Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Oliver's Pregnant...Sort Of! Sharon A. Donovan's Charade of Hearts. Chance to Win Blue Diamond Earrings and a $20 Gift Certificate!
Welcome to my Celts and More Blog Event. Happy Valentines Day! For those of you unfamiliar, the purpose of this particular event is to not only introduce you to some fabulous Celtic romance writers but to also familiarize you with their non-Celtic work. What really sets this event apart? Each and every week, you’ll be able to read a never-before-seen excerpt from the main story being featured. That’s right, a one of a kind, meant for your eyes only skit the author either wrote especially for this event or a deleted scene the author simply had to share!
This week I’m totally thrilled to welcome back wonderfully talented, award-winning author, Sharon A. Donovan. When it comes to romantic tales of inspiration and suspense, Sharon’s stories are simply untouchable. The never before read excerpt Sharon’s sharing is from her recent release, Charade of Hearts. And whoa! Guess what? Oliver’s part of this! Not familiar with Oliver? Then you haven’t lived yet. At the end of this post I’ll be sharing a special place on the internet you can go every Friday to spend time with both the lovely Sharon and her hotter than hot side-kick, Oliver. (This guy is such a blast and…did I mention how drop dead gorgeous he is? *Smiles*)
Time to get back to business. Be sure to pay extra close attention. Sharon has a special message for you after her excerpt. Okay, the floor is yours, Sharon!
From Sharon to You…never before read…
Nighttime had fallen over the Emerald Isle on this most romantic of nights. Oliver linked his fingers through the lovely Dominique’s as they walked.
Bringing her hand to his mouth, he brushed it with a feathery kiss, a smile teasing his lips. “You’ll love it here at the Bunratty, my sweet. This gorgeous Georgian castle was once home to Earls and now boasts an impressive menu of fine food and wine. When you hear the music, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven, and the theatrics are performed by the Bunratty Singers.”
“I can’t wait, my darling. And what better way to celebrate our first wedding anniversary than to bring me to Ireland. You have to be the most romantic husband in the world, and you are mine all mine!”
Oliver winked, a mischievous twinkle coming into his eye. “I dare say you like your Valentine gift, my pet?”
“Oh, my darling,” she purred, her voice laced with seduction. “I most definitely like, and I’ll show you just how much when I get you between those satin sheets in that big brass bed in our room!”
Oliver’s liquid brown eyes darken with passion. Grazing her bottom lip with his teeth, he growled. “My sweet, is that a promise or a threat?”
“My darling Valentine, just you wait!”
Slipping his arm around Dominique’s slender waist, he stole a kiss. “Get ready for a night of being treated like a queen, my queen.”
Greeted at the door with a tune of welcome by a kilted piper, the banquet was off to a lovely start.
“Welcome me lord and me lady!” the Earl’s butler shouted with gusto. “If you will please follow me right this way.”
He led Oliver and Dominique up the castle steps and across the draw bridge before going onward to the upper Great Hall where the ladies greeted them with a goblet of Mead.
One of the maidens beamed. “According to legend, if you drink of the sweet wine, the marriage is said to be blessed with the wee ones.”
Dominique’s crystal blue eyes glistened with tears. Their glasses clinked in a toast. The draft whistling through the hall carried the scent of her lavender perfume. She smiled a knowing smile.
The Earl’s butler welcomed guests, toasting an era with wine and a four-course meal.
“Before you are served,” he proclaimed with great ceremony. “A taster will sample each course in the unlikely event that someone might wish to bring harm to the Earl -- or one of his guests on this most glorious night.”
While Oliver and Dominique enjoyed Tomato Bisque, brought to their lips in typical fifteenth century etiquette, the Bunratty Singers entertained them with harp and fiddle. For the next two hours, from soup and salad to roasted chicken, the blissful couple dined in old world style.
Back in their room, the fire in the hearth crackled and hissed, the brilliant orange spears as bright as a sorcerer’s flame. Pulling his wife into his lap, Oliver gazed into her eyes.
“Do you have any idea how beautiful you look tonight, my love? Your skin is positively glowing.”
“Oh, Oliver,” Dominique moved a little closer, her voice thick with desire. “Our first wedding anniversary was perfect. My darling, you have to be the most romantic husband in the world, and I love you so.”
My sweet pet,” Oliver reached into his pocket and pulled out a jeweler’s box. Brushing his sensual lips to hers, he flipped up the lid. “Happy Valentines Day, my pet.”
A pair of heart-shaped blue diamond earrings twinkled in the firelight, the sterling silver reflecting like shining stars.
Dominique sighed. “Oh, Oliver, such a hopeless romantic!”
Oliver winked. “I aim to please.”
“Now for my Valentines surprise,” Dominique kissed her husband. “Remember what that lady at the castle said about drinking the mead and the marriage being blessed with the wee ones? My love, I’m pregnant, we’re having a baby!”
