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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Arlene's Winner is...

Mary Preston

Congratulations Mary your prize is on its way. 

Thanks to  Arlene for being such a fantastic 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!"

We're taking a few weeks break but watch this space
for details of our next guest


Friday, May 15, 2015

A party on the seashore for Felicity's Power, J Arlene Culiner

"I haven’t ridden a horse in years,” LaVerne announces to the other hostesses, patting her bay mount’s sturdy neck and swaying in time to its gentle gait. “I’d forgotten how much I loved it.”
Crushed under hooves, the long grass from the field releases their sweet scent of summer’s promise.

Mary closes her eyes and breathes deeply. “They should bottle that smell. Warm horse and nature. You can’t beat it.” The faint sound of a car on gravel ruins the effect and her eyes pop open. 
“Nature?” Lilly twists around in her saddle, winces then rubs her bottom before glaring at Mac. “That’s the fifth car I’ve seen in as many minutes. I thought you said the party was being held in a remote cabin on the coastline and this was the only way in.”

“Yeah, well,” Mac hedges. “It seemed pretty isolated on Google maps. Anyway,” she winks at the other girls. “I thought with your extra padding you’d be fine.” Mac chuckles as Lilly tries to take a swipe at her and nearly falls off her horse in the process. She gestures at their surroundings. “You have to admit this is a great way to see the countryside.”

“My favourite kind of transport.” Lyn beams, as she stands in her stirrups and sniffs the air. “We can’t be far now. I can smell the sea!”

Their party tops a rise and Mary lets out a squeal, grabbing Debby’s arm. “And I can see it!” She expertly wheels her horse to a stop to admire the view.

“Just look at that!” Debby breathes. “No wonder Felicity and Marek fell in love here."

A rustic cabin that looks as if it were put together piecemeal sits back of a rocky outcrop which drops down to the sea. Sunlight bounces off the tide pools that dot the shore below.
Lilly brings her horse to a halt beside them and sighs. “Oh, it is romantic. I’d be here all the time if it were mine.” She arches a brow at Mac as she spies a few parked cars to the side of the building. “But like the smart guests who’ve made it here before us, I’d be taking a car!”

“Come on, ladies.” Debby nudges her horse forward. “Enough dilly-dallying. I can’t wait to say hi to Arlene again. She has the best parties with the yummiest of guests—uh,I meant food! And I need to fix my hair. Lord knows what this helmet has done to it.”

Lyn snorts. “I don’t think you need to worry, Debby. That big hair of yours is something else. It’ll spring back to life in seconds.”

The horses’hooves clip-clop on the packed gravelly sand and they ride along the shoreline. As they approach the cabin, the front door opens. Arlene steps out, a wide smile of welcome lights her face. “Oh, you’re here! I heard horses and wondered who it could be. Of course it had to be the Roast ladies. You girls sure know how to make an entrance.”  

LaVerne laughs. “That wasn’t quite the intention, but it sure was fun.”
She dismounts and pulls the reins over her horse’s head and the other hostesses follow suit, stifled groans of relief escaping everyone’s lips. Arlene shakes her head with a grin and with a ‘wait there’ signal, pops her head back through the door. Moments later, a group of pre-teen girls come out and excitedly relieve the hostesses of their mounts. 
“Come inside, girls. Everyone’s waiting. We can’t start the party without you!”
Oliver greets them with a chilled glass of dry white wine which they all take gratefully. Moments later, he’s back with a cocktails, then a tray filled with a trio of mouth-watering vegetarian canap├ęs. Mushroom and stilton tarts, feta bruschetta and a delicious Fig and olive tapenade on toasted baguettes.

A table groans with platters full of fresh fruit, asparagus rolls, spicy corn fritters and a wide assortment of salads. In a nod to the coastal setting, oysters in their shells sit on beds of ice along with mussels both smoked and plain.

