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, June 8, 2012

Sophia Knightly's Tango launch party for her novel, 'Grill Me baby'

            The night is hot and steamy. The heady scent of flowers dances on the breeze overlaid with the mouthwatering aroma of spicy Latino food.  The alluring beat of the Tango draws the new arrivals to gather at the site of the festivities.  Laughing voices of the early celebrants further add to the aura of excitement surrounding the imposing hacienda.

Nibbie, Hampy and Cuddles barrel in, running toward the banquet table. Crushed amidst the throng of newcomers, Lyn, Mary and Patsy mince through the elaborate hallway, each on 4” stiletto heels.  Mary staggers but is caught by Patsy before she topples over.

“I can’t believe I got into this thing.” Lyn fans her perspiring face before adjusting the strapless skin tight black dress. “This heat is debilitating.”
Patsy fiddles with the neckline of her low cut sleeveless red dress. “I can feel sweat running down my back.”

“I can’t take a deep breath,” Mary moans. The cinched-in waistline of the flamenco blue dress gives her the look of an overheated hourglass.
 Lyn chuckles.  “Well, whatever! We look hot if I do say so myself.”

“I don’t know if we look hot,” Patsy grumbles. “But I sure feel hot.”

They inch down two marble steps and into the party.  Flower streamers in vibrant colors of red, sky blue and bright yellow drape overhead. A band dressed in silky white long sleeved shirts and black leather pants strum guitars, pound on bongo drums and shake shakers, accompanied by a variety of horns and even an accordion. A beautiful woman dressed in a pseudo-flamenco dress warbles and croons to the stimulating throb of the music.

In the center of the patio, on a limestone dance floor, couples gyrate to the sultry beat of the Tango. Sophia, their host, slinks through the crowd, accompanied by a gorgeous dark-haired male with soulful chocolate eyes. She moves with the grace and style of a seasoned performer and he with the elegance of a black panther.

“Ladies,” she laughs, a throaty purring whisper of sound. “Meet my partner for the evening, Paulo Santos! He’s Argentinian with a splash of Italian mixed in.”

The three women are struck speechless. A tight black T-shirt stretches across his muscled chest, delineating washboard abs above slim hips and long legs. Truly an Adonis in the flesh!

 Sophia gazes into Paulo’s eyes while she speaks over her shoulder. “Ask one of those hunks to dance. I guarantee every one of them is wonderful.”

Mary stares at the line of males standing near the north wall. “Boy, if I ever wanted a Latin Lover, this is the place to find one!”

Lyn adjusts her top again. “How can the women move in these outfits let alone dance?”

“I don’t know about you,” Patsy mutters. “But I need something to help me relax.”

Sophia takes Paulos’ hand, leading him towards the dance floor.

“Try some of the Malbec wine. Absolutely my favorite. It has a deep color with intense fruity flavors and a velvety texture. If you want something a little fancier, perhaps an Italian Bellini cocktail made from Prosecco sparkling white wine and peach puree. And don’t forget the food. Every bite is Paulo’s favorites! I had everything imported for the event since Paolo is half-Italian and whatever Paulo wants, Paulo gets.”

“I just bet he does.” Mary’s brows arch knowingly. “Would be difficult to give someone that gorgeous a big fat ‘no.’”

“Where are the animals?” Lyn teeters and reels on the high heels as she heads toward the banquet table.

Mary bends over, checking under tables and chairs. “I can see them! They’re stealing food.” She stands up, a big grin pasted on her face. “I think Nibbie just got a mouthful of hot peppers!”

Patsy inhales a big sniff. “The Latinos sure know how to set a table.”

Tables and tables are set up for the revelers. The women each take a glass of the Malbec wine.  It is wonderful!

Mary taps a waiter’s shoulder.

“What are these?” 

Oliver turns, facing them with a winsome smile.  He is dressed in a white silk shirt open to the waist and black tight pants.

He tells them the appetizers are Argentinean empanadas, savory, flaky turnovers filled with seasoned meat, olives and raisins, and choripan, grilled Argentinean chorizo, which is a sausage,  in a crusty roll.
For the main course there is authentic Argentinian parrillada, or barbecue for the uneducated, of churrasco steaks grilled over hot coals and served with chimichurri sauce that's made from fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, oil and vinegar and a bit of chili pepper,

and finally, for dessert we have golden crepes filled with creamy dulce de leche and lightly dusted with powdered sugar.

