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, August 31, 2012

Margaret Tanner's Victorian Wedding Celebration

Balder Grange for NZ0019
  © Copyright William Stafford and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Joining the throng of wedding guests filing into the large hotel where the Victorian Country Wedding reception is to be held, Mac glances around, admiring the other hostesses in their splendid gowns.

“We all look so hot, chickies. Isn’t this exciting?”

“I’m not sure this gown was the best choice for me.” Mary tugs at the bodice of her off the shoulder gown and glances down her back, “Between the ‘sisters’ and that bustle, I look like an hourglass on steroids.”
Lyn snickers. Patsy brushes her fingers over the frilly sleeves covering her arms to the wrists. “I love mine. It makes my arms look almost delicate, though I’m with you on the bustles. How are we supposed to sit with these pillows strapped to our butts?”

“Very carefully,” Lyn pronounces, stretching on her toes to look over the crowd filling the room. “What a beautiful wedding. Can you believe that coach?”

The bride arrived at the church in a horse drawn coach complete with liveried coachmen wearing white rosettes. Even the whip was decorated with a white bow, and the coach to take the bride and groom from the Church to the wedding breakfast was drawn by beautiful chestnut horses.

 “They went all out, and from the look of things, the reception will be just as grand. Oh, look at the cake! Three tiers of yummy.”

“We certainly won’t starve,” Mary adds - Turkey braised à la française, roast chicken, pigeon pie, with meringues a la Crème d Marasquin and Belgrave jellies weigh down the serving tables. “Can anyone see Margaret?"

“There she is,” Patsy points across the room, “and she has Oliver with her.”
“Oh thank God. I need a drink.” Mac waves a lacy gloved hand in front of her face. “How did Victorian women ever survive hot flashes?”

"Maybe Foster can whip you up a fan," Lyn waggled her brows. "I saw him outside with Cuddles."

"Don't give that fairy any ideas," Mac grumbles. "Did you see him at the church? I know it had to have been his idea to have Nibbie chase the coach with Hampy on his back."

Mary and Patsy exchange a look and burst out laughing. "I wouldn't be so sure," Mary says past her chuckles. "The demon dog and manic hamster are capable of getting into mischief all on their own."

Just then, organ music fills the hall and the bride and groom enter, drawing everyone’s attention. The bride wears a cream satin wedding gown with puffed sleeves, fitting snugly, and emphasizing her tiny waist. The skirt has a long, heavily embroidered train. The bonnet is of cream velvet, trimmed with orange blossom and silver thread embroidery under the brim, covered by a tambour lace veil.

“That’s some dress,” Patsy coos, then forgets all about the bride when the groomsmen enter behind the newly wedded pair. The eyes of all four women follow the men as they cross the room, dressed identically in dark dress jackets over colorful waistcoats and black trousers. White neckties and gloves complete their ensembles. Each is more handsome than the next.

“Forget hot flashes, I think I’m about to start drooling,” Patsy sighs.

Margaret arrives with Oliver in tow. Passing out flutes of champagne, she smiles broadly and toasts with her glass. “Oh, I am so glad you could come, ladies. We’re going to have so much fun.”  

Margaret says:  Unfortunately, the heroine in my novel, Savage Possession, was denied the wedding of her dreams, but had she been able to, this is what she might have had.

Margaret Tanner is a multi-published award winning Australian author. She loves delving into the pages of history as she carries out research for her historical romance novels, and prides herself on being historically accurate. No book is too old or tattered for her to trawl through, no museum too dusty, or cemetery too overgrown. Many of her novels have been inspired by true events, with one being written around the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia.
Margaret is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild (MRWG) and EPIC.  

Margaret is married and has three grown up sons, and a gorgeous little granddaughter.
Outside of her family and friends, writing is her passion.

Website:  http://www.margarettanner.com/

Raw sexual emotion, revenge and redemption. If you want a sugar-coated romance, Savage Possession is not for you. In colonial Australia it took hard men like Martin Mulvaney to tame a harsh land.
A sweeping tale of love's triumph over tragedy and treachery in frontier Australia.

