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, July 11, 2014

A Bloody Good Cruise with Diana Rubino and the Author Roast hostesses

“This place is amazing!” Melissa swings around and drops her luggage on the foot of her bed.

“Holey Moly,” Lilly exclaims. “A balcony too.”
“We are gonna have so much fun.” AJ uses her 'Precious' to click picture after picture. Her present object of intention, a bird shaped bath towel.

Mary grunts. “That life jacket weighed a ton; it would probably drown me faster than without it. But, those Italian cabin guys sure know how to charm a girl.” She sighs.
“That’s cause you like your butt pinched, I personally did not care for the pinching stuff.” Mac slides out of her sweater. “We were lucky to get rooms so close to one another.

“Says you. You don’t have to room with a snorer.” Lyn walks through the adjoining room door.

Mary sticks her tongue out at Lyn. “I don’t snore, I breathe heavy.”

 A loud blast of the boats horn signals the boat underway. The girls rush to the balcony waving and smiling to the people on shore. There are just a couple of people outside to celebrate getting underway; which they find rather odd. An Italian cruise ship on a beautiful day with no one out here sharing it. It seemed a bit odd to the girls. That and the large hats and heavy clothing, even gloves, that most of the people she’s seen wore. Lyn wonders if the Italians never heard of sun screen?

A bit later they sit in the posh dining area. “Wonder why there are so few people here?” Mac glances around the room. The normally blustering room is nearly empty save for a few tables.

“Yeah, kinda strange.” Melissa puts her fork down and mumbles. “This food tastes wonderful. spinach ravioli with marinara sauce, Risotto with green apple and champagne and to wash it down, Moscato Rubino red wine. That isn’t the problem."
“Pssssst.” Lilly looks around and shakes her head.

 “Pssssssst.” Mary notices the noise too and sees a spiffy dressed waiter behind a pillar near their table.

“Can I help you?” Mary asks.

Speaking so softly he can barely be heard he whispers. “This is a Vampire Cruise. They never eat here. If you want more lobster tails I got tons of them. Just let me know.” He disappears into the shadows.

 “That doesn’t surprise me.” Melissa grins. “Our author has written a vampire story after all. And this is the celebration cruise. No problem she promised me that they brought the best blood available with them. We should be safe.”

“Should be? You knew about this and didn’t tell us.” Lilly gasps.

“It’s okay ladies Diana is mortal too. If she feels safe so should we.” AJ shivers. “Besides, I brought garlic.”

Melissa, Lilly, Mac, and Lyn, all laugh nervously as they look around the room. At that moment Diana Rubino author of A Bloody Good Cruise walks in and approaches the girls.

“Any problems ladies?” She asks. “Let me assure you, you are perfectly safe here. Most of those on this trip are vampires. But, they live every day amongst us and you would never know. You have nothing to fear. Is there anything you want to ask, that might make you feel more comfortable, and less afraid here? Diana nods to each of them, with a huge smile and warm reassurance. “Any questions?”

“Can I  have a couple more lobsters please?” Mary asks…

Without more ado, let's find out more about Diana Rubino and her book 'A Bloody Good Cruise'.

A BLOODY GOOD CRUISE is a fun-filled blend of the vampire world and luxury cruises.

Romance author Mona is human. Ship’s doctor Fausto is a vampire. He can never be one of her kind, and she’s afraid to become one of his. As they sail the Mediterranean on a writers’ cruise, the couple is stalked by vampire hunters, and by Fausto’s notorious ex-wife, Lucrezia Borgia. Events force Mona and Fausto to team up with the hunters to capture Lucrezia, but where can they go from there?
With Fausto’s friend and Mona’s editor vamping it up and hunters on the loose, can this bloody good cruise have a happy ending?
Kindle link: www.amzn.com/B00ILXYAI6
Amazon Paperback link:
WRP  Paperback Link: Bit.ly/1k8Vlrs


 Mona forced a dose of cheer through her jangly nerves. Vampire hunters wouldn’t have the balls to attack Fausto and his friends on this ship. Security was tight. “Well, you’re here, so does that mean you’ve been going out, and aren’t confined to your house any more?”

Fausto shrugged. “Almost. I couldn’t wallow in self-pity forever. And I knew seeing you would make it worthwhile.”

She smiled and gave him a genuine Italian cheek pinch. “I’ll cheer you up, faccia bella, you can count on that. You must feel safe.” She gestured at the tacky duds. “I mean, relatively speaking.”

“Don’t let this scare you, but –” He glanced around over the rims of his shades. Uh-oh. Whenever he said “don’t let this scare you,” it scared her. “I got an ominous message at the doctor's office earlier.”

