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, November 29, 2013

Vonnie Davis celebrates the release of Santa Wore Leathers

For those of you who enjoy a humorous holiday story that is both spicy and family-centered, Santa Wore Leathers released yesterday. This is Vonnie Davis’ first title with Harper Impulse. Vonnie likens herself to a French croissant: round, flakey and best served with strong coffee. She infuses her brand of romantic comedy into her contemporary, paranormal and historical romances, as well as romantic suspense.

There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.

Enter Dan “Wolf” Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!
All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…

Wolf strode to her townhouse, rang the doorbell and waited.

Finally, her door opened, and he was greeted with a scowl.

“What?” She tugged the lapels of her short white silky robe together.

“I…ah…” His gaze snagged on all those ample curves showcased by the slinky material. I…ah…”

“You said that already.” She fisted a hand on her hip.

Einstein cannonballed around Becca with something red clamped in his jaws. He streaked across the grass, his strong muscles propelling him as he circled both of their yards.

“Get back in here!” Becca pointed into her house.

Einstein loped across the grass and shrubbery, ignoring his owner’s command.

Maybe if he acted the hero and returned the pet to its owner, he’d gain a few brownie points. “Stay here. I’ll get him.” Wolf took off after the dog. Seeing he was being chased only made Einstein run faster. Wolf followed him twice around the yard in front of Becca’s house. The dog leapt over a flowerbed and stopped, his head lowered, shaking his prize, his hind end elevated, wiggling in excitement.

“Give me that.” Wolf stepped to the right around the flowerbed. The dog trotted to the left. In a quick move, he sprinted to the left and the dog dashed to the right. “Think you’re smart, don’t you?” He could have sworn the dog smiled. Wolf leapt across the blooms, hoping to grab the smartass canine. Once he’d grabbed the collar, they rolled, and Einstein yelped. Wolf grimaced as he, too, rolled across a low-growing cactus and into the trunk of a palm tree. “Dammit.”

The dog whined and dropped the fabric to lick and bite at the prickly thorns in his groin.

“Easy now, Einstein.” Wolf cooed as he slipped his Swiss army knife from the front pocket of his jeans.

“What’s wrong? What’s going on? What are you doing with that knife?” Becca tugged on the hem of her short robe and glanced up and down the street as if she thought to run out into the yard.

“Stay where you are. He’ll be fine. He’s got some thorns in his hide.” Wolf removed the tweezers stored in a slot of the knife and began extracting the offending needles. “We can’t have an awesome fella like you in pain now, can we?” He worked as quickly as he could. “One more, big guy, and then you’ll be fine.” The dog licked him several times. “Yeah, I like you too. Let’s keep what I’m about to do just between us, shall we?” He ran his fingers over the affected groin area, keeping his attentions on the dog’s reactions. “Looks like we got them all.”

 “What in blue blazes are you doing to that dog? Are you performing some kind of ‘beasty-wildy’ on him?” Mrs. Minelli, his neighbor, punctured the air with her cane, her white eyebrows arched in question.

He fought the urge to laugh. “No, Mrs. Minelli. I was taking out thorns.”

She cocked her head to the side, her cataract-clouded eyes widened. “In his penis?”

BARNES & NOBLE ~  http://bit.ly/1846Aau

Please visit me at my blog: http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
Or follow me on Facebook: Vonnie Davis.

To win a copy of Vonnie '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, November 22, 2013

Tribute to Sharon

On 11th April, 2012, God in his great wisdom, decided to take our dear friend and sister hostess, Sharon Donovan to join the other angels in Heaven. 

 Today would have been her birthday and we thought it would be a nice idea to reproduce  last year's  'Author Roast's tribute to Sharon, a celebration of her life and works. 

We love and miss you so much, Sharon. Thank you for enriching our lives and making the world a better place.

