations,” now Ben must suffer watching his arrogant sibling squire the only woman he has ever loved. Joining the army saved Ben from sinking into bitterness, but seeing Elin again takes him back to the day they surrendered to their intoxicating desire.

As the wedding draws near, Elin tries to push Ben far from her thoughts. When danger brings them together, there is no denying their feelings. But can Elin choose love over duty?

MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsMATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

You met quarterback Kevin Tucker in Nobody’s Baby but Mine. Now get ready to meet his shark of an agent, Heath Champion, and Annabelle Granger, the girl least likely to succeed.

Annabelle’s endured dead-end jobs, a broken engagement . . . even her hair’s a mess! But that’s going to change now that she’s taken over her late grandmother’s matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City’s hottest bachelor as her client, and she’ll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town.

Why does the wealthy, driven, and gorgeous sports agent Heath Champion need a matchmaker, especially a red-haired screw-up like Annabelle Granger? True, she’s entertaining, and she does have a certain quirky appeal. But Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of success — the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?

Soon everyone in Chicago has a stake in the outcome, and a very big question: When the determined matchmaker promised she’d do anything to keep her star client happy . . . did she mean anything? If Annabelle isn’t careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town.

SECRETS OF NANREATH HALL by Alix RickloffSECRETS OF NANREATH HALL by Alix Rickloff

This incredible debut historical novel—in the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Jennifer Robson—tells the fascinating story of a young mother who flees her home on the rocky cliffs of Cornwall and the daughter who finds her way back, seeking answers.

Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn her adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home—Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six years old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known—and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.

Cornwall, 1913. In the luxury of pre-WWI England, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is expected to do nothing more than make a smart marriage and have a respectable life. When Simon Halliday, a bohemian painter, enters her world, Katherine begins to question the future that was so carefully laid out for her. Her choices begin to lead her away from the stability of her home and family toward a wild existence of life, art, and love. But as everything begins to fall apart, Katherine finds herself destitute and alone.

As Anna is drawn into her newfound family’s lives and their tangled loyalties, she discovers herself at the center of old heartbreaks and unbearable tragedies, leaving her to decide if the secrets of the past are too dangerous to unearth…and if the family she’s discovered is one she can keep.

MONTANA HEAT- PROTECTED BY LOVE by Jennifer RyanMONTANA HEAT: PROTECTED BY LOVE by Jennifer Ryan

It was more than another blind date . . .

It was DEA Agent Caden Cooke’s third chance to impress beautiful chef Mia Martin. He’d already stood her up twice, and was shocked she was even giving him another chance. For Caden, taking down the bad guys is important, but Mia’s made it clear there’s no excuse for his bad behavior. So he’s vowed to make it worth her while with an apology he’s cooked up just for her.

From the moment they meet, it’s clear this isn’t just another fix up. The sparks flying between them are undeniable; the tension is electric. Then, suddenly, the best moments of their lives turn treacherous when a drug dealer set on revenge puts their lives in danger. And Mia and Caden quickly realize they will do anything to protect the other—and live for the love neither of them expected.

THE SOLDIER'S SCOUNDREL by Cat SebastianTHE SOLDIER’S SCOUNDREL by Cat Sebastian

A scoundrel who lives in the shadows

Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.

A soldier untarnished by vice

After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman’s life-one that doesn’t include sparring with a ne’er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack’s pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they’re together.

Two men only meant for each other

ONE SNOWY NIGHT by Jill ShalvisONE SNOWY NIGHT by Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella!

It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.

Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.

They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

FAMILY TREE by Susan WiggsFAMILY TREE by Susan Wiggs

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful, emotionally complex story of love, loss, the pain of the past—and the promise of the future.

Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes.

Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

Remember, these downloads are available for a limited time and in limited quantities!

January 2011

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