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, 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.


  1. Welcome to your party Joan I love your excerpt, 'The Cheetah Princess' sounds like a 'must read'!

  2. My favorite game at Jackpot is the one where there are Cheetahs and Panthers. Adding this book to my TRR pile. Welcome Joan, boy this outfit is hot - and I mean warm hot, do I look sexy though?

  3. Oh What a beautiful morning. Well except for the rain at home before I left today. Patsy, you always look sexy. And this corset is killing me.
    Glad we got your helmet off there Lyn, or we'd have to have chopped off your head!
    You might miss it, so.....
    Oh Joan, where is she hiding????

  4. hi Patsy.* Lyn hugs her sister hostess* You look lovely. 'hot' but in a nice way!

  5. posted for Joan Afman
    Hi there everybody! Welcome to my Christmas party on another planet!
    Have a crystal goblet of Miralina's finest, Golden Number Five--and don't forget to sample the succulent roast pheasant over there! OH, NO! Kilobi get away from that table--you're not allowed--oh, Oliver, do you happen to have another roast pheasant around somewhere?

  6. I'm so glad it's the other critters and not Foster getting into all the trouble this time.

    *hugs her sister hostesses and waves at Joan then eyes the gorgeous cheeta*

    Life sure has gotten interesting since I met you chickies. Space travel. Who'da thunk it? So, what are we drinking?

  7. Golden Number Five the best darn beer in the Universe! Wonder what they make it with!
    Foster, well he is the brains of the group, who do you think let them in to cover up for one of his nefarious plans!
    He can sneak up on you, he's a sneaky, cheeky, little man!

  8. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Princess Dsanna and Prince Arshane welcome you to Christmas at Miralina! The palace is open--so come on in and see the lavish wall tapestries, the gold and silver moldings, the hand-carved furnishings,the priceless carpets--and don't be afraid of Kiboli; he can be fierce, as in the final battle in the forest, but he's just a sweet, purring kitty cat, usally...

  9. Oh, deal Lord. Priceless carpets? This isn't going to end well.

  10. Nibby - where are you, hate it when dogs get too interested in priceless carpets. Thank god for my old and used ones! Mary, try not to breathe too deeply, makes wearing the corset so much easier.

  11. This torture device had to be invented by a man. No woman in her right mind woulda thought of that thing!
    OH NO! Nibs let go of that! How did you unravel that thing? Stop Nibbie, I can't afford to replace the carpet...Ah, well, didn't these people ever hear of rushes???

  12. Lyn, stand over there and cover the torn part with your feet. Maybe no one will notice.

  13. Lyn hastily covers her the hole in the carpet with the huge shoes the hostesses made her wear, and swirls her skirts around her ankles for good measure.

    She curtsies as she sees two figures approaching. 'Good Day, your Highnesses It's not every week we have a real Prince and Princess visit us. What an Honour, And Kiboli is so beautiful and such a sweetie. Here, Kitty kitty!

  14. I know, I know, Patsy, Mac, she just might need new glasses. Have you heard the echo when you say hello into one of her shoes. God help you if she steps on you. If she was a man, wooo hoooo!

  15. LOL Mary. Get your mind out of the gutter, girl, or at least wait until the highnesses wander off. They're giving you a look.

    *bows to the prince and princess then nearly squeaks when she sees Foster about to tug the pretty kitty's tail*

  16. I thought he knew better. Well Foster, you might not like what that big cat has to say to you if you pull it's tail. Or is it tale?

  17. This is my kinda party! You ladies look great, loved all the food!!! Have fun Joan

  18. Hi Traci, help yourself to refreshments, there's polenty to go round!

  19. Another great post, ladies, and Joan your cover is gorgeous and the excerpt was very intriguing. Sounds like a great read.

  20. Beautiful cover and excerpt! I love it, wish it didn't end, lol.

  21. hi Patrice and Cassie Mae, thanks for joining in the festivities. Joan's cover is rather gorgeous isn't it!

  22. Now that says a lot, wish it didn't end! Welcome all to the planet Felid.
    Where cats rule the world and are smarter then you know!
    Wonder if they'd eat my calico kitty?

  23. Hiya Traci, Patrice and Cassie Mae. Welcome to the party.

    And pay no attention to Mary, Nibbie. You know she loves her demon dog.

  24. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Hi---Princess-elect Joanie here. Sorry--I had to send Sir James out for another pheasant--and, well, his arrows broke, and his horse went lame, and to make a long story short--he came back with a vulture! Ugh! I doubt even Oliver can make that ugly bird delectable!

  25. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Hi---Princess-elect Joanie here. Sorry--I had to send Sir James out for another pheasant--and, well, his arrows broke, and his horse went lame, and to make a long story short--he came back with a vulture! Ugh! I doubt even Oliver can make that ugly bird delectable!