The covers of Sharon's Books

Her Greatest Fan and Charade of Hearts

'Touched By An Angel', The Claddagh Ring and 'Lasting Love'
 (You'll need to type Sharon's name in the Author searchbar  on the left of the page when you go into the site)

Mask Of The Betrayer

Echo Of A Raven
Sharon loved Ireland, she said "Wear a shamrock on your left lapel and you will be blessed all year with the wink of St. Patrick himself. This is fun and we all partake in it, but the true meaning of the shamrock, the three-leaf flower of Ireland, was used by St. Patrick to demonstrate the Trinity." 
She set her Inspirational story 'The Claddagh Ring', published by The Wild Rose Pressin Ireland.
Sharon wrote wonderful stories of suspense and inspiration, but probably her greatest creation, and the one she will be remembered for best, is her sexy virtual butler, Oliver, flirtatious, accomplished, occasionally a little foolish (although one suspects that was an act) and his personality shone through Sharon's words. He starred in her prize winning novella 'Charade of Hearts, for the WRP's series 'Jewel Of The Night' and also in the story she wrote for the 'Whimsical Publications' anthology 'Winter Wonders', entitled 'Christmas Angel'.  He became an extension of herself in many ways. One thing for sure, however much he may have flirted with the guests, somehow it was obvious that his heart belonged to Sharon, although he never said so - even when he overstepped the mark and Sharon would yell at him - "OLIVERRRRRR!"

In January, 2012, Sharon was awarded the Preditors & Editors Reader's award for 'best short story' for her novella, Charade Of Hearts

Sharon collected Carnival and Masquerade masks, which she featured in her suspense novel, Her Greatest Fan. She had her photo taken wearing a selection of her own masks

 This is Sharon's memoir, written to help others fighting diabetes and loss of sight, to provide information a based on her own experiences. Contains  information on the support and help available.
 Sharon said she would
 "... donate a certain percentage from sales of ECHO OF A RAVEN to the JDRF Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fight for a cure. If I can prevent even one child from going through the nightmare of losing his or her vision, my book will be a smashing success."

"A kind and loving person and friend to all.  I can honestly say I never heard a negative comment from her about anyone or anything. She always found the bright side and the good things.  My prayers included her every night during her illness and I keep her in my prayers now. God has a special place for her I am so sure.  She is missed.

"In my life I have met many people. You don't get to my age without thinking you have seen it all. Then someone comes into your life and changes you forever.

I never heard her complain, not like I would if I were in her shoes. She lost her art when she lost her sight. Did that stop her? Not in the least, she learned how to use a computer with voice adaptive software, and poured her stored up talent into wonderful, entertaining, stories. She had a great sense of humor
and a smile that lit up her face like a sparkler. Her tender feelings for animals and children said a lot about her. I used to laugh when she called us the Golden Girls. Which one was I, I'd ask her. Well which one do you want to be? She came right back. And darned if she didn't know I didn't know one from another.

Through two difficult heart surgeries she still never felt sorry for herself. She'd ask how you were. I can't imagine life without Sharon. I go to call her and it's a need which I will never fill again. Lyn still can hear her voice, and I think about her and cry. Not because she's not happy, for surely her wings are white as snow. But I cry because I am not with her. And yet she is till in my heart. So she is still here. As long as there are storytellers, as long as there is love, she will be here. As long someone who loved her lives, she will never be gone and will live on in her family and friends. So many people mourn her loss. Yet rejoice her fight! Because Sharon was a fighter and she gave inspiration to those around
her. Just because she was Sharon.
"Sharon was one of the most loving people I have ever known. She loved her family, her friends and animals, including horses, and used to ride until she lost her sight. Horses feature in 'Her Biggest Fan' and 'Christmas Angel'.  She loved Ireland and often talked about her visit there.  She also talked about the little black cat, Freddie, she used to have, which she obviously loved and  missed very much.  Now they are re-united beyond the Rainbow Bridge! 

And of course she loved being creative.  When she could could no longer create beauty with her brush to used words to paint her pictures and tell her stories - and what stories. I first met her when I read an interview where she mentioned how she'd turned to writing after she lost her sight. I was so full of admiration for this brave, determined woman and had to drop her a note.  She answered my email straight away and we started corresponding and soon formed a lasting and loving friendship. I  offered to make a trailer for her lovely Easter Inspirational story 'Lasting Love' and was so happy to be able to do something to help publicise her book. 

It was never one sided either. Sharon was always so full of gratitude and appreciation of any little thing one could do for her, and it was always a pleasure to help out.Sharon was the most generous and giving person, and would always be the first to offer an interview or a promotional post on her blog, where one would be waited upon, and flirted with, by her charming Man Friday, Oliver. The day she came out of hospital after her first heart attack, she telephoned me to wish me a Happy Birthday.  I am so glad I got to hear her voice through our telephone conversations. Her physical presence will be sorely missed by her friends and loving family, but her spirit lives on and her words will continue to give pleasure now and in the future.

 If there’s one person in this world who has taught me so much and influenced me on a positive level, it’s my aunt and godmother, Sharon Donovan. She has lived nothing less than an inspiring life in which she still continues to impress those all around her, especially me! I can only hope to be half as successful as she has been, while managing to overcome nearly impossible obstacles. 

At the young age of twelve, Sharon was presented with disturbing news that was sure to affect anybody’s life. She was told that, by the age of twenty-five, she would lose her sight. The cause of this (tragedy) was diabetes, which had been diagnosed at the age of six. In her late teens and early twenties, Aunt Sharon became involved in art classes and demonstrated true talents at painting. When the day came, though, that she could no longer see the canvas in front of her, she had no choice but to give up her dreams of painting. However, this did not discourage her. When painting was no longer an option, she turned to a new outlet: writing. Now, nearly thirty years later, Sharon has put so much time and effort into writing and has become the author of three published novels, and countless short stories. 

As if suffering from diabetes and blindness wasn’t enough, last month Sharon suffered a major heart attack and a stroke as well. The chance of a complete recovery was pretty slim, but my family never doubted her ability to over these obstacles. Sure enough, she did. Though much has changed and she will have to be more careful than ever, Sharon found the strength to make it through. In her heart, I believe she knows she still has much more writing to do, and I believe that her writing will only improve. Not only has Sharon handled these situations well, but in the years between, she has gone through numerous surgeries, therapy, and countless doctor appointments. I truly believe that my Aunt Sharon’s story is amazing and one that could anyone could look up to. 

Sharon’s strengths and perseverance have influenced me in so many ways and have made me see things in a new light. First of all, one of her clearest, most admirable qualities is determination. Not only has she decided to live her life to the fullest, but she always strives to help others in the process. I can go to my aunt for help with anything, and I know that she’d be there for me. She also taught me to have faith and strength. Without these things, I now know it is impossible to survive any sort of challenge in life. To reach goals, we must believe in ourselves and she has inspired me to do just that for my future. My aunt has given me even more reason to want to be as educated and successful as possible. Finally, one of the most important things I have learned from her is not to take anything in life for granted because it could literally be gone in a second. 

I am so thankful to have the opportunities that I’ve had in my life. Even more importantly, I’m extremely blessed to have Sharon Donovan not only as my aunt, but my godmother. I’ve learned to see life in a new perspective and appreciate all things that have come my way when I strive to achieve, while at the same time staying motivated to be successful.
Kendal McCaulley

This was written by Sharon's niece. It got her accepted into one of the colleges she applied to. She loved her Aunt dearly. And what a great role model she had in Sharon!

 Sharon had an impish sense of fun and loved getting up to mischief at the Roasts. Her quirky sense of humour made us smile and our pranks on each other were always played with love.  Here are some excerpts of her comments on past Roasts:
"Sharon ever so slyly sneaks
up on Mary and Lyn, 
sweetly offers banana splits,
 then swiftly shoves 
in their mugs and runs
 off singing 
roll out those hazy crazy 
lazy days of summer..."

"Hi Lyn sweetie, give me a hug.
 Isn't Scotland beautiful, and the castle  
is so whimsical. I'm so glad that
Nessie didn't steal Mary's hooters."
                                                                                                           Hugs    sisters, looking good girls, 
even sopping wet. 
What fun we'll have, 
my butt is wiggling
 to the pulsating water jets.
OOOO I hope
they'll play Shake Your Bootie
 so I can show 'em 
how a real woman shakes it!

"Paul, here I am, a  
blood thirsty Irish lassie
 here to swoon over 
a writer of Irish songs. 
Save me a dance, handsome, 
right after I kick up me heels with Pat.

                                             "Sharon runs  from Mary and her squirt gun
 through the caves, 
Lyn, a hair behind.
 Somehow they
find those same steep steps 
and take another tumble down.
 Just another roast and toast."

"When God calls me home and I soar into the sweet hereafter, I would like to think I made a difference," she told me. "We are put on this earth for a reason. We all have a mission. If we do enough soul searching, we’ll find the answer. For the longest time, I didn’t know why I was put on this earth. During my long bout with progressive blindness, I walked around aimlessly, searching, wondering, floundering. Nothing made sense. And after the final operation that took my remaining vision overnight, I wanted it all to end. No more heartache. No more pain. Peace and tranquility. If I couldn’t see or paint, what was the point? But God works his magic in mysterious ways. When one door closes, another door opens. And once I took the first step to regaining my life back, they have never stopped opening. I think my purpose on earth is to create words of inspiration. Never give up on a dream. Reach for the stars. When my star faded, it was up to me to polish it and make it shine. And long after I’m gone, my star will twinkle in heaven with eternal brightness because I completed my work on this earth."

Sharon 'in costume'

The Cladagh Ring

Mask Of The Betrayer

Lasting Love

In December, 2012, a new novel by Sharon, 'Kiss Of Death' was released posthumously by The Wild Rose Press and again featured Oliver in a starring role.
(Isn't that cover gorgeous)  

Santa Must Die.
The words in Camille Lafayette's dream are a chilling prelude of events to come. She sees herself as the killer, and when the murder is actually committed, she becomes the prime suspect.
When handsome Detective Oliver Sharone turns up at her New Orleans family home, he is searching for answers. The evidence against her seems damning. An image captured on the victim's camera resembles Camille, and the red feather mask worn by the murderer came from her shop.
The instant chemistry between Camille and Oliver is an added complication, which grows deeper as they work together to discover the truth. It becomes a race against time to find the real murderer before he not only loses his heart completely, but the killer strikes again. And this time the victim could be Camille herself.

It would make a great gift for a friend (or yourself)
available HERE

Sharon, what a wonderful legacy you left us.  You will always live on in our hearts.  Let's raise a glass of Chardonnay in your honour  - we love you, Sharon!
Lasting love Rose
The Rose Beyond the Wall
Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in the Sun’s light, Watered and fed by the morning dew, Shedding it’s sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall, 
Slowly rising to loftier height, It came to a crevice in the wall through 
which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the  crevice’s length and unfolded itself On the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening view were found the same as they were before, 
And it lost itself in beauties new, 
Breathing it’s fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve 
And make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive–
The rose still grows beyond the wall, 
Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forevermore.

~ A. L. Frink ~

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Musical Interlude

Hi folks!  Apologies for an interruption to our usual weekly programme.  There is a lot going on with the hostesses and sadly we have to say goodbye to Vonnie and Creighton as well.  We're going to miss you Vonnie and hope you'll come back to say hello when you can.

Hopefully, we'll be back to our usual schedule in the New Year, but please dear readers and followers, do keep checking, we'll find something to fill this space until we can get back to normal, and our hostesses may find themselves on the grill as well!

. This week The hostessers went to Paris and learned to do the can-can!  Where was Lyn? I hear you ask.  Well, someone had to operate the video camera, didn't they! :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rowena's Key Post Release Day Give-Away!

The Facebook party has come to a conclusion, but the celebration is far from over...
and the chance to win your very own copy of Rowena's Key
is here at the Author Roast and Toast!
Click to order your copy!
The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm!

But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.

~ * ~


This scene is taken from when Rowena and Caedmon first meet, each of them standing on opposites of what she believes to be a computer monitor...
What was with this guy, with his sable, shoulder-length hair and closely trimmed beard? His white shirt was best described as puffy, with ballooning sleeves and wide, ruffled cuffs. The front hung open, exposing the muscled contours of his beveled chest, the roughly stitched tails skimming the thighs of his fitted, leather…breeches?
Oh, God. She chuckled and shook her head. He had to be one of Ollie’s theater friends. Bravo for his stunning portrayal of a swashbuckling swashbuckler. Too bad that also meant he was gay.
He lifted the sword in both hands and turned a broad shoulder toward the mirror, the taut planes of his stomach easing in and out with each controlled breath. A trail of dark hair arrowed down inside the waistband of his pants, where his perfectly cupped manhood bulged for her inspection. Oh yes, too bad indeed.
“If you scheme to divert me with your alluring attire and guileless stare, I’ll have you know an abundance of courtesans await my nightly dalliance. I am not so easily swayed.”
Rowena inched a slow perusal of the delectable landscape back up to his face. His dark eyes glittered in the candlelight, and she mirrored his arched eyebrow. “Oh, really?”
Perhaps she’d pegged him wrong. Wouldn’t that be a treat?
She glanced down at her gauzy nightgown, the flickering fire doing little to cover her rosy nipples, pert in the chilly air. But he invaded her space with this theatrical exploit of his. What else did he expect her to be wearing, showing up like this in the middle of the night?
“You’d better be careful.” She wagged a finger at him. “Or I’m apt to get busy with some serious despoiling all up in here.”
“Enough, Sorceress!” He lunged forward, the blade of his sword slicing the air when he aimed the silver pommel straight at the screen. “Let us be done with this trickery. Name your demands before I smash the glass and ensnare your bewitching guise for an eternity.”
A low laugh tickled the back of her throat. Talk about living a role. Sheesh, take the drama down a notch. She stepped close and ran a hand around the edge of the frame. The signal had to be streaming live, what with his ability to interact with her, but there wasn’t a wire or a microphone, heck, not even a screw in sight.
She stood back and crossed her arms, shifting her weight onto one hip. Okay, she would bite, as long as Ollie promised this whole escapade wouldn’t end up on YouTube.
“Fine. You’re extremely gorgeous and very talented. Seriously, you’ve got the whole English accent down perfect. And while I appreciate all the work that went into this little program, it’s about two in morning and I have to get up early for work. Tell Ollie I said good show, props to the production crew and I’m nominating the wardrobe guy for an Oscar.”
There. That should call the evening a wrap. She grabbed the edge of the door and swung it closed.
“You wear Rowena’s Key.”
She froze…and then tentatively eased the door back open.

Here's are what reviewers are saying about Rowena's Key, Book One of The Golden Key Chronicles!

The first in The Golden Key Chronicles is an enchanting fairy tale for adults. If you're still in love with the Disney princes of your childhood and wish one would turn up in your bedroom late at night, you'll love Rowena's Key.

The Golden Key Chronicles Release Schedule:
Rowena’s Key:  November 7, 2013
Candra’s Freedom: December 12, 2013
Caedmon’s Curse: January 9, 2014
Braedric’s Bane: February 13, 2014
Bio: I am a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. My loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate my lunacy. While I spend most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed me the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.

Visit AJ at the following locations on the web:


To win a copy of AJ'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, November 1, 2013

Apology ,,,

We apologise for there being no Roast this week (again)  due to circumstances beyond our control!

We believe a stray  Halloween witch may have lost her way and put the hex on things!

Anyway, we hope you had a fun  and enjoyable Halloween  and we will be back next week when our own A.J. will be cooking up a storm.  so anything can happen! 

Our guest who should have been with us this week will be re-scheduled , so watch this space!