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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Reflecting on life as I enjoy doing, holidays often take me back to my childhood. When I was a little girl growing up, my parents and those in their generation referred to Memorial Day as Decoration Day. Opposed to huge barbeques, the opening of swimming pools and blow-out patio summer sales, things associated with Memorial Day, we always took a ride to the cemetery to decorate the graves of loved ones.

I remember planting flowers and placing wreaths on the tombs of the dearly departed. To honor those who had served in the military, small flags on sticks billowed in the breeze over their headstones. There always seemed to be a dark cloud lurking in the sky that day, including a few raindrops and unseasonably cool temperatures. Somewhere over the decades, the last Monday in May turned into a holiday to welcome summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love barbeques and am partaking in one today with all the trimmings. While we no longer decorate the graves, our American flag billows in the breeze every day to salute our country.

Does anyone remember Decoration Day?

Friday, May 27, 2011

JianneCarlo's Viking Celebration for 'The Dragon Slayer'

The Viking Longship brings the hostesses down the Norweigion Fjord to the site of the release party celebration of Jianne Carlo for her new book, ‘Dragon Slayer’. The sound echo of the horn alerting the town that their well loved men  have returned. Long oars handled by brawny, well-muscled Viking men is a truly exciting sight to see. With the strength of dozens of men the ship nearly flies into the harbor of the town. Solid wood oars snap into their rowlocks and the ship coasts like the fine craft it is.

The girls show off their new duds to one another. Woollen tunics of the softest wool covered linen shifts and each hostess has a long braid hanging down her back nearly reaching her waist. Excerpt AJ whose hair would not stay in one braid and instead had to be put into two long fuzzy pony tails on either side of her head. Lyn loosened it because it was stretching the side of her face. Tami is very grateful for the relief. But her bristly hair stuck out all straight.

The clothes hide all of the other girls' faults pretty well. The long tunic hides Lyn’s feet. Roomy and wide, it covers Sharon’s bubble butt without even touching it. Mary is confident the apron hides her abundant assets.  Finally clothes they can be comfortable in.Soft leather boots cover warm woolen socks. This land can get cold at nite. And the stiff drawers they’ve donned are not a thrill.

“Will you stop yelling, ‘Kurt, Toni, come and get me’.” Lyn elbows Mary in the side and continues, “Trust me, neither Kurt Douglas, nor Toni Curtis, are going to show up her for you. Get real.” With a touch of sympathy she adds - and Mary beams - but honey, look at all those Viking Warriors surrounding us. And notice who looks at you.”

With four quick snaps the girls all gander at the Viking men as they emerge from below deck. “OOHHH.” The four of them echo in unison.

“We have our pick!!!” AJ chortles. Suddenly from her pocket she pulls a scarf of some kind and tames her wild mane of frizz with a tie at the back of her head.

All four hostesses look at each other and grin.
Sharon points at the dock. “Look there’s Jianne! Who are those hunks behind her and the head hunk?”

A lovely woman, Jianne Carlo,  dressed in an elegant tunic waves and smiles at the girls. Her long, wavy, dark brown, hair is barely tamed by her braid. Locks of curls frame her face and she is beaming with excitement. Next to her stands a tall stately man, he is striking, and he looks fearsome. But Jianne seems to have tamed him as he nods to her and raises her hand to his lips in an intimate gesture of love. 

“Wow! That is the most romantic thing I have ever seen.” Lyn sighs.

“Come on girls I hear that her hero has slain dragons before. He saved her from being taken by one.” AJ tells them excitedly. “It’s a match made in Viking Heaven.” Sharon exclaims and all four of them break into laughter.

When they reach Jianne she hugs them all and with a warm welcome escorts them to a huge tent set up near the wood dock. On the front of the tent in bold letters is written. “Viking Booksale by Jianne Carlo” At the entrance to the tent are two guards watching as people enter the festivites, aided and hindered by Cuddles, Nibbie and the aptly named Thor, in their little Viking helmets.

Oliver is behind a table dressed in  a Viking tunic and cloak and horned helm. Heavy leather boots are covered by fur leggings. He looks very handsome and Sharon grins to herself.

On the tables are mugs of mead, ale, and wine to drink. A serving wench carries sloshing mugs to waiting guests, while another serves bread and various sweetmeats. The cacophony of noise is proof that people are having fun as they eat all kinds of salmon, canap├ęs, smoked, baked, and grilled.

All kinds of fish fill the tables.  Jianne gestures to huge bowls of caviar and fresh toast points to put it on. A rowdy group breaks into song and the girls all start to chuckle.

Jianne stands and raises her stein of amber mead. She turns to the man who looks at her in adoration.