“What B” She swallowed a lump.

“What kind of ominous message?”

He looked away, shaking his head. “Nothing to get alarmed about. The hunters just want me to know they’re here. After the initial jolt wore off, I said, ‘okay, I’m being stalked again.’ But I’m used to it. It doesn’t make me constantly look over my shoulder like in the old days. My family’s murder gave me a reality check. If they want me, they’ll get me. I can’t let it interfere with my work, or what little leisure time I have here. And you shouldn’t either.” He gazed at her adoringly and cupped her cheek. His hand was surprisingly warm. “But you’re still scared. All the blood’s drained out of your face, and not in a good way.”


Romantic Times


Rating: 4 Stars

Don’t expect typical fang-sprouting bloodsuckers on this cruise. These vampires are Roman Catholic and they love garlic. An animated cast of characters populates a story that’s seductive and comical. It’s fun, frantic and fabulous. Board The Romanza and set sail on a high-seas adventure that promises a bloody good time.

Coffee Time Romance


Rating: 4 Cups

 From a hot tub of fun to a displeased ex-wife and a serial killer bent on revenge, A Bloody Good Cruise is a high seas adventure with twists and turns around every corner. The lively cast spins non-stop excitement with thrills and enough snags to keep the pages turning. Mona and Fausto are immersed in many complications, yet will do whatever it takes to make a go of their relationship. Diana Rubino crafts a good read with interesting players that never have a dull moment. Tessie is a wonderful secondary character that adds her own personality to this enchanting tale. --Cherokee, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Reviewed by Patricia of Patricia's Vampire Notes

Mona Rossi is a romance writer whose recent books haven't been selling like they used to. What to do? Perhaps a luxury cruise for romance writers. Mona knows she can easily put something like this together, and she does.

Being with so many talented writers is certain to give her ideas for a new dynamite series. Also a cruise will
be a way to have some fun time with Fausto, the special, gorgeous vampire guy in her life. It just so happens Fausto works as a ship's doctor for the cruise line. With this perfect setup what could go wrong? Plenty of course.

Vincent Irizarri
Alias Fausto
A band of vampire hunters have Fausto on their radar. This particularly nasty group, referred to by the vamps as Vampire Ball Busters, believe all such beings are the essence of evil and should be eradicated. To further complicate matters Fausto's former wife, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia, is onboard. She insists that their divorce was never legal therefore he should leave that human, Mona, and return to Italy to live with her, Lucrezia.

Many more complications arise in this lively, comic adventure-cum-romance. A fun treat for a lazy afternoon.

I'm a self-confessed history nut, my favorite eras being Medieval and Renaissance England, and all American history. I've written several novels set in England and the U.S., two time travel romances, a vampire romance, and a fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT which received a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I'm a longtime member of Romance Writers of America and the Richard III Society. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

To win a copy of Diana'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. Good Morning Diana and visitors. What a beautiful day for a cruise. Congratulations on you book Diana, wishing you many sales!

  2. Good morning, chickies. Congrats on your book, Diana, but oh Lord. Vampires! I think I'll start with a Bloody Mary to calm my nerves. I'm a bit of a weenie, you know. :-)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks so much for cruising here! Yeah, a Bloody Mary would be the perfect start to a cruise like this. I'm more of a weenie than you, so I take it w/o the vodka (or whatever poison is in it)! If I can give you a quick backstory here, I can honestly say I don't read a lot of vampire books. But I'm hooked on cruising. For this reason I thought to combine the two, and learn about vamps in the meantime. I read a ton of vamp novels including, of course, Dracula, and all the Anne Rice classics. I researched the history of vampires. I even watched the movie with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, but I wasn't so convinced Brad was the best actor for that role. I do know an actor who'd make the perfect vamp--Vincent Irizaarry, who played Dr. Hayward on All My Children. One look at him and you'll see what I mean. He doesn't even need fangs! I wanted my vamps to be Italian, so I set it in the Med, starting off the coast of Sicily, the scene of my very first cruise. But my vamps have their own characteristics--they're Roman Catholic, don't sleep in coffins, go out in daylight, and love garlilc. The basic theme is tolerance--as the vamps 'come out' to the world, they want to be accepted for who they are, and want to end the prejudice and stigma associated with vampires. The president even gets in on the act. Come back Sunday to win a copy of A Bloody Good Cruise. Cheers, Diana

  5. It's OK Mac - you're quite safe, this sounds like such an orginal vamp tale, love it!

  6. Looks like you all are having fun! Diana, your book sounds almost as good as Lilly's OUT OF THE DARKNESS and EMBRACE THE DARKNESS. Can't help plugging Lilly, she's my cuz! I SURE would like to read your's though, as soon as I get my new glasses in a few days so I can read without squinting. Missed the roast and toast author's and would love to go on this cruise, Lilly will protect me! LOL!
    rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

    1. Yeah, I'm afraid you'll need glasses--the publisher hasn't planned to do an audiobook! I'll have to check out Lilly's books, they sound great just from the titles.

