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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Calisa's winners ...

Thank you for being such a wonderful guest, Calisa, this week EVERYONE'S A WINNER!

Get your FREE copy of HOME from-
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=86_100&products_id=4721

 Thanks also to all you wonderful readers and fellow authors who took the time to take part in our parties and leave your comments. We love you all, and are especially happy to see those who come back week after week to partake in our silliness and help celebrate our Guest Author's books.

Next week we'll be taking a little holiday, but the week after will be business as usual when we'll be Roasting and Toasting  BETH TRISSEL,  on 11th January 2013

So as the old year draws to a close, we all wish you a Very Happy New Year with everything you would wish for yourselves.
New Year Begins

Friday, December 28, 2012

Calisa Rhose toasts her Book's 1st Birthday with a Hippy gypsy fest!

Lyn yanks at the steering wheel, bringing the rental car to a screeching halt at the curb. Silence fills the vehicle for several long moments, then, shaking from the wild ride, Mary, Patsy and Mac burst into action, scrambling out the car doors onto the sidewalk. Lyn leans over to grin out the window at her sister hostesses. She points to the Antique Doll Shop sign above the door at their backs.

“I told you I’d find it.”

Mary wipes nervous sweat from her brow and pins Mac and Patsy with a stern look. “I vote we never let her drive again, unless a roast guest requests a NASCAR theme.”

Mac and Patsy share a grin. Lyn climbs from the car frowning. “You said to hurry it up so we wouldn’t be late for Calisa’s party.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t say anything about taking corners on two wheels. You’re lucky we didn’t see any police patrol cars. And that cow we almost hit will never be the same.”

Lyn rounds the hood to join them on the sidewalk. “Well, who expects to come around a corner to find a bovine in the middle of the road?”

“We’re in Oklahoma, Lyn. This is cattle country.”

“Now you tell me,” she grumbles.

Patsy  laughs. “Relax, ladies. We made it in one piece, and we look incredible in our hippy garb!” A floral head band holding her hair in place, she spins,  performing a perfect pirouette. The yards of colorful, filmy material making up her long skirt flits out to swirl around her legs before coming back to rest against her ankles. “I’ve always wanted to be a hippie. The lifestyle, the carefree attitude, the clothes.”

Mac shakes her head. “You certainly look the part.” She eyes the clunky sandals on Lyn’s feet. “What are you doing, and how the devil do you manage to do it so well in size fourteen Birkenstocks? I’d break my neck.”

“Excuse me, but I’ve been dancing on these big feet for years. And I’m warming up. Calisa wants a gypsy theme party and it’s her birthday, so it has to be perfect. Gypsies love to dance, you know.”

“And they love fortune telling.” Mary digs in her purse, pulling out a large, faded silver ornament. She holds the tattered globe out on her palm.

Lyn lifts a brow. “Have you ever told a fortune?”

“No, but I write romance. How hard can it be?” She waggles her brows and drops her voice to a husky, suggestive tone. “I see a man in your future. A tall, dark stranger with piercing blue eyes, a muscular chest, shoulders a yard wide and--”

“Mine! I call that fortune as mine!” Patsy interrupts gleefully.

 “--and a highway patrol badge.”

Patsy narrows her eyes when Mac and Lyn laugh along with Mary. “Very funny.”

Mac clears her throat. “I hate to say this, Mary, but no self respecting gypsy would use a ratty old Christmas ornament to tell fortunes - and anyway, Calisa said something about palm reading!”

Mary shrugs. “I had no idea where to find a crystal ball so I dug through an old box in the attic and came up with this.”

“The only future you’re going to see in that thing is a trip to the trash heap.”

Mac laughs and pokes Mary with her elbow. The hostesses gasp as the ugly ornament pops from her palm and drops toward the sidewalk. Mary sticks out her leg in an attempt to redirect its descent. It bounces off her knee. Mac dives for the globe, colliding with Lyn and Patsy, making their own attempts to prevent the inevitable crash. All three go down in a heap on the sidewalk. The orb bounces off the sole of Lyn’s Birkenstocks and rolls to a stop in front of the doll shop door.

