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, March 20, 2015

Sharon Black's Belated St. Patrick's Day Celebration of- Going Against Type

"Ah, Dublin. There's just something so romantic about this city." Lyn says as the hostesses walk along the River Liffey in the city centre.

"I hear Dublin is particularly stunning at night," LaVerne adds. "With the lights over Dublin bay; and the bridge over the river all lit up, it's the perfect setting for a romance."

"The scenery is gorgeous, but these Irish men with their sexy brogues are to die for," Lilly says as they walk past two men who are deep in conversation.

Mac nods her agreement. "I know. And Derry Cullinane, the hero in Sharon's book Going Against Type is Irish. So, I bet he sounds just as sexy."

"Aye, but he's takin',"Mary says, trying her best to sound Irish. Lyn and LaVerne groan.

"Please!" LaVerne says. "You Americans can barely fake a British accent. Don't even try an Irish accent."

"You got to admit; an Irish accent is sexy," Lilly says.

"Not coming out of Mary, " LaVerne says, laughing.

"I love Irish music," Lyn says as they turn the corner. "It's so lively; you can't help tapping your toes."

"It's definitely fun music," LaVerne agrees as they approach a bar.

 "Is this the place?" Mac asks. "It's got to be. It's huge."

Lyn confers with her phone before glancing up at the large, brick building trimmed in bright red. "Yes it is. And what better place to have a party just three short days after St. Patrick's Day than at an Irish Pub in Dublin?"

"Aye, and we are going to a ceilidh for a wee bit 'o Jameson and a meejum of ale," Mary says in a thick brogue that makes the other hostesses cringe.

"Stop it!" Lyn, LaVerne, and Mac squeal.

Lilly giggles. "You crack me up, Mary."

"That's an awful accent," Mac says.

"And you sound kind of manly when you talk like that," LaVerne adds.

Lilly snorts, looks at Mary, and says, "Manly yes, but I like it too."

The hostess are all laughing when they enter the pub. Oliver meets them at the door with a tray filled with Guinness on tap and shots of Jamesons.

LaVerne and Mac reach for a shot. Lilly drops her shot in a tall glass of Guinness and shouts, "Boiler maker!"

Lyn shakes her head and laughs indulgently. "It's going to be a short night for you if you don't pace yourself, Lilly."

"Oh, but everything looks so good. The food. The drink."

"The men." Mac adds as she spies the guest of honor, Sharon, with Charlie and Derry, the heroine and hero from her book. "Derry is definitely my idea of tall, dark, and Irish."

"He's definitely a hunk," LaVerne agrees. "Maybe he can introduce us to some of these yummy Irish dishes, like the coddle."

"Ick! It sounds nasty," Lilly says, turning up her nose.

"I hear it's delicious," Mac says. "But I want to try the Stew and Bacon & Colcannon."

"Can't go wrong with bacon," Mary agrees.

LaVerne smacks her lips. "How about a Bailey's marble cheescake?"

"And Irish coffee," Lilly adds as Sharon, Charlie, and Derry approach.

"Everyone grab a drink," Mary says.
Lyn nods. "We have Guinness, Irish whiskey and Irish mineral water, Ballygowan."

"And Jameson," Lilly adds.

"To Sharon," Mac says.

LaVerne smiles. "To Charlie and Derry."

Lyn holds her glass high.

"May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you."

Today's skit written by Lilly Gayle.


Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV.

Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women.

Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is...

When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings.

When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?


Charlotte glanced quickly about, hoping to engage with the other women, but to her  frustration she
found they'd drifted away. Leaving her with this egotistical...

'So as an experiment, do you think we'll work? Derry said, interrupting her thoughts.

‘Um, will what work?’

He shot her an arrogant smile.

‘Fiona’s matchmaking attempts. Either Cupid will be on target or we’ll end up throwing bread rolls at each other.’

Charlotte gritted her teeth.

‘I’m a crack shot with a bread roll.’ This guy was definitely making fun of her. What had Fiona been thinking? She’d kill her. She forced a polite smile.

‘You’re a journalist?’

He grinned wickedly, as if well aware of her struggle to be civil.

‘The Irish People. I’m a fashion writer.’

Charlotte hid her surprise. ‘I really only read the sports section. That sleaze The Squire put me off the whole paper. He had a go at a friend of mine, Miranda Greene.’

Derry frowned.

‘The socialite? She’s a friend of yours?’

‘We were in college together. The Squire wrecked her marriage. She and her husband were

trying to put a bad patch behind them and make things work. The Squire milked that model’s revelations for weeks.’ Charlotte stopped suddenly. ‘You probably know The Squire?’