Centre-stage of the room is the most gorgeous of cake creations. The cover of Felicity’s Power sits proudly atop it. Mary licks her lips. “I don’t know what looks more delicious. The cake or that cover!” 
 “I know,” Arlene agrees. “I loved this cake so much last time that I had to have it again. You can never have too much of a good thing, right?” she asks. 

“Never,” Lilly affirms and raises her glass of chardonnay, waiting until she has everyone’s attention. “To J. Arlene Culiner and her latest book, Felicity’s Power Here’s to indulging in all good things!”  

This week's skit was written by LaVerne Clark

Contemporary Romance from The Wild Rose Press

San Francisco, 1971: hippies in the streets, music and revolution in the air. The evening Marek Sumner opened his door to the wild-looking Felicity Powers, he knew nothing would ever be the same again. But even love and passion couldn’t keep them together.

Forty-three years later, having lived in the world’s most dangerous places as a foreign aid worker, Felicity is back, still offering him love, passion, and adventure. But why would Marek risk having his heart broken a second time? Now a well-known author, he loves his calm, solitary life in an isolated farmhouse. He and Felicity are just too different; their relationship could never work.

But Felicity is just as fascinating and joyful as ever, and that wonderful sexy magic is still there too. As for love, perhaps it’s even deeper and more delightful the second time around.


“Making a quick getaway?” Felicity stood in the doorway taking in the scene: the open but  fully packed suitcase on the bed, Marek’s trench coat flung over the table. He was on his way out. No denying the evidence.

Marek sat in the armchair by the window, his face tight, his eyes haunted. “I’m sitting here, in a chair, right? Aren’t the words ‘a quick getaway’ somewhat of an exaggeration?” He drawled the words out slowly, mockingly.

“Okay then. A slow getaway.”

He stared at her, unable to pull his eyes away. Her face was pale, her expression wild.  Loose tendrils of hair shadowed her neck, calling attention to the slow throb of veins under the delicate skin. She looked sexy as hell. Tempting and far too dangerous to think about.

“Not quick, not slow. Neither one of the above. No getaway.” His voice was icy, impersonal.

“That!” Her arm waved wildly, gesticulated in the direction of the suitcase. A sharp, searing feeling of betrayal mixed with humiliation kept her tense, unrelenting. “I mean, if you want me out of here, all you have to do is tell me. Since you’re obviously desperate to get rid of me.” She felt as if she’d been stabbed. She crossed the room slowly until she was standing beside him, staring down at him, her eyes flashing with determination and fury. “But let’s not forget you were the one who invited me up here. Remember? I didn’t ask to be put up in your hotel room.”

But you might have done so. If he hadn’t taken matters into his own hands. Well, never again. Never. Your time is up as far as I’m concerned, Marek Sumner!

He stood up, studied her for a minute, silently.

“God, you’re beautiful.” It was as if the words had been wrenched out of him, as if he would have given anything not to say them, but they made her heart stand still.

  ISBN Digital: 978-1-62830-876-1
ISBN Print: 978-1-62830-875-4
Page Count: 226

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.
In her perfectly realistic contemporary romances, heroines are funny, and heroes are dashingly lovable. All are proudly over the age of forty.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Arlene-Culiner <file://localhost/pages/J-Arlene-Culiner>


To win a copy of Arlene '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)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Adrienne's Winner is ...

Congratulations Pamela, your prize is on its way. 

Thanks to Adrienne Dunning for being such a delightful 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 in two weeks' time on the 15th MAY when  Arlene Culiner, ever a glutton for punishment,
returns for her second Toasting and will feature her new book Felicity's Power.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Seeking Solace

Welcome to the Ship’s Inn Tavern on Scotland's beautiful east coast.
Please greet our special guest this week, Adrienne Dunning  
 and her novel 'Seeking Solace'.

 Debby's hands tighten on the steering wheel of the rented Land Rover. "I hope we find North Berwick soon. This snow is getting worse by the minute. I don'’t understand why Sarah picked the
east coast of Scotland in the winter for her honeymoon."

