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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

zwani.com myspace graphic comments



Sharon, Mary, Patsy and Lyn

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We made this video just for you, hope you enjoy it! 

 See you next year.  Next Roast 6th January

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Friday, December 16, 2011

'Dancing With Dogs' - Eileen Granfors celebrates her latest book - Stairs of Sand - with a beach party of the canine kind

          “I love this place!” Lyn waves her hand around Imperial Beach Dog Park, Imperial Beach, California. “Look at all this. “I can’t believe this whole part of the beach is set aside for dogs!” Mary adjusts the top of her bright pink swimsuit stretched tight across her full bosom.

“Well, it’s only from 5 to 10 p.m. No dogs on the beach during regular hours. But tonight it’s dancing and surfing lessons for the canines. ” Lyn’s big feet stride down a sand dune, headed towards the activity, her bright flowered skirt fluttering in the sea breeze.

Five trucks enclose a huge area of the beach. Goodies for the hungry, prepared lovingly by Oliver!


One is set up strictly for desserts—cupcakes, carrot cake with raisins, and butterscotch pudding, another for Somali food, and still another for multicultural, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, relenos.

The fourth offers mixed tropical drinks and Hawaiian punch for the kiddies,

and lastly a truck strictly catering to the dogs with such treats as frosty paws ice cream and healthy dog biscuits.

Dogs in every shape and size, from mutts to pure breeds, wander through the enclosure, stopping to inspect and sniff the human bystanders.

Hampy and Cuddles squeak as they race for cover. Nibbie stands her ground, growling at the intruders on her new found territory.

“Oh my!” Sharon squeals, her bubble butt in the lime green boater pants jigging in excitement. “It’s Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers! My absolute fav!”
Mary heads to the bar truck. “I can’t wait to have a Margarita or a Rum punch! My mouth is watering. Oh, Look! Little umbrellas in the drinks!” Sharon eyes the trucks. “Why the Somali food?”

Lyn reaches for a cupcake. “Eileen told me that one of her friends, Chloris, loves that stuff.”
Patsy flexes her arms, the tank top a perfect foil for her muscular biceps.

“Yippee! There’s a video screen set up and the Three Stooges is playing! I am in Seventh Heaven!”
Eileen, looking absolutely terrific in a strapless sun dress, races over and hugs them all. “So glad you could come! Did you bring sweatshirts? The beach gets a little cool as it gets dark. But we’ll have a fire pit going later on.”
Mary beams over the top of a frosty Margarita! “I brought the beach chairs and blankets!”

Eileen claps her hands. “The dog surfing lessons are starting for those who are interested and everyone needs to pick a dog partner. Zoozle will demonstrate the Cha Cha and Tango with Phillip McKillop and Lordman and after that, Zoozle and Jacques, a Newfoundland Retriever, will judge the dancing contest. Join Eileen's blog as round one of the dog-owner dance competition: www.authoreileengranfors.blogspot.com or

The winner gets a copy of my novel, Stairs of Sand!”

    “Dancing dog partner?” Patsy’s brows arch in surprise. “We’re dancing with dogs?”

    “Yeah!” Lyn laughs. “That’s what this party is all about! What fun!”

 A Great Dane wanders up, pausing to give Mary’s face a juicy swipe with his giant tongue. He rears up, huge paws resting on Mary’s chest.
“I think he likes you,” Sharon says. “Me, I’m picking something smaller.” She heads towards a Brittany Spaniel.
A white toy poodle races up to Patsy. “This is my kind of dog! Sure hope Hampy doesn’t get jealous!”
Lyn heads into the foray. Minutes later she comes back, leading a Scottish Terrier. “This one looks promising.”
Mary wipes her face, grimacing. “I think I need a smaller dog. Where’s Nibbie when I need her?”
“But he likes you!” Sharon frowns. “You don’t want to hurt his feelings!”
The band starts up and Zoozle enters. “Now everyone,” she yells. “Time to learn the Cha Cha and Tango.”

Dogs yip and howl along with the rock music. Mary struggles to lead the Great Dane. Patsy picks up the poodle and holds her while they dance. Sharon drags the Brittany Spaniel around the enclosure and Lyn patiently waits for the Scottish Terrier to move. Several dog owners are chasing their pets around the circle. Mass confusion erupts as the humans attempt to dance with the dogs.

“This is so wonderful!” Eileen gushes as she dances with a retriever. “And it will only get better as the night goes on!”

Stairs of Sand opens with Zoozle, an unemployed dancing teacher, reaching the lowest ebb of her life. With the help of a new friend, a Newfie dog and his gallant master, she finds allies to help her prove that she is more than her psychiatric diagnosis. Can she overcome the rages and impulsiveness of Borderline Personality Disorder and learn to love her mother before suicide beckons again?


Lately, I don’t much talk except to Mel. I make an exception since he has a dog. “May I pet your dog?” I ask him.

“We’d love that, wouldn’t we, Jacques?” He rubs his dog behind the ears.

I sink to my knees to pet the dog, who is tall enough to look me in the eyes when I do. His gaze is direct and soft with affection. Though he’s wet in the misty air, it feels wonderful to put my head on his. My heart uncurls one nanometer.

“Hi Jacques,” I say. Jacques smiles. He licks my face, my new short hair, spiky with hair gel. I push my hair with my fingers, then rub the dog’s slobber and my hair gel on my jeans, and I smile back.

“His full name is Frère Jacques. But we cut it short.” The old man grins with the pride of a father. “I’m Phillip McKillop.” He takes off his hat and sweeps it across his heart.

I scratch the dog some more. “Hello, Phillip. I’m Suzann, Suzann Zimmerman.” I don’t know why I don’t tell him Zoozle. “I used to have a dog, a little guy, part spaniel, part Pomeranian. My ex has him now.”

Javier has Boo, Javier has a house, Javier has a new life. Me, I’ve got Mel. I’ve got a roof over my head with Big Daddy, Mel’s meth-making friend, which was cool until I stopped doing meth. Now, I wouldn’t want a dog around Big Daddy. I don’t want me around Big Daddy.

“Bye Phillip. Bye, Jacques.” Holding the dog has tightened the knot in my throat. I can’t swallow it down. Despair claws with more powerful digs into my stomach. I look off into the dark night, back towards the car where Mel is tracing patterns on the fogged windows. What escape route should I take from this huge mess I’ve made? I can’t run home again. My mom wouldn’t want me there and she won’t come here, she’s made that clear enough. Life with Mel is all I’ve got, and now I am certain I don’t want that either.

Across the dark water, I see houses on the shoreline, alight with the business of living. I visualize my old life with Javier; my heart squeezes around my thoughts of Grandpa Joe in Imperial Beach. Grandpa likes to brag how it’s the most southwesterly city in the United States. It’s right on the border with Mexico. He wins bets when people don’t believe him. “Gotcha!” he laughs every time.

The ferry churns into a wave, and my happy memory of Grandpa’s folksy stories about the ocean’s waves and the currents lurches into the voice and image of my first dancing teacher, Francis, his acne-scarred face and peppermint breath, his oily hands moving my body into postures, saying “do that turn again, repeat that step, the arm like this,” each time touching my budding breasts or my inner thighs. I scrape my fingers against my pockets, trying to get the hair gel off because oil on my skin makes me shudder. The scene with Francis morphs back into Mel, whom I followed from my amazing appointment as a dance professor to emergency medical leave to the drugged-out living dead. I sold my condo for drug money. Dumb, so dumb.

I am through with do over’s.

I walk to the other side of the boat, away from the crewman and Mr. McKillop. I unzip my boots, aligning them underneath the life preserver ring. The boots are the right size for Mel.

I clamber over the chain guard and dive away from the ferry into the sea.

Amazon, Kindle and paperback; smashwords.com

Eileen Granfors lives in Santa Clarita, California. A former army brat who was born in New Orleans and lived in Germany, she and her family settled in Imperial Beach, California, where her mother’s love of body surfing turned her into an avid surfer girl. Eileen is a proud UCLA alumna. In July, she published her second novel, set in Imperial Beach.

Stairs of Sand is the novel I began six years ago, and all my other work has filtered around it. The plot of a mother and a daughter, both with borderline personalities, is full of conflicts and learning. The youtube video gives you a good idea of what is going on in the novel.”

Eileen's first novel, Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead, is a coming-of-age multicultural look at the Hispanic tradition of the Day of the Dead. She is working on its sequel, So You, Solimar and a volume of historical fiction, a prequel to Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities.


Dog-owner dancing prize: Contest to be judged by Zoozle and Jacques, the Newfoundland retriever. Your choice of an e-copy ofStairs of Sand or a paperback copy mailed to your home (don't want to get it all sandy).

To win a copy of Eileen 's book, all you have to do is join Eileen's blog and then leave a comment here and your e-mail address
Contest ends tomorrow and everyone who comments is elligible.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Melissa Douthit 's enchanted Roast

"Slow down you guys, my horse is eating the grass on the side of the road and he's got a lead mouth!" Mary pulls ineffectually on the reins and Lyn turns around to help her.

"Just sit still will you stop moving around so much.” Lyn grabs the reins and pulls Mary’s horse along.

"Okay, but this saddle is uncomfortable too." Mary complains. “We’ve been riding for days. Do you see Patsy?”

”More like hours silly. Just relax and let the horse do the work. We’re almost there I know it.” Lyn reassures Mary as they catch up to Sharon. “Patsy is back there, but I see her cantering towards us. She’ll catch up soon enough.

“Look at the countryside it’s so much like home. I miss home.” Lyn sighs”

“Me too my friend. Me too…” Mary sympathizes with Lyn.

Sharon way up ahead. Hollers back to them. “I see it up ahead the sign was right. Branbury. Oh my, it’s beautiful. Hurray up you guys.”

“Oh look at that!” Mary’s jaw drops as she gazes out over the city. “Look at all the cottages. Window boxes are just overflowing with flowers and the emerald grasses.”

“I can see a town square up ahead too. I thought riding through the wilderness of Sequoia trees, was amazing. This is like out of a Tolkein novel.” Lyn exclaims.

“My butt is killing me and when do we get to meet the Chunuk that will take us to Melissa Douthit’s cottage?” Mary complains some more.

“Calm down will you.” Patsy rides up behind the others and her horse rears up as she stops.

“This place is great. I love the horses. I thought you liked them Mary.”

“I do, it’s just been such a long ride and I’m not used to it I guess.” Mary smiles and points to a
lovely thatched cottage on the edge of town. “That her, it’s Melissa. Hi Melissa!”

“Hi Melissa,” the others call out as they all slide off their horses.

“Do you have the tabac and  Brandy Patsy?” Sharon asks her while she loosens her horse's cinch.

“Yup, I got more then enough to give to the old man. Hey, Oliver is here already right Sharon” Patsy helps them all with the cinches as they struggle to loosen them.

“Well of course, he is Oliver after all. There will be all kinds of BarBQ dishes, ribs, beef, pork, lamb chops, chicken and every other grilled thing imaginable. Local vegetables cooked over the fires too!” Sharon licks her lips at the thought. “Cheese platters and bread baskets. And chocolate everything. Puddings, cakes, pies, cookies, Melissa is fond of chocolate.”

 “Will there be Mead?” Lyn wonders.

“I think so, but mostly wine, and all kinds of wine and rich Branburian ale to boot.” Sharon smiles.

“And of course the Branburian brandy.” Patsy holds up two bottles. “Mmmmm good!
All available at the Farrier village tavern where the wine is fine, the ale is sweet, the company is good, and the fire on the hearth never goes out."

“Hurry up girls.” Melissa yells to them as they scuttle up to the door of the cottage and each throw their arms around Melissa.

“Congratulations on the books, all of them.” The four hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast Exclaim as one.

They all look up as they hear a cacophony of noise approaching.

 “It’s Nibby, Cuddles, and Hampy!” Patsy smiles as Hampy jumps up into her arms.

Mary grins as Nibby knocks her down and kisses her all over the face. And Lyn hugs Cuddles to her with a grin.

Oliver takes Sharon’s hand and kisses it, then turns an kisses Melissa's hand too.

It’s just another Roast and Toast!

This  time it’s for Melissa Douthit and her wonderful YA
stories. Let’s welcome her to our roast everyone!

When Chalice sets off for Branbury in the middle of the night with her grandfather’s instructions, she has no idea of the dangers that await her.  The King’s men have destroyed her home village of Canton and she is suddenly thrown into a Terravailian world that she does not know.  Lost and alone, she is hard pressed to evade the iron grasp of the  madman who rules the land.  With the help of a friendly Chinuk, an old man, and a book that she discovers along the way, not only does she find true friends and true love, but she also finds her true self and what it means to be the Raie’Chaelia.

She couldn’t believe her eyes.  At the bottom of the page was, like all of the other entries in the book, a symbol and a name to the left of it.  Above it was a short passage of lines and at the top, the title.  As he moved toward the firelight, she showed him the page.


“It’s pronounced Rye-kale-ya.  You don’t know Angaulic, Jeremiah?” she asked.

“A little but not much.  I never really had time to learn it.”

She motioned to the bottom of the page, to the symbol.  He squinted to make sure he was seeing it correctly.

  “Isn’t that your birthmark, Chalice?” he asked.  And it was.  It was the mark of her birth and her pendant.

Then he read the name, pronouncing it awkwardly.  “Chalicia Maefeline Raie’Chaelia D’Ielieria.” 

With an inquiring look, he asked: “What does that mean?”

Staring down at the page in front of her with an expression of astonished incredulity, she spoke slowly.  “It means …” she said as she glanced up and continued, the firelight dancing in her eyes, “Beautiful Chalice, True Princess of Ielieria.”

Purchase Link For Book

Purchase Link for Novella Prequels


Melissa Douthit grew up in North County of San Diego, California. After graduating with a Computer Science degree in Southern California, and working for a summer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico, she moved to the Bay Area to work at NASA Ames Research Center for a year and then at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for another four years. From there, she moved to Monterey, California, to work at the Naval Postgraduate School on a government project for two years. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, working with the Army Corps of Engineers on another government project. Since high school, she has been a voracious reader of books of all genres, with an emphasis in fantasy and science fiction.

My Website
Coming soon:

To win a copy of Melissa'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.