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, July 27, 2012

A'Wild West' barbeque to celebrate 'To Tame A Montana Heart'

It is a perfect evening. Dusk is covering the scenery with a golden glow. A light breeze stirs the tents lining the grass walkway. The women stroll through the booths, admiring the food, drinks, western gear, and keepsakes.
“I just love western barbecues!” Mary inhales, smiling as the succulent smell of beef ribs wafts on the evening breeze. She steps back, her foot sinks into a pile of horse poop!  “Oh yuk!” She lifts her boot clad foot. “Why didn’t you warn me?”

            “Because it’s everywhere! Don’t worry about it. This is so fun!” Lyn adjusts her ten gallon cowboy hat. “Do you think this is a little too much?”

            “Not at all,” Patsy chuckles. “Y’all look just like cowboys to me. Jeans, checked shirts and cowboy boots! Lyn, you’re a natural. Just tone down the English accent and nobody’ll know the difference!”

            Patsy heads toward a sign indicating beer. “I’m thirsty. We all look pretty good in these outfits. Nothing like a pair of jeans to bring out the best in a person.” She pulls of her hat as she enters the tent.

            “Will you look at that!” Mary’s eyes fairly pop as she follows. A row of tight male butts clad in Levis line the makeshift bar.

            “Omygawd!” Patsy’s mouth drops open. “Nothing like a cowboy in Levis to start the day off right.”

            “I’m having a heat flash!” Lyn fans herself as she peers at the male buffet. “I think I need a drink.”

            “This is certainly the place,” Dawn Luedecke rushes in. “Did you get a chance to check out the dance floor and there’s a rodeo going on over yonder.” She points northwest.

            A muscular cowboy turns around, leans against the bar and grins as he pushes back his black Stetson. Blue eyes sparkle above straight white teeth shining from the deeply tanned skin.  “Well, hello ladies! Y’all by yourselves?”

            “Uh…ah…,” Mary gulps. “We…uh…we’re together—and we’re married,” she hurries to say.

            “I won’t tell if you won’t.” His dark brows waggle suggestively.

            “Jake,” Dawn shakes her finger. “Mind your manners. These are ladies, not the kind you hang with.”

            “I can change my ways.” He tips his hat. “Any of y’all know the Texas Two Step?”
   “Good idea!” Dawn motions them to follow. “Grab your beers and let’s check out the dancing. I heard the band tuning up a few minutes ago. They should be playing by now.”
 The dance floor is huge, shaped like an old-time pavilion complete with Chinese lanterns strung around the area for lighting.  On the stage, a teenage girl croons to a song made popular by LeAnn Rimes.
 “She’s doing a good job on that song.” Lyn taps her foot to the music. “Makes me want to dance.”
  Dark, handsome Jake offers his arm. “Lead the way, little lady.”
  Mary and Patsy look on wistfully.
 “Lyn always draws the good ones,” Mary sighs.
  Dawn  elbows Mary. “Uh, don’t look now but there’s more headed this way.”
Sure enough, a throng of cowboys stampede in their direction, pushing and shoving to be first in line.
“Oh my,” gasps Mary. “Should we or shouldn’t we?”
 “We should!” Patsy exclaims. “I came to have fun and this is a great start.”
     Blond, gorgeous cowboy offers Patsy his arm. “Care to dance?”
   “Most certainly!” Patsy grins. “I love line dancing.”
A brawny steer wrestler reaches for Mary’s hand. “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse and you look lonely. How about we check out the vittles.”
 Dawn  pushes Mary forward. “Go! Have some fun.”
 Hesitantly, Mary trails after the big guy, but the scent of outdoor cooking is too hard to resist.
 “Y’all ever tried Rocky Mountain oysters?” The cowboy points to a plate of fried tidbits.
  Mary sniffs, checking out the fare. “Can’t say that I have. I didn’t know there were oysters in the Rocky Mountains!”
He laughs uproariously, slapping his hat against his knee. “That’s a good ‘un. Rocky Mountain oysters are calf fries.”
“Calf fries?”
     He looks incredulous. “You don’t know what calf fries are?” Mary shakes her head.
“They’re…um… how do I put this delicately. They’re what’s cut off when a calf is turned into a steer!”
  “Oh!” Mary’s face pinks.
 Lyn joins them with Patsy close behind. “I danced so hard and now I’m starving and look at all this wonderful food!”
    “Oh Yum!” Patsy takes a deep breath savoring the delicious smells.

   Baked beans, corn on the cob, fried potatoes, barbecued pork ribs, barbecued beef ribs,
 barbequed chicken, green beans and bacon—and chili!  The best of the best from the chili cook-off held earlier that morning.

 For dessert, hand cranked ice cream, apple pies, fried scones with strawberries and real whipped cream! A westerner’s delight!        
“Everybody eat!” Dawn yells. “And then we’ll head off to the rodeo. WAHOOOO!”

Blurb: Running from a past of privilege, deceit, and danger, Travis Simms is ready to settle down. What better place to forget all he left behind than the quiet little Montana town of Lolo Hot Springs? His goal is clear — build a hotel and his own destiny without complications —until one of the town’s most troublesome women captures his attention.

 Dusty Larson is hell bent on independence, helping her sister run the Triple D Ranch. She can do anything a man can, and do it better, so she certainly doesn’t need one in her life. The only problem is she seems to attract bad luck and danger...and Travis. Can he tame her wild ways and keep his bachelor status intact — or does he risk losing his heart?

The excerpt: She watched him with care. “I don’t know if I love you. I like you, a lot, but I don’t have the slightest idea what love feels like.” Travis’ smile grew slowly across his face. “I understand. I’m not sure if I love you or not, but I also don’t think I could live without you. So you will always have that.” His voice was almost a whisper when he said the last.

 “Truly?” Her voice cracked and she had to force herself to breathe easy. “Truly.” She inclined her head and took two brisk steps toward him. She leaned over and kissed him with all the fever of a thousand fires. He reached up and intertwined his hand through her hair to hold her still as he plundered her mouth. She released him with a shaky breath and jumped back to turn on her heels.

“Put something nice on. I’ll be back with a preacher man.” “You know, I heard you only have to say ‘I marry you’ three times and then you’re hitched.” She threw him a sassy look and slammed the door shut.

Bio A country girl born and bred, Dawn Luedecke has spent most of her life surrounded by horses, country folk, and the wild terrain of Nevada, Idaho and Montana. As a child she would spend many afternoons reading books, watching western classics, and Rogers and Hammerstein movies. When she grew up she decided to leave the quiet country life for a chance to find adventure by serving a successful tour in the United States Coast Guard. During that time she found her soul mate (and alpha male) and started a family and writing career. She enjoys writing historical and paranormal romance and spends as much time as she can working on her current manuscript. For more information visit www.dawnluedecke.com

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