Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Oliver New Year contest

Happy 2011! I hope the New Year is a happy and healthy one where all your dreams come true! And with me, it’s all about traditions. With my heritage being predominantly Polish and Irish, along with a wee bit of Scottish, Welsh and Austrian blood, is it any wonder? I grew up with a blend of all these well wishes for the New Year, and I’d like to share them with you. Enjoy!!

An old Irish tradition:
At the stroke of midnight, open the front door to let the New Year in and make a wish. Then run to the back door or side door and open it to let the old year and all the bad luck out!
A Polish tradition from my Grandfather passed on to my mother.
The Polish believe snow on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. On a snowy New Year’s Eve, place two silver dollars outside on the window pane. The following morning, scoop up the money, along with a generous handful of snow. Close your eyes and make a wish. Then run to the bathroom and wash your face in the fresh snow and your wish will come true!

Words of Wisdom from my Irish aunt, Aunt Sis, who has starred in many of my blog posts, was a big one for legends and superstitions. She used to tell us to never eat chicken on New Year’s Day or we’d be scratching all year! This, we learned, was a reference to money. Eating pork is said to fatten the wallet for the coming year!

My Polish aunt

Not a big one for legends or superstitions, but Aunt Mary used to give a piece of straw from her Christmas manger to all her nieces and nephews. She told us to keep it in our wallets and we’d never be broke. Maybe because I’m such a believer in legends and lore, it works for me. But this is the truth. When I’m running low on money and rub the straw between my fingers, I’ve been known to find money, get some unexpected cash or win the lottery. Now, grant it, I’m not talking about any large sum of money that will allow me the luxuries of the world by any stretch of the imagination. But just enough to be a blessing!

Somewhere in Austria

There are said to be Austrian relatives on my mother’s side of the family. Very little is known about them other than my grandmother and aunt spoke of a connection to royalty. There were letters from many years ago. But after my grandmother and aunt passed away, the stories they used to tell us at Christmas and Easter faded and nothing more was ever mentioned. But one thing that stuck in my head is a New Year’s tradition they spoke of. It’s a bit chilling, but since I’m such a big believer in angels,I don’t question it.Pick up the first shiny penny you spot gleaming in the snow in the New Year. Check the date. If it’s either the year of birth or year of death of a loved one, that person is said to be your guardian angel and will watch over you for life.

The Scottish Blessing

The Scottish are big believers in purifying the home for the New Year. This can be done in whatever traditions are passed on from generation to generation in your family. One way is to sprinkle fresh water in each room to kill the germs of the old year. Some local priests come to the homes and sprinkle holy water and bless the home.

Welsh Wishes for Good Luck

I’ve always been drawn to the fresh scent of evergreen in the house at Christmas and saddened when the bristly needles fall off and pine away. With all the legends&g and lore I’m blessed with, bringing a bit of the good earth into the home had to mean something. I recently learned we have some Welsh relatives on my dad’s side of the family. And a Welsh tradition for the New Year is to break off a piece of the fresh pine and sprinkle the branch through the home.
No matter what your traditions are or how you choose to ring in the New Year, Oliver and I wish you health and happiness for 2011. Happy New Year!

I invite you to add your favorite New Year’s tradition to mine. And to sweeten the pot, Oliver is running a contest. On January 31, he will choose his favorite tradition and send you a goodie bag full of his special blend of Chai tea! Good luck! What’s that, Oliver? Sharon chuckles. Oh, all right if you insist, who am I to stop you? So here’s another tradition to add to the list, Oliver’s favorite. According to Celtic legend and lore, the hazelnut has the power to determine whether or not your mate will be true blue. You heard right. What’s in a nut? Fidelity or infidelity? You be the judge!

