Do you have something to celebrate? Whether it's a Birthday, New Release, or something else

Do you have something to celebrate? Whether it's a Birthday, New Release, or something else - Book your Celebration Roasting Bash now ! BUT FIRST PLEASE READ OLIVER'S RULES !

P
lease Note:
We don't do reviews or interviews. just virtual parties to promote your book!

As many of you may know, our beloved sister hostess SHARON DONOVAN, tragically passed away on 11th April 2012. We who knew her, loved her, and were inspired by her courage and determination to face head on whatever life threw at her. When she could no longer see to paint she turned to writing and showed her amazing talent in the Inspirational Romance and Romantic Suspense genres, and her story 'Charade Of Hearts' was awarded the coveted Predators and Editors Award in January 2011.

This Blog was a source of great delight to her, she was one of the founder hostesses and she contributed to the fun and silliness in her own original way, and was kind enough to let her unique creation, the hunky butler 'Oliver' join us for our Friday romp and prepare 'virtual breakfast' for the guests on the following morning. It's beyond hard to have to go on without her, but we know that she would have been the first to insist that 'the show must go on.' She is, and will always be with us in spirit.
Sharon, dear friend, we will never forget you.
The Author Roast and Toast is part of the legacy you left us. Let's raise a Toast to you as well as all our guests.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

A medieval banquet with Rachel Rossano

High in the mountains, the castle thrusts its turrets to the sky, colorful pennants flying gaily in the breeze. Below, in the courtyard, Oliver is practicing for the tournament; he wants to make sure he doesn't fall off his destrier in front of the honored guest! He's heard rumors that she thinks he looks a bit like the hero in her latest book 'The Mercenary's Marriage' and is already getting into the part!


In the Great Hall, all is ready. Rich tapestries hang from the walls, fresh rushes cover the floor, and the the tables groan under their loads. Dishes of mutton, venison, peacock, stew, and all manner of delicious delicacies await the revellers, in covered dishes, with bread trenchers. Mulled wine, mead, pitchers of fresh spring water and grapejuice, stand ready, beside fingerbowls, knives and spoons. The table is decorated with apples, leafy garlands and vine fruits.
Oliver has been busy supervising the kitchen wenches, and has with his own hands, created a lovingly decorated confection to honour our special guest, Rachel Rossano.

The minstrels stand ready in the gallery to entertain the guests with lute and dulcimer, and a beautiful Celtic woman sits gently plucking her harp. Cuddles and Junior, both wearing brightly colored Jester caps, with merry bells that tinkle with every shake of their heads, are all ready to do their part to greet and entertain the guests as soon as they arrive - at last they've found a use for their mischievous talents!

Sharon, Mary and Lyn stand to one side of the mighty oak door, waiting for The Lady Rachel to arrive. Their velvet gowns gleam in the light of many candles, Sharon is attired in emerald green, with gold accents, Mary wears deepest crimson, and Lyn is in her favourite purple; with girdles of braided gold thread and wearing their most valuable jewels they chat excitedly in low whispers.

Footsteps sound along the corridor... she is here! Moments later Rachel Rossano, herself appears, escorted by Oliver, still in his knight's armor. She looks breathtaking, in rich midnight blue, and it is obvious Oliver is already smitten and almost speechless in awe and admiration. The three hostesses embrace her warmly and Oliver bends his knee and presents her with his treasured volumes of The Crown of Anavrea and The Mercenary's Bride.

"Please my lady, if I could humbly ask a boon - that you sign these for me in your own fair hand."

Rachel smiles graciously and taking the proffered quill, signs the books with a flourish. She lifts his visor and gives him a soft kiss on the cheek. "And now I require a boon of you, Sir Knight," she whispers so softly no-one else can hear.
"after the banquet, and before the tournament begins, I would like a word with you, in private, I'm longing to hear more about you - and I'm sure you have some interesting tales to tell of things you've seen whilst serving at these prestigious roasts!"

Oliver winks wildly, pumping his biceps beneath the armor. As he bows and leaves the hall so that he can change and wait on the assembled guests, Mary, Sharon and Lyn lead Rachel to her place.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, Honored guests - let us present the legendary Rachel Rossano." As the thunderous applause at last dies down, The serving wenches bring yet more dishes to the table, and a young Lady in Waiting begins to read aloud, while the guests enjoy their feast:

Blurb for The Crown of Anavrea:

In a time when castles were the strongest…in a place where combat was face to face…there was a man on the run. Labren was not his true name and he admitted it freely.


In a time when slavery was legal...in a place where kings were all-powerful…there was a slave in the right place at the right time. Eve, a slave from birth, was asked to trust this stranger who refused to give his true name.

Eve saved a stranger’s life. In return, he offered her the opportunity of freedom. She did not know what would happen to her if she chose to accept his proposal, but she did know the consequences of rejecting it.


Excerpt from The Crown of Anavrea

Her hands shook as she pushed back his hair and pressed the back of her hand to his forehead. Her pleasure at finding it cool must have shown on her face because she could feel his small smile. “Your fever seems to have left.” Remembering his previous question, she answered it. “I will check your shoulder in the morning. Right now you need to get back onto the bed. The floor is too cold.”


Nodding meekly, he shifted asshe rose. Offering her his good arm, he said, “If you pull, I might be able to get up.”


