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, October 23, 2009

Tailgate Party with Katie Hines

Hello and welcome to The Author Roast and Toast! We are tailgating for today’s roast just outside Death Valley, gearing up for another game at Clemson University with the legendary Fighting Tigers! And if that isn’t reason enough to get you cheering, Katie Hines is with us to celebrate her soon to be released book, Guardian, a middle grade urban fantasy. The crowd is on fire, the atmosphere electric. In the distance, the steady drum roll echoes from the hill where the cadets guard Howard’s Rock. Tiger Rag plays from cars and radios to gear up the already vivacious crowd of fans. The air is singed with the tantalizing aroma of grilled burgers, hot wings, chicken and veggie shish kababs, baked beans and adrenaline!

And in the center of the chaos, Oliver stands, flipping burgers, donned in his bright orange Tiger jersey and wool cap. Adding some sauteed peppers and onions to the burgers, he turns around to the hill where the Howard Rock is proudly displayed on a pedestal and pumps his biceps before breaking out in song. Then he puts the finishing touches on his baked beans, the ones he’s entered in the contest. He casts a wicked wink to Katie, blows her a kiss and thanks her for whispering the winning ingredient in his ear.

Sharon, Lyn and Mary, festively dressed in their Tiger shirts, serve beer to Katie and her friends. Cuddles and Junior proudly flaunt their tiger mascot suits.
Unable to control himself, Cuddles charges up the hill to the legendary rock, rubs it with his horn and charges down the hill like one of the players. The fans roar with delight and scream with laughter! And amidst all the mayhem and mystique associated with the South Carolina tailgat party prior to the game, Katie tells us a bit about her upcoming release

Katie Hines has been writing snippets here and there as long as she can remember,
but became serious about writing while in her 40s. Since then, she has been a contributing feature writer and columnist for a local newspaper, has written several features
articles for another area newspaper, and wrote religious and humor articles for an online Catholic ezine. Her short story, “My Name is Bib,” was published by the Loch
Raven Review in October, 2008. Finished with her middle grade urban fantasy, “Guardian,”
Hines is currently working on another middle grade urban fantasy novel, as well as a couple of chapter books, and is extending “My Name is Bib” into a full young adult novel.

Short Blurb:
Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect determined to claim the treasure and power themselves. Coming soon in 2009 - "Guardian" a middle grade urban fantasy.

Guardian, Excerpt from Chapter 1:

“This is a secret meeting,” Drew Newman whispered as he pulled his letterman’s jacket close. He sat perched on a log beside the crackling fire at the edge of his backyard. His green eyes darted back and forth between his two friends. “You can’t tell anyone what we’re going to talk about.”

“Dude, I’m a real man. Of course I can keep a secret.” Javon Manson ground out an ember that popped from the fire and fiddled with his do-rag, shifting his muscular body as he tried to find a comfortable position on his log.

Mattie Royz shivered as a chill wind tossed her red hair into blue eyes. She pulled her windbreaker tight around her petite, slightly plump frame. “Oh my gosh, Javon, you are so lame. I’m not a ‘real man,’ but I can keep a secret, too.”

“All right.” Drew slid the marshmallow off his roasting stick and popped it in his mouth. Hearing a noise, he turned toward the trees that stood beyond the flickering light of the fire.

At that moment, a stranger carrying a sword stepped from the night’s shadows and approached the teens, a dark hood hiding the man’s face. A gust of wind brought the smell of rain and tossed his black cloak aside, revealing a pristine white tunic and a red sash belted his waist.

Drew sucked in his breath as the man walked up to him, sword held at his side.

“Stand up,” the man commanded, pointing his sword at Drew. Shaking, Drew gulped and stood, then tripped on a loose shoestring.

“Stand up,” the man said. When Drew stood, the man lifted the tip of his sword to Drew’s chin.

“Where is it?”

“Where is what?”

“Don’t trifle with me. Where is the book?”

Drew was so nervous he couldn’t think. “What book?”

