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


  1. Hi Evie, welcome to your party! I hope we all get healed today. I'm suffering from hooterphobia. I have a fear of getting my hooters stuck in the mammogram machine. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Evie, hi Sharon (waves)

    Welcome to your party, Evie.

    I can sympathise with my dear hostess-sister. However I suffer from the delusion that everyone else thinks my feet are big, although in reality they're tiny. I also have several other psychological problems which only hostess sister Mary can pronounce, so I too am hoping we can all be healed. Just nobody let me go near the tulips!

  3. Hello, sister Lyn. Tulips? Is this a new phobia dear? Yes, is it a bit dusty in here? I feel the urge to sneeze. Lyn, did you hog my hand sanitizer again? Give it up or I'll sick the tulips on you! I do so agree with your therapist. You suffer from dellusions, far too numerous to name.

  4. Me? Deluded? I think the tiny shoe is on the other foot, actually, sweetie! And see this is MY hand sanitizer - I have my name on it - written in hypoallergenic ink, see - right here! But I'll be nice and share it. I'm like that!

  5. Here, Mary hands a can of lysol disinfectant spray to Sharon. Here spray your hooters with this stuff. You never know whats been on those mammogram machines. Spray your whole body, it will kill all the bacteria on you! HeHe
    Evie what a great place. These gloves make it hard to do stuff. Did you notice my face mask? It has flowers on it.
    Lyn, that fear of tulips could be a problem if you like to garden. You need a good therapist!

  6. Sister Mary, those aren't flowers on your face mask, dear, they're spiders. Yikes! Don't let them near my hooters!

  7. It's hard to bite my fingernails with the gloves on.
    Sharon I hear you are a hoarder. Is this true?
    Thank goodness we're in a place you can get help.
    Thank goodness we're in a place you can get help. I repeat things too!
    Nobody better try to stop my chocolate addiction. I swear!!!

  8. Oh Sharon you are so funny. LOL
    Spiders, wait, yipes they are spiders!!!! Holy Moley.
    Four little spiders jump on Sharon and scuttle down her gown. Sharon starts to scream and Mary jumps up and down till the spiders fall off and Lyn stamps them all. Those feet are an asset sometimes.
    Mary watches Sharon jumping around and smacking her boobs.
    Bug spray is there any bug spray????

  9. Hello sister hostess Mary. We share the same addiction I fear, I refuse to me cured of my chocolate fettish too. Not that it's a problem really, more of a blessing. I don't eat sweets - just chocolate. Organic of course!

  10. I hope you get over your mammophobia Sharon. Cause they are scheduling you one with the medical section here at the treatment center.
    Yes, press and squeeze is the term I believe. They got me last week. Ha!
    I have a fear of them examining the other end. Wonder what they call that.
    Oh look tulips!

  11. They try and tell me I talk to much but you know I just say what's on my mind and don't sit around and analyze it for crying out loud, you'd think someone might give me a break and tell me something good once in a while do you think the machine will suck in my hooters it feels like a meatgrinder what do you think is anyone else hungry that salad and lettuce crisps aren't going to cut it for me did someone say chocolate hand one over my blood sugar is dropping.

  12. Mary sneaks a piece of Godiva chocolate out of her pocket stash and hands it to poor Sharon. She looks as if she's about to hit the floor. Sharon snatches the chocolate and for a second is taken over by the chocolate bliss. She recovers quickly. Don't tell on me will you.
    Those salads don't do a thing for my food addiction.
    Here Lyn have one. Mary looks all around her and sees no one looking so she pops one in her mouth. Gosh I hope no one saw us.

  13. Anyone for tiptoeing through the tulips?

  14. Mary, I'd fear the other end too. Sit on it, will you? What time is it? I think they'll be mutilating my hooters pretty soon. Sharon breaks out in a cold sweat when they come out and smile and call her in. Gulp...
    They're coming to take my hooters away, to the hooter farm where life is horrible all the time...they're cming to take my hooters away!

  15. Don't worry Sharon no one will take those small hooters from you!
    We'll be waiting for you here.

  16. Lyn gulps down the last mouthful of chocolate. It's difficult to talk when your mouth's full of chocolate.

    Poor Sharon, they won't really take your hooters away - will they?