Gripping it firmly, she asked, “ready?”


He swallowed carefully and then nodded. She pulled and he slowly gained his feet. Slipping her arm around his waist, she bore most of his weight as they crossed the uneven floor to the place he had been laying the evening before. Through a series of careful and painful negotiations the stranger was sitting on the edge of his bed and trying to recover his composure. His face was very pale and drawn and for a moment he sat with his eyes closed. He was going to start shivering soon if she did not retrieve his blanket from the floor. She was about to turn away when he reached out and laid a hand on her arm. She looked up at him and he caught her chin in his hand.

Fixing his eyes on hers, he said, “Thank you.”


“You’re welcome,” she replied in a small shaky voice. His blue eyes were dark and clear. She could see traces of pain and sadness, but the fever was gone. Suddenly a look of concern replaced his smile.

Reaching over with his other hand, he caught her face in a gentle, but firm, grip. “What is this?” he asked as he ran a thumb across her spit bottom lip. “And this?” He indicated the remainder of a black eye. “I may have been in a lot of pain when we met, but I do not remember you looking so beat up.” His voice was hard. Eve did not know if it was aimed at her or his lack of memory. Either way, something was making her tremble.

“Masters have every right to beat their slaves.” She stated it in a flat voice. Mridle had informed her of this fact repeatedly. He usually used it as a warning to her. He had exercised this right often and well on her.


“You are a slave?” The surprise in his voice did not detract from the hardness that continued underneath.


“Yes,” she paused and then added, “A runaway slave.”


With a swiftness that surprised her, his fingers located the leather band around her throat. The circle of leather was where one had been for as long as she could remember, right above her collarbone pulled snugly against her neck.


Blurb for The Mercenary's Marriage:

Trained as a mercenary soldier, Darius Laris was a man of decisive action. He was also a man of compassion. Seeing a young slave woman about to become the spoils of war, he claimed her for his own. Marrying her before God and King, he made her a free and respectable soldier’s wife.


Brice Ashlyn was born a slave. Abused and beaten, she learned quickly to avoid being noticed and to stay away from men. When her master's walls fell to enemy forces, she ran, but not fast enough. In Darius' offer she found deliverance, but experience had taught her to fear power such as his. Could she trust in his protection, or had she traded one form of slavery for another?


Excerpt from The Mercenary's Marriage:

He is so much larger than you. He is a complete stranger. Why do you trust him? Why are you doing this?

Weakly, Brice answered her inner voice. Because I have no other choice. Then, she desperately tried to concentrate on anything other than the tall, dark man standing beside her. She also tried to ignore the tender way he was holding her hand. She was trying so hard that when the king started to wrap a long piece of silk around their joined hands, she started. The soldier's hand tightened around hers and the king stopped mid word. Even if she wanted to withdraw her hand, the man's grasp would have prevented her. Somehow, though, Brice knew if she asked, he would let go.

An uneasy silence hung between them for a moment. All one could hear was the servants’ movement on the other side of the curtains.

Finally, the king continued. "Bound together until time is no more, bound to each as to none before." The silk wrapped around for the second time. "Bound before man, sovereign, and God." A third strip fell into place, completely covering their clasped hands. Taking the ends, which now dangled unevenly, the king knotted them over the point of union. "With a binding that will never break." He pulled the knot snug. "You are man and wife before God, king, and man. May it be a blessing and never a curse." With great effort, Brice raised her face to her husband. She found him silently watching her with a look in his dark gray eyes that she could not yet interpret.


Bio:
Rachel Rossano has loved the written word for as long as she can remember. The oldest of four, she grew up telling herself and others stories of adventure and romance. It was only natural for her to start recording them on paper for the amusement of her friends during her teen years. Now an adult, she continues to seek the elusive ability to enthrall an audience, pulling them into a story and world with her words and breathing life into characters on the page.

You can find out more about her at her website:http://www.freewebs.com/anavrea/
and at her Blog

Rachel has kindly offered a copy of 'The Mercinary's Marriage' to one lucky commenter on today's Roast. This is the question we'd like answered - what did Oliver tell her was his most embarassing moment as butler on one of these occasions?

165 comments:

  1. Mary, in her beautiful new dress, checks to see that everything is ready. Lyn and Sharon, don't you think that Oliver outdid himself. He has a weird look on his face. What's he up to?
    Junior now stop whining, everyone is ready for Rachel. And I don't care of you don't like your hat.

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  2. It all looks so beautiful. Thank you all.

    *Rachel smiles her appreciation*

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  3. I love the dress especially. It fits perfectly, and I love the way the skirt falls. :)

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  4. Hi Rachel
    You look beautiful! I'm so glad you like it, while we're waiting for the other guests to arrive, let Oliver serve you with your favourite delicacies. He's been so looking forward to meeting you - and is hoping you'll give him a favor for the jousting later on.

    Mary and Sharon, you look lovely too, these mediaval gowns are quite sumtuous aren't they. I think Junior and Cuddles look rather cute as jesters! I think the bells are tickling Junior though!

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  5. How lovely you look in your elegant gown.
    Let's go meet your adoring fans.
    Did you autograph the books for Oliver?

