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, September 1, 2017

A picnic celebration for 'The Leftover' by Brooke Williams

“What could be a better place for a picnic than on the beach at the lake?” Lyn says, as the hostesses climb out of Mary’s yellow Mustang convertible.

“Not only a picnic,” Lilly replies excitedly. “According to Megan, we’re going to get to meet the cast of the reality show Leftover.”

Debby pats her big blonde hair. “I heard Cane Trevino, who plays a medic on the show, is quite handsome.”

Mary gives Debby a poke in the ribs and whispers. “Don’t you remember Brooke told us Megan is interested in Cane.”

“Oh well,” Debby says with a sigh. “Perhaps I can be an extra on the show.”

“Look, over by the picnic tables, there’s Oliver grilling the hot dogs and hamburgers,” Laverne says. “Don’t they smell wonderful?”

The hostesses wave at Oliver.

I understand there’s s'mores cake for dessert,” Lilly adds.

Mary rubs her hands. “And a BBQ, with fresh buns.”

“There’s Megan,” Lyn says pointing to an attractive girl with sandy hair standing near the water's edge.

The hostesses hurry across the sand, Lyn’s large feet spraying puffs of sand.

“Hi, Ladies,” Megan says with a smile. “Do you believe it? I’m on a reality TV show.”

“You’re going to find the protection piece and be the lone survivor,” Lilly says. “We all have total confidence in you.”

Megan’s cheeks turn pink. “I don’t know about that. But my sister Molly says the same thing.”

Mary smiles and pats her shoulder. “Your sister is right. You can do this.”

Laverne glances around at the crowd. “Where is Molly?”

Megan lowers her voice. “She’s expecting and not feeling well today. That’s why I’m taking her place on Leftover.”

“Doing the show will be fun,” Debby said, giving Megan a wink. “Especially with Cane Trevino on the set with you.”

 The hostesses all raise their glasses of iced tea to Brooke Williams and her new release, The Leftover.


Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into taking her place on the local version of the TVshow Survivor called The Leftover, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic. With time away from his regular job and a host of contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”

 As the contests ramp up, Megan faces her shortfalls as well as the bullies that hit the beach alongside her while harboring a crush on the show’s medic.

How far will Megan get on the show? Will Cane get over his broken heart? Join a host of characters for contests filled with laughs, blind sides around every corner, and the ultimate showmance. Who will be The Leftover?  


“Hey, everyone!” Wendy waved her hand at the contestants. “You might recognize me as Wendy Weathersby, an important part of the KETO weather team. But for the next week and a half, I’m Wendy Weathersby, host of The Leftover. And let me tell you, Wendy Weathersby is excited about this journey.”
Could she say her name another time, please?
“As Wendy Weathersby . . .”
There you go.

1st Chapter Excerpt
“You want me to do what?” Megan Malone tilted her head as she pressed her ear against the cell phone. She needed to hear every word.

“Take my place on the show.”

Her sister Molly wasn’t asking. It was more of a demand. But that was how Molly operated.

“You’re kidding, right? I’m not what they’re looking for.” Megan paced circles around her couch. She loved her sister and there wasn’t much she wouldn’t do for her, but go on a reality TV show in her place? Not happening.
Megan could imagine her sister biting her lip. People often thought they were twins. Fraternal twins, of course, since they looked nothing alike. Their hair was the same shade of sandy blonde, but Molly’s hair was sleek and straight while Megan’s was “wavy”—the hairdresser’s nice way of saying “frizzy mess.” Megan sported wire-rimmed glasses, which partially hid her blue-gray eyes, especially because her head was usually tilted down. Megan didn’t like making eye contact with people. Molly had perfect vision and ocean blue eyes that

sparkled even in dim light. Occasional sparks of envy flared when Megan compared her own short stature with Molly’s tall, toned one, but Megan wasn’t one to hold grudges. Her sister was the most important person in her world.

“Why can’t you do it, anyway?” Megan frowned. Being on the local Nebraska version of Survivor was nearly all her sister had talked about for the last month.

Molly sighed. “I wanted to tell you in person . . .”

“Come on, Molly, what gives? You’ve wanted to go on this show since KETO announced they were doing it. Why would you back out now?” Molly had a minor obsession with Survivor, so much so that she had auditioned for the actual show three months ago. Megan remembered how devastated she was after getting cut in the final round of auditions. Luckily, two weeks later the local TV station had announced they were doing a version of Survivor that would feature contestants from their city. Molly had been gushing about it ever since.

