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, March 26, 2010

Party in a Cemetery

Hello and welcome to the Author Roast and Toast! Today’s celebration takes us deep into the dark forest. Our featured victim is Barbara Edwards, and her offering is:


Do come in, but for those of you who are superstitious, BEWARE… 
A full moon shimmers in the black, stormy sky, casting the tombstones in an eerie shade of green. From the low lying hills of the disused cemetery, the howl of the coyote slices through the dark forest. “A wooooooo!”                                          

A screech owl flaps its wings before taking flight from the willowy branches of a towering pine, its warbling hoot reverberating through the deepest thicket of the woods.

Forgoing their usual banter as the hostesses three enter the forbidden cemetery, they join hands to dispel any evil lurking in the deep, dark woods. Costumed in masquerade for the gala, they walk straight into a massive spider web and scream loud enough to wake the living dead.

“Holy crap!” Mary spits and fumes, her long dragon tail swooshing around the three of them, ensnaring them in its scaly grip. “Man, I thought that was one of the bodies rising from the grave.”

“Let’s keep our cool,” Sharon whispers, breaking the chain long enough to clutch the crystals around her neck. “We all know the dead can’t hurt us. Now all we need do is walk through that patch of tombstones over there in the clearing, and we’ll find the steps leading to the cellar. Now come on, let’s join hands. All for one and one for all.”

Lyn tips her head back and howls at the full moon, her witch’s hat slithering down the nape of her neck. “We must remember, sisters. We three have magical powers, a gypsy, a dragon and a witch. Together we stand, divided we fall. If you’ll pardon the expression, it’s time to make heads roll.”

But when rolling heads begin tumbling down a hill and into the clearing, fluorescent green horns sprouting from fleshless faces, the hostesses tear through the disused cemetery, feet thundering on the dank earth. But just as the rolling heads pick up speed, teeth chomping, Oliver floats up from the ground and grins. Dressed as a vampire, he smiles, his fangs glowing in the moonlight.

“Good evening, ladies,” he takes a sweeping bow, his black cape swooshing in the cool night air. “Just in time to help prepare the feast for our offering.” He points to the steep, broken stairs leading to the musty stone cellar. His wicked laughter echoes through the forest. “Watch your step.”

Flickering Candle Pictures, Images and PhotosDescending the steps to the basement, dark music rises from the speakers. A hoot owl screeches as it soars down from the rafters to perch on Oliver’s shoulder. Michael Jackson’s Thriller screams from the skeleton head in the corner. Candles flicker on coffin tables, wax dribbling onto the stained wood. Spider webs hang from every corner, ripe with black widow eggs ready to hatch. After indulging in a sample or two of the home-made wine from the countless barrels lining the stone walls of the cellar, the hostesses get into the party spirit.

Gypsy Sharon dances around, her silver jangle bracelets snaking up her arm as she places platters of grapes rolled in powdered sugar on the coffin. Popping one into her mouth, she shudders with delight. “Mmm. Nothing like a glazed eyeball.”

Lyn floats in the air, making fast work of the finger food arrangements as they magically appear on the lids of coffins. She takes a moment to admire the green fingernails on the batch Oliver has just dished out.  Stealing one without missing a beat, she smacks her lips. “Crunchy, too.”

Mary’s dragon tail comes in handy, swooping across the floor, gripping platters of bat wings, stuffed brain cells, and fried kidneys quick as a wink. Showing off in true Mary Ricksen style, she coils her long tail around a bat wing, dips it in bloodecue sauce and brings it to her mouth. “Delicio.”

But when a were-wolf howls from the cemetery, announcing the arrival of Barbara Edwards, Oliver dashes off to open the cellar door. It creaks back on its rusty hinges, blowing in the mistress of the dark. Looking sexy and just a little naughty in her black she demon dress, an Elvira knockoff complete with glittering widow earrings, she blows kisses to the gathered guests.

Once the living dead settle down, Cuddles and Junior, dressed in matching wizard hats, beckon one and all to read the blurb and excerpt appearing on the wall as an old projector rolls:

In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.

Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.

In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.


“Don’t touch me, Mel, not unless you’re willing to do a lot more,” he warned as her hazel eyes flared golden.

“Don’t threaten me, Steve. You’re…”

He pulled her into his arms despite the alarm bells clanging in his head.

Danger! Danger! Danger!

Her widened eyes met his. Mel’s hands were trapped against his chest, but she didn’t push him away. Instead, her fingers curled into his shirt.

Her mistake. His mistake was to crush her mouth under his.

Mel’s soft lips parted. Need exploded. The taste of black coffee didn’t hide her sweet flavor. As her tongue tangled with his, her arms slid around his neck and her fingers burrowed through his hair.

Steve hungered to peel the starched shirt off her soft shoulders, lay her on the thick turf and ease his desire. He tasted her brows, her cheek, along her throat, seeking the source of her call. Her pulse whipped under his mouth, awakening another need.

His teeth gently closed on the vulnerable vein.

He wanted, wanted, wanted…

Cold alarm chilled his pounding blood.

Steve gasped for air. He’d forgotten his own ironclad rule. Mel’s eyelids flittered open to reveal the molten glow of desire but he forced himself free.

He had no right to touch any woman. Not until he knew he hadn’t become what he had set out to destroy.

Sharon: Interesting and very intriguing. It draws us right in. So tell us a little about the heroine and the romantic hero of your book.

Barbara: My heroine ‘Mel’ is a strong, independent woman with no imagination. When she finds a murder can’t be solved by normal means, she is baffled. My hero ‘Steve’ is hunting a cure for a terrible curse. He craves blood and can no longer tolerate many foods, he is experiencing black-outs, and his night vision is sharpening along with his sense of smell. He fears what he may be doing during the black-outs.


I’m Barbara Edwards and I’m a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.

I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.

When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.

My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.

I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.

I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success.

Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk.

To win a prize from Barbara, answer the following question: What is your favorite Elvira movie?




Saturday, March 20, 2010


Eleanor Sullo who has won a download of Emma Lai's Book

Congratulations Eleanor
Please Email Emma at  emmalaiwrites@gmail.com

so she can arrange to send you your prize.

Sharon, Mary and Lyn appear on-stage, holding hands, to take a bow
They exchange hugs and wave goodbye,  before leaving the stage.
Just another Roast and Toast. Thank you to everyone who commented and special thanks to
Emma Lai and Iain for being such great guests of honor.
Join us again next week for more fun and mayhem when we roast another author at

Friday, March 19, 2010

A space adventure with Emma Lai

Deep space - the outer regions of the known universe... Beneath thedome of the floating space station, USS Authroroastantoast the atmosphere is charged with excitement.Surrounded by the hydroponic gardens, the tallest tower of the Galaxian Staterooms reaches toward the stars. Inside, the three hostesses, Mary, Sharon and Lyn are almost tripping over each other in their anxiety to look their best for their latest visitor, the lovely Princess Emma Lai, who is expected at any moment. Cuddles and Junior, in their little space uniforms, run round and round excitedly, getting under everyone's feet.

'First Officer' Oliver, has scoured the four corners of the Universe for the most delectable of delicacies for the feast, including chocolate mindblowers from the constellation Lush, chocolate creme wedges from the planet Temta-Shon,
chocolate love deserts, from Indul Gens, and exotic fruits and savouries from secret sources around the galaxy. With his own hands he has prepared a chocolate delight cake, light as an alien whisper and concocted with every kind of chocolate known to humanoids. (The Princess is just a little partial to chocolate!)

He's also been busy chopping and mashing baby carrots and sweet peas for the young Prince. The baby will be arriving with a nursemaid on another ship since Princess Emma has a prior engagement and doesn't want him to be stressed by too much travelling in hyper-space.

