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.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Valentines Celebration with Sandra Sookoo

Flowers Comments
Flowers Comments A beautiful, starry evening and an Italian Villa set on the shores of Lake Garda, in Tresnico, on the Gardone Riviera. What could be more perfect for a Valentine's celebration than a beautiful terraced garden for the festivities!
Outside, Oliver is busy hanging the last of the twinkling fairy lights in the trees surrounding the Villa. He steps back and flexes his biceps, with a grin of satisfaction. Inside, there are more fairy lights and the three hostesses have been very busy decorating in suitable Valentines style.
When night falls the place will be enchanting.
Hearts Comments
Valentines Day    CommentsThere are red roses and candles everywhere.
Flowers  CommentsA crisp white tablecloth covers the table in the large dining room with a red rose for each of the guests, and on tables nearby are a variety of
delicious foods. Cantaloupe slices wrapped in thin prosciuitto slices, bruschetta made of sweet tomatoes and spices covered small crisp slices of Italian bread, huge plates of antipasto, stuffed olives and cherry tomatoes and fresh, homemade mozzarella, fill the appetizer table. The ravioli, lasagne, pizzas and tortellini on the main table, are only inches from tables of cannolis, hundreds of little heart shaped anisette flavored Valentine cookies, and delicious tiramisu, all of which Oliver has been busy preparing for days. In its place of pride as usual, is the special cake he has made for the Guest of Honor, a feather light chocolate gateau with pink frosting and copies of the covers of two of her books .

Of course there is also plenty of licorice flavored Anisette and fine vintage wine, along with a wide selection of other drinks.

Junior and Cuddles with red velvet bows around their necks, play hide and seek in the hallway, and craftily steal a cookie each when the hostesses aren’t looking.

The three take one last look to make sure everything is ready, and the decorations are perfect, then check each other’s gowns. Tonight they are wearing an identical style, long and flowing. Lyn’s is forget-me-not blue, Mary’s deepest coral and Sharon’s is emerald green. When they have each twirled and admired each other, Sharon sweeps off her straw hat, which like those of the other two, hides large colored rollers.

“Come on, we need to get these out and our hair brushed before she arrives,” she says, grabbing hold of Mary and pulling out several curlers. “Ouch!” Mary says, “I’ll have you know I have sensitive hair!”. The three of them scramble up the wide, elegant staircase to their dressing rooms, and have just perfected their hairstyles when Oliver calls to tell them their special guest has arrived.
They all rush to the lake, where Sandra, looking stunning in an exquisite long white gown, with diamante ruffles at the neck and hem, disembarks from an elegant gondola,
taking the hand Women Comments
Oliver offers. He winks and blushes in the moonlight as he hands her a bouquet of red roses.The three hostesses and Oliver escort her inside the villa. In the dining room, Oliver draws back her chair and waits until she has seated herself. He places another red rose, a special deep red ‘Lasting Love’ in front of her, and gives one each to Sharon, Mary and Lyn. Then he holds up his hand and the soft buzz of conversation dies down as he says:

"On this special Valentine’s Night, we have a special Guest, Romance Author Sandra Sookoo. Let’s enjoy an evening of good food, romance and entertainment." When the thunderous applause for their guest dies down, he picks up his treasured copy of her novel, 'Cupid In Blue' and begins to read aloud, while in the background the hidden musicians play romantic mandolin music.
Hearts Comments
Blurb for
Cupid in Blue

Aaron Bernhart -- the new Cupid -- finds previous experience in love is a prerequisite for the job. He’s all ready with a golden bow and a quiver of magical red arrows. Sadly, what he’s lacking is a girlfriend. On his first day at work he meets Catherine, and literally tumbles head over wings…from the sky that is.

Catherine is a skeptic regarding all things romance, but finds herself turned on by Cupid’s wings. The only thing holding her back from a happily ever after is herself.

Can Aaron convince the lovely loner to take a chance on romance with him, or will he be the only single Cupid in the history of the world?

Excerpt for Cupid in Blue

“You said you’d pick me up.”

“I am.” Before she could protest, Aaron plucked her from the balcony and held her against him as he descended to
the ground. “I just didn’t tell you how I’d be doing it.” For long moments, his arms remained wrapped around her as he gazed into the deep blue pools of her eyes. He could easily stay there for hours. Desire slithered through his gut when she shivered against him.

The box of chocolates slipped to the ground unnoticed and she pulled out of his arms as he leaned in to kiss her. “Back off, Lover Boy.”
Aaron stepped away, acutely aware she was the one who broke the embrace. “I’m sorry.”

By willpower alone, he kept the warmth in his neck from spreading to his face. “So, are you ready for dinner?”

Confusion clouded her eyes. “I’m not going anywhere unless you put those things away.” She glanced pointedly at his wings . “But before you do, can I touch them?”

“Why?” Suddenly suspicious, he retreated another step. Curiosity blazed in her eyes as she closed the distance between them. “Why are you so interested in them? They’re just wings.”

“I’ve never seen anything like them before.” Her eyes sparkled when she smiled. “Did you think I’d be afraid and run away? Maybe call one of the tabloids and sell your story for a couple thousand bucks?” She stretched out her right hand then stroked the feathers of his left wing.

Tremors rocked his body at her touch. Aaron had no idea his wings could bring such intense spikes of pleasure, but as Catherine drew her fingers over the soft, downy feathers, his knees buckled. Intense waves of need crashed into him with enough force to make him flinch.