Mary scoops it up, laughing down at the hostesses sprawled on the sidewalk. “It’s plastic, you dolts.”

 “Now you tell us,” they grumble in unison as the shop door opens.

Calisa shakes her head as they climb to their feet. “I’m not even going to ask.”

“Smart move.” Mac grins and hugs Calisa, followed by the others.  “Happy birthday, chickie.”

She smiles and leads them inside. “Come on. The party is about to start. Oliver is a wonder. He’s got everything ready for my guests.”

The hostesses ooh and aah at the displays of antique dolls lining the shelves, each one prettier than the next. Mac spins in a circle.

“Isn’t one of these dolls supposed to be cursed or something? They wouldn’t let the sidekicks in the rental car so we had to leave them behind this week. I was kind of looking forward to at least one party without the typical mischief.”

Calisa nods. “The Scrimshaw Doll, but you can relax. She’s not here at the moment.”

Patsy sniffs the richly scented air. “Well, that’s a relief. This place is wonderful, Calisa, and something smells delicious!”

“Since ‘Home’ is part of the Scrimshaw Doll series, I knew the shop would be the perfect place to celebrate its one year anniversary.” She points to a long table at the back of the store, laden with steaming dishes, heaping trays and  enormous birthday cake. “And what could be better than one of the heroine’s favorite recipes? Poppy makes a mean rabbit stew.”

“Rabbit stew?” Mac blanches. “Poor Thumper.”

Calisa grins. “And wait till you see what she can do with a Hedgehog.”

“Oh, dear Lord.”

Calisa laughs, turning when the door leading to the shop’s back room swings open. Oliver emerges looking like a hippy girl’s dream in a low slung pair of faded bell bottom jeans. A fringed vest covers his bare chest. He crosses the shop with a tray full of glasses in his hand.

“Oh, Oliver! You made the Red Gypsies!” Calisa begins handing out glasses. “It’s made of vodka, whiskey and cream soda.”

Oliver nods his welcome as the hostesses greet him and each take a glass.

Calisa clinks her glass all around. “Another of Poppy’s recipes, and be careful, it packs a wallop.”

Patsy sniffs at the concoction then takes a healthy swig. She chokes and her face flames red. Mary thumps her on the back. She sucks in air and her eyes water.

“Oh, my God! A couple of these and no one will care you are telling their fortune with a crappy, plastic Christmas ornament, Mary. They won’t be able to see!”

Mary laughs and lifts her glass. “Well, then. Bottoms up and let the party begin!”

BIO- Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams.
Reach me on my website and blog
Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter

BlurbWhat could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?
Silvertown's outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam "The Force" Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he's home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of "that damn war." Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she's ever truly loved?
Sam Callahan's only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He's known Poppy his entire life, but there's something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she's the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?
 Silvertown, Oklahoma- 1967
“I’ll always want you, Poppy.”

Her head shook in automatic denial. “You’ll want a girl who fits your life. Not some gypsy with no family lineage to brag about. Your momma won’t accept that, either. She’ll make you choose someone like Connie, someone who fits into your world. Not the girl everyone avoids and whispers about behind her back. You’re gonna be the town’s doctor. You need an uppity wife who will make you proud.”

When Sam laughed, his chest shuddered against her back. Deep, husky, real. He turned her in his arms and looked down at her, smiling. “Poppy, do you honestly think I give a damn what people think? Look at me! I’m the town outcast, the survivor who should have died saving the others, not be here planning a future that includes a wife, a medical practice.

 “I shimmy under park benches, run from my mother’s lipstick, for God’s sake. I wake up screaming and crying over nothing in the middle of the night, crawl under my bed and hide, shaking, until morning. Hell, I can’t even be a doctor because I haven’t finished school yet.”

“I didn’t know. It must be awful for you.” No matter how it hurt Poppy to know he used her, it felt much worse to know how he hurt alone. “The only time it isn’t awful is when I’m with you. When I think of you.”

