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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Star Wars gets a Roasting from the Roast and Toast Hostesses!

Beloved followers-of-the-Roast Sadly our Victim, er our Roastee and Guests of Honour, for the next two weeks, weren't able to make it  so we've scheduled them for a later date. To avoid a gap in the menu, a void in the ether, a black hole and generally disappointing folk, we've put together our take on 'Starwars'. Enjoy - and join us on the 10th February for more fun and frolics when we'll be toasting Julie Eberhardt Painter. 

 (And please keep praying for our dear hostess sister Sharon.  She continues to make good progress although still undergoing a lot of treatment, but she is apparantly alert and taking notice and although she can't speak at the moment, she has been out of bed and walking a little. She continues to amaze everyone!)

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Saturday, January 21, 2012



Congratulations Barbara   - we're sure you're in for a  wonderful read!

Thanks to Karen  for being such an amazing and witty guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.

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!"
Join us on 3rd February  January when Lyn Armstrong will be Guest of Honour at

Friday, January 20, 2012

Karen Cote’ celebrates her book 'Erotic Deception' in the Brazilian Jungle!

“Don’t worry Lyn, we’ll all be there, if you start to get tired or need help, just yell help!” Patsy flexes her Popeye muscles and assures Lyn she can carry her if need be.

Lyn sticks her tongue out at Patsy and gazes lovingly down at her feet. They never failed her yet.

“What a place the bugs are like the size of rodents.” Mary smacks a gallon dipper that attempts to attach itself to her arm.

 “Well this is the Brazilian jungle it’s gotta have bugs. It’s the strange animal sounds that scare me. Where are we supposed to find Karen? I haven’t seen a thing that wasn’t wild and overgrown since we got here.” Lyn moves a branch out of the way and it whacks Patsy in the head when she inadvertently lets it go.

“Ow!” Patsy reaches for the branch of a huge palm tree and suddenly it moves. “AAAAHHHH. SSnnnakke.” She hollers. “I hate snakes.” Luckily the slimy thing is more afraid of her then she is of it and it scurries into the brush.

“Watch out, there are all kinds of weird things in this place. Where is Karen?” Sharon moves a huge Elephant leaf and spies a camp of sorts. On the tables set up in the center of camp are some strange looking foods. Carrots dressed like people, animals made out of food. Papayas and peaches are sculpted birds, radish mice, eggplant cars, and peppers with attitude; give new meaning to the words finger foods.

“Can we eat this stuff?” Mary asks, “I like radishes, look at the baby bird radishes! How cute.”

Lyn pulls her bottle of mead out from the back of her shirt. She takes a long pull and mumbles something about dreaming all this.

Patsy enters one of the tents and spies Oliver in the back of the tent. He sets up Karen’s book and places a book mark in each one.  He whistles as he arranges bowls of chocolates on the table where Karen will sign her books. There's also a heaped plate of  Sneaker Doodle cookies for Karen to enjoy with a range of exotic teas - there's a rumour she enjoys playing with the cookies and making them in the shape of a boomerang!

 “Hey, did you invite Tarzan.” Mary quizzes Oliver.

He looks at her as if she’s nuts and continues to whistle. Mary stops for a moment and wonders what song he’s using. It’s a tune from the Lion King. He waggles his eyebrows and goes back to what he was doing.

The girls pull up chairs and each grabs a book.

Erotic Deception, now that sounds very enticing.” Patsy turns a bit red and Sharon jabs her in the side.

“Keep it GP, I mean PG.” Lyn mutters under her breath.

“Is she drunk?” Mary inquires as they all look at Lyn.

She wobbles her way out of her chair and stands in front of the other hostesses. “I think I will finish this later.” She holds Karen’s book up. “I had to drink the Mead. I couldn’t stand to think of poor Lily and how upset she musta been when Jet didn’t trust her. I’ve gotta find more Mead.” She stumbles and the others catch her.

They all walk back outside and call out to the visitors who are slinking into camp from the surrounding jungle. “Karen Cote' has written a novel that will make you wish you were in front of a blowing fan.”

