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 1, 2012


Hello lovely Roast and Toast visitors.  Due to a certain amount of shuffling and rescheduling we find we have a 'free' day today - so we're inviting everyone to just pop in and chat - post an excerpt or two (Please keep it fairly short though) tell us about a book you're reading, your latest WIP or what ever you fancy. Oliver will provide virtual refreshments as always, and for your entertainment there's a slideshow of pictures of Mary and Lyn's visit to Pennsylvania to meet our dear Sharon's parents and sister and her family.  ENJOY!




I recently visited Pennsylvania where I was thrilled to be able to meet up with sister hostess Mary Ricksen. Mary had arranged this visit last year and we had hoped to meet up with Sharon this spring, but sadly it was not to be. However, we visited her home, and met her lovely Mom and Dad, and sister Mary Beth and her family, including Oliver 'Ollie'  their black Labrador. (Guess where he gets his name from?) We also had an uninvited visitor in the shape of a garter snake, who caused a slight panic until we realized  that he was harmless. We saw the beautiful cemetary where dear Sharon was laid to rest, and the Church where she worshiped.  We visited Mary Beth's home in Mars, had our photos taken with the 'spaceship' and had a lovely meal in a restaurant overlooking the river. We made so many beautiful memories. 

From Pennsylvania we went on to Amish country, and a lovely guesthouse in Ohio, where we were delighted to be able to make friends with the owner's horses and even help a little with them at feeding time. We enjoyed some deliciousl meals at the Amish restaurants and bought souvenirs and keepsakes from their local craft and leather shops. The owner of the guesthouse 'Dream Horse' is also a talented artist and photographer (she painted the lovely Gypsy Cob on the wall in our room) and has written a fascinating book about the various guests at the guesthouse, and illustrated it with the most glorious pictures.

I had a wonderful time although it went all too quickly, and Mary and I were so ecstatic to be able to meet in person at last. It was as if we'd known each other all our lives!  It's a shame America is such a big country or we might have managed to meet up with our other sister hostess, Patsy as well. As Mary frequently says, if only we had a teletransporter!


  1. Good Morning Everyone! What a wonderful visit to our over the seas sister! Enjoy the day! Eat, drink and be Mary - er - merry!

  2. Hello Patsy (Lyn hugs her sister hostess) I had a fantastic experience visiting the lovely US - wish I could give you a real hug too, instead of just a virtual one!

  3. What GREAT photos, I really enjoyed the slide-show. It made me feel as if I'd been there with you!

  4. Hi Paula, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed the slideshow - it was an amazing experience and the weather was wonderful too - warm and sunny without being too hot or humid!

  5. I miss her like crazy!!
    Lyn is so special. I am still working on trying to keep her. So far her husband says no. But, I'm persistent!
    Just spending time with Lyn was so much fun...she gives the best hugs ever!
    Now it's party time!!
    Let's see some great excerpts!

  6. LOL Mary, you certainly know how to make me blush! You give amazing hugs yourself and I had such a wonderful time with you!

  7. Sounds like you enjoyed your visit. I'd love to visit that area of North America! Thanks for the opportunity to post an excerpt. Today is the release of my debut romantic suspense and I'm happy to share a snippet.

    “I remember you.” His arms tightened.

    Her heart sighed, and the scent of him cast a spell. A trace of soap, a whiff of man, and a fragrance so familiar it made her think of bush parties, bonfires, cheap wine, and the back seat of an ’86 Firebird.

    She remembered every little detail.

    “What’s this about, Lilypad?”

    That he remembered that awful nickname he’d labeled her with when they were kids was a visceral punch to the gut.

    She wrinkled her nose. “I hated that name.”

    “I know. I’d have been disappointed if you hadn’t.”


  8. Loved the pictures/slideshow!

    Thanks for this opportunity to share one of my excerpts. This one is from my latest, SURRENDER HER TOUCH, with Eternal Press:

    Slade came awake with a hard jolt of surprise. He reared his head up and stared down into Summer's beautiful face. Was he still dreaming? This couldn't be real.

    But it was. Her erratic breathing whispered against his face, her flushed features were dewy with the warmth he could feel from her body beneath him. Her incredible violet eyes glistened with something indecipherable.

    He lost his breath and had to remind himself to breathe

    He knew he should move off her. Knew it, but refused to do it. She felt too good beneath him, even clothed. His hard erection still pressed against her center, demanding entrance.

    Deep inside him his Dragon rumbled with displeasure. He wanted completion, needed it.

