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 29, 2011

Mona Risk's Russian Celebration Roast


"Oh what a day, what a day!" AJ skips around the party room waiting for the first of the party goers to arrive. Today they are hosting a celebration party for Mona Risk and her book 'Rx in Russian'.

AJ looks at the window sills, the tables, and the fireplace mantle. There are beautifully decorated Russian Easter eggs decorating them all. The eggs left over from last weekend's Easter party.

"These are great decorations," she proclaims as she grabs three of them and attempts to juggle while doing a Russian jig.

"Girl, what are you doing?" Lyn shouts from the entranceway.

AJ shrieks and drops her eggs. "Whoo, I guess it's a good thing these eggs are hard boiled."

Skipping over to Lyn AJ trips over her fur coat.


"Sorry Thor baby," she says as Mary walks through the front door nearly knocked over by Thor's flailing body bombarding her heaving bosom.  

"Good thing I have some cushion up here boy," Mary coos to the wriggling Thor. Thor jumps down mid coo and heads over to the cracked eggs.

"Wow AJ, I love your fluffy winter-like hat. Ushanka right?" Sharon compliments as she waddles toward the girls.

"I'm not wearing a hat! What are you talking about? I fixed my hair myself today," she pouts, "I wish my faux fur coat was more like yours though. Maybe I wouldn't have tripped over it."

"What do you mean sweetie," Sharon says sweetly, "there's nothing different about my coat. It's the same as yours." She reaches down and smooths her coat self consciously.

"Sharon," Lyn sooths as she tramples on the eggs and Thor's fuzzy tail. She had only taken two steps with her big feet. "Your coat is two feet longer in the front than it is in the back. Your bubble butt is holding the back up."

"Oh my, that is unexceptable! I'm taking this thing off right now."

Sharon struggles with the coat getting the back of it stuck on her buttock.

"Here honey," Lyn says, stepping in to help and stepping  on Thor's tail again.


Thor launches right into Mary's bosom knocking the loose left one off into the caviar bowl.

"Oh my not this again," Mary huffs. She runs over to fish her bosom out of the gooey mess. "A.J. let me use your hat to wipe this off," grabbing her hat.

"Ouch. That's my hair - not a hat. Doesn't anyone ever listen to me? Watch out, don't spill that salt. That's for the guests!!"

"What," the three other hostesses say in unison stopping mid-catasstrophy?

"Yeah, we thow salt on them and ply them with vodka. After that we give them breakfast. You know, bread and eggs."

The girls giggle.

"You're a little off darling," Lyn laughs.

"No I'm not! I've been researching for days."

Mary intervenes, giggling under her breath, "here's how it works:

1.) The guests arrive, we give them a loaf of bread and some salt. Traditional guest treatment.

2.) We point them over to Oliver and the wonderful food he has put out. Stews, veggies, of all types, pork, and cold soup made from kvass. He made potato pancakes, cabbage, pastries, and more.

3.)  We drink vodka with an orange caviar appetizer (no eggs for breakfast) and dance to traditional Belarusian guitar music.

Ah they're here to tune up now.

"Well don't I feel a little sheepish."

Lyn and Sharon makes a move to comment when A.J. interrupts.

"My hair does NOT look like a sheep."

In unison the hostesses chime, "We weren't going to say a thing."

At that moment Cuddles, Thor and Nibbie jump up and down in excitement as  a beautiful troika draws up and out steps Mona Risk herself, looking every inch like a Russian Snow Princess.  The hostesses rush to greet and hug her - hurray, now the party can begin!

 Blurb for Rx IN RUSSIAN:
Fyodor Vassilov is a Russian widower, surgeon and officer. Duty demands that Fyodor provide a mother to his four little boys and marry a woman who loves children and big family.
Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on a mission to improve medical conditions in Belarus. Jillian blames herself and her ex-husband for their son’s death, and has lost her illusions about men and marriage.
When they work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?

Resting his elbow on the table, he considered her for a moment. Interest and warmth flooded his eyes and made her blush. “Medicine didn’t suck up my life. I was an officer for years before going to medical school.”

“Really?” No wonder he exuded such an aura of power and self-confidence. Suddenly, she wanted to know more about him. “Did you wear a uniform? What was your rank?” Her heart fluttered as she pictured his wide shoulders draped in a military jacket and his aristocratic head topped with a cap. Dazed by the mesmerizing image she fabricated, she met his gaze and lingered on his sparkling blue eyes.
He, too, didn’t eat. His strong fingers enclosed hers. Electricity surged between their entwined hands.

“I wear my uniform when I report to the Academy once a month. And I have the title of colonel.”

