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, October 12, 2012

Melanie Robertson King's Victorian Scottish Celebration


“I’m telling you Lyn, I saw a Leprechaun! It was right by the door over there.” Mary points to a corner, which is obviously empty.

“This is Aberdeenshire, Scotland. There aren’t any leprechauns in Scotland,” Lyn says patiently,  “Perhaps it was a stray wild  haggis – or a kelpie.

They gaze in awe around the Georgian Country House.
“How about that roof.” Mac comments. “I heard that the saying it’s raining cats’ and dogs’ came from them going up on the roof to sleep and jumping down in the rain.” She grins.”

Patsy looks at Mac, not really surprised. “Come on Mac, you know that’s nonsense.”

“Nibby says no self-respecting dog would ever sleep on the roof, not when there is a perfectly good bed of mine to sleep on.” Mary chuckles and points to Hampy. “Does Hampy sleep with you Patsy?”  

Before Patsy has chance to answer she goes on, “Anyhow, let’s go open the door I hear knocking.” The guests have arrived.

Oliver, dressed in a kilt beats them to it. He bows a welcome and Patsy, Mary, and Lyn, all try to see if what they say about kilts is true.

 “Whatcha lookin’ at?” Mac asks innocently.

 “Never mind,” Lyn grabs the others and guides them to the open door. Couples, handsome young guys, shy, pretty, young girls, all follow behind fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, and  smiley young mothers, and the kids scamper inside.

“Did they all come through the time travel door like us? Or are they locals?” Mary whispers to Patsy.

 “A combination I think.” Patsy gestures to the hooded figures who file in behind the other guests. Each one wears a floor length cloak and each one's face is shadowed beneath the hoods.

 “They must be the druids.” Mac points to them as they seem to float into the room on thin air. The sound of an accordian and cheery fiddle music fills the room and the guests begin to dance.

“It’s a ceilidh.” Lyn yells to them, to be heard over the lively Scottish music and loud voices. “Those aren’t druids. They are bringing the food in. Look at those tables.”

“Wow,” Mary drools. Haggis, potatoes, turnips, venison, grouse, Aberdeen Angus steaks, Cullen Skink, Aberdeen butteries, oatcakes, Cheddar, Dunlop & Crowdie cheeses, shortbread, Deep Fried Mars Bars,
and for the cake - a Black Bun, which is a rich fruit cake, covered with pastry, and this one is decorated with a dusting of sugar, a recumbant stone circle, and in the middle, a sugar representation of Melanie's book cover.
Lyn holds Mary back. “Let the guests go first. However, they have red wine, single malt whisky, Caledonian 80 Ale, and look, Mead!” Lyn rushes to the drink table knocking Mary, Patsy and Lyn outta the way as she grabs a bottle of Mead and heads up, drinks one down.

 “Well, that oughta make her less grumpy,” Mac remarks.

 “Mary, you’d best stick to the IRN BRU, milk, or juice, like the kids. We don’t want a repeat of last week.” Patsy points out as she heaps her plate with food.

“By the way look over there.” Mary tells them. “Your Leprechaun,” Mac cracks up with laughter. “Foster! Don’t try to pretend you’re a Leprechaun, someone will think you have a pot of gold.”

“Well, as I keep saying, this is Scotland, you only get leprechauns in Ireland,” Lyn says, annoyed that no-one is listening to her.

She  points the drink table on the other side of the room, where a wee little man dressed in green, drinks a bottle of Mead and grins as he disappears. ”Rats, mead competition! Let me at ‘im!”

“Foster, stop it,  How many times do I have to tell you?” Mac yells.

“Well, next time I am not gonna listen to you guys. I am grabbing that little man and holding him hostage 'till he forks over his money.” Mary tells them.

 “Good luck trying to catch him in those clothes.” Patsy gestures to the long dresses and heavy tartans they are wearing. “In any case let’s welcome our author and give her some of that Mead before it’s all gone.”

