Do you have something to celebrate? Whether it's a Birthday, New Release, or something else

Do you have something to celebrate? Whether it's a Birthday, New Release, or something else - Book your Celebration Roasting Bash now ! BUT FIRST PLEASE READ OLIVER'S RULES !

P
lease Note:
We don't do reviews or interviews. just virtual parties to promote your book!

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.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Karen Rock's Lakeside Party


The sun slides behind the green mountains of Vermont. In the distance and sends one last sparkle on the crisp waters of Lake Champlain. The localsfrom far and wide are arriving for the annual Pot Luck Dinner, sponsored for years by the local Knights of Columbus. People come from all of the Islands, North Hero, South Hero, Grand Isle, all to attend this wonderful occasion. Today an author with a history in Vermont is a very special guest…


“Hurry up Lyn, they need the casseroles set up with the side dishes.” Mary eyes the tables full of delectables. 

Shepherd's Pie, BBQ Ribs, Roasted Turkey, Scalloped Potatoes, Roasted Potatoes, Ambrosia Salad, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Creamed Onions, Green Bean Casserole, Deviled Eggs, Three Bean Salad, Pulled Pork, Homemade Biscuits, Corn on the Cob, Chicken and Biscuits, Bread Pudding, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Iced Chocolate Brownies, bread and butter pudding and lots and lots of Watermelon- just to name a few of the home made dishes in front of them. 

“Yeeeee-Haaaaaw! There is gonna be some eating tonight.” Mary swats Lilly on the butt and she falls into AJ knocking her precious phone out of her hands and down the hill towards the water. It comes to rest next to Mac, who answers its sudden ring.

“Hello.” Mac grins as she listens to the caller. She uses her long arms to hold AJ back. “Yes, she’s here Karen, phone!” Mac Yells to Karen Rock, clever author of the Camp Boyfriend series. Karen sits under a Weeping Willow tree and waves to the hosteses as she signs books for the long line of people arriving from the nearby camps. “After all she is the Hometown Girl isn’t she?” Mac smiles a cheeky grin at AJ. ”Can you imagine that?”

Mac cracks up laughing, unable to hold it in. “It’s Melissa, calling from inside. She knows how AJ feels about her phone. She teases AJ, ”Gottcha, and here.” She hands the phone back to AJ. As AJ snarls at her.

Lyn raises her eyebrows. “Behave now, I’m shocked it isn’t Mary causing the trouble today. Well ladies let’s welcome Karen. And tell Melissa to get out here. We’re about to start the party. 

His Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
his hometown girl
Blurb:
He'd always managed to best her…Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

You can add His Hometown Girl to your to-read list on Goodreads.

EXCERPT
At last, off they went with a jerk that made her teeth knock together. 

Wow. The thrum of the machine beneath her and the sense of control as she steered 
filled her with a rush of adrenaline. It’d been such a long time since she’d driven a 
tractor, and the thrill of it returned to her. The wind whipped her hair behind her, carrying 
away her fear. Tyler’s screeching echoed her own elation and the air she breathed smelled 
slightly sweet, like growing things. 

When she looked over her shoulder, Sue waved and Daniel jogged beside them. When 
they rounded the last barn and headed out into lush, open fields, Tyler squealed and she 
wanted to join him. She hadn’t been surrounded by this much unbroken greenery in a 
long time. Even when she spoke with farmers, she met them in their homes, not on their 
fields. Perhaps she should have followed up on Midland’s purchases and seen the 
improvements they’d made as Daniel had suggested. She’d actually missed this. When 
she returned to Aunt Grace’s house, she would set up an appointment with a company 
farm and bring Daniel as promised. 

Daniel disappeared for a moment and she thought they’d left him behind until she felt 
the tractor dip in back and his voice whisper in her ear. 

“So far so good.” 

She shivered in awareness of his proximity as he balanced behind them on the storage 
box. His fingers rested on her shoulders as he stood to his full height. 
Jodi peeked up at him and took in the handsome picture he made. Beltless, low-slung 
jeans rode on his narrow hips and a thin T-shirt stretched across his well-defined chest. 
From this angle, his jaw looked more square than ever, his muscular neck rising from 
broad shoulders. The bright blue sky behind him contrasted with his dark hair and hazel 
eyes. 

Another bone-jarring mud hole made Tyler flap his hands and Jodi return her eyes to 
the straightaway. And that’s when she saw them… 

Strawberries. 

The sun-kissed rows of plants stretched to a distant tree line, the berries so blood-ripe, 
so rich and lovely, that the invitation to pluck and sink her teeth into them was 
irresistible. How long since she’d gathered fruit? Delight filled her. 

“The local schools and families have picked most of the fields, but this section is 
unharvested,” he hollered over the engine’s roar. 