Sharon smacks Mary. “What Mary meant to say was, come one, come all, Get your red hot copy of  Erotic Deception and have it signed while Karen is here. “Karen, welcome to the Author Roast and Toast.”

Lyn eyes the colorful costumed vegetables on the tables and mumbles. “I thought this was a barbeque.”
“Yeah, well look at the size of that cake.” Mary points to a huge multilayered cake. “That cake looks as good as the book does. Let’s pass some to those monkeys behind you Lyn.

As Lyn runs and jumps into Patsy’s arms Sharon points out. “That ain’t a monkey it’s a Gorilla, and by the looks of him he’s related to King Kong. RUN!”

As the girls run screaming, an amused Oliver takes the
head off of his gorilla costume. He and Karen chuckle as they watch the girls disappear into the brush.

“They’ll be back soon.”

 Lyn walks from behind the tent and points after the others. “However,” she chuckles, “we may have to send Tarzan after them.”


Her brother was dead. He’d practically raised her and stood by her during a miscarriage that left her barren. He’d been the sole person she’d had left in this world. How had Dr. Lily Delaney with a PhD in Psychology missed the psychotic signs of Anthony Capriccio, the Kansas City District Attorney and her ex-fiancĂ©? Now at twenty-nine she was on the run to hide from the impending threats to her own life. But on the road to a safe secluded lake community, Lily crashes into the path of a new dangerous element, literally. One with deep blue eyes who totes a badge and carries a gun. And would their budding relationship be threatened when Lily finds out her own doctor had lied and discovers she really can have children? How would the sheriff take knowing she’d gotten pregnant when she’d already heartily assured him she wasn’t?

After his experience as a detective in Kansas City, Missouri, Jet Walker enjoyed his life as sheriff of the quiet lake community, Windom Hills. However, when Lily Delaney literally crashes into his car and life, his world disrupts into chaos. Couldn’t the woman do anything normal? Between fighting to protect her and fighting against his growing attraction for her, the previous peace Jet had found was now falling apart. And how could he possibly trust another woman after the trick his ex-wife played in trying to pass off another man’s child as his?


As suspected, it showed positive. Suddenly the cabin seemed claustrophobic and the need for air was overwhelming. Deciding exercise would fuel her need, Lily went out through the French doors. She crossed the yard to the trees where it was cooler. She was glad to be wearing a ventilated halter-top while her jeans protected her legs from wayward branches and weeds. Deeper into the trees, she came across a small creek. As she crossed over, her flip-flops caught on a hidden tree root and she lost her balance and fell to her knees. She extended a hand to prevent pitching forward while her other cradled her midsection in a protective gesture. This time, her womb wasn’t empty. She smiled.

Lily got up and brushed off her jeans. With melancholy appreciation, she noticed how green everything was as if she were viewing it all for the first time. She breathed in the fresh scent of the growing plant life, smiling at the rabbits and squirrels ducking away as she approached.

Wading through the foliage, the covering of trees lessened as she neared the other side. A road running parallel to her property was a few yards ahead and she was crossing out of the trees to it when a sensation of being watched tingled along the back of her neck. She stopped and scanned the area behind her. Seeing nothing amiss, Lily still hastened her step until she reached the dirt-paved road. It was dusty and it would take her longer to get home, but it was flat and the air had cooled.

Despite the cooler air and without the protective cover of the trees, Lily felt the sun beating down on her head. She tightened her ponytail, wrapping the long ends into a makeshift bun to get it off her neck. She wasn’t far from the main street that ran into town when a vehicle turned onto the dirt road. Great! She just prayed it wasn’t the sheriff at the wheel of the blazer. The vehicle made short work of the distance and her stomach plummeted. It was him. He stopped beside her.

“Why haven’t you called me back?” He glowered.

Lily stiffened her shoulders and ignored him by continuing her pace. Some interesting variations of curses came from his direction, but her steps didn’t falter. She had no desire to speak to him. A message she intended to make clear…a message he obviously intended to ignore. The door slammed and seconds later, a vice-like grip grabbed her arm.

“I asked you a question,” he gritted between his teeth. “And what are you doing out here anyway.”