    Aaargh. Did someone just mention the 'T' word?

  17. Lyn Look!!There's a tulip truck and it's bringing in fresh tulips. Run while you can!!

  18. Where is Evie? Evie, where arrreeee you?

  19. Lyn peeks from behind a handy sofa. Perhaps she's been abducted by t--- you know what.

    Mary, Sharon, Save me!

  20. Mary grabs Sharon and shoves her under her large gown.
    Stay there I'll protect you from the tulip man!

  21. Help - what about me? I'm the one witgh the T...p phobia!

  22. Whew! they aren't tulips. You can get off the table now Lyn. They are more Gardenias for the tables that's all.

  23. Lyn fans herself.

    Whew, what a relief! I can't tell you how dangerous T-s are!

  24. I know how you feel about the tulips.
    I couldn't even think about them either after that man/woman person sang Tip Toe Through The Tulips.

  25. Evie has been taken away by the men in white coats. She will be back at a little after 4:00pm. She's getting the whole treatment. Hope she comes back to us normal after this intensive therapy!

  26. Lets hope so *grin*, I have an appointment with my own therapist then so I'll probably be unable to join you until 5.00!

  27. Hello all! I am so sorry to be the missing link at my own party! I work full-time and surfing the web during my contractual hours is strictly forbidden.

    The place looks fantastic, and there are so many people here.

    Erika is quite the OCD victim. Germs as well as her mind make the powerful nemesis.

    Thanks so much for all these great responses. I am so touched.

  28. Sharon, Hywela, Mary, thank you sooo much. Really. This all looks fabulous, and I was tickled to death with the opening introduction. :)

  29. Hi Evie so glad you're here and the nasty germs didn't get you. Did you sanitize your hands just in case? My hooters hurt. That's why I'm here, after all. I have a hooterphobia, afraid of the grinding machine they call mammogram...

  30. LOL Shannon. I think I wash my hands about twenty times when I'm at school. The germs are just everywhere.

    I haven't had the pleasure of working with "the grinding machine", but I've heard it really, really hurts. Your phobia is completely understandable.

  31. Hiya Evie

    So glad you're here.

    Well My therapist cured me of my tulip phobia. See I don't mind Tulips at all now!

    So nice to have you back Sharron - Hope the hooters feel better soon. You're looking good though, oblong hooters could be a new trend! LOL

  32. Tulip phobia! I am so glad your therapist was able to cure you of that. Tulips are a beautiful thing. And Sharon, I'm sorry I called you Shannon. Fingers are faster than my eyes.

  33. Yes I agree, Evie, tulips are lovely. I have some in my garden at this very moment, but I somehow became deluded into thinking I was afaid of them.

    (I blame Sharron and Mary actually. They're jealous of my little feet.)

  34. Speaking seriously, I have a touch of anxiety disorder. Sometimes, I feel very self-conscious, even when I am doing something that everyone else is doing. My face turns rosy, and other times beat red. I spoke to the doctor about it, but he said I've achieved so much in my young life without the help of therapy or med, so there was no need to start that now. Just think positive, take deep breaths, and wait for the face to get back to its normal color. I've learned to live with it. It's part of who I am.

    Maybe that's in some small way how the character of Erika came about. That, and OCD really fascinates me.

  35. That's interesting, Evie. 'Couse I was only kidding about the Tulip Phobia.

    I used to have the same problem as you, but put it down to 'shyness'. As one gets older one learns to take note of that old song from Oklahoma. "I'm not sayin' I'm no better 'n anybody else, but I'll be darned if I ain't just as good!" Once you get that fixed in your mind, it's easier not to be so self conscious! As you say, just think positive!

    Isn't it interesting how our characters evolve from our own sub-conscious fears and dreams!

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Oops. I meant to fix my comment and couldn't so I had to delete it.

    Anyway, what I had posted was that I hope age does help with these little issues. But despite that fact, I'm still able to present, give lectures and lessons to dozens and on the rare occasion, hundreds. I don't prefer to do that.

  38. Ooh, I think that takes real courage Evie. I have to give a talk to our local writers group in June and I'm very nervous about it!

