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, January 25, 2013

Charlene Raddon rolls the wagons West

The wagon bounces over a rut and tosses the hostesses in the air. They come down hard on the wooden plank seats. Mac grabs hold of Patsy’s arm to keep from tumbling off the side.
deep ruts on the Oregon trail

“Are we there yet?”

Chimney Rock
Lyn  laughs, clicks her tongue, and flicks the reins, directing the horses pulling the wagon up a small rise. 

“The campsite is just over this hill.” She jerks her chin toward the towering rock formation in the distance. “See, there’s Chimney Rock.”

“Thank God. I don’t know how the pioneers did it. Can you imagine spending weeks on the trail?” Mac brushes at the simple calico material of her pioneer dress. “And in these clothes. What do you want to bet a man came up with the idea of covering a woman from head to foot.”

“Tell me about it.” Patsy lifts the hem of her skirt and flaps it in the air. “These pantaloons are making my legs and… other things sweat!”

Mary snickers. “TMI Patsy.”

Mac grins but nods in agreement. “You know, we’d already be there if we took my Jeep like I offered. Did I mention it has air conditioning?”  

Patsy nudges her with a shoulder bump. “Charlene wants her party to be an authentic camping celebration along the Oregon Trail. The pioneers didn’t have Jeeps or air conditioning.”
Mary lifts her face to the gentle breeze. “But they did have fabulous adventures full of spectacular views and fresh air.”
Mac scowls and angles on one hip to rub at her butt. “And splinters.”

Nibbie begins barking wildly as the wagon crests the hill and the campsite comes into view. Cuddles, Hampy and Foster climb up from the wagon bed to perch on the hostesses’ shoulders.
“Wow.” Mary wraps an arm around the dogs shoulders. “I feel like I’ve gone back in time.”

“We’re not in Kansas anymore, ladies,” Lyn breathes reverently.

“Kansas?” Mac looks around. “I thought this was the Oregon Trail.”

Mary winks at Patsy and Lyn. “She’s confused again.” She pats Mac’s arm. “We’ll explain it to you later, hon.”

At the bottom of the hill in a clearing beside a gently flowing river, covered wagons formed a horseshoe around a roaring fire pit. Three large cows and two pigs forage the wild grass amongst a small herd of horses. Several dogs race after a half dozen children at play. Dainty ladies in simple dresses mill about the clearing, fussing at makeshift tables laden with platters of food. Roasted wildfowl and venison share the tables with bowls of dandelion green salad, fresh berries, beans, rice and bread. A kettle of porridge simmers on a spit about the fire. Sturdy men in homespun breeches and shirts hover around the large punch bowl on the center table, or gather around the fire. One plucks out the toe tapping notes of Jim Cracked Corn on the strings of his guitar.

Charlene spots the wagon lumbering to a stop at the edge of the clearing. She lifts the skirt of her dress with one hand and rushes across the clearing to greet the hostesses. 

“You made it!” She claps her hands. “Isn’t this fabulous? I half expect Brianna and Columbus from TENDER TOUCH to come rolling over the hill.”
The hostesses scramble from the wagon to hug Charlene. The side-kicks leap to Nibbie’s collar, clinging as the excited dog races off toward the children. 
Mac groans and rubs at her bottom. “Just tell me one thing, Charlene.”
Charlene lifts a brow in question.

“Please tell me that punch bowl is spiked.”
She laughs and herds them toward the crowd waiting to meet them. “Oh, we are going to have such a good time!”
*And if you'd like to know some of Charlene's authentic 'Pioneer' recipes you can find them HERE

Purchase HERE

They had lost everything that mattered...

Three nightmarish years of marriage had shattered Brianna Wight's sheltered world. Leading her husband to believe she'd been murdered, she fled St. Louis...harboring terrible secrets that could mean her death.

The tragic loss of his Indian wife left Columbus Nigh a wanderer; necessity made him a wilderness guide. But now he found himself drawn to the enigmatic woman who'd hired him to lead her westward. Her gentle strength stirred his lonely heart...her tender beauty aroused his deepest passions.

Would they find love again on a western hourney?