“I know, I know, you’re right,” Molly admitted. “When I auditioned at KETO, all I wanted was a chance to prove I could compete—you know, show those Survivor people what they missed.”

“And you got onto the local show. So what’s the problem?” Molly was stalling and Megan was ready to get to the bottom of the issue.

“It’s not about wanting it or not wanting it. The medic that works for the show . . . found something.”

Megan stopped pacing and clutched the phone. As much as she complained about her sister, she loved her more than life. Their mother had Megan when Molly was just thirteen months old. They hadn’t gotten along in their early years, but when they were twelve and thirteen years old, their mother left their father for a younger man and they were forced to shuttle back and forth between two houses. The sisters began to rely on each other as constants. Megan sometimes felt like she was living in the shadow of her outgoing, beautiful, genuine sister, but she had accepted long ago that being jealous was exhausting. Megan was who she was and while she wasn’t always okay with that, the fact that Molly loved her anyway made her sister all that much more special.

“What did he find?” Silence.

“Molly, come on. You have to tell me.” Megan sat on the arm of the couch. The news had to be huge. She needed to prepare for the worst. There was no way Molly would back out of the show without a grim diagnosis of some sort.
Megan tried to imagine Molly, full of life and energy, reduced to a sickbed, gaunt and hairless like their grandmother had been in the final stages of breast cancer. She shook the thought away.

“Molly, tell me this—”

“I’m pregnant.” Molly whimpered.

“Pr–pregnant?” Megan stood, her voice almost squeaking at the end of the word. Her heart pounded in her chest, but relief flooded through her. Pregnancy wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, it was the beginning of another life. “How can that be? You and Derek have been married for less than a year!”

“It doesn’t take a year to make a baby.”

The Leftover links

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2vFj7DE

Brooke Williams 
The Leftover 


Brooke Williams is a stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. She attributes her humor to her two young children who allow her to see the bright side of every challenge. Brooke is a former radio announcer and producer who also did a brief stint as a TV traffic reporter. Now, she writes novels as well as articles, blogs, and copy for clients on a freelance basis during the one-hour a day her daughters allow her the time.

To win a copy of 's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Donna Dalton'S 'Magic In Her Eyes' picnic celebration

Lilly, LaVerne, Lyn, Debby and Mary are ready for the annual picnic lunch.

Every man is eyeing the line of hampers on the massive tables set up to accommodate them. The girls have each prepared a basket with
their favorite foods. Fried chicken, cheese, apples, homemade cakes, cookies, and lemonade fill the air and hungry men salivate
while trying to figure out whose basket they want. Children are running and playing with sticks and chasing each other to hit the rock farther than anyone else can.

“What in the heck is that?” Lyn’s eyes pop out as she looks at Mary’s basket. Everyone else
shakes their heads. 

“It’s my picnic basket.” Mary grins and tries to pick up the basket she has been dragging behind her. “That’s not a basket, that’s a portable food wagon.” Debby holds her basket up. “You want to feed him, not kill him.”

She nods the other baskets that Lilly, Laverne, Lyn and she have brought. “Hey, I need all the help I can get. This dress reminds me of Little House on the Prairie. Mary twirls and her dress does a wonderful lift that the others are soon trying to copy.

“Stop!” Lyn hollers. “Let’s get them on the tables before it’s too late.”
As the girls anxiously await the men’s choices, Laverne notices Lieutenant Preston Booth by the table closest to them. They all rush over to him, but he only has eyes for Meredith Talbot. He chooses her basket and they walk away to find a place for their blanket in the shade.

“Wonder what she brewed to get him to stick to her like glue.” Lilly sighs as she eyes the rest of the men at the tables. “Oh heck no!” Mary watches as a hulk of a man picks up her basket. All she can see is the back of his head, long hair, and overalls over a bare chest, he has a hairy back. “I hope he is better from the front.” Lyn laughs, which makes Debby chuckle, which causes Lilly to laugh out loud. But Laverne does not notice as she takes the hand of the young soldier who approaches her. The other girls watch her walk away with a grin on her face as wide as the field they are in. “Figures.” Mary sighs as she waits for the hulk to turn around as he carries her huge hamper on his head.

Welcome to the Roast! Today we honor Wild Rose Press Author Dona Dalton with a wonderful story that has a hint of the paranormal. Congratulations on your new release, Donna. Let’s all wish her the best of sales and fans who love your stories! 