    Something told him it wouldn't take much to get her out of those clothes and naked beneath him…where she belonged.

    Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

  9. Whew! Turn on the fan! I got the vapors!

  10. Hi, enjoyed the pictures and slideshow!

    Thanks for the opportunity to share a peek at our stories. Here's a bit from my recent release from The Wild Rose Press, CLEAR AS DAY:

    She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.


    She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.

    Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean--

    "Hey, babe. Now that I've finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?" He opened his arms. "Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?" Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.

    "Nate! What..." Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?

    The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.

    Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.

    Wow. Whoa.

  11. Hello ladies. I so enjoyed reading about your reunion and seeing the beautiful slide show. Very sorry you weren't able to do this while Sharon was still alive and glad you sensed her presence at such an appropriate place.

  12. Thanks Beth, love the excerpts people!!!

  13. WOW - Great Excerpts! Keep them coming Author Friends!

  14. What a wonderful tribute to Sharon. I read "Charade of Hearts" and loved it. Thanks for the opportunity to post an excerpt. Since there's a lot of food at this blog I thought I'd post from my sensual romance, "A Catered Romance." Lots of food references there too. "A Catered Romance" is available at Amazon and BN. Here's the excerpt:

    “Nice place you have here.”
    Mary Beth jumped at the sound of the deep male voice behind her. Water from the pot she was filling sloshed onto the floor. She dropped the pot into the sink and jerked the faucet shut, then gripped the counter edge.
    His voice. Richer, mellowed, smooth as the finest wine. Warming her with old memories, old yearnings. She was eighteen again. In love. Dreaming of a life by his side. Until he betrayed her.
    Anger, like boiling water spilled on her lap, jolted her. Biting on her lip, she turned slowly to face Tom Sackett.
    He filled the doorway, his masculine power reaching out, drawing her in as it always had. Despite his aristocratic breeding and elegantly tailored suit, he still had the look of the renegade about him. His thick black hair curled around his ears and trailed down his neck, a trifle too long. The hot, deep blue of his eyes scorched her.
    Lifting her chin, she willed starch into her spine. “You're early,” she said, glancing at the clock. “The meeting isn't for another half hour. My partner's not here yet.”
    He arched an eyebrow. “Hello to you too. That's not much of a greeting after twelve years.”
    She placed a hand on her hip. “As I recall, our last meeting was less than cordial.”
    His jaw tightened. “People change, Mary Beth.”
    “Do they?”
    “Believe it.” The determined set of his rugged features stopped any further argument. “Do you want to talk about it?”
    “No.” She tugged on her braid, trying to gain control of her emotions. For the sake of her company, she wouldn't let her feelings interfere. “We have a business deal to negotiate. Nothing more.”
    Tom's harsh features softened. He scanned her face, making her wonder if her tension showed. “You're more beautiful than I remember.”
    Awareness and a flash of anger shot through her. She dug her nails into her palms. “Saving my company is my primary concern.”
    “Mine too,” he said. “A businessman expects a return on his investment.” He strode into the kitchen with the confidence born of inherited wealth and family standing.
    Squaring her shoulders, Mary Beth fought the onslaught of old hurts. She'd grown up in the years since he'd humiliated her. Her family might not have his social connections, but her poverty-stricken upbringing had made her strong. Strong enough to fight for her professional life and keep her pride -- and her heart - - intact.
    “Coffee smells good. May I have a cup?” Tom straddled one of the high stools surrounding the white-tiled center counter.
    Glad to do something to distract her from past memories and Tom's disturbing presence, she grabbed a heavy white mug from the cabinet and poured a steaming cup of vanilla almond coffee. “Just cream, right?”
    “You remembered,” he said.
    “A lucky guess.” She handed him the mug. His fingers grazed hers as he took it, sending heat racing up her arm.
    She escaped to the opposite side of the kitchen and leaned against the counter edge. The citrus scent of his cologne lingered in her nostrils, stirring up the unwanted memory of their kiss at the formal. But the sweet kiss that had promised love and dreams fulfilled had been tainted with betrayal.

  15. Hi Karyn,

    Thanks so much for stopping by - great excerpt! Wishing you loads of success and more novels to follow.

  16. Here's mine, from 'Changing the Future':
    Without a word, he took the book from her hands and put it on the bookcase, his eyes never leaving her face. For a long moment, he gazed at her, and then leant forward, cupped her face in his hands and kissed her.
    Her instinctive reaction was to push him away, and she brought her hands up to his shoulders, but her mind suddenly stopped working.
    His mouth was soft, his tongue tenderly explored her lower lip and she couldn’t think. She was aware only of the surge of need, quivering down her spine, igniting every nerve ending, and flooding her with warmth.