Mary, seated next to Debby, peers through the snowy windshield. "Who would have thought she’'d be coming here alone. I see a light up ahead. Yes, it looks like a pub."
 "Thank goodness," Lyn replies from the backseat. "There's bound to be food and drink. I’'m starving."

"Of course there's food and drink, this is Scotland," Mac says. Oh, look at the pretty harbor."

Mary squirms in her seat. "The only thing I'm interested in right now is finding the loo. It's been hours since we left the airport."

 LaVerne sighs.  "I hope Sarah won't be angry that we came looking for her. There had to be something truly wrong for her to run out of the church like she did."

"She's our friend. She knows we'll be worried and would want to make sure she's all right,"  Debby says, parking the Land Rover.

"Toto, I don’t think we’re in Connecticut anymore,” Mary says, as they hurry into the rustic Ship’s Inn Tavern.

"Wow, this looks like something right out of a Hollywood movie set," Lilly says taking in the smoky low-beamed room with its flagstone floor, hand-carved bar, wide granite fireplace and wall-mounted dead animal heads.

LaVerne shivers. "Let’s get a table over by the fire. I’'m freezing."

Debby sniffs appreciatively. "Something sure smells good."

"Don't the Scottish eat something called Haggis?" Lilly says. "Perhaps that’s what it is."

"There'’s not that many people in here, does anyone see Sarah?" Mac asks.

"No, but check out the hunky guy behind the bar," Lyn whispers.

"The only thing I have to check out is the loo,” Mary says hurrying away.

As the girls make themselves comfortable around a large oak table, a handsome young man wearing a kilt approaches.  They smile at Oliver as he suggests a nice dram of Scottish whisky, a spiced ale or perhaps a pot of herbal tea.”

Debby smiles. "When in Scotland... I think tea and whisky all around would be appropriate."

Mac points toward the back of the inn. “Who’s that with Mary?”

"Oh my, it’s Sarah," Lyn replies excitedly as they all jump up to greet their friend.

"I found her playing darts," Mary says with a big grin.

"What are all of you doing here?" Sarah asks as she hugs each girl. 

"When you ran out of the church, and days went by and we didn't hear from you, we had to follow," LaVerne replies. "We hope you're not mad."

Tears fill Sarah’s eyes as she smiles. "Mad. No, I’m not mad. I can't tell you how happy I am to see you. Wait until you meet Bretton Keith."

Who's that?" Mac asks.

A blush stains Sara’s cheeks. “Well, he's right over there." She points to the handsome man behind the bar. "He's um, very nice, and the owner of the pub."

Mary fans herself. “He doesn't look nice, he looks hot."

Debby lowers her voice. "We have to know, what does he wear under that kilt?"
Sara’s blush deepens. "Stop that. We just met."

Lilly clears her throat. "Here he comes."

Bretton Keith is a tall man with thick wavy hair. He stops next to Sara and puts his arm around her shoulders. "Sarah lass, who are these lovely ladies?"

"Bretton, these are my friends from Connecticut. They came all this way because they were worried about me."

"Well, I think this calls for a party. Let’s have us a wee dram then a bite to eat. We have a nice mutton or beef stew or a thick slice of gammon steak I think ye be likin'."

Sarah smi
les. "And Cranachan for dessert. Oh, also, Bretton's band, Captain's Folly will be playing tonight. They're great."

As the girls follow Sara and Bretton back to the table, Mary lowers her voice. "Isn't  mutton sheep meat?"

"I think so,”" Debby whispers back. “"But what's gammon steak?"

Mac shakes her head. "I haven’t a clue. I was hoping for some fish and chips."

"I think we should just stick with dessert," Lilly suggests. "You can’t go wrong with that."

"Maybe they’ll have some nice shortbread cookies," LaVerne adds.

"Ach, I dinna ken what you’re so worried about," Lyn says in her best brogue."It's all good Scottish fare, and gammon is just a roast or boiled bacon joint."

 There is tumultuous aplause as the hostesses introduce Adrienne Dunning  and her novel 'Seeking Solace'.