“Wow. Colonel? Isn’t that something.” She’d never allowed herself to fantasize about a special man, but she was pretty sure heroes didn’t come better than this.
Tilting her head, she smiled at him.

His smile faded.

Slowly their faces moved closer and closer, and she inhaled his aftershave. His lips touched hers. She didn’t back away. His hand cradled her nape as he slanted his mouth and tasted hers. It was a sweet kiss, not too deep and not too demanding, a get-to-know-you-better kiss in a crowded place.
But a kiss that left her thirsty for more.

When he moved his mouth away, she inched forward and touched the tip of her tongue to his bottom lip, tracing its contour. He responded to the invitation and claimed her mouth again, molding their lips together and sucking on them until she couldn’t breathe. She pulled away this time.

“An officer and a doctor,” she murmured. Reveling in the amazing pleasure of their first kiss, she licked her lips to savor the taste of his mouth a bit longer. “No wonder you never married. Like me you were too busy with your studies and then your career.”
She knew now why she was so attracted to him, in spite of their different nationalities and backgrounds, in spite of her pledge never to let a man get under her skin. They seemed to be on the same wavelength, one of a kind in their way of thinking and acting.
Silence danced between them for long seconds.

She smiled. He frowned.

“You are wrong, Jillian.” He pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows, giving her a speculative look. “I was married.”

“Was?” The blood drained from her face, and she jerked back. “And now?” No it can’t be. Not when he’d just kissed her. When she’d acknowledged her delight at comparing their similarities.

He sobered and let her go. His gaze drifted away, far away beyond the crowd. Maybe toward a face from his past. Her heart twisted with regret.

Mona Risk
Rx IN RUSSIANavailable at TWRP  
BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, 2009 BEST ROMANCE NOVEL at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 

To win a copy of Mona's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends tomorrow and everyone who comments is elligible.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Comments, Graphics for Facebook, MySpace

We're taking a break over Easter but will be back next Friday when we'll be roasting and toasting 
Mona Risk
Please join us then!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Maryann's winner is:


Congratulations Patsy, your prize is on its way.

Sharon, Mary AJ 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!"

Thanks to Mariann Miller for being such a fantastic guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.  We really appreciate all the great comments.

We're taking a break over Easter.
Join us again on 29th April
when we'll be roasting Mona Risk at:

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Maryann Miller's Magical Mystery Celebratory Roast

    What could be more idyllic or tranquil than a quiet English Country pub for a Celebration Roast?

    The hostesses have hired the Function Room at the 'The Quill and Ink' to hold a party for Maryann Miller, to celebrate her suspense novel 'Open Season.' The pub is often frequented by authors who meet to chat and mull over ideas, so they're looking forward to some good company.

    "I can't believe it!" Sharon exclaims, "A murder, right here, last night!"

    "I know," Lyn glances at the other three hostesses, "An IRS Inspector no less!   It's lucky Maryann knows so much about crime investigation, I bet she'll have some ideas as to who the murderer is.  And I gather the Police have asked her to bring Sarah and Angel with her too, to help them solve the crime."

    "What?  Angel and Sarah from 'Open Season?'

    "Yes, " AJ says, trying to flatten her birdsnest hair as she arranges little glasses with flowers in them on each table."It's just as well none of us have anything to hide."

    "Well, you could hide a lot in that hair, sweetie, although it's impossible for Sharon to hide her bubble butt, and Lyn's feet stick out a mile!" Mary quips, arranging glass holders with small candles by the place settings. Sharon and AJ glare at her, and Lyn accidentally-on-purpose steps on her foot with her huge clodhoppers.

    "Owww!" Mary yelps, dancing around on one foot and clutching her fake hooters which threaten to bounce out onto the floor. "Owww, Owoooh!"

    "I wonder 'who dun it'' AJ murmurs, ignoring Mary's yelps.  It could be anyone really." She looks around.  "Mary could have smothered him with one of her hooters, Lyn could have clobbered him with one of her big shoes -"

    "Hey!" Mary retorts indignantly, "I've better things to do than go around smothering people.  Besides, didn't the Police say he was hit on the back of the head by a blunt instrument? My hooters are anything but  blunt, I'll have you know."

    "And don't look at me," Lyn says, "I can't even kill a fly!"

    "I don't know about that," Sharon says thoughtfully.  "Didn't you have a run-in with the IRS recently about ITI Numbers. for Brit authors, and the fact you won't get any more Royalties if they don't let you have one? And didn't you swear murder under your breath?"

