Friday, February 11, 2011

Cara Elliott and Vienna, the Regency Party Town!

posted by Christine Wells

It's my very great pleasure to welcome my most charming friend, Cara Elliott to the lair today. I met Cara at a Beau Monde conference in Orlando where she presented a fascinating workshop with Lauren Willig about teaching a romance course at Yale.

But Cara is a woman of many talents -- she also writes sexy historical romance in which she combines a thorough knowledge of the era with all the spice, intrigue and heart-stopping romance we love. Cara is one of the illustrious Word Wenches and we're so pleased to have her with us today. She also has a signed copy of her fabulous new release to give away. Welcome, Cara!

Hi everyone,

I’m so delighted that my good friend Christine invited me to come blog with the Bandits today. It’s always such a fun party over here, celebrating books, romance, hunky heroes and all the other good things in life.

Now, speaking of parties, I have a confession to make. I like to have a good time, but after doing the research for my just-released book, TO TEMPT A RAKE, I feel like a modern-day wimp in comparison with the lords and ladies of the Regency era. Seriously, these people really knew how to boogy . . .er, that is, waltz—but you know what I mean!

I decided to set part of the book at the Congress of Vienna, a diplomatic gathering which convened in the fall of 1814 to reorganize Europe after Napoleon’s exile to Elba. (In many ways, it was the precursor to the United Nations.) Emperors, kings, princes, margraves, powerful government ministers and their entourages all flocked to the Austrian capital to make peace . . . and to make love (not necessarily in that order!) Yes, there were serious discussions on borders, political alliances and other such issues. However, the royals and all the others had come not just to work but to play!

And play they did! Vienna was THE ultimate party town at the time. Anybody who was anybody wanted to be there, to rub shoulders (and other unmentionable body parts) with the kings, princes, emperors and other high profile celebrities.

The Emperor of Austria hosted many of the dignitaries at his magnificent castle, and his poor aides spent countless hours trying to figure out the room assignments, taking into account who was sleeping with whom, so that late night tiptoeing through the corridors wouldn’t result in any embarrassing trip-ups.

Glittering balls, sumptuous banquets, fanciful medieval jousts, spectacular fireworks—the daily list of extravagant entertainments was mind-boggling. Party girls Princess Bagration and the Duchess of Sagan, below, (who was having a torrid affair with Prince Metternich (right), the head of the Conference) vied with each other to see who could attract the most influential men to their soirees. As for other pleasures, well, let’s just say they all were intent on having a good time. In fact, the Tsar of Russia—a notorious skirtchaser—had to have a whole new wardrobe sent from St. Petersburg because he gained so much weight partying every night! (We girls can sympathize with that!)

Here’s are a few of my favorite parties from the months of non-stop entertainment:

The Emperor’s Ball
The Emperor of Austria hosted a welcoming ball for the international array of royalty and diplomats . . . One of the “decorations” was having the Duchess of Sagan and 23 of her friends come dressed as the Four Elements: Six ladies dressed as Water, wearing blue and green dresses festooned with pearls, coral and seashells. Six wore bright red dresses and carried torches to represent Fire. Six wore thin, nearly transparent gauzy dresses and wore wings to be Air. And lastly, representing Earth, the Duchess and her group wore brown velvet dresses and headdresses made out of golden baskets filled with jeweled fruit!

The Carousel
This recreation of a medieval joust, held at the famous Spanish Riding School (where the white Lipizzaner horses traditionally were trained) was perhaps the most spectacular party of them all. Glittering chandeliers and thousands of candles lit the indoor arena. At one end was an imperial grandstand with gilded chairs for all the royal guests. The other end was for the “Queens of Love,” 24 ladies who had been selected to be the tournament’s belles d’amour for the 24 “knights” who, mounted on matching black chargers, jousted to win their favor. Around 1200 spectators, including ambassadors, diplomats and high-ranking officials packed the remaining seats, and the display of jewelry and sumptuous dresses worn by the ladies was said to be dazzling. After a mock combat with lances (only one casualty resulted when Prince Liechtenstein was knocked unconscious from his horse) the crowd returned to the Emperor of Austria’s palace for a banquet where acrobats, minstrels and jugglers entertained the guests.

