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, August 27, 2010


Sunday, August 15, 2010


.. PATRICE WILTON. Congratulations, Patrice and thanks to everyone else for visiting!

And thanks to Joyce for being such a great guest and for the thrilling excerpts.

Watch this space for the next event at:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Paris In The Spring

Lyn, Mary and Sharon ride sidesaddle in the sunshine as they head toward the Court of King Philippe. The castle stands in the distance, stunning lawns of green and fields of root vegetables grow along the route. A medieval castle with a huge portico looms ahead.

Suddenly three men burst out of the bushes and  pull the women from their horses.

"Get your filthy hands off me you brute." Lyn hollers at the top of her lungs. Then she takes a shot at him with her huge foot and he goes flying.

"Look out Mary," yells Sharon. Mary makes a quick move and gets out of the way. While the highwaymen who attacked them are trying to subdue them the girls put up a huge fight! They are appalled that the crooks appeared and are even more angry at what they intended to do.
Sharon uses her bubble butt to subdue another by sitting on him, and laughs as she watches one of the masked men stare at Mary's tremendous hooters. Mary whacks him over the head with her silk purse.

"I knew that putting that rock in there would come in handy." Mary helps Sharon up and smiles. They stare at the three robbers who lie knocked out on the mossy ground in from of them and then they all crack up laughing.
"We're the three Musketeers of the fourteenth century," Lyn exclaims and runs her hands over her dress to brush off a few errant leaves.
"One for all and all for one." They yell out in unison while they all give the subdued highwaymen a kick or two each.
"No one messes with us." Lyn says knowingly. "Don't they know highway robbery wasn't popular in fourteenth Century France? Let's get back on the horses and get to the castle, we're late already.We'll send someone back for these creeps. Let's tie them up"
Sharon, Lyn and Mary clasp hands and then hug after binding the criminals so they can't bother anyone again. They find a log to stand on, get onto their mounts and head toward the French Court.

The three hostesses, and their escorts, sent by the king, ride into the courtyard where stable boys grab their horses and the king's men help them down. Oliver, dressed as a noble knight, guides  them to the great dining hall, where their escorts await.

They enter the great room each with a handsome squire leading them to the high tables. Trenchers are set at each place. A lovely dish of fennel chicken, beef sliced thin, beets, leeks in white wine sauce, cabbage flavored with spices, juicy roasted lamb and huge dishes of Cassoulet, full of beans cooked for hours. Apple tarts sit next to dishes of puddings, some sweet with pumpkin. Beautiful linen tapestries line the walls, ripe with the motions of everyday life in France. Horses woven into the tapestries almost jump out and realistic epic battles are thrilling to look at.

The hostesses sit at the high table and each one greets Joyce as she reigns over the festivities. King Philippe VI nods and minstrels begin to play and sing and the jesters begin their rollicking entertainment. Rushes line the floors and dogs wait to clean up any scraps that fall.

The three are in love with their velvet dresses, Lyn in Lilac, Mary in pale blue and Sharon in scarlet Long draping sleeves and empire waists, their dresses are soft and flowing.

Joyce is resplendent in white silk and her hair flows long behind her held by a tiny crown of flowers.

Lyn slaps Mary's hand as she reaches for a piece of crusty bread. "Wait dummy, the king is gonna speak, and Sharon stop stuffing that fruit preserved in vinegar into your mug."

"Ouch, that hurts, I'm starving." Mary whines and takes a huge gulp of the mead that Lyn hands her and Sharon.

"I'm glad I'm sitting too far for you to reach Lyn," Sharon laughs and continues to eat the sweet-sour fruits, after a swallow of her own mead.

"Attention, please," Joyce takes her squires hand and raises from her seat. "Let the festivities begin!"

Cheers raise from the many people seated at the tables. "To King Philippe,  and may Edward III of England drown on his way here over the English Channel."

"Here, here," the guests shout to her. "Long live King Philippe, Vive la France."

The hostesses stand and holler as they join in the toast. Mary yells out, "Let's party on." Sharon looks down her nose and laughs. "Wrong century Mary." They all laugh and sit to watch the jesters who have Joyce hysterical with her own laughter.

Welcome to the Medieval celebration for Joyce Moore!

Here's a question for everyone. What did William The Conqueror have to do with the Hundred Years War between France and England?


Joyce Moore is an award-winning author, having won various contests such as Writing the Region, First Coast Writer Festival Contest, and others. More recently a historical novel won an award in the Mainstream Fiction category at the Florida Writers Conference. Her medieval romance, Jeanne of Clairmonde, received a Four Star rating from Romantic Times. The book also won First Place in the FWA Royal Palm Literary awards, published romance category. Another book will be released in October 2010 from Five Star. Joyce’s work has appeared in national publications and she frequently speaks before historical groups and at book club events. She’ll be giving a workshop at the national RWA conference in Orlando in July.