On New Year’s Eve, in front of a rip roaring fire in the hearth, take a hazelnut and inscribe the name of your lover. Then close your eyes and make a wish and pitch the nut into the flames. If the nut pops out, your mate will run from you and never be true and will break your heart. The nut that burns to ashes will hold a burning desire for all of eternity.
So being a fool for superstition, Oliver has hurriedly inscribed the name of Dominique, his lady love in his book
And even as we speak, Oliver’s eyeballs are glued to the fire in the hearth, watching the hazelnuts do the dance of love. Is Dominique his one true love? You be the judge

Charade of Hearts
Oliver’s story!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


SEASONS GREETINGS! Oliver and I, along with our adorable feline family, would like to wish you and yours a Blessed Christmas and Joyous New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oliver's Party'

Welcome to Oliver’s party! I am thrilled to announce the release of Charade of Hearts, the book you’ve all been waiting for. In my latest romantic suspense by The Wild Rose Press, our very own Oliver fights off the villain to save his lady love from harm’s way. In honor of this handsome knight in shining armor, I’m throwing him a party in a century old sugar plantation in gorgeous Hawaii. Why Hawaii you ask? Because the tropical paradise is the setting for Charade of Hearts, and as one of the books in the Jewel of the Night series, it packs a lot of heat! And now it’s time to party and dance the night away! We invite you to spend an enchanted evening in the grand ballroom for a night to remember. Come on in!

With an explosion of light, velvety skies open into a kaleidoscope of blue diamond fireworks that glitter like shooting stars. In the distance, the jagged peaks of Diamond Head shroud the plantation like an iron fortress. A green sea turtle meanders along the shimmering black sands as frothy white waves gently lap ashore.

(Picture by Christian Riesse Lasse
Balmy palm trees sway lazily in the hibiscus-scented evening as guests donned in formal black tie careen their way up the undulating white marble steps leading to the estate. A myna bird whistles and love doves coo, their lyrical singing softly floating across the warm sultry night. The lush landscape encompassing the spacious manor house invoke a feeling of tropical relaxation.The bluesy sound of jazz teases, the taunting twine of sax beckoning.

Oliver, looking movie-star handsome in his black tuxedo, stands poised at the oval archway, a dreamy expression in his star-spangled eyes. A red-jacketed piano player breaks into a jazzy deliverance of A Star is Born, the soft pang of the Baby Grand floating suggestively across the ballroom. Open terrace doors bring in the sweet scent of hibiscus and magnolias. 

A beautifully decorated Douglas Fir stands tall and eloquent, its blue diamond twinkle lights reflecting on the gleaming cherry wood floors.

The grand ballroom invites guests in with its royal setting. Whimsical figures portraying kings and queens that reigned during the Hawaiian Monarchy look so real the walls seemed to vibrate with their presence. Marble floors gleam under the brilliancy of a Baccarat chandelier, and a spiraling staircase leads to upper balconies. Guests sit on plush sofas enjoying cocktails while being entertained by classical music.

The ladies pour in, dressed to the nines in gowns that shimmer and shine. Beaming at the guest of honor, they blow him kisses. As each lady crosses the threshold, Oliver bestows a blue diamond lei around her neck, brushing his sensual lips to hers! Then in true Oliver style, he winks and gazes into her eyes.

“Welcome to Hawaii and welcome to my party! Come on now; give us a kiss, love! And as a token of my appreciation for coming to my party, I insist that you keep this blue diamond lei as a Christmas present.”

Sharon, looking dazzling in a crimson gown of beaded gemstones, saunters
over to her butler on a whisper of silk.

“Oliver, darling,” she gushes. “I have a surprise for you.”

“A surprise?” hope gleams in his star-spangled eyes. “You’ve invited Lori Graham?”

“Lori Graham!” Sharon glares at her too sexy for his own good butler. “Why on earth would you be looking for my editor?”

“Because, love,” he pats her on the cheek. “She signed my contract for Charade of Hearts and I’m the star!”
“And I’m the author that got you the contract!” Sharon grabs a flute of champagne from a passing waiter and downs it in one gulp. “I wrote your lines, after all.”

Oliver smiles a beguiling smile. “Of course you did, love, but I still want to steal a kiss from Lori when I bestow the blue diamond lei around her neck, thank her for granting me a contract for my book.”

“Your book!” Sharon flags down the waiter for another flute of champagne. Toying with her blue diamond lei, she motions to the band. “Getting back to my surprise, Oliver. I wrote this song just for you. Enjoy!”