  7. This cruise is gonna be the best ever. Maybe I'll ask to be turned into a vampire. How does that work? I could live forever and never have to diet!!! WOOHOO!
    And read Diana's books as long as she keeps writing!!

  8. Blogger must be possessed again. It ate my last two comments. So, here goes again! I love vampires who try posing as mortals. They are my favorite kind of vamps! And thanks for joining us on this cruise, Becky (Rebecca). We've missed you. :( Also, thanks for plugging my books. Maybe I should have invited Vincent and Gerard on this cruise, but they'd be such a distraction and I wanted to devote my time to Fausto and Mona. They sound like a "bloody" fun couple. lol!

  9. Hi Lilly, Mac and Mary *waves to sister hostesses*. And hi Rebecca, we've missed you too!

    1. Thanks,love hearing from you Hywela!

  10. Diana, I am looking forward to finding out more about Fausto and Mona and see if they are a "bloody" fun couple.

    1. Oh, yeah, they know how to have fun, but this cruise was a turning point in both their lives--not to mention the distraction from the "Vampire Ball Busters" who are hunting Fausto and his pals.

  11. A cruise is sounds fun. Have never been on one. Ohhhh look at the view. Mmm. The food looks and smells yummy. Your book sounds really good. Love the cover.
    Sue B

  12. Hi Sue - I've never been on a cruise before either! Such luxury! You're right, that's a really stunning cover. I wonder if the vamps are going to join us?

    1. I must give credit to my cover artist Dawne Dominique who does stunning work. I'll thank her for you!

  13. Don't call them out, Lyn! I don't care if they're fun. They're still vamps and I have a tasty neck! :-)

  14. LOL Mac - that's exactly what Fausto told me just now, although he admitted he didn't have first hand experience of your neck, just that it looked - inviting! :) I think he was only kdding, he's a lovely guy once you get to know him - that's what Diana says, anyway.

  15. If anyone wants to see what Fausto looks like please Google a pic of actor Vincent Irizarry--he IS Fausto!
    Meant to mention--I got the name from an Italian woman I met in 1983 named Fausta. It's such a cool name I had to use it in one of my books, so this is close enough.

  16. Oooooh! I think I'm bitten - er I mean smitten -er - *Lyn fans herself and grins in embarassment,* Wow! And he's sitting next to Diana now on the main post!

  17. Sorry I got lost had a crisis to handle.
    If I like my neck kissed does that mean I will enjoy being a vampire? I always wondered, just askin'. How does one get used to the same taste no new food?

  18. Kissed is one thing...BITTEN is another! :)
    Thanks for posting the pic of Vincent aka Fausto, Lyn!

  19. ou're welcome Diana - he's quite the hunk isn't he! ;)

    Ah a kiss on the neck is SOOOO romantic!

  20. Whoops - Blogger stole my 'y'!

  21. Well, at least if I like neck kisses, It's not too far a shot to be chewed on. Oh my, how to be taken out of the moment. My DH just asked me why Rosie O'Donnel has a wife, why ain't she the wife. Hmmmm. Thanks to ET on TV.
    Back to the semantics. There sure is something sexy and exciting about vampires. I like the nice ones. Didn't care for Tom Cruise's vampire. But, the other guy, what was his name. He was hot!!!

  22. I think we need an excerpt to get us more excited about this terrific book. Pass the lobster tails in the meantime if you would...

  23. There's an excerpt above. I'm not on my regular computer with the book on it, so I can't post another, or I would. Actually there may be one on my website www.dianarubino.com.

  24. Unfortunately the excerpt on your website is the same as the one above - there's nothing for it ladies - we're gonna have to buy the book!

  25. Oh, I'm sorry, ladies...I wish I had a copy of the book, I'd post another one...I did memorize one line that I've been tweeting... "All the blood has drained from your face, and not in a good way." I hope that'll entice you to want to read on....

  26. Already planned to get it. Was the blood drained by teeth?!
    Sleep well now and dream of your own vampire!! hehehe

  27. Yeah, there was some puncturing going on, not merely hickeys (love bites...)

  28. LOL!! Any lobster left??? Loved this party!


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.