“What’s it look like I’m doing? I’m walking. That’s Detective 101, Sheriff.” She wrenched her arm out of his grasp and took off again.

Chanting a few more obscenities, he reached for her again. She spun around, her temper blazing.

“How many times do I have to flush before you go away?” She yelled.

Fire shot from his eyes before in a sudden fierce movement he scooped her up and carried her to the blazer. She beat at the tight grasp around her waist. When that didn’t work, she resorted to scratching and kicking, but her wedge-heeled flip-flops were ineffectual as he easily held off her attacks. In desperation, she reached for his gun. He didn’t guess her intentions until she’d unsecured the latch on the holster. Realization made him bark out an incredulous laugh and he checked her hand.

“You little she-cat!” He countered. “What are you going to do, shoot me?” He shook his head in exasperation. “Don’t you know reaching for an officer’s gun is an automatic jail sentence?”

“Then arrest me, Sheriff!” She spat, breathless from her exertions.

“What’s wrong with you?”

He swung her down and used his body to brace her against the blazer.

“Nothing. I told you I felt like a walk so I’m walking. What’s the mystery?” Her voice was heavy in sarcasm.

“Why didn’t you return my calls?” He asked unmoved by her ire.

“Maybe I didn’t want to,” she said childishly.

“Well maybe I was worried,” he returned.

“Well maybe you should’ve called your wife. No wait,” she said, pausing in mock perplexity. “Maybe you should call Rachel instead.”

His gaze flashed angrily. “Did my deputy tell you about Rachel too?”

“No your deputy didn’t tell me about Rachel,” Lily mimicked jealously. “Your sister did. Enlighten me Jet, how many women do you need to feed your ego?”

His heated blue eyes searched her face before settling on her mouth.

“Get in the truck,” he said softly.

“Are you taking me to jail?” She tilted her head in defiance. “Because that’s the only way I’m going anywhere with you.”

He gave her an exasperated look and before she could protest, opened the door and lifted her in. He followed and clamped a hand on her arm to prevent her escape from the passenger side.

Deftly starting the blazer with his left hand, Jet slammed it into gear and performed a U-turn. Lily sat beside him, her lips mutinous; attention straight ahead. She couldn’t stop him from manhandling her, but he couldn’t force her to converse with him. She’d combat him with her silence and see how he liked that.

A flash in the trees near where they’d been standing caught in the corner of her eye. She searched along the area to capture it again, but it was gone. She encountered Jet’s raised brows. Discounting the fact that she wasn’t speaking to him, she definitely wasn’t going to tell him she was seeing things again. She jerked her attention back toward the front.


I live in a California Castle with Prince Charming and a Magnificent Black Stallion. Okay, it’s a bungalow, a corporate husband and a small black pug who totes a sense of humor and lotsa attitude. But it is a dream. A real life dream to inspire the romantic suspense novels I write.

(Foodart Pictures by Vaness Dualib)
Taken from: http://www.oddee.com/item_96658.aspx 

Website: www.karencote.tv

To win a copy of  Karen'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.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maureen's winner is:


Congratulations Sue - we're sure you're in for a fantastic read!

Thanks to Maureen  for being such a wonderful and sporting guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.

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!"

Join us on 20th January when  Karen Cote will be Guest of Honour at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Maureen Fisher 's Fur Ball Extravaganza

How Much is That Doggie in the Window Patti Page croons over the intercom system -The One With the Waggley Tail!

Couples gowned in evening attire leisurely stroll the glittering ballroom, nodding at acquaintances or whispering when something interesting catches their attention. Accompanied by exotic animals of every color, size and breed dressed in their finest jewel studded collars, the celebrants parade for the enjoyment of the onlookers.

Maureen rushes towards them, flushed with excitement, leading a toy Schnauzer literally dripping with crystal gemstones.  “Girls!” She laughs. “My little poopsie Snickers is a shoo-in for top prize.”

Lyn nudges the little dog with her big toe. “Looks pretty fancy to me!”

“I can’t say I’ve ever been to a Fur Ball Extravaganza!” Mary peeks from behind a gilt-encrusted fan.

