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, September 2, 2011

Beth Barany's dragon haunted castle celebration

Please welcome our new guest hostess Patsy to the roast, making her first appearance on the Roast, at Beth's party today. 

            Awestruck, Sharon, Lyn, Mary and Patsy gaze at the ancient castle! Starkly outlined against the flashes of lightning and the roar of thunder, it is an intimidating relic. Garrets and turrets replete with dark windows, amass with creepy gargoyles and multitudinous dragons line the upper portions. 

            “Are you sure this is the right place?” Sharon asks, a frown wreathing her usually cheerful visage.

            “I’m positive,” Lyn gasps as another bolt flashes across the skies.

            “And what’s with these costumes?” Mary adjusts the bustier-thingey beneath her overly buxom breasts. “Nobody said anything about a costume party when we accepted the invitation. Too weird. They’re all the same!”

            “We look like serving wenches.” Sharon smooths the full white skirt over her plump buttocks. 

             “Well, I didn’t come all the way from Idaho, for this…this nightmare.” Patsy cowers behind Sharon. Popeye arms clutching her pet hamster Hampy to her chest.
 “I don’t do scary!”

            “Well,” Sharon exhales. “We can’t stand out here all day.”  She reaches for the door knocker and gives it several loud raps. Like the voice of doom, the huge doors creak as they swing open. No one is there to greet them.

            “Maybe we’d better leave.” Mary’s voice quavers. “I don’t feel good about this.”

            “Come in,” a sepulchery voice commands.

Knees knocking, the foursome step forward. Nervous, Lyn trips on her big feet but fortunately Mary catches her arm. The sound of chains rattling and wind wind whistling through the rafters are the only sounds. 

“Is that a bat circling up there?” Lyn points to the lofty ceiling.

    Dragons are the main theme of the castle’s decorating scheme, from the chairs and tables to the handrail on the staircase. The swash of color startles the eye!

The thud of slow footfalls echo through the vast interior. But who could it be?

It’s Oliver! Clothed in his best butler outfit. He looks at them reprovingly.  They’re late – again!
            From the upper stories, Lady Beth drifts down the long winding staircase, her elegant period gown of red velvet swishes across the rock steps as she descends. 

            She smiles, extending her hand. “Ladies! So nice to see you. Grab a tray and let’s get going.”

       Oliver has outdone himself again!

Besides the main courses served on day old bread platters,

he’s baked an assortment of delicious looking fruitcakes, a 'cathedral' cake, berry pies of all description—marionberry, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry—compote, chocolate éclairs and to top it all off, a cake in the shape of a silly green dragon.

            “Oh yum,” Lyn inserts a finger in the frosting and starts licking. “This is scrumptious!”

            Patsy puts down Hampy and reaches for a tray, almost dropping it as the creature scurries away. Scampering after the recalcitrant rodent, Patsy whistles a shrill burst!

            “Nasty little creature,” Lyn comments. 

            They follow Lady Beth into a room filled with party goers seated on both sides of long wooden tables. The guests pound the table, yelling for food!

            “Just go ahead and put the trays on the tables,” Lady Beth says with an enigmatic grin.

            “We are serving wenches,” Lyn whispers. 

            Mary grabs a large tankard of mead from a nearby male. “You may be a serving wench,” she shrills. “But I’m partying!”

            Screams and yells resonate through the party!

            “It’s a rat!”

            “Grab the poker!”
            “Hand me my sword!”

            “No, no!” Patsy runs into the room. “It’s just Hampy—don’t hurt him!
            Lyn dashes to the rescue, trips and slides down the table as food flies in every direction.
            “Food fight!” someone yells.  And the fun is on!

   “I do so love a good party,” Lady Beth laughs. “And I knew you all would make it the best one ever!”

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can’t stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will misfit companions, seasickness, and an ego maniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?
Henrietta strode away from the tavern, fists clenched so hard they hurt. At two paces from the forest edge, the ground crunched in the black night behind her. Even with her ale-fogged brain, she sensed the presence of a man, smelled on him soot, leather and metal, and knew he was armed, but wore no armor.

She didn’t have time for this.

