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 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.


  1. Welcome to your Roast, Joyce. Oliver is waiting to attend to your every wish. The food is served, the mead is plentiful and the minstrels are strumming. Let the celebrations begin!

  2. Hello Hywela, and thanks for not building that fire too hot. It's going to be a fun day!

  3. Good Day, Joyce, we're all set for a great time and to trying that delicious chicken recipe. I think Oliver had fun trying it out.

  4. I hope we have some handsome squires to help us finish the platter.

  5. Yes, and I hear there will be dancing after the banquet. I hope those handsome squires are careful with their feet!

  6. Hi Joyce, I am so glad to see you. And you look just lovely in your beautiful gown. And isn't Paris in the spring just fantastic?
    Did you hear how we were accosted? The king sent his men back to get them. You shoulda seen it! Pow, bam,
    and out they went. We three are a force. This place is so cool, and I never saw a tapestry before.
    It's gonna be a great day!

  7. Oh Lyn you and your feet. Really they were a great help today! I'm afraid I don't dance very well...
    But I will take that squire over there with the mustache. Oh wait that's just grime, I'll take the one to his right.

  8. Lyn hugs her sister hostess.

    Hello Mary, those tapestries are something aren;t they! And I agree Joyce looks gorgeous. Oh, you must try this chicken recipe she gave Oliver, it's absoltely delicious. Oh yes, thank you Oliver, I will have a little more mead!

  9. Don't you ladies look lovely. I couldn't resist coming to this party. I love Paris. Even if it does have highway robbers on it's gate pathways.

    Of course, Oliver. (Giggle) I love chicken and this bird smells yummy. Yes, I know, there are no martinis today. I'll have wine. Mead is not for me.

    Joyce, I love your cover and your story sounds great. I love your tagline, using Scarlet. Is this your first book? Do you have a website where we find you, after Mary and Lyn, Sharon set you on your way?

  10. Yes Mary, dear, you're right. My feet may be small and dainty, but they're fast and they certainly pack a punch. *Lyn laughs gleefully.*

  11. Hello Autumn. How lovely that you could join us.

    Oh dear, it seems we have been remiss. I'll send one of the servants to rectify the omission immediately, and put up Joyce's website (How many scrolls do you think we'll need?) LOL

  12. Hi Autumn: Thanks for stopping. I saw all the squires at the banquet looking your way. Why, they practically undressed you, right there in the Great Hall.
    Jeanne of Clairmonde isn't my first book, but it's won the biggest prize of them all, so far. First Place in published romance category at the Florida Writers Conference. Needless to say, I was thrilled. More about my books is at my website, www.joycemoorebooks.com . Thanks for stopping.

  13. Joyce check out that squire that is holding onto that dog on the left by the mead. Ain't he cute? How do I look, are my hooters covered enough.
    Don't want to shock them.
    Tee Hee, I am gonna take my time and find the most handsome man here. Got any suggestions?

  14. My Joyce, I don't know, but I could use another excerpt if you can.
    What an interesting time to live. But I like my shower and hot water, when the party is over, I am time traveling back to our time.

  15. Joyce, These men never saw a woman in jeans before. ANd with painted toenails. Glad I kept the sweater, Mary gave me. These halls can be so chilly in the spring.

    Mary, Your wares look like they're on a shelf, just the way they're supposed to be displayed. (((HUGS))

  16. Thank goodness, that cashmere sweater makes you look so hot!!!
    I love it.
    Have some wine and enjoy the cute squires. Joyce says the dancing will begin soon. The jesters and minstrels are ready and waiting for us to join them.

  17. You gals are a hoot. Oops. The squire across the table asked what that meant. I said laughable, joyous. He glanced the length of the table and said, "Are they all of royal birth?"

  18. Lyn gigles uncontrolably as she glances at Mary's chest.

    Joyce, I love your excerpt with Jeanne, what a fascinating heroine. Do you have an excerpt handy with that handsome squire?

  19. Lyn get those clodhoppers off my foot. Dainty? Are you wearing your glasses?
    I am gonna go over an give that handsome squire a kiss. Think it will work?

  20. Well I was born in Vermont, does that make me royal? Tell him we all are, hey, it's virtual, he may never find out.

  21. Mary: I sent brief excerpt in the squire's POV to your mricksen email. Hope it's what you wanted.

  22. Mary dear, of course I don't wear glasses, LOl they haven't been invented yet! (I don't think>)

    Hmm, do you think you're going to be able to get close enough to that handsome squire, to kiss him? those fake hooters might just get in the way! *Grin*

  23. He wouldn't be even looking my way without these babies. He's so cute. Why don't you post the excerpt here on your comments so everyone can read it?

