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, February 8, 2013

A Garden Party for Katherine Grey

Mary leads the hostesses through a white latticed gate. An explosion of color and scent greets them as they pass into the garden where they’ve come to celebrate Katherine Grey’s historical romance release, An Unexpected Gift. Beyond the gate, the rusty red of the weathered, brick walls peaks from beneath verdant green vines while blooms in every shade of the rainbow line the meandering walkways leading to a sprawling lawn.

“Hachoo!” Mac stuffs her fingers against her nose. “Okay, I think I’m allergic to something. There are way too many flowers around here.”

“It’s a garden party, Mac. What do you expect?” Lyn bends to breath in the scent of a graceful lily. “Besides, there is no such thing as too many flowers.”

Patsy gasps. “Oh, wow, look at that.”

At the bottom of a gentle rise, the rolling lawn spreads out like a lush carpet. A bright white gazebo gleams in the distance. A crowd mills about the gazebo and surrounding tables, laughing and chatting while sipping Mimosas and nibbling finger sandwiches and pastries in the early morning sun.

Oliver has baked a lemon-raspberry cake with white frosting and a replica of Katherine's cake, together with a sumptuous chocolate concoction

“It look like a scene out of Pride and Prejudice,” Mary breathes.

“It looks like the perfect place for Katherine’s characters, Olivia and Lazarus to meet for a tryst.”  Patsy brushes a palm over the slim waist of her Victorian day dress. “And look at all those handsome men.” She waggles her brows. “If I’m lucky, I might just have a tryst of my own.”

“We do look gorgeous, don’t we?” Lyn twirls in a circle.

“Better than gorgeous. We look hot!” Mac’s grin ends on a yelp when Nibbie flushes a pigeon from under a decoratively trimmed hedge. It darts into the air, promptly dropping a little present on Mac’s head.

A look of horror spreads across her face as Lyn and Patsy fall against each other in laughter. Mary attempts to hide her humor behind a gloved hand but can‘t quite pull it off.

Across the lawn, all heads turn at the commotion. Katherine hurries toward the hostesses, a lacy parasol completing her delicate ensemble.

“Oh, my. Are you okay, Mac?”

Mac grimaces and pulls a handkerchief from her sleeve. “That bird pooped on me!” She scowls at the hostesses when they laugh even harder.

“You know,” Katherine bites at her lip and hands Mac a handkerchief, “They say a bird pooping on your head is lucky.”

“I think that‘s, yucky, not lucky.”

Mary loses the battle to hide her humor. She stumbles against Lyn and Patsy, laughing hysterically.

Katherine clears her throat as Mac dabs at the mess in her hair.

 “I have a bonnet you can wear that will cover that, Mac. In the meantime, I’ve invited everyone. I’m so excited to get the party started.”
Mac frowns but follows the ladies down the lawn, grumbling,

“Maybe we shouldn’t have invited the birds.”

Without further ado, let's welcome KATHERINE GREY and raise a toast to her newest novel AN UEXPECTED GIFT'.


Known only as Lazarus to the band of cutthroats and thieves he leads, William Prescott will do anything to find his missing sister, even blackmail a fragile young woman into helping him. But he never plans to fall in love with this mysterious woman with a troubled past.

Haunted by the memories of war, Olivia St. Germaine wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But when her brother, a doctor, suddenly leaves town without a word, she is forced to use her medical knowledge to help an injured man who puts her life in danger. Can she keep herself safe as she tends Lazarus, or is her heart more vulnerable than she realizes?

Released February 1st
Olivia backed up until she hit the edge of the desk.
Afraid to take her gaze from him, she reached for some
type of weapon. From what the Bow Street Runner had
told her, Lazarus could be dangerous. She just never
expected him to hurt her.

Her fingers closed over a paperweight shaped like
an apple. It was small but heavy, being fashioned from
sterling silver. Could she use it to cosh him over the
head if necessary?