Romany Recipes

Rabbit Stew
Most Romani cooking is done over an open fire in iron pots or kettles, so it is not surprising that many main dishes are in the form of stews or thick soups. In the stew pot, you might find goose, chicken, pork or bacon, as well as wild game like quail and partridge. One of the most popular Romani dishes is rabbit stew, in which chunks of rabbit meat and offal is combined with ham or bacon, small birds, onions, mushrooms and stock. It is seasoned with marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper, and is served in a pastry shell.

I’ll let you decide if you feel brave enough to try this next delicacy.
Yes, hedgehog. Hedgehog (Hociwici or Niglo in Romany) is considered a delicacy, particularly by French and British Gypsies. The hedgehog is often cooked by wrapping it in clay and baking it on the fire. When the hardened clay shell is removed, the prickles come off as well. Often the hedgehog meat is cooked with agrimony and sorrel, herbs frequently used in Romani dishes. Other cooking methods include stews with onion and tomatoes and even as a lasagna.
Or perhaps you’d rather try Romani shak te mas…or meat and cabbage?

Get your copy of HOME from-

w/a ~Calisa Rhoseone man, one woman, one love
OKRWA/RWA Member since March 2008
NRCA Category Coordinator since 2009/FAB/IDA contest judge 
Website Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter 
GoodReads author page ~ Amazon author page
Home- The Wild Rose Press- 12/28/11
Risk Factors- Lyrical Press, Inc.- 03/2013

Calisa will give away a free copy of her book to everyone who comments. 

After you leave your comment, pop along to the Wild Rose Press website

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Joan's Winner is.....

Thank you to everyone who joined us and left comments, and made our Roast so much fun,  and to Joan Afman for  being such a fun Guest of Honour. The winner of her download is:

***D R U M R O L L ***
Congratulations Cassie

Join us again for more fun and frolics on 28th  December when our guest of honour will be Calisa Rhose


Friday, December 14, 2012

Joan Affman's Medieval Christmas on another planet

“You have got to be kidding!” Lyn exclaims. “This space helmet is impossible to remove.”

Mac grabs both sides of the helmet as Lyn bends over. She tugs for all she’s worth. Mary, who inadvertently picked that moment to enter the changing room on the planet Felid, happens to be in the way as Lyn takes a flying leap to her rear. If not for Lyn's use of her clodhopper feet to drag herself to a stop, Mary would have flown up into the air. The planet has a much weaker gravitational pull. As it is, Mary flies out the door into the humid jungle. Several feline like creatures head into the door next to them, for the party being held to celebrate, Joan Afman’s newest release, Cheetah Princess. The long awaited story has taken this Cat planet by storm. The proudest feline of all today is, Kilobi, the stunning white Cheetah who happens to be one of the main characters.

“Will you look at that?” She eyes the handsome Cheetah, and Patsy is so excited she lets go of Hampy, who smells cheese and runs into the party followed by Cuddles riding Nibbie. They like cheese too. Foster shakes his green hair and saunters into the room with the air of a Lord of the Manor. He struts up to Oliver dressed in his medieval clothes.

Oliver has arranged a medieval Christmas feast.Goose, lamb, beef, roast quail, even a little Squab stuffed with apples, along with bowls of soups made with, onions, garlic, spinach, berries, nuts and leeks, the Mirelinans drink a tea-type drink called Lotai…and the best wine is called ‘Golden number Five’.. The air is rich with spices, used for flavoring; cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Pottage doesn’t  please the felines, so they have their own favored foods, which includes lots of red meat and fish.

Not able to help himself, Foster grabs a huge leg of fowl, and runs before he gets Oliver angry. Oliver feigns a frown, and then laughs as Foster heads toward the door outside with his pilfered food. It’s twice the size of him.

“Thanks for the help up girls.” Mary struggles back into the room, and the others go back in too.They have to change into the old fashioned clothing.

“At least we don’t have to wear armor.” Mac adds as she pulls on her voluminous floor length dress.

“Yikes this is not a corset is it?” Mary cries. “I ain’t wearing that thing. No way. I took a spaceship, which was not the best way to travel. Stasis indeed... Then, we took another ship from some port out in the middle of space. And to top it off, I have worn this space suit since we got on. It’s hot in here. Now, you want me to put on a torture devise!”

