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 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.


  1. I want to thank Author Roast and Toast for having me today and sharing in the yummy, snacks and coffee. The view wasn't bad, either!

    Thanks again for hosting me and WHISKEY WHISPERS OF THE PAST.

    I hope everyone has a fantabulous day!

  2. Hi Lynn, Welcome to your Roast. The excerpt from your book is so tantalizing - congratulations and wishing you much success.

    Have a great day and enjoy your party!

    1. You did an amazing job. Thank you so much.

  3. Hi Lynn, what fun - so glad you suggested having your party at a coffee shop, yummy - and as you say,
    great views! :)

  4. A coffee shop seemed the only place to have it because one plays a prominent roll in WHISKEY WHISPERS OF THE PAST!

  5. Good Morning Lynn! Perfect place to toast your new novel. Excerpt made me want more! And of course more of these delicious treats!

    1. Good morning, P.L.! The treats look super yummy and the guys do too! I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Visit my blog for another excerpt and the blurb and excerpt from my upcoming short story.

  6. Hi Patsy! Lyn hugs her sister hostess. Looks like Mac and Mary are still 'admiring the scenery' so while we're waiting for them and the other guests to show up, I'm going to have a scone and a cappucino before wandering over to Lynn's site to read another excerpt!

  7. Oh geez, sorry I got sidetracked. Good morning ladies. *air kisses* Hiya Lynn. Love the excerpt. "The body is killer." Yeah, that works for me. :-)

  8. Hi, Mackenzie! The hero of Whiskey Whispers of the Past was modeled after Adam Levine of Maroon 5. The body is killer is an apt description :-)

  9. If you are interested in knowing what inspired WHISKEY WHISPERS OF THE PAST, stop by YouTube and enter Kenny Chesney's "That's Why I'm Here." I listened to the lyrics and Chance Daniels' character formed in my mind. Kendra Strafford came next. I'm a crafter and always wanted to try candle making so I gave her that occupation.

  10. HI Mac! *Waves to sister hostess)

    What a great inspiration for a story, Lynn, Ive been inspired by songs too,
    it's great when that happens. Love ornamental candles too!

  11. Lyn,

    The song grabbed me, and then the character wasn't far behind. I love it when that happens.

  12. Oh me too, it's as if the characters come to life of their own volition!

  13. I figured out Chance's mental characteristics immediately then Adam Levine jumped into my mind. Happened rather quickly ;-)

  14. Hey, where did Patsy and Mary go? Did they wander off to that gym around the corner? I hope Patsy doesn't embarrass the guys by benching pressing more than they can.

  15. They seemed like manly men. I bet they can hold their own. Lol!

  16. *Pant Pant* Here I am, been running laps with the big blonde guy over there. He's got bigger biceps than me! Where's my iced latte? *Gulp gulp* I'm off again. Give me another excerpt!

  17. Patsy, that must have been quite a guy! I just saw Mary disappear with yet another hunk, I'd be surprised if she surfaces again tonight, LOL!

    Just read a bit more about 'Whiskey' on your blog, Lynn, it really drew me into the story - yes, any chance of another snippet?

  18. An exclusive Author Roast and Toast excerpt!

    "Hi," he said.

    "Hey. How are you?"

    "I'm fine. Brought you something." He held out a large cup of black coffee.

    She must have needed the caffeine jolt because her eyes lit up like he'd offered her diamonds.

    "You're a blessing. She accepted the drink, sipped then sighed. "Thanks. Just the way I like it."

    Chance leaned against a brick portion of her building so he wouldn't mar the window she'd already cleaned.

    "Smells good," he commented, indicating the open door with his head.

    "Thanks. Sometimes I leave the door open and let a select few scents draw in customers walking by into the store. How are today's renovations going?"

    "Candace kicked me out of the sales floor while it's getting painted. I took care of some inventory that arrived today." He pondered telling her about the rearview mirror, but thought better of it. He couldn't make sense of it and imagined she wouldn't either.

    "She did the same thing to me when I redid my store. You'll be open in no time now."

    Here goes nothing. "In a couple of weeks, anyway. Listen, do you think Deanna would cover for you tonight?"

    Her brows furrowed as if the question took her by surprise. "Um... I could ask. Why?"

    "I was kind of wondering if you'd like to join me for dinner. Maybe we could hit one of the diners for some home cooking." Chance could almost see the cogs in her mind working, weighing the pros and cons. She made up her mind in no time, much to his astonishment.

    "I'd like to. Let me go see if she wants the afternoon off, provided she comes in tonight."

    "Okay. I'll wait here."