Oliver’s face lit up with joy. “A baby, my sweet darling girl. I love you with all my heart. You are and always will be my one true love.”
Wishing you and your one true love a Happy Valentines Day. May it be blessed with joy and happiness, now and forever!
I hope you enjoyed the skit I wrote for your pleasure. Based on the hero and heroine of Charade of Hearts, my latest romantic suspense by The Wild Rose Press as part of the Jewel of the Night series, this excerpt is not part of the published book. Hats off to Sky for giving birth to this ingenious idea as part of her Celts and More blog tour. Thank you, m’dear!
Now for my Valentines Day surprise. See the picture above showcasing the beautiful sterling silver heart blue diamond earrings, estimated to be approximately 1/8 of a ct. Aren’t they gorgeous? They can be yours and here’s how.
Simply race to your computer and download your hot off the press copy of Charade of Hearts and answer the following question to me in a private email.
What emblem is tattooed on the ring leader to designate power?
Sky here! WOW, Sharon, that was incredible. I absolutely LOVED it! Thank you so much for sharing and another huge thank you for offering such a wonderful prize. Look at those earrings! And...big news, Dominique is pregnant! What a spectacular Valentine's gift for Oliver! To Oliver…what can I say? First of all, congratulations!!! Then Sky sighs and swoons because Oliver's standing so close. I think actions speak louder than words. In fact, I can't help myself. I'm such a fan that I've decided to spinkle this post not only with Sharon's book covers but Oliver himself.
And naturally, I want to share a little bit more about this story so again…the floor’s yours, Sharon!
IT’S SHEER MAGIC!
IT’S SHEER SUSPENSE!
IT’S SHEER ROMANCE!
IT’S CHARADE OF HEARTS!
STARRING THE ONE AND ONLY OLIVER!
IN A JEWEL OF THE NIGHT MYSTERY!
I am thrilled to announce the release of Charade of Hearts, the book you’ve all been waiting for. In my latest romantic suspense by The Wild Rose Press, our very own Oliver fights off the villain to save his lady love from harm’s way. Welcome to gorgeous Hawaii. Why Hawaii you ask? Because the tropical paradise is the setting for Charade of Hearts, and as one of the books in the Jewel of the Night series, it packs a lot of heat! And now it’s time to get a sneak preview!
While scuba diving off the coast of Diamond Head with her diving partner on a quest to find a family heirloom, underwater photographer Dominique St. John witnesses his brutal murder and photographs it, ensnaring her in a deadly jewel ring. And when the investigating officer turns out to be her partner’s identical twin, a man she knew nothing about, her life becomes a Charade of Hearts.
Welcome to the world of greed, intrigue, deception and murder. And at its core is a blue diamond worth millions.
As honest as his twin was corrupt, Honolulu Homicide Detective Oliver Carvalho must convince Dominique that her diving partner and best friend was a crook. In a race against time, Oliver must rescue Dominique from a ruthless killer. But his biggest challenge proves to be mending a broken heart torn by betrayal that can only be redeemed by love.
The fog in her head slowly cleared. She was on assignment in Hawaii, photographing the shipwreck that had taken her mother’s life. And while she’d been shooting pictures, Roberto had been scouring the ocean floor for her mother’s blue diamond. Her stomach tightened and cramped. It was all coming back. By some miracle, Roberto had managed to find the necklace. And just as they were about to surface, a diver came out of nowhere and stabbed him. Her eyelids flew open in shocked horror. Her heartbeat tripled, causing the soft beeping to crescendo to an ear-splitting shriek.
“Easy, Ms. St. John,” a nurse was at her side checking her vitals while a younger nurse adjusted the monitor.
“Roberto!” Dominique screamed, her voice a nasally squeak. Frustrated and annoyed, she yanked the tubing out of her nose and tried again. “My diving partner? Is he here? Roberto Carvalho?”
The woman’s expression softened. “I’m sorry, Ms. St. John. I really don’t know anything about your partner. You were the only patient brought in by emergency helicopter. You’re at the Queens clinic. You have the bends from ascending too quickly.”
She needed to find out about Roberto. Who would know? The owner of the charter boat. He would know. Dominique recalled him hoisting her onto the charter, removing her wet suit and then what? She remembered hearing a helicopter a split second before passing out. And she vaguely recalled telling him Roberto had been stabbed by a diver. Dear God. Killer sharks had been thrashing toward Roberto, jaws chomping. The words came out in a strangled moan. “The owner of the charter? Is he here?”
The nurse shook her head. “He stayed for a while to make sure you were all right. But he had to leave. But there is someone anxious to speak to you when you feel up to it.”