Mary points to the cake and book cover on it. “Now that looks tasty.” She wags her eyebrows,” Let’s party, anyone for a dance? But before our evening of feasting and Scottish country dancing, let's welcome our guest of honour, Melanie Robertson King and her new novel A Shadow In The Past."
I consider myself a romance writer but write in other genres, too. Currently, ten of my non-fiction articles have been published, with one being a feature cover article.

I love to read but now that I’m writing, I have to be careful what I choose. I don’t want things from other people’s writings finding their way into my own work. So, to that end, I try to read from totally different genres. I don’t think I could write it effectively, but I love to read crime fiction – Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, PD James, and of course, my good friend Chris Longmuir.

My other interests include genealogy, especially the study of Home Children, photography and travel – particularly Scotland because of my kinship with my father’s homeland. It was on a trip to Scotland, that I had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal.



Nineteen year old Sarah Shand finds herself in Victorian Era Aberdeenshire, Scotland and has no idea how she got there. Her last memory is of being at the stone circle on the family farm in the year 2010.

Despite having difficulty coming to terms with her situation, Sarah quickly learns she must keep her true identity a secret. Still, she feels stifled by the Victorians’ confining social practices, including arranged marriages between wealthy and influential families, and confronts them head on then suffers the consequences.

When Sarah realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?

Sarah spun around at the sound of the approaching engine. Headlights sparkled and danced in the closing darkness, blinding her. The next few seconds appeared to unfold in slow motion. A horn blared,brakes screeched, and smoke surged out from beneath the tires.

Hypnotized by the dazzling light, Sarah couldn’t move. The impact of
the car’s bumper sent a searing pain through her legs. Her bones snapped
like twigs as she flew into the windshield and over the car onto the road.

      With a sickening thud, her head smashed against the asphalt.
As Sarah lay there, vomit and blood rose in her throat. She tried to
roll over to keep from choking, but her body refused to obey. All the
strength drained from her body, and her world faded away into nothing.

      “Oh my God! Oh my God!”

      Sarah thought she had imagined the hysterical woman’s voice.

      “Don’t die on me; please don’t die. I’ve called 9-9-9. Help will be
here soon.”

      Sarah felt the soft touch of a hand caressing her forehead and looked
up into the face of a wide-eyed girl of about her age. Behind the girl, a
mangled car rested against a tree. Sarah opened her mouth to speak but
couldn’t. She shivered.

      “You must be freezing. Here, let me cover you.” The young girl
removed her coat and placed it over Sarah. “Please just stay with me,” she
pleaded, looking over her shoulder. As the sirens wailed in the distance,
everything went dark.

      When Sarah’s eyes flickered open, the frantic girl and her wrecked
car were nowhere to be seen. Instead of the asphalt surface of Kendonald
Road, Sarah lay sprawled out on a narrow, gravel lane.

      Sarah’s chest felt as if her father’s entire herd of cows had run over
it. She gasped for air and tried to prop herself up on her elbows but
collapsed as stones gouged her arms.

      Using her last ounce of strength, Sarah hauled herself to her feet.
Her head throbbed as if it was about to explode, and something wet and
sticky ran down the back of her neck. Dirt and blood covered her rugby
shirt and jeans, and her trainers were gone. Sharp gravel bit into her
stocking feet as she staggered, trying not to fall. Sarah was surprised she
was able to stand. She was certain the impact with the car had broken her
legs and maybe even her back.

      She wiped her hands on her shirt and cried out in pain. Dirt and
blood covered her palms, and her knees felt like they’d been scraped with
sandpaper. Her chest hurt with every breath, and she wondered if her ribs
were broken.

      Barely able to make out a faint light shining in the distance, Sarah
stumbled toward it, thinking it was the yard light near her father’s barn.
She clapped her hands over her ears in an attempt to block out the
incessant ringing, but it didn’t work.