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  6. You look wonderful too Lyn. But nothing compares to the fantastic dress Rachel is wearing. Now what is Sharon doing. Is Cuddles behaving?
    We don't want any problems today.

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  7. wowwwww, what a glorious setting. Love the castle and decor, and Oliver in shining armor. The book sounds great too. Love the time period. I enjoyed the excerpt. WTG, Rachel!

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  8. I think the weird look is because Oliver is trying to look like Darius from The Mercenary's Marriage. After I signed his copies of my books, I told him Darius looked dangerous and mysterious. I am not sure Oliver is pulling it off, though

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  9. We never tell him if it's not working for him. He's so sensitive. I see the guests are still arriving. Hi Beth, you look lovely today too!
    Stop whining Junior, what's wrong?

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  10. Thank you, Beth.

    My hostesses look very lovely today. :) I am certain they will win a few hearts before the day is through. :)

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  11. Oh, how facinating. That is my most favorite castle, and I've been to a lot of them. What a super background for your characters, and your book sounds just as exciting. The time period jumps right out and puts you back in time. A big curtsey!

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  12. Yes, I won't tell Oliver he can't compare to Darius, but few can. ;)

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  13. Hello, Rachel, fair maiden! What a beautiful gown fit for a queen! Welcome to your roast. Hugs all around. Lyn and Mary, here we are again in our lovelies. How long before we spill something or trip over something? Wink. Cuddles and Junior and sigh...Oliver...you lads look so handsome. Waves to Beth. What a feast and a great hall indeed. Raies her glass. Cheers to the opulent life fit for a king!

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  14. Hello Beth, so glad you could join the festivities.
    *grin* I think you're right about Oliver, he tries but he just can't get rid of that rather cheeky air he has. He didn't even look dangerous when he dressed up as Dracula a while back - but he does try bless him, he's been having special riding lessons to make sure his horse doesn't run away with him at the tournament!

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  15. Thank you, Carol. I do love the time period. Life was rougher then, more of a struggle of life and death, but at the same time so beautiful in some areas. :)

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  16. Hello Carol, do come and sit beside Beth. I'm so glad you both like the castle, it's one of my favourites too. (Even compared to the Welsh ones!)

    While Oliver is waiting on you ladies I'm going to look for Sharon, it's a big castle and I think she may have got lost in the corridors.
    Cuddles, you come with me, Junior, perhaps you could do some tricks for the guests, while the minstrels play a romantic melody.

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  17. Sharon, Mary gasps for breath, where were you? I looked all over for you. Wait who is the knight trying to slip away. No don't hold me back, I have to see. You have a, no I can't believe it. A hickey on your neck! Quick Lyn do you have any makeup?

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  18. Yooo hooo Lyn and Cuddles! I'm in this room with this rather...ah...interesting young knight that has graciously agreed to take me on a tour of this gorgeous castle of legend and lore! Ta ta!

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  19. LOL! Now don't go getting into too much trouble.

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  20. All I saw was that he was tall, muscular, dressed in chain mall.
    He had dark hair and eyes and was looking at Lyn like she was a piece of prime rib. I'd be surprised to see her back here. He was HOT!
    And dragging her off somewhere!

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  21. He sounds like an interesting man to meet in a dark corridor.

    Random question: do you prefer your heros dark, fair, or do you have no preference?

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  22. Ah, did Sharon maybe make her way to the Hall of Mirrors? What a splendid place to escapte to Or,for a ball. It's huge and when the lights are flickering in the evening, and the dancers are waltzing to the musicians's liting tunes, it's the obvious place to be to turn a knights head....

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  23. *Giggle* a bit of a dark horse is our Sharon! And did you notice how she rearranged that lovely hair of hers to hide the -er - evidence!
    He didn't get any encouragement from me, that's for sure! (I actually have my eye on a knight of a different color!)

    Good job Oliver is so overawed by Rachel and the other ladies or I reckon he'd be throwing down a gauntlet! You know how protective he is of the Lady Sharon!

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  24. :) That does sound like a great place to met your lover, amid a thousand candles flames reflected softly in the night.

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  25. Ah, Carol, you're so right. In fact we've arranged for the ball after the tournament to be held there this evening - can't wait.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Sharon's giving him a 'sneak preview' of it, *grin*.

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  26. Speaking for myself, Rachel, I really go for the dark mysterious type. Most of the heros in my own stories are dark - but the blond hunk has occasionally taken over, and they're usually very gentle and courteous, like Dahll in Starquest, and Myrddin in 'Dancing with Fate.

    I honestly think though, that the hero's personality is the most important - same as in real life!

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  27. Well let's just keep Oliver busy. You know he is a flirt, but very protective of his maiden at arms, Lyn.
    Mary whispered to Lyn, don't do anything I wouldn't do. Well, I mean, don't do anything Lyn wouldn't do.

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  28. Lol, Rachel, that would be telling.

    But he's dark and slender, and - oh I'd better change the subject, he's looking this way!

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  29. Rachel, I think they called him Sir Ihavealottamoneyandlands, and he is a Lord of his own castle. So at least she's chosen well. He just carried her off Lyn!!!!!!
    Well she deserves some fun. (grin)

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  30. I prefer the tall, dark, not so handsome ones with the interesting faces and deep characters myself. I agree with you, Lyn, the character is the most important part. :)

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  31. Good looking don't hurt none. I mean I wouldn't want to date...
    Wait that knight who is standing behind you ain't bad. Rachel,do you want Oliver to be your escort?
    Or Lord McCastle? He had a wonderful, huge castle, hundreds of servants and I hear he's a handful.
    Are you thinking of him?

