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, October 25, 2013

No Roast this week - but some Halloween Treats in store from Monday

No roast this week folks - so we thought we'd take the opportunity to tell you about some of the events that are going on over Halloween.

On the 28th, 29th and 30th October, head on over to sister hostess Mellissa's blog::
www. melissasnark.blogspot.com for some wonderful blog posts and prizes galore!

Halloween Blog Hop - Flash Fiction and Prizes!
On the 28th, Hywela Lyn, as well as taking part in the above blog hop over all three days, will also be featured on Karen Michelle's Blog with an original short story she's written specially for Halloween. Karen has been featurring a different author every day in her 'Halloween Flash Fiction Bash'  throughout October, and you can check it out here. http://kmnbooks.blogspot.co.uk again, there are cauldrons full of prizes to be won at this event, and as if this was not enough, Lyn is also featuring a special Halloween post on her blog www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com  for the UK Trick or Treat Blog Hop.
So there's plenty going on for you prize hunters - and plenty of interesting and slightly scary posts for your Halloween entertainment.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Laura Browning's Private Beach Party for 'Broken Heart'

The yacht owned by newspaper heiress, Stacey Winchester's family, the Barlow-Barretts, pulls out of the harbor in Beaufort, North Carolina and heads toward an undeveloped barrier island. In celebration of Laura Browning's latest release, Heart Broken, Stacey's family has taken over the
island for the weekend.

Mary leans over the rail, squashing the girls. "Oh, look! Dolphins!

"Stop leaning so far over the rail," Lilly says grabbing Mary's sarong. "You're going to fall in."

"If I do, you can jump in after me. Your butt looks pretty buoyant."

Melissa elbows Vonnie in the ribs. "Or, we could throw her one of Lyn's big shoes to use as a canoe. Then she can paddle over to the island."

Vonnie snorts a giggle. "Why? It's not like Mary could drown. She has her very own, personal, double D flotation devices."

Mary turns a scowl on Vonnie but then Lyn points to the starboard side of the boat, drawing everyone's attention. "Look! A horse."

"Lyn and I love horses," Mary says.

"Herds of wild horses live along the Outter Banks of North Carolina," Lilly says, showing off her knowledge of her home state. "They're the ancestors of Spanish horses that swam ashore after shipwrecks over 400 years ago. They also live along the salt marshes of Virginia and Maryland too. Stacey mentioned it when I was helping her and Laura with today's menu."

"Horses?" Mac scrunches her face. "I thought this was a beach party. Did I get my wires crossed again? If I had known this was going to be another western roast, I would have worn warmer clothes. I don't care if it is still above 70 in North Carolina in October. It's too cold for a bathing suit."

"That's why I'm not wearing a bathing suit,"  Melissa says. "You, know, there's no law that says you have to wear a bathing suit on the beach."

AJ looks up from her iPhone, squinting into the warm, fall sunshine. "Horses? There're horses? Where? I don't see any horses."

"That's because you're blind as a bat," Melissa quips. "Now put that phone away before you drop it in the ocean."

AJ gasps, hugging her precious to her chest. "Do you really think I'd bring her out here without protection? She has a waterproof case and I'm not letting her out of my sight."

"Not letting who out of your site?" Mac asks. "Foster and the other sidekicks are below deck. Lilly was afraid TT would fall overboard."

Lilly frowns. "TT doesn't like boats. We put her on a ferry once and she hated it."

"I hope we're not late," Melissa says, changing the subject. "There's already a crowd gathered on the point."

On a narrow strip of sand jutting out between the ocean and the intercoastal waterway, a crowd--some dressed in bathing suits as if it were still mid August--are setting up chairs to enjoy the late autumn sunshine. Further inland, there are tents and temporary shelters. The Barlow-Bartlets spared no expense. The boat pulls up to a wooden dock and the hostesses gather their familiars--except for AJ, who is clutching her precious iPhone in her hand.

"Laura said Stacey's family wanted to do this roast right," Vonnie says as the hostesses survey the island. "They even have a merry-go-round."

"And live music," Lyn adds. "I see two music tents."

The roast is being held along a path between the ocean and the sound.

Trailers are set up to cook the seafood Laura has requested for her roast. There's plenty of beer kept in coolers in make-shift bars and lots of shrimp, scallops, french fries and oysters. They're even serving fried lobster bites, fried soft-shell crab burgers, and cheesecake and ice cream for desert.

Smelling food, TT, Nibbie, Cuddles, and Creighton dash off in search of lunch while Morena and Foster follow at a more leisurely pace. The ocean side of the island is practically deserted, but along the sound-side, a handsome young man is swooshing around over the water with a water-propelled jet-pack strapped to his back while other young men are riding jet skis

"Mmm. Eye candy," Mary says.

"Speaking of eye candy, I wonder if Stacey's parents know that Mason Hatch is going to be here," Lilly says as they walk past an open shelter serving as a bar.
An assortment of beers fill the refrigerator. Oliver walks pasts the hostesses and serves a couple of young women colorful drinks.