      Sarah blinked and stared at one of the ghostly trees lining the
roadway. The trunk expanded and contracted before her eyes as if it
were breathing. A gust of wind rasped through the branches, and a
sudden cry of a long-eared owl made her jump. Shivering, Sarah crossed
her arms and rubbed, but pain shot all the way to her fingertips, forcing
her to stop.

To win a copy of Melanie'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.


  1. Good morning, all. What a great idea for a party, Melanie. Oh, I do love a ceilidh, especially one with Oliver in a kilt. ;-)

  2. Welcome Melanie! Love the party! Might have to explore more about what's under a kilt. And what is haggis?

    Congratulations on the release and wishing you many sales!

  3. Good morning everyone! The final touches for my Scottish Ceilidh are taking place now.

    Do drop by and enjoy the fun.

  4. Well, P.L. it could be a cute furry animal that roams the moors in Scotland but it isn't. It's sheep offal with oatmeal and spices... It really is quite tasty.

  5. Pass me a deep fried Mars bar please!! Could do with some pudding!! Enjoy your party, Melanie x

  6. I love a good Ceilidh, can I come too? This one was rocking. Never had Haggis and not sure I'd be brave enough. Never had a deep fried Mars bar (I thought that was a myth!) but would give that a go.

    What a fabulous, amazing and totally hilarious end to a tremendous blog tour, Melanie: great feature! HUGE congrats and hope the success of the tour spills over into the coming weeks and months. Rock on!

  7. Those deep fried Mars Bars are the best. Do enjoy them Mandy! There's plenty of food and drink so do help yourself.

  8. Hi everyone! (Lyn hugs her sister hostesses and also the guest of Honour,while blowing air kisses to Oliver.)

    Oh I love a celidh too. Much like the 'Twmpas dawns' back in my native Wales'. I've never tried haggis, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure I'd want to, not being a fan of offal.

    I'm glad they don't really eat the wild wild Scottish haggises than roam the Scottish moors - did you know the mountain variety have longer legs on the one side of their body, to enable them to scramble up and down the slopes more easily?

  9. Brilliant to see you here, Nicky. Still haven't worked up the nerve to try a taste of haggis, I see. Not to worry, there are plenty of other good things on offer - including deep fried Mars Bars.

  10. Oops sorry, I think I've had too much mead - I totally forgot to say hello to Mandy and Nicky - welcome to the
    Roast, Mandy and Nicky!

  11. Deep fried Mars Bars. Yumm. I'm with you Patsy. I'll skip the Haggis if you don't mind, Melanie. More for you!

  12. I don't mind, Mackenzie. I love haggis.

  13. I've caught fleeting glimpses of the wild haggii scurrying up the hills with those wee and not so wee legs moving as fast as can be - even a wee peek at the rare Golden haggis.

  14. I'll take the oatcakes and shortbread, thanks.

    Great to be here. I've only been to one real live ceilidh, and that was in England rather than Scotland. Hopefully, next time I visit Edinburgh, my family can point me in the right direction.

    So interested to read this book, Melanie. As you know we have some Scottish history in common.


  15. Hey Brenda, I didn't see you come in. By all means help yourself to oatcakes and shortbread. There's plenty to go around.

    I'm looking forward to reading your book, too.

  16. Hi everyone - I'm just back from a haggis hunt on the hill (slaps a big un' down on the table) I'd hate the party to run out of the Scottish delicacy.

    Oh, Oliver, my darling, how handsome you look in your kilt! (swoon) Yes, please, I'll have a large one - it's never too early for me, but then you already know that don't you? (wink)...

  17. Smashing post, really enjoyed. Thanks ladies. But I'll skip the fried Mars bars, thanks.

  18. Look at the size of that haggis, Janice! You had a successful hunt, for sure.

    Do behave... not too much swooning at Oliver. There are some young 'uns around here somewhere. Now where did they get off to?

    No doubt exploring this huge house.

  19. Oh dear, how strong is that mead I wonder? I've been posting 'incognito' as the Author Roast collective instead of myself! (Smacks wrist).

    Mmm, those deep fried Mars bars are rather yummy aren't they!