   The women gaze longingly at the repast.

 Mary heaves a long sigh as she takes a sip of her wine. “If I take even one bite, the seams of this dress are going to start popping.”

“I could probably manage a few bites.” Lyn sticks a finger in the cream.

 Patsy downs her glass. “I came here to party and no tight dress, spiky shoes or heat is going to stop me!” She grabs a plate. “Now to fuel my system for the Tangos to come!”

“And the men!” Mary grabs a plate. “Maybe if this dress pops a few stitches, it’ll be more comfortable.”

“Amen to that!” Lyn fills her plate. “Let’s party hearty!”

(Release date 12th Juner 2012)

The heat is on…Raised among women who taught him to cook at his family’s Buenos Aires restaurant, master chef Paolo Santos deftly works his culinary wiles—and his gypsy charm—on posh Flamingo Island’s female clientele.

The tastiest tidbit on the island, though, is cool, elegant Michaela Willoughby. The redhead’s slender curves are as enticing as her rabbit-food menus are maddening. And she’s his main competition for the chance of a lifetime.

Michaela overcame her own weight issues to become Flamingo Island’s premiere spa chef. Now she has a chance to share her innovative recipes for healthy living on a new cooking show—if she can somehow outshine Paolo. His sizzling, Latin-lover looks are more heart stopping than his decadent cooking. And she’d love nothing better than to stick a fork in his outsized ego.

When the stage lights ignite, so does the competition…and a sexual chemistry no one—least of all Paolo and Michaela—saw coming. Suddenly, separating business from pleasure is as impossible as separating a scrambled egg. And the big question isn’t whose knife cuts fastest…it’s whose heart can take the most heat.

Product Warnings: Contains two hot chefs duking it out in a lively showdown of sexy rivalry. Mix in family drama, luscious recipes and spicy mischief, and there’s more than just steam rising out of the kitchen. May cause lusty cravings for midnight indulgences.

 So this was the infamous Paolo Santos. 
Michaela sized up her opponent in the waiting area of the producer’s office. The seriously hot Argentine seated across from her looked so relaxed, nobody would have guessed he was vying against her to host the hottest new celebrity chef TV show, Miami Spice. A confident smile spread over Paolo’s rugged face as she assessed him. His large, muscular body was sprawled across the sofa, with one tanned arm draped across the sofa back and long legs stretched before him. A crisp white linen shirt revealed a hint of hard chest beneath a tailored buff suit. He looked like a perfectly caramelized Argentine churrasco steak. Good enough to eat—damn him!

Michaela’s stomach growled so loudly that Paolo raised an amused eyebrow. A gentleman would have acted like he hadn’t heard it and discreetly looked away. 

"Hungry?" he asked with a brazen grin. His deep voice and sexy Latin accent sounded as delicious as he looked. 

"Maybe just a little," she replied breezily. She was trying to relax before her meeting with the producer, but cocky Paolo Santos was doing his best to disarm her with steady, smoldering looks.
She smiled coolly and looked away.Focus, she told herself. In a few minutes, she would have to sell herself to Mr. Blumenthal, the producer, in order to land the host spot. If she did, she’d become an instant celebrity chef and her almost finished cookbook would rack up lots of sales. She would also be able to pay back her parents every cent they had shelled out for her education. Her parents, two successful partners in the same law firm, still hadn’t forgiven her for dropping out of Duke Law School in her third year. Adding insult to injury, she had chucked it all to become a chef. Their grimace of shame when friends asked about Michaela’s new career never failed to make her stomach churn. At thirty years of age, it still felt awful being a failure in their eyes.

She needed to use her nervous energy to show she could hold her own alongside celebrity chefs Paula Deen’s zaniness or Rachael Ray’s perkiness or Bobby Flay’s wise guy banter. But she wasn’t the only one competing. She had Santos to contend with, and for the life of her, Michaela couldn’t help staring at his mouth. It wasn’t just the pair of deep-slashed dimples that drew her attention; it was his full lips that were probably great at kissing…Stop, she told herself, concentrate on the upcoming interview. 

Michaela focused on the stark, modern painting on the wall before her, but the image of Paolo’s white teeth gleaming against his bronzed olive skin invaded her thoughts—strong teeth poised to take a bite out of her chances for the job. From the corner of her eye, she caught his black-as-sin eyes giving her a slow and thorough once-over. 