Jeanne, a medieval Scarlett O’Hara, fights to regain her estate, while a handsome squire tries to block her attempts to petition the king.

She tripped on an uneven stone and would have fallen had she not bumped into a low wall. Her eyes gradually adjusted to the dark. She came to a wall walk and glanced below, made out the rectangular form of the bailey and beyond that the moat.

A breeze from the north blew the wool of her chemise against her skin and she folded her arms across her chest, wishing she had thought to wear a cloak. She leaned against the outer wall and gazed upward. Stars made pictures in the sky; a cook's ladle, and a bear.
The height made her dizzy and she grasped the stone wall, then made her way on the wall walk until she reached a barrier.

She touched a chain of cold steel and followed the chain with her hands. It descended from an upper chamber to the outer wall and down. Standing on her toes she looked over the wall and guessed the chains worked with pulleys, an assemblage that allowed the heavy portcullis to be raised and lowered.

An eerie tone echoed through the woodland, followed by an answering horn further away. A streak of light moved up the winding road leading to the castle. It faded, then reappeared. Her heart pounded. Someone on horseback advanced, carrying a torch.

Here's the recipe for the fennel chicken, that Joyce gave to Oliver for the feast.

Chicken with fennel
Take the chickens, cut them up, fry them, and when they are fried add the quantity of water you prefer; then take "beards" of fennel, "beards" of parsley, and almonds that have not been skinned; and chop these things well, mix them with the liquid from the chickens, and boil everything, then pass through a sieve. Add it to the chickens, and add the best spices you can get.
This chicken recipe, with its tan and green sauce and its subtle flavor of fennel, is remarkable. It is another light dish that would not be out of place on the most inventive of modern menus.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Caribbean Queen

Hello and welcome to the Author Roast and Toast! Do you enjoy sailing the ocean blue under billowy white clouds? Limbo dancing beneath sun-drenched skies? Sipping on cool drinks and munching on great food? Or how about just listening to the hypnotic lull of the frothy waves of the Caribbean lap into shore? Then you’re in for a treat. Come sail away with us as we celebrate Danielle Thorne’s latest release

By Heart and Compass by Desert Breeze Publishing. It’s a beach party and the hostesses are getting ready to have fun fun fun!

With a loud and powerful whistle, the luxury liner docks in the marina of the private Caribbean island. Crystal blue water laps against the shores of the sugar-white sand. Hot pink flamingos prance about on stilt-high legs, squawking their disapproval of having their island home interrupted.

Looking like tourists in their safari outfits and oversized straw hats, the hostesses squeal with delight as they stumble down the plank. Sharon’s still trying to get her sea legs to balance as she carts two large suitcases. Wanting a snapshot of one of the rebellious flamingos, she stops dead in her tracks to put down her luggage so she can get to the camera around her slender neck. Mary is behind Sharon and is so busy gawking at a monkey in a tree that she smacks head first into Sharon. Lyn has her binoculars glued to her eyes in the hopes of spying a beached whale. They all clunk together and roll like rum runners down the plank, squealing and screaming bloody murder.

“It’s all Sharon’s fault,” Mary hisses, rubbing the goose egg the size of a coconut on her forehead. “She just had to take another picture. She’s already on her tenth roll of film and we’re just arriving for the beach party. Now look at my brand-new safari outfit. It’s ruined.”

“Oh, hush,” Sharon brushes the sand from her knees, stopping to hoist her hand on Lyn’s shoulder as she dumps sand from her sandal. “We look ridiculous in these get ups anyway. We just wore them for the cruise. We can change into our bathing suits for the beach party. Mary, stop scowling. You’ll get wrinkles, dear.”

“Well,” Lyn huffs, shoving Sharon aside to inspect her binoculars. “As long as these aren’t broken. If they were, sister, it wouldn’t be Mary’s hooter blowing out of the whale.”

“Good one, Lyn,” Mary jabs her in the ribs, earning her a scowl.

“All right, all right,” Sharon sniffs the sea-scented air. “This private island is a perfect place for the beach party. Let’s get things set up. Danielle and the guests are still sleeping and will be ready to party in an hour. Oh, here comes Oliver with the first of the coolers.”

Whistling a Jimmy Buffett tune, Oliver struts down the plank, carting a cooler in one hand. With his free arm, he pumps his biceps, casting a wicked wink. He is dressed like a cabana boy in his white t-shirt and conservative swim trunks. Getting busy, he digs a pit in the sand and fills it with stones. Within seconds, a sizzling fire is ready and he’s pitching on Jerk chicken, rice and beans. The curious flamingos march in a bit closer.
Sharon, Mary and Lyn set up hammocks, lounging chairs and umbrella tables.

