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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Arlene's winner is ...


Congratulations Caroline, your prize is on its way. 

Thanks to Arlene J Culiner for being such a wonderful  guest of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun!

The hostesses appear on-stage, holding hands, to take a bow
They hug each other and wave before leaving the stage.

"Just another Author Roast and Toast!"

Join us next week when our guest author will be ADRIENNE DUNNING


Friday, April 24, 2015

A woodland retreat Roast Party for Swans Sweet Song by Arlene J Culiner

Arlene J Culliner is offering an e-book download of 'A Swan's Sweet Song to the person who brings along the most original guest, so don't forget to leave a comment and introduce your guest.
The hostesses approach the clearing ahead where Arlene Cullinger’s roast will take place. Casual, walk in the woods clothes are the option, not to mention the good shoes that the girls will need to run from that stray bear, or unexpected guest. The peaceful woods that lead them to the party has the rich deep smell of a forest floor, of rotting leaves and mushrooms. No music, no noise: just the lovely deep silence you find when you’re far away from crowds and highways and radios and telephones. 

The trickle of water reaches them as, Debbie, LaVerne, Lyn, Lilly, Mac and Mary, as they near their destination. A flute can occasionally be heard as they walk along the lovely river they find. Sparkles reflect, as sun touches the glistening rush of water, reflecting off shiny rocks that line the bottom.  The surrounding trees  rustle with the gentle wind and carries that distant flute to their eager ears.
Spiced red lentils with cucumber yogurt

“Wonder if there’s gold in there?” Mary chuckles. 

“You’ve been watching too many reruns of Yukon Gold.” Lilly suggests. “There might be a fae or two in these woods though. It feels so magical.”

Spicy vegetable pie
Fruit flan
Spicy blackbean-burger wrap

“You never know who’s gonna show today.” Lyn adjusts her saucy hat with a feather sticking out. They pause and look at the festive, yet woodsy decorations. Every conifer in the area has been decorated with berries, and popcorn strings, for the event. “Oliver has outdone himself with the food as usual; the entire menu is fruit and vegetable dominant, on the spicy side.” She elbows Mary as Mary’s mouth forms the question. “Why not just call it vegetarian?”  
Fruit plates
Soft wholemeal dinner rolls

“Spiced red lentils with cucumber yogurt, grilled
Spicy corn fritters
mushrooms and aubergine and tomato. Vegetable dishes that resemble everyday dishes, but that’s not steak, it’s grilled Portobellas.”  She gestures to a meaty looking dish. “Next to Nothing has bottled sauces, powdered spices, spray-on pan fat, everything is natural and made with the freshest of all gown foods. Look at those fresh fruits, I never saw a star fruit before.” Lyn pauses, “This can hardly just be called Vegetarian, it’s more like Natural Wonder! And nothing here had eyes, except for the potatoes.” 

Fruit kebabs

“You forget the cakes, with lots of buttery icing.” Mac grabs Debbie’s hand as she raises it for her attempted finger swipe of said icing.

“And her book cover is on top. A Swan’s Sweet Song,
Oliver actually fitted it on top.” Lilly grins and behind Debbie gets her finger into the icing. “Mmmmmm."

"And Lyn made a huge fruit filled trifle, it looks delicious.”

“Holy, Moley!  Is that a pig Oliver is petting?” Mary’s mouth drops and the girls all look at a large pig on a leash.

“That’s the Plummers and their pet pig. Don’t say a word.” Lilly threatens. “The one shooing raccoons is Mrs. Brown, I think; don’t ask about that either. Just blend in and smile.”

“Great idea,” Debby inhales, “Watch out ladies, don’t want to step in anything.”

“Shush!”  LaVerne instructs them. “Just enjoy the scenery and help me welcome our Author J. Arlene Culiner To her  woodland retreat roast.

(This week's introductory 'skit' was written by Mary Ricksen)

A Swan’s Sweet Song
A Contemporary Romance from The Wild Rose Press 

The instant Sherry Valentine and Carston Hewlett meet, there’s desire and fascination in the air…but they’re complete opposites.

 Smart-talking Sherry fought her way up from poverty to stardom as a country music singer. Now, she’s ever in the limelight, ever surrounded by clamoring fans, male admirers and paparazzi, and her spangled cowboy boots carry her all across the country, from one brightly lit stage to the next.

A renowned but reclusive playwright, Carston cherishes his freedom, the silence of his home in the woods and his solitary country walks. Any long-term commitment is obviously out of the question: how about a quick and passionate fling?

But when their names are linked in the scandal press, Sherry’s plans to become an actress are revealed. Is their budding relationship doomed?


