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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010



Congratulations Carol. Annie has contacted you to arrange to send you your prize.

Don't forget to check back here on Monday, folks, when Linda's prizewinner for the latest Roast will be announced.

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 Annie for being such a fantastic guest of honor.

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hollywood Gala for Linda

Hello and welcome to the Author Roast and Toast. Today’s featured celebrity is Linda Poitevin, and we are celebrating her book, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn in magnificent Hollywood style. We’ve pulled out the red carpet for her in the grand ballroom of the Ritz overlooking Hollywood Boulevard. With a breathtaking backdrop of sloping hills and the ocean, we invite you into a magical party where fairy tales still come true.

The hostesses saunter out, their faces in perfect symmetry from their recent Botox treatment. With one
eyebrow cocked, all appear to be in the constant state of astonishment. Wearing frozen Barbie doll expressions, each hostess enters the grand ballroom on the arm of her handsome escort.

In a teal georgette beaded halter gown that hugs her like a second skin, Sharon looks absolutely breathtaking. As Mary undulates toward them in a shimmering turquoise slip dress that shows off every inch of her fake hooters, heads turn indeed. A hush falls over the room as Lyn sashays through the door, looking very chick in a violet snake-skin dress that leaves nothing to the imagination, earning her a few whistles.

“Air kisses, dahlings,” Sharon greets her fellow hostesses. “You girls look most elegant tonight, despite the Mr. Spock raised eyebrow. Think anyone will notice?”

In the room of mirrored walls, the hostesses turn as one, each eyebrow cocked upward in a most curious expression. They try to laugh but the pain brings tears to their eyes. Mary is the first to speak. “Well, maybe if we didn’t ask for the maximum amount of Botox allowed in one human forehead.”

“Yeah,” Sharon winces. “We were trying to look oh so Hollywood, and look where it got us. Not even able to smile.”

“Ah well,” Lyn stomps her foot to the music. “Tomorrow’s another day. Oh, look! Is that the Donald?”

The grand ballroom of The Ritz reflects opulence and refinement. Frosted French doors invite guests to the gala. Gold-winged angels grace the center of each glass table, and white tapered candles flicker in the dark.
From the elegant spiral staircase to the Baccarat crystal chandelier, the ballroom glitters amidst tranquil twinkle lights. Oliver, dressed in formal black tie, fusses with the appetizers and finger food he’s prepared, all natural and organic. On a huge white marble table, he arranges Lobster Bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, figs and dates, warm oysters on the half shell with spicy Ponzu, lemon and chicken spring rolls dipped in plum sauce,
watermelon and cantaloupe slices, platters of strawberries with hazelnut dip, turkey meatballs, goat cheese puffs, tuna and potato tapas, grapefruit and orange Waldorf salad, artichoke tapenade on crostini. There is also heaping platters of artisan cheeses and breads and baked brie. The aroma is heavenly and the candelabras on either side of the table enhance the artwork of each appetizer. Champagne cascades from a gorgeous Greek fountain, and for those who favor a non-alcoholic beverage, there is lemon and raspberry spritzer. On a pedestal table in the corner is the cake, an elegant strawberry mousse cake decorated with white chocolate and fresh berries.

With a jaunty deliverance of Sinatra, the red-jacketed piano player jazzes it up as the bell of the ball arrives. And on the arm of her escort, Linda waltzes in, looking drop-dead gorgeous in a floor-length black silk one shoulder gown. With her her head held high, she prances in, her long diamond earrings glittering under the lights. She waves to her adoring fans, and Oliver greets her with a bouquet of red roses.

Junior and Cuddles scatter confetti from the balcony. Welcome to the party!

For a chance to win a pdf of Linda’s book, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, please answer the following question:

Who would you like to dance with at a Hollywood gala?

Blurb and excerpt:

Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in fairy tales.

Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with their three-year-old
daughter and four-month-old twins, Gwyn has had to be mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she refuses to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak, so she has an unbending policy of no dating and no unattached men in her home...

Until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap, and the hero won’t take no for an answer!


“I think you should,” he said.

Gwyn reached for the handrail and gripped it until the ache in her knuckles remained her only link to reality. She thought she should, too, but decided to make sure they
were thinking about the same thing. “Should what?”

“Know why else I’m leaving.”