Were all Latin men so forward? Could be a cultural thing, but he might be trying to seduce her into losing her focus. She had to be on her toes around this one.


    Sophia Knightly is a bestselling author who writes feel-good stories in many genres: romantic suspense, romantic comedy, chick lit and screen plays - all fun and sexy contemporary romances. She is multi-published by Kensington Publishing and St. Martin's Press. Sophia released two of her Kensington back list books, WILD FOR YOU and SOLD ON YOU as THE TROPICAL HEAT SERIES e-books, and has sold over 40,000 copies of the popular series.

    Sophia is a two-time Maggie award finalist and a Romancing the Script finalist for her screenplay adaptation of SOLD ON YOU, the book Romantic Times Magazine rated as a "Top Pick". This June, Sophia's romantic comedy about two dueling chefs called GRILL ME, BABY will be released by Samhain Publishing. And in September, Samhain will release Sophia's chick lit novel called PAGING DR. HOTTIE.

Sophia Knightly
Cooking up Hot Romance and Delicious Humor
Wild for You (Tropical Heat Series, Book One) http://amzn.to/t2LydP
Sold on You (Tropical Heat Series, Book Two) http://amzn.to/tfQCeF
Grill Me, Baby - June 2012 - Samhain
www.sophiaknightly.com Facebook author page 


To win a copy of Sophia's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends tomorrow  (or when the party finally finishes) and everyone who comments is eligible.


  1. Welcome to your Tango Party Sophia, and congratulations on the forthcoming release of 'Grill Me Baby' it sounds like a sizzling read! :)

  2. Hi, ladies...or as Paolo says, "Hola, chicas!" Thank you for hosting me today. I'm delighted to party with you Latin-style and to get roasted and toasted by this fun group. Oliver, what a delicious array of foods you've prepared. Thanks for being such a hunky host.

    If anyone wants to tango with Paolo, be my guest ;)

  3. Hola, Sophia, may I say how stunning you're looking! Ooh, a tango with Paulo? Are you sure you don't mind? Oh, yes pleeeeese! (Before my sister hostesses and the other guests get her, LOL! :)

  4. Fabulous dresses, ladies, and fantastic food. And Paolo can cook me a meal anytime (pretty please?) - great excerpt, Sophia!

  5. Como Esta? Move over ladies, the next tango with Paolo is mine! He can grill me any time.

  6. Have internet problems!! Ugh!
    You look amazing Sophia! I always wanted to tangle, I mean tango. Is there a difference? Could Paulo teach me the right way to do it and maybe we could twirl a few times?
    Or do I have to fight Lyn for him?

  7. Thank you, Paula. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Paolo loves to cook, especially for the ladies, so just put in your order and he'll aim to please.

  8. Marcia, Paolo has nice strong arms and he's ready to lead you in a sultry tango.

  9. Mary, no fighting necessary with Lyn. Paolo has all the time today to tango with everyone...now if you're looking to tangle, too, you might have to request a private lesson ;)

  10. You'd think I could spell his name right. But I am just so excited. This hunky guy is gonna put his arms around me and take me on a trip around the dance floor as I try not to pant. First because I am not much of a dancer, second because Paolo is soooo hot!
    Remember Oliver gave me a taser and I am not afraid to use it to keep Paolo dancing with (gulp) me!
    Mary holds onto Paolo with an iron grip, that even Patsy couldn't loosen with her popeye arms. She considers her options. Kidnapping him would be tough...

  11. Wow, this place is starting to fill up. How lovely to see you Paula, I'm so glad I had the first few tangos before the others got here though. Mary dear, do you think it's wise to put that stungun Oliver gave you down the front of your dress? There's so little material... there again I suppose it is well hidden.*Snigger* Remember, I have weapons of my own. *Lyn stands twoo foot away from Mary and still manages to kick her (gently) in the ankle.* Ooops, sorry sweetie!

  12. Hi Marcia, welcome to Sophia's party. Have you seen her trailer? Isn't it fantastic!

    How about another excerpt, Sophia?

  13. Hi! Congrats on your release! Sounds awesome! Makes me kinda hungry too! lol Great post! Very fun to read! Great trailer! :)

  14. Your book sounds like a fun read. I like stories surrounded by food since I tend to munch while I read.

  15. Shadow - Thank you, I'm glad you liked the trailer!

    Joye - Thanks, this was a fun story to write. I love munching while I read, too.

