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- There! The Russian-Hungarian border! Did I ever tell you about the time I ...?

- No, Commander, but I ...

- The year? 1812. I had just defeated the Emperor Napoleon and rescued Empress Marie-Louise from his clammy, froggy clutches, winning her fair heart in the process. It was dawn, the sun had barely risen over the ...

- But, but, Commaaaander ...

- Yes! French cavalry all around me! I, all alone with naught but my bare knuckles! Man-to-man, hand-to-hand I fought off the Emperor!

- Yes, Commander. How riveting, Commander. Do continue. ~sigh~

 

Cheers, kittens! It's me, Hannah Hart! Now, I imagine there's a whole bushel of you numnuts whom have no clue who Commander McBragg is. (Note: "I wasn't born then." is not, I repeat, not an appropriate response. Where you born when Mozart wrote Die Zauberflöte? Were you born when Thomas Jefferson wrote Notes on Virginia? Were you born when Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off the Outer Banks? No. Now stop using that sad excuse. It makes you sound obtuse, oblivious and uneducated. This goes out especially to the bank teller in San Clemente whom declared proudly, with the look of a dumb turtle, "I Love Lucy? I don't think I've heard of it. I wasn't born then." Idiot.)

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Orange County versus L.A.? Well, versus just about everybody? Please. It's a fun game to play; but they started it. Orange County was just sitting there, beachside in her lovely Escada pixie pants, having a Bombay martini, minding her own business and, without provocation, all those other snarky, nasty, jealous little counties started razzing her. La Pauvre! Authoress Jennifer Susannah Devore is one of her most ardent protectors in such silly, verbal contests, most oft set in a grungy bar somewhere other than The O.C. (Psst, we don't call it that.)

Within the pages of her novel, The Darlings of Orange County, she takes the opportunity to give it a direct S/O and, ever so politely, correct the "competition". (Really though, short of Monterey, Carmel and Santa Barbara, Orange County has no competition in California.) Love it or hate it, Orange County counts ... and it doesn't, by a very long stretch.

Enjoy an excerpt from Jennifer S. Devore's The Darlings of Orange County

Orange County? Now, that’s a whole other zone. It counts ... and it doesn't count, by a very long stretch. Orange County is excluded from the spiritual as well as the legal TMZ, and with extreme prejudice.

Orange County is the pretty, privileged, perky cousin you hate, but have no real, valid reason to do so. All you have are some faint memories of childhood and family visits, because you really just don’t visit ever, if you can help it. Still, you're constantly reminded of her success, beauty and casual, happy lifestyle through family gossip, pictures and Facebook posts. She grew up in a bigger house, with nicer parents, received a better education, and had shinier hair, fancier clothes and even her own damn horse. You can't stand the fact that even though you secretly disdain her, she adores you and year after year gives you a better Christmas present than you give her and it's always beautifully wrapped. She's a total bitch because she's not a bitch at all and despite the crap you give her, she still smiles, laughs, drinks her cocktails and enjoys her life and, worst of all, has a kick-ass body that you know you could have if you actually worked on it like she did; but, she actually likes working out and that makes you hate her even more. It makes her feel good and she just couldn’t imagine a day without exercise and that makes you cringe. In short, you are jealous of her and that is why you mock her with the other unhappy people in your life … but you know you would trade places with her in a heartbeat if somebody just dropped it all in your lap.

Now, tonight that little bitch was having a kick-ass party and you were invited. You bitched all the way down the 405 from The Valley, but you showed up anyway and are going to drink all the free champagne you can, aren’t you?

The only folks whom proudly claim to love Orange County, live in Orange County. The rest of the world dismisses it with a flip of the wrist and a catty, convenient label: phony, vapid, unreal, tacky, fake, classless, trash with cash, Mickey's whorehouse, Silicone Valley. Los Angelenos think Orange Countians are stupid and unsophisticated, Inland Empire dwellers think they're phony and plastic, and Northern Californians hate them viscerally and consider them an Aryan race of Republican trust fund brats hell-bent on enslaving the Mexican immigrant community and manicuring the entire state to look like a Mission Viejo cul-de-sac. Amidst all that, the competition within and behind the Orange Curtain is fierce and it's a daily struggle to be the prettiest, perkiest, most privileged cousin on the block. To quote Lynne Curtin from the self-destructive Real Housewives of Orange County, "It's Orange County! It's freaking hard to live in Orange County! It's so hard!"

It is a damn fine place to live, though. Like those outside the main stream enough to build a house into a boulder, and there happens to be one of those on Laguna’s Aliso Beach, some of the Hollywood set have made Orange County their home: if not a primary residence, at least a second home.

From John Wayne, Richard Nixon and Errol Flynn to Dennis Rodman, Barbara Eden and Bette Midler, some have just understood the beauty of Orange County. Some, like Humphrey Bogart, Mae West and James Cagney, were content to keep their yachts moored in Newport Harbor and some, like Charlie Chaplin, Billy Bob Thornton, Britney Spears, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hanks, are happy to use her facilities on occasion: Disneyland, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, Monarch Links, The St. Regis. Yep, a lot of the world may talk a lot of smack about the O.C., but, like an appletini or mozzarella sticks, once you've had a taste you know you want some more.