She gulped for air. She absolutely didn’t want to know, she told herself, because it was for the best, and reasons didn’t matter. They couldn’t matter. But when she
tried to deny him, she managed only a thread of a whisper, a single word. “Why?”

Strong, heated fingers closed over hers, slid against them, twined with them. “Because if I don’t leave now, I won’t leave at all.” Gareth’s thumb stroked her wrist, playing
havoc with her pulse. “Because, besides missing my plane and breaking my contract, I’d still be here in the morning when your kids woke up, and you’d hate both of us if that happened. And because I respect you, and them, too much to do that to you.”

Gwyn squeezed her eyes shut and tried to focus on his words rather than his touch.

Respect…kids…she felt certain the words should have some importance, but she couldn’t seem to get past the warm, pulsing ache spreading through her body.

Gareth’s voice swore in her ear. He’d moved closer. Close enough that his scent filled her senses to overflowing, and his hair brushed her cheek when she moved her head,

“You’re not helping,” he muttered.

Her eyes fluttered open. “Wh-what?”

“I said, you’re not helping,” he grated.

With a shock, Gwyn realized that he hadn’t been the one to move, and that her own feet had somehow shuffled forward, bringing her to teeter on the edge of her stair,
her free hand resting against his shoulder for balance. Her face flamed. She dropped her hand and stepped back. “I’m sorry.”

Gareth’s clenched jaw made his smile look somewhat tight. “Don’t be. I’m just a bit rusty at this honorable thing. Which brings us to the next discussion.”

Gwyn would have liked to retreat a few more steps before she tried to discuss anything with him, but he still held her hand captive. And with his thumb continuing to travel
its hypnotic path over her wrist, she couldn’t muster the will to pull away. She cleared her throat. “What discussion would that be?”

“The one where we decide what we do now. You see, much as I’m enjoying Goldfish soup and doing chicken pox dot-to-dots, I’m afraid those pursuits still fall under the
heading of friendship.” He lifted her hand in his, turned it over in his grasp, and traced a finger across her palm. “I meant what I said about wanting more than that
from you, Gwyn, and I don’t know how long honor will hold out.”

Nothing on earth could have persuaded her to meet his gaze at that moment.

Gareth lifted his other hand to push a strand of hair away from her face. “Come away with me.”

Except maybe that.

Writer, reader, mom, wife, sister, friend, Homeschooler, organic gardener, collector of way too many pets, pursuer of dreams...

I live just outside Canada's capital, Ottawa, with my husband, three daughters, a dog, two cats, a rabbit, and a Bearded Dragon lizard. When I'm not involved in the above, I also can and freeze our family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knit, (basically), crochet (better), and start way more projects than I ever finish (fortunately that doesn’t hold true of my books!). I love spending time with my family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.

A Fairy Tale for Gwyn

Available at The Wild Rose Press

Friday, May 21, 2010

What Happens In The Carpathian Mountains Stays In The Carpathian Mountains

The rustle of pretty matching white chiffon dresses and sensual silks is the only noise until!  "Ouch. Stop that Lyn you're stepping on my foot." Sharon shoves Lyn and she falls into Mary who yelps in pain.

"If your feet are so small, why do you keep buying those huge shoes. Saddle shoes just don't cut it when you're a vampire!" Mary smiles and shows her long white canines. Sharp and very Pointed.

Sharon and Lyn join in with their own laughter. Tonight the trio are vampires!!!

"Just don't give us away Sharon, I know how proud you are of those eye teeth of yours. Besides we're here to do his bidding aren't we?" Lyn tilts her head and throws her luscious locks over her shoulders in a casual sexy gesture.

All three of the Hosts of the Author Roast and Toast are beautiful!

Gothic Comments"Have you ever seen an ugly vampiress." Mary's lovely lips curve in a sensual smile. "We are the best we can be. We never have to sleep anymore. I had a hard time sleeping anyways. And this going back to how I looked at twenty one. Well look at me!" Mary twirls and then the other girls twirl around with her. Annie has no idea what she's in for.

Oliver struts in looking dashing like he always does.

He blows a kiss to Sharon.  The food is ready for those who eat!

