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, April 6, 2012

Kelly Moran's Jailhouse Roast and Giveaway for 'You Never Have To Rememmber The Truth'

Mary huddles against Lyn. “Tell me again! Why are we here?”

            “We’re here for family day.” Lyn whispers.

            “Whose family?  I don’t have family here!”

            Oliver brushes a hand through his hair and glances toward Cuddles, Nibbie and Hampy  who aren’t happy about being tied a tree in the yard.

Sharon peruses the notice to visitors. “It says here prisoners are only allowed three visitors at one time! There are six of us!”

Kelly holds up several white sheets. “Jeff’s cellmate Mikey said we could come and use his visitor passes.  He’ll have to stay with us though during the visit to make it legal.”    

A burly prison guard steps to the center of the cold and dismal room. “Okay everyone! Line up. You will only be allowed to take your keys into the visitor center. If you are caught with anything else, you will be restrained. Lay your keys on the conveyor belt and then take off your belt buckles and shoes and anything metal and put them on the conveyor as well. One at a time, step through the metal detector.”

            Lyn, Mary, Sharon, Oliver and Kelly step through the arch but when Patsy steps through the metal detector, the instrument bleeps.

            “Ma’am,” the prison guard says. “Step to the line and raise your arms.”

            Patsy rolls her eyes and glares, but does as he says. The guard takes a hand-held metal detector and swirls it over her body.  He pauses at her waistline and grins.

            “Just the metal snap on your jeans.” He motions her through.

            Lyn wipes perspiration from her brow. “I thought you were a goner for sure.”

            They follow the guard down a short hallway to a locked door.  When all the visitors are gathered close, he unlocks the door and waves them forward. To their right, behind a huge window, they can see prisoners walking in a circle.

            Mary presses her nose against the glass. “What are they doing?”

          “Exercising.” Kelly chuckles. “Sometimes, that’s all the exercise they get.”

            Several loud beeps ring through the room. A heavy metal door swings open and a line of men in orange jumpsuits enter the room.

            “Over here!” Kelly waves her arms. “That’s my cousin, Jeff. He’s innocent you know! You all need to read his memoirs. I have them at home.”

            The visitors and prisoners converge on each other. Hugs, kisses, squeals of joy resound through the large room as the families unite.

            Several prisoners approach a makeshift podium. One picks up a guitar, another seats himself at a set of drums and another positions himself in front of a keyboard. The guitar player moves to the front where a microphone is stationed.

            Mary’s eyes round. “Are they going to play?”

            “Yep!” Kelly leads them to a long table. “The prison band tries to make it seem more hospitable for the visitors. Music to soothe the soul.”

            “I must admit to needing some soothing right now.” Sharon nervously sits down. “Are we safe here?”

            “Probably more safe than on the outside,” Lyn says with confidence, but seats herself between Sharon and Oliver with Mary to the left. Jeff, Kelly and Patsy sit down on the opposite bench. A huge
prisoner, shaved head and a multitude of black tattoos, plunks down on the bench next to Patsy. The threesome levitate as his weight jars the bench.

            “I’m Mikey.” He extends a hand the size of a bear paw. “Glad to meet you.”

            Patsy winces as he crushes her fingers. “Owww!”

            “Uh, sorry,” he apologizes. “Don’t know my own strength.”

            With a few clangs of warm-up notes, the band begins playing. Jail House Rock rocking the room. Prisoners and families cheer. Several couples jump to their feet and start dancing.

            “This is more like it,” Shaton laughs. “Only thing missing is Elvis.”

  “Food is on the patio.” Jeff points the way. “Not much to pick from but we made a special dish we all like here. Cooked in the microwave Ramen noodles with tuna fish, and then we add hot sauce.  Not too bad. Better than the regular fare. We all pooled our money and ordered in some brats and cheese for the kiddies.” He points to the wall, beaming happily. “There’s an ice cream machine and we can get dessert!” 

Kelly picks up a glass of apple juice. “We can pretend this is Miller Lite.”

“Mine’s going to be Pabst,” Patsy chimes in grabbing a cup.

Mary takes a sip. “I’m pretending mine’s Old Milwaukee.”

Lyn gulps hers down. “Of course I’m having English mead.”

Sharon takes a ladylike sip. “I, of course, am drinking champagne.”

Mikey roll his hips, swaying to the music. “I need me a partner.” The huge paw latches onto Sharon. “You’ll do.”

“Wha….?” Sharon chokes but follows him to the dance floor.

“This is a great party!” Kelly takes Jeff’s arm and disappears into the crowd.

Mary, Lyn and Patsy gaze at the happy crowd.