“What do you want?” Henrietta whirled to face the thrill seeker, her long sword drawn, her long red hair whipping across her chilled cheeks. Above her head, the bitter wind keened through the forest trees.

The man hovered five feet-lengths away from her, out of sword reach, his face shadowed by the light of the tavern behind him. “I heard your story back there.” His voice, thick with a foreign accent she couldn’t place, held no compliment. “I hear you’re looking for a new quest.”

“Who gave you that idea?”

“The Song of the Dragon Slayer.” The man’s tone was flat.

So he wasn’t a fan. She didn’t care. She cared that he didn’t move any closer. Empty hands at his sides, a sheathed long sword at his belt, he was broad shouldered and taller than her by half a head.
She re-sheathed her sword reluctantly. “So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s only a song.”

“A song about you. That is why you must come with me now.” He stepped toward her, his face still hidden by darkness.

“No, I must not go with you. Leave me be!” she said annoyed and angry. There was a thrill seeker in every town. Facing him, she stepped back to have room to swing her sword if necessary, her hand waiting on her sword pommel. “There’s plenty of others in that tavern to harass.”

She didn’t want to play “who’s the best warrior” just now. The drink had touched her head more than usual, without its usual lovely numbing affect. “Who are you anyway? No, I don’t want to know. Just leave me be.”

“I am a knight, doing his duty. Assessing.” He didn’t move any closer.

Like she needed to know that. Then she opened her big mouth.

“If you’re a knight, where’s your armor?” As soon as she heard herself, she knew that was a dumb question.

“I do not need armor for this.” He said the words as if she wasn’t worth a gnat on sheep’s berries. “You will come with me now,” he repeated.

He dared to order her?

“I will do no such thing. Weren’t you listening in there?” She gestured toward the tavern where she’d just told and re-enacted her tale. A thrill seeker who ordered her? What was this nonsense? “I did my quest. Now leave me to my peace.”

He didn’t budge his bulky frame. What was he waiting for? A royal invitation to depart?

Heaviness pressed against her chest like an anvil, preventing breath from fully entering her lungs.
She’d done her dragon slaying and military campaigns. Done. Finished. Fini.

“There is much coin and glory for the one who takes the Emerald Dragon’s Dracontias,” the stranger knight said, disdainfully.

How much coin? But that didn’t come out. “The what-ias?”

“Thought you knew everything there was to know about dragons.”

Politeness wasn’t this man’s strength.

“Yah, that’s me. A walking, talking dragon-spouting slayer, at your service.”

The man snorted. Very elegant.

Her stomach churned the ale. She knew what the Dracontias was, but didn’t want to be drawn in, though her coin purse was flat.

What was wrong with her?

“Listen, uh, Can we talk in the morning? I need to—.” Henrietta gestured to the woods. Her need wasn’t that urgent, yet. She just needed an excuse to make him go away.

“I’ll wait.”

Great. She had to make good on her words, so she did her best to stomp through the spindly underbrush, ready to move fast if she had to. She had taken no more than two steps when the man spoke again, his deep voice booming at her back.

“You can’t do it anymore, can you? Dragon Slayer.” He drew out the word “slayer” as if it were an insult.

Beth Barany, YA Fantasy Author
Henrietta The Dragon Slayer
 "The witty dialogue and good story line makes this book hard to put down. It's really fun to read. It's also very satisfying to read about a girl heroine fighting the good fight."
Kindle US edition: UK edition | At B&N Nook

About the Author
Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes to empower girls and women with her kick ass heroines who have to save the world against great odds. In her off hours, Beth enjoys cardio kickboxing, stick yoga, reading and watching movies with her husband, author and musician Ezra Barany.
Beth Barany can be contacted through
http://author.bethbarany.com/ or at http://beth@bethbarany.com./

To win a copy of Beth'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 Author Roast Celebration Beth. 'Henrietta The Dragon Slayer' sounds like a wonderful read.

  2. Beth - looking forward to visiting and the book sounds wonderful! I'm sweating a little from chasing the critter all over!

  3. Lyn waves to her new sister hostess and hugs her.

    Hi Patsy, hope you've managed to retrieve Hampy before he gets into any mor mischief, Cuddles and Nibby don't need any more encouragement!

