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, September 6, 2013

Mac's Honkeytonk Hearts Author Roast Celebration

“Vonnie, for heaven’s sake, slow down. This ol’ truck can only go so fast.” Mary rummages through her purse. “Where’s my nitroglycerin pills. You’re about to give me a coronary.” 

“Nonsense. This is Route 66. You’re supposed to drive fast on this road. Remember how Martin Milnor and George Maharis drove this highway in a red Corvette convertible on the sixties TV show, “Route 66”? 

Mary sniffs and hikes up her boobs. “That show was before my time. Now slow down.” 

“Do you want Mac to be late for her own party? Tonight we’re celebrating the release of her latest book, A Song for Sophie’.” Vonnie grinds gears on the truck’s four-on-the-floor and hunches over the steering wheel. “I love all this power under the hood. I’ve been a gear grinder since high school.” 

“Look,” AJ huffs, “you ram that gearshift under my skirt again and I’m going to tell everyone you’re six kernels shy of a bag of popcorn. How come I got stuck in the middle? I can barely breathe.” 

“Oh, be quiet,” Vonnie snorts. “You’re the one who decided to wear a short pink net, ruffled skirt to a honky tonk. You couldn't very well sit on those scratchy bales of hay in the back.” 

AJ picks and fluffs the hot pink tulle. “I look like a fairy princess. Besides, it looks great with my pink cowgirl boots.” She slips her phone from one of her boots and snaps two pictures of her skirt. 

Mary shoves her vial of nitroglycerin between the girls. “Looks to me like your tutu is too-too tight.” 

Vonnie yanks the pick-up onto the parking lot of The Lonesome Steer, throwing Mac, Lilly, Melisa and Lyn off the bales of hay on one side of the bed of the truck. Lilly sputters and wipes hay off the back of her jeans. “Has she been drinking? She drives like a one-eyed pit bull.” 

“I told you I should have driven.” Melisa plucks straw from Lilly’s hair. “Some women can handle power, some can’t.” 

Now that the truck is stopped, Mac leans over the cab, points and squeals. “Look, it’s Beau!” 

A tall handsome man in a dark Stetson pushed off the side of the large building. He strides toward the truck, holding out his arms. “Princess!” 

Lyn leans over the side to get a better look. “That’s Beau? Oh my gosh, he’s…he’s…” 

“Big,” Melissa breathes. 

“Oh, honey,” Mac oozes, “I only do big.” She leaps off the bed of the pickup into Beau’s waiting arms.” She wraps her arms around his muscular shoulders, and he kisses her forehead before carrying her inside.

"Wonder why he didn't wear a shirt?"

Lilly glares at Lyn. "Why would you want to cover up all that hunkiness with a shirt?"

"Yeah," Melissa nods. "He's perfect the way he is. No wonder Mac made him the hero of her Honky Tonk Hearts story. I bet he knows how to heat up a stage."

Lyn swipes some lip gloss over her pursed lips. "Bet he knows how to heat up the sheets, too. Let's head inside. Mac can't have all the fun." The rest of the gang scrambles off and out of the truck. Lyn brushes hay off the sleeve of her Western shirt. “Yee-haw, I’m ready to do the two-step with the first handsome cowboy I see.” 

Melissa hurries to the door to hold it open for the others. “Age before beauty, ladies. I can't wait to bust a move on the dance floor. Boy, do I know how to boot scoot my boogie.” She waggles her eyebrows and wiggles her behind.

Lilly wraps her arm around Lyn’s waist, sticking a few sprigs of hay into Lyn’s back pocket, just far enough to hold them in place. “Sweet pea, I’m ready for a cold beer. How about you?” 

AJ elbows her way in front of the others. “Me first. I’m the fairy queen tonight.” She winks at Mary. “I’ve got some sexy fairy dust to sprinkle on some handsome hunk in Wranglers and a cowboy hat.’ 

“Did you ever notice how a cowboy hat makes any man sexy looking?” Vonnie glances at a guy barreling toward her. “Well, maybe not every man. There’s always the exception” 

He doffs his hat. “Well, lookie here. Looks like I’ve met me a few live wires.” 

Mary mutters under her breath, “Looks like he’s got a few wires hanging loose. Inside, girls, quick!”