A mistaken identity opens the door for Martin Mulvaney to take his revenge on the granddaughter of his mortal enemy.
An old Scottish feud, a love that should never have happened, and a series of extraordinary coincidences traps two lovers in a family vendetta that threatens to destroy their love, if not their lives.

Leave a comment and you will go into the draw for a PDF download of Savage Possession.

To win a copy of Margaret'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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Winner of Linda's download is...

Well what a fun party we had this weekend.

Thank you SO much to everyone who joined us and left comments, and to Linda for being such a fantastic Guest of Honour. We used the Random No. Generator and the winner is

***D R U M R O L L ***


Congratulations Karen, your Gift Cert is on the way

To those who didn't win - you have another chance to win a download this coming Friday, 29th August, when we'll be Roasting and Toasting MARGARET TANNER  join us then for more fun and Frolics at

Friday, August 24, 2012

A secret castle Birthday Celebration, with Linda Nightingale and the characters of 'Gemini Rising'

"Are we nearly there yet," Mac gasps. "I think I feel seasick."
"Yes, we should be there by now," Lyn puts in.
"I'm rowing as fast as I can," Patsy says, her biceps bulging with the effort of rowing the four of them across the waves. She eyes Lyn's enormous feet peeping out from beneath the folds of her purple ball gown.

"If you took your shoes off you could use your feet as paddles and we'd get there quicker."

Lyn makes a face and aims a playful cuff at her sister hostess. The boat rocks alarmingly and Mary clings on to the side of the little boat.  "Stop arguing you three, or you'll capsize us.

"Well, you don't have to worry," Patsy tells her, your 'girls' mean you've got built in water wings, you'll just float!"

"Speak for yourself," Mary chuckles under her breath, have you looked at your arms lately?"

"Where are we going?" Mac queries, looking around with curious eyes.

"Oh heavens, here we go again," Lyn grins.  "How can anyone be so absent minded?"

"We're going to Alastair Keep," Patsy explains, "The twins Alina and Alain are holding a 25th Birthday party for Alina's husband, and the castle's on an island off the English coast."

"I don't see why we couldn't just fly straight there," Mac says, looking a little green around the gills.

"Because there's nowhere to land, I expect," Mary tells her,"It's an island! Anyway, we're here now."

Soon the four hostesses have beached their boat and linking arms, make their way to the castle, getting the hems of their long ball gowns only a little wet. They pass a field hidden from the view  of the castle, with several horses, and one of them, a stunning palomino prances around an enclosure, apart from the rest.  

"Boy," Mac gasps, "what a beauty!"

"I wondered what had happened to our animals," Lyn mutters, as she glimpses a little unicorn, and a rather large dog with a hampster ridiing on his back,  with a green fairy clinging on. "I'm not sure how Hampy and Nibby got here, but I guess Cuddles flew over with Foster."

"Oh dear," Mary murmurs, I hope they behave and don't cause any trouble, or Linda will not be pleased!"

"Wow" Patsy says, as they arrive on the sweeping green lawns before the beautiful stone built castle. "This is amazing. I didn't think it would be quite so grand." 

They spy Oliver, charming and handsome as always in his tux. He holds a tray of glasses and champagne in one hand, and waves to them with the other. They follow him to the food pavillions.
The tables are piled high with finger foods of every description. There are more tables with mouth watering deserts, and on a side table  is a fantastic three tier birthday cake, topped with a sugar copy of the book 'Gemini Rising.'  which Linda has written about the twins
Another marquee houses the bar, where beverages to suit every taste are served, from fruit juices and beer to sparkling champagne for the toasts. The hostesses do their best to stop themselves from drooling and admire the other guests, the men in elegant morning suits and the women in beautiful gowns of every colour.

A hush falls in the main marquee as the twins, Alain and Alina, and Alina's husband, Rory, and Linda Nightingale herself enter, escorted by Oliver.  The twins are amazing, with their pale blond hair and tawny coloured eyes, and Linda is a vision in a stunning silver gown. 

