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, April 30, 2010

Sound Mind, Sound Life with Evie Alexis

The three hostesses nervously look at one another.

"This is a new one for us." Sharon stands and swishes the white cotton gown that was given to each of them as they presented themselves at the door of the Obsessive Compulsive Serenity Disorder Center. Lyn, Mary and Sharon, all sit down in the waiting room with several others dressed in the same comfortable flowing gown.

"The Author Roast and Toast representatives please, Evie Alexis is expecting us." draped, masked and gloved, the receptionist gestures to the main door. The chairs are covered with plastic that crackles when they get up.

When they enter there are bins from which they take their own gloves and masks before they don them. "I feel like the bubble boy." Mary wisecracks behind her mask.

"You look like the bubble boy." Lyn quips. Mary raps her in the arm and Sharon snaps her fingers.

"Behave now, don't embarrass me, please." She thumps them both in the head. "Ouch!" Dual cries follow the thumps.

The receptionist chuckles and gestures to follow
her. They pass several rooms where people are having massages from head to foot. Each Masseuse is gloved, gowned, and masked.

"This is cool! I want a massage, I've never had one. I want a foot work-over too." Mary comments.

"You could use that whole body makeover." Sharon laughs and Lyn gives her an elbow to quiet her as the walk through the massive archway at the end of the hall.

Inside guests are all attired as the hostesses. "There's Evie." Lyn points.

"It's so strange not to have to prepare a party. Evie made it so easy for us. Maybe we can get some help for our own obsessions. Like how you keep repeating things Sharon. Over and over you say the same thing. You gotta stop that."

Mary laughs and Lyn points out her problems. "Yeah, you and the late nite snacking, and that nail biting, just to name a few." Lyn shakes her head.

aroma diffusers"Oh really," Mary cocks her head. "How about your andromania, bibliomania, clinomania, oenomania, tulipomania, planomia, just to mention a few of your problems."

"Shut up." Lyn sticks her lower lip out and starts to sulk.

She doesn't have much time. When they reach Evie she raises from the pillows she rests on and touches gloved fist to each of the hostesses and gestures they sit around her. They huff and puff till they are settled comfortably. There is no alcohol here. Each of them pick up a cup of sparkling water from the plastic covered tray that is offered to them. In the corner is a table tastefully decorated with single gardenias floating in small round bowls. Several bowls of salads and sliced pound cake are all ready in single portions. Plastic forks and spoons are sterile and wrapped individually.

In the background instrumental Zen music relaxes everyone in the large room. No one shares food, shakes hands, or touches. Little door prizes of hand sanitizer and copies of the novel, 'Knowing The Real You', wait for party favors.

Several people are practicing yoga and Tai-Chi. Others are speaking in low voices and enjoying the aroma therapy.

"Thank you for coming." Evie's eyes smile over the top of her face mask. "I suggest you all take the yoga class to relax you."

"Thanks Evie, we are so glad to be here."Sharon goes to touch her shoulder and Evie waves her index finger indicating that's a no-no.

"It's all right Sharon, that's why a lot of us are here."

Sharon sips at her water and sits back.

"Today you are here at my invitation. I'd like you to work on your obsessions. Relax and enjoy." Evie gestures to the therapists helping people around the room.

"Thanks Evie we will. but first tell us all about your books," Mary asks. The girls sit all ears, gloves and masks.

"We are here to learn about you and your whimsical stories." Sharon, zips her mouth. She has a hard time being quiet.

Lyn, pulls her gloves up and sets back.

Mary, wishes she had a nice big piece of chocolate...Sharon nudges Mary. "Pay attention dear. Our guest-host is here for the day!

I savor the early silence and glance at the previous day's newspaper Elliot left on the table the night before, straining to read the headlines from their upside down position. It would be easier to reach over and grab the paper, but I can't. The feel of newspaper has always bothered myfingers and mind; the thought of the ink on my fingertips makes me cringe. Thank goodness for multimedia such as Internet and television, helping me keep up with current events—when I can deal with them.