    You actually saw a rare golden haggis Melanie, wow! Hi Brenda, Hi Janice. Great to see you both here.

    That's certainly a monster haggis you caught there, aw the poor thing's trembling. We don't actually eat the furry ones yo know, Janice, they make good pets though! Aw look, Nibbie and Cuddles and Hampy are all cuddling up to it. How sweet.

  20. Hi Kit,
    welcome to Melanie's Roast. You sure about the Mars? Author Roast food is totally healthy and calorie free, you know! ;)

  21. That's the beauty of virtual food and drink - fat and calorie free. We can eat and drink as much as we like. Yay!

  22. Great party! I made Hubby wear a kilt but I think the boxer shorts with the Scottish flag emblazoned on them and the logo 'Billy Connolly Rocks!' was probably too much!
    Well done Melanie x

  23. The last time I wore this dress was to a Bay City Roller's concert! (swishes red tartan frock) So what are we dancing too girls? Shanga-a-lang...?

  24. What fun! I'm raising a dram of the hard stuff (my usual tipple!) to you and to 'Shadows in the Past'. Hope you sell loads. gxx

  25. Here here! Cheers to Melanie for what has been a fantastic blog tour and debut novel launch! Hip hip hurray!!!

  26. Hi Carol and Gilli,

    Great to see you at Melanie's party!
    Oh at the moment Janice, we're doing the 'highland fling' to Old Blind Dogs and The Corries.

  27. This party is rockin' already! Where's the mead? I need a few nips to loosen up so I can get brave enough to try the Haggis! Good to see everyone here! Let's do a fling or whatever they're called! Get those kilts flying!

  28. Whee Patsy, we all know what you're thinking when you talk about kilts flying, LOL!

  29. Thanks Carol! Your hubby did look pretty smart in his kilt. Definitely no' a true Scotsman since he was wearin' boxers under his kilt. Okay, they had a Scottish flag and "Billy Connolly Rocks" on them but... BTW, I love Billy Connolly!

  30. That frock of yours is beautiful, Janice. So glad you wore it.

  31. Did I hear the band call the next dance to be The Dashing White Sergeants? Last time I danced that, my friend lost his kilt. It wasn't flying... just down around his ankles.

  32. Easy on that whisky, Gilli. What... she did what? She's chasing Janice's haggis around the house?

    Don't do it, Gilli! There's plenty more already cooked just keeping warm in the oven. Oliver has assured me that we won't run out.

  33. Hi 4RV, thanks for stopping by. Stop awhile and partake of the goodies on offer.
    Whew, all this talk of kilts is making me warm, (fan self) Must have some more mead!

  34. Thanks for dropping by, Vivian! There's plenty to eat, and Oliver will make you a cup of his famous coffee.

  35. Hi Melanie and everyone!
    You don't need to enter me in the drawing, since I already have a copy of the book. I'm Melanie's editor and she is a joy to work with. Thanks for the haggis! Maybe I can send you some lutefisk or lefse from North Dakota in return!

  36. Hi Carla! (hugs and kisses cheeks) So glad you could make it to my Scottish Ceilidh. And look at that gorgeous tartan gown!

    Here let me introduce you to everyone. (walks around the room with Carla) I'd love to try some lefse and lutefisk. While we're talking about food, you have to try a deep fried Mars bar. Oliver just brought this batch in from the kitchen. (winking at Oliver).

  37. Break out the mead! Bring on the haggis! Let's celebrate Malanie's new release. I hope your haggis-hunting license is up-to-date. I hear they're really cracking down on the hunt his year as haggis is becoming an endangered species. Turns out, there are a lot of closet haggis-lovers, especially in England, where they are embarrassed to admit to eating the wee beasties.

  38. Never been to a Ceilidh before. How delightful. And there's not much better for entertainment than a butler in a kilt. Party on!

  39. Glad you could make it over, Bikerhen! And look, a tartan bandana under your helmet.

    Oliver does look mighty fine in his kilt that's for sure.

