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, October 14, 2016

Darlene Fredette's sweet bakery party

Russet-colored leaves crunch underfoot as the hostesses wind their way along a wooded path, their destination a cute, lakeside cabin. The hint of winter is in the air with each deep inhale and LaVerne is dancing along as if in her element

“I adore Autumn! Oops—that’s Fall for you American folks, right? Such a perfect name for a perfect season, don’t you think? It’s as if the earth is putting on a show—and the best thing—” she gestures at her deathly pale skin. “No sun-block necessary.”

“I’m a summer girl myself,” Debby answers as she continues to set the pace. “Love the beaches and the sun, but boy—”

 Debby slows to a stop and grins widely at something ahead of her. “This is amazing. You’ve got to see this, girls.”

“I would if I could see past your hair,” quips Lilly. “I swear it’s grown bigger every couple of minutes.”

Debby pats her head. “Yikes!” She grimaces and tries to smooth her errant locks, but they just spring back up. “You’re not wrong. I knew I should have worn a bandanna. How bad does it look?” 

Mary’s eyebrows rise high on her brow as she comes closer to get a good look at her sister hostess.

“Wow, that’s impressive.” She glances over at LaVerne who is sharing a significant look with Lyn and swallows a chuckle, valiantly trying to turn it into a cough. 

Lifting her gaze beyond the eighth natural wonder that is Debby’s hair, she gasps at the sight laid out before them. “Don’t worry, Deb. I’ve a feeling your hair won’t be the main topic of choice for long. Look at that cabin! It’s got actual logs on the walls. And that lake! How idyllic.”

“That is something else, all right,” breathes Lyn as she catches up with everyone. “Our guest author, Darlene said she had the perfect place in mind to celebrate her book’s release. She wasn’t kidding.” She gestures at the wood-smoke curling out of the stone chimney, fading into the late afternoon sky. “And it looks like Oliver already has everything underway for us.”

“Let’s hurry up and get inside then,” Lilly suggests, rubbing her arms. “I don’t know about you ladies, but I’m starting to feel that chill. Maybe if I’m lucky, I can get in a sneaky cuddle from Oliver.”

“That’s fine with me,” Mary declares “I’ll cuddle with Travis. Not only is he gorgeous, but I hear he bakes too! You can’t get more perfect than that.”

The ladies rush up the porch together. Before any of them can knock, the door opens to Darlene, and behind her stands a couple, arms loose around each other and bright smiles of welcome on their faces. They look so right for each other they could only be Travis and Jesse from Darlene’s book, Nothing to Lose.

Darlene ushers them all inside. “Welcome, ladies. We couldn’t wait for you all to get here. Now the party can really start! We have a selection of bakery treats Travis and Jesse have made, so please, help yourselves. I highly recommend the cupcakes or cookies washed down with a mug of hot chocolate. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The hostesses don’t need to be invited twice and make a bee-line for the table laden with decadent comfort food. 

Blueberry cupcakes, lemon cheesecake, chocolate-chip cookies, cream-filled doughnuts and sweet shortbread are just a few of the delights tempting the guests. With so much to choose from,it just isn’t possible to select one or two and the room is soon humming with the buzz of contentment that comes with full tummies

Lilly takes everyone’s orders for hot drinks as the others settle into overstuffed couches and chairs, and makes her way over to Oliver who stirs a large pot of hot chocolate. 

As the hostesses watch, he puts down the ladle and opens his arms. 

True to her word, Lilly gets her cuddle and turns her head, giving them all a wide grin and wink. 

Oliver releases her with a smile, fills a tray with the order and blows them all a kiss.

Lilly places the tray on a central coffee table. 
“Here you go girls. Hot chocolate for now. I thought we could indulge in the red wine and multi-flavored liqueurs after we’ve finished eating.”
"Great idea, Lilly.” Mary settles deeper into her seat. “It’s so comfortable here, I don’t want to go anywhere. And the Dutch courage will be just what I need to get my hug on later too. I haven’t forgotten, you know.”

“We didn’t think you had for a moment,” assures Debby with a grin. “Just be careful with Travis when you do, okay?” She nods at the general area of Mary’s more than ample bosom. “It would be too cruel to be smothered to death just when he’s found true love.”

When the laughter fades, Lyn passes a mug to everyone, rises and clears her throat. “Let’s raise a toast to the guest of honor, Darlene Fredette.”

Once everyone is  standing, she continues. “We love nothing better than celebrating the release of a new book. Congratulations Darlene for the release of Nothing to Lose. May this time be as special and sweet as Travis and Jesse’s story is between the pages.”