“Catherine…” His voice was rough with a passion he couldn’t explain.

“You’d better be careful, Cupid. If a simple touch has you nearly doing cartwheels, I can’t imagine what a kiss would make you do.”

He met her gaze and almost pleaded with her to stop her torment, but he quelled the urge.
He wanted to know what else would happen. “Catherine.” Urgency flooded his voice. She swept her palm down the length of his wing. Aaron shivered and clutched at the hand she placed on his chest. He groaned as his arousal strained against the front of his jeans. Never had he felt this way, and all because a woman touched his wing. “Enough.”

Catherine’s laugh was throaty and smugly feminine, but she removed her hand. “I can honestly say I’ve never turned a guy on quite like this before.”

“Damn.” He felt the loss of contact immediately, as the extreme sensations subsided and his ragged breathing returned to normal. “You almost killed me.” He stared at her with newfound respect and a healthy dose of shock.

“In order to be the authority on love and passion, wouldn’t you need to experience it for yourself?” She shrugged then turned away. “I’m going to the diner. You’re welcome to join me when you’re able.” At the last moment, she glanced over her shoulder. “I don’t know how you men function with those things between your legs. Seems to me they spring to life at the most inopportune moments.”

His jaw dropped. He stared after her for long moments as “that thing” calmed down enough so he could walk about town without embarrassing himself. Not for the first time did he wonder what exactly went on behind Catherine’s confident facade.

Aaron folded his wings beneath his skin, cringing when joints snapped and the skin on his back stretched. He’d never get used to that sensation. He took a deep breath and let it hiss out between his teeth. Being Cupid was not the problem. Being Cupid with the hots for an unattainable woman definitely was.

Now for this week's question - If you could have any man you fancied, to take you to a Valentine's dinner, which one would it be?
Flowers CommentsSandra will give an upload of one of her books plus a great goodie bag to one lucky commentator.

Publisher’s Website: http://www.lyricalpress.com/

Author website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com/

Valentines Day Comments


  1. Hello everyone! Thanks so much for a great party! The place looks fabulous!

    Thanks for hosting the party today. I'll be around today, dropping in and out to answer questions and join in on the fun.

    Meanwhile, everyone sit, eat and dance. Have a great time.

    I'm giving away a PDF copy of a book plus an awesome goodie bag :-)

  2. Welcome to your special celebration, Sandra. Oliver is ready to cater to your every whim while we wait for the guests to arrive.

  3. Hi Rebecca. Welcome to the party. Sit down and make yourself at home, help yourself to food, Oliver will be along any moment to pour you a drink and make sure you have everything you need.

  4. Whew, Sandra, your excerpt had my knees buckling too! Loved it! Would love to read all of it.
    May I say how stunning you ladies look! And the villa has me swooning.
    In answer to your question: my husband, of course. :)
    Congrats on your release, Sandra! Best of luck with it.

  5. Thanks Rebecca and Cate for coming by :-) Cupid in Blue is one of my favorites :-)

  6. Any man? *Wipes brow* Whew! Ok...Sir Sean Connery.

    I mean, really...is there any man more dashing that Sir Sean Connery? He's a Knight, he has a Scottish brogue, and he still looks hot in a kilt.

  7. Hi Cate, thank you so much, lovely to see you - do you like your rose, Oliver has made sure each of our guests today gets a virtual red rose for Valentine's Day!

    Good answer by the way!

  8. "You know I look pretty good in a kilt myself," Oliver winks, flexing his biceps and dragging his gaze for a moment from Sandra,as he hands Isobael a glass of wine and a red rose.

  9. Thanks for coming Isobel :-)

    Poor Oliver. So many women he must cater to.

    I wouldn't mind if Dwayne Johnson showed up at my door for dinner :-)

  10. Hi, Sandra! Lovely party.

    If I could have the company of any man in the world, I'd choose...My husband Jackie. (no seriously.lol)

  11. cary grant. =)

    morning sandi!! hope you're having a great day...great excerpt, going to have to buy that one too!


  12. Welcome to the roast, Sandra. We hope you have fun today with us. Oliver will see to your every need, of course. Love the excerpt. Big hello to all the guests. Ah, thank you for the rose, Oliver, dearheart, and I'll have a glass of red wine for the party!

  13. Thanks Brynna. I love my hubby to. He's just lacking in the muscles dept LOL ;-)

    Thanks Carrie. I hope you like Cupid in Blue. The hero is too yummy.

  14. Hi Brynna and Carrie,

    Lovely to see you both. Oh I agree about that excerpt too - it would be rather fun to run one's finger's through a sexy male's wings wouldn't it!

  15. Cupid in Blue sounds great! And the party is fabulous :)

    Any man? I'd have to go with Dave Gahan. I don't think I'd be able to leave DH at home, though, seeing as he's a pretty big Depeche Mode fan.

  16. Hi Chandra, ooh we're having some fantastic male Valentine's dinner guests aren't we - including a fair sprinkling of husbands! Valentine's Day brings out the romantic in everyone, doesn't it!

  17. Mary carries wine and extra food from the kitchen in the great villa.
    Woh, he, lo, woh, oh,
    I feel like Cinderella. Sharon is always bossing me around. Why did I have to do the grunge work? It's not fair. As Mary walks by Sharon, who is primping in front of all the hot men here, she trips, (accidentally on purpose), and spills a whole bottle of white wine, mostly on Sharon. He, He!
    Oh, Sharon, I am so sorry. I didn't see you there. Well it is white wine, you can't tell.
    Mary grumbles and leaves to bring the supplies to Oliver.
    What a primadonna.

