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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Alison's Winner is:

KatsRus - SUE B!

Congratulations  Sue, I think you're in for a wonderful read.

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!"

Thanks to  Alison for being such a great 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 2nd September

when we'll be roasting  Beth Barany    at

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Alison Henderson's Ozark Mountain Barn Dance for 'A Man Like That'

    Today the hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast welcome the talented author, Alison Henderson. We are celebrating her book, A Man Like That, which takes place deep in the Ozark Mountains.

    Mary looks at Sharon and cannot help herself. “Goodness Sharon could you have picked a brighter pink color for your outfit?”

    Sharon looks down at her dress. A wide skirt twirls when she circles in her pink calico outfit.
    “And you look better in purple?” She chuckles.

    Well Lyn chimes in, “get a load of the bright orange the costume place sent to me!”

    All three girls hug and laugh together.
    “They did say bright colors for the barn dance. Wait till Oliver sees the Hillbilly overalls he’s supposed to wear tonite!” 
    They wail with laughter as Sharon tells them about the overalls  Oliver is supposed to wear. “I don’t know if he’ll put them on. You know how macho these detective/Butler types are. I asked him to. We’ll see if he does it.”

    Mary laughs when she can’t hold it any longer. “Look at the size of Lyn’s boots! Amazing.” She points to the mammoth pair of work boots that are the only thing big enough to fit Lyn’s feet. “I know,” Mary snickers, “your tiny feet.”

    Sharon nudges Mary. “That homespun dress looks like it’s gonna pop buttons.”

    Mary hurls back. “Well, it’s a given you are going to split that dress with your huge…” Mary stops and smiles.
    “We all look wonderful.” She pats her sisters on the back as they head out of the tent sent up near the big red barn where the dance is to take place.

    The girls pass tables of barbeque specials. Delicious pulled pork, crispy spare ribs, golden brown chicken and hamburgers are cooked to perfection.
      “Mmmm.” Lyn drools over still warm sweet potato pie. While Mary has to pull Sharon away from the steaming crocks of bread pudding smothered in hard sauce.  
    There’s a table of local fruits and jars of jelly. Pickled this and pickled that, lots of smokehouse meats and local foods, invite the guests.

     All three girls grab a mug of hard cider and Mary makes a face when she tastes it. “I hope they have regular cider here.” 
     “Come on girls!”  Alison sticks her head out of the big red barn door. “The dancing is about to start. Grab a partner!”

    “She looks great!” Mary’s mouth drops, “hey she’s wearing jeans and a shirt. Why are we in these old fashioned dresses”

    A deep chuckle and they face Oliver in his overalls. Only they look good on him. He beckons the girls in and they quickly join in as the square dance caller hollers out directions. The fiddlers run their bows back and forth with glee, while the banjo players pluck out what sounds something like Old Suzannah. The place is rocking! It’s like a Hillbilly Jamboree! They get all turned around and confused. They musta dosedood instead of dosedoed, because their following instructions, is reminiscent of a Three Stooges Movie. Lyn ends up knocking, Mary, into Sharon and about four other people.

    Sharon falls on her butt and bounces ten feet high. Mary rebounds off of her hooters back into Lyn, who falls out of her huge work boots. The boots go flying and take out two pair of dancers who hit the floor and slide out of the barn. Lyn lies on her back feet in the air.

    “This straw sure is slippery.” Mary laughs.

    “Is there any turkey in this straw?” Sharon hoots!

    “Could you give me back my shoes?” Lyn hollers?

    A break in the festivities gives the girls a chance to introduce Alison to all the guests. “And without further ado, we present, Alison Henderson, author, and expert square dancer! And she's about to tell us all about her latest release 'A Man Like That.'

     A Man Like That - Blurb

    Jessamine Randall, fearless crusader and champion of the downtrodden, is not a woman to be left waiting at the altar. When her fiancé disappears hours before the wedding, she hatches a plan to track him down and bring him back where he belongs.