As the band breaks into song, the massive sky dome opens. The guests all gasp in wonder and awe as a series of blue diamond fireworks explode like boomerangs above their heads. Heart-shaped balloons float upward and the music begins.
Picture yourself in a plantation in Hawaii
Beneath blue diamond spangled skies
Somebody calls him he answers quite slowly
The guy with kaleidoscope eyes

Shimmering comets of fiery blue diamonds
Explode over his head
Look for the guy with the stars in his eyes
And he’s gone

Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds

Follow him to a table full of books

Where suspense readers read Charade of Hearts

Everyone smiles as he pulls out his fountain pen
To sign their stocking stuffer!

Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds

With a tear of joy in his eye, Oliver plants a big wet one on Sharon’s crimson painted lips. Then, regaining his cool bravado, he engages her with his most beguiling smile and pumps his biceps.

“Say now, love. You’re a gem, a blue diamond of a gem, and I promise to save you a dance, but, naturally, Lori gets the first dance.”

“Naturally, Ollie.”

Catching Hywela Lyn’s eye, Oliver blows her a kiss as she chats with Mary Ricksen while admiring the table of books adjacent to the Christmas tree. They both look stunning in beaded silk gowns that pick up the glow of the blue twinkle lights. More guests saunter on over to join them, Blue Hawaiian cocktails in hand

 “Oh, Oliver,” Sharon whispers, giving an approving nod toward the entourage of admirers. “This is so perfect.”

“And only two weeks until Christmas,” Oliver beamed. “Do you think guests will buy my book as a stocking stuffer?”

“Well now, dear heart,” Sharon rolls her eyes. “I guess that all depends on your charm.”

Oliver blushes. “Just out of curiosity, love, what part of my book do you think the ladies will like the most?”

Sharon smiles, giving her butler a knowing look. “That’s easy, dear heart. The thing the ladies will find most endearing about Charade of Hearts is that their Darling Oliver wears his heart on his sleeve when he falls head over heels with his Lady Love and puts his own life on the line to protect her from his evil twin brother and the other scoundrels in the jewel ring. What woman couldn’t relate to that? Sigh…”

Oliver pumps his biceps. “So you think the ladies will join my fan club? Buy my book perhaps? I’ll make it worth their while with the contest I’m running. Grin.”

Sharon shakes her head. “Speaking of which, I can’t believe you actually started your own fan club. Have you no shame?”

Oliver pumps his biceps and motions to the band.

“Not me, sweet cheeks. I’m downright shameless.”

The band breaks into a snappy version of Shameless by Garth Brooks. Oliver takes a sweeping bow and grabs the microphone and smiles.

“Ladies, ladies,” he pumps his biceps. “Now for the announcements. First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for coming to my party.” I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. And if you join my fan club, I’ll give you your very own ‘I Love Oliver’ button! And here’s the best part. Wanna win a box of the delicious chocolates that I gave the lovely Dominique in Charade of Hearts? And just because I love you so much, I’m also adding an Oliver coffee mug and an Oliver t-shirt! See them pictured here. 

Mug front

mug back

How do you enter you ask? Simply answer the three questions I’ve dreamed up for you. 

Good luck, ladies! 
Details are on the boss’s website under OLIVER CONTEST. 

And don’t be shy about heaping up your plates. Try a Mai Tai or a Blue Hawaiian. Eat, drink and be merry!  
Silver candelabras grace either side of the appetizer table, and crimson roses in Waterford vases line the mirrored wall. The scent of lemon-crusted medallions of beef, spicy shrimp and Jonah crab claws waft through the air.

The cake, a sinfully decadent chocolate fudge marble in the shape of a heart graces the dessert table.

White-jacketed waiters serve stuffed mushrooms, spicy olives and exotic black caviar while bartenders hustle behind the bar to mix cocktails. Spying Lori Graham at the entrance in a black sequence gown and blue diamond earrings, Oliver makes a bee line.

Oliver bestows a blue diamond lei around Lori’s neck and kisses her. Then he whispers in her ear.

