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, May 31, 2013

Tessa Berkley has a barn dance to celebrate 'Castello's Fiery Texas Rose'

“I have never been to a barn dance before. Is it anything like a night club?” Mac asks bewildered. “I mean the dresses are kinda corny, but everyone is wearing dresses like that or jeans and Western shirts.” She points to Lyn who is kicking up her heels on the straw covered wooden floor. “Look at her go!”

Lyn twirls around the dance floor as if she was born to square dance. Her huge western boots, pointed and a lethal weapon on a normal foot, she flies around do-se-doing all over the place. “She shoulda been born in Texas, I swear.” Mary chuckles and turns to Patsy. “Have you done this before?”

Patsy smiles through barbeque sauce spread liberally all over her face. “Mmm, num, ummm.” She nods her head as she reaches for the chili bubbling it’s spicy aroma and competing with the scent of biscuits, fried chicken, cole slaw, roasted pork, slabs of tender beef, and homemade biscuits drizzled liberally with butter so the tops are a golden flaky delight. 

“I’ll take that as a no, and by the way, save room for desert.” Mary points to the desert table, where numerous pies, cakes, and sweet confections overload the top. 

Mary looks around to be sure no one is looking before she swipes her finger in the buttercream frosting on a coconut cake nearest to her. “Oh my God, this is sooo yummy.”

Lyn wipes sweat from her brow, as she approaches her sister hostesses. “I saw that Mary! And if they see you doing that, they’ll toss you otta here. Those are the cakewalk cakes.”

“You mean these cowboys and cowgirls are going to kick their heels up high and see who can kick the highest. I though they only did that at college fraternities during home football games and such.” Mary eyes the cakes as she drools.

“No silly, this cakewalk is like a game of musical chairs, only you have to stand in a square on the floor when the music stops. It should be fun.” Lyn grins.

“Who ever heard of competing for cake, for goodness sakes there’s plenty here enough here for everyone to have some isn’t there?” Mac asks quizzically.

“There  are hunks here and you are worried about cake?  Besides, you get the whole cake if you win, dingaling.” Lyn gives Mac a shove on the shoulder.

Mac, not expecting it, falls directly into Mary, who falls into Patsy, who falls just inches from the cake table grabbing a cupcake on the way down. “Are we allowed to eat these?”

Lyn sighs, “Please get yourselves together ladies! Patsy, wait till the cakewalk is over before you snatch the cakes, and stop flexing your muscles, guys don’t want your biceps bigger than theirs. Mary, keep your fingers out of the icing, and try to find a bra that holds the girls in place, before you kill someone when you accidently knock them out as you walk by. And Mac,” Lyn gazes at her with a cheeky grin. “Just try to pretend you know what’s happening even if you don’t.”

“Sure Lyn, if you promise not to participate in the cake walk of the kicking kind. We don’t want to go to the pokey for accidentally blinding someone.” Mary wisecracks and they all start to laugh out loud.

Oliver’s raised eyebrows and muffled chuckle as he watches the girls, makes them laugh all the louder. He is used to the insanity, but it never ceases to surprise him.

‘Oh look, there’s our author, Tessa, and look at the people waiting for her to sign her terrific book, Fiery Texas Rose.  They’re dancing as they wait!” All four of the hostesses are spellbound as Tessa signs each one with a flourish, while she dances from partner to partner. “Come on lets go join them. I love square dancing!” Lyn hollers and runs back onto the dance floor.

“I never saw anything like it!” Mac exclaims as she watches Lyn dance. “I think I remember Elaine on an old Seinfeld episode dancing like that!”
Eyes pop out of heads as Lyn takes over the dance floor. Her dress bounces along with every part of her body. “I can’t look anymore!” Someone in the crowd shouts. “She looks possessed!” Suddenly, shouts of fear fill the room. “That woman is possessed! She needs an exorcism!” Another person screams. 