“Yeah, what book,” Javon said, surprising Drew. Drew glanced at Javon and Mattie, who had come to stand beside him, nervously shifting from one foot to another.

“Shh,” Drew whispered.

“It’s a very special book,” the man prodded again. “You know which one.”

Drew wiped his sweaty hands on his Levi’s, inhaling the familiar, pungent odor of the campfire. Only one book was special. A journal. His mom’s journal. He’d touched it, and when he’d done so, it had left a peculiar scar on the back of his left hand. She’d cautioned him not to tell anyone about the book or how he’d gotten the scar. What did this man know of her book?

Katie Hines
Children's Author
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Katie-Hines/1442953493
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/katiehines

And now let’s have some fun! Answer the following question and Katie will reward one lucky winner with a TBA prize! But in order to be entered in the contest, you must answer the following question. The cannon ball fired and a drum roll commences:

What is Katie’s secret ingredient she whispered in Oliver’s ear to ensure his baked beans would win the contest?


  1. Welcome Katie. It's a beautiful day for the game and there's excitement in the air that's almost electrical, not only in anticipation of the thrills of the game to come, but also the fact that you are here as our guest of honor.

    Oliver is poised ready to indulge your every whim, and we're all drooling over the feast he has prepared. Sit back and enjoy.

  2. Welcome, Katie! Wow, doesn't all that grilled food smell great? And the crowd is on fire. Lyn and I, along with Oliver, Cuddles and Junir will be here all day to ensure you a grand old time At Death Valley Stadium!

  3. Hey, everybody! You ready to have some fun tailgating? Gotta love the Clemson Tigers...you don't, ah, well...

    Glad you could make it. My hosts have outdone themselves in setting this party up. I'll be checking throughout the day to comment or answer questions.

  4. Hi Katie! Glad you like your tailgating party. Can Oliver make you a burger? Some wings? A beer or soft drink?

  5. Hi Katie

    Wow, Oliver's making sure you don't go hungry with that pile of wings! No Junior, you know it's not polite to beg, you and Cuddles have your own little feast set out - and Cuddles,you're far too big to sit on Katie's lap, especially when she's eating.

    You know I've never been a British football fan but I'm really looking forward to seeing my first American one! Those Tigers sound really something!

  6. What fun. I love a party,a nd I suppose I could root for Clemson for one day. :-)

    I'm guessing the secret ingredient for the baked beans is beer. At least that is what I put in some of my barbecue and bean recipes.

  7. Hello Katie:

    I'm so hunger smelling all the wonderful barbequing items. Go Clemson Tigers!

    Your secret ingredient is:

    Cajun Pepper

    Have a wonderful time tailgating and best wishes for your continued success!

    Warm regards,

  8. Hi Maryann and Donna. Welcome to the party. Do take a seat and let Oliver know what you'd like - have you tried one of his famous Martinis?

  9. Well it would appear Oliver and Cuddles and Junior have taken Katie up to rub Howard's Rock before the game. Welcome to the tailgate party, ladies! Would you like a plate of hot wings or a burger? And of course, some of Oliver's baked beans with his secret ingredient. LOL

  10. Hey not THIS is a party! Thanks for inviting me. (wink). Erm, secret ingredient? Well I didn't hear (read) what was whispered, but I'll make a guess - beer? You added beer? lol

    Marvin D Wilson

  11. Hi Marvin - welcome to the roast! Have a beer! It's nice to have some male company aside from Oliver (Oops I hope he didn't hear that, he thinks he's the only man any of us ever look at, LOL!)

  12. Welcome to the tailgating party, Marvin, although our guest of honor seems to be missing. Junior and Cuddles, have you seen Katie? She's not here for her own party! And poor Oliver has knocked himself out preparing all her favorites! No, Cuddles, no need to tear down the decorations. Aw, poor Cuddles, don't cry. Here let me rub your horn so you can go rub the Rock. That will cheer you up. Then you and Junior can have some of Oliver's feat he's prepared all day long. There's a good lad. Go on, Junior. Maybe Katie is up there rubbing the rock.Go find her!

