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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Deanna's winners for yesterday were: Jennifer - winner of Never Surrender in paperback and Cindy - winner of No Turning Back in paperback. If they would both email her their address she will get their book to them.

Word of the Week winners will be listed on herwebsite later today.

Thanks for everyone who commented, and helped make it so much fun.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Deanna Jewel has an 18th Century Yorkshire Roast

Just a few miles from historic Richmond castle, the majestic Yorkshire  mansion stands under the azure sky, poised ready to welcome a very special guest.  In front of its terraced lawns and gardens, the waves of the North sea. in the distance, lap gently against the shore.  Inside Mary, Lyn and Sharon are putting the final touches to their costumes.

"The powder from this  wig  is tickling my nose, Mary exclaims, knocking  Lyn flat with the violence of her sneezes. She and Sharon take a hand each and pull Lyn back up.  She smooths the folds of her purple silk damask gown, frowning at Mary.

"Do I still look all right?

"You're fine," Sharon assures her, "I think we all look fantastic in these 18th century gowns.  She fans herself delicately with her lace fan.  She looks beautiful in turquoise silk with a pale blue underskirt.  Mary looks lovely too, and is the picture of elegance in deepest claret, with a gold underskirt and trimmings.

An elegant schooner lies at anchor in the secluded bay, while further out to sea is a black sailed galleon - could this be the mysterious pirate ship, whose crew is rumoured to pay a friendly visit to these parts from time to time?

In the mirrored ballroom with its myriad chandaliers, the orchestra is tuning up in preparation of the evening's ball.  The tables in the dining hall groan beneath the weight of the banquet laid ready for the guests.  Oliver has taken special care over the deserts and as well as small chunks of  Devil's Food cake and  ripe English strawberries, there are bananas, pineaapples and a variety of fruits brought from exotic locations by Oliver's pirate friends.  Some fruits are still in their skins, for the guests to help themselves, and some he has meticulously cut into pieces just the right size for dipping in the various fondues he has prepared, including luxurious velvety brown chocolate and Gingered White Chocolate.
In pride of place is the large Devils Food Cake Oliver has made specially for Deanna, decorated with caramel coconut frosting, with strawberries and hand piped roses, and the cover of 'No Turning Back' painstakingly formed out of fondant icing.

There is, of course, a plentiful supply of the finest wines and other beverages, to suit all tastes.

Oliver himself, dressed in a fetching blue captain's coat, with knee high boots and a tricorner hat, is checking the barrels of best Jamaican rum. to make sure there will be plenty for his pirate friends, should they decide to join the party.

"Oliver," Sharon calls, "Come quickly, I think I hear the coach drawing near!" she pauses.
"And I do hope that moustache you've suddenly sprouted is a false one!"

They all rush to the door as the coach pulls up and Deanna, looking absolutely stunning in a sky blue Marie Antonnette style gown steps from it, to be greeted by Oliver who bows low and kisses her hand, before the three hostesses run to hug her in turn.

In the dining hall, Oliver turns to the waiting guests and holds his hands up for silence as he escorts Deanna to her seat.  "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the famous Deanna Jewel."  When the thunderous applause has died down. he holds up her book 'No Turning Back' and reads out loud:



While avenging the death of his fiancé years earlier, Nathan learns that he CAN love again. Will the woman he wants also learn to love again?

She’s head strong, flaunts London aristocracy and takes on breeding horses, something unheard of in the society circles of London.  Vanessa finds herself trying to put the pieces of her life back together, but can she do it alone? With a child on the way, she is forced to do just that; their future depends on her strength. Then a friend wants to help. Dare she trust a man sworn to carry out a vow taken on a death bed? She refuses to accept that his love is true when his honor of sticking to his word is also at stake.

