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, March 16, 2012

An underground celebration of Melissa Douthit's latest novel 'The Firelight of Maalda'

The Hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast welcome Melissa Douthit and we are happy to have safely arrived at this grand old castle. “It was rough getting here eh?”

Travelling underground is one of the most difficult ways to have to travel. Mary fluffs her dress and tries to pull her top up to cover her girls. "They never put enough material up here do they?"

 Lyn turns her huge feet sideways to see if she can’t keep them under her dress and out of sight. While Patsy pulls on her too tight sleeves.

“She always looks so good in these fluffy dresses.” Lyn points at Sharon as she strolls in with Oliver on her arm.

“Well look at that.” Mary eyes the tables full of wild game. Nuts, fruits and dates compete with luscious Chocolate cake and pudding. “Big stuffed birds. What are they?”

“Wild perminogen.” Lyn smiles.

“Oh brother.” Patsy rolls her eyes. “There is no such thing. It’s ptermageno.”

“What parmesan? That’s cheese. This thing looks like a peacock and it’s moving. AAAHHH!” Mary screams and points to a stuffed chicken.

 She’s hallucinating Lyn sighs, “Grab her by the arms Patsy. We’re gonna get her a drink. When she finds out about the dragon, she’s gonna freak.”

“Drrraagon!” Mary’s eyes bulge out. Patsy drags Mary over, shoves a glass of something into her hand and Mary slugs it down. Immediately overcome by a coughing fit. Patsy whacks her on the back and she flies into one of the huge bowls of pudding. Licking pudding off herself she smiles when she tastes it.

“Mmmmm. Good! Got that over with. Any whipped cream?” Mary groans. “What was in that drink?”

Lyn grabs her and drags her into a side room and tosses her one of the extra outfits the girls always bring along just in case. “Change and then come back.” Lyn tosses dagger eyes at Mary who sticks her tongue out at Lyn.

Mary reappeares in the clean gown. Suddenly a huge plume of smoke fills the air. Mary runs out of the room with Lyn behind her to see what the noise is.

“The dragon is at the castle gate - run.” Huge wings keep the dark, smooth skinned, and gleaming dragon from getting through the door way and into the main hall. And it’s an also freshly changed Patsy, who pulls out a huge sword and, covered in armor she approaches the struggling, fire breathing, creature.

“We’re gonna need animal power for this one I think. Animal power!” Mary shouts and Hampy pops up in a decorative vase. Nibby appears from a side door. The trumpet of a charging unicorn heralds Cuddles’ arrival! Hampy jumps on Nibby’s back, squeals and as the dragon faces them, runs back to Patsy.

Patsy sticks the huge creature in the behind. The dragon turns its head, with a haughty stare at the crazed female and the three animals  behind her.  Patsy runs, and the other hostesses are about to follow her,  when Melissa slides down the dragon's side from behind its neck, and leaps to the ground.

"Don't worry," she laughs, looking stunning in her electric blue gown,  "this is a Naezzi.  He won't hurt you - not if you don't go pricking him with a sword again, anyway!"

“What a sight.” Lyn laughs. “Well, just another roast. Let’s welcome Melissa again, as she is one of our faves!” Melissa curtsies and proceeds to sign her latest release for her guests.

“Save some wine for Patsy,” Mary grins, “she’s gonna need it."

Excerpt (The Firelight of Maalda, page 234):

The statue began to move.  Radiating a myriad of colors, its outer shell rippled like the surface of a dark pond disturbed by a strong wind.  It was slow at first and then faster and faster until the statue was no longer a statue but a living, fire-breathing creature that rose slowly from the ground and towered over her menacingly.  Its fiery eyes threatened her and it’s breath created a fierce, blistering gale as flames shot from its snout.  It stood almost as high as the outer wall of the fortress and gleamed in its own firelight, it’s dark, smooth, obsidian skin reflecting a pale cast over everything near it. 

 It had a long neck and body with strong, bulging legs and arms ending in black, razor-sharp claws that could cut through anything.  Sharply pointed horns protruded from its forehead, snout, and tail as well as decorating the ridge line of its back.  It had two sets of wings that stretched so far out that its wingspan blocked much of the night sky above her.  Opening its mouth in a savage snarl, it positioned itself to strike.

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. Her literary work is strongly influenced by her professional experience and includes many elements of her scientific background. 


 Book One and the Prequels are FREE on Smashwords and Amazon:



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 eligible.


  1. Good Morning Melissa, my Lady Hostesses! Castles and Dragons! I was a little cold in my dress until the dragon warmed up the place with his hot breath! Mary, you have blobs of pudding in your hair. But fortunately, you're one of those people who can wear anything. *she gulps some ale* I feel better already.

  2. Welcome Melissa, you look quite stunning in that dress!~

    Hugs Patsy, you're right, that blast of dragon breath warmed this old castle up nicely.