“Looks like it’s just us again.” Oliver extends his arm.  “Come on, ladies, let’s dance!”#

It was one of the most sensational murder cases in U.S. history. Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek, a former Playboy waitress and ex-Milwaukee police officer, was arguably railroaded and convicted of murder. When all hope of proving her innocence seemed lost, she planned a daring escape from prison, and together with her lover they slipped into Canada under assumed names. Now, nearly twenty years after the escape, Dominic Gugliatto wants to set the record straight. The man who laid it all on the line tells a different tale — one of deception and betrayal. For the first time, Gugliatto speaks out about the lies and secrets long buried. That Bembenek knew more about the murder than she professed, and that the prison escape involved co-conspirators, including a retired Milwaukee police officer. The truth is coming, told by the only man who knows it all.


Kelly Moran is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she resides with her husband, Darren, three sons, Logan, Evan, & Ethan, and her black lab, Willow. A good portion of her family lives in the Carolinas so she spends time there, as well. She attributes her success to her family and friends.

Kelly learned at a young age that she loved to spin a good story, and that she was good at it. She has been known to say she gains ideas from everyone and everything around her, and there is always a book playing out in her head. After all, characters don't shut-up until they're heard. No one bats an eyelash when she talks to herself now.

She began her writing career in the Indie market, having self-published five novels and becoming the recipient of an Editor's Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1993, inducted into the Who's Who Book of Americans in 2006, a Finalist in the 2008 Best Books Award, and a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Excellence Book Awards before moving into the traditional market.

Nowadays she a respected book reviewer for Bookpleasures, interviews authors on her blog, and is a Romance Writer's of America member. Her children's book was featured in GRAND MAGAZINE, as "Kids Book Author of the Week," and her new romance was a "top reviewer pick" at Night Owl Reviews and LASR.

Kelly's hobbies include: reading, crafts, movies, cooking, gardening, card games, spending time with loved ones, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don't tell anyone. She is also a practicing Catholic and works part time in the healthcare field. www.authorkellymoran.com

-Like the Facebook page for book details, and more ways to win. www.facebook.com/thetruthiscoming


To win a copy of '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 Kelly

    Welcome to your Roast. I think this is te first time we've ever had on in a prison, just hope they let us out again! LOL

  2. LOL, seemed an appropriate theme since the true crime memoir is partly about him helping a convicted murderer escape prison.
    It takes place in Wisconsin and Canada mostly, Ergo the Milwaukee beers. Nice touch.
    Thanks for having me ladies. I'll keep popping in throughout the day, and pick a winner tomorrow.
    Kelly Moran

  3. Good Morning! I hope so too! I've got a hair appointment at 3:00!

  4. >hn grins and hugs her sister hostess.

    Lol Patsy - I wonder, do they have hairdresses in jail?

    Forgot to say, 'You Have To Remember The Truth' has only just been released, so cogratulations, Kelly!

  5. Hi Ladies. Thanks for having me. I'll keep popping in and then pick a winner tomorrow! XO

  6. PS--Like the Facebook page for book details, and more ways to win. www.facebook.com/thetruthiscoming

  7. So this is prison huh? So where are the hot guys kept. Can we go there?
    Kelly can you direct me??

  8. Lyn blows an air kiss to her sister hostess. Hi Mary - I think perhaps they heard we were coming and hid - or has Kelly rounded them all up for herself?

  9. Now I can't imagine being so greedy! There has to be some big muscular guy who would like a smooch? No tatooed body or narly faces!Hey, I'll be we could get a buck a kiss!

  10. Wow, a roast and toast in a jail, now that's different for sure! Hope they'll let you all out at the end of the day!
    Kelly, your book sounds really intriguing!

  11. Hey, Paula, I hope they let us out!!
    I'm afraid for Patsy, with those huge muscular arms of her they might wanna wrestle!

  12. I can take any of 'em! Uh. . . Hi, Mikey! *she gulps* Have some apple juice and some ice cream! I'm going over here to the corner and cower.

  13. Patsy, look at the guy over there by the ice cream machine. He is cute and he's flexing at you!!!!
    Go over there and wrestle!!! Or whatever...

  14. Your book sounds fascinating, Kelly. But excuse me for not hanging around this place. Someone might discover my past and I'd never get out!! Have fun today.

  15. That's what I'm afraid of. Suppose they remember me from my (gulp)wild days??? How long can they come after you for some things, like isn't there
    a statute of limitations? Is it illegal to try to sell your sister when you were eight. There were too many of us and I wanted my own room.

  16. Don't worry - no one will recognize us! As to the guy by the ice cream - Oh...Hi - aren't you. . . Yikes! I do know people here! Mary, I need to hide! That officer is looking at me and checking his cell phone!

