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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shelley's winner is...

Julie Eberhart Painter

Congratulations, Julie.

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

The hostesses 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 6th July when Mackenzie Crowne will be Guest of Honour at:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Shelley Noble's beach party to celebrate her book, Beach Colors

“Pleasure Beach! What a great name!” Mary wipes her face. “But the hike just about killed me!”

“I didn’t know they had beaches in Connecticut!” Lyn adjusts her sunglasses beneath her wide-brimmed hat. “I thought Connecticut is supposed to be cold!”

Mary spreads out a bright flowered beach blanket and plops down. “Silly! Connecticut is on the ocean. Of course it would have beaches. Nice here, not like in Florida or Texas.” She fans herself. “Not nearly as hot.”

“Actually, the breeze is a little cool for me.” Patsy folds out two beach chairs, settling in. “And don’t expect me to go into the water. My idea of swimming is when the water is in the seventies or even higher. Besides, it’s getting a little dark. Maybe we should move over by the fire.”

Nibbie races to the shoreline with Hampy and Cuddles scampering behind.

Patsy lets loose a shrill whistle. “You stay out of the water!”

Mary nods her head. “Be a mess in the car if they get wet with all the sand.”

Shelley strolls down the beach. “You guys came!” She claps her hands enthusiastically. Leaning down, she whispers. “Oliver is bartending! I absolutely adore Oliver.” She glances in Oliver’s direction. “Oliver in a swimsuit is every woman’s secret desire.”

Wearing a flowered silk hip drape and matching bra, Shelley is a beachcomber’s dream girl, like she stepped from the screen of Hawaii 5 0!

Lyn mutters under her breath. “Look at her outfit! And that figure! Fashion designers must love her!”

“She does look amazing,” Mary agrees, heaving a sigh.

“You look great yourself.” Patsy pats Mary’s arm. “For old broads, we’re holding our own.”

A volley ball bounces off Lyn’s head. “OOWW!”

A crowd of young people race by throwing water balloons and nailing everyone with high powered water guns! The three women try unsuccessfully to shield their faces from the liquid barrage.

Shelley laughs, the sound so joyful, everyone has to smile. “I think you all need a sweet libation to loosen you up.” She taps her lips. “I have just the thing! Watermelon martinis!”

“Oh yum!” Patsy smacks her lips. “You must have read my mind.”

Mary stands up, ready for a drink. A well muscled bodybuilder grabs her, tosses her over his shoulder and runs into the water.  Mary shrieks once before the seawater closes over her head.

Lyn covers her mouth to keep from giggling out loud. “Oh my! She is going to be sooo mad!”

More heavily muscled beach boys start towards them, their intent all too clear.

“Not me!” Patsy turns and runs toward the food, knowing that no one is going to ruin the buffet.

“Me either.” Lyn stumbles but manages to run also. “Besides, I’m starving.”

They collide with the volley ball net, trip over numerous sun worshippers but finally make it to safety.

And what safety it is.  Drooling, they gaze at the amazing fare.

Fried clams, lobster tails, grilled corn, crab salad, three bean and hot potato salad,

 plates of fresh veggies with a variety of dips, baked beans, and lots of salty chips and for dessert, homemade vanilla ice cream sitting amidst the mouth-watering spread.

“Oh my,” Lyn breathes. “My favorite! Peach upside down cake.”

Another volley ball bounces off Lyn’s head again. “OOWW!” She glares over her shoulder. “Can’t you see I’m eating here!”

A thoroughly saturated Mary staggers up. She squeezes water from her dripping hair. “Give me one of those spicy lemonades.”

She downs it in two swallows. “I need another.”

A grin lights her face. “I’m cooler now, I have to admit.”

Patsy flexes her muscles.  “One more good looking guy with huge biceps comes at me, I’ll fix him sure!”

“Are you kidding?” Shelley gasps. “This is a beach party. You’re supposed to be having fun and what happens on the beach, stays on the beach!”