The sensation of a hand rubbing the top of my head awakens me from my inner musings. Elliot's grouchiness dissipates. I glance up at him and take pity, viewing those bulging bags under his eyes. He looks like he could use a few more hours of sleep.“I'm sorry I woke you,” I apologize.
He takes a sip of his coffee and sets the ceramic mug down on the small table. “Don‟t worry about it,” he mumbles with a yawn. “I needed to get up anyway. It's crunch time at the job. The earlier I get into the office today, the better.” He reaches for the bagel in my hand and pulls it near his mouth, taking a bite of my meal. And just like that, my hunger subsides. With a sigh, I place the bread on the plate, pushing it away.

Now it's Elliot's turn to offer an apology. “I‟m sorry, hon. You want me to toast you another one?”

I shake my head. “It's okay. I'll pack a big lunch.”

“Good luck with your class today.”

Flashing an appreciative smile, I respond. “Thanks. It's been a few years since I've been in a classroom, but I'm feeling good about this. It'll be nice to meet my professor. Her name sounds really interesting, Trist Anne Blake.”

Professor Blake emailed me last week. A pleasant message, she attached a copy of the syllabus and the reading assignments. She certainly doesn't waste any time. Thinking about her name makes me think of poor Pablo, who's ready to lose his alias.

“Do you want a ride?” Elliot offers, settling in the seat across from me.

'“No. The class isn't `til nine anyway, and that'll just delay you. I‟m fine with taking the bus. I‟ll remember totake my meds, and….” I stand and walk over to my room where I return with my brand new pair of orange cashmere-lined leather gloves.

Elliot lifts his brow. “Erika, it‟s going to be eighty-five degrees today.”

“Yes, but the bus is air conditioned.” As he continues to give me that bemused look, I add, “I might not need them. It's just in case. Remember your boy scout‟s motto.”

Elliot shakes his head. “We need to get you driving. End of matter.”

I toss the leather gloves aside, turning my head as I make a face. Yeah, right. Get me to drive! That'll be the day. I can picture it now. Elliot, foolishly entrusting me to a vehicle allows me to drive to work, but I never make it. Instead, I derail the vehicle into a building. Elliot discovers the incident as he turns to the evening news. John Seigler and Mary Anne Hartright, our local news anchors, provide live team coverage of the event.

Breaking news. An employee of CE&G, freelance magazine writer and amateur novelist crashes her significant other's vehicle into the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. While the driver maintains it was purely accidental, authorities suspect she may have had motive. Detectives are investigating whether or not her actions were done in retaliation for her lack of success in publishing her novel, The Count's Glorious Legacy. It has also been confirmed the driver has a long history of mental illness. At this time no arrests have been made. More details as story develops.

“Yeah, sure. When I publish a story then I‟ll learn how to drive.” I shrug my shoulders as I state my cynical response. Since the former seems impossible, the latter follows suit. It‟s like when parents say, “When chickens have lips” or, “When pigs fly,” after a kid asks for something far-fetched.

Elliot doesn't comment, and I know he doesn't want to incriminate himself by saying something dumb like, “Now,Erika, that could take a really long time,” which really means, “That'll never happen.” The smarter of the two of us, my boyfriend leaves the room to take his shower. Peace reigns again until I hear him curse and cry out from thebathroom:

“The water's cold!”

Evie Alexis is a writer who describes her work as "romantic humor". Obsessive Compulsive and Published! is the second book of her Obsessive-Compulsive series. The first is The Obsessive-Compulsive Romance Novelist. She is currently working on the "three-quel". Her YA multicultural novel has been accepted for publication and is currently pending release. Evie is a wife, mother of two, career woman and grad student. Life is definitely keeping her on her toes, and she thanks God for all the opportunities afforded her.

Visit her website: http://www.eviealexis.com/home

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Margaret's winner

What a lovely surprise when I read this from Margaret:

"Thank you, everyone, for giving me such a lovely time. It was wonderful to time travel to the middle ages and to have the company of such lively souls.

