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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Oliver

Hello and welcome to Dear Oliver! As you know, for the past two years, I’ve been interviewing authors and editors on Wednesday Spotlight. You’ve all been charmed by my too sexy for his own good cyber butler Oliver who will serve you your favorite drink with a wink and a smile.

So, with the dawning of a new year came the launching of a new endeavor, featuring the man of many talents. Every Wednesday, those who have something to rant and rave about are invited to come into Oliver’s bar, order your favorite drink and vent to your heart’s content. Oliver promises to lend an ear and offer up a heaping portion of sound advice. But you know what they say about being forewarned and forearmed. Take   his advice to heart or take it with a grain of salt. But whatever the case, take it in the spirit with which it was given and roll with it. Who could be brave enough to be Oliver’s first vic…I mean customer? You guessed it, yours truly. Gulp. Excuse me while I belly up to the bar. Wish me luck Here goes nothing.

“Hey, boss, what’s up? I dare say you look a little more stressed out than usual. What’s got you so tangled up in blue?”

Sharon plops her weary body down on a bar stool and sighs. “Oh, Oliver. I‘ve had the worst day you can imagine and wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

“You can begin with ordering a drink. Shall I brew you a cup of that spicy Chai tea you can never get enough of?”

Sharon taps a long, perfectly manicured fingernail on the solid mahogany bar. “As much as I adore my Chai tea, today I’m afraid I need something a bit stronger.”

“You got it, love. Name your poison and I’ll serve it right up with a wink and a smile.”

Sharon rolls her eyes. “Spare me the theatrics and whip me up one of those martinis you’re always bragging about. What do you recommend?”

Oliver pumps his biceps and grins. “A James Bond martini, but of course.”

“I don’t know,” Sharon ponders. “Maybe one a little less potent like an Orange Blossom or a Mango Passion or how about a Pomegranate, yes, that’s what I want, give me a Pomegranate martini, shaken not stirred.”
Oliver raises an eyebrow. “I think you need a JB. I promise to make it weaker than one I’d make for myself. You’ll love it, just you wait and see.”

“Well, all right,” Sharon heaves out a reluctant sigh. “But remember, just a light one.”

“You got it, love,” Oliver whistles as he pours gin, vodka, dry vermouth and two dashes Angotura bitters into an ice filled shaker. Once he’s shaken it, he pours into a goblet an adds a thin slice of lemon peel. With his legendary wink and a smile, he presents it to his boss. “There we go, love, now tell Dear Oliver what’s on your mind.”

Sharon takes a hearty gulp of her JB and lets it fly. “Well, Oliver, as you are aware, ten years ago, I lost my vision, and while modern technology is great, it still has its downfalls.

“Like?” Oliver props his muscular arms on the bar. “Do tell.”

“Take for instance my new cell phone, it’s good for nothing.”

“How so?”
“They keep getting smaller and smaller for one thing, and another thing that really irks me is the panel is so flat I can’t feel the numbers. If I can’t see them, I should at least be able to feel them, don’t you agree, Oliver?”
“You betcha, boss. Whatever you say. But why not get a voice activated phone. Seems to me, that would solve everything.”
“Because,” Sharon gulps back the rest of her martini. “I don’t happen to like voice activated things, they get on my nerves. I happen to like buttons. So is that too much to ask? That the numbers on the panel be raised the way they were a few years ago? Now be a dear and shake me up another JB martini.”
Shrugging one of his sinewy shoulders, Oliver obliges. As an after thought, he shoves a dish of pretzel mix in front of Sharon.  “Eat something before you get tanked. You downed that JB in less than a minute. So are you all through venting?”

“Heck no, I’m just getting wound up. The phone was just the tip of the iceberg. Then I lost my Internet connection, right when my interview went live. And the helpful tech who turned out to be anything but helpful, asked me how many lights were on. I explained that I’m blind and unable to see the lights. After telling me he was sorry to hear that, he asked me again how many lights were on! But here’s the best part. When I demanded to speak to his manager, he actually had the audacity to mumble something about me being high maintenance. Tell me, does that beat all or what! Do be a dear and get me a bag of chips, the sour cream and cheddar, you know the ones I like with the ruffles.”

With a smirk, Oliver yanks a bag of chips from behind the bar and slides them across the counter toward his boss.

“Then I was treated to twenty two minutes, count them, of elevator music for my listening pleasure. I swear, Oliver, they just don’t play any good tunes these days.”

Raising an eyebrow when he sees that She’s already downed her second James Bond martini, Oliver flips the switch on the jukebox. Live and Let Die  by Paul McCartney vibrates off the walls.

“Oh, and while I’m on a rant,” Sharon slurs her speech a tad. “When the manager finally did get on the phone, she didn’t speak one word of English.”

Humming, Oliver hits another button on the jukebox. He smiles a beguiling smile when Carly Simon’s sultry voice undulates through the bar with The Spy Who Loved Me.

Sharon stifles back a chortle and bites into a crunchy chip. “So,” Agent 007, I must admit you were right about one thing…you sure shake up a mean JB. So how bout shakin’ me up another… one…hic.”