    Come one and get a bite to eat before you get dancing.

  40. Deep fried Mars bars sound great! If you put them on a stick, they would serve them at the Minnesota State Fair!

  41. What a party - I'm puffed out from all the dancing - bring on the champion sword dancer to entertain us. Yes, Melanie - that would be YOU!!

  42. Oh yeah, sword dancing and mead. I'm in!

  43. What a fantastic party! Hello, Melanie *waves*, looks like you're having a fab time! I've never tried a deep-fried Mars bar!

  44. Haw, haw! Love it! Pass the mead, I'm seeing Leprechauns! Well done, girls. FAB! Well done, Melanie and GOOD LUCK! Here's to Sharon, bless. Cheers, m'dears! :) xx

  45. Maureen, you made it! So happy to see you. Yes, my haggis hunting license is up-to-date. I take part in the hunt every year when it opens at St Andrews Day and runs through to Robbie Burns. I just hope they don't shorten it because of the haggii close to becoming endangered.

    You'll enjoy Oliver's haggis, Maureen. It's his special recipe. Try some of the other nibbles on order and be sure to have a dram to take the chill off.

  46. Let me polish my silver medal, Janice. Oliver, would you get that sword down from above the fireplace for me?

    Okay folks, kilt flying, feet flying, here I go! Sword dancing!

    What? Is that applause?

  47. Ummmmm, we're having a party, Mars Bars included. Who could ask for more!

  48. Gina and Sheryl, so glad you could make it to my little party. And look at the two of you decked out in your tartan finery! And those shoes, Gina! Tartan stilettos. WOW!

    And Sheryl, those piper earrings! Me like... very, very much.

  49. I'm applauding, Melanie, over those Tartan stilettos. I NEED a pair.

  50. They're me aren't they? Sheryl flicks her beautfully curled locks back. 'Damn.' *Fishes piper earring out of mead*

  51. Yes, Melanie - tartan heels! I'm waggling them now ready for dancing!

  52. I've had a quiet word with Oliver and he's agreed to mix up a batch of Janice Horton's Bullshot for us. Yum!

    It's similar to a Caesar or a Bloody Mary but different. And packs a wallop if you have too much.

  53. Hi Nancy, so glad you could come to my celebration. There's plenty more than just Mars bars to tickle your palette so don't be shy. As my dear auntie used to say, "Dig down, there's meat!"

  54. Whew! I'm knack- er I mean I'm worn out after all that dancing! Got me a nice young Highland laddie, showed me a reel or two!

    The place is buzzing, more guests, and you all look so lovely in your tartans. Hello, Carla (curtsies) always an honour to have an editor visit us at the Roast! Hi Bikerhen and Maureen, lovely to meet you - hello Sheryl, dear friend, and Nancy and Gina - I think that's everyone.

    Ooh Oliver, yes, how about a 'Bullshit' I think that would go down well!

  55. Oops, typo! typo! I meant 'bullshot'
    (Blushes furiously!)

  56. *Hick* The mead is strong *she staggers to the food* Now for some haggis and then I'm sword dancing. *she teeters and falls* ARGGGGHHH-the mead is strong. Where's that sword. I'll show you a step or two!

  57. Fans Lyn. Didn't see a thing, girlfriend. I might want to try a Cesar. The mead is kicking me in the Haggis ;-)

  58. *Hic* Thanks Mac. Ooh Patsy's having a good time - and look at Melanie with that hunky looking Scot!
    Mary will be so mad she missed the party this week - but she will go off gallavanting! :)

  59. I've just been helping Oliver to perfect the Bullshot recipe (hic) and I think we now have the balance right (hic)- so everyone - let's charge up your glasses and toast Melanie, our hostesses and the gorgeous Oliver! What a party!

    Then it's 'Scotland The Brave' on the bagpipes!!! Yay!!