It is difficult to choose a winner, so I wrote out all the names and tossed them in the air, the first I caught was the one with Lyn's name written on it. So Lyn you win a copy of  Dangerous Enchantment."

Thank you SO much Margaret. I can't wait to read 'Dangerous Enchantment.'

Sharon, Mary and Lyn appear on-stage, holding hands, to take a bow They hug each other and wave before leaving the stage.

"Just another Roast and Toast!"

Thank you to everyone who commented and special thanks to Margaret   for being such a great guest of honor.

Join us again on   for more fun and mayhem when when we roast another author at

Friday, April 23, 2010

St George's day - a Merry England Celebration for Margaret Blake

 Today is 23rd April - St George's Day, and we're celebrating the Patron Saint of England.
The setting for today's Author Roast and Toast is the historic Warwick Castle, sitting on a bend of the River Avon, which is only fitting, seeing that today is also the Birthday of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, and Stratford-Upon-Avon was, of course, his birthplace.
The Union Flag flies gaily from the highest turret and and the sun sparkles off the river. The spring daffodils nodd and dance in the breeze. The hostesses, Lyn, Mary and Sharon are squabbling as usual as they excitedly don their costumes for special guest Margaret Blake's Celebration Party. They have decided to dress as characters from Shakespeare's works. Mary twirls around in front of the mirror, admiring her lovely Juliet gown. Sharon looks amazing, dressed as Katherine in the 'Taming Of The Shrew' and Lyn fancies herself as Titania, Queen Of The Fairies!

"Move out of the way, can't you!" Lyn growls, elbowing Mary to one side. "I'd like to check my costume in the mirror before you crack it!"

"Excuse me!" Mary says, winking at Sharon, "you're so short sighted I didn't think you could see your reflection anyway!"

"Huh, I can see perfectly, I'll have you know. And if we're fault picking, at least I don't spend all day checking my wimple, and I don't hide a week's supplies of sweetmeats under my farthingale, like Sharon!" Lyn darts behind Mary to thwack her on the rump, trips over her skirt and the three of them go down in a heap,, shrieking and giggling like idiots.

Oliver, elegant in tights and ruffed shirt, is preparing the medieval banquet, in the Great Hall, overlooked by suits of armour and a mounted knight on his armour clad steed.

Flaggons of mead are laid out ready, together with wine and ale. The table groans beneath the weight of traditional English roast beef, venison, various fowl, fish and fine white bread, English Apples, strawberries and a variety of other fruit, together with bowls filled to the brim with rich, creamy syllabubs - and of course one of Oliver's special confections featuring Margaret's book.

Later there will be a renactment of St George's legendary
victory over the dragon, with Saint George himself being played by Oliver. (There are, as yet unconfirmed, rumours that Mary will play the dragon) and Margaret will star as the beautiful Princess he saves.
 St George was a brave martyr who died for his Faith. It has been said that, in the legend, the dragon stands for wickedness and the Princess stands for God's holy truth. There will also be excerpts from some of Shakespeare's plays, and music from the finest musicians. While they feast the guests will be serenaded by the greatest lute player in all of Christendom, and many will be the tales told of brave knights and their ladies.

Junior and Cuddles, in their little jester caps are running excitedly to and fro, getting in everyone's way and stealing titbits from the table, until Oliver claps his hands and tells them to go and play in the beautiful castle gardens until the Guest of Honour arrives.

No sooner have the final touches been made than a cheer goes up and with a clatter of hooves, the Royal Cavalcade enters through the East gate. Oliver bows low and helps the Princess Margaret dismount from her beautiful black horse, which is then led away to the stables, as he escorts her to the castle. She looks radient in her velvet sidesaddle habit of rich purple, the colour that only Royalty is allowed to wear.

So before we learn more about our Guest of Honour's books - let's raise a glass to Margaret, and Good Queen Bess and let the party commence!

For your chance to win a download and a hard copy of any of Margaret's books answer this question - what were the dragon's first words when it saw St George?

