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 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.


  1. Welcome to your celebration, Allison, you look marvelous. Love the excerpt, congratulations on your release. Enjoy the party!

  2. Hugs, sisters, Mary and Lyn, we need to ditch the dresses and lasso some jeans and cowboy boots. Yea

  3. Allison my pretty, have some cider and a burger. Enjoy your party, my sweet thing.

  4. Sharon, Lyn, Mary, my three lovelies, a mead, chardonnay and strawberry smoothie

  5. Thanks for throwing me such a lavish "do", ladies! And Oliver, don't let them give you a hard time about the overalls - you look marvelous, as always.

  6. Good morning - must be the country air that has you all up at at em' so early today. Congratulations on the release, Alison! Loved the blurb.
    Food looks terrific - kind of like an Idaho spread!
    Have a good one my friends!

  7. Welcome to your party, Alison, you look lovely in that shirt - congratulations on 'A Man Like That', loved the excerpt!

  8. Hugs sister hostesses Sharon and Mary and kisses to dear Oliver.
    Thank you so much for the mead, just off with Sharon to change into something more practical!

  9. Good morning Patsy

    You're so right, there's nothing quite like this mountain air! Lovely to see you, as always!

  10. What a fun blog and great story, Alison! Looking forward to hearing your JoaN at the September MFW meeting. I'm an odd duck and loved square dancing in school.

  11. This Hootnanny is aLIVE! I love the sound of this book Alison! Had a great time.


  12. Hi, Patsy! We are up early - it's a big day.

    Good morning, Lyn. I love the picture, too. I've never looked better!

    Thanks for stopping by, Jody. See you soon!

    Hi, Calisa! Thanks for the good wishes.

  13. Hi Jody and Calisa, so glad you could join the party - make yourselves comfortable and dig in to the refreshments!

  14. Alison, so glad you like your outfit, it really suits you!

    Now I'm going to check out the goodlooking hunks over there by the bar!

  15. Hi Alison!
    And thanks Mary, Lyn, Sharon and Oliver for hosting such an awesome barndance. I'm with Jody -- I loved and still love square dancing! Alison, I have this book and it's moving up the TBR list. You know how much I enjoyed your first book -- this one looks just as wonderful. You find the most fun sites to blog at--thanks for inviting us all to the party! Good, good luck with "A Man Like That" - and many more successes in the future!

  16. Hi Lizbeth

    Welcome to the Author Roast! So nice to see you, and thanks for bringing your little dog, what a cutie!

    I'm a Brit but I'm a wannabee westerner and love squaredancing too, although it's a while since I did any!

  17. Hi everyone! What a wonderful day, welcome Alison! I remember square dancing in high school. If I could only understand what the guy is saying!
    We do look great in our dresses, but yes Sharon, I'm for changing after a bit too. Remember we are the hostessesss.
    Whoops do se do who?

  18. Ah yes, this country air is so fresh. So is the guy who I was trying to square dance with. Now, I need to find another guy to dance with. All that bumping into my hooters can't be accidental!
    Love the excerpt Alison, you look marvelous!

  19. Hugs sister hostess Mary. Well No wonder that guy was fresh, d'you realise your buttons have popped down the front sweetie, LOL. Just as well we're going to change - Oh look, Sharon's already got her tight jeans on and is away with that guy over there. She does look good from behind doesn't she! *grin*.

  20. Yes, Let's change. Although the locals are all dressed in colorful things. Now that Sharon his in jeans the whole place can see that Kim Cardasian has nothing on our Sharon's butt!
    You might want to change outta those shoes. You could kill someone with those pointy weapons!
    Ah yes, group hug! Oliver I love you as a hic!

  21. Hi Liz! So glad you stopped by. There's always a wild party going on here.

    Ladies, you'd better watch out. Who knew square dancing was a contact sport!

  22. One with assets has to be careful these days.
    I'm having a problem understanding what the square dance caller is saying. Some of it sounds just impossible. Lyn watch out, there's a barefoot wonderfully handsome hillbilly pacing you. He has huge feet too! He says he can't find shoes to fit them. He really likes you...

  23. Well there's one thing about a guy with big feet. I can stand on them so I can actually reach him and avoid my own little tootsies getting stepped on! :)

  24. Lyn, Lyn, Lyn, should I deny my hooters and Sharon her butt? Sad, you should accept your feet, embrace the hugeness of them. You can stomp things!
    I heard Sharon got a splinter in her butt sitting on a wooden crate. Who is helping her???