But the perils of the Oregon Trail paled beside the murderous wrath of the man who tracked them across the harsh frontier. Brianna knew the only way to save herself and Columbus was to risk their tender love. Only then could she free herself from the horrors of the past--and embrace a rapturous future.


Chapter One
St. Louis, Missouri, April 1849

            Brianna Wight’s heart pounded as she reluctantly fol­lowed her housekeeper’s son inside the dingy, cavernous livery stable. She felt as though she were entering the very bowels of hell.
Heat from the blacksmith’s shop blasted her delicate skin through her clothes and fluttered the veil covering her face as she waited for her eyes to adjust to the dark­ness. The flames leaping from the forge and the murky silhouettes of men, dancing about the fire like so many devils, were all she could make out.
Harsh, angry voices flew at her out of the blackness, like hurtled knives. Instant terror stiffened her body and she threw up an arm to shield her face.

“Wait your turn, stinkin’ squawman. Whaddya need yer horse shod for anyways? It’s only one o’ them Injun ponies. Get back to yer slut squaw an’ have her pick the lice from yer hair, why doncha?”

The voice that answered was soft, deep and—Brianna thought—deceptively calm, but the words were unclear.
“Why, you bastard!” the first voice yelled.

The sound of flesh and bone striking flesh and bone froze Brianna. Her heart stuttered. That sound was entirely too familiar, as was the pain that always followed. She tensed, waiting to feel the expected blow.
Instead, a man sailed toward her out of the smithy. Brianna screamed in the instant before he slammed into her. Together, they tumbled to the straw-littered floor in a tangle of arms, legs and skirts.

“You blasted squawman!” someone bellowed. “Look what ya done now. Get up, damn you! That’s a lady you’re laying on.”

Brianna fought for air and shoved frantically at the heavy man weighing down her already bruised and bat­tered body. Pain from a hundred places threatened to rend her unconscious. Inside her head, a voice shouted,“It’s not Barret!  Not Barret!” But the fear had her in its grip. She could not stop batting for her life, as she had been forced to do, so many times before.

Close to her ear a low rumbling voice muttered, “Hell- fire! Give it up, woman. I ain’t gonna hurt you.”
Hands like steel bands pinned her wrists to the hay-and horseshit-strewn dirt floor. His panted breath warmed her cheek, smelling of tobacco, and, oddly enough, apples. Brianna felt her breasts flatten against his hard chest, felt that same hard chest expand and deflate along with hers, as they each gasped for air. Something stirred inside her, something she had never felt when Barret held her this way, something that left her confused, as well as scared.

“All right,” the low voice rumbled. “I’m gonna get up now.”
The weight lifted from her body. He towered above her, ten feet tall and at least three across. As she lay there staring up at him through her veil, still fighting off the fear, he reached down to offer her a hand up. She could see better now, well enough to note that his palm was dirty and callused, the smallest of the long, slender fingers missing a joint.

“You all right?” he asked, not unkindly.

Before she could gather enough sense and wind to answer, Sean and his mother were there, bending over her. Brianna groaned as they hauled her to her feet. Every bone in her body ached. It was all she could do to stay upright while Mrs. O’Casey brushed the dirt and straw from her rumpled skirts. She refused to give way to the tears and pain and terror that threatened to engulf her. If she couldn’t even survive one day of freedom without knuckling under, how would she live long enough to start a new life?

Charlene Raddon is the award winning author of five western historical romance novels originally published by Kensington Books, which are now coming available in ebook format from Tirgearr Publishing http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com. TENDER TOUCH is her second book to be released electronically. This story was a Golden Heart Finalist in 1990 under the title Brianna. Ms. Raddon's other books have won other awards. She began writing in 1980, driven by a love of romance, the old west, and a dream she felt had to be put into print. The result was an unpublished time travel, which she is now reworking. When she isn't writing, Ms. Raddon loves to travel, do needlepoint, crochet, collect antique china, scrapbook, do genealogy and spoil her two grandchildren. She lives in Utah with her retired husband and a paranoid cat.

To win a $10 Gift Voucher, 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.