  39. You'll do very well, I'm sure. You have a very generous and social heart. I get nervous just before, and in the beginning, never during. It's the anticipation that's the worst, I think.

  40. I think you're right about the anticipation Evie. I know things are never as bad as we expect them to be. I'm just going to have to get organised and make sure I prepare properly. I haven't done any pubic speaking for several years now.

  41. Yeah! They turned the electricity back on!!! A transformer blew and almost gave me heart failure.
    Sorry Evie!
    Anyways, I just looked at a list of phobias and gave Lyn the tulip phobia. I don't know about them, but phobias have run my life.
    I used to bite my fingernails down to the quick. I never had a germ phobia. But I was, am, agoraphobic. Ihave always had such low self esteem, that even going to a mall, or a movie would panic
    me. My youth was wasted on my fears. And people sense those things and avoid you. So I know about phobias. My sister repeats things obsessively. My bother is bulimic, we got it all!
    But not I don't care if people don't like the way I look. I only bother with those who have hearts. So I have nerves, but not to the point it paralyzes me anymore.

  42. I hope I haven't been locked in the building here all alone!!!

  43. Wow, Mary, you're right about your family. I think experiences like those make you so much stronger and help you to appreciate your family as well. So true about dealing with people w/ hearts. The heartless and indifferent are difficult to get through to. But I still try dealing with them because that's just how I am.

    I'm so glad your power is back on. Those transformers are no joke.

  44. Hi Mary, we were wondering what had happened to you. Glad your power's back on. You know, being serious (which is a bit of a novelty for us on the Author Roast) you're quite right. It's not how a person looks, it's what they are and how they treat other people (and animals) that counts.

  45. I just wish all people felt that way. It would be a much better world.
    I tried to call Sharon, left a message on her phone, I had no way to tell you all I had no electric juice!

  46. Not to worry Mary, as long as it's nothing more serious, that's the main thing!

  47. My biggest fear/phobia was my own father. We all paid the price for that...

  48. I say things like blown transformers make our lives more eventful. For instance, I invited some extra guests for this soiree. (They are late night partyers, BTW) and one of them told me she'd come in after she put out her fire. I responded for her to please put out the fire, and not to worry about coming. Sometimes the things that come our way have to be dealt with and the rest will follow when you have the moment.

  49. Your dad was your biggest fear? Wow.

  50. Hi Evie and everyone,
    Great party. Love the decorations.
    I too have obsessions and phobias. I'll walk right up to a raging stallion but run like mad from a tiny mouse. LOL And I must have a bite of chocolate every day or I get the shakes so bad I can't function. I am obsessively neat with my filing and accounting but could care less if my house is a wreck. I think the therapist is calling my name. Hope this helps and thanks so much for the invitation to join in.

  51. Hi Rebecca

    So glad you could join the party. Oh I can relate to the chocolate phobia, I'm definitely a chocaholic.

    We all have phobias of some kind I guess. I don't mind spiders or creepy crawlies, and I love all animals and wildlife, but for some reason a centipede gives me the creeps! I wouldn't scream or hit it with a shovel or anything, but I'd certainly avoid touching it!

  52. Becky, hi! Thanks so much for stopping by. I wish I could send you some virtual chocolate cake. We all have our shares of phobias. Hey, Becky, here's an anthology well worth creating: unusual phobias of our favorite authors. Each one of us comes up with a tale of when our shortcomings/fears crippled us.

  53. You're here now and that's all that matters, Mary. We love you just the way you are, phobias and all. Evie, wishing you mega success with this book. It sounds fabulous.

  54. Hi Rebecca, glad you could join the party! Choco phobia seems pretty normal around here. LOL

  55. Thank you, Sharon. It's made some sales, and since it's a sequel it's aided in selling more of the original novel (which is my debut work).

    Some people really relate well to the heroine, others can't at all. They think she whines too much.

  56. Well it's getting late here in the UK so I'm going to have to leave the party I'm afraid.

    Evie, it's been fascinating talking to you, your book sounds very great and I wish you loads of success with it and all your books.

  57. It's funny you guys should mention chocolate. My son and I just split a chocolate lollipop five minutes ago. It was heavenly.