“I thought that was Vegas!”

“I don’t care where it is,” Lyn states, tilting her head at the healthy bevy of male bodies. “Perfect spot for a party, perfect food and perfect scenery.”

“I’m with you,” Mary cheers.

“Well, then,” Shelley lights up a handful of sparklers. “Let’s party!”


Beach Colors

William Morrow
June 2012

While Margaux Sullivan was presenting her highly praised M Atelier collection at New York City’s Fashion Week, her husband of thirteen years cleaned out their bank account and disappeared. A week later the bank foreclosed on her apartment and business. Suddenly broke, betrayed, and humiliated, Margaux returns home to the small, coastal town of Crescent Cove, CT, where she once knew love, joy and family, three things she’s lost on her climb to fame.

BEACH COLORS is a story about broken dreams and new beginnings and the power of love to transform what we might have been into what we can become.


Chapter One
Margaux Sullivan stood unmoving and listened to the echoes of her failure. Only a week ago, her Manhattan loft had been thrumming with energy, excitement, and caffeine, as twenty-five pattern cutters, drapers, and seamstresses worked round the clock to prepare M Atelier’s latest collection for the event of the year. New York City’s Fashion Week.

Now it was just an empty space. The finished pieces carted away in cardboard boxes. The long work tables cleared of everything but a few forgotten scraps of fabric. The manikins repossessed, the brick walls bare except for the row of five by three foot photographs of Margaux’s award-winning fashions that her creditors left behind.

The asymmetrical black, moirĂ© satin sheath had been her first CDFA award winner. The black wool Tuxedo had made the cover of Vogue. Marie Claire had called the black tulle ball gown—not a fluffy evening dress, but cutting edge stark—“Tulle with a Bite.”
The models stared back at her, caught in time, sleek and scowling. This dress will make you thin, this will make you beautiful, this will make men adore you. Black, unique and powerful. They’d promised to make Margaux’s dream come true.

And it had come true. Ever since that sticky summer day when she’d discovered a bridal magazine in the Crescent Cove library. She’d opened its shiny pages to brilliant white, palest pink, creamy ivory. Pearls and veils and promises—and she thought, this is what I want to do.
For the rest of the summer, she rode her bike to the library almost every day to draw and dream. During the school year she took art classes and every summer she returned to the library to copy the latest magazines. She majored in design in college and interned in New York, and graduallly worked her way up to owning her own workshop.

It had been a long fierce climb, but she’d made it. She was successful, envied, happily married. But it was just an illusion. While she worked unceasingly to establish herself as one of New York’s top designers, her loving husband had siphoned off their assets and disappeared.
The bank had taken everything else.

All she had left was her car and her reputation. The car was paid for, but her reputation wouldn’t be worth a two martini lunch, once the news got out that M Atelier had gone belly up.
Margaux felt her chin quiver. Not now. She had one more thing to do before she broke down and howled at the moon.

She slipped the business card out of her pocket and picked up her portfolio. She stepped into her secretary’s office. “Guess we’re the last two.”
Yolanda looked up from a soggy Kleenex. Margaux thrust the business card toward her. “Liz Chang at DKNY has been threatening to steal you for years. Here’s her number. Call her.”
Yolanda took the card. “She’d take you, too.”

Margaux shook her head. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” She’d thought about hiring herself out again. But the thought stuck in her gut. She couldn’t do it. It was too humiliating. And she wouldn’t give her competition the sastisfaction of seeing her grovel. Not yet, anyway.

“Good luck.” Margaux turned to leave and came face to face with the most recent photo of herself. An award dinner at the Plaza. Tall, sleek, her impossibly curly auburn hair gelled, sprayed and pulled back into a classic French twist that an earthquake wouldn’t ruffle. Her black evening gown, one of her own designs, had stopped conversation when she’d entered the room. She was holding a glass of Tattinger’s champagne and smiling. At the top of her game.