‘Not at all,’ Derry said, taking a sip of wine. ‘They don’t tell us who writes that. That’s a beautiful dress, it’s a Louise Kennedy, right?’

Charlotte glanced down at the dress. Dammit, she sounded like rent-a-rant. No wonder the guy was keen to change the subject.

You can find Going Against Type at tirpub.com/gatype.

SHARON BLACK grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University.

She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. 
 She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition.  

When she is not writing, she reads, walks and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club 14 years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction and good stand-up comedy.

She lives in Sandymount, Dublin, with her husband and their three children.
To win a copy of Sharon '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, or if you're on my side of the pond, good afternoon!
    We had a fantastic St Patrick's Day here in Dublin; hope it was wonderful wherever you celebrated. Looking forward to chatting...and partying!

  2. Good morning, Sharon, and welcome to your roast! Going Against Type looks like a fab read. Congrats, sweetie.

    I'll be popping in to party when I can, but I'm...er...at Disneyland celebrating my G'girl's double digit birthday, so I might be a bit distracted. :-) (Then again, as a good Irish lass who loves a fun romance, a pub with friends to celebrate its release is nearly impossible to resist.)

    1. Have fun in Disneyland. I've never been there, but I've been to DisneyWorld, so I know you're going to have a blast with g-girl!

  3. Cheers! Everyone. Sharon, I would love to spend one St. Patrick's Day in Dublin before I die. I worked on St. Patrick's day and didn't even have so much as a sip of vanilla extract! So hand me one of those Guinness and let's get this party started!

  4. Hi Mackenzie,
    Disneyland is one place I've never been! Hope you're having a whale of a time. We'll save a few drinks for you here.

  5. Hi Lilly,
    I think you'd love St Patrick's Day here in Dublin, because in the last ten years or so, we've turned it into a festival, which runs over a few days. This year, as always, we had loads of visitors in town, from all over Europe, America and Canada. Pouring a Guinness for myself now. Toasting you and Mackenzie. Slainte.

    1. We do have a nice Irish Pub in Raleigh, NC. Tir Na Nog. I spent a birthday there a few years back and fell in love with Irish music, the food, and the beverages. lol! Love a good dark beer. German is my favorite, but I love a Guinness too.

  6. And of course, I also wanted to say (completely in the wrong order with my comments) thanks a million, MacKenzie for having me here today!!

  7. Hi Sharon

    Sorry to be late, it was such a lovely afternoon here I lost track of the time while out with my little dog. Did you see the Eclipse this morning? It was really overcast in England so we didn't see a thing, except it went a bit dark, in my native Wales I understand it was spectaclar! Anyway, congratulations on your book, 'Going Against Type' sounds great! Wishing you many sales!

  8. Cloudy and dreary on the right coast of America here in NC. No moon. No sun. Not even a good day for sleeping in because I had an 8:00 dentist appointment. Yep, think I definitely need another Guinness. lol!

  9. Hi there Hywela,
    We couldn't see anything in Dublin either. It was too overcast also. I heard the south of the country was the best place to view the eclipse, so probably places like Cork and Kerry. The school children were all hoping to see it, I know, and there were various experiments lined up, involving pin holes in paper! So I think they were really disappointed.

  10. Cloudy and dreary describes our early morning here, Lilly. The sun did break through for about an hour (after the eclipse, naturally!) but then decided it was too much effort. Hope the dentist wasn't too awful.

  11. It's 83 and hot here in Florida. Just like always. So glad to see you here at the AR&T. Now as you all can see I dressed appropriately for the day. I even wore this tight strap me in bra so the girls would not make any mistaken appearances. Now how about piece of that yummy looking cake?

  12. There was a link online to watch the eclipse and the Northern lights at the same time, sorry I missed it. Sharon, any extra hot guys around?

  13. Rugged, tall, sexy and they like to take charge. Leading Irish actors such as Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell would make any woman swoon. Irish men have a reputation for boozing and banter but they're hot property now on the dating scene. Confident but not arrogant, Irish charm catches the attention.
    From a young age, the Irish male learns to be polite to women and treat them they way they'd want their sisters to be treated. And of course, “Mammy is number one!” So it takes a little while for ex-pat Paddies to get used to the idea that dating in America is not ‘going out’ with people, but they adjust surprisingly fast!
    It's the accent : an Irishman’s brogue opens any door. And remember Irish guys are the best kissers: check out Ireland’s famous matchmaking festival at Lisdoonvarna sometime. Bet on Irish charisma to win over the ladies every time. .

