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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Julie's winner is:

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us and left comments, and to Julie for being such a sporting and wonderfulGuest of Honour.
The winner is:

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

Congratulations Sue

Join us again on 8th MARCH
for more fun and games at:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Julie Painter

Who’s idea was this? We look ridiculous!” Mary stares at her sister hostesses as they sashay in their grass skirts, coconut bras and bare feet.

Lyn, swaying to the Polynesian music falls into a palm tree, rights the grass mat headdress with feathers on her head, and sticks a fallen flower back in. “I think we look grand. You were lucky I could find coconuts that big.”

“Yeah, well you can’t hide those feet now.” Patsy chuckles as she flexes her Popeye biceps. “I just don’t understand why we had to wear this stuff to a restaurant in Miami. What’s the big deal about this place?”

“For effect? And you’ll see!” Lyn chuckles.

 Oliver stands guard as his charges find their way into the Polynesian themed eatery.

On large tables a multitude of vegetables, green pepper, mushroom, onion, bean sprouts, snow peas, and lot of other abound. Meats, chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and shrimp, octopus, oyster and clams, are all sliced thin, and are ready to be cooked. Pineapple, lychee, and other native fruits, wait amongst several sauces.
Oliver prepares to  cook whatever ingredients diners pick and mix on a huge griddle, tossed with your choice of sauce, from fragrant, to sweet, to hot and spicy, he flips the blend of foods and places it before astonished diners with a flourish. He brings a luscious portion to Julie, as she waves the girls over to eat before the celebration. He flips a dollop of rice onto Julie’s plate and takes a deep bow before her. His grin inviting he hands the steaming food to her with his usual display of culinary skill.

“Where are all the hot guys?” Mac wonders as she adjusts her grass skirt. “I ain’t dancing with Patsy all night, and Lyn steps on your feet. Hmm. Where are we again?”

Patsy rolls her eyes and passes a drink to Mac. “Here no more for you.”

“But, I haven’t had a thing to drink.” Mac frowns and pushes Patsy. Patsy slides across the floor and lands by the desert table. Where she grabs a sweet and grins, satisfied.

“Yeah, Lyn, where are the hot guys?” Mary questions, “I’ll bet you didn’t even invite the local hottie.

“Yeah doesn’t Tarzan live here” Mac asks as she begins to dance again.

“I was thinking of those muscular guys who dance with fire and stuff.” Mary smirks. “What good is a party with only one guy?”

“Just you wait, all in time.” Lyn picks up a piece of roasted pineapple off a plate and smacks her lips. “Yup, all in time.”
“I don’t like the sound of that.” Patsy glances at Lyn and cocks her head. “What have you done, Lyn.”

“Nothin’, nothin’ at all.” Let’s go out and dance, we have to keep the guests occupied before it happens.”

“What is going to happen Lyn.” Patsy, Mac and Mary all grab Lyn and face her. “This isn’t just a dinner party is it?” Mary adds, stunned.

“Come on let’s hit the dance floor. We have a show to put on.” Lyn urges the others.
Oliver gestures and the music changes to a lively Tahitian tune.

Palm trees, large elephant leaf plants, bird of paradise and fragrant jasmine, line the huge room. Mats under low tables line the walls. The guests, pleasantly full, begin to lean back to watch the show. In the empty center of the room Patsy starts to dance. Shaking her grass skirt for all she is worth.

“Oh, are we dancing?” Mac races to the center of the room and tries to copy Patsy.

“Hey, don’t tell me we’re the entertainment.” Mary steps back and eyes Lyn, who begins to gyrate to the drums and music. “I am not going to go out there and dance with these cocoanuts bras on, it wouldn’t be—be—seemly! Besides something feels funny about this place.”

“Uh, Oh.” Lyn mumbles, “I meant to warn you this…”

All of sudden the lights dim and the room begins to spin. In the corner Julie claps her hands and laughs. “It’s about to happen, wonder what year we’ll end up in this time?”

Thunder roars and sparks fly. Patsy stops to see if she is the cause. Then shrugs and starts to dance with Mac once again.

“Year? Time?” Mary sputters! What are you taking about?”

“Um.” Lyn smiles. “It’s a time travel restaurant.”

“A what?” Mary’s eyes bulge as she eyes the girls ignoring the drastic changes happening all around them. 

“You have to be kidding! I knew I shouldn’t let you plan this roast.”

“Oh Mary,” Julie finds her way over and points out the window as the scenery changes before them. “Maybe, we’ll end up in Tahiti, or even England, and whenever time we arrive in, we are going to have a blast!