  18. Nice party, and perfectly suited to the guest of honor. Congratulations, Sandi on all your success...now I'm hungry! I'm sure to find an awesome recipe along with a wonderful story in any of your books.

    Have a great day!

  19. Whew Sandi I am out of breath just trying to keep up with you. Great excerpt. Congrats on your release.

    I think I will skip the fantasy of having dinner with a man. Also these knobby knees of mine would certainly not look good in a kilt. :)

    Thanks Oliver. I will take the glass of wine but I think I will pass on the rose. Instead I think I will just sip my wine and take in the sight of all the elegant ladies seated here.

  20. Sandra, a bit perturbed that the attention in the room has been a bit diverted from her, stands, puts a hand dramatically to her forehead and swoons--only to be caught in Oliver's strong arms. LOL

    Hey Chandra! Thanks for stopping by the festivities :)

    This is the most fun I've had in awhile.

  21. Mary returns to the party. Sharon gives her the evil eye, but her reciprocating will have to wait. I am too busy reading these great excerpts and watching all the new guests.
    So, where did you get the idea for the new story?

  22. Lyn gives Mary the look. So Mary doesn't say anything when Sandra swoons. Oliver just loves to catch swooners.
    but Mary is ready for Sharon, whatever she does next.
    Junior go get Cuddles and you two can check on stragglers, make sure they find their way here.

  23. Hey Joann!

    Hey Gary! Maybe we can convince you to start a congo line or something :-)

    Mary--well, the idea of Aaron's predicament as Cupid came about because midway through the previous book (Exiles from Christmas) I decided I really liked Aaron and thought he deserved his own story.

    What better way than to leave Exiles with a cliffhanger that led right into Cupid in Blue?

    That and the fact I thought it was hugely funny to write about a Cupid, the main man of love, who couldn't get the handle of flying let alone falling in love himself :-)

    As you can see, I love to write about the quirky and humorous :-)

  24. LOL The trouble with swooning is "then what?" Oliver plunked Sandra back into her chair, pressed a new glass of cold champagne into her hand and murmured something about seeing to the other guests.

    However, not to be forlorn for long, Sandra whips out her cell phone and dials a number in Crystal Falls, Indiana. Maybe Aaron (I mean Cupid) will come...

  25. Cuddles swoops down from the trees where he has been practicing flying whilst holding a bow and arrow, and pretending he's Cupid. He calls to Junior and the two scamper pff obediently - hmm they're not know for their obedience, those two!

    Well, you always know when our Mary's about. Her's a towel and damp cloth Sharon, we'll soon have that dress dry, it hasn't marked.

    She glances towards Oliver, who is fanning Sandra gently with his copy of 'Cupid In Blue' and whispering sweet nothings. From the look of bliss on her face she's not about to recover any time soon, LOL!

    Hello J Halli - no need to be hungry at one of our parties. I would as Oliver to help you to some of this sumptuous food but he seems to be - er - a bit busy at the moment.

    Hello GE. How nice to meet you - why don't you take the rose home for your wife? and of course if you like to come up with your perfect female dinner guest that would be fine too!

  26. Sharon comes back into the partyy after changing her dress, amazed at how many more guests have arrived to toast Sandra. Oh, thank you, Oliver, my fresh glass of wine and some of those delicious appetizers. She plans to get even with Mary, but not yet. So tell me, Sandra, all about this sexy hero of your Valentine story?

  27. Mary just can't help herself. She is so bored with all the hoopala that she decides to cause a bit of trouble. Into each bottle of wine she puts two drops, now mind you that's all it takes into each open bottle of wine and anisette. Tee, hee, hee, laughing potion.
    Just as she finishes Lyn walks up behind her and says, boy I need a drink, with that she picks up the bottle of laughing potion and swallows the whole thing.
    Shoot Sharon is gonna kill me now!

  28. Hi Sharon, sorry about the wine. Oh Lyn, I don't know she's been sitting there with this look of bliss and suddenly started to laugh.
    Scattered laughter fills the room. Uh Oh! gulp.

  29. Hi Sandi one congo line coming up.

    Hi Hywela thanks for the welcome. I have been married for many years. Now not withstanding that Valentines Days is approaching if I presented her with a flower I would have to quickly toss it on the table to catch her when she fainted. lol When she recovered from her faint I can here the first words she would speak. "Alright, what did you do?" :)

  30. Ah keep her on her toes, turn over a new leaf, keep the excitement alive. Hell, spring for a dozen roses GE, shock her and show her she's still your love.

  31. Sharon--my hero's name is Aaron Bernhardt. He lives in the tiny, fictional town of Crystal Falls, Indiana, where things aren't exactly as they seem and magic abounds.

    Remember the stories and legends from your childhood? Well, in Crystal Falls, it's not uncommon to meet up with one of these folks in living flesh. :-)

    Anyway, Aaron's feeling low because his brother's leaving for the North Pole. A package arrives for him, and he opens it. A quiver of arrows and a golden bow meets his wondering eyes, but the thing he can't ignore are the wings that sprout from his back.

    Much to his brother's amusement, he finds out he's the new Cupid but there's one problem. He stinks at finding love in his own life.