Now I ask you, what could be a more perfect setting for a sexy historical romance that combines seduction and intrigue. Naturally, I couldn’t resist! Kate and Marco, the heroine and hero of TO TEMPT A RAKE, start out their story at a fancy house party in her grandfather’s estate outside of London. Kate has spent most of her life sailing around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. She’s come to England to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, but the waters are a bit stormy. The presence of Marco, the rakish Conte of Como, isn’t making life any easier. The two of them have clashed before . . .

But when Kate becomes the prime suspect in a murder, she forced to seek his help. Caught up in a web of international intrigue, they must travel to Vienna and waltz through the glittering ballrooms to unmask . . . Oh, but that would be spoiling all the fun!

So how about you? Are you a party animal, or do you like a quiet night out with a few friends? What’s your idea of a good time? And have you a favorite over-the-top party you’ve been to that you want to share with us? One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of TO TEMPT A RAKE!

To read an excerpt of TO TEMPT A RAKE—and to download a recipe for a sinfully decadent Viennese chocolate cake—please visit my
website
. (There’s also a contest to win a box of gourmet chocolates, so please be sure to sign up for my mailing list.)


__________________________________________________________________________
We have an AHA Go Red pin for one commenter today.

The healthy heart tip for today is: Tip: Spice it up – try cooking at home with healthier seasonings and avoid prepackaged mixes that may contain a lot of salt. Instead, add some spice with some fresh hot peppers. Remove the membrane and seeds first, then finely chop them up. A little goes a long way.

Romance Writers of America and the American Heart Association have partnered to raise awareness of heart disease in women and encourage you to join us in wearing red on February 4, National Wear Red Day. Visit Go Red for Women to learn how to fight heart disease.

And just in case you missed it...

Sign up for the Go Red Better U Program and receive two free romance e-books.

From Feb 1 through May 31, 2011, receive one free romance e-book when you sign up for the American Heart Association's Better U Program and one after you complete week six of the program. And look for the Eat Smart for Your Heart limited edition magazine (that features this offer) on newstands and in a grocery store near you.

Go Red for Women is trademarked by the American Heart Association, Inc. Romance novel downloads provided by Belle Books.

78 comments:

BJ said...

Sorry GR and I are watching a Movie...LOL

Christine Wells said...

What movie?

Congrats, BJ!

BJ said...

Good Old John Hughes' Sixteen Candles....

So....Cara....I must say I've seen a bunch of your book around the Blogging world lately...All good too...Makes me eager to read it!

I'm a PARTY Animal!!! When I'm with my girls we usually live it up...I mean you only live once...LIVE LIFE....ENJOY IT!!!!
If I'm out with my Hubby and his office people...I'm more the refined...nice wifey, but I kinda have to be....LOL

Christine Wells said...

BJ, I would never have guessed you were a PARTY animal.LOL

LOVED 16 Candles... Jake Ryan... Ahhh!

BJ said...

I know...So cute....and my sister Dee still to this day Stalks John Cusack!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, BJ! What's with you and the chook? People are starting to talk!

Cara, fabulous post! I find the whole Congress of Vienna thing amazingly romantic too. Would you believe I first heard about this in my early teens through a Barbara Cartland. I remember Metternich served as a Deus ex Machina and got the feuding lovers together. Hmm, why can I remember that and I can never remember where I left my glasses? The new story sounds luscious - love the name Marco! And I love that you're using the botany craze as part of your story too. Fabulous stuff!

Thanks so much for coming to the lair today. And, Christine, thanks so much for inviting Cara!

Christine Wells said...

BJ, when you say stalk...?

Our own PoshT AKA Caren Crane recommended Grosse POint Blank to me. Loved it! Can understand your sister's obsession.

Christine Wells said...

Anna, there was a real sense of 'playing away from home', wasn't there? LOL at Metternich playing cupid! Nothing like a good ol' Deus ex Machina. And I love that I'm in a place where people understand that term. I've really missed the lair while in the deadline cave!