As though he had read her thoughts, he grabbed her hand and forced the trinket from her grasp with easE.

He turned it over in his hand, tossed it up in the air, and caught it. “You weren’t thinking to hit me in the brain
box with this, were you, Olivia?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” She hoped the tremor in her voice didn’t give away her fear. Leaning back to put as

much space between them as possible, she cleared her throat, gathered her courage, and continued on as any good soldier would. “I do believe I haven’t given you   leave to use my Christian name.”

“Surely after seeing me without a shirt, not to mention having your hands all over my body, we are

beyond formality at this point.” He tossed the paperweight onto the desk, his eyes alight with

“My hands...” she sputtered. He made it sound as though they had been intimate when nothing could be

further from the truth. She’d cared for his injury, nothing more. “You are no gentleman to say such

His smile disappeared, and his gaze turned serious. “I’ve never claimed to be one. It is best you remember 

Available in print or E-book format from The Wild Rose Press


When Katherine started talking to her friends about the characters in her head as though they were real people, she decided it was time to start putting all those people populating her mind along with their exploits down on paper. Friends have gotten used to Katherine's imaginary friends but still often ask, "Wait, is this a real person?" whenever she mentions someone they don't know.

Katherine lives in upstate NY with her family, but threatens to move South at the beginning of every winter season.

Katherine Grey
IMPETUOUS and THE MUSE are available now

To win a copy of Katherine'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. Morning Katherine - Sister Hostesses! Bird poop on the head is lucky? Then I must be one of the luckiest people around - I've had more bird poop on my head then anyone I know. I'm hiding in the gazebo - might be lucky but I hate it! Katherine, the romance sounds wonderful. Congratulations and wishing many sales.

  2. Good morning Patsy! Lyn hugs her sister hostess. You can come out of the gazebo now - I've told Cuddles to have a stern word with the birdies, and now he's issuing them all with nappies!

    Welcome to your Roat Catherine. It's wonderful to be here at your garden party,and I don't5 think I've ever tasted mimosas before. Your excerpt is delightful and your book sounds such a great read! Congratulations on the release of 'The Unexpected Gift'

  3. What a wonderful escape from our blizzard outside! I can almost feel that sun on my shoulders. Congrats, Katherine, and I hope you sell many, many copies!

    lyndialexander at gmail dot com

  4. Good morning. Oh my goodness Mary, Hywela, Patsy, and Mac you all outdid yourselves. Everything looks wonderful. Thank you for all the good wishes.

    Be careful, Hywela, those mimosas can sneak up on you.

  5. Hi Lyndi,

    There's a blizzard where I live too. It's nice to be among the flowers and friends. Thank you for the good wishes and coming to the party. Be sure to have a piece of cake to celebrate. (I'm a big fan of cake, unfortunately.)

  6. Good morning, ladies! Katherine, your garden party was just what I needed this morning as I looked at all the white outside my windows. Your blurb is intriguing. I loved your first book, and this one sounds like a winner. Congratulations!
    alsnhendersn at aol dot com

  7. Hi Lyndi *waves*, yes there's plenty of cake - mmm and mimosas!

    Oh Katherine, you and I obviously share a sweet tooth! :) It's so nice to be in a lovely garden surrounded by flowers, isn't it! I hope everyone over there who has the snow storms stays warm and safe. We have some forecast for over here too - I love it, it's so pretty - although I know it can cause chaos on the roads.

  8. Thank you for the invitation. The food was yummy and so was Lazarus. Good luck and keep your head covered.

  9. Hey Everyone - I feel so...Victorian! But I love my dress, makes my arms look so slim. I think I'll have a mimosa and wander over yonder. Some fine looking gentlemen over there checking out the flowers!

  10. Hi Alison and Sandra, so glad you could join us in celebrating the release of Katherine's book. As I said, Alison, I love a bit of snow but it's so nice to be among the flowers in the sunshine too. I agree with you Sandra, Lazarus does sound rather yummy doesn't he! *sigh*.