Perhaps she could avoid meeting Carston Hewlett again and circumvent disaster. And why worry? She had a concert to do, interviews to give, and contacts to make so her name stayed in the forefront. And when this festival was over, she’d climb back into the bus with Charlie and her boys and ride away. Perhaps head for the new career she’d been dreaming about—because, according to Charlie, there was serious talk of a role in a television series...

               Yes, she had enough on her agenda. No room for a temporary fling. A fling at a conference like this? That had become so commonplace, it was positively banal. And,  at  this  stage  of  her  life,  it  would  also  be undignified.

“There he is now,” said Charlie, ripping into her thoughts. “Right over there. On the left. You see?”

Of course, she saw. How could she miss him? Tall, mighty easy on the eye, he leaned, glass in hand, against a plaster pillar, listening to the dozen people surrounding him.

“Don’t make plans,” she warned Charlie. Yet she couldn’t avoid looking in Carston’s direction again and noticed he didn’t seem to be enjoying himself. Oh, he nodded politely at what was being said, but his eyes had that vague glazed look that comes just before sinking to the floor with boredom. But didn’t he look delicious in that brown silk shirt and elegant tweed jacket; look how those jeans hugged his long legs. He was just the way she’d always imagined a successful playwright should be: cool, intelligent, strong, and sexy.

As if aware she’d been watching him, Carston turned slightly, caught her eye. She tried forcing herself to look away. And failed. For an eternity, their gaze held over the space separating them. Then detaching himself from the surrounding group, he headed in her direction.
She commanded herself to pretend  indifference, but her pulse accelerated, and her heart thumped a sensual jungle beat. Was this supposed to be pleasure? Something closer to pure panic. She swallowed, tried to summon up some zen-like calm…then realized she didn’t have any available. She needed help. Fast.

“Charlie?” she gasped. Looked around. Damn! Where had that man gone now that she needed him? The only thing left to do was run. Except she was incapable of movement. Fool. The reprimand didn’t get escape muscles into moving order.

Why come over here anyway? What would they talk about? They had nothing, absolutely nothing, in common. She had to stop staring at him like this.

Here he was now, tiny inches away, his jaw a hard definite line, his body that tight, sinewy stretch she’d thought about too many times during the night. But it was the expression in his eyes, warm eyes, humorous eyes, that confirmed her instinct: the immediate, deep reaction was mutual. Try as hard as they could to avoid it, something would happen. It was inevitable.

               And for once, she, Sherry Valentine, a woman with a smart answer, a flippant remark for everything, everyone, and every occasion, was tongue-tied.

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England,

Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no real interest. Much to everyone's dismay, she protects all living creatures -- especially spiders and snakes -- and her wild (or wildlife) garden is a classified butterfly and bird reserve.

Buy links:


To win a copy of Arlene's book, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address.
(Don't forget to say who you're bringing as a guest - the more original the better!) 
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)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Kara and Jody's winner is...


Congratulations, Adrienne, looks like you're in for a great read!

Thanks to  Vara and Jody for being such  wonderful  and fun guests of honour, and to everyone who commented and made this Roast such fun!

The hostesses appear on-stage, holding hands, to take a bow.
They hug each other and wave before leaving the stage.

"Just another Author Roast and Toast!"

Please 24th April when J Arlene Culiner will be our special guest.


Friday, April 17, 2015

'Dangerous Love' - party at an aquarium with Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford

“Did I ever mention I’m deathly afraid of sharks?” LaVerne shudders as she stares wide-eyed at the fifteen foot long hammerhead gliding through the water of the ten story aquarium teeming with sea life.

Image result for pictures of angel fishImage result for picture of sea dragons

Mac hums the theme from Jaws and grins when LaVerne jabs her with an elbow.

Lyn knocks her knuckles on the glass and laughs. “It’s an aquarium, sweetie, not the ocean, and the glass is at least eight inches thick. Unless you go to the top and dive in for a swim, I think you’re safe.”

“Oh, look at that!” Steam condenses on the surface as Mary presses her nose closer to check out the giant sea tortoise meandering high above.

Lilly and Debby coo as a school of angel fish skim along the glass in front of them.

 “I don’t know about the rest of you, but this is one of the coolest places we’ve ever thrown a party.” Mac glances around the large building. Surrounding the gigantic circular tank in the middle, dozens of smaller tanks line the walls and hold sea life of varying kinds, like leafy sea-dragons, giant eels, and majestic rays.

As if in greeting, an octopus moves over the clear wall of his home with hundreds of suction cups and waving arms.