(This introductory skit  was written by Mary Ricksen)

Meredith Talbot has a secret. In fact, she has nine secrets – her own and those of the eight orphans at Seaton House, a home for children. Each of them has a special talent that if exposed would get them labeled as witches. It is her responsibility to protect the children and their secrets and keep them safe from persecution. Marauding Indians force them into a nearby fort where their safety is threatened by fanatical townspeople and a captivating army officer who try to unmask the children's extraordinary abilities.

Lieutenant Preston Booth has one goal – to serve and protect his country. The military is the only life he has ever known. It’s the only life he wants. When a child is abducted and Preston goes after the culprit, Meredith has a vision of what will happen to him.

Does she risk everything by exposing her gift? Or keep her secret and risk losing him forever?

Little Anna squirmed and clutched her kitten against her chest. “Where will we live? Will we be together?” Her tiny voice quivered. “I don’t want to live with anyone else but you.”

“There’s no need to fret,” Meredith soothed. “Lieutenant Booth promised he would find a place where we can all stay together.” He’d best make good on his promise, or he’d deal with her wrath.
“He’s quite handsome,” Nel said. “You should set your cap for him, Miss Talbot.”

Having turned fourteen the month before, Nelda Sawyer was discovering that boys were not just playmates for hide-and-seek. She had developed a shine for the neighbor’s son and devised every excuse to visit the nearby Pryor homestead.

“I am not in the market for a husband.” Meredith plucked a sliver of chaff from Anna’s hair. “You children keep me occupied enough.”

Lily joined the volley. “The lieutenant likes you. His aura turned pink when he handed you into the wagon. Then both your auras melded together and turned purple, as if you were soulmates.”

She had blossomed into pink and red and all manner of hot shades beneath the lieutenant’s touch. But that didn’t mean she should set her cap for him. More fittingly, it should send her running in the other direction.


Donna lives in central Virginia with her husband, two sons, and a grandson. An avid reader of historical romances, Donna uses the rich history of the “Old Dominion” State for many of her story settings. She enjoys reading stories where characters overcome life’s challenges, where family is everything, and the power of love helps them succeed. You can visit her at www.donndalton.net or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaDaltonbooks

Donna Dalton
....romancing America's past

To win a copy of Donna's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Paradise Coven

The drive from Columbus, Ohio to Ledge Rock Bistro located on Lake Erie between Sandusky and Cleveland took just over two hours. The limousine is black with tinted windows, and Oliver is dressed in casual attire rather than a chauffeurs uniform. A Glock 9 mm is tucked discretely in the waistband of his Chinos.
When the car pulls into the parking lot, Oliver motions for everyone to stay inside the vehicle while he checks on their reservations.
"Why all the secrecy?" Lilly asks, trying to see out of the windows.

"And the weaponry?" LaVerne adds beneath her breath as she side-eyes their guest, Bentley Wells. "Both Mr. Wells and Oliver are packing."

"We're perfectly safe," Debby says with conviction. Then she raises her brows and looks to Bentley Wells for confirmation. "Aren't we?"

Bentley smiles. "Of course."

"We just have to take precautions," Lyn adds."Detectives Michael McConnell and his partner, Aaron Simmons are investigating the brutal murders of two women in Columbus and can't be seen talking to a bunch of writers."

"How exciting," Mary says, rubbing her hands together. "All this cloak and dagger stuff gives me delicious chills."

LaVerne snorts. "More like the thought of meeting two hot detectives."

"I don't know how hot they are," Bentley says, "But they are two of my favorite characters, and I'd love for you ladies to meet them. And thanks to the Author Roast and Toast, we'll have the entire restaurant to ourselves so Michael and Arron don't have to worry about anyone from Paradise Coven trying to interfere with their on-going investigation."

"What's Paradise Coven?" Debby asks.

Bentley drops his voice, the timber low pitched enough to send another kind of chill down the hostesses arms. "Paradise Coven is a mysterious club with a terrible secret that could have far reaching consequences."

With author, Bentley Wells ominous words still ringing in their ears, the hostesses climb from the car and follow him into the restaurant. Oliver follows close behind, his hand mere inches from his concealed weapon.
As the sun sinks lower over the horizon, the hostesses are treated to an amazing view of Lake Erie from the vantage point of Ledge Rock, the small community in which they find themselves. Then they step into the cozy restaurant.

"Wow!" Lilly hurries over to one of the tables to look out of the window. "You can see the city from here."
"The food smells delicious," Debby adds.