June M. said...

I have to admit that I am more of a quiet, relaxing type of gal. When I was younger, I was more into partying, but now--not so much. I would much rather stay home, relaxing with a good book or good company. I think the change started with me when I started having panic attacks if I was crowded too much. It seems to get worse each year, one of these days I will be a hermit, ordering all my books offline, and reading blogs--never leaving the house. LOL

Christine Wells said...

June, you sound like a lot of writers I know:) I always enjoy parties once I've been but it takes a lot of psyching up to get me there!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, things are desperate when you emerge blinking into the light wanting a vocab fix. Most people would want a drink, Madame! Actually BC made the Congress sound SOOOO glam. They were always waltzing and someone (the hero maybe?) wore a beautiful ice-blue hussar's uniform that made my teenage heart beat faster.

Jane said...

Congrats to Cara on the new release. I'm not a party animal, but I do like to let loose every once in a while. Go bowling, shopping or having dinner with my friends is what I like best. I will never admit to attending any wild parties.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Cara, what would you have worn to the Congress of Vienna (i.e., gown, jewels, etc).

I suppose a modern equivalent is the G8 conferences. Several years ago we drove by Glen Eagles in Scotland when it was hosting the G8. Needless to say, security was tight ... and golf was breathtaking!

I am curious what is the protocol when playing golf with heads of state - do you let the president of a country you are trying to curry favor win?!?!

Kirsten said...

Hi Cara,
My idea of a party usually involves a few friends, a load of chocolate and some bubbles. Maybe some music or romantic comedies.

I guess I've never been a real party animal and although I like to dance I don't often do. Perhaps I just havent found the right (dance-) partner yet.

Christine Wells said...

Haha, Anna, you got me! I am a sad individual, aren't I? And not out of the cave yet, sadly!

Oh, the ice blue uniforms are almost too pretty for men, aren't they? I always thought the female habit a la Hussar would look very dashing. Wasn't that what The Grand Sophy wore?

Christine Wells said...

Jane, so you won't admit to attending wild parties... Does that mean you haven't? Or that you just won't admit to it?? I must say that I do like a good dinner in with friends these days, myself.

Christine Wells said...

Kim, I would have said letting someone win at golf to curry favour would be the first rule of diplomacy!

Christine Wells said...

Kirsten, your parties sound fun. I must admit, I do love to dance! That's one thing I miss about the club-hopping I used to do as a youngster.

Helen said...

Well done BJ I hope you both enjoy the movie

Hi Cara

I love the sound of these parties and the book of course. They really went to a lot of expense when they had a party back then would have been great to be there.
As for me I like a good party and I also enjoy a quiet night out with friends either way a party is great.

I recently went on a harbour cruise around Sydney Harbour put on by the company I work for. The Awards for Excellence cruise this year was a masquerade party and I actually wore the Bandits mask I won here a long time ago the evening was warm and the party rocked we had a great time it really is nice to let your hair down sometimes.

Congrats on the new release Cara I confess that I have a couple of your other books on the TBR pile I must move them up. Thanks Christine for inviting Cara along today and how is the writing cave going?

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am not that much of a party animal except here in the lair of course. BG In real time I am more at home kind of gal.

Maureen said...

Congratulations to Cara on her new book! It looks like an exciting and wild time in history. I myself prefer quieter parties but imagine being a fly on the wall for some of those parties.

BADklv said...

I like a night on the couch, wrapped in my quilt, reading a good book. That's my idea of a party!

cara elliott said...

Oh, I love Sixteen Candles! So cute! And BJ, I agree that partying with girlfriends is sometimes much more fun than with the guys. (I'm thinking the RWA Harlequin party!)

cara elliott said...

The Congress of Vienna really was an amazing time, both for serious work and serious play. Porr metternich may have played Cupid, but he spent most of the time pining over the Duchess of Sagan, who had thrown him over for . . .well, various men. THere were LOTS more stories to tell, but alas, no space to tell them all.

cara elliott said...