    "Before we start accusing each other,"AJ says soothingly, "Have you looked in the 'snug'?"  It's full of some very interesting looking characters.  There's a woman who looks like Agatha Christie's  Miss Marple, a guy who could be the double of Sherlock Holmes, a tall thin gentleman with a monacle, who talks just like Lord Peter Wimsey, a pipe smoker with a French accent, who doubles for Maigret,  then there's a lady who I swear  could be Agatha Christie, someone else who I heard addressed as 'Mr Chandler--.' 

    "Woah" Sharon interrupts, let's not let our imaginations run away with us.  I'm sure those are just fellow writers getting into character.  Perhaps we should leave it to the experts to find the killer."

    They cast their eyes over the tables.  There is a variety of delicious pub food on the menu, toad in the hole, sheperds pie (no, not made with real shepherd, Mary, Sharon grins,) 
    bangers and mash, 

    Yorkshire Pudding,  chicken and chips (French fries),  Ploughman's Lunch. and for pudding,  Tapioca pudding with cherries and a huge strawberry shortcake with Maryann's cover on top.

    "Good, I see Oliver's remembered the Rob Roy for Sarah, and  we have plenty of Diet Coke for that lady dressed like Miss Marple, who keeps asking for one with a spritz of selzer."

    A call from the bar alerts them to the fact that Maryann has just walked in.  The hostesses rush out to greet her, she looks stunning, in a champagne colored shirt and black designer jeans. Perhaps she, and Angel and Sarah,  when they arrive will be able to solve the mystery of who killed the IRS Inspector.

    For your chance to win an arc of Maryann's book, just tell us who YOU think did the dirty deed?


    Sarah took a deep breath and faced Quinlin in the stuffy cubbyhole of an office. The room was hot and musty. Dust motes floated in the slivers of sunshine that had penetrated the haze of accumulated grime on the windows of the old building. The scent of his cologne hung heavily in the still air. Chaps. Rich, masculine, and too easily a distraction.

    Dressed in a dark, somber suit, Quinlin didn’t speak. He watched her with the careful scrutiny of a snake considering a field mouse. A trickle of perspiration ran down Sarah’s back and dampened her white T-shirt. Shifting in the wooden chair, she contemplated the wisdom of taking off her jacket, then decided against it. He would interpret it as a sign of weakness.

    She thought she was prepared for this. She’d rehearsed it a million times, remembering the images, nailing down the sequence, readying herself for his opener, “Detective Kingsly, tell me what happened that night.”

    She recalled the moon playing tag with a few heavy clouds, casting weird, disorientating shadows on the crumbling buildings. She remembered wishing the clouds would give way to rain, anything to relieve the oppressive heat that had pounded the city relentlessly for weeks. She remembered thinking the heat made people do crazy things.

    Maybe that’s why it had happened.

    The rest of it flashed through her mind like a sequence of freeze frames.

    Franco and the boy turn.

    A glint of metal in the moonlight.

    John pushes her away, reaching for the gun tucked in his waistband.

    The clasp on her purse sticks.

    A flash of gunfire.

    The sharp report of return fire.

    Struggling to get her gun.

    Franco is down.

    The kid swings his gun toward John.

    She fires the same time the kid does.

    The coppery smell of warm blood.



    Goddam it, John, get up!

    Why is everything so quiet?

    Where is the kid?

    There’s a big gaping hole in the cheap sequined evening bag.

    Every time Sarah played the scene in her mind, she hoped for a different ending. It never came. Her purse always had the hole in it. John was always dead. And so was the kid.

    “And you’re sure you had no choice?” Quinlin’s officious voice rankled with unspoken insinuations.
    Sarah suppressed a surge of anger as he walked behind her chair. The son of a bitch is not going to trip me up. No way.

    “Yes.” She didn’t trust herself with more words.

    “That’s pretty easy to say since everyone else who was there is dead.”

    The comment jolted her, and she clenched sweaty fists in her lap to keep herself in the chair. Don’t dignify that with a response.


         As a journalist and author, Maryann Miller amassed credits for feature articles and short fiction in numerous national and regional publications. The Rosen Publishing Group in New York published nine of her non-fiction books including the award-winning, Coping With Weapons and Violence in School and On Your Streets, which is in its third printing. Play It Again, Sam, a woman's novel and One Small Victory, a suspense novel, are electronic books available on Kindle, Nook, and other e-book reading devices. A young adult novel, Friends Forever, is her first book for BWL Publishing Partners. One Small Victory was originally published in hardback. A mystery, Open Season, is a new release in hardback from Five Star Cengage Gale. Miller has also written several screenplays and stage plays and is the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. 


    To win an arc of Maryann's book, all you have to do just answer the question above and leaveyour e-mail address.
      Contest ends tomorrow and everyone who comments is elligible..