 This week's introductiary skit was written by Debby Grahl

Sometimes running away is the first step in the right direction. Sarah Collier’s life has always been scripted for her, according to the expectations of her domineering, socially-connected Connecticut family. Everything always went as planned…until the unthinkable happened moments before walking down the aisle. On a whim, she does the first thing that comes to mind—she takes off on her honeymoon, alone. Sarah has never acted on spontaneity, so the impromptu trip may not be what Sarah thinks it will. The quaint and rustic harbor village of North Berwick on Scotland’s East Lothian coast is typically devoid of tourists in the winter. So when an auburn-haired stranger who wanders into his pub on a cold, Sunday evening, Bretton Keith, self-assured and flirtatious pub owner that he is, sees an opportunity to break up the monotony of another village winter.

 As Bretton comes to know, he finds it increasingly difficult to uphold his credo of never becoming attached. Can he forget the mistakes of the past and learn to trust another with his heart? Will Sarah, daring to think of her life in a different way, be brave enough to risk it on a man who was so hurt by another that he swore off ever falling in love again, or will the demands of her family prove too big an obstacle to overcome? **Most readers will consider this a sweet contemporary romance. While the characters do have a physical relationship, the scenes are not graphically explicit."

He started to move away, but she realized she didn’t want him to.  Not thinking about anything else, only a way to keep him close, she reached out, and grabbing his jacket with both hands, she rose up on her feet and kissed him.  She could tell he was caught off guard at the very first, but then he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her to him. 
Teaser 2He took control, and Sarah parted her lips.  He took advantage of that to deepen the kiss, and though her back was cold in the night air, warmth was spreading from her chest to her legs where he was holding her against him.  Eyes closed, only conscious of the sensation of where they touched, she felt as if they were part of the beautiful green lights swirling in the atmosphere.  She reached up with one hand and skimmed it over his neck and into the thick waves of his hair.  

The kiss seemed to go on forever.  Bret thrilled at the feeling of her body against his, despite the heavy winter coats.  Her lips were soft, and she tasted of the whiskey they'd been drinking.  It was a heady combination.  When her mouth parted more beneath his, he couldn’t resist letting his tongue explore the whiskeyed sweetness of hers.  His neck warmed from the caress of her hand even though he had been trying to brace against the cold wind.  He could feel her hand woven in his hair and heard the soft moan at the back of her throat. 
She slowly broke the kiss and slid her hand from his hair, letting it trail down his neck and his chest.  She kept it there on his chest for a moment with her head bowed, and he heard her soft sigh.  Then, to his amazement, she turned and ran. 

“Sarah!  Sarah!”

He stood there and watched as she ran down the wall of the marina, across Harbor Terrace, and lost her as she ran in the darkness down Victoria Road toward the hotel. He knew it was better this way.  She didn’t strike him as the type to be satisfied with just a few nights.  Yes, he instinctively knew this, but there was a nagging at him.  A tugging that told his instincts that there was something about this girl that he should try harder to hold on to.  He didn’t fight the notion because he knew deep down it was true, and the bitter cold of the midnight air hit him in full force as he stood alone on the point, all of her beautiful warmth running away from him.

Author Bio
Adrienne Dunning is simply a Southern gal who has fun playing poorly at golf when she’s not crafting novels.  She loves all forms of expression—writing, dancing, cooking, talking—and does them frequently and with abandon.  She loves creating endearing and feisty characters full of humor and just a little awkwardness to keep them "real".  Although a possible mystery series is under current exploration, her current works are primarily aligned with the contemporary romance/chick lit genres.  She is heavily active in her local NaNoWriMo chapter, and Seeking Solace, her debut novel releasing April 2015, is the resulting product of a NaNo project.  She lives in coastal North Carolina and uses that region as the setting for many of her stories.  

Social Media Accounts:
Twitter:  @adriennedwrites
Website & Blog:  www.adriennedunning.com

To win a copy of '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)