  11. Ooh, I love the Victorian dresses too, so feminine and surprisingly cool!

  12. Ooh, I love the Victorian dresses too, so feminine and surprisingly cool!

  13. Good morning, Chickies! I managed to cut my trip to Manhattan short and escape the blizzard. A garden party is so much nicer, but I think that pigeon gave me the flu. (Oh dear, maybe it's the bird flu!) ;-)

    Congratulations on your release of An Unexpected Gift, Katherine. Great excerpt, but then, this book is such an entertaining tale.

  14. *Hugs* Mac! So glad you managed to escape the snowstorm|! It's much nicer here in the garden, but you need to rest up if you think you have the flu, and put this shawl around you to make sure you don't get cold.

    *Lyn edges ever so carefully away from her sister hostess. No point in risking catching the dreaded flu bug!^

  15. Aww TY Lyn, but don't edge away. Run for your life!!! I'll sit over there in the corner with Patsy since she's already had the crud.

  16. I'm so glad the garden party has lifted your spirits, Alison. Be sure to check out Oliver. He's looking quite dashing today. I'm sure he'll lift your spirits even more. Thank you for the good wishes.

  17. Hi Hywela,
    I have to admit I only like the snow if I don't have to go out in it and can sit and watch it through the window. Today is the perfect day to be surrounded by flowers and gentle breezes.

  18. Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for coming. Lazarus is very yummy, isn't he?

  19. Hi Patsy,
    I love my dress too. It does wonderful things for my hips, and boy do they need help. LOL. I think I'll join you and mingle among all those gorgeous gentlemen you've spied.

  20. Good morning Mac. I hope you had a good trip. I'm glad you were able to join us. Sorry about the bird incident. The bonnet I loaned you looks lovely on you. Thank you for the good wishes.

  21. I was once pooped on by a bird right on my head. My mother who was with me at the time thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen. To this day, 20 years later, if I mention it to her, she still breaks out in hysterics. Funny that the poopee doesn't find it as funny.

    Congrats on your release, Katherine. Your excerpt sounds fabulous. I LOVE men who claim to not be gentlemen--meow.

    Lyn--you've never had a mimosa? How is that possible? I'm already on my fourth. Oops, I seem to have spilled some on my decolletage. Where's Oliver to lick--er, I mean, wipe it off? Please tell me that's not him under Mac's dress. These dresses can hide a lot of things you know...

  22. I am having a hard time standing upright. Somehow the girls are extra big this week!
    I once watched a bird poop on Robert Kennedy. He almost puked!
    It musta been a bigggg bird!
    Now watch out Nibbs doesn't steal food!

  23. Hi Tiffany! U;m not sure if the answer to your first question is because I live in the UK, or because I've led a sheltered life!

    As for your second question. Oliver is such a gentleman, I'm sure he wouldn't hide under Mac's bustle...would he?

    Hugs Mary, dear sister hostess, we thought you'd fallen in the fountain - or gone off with one of those Victorian hunky types!

  24. I want a Victorian home. I love the doors to nowhere, windows in the strangest places, and the edge of time which seems to fill them.
    Cuddles, do not eat the flowers.
    I promise to behave, I promise to behave, I promise to try to behave...

  25. Well I'd hide there if I was a guy!
    After a while she'd forget I was even there! :0)

  26. Hi Tiffany,
    You have my sympathies. I've never been pooped on but I have come close. Once a goose was flying overhead and did his business which splattered on the ground about a foot in front of me. I jumped back and said a prayer of thanks because I was in the parking lot at work and on my way into the office. I wouldn't have wanted to go into the building and I wouldn't have wanted to get in my car with the mess either.