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  32. Handful how? Hmm... Oliver can be quite a handful too. ;)

    True, it would be nice for the hero to be pretty good looking, but not too much. :)

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  33. So, this Lord McCastle, does his servants like him?

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  34. *Giggle* Lyn seems to have the giggles today! It's Ok, Mary, I'm not going to run off and hide with him.

    Just come and sit here beside me, Sir Telling and tell me about your latest adventures.

    Rachel, you'll have to get Mary to tell you all about Lord McCastle!

    Rachel, Oliver will look after you. He acts the fool sometimes, but deep down inside he has a heart of gold and would fight to the death to protect a lady.

    Wouldn't you Oliver?

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  35. I wonder if anyone will guess what Oliver told me was his most imbarrassing moment was.

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  36. they love him, he is kind, he has never mistreated a servant, he believes they will work harder if they are happy to work for him. So far, so good. And he looks a bit like Gerald Butler.

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  37. Sharon saunters in on a whisper of silk and a cloud of white linen. Sigh. Oh how grand the hall of mirrors. Sir...er...blushes and covers her you know what... certainly knows his way around a dance floor! Sorry to worry you ladies. Hi Carol and how right you are about the hall of mirrors being the perfect ambiance for the candlelight dance. Rachel, my dark heroes are always dark haired with blue eyes and rugged looks, tough on the outside and he of tender heart. I would say that is my preference and probably the reason they are my chosen heroes in my books. But my last hero in my upcoming story has shaggy blonde hair and a warm personality. I love a man with a good sense of humor. Gotta make me laugh.

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  38. Now a Gerald Butler lookalike I could handle. ;) Does he sound like him too?

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  39. My own dark knight is beaconing me to join him for the noon-day meal. He has the big white steed revved up and waiting. Time to put my higheel sneakers on and see what he has planned for our afternoon adventure.

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  40. A sense of humor is important. A man should be willing to unbend enough to laugh at himself occasionally. I have a hard time with heros hung too much up on their pride. :)

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  41. Sharon I suggest you cover you decolletage. You have evidence of your dancing in the hall of mirrors all over you.
    Rachel, In case you didn't know there is a dozen men at arms waiting for you to choose who to give your favor to. They come each with a different yet rugged, appearance. Which one do you want to favor?

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  42. Too many to choose from... *sigh* I guess I will let Lord McCastle and Oliver bear my favors. *She produces a scarf and a glove* Now who should carry which?

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  43. He's even sexier sounding than Gerald Butler is! He's one of the 12 behind you, grab him and do a bit on the Dance floor. I hear he's good at dancing, He's the knight right behind you!

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  44. McCastle may wear my scarf and Oliver my glove. How does that sound?

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  45. Some dancing does sound nice. :) *she whirls off on McCastle's arm*

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  46. The scarf to Lord McCastle and the glove to Oliver, his hands are cold.
    Besides he's just here today because he is such a fan. You need to find a knight amongst the dozen behind you!

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  47. Good choice, word is he's free and a gentleman. So....

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  48. Ladies you have outdone yourselves. What a beautiful reception in a feary tale cassel. Rachel, I love your blurbs and excerpts. Have fun all day with your amazing hostesses.

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  49. Oliver, what's with the one glove? Are you the new Michael Jackson?

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  50. Have fun, Carol. Hope it's an afternoon delight. LOL

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  51. Rachel, why are all those men wearing bits and pieces of your clothes? Best beware your neck isn't exposed. Here the handsome knights aren't so honorable! and love to give little love bites when you're dancing. Covers hand to mouth. Oops, at least one of them does.

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  52. Farewell Carol, do come back later if you and your Knight so desire.

    Sharon, I do believe Oliver was getting quite worried about you, though it appears you were in good - er - hands. Although at the moment, he's clutching Rachel's glove to his heart!

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  53. Lyn, what's with the giggles? Were the knights in question plowing you with mead?

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  54. Hi Mona and welcome. Won't you stay a while and partake of this sumptuous feast?

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  55. Oh dear Sharon, you've caught me out! I just love mead - it's my one weakness!

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  56. Sharon comes up behind Mary to seek her advice on covering her you know what. Just when she has her fooled, she bops her over the head with a leg of lamb and Mary passes out cold, her feet high in the air! Sharon grins. Told you I'd getcha back for the pie in the face three weeks ago. Vengeance is mine!

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  57. Farewell, Carol. Enjoy your knight this afternoon. ;)

    Hi, Mona. Welcome to the party.

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  58. Hello, Sharon, Lyn, and Oliver. And Mary I'm so glad I got your invitation to join the festivities and step back in time. My favorite time it is. Fair ladies and brave knights. I may see my own book's characters here today. Rachel, I loved both your excerpts and I wish you great success with your books.

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  59. Sharon! Such violence! *Smirks behind hand* For shame!

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  60. Thank you, Linda. Which of your characters are you hoping to see here today? You must introduce me.

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  61. Hi Linda, yes, your characters would be most welcome here - the more the merrier!