AJ taps out some letters on her phone. "According to Google, Stacey is still married to Jace Winchester."

"And Mason is Stacey's former lover," Lyn adds, exchanging a significant look with Melissa.

Melissa waggles her brows, "Well, then let's join the roast and watch the fireworks begin!"

Broken Heart by Laura Browning

Stacey always tried to be the perfect child. Now she's trying to be the perfect wife. But she's finding out perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her husband doesn't seem interested in her, and her former lover is driving her crazy. Something's got to give...and Stacey's worried it might be her.

Avoiding him was nearly impossible. Wherever Stacey looked, Mason Hatch was in her line of sight. Since she was attending her brother Brandon’s wedding, she couldn’t leave, but she sure wished Jace would stick by her side this once. She scanned the room, but her husband was nowhere to be seen.

“Hubby MIA again?” Mason’s voice was as smooth as silk in her ear. The fact he simply echoed her thoughts didn’t make his intrusion into them any more palatable. “I could tell you where to look, but I don’t think you’d like what you’d find.”

“Stop it!” Stacey hissed between clenched teeth. Every time she encountered Mason, he made some cryptic remark about her husband. Stacey was tired of it, in part because she had enough doubts concerning her marriage. But not today. She refused to have them today. Today was supposed to be perfect. Jason had made love to her last night, had tried once again to talk her into starting a family. She wanted children. She did, but something always held her back. She couldn’t stall too much longer, doing so wasn’t fair to either of them, yet the mere thought of a divorce in her oh-so-Catholic family made her shudder. God, was she really contemplating divorce? Her mother would flip.

“Just trying to make conversation among these Virginia purebreds,” Mason purred, once again barging into her brain. Why was there always a hint of amusement in his voice, as if he were actually laughing at her? Yes, she had been unfair to him, but had his contempt been there all along? Had he always regarded her with a smirk?

She sneaked a glance, finding her heels brought her nearly eye-to-eye with him. He was not short by any means, she’d simply inherited every bit of the Barlow-Barrett height and her mother’s slenderness to boot. How often she had wished for even a touch of her younger sister Preston’s curviness and her infinitely more diminutive height.

“Why can’t you single out someone else to talk to?” she demanded, knowing she sounded as petulant as she felt. “Don’t you have a date?”

He arched one dark brow, his eyes glittering like obsidian. “Perhaps I’m conducting a scientific experiment.”

“Oh? And what would your experiment be?” She didn’t want to continue this conversation, but she had no defense against his goading, had never been able to resist it, and that was what had gotten them in trouble to begin with. He was the match. She was the kindling.

“To see if there’s actually a living, breathing woman still left under your high-class brittleness, or has the rarified air of your married life already drained it away?”
Available at AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiTunes

After a long career in journalism, Laura Browning changed gears and began teaching English. The change in pace allowed her to get back to her love of writing fiction. After a push from her husband, she finally landed a book contract. She loves hearing from readers.  

To win a copy of '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.
(We reserve the right to waive the prize in any week when there are not enough contestants for a draw to be deemed fair and unbiased)

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's a Caribbean Party with Melissa Douthit and The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, Book 3 'The Return!'

“Don’t worry...about a thing...cuz every little thing, is gonna be all right,”
AJ sings, head bobbing, her wig of heavy dreadlocks swinging back and forth.

“Will you please knock it off with that!” Mac elbows her in the ribs. “That’s the third Bob Marley song in a row.” The small power boat lurches over a wave and the impact knocks Mac’s colorful turban askew. “Whose bright idea was it to let AJ come to Melissa Douthit’s Caribbean Roast and Toast as a Rastafarian?”
The hostesses exchange a wide-eyed glance around the boat before facing Mac. “Hers,” they respond in unison.

“You need to relax, mon.” AJ slides her blue tinted sunglasses to the end of her nose and peers at Mac. “The Caribbean includes Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic...”
Lilly sighs and nudges Mary’s arm. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.”

“...the Cayman Islands, Port au France. I thought it would be fun for each of us to dress to represent a region.”

Melissa flips up her black eye patch and leans forward, her other hand resting on her broadsword. “Yeah, so what’s the reason I’m dressed like a pirate?”
“What are you complaining about?” Vonnie snorts. “One more bright yellow ruffle on this dress and I’m apt to set sail all on my own.”

“At least your feathered headdress matches that pretty scarf you got in Paris. This peasant skirt is louder than the horn on that steamer we took to get here.” The boat crashes against another wave and Mary groans and cradles her chest inside her white off the shoulder blouse. “My girls can’t take much more of this.”

“Good thing our sidekicks took their own boat to get there.” Lilly shakes her head. “There wouldn’t be room for all of us in the same boat.”

"Look, we’re almost at the island.” Lyn stands and points, tipping the boat off-kilter. The busy pattern of her black and white serape makes AJ’s eyes cross. “Oh, and just look at all the wonderful food!”

“Yep. There’s jerk beef and chicken, paella, eschabeche—which is a citrus pan-fried fish.” AJ counts off the delicious entrees on her fingers. “Not to mention Ropa Vieja and a variety of curries and fresh salsas.”