Someone knocks over a lantern and fire starts near Lyn, instantly she jumps into action. With her huge booted feet she stomps it out and looks around with shock, as everyone around her loses it. “Heck, I was only dancing geez, what is wrong with these people? The whole place goes nuts!!!"

Pandemonium ensues as some people run one way and the rest, run in another. “Great job girlfriend! Once again we have scared the masses. Have you noticed, the suddenly stunned faces, the wails of terror, the screams for mercy, the crying, the laughing, the complete chaos, the running and confusion all around us?” The other hostesses nod at Mary’s comment, as they gaze around the room to take in the utter confusion. 

“This is terrific! My kinda party! YeeHah! Talk about fiery Texas, but without the rose!” Mary yells as she holds her side, erupts with laughter and exclaims, “Ah well, just another roast and toast…”

Please give a welcome to Tessa Berkeley-Costello, and let’s let her know her book, Castello's Fiery Texas Rose, is terrific!

Short blurb

Mary Rose Thornton is the only survivor of an attack that leaves her brother dead. Although investigation suggests he was planning to sell army weapons to the Mexican renegades, she knows he would never have done such a thing. Avenging his death and saving the family business by running it herself are a double challenge, and a lawman with a mistaken sense of honor stands in her way. 
U.S. Marshal Trace Castillo is committed to keeping the peace, but no badge can protect his heart when it comes to a fiery Texas Rose. His hands are full with a hotheaded Irishwoman determined to find justice. Can he clear her brother's name and locate the stolen rifles before innocent people are murdered?


Tessa loves nothing more than to be immersed in a good story. Growing up, in Tidewater Virginia, she would often rewrite books that didn't end as she imagined. Graduating from Old Dominion University, she taught school for a few years before retiring to her five acre farm where she raises pets that include Black Angus heifer named Esmeralda, a cat name Simba, and a dog named Bandit to round out the menagerie. She loves to hear from readers.


“Let her go.”

            Moe glanced around at the small crowd that had gathered. His hand flew from her arm, as if holding it scalded his palm. Indeed, the big man seemed ashamed and hung his head to study his boots.

            “That’s it.” The man’s voice, soothing and calm, seemed to steady the giant. “See, it was easy.”

            Moe’s shoulders slumped. He focused on the ground. “They told me she wanted to ride with me. They said it would be all right.”

            Mary Rose pulled her forearm close and rubbed where his hands had been. The stranger stepped next to Moe and extended his hand.
            “You did the right thing. That’s all that’s important.” Moe glanced back at her. Mary Rose schooled her features and tried to hide her anxiety.

            “Mary Rose,” she heard Daniel call from the door of the general store.
            Twisting to glance over her shoulder, she couldn’t help but give a sigh of relief as he pushed through the onlookers to her side. “What’s going on?” he asked, looking from her to
the cowboy beside Moe.

            “Just a misunderstanding,” the cowboy responded, placing a reassuring hand upon Moe’s shoulder. “Go on and see to your team. I’ll have a talk with those fellows. They won’t give you any more trouble.”

            Moe nodded and sent a harsh glare at the men across the way.
            “Did he hurt you?” Daniel inquired in a low voice.
            “No.” Mary Rose shook her head. “He frightened me. This gentleman stepped in and soothed the situation.”

            “Just doing my job.” The cowboy touched a forefinger to the brim of his hat. “If you don’t mind a bit of friendly advice,” he said, looking straight at Daniel,
“Never bring a woman on a run. They’re always a source of trouble.”


Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press (e-book)
The Wild Rose Press (print)
All Romance E-books

To win a copy of  Tessa'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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The hostesses are taking a break this week - join us again on the 31st May when  we will be roasting 
Tessa Berkeley

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lynn's Winner is...


Congratulations Calisa, your prize is on its way.

Thanks to Lynn for being such a delightful guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.

The hostesses appear on-stage, holding hands, to take a bow
They hug each other and wave before leaving the stage.

"Just another Roast and Toast!"