And that’s when Dominique spotted him, big as life, framing the doorway to the small room. He was fine; he’d survived the shark attack. His name caught in her throat. “Roberto! You’re alive! How…”
He strutted toward her, his narrow hips swaggering as he closed in on her, stirring her blood with a primal lust she had never felt. And those dark, broody eyes, so alive with passion, like fiery comets. She reached for him with her free hand. “Dear Lord, you’re safe! Thank God.”
He loomed above her, his lips pinched into a thin line. “I’m sorry, Ms. St. John, but I am not Roberto. He flashed a badge. “I am Detective Oliver Carvalho, Honolulu PD, Homicide. Roberto Carvalho was my identical twin brother.”
What they're saying about CHARADE OF HEARTS...
Mystery, suspense and romance all in a beautiful tropical Hawaiian setting, what more can you ask for? Maybe, a hunk of a hero? Charade of Hearts has all that and more. This great read covers many genres in one book. Go grab your copy of Ms. Donovan’s latest read today.
~ Matilda, Coffee Time Romance & More
Charade of Hearts is a fast paced, edge of your seat romance laced with twists and turns along the way. The action scenes throughout this book will literally find you catching your breath. Ms. Donovan has a gift when it comes to writing a very descriptive novel which pulls me in every time. I get lost in her work and look forward to each new book. As for Charade of Hearts, you don't want to miss this book. Ms. Donovan has written a tantalizing read that will keep you on your toes. If you love tropical locations, good vs. evil and a sweet romantic suspense, Charade of Hearts is the book for you.
You’ve already met my sexy cyber butler and know that he serves your favorite drink with a wink and a smile. What you may not know is that Oliver serves as my butler to amuse himself on his days off from his real job (as he points out to me on a daily basis) as a secret agent man for the FBI. It’s true, Oliver has put his life on the line countless times to save the women and children, traveling undercover to remote corners of the world as Mozambique, Egypt and Bangladesh.
I created the character of Oliver shortly after creating my blog. Knowing I wanted to promote fellow authors once a week, Wednesday Spotlight was born. The interviews were fun, and while I tried to ask questions that hadn’t been asked a million times over, I soon realized blog interviews were quickly becoming yesterday’s news. Something fresh needed to be done and it came to me at the bar and grill I go to once a month with my writers group after the meetings.
The bistro has a warm and friendly atmosphere. This group of talented writers have become some of my best friends, and sharing ideas and challenges over a glass of wine and scrumptious appetizers is very rewarding.
Our waiter, an outgoing man with the gift of gab and a memory like a steel trap to boot, inspired the character of Oliver. He knew us all by name and impressed us by never forgetting our favorite drink and choice in cuisine. The entire scenario was rather reminiscent of one of my all time favorite television shows of the 80s Cheers—a place where everybody knows your name!
One night after returning home from a meeting and jaunt to our favorite watering hole, I turned on my computer and began doing my feature for Wednesday Spotlight. That’s when the idea of Oliver Butler for my blog hit me like a bolt of thunder. I got a sexy male model and ran with it. Oliver is a butler, bar tender, gourmet chef, lady killer and secret agent man. This man of many talents knows everybody’s name and will serve favorite drinks with a wink and a smile!
With the dawning of a new year came the launching of a new endeavor, featuring the man who wears many hats. Every Wednesday, those who have something to rant and rave about are invited to come into Oliver’s bar, order your favorite drink and vent to your heart’s content. Oliver promises to lend an ear and offer up a heaping portion of sound advice. But you know what they say about being forewarned and forearmed. Take his advice to heart or take it with a grain of salt. But whatever the case, take it in the spirit with which it was given and roll with it.
Sky again! So good to learn more about Oliver! And, I can’t wait to dive into Charade of Hearts, Sharon. I love your writing style. Let’s check out the other story Sharon would like to share, HER BIGGEST FAN…
From the shadows of the woods, he keeps vigil. The stage is set to drive the pretty little princess insane. He’s coming for her. And when he catches her, he’ll pounce on her like the big bad wolf.
After receiving a disturbing fan letter, New York Times best-selling author Tess Kincaid flees to the New England home she’s inherited following her father’s suicide. The manor has been tainted with, every room staged to resemble the way it was in its glory days. But when Tess calls the police, the chilling props vanish into thin air.
Ruggedly handsome Sheriff Mike Andretti is called to investigate the reported burning candles, dancing gargoyles and otherworldly. When he discovers no trace of the eerie setting, he finds himself caught between duty and desire. Is the woman with the bewitching green eyes delusional--or is this a trap of twisted wit set by a demented fan?
From the grand ballroom, the soft floating of piano keys drifted, louder and louder, faster and faster, reaching a spiking crescendo that shook the chandelier. And then all was quiet as the manor settled from the riveting climax that rattled the windows.