As the first courses are served, Oliver reads an excerpt from:


Kate knows she is dicing with danger. If the Lancastrian Lord who has been granted the house and land of her deceased husband discovers the truth of her stepson's birth, both their lives will be forfeit.

A romantic historical suspense of love's intrigue set in the turbulent 1480's.


She sat by the brazier, wondering what she would do. Should they steal horses and try to escape? It was ludicrous. She had no idea where to catch a boat from that would take them to Burgundy and who on the roads would be their friends? Everyone would be afraid. Miserably she looked at the burning wood. Hearing a movement she turned. The lord stood in the doorway.

Quickly she left her chair, standing to face him, trying to stop her chin from tilting and her hands from going to her waist. She had to endeavor to stop her foot from tapping. She did not like the way he looked at her. He allowed his eyes to explore every part of her, from her bound head to her velvet slippers and delayed far too long on the way between them both. He stepped deeper into the room. She said nothing. He went to the adjacent chamber and looked inside. Seeing it empty he came back.

“Where is the boy?” he asked at last.

“I do not know,” she lied. Unsure of how vulnerable Richard was feeling, Kate did not want him to have to confront Caradoc just yet.

“You will no longer be served food here. You will come to table in the hall.”

“Will I?” she asked.

“You will. If you do not, then you can starve. It is nothing to me.”

“I am sure that would be very convenient for you — to have Richard and me starve to death. You would then be able to feel comfortable in your role here, happy in these lands without seeing Richard, who will be a daily reminder that you have stolen these from him.”

He smiled the smile that was not quite a smile. “I have stolen nothing, but if that is what you think, so be it, I care not for your opinion. I do not canvas your support or your favour. You are nothing to me. But while you are under my roof…”

“Your roof?” She could not stop the words.

“My roof, lady, and do not forget it. While you are my guest you will be treated as all other guests. You will dine in the hall, or you will not dine at all.”

“Your guests are whores and I do not treat with whores,” she said, matching his insolent gaze.

“Whores earn their keep. They are not parasites.”

“Are you calling me a parasite, sir?” she demanded, unable to stop her hands going to her waist, her elbows akimbo. She was unable either to stop her foot from tapping.

“I do not see you earning your keep…unless…” He strode across the room and before she could prevent him, he had moved to pull her hands from her waist and to fasten them behind her back. Slowly he bent her backwards and leaned over her. She could feel the intimate curves of his body pressing against her skirt. She moved, conscious of fear creeping up inside her. Her movement seemed to excite him; she felt the hardness more definitely. Somehow she dredged up her courage to meet his eyes. There was something in their gleam, something that was no longer cold, but a glint that told her of his intention to… She stopped moving.

“Do you rape as well as plunder?” she asked chillingly. For a moment he met her gaze, then, with a coarse word, he flung her to one side.

“Lady,” he spat, “you would not be worth my energy. I prefer my meat hot to cold.”

Available from Whiskey Creek Press. Click here to go to their website.
and www.amazon.com

Dangerous Enchantment
The Substitute Bride
No. l best seller for January 2009
at WCP. 2010 Epic Finalist.

Alva can’t remember anything. Not even the handsome Count Luca Mazareeze, her husband.

Something had happened; there was an atmosphere of danger at the Palazzo. Although attracted to the Count, she sensed there were things he was not telling her. Too late she realizes her life is in danger but why?
http://www.amazon.com/ and any good book shop or library.

I was born in Manchester, England – actually during the blitz. My Grandson wrote a story about me and told how I was “born under a table” when actually what I had told him was that I used to “hide under a table when the bombs were falling!” If ever I do write an autobiography I certainly know what to call it.

John, the love of my life and my wonderful husband, recently died. He and I lived in the United States when we were younger, however we did not know one another then, and it is just one of those small coincidences that seem to bind us together. We used to travel quite a bit and lived in St Tropez, France for a short time, which was quite amazing. Now I live in Fleetwood, Lancashire and it is the wonderful – I love being part of Lancashire once more!