“Okay.” She slowed the machine, feeling shaky but victorious when it rolled to a stop. 
Since her father’s accident, she’d avoided machinery like this. Now she’d conquered it, 
and a feeling of lightness grew within her. 

Daniel jumped off and held out a hand, his eyes dancing. The sun brought out the 
lighter brown in his hair and made the yellow flecks in his eyes shine like gold beneath 
thick lashes. “Ready?” 

More than, she thought, her excitement hard to contain. She wanted to rush through the 
rows of plants, trailing her fingers along the crinkly leaves, inhaling the earthy goodness. 
Her hands fumbled to take out Tyler’s earplugs before she undid the buckle and handed 
him to Daniel. He held the wiggling boy with one hand and extended another to help her 
down. 

“Thank you. Oh.” An idea pulled her up short when her heels sunk into the ground. 
“What will we put the berries in?” 


You can buy His Hometown Girl here:
- Amazon U.K. (Print and Kindle
- B&N
- eHarlequin (Print Book)

About the Author:
karenKaren Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. Since then, her first Harlequin, WISH ME TOMORROW came out in September, 2013 and her next novel HIS HOMETOWN GIRL comes out in March, 2014 with three more releases expected this year.

When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 . She’d love to hear from you!

You can find Karen here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Pinterest
His Hometown Girl Grand Prize


***GIVEAWAY***
To win a copy of Karen'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)

55 comments:

  1. Hello, everyone! I'm Karen Rock, the wildly self-absorbed woman signing books while her friends put on a fabulous potluck in the earlier anecdote;) I've been to more potlucks than I can remember growing up with farms, and while a cell phone disaster wasn't one that I witnessed, an entire pan of scalloped potatoes, dumped on the VFW Hall floor was. SCANDAL. Especially as it was a rival cook, Nancy, who'd been campaigning to bring her own scalloped potatoes to the community potlucks on the flimsy pretext that hers included cheese- HAH! We Yankees are very slow to change and tradition minded. If Martha always brought the scalloped potatoes than Nancy would have to wait her turn (in other words- when Martha made that final trip to the great bakery in the sky) We are close-mouthed, hide our emotions (do we have them?!) slow to argue, and can be full of pithy little sayings like, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    Farmers, primarily dairy, have passed their family businesses down from generations, many for several hundred years. Yet it's a dying way of life as corporate farming businesses sweep in with lots of cash to buy up private land and create mega farms with thousands of cows. In this book, I captured the last gasp of this magical way of life. It's one in which neighbors care about neighbors, where the only boss is yourself, where a family lives off the fruits of its own labors, and children grown up more wild than domesticated- learning to drive tractor by age 10, herd cows before then. If you've ever read "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series, its a true story of her husband, Almanzo Wilder and his experiences growing up near my own home town, Malone, New York. It always struck me when I read that book how little really has changed in Malone. Technology might have improved, but thankfully the warm-hearted, strong, giving people have not. I was thrilled to capture that world in HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, as well as create a heroine raising a special needs child. Jodi, like my sister Cathy, has an autistic child and to me, there is no better example of incredible parenting and love that the relationship between a mother and a child with challenges. I'm excited to take your questions today about anything that comes to mind! Fire away :) I'll be popping in and out to answer them.

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  2. Good morning, Karen, and welcome to your roast. As a transplanted New Englander, I smiled through your descriptions of the fertile fields of the NE and the simple people who tend them, and got all caught up in memories of a much simpler life. What a lovely way to greet the new day.

    Of course, I sighed over that sexy pic of Oliver too. :-)

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    1. Ooooh! That was a sigh-worthy pic, Mackenzie :) NE farm country is a simple life with a nostalgic sweetness I hope never completely disappears. In the book I tried to give my farmers options- join a co-op in which they'd produce organic products from ethically treated animals, retire with dignity (and cash) by selling to the agri-business, or continue operating their farm independently. But it's the most realistic version I can provide given today's changing landscape. I at least hope the potluck suppers don't change! Green Bean Casserole with those crunchy onions on top is my favorite :) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

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  3. as a foodie I love trying new recipes and this is one I will add to my list. If you have the recipe for mac n cheese or creamy mashed potatoes, I will trade you a Yorkshire pud one. With love Manda. mrsajward@hotmail.com

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    1. Done, Manda! Emailing now :)

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    2. Excuse my cooking ignorance (I have to dust my over before use) but what the heck IS Yorkshire pudding? That's not like Spotted Dick, is it?

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  4. I cant wait to read His hometown girl, the excertp was awesome. I read Wish me tomorrow and I loved, it made me cry so many times. I also read Camp boyfriend and it was great. The pictures are great but now I am hungry so I have to go :) Bye *waves*

    ladyinblack20@gmail.com

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    1. LOL- hi, Lea! *waves back* It's almost lunch time here too :) Hope you're polishing off the last of the Easter candy the way I plan to! Thanks so much for the compliment on Wish Me Tomorrow!