Mary, in a strapless blue gown of rare Andromedan silk twirls around thrusting out her enhanced chest. Ooops! Something's popped out! Luckily Oliver is busy setting out glasses of frothy green Venusian liquer or he would not have known where to look! Lyn issues a command to the replicator, extracts a long piece of narrow blue ribbon and quickly fastens it, halterneck style, to the top of Mary's bodice, which she hoicks up as high as she can. "You need more than anti-grav and a bit of silk to keep those covered, dear," she whispers, winking wickedly at Sharon.
Sharon, in a fantastic rose pink gown with a waterfall of froth and frills at the back, turns and wiggles her ample posterior. "Does my bum look big in this?"
Lyn and Mary grab each other for support, giggling hysterically behind Sharon's back. "Course not, sweetie, why in the Universe would you think that!"
They wipe the tears of laughter from their eyes. "Good job she has all those layers of lace to hide her bubble butt!" Mary says, in a stage whisper. Sharon turns round, and flashes a look like laser fire at the two giggling morons, but then a red alert blinks above their heads.

"Incoming message," Lyn gasps, and rushes through the specially decorated archway to the computer deck. clutching the full skirts of her beautiful purple dress to avoid tripping over her tiny feet. "Oh no, it appears Princess Emma Lai has been captured by aliens, on route to her party! We need to rescue her - come on girls - and Oliver!

Swiftly they all board one of the attack vessels and head off at the speed of light to the coordinates given by the computer. They board the alien ship, taking them by surprise. Mary points her laser gun at them, thrusting out her chest. They gawp at it in amazement, (they're a bit shocked by the lazer gun too). While Sharon wiggles her hips and bends over, blocking out the light, Lyn takes advantage of the situation to call to Princess Emma. She kicks out at a huge alien in her way and he falls flat on his face. (Nothing can stand up to Lyn's feet.) Emma wriggles out of her captor's clutches, grabs his blaster from his belt and hits him over the head. Oliver flexes his biceps, then rattles off a round with his stungun, before the other aliens can retaliate, and they quickly exit the ship and head back for the space station.

Once under the dome, the three hostesses hug Princess Emma Lai, who looks stunning and completely calm after her ordeal, in a regal deep wine colored gown of heavy brocade. They escort her inside the State Building and Oliver hands her a glass of green liquer, before commanding the computer to relay a message to all the known inhabited worlds.
Ladies, gentlemen and otherlings, we are proud to present our very special guest today, Emma Lai. Sit back and relax and hear all about her wonderful romance, 'His Ship, Her Fantasy.' The station is open to visitors and to win a copy of her book, answer this question - How many aliens does it take to change a light globe?
Blurb for His Ship, Her Fantasy: 
Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But, who is he, and where did he come from? Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.

Excerpt: She fought to stay aware by focusing her gaze on the intriguing cleft in her rescuer’s chin. After a few moments, she tried to tilt her head back to get a look at the rest of his face, but the action made her dizzy once again. She gave up with a sigh and relaxed against his firm, broad chest. She shrugged. Chances were she would not recognize him anyway. Over two hundred people served on the ship. She knew the dozen or so engineers who worked the first and third rotations and maybe another dozen crewmates by sight, others who worked the same rotation and happened to eat their meals in solitary silence at the same time she did. She would guess from the fact that he had to ask her name that he was not any of those two dozen individuals. Maybe she should not have told him her real name. At least that way, when he talked about finding a woman helpless in the bowels of the ship, no one would have known who it was. Yeah, right, whom was she trying to fool? She was the sole person assigned duty to this area during fourth rotation. Her breath caught, and she stiffened in his arms. Who was he, and what was he doing in a restricted area? “Relax,” he said. “Who are you?” She tried to sit up in his arms, determined to get a look at him and an answer to her question. He lifted her higher in his arms, which wedged her head between his head and shoulder and prevented her from getting a good look at his face. “Alastair.” His warm breath fluttered against her forehead and cheek.