I always wanted to be a writer but when I was growing up such things were not possible for me. My parents were wonderful but they were quite hard up. From being fifteen I had to go out and earn money and did lots of different jobs from window dresser, waitress and secretarial work. I ran a pub and worked in a hotel, lots of variety is highly recommended for any writer. Having such a varied career did me no harm, in fact in many ways it was a great educator.

I always wrote from being a little girl but it was John who encouraged me to do something about it and in l978 I had my first novel accepted for publication. I wrote historical and contemporary romance over a period of ten years and then opted to go into Higher education. This proved to be another remarkable experience, I can highly recommend being a student at 40, and you meet so many interesting people. It used to amuse me to see that it was the mature students that turned up for all the lectures!

I am proud to say that my historical romantic suspense The Substitute Bride made the finals at the Eppies this year.

I have one wonderful son, a fantastic daughter in law and three lovely grandchildren. They live in the States so I get to go over every year, which is marvelous.

My hobbies are walking and reading and of course writing. I like the theatre and films and television – I am a Frasier freak and just have to watch all the CSI shows. I really feel lucky to have my family and my friends. They are a wonderful support to me. They are carrying me over this lonely, heartbreaking path that I am currently on. Bless them all.


Spanish Lies, His Other Wife, Beloved Deceiver,
Eden's Child, No. l best seller at WCP, Fortune's Folly.
Published by Whiskey Creek Press.

Play by FoxSaver®

Friday, April 16, 2010

Beach Party with Sara Humphreys

Hello and welcome to The Author Roast and Toast. For today’s celebration, we invite you to join us for a lobster bake on the sunny shores of Long Island to celebrate Sara Humphreys book

"The Amoveo Legacy"

After a long, snowy winter, grab your beach bag, sun glasses and sun screen. Don’t forget to bring your surf board and appetite. And here’s the best part. Rumor has it, once the party starts rolling, there may even be some karaoke singing from our fun-loving guests!

A Day At The Beach!Fire Island Photos

Behind the curtains, the hostesses three dress for the beach party, bickering like blue jays. As usual, Mary hogs the mirror. Donned in a flashy orange and yellow string bikini, she strikes a pose, pivoting this way and that to admire her fake hooters. Festive island music drifts through the speakers, and the girls swing their hips while getting ready. Sharon, clad in a black leather bikini, does her rather impressive rendition of “The Bump” and knocks Mary out of the way.

She spins this way and that, grinning away while snapping her fingers to the beat. “HMM. I’m sure I’ll turn heads in this sexy little number. Doncha think, girls?”

Lyn and Mary shriek with laughter. They point at Sharon’s backside, their whispers buzzing like a swarm of bees. “She’ll turn heads all right. Who could miss her? Wow, good thing leather stretches. Sure hope it doesn’t snap.”

“I heard that,” Sharon applies a coat of lip gloss to her full, sensuous lips, blowing a kiss before tearing herself away. “Aren’t my new lips stunning?”

Mary chortles. “How much Botox did that quack of a doc squeeze into them?”

“About as much silicone as he pumped into your hooters.”

Lyn, shakes it up, her big feet dancing as she belts out, “And we’ll have fun, fun, fun, 'til your daddy takes the T-Bird away” and lands in front of the mirror to admire her recent tummy tuck. Pleased as punch, she examines her new body, smartly squeezed into a hot pink bikini. She pets it and pats it while Sharon and Mary snicker. Sharon whispers to Mary. “I heard her on the phone yesterday, making another appointment to have a face lift. But still she denies it. Watch me get her. So, Lyn, where did you get your tummy tuck, sweetie? Inquiring minds wanna know.”

Lyn whips her head around in a move that would do Linda Blair proud. “Tummy tuck? I’ll have you know I slaved at the gym for months to get back my girlish figure.”

“Sure, honey. Did you take those little white pills the doc gave you, you know the ones for your hallucinations?”

