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, November 28, 2014

Diane O'Key's early Christmas party to celebrate her latest release 'Beyond Words'

Snow steadily falls outside the cabin windows, covering the rich autumn colours of the trees and earth with a dusting of white.

“Oh, this is magic.” LaVerne peels off her puffer jacket and stands in front of the blazing fire. “I’ve always wanted to experience a white Christmas! Usually I’m smothering myself in sunblock.”

“Move over.” Lilly bumps the excited hostess with her bottom, sending her flying. “Share the heat. I’m freezing!”

“Whoa!” With an expert manoeuvre, Mac raises a tray of delicious-looking drinks over her head as the human missile barrels past, landing safely in Mary’s cushiony bosom. Mac rolls her eyes and lowers the tray, a smug smile spreading over her face as she inspects for damage. “Not a drop spilled. Here ladies, help yourselves. Oliver has been busy creating. We’ve got sweet tea, hot chocolate with whipped cream, or for those wanting to be warmed from the inside out, hot mulled cider and Bailey’s coffee. Just leave me a cider would you?”

They all take a drink and Mac places the tray on coffee table before grabbing herself the lone cider left over.

“I hope Lyn gets here soon.” Mary smoothes her shirt back over the girls, tucking her chin and glancing down checking everything was in order. “I’m dying to meet Diane O’Key.”

Lilly snorts and raises her own glass to her lips. “Don’t you mean Trey Dalton? You know he’s taken right?”

“Of course and Abby is a sweetie, but there’s no harm in looking, is there?”

“None at all,” Mac agrees and then squeals with delight. “They’re here! Oliver!” The handsome butler appears in the kitchen doorway. “Could you start putting the food out now?”

He flashes her a smile and a wink and all the hostesses pause to watch his departing back and sigh in unison.

Lyn opens the door and stamps off snow from her shoes before entering.


“Oh!” LaVerne grips the back of an overstuffed couch and sways theatrically. “Anyone feel that? I thought it was an earthquake.”

“Ha, ha, very funny,” Lyn scowls and enters the cabin. “My feet are not that big. I don’t know where you ladies get that idea from.” Three gorgeous looking people come in behind her and her scowl transforms into a delighted smile. “Ladies, please welcome Diane, Abby and Trey. They’re very excited to be celebrating the release of their story Beyond Words with you this weekend. I got a sneak peek of it just now and I know you’re all going to love it as much as I did.”

The room fills with a chorus of welcome and excitement.



Oliver steps up to take everyone’s coats and ushers them towards the table where a feast for the eyes sits waiting for them. A golden turkey takes centre-stage adorned by bowls of creamy mashed potatoes, green beans, glazed carrots, creamed onions and macaroni and cheese casserole. Antipasto platters of meats, cheese and olives sit at either end of the table for easy pickings and mouth-watering relishes stand by to complement the meat at the diner’s discretion. Oliver hasn't forgotten cheese grits for Abby and Danish pastries, either!


As they all gather around the table, Oliver filled everyone’s glasses of the finest champagne and Lyn raises her glass to lead the toast.

“Here is to great food, fantastic company and wonderful reading. Congratulations on bringing your fabulous story to life, Diane!


(This week's introductory 'skit' was written by LaVerne)




BEYOND WORDS


BLURB

THE LAST THING ABBY MATHIESON WANTS…

is a take-care-of-the-business-end partner. Emotional and financial demons spur her dream of self-reliance and her vow to continue her aunt’s legacy, Beyond Words, a Blue Ridge Mountains book-and-gift shop.

IS WHAT SHE MOST NEEDS…
Trey Dalton, sexy CPA with a heart of gold and a backbone of steel, wants nothing more than to return to his home in warm, sunny Florida. But he made a deathbed promise to ensure Abby succeeds…whatever it takes.

Conflict and sexual tension ramp up as they wrangle over the shop and deal with Abby’s quirky best friend and the incorrigible resident parrot. Abby’s sworn to trust no man, but Trey has her tangled up worse than knotted fishing line. If she can’t overcome her insecurities before he unravels her finances and leaves town forever, her precious independence will cost her a love Beyond Words.

 EXCERPT
“Ready to call it a day?” Trey asked.

            “And then some.” Abby yawned hugely behind her hand.

            “I’ll walk you to your car.”

             “I don’t have a car.”

            Trey frowned. “Don’t— How do you get here?”
            “Ever heard of feet?”

            He looked as if she’d used a foul word. 
“But…I mean, everybody…”

            She took pity on him. “Before you dig yourself a bigger hole, pardner, I own a car. But home’s only half a mile. I enjoy the walk.”
 