Monday, January 21, 2013

And Greta's winner is...

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

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

Join us again for more fun and frolics on  25th January when our guest of honour will be


Friday, January 18, 2013

A Greek Cruise with Greta Buckle

“This is just beautiful!” Lyn exclaims. “I never dreamed we’d be cruising here aboard the Oceania Insignia, for this luxurious ten day cruise.”

“I know, considering we’ve been so many places, and this is the first time we’ve been treated like Queens. “ Mary sighed. “Just look at Mac, why she almost knows where she is!”

“Now Mary,” Patsy nudges Mary and she goes flying. The only thing stopping her from going over the railing as the four hostess’s head toward the main dining room is her over size hooters. “Tonight is the Captain’s dinner!”

“Now behave you two.” She eyes Mac quizzically, “You look funny, are you all right?”

Mac cocks her head and smiles. “I’m just hungry, and I forgot breakfast and lunch. I think.”

Lyn whispers to Patsy and Mary. “Keep an eye on her.  You never know.”

The four of them reach the large and impressive dining room. Oliver sticks his head around the corner and waves to the girls, blowing kisses that Mac grabs the air for.

“See what I mean,” Lyn casts a worried eye on Mac. “Normally I would be more worried about your behavior Mary. But, on a cruise ship in deep waters off the Coast of Greece. - I’m, just saying.”

Lyn’s worries are lost as the foursome approaches the table where a handsome Captain sits next to a dolled up Greta. She looks hot and the waiters are surrounding her so Lyn has to say. “Excuse me, may we sit down,” with a large smile.

Patsy, not willing to wait with one arm clears a space to the table. The waiters run to seat her. She only has to flex and they are ready to serve.

“Wish I could do that. All I get is looks, and no one notices my face. Hmmm. The curse of it.” Mary sighs. They all greet one another as the waiters bring drinks all around. Lyn takes a large gulf of her Cosmopolitan, and then makes a face. “What the heck,” she utters. “Bombs away! I have to have something in me to manage these three.”

The menu tonight is Mediterranean. And there are some terrific Greek dishes. Oliver has outdone himself with Lamb, Coucous, Moussaka, greens called Horta Vrasta. Youvestsi, beef stew, Fassplatha soup, with white beans, Pastitsio, which is reminiscent of a Greek Lazagna, Souvlaki, Tzatziki dip, Hummis and Pita bread, just to mention a few of the dishes. But Lyn has her eye on the Baklava, dripping with honey, like her favorite, Mead, and Mary’s mouth waters at the Galaktobouvek, custard pie. Patsy, she’s eating the greens. Gotta get those muscles somehow. Let’s just see if she skips desert.

The waiters serve fancy appetizers all around, which disappear all too quickly. Suddenly there is music and waiters and waitresses begin to put on a show. They dance around the room, standing on special pedestals where before they had set food to serve. The crowd rises to its feet.  Dancing and singing along with the sounds of a bouzouki as the servers urge everyone to their feet. The cacophony of sounds ends and everyone applauds with pleasure, as everyone takes their seats.

“Hey, where’s Mac?” Mary questions, gesturing to the empty seat next to her.

A loud ruckus draws attention to the side of the large room, where the waiters are trying to get Mac down from a pedestal she has leapt up on to dance.

“Oh God, it won’t be Mary that gets us thrown out this time!” Patsy wails.

“Hey,” Mary sticks out her lower lip and puts her hands on her hips. “If you couldn’t probably kill me with one punch, I’d…

“Now girls now is not the time.” Greta steps in, and faces the handsome Captain. “Could you help?” She bats her eyelashes at him and smiles.”

“Where’s the sudden sparkle on her teeth.  Toni Curtis, always had a sparkle glisten on his teeth when he did that.” Mary mutters under her breath.

Greata laughs as the Captain finally guides a slightly tipsy Mac to the table and urges coffee on her.

“That ain’t gonna help.” Patsy chuckles.

Suddenly, totally normal and sober Mac stands and calls out to the room. “Let’s welcome Greta Buckle to her cruise roast with the Author Roast and Toast. We are celebrating her release, Mything You.“ She takes a huge slug and sits with a smile.