  13. Hey, you don't think she's been kidnapped by the rival team or anything, do you? Oh, I hope not. Go on Cuddles, you and Junior go on up to that rock and after you've robbed it with your horn again, perhaps you'll be able to see Katie from the top of that hill!

  14. *chuckle* I meant rubbed of course, not robbed - just you keep your sneaky little hooves well away from that rock, Cuddles, I know your fondness for 'borrowing' things!

  15. Hi Katie,
    Good luck. Hope your book sells like hot cakes. Is the secret ingredient Tobasco sauce? Enjoy your party!
    Aday Kennedy

  16. Hey, guys, sorry I haven't been here much during this day. Maybe I spent too much time at Death Valley rubbing the rock. Actually, my internet service went down for a few hours today, so I haven't been able to party with my friends the way I wanted to. Thanks, everyone, for coming, and thanks to a wonderful group of people from the roast!

    And, yes, beer is definitely the secret ingredient in baked beans. Shhh, don't tell them I told you!

  17. Hello Aday,

    Welcome to the party! Join the rest of the folks and we'll send Oliver over to make sure you're supplied with plenty of food and whatever you fancy to drink!

  18. Katie! I knew Cuddles and Junior would find you in the end! Sit down here while Oliver gets busy, there's plenty of food and drink still - and don't worry, our parties generally spill over into the next day - no on sleeps around here!

  19. Oh, so glad the tailgate party is still swinging and that our fearless mascots have found Katie! Everyone, enjoy the festivities Oliver has grilled. And don't forget to scream, "Go Tigers!"

    Thank you all for coming to the roast this week and for paying tribute to Katie Hines. Much success on on Guardian!

  20. I'm late to the party, but sounds like everyone had a great time. Love the excerpt from your book, Katie. Sorry I missed the fun. Next time.


  21. Nice to see you here, not to worry, Oliver knows he always needs to prepare enough food to feed any last minute visitors. Sit down and make yourself comfortable, and enjoy a virtual Martini!

  22. And the winner is...drum roll please...Mary Ann Miller! Congratulations, Mary Ann, for winning!
    I think the fine folks that planned my wonderful party will be sending you your free gift.

  23. Dang, I got here late. All that's left of the fun you had are dead embers in the BBQ and one burned wienie that fell off the grill. I'm not much on football, but I am a Katie Hines fan. Sorry I was late, but I was trying to come up with a scary story to post on my blog on Halloween. I can't top some of the stories that have been posted during "spooky stuff" month. Maybe next tailgate party I'll show up on time with my pom poms and and team spirit. :)

  24. Hi Ginger

    Thanks for calling by. Not to worry, I'll get Sharon to whistle up Oliver to get you one of his speial martinis and see if he can rustle you up something tasty. Oooh, don't mention pom poms to Oliver though, it doesn't take much to get him going!:)

    Don't forget we have a party here every Friday - and I do believe we'll have the honour of roasting your goodself at the end of November!

  25. Hi Ginger. Well you know the party goes on around here until the next roast. Allow Oliver to grill you more of his fantastic hot wings and ah...here he comes with a smile and a wink....and a martini. We look forward to hosting you at your roast next month!

  26. AAAHHHHH!!
    "Lawrence will you shut that girl up! For crying out loud she ain't worth it. Just shoot her."
    Joe curls a dark lock around in his fingers, contemplating. "I have my reasons, I'm pissed we missed that Katie girl or that wild one. Helen, was it?"
    Moe shook his head as he looked at his darn fool brothers. They have no idea. We need to get the damn dog first! The unicorn will come with him, like lamb to the," he eyes his two dopey brothers. "Like lamb to the grill." They all laughed evilly.
    Moe was real mean.
    It's all the unicorn horn her thought, he, he. "Shut that woman up and thrown the Oliver guy into the dungeon for now. Fool thought he could save her." HAAAAAHAAAAA!


This is an interractive blog - please feel free to pop in and comment throughout the Roast as much as you like - and remember to leave your email address if you wish to be put in the draw to win this week's prize.