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, September 17, 2011



Congratulations Linda, I'm sure you'll enjoy reading 'Death Island'!

Sharon, Mary, Patsy 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 Joan for being a wonderful guest of honour, and for making it so much fun,  and to everyone who commented .. We really appreciate every comment!

Join us again on 23rd September
when KILLIAN MCRAE will be our guest of honour at:

Friday, September 16, 2011

On Death Island with Joan Afman

Hello and welcome to the AUTHOR ROAST AND TOAST! Join us today for a dose of primitive 'Reality' as we take you deep in the jungle  with JOAN AFMAN to celebrate her book DEATH ISLAND

The hostesses four file out of the jungle tent in silent fear to form the human totem pole. Cast away on an island off the coast of Africa, the jungle heat unbearable, the scorching sun relentless. The sisters wear as little as possible, loin cloths and bras, the heat is maddening.

ATLAS PARKER is the foundation of the totem pole, her massive arms stretched upward to protect the sisterhood. BIG FOOT LYN is next on the pole, huge boots shielding the pack from harm, ready to kick butt for her tribal sisters.MELON-BALLS RICKSEN is next, jolly hooters bouncing as easy targets for the game, willing to sacrifice a little skin for her soul sisters. BUBBLE BUTT DONOVAN is on top, her asset facing the tribes, HOT LIPS in silent prayer, as she wiggles and squirms, bracing for the pinches to save her island sisters.
Cuddles, Nibby and Hampy keep vigil, ready to fiercely protect their own, teeth beared, unicorn horn sharpened.
Despite the heat, Oliver, bound and determined to protect the family jewels from the primitive inmates, is wearing jeans and cool white cotton t-shirt as he grills before the stone pit.

Tribal delicacies consist of raw snake appetizers, barbequed monkey paws, roasted vulture, goat-brain stew. Assorted tropical fruits and root veggies, home made strong brew--wines, beers made from potatoes or beans line the table made from tree limbs.

Bongo drums pound to the wild beat of suspense. The inmates will be dropped off any minute on  the primitive tropical island, killers, psychopaths and perverts, all condemned felons, coy, cunning and extremely dangerous. The monkeys have gone ape, shrieking like banshees as they hurl coconuts from the trees in wild disarray. 
Cheetas and jaguars prowl for prey. Gators splash through the lagoon, poisonous snakes slither and slide in the grass and huge vultures circle above. The anticipation mounts, the air oppressed with decay, sweat and the pungent odor of over-ripe bananas.
          The sound of propellers horrify the hostesses. They gape upward in astonishment into the blinding sun, squinting and shielding their eyes. Screeching like wild warriors, the motley crew drop from the sky by parachute, cat calling and blowing kisses to the hostesses as they land, filthy rotten to the core, dirty and unshaven, ruthless and toothless, scraggly and smelly, cussing like sailors but ever-smiling. The insane inmates have been sentenced to play the game of survivor on

Shrill cat calls erupt as the glamorous JOAN AFFMAN, the island mascot, in charge of quizzing the inmates for this deadly game of which there is no escape. Dressed in violet loin cloth, bra and tribal head dress of white feathers and purple rocks, she begins the questioning, directed at each inmate. The gruesome motley crue will divide into two tribes to play against the sisterhood. With no further ado, Joan clears her throat and begins round one.

What would be the wildest, craziest thing you would do to get off this island?

What skills did you bring with you that would make you a worthy tribe member for your team?

Why do you feel you could outsmart the other inmates?

Would you revert to cannibalism if it meant your only means of survival?

What is your primary motivation for escape?

Let the fun begin!