“Here, here,” the other partiers cry out. “And cheers fill the room.
“Well can you beat that?” Lyn grins from ear to ear. “We are gonna have fun tonight. Let the party begin!”


Adventurer Theseus had dreamed of meeting his father, King Aegeus. As Theseus journeys to Athens, he meets his match in strength along the way. But is it the will of a beautiful young princess that puts this strong young man finally at his mercy? Or will he be able to conquer the princess’s heart?

She had settled for a life of unhappiness and believed a man who would love her for herself was only in her dreams.

Princess Ari has followed her father’s dictates all her life. On her way to meet her bridegroom, she is attacked. Saved by a handsome adventurer, Theseus, she tempts fate and follows him on his journey to Athens. Being with Theseus opens up a whole new world of opportunity for her. But will she allow her heart or loyal duty choose her life for her?

Theseus’ entire body must have been made in the nectar of desire because she wished to bury herself in his arms. And he didn’t stop her from running to him. She jumped when a crash cracked through the air. Blinking, unsure of what happened, her body became rigid. Theseus pulled her into his arms and onto the ground seconds before the giant flew over the pair of them.

He took his hand off her head. He had protected her. Again.

Staring up at him stirred something unique inside her that she never believed could happen to her. She’d seen the plays and the tragedy that love caused, but never understood temptation. The fire in her belly burned into every part of her body from his smoldering eyes. He looked down at her as he cradled her in his arms. “That was Sinus. I don’t think he’ll kill anyone else ever again.”

“He won’t. How do you know his name?”

“He’s the reason I chose this path when I was fifteen. I had planned to prove my courage to my father, and take out the biggest villain on the road.”

“Check that off the list of goals then.” she said. “Good job.”

She continued to embrace Theseus, making her body tingle from crazy stirrings. What would he taste like? She’d die a happy death if he put his lips on hers. My, what was she thinking?

“I never believed you’d be here, or that my goal in that moment would turn to protecting you.” he said, pulling her closer.

She shook off her desires. She needed to let him go. She focused on logic instead of the male body in front of her. “I don’t know what to say. Today has been the craziest day.”

“It’s the middle of the night, little one.”

“You’re right. I don’t know what’s happening to me anymore. Theseus, this never happens to me.”

“What doesn’t happen to you?”

 he asked, smiling.

“I don’t know.”

He played with her hair, and straightened her clothes. “Your innocence and desire are a siren’s call to me, Ari, and you don’t have a clue, do you?”

“Who’s Ari?” She half expected to be disappointed with whatever he would say.

“You are. It fits you much better than Ariadne. Ari trembles for me.”

She licked her lips, wanting to kiss him. But she couldn’t. Theseus embodied a man out of her dreams.

She looked away thinking of what waited for her when her father’s men found her. “I don’t know my bridegroom. I’ve only ever known my duty.”

Theseus’ body tensed. “You’re betrothed?”

“I never agreed. The bride price, I’m told, paid for my father’s upgrade to the artillery. In the morning or someday soon, I’ll be found. But…can you do me one last favor?”

“What, little one?” His arms grew warm again, tightening around her. She dared for a different life, where she lived with a chance of walking next to him in life. Letting him go and going back to the life her father chose sounded cold and dreary. She couldn’t, not yet.

“Kiss me, Theseus, just once.”

Taking a step closer to him, she looked into his mesmerizing eyes. His strong hands framed her face, his fingers circled her mouth and his eyes darkened with tenderness. When he leaned into her, her eyelids fluttered shut. His light pressure sweetly opened her mouth.

Her secret wish had come true. The prison walls in Ariadne’s heart disappeared in her soul, and today Ari’s lips ached.

He bent his head close. Then, she felt his strong lips on hers, and she lost control.

Available from:


Greta Buckle grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, then became a lawyer. After realizing she hates clients, she became a high school teacher. 

Teaching is fun, but writing is a passion. She wrote one hundred and one fan fiction stories online before deciding to transition into writing her own stories. Never ask her to republish her fan stories from age eleven - horribly written stories of princesses. 