The Rattlesnakes, a local country and western band are playing. Gus Rankin, owner of the Lonesome Steer, mans the taps, pouring beers and joking with his clientele. Gus and his handlebar mustache have played matchmaker to many who have entered his honky tonk. “Ladies, welcome. Come closer. Don’t tell me you all came alone, without escorts.” His gaze sweeps over the bar stools, tables and pool tables. “There’s plenty of men here to entertain you for the evening.” 

The old man in the white hat waves and winks at Vonnie. She fingerwaves and hides behind Mary. “Don’t let him near me. Where’s Mac?” 

AJ fists her hand on her pink-tulled hip. “She’s sitting in that man’s lap, drinking a martini. I thought we were only having beer tonight.” 

Mac waves her glass. “Now, you know martinis are how I roll, ladies.” She stands and preens her new boots. “Don’t you just love them? See the silver tips and turquoise inserts? They match my earrings.”

She flicks her jewelry. “Did you see spread Gus and Win prepared for us? Burgers, steaks, mashed potatoes, baked beans and corn on the cob.” 

The band starts playing a Texas two-step and a handsome, tall, cowboy envelopes Mac in his arms. She winks at the girls. “See, I told you I only do big.”

Mary sweeps across the dance floor in the arms of a shorter man, his face nestled between the girls. She rolls her eyes. “With any luck, he’ll suffocate before the second verse.” 

Melissa eyes a couple handsome men shooting pool. “Let me go sink a couple balls.”

"Oh dear, maybe wearing this pink tutu wasn't the best idea. Just look around." AJ waves an open hand before snatching a long neck from a bucket of ice. "There's tight Wranglers as far as the eye can see. Still, what does it matter what I wore. This is Mac's night." 

Lilly reaches for a beer, too. "I need something to cool down my mouth. Have you tried any of those chicken wings? My word, I swear they were so hot they melted the latex in my girdle."

"Did you see the gigantic sheet cake with a picture of Mac's book on it? That thing is huge." Melissa's gaze settles on a guy leaning against the bar. "Ah...I'll catch you all later. I'm about to ask a cowboy to dance."

Lyn wraps her arms around AJ and Lilly's shoulders. "Well, girls, let's get this party started. I'm ready for an old fashioned Texan party. And what better reason to celebrate than to honor Mac and her newest release?"

"A Song for Sophie," Lilly and AJ say in unison and tip a long neck to their lips...

SONG FOR SOPHIE by Mackenzie Crowne

Jobless, practically homeless, and tired of being manless, Sophie Taylor jumps at the chance to be Beaumont Walker’s personal assistant. Six weeks on the road with country music’s bad boy—and, more importantly, his all-male crew—is the perfect opportunity to change her life. 

Beau Walker doesn’t need any more distractions. Sophie, with her butt-ugly suits and balls-to-the-wall attitude, shouldn’t be one, but she proves to be distracting and more—even, surprisingly, a friend. So when he discovers her plan to snag a man from his worldly wise crew, he’s determined to protect her from herself.

His lunch date? Is he insane? His definition of a personal assistant was obviously different than hers. “Now, just a minute.”
Beau ignored her, pulling her toward the wood paneled building. She blinked up at the neon star mounted above the door. A flashing steer rode above the sign announcing the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk. A few miles outside of Amarillo, she’d driven by the popular bar occasionally, but had never been inside.
“A honky tonk? Really? This isn’t the kind of place I’d expect to find your mother.”
He kept a tight hold on her wrist when she tried to jerk free. “Savanna started her career on the Lonesome Steer’s tiny stage. She makes a point to stop in to see the owner whenever she’s in town.”
Yanking open the door, he pulled her in behind him. Her eyes were slow to adjust to the dim light after the bright sunshine outside. She blinked, glancing around as the door thumped shut behind them. Surprisingly busy for a weekday afternoon, most of the round wooden tables were occupied beyond the large, empty dance floor.
Heads turned at their arrival. Several of the diners called out greetings while others jabbed elbows at their companions and nodded in Beau’s direction.
“Unless you want me to cause a scene in front of your adoring fans, I suggest you let go of my wrist.”