Lyn raises a large fruit filled glass of rum punch and toasts. “To Julie Painter and her terrific book Daughters of The Sea. Let the party begin!”

Daughters Of The Sea
A Novel by Julie Eberhart Painter
Genre: Paranormal Romance
altTags Paranormal, parallel time travel, hallucination, mystery, family, South Pacific, Polyneasian dances, native singing, kava, Plymouth, England, outrigger canoes, migration
Release: January 25, 2013
Editor: Fiona Young-Brown
Cover Designer Charlotte Volnek
Words 63455
Pages 244
ISBN 978-1-77127-248-3
Price $5.95

Back Cover:
Laura, descended from the Princess Kura, revisits her Tahitian heritage to seek her birth father, a Polynesian navigator
Ian, an English journalist connected by heritage to Captain Cook's voyage, falls in love with Laura. He's by her side when dejá vu. overtakes her and they are plunged into the past when Cook first landed on the islands, 243 years prior. Chased by the demons of her ancestor's past, and fearing for her sanity, Laura and Ian work to find the answers to her quest.


Daughters of the Sea's legend of the coconut as told over dinner by contemporary hero, Ian Christopher, to contemporary heroine, Laura Cates, 2012.

“Oh, you know, the old love conquers all stories.” Ian hunched closer. 
“One told of how the coconut palm came to be. Are you sure you want to hear it? It's fantasy.”    

         “I love fantasy.”    

         “Well, okay. It seems long ago when the island was bare of tall trees an eel from the sea fell in love with the Goddess of Earth. They met each day on the shore, to make love. Soon they came to realize they were not suited. She couldn't live in the sea and he couldn't survive on land.     

          “One day, as a show of his love, he climbed all the way to the top of her mountain. He was dying and asked her to cut off his head and plant it. 'From my head will grow a tall tree reaching toward heaven. The tree will bear fruit. Inside the fruit will be a sweet liquid to remind you of the sweet kisses we have shared. The face of the fruit will be my face. Then I will be with you always.'”

Julie Eberhart Painter, a Pennsylvania transplant lives in Central Florida, is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee. The sequel, Medium Rare released December 3, 2012. and, Daughters of the Sea, a paranormal coming released January 25, 2013 from http://www.MuseItUp Publishing.com

Visit Julie's Web site at www.books-jepainter.com

Twitter: @JulieEPainter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com (Search) Julie Eberhart Painter

http://bewilderingstories.com/ bios/painter_bio.html , Eight stories listed there. Julie's articles and stories appear quarterly at http://www.wix.com/ cocktailsmagazine/ fictionandgossip#!issue-14

To win a copy of  Julie'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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sheryl's winner is...

Thank you SO much to everyone who joined us and left comments, and to Sheryl for being such a wonderful, fun Guest of Honour. The winner is:

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

Join us  again on 22nd February when our special guest will be

Friday, February 15, 2013

a post Valentine Birthday bash and chocolate kisses Birthday party for Sheryl Browne

Sporting a variety of snappy red cocktail dresses, Lyn, Mary, Mac and Patsy stroll down the sidewalk stopping in front of a stately building reminiscent of a huge box of chocolates.

Lyn pushes back her heart-shaped sunglasses to get a better look.

“Love the sunglasses!” Mac comments. “Where’d you get them?”

          Lyn readjusts the glasses over her eyes. “Off the sale rack at Macy’s!  Pretty cool, hey?”

          “You should have grabbed us all a pair,” Mary exclaims. “I would look so good in them.”

          “Only set left,” Lyn pats the glasses protectively.

            The women lean back, admiring the huge edifice.  Red hearts and pseudo-truffles edge the stained glass windows. Red and gold double doors covered with gleaming cloisonné slide open.

          The butler, the sexy and charismatic Oliver, greets them with that enigmatic, soul-wrenching smile.  The red silk morning jacket he is wearing is a perfect foil for his manly good looks.  He again smiles that too sexy smile of his.  “Welcome, Ladies.”

Patsy sighs.  “If I was a hunk of chocolate, I’d melt right here and now.”

“You and me both,” Mary mutters.  “Makes me want to…”
  “Remind me why we’re here.” Mac strides through the door and stops in front of a statue of a Greek God completely sculpted in chocolate.
  “It’s a formal chocolate tasting party in honor of Valentine’s Day and Sheryl’s birthday , today. Double the fun!” Lyn runs her finger up the statue’s arm and then licks her finger. “Omygosh!  It’s edible.”

          “Are you kidding me?” Mary leans forward and sniffs.  Satisfied, she samples a small taste. “It is!”
         “Look,” Mac points down. “Even his fig leaf is chocolate.”