"Too bad we can't eat it. Oh, well, this is okay with me." Lyn steps back and waves her hand over herself to show us all her svelte figure. "I'm gonna have to fight them off." Lyn chortles and the others join in. Even Oliver is a vampire today!

The guests arrive vampire and human, they intermingle and get to know one another.

Annie Nicholas is in the Carpathian mountains and we are here to roast and toast her and her new story, 'Bait'.  It's a grand celebration in the Rudas Bath House. Everything is decorated with white flowers and the cloying scent hints and secrets and opulence.

"Oh, Oh," Sharon exclaims. Here she comes with... You have to be kidding, who is that hunky guy? He's obviously a vampire of sorts. What is his name?"

"Rurik, he is the Overlord of all Vampires, and he is with Annie? Funny Connie isn't here. I guess he is Annie's escort."

Oliver raises his hand for silence and the previously yapping, tapping, and smacking, threesome stop and stare at him.

He rushes up to Ann and gushes as he asks for her to autograph his copy of her book. While the three hostesses offer home made goulash, stuffed cabbage, chicken paprika and all the sides, followed by delicious seven layer chocolate cake and tiny plum puddings with powdered sugar.
See  full size image

Stuffed cabbage rolls
"Boy this stuff looks good, such a sin we can't have any. Oh well bring on the blood!!" Mary raises her glass and the glistening red liquid, in Hungarian cut crystal glasses, get passed around on silver platters to those who prefer it.

Oliver and the three Hostess vampires raise their glasses to Anne and Rurik to wish them luck!

Now the question for today's guests.. Would you like to be a vampire and live forever?"

Sent on a mission to lure Budapest’s vampire Overlord into a trap, Connie Bence is instead caught red-handed by the dark Casanova. Her employer has concrete proof of the dubious leader’s misdeeds but she is surprised when this ruthless killer, Rurik, offers her protection and rescues her from his own kind. It plants seeds of doubt in her mind and she begins to question his guilt. Now she is thrown into his world where blackmail determines her every move and where she must betray those she cares about or let them die. The stakes are high. She either puts her trust in Rurik or leads him to his execution.
Love or life.


Once I pulled up to the hull of the ship I didn't see any kind of ladder to climb. You'd think a luxury liner would have a staircase.

“Hey, anyone there? I can use a hand.” I looked at the rail along the deck for signs of life.

“The ladder is at the stern, Rabbit.” Tane's soft voice carried well over the night.
I rowed a few strokes toward the front of the boat.

“That's the bow. Turn around and go to back."

Steam poured from my ears. Did I look like a sailor? I tried to change direction by swinging the oars in opposite directions but only managed to scrape the yacht's paint.

“Watch the ship.” The curt command shot from above. “You're late.”

I settled the oars in the water. Even with the gentle lights that hung from the rigging I couldn't see Tane. “I'm lucky to have made it this far.”

A rope flew over the edge of the yacht to land in my dingy. “Tie it to the boat, I'll reel you in.”

I wrapped it around the bench and held the end as Tane guided it to the stern with ease.

As I pulled up he jumped in, rocking the row boat enough to make me hang on to the sides. He unwound the rope from the bench while he muttered under his breath then tied a complicated knot to moor it. After he climbed back out he turned and offered his hand. “Welcome aboard, Rabbit.”

I accepted it and stepped onto the back platform beside him.

This time he didn't hide his origins under a hat. The moonlight gleamed off his smooth, bald head with his pointed ears folded along its side. His tattoo flowed down into the neckline of his pale-blue, button-down shirt and still remained obscure. He brushed some water beads from his dark gray slacks before directing me to the ladder.

It surprised me to see he was barefoot.

“Pay attention to your steps. I don't want to have to fish you out of the river.”

I stared daggers at him before climbing up the ladder. He didn't seem to mind throwing me in it the other night.

His chuckle mocked me.

The deck spoke of wealth. White leather couches attached to the rails invited me to snuggle and the dark hard wood floor felt smooth under my feet. A glass pitcher of clear liquid and a full martini glass sat on a table by one of the couches.
Tane brushed past me and sat next to the table. He picked up the glass and sipped. “Would you like one? Eric makes a good dry martini.”
I remained by the ladder. It made me feel safer, even though I couldn't do much if Tane decided to hurt me. “I don't drink anymore.” I licked my lips, after this afternoon the pitcher looked tempting. “No olives?”