            His expression hardened. “You’re walking. At this hour.”

            “Why not?” Geez, what was the big deal?

            “It’s not safe. Dark. You’ll be alone.”

            “I do it all the time. Wear a luminous-striped vest.” She sniffed. “And I’m used to being alone.”

            His eyes flashed, part anger, part something softer, quickly gone. “Well, tonight you’re not walking anywhere except to my truck.”

            “You don’t have —”

            “Yeah, I do. Don’t argue. I’m too tired to go another round with you.”

            How had she missed that? His handsome face looked drawn under its golden tan, his winter-gray eyes weary. 

            “I’ll get my jacket.”

            Trey swiped up his keys. “Meet you out front.”

            Once she’d hooked her seatbelt, Abby flipped down the vent. 

            “Too much?” He notched the fan to low. “Sorry, I’m not used to cold.”

            Cold? He hadn’t seen anything yet. But then, he wouldn’t hang around long enough….

            All light vanished beneath overhanging trees when he turned off the main street. High
beams on, hands white-knuckled, he slowed on the serpentine, uphill climb. Yup, Abby thought,
a Flatlander, for sure.

            “I’ll walk you up.”

            “No need.” What she needed, now, was to escape. Before she did something stupid. Like sink her hands into that silky, sun-bleached hair and find out if he tasted as good as he looked.

Buy at
Contact:
@DianeOKey


Diane O’Key can’t ever remember not reading—or writing, for that matter. By the end of eighth grade, she’d written numerous poems and short stories and won an award for having read over 500 books grades 1 through 8. Her lifelong love of storytelling, classical literature, and history—inspired by incredible and demanding teachers—propelled her into a 22-year secondary language arts teaching career, in which her students and colleagues immeasurably enriched her life...though one of her great points of pride—and greatest fears—is that they remember her as OCD about grammar, spelling, and syntax....

Raised on the Jersey Shore, she discovered a deep love of theater (for which she won several awards) and gymnastics in high school. Aided by scholarships and loans, she worked her way through Georgian Court University, and upon graduation with honors and 42 English literature credits, taught high school in Pt. Pleasant and Pt. Pleasant Beach.

Then, she and her high-school sweetheart, now husband, moved to Southwest Florida, where she continued to teach. Married for 40 years, she and her better-half, a retired firefighter, have one grown son, a talented airbrush artist, and divide their time between we-love-winters-in Florida (though they’re there—at least for now—most of the year) and their beloved South Carolina Upstate lake home as often as they can get away.

Her interests include making custom jewelry and bookmarks, snow skiing, baking, and anything to do with the water. A member of SW Florida Romance Writers and RWA for eighteen years, she has two wonderful, multi-published authors as critique partners: the self-dubbed Three Musketeers. Diane writes medieval historical romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense.

Writing as she does “in the mist,” without absolute direction or outlines, is both a challenge and a joy. She delights in those moments when the characters pop full-blown into her head, carrying on a conversation. As that pop is rarely the first chapter, however, the struggle begins to write from that point-first backward, then forward. Keeps her awake at night...and life interesting.





***GIVEAWAY***

Prizes: Abby wants to send you something from her Blue Ridge Mts. book-and-gift/local craft shop, Beyond Words. Really--a custom-made necklace!
             Trey wants to send you something he and Abby purchased while on their Sanibel Island/SW Florida Gulf Coast honeymoon. Really--purchased on Sanibel Island, FL!

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)

71 comments:

  1. Good morning Diane, welcome to our Roast. Love the excerpt,

    Happy Thanksgiving and congratulations on your release.

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  2. Thanks so much for hosting the party for me today! Love the pictures...and the food and drink look scrumptious. Appreciate all your hard work--and thanks to you, too, Oliver :-) Nice to have someone else cooking today
    Abby's loving every minute of the chilly season. Trey's just glad to be in out of the cold and warming himself by the fire...pastry in hand, of course LOL

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  3. Everything is delisicious as usual, including Trey, but would someone please tell LaVerne to share the fire!

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  4. Thanks so much for stopping by to enjoy the food and fire, Lilly. Love the Trey comment; he is delicious (but I'm biased :-)) OK, LaVerne, you heard the woman... Scoot over LOL

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  5. Hi Diane, Lots of luck on your new book. I wish you many sales!!
    Marianne

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marianne. Here's hoping Glad you stopped by to join the party :-)

      Delete
  6. Oh, Diane and everyone else: I think hanging out at your party today sounds lovely...it's just kind of dreary here. So maybe I should drag out some Christmas decorations, huh? Happy Book Launch!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry it's a dreary day for you, Teri Anne. Chilly here but sunny. Yeah, time of year for those decorations :-) Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope a few minutes at the party brightened your day!