          “Think he could have been fine with a strawberry leaf,” Patsy snickers. “Nothing much hiding behind that leaf.”

“You’re so bad,” Mac giggles as she leans down for a better look. “But I have to agree.”

Following Oliver, the ladies stroll down a long hallway.  Red brocade wallpaper and deep red carpets line the walkways.  Overhead, crystal chandeliers sparkle with a thousand diamond lights.

           “I don’t know about you,” Mary lightly taps the wall, “but I’m completely impressed.”

          “Oh, me too.” Lyn pushes back her sunglasses. “I’ve never seen such opulence in a place.”

          Oliver leads the girls into a gymnasium-sized ballroom.  Red swathes of shimmering fabric drape from the massive chandelier in the center of the room.  Beneath the chandelier, a huge heart-shaped fountain gushes warm chocolate filling the base and then spilling down into chocolate rivers winding through the crowd.   Plates of dipping pieces line the banks of the chocolate rivers—fruit carved in heart shapes, lush strawberries, spongy marshmallows, heart shaped cinnamon bears and a variety of caramels, maraschino cherries, and soft centers for those more adventurous who like to create their own taste delights.

 “Good thing we didn’t bring the animals. They’d be at the vet clinic right now from chocolate poisoning.” Lyn takes a sample.  “Oh YUM!  I could eat my way through this place.”

          Resplendent in a flowing red evening gown, Sheryl joins the ladies.  “Better start with some real food.” She leads them to the side tables. “We wouldn’t want you swinging from the chandeliers on a chocolate high!

          She reaches for a long pronged fork and stabs a raw shrimp, dipping it into the sizzling hot oil and wine fondue.  “You have to try the lobster with garlic sauce, oysters on the half shell, shrimp, crab, filet mignon. Oh, and don’t forget the fresh veggies.  They’re cooked in the wine sauce.  My favorite is the asparagus.”

          She pulls the shrimp from the fondue, blows on it and then chews, groaning with pleasure.  “I adore fondue.” She grabs a delicate white lace napkin and wipes her lips.

 “Dessert for those who don’t want to make their own. Forget-me-not fudge, milk and dark chocolate heart-shaped tarts, cupcakes with little love messages on them.  But me, I’m dipping strawberries.” Her brows arch. “Great for dipping, biting and even perhaps…sucking!”

Berry Sweetheart
Oliver's chocolate Martini
Argave Kisses
Oliver steps through the crowd with a huge tray laden with various drink glasses. He points to the tray - we have Agave Kisses, Amarula Kisses,
Berry Sweethearts, Blushing Ladies, Brazilian Rose and Cherub’s Cup.
If you don’t see what you want, let Oliver  know and he'll  find it.

“I’m going for a Blushing Lady,” Mary grabs a cup. “With all this stimulation, I expect to be blushing very soon.”

A male chocolate statue suddenly stands up, rotates and changes position.

“Did you see that?” Mary’s eyes round in surprise.

“Uh,” Lyn gulps. “He moved.”

Sheryl giggles.  “Of course.  All the statues are models from a nearby agency.  They’re dipped in chocolate for the event.  Pretty cool, huh?”

Mac chokes on her drink, face flushing as red as her dress. She peeks over her cup at the other ladies.  “I think I owe a statue a heart-felt apology.”
Cherub's cup

“I’m so embarrassed,” Patsy groans. “Let’s make sure we exit by another door.”

Lyn explains their encounter with the fig leaf.

“Don’t worry about it,” Sheryl bursts out laughing.  “I’m sure he’s heard worse.”

“I can’t imagine when,” Lyn wipes her flushed face. “I could just drown myself in the chocolate river—after I’ve had another Cherub’s Cup.”

“In that case,” Sheryl leads them into another room. “The pièce de résistance!”

A kidney shaped swimming pool covers the entire center of the room. Couples in red swimming suits wade through the chocolate waves as romantic strains of music waft from the loud speakers. As they watch, a muscular young man mounts the diving board and swan dives into the shimmering chocolate below.

“Ladies, enjoy!”

and Happy Birthday Sheryl, wishing you many happy returns and many happy sales with 'A Little Bit Of Madness'.

A Little Bit of Madness 

No rest for the wicked
Saving Charlton hall will burrow into your heart.
Celia Summers loves her job as an art therapist at The Harbour Rest Home, even if her partner, Martin, is disparaging of her efforts.