“Ropa Vieja.” Lyn puts a flat hand to her brow and squints into the distance. “Doesn’t that mean ‘old clothes’ in Spanish?”
Vonnie laughs. “It’s a spicy beef dish, and wonderful, from what I’ve heard.”

“Forget the food. I need a Mojito,” Mary mumbles into her boobs.
“Lyn, sit down.” Mac clings to the side of the boat, her turban sliding a little farther to the right. “You’re gonna trip on those big feet of yours and then we all be tossed into the drink!”

“We could always use Lilly’s butt as a floatation device.” Melissa snaps down her eye patch and grins.
“Ha, ha. Very funny.” Lilly rearranges the folds of her bright plaid skirt, a hand braced against the basket of fruit on her head. “I don’t see why I got stuck carrying this heavy thing. I got guavas, coconuts, carambolas, mangos...”
“Our guest, Melissa Douthit, asked us to bring some of our favorite local fruits to celebrate the release of the final book in her The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia series, The Return. It takes place in the Karahali Islands, which are just like the Caribbean.” AJ twirls a beaded necklace around on her finger and Mac puts up a hand to block it from hitting her face. “Have you seen the cover? It’s gorgeous!”
“As long as we’re talking visuals, have you seen the men on that beach?” Vonnie stands to join Lyn and the boat keels dangerously to the side. “Shirtless...they’re all shirtless.”

“Where?” Lilly springs to her feet and Melissa, Mary, Mac and AJ squawk, arms flinging in the air as they fight to maintain their balance.
“It’s going over!” Mac screams as her turban tips into the water.

“Oh no!” the hostesses scream and splash head first into the warm ocean.
They flop and flap toward shore, collecting the floating fruits and squeezing the water from their skirts.

“Great.” Mary shakes the water from her hands and blows a few wayward droplets off her upper lip. “Looks like we’re arriving at the party in typical Roast and Toast fashion.”
“And look, there’s Melissa Douthit!” Lyn waves as they all slosh onto the beach. “She looks beautiful!”

“Now if we can just get those bare-chested men to help us dry off,” Vonnie mumbles to Mac, “everything will be just as it should be.”
“Well, that and give a warm welcome to Melissa Douthit and her release, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia series, The Return.”  Mac smiles and they all drip their way into the party.

After the fall from the Maaldan cliff, Chalice is reunited with her friends on a journey that takes them to the coastline of Ielieria.  Little do Vlaad and his Fierain know what is in store for them as, bit by bit, their plans are thwarted by this blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty.
The small band of rebels then travels across the Realm, preparing it for war, while Chalice herself is brewing plans of her own that may just land her in the hot seat.  What will happen when she returns her father to the throne?  What will happen when he finds out what she has done?  And … what will happen once Dar’Maalda learns of the rebels’ location?

In the third and final novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, you find out.  It is a dramatic finish to an epic story of action, adventure, betrayal, forgiveness and love.

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Melissa Douthit grew up in North County of San Diego, California. After graduating with a Computer Science degree in Southern California, and working for a summer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico, she moved to the Bay Area to work at NASA Ames Research Center for a year and then at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for another four years. From there, she moved to Monterey, California, to work at the Naval Postgraduate School on a government project for two years. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, working as a software engineer. Since high school, she has been a voracious reader of books of all genres, with an emphasis in fantasy and science fiction. Her literary work is strongly influenced by her professional experience and includes many elements of her scientific background. You can find out more about Melissa on her website: http://melissadouthit.com


"Black sacks were placed over their heads and nooses secured around their throats.  The two hangmen stepped back as the third laid his hand on the lever and waited.  Then, the drumbeat began.  The end of the last beat would signal the release of the trapdoors.  When it did, the hangman pulled and the doors fell open.

    Before the condemned began to fall blindly to their death, Chalice glanced down at her hands and heard the sharp whipping sound of ropes tauten and the crack of two necks breaking under the strain.  It unnerved her completely, which was odd, she thought.  She had seen battle.  She had seen men die, spilling their life’s blood or worse, and yet this hanging, which spilled no gore whatsoever in front of its witnesses, had her magnificently unsettled.

    She knew why.  It was because she knew deep down that it could just as easily be her at the end of that rope.  In fact, it should be her.  If they find out what you did, you will hang for it, Jeremiah had said.  At no other time did she feel the severity of the truth behind his words as acutely as she did at this moment."

Book one of the Trilogy, the Legend of the Rai Chaellia can be downloaded free HERE

On October 14th, all readers have to do is visit my blog and leave a comment saying "I'm in" on the post The Return Blog Tour Starts Next Week! (http://melissadouthit.com/2013/10/09/the-return-blog-tour-starts-next-week/) The contest runs from October 14th to November 27th, during which time The Return's blog tour will be in full swing. All readers can enter! Prize is a free e-reader or a $75 gift card to Amazon's bookstore!

To win a copy of Melissa'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.