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  62. Hi Mona and Linda! Welcome fair maidens. Yes, Rachel has us all enthrolled with her medieval story and castle setting. Do have some food and wine. Lyn, I knew this because when I was in my one and only castle in Ireland, they served mead the second we walked in for good luck. !

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  63. Mary stands, lamb juice and spices covering her new dress. Her cheeks bulge with the deep breaths she is taking to control herself. No good Sharon I'm gonna get you, you'd better run like hell! Here I come and I have pies in both hands!

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  64. Should I introduce some of my own characters too?

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  65. Oh, please do, Rachel! And can you hide me from Mary?

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  66. Run Sharon - Mary's a little mad at you, methinks!

    (Yes, mead is exquisite, I derveloped a taste for it when I lived in Wales and went to my counsin's wedding in Coldicott Castle)

    Of course Rachel, we'd love to meet your characters. Please do introduce us to them.

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  67. Maybe they can help to hide Sharon. Because I am gonna get her!
    I'll look under every stone. I will call Merlin to help me. But, one thing is for sure, you better hide well!
    Look at me Rachel, I look like a lamb dinner. Please invite your characters, Sharon is gonna need all the help she can get. You can run, but you can't hide forever!

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  68. See the blonde over there. The one with the green eyes and a tall, handsome escort with a limp? That is Eve. The man with her is Labren, or at least that is the name she calls him by.

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  69. That man over there who looks a bit like Labren (they have similar noses, but Labren is taller). That is Labren's brother, Ireic. You should try pleading for sanctuary from him, Sharon. He is the king of Anavrea. He could help you if you managed to convince him.

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  70. Or you could always try to get help from Darius. He would scare off most anyone. He is the tall dangerous man over there by Oliver. It looks like Oliver is trying to take notes on how to look forbidding. I am not sure he will be able to manage it without a scar or two like Darius'. :)

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  71. Ain't no one gonna stop me!! She can hide but I will find her. And I will mess her up!

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  72. So, Mary, what is your ammo of choice?

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  73. I have banana cream pie, and chocolate cream pie. Huge pies with lots of filling. I'll cover those love bites for her!

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  74. Oh, Darius! I just love a man with a scar or two. Sharon bats her eyes. Pushes Oliver away. Come with me, my sweet. I have a little problem to deal with, and what's a damsel in distress to do? What's my problem? Well, see that woman over there in the beautiful gown covered in lamb juice, she can't hold her liquor and must be escorted to the jungeon to sleep off her mead. I know, disgusting when a woman makes a fool of herself. Lock her up and toss away the key.

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  75. LOL Good try, Sharon. I don't know if he will fall for it or not. :)

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  76. I'm so glad I already spoke to Darius, he knows I don't drink and he say you plop the lamb on my head. He's laughing and will not send me to the jungeon or the dungeon. He thinks it's funny, Sharon you are toast!

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  77. Lyn is gigglinag again.

    Oliver, please refill Rachel's glass with some more of that delicious grapejuice.

    Seeing that the ladies Sharon and Mary are both um - er- *grin* a little preoccupied I think I will introduce mself to Labren (I've already instructed one of the serving maids to tell Eve there is a messenger waiting for her down in the forecourt)

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  78. Hmm... Good luck, Lyn. I doubt you will get very far, but you are welcome to try. :)

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  79. Ireic is a better bet at the moment, unattached, independently wealthy, and king of a prosperous nation. Besides, he is handsome and very nice. I think you would like him. ;)

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  80. Rachel, I will be guided by your wisdom. Yes, Ireic does look rather nice, as you say.

    Some more of that grape juice, for me too please OLiver, I need to be in charge of all my faculties if I am to attempt to impress a King.

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  81. Lyn stops in front of the handsome King and curtsies low - the effect is rather spoled as she hiccups and catches her heel in her long train, landing in a heap at his feet.

    She blushes and giggles.

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  82. Lyn, you have to tell me how it goes. :)

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  83. Barely able to conceal his laughter,
    King Ireic bends to haul Lyn to her feet.

    Lyn whispers back to Rachel

    "It would have been better had I not tripped over Cuddles, that mischievous little unicorn gets everywhere. However - I think the King likes me.

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  84. At least you made him laugh. He doesn't do that enough these days. :)

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  85. Oh Sharon, I have a present for you!
    Come out, come out, wherever you are.
    Come out my pretty.

    Lyn, here's some coffee, straighten up, you'll never get a knight that way! Well you might get one temporarily...

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  86. The King likes Lyn, she's making him laugh. He seems taken with her.

    Sharon, where are you?

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  87. Sober up, Lyn. You've had a whole jug of mead. Mary's right. You might get a "night" lol Rachel, what fun to be swept away back to the days of yore! Like I'd really fall for that one, Mary Ricksen. Think again. Ha!

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  88. Don't drink coffee Mary (wrong century anyway). Ooh, I think I've 'fallen' for Ireic in a big way!

    Sharon - run, Sharon - ruuuuuuuuun!

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  89. He is a handsome one, isn't he. :)

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  90. So, I have a new random question: Do you like a hero who is decisive or one who deliberates?