“Now, now, Mary, you have to play along. I don’t like it myself.” Lyn pats her on the arm.

“Yeah, well you don’t have girls the size of mine.” Mary mutters and finishes dressing.

“I think I look divine.” Mac sighs. “And as for Patsy - wait, where is Patsy?”

“NOOOOO.” Patsy screams from the room next to them!

“Here we go.” Lyn raises her eyes  in frustration, “Can’t we have one normal party?”

“Normal party on another planet, predominantly feline, and living like they’re in medieval times. Then you add our four sidekicks, and you thought it would be a normal party.” Mac clutches her side as she laughs.

The three girls rush into the party and find Patsy holding a sopping wet Hampy, as she apologizes to the servers preparing to serve the many guests already seated.

“I told you, no dogs, unicorns or hamsters were allowed. Now look at that mess,” Lyn exhales exasperated. “The party is just beginning and already someone is in the food! Nothing worse than pet hair in your food. Even the cougar is smarter than you bad creatures!”

“Oh darn!” Mary hollers, “Nibbie get out of there. No—don’t--.” She blocks her eyes as she sees the results of Nibbie and Cuddles, getting to the food table.

 “Cuddles!” Lyn grabs the small unicorn and Mary grabs Nibbie’s collar. Cuddles, has his nose in a large bowl of steel oat porridge, and Nibbie, the monster, has her snoot latched onto a huge side of beef. She shakes her head from side to side and still can’t get it off her snout. The girls try to drag the unruly creatures out and send them to explore the lush grounds.

“Get out of there.” Mary gives an apologetic smile to the guests from the planet Mirelina. They are shocked at such undisciplined behavior “We can just cut that part out.” She smiles nervously. “The monsters won’t stop, Lyn. What are we gonna do?”

Kiboli strides over to the mess. No roar, just a gentle purr and Nibbie, Hampy and Cuddles run from the room. The hostesses watch the huge regal cat nod at them, and then slink back to the soft cushion set out for him.

“Wow, did you see that.” Lyn’s mouth closes from its previous gape.

“I could use a cat like that at home.” Mary mumbles.

“Now let’s find our seats.” Patsy heads toward a seat and finds herself facing a kilted gentleman, who holds her chair for her.
“Wow, renaissance Scots. Yowser! Her gaze is diverted, and her eyes bug out, as she views the deserts set out in front of her. The handsome Scotsman has been forgotten, in favor of sugar.

“Oh, my-- Custard tarts.” She grabs one and pops it into her mouth. “Yummy.”

“Why don’t we skip the beef and go right to desert.” Mac sits next to Patsy. Their medieval dresses have long  flowing sleeves widest at the wrist.” Mac tucks hers into the arms of her dress and dives into the sweets.

“Do cheetahs eat custard, I wonder.” Mac smiles and shrugs.

“Hey, there’s milk in it.” Patsy adds as she fills her mouth with the gooey sweet concoctions

“There’s only one thing better than desert.” Lyn grins and sits next to them.

“Yeah, a good book, like Cheetah Princess.”  “Let’s welcome Joan to her medieval Christmas party on the cat planet. Welcome Mirelinaians, Earth people and those from various other planets.” Lyn’s voice quiets the room. “Welcome to your party Joan, and welcome to Dsanna, Princess, and the King, her father. And, yes welcome, to all the other visitors from every planet with felines. Eat, drink, be merry, than read a wonderful story—Cheetah Princess, by Joan Affman!”

“The Cheetah Princess” takes place on Mirelina, a two-moon planet much like earth. Dsanna is the adopted daughter of the King of Mirelina.  She is beautiful, smart, outgoing—and just a bit spoiled.  When pressured by her father and nobles to marry the prince of the neighboring kingdom, who just might declare war on the if she doesn’t, she rebels and flees to the Star Mountains with her best friend, Kidboli, a sacred white cheetah.