    1. I do love me some Liam Neeson. Sixty-one and still as sexy or sexier than men half his age!

    2. I couldn't agree more, Lilly! I've always loved Liam Neeson. And that VOICE! *sigh*

  14. Hi Mary,
    Send us a bit of that weather, please? Could do with it right now. I'm going to have to look up that link. Feel like I've missed everything! Hmm, any extra hot guys? Don't you know that all Irish men are handsome?

  15. Hmm, just laughing at this post from Anonymous. It sounds like a man. Whoever it is, they're actually right about the Lisdoonvarna festival, although it's not so much a matchmaking festival now, as just an excuse to have a bit of craic.

  16. Anonymous, who are you?? Man or woman?? Fess up, now, who are you quoting? LOL
    Liam, no offense, never made me swoon. Now, Gerard Butler, wait...is he Irish or Scottish. Now the question is, could you tell a Scottish from and Irish accent? Lyn could I'm sure!

    1. Bite your tongue, Mary! Love Liam. Then again, Gerard Butler is mighty fine too!

  17. Mary m'dear, they're as different as chalk and cheese! And you can always tell a Welsh accent - right? Now a rugged, handsome Irish man with manners - wow! He can take charge of me any time! For me, good manners are as sexy as good looks!

  18. Forget Danny Boy. You won't top this for Irish romance. Two fine Irish actors: Donal McCann and Angelica Huston - and Frank Patterson of course.

  19. Hey - anyn chance of another little excerept, Sharon?

  20. Here, here, excerpt please!!! I have a hard time knowing one from the other accent myself. But, then I don't meet many over here. There is something inertly sexy about all three accents. Though the British one is not as e

  21. True Lyn, I love all three accents, though being here, sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the three. The British accent never seemed a sexy to me.
    Here, here! Excerpt please!

  22. Okay, guys, you've convinced me. I'll give you another excerpt. Searching for one now:

    'I hope you like Mexican food,' said Derry as they drove from Charlotte's house into the city centre on Thursday evening.
    'Well I'd love to try it,' Charlotte said uncertainly.
    'Maybe another time so. We're actually going Greek tonight,' Derry deadpanned.
    Charlotte smiled and snuck a glance over at him from the passenger seat of his twelve year old, very beautiful Ferrari. She placed her hands tentatively over her stomach, trying to calm her nerves. She'd spent an hour readying herself, much to Helen's amusement.
    'Why are you so nervous, Charlotte? It's just a date!'
    'Oh come on Helen. The last guy I dated was Mr Uptight Conor, and before that I dated sports jocks. Derry is different. He's Premier League status!'
    'And you're Scumthorpe United? Take a look at yourself, woman!'
    'I'm not sure what he expects, but I'm not his type, Helen. I'm floundering.'
    Helen caught Charlotte's hands and forced her to meet her gaze.
    'Don't you dare run yourself down Charlotte Regan. You're intelligent and totally gorgeous! But you do need to do one thing!'
    'Allow yourself to be a woman! How do I put this without you taking it the wrong way? Don't talk sport all night. You are incredibly bossy when you start. Let Derry take charge a bit. Allow him to be a man!'
    Charlotte blinked.
    'Sorry, I just time travelled to the 1950s for a moment. What were you saying?'

    1. Strut your stuff Charlotte!
      Great excerpt. I'll take the Greek food too! After I finish trying coddle, whatever the heck that is. What no scones???? What other Irish foods would wow me? I'm not a big stew person really...

    2. I'm not surprised you've never heard of Coddle, Mary. I grew up on the stuff, but it's a very Dublin dish, and it's not really eaten as much in other parts of the country. It's all cooked in one pot, and it's a bit like a stew, but it's very pale, and a bit unusual.
      It's basically boiled sausages, boiled rashers, boiled onions, carrots and potatoes, and quite often boiled lamb's liver. Now, I know that sounds disgusting, but I when it's made correctly, it's not.
      If you're not a stew person, Mary, don't worry. There's so many other Irish foods you'd love. We have Irish spring lamb at the moment, which is delicious, roasted with rosemary and a bit of garlic. And don't forget soda bread, with a bit of smoked salmon on it. Or what about our huge range of artisan cheeses?
      I have to admit, coddle is an acquired taste.

    3. Oh brilliant excerpt Sharon, I was right in there, with Charlotte!

      Oops, just noticed all the typos in my previous post. *hic* I'm just not used to Irish whiskey, my usual tipple is mead! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :) )

    4. I was all for trying the coddle until I saw liver. Bleck. Like lamb, but I don't eat organ meat. And what in the world is a rasher?