More coolers have been presented, and the hostesses arrange plates of watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango and bananas. Sodas and water are on a chest of ice and a tropical punch sits with the cake, a black pineapple
upside down cake with coconut icing. Potato chips and pretzels and cashew nuts sit pretty on the tables.

A volleyball net and limbo contest await the guests. The hostesses sing, their off key singing echoing across the island.

“Limbo limbo how low can you go? Limbo limbo how low can you go?"

A monkey pitches a coconut and knocks Sharon out, just as she has changed into her lime green bikini.
He grins and claps as Mary and Lyn skid on the banana peel he’s pitched in their path. They fall atop the sand castles lining the beach that have taken an hour to build. Wet sand sticks to Mary’s white bikini and Lyn’s orange one. The monkey chitters, his huge teeth showing. The flamingos go wild and begin biting the girls with their sharp beaks.

But when Danielle makes her way down the plank, looking gorgeous in a striking red swimsuit and white lace cover up, everyone stops fighting. Oliver rushes over to escort her to her party. The monkeys clap and the flamingos gather to greet her. Welcome to your beach party, Danielle!
A huge parrot plants himself on Danielle’s shoulder and recites the blurb and excerpt to By Heart and Compass.

When Lacey Whitman buys a restored Victorian home, she never dreams discovering an antique diary will lead her back to sea and into the arms of the dive bum she’d rather forget. Her habit of living in the past comes to a screeching halt as diver Max Bertrand and the diary of his ancestor take Lacey on the quest of a lifetime: To discover and raise the privateer ship, Specter, and bring the treasure and legacy of a true hero home again. But will finding it cost her heart?


Sitting outside, one of the divers looked busy replacing the o-ring on a scuba tank.

"I'm looking for Max?"

The long haired employee didn't bother to stand, much less look up.


"I'm Lacey Whitman, and I'm looking for the Max that owns the museum."

"You call that worthless shack a museum?"

Dumbfounded, Lacey couldn't think of any reply.

"What do you want?"

"I'm looking for Max," she repeated, feeling a flash of impatience. "I have some
papers for him."

"Warrant, restraining order, or paternity test?"

After a pause in which she realized he was serious, she replied in frustration, "I have some research for the Bertrand family and someone at the museum told me to come down here."

Lacey caught herself biting her lip.

Finally, the man of absolutely no assistance put down the tank and stood up. Short

and compact, he had amazing turquoise eyes that glowed from a dark, tanned complexion.

Loose strands of sun-kissed brown hair blew about his face in the breeze.

"Max doesn't need anymore paperwork. He doesn't want to see your research, and he
is not giving dive lessons."

"I didn't ask for a dive lesson."

The diver sat back down again, crossing thick tattooed arms over himself. They stared
one another down until he won. It was cheating to look her over as if she was a sweet
little morsel, but it worked.

"I just want to talk to Max," she demanded.

He stared back with no expression. "You just did. Now get off my beach."

Lacey's cheeks were already flushed from getting the once over by this beach bum.

His insult made her red all over.

"I'll be sure to let them know at the Bertrand Museum," she threatened, as if it

She turned on her heel and stalked off but he called after her, "Lady, I am the Bertrand

Author Bio:

Danielle Thorne freelanced for online and print magazines from 1998 through 2001,

adding reviewing and editing to her resume. She is the author of THE PRIVATEER, a

1729 historical about British privateering in the Caribbean, and TURTLE SOUP, a sweet

contemporary romance set between Atlanta and St. Thomas. Her first Jane Austen-inspired

Regency, JOSETTE, has been contracted by Whimsical Publications for Winter 2010.

Her new shipwreck adventure, BY HEART AND COMPASS, is available now!

Other work has appeared with Espresso Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose

Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, Bookideas, The Mid-West

Review, and more. She won an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 2006 annual writing
competition and won the 2008 Awe-Struck Short Novel Contest.

Danielle currently writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She was the 2009-2010 Co-Chair
for the New Voices Competition for young writers, is active with online author groups
such as Classic Romance Revival and EPIC, and moderates for The Sweetest Romance
Authors at the Coffee Time Romance boards. She lives with four sons and her husband,
who is an air traffic controller. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors, Marching
Band competition, and BSA Scouting.

You can visit Danielle Thorne at the following places:


Author blog:

By Heart and Compass is Available now!

Available from Desert Breeze Publishing:


To win a copy of Danielle’s book, please answer the following question as a comment:

How the heck do you get a flamingo to stop biting you?