Many adventures follow:  Dsanna meets her true love, is pursued relentlessly by the evil prince she rejected, crosses her kingdom with her faithful maid, Sharli, and Kiboli, of course, learning many lessons in humility and compassion along the way.  A final battle in the forest seems doomed until Kiboli and his buddy cheetahs come to the rescue.  A royal wedding with a surprise element ends the story with a happy ending.

PURCHASE LINK: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-cheetah-princess


The Cheetah Princess

This time Dsanna’s mind drifted in another direction. She stood at the opening of the cheetah’s cave, feeling every bit as conscious as if she had been awake. The mother cheetah lay in the sunlight on a flat rock, her three cubs cavorting playfully around her. The cheetah fixed her jeweled eyes on Dsanna’s, and a message flowed between them.

You must go into the cave, into the darkness and the unknown were the words that pulsed into her mind.
She stared into the depths unable to see anything but endless darkness. Suddenly, a pinpoint of light appeared. It grew larger, and a figure of a man emerged,
flickered briefly, and then faded away.

There will be much danger, the mind message warned. But in the midst of danger, you will find your future.
Something made her look down. There, at her feet, was a flower of the kind that grew la

She awoke with a start just in time to see a hint of movement in the foliage across the stream. Sunlight glinted for a few seconds on fair hair and bronzed shoulders. Dsanna froze, all her senses focused on the tall, goldenskinned man standing near the edge. He gazed at her across the narrow strip of water. Their eyes locked, and something fast and sharp flew across the stream between them, something she had never felt before. It hit her like a physical blow. She jumped to her feet, head up, sniffing the wind and poised
to flee.

In an instant, the leaves fluttered back into place and everything was still again. She lifted her head, wary and her heart pounding. At once, she noticed the flowers, three of them, laying on the rock at her feet. She stared at the place where the figure had vanished.

Who, in Mirelle’s name, was this man who had seen her sleeping and left flowers for her? Had he seen her before, bathing and resting in this, her private refuge? She clasped a hand over her mouth. Had he watched her in the waterfall?

Her anger flared. How dare he? She was the princess of the realm, inheritor of the throne.

Taking a several deep breaths, she calmed. Kiboli was with her in the forest and, even unseen, the royal white cheetah would watch and protect her. If he had permitted the man to approach and leave a gift, it must be all right.It might even be ordained by Mirelle. She tried to recall the dream from
which she had been awakened. It had already faded, and although a few images fluttered through her mind, they were too tenuous to grab.

The afternoon waned, the light slipping from the day. Dsanna sighed and pulled on her under things and the leather tunic. Dressed, she gathered up the mass of dark hair and twisted it into a coil which she fastened with a jeweled clasp at the back of her neck. She slipped on her shoes, and she was
ready for her run back along the paths that led to the edge of the palace grounds. Impulsively, she scooped up the flowers and took them with her.

She kept a careful watch for any movement that seemed out of place, any swatch of color that was not quite right, but saw nothing that alarmed her. At the edge of the forest, she paused. She looked back along the path, then put her fingers to her mouth and blew out a most unladylike whistle. In seconds, Kiboli appeared, racing like white lightning through the trees. He slid to a stop at her side and looked up at her with his clear green eyes, so familiar it was like looking into her own. She bent to pet him and he, panting,looked as if he smiled at her.

She stared at him. Why do you always seem to know so much more than I?


Joan Conning Affman started writing after her retirement to Florida after a career teaching art in the Hartford, Ct. school system.  For a while, she thought she would ‘paint for the tourists’, but Fate threw her into a group of writers, and she quickly changed her focus to writing.  {Her mother, a former English teacher, has always told her plaintively, “I think you could write!” as if it were the Holy Grail to be pursued.)  Four published novels later, Joan thinks she might have been right.

    The proud mother of four children and six beautiful grandchildren, she loves her fun-in-the-sun life in Florida, and her friends and activities.  Especially writing.

This is the last 'Roast and Toast' before Christmas, we're having a short vacation and will be back with you on the 28th. We wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season - and don't forget to leave your email address in the comments if you want to win Joan's fantastic story for some great Christmas reading.

To win a copy of '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.