  25. No splinter, Mary dear but look at those bumble bees on your hooters and the frogs in Lyn's boats. grin

  26. Hi Patsy, Calisa and Liz, eat drink and be merry

  27. Oh you didn't have a splinter Sharon? Then why are you letting all those guys touch your butt. Oh, they just wanna see if it's real.
    Bees!!!AAAAHHH. I'm allergic if I get bit I swell up like a beached wale! Mary runs from the bees, toward Sharon and Lyn who also begin to run from the bees! I hope they are bumble bees, so they bumble the whole job!


    Lyn grabs a wad of straw and lights it from the barbeque and quickly snuffs out the flames so the staw just smokes. Go on bees get out! She opens the barn door and drives the bees -all three of 'em - out with the smokey straw bundle.

  29. Lyn to the rescue! Thanks, now I know why we love you!

  30. You're very welcome Mary dear, Can't have anyone getting 'stung' 'Cough,, Cough', oh dear, perhaps I overdid the smoke! :)

  31. Smoke! SMOKE!!! Look the barn is on fire!! Quick, WATER~~~

  32. Oh my God the square dance caller is still calling out, even though smoke is filling the place. And they're still dancing!!!

  33. It's all right, Mary, it's just the straw I used to frighten off the bees. TGhewre's no fire - Don't - I said DON'T...

    Too late. Mary has already thrown a bucket of water in the direction of the smoke. Lyn stands there, dripping wet and Sharon and Mary disolve into hysterical laughter, and even Alison can't help giggling.

  34. Sneaking away from work to visit for a few minutes! Love this blog, like a favorite cup of coffee I have to have on Friday mornings!

  35. Lilly Gayle said...

    Ye-haw! this sounds like a great book. Is there any moonshine in that barn so we can celebrate. I'm kind of partial to homemade peach brandy. lol!

  36. Oh Lyn, I am so sorry, snicker,snicker, I wouldn't have thrown it, but I was trying to save you. I thought you were going to be burned. I saw flame. Well smoke and lots of it. Alison stop laughing. Here's a towel Lyn, you know where we keep the clothes. So you change again, so what. I'll help, woops...

  37. I feel a little bad since you were helping with the bees.
    Lyn, you're all wet!

  38. Hi Lilly,

    Brrr, excuse me while I dry myself off with this handy horse blanket!

    I'm sure OLiver has -er - contacts who can lay on some moonshine for you!

    Thanks for dropping by - although I have to stay you wandered into the wrong barn to start with|! LOL.

    Yes, 'A Man Like That' sounds like a great read, doesn't it! I like the sound of Alison's earlier book, 'Harvest Of Dreams', too!

  39. Mary...come here, you are in SO much trouble, girl!

    Hello again, Patsy, it's great to see you again, so glad you managed to get away for a bit, the Roast wouldn't be the same without you!

  40. Hi, Lilly! I think these three have already been into the moonshine. We'll have to check to see if there's any left.

  41. I'm sorry about the fire and the drenching, but I'm so glad you got rid of those bees, Lyn! As my husband says, I just can't be mature about bees.

  42. Well I'm all dried and changed now. That's my third outfit of the day - a nice blue check shirt and blue jeans, snazzy, huh?

    One doesn't want to be stung by a bee, but the poor little critters are having a hard time these days - and if there were no bees there'd be no flowers, no fruit, no veggies...

  43. Silly girls, all you need do is say the magic words 'buzz off'

  44. Alison, I gather 'Harvest Of Dreams' comes before 'A Man Like That', perhaps you'd like to tell us a bit about it?

  45. No need for a barn burner, waves to Patsy and Lily. Oliver, moonshine all around

  46. Actually, sweet sister Sharon, I did, but those darned bees just ignored me!

  47. Mary dear, those men are all touching my bubble butt because I promised them a double squeeze from you, and a free feel of Lyn's sweet petites. Sharon roars with laughter.

  48. Allison, another fine excerpt after the moonshine perhaps

  49. Ladies ladies, gather round the barn fire, home-mbrewed moonshine all around, peach brandy. Cheers my pretties

  50. Thank you Oliver dear, you are so *hic* sweet!

    Sharon sweet pet, have you perhaps indulged a little too much of the peach brandy already? Or maybe that moonshine is a tad too potent? Our poor Mary has enogh trouble trying to keep her *hi* 'enhancements' from bouncing away, and my petite little feet are oh, so ticklish!

    Lyn slips away giggling and hiccuping.

  51. Don't know how the heck my comment went to AR&T...weird. Or maybe it's the peach brandy. lol! Can I hide out here tonight in the barn. Irene is coming ashore in NC.

  52. Hi again Lilly,

    Not to worry, you found your way here in the end. Of course you can hide here, hope Irene stays away from where you and yours are though.Stay safe everyone, batten down those hatches!