    Morgan Bingham knows he’s no good. Never has been. Never will be. A former outlaw is no fit husband for the daughter of the town judge, despite her misguided notions. Besides, after ten long years away from home, it’s time to return to the hills and face his demons.

    Ill-prepared, but armed with unshakeable certainty, Jessy follows Morgan to his family’s cabin deep in the Ozark Mountains where she’s sucked into a whirlpool of deep secrets and old hatreds. While she fights to bring light and hope into their dark lives, her greatest challenge is Morgan himself. Can she ever convince him he’s worthy of love?


    Jessy took a step forward and slid her arms beneath his jacket and around his waist. “Now aren’t you going to kiss me?”

    He grabbed her wrists and threw her hands off him as if she harbored a dread disease.

    “Are you sure you don’t want to kiss me?” she persisted. “Aren’t you glad to see me?” Her seductive tone was pure torture.

    Morgan scowled and didn’t answer. He had no intention of answering the first question and wasn’t sure about the second. At the moment, it required every ounce of strength and resolve he had to keep from jerking her into his arms and taking everything she offered and more.

    He stared down at Jessy’s face in the flickering firelight. Her sparkling eyes beckoned him. Her moist lips parted in invitation. But the same fresh innocence that had always stopped him held him back again.

    He could take what he wanted; he knew it. There was no one around to stop him, and Jessy wouldn’t resist. She was crazy enough to think she loved him. It would be so easy to give in, so easy to forget the past and the future for a few sweet hours in her arms, to forget their differences and lose himself in the generosity of her love. But he couldn’t do it. To take her and leave her would be to steal something more precious than her virginity. He would be stealing the bright fire that formed the essence of her, the fire that had drawn him from the beginning. As much as he wanted her, he prayed for the strength to resist her.


    About the Author
       Alison grew up in Kansas City on the edge of the prairie.  One of her favorite memories is of the fringed turquoise cowgirl outfit she received for her fifth Christmas.  She went off to New York to study art history at Vassar College but never lost her admiration for the fortitude of the pioneers who settled the American West.  She began writing when her daughter entered pre-school and was quickly captivated by the creative process.

    Although she has traveled the world from Japan to Tunisia, Alison has never strayed far from her Midwestern roots.  She and her husband are empty-nesters living in Minnesota, and their daughter is a graduate student in Chicago.  She invites you to visit her website at www.alisonhenderson.com. 

    To win a copy of  Alison'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.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Sandra's Winner is:



    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!"

    Thanks to  for being such a great 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
    26th August
    when we'll be roasting   Alison Henderson at

      Friday, August 19, 2011

      When life serves you lemons - meet Sandra Sookoo at the Author Roast and Toast

      When life throws you lemons, make lemonade!

      Hello and welcome to the Author Roast and Toast! We are pleased and honored to have the amazing Sandra Sookoo in the house with us again to celebrate the release of her book

      And that’s just what we’re doing today, celebrating life with Sandra and her many fans. So, come on in and toss a few sour lemons our way.

      On a late summer day where life is beautiful all the time, lemon trees thrive beneath azure blue skies. The sun glints through a patch of aimlessly drifting puffy white clouds. A slight breeze rustles through the leaves, stirring the scent of freshly cut grass. A gushing waterfall splashes into a meandering creek.

      The charcoal pit is sizzling hot, spitting and spewing spears of flames. Oliver, donned in a white shirt, Pair of khaki trousers and chef’s hat, flips burgers, hot dogs and chicken into a barbecue frenzy. Smoke billows into the trees, a vapor of mouth-watering heaven.

      The hostesses set things up on the picnic tables: paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware, cups, an assortment of buns, mustard, catsup, onions and pickles.

      Sharon, looking hot to trot in pink shorts, white blouse that ties around the waist and high-heeled sandals, smiles to her sweet sisters as she sets out large bowls of potato salad and creamy cole slaw.