      Wrongly convicted of the brutal murder of his wife, Danny Manning
is exiled to Death Island, the site of America’s favorite reality show.
Death Island is Hell disguised as Paradise, a place where no one gets
off alive unless the audience vote goes his way.
            Danny’s day to day survival depends on a brilliant and hilarious
Psychopath who knows the ropes. But his ultimate fate lies in the hands
Of a clergyman’s quirky wife, a smarmy TV host, and Death Island’s fickle
Home viewers.  If voted “off the island”, he will be free, innocent or not.
      Can he stay alive that long?  And will he ever discover the identity
Of the real murderer?
“Look, Man,” Martin said.  “Ever read ’Lord Of The Flies” when you were in high school?  Well, this is it for real. Survival of the fittest, so you’d better learn the rules of the game.”

            “Why are you bothering with us?” Tom asked. “Safety in numbers?”
            Danny noticed the faint upturn of Martin’s mouth, as he curbed a grin.  Looking at Tom’s fat, flabby body, he could understand that Tom wouldn’t be much help in a fight. Still he might possess other assets they could use.

            “You two look like regular dudes,” said Martin.  “I’ve watched you since you dropped, and I thought to myself, ’why are these two here?’  I decided to find out. I watched you, followed you, observed.  It gets lonely here, and a lot of the trash that’s dropped here I wouldn’t want to hang with  anyway.  Most of them don’t make it long. Javonne gets to them, or--”  he broke off, as if sure whether or not to continue.

            “Or what?” asked Danny, not at all sure he wanted to know.

            Martin ripped open another health bar.  “There are two main factions here,”  he began.  Tom listened, looking paler and more terrified with each word.  Danny absorbed his tale with a keen ear.  He stared at the mushroom camera, wondering bleakly if even now they were being observed and listened to.

            Martin went on describing the two groups.  “One bunch is a gang of loose in-fighters, no rules. When they manage to ferment enough rotten fruit to get a big drunk on, they get all gussied up, like, and pretend they’re a tribe of Indians, war paint and all, or a band of Vikings. They go a drunken rampage, looting, plundering and pillaging, and if there’s anything to rape, they will.”

            “oh my God!” gurgled Tom.  His hands went to his butt, protectively.

            “Sometimes they make a raid on the Villagers--”

            The Villagers?”  Danny was incredulous.
            “Yep,”  Martin went on.  “The other bunch has built an actual town, rough houses and all, and most of them are paired up like couples.  “They’re the ones that miss the ordinary, civilized life the most.  You might want to join them, if you can make the adjustment.”  He laughed.

            Tom made a strangled noise in his throat.

            Martin looked at him.  “They’re always looking for fresh meat,”  he said, grinning.    

    Tom turned about as pale as Danny thought he could turn without becoming a ghost.  The man was positively white with fear. 

            Martin unwrapped another peanut-butter bar and let them absorb what he had told them.  Danny saw Tom shudder with revulsion, as they both recalled what one of the guards had said to Tom on the plane.

            “I don’t want to end up somebody’s--uh, bitch,” choked Tom. He could hardly say the word.

            Martin shrugged.  “Easy enough.  Stay out of their way.”

            “Are they coming after us?” asked Tom suddenly.
            “Naw,” said Martin.  “They saw you drop, yeah, but they’re way out on the end of the Island, the Tribe in the cliffs on the west end, the Villagers on a mesa on the east. They’re a good fifty miles away.  By the time they got here, they know you’d have found a safe place.”

            “Well, that’s a relief,” Tom said.

            “But there are the lone rangers, I call ’em,” said Martin.  “The solitary guys who go it alone or band in groups of two or three.  They can be anywhere, and they will attack for the food and the clothes.”
            Danny grunted.  “Have to watch out for them then.”
            “And the snakes,”  Martin continued, “and there are jungle animals--apes, some kind of big cat--a cheetah or jaguar, I guess.”  He shrugged.  “And other stuff.  All you can say is, it beats the hell out of the gas chamber.”   

My mother, a former English teacher, said to me many time, in a
rather plaintive voice, "I think you could write!"