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  7. This book sounds like a really enjoyable read, Diane. Love that Trey is the one shivering in the cold. I have one of those, too! Can't wait to dive into this story.
    Happy Holidays and Book Launch.
    Jeri Black

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    Replies
    1. So appreciate you stopping by, Jeri (Lynn) :-) Yeah, thought I'd let him shiver a bit before sitting him in front of the fire
      Thanks for the encouragement! So hope you enjoy the book!

      Delete
  8. I'm definitely geting in the mood to decorate Terri. So lets break out those holiday boxes and the spiked eggnog!

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  9. Oops! No comma between decorate and Terri makes it sound as if I want string her up with lights. Might be a fun thing for her to do with her own personal hero, but I was actually talking about decorating my house. Lol!

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    Replies
    1. LOL, Lilly! See, who says commas aren't important? Teri might enjoy being decorated, though I think she'd prefer your suggestion re: her own personal hero :-)

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  10. What a great day for a party! I have just been busy changing my Thanksgiving table setting to my Christmas table so Christmas is definitely in the air around here.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Glad you came to the party, Melanie. Hope you enjoyed :-) I'm with you on the shifting gears from Thanksgiving to Christmas...though how time moves sooo quickly, I don't know. Bring on Christmas--love this season!

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  11. \loll Lilly! Those pesky commas! :) Hi Terr Anne, Marianne and Jeri ^waves* come and join us at the fireside (if Lilly would just shift up a bit more) Oliver will be round with the refreshments in a moment!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Oliver. Just a latte for now, please. Thinkin' I'll be looking for some of that mulled cider later, though :-)

      Delete
  12. Nice party - that lemon cream pie looks scrumptious! As for the excerpt from Beyond Words, Diane, I really enjoyed it. I'm going to buy Beyond Words. (I like that title, too.) Congrats on your new release!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you're here, Mairi! Really hope you enjoy the book :-) Went through a couple title changes before this one came to me...and I like it, too (surprise!). Fits both the book/gift shop and Trey and Abby's relationship, I hope.Thanks for your support and encouragement.

      Delete
  13. Hi Melanie and Mairi. Welcome to the party. Do dig in to the refreshments while we celebrate the launch of 'Beyond words' doesn't it sound like a really great read! I'm drooling over Trey already!

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    1. So glad to have such wonderful company :-) Gotta say I did drool while writing Trey LOL Picture Matthew McConnaghey (sp?) with sun-streaked, razor-cut hair. YUM

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  14. sorry I'm late. While I still have service I just want to say, welcome to your roast Diane and I love that excerpt!

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  15. quick, someone hand me a drink before I lose my G's! :-)

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  16. Thanks so much for joining the party, Mac! And you're not late. Hope your service is still up :-) Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. It's a condensed version of the actual scene in the book...which is more detailed and sexually tense. OK, Mac needs a drink--(So do I, but it'll have to wait 'til later LOL) Bring it on, Oliver!

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  17. I am so sorry to be late, there was a fire down the street and had no electricity!
    No one was hurt, and it was just a small thing. Whew! Now what did I miss. Whats the best drink you have today? I want to be daring today. I don't drink, so it can't taste too alcoholy. Any ideas? How do you like my coining a new word? Alcoholy, it works for me... LOL Diane I love Christmas stories. Lyn get your foot off my toes before I'm crippled!

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    1. Oh, Mary, sounds like you've had a day--Yikes! Thanks so much for stopping by; love your sense of humor! I'd suggest you have bicep-flexing/winking Oliver deliver either a chocolate martini or (if you like coffee) an espresso martini. I'm not too 'alcoholy' either, but these are delish!! With you on 'love Christmas stories'--and as mine's set in the NC mountains...well, there ya go! Had a place there for 3 years, now in Upstate SC, but nothing compares to autumn or spring in the mountains. Gorgeous... Hope Lyn's removed her foot from your toes by now LOL

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  18. Hi Mac - hi Mary. Hey I'm glad no-one was hurt in that fire, Mary. What do'you mean I'm on your toes? I'm surprised you can even see your toes with all that architecture in front of you, you call your chest! LOL

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    1. This is great! You ladies are so much fun :-)

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    2. While I was enjoying your banter, forgot to add how glad I am no one was hurt in the fire. My husband's a retired firefighter, so I know firsthand how dangerous they can be. Some of his stories made my hair stand on end. Glad all's well (considering).