      Lyn, looking too sexy for her own good, in violet hot pants, stripey blouse and strappy beaded sandals, smiles back as she sets out a bubbling pot of baked beans floating in a bucket of molasses and brown sugar.

      Mary, the envy of all the girls, a dead ringer for Dolly Parton, is stylin’ in lime green hot pants, white tank top and sexy sandals. Smiling, she sets out a scalloped watermelon brimming with fresh fruit, grilled corn on the cob smothered in butter.

      Drinks are arranged, icy pitchers of lemonade, both spiked and virgin, raspberry ice tea and sweet tea. Nearby coolers are stacked with bottled mineral water, soda and beer. Baskets of potato chips and pretzels line every table, and the dessert table has fudge, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and a huge chocolate cake. Fresh picked lemons fill wooden barrels.

       Cuddles and Nibby, roll out a few lemons and play ball.

      “Well, sisters,” Sharon smiles. “Everything is on schedule, what’s say we take a stroll through the lemon grove on this bright mid-summer day.”

      “You got it, sister girlfriend,” Mary smiles sweetly. “Let’s tip toe through the lemons!”

      “Oh, my, yes,” Lyn smiles, looking around the lemon grove. “Life is beautiful all the time!”

      The hostesses skip through the lemon grove,  laughing and singing, leaping up to pick lemons. Nearing the road, they look down below when a loud blast punctuates the quiet. A crew of hottie construction men, bare-chested, tan and rippling with bulging biceps  are hard at work.

      Stunned speechless and wanting to get a closer look, the girls gawk, failing to see the sign.

      So busy gawking to get a closer look at the men, they keep walking, tossing lemons to get their attention. Too late, they all see the sign, go tumbling down the broken hillside, get all scraped up and break their heels.

      Just then, fire whistles shriek, the lemon grove is on fire where Oliver’s grill got out of control.  Thunder explodes with a mighty crash, turning sunny skies into rolling black clouds. Just then, Sandra streaks down the road in a gleaming white convertible, looking like a runway model, dark  hair billowing.

      Spotting her, the hottie construction workers whistle and hoot. Smiling, Sandra  screeches to a stop. “Hop in boys, thunder storm’s a comin’. Y’all don’t wanna get wet.”

      The hostesses three scream and yell to get Sandra’s attention, hurling lemons at her car. She doesn’t hear them, zooms down the road with a car load of hunks. Just then, the rain starts, a torrential hail storm, pummeling the girls as they slip, slide, and swear up a blue streak all the way back, bombarding each other with huge lemons as they scream,

      “When life tosses you lemons, make lemonade!”


      When life gives you lemons, use them for lemonade or let them sour your life.
      Clara Tildon, a cancer survivor, has no time for defeatism. She’s opened up the Cute as a Button B & B in Bridgewater, Indiana, and along with her guinea pig, is embracing the lemonade lifestyle. It was always how she wanted to live. Everything is perfect, except for the nagging sensation that she would still like to fall in love.

      Jake Yates has returned to Bridgewater, the town he grew up in, for his friend’s wedding and he’s not happy about it. He got out once and coming back, even for a visit, is not on his agenda. The people of Bridgewater can keep their small town life, it’s in his past and that’s where he intends it to stay. Even loneliness can’t make him reconsider his decisions.
      A chance meeting. A fleeting kiss.  Suddenly two polar opposites get a unique chance at love. But can Clara give up living in the moment long enough to see Jake as an opportunity she needs to plan for?  Can Jake alter his well-laid plans to fit Clara in his life?  Or will they both let love get away?

      Tim clapped him on the shoulder. "Your special girl is right around the corner, buddy. Probably just under your nose."

      "Maybe so." If only life were that easy. Jake wasn't given an opportunity to say anything else before Beth dragged her new groom toward the pulsating jumble of bodies just as the strains of the "Chicken Dance" started up.