“I can’t wait to dance with you.”

With the gentle strum of a violin, the Viennese Waltz begins and Oliver and Lori glide across the ballroom floor. On a romantic lilt, Oliver ends the dance by placing his left thigh under Lori’s right thigh. To applause and whistles, he lifts her high into the air before bringing her back down to earth with the greatest of ease.

Thunderous applause explodes across the ballroom. Oliver smiles and pumps his biceps. Sharon takes the microphone.

“Oliver will now read an excerpt from his book Charade of Hearts. This party is just getting started. Mingle, dance with Oliver and be merry! Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays!”

While scuba diving off the coast of Diamond Head with her diving partner on a quest to find a family heirloom, underwater photographer Dominique St. John witnesses his brutal murder and photographs it, ensnaring her in a deadly jewel ring. And when the investigating officer turns out to be her partner’s identical twin, a man she knew nothing about, her life becomes a Charade of Hearts.

Welcome to the world of greed, intrigue, deception and murder. And at its core is a blue diamond worth millions.

As honest as his twin was corrupt, Honolulu Homicide Detective Oliver Carvalho must convince Dominique that her diving partner and best friend was a crook. In a race against time, Oliver must rescue Dominique from a ruthless killer. But his biggest challenge proves to be mending a broken heart torn by betrayal that can only be redeemed by love.


The fog in her head slowly cleared. She was on assignment in Hawaii, photographing the shipwreck that had taken her mother’s life. And while she’d been shooting pictures, Roberto had been scouring the ocean floor for her mother’s blue diamond. Her stomach tightened and cramped. It was all coming back. By some miracle, Roberto had managed to find the necklace. And just as they were about to surface, a diver came out of nowhere and stabbed him. Her eyelids flew open in shocked horror. Her heartbeat tripled, causing the soft beeping to crescendo to an ear-splitting shriek.

“Easy, Ms. St. John,” a nurse was at her side checking her vitals while a younger nurse adjusted the monitor.

“Roberto!” Dominique screamed, her voice a nasally squeak. Frustrated and annoyed, she yanked the tubing out of her nose and tried again. “My diving partner? Is he here? Roberto Carvalho?”

The woman’s expression softened. “I’m sorry, Ms. St. John. I really don’t know anything about your partner. You were the only patient brought in by emergency helicopter. You’re at the Queens clinic. You have the bends from ascending too quickly.”

She needed to find out about Roberto. Who would know? The owner of the charter boat. He would know. Dominique recalled him hoisting her onto the charter, removing her wet suit and then what? She remembered hearing a helicopter a split second before passing out. And she vaguely recalled telling him Roberto had been stabbed by a diver. Dear God. Killer sharks had been thrashing toward Roberto, jaws chomping. The words came out in a strangled moan. “The owner of the charter? Is he here?”

The nurse shook her head. “He stayed for a while to make sure you were all right. But he had to leave. But there is someone anxious to speak to you when you feel up to it.”

And that’s when Dominique spotted him, big as life, framing the doorway to the small room. He was fine; he’d survived the shark attack. His name caught in her throat. “Roberto! You’re alive! How…”

He strutted toward her, his narrow hips swaggering as he closed in on her, stirring her blood with a primal lust she had never felt. And those dark, broody eyes, so alive with passion, like fiery comets. She reached for him with her free hand. “Dear Lord, you’re safe! Thank God.”

He loomed above her, his lips pinched into a thin line. “I’m sorry, Ms. St. John, but I am not Roberto. He flashed a badge. “I am Detective Oliver Carvalho, Honolulu PD, Homicide. Roberto Carvalho was my identical twin brother.”

CHARADE OF HEARTS                           

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oliver's release party

Hear ye hear ye! Major announcement regarding Oliver! As most of you know, my sexy cyber butler will be starring as the hero in my upcoming romantic suspense


Part of the Jewel of the Night series by
The Wild Rose Press

To celebrate, I am throwing him a party to end all parties and you’re all invited!







Oliver and I are counting the days and look forward to you all joining us. See you soon. Aloha!