    5. Me too, liver makes me gag... Picky thing I am.;

  23. Irish whiskey is certainly strong, Hywela. I know mead is supposedly an old Celtic drink, but it's not something I've ever come across. I think some version of it is still made for certain events here in Ireland. (Read between the lines: it's served to unsuspecting tourists! So ladies, next time you're in Ireland, demand only the good stuff).

    1. Yes, mead is an ancient Celtic drink, much favoured in Medieval times. It's distilled from honey and spices and is absolutely delicious, although quite potent! I favour Welsh mead of course, but we also get a special Christmas mead around here (the Chilterns) which is very spicy and I love that as well.

  24. Nearly falling off my chair laughing here, Lilly! I would have eaten a lot of 'offal' or organ meat, as you say, growing up. It was cheap and filling and very common when I was a kid. It was also farmed safely here in Ireland. I forget, certain words don't translate, though. That's why I'm laughing at myself. A rasher is just a strip or slice of bacon.

    1. Now I have heard it heard as a rasher of bacon, but mainly in the West, and rarely.

  25. I have to admit though I eat meat I can't stand any form of 'offal'! Yep, I never thought 'rashers' might not translate into American, either. It's funny how on both sides of the pond, words we use everyday or unheard of on the 'other' side. Divided by a common language as I always say! :)

  26. Sorry I missed the party. Better late than never I hope! Sharon's book sounds as if it would make a fun movie, doesn't it? I'm glad to learn about the book and look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Hi Caroline,
    I'm only hopping back on now. It's the time difference. I crashed into bed last night at what probably would have only been coming up to dinner time on the far side of the pond! As I write this, it's 9.15am and a gorgeous day here. Hope you look in again later on.

  28. Hi everyone! Late to the party as usual, I am. Looks like a smashing time was had by everyone! I'm partial to a pint of Guinness periodically and also find Jamesons very smooth but it does have a potent finish. First drank it with Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale in an Irish Pub in Quebec City.

    Party on everyone! It's lovely to see you all, especially Oliver. He's not changed a bit, although I have to admit, I prefer him in a kilt.

  29. Hi Melanie,
    Lovely to see you here, and thanks so much! We get very excited here in Ireland, Melanie, when the Scots come over to play our lads in rugby. All the supporters parade around the place wearing their kilts. Ahem. It's very cultural, obviously. Hope you're starting to see a decent bit of weather up there in Canada. Fine Spring day today in Dublin. Great sound of lawnmowers everywhere!!

  30. We're getting snowed on here right now, Sharon. Not even a blade of grass to be seen. :-( Our sounds for the past few months have been snow blowers. Ugh.

  31. Oh you poor thing! That's far too long to have snow, Melanie. Mind you, I'm a bit snow-phobic, so even a small amount of it leaves me cold (no pun intended!)

  32. Hi Caroline and Melanie, so nice you could join us - don't worry about being late, our parties always run over into the weekend! You're right Caroline, Sharon's book would make a lovely film by the sounds of it! You have snow Melanie - snow for two months sounds a bit much even to me - I love the stuff but we are lucky to get an inch in this part of the UK. Everything looks so pretty under a white mantle, but I know it's a pain for those who have to travel through it!

  33. Hiya, Sharon! I love Dublin and still have some relatives living there. I also have some living in Cork and Kerry. When I visited years ago, Ireland felt just like home! Apart from the accents and older buildings/castles, I could have been in New Zealand! Or maybe it was just the Jamesons and Guiness that made me feel all warm and fuzzy :)

    Sorry I'm so hideously late to the party - and me a hostess too! We've had a hectic time (and not in a good way) with one of our kids the past week and the matter is still not resolved. Worst thing is, its not their fault at all. So, apologies all around, I'm here at last :)

    I love how you've reversed the traditional roles of your characters, Sharon! Derry sounds like the most intriguing of heroes! I can't wait to get to know him :)

  34. Hi Laverne, Lovely to meet you. Don't worry a bit about being late; family has to come first. Life's too short and everything else becomes superfluous besides that.
    I think most people are intrigued by the idea of role reversal, and I suppose I had to be quite careful that I was able to carry it off.
    I think it certainly helped that I'd been a journalist, because I didn't have to imagine the situations. I could see them, I drew a lot from personal experience, as I wove stuff in.
    Charlotte and Derry are fictional, of course, but from early on for some reason, I could see what they looked like, and I could hear their voices. It helped hugely when I was writing.
    I love the fact that you're from New Zealand, by the way. I believe there's a fair number of Irish and Irish-descent living there!

  35. Hi LaVerne *waves*. Well, sadly we have to draw the party to an end. Thank you Sharon for being such a super guest of honour! Wishing you much success, and many, many sales.

  36. It's good to be Irish.