      I gotta get out of here. Too much more of the flowers-and-swans scene and he might start pooping glittery hearts. He had a great job in Indianapolis at one of the more prestigious law firms, a nice apartment in the city and an expensive sedan that made other men salivate. He didn't need anymore from life.

      Making apologies, he shoved his way through the crowded community hall and pushed through the first EXIT he found.  Immediately, the cool air chilled his overheated skin, giving him a second wind. He raked his fingers through his hair; a cropped style his mother called downtown-serious, especially once he applied the high-priced gels and foams. And why shouldn't he look good? Just because he was born and bred in simpleton-ville didn't mean he had to cultivate the image for the rest of his life.

      Thank God his mom had moved away from Bridgewater after his dad died. Jake couldn't imagine having to do the "visit the fam" thing while he was here. He rubbed a hand along his jaw. Not that he could visit his dad--unless talking to a gravestone would replace that physical need. Just another reason to get out of town before the ghouls on memory lane intercepted him.

      He'd lost his dad here, witnessed the change of attitude of his mom here, been burned by gossips here and had his dreams squelched here in good ole Bridgewater. Well, he wouldn't be a sucker for punishment anymore.

      The beginnings of a headache invaded his brain, reminding him of the reason he was there in the first place. Time for a beer. Or a shot of really good vodka. Anything to dull the ache settling permanently around his heart. Maybe if he got roaring drunk, the pain would go away.

      He wove his way through the cars lining the street. His dress shoes slid on the wet surface of the pavement. He snorted. How perfect for the happy couple. A gentle rain had fallen, softening the night. Jake rolled his eyes at the reflected street lamps in the puddles. The sooner he got out of this town, the sooner he could get his mind back on normal things and conversations which didn't include head count, airline
      tickets, tux rentals... or love.

      Being the best man really sucked.

      Bleary-eyed, he peered down the street, mentally calculating how long it would take him to walk to the bed and breakfast before he barfed all over the pavement. Ten minutes, give or take. Tripping over his feet, he groaned. Maybe more alcohol was a bad idea.

      By the time Jake reached Main Street, his heels hurt from the uncomfortable dress shoes and he let loose a string of curses into the air. Damn rented shoes because he'd forgotten to bring his own. He knew he'd have to buy the tux when he slipped on the pavement and tore a hole in one knee. His head ached, his heart felt heavy
      and his stomach panged from emptiness since he hadn't eaten at the reception. That bed better be comfortable because he intended to sleep straight through the night. He'd gotten halfway across the street, dodging a slow-moving station wagon, when movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention. Turning sharply, he stood with his jaw hanging slack as a woman crawled along the road on her hands and knees, calling out the word "Hamlet."  The white sweep of headlights could just be seen at the far end of the street.

      "Uh, ma'am? I think you should get out of the road." He frowned when she continued to crawl, peeking around the wheel of a parked vehicle.

      "Excuse me?"

      Finally, the woman glanced up and the sheen of the nearest lamp gleamed off the most fiery, copper hair he'd ever seen. Sparkling moss green eyes smiled up at him. "If you don't mind, could you help me find Hamlet?"

      "What's a Hamlet?" The haze in his brain kept him from remembering his own name, let alone trying to figure out what she was talking about. Jake glanced in the direction of the headlights. They moved steadily closer at a fair clip, accompanied by the roar of a big diesel engine. "Uh..."

      The woman appeared not to notice or care about the danger. "Hamlet's my guinea pig. He escaped the house. I thought he might have headed this way."

      "Aw, crap." The bus bore down on them. Jake moved by instinct alone and threw his body into the street, snatching the woman into his arms, then rolled to the opposite side in mere seconds.

      Time to play hero to the damsel in distress.

      Publisher's buy link:  http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-196/Sandra-Sooko-Embracing-the/Detail.bok

      Author website:  http://www.sandrasookoo.com

      To win a copy of Sandra'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.