Purchase your copy of 'His Ship Her Fantasy' HERE

Visit her at her BLOG 
and her WEBSITE

Bio: Emma likes nothing more than a challenge. First,she tackled the male-dominated field of engineering. Next, she expanded her understanding of the world by studying international relations. Finally, her husband dared her to use her experience and knowledge and devote herself to writing. She accepted his challenge and has been writing ever since. She has found writing keeps her sane. Her characters demand their stories be told and nag her incessantly until she complies. The characters are very insistent about her remaining faithful to their individual adventures. As a result, Emma writes a range of genres and levels of heat. She never knows what the next set of characters will demand!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Winner of Ginger's prize

And we have a winner! Ginger has just chosen Jenn M. Congratulations, Jenn! Please contact Ginger Simpson at

Thank you for participating. Y'all come back now, hear!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pioneer Adventure with Ginger Simpson

Hello and welcome to The Author Roast and Toast! We are pleased to bring back the amazing Ginger Simpson! And she is here to promote her upcoming book


And today’s setting is a camp site back in the days of the Wild, Wild West, where the deer and the antelope play. We have prepared a shin dig, and invite you to join us for an exciting day on the pioneer trails!

Behind the scenes, the hostesses prepare for another author roast, fighting like wild cougars amongst themselves. With barely enough room to move for one, let alone three, Sharon elbows Mary out of the way, blinking wildly as she glues on her false eyelashes.

“If you’d quit primping in front of the mirror, maybe the rest of us could get in there. Come on, quit admiring your boob job. You’ve studied them from every angle. Do tell, dearie. How does one lug around all that silicone without toppling over?”

With a derisive snort, Mary thrusts out her fake jugs, her hand on her ample hip. Just as she is about to spout out something quite nasty, her sage green gingham dress rips down the center, exposing her fake knockers.

Open mouth and stunned mute, Sharon and Lyn stare. So shocked is Lyn, her eyes pop wide open, causing her blinding purple contact lenses to fly out, falling into one of her gigantic lace-up Granny boots. Mary, momentarily forgetting about her dilemma, gapes at the size of Lyn’s feet. “Wow, who knew they cut patent leather that big. Did you have to pay extra, sweetie?”

Lyn, hissing, manages to locate her lenses. And after cleaning them and popping them back into her eyeballs, she scowls at Mary for insulting her feet. But when they see Sharon, her petite, willowy frame bent over in an attempt to glue on her false eyelashes, they break into fits of giggles. Tongues clucking caddishly, they whisper, “If she didn’t buy her dress two sizes two small, maybe her bubble butt wouldn’t resemble a side of beef!”

Sharon, finally getting the glue to stick, hurls on them, fire in her eyes. “Something funny?”

“Nothing,” they choke back the tears. But when Oliver bangs on the door, telling them it’s show time, they pull themselves together like the professionals they are.

Zing! A bullet hisses through the camp, followed by another just as Sharon, Lyn and Mary step out of the covered wagon. Sharon’s cheeks turn a fiery shade of crimson, matching her pretty prairie dress with petite white flowers and ribbons. She turns to Mary, who is clutching the paisley rag scarf at her throat to cover the rip in her green gingham dress. Lyn has taken cover behind the chuck wagon, but her flashy purple pioneer skirt and big feet give her away.

The buffalo graze, undeterred under open blue skies.
But the horses are antsy, neighing and clomping their hooves in the dirt, sensing danger.
Oliver, dressed in a denim shirt and chaps, cowboy hat tipped over one eye, has shotgun at the ready. Satisfied nothing’s coming, he continues to cook over the blazing stones and rocks the women folk have gathered.
The hostesses set up a table for the celebration, the scent of salt pork and beans singeing the air. He is also roasting weenies, marshmallows and s’mores, along with buttery biscuits. The scent of strong , chicory coffee permeates the campsite.

But suddenly, the air changes. Cuddles and Junior, their little bandanas rustling in the brisk mountain breeze, begin racing in circles

And then they see it, a group of riders approaching in a cloud of dust.

“Injuns!” Mary screeches. “We’re gonna all get scalped!”

“I betcha it’s the Duke,” Sharon assures them. “Marion will come to the rescue.”

“Fools!” Lyn hisses. “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s the Riders of the Purple Sage!”