Michael ‘Nathaniel’ Clairmont, the Fourth Duke of North Yorkshire, crumpled the missive he’d received from his fiancĂ©e’s parents as he raked his fingers through his shoulder length hair. Fear tightened his chest as he stepped to the door and called to his squire. “Prepare Caesar, now!”
            Stepping back into the room, he addressed his longtime friend, Anthony Faulkner. “I’m going to see Lady Stockholm’s parents. Clarissa is missing. Are you with me?”
            Faulkner jammed his tricorn hat atop his head. “Bloody right I am!”
           Moments later, after meeting with the Stockholm’s, Michael urged his bay Barb to greater speed along side Anthony’s. An unnatural scattering of branches and leaves strewn about the road ahead caught his attention. He reined Caesar and dismounted for a closer look. Footprints of horses and men marred the dirt and led deeper into the woods where the underbrush lay trampled and broken.
            After tethering Caesar to a branch, he motioned for Faulkner to follow him along the path. A piece of green silk shimmered atop a briar bush, and Michael grabbed up the soft material. It was the color he’d last seen on Clarissa. The fragrance of jasmine assailed his senses. His eyes widened in recognition of the scent...the same one Clarissa wore!
            He gripped the material in his fist. Bile rose in his throat as fear knotted his gut. Though afraid of what he’d find ahead, he pushed forward; low-hanging branches slapped at his face and caught at his shoulder-length hair. He pushed the foliage out of his way and tromped the underbrush in his desperate search.
            When he reached out to block another branch, a silk stocking skimmed his face and he grabbed the stocking for inspection. Michael looked at Faulkner’s worried face, swore under his breath and moved on but a foreboding feeling ate at his senses, almost like being watched.
            He couldn’t miss a gown strewn atop the bushes. The shock that tore throughout his system stopped Michael dead in his tracks, his muscles recoiling in reaction. Meticulously arranged over the waist-high bushes, as if in preparation for wear, lay a dark green silk gown, a vicious tear low in the neckline. His gaze moved slowly over the material. Tightness gripped his chest, feeling as though someone had reached in and squeezed his heart, the pain so intense it burned. He touched Faulkner’s arm, and gritted his teeth. “It’s the gown Clarissa wore at the ball last night,he said in a gut-wrenching rasp. His gaze searched the area until the very thing he wanted to avoid seeing lay before him. His body froze.
            A bare, delicate ankle peeked from beneath the underbrush.
Lunging forward like a wild beast, ravaging the area, throwing branches and uprooting ferns, he uncovered her body...clad only in her white satin chemise, splattered with her own blood.
            His tortured scream echoed throughout the surrounding forest as he fell to his knees beside her battered body. Praying she might hear, he whispered her name. Touching her bruised cheek - he found it still warm. A flicker of hope ignited within his heart as he pressed his fingertips against the slim column of her throat. Moments later, finding no trace of a pulse, that slight flicker of hope extinguished itself. His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts at who could be her killer.
Deanna Jewel lives in Lewiston, Idaho with her husband and two Siamese cats, Sinbad and Zoie and has been writing since 1991. She enjoys traveling and researching history, of which she is now totally surrounded by living in the Lewis-Clark Valley.
She has two daughters, Lisa and Lauren and two grandchildren. Deanna has enjoyed reading historical novels for over thirty years, in addition to camping and traveling. A trip years ago to Dubois, Wyoming, south of Yellowstone, inspired her current time-travel novel. The landscape and town locations described in NEVER SURRENDER are real. A professor at Boise State University, Jon Daley, translated the Shoshone language that you will find in the book.
            Her writing goal is to draw the reader into the story to experience what the characters feel, to show both the hero’s and heroine’s points of view, and to take the reader away from their every day problems to a place not yet visited. Open one of her books and enter a new world!
            She invites you to visit her website at http://www.deannajewel.com/ and sign her guestbook. Please let her know how you enjoyed her novels. Upcoming works will be posted on her website so stop back often.
            Her latest novel is  NO TURNING BACK,  an historical romance about getting a second chance at love and takes place in England, 1775. That book was previously titled Fire on the Water and will be published in February 2010.
Deana has kindly offered one copy each of Never Surrender and No Turning Back and if there are enough attendees, maybe even a gift card to Amazon or B & N! She also has a contest running that will end on the 30th - Word of the Week and will draw that winner Saturday morning. Her regular monthly contest ends on the 31st so there is lots for  readers to do!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Elaine Cantrell

Congratulations, Elaine, would you please contact Wendi at


to claim your prize.

Thanks as always to everyone who joined in our party - don't forget we'll be doing it all again next Friday with a new victim - er we mean guest!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wendi Zwaduk meets the Author Roast and Toast Gals


The tension is incredible. The crowds are pushing at the ropes that hold them back. Movie stars pass before them on the red carpet, dressed to kill and wearing jewelry so valuable it's incredible. The stars are here in full force to celebrate the coming release of Wendi Zwaduk's new book, Right Where I Need To Be.