“To the Dragon Slayer!” The whole room breaks into agreement with genuine comments of well wishes as they each pick up a copy of Jianne’s latest book!

Today the girls would like you to answer one question, please.  Where do dragons live?



Ruard, the Viking warrior known as The Dragon Slayer, has no great hopes for the wife he’s to take as the lord of Dunsmuir Castle, so long as she’s a biddable wife, with all her teeth, who doesn’t drool—a plain, humble woman. He has no use for the flame-haired nymph with breasts as ripe as melons and whose supple hips beckon a man’s hands. Nor for a maiden with a stubborn chin and flashing eyes that speak of naught but trouble.
Catriona hopes for a husband ‘twill be easy to poison. Lord Ulfric holds her sister captive and demands Catriona do his bidding: poison his Viking rival, the man they call the Dragon Slayer. Catriona hopes for a cruel warrior, a man easy to hate, not this Thor god come to life with golden hair, sky blue eyes, and a laughing smile. Her sister’s life depends on it, but how can she slay this Ruard, her new husband, who makes her heart pound with joy?

Dunsmuir Castle, Scottish and Northumbria Border A.D. 1029

A muck-caked lad no higher than a holly shrub dumped a tray bearing two trenchers covered by a mass of gooey grayish matter on the table. Ruard shuddered as the odor of the food attacked his nostrils.

“I vow if she’s as rancid as this food I will not consummate the marriage this eve.” Ruard’s lips thinned.

“Assign more men to work on the bathhouses, for I would have them completed on the morrow.”

“And will you force your people to the soap?”

“Aye.” He recalled the lavender scented women at Cnut’s court. The fresh meadow fragrance of Norse women. The spicy aroma of harem women. He’d sniffed naught but rankness at Castle Dunsmuir.
The doors to the hall banged open, and the resounding crack dulled the clamor in the chamber. “Your bride arrives.”

“Am I to rejoice she has deigned to arrive?” Ruard gritted his teeth, but the anger he’d suppressed surged, his hands fisted, and every neck tendon strained. He had battled long and hard for Dunsmuir Castle and the two score farms and villages adjoining the fortress. By Odin, his bride and people would know their place before winter set in.

The few meager oil lamps on either side of the castle’s entrance did little to lift the shadows darkening the smoke-filled hall. A fierce icy gust sent the rushes concealing the filth of the uneven stone floors into a flurry, a mangy dog snuffling a peasant’s footsteps lifted his jaw and howled, and a crackle of white split the midnight sky. The storm brewing since dusk ruptured as thunder boomed.

All eyes turned to the new arrivals.

Ruard trained his gaze on the party, searching for a glimpse of the woman he would take to wife. His mouth dropped open when he glimpsed the lone female in the center of a group of armed warriors.

“Never have I seen a woman so dissimilar from her name.” Njal drained his goblet. “’Twere me naming her, she would be Catriona the Siren not Catriona the Pure.”

Ruard barely registered Njal’s words. He had hoped for a biddable wife who had all her teeth, did not drool, and performed her wifely duties without complaint. A plain, humble woman.

He had no use for a luscious goddess who drew every man’s attention. For every male in the hall, every serving boy, every wizened elder, every warrior gaped at the beauty as she glided across the hall.
Ruard had no use for a flame-haired nymph with breasts as ripe as melons and ruby lips begging for kisses. Nor for a wench whose supple hips beckoned a man’s hands. Nor for a maiden with a stubborn chin tilted just so in rebellion. Nor for a woman whose flashing eyes and narrowed gaze spoke of naught but trouble.

Price: $3.99
Genre: Historical Viking

Buy Links: http://etopia-press.net/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=27


Web site: www.jiannecarlo.com

To win a copy of Jianne'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.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cynthia's winner is:

Sue B
Congratulations Sue your download 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 everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.  We really appreciate all the great comments.

Join us again next Friday on 27th May

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Cynthia Vespia's Birthday Celebration Roast

    Somewhere between heaven and hell is what’s left of the Garden of Eden. Once regaled by mankind as the cradle of man’s existence, the hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast welcome author Cynthia Vespia.

    Original Cyn is the inspiration for our trip. We need to find the soul of the woman who was the first women in Eden. She’s elusive for sure. But we are gonna find the Source of Original Sin for Cynthia. Say that five times fast. 

    Lyn, Sharon, Mary and AJ are on the case. Lyn why did you pick these when I gave you a wonderful pair of mucklucks to wear” Just like we have.
    Mary points to the warm furry footwear she has chosen for everyone to wear and then to Lyn’s feet.

