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 !

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.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Joanne Stewart's Hawaiian celebration

“Lyn, are you sure we’re at the right address?”

“Of course,” she assures Mac and continues up the path towards a charming family home. She pauses and faces her fellow hostesses. “I have it on good authority the Morgan family have a tradition of celebrating achievements and special occasions with a Hawaiian Luau. Where better to celebrate JM’s newest book than the family home?”

“I’ve never been to a Luau before,” LaVerne confides to Lilly as Lyn knocks on the door. “Any chance its tradition for the men to dress half-naked like the Maori warriors do in my home country?”

Mary’s eyes light up at the overheard comment. “Half-naked? Could we be that lucky? Just imagine Oliver decked out like that.”

Their wistful sighs are interrupted by the front door swinging open. An attractive woman welcomes them with a smile, armed with a bunch of flower garlands over her wrist.

“Welcome ladies. I’m Malia, Becca’s sister-in-law. Come in out of the cold.” One by one, the hostesses step inside and Malia drapes a lei over their heads. She shuts the door and gestures to a doorway beyond which the buzz of animated conversation can be heard.

 “We’ve got the temperature set to balmy inside and plenty of Hawaiian food and drink to enjoy, so help yourselves.”

“I don’t need a second invitation,” Mac grins. “I’ve heard great things about Becca’s older brother and his mai tai making abilities.”

She strides through the doorway followed closely behind by the other hostesses. They all stop as if on cue, their gazes going wide.

Greenery greets them in every corner of the room, tropical flowers in an array of colors add vibrancy and perfume to the air and palms rise tall and straight, grazing the ceiling providing the perfect canopy. 

Tucked away to one side of the room are tables groaning with food and drink. The selection is mouth-watering, the colors and scents capturing the essence of summer and tropical islands.


Slow-cooked kalua pig, Huli huli chicken glistening with sticky marinade, Laulau, and Coconut fried shrimp sitting atop deep green banana leaves. The desserts are just as bountiful and delicious looking. Haupia with pineapple, Banana guava pie and Coconut pie, Fresh fruit platters and Kona coffee.

Mac’s gaze swings to another table. “Mai tai’s! And there is Oliver replenishing them. What a man. I’ll be back in a tick. Sorry, Mary,” she adds with a wink. “He’s wearing a shirt.”

“Oh, look!” Lyn waves to three people across the room. “There’s JM, Becca and Jackson.” The trio waves back and makes their way towards the hostesses.

JM hugs them warmly. “I’m so excited to introduce you to Becca and Jackson. I had a really hard time getting them to see that they were meant to be together, but don’t you agree they’re perfect together?”

Jackson liftes his hand, raising Becca’s to his lips and kisses her fingertips making all the hostesses sigh. “Where would we be without you, JM?”

“We’re so looking forward to reading your story, guys.” Lilly clasps her hands in front of her chest and blinks suspiciously wet-looking eyes. “It sounds so

“It is,” Becca smiles briefly at Lilly before her eyes are irresistibly drawn back to her man’s.

“I think that calls for a toast,” announces Mac who steps back into their circle, a tray of mai tai’s balanced in her hands. She waits until everyone has a glass. “To JM Stewart. Congratulations on the release of Whatever it Takes. And to happy-ever-afters. Long may they continue brightening our lives!”

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


She’s been dying to hear the words…

Walking away from her husband was the hardest thing Becca Morgan has ever done, even if it was the only way to save her heart from being broken by a loveless marriage. Still, when a terrible accident forces her to stay at her ex Jackson’s house for a few days, emotions she thought she’d buried long ago start coming to the surface—and, to her surprise, seem to be reciprocated…

…he just doesn’t know how to say.

Jackson Kade has never known love like he knew with Becca, but his cold upbringing left him unable to show her how deeply he feels. When Becca winds up under his roof once more, he knows it’s his only opportunity to prove his devotion—and passion. But old habits die hard, and even one mistake could shatter their last chance at love…


“That’s a very generous offer, Kyle, but it won’t be necessary.” He turned his gaze to Becca and took a moment to carefully compose his words in his head before he said them. She wouldn’t like them. “My wife and daughter will be coming home with me.”