  16. Here's the next excerpt:

    From the moment he’d stepped off the airplane from Buenos Aires and burst upon the scene at Flamingo Island, an exclusive country club residence island, Paolo had built up quite a rep as a player. Oh, she’d heard plenty of gossip about the executive chef’s prowess, but today was the first time she’d seen him in action.

    During the past half-hour, Michaela had watched Paolo chat and flirt with the young, blonde receptionist, and then with the producer’s middle-aged secretary, Ellie. His sexy accent and exotic looks had captivated both women, as he charmed them with his impressions of Miami and its beautiful inhabitants—meaning them, of course. They hadn’t even met yet and Santos’s attitude was a bit too familiar this morning.

    She already knew about his magnetic appeal, especially with the wealthy socialites of Flamingo Island who had standing reservations at Bella Luna. But bad boy types didn’t tempt her anymore, not after her break-up with Jeff Convers, tennis bad boy extraordinaire. That regrettable part of her life was behind her.Don’t think about Jeff, the two-timing player, she told herself. She took a deep breath and forced her thoughts back to meeting Edwin Blumenthal.

    "Don’t look so worried, Maki." One corner of Paolo’s mouth quirked up as he regarded her with interest. "Relax."

    "If I were any more relaxed, I’d be asleep." She gave him a raised brow look. Usually that squelched the over-confident types. Distance was needed with this one. His smile alone could charm the shell off an escargot. "My name is Michaela. Maki sounds like a girlie cocktail, and I’m anything but."

    He cocked an eyebrow and she took instant note of the twitch at the corners of his lips. Paolo had glossy, jet-black layers cut like Keith Urban’s, except he wasn’t an Aussie country star—he was a hot chef and a major player.

    "Michaela?" he repeated, drawing her attention to the shrugging gesture of his upraised hands. He gave her hair an assessing glance. "You should have been named Penny, it suits you better. Your hair shines like a new copper penny."

    "Are you a hairdresser too?" she asked, smoothing the sides of her long hair that were pulled half up.

    Paolo flashed a dazzling grin. "No, just a chef." He leaned forward and gave her a hearty handshake. "Paolo Santos."

    Strong grip. Nothing wrong with that, Michaela thought as she snatched her hand back the moment it touched his warm, callused palm. "Nice to meet you."

    "Encantado, likewise." He leaned back on the sofa looking a little too pleased with himself. "I can’t wait to tell Mr. Blumenthal about my gimmick for the show."

  17. Hi Ladies, so good to see you back in action although we all miss Sharon. I still have an Oliver shirt from her.

    Sophia, your book sounds delicious, as delicious as your hero and heroine. A tango with Paolo would be lovely. Should I wait in line?

  18. Step right up, Mona - Paolo wouldn't want to keep a lady waiting :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  19. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach so the better the cuisine the hotter the love!

  20. Ooh, I like the way you think, Stephanie! I agree ;)

  21. Mary sulks in corner. Does he have a dance card or what. Hmmmmm... Ouch my ankle! Okay, I'll behave. Geez, I don't know why I have to share the guy. I mean I know he's Sophia's guest and all, but... Hey, anyone wanna trip the light fantastic with me??
    I admit the feet are spastic and I might not know what I am doing. But, I just had my teeth cleaned yesterday and I'm ready for a nice huge kiss from someone other then Nibbie!

  22. Hi Shadow, Stephanie, Joye and Mona - I think I've greeted everyone since the last tango. now!

    Yes, Sharon is sadly missed Mona, but I know she's still with us in spirit and smiling at our antics - especially Mary's!

    Another fantastic excerpt, Sophia, ooh I love the interaction between those two!

  23. Glad you like the excerpt, Lyn. Those two have a battle of wills going on throughout the book, even though they have sizzling chemistry.

  24. Sounds great, Sophia, nothing like two hot characters going 'head to head'.

  25. I love a feisty duo!!! Great excerpt Sohpia. But that's what I love about romance stories, they always have a HEA!
    My very favorite part...With Paolo. Cooking, eating his cooking and sitting back to watch him as he cooks. Ahhhh, a girl can dream...

  26. So happy to see the roasts continue. As you mentioned, I know Sharon would wish you to do so.

    Sophia, love the book cover and will look forward to reading it.


  27. Hi Caroline

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comment.

    Yes Sophia's book looks like a scintillating read, doesn't it!