  17. HI Babette

    Sizzling excerpt! Always nice to meet other WRP authors. Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing.

  18. Hi Beth

    Thanks - glad you enjoyed the pictures. Yes, we certainly felt Sharon's presence know she'll always be with us!

  19. Hi Beth

    Thanks - glad you enjoyed the pictures. Yes, we certainly felt Sharon's presence know she'll always be with us!

  20. Hi Cara

    Oh, Charade of Hearts is a fantastic read isn't it! And who couldn't love a book with Oliver in it!

    Loved your excerpt too - really drew me in, wanting to know more.

  21. It was a most wonderful experience. To watch Lyn's love of horses fill her face. She melts around them. They sense her special warmth and shared her breath. It was truly touching...

  22. It certainly was a wonderful experience Mary - and I know how much you love horses too! Thank you for finding such a lovely place for us to stay for the second part of our vacation. And it was so wonderful to meet Sharon's family and see the places she knew and loved too. Happy memories indeed!

    We'll keep the Roast open for the whole weekend folks - so if you want to chip in and add your excerpts or comments, please feel free!

  23. The pictures were like old home week for me. We've lived in Ohio and were born in Bucks Co., PA.

    I'm reading The Road to Grace (The Walk) by Richard Paul Evans. It's very interesting and worthwhile, but not as emotional as Peter Jenkin's Walking Across America that came out 30 years ago.

    Since I was last here, KILL FEE has given birth to MEDIUM RARE, the sequel. It will come out in December. This is a mystery based on a group of nutty hospice workers getting caught up in a psychic medium's agenda. She knows too much, and we know what happens to the curious who see all, know all and then get mauled.

    Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. I even know what those flowers from "back home" are.

  24. Hi Julie, lovely to 'see you' again!

    Congratulations on the forthcoming release of 'Medium Rare' and I;'m glad you liked the pictures and that they brought backfond memories.

  25. Loved the slide show. Beautiful pictures. It was nice to see alittle about Sharon too. That church is so pretty. What a fun day with all the excerpts.
    Sue B

  26. Hi Sue

    I think youy must be our most faithful visitor! It's always good to read your comments. So glad you liked the pictures. Yes, the Church which Sharon's sister took us to see is really beautiful, and although the visit to the cemetary where we planted some flowers for Sharon was sad in many ways, it is a lovely, green and peaceful place, although it was at her home, with her parents, that we felt her presence most strongly.

  27. Loving the comments and the excerpts!

  28. I loved the videolog. Thanks so much for sharing. This extra effort on both of your parts has blessed you greatly.


  29. Thanks so much Lynne, so glad you enjoyed it!

  30. More excerpts please!!
    Have a happy weekend and smile.

  31. Thanks for all the excerpts. Some good books to add to my reading. I am really happy you are continuing this blog as it is one of my favorite places to be. Always feel welcome here and you gals have wonderful humor.
    Sue B

  32. Thanks Sue - you're one of our oldest (meaning earliest) and most faithful and supportive guests. We love having you visit!

  33. Popping in to share the love.

    Lyn, do you know how hard it was for me to let Mary keep you all to herself when you visited? You were states over from me! But I understood that you needed the time.

    Still, when I come to England, and I will, I'll be knocking on your front door! *grins* And if you're nowhere to be found, I'll dog-nap Bouncer. Hee hee. I bet he'd follow me happily (many loving cyberyears under my belt). ;-)

    I think of you all often and will make a point to get over here more often. You are the best of the best! Love you.

    May Oliver still serve up his cocktails and Sharon still wink over his shoulder.


  34. Ph Sky, dear friend, thank you so much for the lovely message. I'd love to have been able to meet you too, but we didn't even manage to see Patsy - the time we had was so short and America is just too big!
    Oh I'd love to see you if you come over here though, no need to dognap Bouncer!

    We love you too Sky, and any time you want to be roasted again...

  35. Gosh I miss you Lyn...
    Sharon I felt you there!

  36. Sorry I'm so late to the party. It looks like you ladies had a wonderful time together, and how sweet that you were able to share some time with Sharon's family (except for the snake part) I bet she got a kick out of that.

  37. I miss you too Mary, dear friend and sister hostess - the time went by much too quickly, but I'm sure Sharon was with us too!

  38. Hi Mac -

    No problem, it's lovely to see you and there's still plenty of virtual food left! Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.


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