I’m a wife, mother and really young grandmother. Together with my high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian and a blind cat, I call Arizona home because the southwest feeds my soul. My love of books, specifically the romance genre, has been a lifelong affair, both as a reader and a writer. A bout with breast cancer sharpened my resolve to see my stories shared with others. Today, I’m a five-year survivor, living the dream. Raised on the concept that a stranger is just one conversation away from being a friend, I love meeting new people.
My friends call me Mac. I hope you will too.

Mac’s Links:

It just so happens, another of my lighthearted contemporary titles, The Billionaire's Con, is free today until Saturday night, so don't forget to download your copy at Amazon.

See some of Mac's books above
Read more about them HERE

To win a copy of Mac's book, 'A Song for Sophie' 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. *blinks over the rim of her martini glass*

    Hey! Where is everybody?

  2. All right, ladies, let's get this par-tay started! I wanna a beer and a dance with Beau. No, no! Don't let him put his shirt back on, Mac. I wanna look at all those muscles while we dance and as tall as he is, that'll be right at my eye level!

  3. LOL Lilly. Just watch out for Sophie. She's tiny, but he doesn't call her the little Drill Sergent for nothing. She holds her own and considers Beau hers. :-)

  4. *L* Makes me want to yell, Yeehaw! Awesome post, ladies!

    Lisa Olech

  5. Hello, ladies, sorry I'm late. There's been murder and mayhem on the old Snark ranch.

    So, are we line dancing today?

  6. A tall handsome man like Beau! Woopee! And at a Honky Tonk! Let's dance, for starters and then!
    rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

  7. *waves at Lisa and Rebecca*

    Don't you just love a tall cowboy? And wait till you hear him sing. Think Josh Turner's "Why Don't We Just Dance." Mmmm...fun, deep and crooning. Holy crap, I need a cold drink. I'm overheating. Oh, Oliver...

  8. *AJ fiddles with her layers of pink tulle and screws them down a bit lower on her hips*. I am DIGGING all these guys in cowboy boots! Yee Haw, Mac, you know how to throw one heck of a hum-dinger! And just looking at Beau makes me sweat. Sweet niblets!

    Did someone say line dance? I'm in!

  9. Just stopping by to grab a guy. On my way out the door, but had to wish you the best Mac!
    I'm grabbing that hot one by the door, yes, that's the guy. Keep your meathooks to yourselves girls! Hope he matches those huge boots he's a wearin', hehehe Have a great weekend ladies and do try to misbehave! :0)

  10. Some of us have two left feet and an impaired sense of what constitutes "graceful movement".

    My son is taking square dancing right now for 6th grade PE. I should ask him to show me his moves. :D

  11. Hey, Mac, where's my martini? Did you drink them all? Get that bare-chested hunk to mix another while I two step with this sexy cowboy.

  12. *waves frantically at Mary* Have fun, chickie. And send pics! We promise not to do anything you wouldn't do while you're gone. He he he.

  13. Geez, AJ. Grab hold of Melissa and show her what to do. She looks like Elaine from Seinfeld.

    Barb, I haven't drunk all the martinis, but that doesn't mean I haven't tried? :-) So, are you a dry and dirty girl, or do you like 'em fruity?

    (V, get your mind out of the gutter. We're talking about drinks)

  14. Oh, I do love it when you have these western parties, gals. But where the heck's my Jim and Ginger? Looks like you weren't expecting me And, oh, yeah.email me ahead of time next time at andidowning@gmail.com
    Ah, heck. Thought I'd left the horse ground-tied. Looks like he's run off..

  15. Line dancing? I can do the Conga. Can I hang on to Beau's butt? Ouch! *grabs back of head* The "Little Drill Sergeant" just pulled my hair. Mac, can't you control your jealous heroine long enough for AJ and me to line dance behind him. lol!

  16. Honest ladies, I've been trying to comment for hours. Blogger is not speaking to me today. Mac, I hope you're having a great time at your party. Oh no, quick, someone stand in front of me. It's that stalker dude in the white hat. Do you know he followed me into the ladies' room? The nerve! I'd already dragged two hunks in boots in with me...there was simply no more room.

  17. Yay! Success! Someone hand me a beer. I've gotta go find Beau. AJ, get off his lap!!!

  18. Come on, Mel... It's step-together, step-together, turn-kick, step-together-- OW! Geesh, did you nail spikes to the bottoms of those boots? I need another beer... *AJ limps towards the bar, winking at Melissa.* Perhaps now I can get one of these handsome young wranglers to massage my tootsies. Shhh...thanks, girlfriend.