I used to say,
"I know I can write, Ma, I just don't have anything to say."
Also, I was head over heels in love with art--which my high school didn't offer--and was determined to pursue that.
I had a wonderful art career, as a retail artist, an art teacher, a college adjunct.  I painted the cover for :Death Island".
But--half a century later, maybe I do have something to say!  I don't know where my ideas come from--but they pretty much arrive full-blown in my mind, then I just try to put them into words.  My mother, again, was the inspiration for "Death Island".  I remember her saying "I think they should just take all these violent murderers and rapists, drop them on an island somewhere, and let them fend for themselves."  Thanks, Mom!  You made a book happen!
Life has been a convoluted journey, with many ups and downs, but now-- retired in Florida, writing and painting, I'm as happy as I've ever been.

I have four adult children, all healthy and wonderful, six incredible grandchildren,and a host of wonderful friends, both old and new. I've been richly blessed.

...Where the improbable is a daily affair!
Visit www.secondlifejoanie.blogspot.com
Author of "The Last Time We Were Here" available
through Wingsepress or Amazon.com
and "Death Island", available NOW
through CamelPress or Amazon

To win a copy of Joan'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, September 10, 2011

Janice's Winner is...

  Lilly Gayle!

Congratulations Lilly. If you'd like to send Janice  your email address she'll send you your Smashwords Coupon.Her email address is:


Sharon, Mary, Patsy 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 Janice for being a fantastic guest of honour, and such  a joy, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun. We really appreciate all the great comments.

Join us again on 16th September

when we'll be roasting  JOAN AFMAN at

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Janice Horton's Highland Gathering Celebration

    The girls at the Author Roast and Toast welcome Janice Horton, author of Bagpipes and Bullshot!

    "By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie raids, as the sun shines high on Lock Lomund!" Mary and Lyn sing at the top of their lungs as the four sister hostess trudge through fields of Heather and hills of geen in beautiful Scotland.

     "You girls are killing that song and neither one of you could sing to save your life!" Sharon laughs, and Mary sings all the louder. "Oh Danny boy the pipes the pipes are faaa-ling. From glen to glen and down the mountainside. Oh come on back when sunshine hits the meadow oooooo, and when the bees are changing back to green."

    "You three are slow as molasses. Do I need to carry you or what?" Patsy flexes her Popeye arms. "I could do it.
    "You'd be better off finding more material to cover the top  Mary is wearing and look, Lyn has taken off her shoes and she is crossing that stream, she is walking on water her feet are like flotation devices."
    Lyn gives Mary a frown and then lifts one eyebrow as she uses her toes to flick water at her laughing friends.

     "Gottcha," she giggles. Mary and Patsy duck so the water hits Sharon on her bubble butt. "Heck she don't even feel it with all that padding." Mary gasps her mouth open in shock.

    "If Oliver were here he'd be nauseous! The singing is that bad!" Sharon chuckles. "How far to this Highland Gathering any how?" 

    Mary stops singing and the animals peek out of their hiding places. 
    Nibby, Cuddles and Hampy are all wearing little Tam o'shanters.

    "Janice says it's over the hill, I feel over the hill. We've walked a lot of hills and I see nothing. No tents, no people, no food, no nothing. AAAAnnnnddd! She said to watch out for the bog! Bog! What the heck is that?"

     Lyn flecks a bit of thread off her tartan. All three are dresssed in different  red tartans. Each one for the bit of Scotland in each of them.  Patsy's white sleeves discreetly cover her muscled arms and Sharon's skirt is a graceful crinoline style to accommodate her curvaceous posterior.
    "I'm getting hot in this thing and it's sticking to my butt." Sharon complains. "Yeah, well I'm sweating too." Patsy wipes her face with the end of her tartan, muscular arms flexing. Lyn titters as she sees the wonderful castle where they will stay this weekend she grins. "Wow! What a place. Just look at the flags and stuff!"

    "Look there's Oliver!" Patsy yells excitedly. "Is he wearing anything under that outfit?" Patsy blurts out and looks at Sharon. "Just wondering."
    Mary, Lyn and Sharon, eye one another before smiling at Patsy's exuberence!