An eerie twine hummed through the corridor. Shocked by the scaling spike of piano keys, Tess’s knees wobbled. Floundering, she leaned against the wall for support.
She gasped for breath, her heartbeat escalating. In barely more than a whisper, she called out. “Daddy?”
Her mind raced. Could her dad be alive? Did he stage his own death? Tears stung her eyes. She had to find out. But still, she proceeded with caution. She sensed evil from deep in her soul.
Camouflaged in the dim lighting, Tess scaled along the walls of the barrel corridor, blending into the dark wood paneling.
Inching her way a bit deeper, she crept, her heart pounding. Beads of sweat trickled down her spine. A door banged, sounding like shutters smacking the house. Then she felt a rush of cool air coming from the grand ballroom, dank with the smell of rain and something else. Burning candles.
Fear clutched her from deep within. As she got closer, the scent of jasmine grew stronger. The sweet smell permeated the air. It was as if her father were still alive, entertaining in the grand ballroom. Just as Tess reached the arched column to the massive hall, a bolt of thunder exploded in the sky, followed by an illuminating flash of lightning. Then all went dark.
Tess stood at the entrance, polarized. Goose bumps prickled her flesh. When the icy instrumental of Moonlight Sonata started all over again, she took a step back and gasped. Peering into the massive hall, she stared in disbelief.
On either side of the mahogany bar, standing candelabras gleamed, long white tapers flickering in the dark. Open terrace doors banged in the wind, bringing in the pouring rain. The air carried the mingled scent of jasmine and stale tobacco. Pleated silk drapes billowed out like wings.
Rain puddled the cherry wood floor that once sparkled beneath the mirrored ceiling and crystal chandelier. The ghostly sound of piano keys escalated as Moonlight Sonata played on the old Victrola. And in the center of the room, looking for all the world like guests of honor at a grand masquerade, two wax gargoyles danced cheek to cheek, costumed in feather masks as bizarre as the setting.
An edge of your seat chilling suspense, I couldn‘t wait to see what would happen next. Her Biggest Fan really was a book I couldn‘t put down. This book was an addicting, pulse-pounding read with an explosive climax. The drama was intense and I loved every minute of it.
This was a great mixture of psychological thriller, Classic Gothic and old Hollywood glamor.
I loved the setting of this story and could practically smell the salt water in the air and hear the soothing sounds of the ocean--mix that in with a desolate manor house—it begs for a thrilling tale to be told. Fans of this well-written genre will definitely enjoy this story.
The Romance Studio
Rating: 4 hearts
And one last time…Sky here! How fantastic do Sharon’s stories sound? I’ve really enjoyed featuring her this week. As I mentioned earlier in the post, there’s another spot you can find Sharon’s, Oliver. Every Friday three wonderful authors come together…Sharon Donovan, Mary Ricksen and Hywela Lyn (AKA-Lyn) and of course, Oliver to ‘Roast’ various authors. It’s always such an absolute blast that I highly recommend you pop over to the ‘Author Roast and Toast’ if you have a chance.
Also, as an added bonus, because it’s Valentines Day week I’ll be offering a second prize. For a chance to win a $20 dollar gift certificate to Digi Books Café, list the following in a comment at this blog…
Name all seven of Sharon’s publications as well as which of her titles is first on your, “I can’t wait to read this!” list and why based on the blurb. Click HERE to locate what you’re looking for.
So here’s a recap of all the fantastic ways you can win.
#1- See the picture above showcasing the beautiful sterling silver heart blue diamond earrings, estimated to be approximately 1/8 of a ct. Aren’t they gorgeous? They can be yours and here’s how.
Simply race to your computer and download your hot off the press copy of Charade of Hearts and answer the following question to me in a private email.
What emblem is tattooed on the ring leader to designate power?
Award-winning New Hampshire native, Sky Purington writes a cross genre of paranormal/fantasy romance heavily influenced by history. From Irish Druids to Scottish Highlanders many of her novels possess strong Celtic elements. More recently, her vampire stories take the reader to medieval England and ancient Italy. Make no mistake, in each and every tale told you'll travel back to another time and revisit the romanticism history holds at its heart. Sky welcomes feedback from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com.
Contest winners are selected by me using the random generator shown below. Each commenter who follows the rules given each week-whether it's to answer a question or simply comment-is assigned a number according to when they left their comment. For example: Jane comments first, then Sue, then Maria. Jane becomes #1, Sue #2, Maria #3. If the contest requires an answer to be left and Jane and Maria answer it, Sue does not, then Jane and Maria have entered the contest. Therefore, Jane is #1 and Maria is #2. Make sense? All numbers are then entered into the Random Generator. The number selected is therefore the winner. Make no mistake, I welcome those of you who choose not to enter the contest. Kind comments are always well received by visiting authors! Thanks so much. ~Sky
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