  19. Hiya Andi. Ut oh. Do we have a scheduling snafu here? I'm off to email you, sweetie.

  20. LOL Lilly. I tried to warn you. You're on your own with Sophie. She scares me. :-)

  21. V, darn it! You made me snort martini out my nose. Quit dragging cowboys into the ladies room. There's a perfectly good, and big, barn right out back. :-) And take that funny little guy in he white hat with you.

  22. *clinks her martini glass to AJ's then narrows her eyes*

    Where is Mel going with that scissors? AJ shakes her head. *Mac's eyes widen.*

    Oh, dear Lord. I think she's headed for Gus' mustache! Holy hell, this is gonna be bad.

  23. Someone quick! Pull Mel off Gus!!!
    I hate to see a grown man cry.

  24. *AJ's tu-tu flounces around her thighs as she hop-skips-limps toward Mel and leaps. They tumble to the ground in a heap* Now, quick, someone hand me a ro... Oh, hi there, Beau. Ahem. Oh nothing, just hanging around. Er...care to help me tie up Mel? *Cheezy grin*

  25. *smiles at Beau a little weakly*

    Hey, don't look at me. They're writers. You know how we are.

  26. *Tips bottle to lips* Did someone mention ropes? I'm reading a book where a guy tied a woman's hands and then tied them to her one thigh...*drains longneck and burps*...and then he...why are you looking at me like that Beau??? I might be old, but I'm not dead. *winks and turns to AJ* Wonder why he ran off like that?

  27. *AJ scratches her head* I don't know. He sure seems skittish for a big fella. *She gasps and edges behind Vonnie as Beau returns, five large cowboys in tow.*

    One of them places a boot heel on the rung of the nearest barstool and leans in. "Did someone mention ropes?"

    *AJ purses her lips and jerks her thumb at Vonnie.*

  28. *crosses her arms*

    Go ahead, V. Talk your way out of this one. *winks at AJ as the cowboys crowd close around V*

  29. Well...ah...*giggles and snorts*...I'll need a man to demonstrate on. I've been doing a lot of research, you see...^coughs and eyes the guys*...course you'll have to get naked.

    The chubbiest one says, "Can I keep my boots on?"

  30. *signals to Lilly and Mel at the bar and shouts* Bring a round for these boys, will ya? They all seem to be blushing from whatever V is whispering in their ears.

  31. *leans over to AJ as V studies the chubby cowboy's boots* He's a member of Beau's band. The man is a world class picker. Good with his hands. *waggles her brows*

  32. What a fun post, Mac! Save a martini for me, and Beau's got two knees, right? I'm perching myself on the other one!

  33. Hilarious! Congrats Mac!

  34. *hip checks Sharon and takes Beau's knee* Here ya go, sweetie. *grins at Sharon sitting on the floor and hands her a martini.**

  35. Howdy J.L. *waves her cowboy hat* Pull up a cowboy, er... I mean a chair and join the fun. :-)

  36. *Vonnie grabs the microphone and clears her throat* Hi y'all. *waves and snorts* How about a round for Mac, author of A SONG FOR SOPOHIE? Have you read it yet? You're missing out, if you haven't. In about fifteen minutes, I'm going to be giving a rope demonstration. *Pats chubby cowboy's arm* I'm going to show how you ladies can rope your bronc in five-point-three seconds. But before I do that I'm going to sing a few songs for y'all. First up will be...

    AJ, quick! Unplug the damn mic!!

  37. *Lilly rushes up on stage and clamps her palm over V's mouth* Gus, cut her off. She's had one too many!

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. No Mel, let ME hand those handsome men the rope. You get their drinks. I found the rope and I'm taking it to them. Now get off the end of that rope, Mel. I don't care if they do plan to tie Vonnie up. I just want to see those muscular arms flex as they're tugging and pulling on the rope. Oh for goodness sake! Vonnie is a grown woman. Let's not argue, let's have another round while Mac shares another excerpt, preferable one that doesn't require Beau to wear a shirt. lol!