And now the game was over.


Shelley Noble’s first women’s fiction novel, Beach Colors, is published by William Morrow.  She also writes mysteries as Shelley Freydont and romance novels as Gemma Bruce.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley most recently worked on the films Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan.  She can be reached via her websites at http://shelleynoble.com  or http://shelleyfreydont.com

To win a copy of Shelley'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.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Paula Martin invites you to revisit your childhood!

The hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast are throwing a party! Paula Martin has requested a birthday party for a five year old's birthday. Chuck E Cheese's here we come!!!

"Why do I have to wear the dog costume? Jasper T Jowls, whose idea was this anyhow?" Mary grumbles as she pulls her costume up for the umpteenth time. 

"Hey, I love pizza and all the stuff they have to eat here." Patsy dressed as Helen Henny, eyes the chicken wings and pizza. Deciding on sundae toppings would be the challenge.

Lyn glares at Mary.  "Everyone is wearing costumes to this party. 

Oliver is dressed as Pasqualey and the food is amazing. Look at the adorable kids.Now girls this is a party for a five year old, however if you would both please try not to act like one."

Mary and Patsy eye one another at Lyn's comments and both crack up laughing. "Lighten up Lyn, I mean Chuck E, It's a party for goodness sakes. And Patsy, you are a chicken, don't look at the wings like that, it's -  it's, seriously odd!" 

Lyn shakes her head as they enter the amazing party room. It's an amazing sight. One after another video games of all kinds line the floor. Children are running around taking it all in and the carcaphony of sounds lends excitement. "Will you get out of there Mary! You are too big to be in that thing." Lyn eyes the ball pit where Mary has her attention centered. "Don't  you dare! If you break it they will make us pay for it" 

"Okay,Okay. I'll behave. Hey did you know we are gonna have to put on a show? Mary nudges Lyn. "So what do we have to do?"

Patsy smacks Lyn on the hand as she reaches for a hot dog. "You should be eating cheese, mice don't eat hot dogs."

"Well this one does." Lyn laughs and stuffs the rest of her hot dog in her mouth with a grin. 

"Hey, isn't that Paula?" Patsy points at Paula, dressed in five year old style as a lovely fairy Princess.  She smiles and waves to them. Mary mumbles something about nice costumes and ugly costumes. 

"Hey, ladies." Paula grins. "I love the costumes you picked for the animals. Hampy makes a cute miniature teddy bear, and Nibby and Cuddles are letting the kids ride them outside. Love the horn you put on Nibby. The kids are loving the idea they are  riding on Unicorns."

Paula smiles and twirls around in her dress. "This is so much fun! And look at the size of that birthday cake." Paula laughs. Oliver in his costume twirls his moustache and gives a charming bow to Paula. He gestures at the Birthday cake he has just brought out. It's a massive creation of sweet confection. Oliver at his best.

"Don't even go there Mary!" Lyn calls out as she watches Mary's eyes light up at the sight of the huge cake in front of her.

"Too late." Patsy chuckles. "You did arrange for a second cake right." "Of course, we've learned from past experience.
"Oh MY! I knew it." Lyn sighs as Mary trips several kids on her way to the cake. With a shove a large kid pushes her into the cake.

"We're gonna need them to bring out the other cake eh Paula?" Lyn and Patsy help Mary out of the cake while Paula holds her stomach laughing. Wiping a bit of frosting from Mary's cheek she grins. "Just another roast and toast."

Lets all welcome Paula Martin and her new release 'Changing The Future'.  Pass the cupcakes!!!


Lisa Marshall is stunned when celebrated volcanologist Paul Hamilton comes back into her life at the college where she now teaches. Despite their acrimonious break-up several years earlier, they soon realise the magnetic attraction between them is stronger than ever. However, the past is still part of the present, not least when Paul discovers Lisa has a young son. They can’t change that past, but will it take a volcanic eruption to help them change the future?