No Roast next week, but join us again on Friday, 31st May when our Guest will be TESSA BERKELEY

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lynn Spangler toasts Whiskey Whispers of the past - with coffee!

“Shopping! Shopping! I just love shopping,” Mac gushes enthusiastically. “All these shops! And I have some money to spend.”

 Lyn transfers her weighty bag to the other hand. She heaves a sigh. “Crap! I went crazy too fast and now I have to lug this stuff around.” She gazes longingly into a shoe display in a nearby window. “And I so need a pair of those.”

 Mary presses her nose to the glass eyeing the shoes as well. 

“You have too many shoes already,” she exclaims. “I bet you have forty pairs.” 

 Patsy points to a Starbucks. “Lynn Spangler said she would meet us over there and I would die for an iced latte right now.” She strides purposefully into the street. “Iced latte and a big fat maple bar. YUM!” She dances to the side as a black limousine nearly takes her out. “Jerk!” She shakes her fist at the departing vehicle. Another car whizzes by. “Uh…” Lynn Spangler calls from across the street. “You might want to try the crosswalk. This is a pretty busy street.” Mac grabs Patsy’s arm and pulls her onto the safety of the sidewalk. “We cross at the crosswalk,” she says. “Didn’t your mother teach you that!” Patsy scowls, lips pursed. “I just want that latte – now!”

 “The crosswalk is right here.” Mary pats Patsy’s massive arm. “We’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.” Tables line the sidewalk in front of Starbucks. Brightly colored umbrellas cover the seating area, shading the patrons from the mid-day sun. An outside case displays the varied and wondrous fair to the strolling shoppers. Resistance is futile. Mac drops into a chair. Beads of perspiration dot her forehead. “My feet are killing me.” She grins. “But it so worth it. Great places to shop, my good friends and now this. If it wasn’t so hot, I’d have a cappuccino.” 

 “I’m having something cold and wet,” Lynn Spangler plops down. Her gaze is drawn to a young male entering Starbucks. Tall, handsome and ripped. Dark spiked hair enhances the masculine beauty of the guy. “Oh my,” she fans herself. “Those tight jeans …” 

“It’s what’s beneath the jeans that matters,” Mary whispers, arching her brows. “This looks to be the perfect viewing spot.”

Lyn’s head whips round, trying to get one last look before he disappears into the gloom of the shop. She rests her long feet on a nearby chair.“This looks to be the perfect viewing spot.”

“I’ve been here a lot,” Mary’s full bosom expands as she inhales, sniffing the wondrous scents wafting from the interior of Starbucks. “Great coffee and the…uh…scenery is to die for.”

A gaggle of body builder type males strides by, heading for the counter. The women’s eyes fairly pop with appreciative awe.

A buxom blonde waitress in short shorts leans over their table, handing out menus. “My name is Heather and I’ll be taking care of you.” Pen ready, she waits.

Too many choices - lattes (hot and cold), cappuccinos, sandwiches of every type, La Boulange, a specialty item, a limitless listing of pastries including donuts, glazed and plain, yogurt with fruit, scones of all varieties, chocolate mousse pudding and carrot cake.

More hunky males walk by and disappear into Starbucks.

“Good grief,” Mac exclaims. “Do they grow them like that around here?”

Lynn Spangler grins. “There’s a gym right around the corner and I thought you just might like a few moments to gaze.”

Mac leans back, a look of pure bliss covers her face. “Food, drink and feasts for the eyes! What could be better?”

“Enjoy, Ladies,” Lynn Spangler laughs. “There’s more to come.”
Icon of cup of coffee | Stock Vector © contact-02 #8200345Icon of cup of coffee | Stock Vector © contact-02 #8200345Icon of cup of coffee | Stock Vector © contact-02 #8200345



Kendra thought her life was her store; Chance thought his revolved around his addiction. What if they’re both wrong?