    Now - where did you say the mead was?

  3. It's all over this place. I think the knights party hearty!

  4. LOL Patsy!

    Nothing like a hearty party night - er I mean knight! )

    Oh on second thoughts, how about both!

  5. I second the motion! Party hearty with into the night/knights.

  6. Always knew you ladies could deal with any mean ol' dragon!
    And hi, Melissa - that's quite some dragon in your excerpt! Think I'll just disappear under the bed so that it won't see me!

  7. Hi everyone, where did the dragon go? bhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh whoops, Skinny my kitty is really mad that I didn't invite her. So she typed a bad kitty word! Mary wipes pudding off her head. Mmmmmm.Who made this stuff?

  8. Hi Paula, thanks so much for stopping by, we love to see you here.

    That dragon isn't so bad really, in fact when you read the book you find they have a reason to be annoyed! :)

  9. Hello Mary dear sister hostess!

    Trust you to fall head first into such a delicious pudding! LOL

  10. Hey, what can I say, it was chocolate!!!
    Where'd Melissa go??
    Has she been kidnapped or has she found a hot knight for a hot night?

  11. MELISSA!!!! MELIIIIISSSSAAA! Where are you? Did you get eaten by the Dragon?

  12. Let's organize a search, with the animal power they can sniff her out!
    My hooters get bigger every week don't they??? Jealous eh?

  13. Hi Everyone! Here I am!

    This is really beautiful! Thank you!!!

  14. Hi Melissa, glad you're safe!!!
    So that wasn't you that those guys carried out kicking and screaming with a bag over your head. Lyn was that you!

  15. Nope. Not me. I'm not sure who that was.

    Sorry! Didn't mean to scare everyone with my Naezzi. He's pretty harmless this one. His name is Bugsy. I think he's over there drinking mead with the guys now.

  16. How is everyone? It's great to see you all again!

    And Oliver, too! Where did he go with those drinks ... ah, there he is!

  17. Hi Melissa,

    I'm glad you're OK too. It's lovely to have you as our guest again.

    Gosh this mead is potent and Bugsy's swilling it down like it was water! *grin*

    Don't know who that was they carried out earlier, Mary, I was busy drinking - er - testing the mead to make sure it was of good quality!

  18. Do dragons celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
    Can you hug one???
    How about a dragon shape-shifter and a dragon together! Interesting eh?

  19. Lyn I never saw a hat like that two mead bottles and a connecting straw!
    Boy are you lite on your feet today!!!

  20. They sure do! =o) Bugsy's started early. His ancestors are from Ireland. They swam the chilly waters of the Celtic sea, so he's a little different.

    Most of the Naezzi's ancestors swam the cold lochs of Scotland back in the day. They were water creatures that became fire creatures. In fact their name, Naezzi, is a variant of Nessie, the most famous of them.

  21. Love the hat, Lyn! I'm going to have to make one, too!

  22. Wow! Bugsy is really swiggin' it down! Well ... you know the Irish. =o)

    Oliver is so sweet. He just brought me a glass of my favorite Pandretti Pinot Gris!

  23. Thank Got, Melissa is found! I've been searching all over the castle grounds and I went into the dungeon! OMG! Rats and spikers and skeletons hanging from the walls - that sort of thing. I need a really big drink and wine isn't going to do it!

  24. Do you want me to post another excerpt?

  25. Did you see any prisoners down there Patsy?? EEEck! I hate spiders, once read a story about a dragon who was afraid of bugs!

  26. Bugsy's not afraid of bugs. That's where he gets his name. =o)

  27. The Firelight of Maalda, pages 82-83:

    They both backed away to let her pass. Before them, stretched another long corridor that led to yet another set of doors. As they walked in, Ben waited until the doors shut behind them before turning to Chalice.
    “Chalice,” he said. “Before we go in, I need to tell you something. There is a reason the members of our family are called the Protectors of the Realm. You two will see today what it is exactly that we are protecting and why it is important, not just for us but for every living thing in our world.”
    Chalice narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”
    “You’ll see,” he said and they continued until they reached the doors. Chalice let her stone pulse again and the ground shuddered at the rumble of the massive marble slabs as they slowly opened, revealing what lay behind. Chalice stood frozen. What she saw before her not only glued her to the spot, but also stopped her breath and before she could even open her mouth, Jeremiah uttered the exact words that lay upon her lips.
    “What … is … that?”