Martin, a solicitor, made speculative investments and needs to get his hands on his mother's assets, her home, Charlton Hall, to bail himself out of debt. In order to sell the house, he has to get Rosemary re-housed at The Harbour Rest Home and tries to get Celia on his side with a fabrication of lies.

Meanwhile, Celia fights for gallery space for her charges' artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed.

Police Constable Alex Burrows, son of Colonel Burrows, comes to her rescue when she crashes her car. Alex turns out to be considerate and caring with a witty, wicked, sense of humour, which makes Celia laugh, though when she learns of the circumstances surrounding his the loss of his wife, she wants to cry. She ignores his reputation as a womaniser. His trying to influence his father’s Will though, she can’t.  Alex, who little by little has stolen her heart, appears to be just as much a liar as Martin.

Despite all efforts, The Harbour is doomed to closure. Celia decides to take Rosemary home and forestall Martin's plan to sell Charlton Hall. Celia is soon joined by the rest of her elderly independents, who rally together to stop Martin evicting them. Colonel Burrows is ready to thrash the enemy to death with his walking stick when his son arrives in his uniform. Alex explains that Colonel Burrows is the buyer of Charlton Hall and finally does what he's been trying to do for ages: ask Celia to marry him.

A Little Taster:

“I wasn’t talking about the Porsche owner.”  Celia glanced at the driver, who, competing with an idling bus in the next lane, revved his engine even louder.  “I was talking about PC Plod.  What’s he doing?” 
“His duty, I believe,” Eleanor informed her.  “He’s just told Annie White he’ll have to charge her with causing an obstruction.”

“Jobs-worth,” Celia huffed.  He could look as exasperated as he liked, she wasn’t about to sympathise with someone who’d sided with the enemy.  

“Whoops-a-daisy.  Now he’s looking a bit put out.  His father’s just told him he’s not orf duty either and plonked himself down.”

Uh, oh.  Celia snuck a peek.

“Da-ad.” Alex pushed his cap back, exasperated. “Would you please stop this, before I’m in it up to my neck?”

“No can do, lad.  Sorry.  Can’t let the chaps down.  Wouldn’t be cricket.”

“Christ, Dad, this isn’t cricket!  It stopping traffic and it’s against the law.”

“So should making people homeless be, m’boy.  Can’t move, lad.   Principle at stake, y’see?”

“And so is my bloody job!  I have to move you on, Dad.  Please?”

The colonel notched his chin up and stayed put.

“Right.”  Alex sighed, ran his hand over his neck and motioned to his partner. “Sorry, Dad,” he said, as they heaved the colonel cross-legged from the road.  “Duty and all that.”

“Damned outrage!  Contravention of civil liberties!” Colonel Burrows blustered.

“No, Dad, I think you’ll find preventing people going about their business is a contravention of civil liberties.”  Alex gave Celia a disparaging glance as he ‘escorted’ his father to a waiting police van.

Celia reciprocated and turned away.  Then back quickish as he muttered, “Ouch!  Shit!  May, for Christ’s sake!”

“Unhand him,” said May, beating Alex about the head with one removed trainer, whilst someone else did banner duty.  “Put him down, I say, sir, or I shall…”

Celia blinked astonished as May, having failed to deter Alex from removing the colonel with her lethal weapon, resorted to the use of another.  ‘Oh, God, she’s going to bite him.”

“Gum him, you mean.”  Eleanor placed a hand over her eyes.

Celia placed one over her mouth.  Don’t let him drop the colonel, she prayed as May, in the absence of teeth, pinched Alex instead. 

“Jesus.” Alex winced.  So did Celia and Eleanor.  “That had to hurt,” said Celia. 

“Definitely,” said Eleanor.  “Delicate area, that.”

“I’ve had just about enough of this,” Alex growled as he returned from depositing his protesting father in the police van.  “May, that was below the belt!”  May, who’d trotted over to join Eleanor and Celia, flushed from her cheeks to her now bare feet.  “Assaulting an officer of the law is—”

“Against the law,” Eleanor suggested helpfully.

Alex glared at her.  “A criminal offence.”

“Ooh, smouldering eyes,” Eleanor swooned.  “Doesn’t he look gorgeous when he’s angry?”

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy.  She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel. 

RECIPES FOR DISASTER - combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award.

Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. SOMEBODY TO LOVE, a romantic comedy centring around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1. WARRANT FOR LOVE, Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment - three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly - released August 1 and A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS -White Knight in Blue rescues the Harbour Rest Home - releases Valentine’s Day 2013.

Sheryl is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association


loveahappyending featured Author and Editor

Twitter: @sherylbrowne

To win a copy of Sheryl'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.