They are coming into the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, for the Golden Globe awards. This year they have a special category for Best Romance.
Look Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Johnny Depp, Beyonce, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Wow!
Celebrities CommentsCelebrities CommentsCelebrities Comments

Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Anniston, and numerous other celebrities walk into the lavish and gala affair.

They are invited to the after award party. Now that is gonna rock!
The menu is amazing. There are several entres offered; tender porterhouse steak and potatoes, lobster newberg, fresh from Alaska, King Crab legs, several gourmet chicken dishes, and even Hallibut poached with a fresh herb sauce. Side dishes from Harvard beets, to fresh crisp asparagus tips, line the tables. And the deserts, sinful! Who knew chocolate cake could be made in so many ways! And, of course, bottles of blush wine stand ready to flow.

Mary, Lyn and Sharon wait by the entrance to the Hotel, dressed to the nines. Sharon in an off the shoulder white, sequined, Versace, Lyn in a gorgeous black sequined, form fitting dress by Stella McCartney
WITCHYS WIKKED GRAPHIXWITCHYS WIKKED GRAPHIXWITCHYS WIKKED GRAPHIXand Mary, always the one to laugh at fashion is now dressed in a short trendy, black and pink Betsy Johnson number. But the one who kills us all in the dress department is our lovely Wendi in a red low shoulder, sequined gown by Ralph Lauren.
The hostesses are beaming and enjoying the taste of the limelight. Star struck, Oliver keeps pulling at the collar of his crisp white shirt. He looks so sexy in a tuxedo.

He holds a dozen lovely roses.

"Wendi may I escort you down the red carpet." His hooded eyes devour Wendi. Sharon kicks him and he perks up.

Finally everyone is seated. The nominees for best New Romance are read. "And the winner is Wendi Zwaduk!" The audience breaks into thunderous applause as Wendi makes her way to the microphone. "Thank you, thank you all." She finishes her short comments and since she is the last winner after Avatar, everyone makes their way to the dining area.

Sharon stands after everyone is seated. "We'd like you to join us in welcoming Wendi to our blogspot, please feel free to comment. And for a chance to win a download of Wendi's book as soon as it's released , can you name the three stooges - and remember there were more than three of them over their careers.

Wendi always dreamed of writing the stories in her head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are her favourites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. He'd better be willing to stand up to the baddie while looking hot. Oh, and if he can drive a controlled slide, even better.

She earned a BA in education at Kent State University and currently holds a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University. She taught art in a high school for four years until she realized she preferred to draw and paint--alone.She loves NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and her menagerie of animals. Cats are her favorites, but she's a sucker for basset hounds and German shepherds.

She has one novel coming soon from the Wild Rose Press, entitled, Right Where I Need to Be and a short story coming soon from Total E Bound, called Learning How to Bend. She's also written short stories for Long and Short of It Reviews."

Right Where I Need to Be - Coming May 7th, 2010 from the Wild Rose Press!
Learning How to Bend - Coming Soon from Total-E-Bound!

Blurb for:
Right Where I Need to Be

Sometimes the love of your life isn’t the one you expect, but he’s the one you need.

Cass Jenson needs an actor for her made for TV movie. The previous actor dropped out, leaving her stranded.. Her savior shows up looking sinfully sexy and totally right for the part, but what part is she auditioning him for? Her movie or her bed?

Logan Malone needs an acting job and fast. With his string of broken hearts, his professional life lies in shambles. To resurrect his career, he must audition for a television role which could be the job of a lifetime. That is, if he can work with distraction and Cass is a major distraction with a heart of gold. Is their budding relationship enough to survive separation, lies, and a couple zany fans?

Here is a short excerpt:

Logan’s hand caressed her shoulder.

“Can I help you finish? You and your friend should be sipping margaritas and ordering the lawn boy around, not sweating yourselves to death.”

She raised her brows. “You thought being a movie star meant you were entitled, that’s what.”

A wolfish grin curled his lips. Flecks of gold lit his hazel eyes, sending a fresh rush of lust to her
core. He leaned in very close to her ear. “Maybe.”

She took a fortifying breath and fought the urge to taste him. Damn that cologne. Her heart
skipped a beat. She donned her best sultry smile.

Two could play his game. “Really?”

He nodded. She licked her dry lips. How could one man be so irritating and damn sexy at the same time? She scooted close enough so her bare knee brushed against his denim-clad thigh.

Firm muscles without an ounce of fat. Ooh. “Do you want to explore?”


Cass took his hand, teasing his palm with her fingers and caressing the creases in his skin. His
voice went from friendly to sexy in an instant, making her thighs quiver with excitement. “Cass.”

“Yes.” She bit her bottom lip and filled his hand. “Okay. Explore to your little heart’s content.”

His eyes opened wide before he scrunched his brows. “Keys?”

Cass grinned. “Yep.”

His blank expression turned into a frown. “For what?”

She patted his thigh and stood up. “The mower. Tell me when you finish. I’ve got an acre in the back that’s got your name on it.”

Learn more about Wendi at:



You can also friend her on Facebook

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

And the winner is......


Congrats, Patrice! You won Skhye's 'Roast Prize'. Email her at skhye@skhyemoncrief.com for your pdf of SACRIFICIAL HEARTS.


Skhye is also holding a contest over at her blog - let her tell you herself:

I'm giving one lucky winner a wee sterling-silver claddagh pendant on a ss chain Feb 14th.
Join me here to learn how to enter:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Skhye Moncrief's Scottish Roast

The castle stands beneath the cliff, facing the loch, silhouetted in the last rays of the dying sun.

Within its ancient stone walls, Lyn, Sharon and Mary are excitedly putting the last touches to their long tartan skirts and crisp lacy blouses. Oliver has been busy all day preparing a feast for their honoured guest, Skhye Moncrief, and her guests. The tables are laden with food, including choice wild organic salmon, with the freshest of organic salad leaves, creamed potatoes and various steaks and other delicacies, together with green beans with Arran mustard sauce.

Whistling 'Over the Sea to Skye', Oliver polishes the glasses and checks the bottles of Amaretto and pineapple rum - everything must be perfect when she arrives. With a smile he places the heartshaped cake he has spent many hours baking and decorating as an early Valentine's treat for Skhye. Cuddles and Junior, sporting their little Scottish tweed tams, play hide and seek in the great Dining Hall. Everyone is so excited.

Skhye Moncrief, Author of such fascinating and enthralling fantasies as 'He Of The Fiery Sword', 'Ancient Musings', Forbidden Eternity', 'Naked On The Staircase' and 'Sacrificial Hearts', has made it clear that she loves Scotland - and feels that all men look great in kilts so Oliver is dressed to please!

All at once the haunting skirl of the pipes drifts down from the battlements. Lyn, Sharon and Mary, closely followed by Oliver, with Cuddles and Junior at their heels, rush outside and look skywards and the rush of wings sounds overhead.
A mighty dragon lands in the courtyard and Skhye, radiant in a midnight blue gown, descends from its back and walks to where the four wait to greet her, with Cuddles and Junior, overawed by the magnificent dragon, hiding behind them. Skhye exchanges hugs with Sharon, Mary and Lyn, then turns to Oliver who bows low and offers Skhye a lavish box of Mozart Kugeln, together with a large spray of white heather.

Arm in arm, the three hostesses lead their honored guest back into the castle, Oliver calls Cuddles and Junior, now recovered from their fright, and follows, his eyes shining with admiration, completely besotted by the lovely Skhye and excited at the prospect of the evening's festivities.
"Be a good boy," he tells the dragon, " perhaps, in a little while, the monster of Loch Ness will come to talk with you and keep you company."

Once inside the castle, Oliver holds up his hands for silence, after plying Skhye's plate with goodies.

"Honored guests, may I present Skhye Moncrief." When the applause dies down he turns to her "Please tell us a little about yourself, Ms Moncrief." Graciously she complies.

"Well, I'm a Texan that believes men do look best in kilts." (Oliver grins and winks, flexing his biceps. She winks back.) "Unfortunately, my husband disagrees.

I blog http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/ about reference books.