Looking for a new start, Chance Daniels moves from hectic, big city living to a small town in South Central Pennsylvania. He decides opening his own music store on Main Street will help him beat the demons of his alcoholism. He discovers the beautiful business owner from across the street may be the lift he needs to beat his addiction. But little does he know that parts of his past unbeknownst to him are about to come to light. Chance receives strange objects in the mail and the woman he falls in love with is nearly run down by a crazed driver.

Kendra Strafford, owner of Strafford’s Candle Creations, finds herself drawn to the tall, handsome man from Los Angeles after starting a standing weekday coffee date with him. She can’t help but fall in love with him, despite his addiction and the strange happenings that seem to surround him.  Her own brush with death only draws her closer to Chance.

Was her accident just an accident or was it part of a more devious scheme arising from Chance’s hidden past and will they overcome the bizarre occurrences besieging them to explore their developing love?

     "I hear someone is looking at the old Donaldson's building."

     Kendra peered out the front window of her candle shop, Strafford's Candle Creations, toward the brick façade of the adjacent building. She saw the local real estate agent and her good friend, Nancy Lewis, walking toward the old structure. The converted row house had once contained Donaldson's Hardware Store, which had been a fixture of Main Street, right across from Kendra's establishment.

     "Oh, yeah? I wonder what business someone would put in there," her assistant Deanna commented.

     Kendra frowned as she sipped the now lukewarm coffee then set the cup on the glass shelf beside her. "I don't know. Rumor has it it's someone new to the area. A guy looking to make a fresh start, from what Nancy told me. She said the buyer told her he needed a change of pace and a new locale. Why he'd end up in such a place as Jonerstown is beyond me. This area isn't known as a hotbed of business like York or Harrisburg."

     "I don't know. Jonerstown is a nice town. Perhaps its charm won him over."

     Kendra nibbled her lip — a habit of hers when deep in thought. "Maybe." A quick glance at her watch indicated it was nearly time to open the shop. "How's our merchandise looking? Do we need to restock anything?"

     "No, we're good. I took care of that chore last night while you were in the dungeon replenishing our inventory."

     Kendra stepped to the counter, which was tucked in the back corner of the sales floor. "Really? A dungeon? Where I come from it’s commonly called a basement. Hand me the duster. It's time to open and I haven't completed the dusting yet."

     Glancing around her shop, she surveyed the three rows of gleaming glass shelves filling two walls of the sales floor. Floor units graced the center of her shop, reflecting the brilliance of the morning sun against the ceiling of the store. The shelves were stocked with candles in a vast array of sizes, shapes, colors, and scents. She inhaled, marveling at the combination. Oh, how she loved the fruits of her labor. Every day her wares brought a feeling of warmth and pride.

     She strode to the storefront, unlocked the door, flipped the Closed sign to Open, and went about dusting the shelves while rearranging a candle or two along the way.

     "Wow. You've got to see the guy meeting up with Nancy."

     Kendra spun around, gazed out the window again, and was greeted by a pleasant surprise. The man shaking Nancy's hand stood about six feet tall at a guess. He was dressed in well-worn blue jeans and a black t-shirt that fit snugly over his arms and chest. "Hmm. At least we'll have some eye candy to stare at. He reminds me of a boxer with the trim, muscular build."

     "I like the spiky hair sticking out in every which direction. Too bad we couldn't see his face."

      Yeah, too bad. The body is killer.
Icon of cup of coffee | Stock Vector © contact-02 #8200345Icon of cup of coffee | Stock Vector © contact-02 #8200345Icon of cup of coffee | Stock Vector © contact-02 #8200345

Author Bio:

I live in South Central Pennsylvania with my wonderful, loving husband and my beautiful daughter. I also have a son who is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. I have a cat named Kolzig and a dog named Cede who allow us to live with them. I love to write and read. I also make jewelry when the mood strikes. I'm a huge sports fan. I love football, NASCAR, and hockey. I'm also a bit of a game show freak. I love old game shows from the 70's and 80's like Match Game and $25,000 Pyramid. Television shows like Criminal Minds and The Voice are also favorites of mine. 