Monsters Comments

Annie Nicholas hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont where she dreams of different worlds, heroes, and heroines. When spring arrives the stories pour from her, in hopes to share them with the masses one day. Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging after her cubs through the hills and dales. The four seasons an inspiration and muse.

Website: www.annienicholas.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Texas barbeque with Jan Bowles

A bright Texas morning. Bluebonnets fill the meadow where cattle and horses graze peacefully. A warm soft prairie breeze caresses the shady trees and ripples the grass.

On the lawn overlooking the meadow, in front of the large ranchouse, the hostesses and Oliver are busy preparing the barbeque for their special guest, author Jan Bowles.
Fairy lights and paper lanterns adorn the railings and trees surrounding the house.
Oliver, in blue denim shirt and jeans, and wearing a black leather Stetson and cowboy boots, tends the spit roast lovingly, making sure the heat is just right.

Cuddles and Junior, in their matching Stetsons, run to and fro, getting in the way, and stealing a sausage when no-one is looking.

Mary and Sharon are squabbling over who will wear the white Stetson and who will wear the black one.

"I should have the white one," Mary says, sticking her tongue out and whipping the hat from Sharon's head and plonking the black one in its place. "It goes with my boots."

"And your underwear," Sharon retorts. "If I were you dearheart, I'd pull my skirt down a few feet." She smiles sweetly. "Or did you forget your skirt altogether, and that's your belt?"

"As a matter of fact," Mary sneers, "it's a pair of shorts. They match my bikini top. She thrusts out her over-enhanced hooters proudly. "You really should get your eyes tested sweetie, you're almost as short sighted as Lyn." She looks around, shading her eyes from the sun. "By the way, where IS Lyn?"

Oliver looks up from the sizzling barbeque roast. "Oh we forgot to bring the breadrolls, Lyn's gone to fetch them, she thought she'd practice her driving skills."

"I'll see if there's any sign of her, Sharon says, leaping onto the fence and looking down the dirt track that leads to the ranch. She's looking very cool and chic, in a gorgeous white silk shirt, red bandanna, matching red cowboy boots,  cut-off bluejeans and  black Stetson. As the fence creaks under the weight of her curvacious butt, Mary points at her fellow hostess's rear and breaks into a fit of giggles. Sharon turns to glare at her, but before she can put cheeky Mary in her place, Lyn drives up in a cloud of dust.

"Phew, it sure ain't easy drivin' this rig," she gasps in what she fondly believes to be an authentic Texan drawl. "That Harri of mine seems to think he's a racehorse, I should have taken Cuddles, it would have been less strenuous. Still we got the rolls back here in time didn't we!"

She steps down from the buckboard and smooths her skirt down over her shapely legs before reaching for  several large baskets of bread rolls, freshly baked by Oliver before the sun was up. She nearly trips over her own boots, about six sizes too big for her. The other two are so jealous of her petite tootsies they always make her wear oversized footwear. It's not easy being so dainty!

Before long, the preparations are completed. A delicious aroma of spit-roast beef, pork and chicken fill the air. The main table, covered with a white linen cloth, has plates of salads and roasted vegetables and homemade breadrolls. On the barbeque, Texas beef steaks, sausages and beefburgers sizzle, and there is plenty of Oliver's special homemade Texas BBQ sauce.
For desert there will be delicious home made tirammisu with lashings of fresh dairy cream. There are also chocolate brownies and a beautiful angel's food cake covered with chocolate frosting and a sugar paste replica of Jan's book. Oliver has reserved several bottles of fine bourbon for the guests. Later, when everyone has eaten, there will be square dancing, followed by fireworks.

"Oh look," Sharon says, waving, here she comes!"

Jan rides up on a beautiful blanket spot Appaloosa. She looks gorgeous, in a blue and pink cotton shirt, blue jeans and a white Stetson, with the saddle blanket matching the blue of her shirt. "Hello, everyone," she smiles, leaping from the saddle as Oliver holds her horse. "It's such a lovely day, I thought I'd ride over."

The hostess run up to meet her, each giving her a welcome hug. Then they escort her to her seat and Oliver whips out a copy of her book. "Before I read an excerpt, Miss Bowles, would you autograph this for me."