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  91. I am disappointed that I haven't seen more of my friends about. It is pretty sad, actually. Ah, well, we shall entertain ourselves. :)

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  92. I think that rather depends on the hero and the circumstances, Rachel.
    (mmmmmm, he sure IS handsome!) Now where was I? Oh yes, I like a hero who is decisive, as long as he doesn't lead his friends (and the heroine) into a dangerous situation without thinking about it. On the other hand, if he deliberates too long he might lose his chance of winning, so as I say, it depends.

    (Grins) I'm not a Libran for nothing!

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  93. I just love a man who takes charge. Evil grin.

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  94. Capricorn here, and you know what that means.
    Sharon your gonna get it, you can't hide, you can't try to accuse me of being drunk. Get ready, you are gonna get pied!

    Lovingly I will toss two pies at you and I will not miss!

    People just hate to take the time to comment. All I know is I will comment on those sites where the favor is returned for awhile.

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  95. Yeah well Lyn is drunk. No coffee, what can we give her>
    Sharon, good hearted person that she is. Is showing some concern for a wasted Lyn. Wouldn't want anyone to take advantage of her.
    SPLAT! SPLAT! Yee Hah!! Two pies, one to the face, one to the rear. Oh Sharon, I love to pie you!
    Na, na, na, na, na, na, I got youhew!
    Mary falls down laughing, Lamb juice and all. HA!!!!!

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  96. I got her, ha, ha, ha. Mary dances around and then stops, every one in the room is looking at her.
    Well she started it and she deserved it. Look at me I'm a commercial for a stain remover.

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  97. Rachel, step back, this could get ugly.
    So while Sharon tries to pick her brain to think of what to do back to me, why don't you give us a little spiel on your new book!

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  98. Hmm... My most current book completed would be Living Sacrifice. Zezilia is the seventh child, an only girl in a family of sons, born into a whole that values seventh born sons. Her father is permenantly disappointed, but her mother and brothers love her all the same. Still, she grows up under the misconception that she is nothing more than a pawn to be used on the marriage market. That is until a middle-aged man stumbles into her life and declares she has Talent (the ability to communicate with her mind), something that only males have.

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  99. Hadrian is next in line to be Sept Son, a very high government office reserved for a seventh-born son, which are known to be the strongest among the Talents. He is the most powerful Talent in several generations. The main count against him is that he does not follow the state religion. Then, only days before he takes on the position, his old tutor and friend approaches him about training this seventh born female who has displayed a remarkably strong Talent, so strong she shouldn't be ignored.

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  100. They meet and set off some interesting sparks. It doesn't start as a romance really, but there is definitely potential to be developed. With a bit of politics, religion, and intrigue mixed in, the adventure promises to be eventful. ;)

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  101. I also like men who take charge too, Sharon. I have a feeling you will really like Darius in The Mercenary's Marriage. He is a take charge kind of man. ;)

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  102. I do believe Darius is my destiny. Come here, you big hunk of man, you! Rachel, your books all sound so great and very well researched, might I add. Oliver, bring my spare dress please and show me where I can freshen up. Tsk tsk Mary Ricksen, you didn't count on me calling a spade with a spare outfit, did you. Ha, so stop dancing around with ants in your pants like The Joker. Oh dear, is that Lyn on the floor, kissing the king's feet? She really did have too much mead, didn't she? Rachel, have you anything herbal from the medieval days to sober her up before she makes a fool of herself even more? Tsk tsk Something always goes amiss at our sophisticated parties. Sharon puts her finger and thumb in mouth and belts out a shrill whistle. Oliver, pronto!

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  103. Now you got me interested. This sounds like an exciting book and I for one am seriously looking forward to it! Great premise Rachel!

    Do you know where Sharon went? She might be a tish mad at me. You think?
    Aw, just a couple of pies, I got a whole lamb on my head. Sharrrron, where arrree yoooooouuuu?

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  104. Nooo! You have a spare gown and I am stuck in this!!!
    Hmmmmmmm. I'll have to catch up with Lyn, she may be on the floor, but she looks happy. Look she's trying to stand on her head. WOW, I didn't get that many petticoats. And Lyn who says you have a big butt. It looks just fine. Here get up before Sharon has a conniption. Let's go and sit down and check out the knights. Hey that one is cute!

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  105. Oliver, *giggle, hic* how kind, a flaggon of something - green?

    Ah well, throught the teeth and round the gums - look out tumtum here it comes! Yeeeuk, Oliver what was that stuff. Oh well, I don't feel giggly any more.
    Mary, I just happen to have brought a spare gown with me, it's in my palfrey's saddlebags, You can change in the hall of mirrors before the ball!
    Tell me, your Majesty, are you looking forward to the jousting? Have you ever jousted? Oliver here is very good, aren't you Oliver. No Oliver, I meant at touranments

    Yes, let's hope some more of your friends turn up Rachel - I think some people have to work and don't 'have fun' until they've got home and done things that need to be done. We keep the party going as long as there are people dropping in, anyway, so we won't close the castle doors before midnight! If not well, there are plenty of handsome knights, a king and a prince or two - and plenty of virtual food and music!

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  106. LOL A vat of cold water would probably help. :)

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  107. But only if thrown from a great height from the ramparts!

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  108. I don't know. It did wonders for Indigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. :)

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  109. Hi, everyone, hope I'm not late. I couldn't decide which gown to wear and finally settled on a nice, low-cut red one with a full skirt.