June, I am mostly a shy, quiet type too, so don't often party either. My idea of a good time is a cozy fire and a good book (and a glass of nice wine!) But occasionally it's fun to cut loose!

cara elliott said...

Hi Kim!
Oh, I would definitely want a really fabulous gown, with matching jewels—the whole works, as I rarely get of of my sweatpants and fuzzy fleece jacket. The Peace ball asked all the women to wear blue and white,so Id do a gown in those colors, with a sapphire necklace and pearls threaded through my hair. Hmmm, I'd want a camera to take my picture, but that might not be playing the the rules, LOL

cara elliott said...

Kirsten, chocolate and bubbly sounds like a good party to me!

cara elliott said...

Oh, hah on the golf, Christine. I have a feeling the diplomats at the Congress would have been avid golfers. (They spent many morning out hunting with each other, and slaughtering lots of poor animals. So golf would have been a much better way to play.The betting games would have been quite fun—I can see them betting provinces and cities for their 9-hole Nassaus!

cara elliott said...

Helen, the cruise sounds fabulous! Must get to Sydney one of these days! I haven't been to a masquerade since kiddie Halloween parties, so would love to do that too.

cara elliott said...

LOL, Maureen! I'd love to join you in being a fly!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Cara! I have to admit, I'm so not a party person. I like to be around people, but it's best if they all come to my house so I don't have to go out. :)

That's probably winter talking--nobody likes to bundle up & go out after dark. In the summer I'm much more social. Maybe I was programmed to hibernate? Hmmm. That would be nice. Go to sleep in the fall, wake up in the spring utterly well rested & much thinner.

Why don't we do that?

cara elliott said...

Oh, Susan, I am so with you on the hibernating during winter! With all the snow and ice I've been getting lately, I feel like curling up in a warm place and waiting til buds start to unfurl. And love the rest and wight-loss idea! Just in time for bathing suit season!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey, Cara! Welcome to the Lair!

I'm usually the party with a few very good friends, but have been known to close down a favored restaurant, bar or pool hall with those friends!

Just this week my two worlds of nursing and writing combined to have a great party at an Italian restaurant, (one of those where you BYO wine!) and between the laughter and the wine I certainly had a great time!

I love Regency period books that have some real meat to them, so I'll be adding yours to my TBR list!

cara elliott said...

Suzanne, sounds like you're my kind of party girl! Thanks, for the add to the TBR pile.Enjoy!

Vicky said...

Great post, Cara, and congrats on the new release! Being a writer, I'm sitting on my ample rump most of the time, but given the opportunity, I know how to have a good time. Once I accidentally had a party on a plane with strangers. It involved vodka. Don't ask. :-) Hope to see you in NYC this year. Cheers!

Slush said...

Congrats on Chook BJ!

Cara, the new book sounds absolutely delicious. I think that it would be amazing to attend the balls and hurrah's in Vienna.

As far as my idea of a party. I like them all... loud crazy ones, and the quiet me and hubby ones.

I love music so that's a requirement at a every party.

gamistress66 said...

I not much of a party animal myself. I prefer a good time in or out with just a few friends or family rather than big fancy or wild parties. Of course I think it would be facinating to be "a fly on the wall" at some of those parties ;)

June M. said...

I think it would have been fun to go to Vauxhall too. The parties, fireworks, rakes, etc. would have been very interesting.

Margay said...

I'm not much of a party person myself, unless it's with family. I'm very family oriented, so I have the most fun hanging out with them.

cara elliott said...

Slush, you would have loved Vienna! Beethoven wrote some of the "party" music!

cara elliott said...

Margay and gamistress, for the most part I prefer quiet gatherings too, but I would have made an exception for the Congress! Hard to resist all that pomp amd glitter, not speak of all the Royals!

cara elliott said...

LOL, Vicky, Okay, I won't ask. I'll just use my imagination . . . which might make things even worse, LOL

cara elliott said...

Oh, June, great idea about Vauxhall. I'm there with you!

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Cara and Christine. Congratulations on the new book, Cara. Can't wait to read this conclusion to a wonderful series. And thanks for a great post.