"Of course," she smiles, and does so with a flourish.
Clutching the book to his chest and blushing furiously, Oliver begins to read:
English beauty Eva St. John is flown to Texas to shadow rugged billionaire oilman Jack McClaine, for the magazine article she is writing. He has a reputation as a fast living, womanising rogue, who has quite literally come from the wrong side of the tracks. A self-made man who always gets what he wants.

Still nurturing a broken heart and a secret past she left behind her long ago, Eva intends to remain professional at all times. But will she be able to resist the inevitable sexual advances of the predatory Texan Jack McClaine? And will she really want to?

As a rule Jack McClaine never mixes business with pleasure, but for the beautiful and intriguing Eva St. John he will make an exception. Who is she really? And what is she running from?


“Why, Miss Eva St. John, I feel about as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.” Jack McClaine spoke as mild amusement played around his silver-grey eyes.

Eva eyed him warily. It was only two days since she had first laid eyes on the rugged Texan. Now his lithe, athletic frame perched on the desk, her desk. He looked every inch at home, as if he belonged there. Wearing a light grey suit, he seemed to think his very tall six-foot-three-inch frame had somehow a right to be there.

“Just what is going on, Mr. McClaine?” Eva folded her arms across her chest, her mouth compressed with indignation, as she waited for his answer. Her gaze was drawn inexorably to his, and like a laser it burned into her. Then as a smile spread from his eyes down to the deep dimples at the side of his mouth, she felt the breath escape from her lips in a silent gasp. Why did he have to be so damned attractive? She had to fight the sudden urge to push the stray hair back that had fallen forward across his forehead.

“Mr. McClaine, are you going to answer my question?”

“Hold on now, darlin’, I thought we were on first-name terms already.” He smiled at her in amusement.

“No, we’re not.” She slumped into her chair and glared up at him. “Andrew Jameson could shadow you for a month. Why do you want me? I won’t be a pushover, you know. I’ll certainly write exactly what I think.”

He smiled easily and twisted around to meet her frosty gaze. “Now, why would I want Andrew Jameson to shadow me for a whole month? Live in my home. Share my food. Share my life. Why would I want him when I’d be much happier with you?”

Eva picked up a pen and pointed it at him. “You, Mr. McClaine, have a reputation. If you are expecting anything but a working relationship, then you are mistaken.”

“Well, that’s settled then, honey.”

She looked up watching the amusement play around his eyes. The creases channelled down to his mouth. “Don’t look so smug, Mr. McClaine. You may regret your decision to invite New Dawn magazine into your home. You may not like what I write. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. McClaine.”

“Darlin’, I’ve never regretted anything in my life.”

“I told you once before, Mr. McClaine, I’m not your honey, and I’m telling you now, I’m not your darling either.”

He laughed. “Eva, it’s just a figure of speech. It don’t mean anything.”

That afternoon a huge row developed with her boss, Simon Jessop, but he wouldn’t back down. If she pulled this off, he’d give her a raise. Even more than that, he’d give her a promotion. She wanted to know why he thought Jack McClaine specifically asked for her to do the article. His thoughts exactly mirrored her own. He had lifted his hands in the air, an expression of helplessness on his face, and said, “You’re a big girl, Eva. I’m sure you can handle yourself, and Jack McClaine.”

Well, thanks!

Eva felt like a dish served up specifically for Jack McClaine’s pleasure. What’s more, her boss had handed her over on a solid silver platter.

There is thunderous applause from the assembled guests and cries of 'Speech, Speech! Tell us about yourself."
Oliver holds up his hands for silence and Jan stands up.

"Hi everyone at the Author Roast and Toast, and of course Oliver.
My name is Jan Bowles and I’m an author of contemporary romances. I live with my husband in an old farmhouse in rural Lincolnshire, England, in the UK.
When I’m not writing I paint large landscapes and sweeping vistas. I also love walking, and looking in old antique shops. There just might be something someone has overlooked.

Now before the party begins, for the contest - tell me what you think Oliver's favourite Country and Western song would be - the winner will receive a download of 'Love Lessons With The Texas Billionaire'."

'The Return' Available Now from Siren-Bookstrand
'Love Lessons with the Texas Billionaire' Available Now from Siren-Bookstrand
Visit my website HERE
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