Astraea Press

To win a copy of Lynn'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.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Karen's Winner is...


Congratulations Sue, your prize is on its way.

Thanks to Karen for being such a fantastic  guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun.

The hostesses appear on-stage, holding hands, to take a bow
They hug each other and wave before leaving the stage.

"Just another Roast and Toast!"

Join us again on Friday, 17th May when our Guest will be LYNN SPANGLER

Friday, May 10, 2013

Karen Michelle Nutt - at Maneros

The hosts of the Author Roast and Toast arrive at the fantastic Italian restaurant, Maneros.

Volare, by Dean Martin, has several old time Italian men singing along to the music. They smile through white mustaches and pat little children on the head, as they dance by.  One young girl sits on her grandfather’s lap while he sings the words in Italian to her. She giggles and squeals with delight. Today the restaurant is closed to the public for a celebration to honor, Karen Michelle Nutt, and her new release, Soul Taker. Laughter and animated conversation surround the room, as relatives and friends greet one another with bear hugs and kisses on each cheek. 

The restaurant is filled with colorful paintings, and apples, pears, oranges, figs and several types of nuts, designated for desert make, for edible, mood making, centerpieces.

“Look.” Lyn eyes the friendly smiling faces of those who fill the eatery. “I never woulda thought there were Italians with red hair.”

“Mama Mia,” Mary exclaims. “I’ve always wanted to say that.”

“That’s nice.” Lyn, puzzled,  asks. “Mamma Mia, made the Italians have red hair?”

“Who’s Mamma Mia?” Mac wonders, as she eyes the place.

“The red heads are probably Irish. I have Italian relatives and lots of them married Irish people. My mom was Irish and my father was Italian.”  Mary tells them. “She decided to marry him ‘cause he was a terrific cook and she never had real tomato sauce until they met. She used to put tomato soup on spaghetti. What Italian couldn’t help but to be attracted to someone who couldn’t make Italian gravy as good as he could. Italians always fight over who is the best cook and you’re not talking corned beef and cabbage, which Italian’s don’t make. He saved her from a life of Campbell’s soup and spaghetti. To an Italian, the only thing worse than that would be Ketchup and butter.”

Mac looks at Mary confused. “What does that have to do with red hair?” She wonders

“Never mind Mac. Is that our Oliver?” Patsy points across the room..

“Yes it is. Look, Oliver is dressed like a gondolier.” Lyn chuckles as they make their way to the food tables

“I never saw so much food in my entire life!” Lyn gestures to the huge buffet that fills the room’s center. Piles of pasta with red sauce surround large meatballs, sausages, beef and pork braciole, and hunks of tender sauce coated pork, cover one corner. Spaghetti with clam sauce, Alfredo sauce, anchovy sauce, and several other different sauces wait to be devoured. Baked clams, baked ziti, chicken cacciatore, veal parmesan, mussels and other seafood in garlic butter sauce tantalize ones taste buds. 

Cappuccino, latte, espresso, rich red wines, Limoncello, Amaretto, and Grappa, sit amongst other ethnic drinks, waiting to be tasted. A huge roast beef waits to be sliced, and
vegetables entice in serving dishes. 

 A bloody red raw steak sits in a special place.

 “Why is there a raw steak on the table?” Mac wonders.

“For the vampires, obviously. That and a bottle of O positive blood to spike the wine with.” Lyn tells them. “But, that is between us, not everyone knows that one of Michelle’s characters is a vampire. Heck, there are even werewolves here.”

“Werewolves, vampires, I thought this was just a gathering of Italian relatives.” Mac gazes frantically around the room. “Are they going to try to bite me?”

“Of course not, dearie.” Lyn pats Mac on the back. “That’s why I ordered the blood chaser.”