Excerpt from The Darlings of Orange County by Jennifer S. Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.

 

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For those whom recall my original Grand Canyon challenge to Sugar Belle, as well as my brief follow-up post, please enjoy the following, full-length narrative, on the one-year recollection of a most wonderful trek to the depths of the Canyon (and a surprising, Jennifer Aniston sighting) and, naturally, back to the Rim where a much needed, heartily-earned, hour-long, lemongrass shower and subsequent martini awaited.

 

 

The dining hall is virtually empty, with the exception of our small crew and Jude, a kind, slightly bohemian fellow working the Phantom Ranch Canteen. On this ghostly quiet, February afternoon, the Ranch is appropriately named. As there are no other guests to tend, Jude chats with us and asks our story; we return the curiosity, and wonder about his story, working at the very bottom of the Grand Canyon. He brings us some of the best beer any of us will ever imbibe, given its Tao-like actualization, and tells us.

"Working below the Rim is like nothing else, anywhere," Jude claims with a smile that upholds the claim. Even though he hikes in and out on his own time, and his own dime, it's a nature-gig, similar to being a lifeguard or snowboard instructor, well worth the physical effort and light pay. For the mellow dude from Phoenix, just getting to be in the Canyon is enough. It may seem simple, working in a restaurant at a national park, but it's not simple by a long shot. In fact, it's phenomenal when one realizes that, of all the humans of the planet, only a small, anthropologically-insignificant handful has actually sipped where we did that day.

Eight-hundred years after Havasupai tribes slept in pit houses at the Canyon's lowest point, and well over one-hundred years before Jude regaled us with tales and ales, John Wesley Powell, a grandfather of 19thCentury American West conservation, camped along the waters of what is today Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground. In 1913 Teddy Roosevelt made his way to this same spot via mule and slept in the same camp where the Havasupai, J.W. Powell and our little group all slept. Today, it is difficult to imagine there hasn't always been this oasis of running water, summertime ranger talks, pampered mules and all the seven-dollar postcards, vegetarian chili and four-dollar cans of beer your heart desires.

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Honours come in many a form and fancy. Some strive for awards and trophies, some shoot for honorary mentions and notice. Mine, like many a dyed-in-the-wool geek is to be a cartoon character ... and not via those cheesy, "Turn yourself into a superhero!" ads, the product being little more than a selfie morphed by mildly impressive Photoshopping.

No, a truly organic, artistic character is what I crave and not necessarily a Marvel-style superheroine (Although, I do envision a metal bustier, Manson boots and coal-black locks, tipped with poisonous scorpions, à la Blackbeard's fuse-tipped curls, with which to sting villains, those being folks using "your" and "you're" interchangeably, as well as those asking really dumb questions like, "I can never remember. Which was first? The Civil War or the Revolution?" Scorpions, dispatch with the obstuse! Away!")

An honest to goodness Sunday funnies, cartoon character suits me raw-ther nicely. Well, my Fairy Godmother waved her wand and Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo! Unexpected and a true honour, this drawing was a thank-you from syndicated cartoonist Mel Henze, of GoComics new comic strip, Gentle Creatures. Weirdly, he nailed me with surprising accuracy! The parasol, the red shoes, the hat, sunglasses and flower! (Not the boobs, so much; but I love The Far Side approach to anatomy!)

I oft describe myself as Ken Burns, minus the funding. When something strikes my fancy, I write about it: Disneyland, Nordstrom, The Simpsons, Comic-Con, Colonial Williamsburg, Orange County, etc. Gentle Creatures struck my fancy and I wanted to write about it, where I scribe so often on geek culture, comics and animation: GoodToBeAGeek.com

Fortunate enough to interview Mr. Henze, I learned a great deal about his process, the maze and diligence that can lead to U.S. and international syndication and something called "panel-heaviness". I met a wonderful little doggy named Jingles, a curious stinkbug named Cecil, learned not all rabbits are cute and cuddly and The Muppets' King Prawn Pepe is on possible standby ... for what, I'm not sure. Check back very soon for my full interview with Mr. Henze and his Gentle Creatures!

Thank you, Mr. Henze! Thank you for the introduction, to boot, Mr. Gene Willis @GoComics!

 

The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format $4.99

Customer Reviews:

Sea Gypsy  (Saturday, 24 March 2012)
Rating: 5
I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. This is a must read!!! I've only had the book for two days and i can't wait for the
sequel!!!


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I $14.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 4
via "Lisa's List" NPR Review: What a pleasant surprise Savannah of Williamsburg is. At first glance I thought a story about a squirrel who comes to
Colonial Virginia, dressed in pretty frocks and traveling with a steamer trunk and a violin would not be my cup of tea. But I’m game, so I started
reading.


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via J. Carroll on Amazon: An interesting history lesson, much of it told in the third person, through the eyes of a little, English squirrel who made
her way to America and settled in Williamsburg during the early years of this nation. See previous writing by the same author, titled "Savannah of
Williamsburg".


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via Larry on Amazon: Very interesting read. Just enough history to make it interesting. Will look for other Savannah of Williamsburg books. Recommend
to all for enjoyable read!


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Theme from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates (Book II)

Blackbeard's Chanty:"My Cup is Broke!"Music by PBIII Lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Miss Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!

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