    Sister Sharon should be along soon - though I hear sister Mary's gone on one of her long 'quests', hope she doesn't get attacked by any dragons!

  4. I bet my evil cat, Cha Cha can catch Hampy the hamster, but the poor thing would never survive the encounter. Cha Cha is a beast! So, just hand me a glass of mead so I can sit back and watch the food fight.
    Great excerpt, Beth.

  5. Hi Lilly

    Welcome to Beth's celebration!

    Yes you're just in time to join in the food fight. (Don't just watch, LOL) Here's your glass of mead to get you going!

  6. A warm welcome, Lady Beth. Love the excerpt and who doesn't love a dragon. Enjoy the party!

  7. Lyn rushes over to Sharon and they hug excitedly.

    Ooh isn't this going to be fun! I

  8. Hugs my sister, Lyn, goodness, couldn't you catch the critter in one of your barges!
    Hugs and welcome to the sisterhood, Patsy, oooh, not so hard of a squeeze, how much iron are y'all pumping, girl!

  9. Hi Lilly, yes a kitty in this big ol' castle might not be the worst idea. Grin

  10. Yes - I have to admit a
    I've never seen a lady with such big muscles. I thought it was just her puffy sleeves - but now I look closer! Goodness me Patsy dear, you must have been working out for ever!

  11. No doubt wherever sister Mary is, she'll be losing her hooters. Wink

  12. Ladies ladies, y'all look so lovely this evening. Captivated, he kisses Lady Beth's hand whilst holding her gaze. Allow me to pour you a glass of the bubbly, m'dear

  13. Welcome to the RnT, Patsy, my goodness, love, we could use you on the force. A beer, my dear?

  14. What a fun roast Beth! Your book sounds fun and exciting.

  15. Lyn my loveely, a mead and a chardonnay for Sharon. Lilly, love, what would you like, wink

  16. Calisa Rose, always a pleasure, have a glass of mead.

  17. Hi Calisa Rhose

    So glad you could join the madness - er I mean celebration!

  18. Hi Sharon, Hi Lyn, Hi Beth! No...I never pump iron, why? Where is that little critter now. Cats!!! Around my baby? I don't think so! Where's the mead!

  19. Patsy love, a nice mead, here we ggo

  20. You don't work out Patsy?

    Why did I think you di? Well, I guess it's because you look so muscu-I mean so fit, my dear!

  21. *giggle* there's a line of cats over there by the door - and they're holding up a notice - it says:

    "Never mind the dragons - beware of the hamster from Hell!"

  22. Ladies ladies, what's a castle party without seven enormous basins of mead, roll 'em in, Patsy my sweet petite. wink

  23. Ooh, is one of those for me, Oliver dear? And any chance of one of those lovely chocolate eclairs?

  24. "Hiccup" This is sho fun.. . .! More mead - and Oliver - here I come you sweet thing!

  25. My hair's on fire! My hair's on fire! Quick Oliver hose me down. All I saw was a red scaly dragon, but I say Lyn's behind the fire breathing dragon. Beth appears too nice to do such a thing. Sharon would never. Mary? Maybe, but this time, I say it's Lyn.

    Btw, Beth your novel sounds wonderful.

  26. Great party, ladies! And a hearty welcome to Patsy as the guest host! How awesome! Henrietta The Dragon Slayer sounds right up my alley. I love this kind of fantasy story -- as Patsy will tell you. Thanks for the invite and cheers to many more successful events!

  27. SOMEONE SAVE WITCHY WOMAN! I have a tankard of mead *splash* Hey, A.J., glad you could stop in!

  28. Hello Witchy -

    Now why on earth would you think I@d set a red fire breathing dragon on you? Im hurt. A purple dragon maybe - but a red one, never! LOL

  29. Hello A J

    Welcome to the party! We nearly had a witch on fire but luckily Patsy saved the day!