Greta dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Theseus story came to her when she was a freshman in high school as her English teacher, the nun, told her how life was hard and tragedy teaches lessons. Greta’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused. How is she crazy? The voices in her head are characters in novels and she’s not insane.

Victoria Pinder aka Greta Buckle
Author of  Mything You

To win a copy of Greta's'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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beth's winner is

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

***D R U M R O L L ***
Congratulations Kelly!

Join us again for more fun and frolics on  18th January when our guest of honour will be GRETA BUCKLE


Friday, January 11, 2013

Beth Trissel celebrates a Colonial Wedding with Kira...

The Allegheny Mountains loom on both sides of the high valley of the Virginias. Rumors abound about the inhabitants, and a cloud of mystery surrounds the colony. History has it that a family of Scots settled the valley on the heels of the French and Indian War and life continues much as it had in bygone years.  The citizens keep to themselves and strangers aren’t welcome.  Electric lines are not allowed into the valley, no phone connections and even motorized vehicles aren’t allowed within five miles of the colony.

Mary, Patsy, Lyn and Mac trudge down the dirt road enjoying the beauty of the scenery.

 "You know, this is really pretty,” Lyn remarks as she leads the way.  She fans herself.  The plain cotton, full skirted dress with bell sleeves covers her from head to toe and only the long tips of her toes show beneath.  A wide-brimmed hat covers her face from the rays of the noonday sun.

Nibby scampers across a meadow laden with spring flowers. Cuddles, Hampy and Foster clutch the fur around her neck.

“Looks like Nibby loves this place,” Mary laughs. She twirls, the simple full skirt flares out.  “I have to say these stays are somewhat uncomfortable.

Mac shades her eyes with her hand as she stares into the distance. “Shouldn’t we be seeing the township by now?” A shudder wracks her body. “I almost feel like we’re stepping back in time.” She smoothes the long apron covering her plain blue bodice.  “Our outfits look so authentic, it’s almost scary.”

Patsy adjusts the neckline of her dress.  “Beth sent these, said we had to wear them. If this place is so secret, I’m surprised we were even invited here. Beth must have some connections.”

“It’s Kira’s wedding, or did you forget?”  Lyn stops to pull a goathead from her stocking.

 “Beth said the wedding gown is fantastic.”

“I can’t wait to see it,” Mac says. Her brow furrows. “Why’s that mist covering everything?”

“It looks like its spreading and seems to be getting thicker,” Mary mumbles.  “Can’t see my hand in front of my face now.”

They are in the mist now.  Sounds are muted, blanketed by the fog.  They trudge blindly ahead with only Nibby to lead the way. They hear what sounds like a gun cocking!

“What is this crap?”  Patsy growls.  She halts abruptly, massive arms akimbo. “I’m not going one step further until I know what the heck is going on.”

“Show yer face,” a male voice demands. “Hands up.”  A dark figure moves toward them through the mist. “Do ye  ken what I say?”

“ACCCKKK!” Mary gasps as she staggers backwards from the figure. “You scared the bejesus out of me!”

Closer now, the figure is a mature male dressed in fitted leather breeches, with a homespun linen shirt the color of old cream.  A tricorn hat covers his stringy grey hair while a string of colorful beads loops around his neck.

“I said tae reach for the stars!”  His accent is definitely Scottish. “We dinnae like strangers in these parts.”

“Uh,” Lyn clears her throat. “We’re here for the wedding. Beth invited us.”

He stares at them, an eerie figure in the ghostly mist. After a moment, his musket lowers. He grins displaying wide gaps in the dirty teeth. “Well, noo, why didn’t ye say so? Me names Donal. Donal McDougal.” He wipes a grimy paw on his leathers and extends it. “Welcome lassies!” He motions with his hands. “Follow me.”

“About time,” Patsy grumbles.