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  5. Great scenery & delicious food are a perfect combination! I look forward to reading His Hometown Girl! Love your books, Karen!

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    1. Hi, Maria! Agreed that the combination of beautiful scenery and great food can't be beat. I think that's why I love hiking/camping so much :) I'm excited for you to read HIS HOMETOWN GIRL too!

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  6. Hi Karen, hi sister hostesses! *Hugs all round*. Sorry to be late for the party, I had a visitor and got delayed! Mary's often told me how lovely Vermont is and I can see exactly what she means!

    What a great excerpt, Karen, it sounds like a lovely, heartwarming read!

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    1. Thank you so much for hosting me, Lyn! I feel right at home :) Vermont is a four season beauty and except for the long winters, it's a great place to live!

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  7. LOVED Jody's story! Kind of obsessed with smell of fresh fruit now because of it. :-)

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    1. Yum! Love fruit salad, especially when it's cut up and mixed overnight then poured into a hollowed out watermelon

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  8. Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much for coming to Karen's party, help yourself to refreshments!

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  9. I am looking forward to delve into these new stories. Thank you for this opportunity Karen. I read the comments above and at first was confused. By NE, I thought u meant Nebraska, here where I live. Sounded somewhat familiar, you mentioned milking cows is/was prominent there, butchering cows is here the same with corporate farmers :(. I come from ND and it is the same. Thankfully, organic farming is growing here and making it possible for the family farmer/rancher to still be competitive.

    The small towns are pretty much what small communities have always been. Everyobe knows everyones business, neighbor helps neighbor, many times generations have been in the same community. People know who is who in your family history and what they did is common knowledge, ect. The blessings (of which there are many) and the curses are prominent. It really is a small world and simularities are broad and traditions precious.

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    1. Peni you nailed it! That is exactly the world I grew up in and I used so many actual people, places and events to inspire a lot of the story. My mother-in-law was thrilled that I used her maiden name - Drollette and her first name, Bernice who was- of course- famous for her cooking :)

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  10. Sorry to be late, internet gods are plaguing me!
    I was born in Burlington and spent every summer on the lake on Keeler's Bay in South Hero, I so miss home. Welcome to your party and don't forget to use the buttons to remind everyone on twitter etc. What, why didn't anyone tell me I have sauce on my face??No wonder Lyn has been laughing at me!

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  11. They used to tell us Vt had more cows then people. Wonder if that's still true??

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    1. Lol- I think that's still true, Mary! How neat that you were born here. You'll recognize so much of the landscape and traditions :)

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  12. My homeland of Wales has more sheep than people! :)

    LOL Mary, you look so cute with that sauce on your face!

    Hi Peni Anne - I love small communities too. Everyone is so much friendlier than in big towns or cities. I'm a country gal and always will be!

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. I'm a small town girl stuck in Metropolis! Used to a place to walk in the woods wherever I lived. Even if it took a drive to get there. At least NYC has central Park. Florida has no forests and conifers like Vermont. Mostly palms and things that survive in the sub-tropics. Weirdest scrub land type woods, though I don't know if I can honestly call them woods. Sandy and lots of snakes!!! No shade, gators, big snakes people let go. Ugh! People love the beach here in West Palm, but you have to take a can of shout with you to get the grease from tar balls off your feet. So sad that barges dump their bilges and it floats to shore. So I sorely miss Vermont even a month of snow!

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    1. We have so much in common! My father lives in West Palm Beach now. He loves it, but I notice he spends almost as much time North with his girls (there are three of us :) My first book, WISH ME TOMORROW was set in SoHo and I used a lot of the parks there- dog parks, Washington Square Park (where international chess champions and locals compete and musicians flock) and so on because, like you, I need the outdoors!!

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  15. Oh snow is beautiful, and it would be worth it to live somwhere like Vermont. I feel the same way about Wales, of course. We didn't get any snow where we live this year, but had rain all over the UK. Lots and lots and lots of ran!

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    1. Snow is pretty until around mid February... then it starts to get dingy and grey and everyone is ready for color! I love rain, but not for days and days- but a good thunderstorm now and then... that's fun! My dog, Lizzie, however, thinks it's the apocalypse- poor thing!

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    2. My dog Bouncer hates the rain too! We only get snow for a few weeks at a time usually over here - the rain seemed to go on for ever this winter!

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  16. I was lucky to win a complimentary copy of His Hometown Girl and I loved it:)

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    1. Hi Cathy!! Thanks so much :) I'm thinking you might like Wish Me Tomorrow. I really love that story!