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  110. There's always a horse trough outside.
    People do stop by after work.
    But if Lyn keeps drinking the mead she will get sick.
    Thanks for the gown Lyn, it's very pretty. I'll go change and come right back. Hall of mirrors, I don't think so, I'll look for a garderobe or something else to change in.

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  111. The gown sounds perfectly lovely. :)

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  112. Lol, Rachel!It did too!

    Mary, a drop of mead never did anyone any harm! :)

    Nicola, how lovely to see you here, and that shade of red suits you so well. It's a beautiful gown, and such a lovlely style. There's still plenty of food and wine left (and mead, and water and grapejuice) come sit over here and be serenaded by the minstrels.

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  113. Since I'm with child, I'll love to have some grapefruit. The music is so lovely, and the decorations... beautiful!

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  114. What a beautiful dress Nicole.
    Rachel you look hot, hot, hot!

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  115. Everyone looks so lovely! I do love everyone's dresses.

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  116. With child, Nicole! I am also. Or should I say with children. ;)

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  117. My first child is sleeping away right now. The second is still growing within me. For the most part, I enjoy being pregnant, but yesterday was not one of those days.

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  118. Cogratulations, Nicola, Rachel is in the same interesting condition, so we made sure there were plenty of non alcoholic drinks. Ask Oliver to fetch you some - and whatever you would like in the way of food, there's plenty here.

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  119. My first is napping right now and my second and third are due to make an appearance in May. Pregnancy has its good days and bad. :) It is all worth it in the end though. ;)

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  120. Oh definitely! Second and third? Wow. Good luck! Baby number two isn't expected until the beginning of August so I'll have all of the hot months to look forward to.

    Oliver, I'll have some more grapefruit and some food to. Just surprise me.

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  121. Congratulations to both of you,
    Rachel and Nicola! You must have had plenty of mead. It is said to make one fertile. Who knew the old legend worked. Oliver, how much of that mead did you suck down? He grins a roguish grin and pumps his biceps.......

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  122. Number one was born in October. I can say from experience that I prefer being pregnant in the winter and spring than the spring and summer. :) I wish you all the best. :)

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  123. I know this is a serious question, but humor me... How is the writing going during your pregnancy? I can't seem to manage both myself. :)

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  124. Rachel, please feel free to stay as long as you like. I must go see to dinner now. You've been a delightful guest and I wish you mega sales. I love the sound of your books and the sound of Darius, my hero. LOL Thanks for spending the day with us. And best of luck with those darlings.
    Sharon

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  125. That empire waist dress hides a lot of things Nicole!

    Sharon have you refreshed yourself? I'm laying back for now, but there's always next week my pretty! He,he,he!

    Junior and Cuddles are under the tables fighting over the lamb and pies and stuff that dropped.
    Cuddles has been using his horn to heal the jousting people as they get violently pushed from their horses. Gosh he's a good boy. Junior, you're a good doggie.

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  126. Thank you, Sharon. I have to run off and get my son up from his nap myself. I will keep checking back though.

    Thank you so much for having me. :) It was fun feasting with you all today, a wonderful excuse to not do chores. ;)

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  127. Congratulations to both of you. How wonderful, and in the end worth every second of problems. Good luck and may the rest of your pregnancy be a breeze.
    Gonna go cook dinner. Check back later!

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  128. There are days when the writing comes but mostly it doesn't. For a little while, I was too exhausted to think, let alone right. For the past two weeks, I've hardly written but yesterday I managed nearly 2K and am trying hard to get back into the swing of things but being pregnant really does affect my writing.

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  129. My first was also born in October. Funny, the little coincidences of life.

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  130. That's right Mary. And just like Arnold...I'll be back....

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  131. Well, Mary and Sharon are off for a while, leaving me and Oliver to take care of the guests - no problem, I'll just sit here sipping on mead - I mean grape juice and nibbling on the occasional chicken wing, and be ready to welcome any late comers.

    The tournament was so exciting - I think Oliver's hanging on to your glove. Rachel. The ball was enchanting and now you can just sit back and enjoy some soothing harp music.

    Mary, Cuddles is a good boy for helping heal the fallen knights - but don't be fooled - he is also using his horn to spear up bits of fallen food from under Junior's nose!

    Rachel, it's been fantastic having you with us here today and I just love the sound of your books. *sigh* my wishlist just keeps on growing! I wish you and Nicole wonderful happy new babies and I hope everything goes really well for you both.

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  132. Thanks, Lyn! I hope everything goes well for you, Rachel, with your writing, and your babies (all of them!). Good luck! Your books sound wonderful.

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  133. This book, "The Mercenary's Marriage" sounds interesting.

    I like the poor girl saved by the rich. And to marry her, even better.

    Love and blessings
    Rita

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  134. Sorry I'm late -- you know I hate to miss one of Oliver's medieval parties! Rachel, best of luck with your book!

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  135. Wow, Rachel, your excerpt is so visual. It transported me back to that time.

    And Lyn's intro was awesome! The beautiful ladies in gorgeous, colorful, gowns....

    I enjoy books in this time era. Though I'm not knowledgeable enough to write in it, I'm glad someone does.