    Thank you for the congrats. I'm glad you like the excerpt. I love men who aren't always gentlemen too. :o)

  27. Hi Mary,
    I love Victorian homes too for the same reason.

    Behaving can sometimes be overrated and difficult to do when surrounded by all these lovely gentlemen. ;O)

  28. LOL, knowing our sweet Mary, Ill give 'being good' ten minutes - no, make that five! Too many dishy Victorian gentlement, with non-gentlemanly glints in their eyes! :)

  29. So true! But, I don't want to shock them. I do have a tendency to be a little risque.
    But, I'm willing to hold back if I can get one of those hunks to be a bit ungentlemanly?? Is necking appropriate at a garden party?? Or do I have to go undercover??

  30. Me Lyn, I am always well behaved.

  31. Mary,
    Lazarus is known to be ungentlemanly. I'm sure some of his men would love to walk with you done a secluded path. One never knows what can happen there.

  32. Well, I don't know, sitting in this corner with Mac isn't as fun as it's set up to be. I guess us sickies have to stick together. Wouldn't want to make all these refined citizens sick!

  33. Well, I wouldn't mind taking a stroll with Lazarus or one of his men. *she fans herself* From here, every one of them looks positively scrumptious!

  34. I actually had a seagull poop on my head once and I was in the middle of a group of my family. They all started laughing and the "remember whens" stories started - all about me who always got the splat whenever I was out and about!

  35. Poor Patsy! It's a shame to see you and Mac sitting it out in isolation.'
    You're both actually looking much better, quite a bloom in your cheeks in fact. Perhaps you're past the infectious stage now?

  36. Oh look at Katherine over there, she has a group of young men all vying for her attention, and she does look so elegant in that lovely Victorian gown.

    I'm off to get myself another Mimosa!

  37. Mary appears, wearing a surgical mask.
    I ain't getting sick now! It's been so long, it'd kill me. I'd lose weight, the girls would shrink, heavens what would I do?
    Why, I'd have nothing for Lyn to exaggerate!
    No more big boob jokes!
    Come on Laz, before Patsy grabs you, and she's strong! Oh, look, a flock of birds is circling overhead! Bombs away!

  38. LOL Mary, if you lost that much weight I'd just have to find Lowri pictures to illustrate you with - you'd be a matchstick woman!

    I'm so glad the Victorians had these lovely parasols - Birds - do your worst!

  39. Sorry I disappeared for a bit ladies, I could say that I was being entertained by a gentleman but... In reality, I was fighting the terrible weather to get home from work. A tense, scary fifty minute ride that normally takes fifteen minutes. Boy do I need a mimosa!

  40. I never had a mimosa. What's in it?
    I'd like strawberry daiquiri myself.
    Let's get drunk!! I want to see Mac, try to remember where she is.
    Lyn trip over her feet. Patsy flex, and Me, fall over cause I am top heavy! Good for a chuckle anyhow!

  41. Mary dear, you don't have to get tipsy to see your hostess sisters in those comical situations - it happens every week - Just another Roast and Toast! LOL

  42. Glad you made your journey safely, Katherine, I suppose it would have been more comfortable and probably safer in a horse drawn sleigh - but it would have taken much onger!

  43. Mary, A mimosa is a mix of orange juice and either champagne or sparkling white wine. They're usually served a brunch gatherings. I like strawberry daiquiris too. I'll try not to get the giggles from too many mimosas. :o)

  44. A horse drawn sleigh sounds wonderful. I could have just sat back covered in luxurious furs. But I'd probably would have had frozen toes.

  45. Mmm, but you might have had fleecelined boots and a warm blanket to keep your tootsies warm - and a nice hot guy by your side to keep you even warmer.

  46. I read the Unexpected Gift and thought it is wonderful. Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

  47. About lucky bird poop, I heard that old wives-tale too.
    I'd prefer 4 leaf clover myself.

  48. LOL Barbara, I think I'm with you on the four leaved clovers! Thanks so much for coming to Katherine's party, I do hope you've had enough refreshments and mimosas. Mmm I could get a taste for mimosas - and yes, 'The Unexpected Gift sounds like a really engrossing read!