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  17. Hi Cathy, welcome to the Roast! I'm so glad you enjoyed Karen's 'Hometown Girl' I must read it myself, it sounds great. I know she'll be thrilled to hear you liked it so much,

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    1. I am thrilled! And yes, Lyn- you must read it- lol.

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  18. My dogs have never seen snow. But, I bet they'd love it. It's hardest around the holidays. 85 degrees does not say HoHoHo, Merry Christmas, it says Labor Day!
    No cozy fires, no lush vegetable gardens, unless you like the winter tomatoes from here. They are tasteless and no matter how many times I plant in containers, or the ground, they just are not as sweet and tasty!
    I miss the sunsets on the Lake, where colors go from yellow, to orange, to crimson, reds and even pink. That feeling is home for me. I can't see the sun set here, it's flat as a pancake. No Northern lights, no fireflies, but gallon dipper bloodsucking mosquitoes!
    There's no place like home, there's no place like home...not working, could be the shoes?

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    1. Sunsets on Lake Champlain or gorgeous! Especially when you are docked and on your boat... and getting eaten by swarms of mosquitoes - lol

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  19. Bouncer is Lyn's incredible dog. A lover at heart he is blind, but sees his way around with no problem. The best thing though is her horses. One is a Welsh Cob and the other is?? Prettier then the rugged loveable Cob, and a paint.Is there Arab in her? See if I lived in Vt, I'd have a horse. Sigh.Wow...Lyn, you lucky dog!

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  20. Oh, I forgot to mention, my first book has an autistic character, which I used my beautiful niece as a model for. She is, unfortunately, very out of this world, so sad. If only they had taught her more words, instead of wasting their time trying to teach her to add, or job training. The poor thing needed more speech therapy, she can barely communicate. It's so sad for my poor sister. I have to go buy your book now!!!

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    1. I can't get over how many things we have in common! I wish your niece could be able to communicate. It must be so frustrating to her. Has your sister looked into those devices that speaks what the child types? Abbie (my niece) is very vocal. Her main issues are impulse control. She acts out then is sorry for the damage she'd inflicted. It's so hard on my sister, and on Abbie.

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  21. T'pau is a Welsh crossed with an American Quarterhorse Mary. All the Welsh breeds are descended from Arabians, so she and Harri both have pretty heads with large, wideset eyes, Harri's heavier than T'pau, being a cob, but he's a handsome lad - I wish I could bring him to the party to give the guests rides, he's so gentle and kind, whereas T'pau is feisty and has 'attitude', bless her. Bouncer is at my feet at the moment, sleeping as I type.

    What a pity about your autistic niece, Mary, but she's lucky to have a lovely aunt like you to look out for her.

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  22. His Hometown Girl sounds wonderful and delicious, like fresh-picked strawberries!

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  23. Hi Alexa, what a delightful comment, so glad you were able to come to Karen's virtual party!

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  24. I must say that I love the description of Daniel. Dark hair and hazel eyes, a gentleman, and a country backdrop makes me wish for a country boy. Sounds sweet, romantic, and just my kind of read.

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    1. Forgot my email: samanthamarie.stambaugh@gmail.com
      Thanks!

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    2. Samantha, he is the perfect country 'boy'- who is definitely all man :) I nearly fell for him myself when writing the character! I love a strong guy with a big heart and that's Daniel. He's exactly the person Jodi and Tyler deserve to have in their lives.

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  25. Nothing like a New Englander to light a girls fire! Nite all,see you tomorrow.

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  26. Nite, Mary :) It's been great chatting with you.

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  27. I would love to have a sign copy, those recipes sound and look so yummmm
    humormyway@aol.com

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    1. Hi, Cyn! Those recipes are some of my favorites and always mean summer to me :)

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  28. I would love to win and read your book :)

    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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    1. Lyn stretches and blinks in the light of the early morning sun Oh dear, I must have fallen asleep, lulled into slumber by the gentle slapping of the waves against the shore of the lake. Good morning everyone! Karen, Daniel does sound like such a lovely hero. Isn't it fantastic when one falls in love with ones character like that! Good Morning Samantha, Cyn and Danie. Good Luck in the draw for Karen's book.

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    2. Thank you so much, Danie! I would love for you to read it :)

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  29. Congratulations, Samantha Marie! You are the winner of my giveaway! I'll be emailing you shortly :) And thank you so much to everyone that stopped by to say hello :) It felt like home- full of caring, warm people. Have a lovely weekend and I hope you will all have a chance to check out my book. Thank you.

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  30. Have a great weekend yourself Karen, thanks for letting us host your party and wishing you many, many sales!

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  31. Oh my. Now I want some strawberries! Sounds like a great read, Karen. Good luck with it!

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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.

AUTHOR ROAST AND TOAST

AUTHOR ROAST AND TOAST
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