  58. Hywela, you're from the UK! Wow. Thank you so much for coming and helping to host, and for getting things started and livened without me. It truly was my pleasure. Hope we can keep in touch.


  59. Thanks so much Evie. It was great talking to you. I'd love to keep in touch. You'll find me here most Fridays and my own Blog address and those of Mary and Sharon are in the sidebar here.

    I'll pop back in the morning to help with the tidying up.

    Goodnight all.

  60. I need to get my two boys ready for their bedtime routines. I will pop in momentarily.

  61. Hi ladies! Great party.
    The only phobia I have that I'm aware of is heights and I plan to conquer that this summer when I go skydiving. I love to fly so getting up there won't be a problem, but they're liable to have to push me out of the plane:-)

    You ladies have fun! Congrats on your book, Evie!

  62. Thank you, Anne, for stopping by! Fear of heights is perfectly understandable. You are so brave for attempting the sky-dive.

    Though seriously tardy for this beautiful celebration, I must get myself ready for bed. I have always been an early sleeper. My college roomies made serious fun of me back in the day.

    Thank you for everything ladies. This has been a most cherished and memorable evening. Love what you've done in helping promoting the book and celebrate the word.

    Buenas noches.

  63. Evie,

    Sounds like a fun read. Congratualtions on the sequels.

    Sharon, I heard a first-hand account of the hooter-mamagram catastrophe.

    According to a voluptuous older lady, when they wedged her in the machine, it threw a breaker. She was hung up forty-five minutes. Then they finally released her and inserted the other one. The breaker threw again. This time she was caught for twenty minutes.

    Yep, girlfriends, I've got the same phobia as Sharon, plus several other ones, including singing or speaking publicly.

  64. Hello, ladies! Oh, this therapy clinic is certainly good for the soul, isn't it? Anne, I think you are amazing! No way could I jump out of a plane, even though I love to fly and have no fear. You go, girl! Rita and Rebecca, thanks for dropping in with your honesty. That's what the clinic is for. Laurie, girl, now you've gone and done it! I dare say everyone in the clinic will leave healed with the exception of me! Now, that is a edge of your seat sci-fi book in the works and it gives me the shudders! I have chills. Lyn, so you like the oblong look, do you? Mary, my heart bleeds for you with your memories of an abusive father. It must have been horrible to be afraid of him and have him be your worst phobia. Here's to better times, girlfriends!
    Evie, you have been a delight and have opened up a great discussion on phobias. Most of them lie in our minds, but as we writers know, these little shadows can blossom into our characters and come out of their darkness.
    Thank you so much, Evie. Wishing you mega sales. Sounds fantastic!

  65. As dawn breaks Lyn rises, holding one of her small shoes in her hand, and after several wrong turnings eventually finds her way to the front door, opens it a crack and shakes he shoe gently. A myriad little spiders run off into he tulips in the garden, making gleeful little spider sounds as they disperse in the early morning sunshine.

    One phobia Lyn does not suffer from is arachnaphobia. She could never really kill a spider on purpose. That's why she only pretended to stamp on them. They all have their own little lives to lead after all. Besides. it's unlucky to kill a spider!
    Wow what a fascinating experience this has been. I'm glad we were all able to stay overnight and talk through our phobias. Mary I'm so sorry you had such a bad early life. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and you certainly prove it, and it hasn't stopped you being the loving, giving person you are.

    Oooh Laurean, that's a terrible story. I know how Sharon feels now, I think I'll have to join her when she goes for her nextr dose of therapy! Anne, that's the bravest thing I ever heard. I know one is supposed to face one's fears in order to overcome them, but I'm not sure I could do what you're going to do - that makes my forcing myself to use a lift (sorry elevator) to cure my own phobia, pale into insignificance!

    Once again, Evie, you've been an enchanting guest and given us all something to think about. Wishing you mega success with your books.

  66. As you can see evening approaches and Mary is still busy seeing her schedule of therapists, overeating, compulsive worrying, a know it all syndrome, nail-biting(I think I got that one conquered.) I am a therapists dream.
    I got it all!!

  67. Great roast Evie, I wish you the very best of sales and that you never get your girls caught in a machine!
    Did you pick a winner yet?


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