  28. Sophia is an amazing author! I'll bet Paolo has come up with some great recipes!

  29. I'll bet! He's certainly been cooking up a treat on the dance floor! :)

  30. Thank you, Caroline! I appreciate you stopping by and I'm glad you like the cover.

  31. Thank you, Mary, you're too kind! Paolo has some fabulous recipes, but his best one is a recipe for love ;)

  32. Lyn, Paolo has been cooking up a treat on the dance floor. He's tireless. I haven't seen him mop his brow once, have you?

  33. Not once - I'd think he was a machine except for those smouldering hot looks and the way he dances the tango!

  34. Thank you very much for roasting and toasting me today, ladies! I had a blast and I met new readers.

    Things sure heated up as you kept Paolo busy with all those tangos. I appreciate your warm hospitality, and I hope to party with you again.

  35. Good morning. Love the name of your book! Sounds really fun. Would make a good movie. I dunno but; those lantino men can sure heat up a room. LOL. I know it's early for a drink but; that Italian Bellini cocktail sure looks tasty. And don't you ladies look pretty.
    Sue B

  36. Oo la la, everything looks so delicious, ladies! Especially the chef, lol. Wonderful party, as always!
    Congrats on your release, Sophia! It sounds yummy. :)

  37. We've loved having you, Sodphia, thank you for sharing your excerpts with us and especially for letting us enjoy the pleasure of tangoing with Paulo (Lyn fans herself)wait ... the party isn't over yet, there are still some last minute guests - lets tango on!

  38. Hi Sue, hi Cate, lovely to see you, so glad you came to Sophia's party.
    Eat, drink and be merry!

  39. Hi Cate and Katsrus! I'm back and I brought Paolo with me. Ladies, he's ready to tango;)

  40. Oh Sophia, you are so generous - oh, you think he should dance with Sue and Cate? OK, I guess Mary, Patsy and I did hog him a bit. I'll just sulk in the corner then! :)

  41. I dunno I have 2 left feet so it might not look like a Tango. LOL.
    Sue B

  42. You danced with him yesterday. Don't you remember???
    It's not you Paolo it's Lyn. The mead, the martinis, the shoes...

  43. I think you all look just lovely in your Latin-ized dresses! And the food...YUM! Especially if I don't have to cook. lol

    Congrats on your release, Sophia! The book sounds wonderful and the cover breathtaking.

  44. Oh but I do remember dancing with him, Mary dear, how could I forget! *hic* Can't blame a girl for wanting more!

  45. Hello Calissa

    So plesed to see you at Sophia's party, and thanks for the compliment. You're looking pretty hot yourself in that pretty pink number!

  46. Ladies - better late than never. My hubby whisked me away to a night of romance for our 22nd anniversary. The party was terrific, sorry I only got here for the last tango!

  47. Thanks very much, Calisa! I'm happy you stopped by and partied with us!

  48. Hi P.L. - it's never too late to tango ;) Thanks so much for stopping by the party!

  49. Lyn and Mary hug their sister hostess.

    Don't worry about being dragged away by your dishy hubby Patsy - we understand, and Mary and me and Sophia and all the other guests managed to keep Paulo entertained - and we left you some party food! :)
    Hope you had a wonderful Anniversary!

  50. Just found a note about this and came on over. Nice and interesting.

  51. Hi William and Anna, thanks so much for stopping by.

  52. Congrats, Sophia!

    I'm late, just helping to clean up and drain the last of the Malbec from the bottom of the bottles, but my good wishes for your book's success are no less well-meant!

  53. Hi Devon
    Thanks so much for stopping by and helping with the clean up LOL. (And for the good wishes for Sophia's book)

  54. Hi Devon
    Thanks so much for stopping by and helping with the clean up LOL. (And for the good wishes for Sophia's book)

  55. Thanks very much for stopping by and adding your good wishes, devonwellington and William and Anna Patterson!

  56. Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting, everyone. And huge thanks to the Roast and Toast Hostesses! Paolo sends his love :)

    The winner of an ebook copy of Grill Me, Baby is Sue B
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com! Please let me know which digital format you prefer, Kindle or Nook.

  57. Thanks so much Sophia, we've loved having you - and Paulo - as our special guests. Paulo's broken more than a few hearts we think!

    Congratulations Sue, you're in for a great read!

  58. Awesome!! Thank you! Looking forward to your book. I have a Kindle or PDF also works.
    Sue B


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