When it is time to for her the guest of honour to open his gifts,  Alina ushers everyone to the castle and to a long corridor, lit by torches. She commands everyone, including her husband, to wait, while her brother disappears through a heavy wooden door. 
Everyone looks at each other wondering what is going on. 

A few minutes later the door opens, and Alain reappears, leads a magnificent palomino stallion, his coat shining like liquid gold in the torchlight. He is a Lusitano, imported from Portugal, the same one the hostesses saw earlier,.  Alain walks up to Rory and places the lead rope in his hands.

There is a ripple of delighted applause from the guests, as Rory embraces his wife and murmurs his thanks to Alain, then everyone returns to the food pavilions to continue the celebrations and congratulate Linda Nightingale on the release of her wonderful novel Gemini Rising.  

Welcome to your Roast, Linda, and congratulations on your latest release. Let's found out more about it:


Love, Lust and Danger


From birth, Alain and Alina Alastair are a scientific miracle—identical male-female twins—a biological impossibility.  Destined to tread forbidden paths, they discover love, lust, and danger lurking in their future

When their parents whisk their miracle children home to an isolated island, their lives reach a turning point.
            Alain craves escape from the seclusion. 

            Alina yearns to express her love with a man who treasures her.

            The secrets at Alastair Keep threaten to undermine the very foundations of the world in which these impossible twins live.


Alain tucked the in-flight magazine into the seat pocket and gazed out the scratched window of the 747.  Distance vanished on clouds fleeing beneath the silver wings, carrying him from a dark-eyed beauty to a fair-haired princess locked in an island castle.  From one life in the sun to a score of problems.

Someone was going to get hurt.
Already he hurt—a low throbbing like a toothache.  If he returned to Portugal, Alina would be devastated.  His father would disown him.  If he picked up his discarded heritage, a part of him would die and Maritza would grieve.  For a time.  He wasn’t vain enough to think the black-haired beauty would die without him.

The choice lay in his hands.
Damn life got complicated when he tried to declare independence from The Keep.  He shifted his long legs cramped beneath the airline seat.  He preferred not to think, but fragments of memory plagued the corners of his eyes.

A vivid picture of Alina supplanted images of recent days drenched white-hot by a Portuguese sun.  His twin’s presence was more corporeal than the woman sitting to his left.  Welcome or not, Alina was there inside him, the mere thought of her a compulsion.  He sensed her anticipation mounting as the miles melted.  Excitement tingled over him.  In self defense, he grasped at a memory of riding the splendid Lusitano stallions.  As he pictured Maritza framed in an arbor of roses, his heart dived.

Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Atlanta and Houston.  She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for thirteen years.

With Cardinal Desires, a vampire paranormal to be released in 2013 by Double Dragon Publishing, Linda won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award.  She works in the legal field and has two wonderful sons.  She loves Andalusian and Lusitano horses, her snappy little sports car and her parlor grand piano.

Visit her at http://www.lindanightingale.
com (site designed by Simon Nightingale)
To win a copy of  Linda's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
Contest ends on Sunday and everyone who comments is eligible.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Beach party to celebrateCrimson Footprints - by Shewanda Pugh

The women converge on the beach gazing with awe at the cerulean blue of the ocean. Colorful cabanas and umbrellas line the sand. The sun is bright overhead, a light breeze flutters the silk of the cabanas and the water is rife with swimmers. It is a beautiful day!

“Oh my,” Lyn adjusts the spaghetti straps of her colorful sundress. “South Beach is such a great place for a party and I love all the tropical decorations!”

“Me too!”  Mary smooths the front of her electric blue muumuu. “Almost like being in Hawaii—maybe. Never been there but I would think it would look like this.”

Clad in bright red crop pants and a white lacy blouse, Mac toys with a giant paper flower. “Actually, the decorations are more Caribbean style. Kind of Jamaican.”
“Nice that there’s a large tent for cover or we’ll be sweltering in this heat by later today.” Patsy fans herself, arms bulging. “Glad I wore this loose skirt and peasant blouse or I’d be dying here. Where I come from, it’s never this humid.”

