10 Things We Would Be Surprised to Learn About Author Barbara Oliverio – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

10 Things We Would Be Surprised to Learn About Author Barbara Oliverio

1. I almost drowned once when I was thrown out of a raft while whitewater rafting. We hit a “suck hole” and the raft bounced uncontrollably. My friend David and I were shot straight up in the air and went tumbling down the river. Our own raft was moving too swiftly to try to catch us, but luckily we were able to snag the rope attached to the next raft. To answer the obvious question: that didn’t put me off the idea of whitewater rafting in the future.

2. I don’t camp. Despite the fact that I did and will whitewater raft (see previous note) and enjoy a nice walk in the woods, I see no need to sleep outdoors in tents, cabins, etc. The joke around here is that my idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service.

3. I’ve never been able to master the hula-hoop. I can swivel my hips when I dance, but translating that into controlling a hula-hoop is impossible for me!

4. On one weekend beach trip back in the day, my gal pals and I made it our goal to find and talk to guys who had names starting with all the letters of the alphabet. We would have been successful if it weren’t for “X”. (We actually managed to find a fellow named Quenton!)

5. I refuse to eat anything made with cilantro. It tastes like soap. I have found studies that show that this is genetic and not just a random quirk.

6. I’m not a dog person, but I’m oddly addicted to dog shows on TV. I enjoy not only watching the Westminster Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, and others but absolutely love the pinnacle of shows, Crufts.

7. I’m deathly afraid of volcanoes. This is odd for someone who grew up in a land-locked state in the Eastern U.S., but I trace it back to a book. I read a book when I was a tot about a young boy who found a wisp of smoke that evolved into a volcano that destroyed his village, and from that moment I thought it could happen anywhere.

8. My favorite TV shows are Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and Dancing with the Stars. I know, I know… they couldn’t be more different!

9. It’s easier for me to make big life decisions (Buy a new car? Move to a new city?) than to make small, inconsequential ones (What’s for lunch? Tacos or hoagies?).

10. I once was pulled on-stage to sing backup for a (minor) rock band. My friend Denise and I were rocking out and singing in the front row of the audience, and the lead singer pulled us up to sing with them. It was a very Springsteen/Courtney Cox moment. You wouldn’t know who they were – I barely remember them.

Sharp-witted, always-organized Keira Graham has traded in her high tech career as a systems analyst for the whirlwind world of event planning. As she builds up her fledging business, she learns that her widowed mother has news of her own – she has a serious gentleman caller! Is Keira ready for mom’s new romance?

When she gets a game-changing opportunity to organize a major event on a luxury Caribbean cruise, Keira turns to best pal chef Alexandria D'Agostino to help recruit famous chefs who will offer classes for foodies looking for fun in the sun as they gain cooking know-how. The cruise becomes a rollicking adventure for Keira, her sassy assistant Juliet, the entire D'Agostino clan, Keira's mother and other surprise guests. And has Keira meet her match in charismatic Cruise Director Brennan McAllister, who could have something more than keeping everything shipshape on his mind?

Enjoy an excerpt:

You have got to be kidding me.

This guy was—what?—10 years younger than my mother! I was expecting polo and khakis, and he was in designer jeans. Gray hair with a receding hairline? Oh no, he was years away from gray. His full head of light-brown locks were shorn in a super trendy cut. And those shoes? Definitely not Naturalizers!

I caught my mother’s stern look in the corner of my eye and pulled my debutante self together.

“Sorry.” I gave myself a mental shake of the head. “Pleased to meet you. Would you join us for brownies and tea?”

I ushered him to the counter.

“Thank you, Keira.” He sat down, but I didn’t need to worry about serving him. My mother fluttered around with a sparkle in her eye and a skip in her step.

“Russ, do you want to forego tea and have coffee in your usual cup?” she asked.

His usual cup? He’d been around long enough to have a USUAL CUP?

“Thanks, May-May.”

Whoa! May-May? What was she, all of a sudden? A character in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical?

I pulled my phone conspicuously from my pocket.

“Yikes! Would you look at that? I have a client meeting I forgot about!” I lied. “I gotta go.”

I kissed my mother’s cheek and stuck my hand out stiffly to Russell.

“Very pleased to meet you. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.” I blurted out in what I hoped was a polite tone.

“Bye, Mother.”

“Keira—” Her disappointed voice trailed after me as I dashed through the house, took the steps on the porch two at a time, jumped into my car, and tore down the driveway.

About the Author:

Readers' Favorite Award™ Winner Barbara Oliverio is the daughter of Italian immigrants and grew up in North Central West Virginia with a love of reading and a passion for learning. Following a career path that included being a teacher, journalist, and marketer, she has lived as far away from home as Italy where she practiced her family's native tongue as well as took advantage of living near to other European countries to travel extensively. A rabid Pittsburgh Steeler fan, she lives with her husband, an equally committed New York Giants fan, in suburban Denver where off-football-season dinner conversation is calmer and is usually accompanied by a meal she cooks from one of her mother's treasured recipes. Other interests include New York Times crossword puzzles, good movies, and travel. She volunteers extensively for her parish and writes for its publications. She also teaches part-time for the St. Catherine of Siena Institute.

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  1. Mary Preston says:

    I’m not a fan of camping either. I do recall the Springsteen/ Courtney Cox clip.

    Great list.

  2. Thank you for hosting

  3. Mary — you sound like my kind of gal! As for Springsteen/Courteney Cox — my experience won’t be on any film anywhere, but I’m sure the lead singer was inspired by that one to do it.

  4. Thanks so much for hosting me today…I look forward to visiting with folks today!

  5. Rita Wray says:

    No camping for me either. To me roughing it is no room service. lol

  6. Serena S. says:

    I liked the 10 things-list.

  7. Thank you again for hosting me today…it has been a lot of fun talking to my fellow non-campers and campers alike.

  8. alena svetelska says:

    I enjoyed reading bio about author.

  9. Interesting facts

  10. SHELLEY S says:


  11. I liked the excerpt!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    • Natasha — this excerpt is critical in showing Keira’s first encounter with her mother’s new beau. I tried to get it right and I’m glad you liked it. Good luck in the giveaway!

  12. Mary Barber says:

    Roughing it and camping go together. It is like two people sharing a hotel room. LOL.

  13. amy bowens says:

    I loved the interview. I hate camping no way know how will I ever go. And for the hula I suck at it LOL. I loved the excerpt sounds very interesting. I would totally freak if my mom brought someone home younger than me yikes!

  14. She is among the best writers I have read her different blogs these topics are on current issues which we don’t get sometimes

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