“Come here Nibby! Quit sniffing Snickers!”

A flat-faced Persian cat yowls and spits, leaping onto an unsuspecting woman’s shoulders. The flustered pet owner rips the furious cat from the woman’s silk evening gown and hurries away.

“That’s going to cost a few dollars.” Lyn grins.  “Cats and dogs don’t always mix well.”

Patsy slips Hampy into her purse. “Some of these dogs look really hungry—and interested.”

“How can you tell?”  Sharon adjusts her peacock feathered mask.

“Have you checked out the food?”

“Food?” Patsy swivels for a better look. “Where’s the food?”

Oliver pushes through the crowd, dazzling in a black tuxedo. He carries a serving tray laden with crystal flutes of Dom Perignon.  He bends down and sets a silver bowl of cold Bling H2O water for Nibby and Snickers. Cuddles scurries out of Lyn’s bag and dives in.

Mary gasps. “Do you know how much that bottle of water costs?”
Maureen leans over and whispers to Sharon. “I dream of a bare-chested Oliver wearing only a bow-tie and little else. Shhhhh!”

Mary downs her first glass of Dom Perignon in one fast gulp. “What’s the contest all about?”

Maureen looks shocked! “Best behaved and most well dressed.”

Mary chokes on her champagne and spits. “Animals? Well dressed?”

“Where did you say the food was?” Patsy follows Oliver through the crowd.

 Tables and tables laden with sausage rolls, mini goat cheese and sun-dried tomato quiches, devilled eggs, bacon-wrapped dates, jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, hot lobster tartlets, stuffed mushrooms with Swiss cheese, bacon-studded cheese puffs, trays of raw veggies and mountains of dipping sauce are displayed in all their mouth-watering glory.

A separate table runs half the length of the ballroom loaded with finger food desserts - lemon squares, caramel brownies, Nanaimo Bars, and mini butter tarts, and a huge cake in the shape if a Schnauzer, with Maureen's cover

“Now this is what I’m talking about.” Lyn samples a hot lobster tartlet. “Oh yum!”

Nibby barks at a table on the other side.

Birds and smaller critters feast on sunflower seeds, cats daintily lick Feline Feast Tuna Tartare and dogs beg for Canine Beefy Bites. Teeny bottles of water for the smaller critters.Treats for everyone and everything!

“Where’s Snickers?” Maureen shoves the crowd of table grazers aside frantically searching at knee height.
“Where’s my little poopsie?”

“He’s gone!”

Sharon rips off her feathered mask.

“Everybody!” She screams.  “Snickers is missing!"

Who would steal Snickers?  And why?



Fur Ball Fever is a romantic crime mystery spiked with attitude (most of it warped) and enough steamy sex to drive those who dare read it racing for a cold shower …
 After a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, pet spa owner Grace Donnelly outdoes herself when she loses her elderly client’s prize pooch—a shoo-in to win the annual Jersey Shore Fur Ball. Money, careers, and lives are in jeopardy. Too bad her helpers consist of an aging hippie aunt, a renegade schnauzer, and a drag queen. Worst of all, the only man truly qualified to help is her former flame, the hunkiest bodyguard north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
 Security specialist Nick Jackson faces his worst nightmare when Grace’s amateur investigation nearly blows his undercover operation. Unless he nails the con-artist who scammed local seniors and whacked a witness, his homicidal granddaddy will take justice into his own liver-spotted hands. To salvage his case, his sanity, and his ex-lover’s velvety skin, Nick joins forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way—and so many right ways too.
 Action bounces between a beach harboring washed-up corpses, a fancy yacht no honest preacher could possibly afford, and the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City. Hazards multiply like bunnies until exploding into romance, murder, and mayhem culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.

Nick found himself staring at Gracie’s back in disbelief. She was blowing him off. He lengthened his stride until he paced beside her again. Seriously worried, he raised his voice. “Wait one cotton pickin’ minute.” A pedestrian turned and stared at him with interest so he reduced the volume. “You can’t go in alone. They could be dangerous.”

“I have my sniffer dog.”