  49. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for coming. I'm so glad you enjoyed Lazarus' and Olivia's story.

    Make sure you try the cake, both cakes. I love cake, can you tell? Or maybe I've had just a little too much sugar.

    I'm with you and Lyn. I'd much prefer a four leaf clover over getting pooped on by a bird.

  50. I peeked in to see how things are going and see that I'm missing a great party. I slipped off to see a doc about that bird flu, so forgive me for disappearing. Thanks for coming in and showing Katherine love everyone. You'll love Olivia and Lazarus' story, I promise.

    And Mary, I don't need to get drunk. I'm on enough drugs I already have no idea where I am. ;-)

  51. Poor Mac! It's OK we're used to you not knowing where you are, LOL! Glad you found your way back!

  52. I hope all that medicine makes you feel much better, Mac. Thanks for stopping back to check on us.

  53. ACK!!! ACK!!!! Birds in the sky, circling - they see the X on the top of my head - run for my life - but grab Lazarus on the way! WOOOHOOOOO

  54. I'm sure he will play the gentleman and protect you from unfortunate hair accessories. Just watch out for Olivia, she can be quite jealous.

  55. I do like champagne! And OJ. I'm game, once I had what they called was a French 75 in NYC. It was gin and champagne and some kinda fruity something. Whew!!!
    I only had one.
    I never got pooped on yet, I have stepped in it, cleaned it, smelled it, enough to know that I don't want to be pooped on. Wait! OH dog doo!
    I mean bird doo! Right down the front of my top!

  56. Katherine are you in the snow storm? Up New England way? I'm glad you got home! It's snowing like crazy. I like snow, blizzards I can do without! Be save you guys up there!

  57. I'm in the snow storm but in the upstate NY area. We have about 12 inches of snow already and the forecast for the overnight is for about 6 to 8 more inches. The people in the New England area are getting worst part of the storm.

  58. How beautiful it all looks!!


  59. OMYGOSH - Be safe! We had a little bit last night but not like that!

  60. Hi Mary (Preston) so glad you could join us for Katherine's party.

    In 'real life' it's just started snowing over here,but I don't think it will come to much in this area.

    Stay safe and warm everyone, and let's get back to the sun and flowers (and hunks) at Katherine's virtual garden party.

  61. Yowza!!
    great post, super party you girls toss, gorgeous cover art.
    Katherine and I live in the same part of Upstate New York and man, is it ever cold and snowy!
    congratulations, Kath
    Veronica Lynch

  62. Hi Veronica. So glad you'
    re enjoying the party. You've come to the right place to keep warm, just look at all this virtual sunshine - and food - and - hunks! :)

  63. Hi Ladies! Had to stop by and say hi. What a lovely garden party...just what we need with the winter weather going on. Katherine, I do hope you're staying warm in front of a blazing fire back there. I lived in Michigan most of my life and don't miss all that snow!

    Your books sounds great. I love anything set in England and hope to visit some of the beautiful castles there one day. Best of luck to your book and may it fly off the Amazon and B & N shelves!!

  64. Hi Deanna

    So pleased you could stop by and help Katherine celebrate her release with this garden party. Hope you get to visit England and see the castles. Try and visit Wales as well, we have some beautiful and historic castles too, as well as Scotland and Ireland of course!

  65. Good morning everyone. Sorry I'm a bit late returning to the party this morning. We lost our electricity for a bit but everything is back on.

    I'm glad to be back among the sunshine and flowers.

  66. Hi Kath (Veronica),
    Thanks for the congratulations. I'm glad you stopped by for the party. :o)

  67. Hi Deanna,

    No blazing fire unfortunately and it was only a little cold once we lost the electricity (okay, it was a lot cold) but all is well now.

    I also want to visit some of the castles in the UK some day, but I hate to fly so that might be a problem. :o)

    Thank you for the good wishes and thanks so much for coming to the party.