Oliver pumps his biceps and grins. “Not on your life, boss.”
“Whatever,” Sharon lays her head on the bar. “So, tell me, Dear Oliver, any final words of wisdom for your boss?”

“Only what I thought since the first day I met you,” Oliver winks a roguish wink. “That you are in serious need of therapy…and after you beat on your shrink’s ear, you might consider joining AA.”

I hope you enjoyed my first edition of Dear Oliver. If you have something to rant and rave about, or perhaps one of your characters does, email me to schedule an appointment. Please put Dear Oliver in the subject line and send to

And to read Oliver’s story where he is an ace detective solving a jewel ring case to save his lady love in tropical Hawaii, you don’t want to miss reading

Charade of Hearts
Oliver’s story!

And don’t forget to check out his Valentines Contest for a chance to win an Oliver goodie bag, including a box of chocolates.
Details on my website


Sharon Donovan said...

I hope you enjoy the first of Dear Oliver. Stay and order a drink. I highly recommend a JB martini. Wink

Hywela Lyn said...

Good morning, Sharon, and dear, Dear Oliver.

What a great pick-me-up this feature is. I'm so sorry for your techy troubles, Sharon, but I had to laugh as well, I think we've all had a 'voice' at the other end of the 'phone who makes us want to throw the wretched pc or laptop out the window!

How could anyone be blue for long with an 'agony Uncle' like Oliver. *Sigh* I'm sure I would benefit from some of his particular brand of therapy!

liana laverentz said...

So sorry to hear about your tech troubles, Sharon. I waited quite a few minutes myself last week for a similar reason. I wasn't getting my email. I just figured everyone was busy. Instead, someone had changed my password and I had over 300 messages that hadn't been delivered.

Bottoms up!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, dear friend. That's the good thing about ranting and raving...VENTING! No matter how terrible something seems at the time, someone has been there and will have a story of their own to share. Misery loves company! Now, how about a spot of mead.

Sharon Donovan said...

WOW Liana, that's a lot of backed up email. Sure hope you didn't miss out on anything earth shattering. The Internet goes from our best friend to our worst enemy in a matter of cyber minutes! Oliver thinks you could use a double JB, Cheers!

P.L. Parker said...

Tech problems and me are old friends. Fortunately, two of my sons are more tech-oriented than I and can usually dig me out of whatever mess I've gotten myself into. Dear Oliver - great idea!

Sharon Donovan said...

Patsy, how frustrating is that! But aren't you fortunate to have a couple of cyber sons to come to the rescue. Glad you like Dear Oliver and feel free to belly up and vent some future Wednesday--come on down!

Marie Beau said...

LOL Isn't Oliver a dear - Letting you vent like that. His feedback isn't like any bartender I've ever met. LOL Hope your tech problems are resolved. And tell Oliver he needs to polish is barside manner.

Miss Mae said...

Sharon, I had to laugh and shake my head at the same time when the wise guy on the other end of the line expressed sympathy for your blindness and then in the next breath, he repeats the question of how many lights are on! Methinks, does he understand the definition of blindness?

Still, you do have Oliver's ears and shoulders to weep upon. I'm sure they're both extremely comforting! *wink*

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Marie, you might say they broke the mold after Dear Oliver was hatched. LOL And I'll work on polishing up his barside manner but like all secret agents, it would be easier breaking into Ft. Knox. LOL

Sharon Donovan said...

LOL MM, it's like hitting your head against a brick wall sometimes when it comes to ccracking a tech's head open. LOL

Ginger Simpson said...

Great minds, must think alike...I'm going to dedicate one day to week to an idea I tried a while back..."Ask Miz Ging." I may not know everything, but I can sure give great advice...not guarantee that's it right. *lol*

Nice to know I'll have a place to come and vent...and enjoy ogling Oliver.

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Sharon! The trials and tribulations of the tekkie world! Ugh!

Love the blog. I will have a rant for you soon! You know how good I am at it!

May the force be with you!!! The force of the trio!!!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Ging, I like that about great minds thinking alike, and you know you are always welcome to vent or just hang out with us here at Oliver's Bar!

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, you mean you will soon be on a rant my sweet friend? Oliver and I look forward to you being in the hot seat!

Debra St. John said...

Ah, these days...sometimes I think it's just moving too fast for all of us.

Great new feature...I love it.

I also loved all of the James Bond references in this post. I have to say, aside from Oliver of course (a wink for you, Oliver darling), no one wears a tux better than James. *sigh* take it easy on all of those martinis.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Debra, glad you like Oliver's new feature. JB movies always fascinated me so I wanted to project a wee bit of his personality into Oliver. Blame the JB martinis on Darling Oliver and his 007 tactics. Wink

Nightingale said...

Dear Oliver, I got a rejection from an agent yesterday. I'd like a chocolate martini. Hugs.

Sharon Donovan said...

My dearest Nightingale, Oliver swoons as he hands her a double chocolate martini. I'm so sorry. I think you should schedule an appointment for a session with Dear Oliver. Email Sharon and she'll pencil you in. In the meantime, keep drinking. Wink