"Those two detectives look kind of delicious too," Mary says with a giggle.

Lyn smiles. "I couldn't agree more."

After Bentley introduces the hostess to Michael McConnell and Aaron Simmons, a server pours wine and water while two others serve pepper steak with baked potatoes and a salad. As the group dine on a delicious meal, the two detectives discuss a serial murder case that is more chilling than anyone expected. 

(This week's introductory 'skit' written by Lilly Gayle)

About the Author:

Bentley Wells is a pseudonym.  The author has written a few short stories and numerous poems for literary magazines, articles for academic journals and conference proceedings, chapters and entries for nonfiction books and encyclopedias, and several academic and reference books.  The Paradise Coven is the author's first mystery.


A Paradise Coven features Columbus, Ohio, homicide detectives Michael McConnell and Aaron Simmons who investigate the brutal murders of two women.  There are no witnesses and few clues, except for unfamiliar words the killer has printed in lipstick on each victim.  When the detectives learn the definitions they wonder if they are dealing with a serial killer or a demon.  As McConnell and Simmons dig for the truth, they discover a decades-old third murder with the same MO.  This victim had ties to a mysterious club--The Paradise Coven.  Is a member of this club responsible for all three murders?  Unfortunately, the terrible secret the detectives unravel may have far-reaching consequences.


     McConnell and Simmons walked toward their respective offices.  They saw Captain Black through his office
Purchase Links: Black Opal Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
window.  He was motioning to them.  McConnell opened the door and followed Simmons inside.

     Captain Black stood.  "Sit down," he ordered.

     McConnell and Simmons glanced at each other, shrugged, and sat down.

     "What's up, Captain?" McConnell asked.

     Captain Black crossed his arms and shook his head.  "Guess who called about an hour ago?"

     "Who?" McConnell asked.

     "The DA."

     "What about?" Simmons asked.

     Captain Black uncrossed his arms, moved to the front of his desk, and sat down on top of it.  "It seems Marks's attorney informed him that Marks saw you two this morning," he replied.  "She said that he saw you two when he left his apartment and again when he arrived at work."

     "That's true," McConnell admitted.  "We followed him."

     "McConnell, leave him alone."


     "McConnell, if you don't leave him alone, his attorney will file a lawsuit against the department."

     "How do you know?" Simmons asked.

     Captain Black sighed.  "She told Hurley."

     "She's bluffing, Captain," McConnell said.

     Captain Black glared at McConnell.  "We can't take that chance, McConnell.  Now, leave Thomas Marks alone.  Do you understand?"

     McConnell lowered his head.  "I understand."

     Black stared at McConnell for a minute.  "Get back to work."

To win a copy of Bentley's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Darlene Fredette's sweet bakery party

Russet-colored leaves crunch underfoot as the hostesses wind their way along a wooded path, their destination a cute, lakeside cabin. The hint of winter is in the air with each deep inhale and LaVerne is dancing along as if in her element

“I adore Autumn! Oops—that’s Fall for you American folks, right? Such a perfect name for a perfect season, don’t you think? It’s as if the earth is putting on a show—and the best thing—” she gestures at her deathly pale skin. “No sun-block necessary.”

“I’m a summer girl myself,” Debby answers as she continues to set the pace. “Love the beaches and the sun, but boy—”

 Debby slows to a stop and grins widely at something ahead of her. “This is amazing. You’ve got to see this, girls.”

“I would if I could see past your hair,” quips Lilly. “I swear it’s grown bigger every couple of minutes.”

Debby pats her head. “Yikes!” She grimaces and tries to smooth her errant locks, but they just spring back up. “You’re not wrong. I knew I should have worn a bandanna. How bad does it look?” 

Mary’s eyebrows rise high on her brow as she comes closer to get a good look at her sister hostess.

“Wow, that’s impressive.” She glances over at LaVerne who is sharing a significant look with Lyn and swallows a chuckle, valiantly trying to turn it into a cough. 

Lifting her gaze beyond the eighth natural wonder that is Debby’s hair, she gasps at the sight laid out before them. “Don’t worry, Deb. I’ve a feeling your hair won’t be the main topic of choice for long. Look at that cabin! It’s got actual logs on the walls. And that lake! How idyllic.”

“That is something else, all right,” breathes Lyn as she catches up with everyone. “Our guest author, Darlene said she had the perfect place in mind to celebrate her book’s release. She wasn’t kidding.” She gestures at the wood-smoke curling out of the stone chimney, fading into the late afternoon sky. “And it looks like Oliver already has everything underway for us.”