“This is beginning to sound like one of my family get togethers. If there isn’t somebody bleeding from a fight…” Mary sighs. “Well, no worries, looks like you have all the bases covered Lyn.”

“Bases, vampires, werewolves. AHHHH!” Mac runs screaming from the room.

“Could you go and get her Patsy.” Lyn asks.

“Why is it always me?” Patsy sighs, her mouth a grim line, she stamps her foot.

“Cause you are the only one who can carry her back.” Mary laughs.

“Only if I get to announce this week!” Patsy is determined. And smiles as Mary and Lyn agree with a nod.

In her outdoor voice Patsy hollers. “Welcome everyone to Karen Michelle Nutt’s roast. Let’s make it fun! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of her latest book.” Proudly Patsy smiles at the applause and bows as she turns to retrieve a frightened Mac, who happens to be running down the street screaming.

“Just another roast and toast, eh sister.” Lyn grins and slaps Mary’s hand as she tries to take a taste of  lemon, cheesecake. “Vegetables and dinner first, then desert.”

“Vampires don’t eat cheesecake do they?” Mary asks, while Lyn shakes
her head and greets Karen and her characters…  


No soul is safe…
Purchase HERE
A vampire from the Grim Sith sept is sucking the souls out of young women from the Boston area, but this sinister crime is far worse than a vampire seeking substance. He’s selling the souls to the highest bidder and it seems business is booming.

A vampire, a werewolf, and a Necromancer are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison, and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.

Excerpt: Garran and Isabella are in the morgue, attempting to raise the latest Soul Taker's victim and find out how to find the fiend. 

Isabella stood next to the table, staring at the body of Missy Spangler. Sadness etched her features, and she made no move to do… whatever she did to summon. He decided to move this along before Dr. Wilson or anyone else discovered them. "Miss Lucci, must I remind ye that time is of the essence?"
She threw him a disgruntled look, but it propelled her into motion.
They had stopped by Isabella's place on the way here so she could pick up what she needed to conjure a soul. She pulled out a diagram with symbols, a black mirror, and an out of date mobile, a flip-phone no less.

Curious, he stepped closer.

She placed the diagram and the mirror on the woman's chest. She placed the open phone on the table to reveal the screen. She then pulled out a dagger jeweled with an amethyst hilt. She pricked her finger and blood welled at the tip.

Her scent had already played havoc with his senses, and now the aroma of her blood, fresh and dripping onto the diagram for him to see—it took all he could do to rein in the urge to sample her. His fangs elongated and a deep growl escaped his lips.

Isabella looked at him, her brows drawing together sharply.

"Go on. Do no' mind me."arched for a link to her spirit beyond the veil.

Her gaze shifted to his mouth and he knew she stared at his fangs.
"Ye're safe from me. It's… the blood." He nodded toward her finger. "I'm in control."
She looked as if she didn't believe him. Smart lass. A Grim Sith's word was only as good as his control, and that could change in a flash.

"I'm going to channel," she told him. "Please, don't talk or you might break the link to the other side."
He gave her a curt nod.

She chanted words and it took him a moment to realize the words were spoken in Latin, a prayer of protection he supposed, until she switched back to English, asking for Missy Spangler. She se

The temperature in the room dropped dramatically. The air around Isabella charged with electricity, making her dark hair stand on end as if tiny fingers held up each strand.

She repeated the words over and over again like a Gregorian chant. "Missy Spangler, a word with you, please. Missy Spangler, a word with you, please." Again and again she repeated the singsong phrase.
Just when he thought it wasn't going to work, the lights in the room flickered and the cell phone rang.


Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she’s not time-traveling, or fighting monsters, she creates book covers. You can find her cover art at: Gillian’s Book Covers: Judge Your Book By Its Cover.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at: http://www.kmnbooks.com
Stop by her blog for Monday interviews, chats and contests at:
Gillian's Book Covers  "Judge Your Book By Its Cover": 

To win a copy of Karen'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.