Within minutes, the fog thins and then dissipates entirely.  They pause, mouths agape as they stare.  It is a step back in time! A colonial frontier colony in the Allegheny Mountains, with mostly log cabins, and a few larger homes made of stone.  Everyone is dressed in colonial attire on the primitive side.  Frontiersmen in hunting shirts, wielded tomahawks and fired muskets at a line of targets on the far side of the settlement

Beth rushes forward.  “I see Donal found you,” she laughs.  “And I suspect he was his usual unfriendly self.”

“I wasnae unfriendly,” Donal objects.  “I led them tae ye!”

“After almost shooting us,” Mary interjects heatedly.  “I almost had heart failure out there!”

“What is this place,” Mac asks.  “I feel like I’ve stepped into Brigadoon or something!”
“It is something, isn’t it?”  Beth leads them towards the festivities.

Trestle tables lined with long wood benches and rough-hewn stools are laden with elk, venison and wild turkeys roasted over an outside pit. Smoked hams, chicken pot pie, stews, cornbread, spiced fruit compotes and pumpkin, berry and apple pies cover every square inch of the tables.

“It might not look like it,” Beth dips a finger in the stews. “But all this food is supposedly gluten free.  I’m on a gluten free diet you know and I haven’t had a bit of problem when I visit here.”

“I wonder,” Patsy mutters.

     The crowd is a wild, boisterous lot, jugs of whisky, apple brandy and ale are passed around to the males.

Wedding cake by kind permission of Sarah,
    Mary reaches for a cup but Beth stays her hand.  “You might want to try some of the watered down variety.  This stuff is really strong.”
Banjos strum, fiddles and Jews harps kept time while one old gentleman puffs on an empty jug.  Dancers whirl to a Virginia reel and then clog to a country dance.  The hoedown is in full swing.

    Two young males dressed in fringed hunting shirts, breechclouts, leather leggings, and moccasins circle each other, posing for a fight.

    “Here we go again,” Beth chuffs.  “Isn’t a day when one or more of these males has to pick a fight.

    “Who wins?”  Patsy asks as she watches the posturing.

    “Usually the one who has drunk the least.”

    The noise suddenly abates.  The crowd parts as Kira emerges from one of the nicer houses.  She is a vision.  Handmade lace covers the silk dress in a waterfall of intricate design.  Her long hair is twisted up in a braid atop her head while a lace veil cascades down.  Her groom Logan walks forward and offers his arm and they stroll towards the makeshift pulpit. No minister is in sight.

    “They’re going to jump the broomstick,” Beth whispers. “Until the traveling minister can do it up right.”

    “They’re what?”  Mary’s brows rise,

    “It’s an ages old custom that they adhere to when the minister won’t be arriving for awhile.”  Beth grins.  “But it’s as binding as the one officiated over by the minister.”

    “Isn’t this just too romantic,” Lyn chokes up.  “I’m going to cry.”

    “Me too,” Mac sniffs.  “I love weddings.”

    “Then you came to the right place,” Beth nods. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Without further ado, let's start the party - but first here's an excerpt from Kira, Daughter Of The Moon.

Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.
Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay––and anyone else from getting too close.  Now that he's back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft.  And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.

    “My secret in exchange for yours.”
     Tantalizing.  He was drawing her into his snare, but she couldn’t resist asking, “How do you know I’ve a secret?”
    “To begin with, you’re hiding in a tree.  What from, a wild beast?”
    “Near enough.  You.”
     He smiled.  “Was I to think you a large red bird, or overlook you entirely?”
     Drawing her remaining shreds of dignity around her like a mantle, she said, “This isn’t one of my best hiding places.”
     “Indeed?  Where are the others?” 
     “That would be telling.” 

     The strengthening breeze tossed the branches around them as he considered.  “You never could keep secrets from me, Cricket.  I’ll discover them and you.
     An assertion she found both disturbing and oddly heartening.
     His lips curved as if the deed were already done.  “Why were you hiding?  Am I so very frightening?”
     “Oh––I feared you were some sort of warrior.”
     The humor faded from his eyes.  “I am.”

Author Bio:
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.

NB: The beautiful Wedding cake featured in this post was designed bySarah, Stressedstamper. You will find more gorgeous creations, including hand made greetings cards etc. at her blog:

To win a copy of Beth'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.