I must confess I was a big party girl in my misspent youth. I still enjoy a bash, but only if there are good friends there. I'm not so tolerant of making small talk with strangers as I was in my college days. And I certainly don't have the fortitude to survive the level of revelry enjoyed by those Congress attendees.

The party I'd most like to have attended is the Beistegui Ball in Venice in 1951. This famously over-the-top costume affair took place in a palazzo in Venice. The guests, all the international social luminaries of the day, wore costumes based on the Tiepolo frescoes in the palace. I just found a blog post with some gorgeous photos of the ball, in case anyone is interested. I believe many of them are by Cecil Beaton. http://scalaregia.blogspot.com/2009/01/was-in-late-summer-of-1951-that-charles.html

cara elliott said...

OMG, Miranda, this sounds like a party to die for! Thanks so much for the link. Love the concept of the dress-up. For that I might shed my sweats!

I agree about the small talk thing—I'm not good at having fun on my own with strangers. Much better when I have friends around to help break the ice.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Cara! I think I'm more of a quiet-night-in kind of gal ;) I enjoyed more partying when I was younger, but I find it isn't quite as appealing now :) To each her own!

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome Cara - great to see you in the Lair.

To Tempt a Rake sounds fabulous! I'm all for stories with an intrigue in them. Adding you to my list for my next book order.

I'm not much of a party animal anymore, but I do enjoy them every now and again. And, I do enjoy balls. I've been to a few in London in my time, but they're never as exciting as the ones in novels *g*.

I also love an evening out with friends. That's why I love conference so much - it gives me a chance to get together with my favourite writing pals for a few days.

Anna Sugden said...

You can't beat a John Hughes movie, BJ! One of the next books on my TBR mountain is Molly Ringwald's Getting the Pretty Back (forgot to mention that in Anna C's post).

I also once read a book called Looking for Andrew McCarthy because I'm such a Brat Pack fan *g*.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Cara! Welcome to the Lair! :>

I adore the premise of this book, and the Congress of Vienna, what a fab setting! :>

Christine, thanks for bringing Cara to the Lair!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna C said: I first heard about this in my early teens through a Barbara Cartland. I remember Metternich served as a Deus ex Machina and got the feuding lovers together. Hmm, why can I remember that and I can never remember where I left my glasses?

OMGosh! I READ that one! I remember going and looking up the COngress of Vienna because of it...of course I was looking it up in the old encyclpedias, of course, since Google wasn't yet a twinkle in the eye of the inventors of the Internet (Al Gore, wasn't it? SNORK!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cara said: The Peace ball asked all the women to wear blue and white,so Id do a gown in those colors, with a sapphire necklace and pearls threaded through my hair.

Oooh, lovely. I'd do the sapphires too, but everytime I think about those "jewels threaded through the hair" idea, I think about how easily mine seems to tangle up in stuff. OUCH.

So for the Peace Ball, I think you'd see me in a cream and sapphire blue, with sapphire accoutrements and jewels and a jeweled hair comb rather than anything twisted in my actual (tangle-prone) hair! Grins.

cara elliott said...

Thanks, Anna. I love conferences too, for the very same reason. Partying with friends that you don't get to see too often is such a treat!

cara elliott said...

Jeanne, Oh, I hear you about tangled hair, Mine is very prone to breakage. But hey, I fihured this was fantasy, so I could have pearls woven in my hair and look like a queen with no problems, right?

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Vickie!

Once I accidentally had a party on a plane with strangers. It involved vodka. Don't ask. :-)

Girl, you do NOT get to leave that comment in the Bandit Lair and NOT give details!!!

Laney4 said...

Quite the party you have going on here, Banditas!

When I wed at 22 (and my husband was 32), he wanted to be out with his married friends/family or have them over; I was nervous (understandably) but joined in. I think it took a few years for me to grow up and find my comfort level. Now, 30 years later (Gawd, can it be that long ago?), I am the one who wants to have people over or go out (in large or small numbers), while my husband wants to stay home and go to bed early (alone). Don't get me wrong - we have a great marriage - but his system is used to getting up early and going to bed early, while mine is used to going to bed late and getting up not as early as he does. (He gets 7-10 hours of sleep while I am lucky to get 6 or 7.) I digress (as has been known to happen, LOL)!