    "Ask him." Sharon smirks and walks down to the huddle of guests hovering over Oliver's food. Mary, Lyn and Patsy look at one another crack up laughing and run after Sharon.

    Haggis, smoked salmon, seafood from the Loch, clootie dumpling, meats, (including Scottish beef) shortbreads. etc., and a special Scottish cake fill the tables to overflowing.  Kippers, tatties and herring, Finnan haddie, Rollmops, Lamb, beef, Oatcakes, scones, cranachan, crumpets, even something called Festy cock.

    "Behave Mary. Don't say a thing." Sharon warns, "Ah here she is."

    Janice Horton, stunningly beautiful in  her own Scottish gown, flows up to them, looking  like something out of a Scottish fashion magazine.

    "When can we wear one of those." Patsy asks, eyes wide as she looks at Janice's dress.
    "Have some Bullshot girls." Janice offers each of the four hostesses "You'll love it, it's like a Scottish bloody Mary."
    "If I drink that even those guys will look good to me." Mary eyes the elder warriors in their tartens. Her eyes widen and she gasps as she grabs Patsy, Lyn and Sharon, and points to four young Scottish men, muscular and muscles bulging as they exercise with their clanging swords. 

    Oliver stands sexy as ever in his kilt. "They are all dressed in kilts and Oliver knows all of them." Lyn exclaims. 

    "Look, I can see the hill we were supposed to walk over. You took us in circles Lyn!" Sharon tries to get to Lyn and Mary holds her back. "Sharon, I'm shocked, you're acting like me!"
    Sharon finally sees the hunks Mary is talking about and smiles, "Welcome everyone to our Highland Fling! Drink, eat, dance and let the bagpipes begin!"
    The sound of bagpipes fills the air and the girls run to watch the warriors dance. Each one stepping faster and faster as his foot crosses over the swords.

    Bagpipes and Bullshot what a story!
    Who knows the words to Lochlomund or Danny Boy? Come sing along with us! And feel the Highlands that harbor a misty glen and a handsome Scottish hero. Is that sheep I see? 

    Janice is deep in conversation - look she's giving him her recipe for Bullshot!

    Bullshot is a drink very much like a Bloody Mary. If you prefer, you can use vodka, but the traditional Scottish version and the one favoured by the characters in my novel, Bagpipes & Bullshot, has whisky in it. However, if you are planning a trip across the grouse moors later or doing a bit of stalking on the hill, you’ll certainly need your thermos and the extra ingredient of hot beef stock with your bullshot. Mmmmm….warming.  So take a whisky tumbler and put in it a bit of ice and a slice of lime. Then add a good measure of finest Scotch whisky. Fill to the top with tomato juice; add a good dashing of both Tabasco pepper sauce and Worcester sauce and half a teaspoon of grated horseradish. Stir and enjoy. Mmmmm…delicious!

    Before we all settle down for the food and fun, let's hear more about Janice's fantstic book, Bagpipes and Bullshot.

    Bagpipes & Bullshot twists an everyday love story with a whole cast of village eccentrics into an entertaining play on rural life. Humour and romance in a Scottish setting.

    An Exerpt from Bagpipes & Bullshot:

    Fergus took a walk over to Davina’s house with a picnic basket containing two hardboiled eggs, two pork pies, a jar of pickles and a bottle of sparkling pink wine. It was a celebration picnic. In his pocket, he also had a very special something he had received in the post that morning, which he hadn’t yet shown to anyone. He wanted Davina to see it first.

    The mist was clearing the turrets of McKenzie Castle as he approached the long driveway. He stopped to pick the last of the late summer flowers from the border. Pink orchids, which he decided were the exact colour of Davina’s smooth skin. Tiny sprigs of speedwell in the exact shade of her beautiful eyes. He wound them together into a posy with a strong stem of grass and popped them inside the picnic basket. He’d read in one of his mother’s magazines that girls loved men who brought them food and flowers.