The very notion left him tied in knots. He’d only just gotten used to living alone again. Used to the silence echoing through the empty house. Now here he was, volunteering to bring her back, but damned if he’d let her stay anywhere else. Maybe she wasn’t his anymore, but the thought that he could’ve lost her had his heart tied in knots. He needed her and Allie where he knew they’d be safe.

Becca froze, so still even the soft rise and fall of her chest seemed to halt. He counted ten heartbeats before she moved again. She dropped her arms to her sides, and her hands curled into fists.

Oh, here it comes. Jackson tried to prepare himself for the tongue-lashing sure to follow and squelched the desire to simply pick her up and cart her off. He was damn tempted. Hell, it would be a sight easier than arguing with her. But he knew better. If he so much as tried, he’d no doubt lose a vital part of his anatomy. As a third-degree black belt, she had the skills. Becca owned the dojo where Allie took lessons. She’d opened the place the same year they’d met, teaching others the skills she’d learned. He’d seen firsthand what she was capable of. So, he shoved his hands in his pockets.

Becca glared at him. “How very arrogant of you, Jackson. I’m your ex-wife, in case you’ve forgotten, and the last place I want to live is with you.”

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JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

You can find out more about JM or her books here: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook

To win a copy of Joanne'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. Wow! Everything looks delicious and Jackson is just as sexy and handsome as JM said he'd be. I've read some of JM's work before and she has a way of getting to those deeply buried emotions and bringing them to the surface in such a way that the reader cannot help but fall in love with her characters. Just look how attentive Jackson is to Becca and how devoted she is to him. It's the kind of love that just makes me swoon. Ah, I think I need another mai- tai to help me recover. lol!

    1. Awww, thanks, Lilly. I'm tickled that you loved Jackson as much as I do! More mai tais! Oliver's gonna be a busy boy. ;)

  2. OMG you guys! This is fantastic. What a super fun post. Welcome to the luau everybody! You know, in Whatever It Takes, there IS a luau scene where the men dance. ;) Thanks so much for having me, ladies!

    1. Great idea to throw a luau, Joanne! And I totally agree with Lilly's thoughts about your books. They embody romance. You really know how to wring every emotion from the reader's body!

      The men dance?!? Eeeee! I need to read this!

  3. Hi Joanne, welcome to your Roast, I'dm glad you like it. I agree with Lilly, Jackson sounds like a great guy, so caring and attentive! Fantastic excerpt!

  4. I want to see some dancing, men. Jackson, take off that shirt and shake what your mama gave you! Oops. Maybe I need to cut back on the mai tais?

    1. Hell no, Lilly. Sounds good to me!

    2. LOL!! You just saved me from making a disgrace of myself, Lilly ;) I few more mai tai's and I'll be chanting, "take it off, take it off..."

    3. LaVerne that's usually me! Nice to see you step up to the plate. LOLOL

  5. Whoot whoot! JM Stewart is here. Hiya Jo, hiya chickies! Everything looks awesome which is perfect to celebrate an awesome release. And Mai Tais for breakfast. Now that's my kind of thinking. :-)

    1. It does! It looks great. Drinking first thing in the morning. Gonna be a good day. ;)

  6. Sounds interesting, on my tbr list and the dishes, YuM! and the cool cover!

  7. Why is it that all the hotties are taken? What a terrific book can't wait to read it. Sorry to be a bit late, but, I had to dodge the reporters when they tried to chase me here. And all I could think was half naked the whole way here!!! Welcome to your roast Joanne!