Mac notes the sweat running down Patsy’s face. “Maybe you need to go swimming. Cool down a little bit.”

“I don’t think so.” Patsy stares at the bikini clad swimmers. “I’m not dumb enough to display my less than perfect body next to these young things.”

Lyn scans the crowded beach. “Where are the animals?”

Mary laughs, hooters giggling. “Shewanda is such a gem! She set up an animal hotel for the creatures while we party. Nibbie and Hampy love it in there, lots of creature snacks, but I’m not sure where Cuddles and Foster snuck off to.”

Mac sighs dramatically. “Foster is such a scamp. I can’t keep track of him for a second.”

Lyn wiggles her huge toes in the sand. “Well, Cuddles pops in now and again usually near the food table. He’ll show up eventually.”

Shewanda strolls from the food tent. “There you are! We’ve been waiting. Just isn’t a party without you.”

“Just smell that air,” Mary waves her arms dramatically. “I love it here!”

“It really is a beautiful spot.” Shewanda motions them to follow. “You all look like you could use a little pick-me-up.” They stop near a drink cart. “Personally, my favorites are watermelon margaritas, champagne punch, Love on the Beach, Sea Breeze or Lillet-Basil cocktails.”

“Wow!” Mac gazes wonderingly. “I’ve never seen so many tropical drinks. I can’t decide which one I want! But how about a Sea Breeze?”

“Well,” Lyn eyes the impressive liquor selection. “I’m having one of those Love on the Beach things. Does it come with an umbrella?”

Shewanda laughs. “I’m sure they can arrange that for you.”

“I’m having a watermelon margarita!” Mary leans on the counter, smacking her lips. “I can taste it now!”

A tall dark haired bartender sets a drink down in front of Lyn. “So glad you made it.” Oliver’s eyes sparkle with humor. 

Shewanda hired him specially for the event.

“Shewanda has good taste,” Lyn gushes. “Could you make me another Love on the Beach?”

Mac sips her drink admiring the scenery. “This is so perfect! I could stay here all day and night.”

Mary downs her drink and slaps the counter for another. “Where’s the food?”

“Follow me.” Shewanda leads the way to a huge tent. Reggae music spills from the interior.

“I love this music.” Patsy sways to the beat. “I was on a cruise once and we sat on deck every night and listened to the band. It was one of my favorite things about the whole trip.”

Shewanda pushes the tent flap aside. Cool air wafts over the women. Tables line the sides of the tent almost bowing beneath the weight of the food trays.

The dessert bar is first in line. Chocolate mousse, tiramisu and six layer chocolate cake. A dieter’s nightmare but then who’s dieting?

“Taste this,” Mac dips her finger into the tiramisu and licks. “This is just so scrumptious!”

Mary’s stomach growls loud enough for all to hear. “Steamed lobster! You’re serving steamed lobster! I’ve died and gone to heaven!” She grabs a plate and starts loading it up.
Patsy heads for another table. “I’m having suishi.” She pops a wedge in her mouth. “I love spicy tuna and salmon! And get a load of this spider roll.” 

“Oooooooo!” Lyn selects an oyster and swallows it. Her nose crinkles. “Slides right down my throat.”

“I don’t know how you can eat oysters rockerfeller,” Mary almost gags. “Just too slimy for me.”

“You just don’t know what’s good.” Lyn swallows another, "and oysters rockerfeller aren't slimy. We love oysters where I come from!”

“Well, there’s certainly enough for everyone.” Shewanda smooths a hand through her hair. “Eat up and then its beach volleyball! Pick your partner!”

“I'll get Patsy,” Mary yells. “With arms like that, she has to be great!”

“Looks like it’s you and me,” Lyn smiles at Mac. “I may be short, but I’m perky.”

“Let’s eat!”



When an insecure, bi-racial woman

begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. 

So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.

Bio: Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston’s inner city. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fueled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she’s not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found traveling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones. In 2012, she was shortlisted for the NBBF Best New Author Award and the AAMBC Reader's Choice Award.

To win a copy of Shewanda'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.