  17. LOL Patsy - there were times when I wanted to sell mysister too - though there were only two of us. I love her really though.

    Hi, Paula, hi Brenda. It's surprising how hunky some of the guys in here are, isn't it!

  18. Shoot stand sideways behind me so your arms don't show and put this wig on. Oh wait, is that a wig? How about this Patsy, Mary pulls out a nylon stocking and hands it to Patsy. Oh wait that was for before jail. Here she hands Patsy her makeup kit. And Patsy draws huge eyebrows and bright pink cheeks, not to mention the huge red lips. Lyn thinks it's the wrong approach. But Patsy does look totally different. Wonder if that will work?

  19. Well, of course, now Patsy looks like a total flootsie, she has all the men swarming round her like flies. Not sure whether to be jealous or just worried! :)

  20. Flootsie? Is that anything like a floozie?

  21. Honest to God, guys, I've been trying to comment and it wouldn't let me. I'm going to try again!

    Thanks so much for having me.

  22. Hey girls, Mikey just said he heard on the prison grapevine, Kelly's been taken for questioning by that hunky guard who was around earlier - and she's not allowed to communcate at all - what we gonna do?

  23. Wow, Kelly, you got away, phew, we're so pleased to see you back!

  24. Praise, Jesus! It worked this time!


    Anyway, thanks for the great comments, everyone. And for the book interest. I figured a jailhouse theme suited, seeing as the book is a true crime memoir partly about how he helped a convicted murderer escape.

    And um... yes. I was taken captive by the hot guard. But I can't say any more than that....

  25. I'll pop back in very soon. The guard's calling....

  26. Well thank goodness you escaped Kelly!
    Or, well, maybe not? LOL!
    What made you decide to write a story with this kinda theme???

  27. Floozie or Flootzie! Well I never! *she catches sight of another hunky guy* Oh Yahoo! Hunky Guy! Over here! I do look so hot in my tight jeans today.

  28. She's stealing all the good ones as we speak. Look arm wrestling, she's winning!!! Go PATSY!!
    I wonder if they'll let us out?
    I hate bologna sandwiches.

  29. LOL, no-one can beat Patsy at arm wrestling! I never thought being 'inside' would be so much fun.

    Hey, how about an excerpt Kelly?

  30. Hey, these guys think bologna is like steak to us! Try it with lots of mustard - kills the taste. I'm off to wrestle the hunk standing by the door - or maybe "wrestle" is the wrong word!

  31. My bologna has a first name, it's Oscar!
    Wait, what?

  32. I think I have had too much ice cream. I'm taking a nap! I have brain freeze!

  33. Me too! I've got the burps from the tuna fish thing!

  34. I couldn't eat it! It looks gross!
    Those are bugs!!! AAAAAHHHHHH!

  35. Well nite all! tomorrow is another day. I'm waiting!! Let me out!!! HELLO!!!!

  36. Oh dear I think I've drunk too much mead - I mean apple juice, I just want to curl up and go to sleep. Looks like we'll still be here tomorrow, if any more visitors want to stop by.

    'Night all.

  37. Hey Kelly, you can always call me for bail, but if that cute guard has you for 'questioning,' maybe you don't want to be bailed out.

  38. Lyn yawns and stretches.

    Oh, that's better. I was so tired - what's for breakfast? Hmm, what or who am I lying on.

    *Waves* Hello Jenafer, I think there's still some food around. Thans for dropping in to help Kelly celebrate her new release!

  39. LOL. Free at last. Again, I'm sworn to secrecy. Jenafer! So good to see you pop by.

  40. Excerpt, eh? Here you go...

    The day that Lawrencia Bembenek and I were captured by the authorities in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, on October 17th, 1990, was every meteorologists wet dream. Earlier that morning the sun shone beautifully, and if I was a man who believed in things like destiny and fate and omens, I would have recognized the later drastic climactic change as a sign things were about to go very, very bad. Through this whole ordeal, there were many signs, had I only bothered to look. Early that morning, rays of sunlight were poking through the window of the hardware store where I worked, but were long gone by the time Jennifer called with the warning.
    At that time, Lawrencia and I had been on the run from the law for ninety-five days. Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek, officially a convicted murderer back in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, had escaped prison with my help, and for that entire duration we remained in character-- she born as Jennifer Voelkel, now Jennifer Gazzana, married to me, Anthony Gazzana.
    Jennifer Gazzana was working as a waitress at a diner in town called the Columbia Grill & Tavern. A diner, ironically enough, that was located right across the street from the police station. She also worked part time as an aerobics instructor. A man on vacation from California came in to the diner earlier that week, and had been hitting on her. Jennifer politely turned him down, er, so she says. Later, when he saw the episode of "America's Most Wanted" featuring the two of us, he immediately called the tip line. I later learned that another couple may have been involved in recognizing her too.
    That day, Thunder Bay Police Detective, Ron Arthur, came into the diner looking for a 5'10", 135-pound, thirty-two-year-old woman who was being sought by U.S. authorities. Even in her workday black slacks and white shirt, Jennifer Gazzana looked elegant—maybe too elegant to be a waitress among the orange vinyl booths at the restaurant. Detective Arthur immediately questioned her. Are you this woman? Are you wanted in the States for murder? Did you escape prison? The media-issued photo of Lawrencia Bembenek was a poor-quality fax, so the investigator had no trouble believing Jennifer when she lied to them, stating she was Jennifer Voelkel-Gazzana, born in Canada, and that she had never heard of this woman. After examining her birth certificate and comparing her face to a "Wanted" photo, Arthur declared that Jennifer was "not the person we want" and walked out.
    The whole mock interrogation was over in a matter of minutes.