I am invited to lots of get-togethers and parties, probably because I can be an extrovert. People think I'm drinking alcohol, but alas, I am usually drinking water. I get people talking. I say outrageous things to get them going, usually involving double entendres. (I love those.) I mingle. I am equally comfortable with guys or gals (but I prefer being with the guys talking sports, cars and tools rather than shopping and monetary things that lots of women I know talk about).

Something I've learned through the years is that I gravitate toward readers, and lots of our friends don't even read the daily newspaper, so I have a hard time making small talk. I also stay away from smokers because just the scent on their clothes makes me barf (literally, if they are chain smokers). I get along much better with these people on the telephone....

Anna Campbell said...

Christine, having read the Grand Sophy in the last month or so, I can confirm that is INDEED what she wore. Actually in Annie West's latest, PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE, our hero appears first on the page wearing a white hussar's uniform with gold frogging. Yum!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Miranda, that was fabulous!!!! Some genuine glamour there! Hey, did you check out the handsome Duke of Feria? http://scalaregia.blogspot.com/2009/08/where-do-you-live-madrid-spain.html

runner10 said...

I like a nice quiet evening at home. I can't wait to read your book. I've enjoyed the series.

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh Cara - your book sounds so luscious, I'm going to have to pick up a copy. I love the series tag "The Circle of Sin." Sounds like a perfect read for cold February.

I'm a party animal, but as the years past I'm afraid the parties have become tamer (and the dresses much, much wider). My favorite way to party is to dance esp. to a live band. We try to do that occasionally, but not like we used to when we were younger and more limber (grin).

The first party that came to mind when you asked for "over the top" was a dinner party I hosted. All the dishes had to be aphrodisiacs. I served tender loin (wink, wink) but we had some great creations and a lot of fun (and a lot of wine).

BJ - Congrats on the GR. Love Sixteen Candles!

Louisa Cornell said...

Did the GR demand fresh buttered popcorn every 15 minutes, BJ? He loves his chicken feed a la mode!

Hello again, Cara! No, I am not stalking you! You simply have exquisite tastes in blogs and friends!

To Tempt a Rake is on my teetering TBR stack at present so don't enter me in the drawing. Hoping to make some headway on my revisions so I can treat myself!

My favorite parties are the ones I attended when I lived in Germany and Austria. Opera balls, Fasching Balls and some great parties for friends in Amsterdam come to mind.

These days my favorite parties are the ones I attend at Nationals! Less intrigue, but lots of fun, great clothes and all of the gossip is about characters in books!

Cybercliper said...

I'm a laid back kinda person - not much of a party animal. I prefer just a few good friends, good conversation, lots of food and drink.

I spent most of my career as military so definitely saw my share of wild parties. Since most of them started out with 'jungle juice' - large lined garbage can filled with Everclear and fruit punch - and ended with - oh, that's right no one can remember how they ended! I tended to stay in the shadows and kept my friends out of trouble. Man, my head hurts just thinking about some of those days...

Nancy said...

BJ, congrats on the GR! That's a fun movie, and it's a good one to watch with him. Movies with stuff blowing up tend to give him ideas.

jo robertson said...

Welcome to the Lair, Cara. What a delightful and interesting peek at Regency Partying!

"To Tempt a Rake" sounds deliciously wicked!

I do love a good smashing party once in a while, not too often though. All that decadent food goes straight to my waist!

Nancy said...

Cara, welcome! What a fun post.

We don't get to many parties anymore. We went to a couple related to his job in December--drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres (not sure if that's spelled right), mixing and minglng type things, and we had fun talking to different kinds of people.

I prefer parties without loud music because I like to talk to people, and I can't hear when the music is way up.

I'd love to go to something formal, something that would require him to wear a tux. He cleans up nicely but is somewhat reluctant to do so. *g* Also this would give me an excuse to wear a long gown.

cara elliott said...