“Let’s hurry up and get inside then,” Lilly suggests, rubbing her arms. “I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m starting to feel that chill. Maybe if I’m lucky, I can get in a sneaky cuddle from Oliver.”

“That’s fine with me,” Mary declares “I’ll cuddle with Travis. Not only is he gorgeous, but I hear he bakes too! You can’t get more perfect than that.”

The ladies rush up the porch together. Before any of them can knock, the door opens to Darlene, and behind her stands a couple, arms loose around each other and bright smiles of welcome on their faces. They look so right for each other they could only be Travis and Jesse from Darlene’s book, Nothing to Lose.

Darlene ushers them all inside. “Welcome, ladies. We couldn’t wait for you all to get here. Now the party can really start! We have a selection of bakery treats Travis and Jesse have made, so please, help yourselves. I highly recommend the cupcakes or cookies washed down with a mug of hot chocolate. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The hostesses don’t need to be invited twice and make a bee-line for the table laden with decadent comfort food. 

Blueberry cupcakes, lemon cheesecake, chocolate-chip cookies, cream-filled doughnuts and sweet shortbread are just a few of the delights tempting the guests. With so much to choose from,it just isn’t possible to select one or two and the room is soon humming with the buzz of contentment that comes with full tummies

Lilly takes everyone’s orders for hot drinks as the others settle into overstuffed couches and chairs, and makes her way over to Oliver who stirs a large pot of hot chocolate. 

As the hostesses watch, he puts down the ladle and opens his arms. 

True to her word, Lilly gets her cuddle and turns her head, giving them all a wide grin and wink. 

Oliver releases her with a smile, fills a tray with the order and blows them all a kiss.

Lilly places the tray on a central coffee table. 
“Here you go girls. Hot chocolate for now. I thought we could indulge in the red wine and multi-flavored liqueurs after we’ve finished eating.”
"Great idea, Lilly.” Mary settles deeper into her seat. “It’s so comfortable here, I don’t want to go anywhere. And the Dutch courage will be just what I need to get my hug on later too. I haven’t forgotten, you know.”

“We didn’t think you had for a moment,” assures Debby with a grin. “Just be careful with Travis when you do, okay?” She nods at the general area of Mary’s more than ample bosom. “It would be too cruel to be smothered to death just when he’s found true love.”

When the laughter fades, Lyn passes a mug to everyone, rises and clears her throat. “Let’s raise a toast to the guest of honor, Darlene Fredette.”

Once everyone is  standing, she continues. “We love nothing better than celebrating the release of a new book. Congratulations Darlene for the release of Nothing to Lose. May this time be as special and sweet as Travis and Jesse’s story is between the pages.”

(This week's introduction written by LaVerne)

Nothing To Lose
Release Date: October 05, 2016
Publisher: Escape Publishing
SubGenre(s): Contemporary
Rating: Sweet (PG)
Page Count: 52

She has one last hope – a small, family-run bakery that might just be baking up second chances. 

Dwindling finances has Jesse Robinson running out of options. With a past filled with failures, she longs for a new beginning. Applying for a job she isn’t qualified for may be another crazy mistake, but at this point Jesse has nothing to lose. 

Juggling two jobs, Travis Cooper has absolutely no time for a relationship and isn’t looking for one. But when his mother hires an unqualified baker, he has more to worry about than three-tiered wedding cakes. Like whether to break his own no-dating-employees rule and make a little room in his life for love. 

     ‘How hard can baking be? Easypeasy. Right?’ She knew her words to be untrue. She’d watched shows on the Food Network. The chefs on television made creating desserts appear simple, yet Jessie’s attempts always ended with opening a window and the lid on the garbage can.

     ‘I have no choice, and at this point I have nothing to lose.’ Jessie had thought the same before her previous four jobs. Though, she did excel at one particular skill—making bad choices. If only she could include that talent as a positive trait.

     She drew in a deep breath to calm her racing pulse. Desperation rolled in the emptiness of her stomach. She’d just go into the bakery and win them over. She had to. The two hundred dollars in her bank account would cover her car payment. As long as I don’t eat or drive anywhere, I’m good.
Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners.

Contact links:

Purchase Links:
Escape Publishing: 


To win a bookmark and keychain from Darlene, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address. (For pictures and details see Darlene's Blog)
Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)