    He found her grooming a magnificent horse at the back of the house where the stable block was as beautiful as she was. She was wearing slim-fitting black jodhpurs and a pale-lemon sweater. Her hair was neatly pulled back into a short pony tail and she looked, to all intents and purposes, like a bright ray of sunshine in an otherwise grey sky. ‘Hello Davina,’ he said.

    She looked at him with a raised brow and then, lowering her eyes, she spotted the picnic basket. ‘Hello. How are things, Fergus?’

    ‘Things are fine,’ he replied.

    This was progress. She had asked about him before mentioning Innes.

    ‘How’s Innes?’

    ‘Innes is – busy.’

    ‘I know he’s busy. What’s he busy with. Has he got his cows yet?’

    ‘No. Not yet. He’s busy with this and that.’

    The speedwell-blue eyes narrowed. ‘Really. Just one cow then?’

    Fergus’s eyes widened.

    Davina dropped the grooming brush. ‘I mean cowgirl of course a mere slip of the tongue.’

    ‘It’s a lovely day for a picnic,’ Fergus enthused, waggling the basket in a way he hoped might be tempting. ‘What do you say?’

    ‘What an absolutely lovely idea. I’m famished.’

    Fergus was thrilled.

    ‘I’ll saddle up Misty for you and we’ll ride up over the hill.’

    Fergus hesitated. He hated horses. Horses hated him. He had learned to ride on a wooden rocking horse and had been shocked to find out that real ones had hidden agendas. ‘Why don’t we just walk?’ he suggested nervously. ‘It’s a lovely day for a walk.’

    ‘Because if we ride we won’t have to carry the picnic basket ourselves and we can go further over the hill where no one can disturb us.’ Davina explained, almost playfully.

    Suddenly wild horses couldn’t have stopped him. ‘Great, let’s go!’

    They started up the hill at a slow pace for which Fergus was grateful but, when his horse bounced into an uncomfortable trot, he heard himself yelling, ‘whoa there - we don’t want to pop the cork too soon!’

    ‘Oh, you do spoil me!’ Davina gushed. ‘I do love champagne.’

    Fergus then wondered, considering the occasion, if he should have chosen the Clicquot over the Cava.

    When they reached the brow of the hill, the land levelled off and the ground was covered with soft moss and lichen. Large rocks anchored clumps of heather in a purple haze and on the carcass of an old fallen tree, they tied up their horses and laid out an old Buchanan tartan rug. They sat together. Fergus polished off the eggs and the pies and Davina drank the fizz.

    ‘It’s eleven and a half percent,’ he told her immodestly.

    ‘It’s very tart,’ she replied, swallowing it quickly. ‘Perhaps you should recommend it to Innes’s cowgirl?’

    To Buy from Amazon UK
    To Buy from Amazon.Com
    To Buy from Smashwords.Com

    Bagpipes & Bullshot is also available on all other e-reader lists e.g. Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Barnes & Noble and others.

    When I'm not writing novels I write lifestyle articles. I have had work published in national magazines and regional newspapers and I have also been involved in BBC Scotland's ‘Write Here Write Now’ project. I am an active member of several writers forums and also a proud member of the Romantic Novelist's Association. At the interactive reader/writer website loveahappyending.com I'm a Featured Author and Associate Editor.

    I also love to Blog, Facebook and Tweet so why not 'like' my Facebook Page and pop over to my blog? The links are on the sidebar. My Facebook Page and Blog are updated regularly with lots of writerly chat, interesting links, and author interviews.

    Janice Horton’s Blog: http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com
    Janice Horton’s Website: www.janicehorton.co.uk
    Follow Janice on Twitter @JaniceHorton
    Author Facebook Page - please ‘like’ me at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Janice-Horton- Author/216849625022472


    To win a coupon for a free copy of Janice'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.