      Delete
  19. Sounds so good, Diane! It's almost next on my list...

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    1. Hi, Kerryn, wonderful to see your smiling face :-) Truly hope you enjoy the book.Very different from my historical--surprise! Thanks for stopping by...and I understand that long list of TBR's. Yikes, right?!
      Make sure you grab something to eat and drink while you're here. Enough leftovers from yesterday LOL

      Delete
  20. Jealousy is not becoming Lyn, LOL I can't miss those cruise ships that hold you up!
    So, which guy here is the really hunkiest??

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    Replies
    1. Grin...again. Hunkiest? Trey, of course! :-)

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  21. But he's taken! Has he any hot friends???

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  22. His CPA business partner's available... Guess he's hot if you like your men tall, lean, and rugged :-)

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    1. Actually...that description also fits Gabe, local pottery artisan in BEYOND WORDS. Thinking he'll be the hero in a novella I'm plotting...a tie-in. Not 'pretty' like Trey, but very rugged and appealing in his own way--I hope! And I'm really fond of Mellie, Abby's best friend, so I'd like to visit with her again. She always makes me smile :-)

      Delete
    2. Squeeee!!! I love me some rugged men. Sign me up for that novella too, Diane :)

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    3. Thanks, LaVerne, rugged works for me, too! But you'll meet Gabe in BEYOND WORDS, in-depth, hopefully in the novella. Think I've committed myself to writing it now, for sure...
      Just to let you know: I'll get back to you in a bit, ladies. Have to shower...company coming. Don't give up on me. So appreciate all of you joining us today! I shall return, promise...thanks for your patience!!

      Delete
  23. Turkey the day after Thanksgiving? Come on, ladies… Book sounds great, Diane. Happy and numerous sales!

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    1. Hi Andrea. Some of us just can't get enough turkey! :)

      Delete
    2. Well, we were thinking Christmas, 4 weeks from now :-) More leftovers tomorrow, though!
      Thanks so much for stopping by, Andrea (and for standing in for me, Hywela). cool Welsh name, BTW. Appreciate your good wishes. Love your books, as you know. Happy trails :-)

      Delete
  24. Hi Everyone! I see the party is in full swing. It's so warm in here! The fire is all yours, Lilly and Mary - I spy Trey *without* Abby for a moment, so I'm going to go and bask in his gorgeousness :)

    How about sharing another excerpt, Diane? That first one makes me want to read more!

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    Replies
    1. Oh boy, that's the only one I have ready right now, LaVerne...though I love that you want to read more! OK, wait... Condensing another scene, this one in Trey's POV the morning after he's met Abby. And be blasted out of sleep by a rooster. He's so not a cold weather country guy! Remembering the night before after he 'saved her bacon' as it were... Hope it makes sense in that context:

      While she'd softened a bit last night, gratitude tended to be fleeting.She'd made it clear his presence wasn't welcome. Unfortunately, the truth didn't diminish his attraction to her lick-your-lips beauty, that firm, curvy body, those go-on-forever legs. An attraction that went beyond the physical. Beneath that thorny exterior he sensed loneliness, sadness, a damaged soul whose vulnerability tugged at his heart. Trey jerked his mind back from dangerous territory.
      As rays of molten fire speared a cloudless azure sky, he focused on the view. Vivid. Pristine.
      He touched his fingers to the window. Cold.
      Movement below drew his gaze to the inn's backyard. Tail feathers splayed, wings spread in arrogant display, a vibrantly colored rooster strutted the length of the weathered log fence.
      "Guess I won't need to ask for an alarm clock, huh, Chicken Man?"
      The rooster thrust out his neck and crowed.
      "Heard you the first time." Trey smiled despite himself. "But you can bet your cock-a-doodle this window will stay closed."
      Mood lighter than it had been since he crossed the Florida line, he padded into the tiny bathroom.
      The faucets squealed and the pipes thumped as water poured into the enamel, claw-footed tub. Steam curled about his head as he sank into the hot bath. Eyes closed, he breathed deeply. Familiar welcome humidity filled his lungs. He began to whistle.
      Contentment faded as the dichotomy of moist heat and dry cold got him thinking about his new business partner. What might he find if he ever got past Miss Abby Mathieson's frigid exterior? More to the point, how had such a prickly woman gotten so under his skin in a single day? Prickly...and smokin' hot. Damn.
      With no answer forthcoming, he sucked in a deep breath, let his head fall back, and sank beneath the water.
      That's it...hope it's OK...and makes you want to read even more!