    Her huge hoofs are shoved into pointy cowboy boots.
    “Well as long as you are dressing us like Indians, I thought I’d wear cowboy boots, you know just to kinda add to the flavor of things.”

    Mary, AJ andSharon, roar with laughter. The girls are all dressed in deerskin dresses. AJ fluffs her afro head up even more and smiles in glee. “No one had hair salons in the Garden of Eden so my hair fits right in.”

    “Yeah, your hair fits in, it fits in a huge hairnet.” Lyn chuckles. Mary, not wearing a  bra under her deerskin dress is having a time keeping her boobs from bouncing as they hurry along to the encampment where the party is to be held. Sharon’s dress flaps over he bubble butt too as it bounces in time to her footsteps.

    “We’re almost there I see the clearing ahead, and look there’s Oliver. Lords, he’s got a huge tub of apples, must be for the bobbing contest? And look it’s full of water, he’s so strong,” AJ sighs. “I want a man like that.”

    “Don’t we all girls, but Oliver’s heart will always be with Sharon, no matter how many stories she makes up about him.” Mary groans. “But he knows a lot of hot looking guys, take a look?”

    All four of them stop short as they approach camp. Banana leaves are covered in food. Fruits of all kinds are peeled and ready to be devoured.

    Huge bowls of fresh strawberries are ready to dip in sinful warm chocolate.  From the campfire smells of shrimp, lobster and clams are noticeable.

    Huge wrapped leaves hold vegetables that are cooking in the coals.  The only thing for desert appears to be chocolate.

    Chocolate cake, an Angelfood/Devil's food combination birthday cake, pie, cookies, a variety of chocolate covered apples (of course) and other yummy things to munch on, draw the girls closer.

    There are multi colored jello-shots to drink.

    Then they see Cynthia, she is dressed in a white deerskin and looks just lovely.

    They reluctantly pass the tables of food and a laughing Oliver to rush over to greet Cynthia.

    “We have to find the Source,” Cynthia tells them. “If not the balance between heaven and hell will be affected. Apparently she is trying to shove the blame of Original Sin onto someone else. And no one is prepared to handle the centuries of blame like she can. Heck at least she got Adam out of the deal.”

    Cynthia’s bold laughter is contagious and the girls are all soon laughing and making plans.
    “Is it time? Shall I do it?” Sharon finally stands from the bamboo chairs that Oliver made for everyone and asks. All three of the other hostesses chime in with a definite yes!
    Sharon turns to the gathering of guest invited to share in the search. “Let’s get started everyone and please welcome warmly our guest Cynthia Vespia as she helps us with the clues to the search.  Belated Happy Birthday, Cynthia.

    Whoever find the Source and can tell us where, will win Cynthia’s prize, a PDF of Cynthia’s Best in Series Nomination, ‘Demon Hunter’ Let the search begin!!!”
    Mary, Lyn, AJ and Sharon fall over each other as they begin to look. Now where would the Source of Original Sin hide?

    BLURB:Life goes by in a blink
    One moment can change everything.

    For most, death is the eternal end.
    Bryan Caleb has unfinished business. Even as he struggles with his own mortality Bryan must find the compassion within himself to help guide Lisa Zane, an emotionally and spiritually drained young girl, through her troubled life to find her purpose. For it is only with Lisa's help that Bryan can rescue his very own son from the life of crime he has fallen into before Kriticos Caleb's fate mirrors his father's...in death.


    The first sojourn from life to death was very much the epitome of birth. Brilliant flashes of light were aglow all around bathing snapshots of memory, minute but hardly trivial.

    When the ride stopped and the suspension of disbelief released him, Bryan was curious to find his own corpse stretched out at his feet. It lay on the grassy lawn in front of his office building, twenty feet from where he had initially been walking.

    The corpse, his corpse, stared up at him through one wide eye. Sightless now it still echoed the feeling of shock that he had felt the very moment the vehicle had struck him.

    Though he wanted to look away from the tragic scene utter terror and confusion gripped him still. Pedestrians and motorists surrounded the accident and sirens wailed in the distance.  He was oblivious to it all.

    All Bryan wanted to do was crawl back inside his body, stand up and say, "Hey, look at me, I'm fine. Not a scratch." Then there were strong impulses pulling him into the belief that this was just a nightmare. At any moment he was going to respond with a shudder and a cold sweat but he would wake, frantic at first, until he found himself in bed next to his lovely wife, Holly.

    He hadn't bothered to wake her that morning. She was radiantly aglow in her pregnancy as she slept. It was their very first child and they were overjoyed to be experiencing this miracle after only one year of marriage.
    Bryan had kissed her on the cheek and gone on his way to the law firm. His place of business was another joyful experience to be able to share with Holly. Bryan was the youngest of his class to seek and sustain a substantial position within a reputable law firm. Of course it helped that his father had owned and maintained the firm since Bryan had been a boy. But now it was his own, inheriting it when his father had passed away just two years after Bryan had graduated from law school.