    He fights it but when he encounters Catherine, not only does he want to believe in himself, he wants her to believe as well.

  32. Oooh Sandra, that sounds wonderful! I'd love to live in a place like Crystal Falls and meet some of my favourite characters from myths and legends - and Aaron sounds like a very hunky cupid - even if he is having a difficult time findig his own happy ever after!

    Giggle. no I'm not laughing at you Sandra, I just feel very merry all of a sudden. Ooops I'd better go and see what Mary's up to. She and Sharon love each other really but they're always squabbling and playing tricks on each other. **, *snort*, *giggle*.

  33. Oh GE - how can you be a romance writer and not give your wife roses on Valentine's Day!

    Giggle, Giffle!

    As Mary says - shock her and make her day!

    Lyn collapses in a corner, giggling hysterically!

  34. Lyn's giggling, not 'giffling'!

    Bad typos, naughty!
    Snort, chuckle.

  35. Shoot, Sharon is laughing, I mean the girl is hysterical with laughter. It kinda makes me want to laugh. Ha! Haaaahaaahaaaa. Hey did I drink some of that too. Or is it just contagious laughter. Sharon holds her side and tears of laughter are rolling down her cheeks. I can't stop laughing either. Wooops, Sharon, stop laughing Lyn, LYN stop!
    where is that antidote Junior?

  36. Don't Hi me, Mary Ricksen. Trouble is your middle name. Now look what you've done to poor Lyn, made her a laughing fool, and now she's a dancing fool! Give me a swig of that. It looks like fun.
    GE, spring for the roses this year and make her day!
    Sandy, I love the sound of Aaron and the storyline you've created. I must have this book. I'm a real sucker for stories of romance and quirky humor with a happy ending! Can Oliver get you more of the bubbly? Watch out for that Mary. She'll be sure to slip something into your drink when you're not looking!

  37. I think it's time to roll our hosts under a table and let them sleep it off LOL

  38. If my DH gave me roses I'd have heart failure.
    Mary chuckles.
    Lyn is now rolling on the ground. Quick Junior give the antidote it to her before Sharon catches us! A couple of drops for a good laugh, it says not the whole bottle. In big letters. Hey what's this bottle. Mary picks up a strange bottle and since it smells so good she takes a sip and hands it to Lyn. Maybe it will help. Oh!!!
    Oh!! Something is happening!

  39. Lyn still laughing begins to change at the same time. I think we're growing Lyn! Here is the laughter antidote, but who put this bottle here. I'm growing too! Help!

  40. Oh you two fellow hostesses have sprouted wings! Haaa haaa

  41. Mary, Lyn struggles to speak, you always get me in trouble.
    I know, Mary smiles. Cuddles help us!!!
    We are going to have to watch for strange bottles all day!

  42. Wings, there are wings growing? Yeah! I always wanted to fly!

  43. LOL Sharon. Thanks! I hope you enjoy Cupid. The third in the series releases March 1st, about a female leprechaun. :-)

    I think I'm good on the bubbly. *eyeballing the bottles warily**

    have you all been shopping for Valentine cards for your loved ones yet? I got my hubby's yesterday.

  44. Well that will be another one for the list. Being a wee bit aIrish and all, I do love anything and everything to do with the legends and lore of the green! Can't wait. I'll be rubbin' me Claddagh for good luck. Sounds like another winner!

  45. Lyn and Mary, what cute horns you ar growing out of your temples!

  46. tell us about the first and the next books! will you?

  47. Sharon chuckles when Mary turns around, thinking she is sooo cool. Little does she know she has a red heart on her back saying she's easy. Haa haa! I always get even...

  48. those are not horns they are crowns, We are turning into faeries. That's where the wings came from. But I am gonna take the antidote. Junior drops the bottle into Mary's hand and she takes a swig before handing it to Lyn. (Here drink this, those are horns dummy). Lyn takes a big swing and they are both changed back to their original dresses and all.Whew!
    Now Let me see!

  49. Well a red heart is better than the welcome sign you are wearing sweetie!
    come one, come all, as they say.

  50. Lyn manages to stop giggling and rubs her forehead. Horns? Where did these come from? Yikes. I like the wings though. Cuddles had better watch out if he gets up to mischief. I can catch him now! Luckily though, your enchantments don't seem to last too long Mary, which is a mercy.

    A story about a female leprachaun, you say, Sandra. That sounds fascinating, and very original. Being Welsh I'm interested in anything with a Celtic flavour, and that includes Ireland of course. What's it called, so we can look out for it? What a great idea for a series.

  51. I lean over and ask Sandi.” Hey where did Joann get those tasty looking morsels?” She promptly gives me *the look* because she thinks I have called her a *tasty looking morsel* and we both are spoken for. She is but that is not what I said. She thinks I am flirting with her. I am a flirt but please Sandi turn of *the look*

    I think I have drank too much of that doctored wine.

    I will give my wife those flowers but I will have them delivered with a card that says *from a secret admirer* :) that way I can play innocent.

  52. Mary--Well, the whole collection is called the Holiday Magic Series.

    The first book was Exiles from Christmas. Here's the blurb: Santa’s nephews have come to Crystal Falls to run a cookie business. If they fail, they’ll have to go back to the North Pole and fill their uncle’s black boots when he retires. But sick of toys, elves, and the North Pole’s influence, that’s the last thing Landon and Aaron want. They’re looking for love.
    Jayne isn’t much for sentimental family holidays and she certainly doesn’t believe in magic. Working in the Crystal Falls post office, she is mystified when she handles mail bearing a North Pole postal mark.
    When Landon and Jayne meet, their attraction for each other is undeniable, but will the truth about Landon’s life make Jayne a believer, or will it be his love that finally melts her heart?