      Delete
  25. Yes, yes, excerpt!!! Please!! Hi LaVerne!! Now nothing allowed besides basking!
    But, I hear there are some other hotties available. YAY!

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    1. Hope the above excerpt helps, Mary. And yes, other hotties available LOL

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  26. Ooh yes please Diane - pretty please!

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    1. You ladies are a hoot! See excerpt above, pretty please :-)

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  27. Enjoyed the excerpt and just loved the who idea of this post!

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    1. It makes us so happy to hear that, you have no idea! Thanks Patricia.
      Diane has a great book to send out into the world, and we are pleased to give it a push!

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    2. Fun, Patricia...and aren't our hostesses wonderful? I can't thank them enough for this lovely party! All right, who else--besides me-- needs a drink? LOL

      Delete
  28. I gotta say after reading the excerpt. Our guest, Diane, is a talented author. All of the senses are incorporated into it and the imagery draws me in. I want more! Begging for another except! I have to say honestly, this book draws me in...because of that talent.

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    1. Wow, Mary, that's humbling...really. You ladies have been so kind and made me smile bunches! Thank you so much.

      Delete
  29. Absolutely Mary - I couldn't agree more!

    *Waves* to Kerryn and Patricia - hi ladies, so glad you could join the party!

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    1. Again, thanks so much.
      Waving to all of you who've taken the time to party with me. You're the best!

      Delete
  30. Wonderfully said, Mary. I totally agree :)

    Hi Kerryn and Patricia! Lovely to meet you. Dig in to the food. There is plenty there and make sure you wave down Oliver to grab a drink. He's a delight :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, please, eat, drink, and be merry. Oliver's a sweetie...and he doesn't want to have to pack up leftovers :-)

      Delete
  31. I found the excerpt above! Thanks Diane! I had one of those claw foot tubs, I loved it!
    That was terrific...

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    Replies
    1. Yea! Sorry it took so long--had to find the scene in the book, hone it down, and type it. But if you enjoyed it, that's all that matters. :-) The beginning that leads up to that scene is a favorite of mine, but too long to type the whole thing. Just hoping to give you a little insight into Trey's thoughts and character.The entire scene has more introspection, some humor, and runs about 4 pages.

      Delete
  32. What a great excerpt - I was right there with Trey (*Blush* no not in the bath with him, I mean listening to the cockerel! I used to have a cockerel that woke me up in the mornings like that! I really love your style of writing, makes it so easy to identify with the characters!

    I'm going to have to say goodnight to you, my sister hostesses and the guests as it's well gone midnight over here, but I'll pop back in the morning!

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  33. But we can imagine ourselves in the bath with him, can't we? Please, please. I actually did--don't tell my husband :-)
    Good night, Hywela/Lyn. Sweet dreams...to you and all the wonderful ladies who spent time at the party. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did! And thanks, Oliver, for the brilliant service. Speaking of hotties...LOL
    Will pop back in the morning, too, should anyone else stop by. And winners will be announced soon. My thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules. Good night, sweet princesses. Hugs to all!

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  34. Fabulous excerpt, Diane! Sorry I disappeared for awhile. I was keeping an eye on LaVerne to make sure she didn't stalk Trey to the bathroom. lol!

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    1. Thanks, Lilly. Abby had eyes on her, too, but appreciates the extra set LOL.
      Still, a compliment that LaVerne finds Trey so delicious :-)

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    2. *Sulks* There are too many eyes around here! There is something so appealing about a well-built man all wet and slippery isn't there? Lucky Abby :)

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    3. Can't argue with you there, LaVerne. Well-built, wet, slippery...oh my--big grin!

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  35. LOL! All I can say is thank goodness for bubble bath! :)

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    1. Or curse it - depending on how you look at things ;)

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    2. And assuming you don't put in too much bubble bath! Last time, I overdid it a bit...yikes, what a mess. Took me forever to douse the froth LOL

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  36. Thanks for being such a great guest Diane and I hope you enjoyed your party as much as we did!

    ReplyDelete

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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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE OUR GUEST? DO YOU WANT TO PROMOTE YOUR NEW RELEASE OR EVEN AN OLDER ONE?IF YOU FANCY BEING GUEST OF HONOUR AT ONE OF OUR PARTIES JUST EMAIL US AT THE ADDRESS in 'OLIVER'S RULES'!(PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A 'G' RATED BLOG SO NOTHING HIGHER THAN THIS RATING, PLEASE.)