    Chance watched her disappear into the store and head for the counter where Deanna sat. Nervousness crept through him. What if she was just asking to be polite? He gave a mental shrug, picked up the squeegee she had discarded, and began to work on the windows while Kendra chatted with her employee. After a few strokes, the task was completed and she was by his side again.

    "Looks like you're on. Where and what time?"

    Relief flooded Chance. She did want to take this step with him, going from morning coffee to an official dinner date. Anticipation made his pulse gallop. Warmth spread through him and replaced nervousness with something altogether different— contentment.

    "How about the Jonerstown Diner around seven o'clock?"

    "That'll work."

    The smile on her face disarmed him. Taking an uncalculated chance, he tipped her chin upward with his fingers and lowered his head, giving her every opportunity to retreat. His lips brushed hers just for a taste. Every nerve ending in his body sizzled. She didn't pull away. He would have deepened the kiss, but pushing her too fast wasn't part of the plan. With regret, he lifted his head and ran a finger down her cheek.

    "I'll drive and pick you up at your place around six forty- five. See you tonight." With his hands tucked in his pocket, he crossed Main Street whistling a happy tune.

  19. Now that excerpt just makes me grin, Lynn. :-)

  20. Glad you liked it! It's just a feel good scene.

  21. Another great excerpt,Lyn. Thanks, This sounds like such a romantic story!

  22. Nice to meet you, Lynn. So many HOT things here! Hot drinks (or cold), hot men and best of all--HOT books! Thanks girls! I'm super craving that chocolate pudding now. :)

    1. Nice to meet you, too! Thanks for stopping by.

  23. Hi Calissa

    thanks so much for joining us at Lynn's party. Help yourself to drinks and chocolate pudding while you check out Lynn's great book!

  24. Hmmm ... with the tag "hywela lyn" I thought: "Welsh whiskey? It's supposed to be practically undrinkable..." LOL
    I might possibly be the only bloke commenting, so I'll chance a few words (BTW: Maroon 5 'guested' on an episode of NCIS I watched on TV this week, no idea how 'ancient' that might be Stateside!)
    Sippin' whiskey in a coffeeshop sounds good enough to me - sheer coincidence, I did exactly that at an Author Signing I attended in Liverpool earlier today! (A friend smuggled his hip flask into the shop and treated us all!)
    Loved the setting of the story - I guess Starbucks IS Starbucks, al over the world! The characters sounded instantly both very real and very likeable, too. As I don't have a sweet tooth, I'd probably be looking for a decent cheeseboard & crackers/crispbread rather than cakes & slushies, otherwise I think I'd have felt at home & comfortable at the table.

    I'll have another try before I log out, but I've been unable (as yet) to access "Oliver's Rules" and I have my debut novel coming to a bookstore near you on June 1st. I'd be interested in a "Roast" if that's possible?
    Paul McDermott

    1. Paul,

      Nothing wrong with cheese and crackers, especially if accompanied by a good red wine ;-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  25. Hi Paul,

    *A Brit! A Brit! Lyn jumps up and down in excitement!*

    Thanks so much for visiting our little 'shindig'. As you rightly surmise, Hywela Lyn is Welsh and likes nothing better than a tipple of good Welsh Mead. (Not so much the whiskey, it has to be confessed.)

    We'd absolutely love to feature you, Paul. Guests of the 'male persuasion' are as rare as hen's teeth, and very welcome, if you can stand being surrounded by adoring females! :)

    Not sure why you had problems with 'Oliver's Rules' but if you click the tab, it does seem as if the page hasn't refreshed, but it actually has, and if you scroll down you'll see the list of things we require in order to organise your party.

    If that fails, not to worry, just drop us a line at authorroast@gmail.com
    and we'll get you sorted!

  26. Well, it's nearly 1 am this side of the pond and I'd better be getting my beauty sleep.

    Thank you for being such a great guest Lynn - as always the party goes on over the weekend, so any late comers are more than welcome to partake of the virtual goodies!

  27. Hiya CaIsa And Paul. *Finger waves* why am I not surprised mead finally came up in this conversation? :-) Off for an evening out. have a lovely evening everyone.

  28. Lynn, enjoyed hosting you, the cafe party was fun and the excerpts great. Much luck with sales and congratulations on the release.

  29. Oh no! I missed shopping and Starbucks. Darn busy weekend. LOL. Lynn sounds like a really good book. Really nice cover. Loved all the excerpts.
    Sue B

  30. Hi Sue

    Wondered where our 'star commenter' was. Great to see you and we've saved you some goodies! So glad you were able to make it to Lynn's party!