Murphy chose that moment to strain toward a fire hydrant. She stopped to let him sniff.

Nick watched the dog stake his claim. “Yeah. I can see how he’ll be invaluable.”

She ignored his sarcasm. “Murphy hates Miss Coco’s guts. If she’s on the Lombardis’ property, he’ll let me know.”

Nick thought longingly of the caveman approach. He wanted to drag her home by the hair and lock her safely inside. To hide his frustration, he bent over and scratched Murphy behind the ears. Once he’d arranged his face into a neutral expression, he straightened and said, “Heaven help you if you fly off the handle the way you did with Oliver.”

“I most certainly did not fly off the handle with Oliver. I took a calculated risk.”

He folded his arms across his chest. “I won’t let you do this alone.”

She looked as if she wanted to stomp her foot but managed to pull herself together.

“You’ve conducted one too many security gigs,” she said with remarkable calm. “Nothing bad will happen to me. I have my cover story, I have my pepper spray, and I have ten times more brainpower than you credit me with. It’s not like I’m going in, guns blazing, to accuse the Lombardis of stealing dogs. I merely want to assess them as potential candidates.”

Damn, but she was serious. Didn’t she realize that if the Lombardis had stolen the dogs, she might be in real danger? A sliver of alarm scraped over his nerves, and then he relaxed as he hit on the perfect solution, indeed, the only possible solution. Manipulation and trickery.

With a supercilious grin fixed firmly in place, Nick employed his most reasonable tone. “Look at you. You’re flying off the handle already.”
She made a strangled noise in the back of her throat.

He shook his head in mock resignation. “See what I mean?”

Through clenched teeth, she said, “I can be non-confrontational with the best of them. In fact, I can be the soul of discretion and charm.”

“I bet you can’t hold it together for more than thirty seconds.”

“Thirty seconds?” Her voice tightened. “Why, you condescending, chauvinistic – ”

“You’re proving my point.”

He watched how her jaw tightened and those kissable lips thinned to a fine, white line. Finally she blew out a long breath. “I can do better than thirty seconds. I’ll hold it together the whole time we question the Lombardis.”

Her use of the word “we” didn’t escape him. He pretended to ponder her claim before making a sly offer, one he hoped would ensure his presence. In his most officious manner, he drawled, “Listen up, darlin’. Let me explain how it’ll go down. As long as you stay calm I’ll pretend I’m invisible. But when you lose your cool, and I guarantee you will, I’ll step in and do damage control.”

She started to sputter.

Nick interjected, “Of course if you feel you can’t control yourself, you can chicken out. I’ll understand.” He held his breath.

There was anger in her eyes, and determination. “I can’t wait to prove you wrong.”

He breathed out a sigh of relief.


As an author of sassy romance novels, my goal as a writer is to transport readers into a world of romance, mystery, and fun.

Born in Scotland, I emigrated to Canada at the tender age of seven. Years later as a University of Toronto graduate, I convinced the federal government to hire a Fine Arts specialist as a computer programmer. After three years of bits, bytes, and dumps (probably not what you're thinking), I graduated again, this time to full-time homemaker and mom, raising two wonderful sons. Plunging back into the business world, my second husband and I started a management consulting company. This marriage survived because my husband and I pledged never to work on the same project again. Ever.

After a century in the consulting world, I grew weary of wearing snappy power suits, squeezing into panty hose, and fighting rush hour traffic. I made a life-changing decision. I wanted to write books. Not dry, boring, technical treatises, but fresh, funny romantic suspense novels. How hard could it be? Thousands of authors did it every year.

Always an over-achiever, I quit my day job, attended a one-week seminar on writing a novel, and plunged right in. Learning can be a humbling experience. I persevered, I slaved, I revised, I learned. After twenty-five rejections, countless workshops, six-re-writes, and two first-prize wins, my efforts finally paid off with the sale of my first book.
When I'm not writing novels, I read (naturally), volunteer for an addiction family program, play bridge, travel, bicycle, and occasionally indulge in gourmet dinner parties.

I would love it if you popped over to my blog at http://booksbymaureen.com/


To win a copy of Maureen'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.