But just as they are about to take cover in the chuck wagon, Ginger Simpson appears on the chestnut stallion in the lead. Whooping it up, she waves with one of her fringed gauntlet gloved hands and grins. Leaping off her horse, she looks sassy and sporty in her rose-colored split riding skirt, Nel riding blouse, rhinestone-trimmed cowgirl hat and strappy snake-skin boots.

Come and sit a spell, rustle up some grub and join us for the Pioneer Adventure.


Caught between the world of red and white, how will Grace Cummings choose?
A normal morning turns to disaster when a small war party attacks Grace Cummings’family and slaughters everyone but her.

She returns to the Lakota camp filled with hatred, anger and fear, but through the help of another white woman in camp, learns the Lakota way. Broken treaties, dead buffalo, and the white man's foray of gold in the sacred hills give the people reason to defend themselves. When white soldiers invade the camp and presume to rescue Grace, she must decide where her heart lies.

Papa scraped the last speck of egg from his plate and set it aside. “I s’pect Kev and me’ll find gold any day now. People are discoverin’ it all around us. When we make our strike, we can find some land and build a real house. It’s sure to happen soon… afore summer is past and the weather turns cold. In fact, Sassy, you and yer ma might want to start gatherin’ fair-sized stones and rocks for our fireplace.”

He pointed to the lean-to, still in progress. “In the meantime, Kev and I will finish our temporary shelter, so we can spread out a bit.”

No more climbing in and out of a wagon to sleep. Grace clapped. “Oh, Papa, that sounds so good.”
She sobered and flashed the look that always won him over…the half-pout, wistful gaze. “When we finally settle in our real house, it will be near a town, won’t it? Otherwise, how do you expect me to be courted out here in the middle of nowhere?”

“I’m not so sure I want you to be cour...” He jerked around and looked over his shoulder. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Kevin asked.

“I hear it, Papa,” Grace chimed in. “Sounds like yelling.”

Her father stood and scanned the horizon. He pointed. “Look. There!”

A group of riders emerged from a dust cloud in the distance. The yelling grew louder as they came closer.
The furrows in her father’s brow frightened Grace. “What is it, Papa?”

He darted for the wagon. “It’s Injuns! Hurry! You two women get inside and keep low. Kevin, get yer rifle!”
Grace’s heartbeat quickened and fear clutched her chest, making it hard to breathe. She’d heard about savages, but never saw one up close. She didn’t want to.

Her mother stood frozen in place. Grace grabbed her hand and pulled. “C’mon, Mama, we’d better do as Papa says.”

They ran around to the back of the wagon, and her mother boosted her up and over the closed tailgate. Grace dove inside, her mind filled with horrible thoughts. Would she get scalped or worse…were they all going to die?

All the while, piercing yells sliced the air while thundering hooves pounded the ground. Realizing her mother hadn’t followed, Grace rose up on her knees and peeked outside.

A pack of whooping Indians rode round and round the wagon, their voices creating a din of eerie screams while bullets exploded. The hair on Grace’s arms stood on end. She covered her ears, crouched against the sidewall and prayed the savages would go away.

Question: Where would you hide if riders were coming for you?
Ginger will grant one lucky winner a prize. Good luck!

Ginger lives in Tennessee with her husband Kelly, and they're alone, at last. Out of thirteen years of marriage, they've lived with relatives or vice versa for about ten of those years, and this time, they moved into a place so small, there isn't even room to hang a vacancy sign. She says overnight guests are welcome, but there's a two day limit.

An author of mainly historical novels, Ginger has dabbled in other genres but migrates back to her comfort zone because those are the characters who are in her head, clamoring 24/7 for their stories to be told. White Heart, Lakota Spirit, the sequel to her debut novel, Prairie Peace, is re-releasing from MoonGypsy
press next month, but in a much improved format. A benefit to continued writing is "learning" and she's applied her lessons to strengthen this story of a woman kidnapped by marauding Indians. Retired, Ginger has tons of time to write, but her grandson, Spencer, loves spending time with his "Nee Nee," and he's the most important guy in her life...right next to Kelly.

White Heart, Lakota Spirit
Coming Soon from Moon Gypsy Press

For Ginger’s other books: