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, 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.


  1. Good Morning Melissa, welcome to your Roast and thanks for inviting us to Branbury, it's beautiful!

  2. Why am I walking bowlegged? Good morning Melissa, hostesses! Nothing like a brisk morning ride in the country. Love my cape! What a great day and I'm excited to be here!

  3. Look at all the food. I am in pig-out heaven! My rear end is sort of sore - haven't been on a horse in...well, I was 18 the last time I was on a horse so that should tell you.

  4. What a wonderful roast thanks for the invite... great excerpt

  5. Hi Abigail! Glad you could join us. Yes, it is a fun roast today and the food. . . . I love my white horse. We look like the Four Horsewomen of the Apoco-Hips!

  6. Hi Melissa, congratulations. Branbury is so enchanting!

  7. Hugs sisters, ooh yes let's dig into that scrumptious mountain of food. Did someone mention chocolate, elbows girls

  8. Hi Abigail, welcome to Melissa's roast

  9. Melissa, my pretty, you look so lovely

  10. Abigail, Sharon, Lyn, Mary, Patsy, such lovelies

  11. Hi Oliver - did you ride in too? I didn't see another horse anywhere!

  12. Good Morning, Melissa. After this roast, I can't wait to read your book.
    Patsy, I was so glad to see you taking care of the horses. Any time you want to ride again, come on by.

  13. OMG! I love this! Ha ha! It's great! Thank you!

    The food looks wonderful. I'm definitely going to blog about this. You gals have too much fun here!

    Can I take Oliver home with me? =o)

  14. Mary looks up from a huge bowl of chocolate pudding. MMMMmmmmm. This is the best stuff I've ever tasted. Oliver the food is great.
    Nibby stop begging and here come and taste this chicken. Sit, good doggie. Oh look here come some other dogs, be nice Nibby! Melissa I wish I could live here!

  15. Melissa my sweet, let me feed y'all a chocolate.

  16. Mary, no getting into trouble my pet

  17. I promise to behave. Haven't I been good so far? I'm even making Nibby behave if you can believe that. I'm doing my best. Although I couldn't help but to pick the flowers, who knew they weren't supposed to be touched? They only shooed me away with a broom. Coulda been worse!

  18. Mmm good horses, good companions, my dear sister hostesses, a great guest of honour, Oliver - and chocolate! I think I'm in Heaven, not Branbury! LOL

  19. Hey, I'm out here taking care of the horses - did anyone figure out if there was mead anywhere! If so, bring me a mug, otherwise some hot tea would be good, none of that cream in my tea though! This is a beautiful place for a roast. Melissa, you did great!

  20. I wish I lived here. It's just wonderful! And horses, love horses. Yes, this would be the perfect place!
    Here's your mead Patsy! Yes, it's safe to drink, honest!

  21. Ooh, mead as well as chocolate and horses! Wow! Could things get any better?

  22. Oliver, can you bring me a glass of white Pandretti wine and chocolate covered strawberries? Those are my favorite!

  23. This is truly the best of everything. No crowds, great food, wide open spaces, beautiful countryside! I think I've found Eden!

  24. Melissa, how about another excerpt to liven things up!!! My feet feel like dancin'!

  25. Post it right here so everyone can enjoy it!!!

  26. Okay. Here is an excerpt from The Vanishing:

    He suddenly remembered Canton and the games she and he played when they were young. It seemed as if it were almost yesterday. “Ghost-in-the-Graveyard,” he continued, “in the wine cellar of the Inn? You cheated all the time.” He laughed. “You really don’t remember?” Sighing, he finally said: “Ah well, you were pretty young then.”

    She studied him for a moment and then, suddenly, her face lit up in recognition. “Oh my gosh, no, I do remember!” she exclaimed.

    “Jeremiah?!” she asked and he nodded. “Jeremiah Maehbeck! How could I have forgotten?!?”

    He smiled as she said the words and caught a twinkle of joy in her eye at seeing him again. Then he suddenly realized what had been missing in his life this whole time. After all these years, he finally understood the emptiness inside of him and realized what could fill it – the only thing that could fill it. It was her.

  27. Here is one from The Journey Begins:

    Corin pulled the dropper out of the bung and filled the small glass in his hand. He handed it
    to Chalice and watched as she examined it. He always did when they were barrel tasting, even
    with her grandfather. It seemed that he loved studying the Pandrettis as they analyzed their wine.

    Although Chalice was young, she knew how to do it. Papa had taught her.

    She placed her hand over the rim of the glass, covering the top completely, and swirled the
    fine, dark liquid inside. She watched as it formed a rich coat on the inside, noting its thickness.

    Pulling it to her face, she then removed her hand and sniffed. She closed her eyes as she breathed
    in the complex scents of berry fruits. The bouquet was perfect. She then brought the rim of the
    glass to her lips and sipped. Letting wine trickle and pool over her tongue, she drew in small
    breaths of air that flowed under her palate. Delicious tiers of blackberry and red cherry, with
    nuances of spicy oak, filled her mouth. She swallowed slowly, savoring the smooth, velvet
    finish, and nodded.

    "This is ready," she said. "We need to start bottling it now. We have a week before the
    Marchiri get here." The Marchiri were the traveling merchants that visited Canton twice a year,
    in the spring and autumn, for trade. They usually came from the west, traveling in wagons but
    this spring, the word was that they would be arriving from the north, by boat on the Créonar
    river. She thought it was odd, actually, because they never did.
    Corin smiled. "And thus speaks the young sommelier." He filled another glass, this time for
    himself, and tasted it. He shook his head reverently. "Man! Sebastian does know how to make

    "Well, Papa's the greatest winemaker in the province!" Chalice said proudly. "Of course, I
    may be a little biased."
    He nodded. "You may be biased, but you're right, Chalice. That's why I'm working for him."
    He set down his glass and replaced the cork into the bung. "I'm hoping someday I can become as
    good as he is."