LOL. Donna. What a great story about your dinner party. I think Prince Talleyrand would have invited you to cook alongside of Careme! What a pair you would have made!

cara elliott said...

Laney4, I can see where you must be the life of the party! I'm bringing you along next time I have to go to a party alone—you'd get us all laughing and talking.

cara elliott said...

Hi Louisa, Glad to see you here! Lucky you to have lived in Austria. Europe still has a little more formality that we do in the States, so their dress occasions are more elegant—which I think is nice for a change. It's fun to get in a long dress and have your guy in a tux (or tails, or a gorgeous uniform)

cara elliott said...

Thanks, runner10 and Donna, I hope you enjoy Kate and Marco's story!

cara elliott said...

Thanks Jo!

I think dancing all night is the antidote to the rich food, right? Another waltz, another pastry. Sigh. I wish it worked exactly that way!

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome to the lair, Cara! So glad you could hang out with us today - and thanks to Christine for hosting *g* To Tempt A Rake sounds fabulous!

I'm a reformed party animal :-) Now I'd much rather hang out with a few close friends. Unless there's good music and dancing involved, then I'm all for the party!

cara elliott said...

Hi Beth, so glad to be here.

Ha, if you like music and dancing you would have fit right in with the crowd in Vienna. <G?

Pat Cochran said...

Honey and I are pretty much stay
at home folks. Last evening we
did get out and attended a dinner meeting at our high school. It was
attended by community, alumni,
civic, PTO, and business groups.
We were there representing our
graduation classes.

My favorite parties are the launch
parties sponsored by the Banditas
in the Lair. They get quite a bit
active, OK sometimes rowdy, with
folks hanging from the chandeliers.
Lots of folks attending, lot of
fab foods & beverages, cabana boys,
gladiators and Sven! Did I mention
that these are "virtual" parties?
BTW, no matter what anyone says,
I am not one of the chandelier people!

Pat Cochran

cara elliott said...

What, no chandeliers, Pat? Come on—get in the swing of Vienna and those wild nights. (Cyber swinging, of course!)

catslady said...

I pretty much go with the flow. I enjoy both. As long as I'm with people I enjoy - both can be nice.

Christine Wells said...

Looks like this party is definitely rocking!

Coincidentally, I took my boys over to their babysitter's house for a 21st birthday party last night. It just goes to show the huge generation gap! You might wonder why I took the boys? Well, there was a huge jumping castle complete with steps and slide. There were also sumo suits with wrestling mat, a vodka cocktail slushie machine. We only stayed for a half hour -- but I suspect the combination of jumping castle and slushie machine could not be good:)

Oh, Anna, that book of Annie's you mentioned is the one she was scribbling when we were at the conference last year, wasn't it? She let me read the part where hero and heroine meet and it was just gorgeous!

Miranda, thank you for posting the link!

Pat, how cool that you love our launch parties so much! Just for that, you may have an extra cocktail and one of Sven's "special" massages! *G*

Deb said...

I like a quiet get-together with friends and family. The most over-the-top party I can think of was my first Christmas as a married woman. I used my very best china and silverware. I think the table looked pretty with a basket of Christmas greenery and ornaments and little party favors for everyone (my family).

I still use my china when I host Christmas dinner, but when it comes to birthday parties, well, depending on my daughter's theme, one can't get too fancy with paper plates. Thank goodness she's past the stage of Barney the dinosaur and princesses. My dad didn't quite know what to think about eating off of a Cinderella plate one birthday. ;)

cara elliott said...

Hey Christine, see you went to sleep and woke up and the party is still going! Honestly, I think I may move in for a couple of days. LOL

Hmmm, a sumo wrestling mat and a vodka slushie machine is DEFINITELY a dangerous combination. Best to get the kiddies home as quickly as possible. (Psst. We'll all meet you back at the slushie machine in an hour!)

Christine Wells said...

Cara, after an evening with my two, I could have drained that slushie machine dry! But I didn't even get a taste, unfortunately.

Never mind, I had to write when I got home, so drinking would have been a no-no.

Thank you so much for being a fabulous guest today. We had a wonderful time partying with you!