  24. Nicholas' questioner unrolled a piece of vellum. So, the soldier could read, and was probably close to the prince. "We only want very simple information—where your regiment was going, where other battalions are stationed, what your King Philip plans in retaliation for the battle north of Paris, and when he plans to return there. You could save many French lives by telling us this."
    Did they make him out for a fool? Instead of saving lives, they would attack any French regiment they could find. And he had heard rumors of a plan to assassinate the king. Surely they knew he would not give information, even if he had it.
    "I know nothing of what you ask," he answered. "I'm but a simple squire."
    "Liar!" his questioner shouted. "You're one of the king's favorites, I've been told, even taking a wench along for your amusement."
    Fury pulsed through Nicholas’ chest, rising upward, coloring his face. "She is no harlot but merely a displaced charge from a convent. A simple girl who tends our animals," he added, thinking how his description would anger her.
    "Aye, then you'll not mind our questioning her. Mayhap she'll be easier to break than you."
    Nicholas swallowed, wondering what lie he could tell that would save Jeanne from their questioning. He hated to think of her slender wrists, her slim figure bound in chains to a wall while they questioned her. Or perhaps worse, for when they got a glimpse of those rounded hips, her taut breasts beneath the thin material of her tunic. . . he moaned, staring at the floor. "I'll tell you what I know."
    He searched his memory, trying to think of something, anything that might interest them, yet not endanger the king's army. In truth, he'd been gone so long he knew nothing other than what passed through the countryside, the latest speculation about where the English would attack next.
    "The king. . . he plans to travel with his family to Orleans shortly after Epiphany," he lied. "As I understand it, he's moving troops from Flanders to the south. I'm not sure where."
    The tall man nodded, evidently satisfied that Nicholas was telling the truth. Nicholas had almost convinced himself.
    For no apparent reason, he suddenly pictured Jeanne, eating the cheese, denying, wide-eyed, she had taken the grain from the wagon for her goats. He suppressed a smile. His questioner watched him for any sign of deceit.
    "What else?" the Englishman asked. "Where will he station these troops?"
    "I've been gone for months. I only know what little information couriers tell me."
    Again the questioner whispered something to the men at the table and they nodded in agreement. "Take this man to his cell. Let him remember more, for the prince returns in a few days. Perhaps by then he'll recall enough to avoid the rack."
    So it had been for nothing, as he suspected. They were taking him back to the cell, would question him again when the Black Knight returned, and eventually kill him.
    But what of Jeanne? What would they do to her when she told them nothing, for indeed she knew nothing? The thought made his stomach churn as he limped back, pushed and prodded from both sides by the guards for whom taunting a prisoner was their only relief from the boredom of service in a foreign land.

  25. WOW! He's my kinda hero.
    Loved it Joyce!
    I'm gonna post the other later if that's okay.
    So who made that beautiful dress of yours?
    I had to alter mine to fit my hooters. Lyn's fit fine. Sharon she needed alterations to fit her butt.
    But she looks lovely and Mary gives her a big hug, and then Lyn, and then Joyce. And then this good looking guy next to Joyce. And he sure is a good hugger.

  26. Lovely meal and great company! You ladies look amazing! Your book sounds like a winner, Joyce. Sell a bunch of 'em.

  27. What a sumptuously beautiful setting. Everyone and all attending look lovely. What a spread. Joyce, what a beautiful book cover & title, love your setting. I'm ever on the lookout for a handsome squire...

  28. Watch out Mary,there are three hot guys trailing you!

  29. LOL! Hugs all round! I love hugs! Mary, you don't have to hug and kiss ALL the squires!

    Hi Mary M, so glad you joined the party.

    That was a great excerpt Joyce, can't wait to hear more about this book. I write futuristic, but I love historicals too!

  30. Hi Beth, lovely to see you. Seat yourself down and enjoy the feast. Oh-oh, there's a rather handsome hunk headed your way.

    Oliver, if you can stop drooling over Joyce for a moment, there's some mead needed over here!

  31. The excerpt was very enjoyable. I like your writing style! The adventures you ladies get up to!

  32. Hello Nightingale, yes Joyce's excerpts are wonderful, aren't they.
    Hope you can stay a while and enjoy the feast. Yes, there's never a dull moment! :)

  33. Hi Joyce and everyone,
    What a lovely feast you're having, with the exception of poor Mary, who is starving! Oliver, do scurry over and feed the poor lady before she faints! Thank you dear! Wish I could be there too.
    The answer to what did William the conqueror do, is conquer my darlings. Surely, he conguered!

  34. Hi Patrice!

    Good answer! I think some of these handsome squires are doing a little conquering themselves!

    You wish you were here? Your wish is granted. Anything is (virtually) possible at the Author Roast and Toast!

  35. Hi everyone, excuse me whilst I liplock this hottie.
    What a party, why am I so popular with these squires?

  36. Dinno Mary - it certaindly isn't your money - perhaps they just like a soft place to lay their heads! *grin*

  37. Hi Mary: Thanks for stopping by. We're practically neighbors, you know, plus we're both Geminis. A make-up artist? Gee, that sounds awesome. All best with your writing.