    Here, you get the first look at the town of Crystal Falls and the Bernhart brothers that kick off the "what if".

    Next came Cupid in Blue, which is one of my favorites.

    Releasing on March 1st will be Five Leaf Clover. It's about a female leprechaun named Jinx. Here's the blurb: Jinx may have a handle on her job as the town’s baker, but it’s the leprechaun jig that’s out of control. She has a tendency to spill coins wherever she goes...not a good thing in a small town.

    With big city hotels booked solid for the college basketball tourney, Conor is forced to cools his heels in the tiny town. It’s by pure accident that he stumbles upon Jinx’s secret. He demands three wishes and threatens to hold her hostage unless the curvy redhead complies.

    Jinx will need more than the luck of the Irish to convince her sexy suitor she’s not his fortune at the end of the rainbow. Or is Conor the one man who can make her chose love over magic?

    The thing with writing about mythical characters is that you really don't know what they'd do :-) And dumping them all in one tiny town is great because they all interact together in a continuing story.

    The last 3 stories won't come out until 2011, sadly.

  53. Such antics from our lady hosts. Oliver stands off to one side with a bottle of wine in hand and merely shakes his head. One can only wonder what else the poor man has seen during his time with the three ladies. LOL

  54. Oh foolish man. Don't you know that you get more with flowers than with witticisms? sign it Love your husband, you'll shock her into catatonia.
    I know that the dinners I will cook for the rest of the week have not been planned, but they will be directly related to the quality of the thought he puts into my gift. Ha! He'll be starving!

  55. LOL oh my Gary. As if I would ever give anyone "the look". LOL Yeah right.

    I'd think twice about doing the secret admirer thing though. That's what got my hero Gordy into trouble with his lady love in The Trouble With Love.

  56. Don't let Oliver fool you, as a waiter he has played many a joke on some other intrusive waiter, or cabana boy.
    Gosh I am likin' these wings, they have to go I guess.

  57. I once got a note in college in the mail. It came from your anyomous. I think he meant anonymous, but it was cool anyways. What do you expect from a 17 yr old.

  58. Sandy, those three books all sound so great. They are just the kind of books to add that special something to our lives that we all need. I bet they were a lot of fun to write, huh? Anything with magic snags my attention. No worries about Oliver. He just grins, bears it and pumps his biceps and rolls with it. LOL

  59. , Mary, you misunderstood, dearheart. That guy in college was simply answering the ad you ran in the singles page advertising that you're easy.

  60. Okay I know that I have had way too much of that doctored wine. I feel funny.

    The next thing you know I will be sprouting wings, have a bow and be wearing a diaper. Not a pretty picture forming here. lol

    Sandi look at that picture of you and your sunglasses. Isn't that *the Look* lol

    So lovely ladies it has been great fun. I think I will conga my way to the door whilst I can still walk and leave for a while.

    Standing at the door I bow graciously to the hostesses for providing such a wonderful time and the guest of honor. "See ya later kid. Be good or have fun," I tell her and wink.

    I need to leave and check on Miss ponytail that I am babysitting.

    Bye all it's been great fun.

  61. 'Bye GE, you're welcome any time, do come back and visit again. Hugs for 'Miss Ponytail' from us all!

  62. Your Holiday Magic series sounds wonderful, Sandra, the sort of books any romantic would just love reading. Darn, my wishlist just gets bigger and bigger!

  63. That's right, easy to find. You can't smurge my reputation Sharon. I'll get you for that. Suddenly Mary, her patience at an end. Grabs Sharon by the hair and pulls for all she is worth. She pushes Sharon into the lush swimming pool and looks down at her floundering in the water. You will never beat me. And I can change whatever you do to me. So there! Mary sticks her tongue out and smacks Oliver as she walks by for laughing. She grabs Lyn and drags her to the kitchen, where she proceeds to blast her about Sharon. She's so bossy, prissy and all the rest. Oh be quiet and just listen or I'll force another potion down your throat.
    Suddenly Mary passes out cold.

  64. Lyn sighs and looks through the window where Oliver is dragging Sharon from the lake. Oh Sharon is going to be so mad! Oh dear that's what I get for being a Libran, always having to keep the piece. I wonder what was in that potion Mary drank, it obviously had a very bad effect on her, she's normally so jolly and charming!

    Oh well. Lyn sticks a cushion under Mary's head and waves at Sharon who is charging up the staircase with a look of fury on her face. Yes, you'll need to change out of that wet dress, Sharon, don't worry, there's a really nice ballgown hanging up in your room.

    Lyn goes back to the dining room where Oliver has got the musicians playing again, and the romantic atmosphere has once more been restored.

    Phew, thank goodness. I'll have a glass of white wine, please Oliver, when you have a moment!

  65. Subtle changes come over Mary as she lies on the floor where Lyn left her.
    Her eyes change first to a startling black and her dress changes to black just as her form becomes hazy and she starts to moan. Woooooo, She wakes and finds she has been changed to a banshee! Oh No! Who is she going after.
    Those dancing partygoers have no clue. But someone is going to have to leave with the banshee. Unless an antidote is found soon!!!