  41. And what made me want to write this? Hm. I think best explained in my Dear Reader letter. Here you go...

    Dear Reader,

    Awhile back I got a call from an old friend and colleague asking me some publishing questions. As I've always wanted to be a writer, and I spent the better part of ten years researching the industry, this wasn't unusual. Imagine my surprise when she tells me it's about writing a book for Dominic Gugliatto!
    I was four years old at the time of Christine Schultz's murder, five when Lawrencia Bembenek was found guilty, and thirteen when Dominic helped Lawrencia escape prison. Though I was young, I remember Wisconsin's outcry and the media blitz, and the eventual world-wide pandemonium this case created. Ergo, I was interested in talking about a book with Dominic.
    In saying that, I'm also a romance and children's book writer. I deal with fiction and happily ever afters, not dates and facts and figures. So I was reluctant, as I didn't know if I could give Dominic the book he deserved. I was also concerned about the possible emotional toll that writing a book like this might have on my family. So over dinner one night with my husband and then three-year-old twin boys, I discussed the project. Well, the twins discussed Toy Story, my husband, Darren and I discussed the book. Halfway through my spiel, my husband lifts his hand to stop me and says, "Do it." My response was somewhere along the lines of, "Huh?" He said, "Do it. It's a great opportunity and it can help your career."
    Now that really got my brain churning. It could help my writing career, open doors, and challenge me. After getting back on the phone with Dominic however, I knew this book and my agreement to write it would never solely be about my career. There were many reasons for me to do and not to do this, and one why I should-- It was the right thing to do. It's about telling his story, the one no one's ever truly heard, and giving him some closure. For weeks we met in person and over the phone. I watched this guy sitting on my couch, torn and upset even after all these years, and I saw what was inside the man behind the media craze. He's loyal, compassionate, forgiving, and strong beyond any means I can literate.
    I stayed objective, pouring over information to make sure we got this right the first time. Dominic and his family kept nearly every document, letter, and article ever written about this case. And he kept it in an old luggage case I now refer to as "The Suitcase From Hell." It took me weeks to go through all of it. Once I had the facts, I added Dominic's story. And what a story it is.
    I'm glad we became friends through this process, Dominic and I. And I honestly can say I'm a better person for having known and met him. I can only wish the same for those reading this book, but then again, I feel that's pretty much a given.

    Kelly Moran

  42. Trust me ladies! I'll never write outside of my usual romance or children's from now on. I like my imaginery friends too much. Though I don't regret writing this at all. Such a great learning experience this was!

  43. Paula and Brenda, I somehow missed you both. Thanks for coming by! I hope you enjoy the story. XO

  44. Ladies, thanks so much again for having me. This was so much fun.
    Being the Easter holiday weekend, I'm headed out of town for the day, so I'll pick the winner now.

    PAULA! Grats. You're my winner. I'll email you directly.

    Thanks so much everyone! XO

  45. Good morning everyone. They tried to get extra frisky at the door. LOL. Hi Kelly I live near Madison,WI. Nice to find another WI author. I remember that trial. That was big news for a long time. Will have to add your book to my reading as it sounds so interesting.
    Sue B

  46. Kelly - thanks so much for the excerpt, gosh this sounds like a book I'm going to have to read!
    And what a fascinating story about how you came to write it. What an experience!

    Thanks so much for being our special guest and sharing this with us.

    Congratulations again on the release of your book and wishing you many, many sales!

  47. Hi Sue, thanks for calling by, we always love seeing you at our parties.

    LOL you want to watch those frisky guards, when they're frisking you! :)

  48. Thanks so much, Sue. Let me know how you like it!

    And thank you, ladies. It was my pleasure!


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.