  38. Hi Beth: Glad you came to join us. This crew puts on quite a roast, with meals, drinks, and all. Lots of fun here today.

  39. Since the party is in full swing, I'll ask Oliver to pass the champagne.

  40. Oh, well it ain't that. It's my wonderful kissing ability.
    I guess I'll have some mead! Do they make it non alcoholic?
    What does it taste like.

  41. Linda: Loved your website, and your book cover is awesome. Thanks for stopping by and joining the gals as they roast and toast me. It's been a day of fun. Thanks for stopping by.

  42. Mary - it's made with honey so it's very sweet - but absolutely delicious. It does have a bit of a kick though, but hey, this is a banquet, let your hair down (No dear, I said let it down, not take it off1)

    *hic* some more mead if you please, Sir Oliver.

  43. You know they are extensions, my hair is too short for this time period,
    You shouldn't have worn that much makeup, they never wore it in this time. And you look like a lady of the nite! Pretty, but caked with the stuff.
    Take that!

  44. Hi Patrice: I see you're in West Palm--another Floridian. Do you belong to FWA?
    Do have a chair. Oliver will pour, and the serving boys will set another place. Thanks for stopping by my author roast day.

  45. Well! I just woke up from a nap and found out I was missing this great party! You guys are a hoot. I will definitely try the chicken recipe. If Oliver can do it, so can I.

  46. Oh, King Phillip. I have a bad feeling about him. You really can feel the tension mounting. Great excerpt!

    I do need to make my word count today, but you ladies really do know how to throw a party. I'll have a bite of chicken and cheese and a little more wine and then I must be off. My sweet husband will be arriving soon.

    Mary, Hands off of Oliver. I will tell Sharon.

  47. Hi Barbara, great to see you here.
    Grab a squire and have a great time. They are such gentlemen,(if you want them to be.
    What a great time we're having.
    Joyce's book is gonna sell like crazy!

  48. Break out the food and have some wine. Oliver will serve you whatever you want. Isn't his food fantastic. I hear the mead is good!

  49. 'Bye Auatumn, so glad you could join us.

    Hi Babara, lovely to see you. That chicken recipe is fantastic, isn't it.

    Mary, sweetie, you know I never wear make up. I think you may have had just a teensie weensie drop too much mead. (Jealousy is a terrible thing! :) )

  50. Yeah well, Hiccup, Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!
    Hic, hic.

  51. Have a great night Joyce and see you tomorrow!! We party all weekend. We are being escorted to our rooms. Boy I hope Lyn don't keep me awake with the awful snoring!
    Mary hugs her sister and sighs, missing Sharon. Both Mary and Lyn hug tightly and with Oliver leave for the evening.

  52. Hi Barbara M: Glad you stopped by! I looked at your website. I think I'm going to have to read Notorius Eliza and find out her secret. Glorious covers on your books.
    Glad you woke from your nap in time to come to dinner.

  53. I'm afraid we're going to have to pay Oliver overtime. How could we ever pay him if we spent all our money at the gaming tables?

  54. Dawn breaks and casts a pink, pearly haze over the castle. Oliver is busy tidying up the chaos in the great dining hall. All the guests have either retired to their rooms or made an early start on their journey home.

    Lyn yawns and stetches in the large four poster bed. A roar like thunder comes from the room next door and the mighty castle trembles a little. Lyn reaches for her trusty sword - what the--? Then she sinks back and relaxes. No we're not being attacked, it's merely sister hostess Mary, snoring. Lyn grins. She'll wake herself up in a minute, and then swear it was me snoring!

    She makes her way to the kitchens where Joyce is chatting to Oliver as he serves breakfast.

    "Good mornning Joyce, hello Oliver."

    (She whispers in Joyce's ear, "don't worry, Oliver won't be demanding payment, he loves the Roasts and would probably pay US to let him attend! :) He loves his boss Sharon even more though,and I think keeping busy is helping him not to miss her quite so much. I miss her terribly too, I hope it won't be too long before she's back with us, where she belongs.")

  55. Joyce - I really enjoyed your excerpts and they left me wanting more.Darn, looks like yet another one to be added to my ever growingt wish list! :)

  56. 'Morning Hywela: Glad your hangover wasn't too bad. That mead will get you every time.

  57. What is all that noise? Mary jumps up outta bed. She has really overslept, Ahhh, Lyn walking down the hall. And I do not snore!!
    You're the one with sleep apnea. (top that L TeeHee)
    Sharon will be home soon and she will really be upset that you used her makeup yesterday. I mean, I'll never tell her, but...
    Oh Oliver more of that honey stuff from yesterday you served, I do admire your devotion to her.


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