  28. The Firelight of Maalda, pages 158-159:

    After they had finished with the firesticks, the hullbreakers were next. Tired of sitting and watching, Chalice decided that she wanted to join in. So, when Jeremiah pulled a large, white hullbreaker from the wagon, she asked: “Can I try?”
    He glanced over at her, tube in hand, and smiled wryly. “You want to be the first to set off a White Lightning?”
    “Yeah,” she replied. “I know how to do it. I’ve been watching you.”
    “Okay,” he said, handing her the tube. “Just be careful.”
    “Of course, I will,” she said with a smirk and took it from him. She grabbed the lantern in the wagon bed and made her way downhill to the launcher. Attached to the body of the tube was a metal ring. She slipped it onto the launcher’s bar, stepped back and removed the candle from the lantern. Then, she lit the fuse and began to slowly back away when something caught her eye, and alarm shot a jolt of adrenaline through her, freezing her in place.
    Leaning lazily against the wagon, Jeremiah watched as Chalice moved away from the hullbreaker and paused. Why is she stopping? he wondered. Get away from it, Chalice! Now! A sharp pain stabbed deep into his chest and he instinctually knew that something was very wrong. He could sense it throughout his entire body. He bolted as fast as he could toward her, moving swiftly down the meadow. Then, suddenly, he felt himself being lifted off his feet by a blistering gale and hurled backwards through the air. He slammed hard into the ground, unable to believe what his eyes were seeing as shards of metal flew in every direction and the green all around Chalice blazed in searing-hot, white fire.

  29. What nail-biting excerpts Melissa, thanks for sharing. Of course I've read the book so I know what happens. I love these stories, and can't wait for the next one!

  30. OHHH NOOO! I hope she made it!!!! You blew us away too!

  31. Melissa, what does dragon breath really smell like?
    He can't have bad breath if he's a nice dragon. By the way Patsy, you really need to stop weight lifting, or use one of those enhancement exercises like I do. Here, leftover pudding...I thought I'd leave some in my hair for a snack.

  32. Mary - you really are incorrigible! (But we love you.)

    Melissa - don't apologise for the cliffhangers - that's what authors need to do - leave the reader gasping for more! :)

  33. Dragon breath ... hmmm ...

    I would guess that it smells like fire and smoke. The Naezzi eat the deadwood of the forest so theirs smells like woodsmoke. But then again, I haven't gotten close enough to check. Too dangerous! =o)

  34. Me incoriabled never!
    Have you ever had a dragon hot foot Lyn?? Hmmmmmm.
    Melissa got a dragon I can borrow?

  35. Hehe! You ladies are too much! =o)

    Yep, I've got one you can borrow. They are so much fun to ride up into the air! Luv it!

    In fact, I'm going to take Oliver with me for an aerial view of the castle.

  36. You ladies want to come? I've got a Naezzi for each of you.

  37. Oooh thank you Melissa, I've always wanted to ride a Naezzi - at least since I read your book!

  38. Okay! Strap yourself on tightly cause here we go!!!!!!

  39. It's beautiful, isn't it? (shouts through the wind) You see down there? That's the King's courtyard on the top of the castle.

  40. I want that Red Dragon, the one with the curly tail - or is that his head! Whatever. How exciting! Where's the saddle and I need me some reins.

  41. Gosh leave to take a pee and look what happens!

  42. Your Naezzi are right there Mary and PL! We're up here! See us!

  43. Lyn's Naezzi dives down, scoops Mary up and tosses her on his shoulder, behind Mary.

    Wheeey, hold tight girls, here we go!

  44. Help Lyn made me besides myself!!!

  45. Well nite my friends. The warm dragon is gonna take me out tonite. We're gonna go flying. Over big cities and beautiful country under the light of the moon! Tomorrow!!!

  46. Good night, Mary! It has been a wonderful day!

    Oliver and I are gonna head back down to the castle ...

  47. Sorry for putting you beside yourself Mary, I meant behind ME! Confused? Who's confused?

    It's been wonderful having you as our guess, Melissa, and thanks for letting us ride the Naezzis.

    Look after her Oliver, and don't tire yourself now, we need you to serve us breakfast in the morning! :)

  48. Ooh, I just hate it when AuthorRoast signs in as me! :)

  49. Okay Lyn! Will do! Thanks for having me today! Good night!

  50. Lyn rises and stretches to the rising aroma of something delicious cooking in the castle kitchen - Oliver's cooking breakfast for Melissa and all the guests.

    Oh dear, I think I may have had just a leetle too much mead last night, I called you our 'guess' when I meant your 'guest'!:) Ah well, we had a wonderful time last night, thank you for letting us ride the Naezzis, that was amazing.

    We love having you visit our blog and hope we'll be able to help you celebrate when your third book comes out. In the meantime we'll hang around the castle in case any last minute guests drop in.

    Wishing you loads of success with this and all your future books

  51. I had a little too much fun last night, too! =o)

    Here's breakfast for you all! The pancakes are wonderful, aren't they?

    Thank you again for having me! Looking forward to the roast of the third book!

  52. Fun Melissa! Love the dragons!!
    Always love to have you visit!