The Hostesses jump and laugh as a California sea lion barks and waves his whiskered nose in the air.

Debby glances down at her jeans and sweater then up at the penguins waddling over their rocky enclosure like miniature waiters. “I didn’t realize it was black tie.”

Lyn grins. “Isn’t it great? In Kara and Jody’s book, Dangerous Love, Josh and Alessa have a date at an aquarium. They love all sorts of underwater creatures, especially the more exotic ones.”

“I’m assuming seafood isn’t on the menu,” Lilly drawls.

Mary laughs and looks up. Kara and Jody wave from the tenth floor balcony overlooking the central tank
where their roast party is already underway.

 Spying the elevator, Mary leads the hostesses inside and the doors close. “We’re having a Greek feast. Skewers of shish kebob, gyros, pork loin, couscous and hummus, with cheesecake and baklava for desert, and a decadent chocolate cake as the centerpiece.”

The doors open to the sounds of merriment and heavenly scents. As the hostesses hurry out of the car toward today’s guests of honor, LaVerne’s stomach growls and she blushes. “As long as there is no shark.”

Let's drink a toast and congratulate Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford on DANGEROUS LOVE!
their great new release.

(Today's introductory skit was written by 
Mac Crowne)

He’s fighting to forget his past while she struggles to remember hers…

Doctor Josh Parker lives with guilt about his wife’s death every day. He believes himself incapable of ever loving again, but when a mysterious woman arrives in the Emergency Room, brutally beaten and left for dead, he starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in far too long: hope.

Alessandra Matthews has no memory of the events that led to her being hospitalized. Worse, she has no idea who hurt her or why. Although she’s uncertain of who she is, she is fully aware of one thing—she’s falling for her doctor.

Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you… 

As Josh and Alessa work to solve the mystery surrounding her past, she soon realizes just how much danger she’s really in, but Josh refuses to let her face the darkness of her memories alone. With each of them struggling to put their pasts behind them, theirs is a DANGEROUS LOVE. 

EXCERPT: He picked up the small pitcher of ice water and poured some into a plastic cup, handed it to her. She finished the whole glass and held it back out, making him smile.

“This time with the pills.” He grinned, making him look younger as he passed her a tiny plastic cup with two pills inside. She kept her eyes wide open and on his the entire time, hoping that staying focused on him would keep her from another flash.

“All gone.” She smiled, and stuck her tongue out to prove it. He laughed lightly and took the cups from her, tossed the small one in the trash. He checked his pager, frowned, and then looked back up at her. “Do you think my memory will return?”

“I’m not sure. As I said, it’s not uncommon for victims of abuse to block memories. Almost self-preservation.”

She leaned her head back again and sighed. He moved to her side once more, and she could smell his cologne. It was becoming almost familiar to her,comforting.

“Well, maybe it’s better that way. I wasn’t living the best life. Clearly. I made someone mad.” She ran her fingers over the raised pattern in the hospital blanket.

“There is absolutely nothing you did to deserve this,” he said, his tone quiet but firm. She continued to trace the pattern. “Alessa, look at me.”

When her gaze found his, it was like lightning in her belly. Fast, intense, and electric. His eyes were fierce.

“No one deserves to be hurt like this, to be hurt at all. Regardless of what you remember, you need to go forward remembering that.”

She nodded, her eyelids heavy. She didn’t want to close them though. She didn’t want him to leave.

“You need some rest. But you’re safe. You know that right?”

She frowned at him, wondering how he could know that. He tilted his head to the side. How old is he? His eyes seemed older than the rest of him, and she figured he had seen enough to make that possible.

“Thank you. You’re going above and beyond. I’m sorry I’m taking up so much of your time.”

He stood for a moment, saying nothing, and she couldn’t read his expression. His shoulders slumped slightly, and he ran his hand through his already mussed hair. Giving a sigh, he stepped closer, put his hand over hers on the bed and squeezed lightly. Her pulse picked up even as her eyelids drifted closed. She tried to turn her hand in his, but her arm felt heavy.   As she nodded off, she thought she heard him say, “I want to be with you.” She tried to respond, tried to repeat his words so when she woke up, she could at least remember if he had really said them or if she had just wished he had.


Kara Leigh Miller is a hopeless romantic who spends her days weaving tales of love and heartbreak. She's a stay-at-home mom, full time author, and Managing Editor at Anaiah Press. 

Kara Leigh Miller
Editorial Director, Anaiah Press

Jody Holford is a wife, mom, reader, and writer. She's also a blogger and follower, a word twister, and a Gemini.

Jody's Amazon Page

To win a copy of Kari and Jody'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)