Mary is back in the mirror, center stage, admiring her oversized knockers. Sharon grabs her beach cover and bag. “Let’s go, girls. We have to help Oliver before Sara and the guests arrive. Just a word of warning, Mary. We found out that silicone sinks to the bottom. Remember when one fell off and Junior and Cuddles thought it was a big rubber ball and rolled it into the pool? It sunk to the bottom like a dead weight. But the good news, your knocker made the headlines and the clinic got you a new and improved model for free. So, let’s not give the beached whales something to sprout out of their blow holes, huh? And Lyn, pull up your bikini bottom just a tad dear. Your scar is showing.”

The Best Beach PicturesThe warm ocean breeze ripples through the water, the waves lapping ashore in a hypnotic lull. Seagulls squawk and squabble, swooping down on the sand to scarf for food. Puffy white clouds drift aimlessly across a crystal blue horizon. Tropical music floats across the beach and Oliver, donned in a florescent lime green speedo, sings along while preparing the feast.

The smell of lobster drifts across the beach as it bakes on the hot stones. Butter sizzles in a pan and freshly squeezed lemon slices add to the delicious aroma.
Hot dogs and burgers grill to perfection, and beer-battered shrimp and chips as big as popsicles fry in a cage. Sharon, Lyn and Mary set the umbrella tables with bright red, green, yellow and blue beach plates. There are buckets of potato salad and cole slaw on ice, fresh fruit slices with Devonshire cream, three bean casserole, and bags of pretzels and popcorn.

For dessert, Oliver has baked chocolate chip cookies, fudge brownies and a beautiful fudge marble cake. Coolers of cold beer and wine line the tables, along with cans of soda and ice tea. Junior and Cuddles sample the hot dogs Oliver hurls to them.

But hearing something in the distance, they dash off. And before long, a sand buggy pulls up and Sara hops out, waving and blowing kisses to her adoring fans. Hoots and whistles break out. She strikes a pose for the cameras, smiling her mega-watt smile. Heads turn indeed as she saunters up to the beach party in a faux tiger skin bikini and designer shades. Oliver, stunned and mute, rushes up to greet her.

Welcome to the beach party! After we show you an excerpt from Sara’s book, do come in and join the fun. But for a chance to win a prize from Sara, answer the following question:

What is your favorite part of a beach party?

"The Amoveo Legacy"

Suddenly, Sam got the eerie feeling of being watched and knew she was no longer alone in her revelries. She froze and clutched her robe closed. She swallowed hard, afraid

to open her eyes. Sam cursed silently at her silliness and slowly cracked one eye

open. There was no one in her room, the door was still closed. I’m being ridiculous.

Just as she let out a sigh of relief, she heard a clicking noise behind her. She

slowly turned around and her body froze at the sight before her. Perched on her window sill was the exact same bird she’d seen in her dream and identical to the one she’d
drawn on her canvas. Samantha stood there with wide eyes, uncertain what to do. “Holy
crap,” she whispered.

The giant bird puffed up, bronze feathers glinting in the light. It shook its head as though displeased with her response.

“Sorry. Nice, birdie,” she said through a strained, almost hysterical giggle.

The giant creature didn’t move.

It just sat there staring at her, silently watching her with glowing yellow eyes.

Sam didn’t know what to do so she stared back. Eventually her artist’s eye began to study the specimen before her. Her fear soon became replaced by curiosity. It was a mammoth bird of prey, an eagle, she thought, but reminded herself she’d have to look it up later. Its feathers shone with bright streaks in varying hues of browns and bronzes. They glinted brightly in golden flashes with even the slightest movement.

She eyed its large taloned feet and sharp, hooked beak. Sam shuddered at the damage they could likely do.
The eyes were the same piercing yellow she remembered from her dream. They didn’t move from her face. As she stared into the eyes of her feathered visitor, she got the oddest sense of familiarity. She felt like it was intentionally sitting there so she could study it, like some kind of bizarre introduction. Feeling an unusual
bravery, Sam slowly reached out to touch it.