  66. Mary's changed form raises from her body which lies in the corner where Lyn left her. She is almost lifeless, who will stop, the banshee, who will save her, who will be the hero???

  67. Sharon changes her dress for the third time, kicks Mary as she lies in a sorrowful heap on the floor, not buying her bull about turning into a banshee for a New York second. Thanks for the new dress, Lyn and yes, Oliver, more wine please! So Lyn, dare we kick the fool whists she's down? LOL

  68. Why don't you just throw her in the pool? :-)

  69. Sharon is lifted off the ground by the gusts of wind that banshee Mary sends at her. Then the black coated Mary grabs her and throws her into the pool again, which Mary has turned to thick mud.
    Stay there where you belong goody two shoes. Mary shouts. Lyn cries as she watched Sharon kicking Mary's inert form. She knows it's the little bottle of stuff she drank that has taken Mary's spirit and changed it to a banshee. the banshee blows again and Oliver falls into the vat of mud as he tries to help Sharon out. Tee Hee Hee, Sharon, I get the last word about this!

  70. Junior and Cuddles go on a search by land and air, looking for the antidote to the foul brew Mary drank.

  71. Mary, this is beginning to sound like the Wizard of Oz. Maybe Sandra can write about you, the Wicked Witch of the west. Lyn and I are the good witches, doncha know!

  72. How about if I sprinkle pixie dust over all participants, which will remove all side effects off all potions.

    Besides, you're tracking muddy footprints all over the place LOL :-)

  73. Sandra, you're a life saver, I've never known Sharon and Mary be so cruel to each other before - wonder why it didn't affect me like that? I mean, I'm no angel!

    Lyn gratefully takes the pixie dust from the jar Sandra hands her and they both sprinkle the dust over Sharon and Mary. Lyn sprinkles some on herself too, just in case!

  74. any man? Promise hubby won't find out? Hugh jackman for sure! of course Oliver is looking pretty sweet too* smiling and blowing kisses at him*


  75. Suddenly Mary's banshee flies back into her body. Not before it's color changes back to white.
    Mary sits up. What happened, why did you take my little potion bottles away Lyn, the little Italian gypsy child said they were a gift and would make me happy. I don't remember anything except Sharon being mean to me. What happened to me?

  76. Hello Meandi's Corner

    Don't worry, your secret's safe with us, we're a very small, select group here. (Lyn crosses her fingers behind her back as Oliver blushes, winks at Meandi, and flexes his biceps as he hands her a red rose.)

  77. What happens at the AR&T stays at the AR&T, this is the place for virtual dreaming isn't it?
    I like Gerard Butler, especially in the picture Helen has on her site of him as Jamie Frasier!! Oooolala!

  78. Lyn shakes her head at Mary.

    Now Mary, what have I told you about taking potions from strangers - especially gypsy folk.
    Now go and apologise to Sandra, she's our guest of honor and this is supposed to be a Romantic Celebration - not a mudbath! LOL

  79. No problem ladies. Now, how's about another round of wine and why not set up a limbo bar? I vote for Oliver to go first!

  80. "Your wish is my command, beautiful lady!"
    Oliver bows gracefully to Sandra and proceeds to set up the limbo bar,decorating it with red ribbon and inter-twining roses.

  81. o Thank You ladies and Thank You Oliver but I'm allergic to roses as you can see by my face swelling so unforuantly I must return it to you. But I'd love a captain and coke please darling.

  82. What about Sharon don't she have to apologize why only me?

    Sandra, I don't remember a thing except Sharon being mean to me. I am sorry for making a scene if I did.
    It's just...

  83. It's never agood party unless so one faints or passes out

  84. Mary sighs and starts to sing softly. "No body likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll eat some worms. Great big juicy ones, little tiny slimy ones, Just right for my appetite. Ohhhhhh

  85. Oliver turns and apologizes profusely, handing Meandi one of the artificial roses from the limbo bar.
    He bows low. "Please accept this silk rose instead, it's guaranteed non-allergenic." Cuddles flies across and touches Meandi with his horn, and immediately the swelling subsides.

  86. Oh, Oliver, get those roses off the bar! And chop chop with the new drink order for our new guest. Sharon beams at Mary. Looks like I've fooled them all once more. And since Lyn said she is no angel, she won't mind a little mud bath. Splash!!!

  87. Come on Junior lets go for a walk. Cuddles is showing off again and I am Cinderella. Sigh. Need a prince badly.

  88. oh thank you oliver it's beautiful. Can I borrow oliver so he can explain to my hubby about fake roses I don't think hubby has ever hear of them new things they are any all lol

  89. Meandi's quite right, what's a party unless someone passes otu, LOL.

    Lyn tries to stop giggling as she hugs Mary.

    Of course Sharon will apologise too, Mary.

    (Lyn tuts to herself - honestly those two are like teenagers sometimes - I'm jealous. I wanna be a teenager!)

    Before she can stamp her foot she hears clapping and sees Oliver limboing beneath the bar, closely followed by Sandra.

  90. Lyn is surprised when Sharon splashes her with mud.
    Ha! I'm not surprised. No Sharon, don't do it!!!

  91. Lyn turns from watching Sandra.

    "Sharon dear, you're looking at the wrong bar. It's the LIMBO bar Oliver's decorated with roses," Lyn gasps before landing flat on her back
    in the water.

  92. LOL It's my party and nobody gets to cry! LOL

    Everyone limbo! Darn, but Oliver has a nice set of buns!

  93. Mary rushes to the limbo bar and waits for the music to start. Shakin' and rockin' to the music, Mary begins her pass under the bar. Whew she make it! By the third pass Mary is ready to drop. I ain't no spring chicken you know.
    She looks over to see Lyn struggling to get out of the now muddy pool. Oliver Limbos under the bar and so does Sandra. The rest of us drop like flies.
    That leaves Sandra and Oliver locked in the battle of their lives under the limbo bar!

  94. Lyn stands and wades out of the muddy water.

    "Eeeh I am vexed! Now I'll have to go and change too. I'll be back to limbo though - " she stops as she hears Sandra's comment about Oliver and sees everyone following him in the limbo dance, and her scowl turns to a grin. "Very soon."

  95. Sharon sits in a lounge by the pool smiling. A passerby hears her mutter. "Damn I'm good."
    Could it be a golem of Sharon, or what?

  96. *waving and jumping into the limbo. Sorry I'm late.

  97. Oh, and BTW... the Valentine I'd want to have dinner with is my hubby. *waving at Oliver. "That doesn't mean I can't flirt, hon."

  98. Catherine! Hi, how is the hubbie? My best to him!
    Yes looking is allowed. You can build up your appetite anywhere as long as you eat at home, right?

  99. Hi Catherine, lovely to see you, you're not late, there's plenty of food, drink and frolics Yes, Oliver is a great guy to flirt with! Best wishes from me to your hubby, too.

  100. Are you sure you don't write erotic romance, Mary? *fans self. Hubby is healthy!!! *brushes away Oliver's hands. "Lookie, don't touchie."

  101. Hi Lyn... I'll relay the greeting to the DH.

    Sandra, your stories sound wonderful. Lovely name for a heroine, too. GRIN

  102. Sharon joins the limbo, giving it all she's got, waving madly to Catherine. And when Mary and Lyn pop out to join the line, Sharon shoves them both back in the mud and laughs like a hyena. Ha ha ha. Now it's your turn, Sandy, you didn't think you would have a roast and not have some down and dirty fun, did you? Splash. Oliver, bring drinks and join us!

  103. *waves to Sharon... "Oh, are we drinking already?" I guess it's five o'clock somewhere!

  104. Thanks Catherine ;-) Hope you'll check 'em out.

  105. Mary lies in the mud next to a shocked Lyn, in tumbles Sandra, Oliver and everyone in the area. Sharon then dives in. She passes the bottle she is drinking out of and shares with the rest of the mud dabblers. After being muddy all day, what the hey, huh?
    If Sharon would only stop cackling like a hyena-were witch.

  106. Dude! You just shoved me into the mud! This dress is a rental LOL Sandi grabs a healthy handful of mud and tosses it Sharon's way

  107. Mud? Who brought mud? Oh, my... time for me to run for a couple of hours. Not that Mary's brought the mud, I'd better scram before I get too dirty.

  108. Not me! Sharon! Maybe she got hold of a potion?

  109. Well I have to go change again. Gotta cook. Will check back later. Here' a towel. Dry off Sandra and have a drink, you'll feel better.
    I'll check back!
    What an interesting and fun party!

  110. The answer to your question would be my hubby.

    Great excerpt, Sandi. What a turnout you've had for this party. It's great.

  111. Oh, but I wouldn't mind Oliver taking me for dinner. Giggle. He's way too young for me. Smile.

    Maybe, he'll ask me for a dance, she says hiding behind a fan.

  112. Hi Hywela Lyn,

    You and your gang put on a great party.

  113. Hey Sandy! Thanks for stopping by and for reading the excerpt!

  114. Sandy, Sandra was a pleasure to throw a party for. She knows how to play and she's not afraid to!
    Sandra you rock and so do your books!

  115. Awwww! Thanks Mary! :-) I had a great time. I think I wanna come back later in the year :-)

  116. Sandra, what a fun day! And a party for the books. I do so look forward to reading these highly acclaimed books and wish you so much luck. Sorry about the mud, ah, but we had fun, right? LOL
    Happy St. Valentine's Day to one and all!

  117. Hi Sandy! Thanks for the kind comment, we like to give a fun party but sometimes it gets waaay out of hand! This is the second time tonight I've had to disappear and get changed!

  118. I second Mary's comment Sandra - you've been a wondeful guest and a great sport. You're welcome here any time! It's been such fun and we've loved learning all about your magical books. Now we're all cleaned up lets go and sit beneath the fairy lighs and indulge in some of these delicious valentine cookies!