  60. Absolutely, Janice! Three Cheers for Melanie and 'Shadow Of The Past' (and Oliver and our dear Sharon of course!)

  61. Thanks so much for the drink, Oliver, (pats his arm) I need a good drink of bullshot. Haven't had any since Janice's party here. Yum... smooth. I think you two have the formula down pat.

    I take it the kiddies are all tucked up in their beds now? Don't see any of them around and the haggis you brought, Janice, is looking far less harried. As a matter of fact, it's curled up snoring in Nibby's bed. And look, Nibby is crashed on the floor beside it, bless...

  62. Aw, how cute! And Cuddles and Hampy are curled up together too. Now, what happened to Mac's naughty little friend, Foster, I wond4r?

  63. FFFFOOOOOSSSSSTTTTTEEEERRRRR! Where are you? I think he's hiding in the mead!

  64. Don't look now, but I think Foster is unraveling that hunk's kilt without his noticing. Where's my camera? Ahem. I mean... Foster, stop that!

  65. Mac, I don't know who's the worst - you or Foster! :)

    Anyway, it's well past the witching hour here in the UK, so I'm going to find a hunk - I mean a quiet spot - and curl up for some shut eye. I'll be around in the morning if any late comers stop by -and if you want to keep on partying, go right ahead!

    Melanie you've been a delightful guest of honour - congratulations on your book and wishing you much success. So y'all in the morning!

  66. What a great party. Delicious refreshments. Delightful story except. And interesting pictures. Is it true, about the kilt? Love the bagpipes too.

    Congratulations, Melanie. Best of luck.


  67. Lyn Blinks, stretches and greets the morning.

    Oooh, a new guest. Good morning, Beverley, I see Oliver's made sure you've had some refreshments. As for the kilt, well that's the best kept Scottish secret evere, 'fraid you'll have to find out for yourself! LOL

  68. Good morning, Beverly (giving self cursory glance in mirror making sure everything is in place and no makeup smudged). So glad you could make it. I'm afraid things might have got a little crazy last night after the wee 'uns were put to bed.

    Thankfully Oliver kept his kilt (oh I mean hair on) and didn't get carried away with our silliness.

    Enjoy the refreshments and make yourself at home. I need a good, hot cup of strong coffee then I'll be able to function.

  69. Sorry I'm late to the party and I live here in Scotland! What a great time you've been having - I especially like the accordian, and Oliver in his kilt. Raising a toast to you and your book, Melanie!

  70. Hi Rosemary, great to see you again - don't worry about being late, our parties goes on as long as the guests keep coming!

  71. Glad you could make it to the party, Rosemary. Better late than never.

    Sorry I had to dash away this morning but had to get back to Canada for a writing workshop.

  72. I just finished Shadows of the Past & I loved it. WTG, Melanie. Keep writing. The Scottish info is interesting. Thanks

  73. Hi Janet, so glad you could join us for Melanie's party!

  74. Thanks for coming, Janet! Thrilled that you loved my book.I hopped the first flight I could get out of Ottawa after a great day at writing workshop in our nation's capital. Even sold a couple of books afterwards so an even better day!

    Thanks so much ladies and Oliver for making my roast the party it was. I've had a wonderful time and you folks are the best hostesses and Oliver is so accommodating to our needs (blushing profusely).

    Slainte! Or maybe "Party On" would be more appro-po?

  75. Glad you had a good day at your writing workshop and congrats on your sales - wishing you many more too. You must be exhausted, I reckon Oliver might make you a mug of something soothing while you wind down.

    We've all enjoyed having you as our guest so much!

  76. Oh Lyn, a mug of something soothing would be fab. And yes, I am exhausted.

    I'm so glad that you enjoyed me as a guest here at Author Roast & Toast. I know I've enjoyed being here as the guest of honour.

    Hugs to all!

  77. I missed the giveaway but so glad I didn's miss this review. Love it!

  78. Hi Howard

    So pleased to see you here. Glad you enjoyed our party with Melanie, sorry you missed the giveaway but there's always next week! ;)