  26. No problem, Oliver could make stone soup taste good. But, I think the canines would prefer it raw.
    I'll have another tart please. No Patsy, not you, the custard type. :0)

  27. Beautiful book cover. Sounds like a wonderful story. I don't believe I have ever seen one with a cheetah before.
    Sue B

  28. Who called me a tart? I'm more of a sweetie type :). Off to the food, been playing hard - er - working hard!

  29. *snickering over the tart remark* Wait for me, Patsy. I want some of that yummy looking custard thing. And some beer!

  30. Bad Mary, bad. Nibbie taught me!
    I love tarts of all kinds!

  31. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Princes-elect Joanie here. You'll have to excuse me for a bit--Sir James and I are going to sneak into that lovely little secret room at the top of the tower...for a quiet, private dinner...and a little romance.
    Oh, Kiboli--stay with your mistress. You know she misses you when you're not around. Yes, I know you can connect with her psychically, but Sir James and I would like to be alone. Go find a lady cheetah!

  32. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Princes-elect Joanie here. You'll have to excuse me for a bit--Sir James and I are going to sneak into that lovely little secret room at the top of the tower...for a quiet, private dinner...and a little romance.
    Oh, Kiboli--stay with your mistress. You know she misses you when you're not around. Yes, I know you can connect with her psychically, but Sir James and I would like to be alone. Go find a lady cheetah!

  33. I'm back for some of those desserts. Yummy. Forgot to say I love the book excerpt.
    Sue B

  34. Help yourself to deserts, Sue, there's plenty of 'em.

    I see you've changed your gown Princess Joanie, you look gorgeous, no wonder Sir James fell for you! Have fun!

  35. Well Joan picked up a guy and I guess she's headed for a hot date. At least I think that's what she said. And hey, big cheetah, there is a nice "pack" of your buddies out front. I'll let them in, if you promise they won't try to eat us!
    Oh, you say they run in packs? Nice to know, some people have no imagination!LOL! (The best revenge is publication!!)

  36. I do love this time frame and now that it's winter, these warm dresses are starting to feel pretty good. Or maybe its the libations! That's what I need, more libation!

  37. Hiya Sue. Try the tarts, please. So I won't be able to eat them all myself!

  38. Mmmm tarts. That sounds good. Will have to try some.
    Sue B

  39. So glad you ladies are continuing with the author roast and toast. Nice to meet you Joan.

  40. Hi Caroline, lovely to see you here again. Yes, we felt Sharon would want us to carry on with the Roast, although we miss her terribly, with her merry quips and naughty innuendos. Don't you just love the sound of Joan's book? I'm going to have to add it to my Santa 'wish list'!

  41. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Hi--Princess-elect Joanie here; did you see my in my lovely lavender velvet dress? It took the royal seamstreeses five months to complete it--and they only make minimum wage, too. Well, thank you, Sir James, for those lovely flowers. I know they only grow on the top of Star Mountain. Now where do you suppose Dsanna and Arshane snuck off to? Maybe that old gardner's cottage in the garden, where they had so many secret trysts...?

  42. Princess-elect JoanieDecember 15, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Princess-elect Joanie, back after my afternoon swim in the palace pool, and a nap. Now, I love to sleep with a furry cat or two, but sleeping with a full-grown cheetah is quite another matter. He took up most of the bed, and I coldn't budge him either. Finally, I got up, left Kiboli the bed, and slept on the chaise.
    Onew more drink of Golden number seven--oh! did we run out? Guess the party's running down. Merry Christmas on Miralina!

  43. oh your Royal Highness elect

    You look absolutely stunning in that gorgeous velvet gown - and the colour suits you so well. No wonder Sir James is smothering you with flowers, and the rarest and most beautiful too.

    You're glowing after you swim too, I don't blame you for leaving the bed to Kiboli, he is rather large isn't he. It's bad enough when Cuddles tries to share the bed with me!

    What? We're running out of Golden Number Seven you say? Not good enough, dear Oliver is slipping. I'm sure he'll have arranged to have a fresh supply sent in, we have to keep the refreshments going until Sunday, just in case any late comers wander in.

    I'm going to have a wander and explore some of this beautiful planet. You've been an absolutely fantastic Guest of Honour Joan, and it's been wonderful experiencing Christmas on another planet, and meeting your amazing characters - including Kibolki of course, he's magnificent!

  44. It looks like I'm in the right place. You throw a great party.

  45. Hi Mary, welcome to the party! Glad you're enjoying it. Don't their Royal Highnesses (including Joan) look wonderful!

  46. Well I guess I'd better start cleaning up. Wait Joan is starting a conga line! One last bit of fun at the end of a great party! Patsy here's the last bottle me the Golden brew, you should probably take it home!


This is an interractive blog - please feel free to pop in and comment throughout the Roast as much as you like - and remember to leave your email address if you wish to be put in the draw to win this week's prize.