  30. WW hugs love, what's a witch without a little fire, have a mead or three

  31. Lyn my lovely, one giant eclair

  32. Hugs WW, oh your hair has such gorgeous highlights, nothing aa glass of mead won't fix, wink

  33. Lyn, so sweet of WW to think you started the wicked witch on fire, cackle cackle, I made Patsy do it as initiation. LOLOLOLOLO

  34. *Hic* Thank you for the eclair, Oliver sweet one *hic* Sharon dear sister-hostess, I don't think those are highlight's in Witchy's hair - it's still smouldering, I'll smother it with this tablecloth! Whey, where's the dragon slayer when you need one?

  35. *She bangs her tankard on the table*
    More mead! More mead!

    *Oliver strolls by*
    More m......! More Oliver!!! More Oliver!!

  36. Patsy! *Hic* you NAUGHTY girl (Grin)Although I think sweet Sharon's maybe not so sweet, LOL! Well I guess it's a good initiation for a new hostess to be able to direct dragon fire!

  37. What are sisters for, grin. I'll drink to that gurgle gurgle

  38. #1 P.L.Parker has had too much mead. LOL. It's Friday, Ms. Parker-leave some for the rest of us.

    Lyn, did I mention I confuse my colors? It was a purple dragon, it was!

    Luckily my hair is no longer flaming, but now it's dripping wet and Lilly's cat Cha Cha is licking the mead dripping down my leg. If Cha Cha starts running into the castle walls...you'll know why!

    Blowing kisses back at Oliver!

  39. I'm deeply hurt, Witchy :) My purple dragon is a love dragon - don't you see the love heart he's clutching? He'd never set anyone opn fire. We was framed!

  40. It's a mystery. Who framed Lyn's love dragon? Was it Hampy? No, no. Hampy's an angel. Let me drink on it. Oliver, please be a dear and bring me something aside from the mead. Now who would be jealous of my red highlights?

  41. Actually Witchy, I think everyone would be jealous of your beautiful red highlights!

    Now, Sharon and Patsy are far too nice to do something like that. Mary's on a quest, and our Guest Of Honour is nowhere to be seen - I think she's been kidnapped. So I reckon there's an univited guest in this castle who's up to no good. We need to find him (or her!)

  42. *Guest Host peeks out from under the table*

    I'm here! *She waves her mug*

    Just hiding from the flaming torches around here! *She says with bleary eyes*

  43. LOL Patsy, that's the trouble with a fairy tale castle when it starts to get dark - one has to light the torches! (Well I hope it's just the torches and not more flaming dragons! :) )

  44. Dragons witches and fire, oh my! We're all gonna die in the castle, one by one, just like Ten Little Indians.WW, where oh where is the master of suspense to solve this eerie mystery

  45. Patsy, protect your sisters with those quarterback arms of yours

  46. Lyn sweetie kick the killer into next week with one of your river boats

  47. WW my pretty little sultress, tell me your cocktail delight

  48. Patsy Lyn Sharon, my darling girls, no fear, plenty of mead. If only Hampy would stop swimming in it. What we have is one drunk hampster, look at him go on the cart wheel, who knew

  49. LOL, Oliver, you can always be relied upon to provide the mead. I don't know - drunken hamsters, and I see Cuddles and Nibbie asleep in the corner over there,I reckon they've been imbibing too!

    I was just going to suggest you tell your boss lady to 1-2-3- boomps-a-daisy the bad guy with her generous rump! :)

  50. Such a sweet way with words Lyn. Cuddles, do be a good little uni and make her shoes a few boats bigger, there's a lucky charm, good lad

  51. Aw don't encourage him, Sharon sweetie my shoes are quite big enough -PH - No - watch out folks, my tiny feet are gro-o-o-wing!

  52. OOOPS MY BAD! Sorry Lyn, I had no idea Oliver had his recorder running and now will bribe me to do who knows. Wink, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. LOL

  53. Hmm, yes, I keep forgetting about Oliver's 'other occupation'. (oops is that supposed to be a secret?)

    Anyway,dear sisters, what am I going to do now? My foot's wedged gone right through the door and it's still growing.

    Cuddles - Cuddles come here this instant and stop rolling around laughing with Hampy and Nibbie, you wicked little unicorn! Oliver - this is your fault. What you gonna do about my feet?