    "You will," she assured him, smiling. In his middle years, Corin was much older than she
    was and had a determination that she admired. Tall, strong and healthy, he appeared to be very
    young for his age. A true Cantonese, he was dark of hair and skin, as they all were, except for
    her. Chalice was very different. Her butternut curls, fair skin, and bright blue eyes made her
    stand out among the town folk, and every new person who visited the village noticed. "Just
    remember this," she continued. "Wine is a food and should be treated as such. If you treat it as
    anything else and over-indulge, you are doing it an injustice, as well ruining your dinner. That is
    what he taught me."

    "Yes, milady!" he said, winking and giving her a pretentious bow.

  28. Great excerpt! My niece is gonna love this series!!!
    Young love is so special!!!

  29. Melissa love, a nice wine and double-dipped strawberries.

  30. Lyn and Patsy, here's nice goblets of mead, a strawberry champagne for Mary and a wine for Sharon. I'm in heaven serving you pretty ladies

  31. Oliver you silver tongued devil you! Thanks!
    I don't wanna ever go home, I want one of those little storybook cottages. Kincade has nothing on this place!!!

  32. Yes, Oliver is rather charming isn't he?

  33. Sharon sure knows how to pick 'em!

  34. Oliver makes all of us *sigh* happy!

  35. You guys make me happy too! Melissa, I am so looking forward to reading your series! And I've been good today too!

  36. MMm Oliver dear, you're so good to us. You know my weakness for mead and chocolate - and everyone else's weaknesses too!

    Melissa those excerpts are wonderful, I've read all three books and loved them. Can't wait until the next book, can you tell us a bit about it?

  37. I sure can. It's called The Firelight of Maalda and it comes out next month! The blog tour starts in February!

    It is about Chalice, Jeremiah, and their friends as they travel from a lost city to the secret underground city of Portalis. There, they discover many secrets and truths that send them on another journey beyond the watery horizon of the Aeolian sea to the Maaldanese islands. And what happens there, well, I don't want to give it away ...

    Here's a blurb:

    The Firelight of Maalda: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic ...

    Chalice and her group leave Barenthren to travel to Portalis. There she and her friends discover the beautiful city, its people, its history, and its secret that has been kept hidden for thousands of years. During their stay, they learn that Dar’Maalda has the firestone and that he plans to use it.

    What is the firestone and what does Dar’Maalda plan to do with it? What are the Naezzi? What does the title, The Firelight of Maalda, really mean? And … what is the secret of Portalis, the secret that has been guarded so jealously for so long – so jealously, that many have given their lives to protect it?

    In The Firelight of Maalda, the second novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, you find out. It is a tale of intrigue and wonder where two opposite worlds collide in an explosive journey that leads Chalice and her friends to the dark islands lurking just beyond the horizon of Ielieria, where the Firelight of Maalda sits … and waits.

    I'm looking forward to my next roast with this one! =o)

  38. Ooh Melissa that sounds wonderful. I really love the enchanted world you've created, and of course we'll be thrilled to have you as our guest again, won't we girls!

    Who doesn't love the idea of lost cities and age old secrets?

    Let us know when you'd like to be roasted again - we're already booked up into the middle of March!

  39. Sounds really really good! OUCH! This ornery nag just bit me on the behind. I need some more Mead and lots of that wonderful food! We need some music, something kind of Celtic sounding. Clannad! Where are you!

  40. *Waves * to Stephanie.
    Sorry Stephanie, didn't see you there, *hic* I think I may have had a tad too much mead! *hic*

  41. Stephamie love, have some mead

  42. Funny thing Patsy, who woulda thought you'd be the one to get bit on the behind??? Eh Sharon?
    Lyn why are your feet purple?
    Patsy, where's the horse?
    Me, I'm gonna take a walk in the wonderful forest. Watch out for elves?

  43. There must *hic* be something in the mead.

  44. Thersh noffing in tha be..mead! *Burp* Ith jus wight!

  45. MARY, SHARON, LYN, MELISSA WHERE ARE YOU??? Do you think the elves got them? *Patsy wanders into the forest*
    Kinda spooky in here! Really dark and lots of places for monsters to hide!
    Hey guys! Where are you?

  46. Patsy,Sharon, Mary, Melissa - where are you?

    Oooh, it's awful dark in this forest!

  47. I'm here, I got sidetracked ... with Oliver. ;)

  48. You all still there? I think I may have lost you to the elves! Mischievous little creatures!

    Well, to all a good night! It was fabulous roast! Thank you!

    We'll see you next time ...

  49. The sound of a dozen little birds singing rouses Lyn from sleep.

    What? We all went to sleep here in the woods? And we didn't get captured by the elves?

    She looks at the recumbent forms of her sister hostesses, gently snoring in the morning sunlight. Cuddles, Nibbie and Hampie curled up together at their feet.

    Good Morning Melissa, you've been a fantastic guest of Honour. We'll hang around for a bit, in case any last minute visitors arrive - and who knows if we ask him nicely, Oliver may make us some breakfast!

  50. Rise and shine my pretties. Breakfast is served. We have mushroom omelets, croissants, bacon roll ups, blueberry and chocolate chip muffins, hot cocoa, coffee and tea. Here we go, Melissa, dig in love

  51. Melissa, thank you for being such a delight. We really enjoyed roasting you and wish you love!

  52. Good morning!

    Why thank you, Oliver!

    Did you all sleep well?

  53. We all slept wonderfully thank you Melissa, despite the creepy noises in the forest!:)

    Thanks again for being such a wonderful guest!


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.