Lisa followed her friend’s glance to the two figures on the path leading diagonally across the lawn towards the Charlton Building. Even from a distance, their colleague Fiona Hall was unmistakable; immaculate as always, in a tight-fitting green skirt and jacket.
As her gaze moved to the man walking with Fiona, she frowned. There was something familiar about the tall, slim figure—the way he walked, and the way he tilted his head as he listened to Fiona.
Don’t be stupid, she told herself, but still couldn’t take her eyes off him. As the gap between them lessened, her blood started to run cold. It wasn’t—it couldn’t possibly be…

The man lifted his hand to flick back a stray strand of light brown hair from his forehead and she knew it was Paul.

For an insane moment, she wanted to run towards him, be scooped up in his arms again, see the laughter in his blue eyes, feel his soft and sensual mouth against hers.

Stunned by her reaction, by feelings she thought she’d totally suppressed, she stopped abruptly. Another thirty seconds and they’d come face-to-face. Total panic made her heart thump against her ribs.
“I-I’ve just remembered—er, I need some—some class lists.” Without waiting for Millie to reply, she turned and quickened her pace back towards the Old House.

Dimly she heard Millie call out something about coffees in the cafeteria. The whole world had receded and she was aware only of the painful pounding in her chest. Shock mixed with incredulity. Paul here at Hillside? Her mind simply refused to believe what her eyes had seen.

When she reached the Old House, she went straight to the ladies’ room. To her relief, no one else was there. She didn’t dare think, didn’t dare allow herself to feel anything. Not until she’d managed to control the trembling which was shaking her whole body.

She glanced at her reflection in the mirror. The blood had drained from her face and her brown eyes looked back at her with shock and panic. “Oh God,” she breathed. “Oh, dear God…”

Had she really seen Paul Hamilton again? Paul in person, not just on television? She deliberately hadn’t watched his Power of the Planet series which had brought him international fame, but then he’d started appearing regularly on TV. Not only on science programmes, but sometimes even on prime-time news, especially when the Icelandic ash cloud had disrupted air travel the previous year. He’d become a well-known expert on volcanic activity. Whenever she saw him on the screen, she had to steel herself against remembering the man she’d once loved so deeply.

She rested her hands on the edge of the washbasin and took a few deep breaths. Maybe she’d imagined it, maybe it hadn’t been him at all, simply someone who looked like him. Walked like him, tilted his head in the same way, pushed back his hair with the same mannerism.

Her shoulders sagged. No, of course it was Paul.

Bringing hands up to her cheeks, she shook her head as she tried to think. Why on earth was he here in the Lake District? It was light years away from their apartment in North London, her job with the BBC and Paul’s high-profile research at London University. Light years, too, from the life of love and laughter they’d once shared, until it had all gone wrong.

She bit her lower lip as memories constricted her throat. Then she swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and squared her shoulders. She could handle this, she really could.

There was absolutely no reason for her to be nervous. He was the one who’d accused her of having an affair and then left her. She had nothing to be ashamed of. Except… A cold finger of fear ran down her spine. Except she’d never told him about his son.

Paula Martin had some early publishing success with short stories and four contemporary romance novels, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching. and has had three romance novels published, ‘His Leading Lady’ in June 2011, ‘Fragrance of Violets in February 2012’ and ‘Changing the Future’ in May 2012. Another novel will be published in November 2012 and she is currently working on a fifth.
She lives near Manchester in North-West England, and has two daughters and two grandsons. Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places and has travelled extensively in Britain, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her favourite places are the English Lake District and Ireland. She’s also interested in musical theatre and tracing her family history.

Group Blog (with 3 other writers): http://heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com

Find her books on the Whiskey Creek Press website http://whiskeycreekpress.com/authors/Paula_Martin.shtml
Also on Amazon and Bookstrand. 

To win a copy of Paula'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.