  68. Glad you're managing to keep warm now Katherine.

    Yes we have lots of castles over here. When I was a little girl, growing up in Wales, there was a ruined castle right on our doorstep. We used to love playing in the dungeons. There are many castles which are in pretty good repair still though. I went to a relative's wedding in one of the Welsh ones, she had a medieval theme and it was so atmospheric.

    Flyint is ok Onceyou're up there! I visited Pennsylvania and Ohio last May and flew for the very first time - and I was by myself as hubby had to stay and look after the animal family. I was very nervous but it was a wonderful experience and I decided I actually liked flying!

  69. Loved the tea sandwiches. What a wonderful idea. Thanks for having me to the garden!
    Kim Hornsby

  70. Lyn,
    I'm so jealous that you grew up so close to a castle and what a way to fire a child's imagination - being able to play in the dungeons.

    Your relative's wedding must have been beautiful.

    You're much braver than I am. I couldn't imagine flying alone. I hate to go someplace in my own town by myself if I've never been there before.

  71. Hi Kim,

    I'm glad you liked the sandwiches. Make sure you try some of Oliver's fabulous cake.

    Thank you for stopping by the party and helping me celebrate. :o)

  72. Hi Kim, so glad you could join us and that you enjoyed the sandwiches, do have some cake as well, there's plenty here!

  73. Yes, it was fun being able to play in the castle dungeons, ad we used to make up stories and act them out, with the authentic buildings around us.

    As for flying to America - I really didn't have much choice. It was all thanks to dear hostess sister Mary and she wasn't taking 'no' for an answer! What a fantastic time we had, I wouldn't have missed it for anything, although I was so nervous to start with, especially as I had to change planes. It was fine when it came to it though.

  74. Hello everyone. Late to the party but...Oh my! I'm drooling over all those goodies, and the ladies aren't half bad either! What a swell party.

  75. Hi Nancy,

    Wonderful to see you here, don't worry about being late - our parties go on for the whole weekend if guests keep turning up and there are always more than enough goodies to go round!

  76. I missed the beautiful garden party. You ladies look lovely and Oliver looks so handsome. Cold weather by us and the weather at the party looks so much better. Katherine your book does sound good. Love the cover.
    Sue B

  77. Hi Nancy,

    We're having a wonderful time and I'm so glad you stopped by. Grab a cup of tea or a mimosa and come look at all the beautiful flowers.

  78. Hi Sue, no worries, you're always welcome and we'll keep the party going all weekend if the guests keep arriving! Help yourself to goodies and come bask in the sunshine.

  79. Sure could use lots of sunshine today as we had freezing fog and going to have freezing rain tonight. So much rather be here. Everything looks tasty. Think I will have something. Thank you.
    Sue B

  80. Ooo... that book cover looks steamy! Love it.


  81. Hi Sue,

    Oliver does look quite yummy, doesn't he? I find myself getting quite warm just looking at him.

    The sunshine is quite nice. We've had a lot of snow the last day or so, about 18 inches total but at least it's not snowing anymore. I hope the freezing rain doesn't last too long in your area.

  82. Hi Meghan,

    I agree, the cover is quite steamy. The cover artist did a wonderful job. She depicted Lazarus exactly the way I pictured him. Thank you for coming to the party.

  83. Yes Sue Oliver is such a handsome guy. Our dear Sharon really came up with a winner with him, didn't she. She was always so kind in letting him 'moonlight' at the Roast.

    Hi Meghan thanks for coming to the party, and I agree about that cover Lazarus does look hunky doesn't he.

  84. A huge thank you to my wonderful hostesses and Oliver for the beautiful setting, food, and drinks. Thank you for everything you did. Also a big thank you to everyone who stopped by the party. It was a lot of fun and I had a great time.

  85. You've been such a fantastic and fun guest, Katherine, it was a joy to have you as our guest of honour. Wising you many, many sales of 'The Unexpected Gift' it sound like such a wonderful story.


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.