  53. Mary peers around the bar door. Lyn is after me! I have no idea why cause this outfit is the best yet today. And your new boots, cowboy boots? Look hugely comfortable.
    Sharon, I told them I would let them squeeze my hooters, but they all are staying by your butt. It shakes like Kim C. only better. Jiggly!
    You didn't sit on a nest of bees by mistake some time did you. No, your natural X rayed asset eh?

  54. Nite everyone, the barn is quiet and there are sleeping people all around. What a great sleepover party!! See you in the morning. Move over Sharon, your butt is in the way. Makes a nice pillow. Yeah, go ahead. Only one at a time using me as a pillow!
    Can't sleep on those feet Lyn!
    Nite, snore snoz, snooze, snore...

  55. This looks like such a good book! Congrats on the release!

    The food pics look yummy! =o)

  56. It's been quite a while since I went to a Barn Dance. Got to love the Party dresses ladies.


  57. Ladies ladies, a delicious vcountry breakfast awaits. We have hotcakes and waffles, bacon and sausage, tater tots and hash browns, biscuits and gravy, sunny side up eggs from those clucking chickens that just laid them, strong coffee and tea. Darlins, come and get it whilst its hot. First heaping platter has Allison's name on it. Here we go, love.

  58. Sharon wakes up scowling, mumbling who could sleep with that annoying rooster's cock a doodling at this ungodly hour, not to mention those blasted chickens' clucking when Oliver was out there in the barn gathering eggs.
    Looks over at Mary and Lyn, snoring peacefully, mouths agape. Sharon chuckles, noticing Mary's missing hooters. No wonder the hens are in an uproar, sitting on those grade A large they're trying to hatch. Grin. OOPS one of them cracked it with Lyn's boots. The eagle has landed...

  59. Waves to Marybelle and Melissa, just in time for breakfast.
    Allison, thank you for being a delightful guest. Best of luck

  60. Lyn stretches and yawns and waves to Melissa and Marybelle.

    Good morning you two, nice to see you both, dig in to some breakfast!

    Thank you Oliver, you are such a sweetie, Sharon is so lucky to have you!

    Good morning sweet sister Sharon, are we letting Mary sleep in?

    Yes, I echo Sharon's words Alison, you've been a great guest and we wish you many, many sales with 'A Man like That'.

  61. ROFLMAO. Your dancing is killing me!!! Probably would happen to me too. LOL. Mmmm,mmmm look at that food! What a feast. Hi Alison that is a pretty book cover. Your books sounds wonderful. Even if I don't win I will adding to my reading. I live in WI so from the midwest myself.
    Sue B

  62. Hi Sue

    Come and sit over here and rest your feet while you have some breakfast. Gosh, have you been dancing all night? No wonder your feet are killing you!:)

    I agree about Alison's cover, it is so pretty isn't it!

  63. Well, ladies, are we all bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning after the big bash yesterday? Thank you so much for the party (even though I know Oliver did all the work). And thanks for the comments about the cover. I think it's pretty gorgeous, too - very Ozarky.

  64. Ozark sounds lovely - and it really is a gorgeous cover with those lovely Autumn colours. Who was your cover artist?

  65. Sharon steps on a banana peel and slides on her bubble butt right into Lyn, Mary jumps aside, having just got her hooters back, and not wanting to lost them again. Sharon that must be fun. It's like having a toboggan on your behind! Go girl go!

  66. Mary grabs Sharon before she slides into some burr bushes. Watch out Sharon, that would hurt.
    Sharon doesn't care and slides the other way.
    Lyn tries to slide on her feet, while Mary reneges and turns the hose on the ground. Lyn slides over the hill and Mary runs to get her back! Sharon chuckles and keeps sliding!

  67. Alison, join in the slip and slide, whilst I go find Lyn. Her feet make great slides! Have a fun day everyone!!! And what a great party Alison! Thanks for the hillbilly square dance! Loved it!

  68. Lyn, the artist for this cover was Rae Monet, and she did a lovely job. But I'll always have a big soft spot in my heart for Nicola Martinez who did the cover for my first book, Harvest of Dreams. I never get tired of looking at at.

  69. And the winner is (drumroll here) Katsrus!!! Thanks to everyone who helped make this party so much fun!

  70. Both your covers are beautiful, Alison, and they're both great cover artists too! I can quite understand how proud you must be of them.

  71. Congratulations CatsRus (Sue B)

    Alison, you've been such a fun guest of honour and we've loved having you and being part of your Ozark Mo9untain Barn Dance. Here's wising you even more success with yoru books in the future!


This is an interractive blog - please feel free to pop in and comment throughout the Roast as much as you like - and remember to leave your email address if you wish to be put in the draw to win this week's prize.