  54. Oh dear, everyone, I'm fashionably late to my own party! 56 comments already! I'd swoon if I were the swooning type; But in fact, I'm the fighting type, so I will clear the cobwebs of my mind and jump into the fray, commenting and um, eating cake. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

  55. Hello Beth

    We thought you'd been kidnapped by the evil red dragon!

    Well now Olver's convinced Cuddles to reduce my feet back to their normal teeny size, Let's go to the dining hall, don't know about you, I'm starving!

  56. Hywela Lyn, Glad you came by!

    PL. Parker: Thanks for visting! Get that critter!

    Lilly: Glad you liked the excerpt!

    Sharon: I love being Lady Beth, though Henrietta might object! LOL

    Oliver: A drink from you?! Anytime!

    Calisa: Enjoy the roast! This is the most fun I've had at a roast, ever!

    Oliver, I could use another drink over here! All this chatting has me parched!

  57. hello Witchy Woman, glad to see someone stirring the pot of trouble!

    I kinda thought I was on vacation today. But wait there's no vacation for Lady Beth! Drink up everyone! We have a plenty for all!

  58. Glad the dragon found you, Lady Beth, we, the hostesses, Sharon, Lyn, Mary and Patsy were in a panic, searching the castle for you. grin, Oliver, more drinks all around.

  59. What a great celebration and thanks for the invite!

  60. The comments are almost more fun than the post. Almost.
    Love the pics interspersed.

    Beth's book sounds like a fun read. Nice cover too.

    The Honey Mead is lovely,and I could do with a slice of that dragon cake.
    Not sure if I want to tottle on or stick around to watch more of the show. ;o}

    Aurora Lightbourne
    SciFi/Fantasy author

  61. Here I am again! Where's the gardroom or whatever it's called in the old castle. Dragons dragons and more dragons! Such a wonderful place. And just love the blurb and the book cover is terrific!

  62. Alright, you guys! I need another drink! Oliver!

    Sandra McLeod Humphrey: Thanks for coming!

    Aurora Lightbourne, SciFi/Fantasy author: Welcome to the castle! Enjoy the mead!

  63. I'm loving the roasts. HENRIETTA THE DRAGON SLAYER is in my sights.


  64. marybelle, Just don't shot while I'm standing here in my pretty Lady Beth gown!

  65. marybelle, Just don't shot while I'm standing here in my pretty Lady Beth gown!

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Those deleted posts are me a little unsteady on my feet, or blogger is the one not paying attention. {hiccup!}

  69. Sharon wakes up, looks around and laughs. Hampy Cuddles and Nibby play ball with a pair of Mary's extras. As they say 'when the cat's away.....'

  70. Well, it's morning already and we're all still in one piece (I think)

    The dragons seem to have retired to their weirs at least they're not flaming any more. Cuddles, Nibbie and Hampy are all curled up together, snoring gently, (like the hostesses.)

    Phew what a night! And we thought our Guest of Honour had been kidnapped. In fact it seems she just imbibed a little too much mead! LOL!

    Hello Sandra A Lightbourne and Marybelle, welcome to the party. If we're lucky Sharon might persuade Oliver to get us some breakfast!

  71. Speak of the devil! I mean hello sweet sister hostess, Sharon.Oh those three naughty critters, they were fast asleep a moment ago! Mary will be so peeved when she returns and finds her assets deflated! :)

  72. Do you think we should leave Patsy to sleep? She looks so sweet with her head resting on her arm -those muscles make a great pillow!

  73. Sharon Lyn and Patsy skip off to breakfast, singing Puff the Magic Dragon...
    Waves to Sandy Marybelle and Aurora.
    Lady Beth, a warm thank you, good luck with your book. A special note of appreciation to our guest hostess. Three cheers for Patsy!

  74. Thank you Patsy! And to everyone who played, drank, sang, slept over at the castle!

  75. Hip Hip Hurray
    Hip Hip Hurray
    Hip Hip Hurray

    Lyn hugs her sister hostesses Sharon and Patsy as the cheers resound.

    Yes, good luck with your book beth, it sounds amazing! Wishing you many sales.

  76. Beth's books sounds fascinating. I love a strong female lead and dragons.

  77. Hi Rebecca

    Thanks so much for stopping by the party!

  78. Hi Rebecca, Thanks for stopping by!


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.