    It was an unusually cloudy day in Stanford, but nevertheless Bryan was in an upbeat mood. Whistling as he crossed the street to his offices he had never even seen the drunk driver's vehicle coming. Perhaps he had not wanted to. As the saying goes he had been looking upon the world with rose-colored glasses up to that point. No harm could befall him, he was indestructible. Throughout life Bryan had truly felt blessed, now it was all gone. In an instant his entire life had been snuffed out. His promising future was no more. All that was left was another casualty in the war of drinking and driving. He was no longer Bryan Adam Caleb outstanding lawyer, loving husband, expectant father, and genuine nice guy. Now he was just another statistic.
    But Bryan didn't understand what was happening. If he was dead, why was he still on this Earth? What happened to the other side? So many unanswered questions tore through his mind.
    He refused to believe it.

    As paramedics encompassed the accident scene Bryan turned and ran. His mind was in frenzy and he just needed to get away, get some space to determine what in the world was going on. 
    His pace quickened to the point where he felt as though he had wings and could lift off.  Finally he came to a stop at the end of the block and to his surprise he was not at all fatigued.  His leg muscles did not ache and he was not breathing heavy. In fact, he was not breathing at all.

    Still in disbelief he went to check his pulse for some sign that he was still alive. His fingers passed straight through his arm. There was no solidity to his wrist at all. He tried two more times with nothing but the same result.

    Bryan looked around frantically for help. With his head on a swivel, something above him caught his eye. Lights gleamed up in the sky like as though a great crystal was wedged between two clouds precariously placed for the sun to shine off it. He stood awed looking at the magnificent colors waning in every direction. It brought him a smile and a sense of peace. After a moment he even thought he glimpsed his loving father's face high above beckoning him to come forward and join him.  

    Bryan began to imagine just how nice it would be to be at his father's side again and to see his mother again in perfect and simple bliss.

    The lights shone brighter and began to descend down towards him. Bryan stood stock still as they came closer and closer. The bright glare was such that he had to close his eyes but the pleasant images still remained. He felt his feet lift off the ground and he began to rise up with the jubilation.
    Many wondrous memories were encompassing him now. Simple joys he knew as a boy, more substantial and rich emotions of love and faith and virtue that he'd experienced as a man.  Those worlds of days long since past were uniting on a grand scale and lifting Bryan up higher and higher into ecstasy the likes of which he had never known before. But with this cataclysm of extraordinary peace came relevance and a fear.
    This illuminated structure of memories was a portal allowing him access to the other side.  It was the ever after, bounty and life everlasting would be soon to come. Bryan's time here on Earth had been full but was now over. But he wasn't ready to leave yet.

    "No," he stated. His voice was low at first as he still clung to the tranquility of the descending portal and the majesty of what it was. He tried hard to shake it off, feeling indifference of a strong nature. Something was wrong. He did not belong here, not now. There was too much left for him to do. He did not want to leave his unborn child fatherless. The Caleb Family Law Practice was on a steady rise; Bryan needed to leave his legacy before he left this Earth.

    As his will to stay grew stronger and stronger he shouted "No!" more defiantly than before and this time it broke him away from the suction of the light.


    Cynthia has always been driven towards the written word. Today Cynthia writes quality, character driven novels full of suspense as well as dark fantasy. With a plot pace to stir the adrenaline and keep the pages turning, Cynthia likes to refer to her novels as "Real life situations that you could find yourself in but hope to God you never do." In her spare time she enjoys reading, movies that involve a strong plot/characters, and keeping active through various forms of martial arts and as an active fitness competitor.
    Cynthia can be reached through her website at http://www.cynthiavespia.com/


    To win a PDFcopy of Cynthia'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, May 14, 2011

    FRIDAY 13th

    As you probably know, 'Blogger' was down for most of yesterday, which meant that we were unable to publish our usual Friday Roast, which should have featured BRENDA WHITESIDE and her Wild Rose Press Release 'Sleeping With the Lights On.'

    We can only apologise to our loyal followers and to Brenda for 'matters beyond our control' and have rescheduled her for 5th August.  Please make a note to come along and support her - we can promise she's chosen a wonderful theme and location!

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    And Maeve's winner is...


    Congratulations Amy!

    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 MAEVE GREYSON for being such a wonderful guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.  We really appreciate all the great comments.

    Join us again on 13th May
    when we'll be roasting Brenda Whiteside at: