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, April 11, 2014

It's the Crime of the Century with Jo-Anne Myers!

It's a glorious day for another Author Roast and Toast with Jo-Anne Myers, and we're going to have an exhilarating and exhausting day filled with fun and adventure. The meeting spot is her favorite Ma and Pa restaurant in her town of Logan, rightly named The M & M family diner. There the hostesses meet Jo-Anne and stuff their faces with unlimited flapjacks, ham, bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy and cinnamon coffee cake - washing everything down with juices, coffee, teas, milk and hot cocoa.

From there, everyone piles into limousines for the short scenic ride to neighboring Vinton County, population, 13,435, and named after the 19th century U.S. congressman Samuel Finley Vinton. The county is abundant with deer, bobcats and coyotes, and is known for staying true to its hometown Appalachian traditions. Parades that run straight down Main Street and small-town festivals filled with fun for the entire family are as much a part of the life here as pizza parlors and ice cream shops that also deliver a hot meal. Fine dining and good, old-fashioned country cooking, are easy to find in these Appalachian foothills.

The tour begins at the Wayne National Forest where everyone fishes for lunch and is entertained by a local bluegrass band. While the chef prepares the catfish and blue gill they caught in the lake, along with salads, breads, homemade ice cream and all the keg beer one can drink, the hostesses visit the local historical attractions. Mt. Olive Bridge, erected in 1875 by Civil War veteran George Washington Pilcher, is one of five covered bridges the beautiful area of rolling hills offers. A hike to the Hope Furnace tour is next, one of 46 iron furnaces in the area known as the hanging rocking iron region which extended from northern Kentucky to Logan, Ohio.

Returning to the lake for a relaxing meal, the hostesses find Kenny G in full swing, who breaks from playing to beg Jo-Anne for an autograph and a photo. Her guests tell comical stories about her, like the time she accidently bought two of the same blouse at different stores or how she gets her work schedule wrong and shows up on her day off. Afterward, is an afternoon of rock rappelling and horseback riding. For the faint of heart, Vinton County also offers bird watching and Hummingbird feeding at the local Visitor Center.

One mile farther, is Lookout Rock. Legend has it a group of men coming to Moonville were surrounded by a pack of wolves. The men built a fire and took refuge on Lookout Rock all night, fearing attack. The Atkinson Fire Tower is next. Constructed in 1929, this fire lookout station is 1000 feet tall and gives a person a spectacular view of the surrounding hills. The last stop on the tour is the Lake Hope-Zaleski ceremonial mounds. More than 25 burial sites have been discovered in the Lake Hope-Zaleski area. They are believed to be erected by the prehistoric Adena people between 900BC and 200AD. The largest is 14 feet high and 80 feet in diameter at the base.

Exhausted, everyone returns to Ravenswood Castle, a medieval inspired Inn. They are greeted by eager staff members who whisk them off to our suites, each with an adjoining master bath. After a nice long soak in a hot tub scented with bath oils, they each enjoy a massage, manicure, pedicure and facial.

Jo-Anne dresses in a Dolce & Gabanna red beaded ankle-length gown with matching jacket, knowing the male guests will be sporting designer tuxedos by Emillio Pucci. She and the hostesses are lured into the massive dining room by the delectable aroma of baked ham and pineapples. Homegrown vegetables, breads and desserts, including cheesecake, pies, German chocolate cake with coconut and almond frosting, await them. The room is lavishly adorned with antique armor and other medieval décor, and stuffed deer, boar and bear heads stare down at them from the walls.

The gloved, uniformed servers dutifully stand by, waiting on their beck and call. White taper candles brighten the room and the soft sultry sounds of world-renowned Harrison Harp Orchestra play in the background. Each of the guests toast Jo-Anne with compliments of her great writing and painting abilities.

Drinks and coffee are served on the patio where the sensual sounds of pianist Evgeny Kissin cut through the cool air. After a quick change into jeans and boots, the hostesses accompany Jo-Anne for an evening stroll through the abandoned town of Moonville, a railroad station and loading place for timber and other products. Moonville is famous for two things: the Tunnel and the Moonville Ghost.

Constructed in the mid-1800s, the 100 yard Tunnel is the most isolated, desolate stretch of track on the B&O from St. Louis, Missouri to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Sound travels well in the tunnel, and when one of hostesses whisper from one end, their voice is heard all the way to the other side.

Spooky things have occurred at Moonville, but none compare to the story of the Moonville Ghost. A long time ago, a train supposedly struck a brakeman on a rainy, cold night. The man was drunk and swayed into the path of the oncoming locomotive. Folks claiming to have seen the ghost, say the lantern of the brakeman glimmers and waves as if to stop that train.

Holding tight to their lanterns, the hostesses dare one anther to walk the entire distance of the eerie dark tunnel, but only Jo-Anne is brave enough to complete the creepy task.

Afterward, everyone returns to the castle for the limousine ride back into town, but the fun doesn't end there. Everyone hits the bars into the wee hours of the morning, playing quarters, a drinking game with Tequila and Jack Daniels.

When dawn breaks, the hostesses wish one another farewell and go their separate ways to prepare for Jo-Anne's next roast and toast.

The Crime of the Century:

The residents of Rolling Hills, a hamlet in southeastern Ohio, were horrified when the dismembered bodies of two missing teens were pulled from the local river. Multiply suspects surfaced, but only one was railroaded, Richard Allan Lloyd, a known nudist and hothead.

What began as an evening stroll turned into what found only in horror films, and dubbed ‘the crime of the century’.  18 year old Babette, a voluptuous beauty contestant and horsewoman, and her 19 year old boyfriend Shane Shoemaker, a jealous and possessive unemployed printer, were last seen crossing a trestle bridge. Within fourteen days, their mutilated torsos and severed heads and limbs were unearthed, suggesting satanic cult activity.

With an investigation smeared with contradicting statements, and a botched crime scene, investigators built a flimsy case against Richard Lloyd. The three-week trial was based on police corruption and ineptitude, fairytale theories, and forensic mishandling.
This heinous crime shattered the sense of security for Rolling Hills, destroyed two families, and forever scarred the town. This story is a detailed account of finding justice for Babette and Shane, and of one man’s perseverance to gain his freedom from death row.

Excerpt: The Disappearance

            October 4, 1982, started out as an ordinary autumn evening, for this mined-out Appalachian region in southeastern Ohio. The sticky summer was gone. The ground was blanketed with gold and red leaves, and the last full moon before All Hallows’ Eve, was complete. A cosmic cycle said to stir passions in some, anger and rage in others.

“Beggars’ Night,” was just around the corner. Homes were elaborately decorated with Paper-Mache witches and goblins, as carved pumpkins of all sizes sat on porches and in yards, made even creepier with lit candles.

            Yes, it would have been an average evening, if not for two unnerving events. First, the arrival of the notorious motorcycle gang, The Devil's Disciples. The group frequented The Home Tavern, a sordid bar on the corner of Gallagher and Motherwell. According to police reports, having a thirst for alcohol, the bikers and their sweaty, leather-clad women produced numerous problems while in town. Calls from residents, concerning fistfights and disorderly conduct, flooded the police station. Locals reported spotting some members of the gang roaming the streets as the reports of vandalism kept the police busy.

            Originally the Depot Hotel, The Home Tavern, sat directly across the street from a twenty-five acre “infamous” cornfield. A common place for knife-fights, pot parties, and hanky panky from all ages. Running through the cornfield was the murky and meandering Hocking River.

            The second incident, involved sex, lies, lust, and murder as gunfire emanated from the opposite end of the cornfield. The sounds of shots echoing from the nearby cornfield was such a common sound that it caused them little concern.

            What shortly followed was a frantic search for two missing sweethearts, 19-year-old Shane Shoemaker, and 18-year-old Babette Lloyd. Chief White immediately posted an announcement in that day’s newspaper, stating the “public was invited” Lt. Phillipes was put in charge of that search party.

            The meeting sight was the old Kroger building on Round Street, near the home of Shane Shoemaker. At 4 pm., despite being a chilly and windy day, sixty to seventy people showed up for the search. Among the crowd, were Babette’s mother and stepfather, Nancy and Richard Lloyd, the local news team, deputy sheriffs, city police, and officers from the Masonville Vocational School.

             Attorney Jack Jones was also present. He now represented the Shoemaker family, who were out of town. He used this time to tighten the noose around the stepfather’s neck.

 What took place within a few hours became legendary for the close nit community.

            At 5:45 pm., Chief White used his walkie-talkie, to radio Lt. Phillipes, who stayed at the command post with Richard and Nancy. Only a few short words were needed.

“We found something, but we don’t know what it is,” said the chief.

            What searchers found . . . was unthinkable.

            Just 150 yards north of the railroad trestle spanning the Bottle Neck River, Sheriff Reynolds and one of his deputies reported “something entangled in debris,” near their small boat.
            The officers initially said they believed the object was an animal carcass. Once it was dislodged and floated down stream, they realized it was human. Both torsos were reportedly snagged against brush along the riverbank. Both torsos were nude and so badly decomposed, officers said they were unable to determine their sex.

            The remains were pulled to shore and coroner Rausch was summoned to the riverbank. Many searchers, upon leaving the crime scene, were overheard by reporters asking one another “Are the authorities looking for one killer or two?”

            After his initial examination of the bodies, the coroner said he was unable to rule on the cause of death. What he did say, was that if one man committed both murders, it was “during a great rage” and by someone with something “very personal” against one, or both, of the victims.

            The discovery of the bodies shocked and silenced the group of volunteers. Some remained silent, while others were seen conversing in hushed tones, telling reporters they “expected the search to turn up nothing.”
            When officers carried a body bag from the river, Lt. Phillipes approached Nancy and Richard, who he described as “the quiet couple.” He claimed Richard calmly asked, “Is it them?”
            Lt. Phillipes reluctantly admitted it was two individuals. He claimed Richard then asked, “Are they all chopped up?”

            Phillipes said he was shocked by that comment. He claimed when he asked Richard why he would ask such a thing, he said Richard claimed to be psychic. Phillipes said he was taken back by the man’s “strange statements and unemotional attitude” of the discovery of two murder victims. He said Richard then suggested officers should search the adjoining cornfield.

Note: All names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty.

JoAnne’s books along with her original canvas paintings, can be found at: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com
Contact JoAnne: joannetucker98@yahoo.com
Website: Books and Paintings by JoAnne

Order your copy of “The Crime of the Century” by JoAnne Myers HERE

Other books by JoAnne:
Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery
Wicked Intentions-a paranormal/mystery anthology
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Releases:
Loves, Myths, and Monsters- a fantasy anthology available April 24
Twisted Love-a biography true crime anthology available in May
Flagitious-a detective/mystery novella anthology

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)


  1. What an enjoyable and interesting trip you took us on, Jo-Anne, and your excerpt sounds like a real page turner!

    1. Every true crime story is a real page turner. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Love these tours, JoAnne. And congrats on yet another release!

    1. Thank you so much Lilly. I dont know what I will write about next. I think I'm having writers block. Thank you for your comments.

  3. Wow, great tour and that cheesecake!!! Yummm. Congrats JoAnne.

    1. Thank you Mackenzie. Your comments are appreciated.

  4. Mmmmmm I can't talk right now, I am stuffing my face. Where are the hot guys??

  5. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone!!

    1. DH won't stop talking. When I am trying to do something that uses my brain. Lord help me! Where is the off button??

    2. As long as it is a goodddddd feeling. Thank you for dropping by Mary.

  6. LOL, Get yourself a set of headphones and say when you're wearing them you can't hear a thing because you want to concentrate on your writing! :)

    1. If I wear headphones when I write, people could sneak up on me. LOL I'd have to whip some Judo on them. Keep the comments coming ladies.

  7. Or you could invite him to the party and he'll be so busy eating and drinking he won't be able to talk! ;)

    1. If you dont want him to talk, just tape his mouth shut. That works with my man.

  8. There's an app for everything except Husbands. lol!

    1. I thought the mans app was called DIVORCE. Just kidding.

  9. There aught to be an app for them. Or a thing to freeze him...

    1. I thought "I have a headache", and "I'm tired" was the freeze out for men.

  10. We lost our author!! I hope she is okay...we always worry when they don't show.

    1. Here I am ladies. I am never far away from readers. I hope you enjoyed my roast and toast, and my book. thank you all for joining me.

  11. Maybe zombies trapped her in the tunnel? Oh. Wait. That was The Walking Dead. This roast is for the Crime of the Century. Maybe we should start investigating? Oliver and I can partner up. lol!

    1. Zombies in Moonville Tunnel. I like that. A good idea for a book. See Lilly, you didnt waste your time here. You gave me a possible storyline.

  12. LOl Lilly, I think you might just have to join the queue! :)

    1. Thank you ladies for all the comments. I hope everyone enjoyed this roast, because I know I did. You all gave great comments. Hope to be back for more fun. Until next time. Goodbye and keep reading.

  13. Crime of the Century sounds like an outstanding read.


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