  40. Yes! Yes! Another excerpt from Mac! Come on, lady! Serve us up some deliciousness!!

  41. Phew! Sorry, the martinis caught up with me. I needed a little power nap. An excerpt, huh? Okay, but I'm giving you a rated G one. Sorry, Lilly. Here is one from Sophie's first concert as Beau's assistant. They're in the green room, pre show. Enjoy.

    “Don’t you have something you’re supposed to be doing? I assume we’re paying you. Go earn your paycheck.”
    “Oh, you’re paying me.” She allowed the secret smile to curl her lips in an actual one. “And I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
    “What’s that? Boring me to death?”
    She dropped her oversized purse to the floor and took the chair next to him. It was a very comfortable recliner, and large enough that her arm didn’t reach the handle to lift the footrest. Feeling around blindly, she sat forward, and hanging half way over the arm, grasped the control. A quick tug and the footrest snapped up, and the back of the chair fell into the recline position, making her squeak.
    Beau shook his head.
    She tugged at the hem of her skirt to make sure it didn’t ride up, squirming until she’d settled herself. With her ankles crossed, she plopped her hands and forearms on the cushioned arms of the chair and looked at him.
    “I’m keeping you busy.”
    “I’m keeping you busy. You asked what I was supposed to be doing. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing.”
    “Well, quit it. You’re pissing me off.”
    “Oh, yeah,” she drawled, “like that’s hard to do.”
    “Have I fired you yet today?”
    “You’re fired.”
    He really was funny when he was trying to look menacing. She laughed and held his glare. “Geez, you’re cranky.”

  42. Thanks for the excerpt, Mac. I laughed at what came next. Calvin rolled over and asked what I was reading now...and I shared. He chuckled, too.

    Which reminds me. Did Win, the cook, make any Virginia ham? I'll be right back.

  43. Hey, Mac, I'm taking the pitcher of Martinis to that corner booth where I can watch the action without getting trampled. Those boots are awful big and my feet too tender.
    And i like 'em dry, with two olives.

  44. Barbara, I'll be right there to join you! I love a dry martini, but make mine with THREE olives...the blue cheese stuffed kind. YUM!

    Mac, I LOVE that excerpt. I laughed out loud. You have such an excellent way with dialogue and banter. Makes me green with envy!!

  45. Back now. Sorry for disappearing this morning. My daughter got into a package of Jello and scattered strawberry flavored sugar all over the couch. Took me forever to clean up and then we needed to see her speech therapist.


    Does anyone have a glass of wine?

  46. Aaaah, the old jello on the couch excuse. If I had a nickle for every time I heard that...

    lmao OMG Mel, I'd be out buying a new couch. Probably at Big Lots...or Savers. :-)

  47. LOL Mac! And Oh, no Mel! Can a person laugh and feel bad at the same time? I just did, thanks to you two. XO

    P.S. Have two glasses of wine, Mel. I won't tell.

    P.P.S. Off to family movie night. Be back later!

  48. AJ, a person CAN feel bad and laugh their head off at the same time. I know, because I just did it when reading about Mels couch catastrophe.

  49. OH my gosh.. you guys are having so much fun. Dang a girl could get a bit wild eyed lookin' at all them handsome fellers. Whoo hooo... congrats on the release. Now out of the way, I'm bellying up to the bar.

  50. LOL Tessa honey, you ain't gonna break out into a verse of "I'm just a girl who cain't say no." Are you?

  51. You ladies are a hoot!!! I'm coming to the Lonesome Steer next time so line me up some shots at the bar!!
    Loved A Song For Sophie. You already know that Mac.

  52. You all are just too funny! Love the duds, but a tutu AJ? You need to make a trip down my way, honey...

    Congrats, Mac! Beau and Sophie's book sounds wonderful!

  53. Muahs back atcha, Georgie.

    Hiya Calisa! *waves frantically* Thanks, chickie.

  54. Loved the excerpt Mac, and I know I'm going to love Beau to pieces. Already half-way there. lol! Shhh. Don't tell Sophie!

  55. And now I know where all my girls have been hiding out! I didn't know AJ, Lilly and Vonnie were here now too. And Melissa! Woot!

  56. Just popping in with a belated 'Congratulations and wishing you many sales', Mac. Sorry not to have left a comment sooner but for some reason the internet in Ohio didn't want to play ball!

    Hope you enjoyed your party, looks like you all had a good time with those hunky cowboys - bet you didn't leave one for Mary and me!


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.