  119. Ohh I'd have my George of course but your excerpt was great! I'm enthralled.GOnna have to buy buy buy!

  120. Thanks for joining in on the fun Hales. I hope you'll check Cupid in Blue out :-)

  121. Hello Hales, so glad you could join us today.

  122. Hi Sandi! I'm not sure I want to stay at this party, it's too crowded. Do you think I can get Oliver to sneak out with me? ;-)

  123. Hi Gail

    Welcome to the party, look there's a quiet corner over there, I'll get Oliver to bring you something over. I don't think Sharon will allow him to go AWOL though! *wink*

  124. No, Gail, you can't have him. I want him.

  125. Hi Elaine, nice to see you. Gosh Oliver's just lapping up all this attention! :)

  126. 127 Comments - Dang I am really late to the party!
    Wow - what a nice hot excerpt!! Enticing!! I think I'd have to pick my DH for my Valentine date. What's a faithful wife to do? I might consider Oliver if DH wasn't around. =oD

  127. Never too late Martha, welcome to the party! There's still plenty to eat and drink!

  128. Hi Gail and Elaine! Thanks for stopping in. Remember, what happens at the party, stays at the party LOL ;-)

  129. I would have to pick Johnny Depp. He's hot. LOL. Loved your except. The site looks all ready for Valentines Day~beautiful. Oliver is yummy too. LOL. What a great party.
    Sue B

  130. Hey Sue! Thanks for dropping by and loving the excerpt. I hope you'll check out the book :-)

  131. Mary comes back and finds stragglers. Have a great time you guys! Party On!
    Sandra what a shindig this turned into! Good luck with sales!
    Thanks for coming and yes, what happens at the AR&T stays here!

  132. Cupid in Blue sounds good! Matthew McCaunghey, he's just so yummy.

  133. Very nice party! The answer to the question, of course, is my husband. We got married in our teens, and now it's twenty years later, and we're even happier. We beat the odds. -laura

  134. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  135. Dawn breaks over the villa. The sun turns the lake a delicate. rosy pink, it sparkles, the crystal water crystal clear again after the mad antics of the previous evening.

    The guests who remain are either asleep in the guest rooms or curled up in front of the huge log fire. Cuddles and Junior, as usual, have the best place, and snore gently, dreaming their enchanted animal dreams.

    Lyn stirs, and sits, then stands, brushing sweetly scented rose petals from her gown. (How many changes did she have to make last night?) The last thing she remembers before drifting off to sleep was Sandra and Oliver, forsaking the limbo bar to dance the waltz to the strains fo 'My Funny Valentine'.

    Hearing the clink of dishes in the kitchen. she decides to go and help Oliver, who is obviously preparing breakfast for the remaining guests.

    Oh - and there are three new faces she doesn't remember seeing the night before. "Hello Alena Laura and Amy, welcome to the party, I hope you'll stay for breakfast and that Oliver has been looking after you."

    Sandra, we had such fun and I hope your books sell trillions. What wonderful Valentine's gifts they's make for a wife or girlfriend *hint*.

  136. Sharon wakes up, smelling breakfast cooking in the kitchen, notices a few more guests have joined the Valentine party, waves hello to Amy, Laura and Alena, thanking Alena for her kind words about the roast, then hears snoring loud enough to wake the dead. It's that bad seed Mary Ricksen. Sharon douses the remainder of the flat champagne on her head and trots off to the kitchen to have some of the wonderful food Oliver is cooking up. She finds Lyn and Sandra, already up and about, sipping on tea and still giggling. Some party, huh, girls? Sandra, kudos and hope you sell tons!
    Happy Valentines Day!

  137. Hi Sandra sorry im late for the party figure id stop in anyways your new book sounds awesome cant wait to read it deff be in my wish list!

  138. Welcome SiNn, no worries, our parties never end until the last guest has roasted and toasted our Guest Author. Make youself at home and help yourstelf to breakfast!

  139. I'm sorry I'm late! The car wouldn't start and I had to get a rental. In such a hurry, I didn't check the gas and ran out halfway here on a desserted road. I started to walk and my heel broke. Finally a van of soccer players stopped and offered my a ride...
    What did I miss?

  140. Wow, I can't believe what a fun time this has been! I thank you all for coming. :-) So now, with my sparkly slingback heels dangling from one hand and my hair looking more like a rat's nest than an "up-do" I'll have to bid you goodbye.

    Before I leave, the lucky winner of the PDF is...

    ...(oooh, had to wake hubby up to draw a name from a bowl. He wasn't amused)


    Contact me at sandra.sookoo@comcast.net and I'll get you set up!

    Thanks for coming everyone!

  141. Phew, what a catalog of disaster Annie, thank goodness for the soccer playes! Sit down and help yourself to some food. our fridge is always stacked full for the late comers or travellers! Some wine? or would you prefer something warmer, like coffee or hot chocolate. We cater for all tastes here.

    What did you miss? Well apart from the limbo dancing and the mud baths, nothing that you can't catch up on - and believe me, you'll be glad you missed the mud! :)

  142. Congratulations, and once again thanks for being a super guest, Sandra.

    Wehope you have a wonderful Valentine's day, and that goes for all your guests as well.

  143. Glub, glub, Lyn, help, she tried to drown me! Didn't anyone see her. She's a darn menace.
    Mary, who always sleeps through breakfast, takes a shower and heads down the stairs. But not before she does some mischief to Sharon's, oh she'll find out. Mary bounces into the room where there are some new guests and Lyn and Sharon are sitting out by the pool. All clean and sparkly the water is beautiful now. Mary walks up to Lyn and Sharon. Hey, there's a phone call for you Sharon. Sharon picks her bubble butt off the chair and starts to sashay into the villa. Mary offers her a glass of tea, which Mary trips and drops on her, accidentally on purpose. Lyn laughs so Sharon dumps her tea on Lyn.
    Mary laughs now and thankfully sits down to a table with nothing to drink or throw at her on it. Ahhh. Life is good! Here's a towel stop whining Sharon, Look at Lyn she's not whining.
    Oh my, look at Lyn she just walked off with that dark handsome guy who gave her his handkerchief. WOW.