  8. So lovely to host you on the roast, Joanne! So tell me - what is the significance with the Hawaiian luau parties in the Morgan family? Are they Hawaiian themselves? Such a fun idea. I'm imagining all sorts of fun to be had at such events! :)

    1. Malia, the oldest brother's wife, is Hawaiian. She and Evan met in Hawaii. It was one of those things that just sort of ended up on the page in the first book and I ran with it for the for second. lol

  9. Good question LaVerne.
    Then I beg you, Joanne, for an excerpt another excerpt. Let your fans drool a bit...
    I'm still thinking about the naked thing. I think all the guys should be without shirts for at least a bit. It might even sell a few more books!! :0)

  10. Good question LaVerne. I want to know the answer too. Of course, I could read the is on my NOOK. But dagnabit, I haven't found the time yet. So, whet my appetite, Joanne. Tell us about this luau connection and maybe share a juicy excerpt.

  11. Okay, I'm not supposed to share too long of an excerpt, but I'm going to be bad and share a short one. This happens to be one of my favorite scenes. I'm going to be mean, though, and not explain. ;)


    “How in the world did we manage to get ourselves into this?” Jackson peered around Kyle to Evan, at the end of the line. Her oldest brother wore a skirt of his own and led them all with a darn good rendition of his wife’s dance.

    “Kyle had to open his big mouth and whistle at Ceci.” Grumbling from Jackson’s left, Chase furrowed his brow. Despite his grouchy expression, his eyes lit with amusement.

    “Do you have any idea how many years I had to watch her dance like this and not be able to say anything?” Kyle had topped his attire with a coconut bikini top, the addition of which had been Ceci’s idea. The goofiest of her brothers, he’d happily donned the coconuts on top of his obnoxious shirt. Every year he wore the same one: light blue and covered in tropical islands, ukuleles, and flowers. Now, he turned his head to wink at Ceci, seated on Becca’s left. “You’ll have to forgive me. I lost my head.”

  12. I can see it all now! Mary grabs a ukelele and strums a tune after donning her own oversized cocoanut shell. Can someone help me attach these?
    l love a guy who can lose his head for his sister!

    1. *helps Mary tie her coconuts* Though you're not getting me in those. Nobody wants to see me in coconuts. lol Kyle cracked me up in this scene. I hadn't anticipated any of this. It just sort of wrote itself.

    2. Oh no - not the coconut bra! Mary sweetie, there are no coconuts on earth big enough to cover your girls!

      Wow, Joanne, that was a fantastic excerpt, I could really visualise it - but it looks like you've set our Mary off!

  13. You're terrific Joanne. The blog will be up all weekend, so you might get a few more commenters. See you later, found a guy who likes my cocoanuts! Who woulda thunk it!

  14. I'm suddenly reminded of the Monty Phython song, "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts..." :)

  15. You know we have to take Mary everywhere twice - the second time to apologise! No guy is safe when she's around! Can't remember that one, LaVerne, you'll have to sing it to us!

    It's time for bed this side of the pond, but as Mary says, we'll keep the party going for late comers, and there's still plenty of virtual food!

  16. What a great post! Thank you!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  17. This was an amazing celebration. Jackson sounds sexy and seemed to really be in love with his wife. I love reading these blogs. This book sounds great and I would love to read it soon.

    1. Forgot to leave my email. I would love to win this book. Lol

    2. Thanks so much for visiting! I adored writing Jackson. :)

  18. What a fun time here today thank you.


    1. I had a blast! Thanks so much for visiting!

  19. Hi Melanie, Dovesknoll and Mary, so glad you could join the party and enjoyed the post. and it's lovely having you as our Guest of Honour Joanne, wishing you much success with 'Whatever It Takes, it sounds fantastic!

  20. Morning everybody! Thanks for an awesome roast and toast! I drew a winner for the prize and Mary Preston was the winner! Congrats, Mary! Since I have your email address, I'll be contacting you privately.

    Thanks to everybody for stopping by and participating!

  21. Thank you so much Joanne, I've had internet problems but I'll get your announcement up with that of last week's winner, if that's OK with you. Congratulations Mary and thank you Joanne, it was a great idea for a party and although I don't normally like pork, I thought the Kalua Pig sounded so succulent and tasty, I've bought some 'liquid smoke' and it's currently in my crock pot and all being well we'll have it for dinner tomorrow. You were a fantastic guest of honour Joanne, we really enjoyed having you here!


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.