    Let's see: Oliver's most embarrassing moment when he forgot he'd laid his sword in a chair and sat down on it. Lucky for him he still had his armor on. LOL

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  136. Okay, I got here - Whew! Long day. Oliver, I need a libation and some gentle consoling. Wear your knight clothes please - pun pun

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  137. Intriguing excerpts! Beautiful Castle! Wonderful party!

    Answering an earlier question, I don't care if my heroes are dark or fair, as long as they strong and learn to be sensitive when it really counts. :)

    I thought it was pretty embarassing when the 3 chipmunks beat Oliver up at my roast, but I'm not so sure he'd have admitted to that fiasco to some one as pretty as Rachel.

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  138. Hmm, man who is decisive or deliberates--I guess I wouldn't mind if he deliberated as long as he didn't waffle back and forth. Then I want a decision pronto!

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  139. Finally made it through all the comments. What fun! Congrats on the new babies and babies to be. :)

    Best of luck with your books, Rachel!

    Sharon, Lyn and Mary, always a pleasure. :)

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  140. Dawn sends it's gossamer veil to settle lightly over the fairy tale castle, allowing the golden rays of the sun to filter through, painting the castle ramparts gold and pink and dissipating the dew that hangs like diamonds on the surrounding trees and shrubbery.

    Oliver, who either never sleeps, or is an early riser, moves among the remaining revellers. The most recent visitors have their trenchers piled high and their goblets filled. A small unicorn and a rather large black dog like curled up together in front of the huge fireplace. Most of the earlier guests have either returned home or retired to their allotted guest rooms. For those who remain a the castle, Olvier has ensured there will be continuing hospitality and comeraderie.

    In a secluded corner near the hearth, Lyn and Ireic share yet another joke and the King throws his head back in a low chuckle.

    Lyn glances toward the table where five beautiful ladies, the newest arivals allow Oliver a little flirting as he waits upon them.

    "Hold that thought, my liege, I will return shortly."

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  141. Welcome Rita and Helen, I am so glad you were able to come, as you see, there is plenty of food and wine, please stay as long as you wish.

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  142. Laurean, how wonderful to see you again. I'm so glad you like the setting.

    *Giggle* Oh that's a good one, yes I imagine Oliver would have been quite embarassed about that one!

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  143. Welcome Patsy and Stacey - Patsy you know how Oliver never refuses a request --! LOL

    Hee hee, it's OK Oliver, we won't tell anyone about the incident with the chipmunks at Stacey's party, if you don't!

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  144. Welcome to Rachel's banquet, ladies. Oliver, keep the mead coming for Rita, Helen, Patsy, Laurie and Stacey. While Mary dozes with snores erupting from her gaping mouth loud enough to wake the dead, Sharon tip toes over with a mosquito net, tying all corners to nearby knights in armor who are sworn to keep her enmeshed until she begs forgiveness from the Lady Sharon...

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  145. Lyn catches Sharon's eye and winks.

    When Mary wakes and realises what you've done, Sharon, you are going to be in SO much trouble!

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  146. Sharon raises her glass to Lyn and they leave the castle, their wicked laughter echoing through the halls...

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  147. Hi Rachel, beautiful blog. ALthough I write westerns, I love anything medieval.

    I had a good time here1

    ~Tanya
    www.tanyahanson.com
    www.petticoatsandpistols.com

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  148. Hi Tanya, thanks so much for calling by. Make yourself comfortable and our gallant knight Oliver will bring you some refreshment.

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  149. Sorry to arrive so late, but we were fighting over a pair of dancing slippers. Umm, is there any wine left?

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  150. No problem, Tia Dani - there's always plenty of food and drink and at vthe roast, the party keeps going until the last guest has eaten and drunk their fill.

    Oliver, sweetie, be a good knight and fill Tia Dani's goblet.

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  151. Luckily the knights were old knight school buddies of mine. We partied together after classes. Teasing me for a bit they soon released me. Ha!
    Thanks for letting me go guys, I don't snore, I just had a cold and couldn't breathe through my nose.
    So my friend, Sharon, the game is on. Beware, watch where you walk, look behind you, check your bed before you get into it, never stick your hands into anything you can't see, watch out my friend, I am gonna get you.
    Any time any place, it can happen when you least expect it. Heh, heh, heh, Doubble, bubble, toil and trouble, you know what I mean?
    And Lyn you walked away laughing with Sharon? OOOKKKKAAAYYY. Mary smiles to herself and joins with an unknown person to plan and prepare. Beg forgiveness, never!! Sharon will never forget this one. The unknown person slips out the back of the castle. Mary's plan erupts into action. This will be the best one ever! I do not snore!

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  152. Oooh shiver, quake! (Not)

    Mary sweetie - remember the snowballs!

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  153. And the winner is... I think I am going to have to go with Stacey Joy Netzel and the 3 chipmunks beating up Oliver. I am sorry I missed that one. So, Stacey, please let me know where to send your copy of "The Mercenary's Marriage." :)

    Thank you all for a great party. I really enjoyed myself, and I hope you all did too. :)

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  154. Thanks so much Rachel, we loved having you with us.

    Congratulations Stacey!

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  155. Thank you! Or do I thank the chipmunks? *grin*

    You can send the book to snetzel.at.wildblue.net

    I look forward to reading it!

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