I hold a BS in geology. Writing lured me away from finishing my thesis in (bioarchaeology) anthropology. Archaeology just dislikes the way we authors misconstrue fact. But the sacriledge is so enjoyable. Still, there's nothing like scratching around in the dirt looking for fossils or potsherds. I'm so detail-oriented that I suffer from an adrenaline rush when told to make a map. I guess the easiest way to describe myself is as a person who finds nature incredibly pleasing and intriguing. The same about reconstructing human prehistory and history. Yes, I am certifiably geek. I have been a member of Romance Writers of America over 5 years. I'm a member of From The Heart and FF&P RWA chapters.

I have a toddler who runs my schedule. Good thing I've got a few manuscripts socked away. My husband dotes on me. I've always been able to do whatever I wanted. Hence, my history of being on permanent vacation in graduate school.

I guess I should say what writers/authors always say: I wrote in junior high and high school. It's funny how I forgot I wrote fiction back then. But when I remembered in 2001, I jumped back on the wagon and it's California or Bust ever since. I love to write. I can write for 14 hrs 7 days a week. I forget everything and sit with a laptop. I worried I had lost my mind. But the baby took care of the worst part of the addiction. "

The applause rings out again before Skhye and her guests settle down to enjoy the feast spread before them. On a table nearby are piles of Skhye's famous books, which she has kindly offered to sign, after the meal. Oliver has already stashed away all his copies in readiness!


Washington, D.C., 2006

There was no way the contraption would eat Twila Deeds. She stared at her deceased brother, Danny’s, monstrous computer, Jaws. Every kind of gizmo was plugged into the behemoth.

What an inheritance, she thought. The eighteen-year-old kid had vanished six months ago. The government had written him off as dead, or rather, the FBI had sworn Danny’s disappearance had nothing to do with his youthful lust for computer hacking. They bequeathed Jaws to her as proof Danny wasn’t under investigation at the time of his vanishing. Just what every girl needs: A psycho computer that could test the limits of anyone’s sanity. Now, what to do with the unruly beast? Soothe the demon. “I’d like to say a prayer for Danny.”

The tower’s “on” button flickered red.

Red for blood.

A chill tickled the hairs on her arms to icy attention.

Danny has to be dead. Danny can’t be dead. Maybe Jaws knew where he was. She pushed the button.

The computer hummed to life. A blue spiral swirled into a five-pointed star set inside a circle on the monitor’s black background.

Why had Danny gotten into this hocus-pocus witchcraft mess?

Turning Jaws on isn’t wise. She knew the FBI was lurking. They always waited for Danny to attempt something stupid, or brilliant. But she was one-hundred percent dumb. “Save my little brat brother, world, and let Jaws chomp the heck out of anyone holding him hostage. Jaws can set you free, Danny.”

Rectangular icons lined up in one of Danny’s weird Tarot-card layouts across the star symbol.

The Celtic cross. She’d seen him play with the cards enough to recognize the spread. “Lord. What was Danny up to?” Weird stuff. Time to turn Jaws off. She selected the off choice.

Jaws’ screen went black.

Dead. How ironic.

The monitor’s pentagram flickered back on.

“No. I’m finished, Jaws.”

The Tarot cards popped back over the symbol.

“What now?” She tried to turn the computer off again.

The sun’s rays radiated on one card. A star spun in another. Symbols moved here and there within the boundaries of the cards.

“Why Tarot, Danny?” Only fools asked. She spotted The Fool card in the spread. Coincidence? Or more irony? But Danny could have struck gold here. Maybe Jaws would reveal her future with these cards. She clicked on the card.

The screen went black.

“I’m waiting, Jaws.” Why did her life always seem to go this way? Life gave her nothing. She always ended up waiting what seemed like forever. For nothing. Studying literature hadn’t panned out. Who wanted to teach a high-school room full of Dannys? Dealing with one had been a chore. Even now, she waited for acceptance into a Masters program to get the appropriate credentials to teach at a junior college. A wise girl would have applied to easy-entry local universities. She must have lost her mind with her parents’ death. She applied to two prestigious programs thousands of miles away. Like she could ever dream of getting into Oxford. So much for recovery from denial after her parents’ funeral…and now Danny was missing. “I’m still waiting, Jaws.”

A knock rattled down the hallway.

Prize question: Where has Oliver hidden his copies of Skhye's books?

SACRIFICIAL HEARTS is available in e-format at http://www.
thewildrosepress.com/sacrificial-hearts-p-708.html or in print at AMAZON
You can purchase Skhye's other books HERE