(This week's introduction written by LaVerne)

Nothing To Lose
Release Date: October 05, 2016
Publisher: Escape Publishing
SubGenre(s): Contemporary
Rating: Sweet (PG)
Page Count: 52

She has one last hope – a small, family-run bakery that might just be baking up second chances. 

Dwindling finances has Jesse Robinson running out of options. With a past filled with failures, she longs for a new beginning. Applying for a job she isn’t qualified for may be another crazy mistake, but at this point Jesse has nothing to lose. 

Juggling two jobs, Travis Cooper has absolutely no time for a relationship and isn’t looking for one. But when his mother hires an unqualified baker, he has more to worry about than three-tiered wedding cakes. Like whether to break his own no-dating-employees rule and make a little room in his life for love. 

     ‘How hard can baking be? Easypeasy. Right?’ She knew her words to be untrue. She’d watched shows on the Food Network. The chefs on television made creating desserts appear simple, yet Jessie’s attempts always ended with opening a window and the lid on the garbage can.

     ‘I have no choice, and at this point I have nothing to lose.’ Jessie had thought the same before her previous four jobs. Though, she did excel at one particular skill—making bad choices. If only she could include that talent as a positive trait.

     She drew in a deep breath to calm her racing pulse. Desperation rolled in the emptiness of her stomach. She’d just go into the bakery and win them over. She had to. The two hundred dollars in her bank account would cover her car payment. As long as I don’t eat or drive anywhere, I’m good.
Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners.

Contact links:

Purchase Links:
Escape Publishing: 


To win a bookmark and keychain from Darlene, all you have to do is just leave a comment and your e-mail address. (For pictures and details see Darlene's Blog)
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)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Linda's winner is........


Congratulations, Mary - and thank you Linda for such a fun Vampyre Rhapsody party!

Wishing you even more success and many sales.

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 join us AGAIN  on October 14th when our special guest will be

Friday, September 23, 2016

Linda Nightingale celebrates a Vampyre Rhapsody

The hostesses, dressed in elegant Victorian attire, climb the stairs to the front entrance of Royal Oak, a centuries old ancestral home set atop the cliffs off the coast of Devon, England.

In the distance, waves crash against the rocks,
and a sharp wind whips across the sea, chilling the hostesses as Oliver opens the door and invites them into the home of Morgan D'Arcy, a titled lord, concert pianist, and vampire.

Oliver introduces the hostesses, Debby, LaVerne, Lilly, Lyn, and Mary to the handsome earl.

Lord D'Arcy bends over each of their hands, kissing their knuckles. "Good evening, ladies. Thank you for helping me host this party to celebrate Linda Nightingale's publication of my memoirs." He frowned. "I understand she's turned my life into some sort of romance novel."

Lyn beams. "Indeed, m'lord, and I hear it's quite good."

"Oh, yes," Mary gushes. "And you are every bit as handsome as the picture on the book's cover."

Lilly leans close to LaVerne. "He's more than handsome. He's freaking gorgeous. And with that long mane of  blond hair, he looks more like a rock star than a concert pianist."

"Or a vampire," LaVerne whispers, catching D'Arcy's eye. She slips behind Lilly, trying to hide behind her ample backside, made even larger by the bustle on the back of her dress. "Why is he staring at me?"

"You're so pale, he probably thinks you're a vampire too," Debby says as she pats her high-coiffed hair.

"I'm not that pale," LaVerne mumbles.

Mary stands arrow straight, her amble bosom all but popping out of the low decolletage of her dress. "Oh, we are so delighted to be your hostesses for the evening."

"Oh yes," Debby adds. "It's our pleasure."

"Stop gushing, ladies," Lyn says, stepping forward and nearly tripping over her large, slipper-clad feet. "We're not his only hostesses tonight. Dr. Amber Wolfe will be seated to his right."

"And we can't wait to meet her, Lord D'Arcy," LaVerne says when she finally gets the nerve to speak to him.

"Please, call me Morgan." His smile is almost hypnotic. "All of you, please."

"Oh, my" LaVerne squeaks, covering her neck with her hand. At that moment, a stunning redhead in a brilliant green gown approaches, and Lord D'Arcy, Morgan, only has eyes for her.

He watches her graceful approach as she all but glides across the floor.

Debby sighs. "Such love."

"Such beauty," Lilly adds.

Mary's stomach growls. "Such wonderful smelling food."

Amber Wolf laughs. "Thank you for helping Morgan and I host this celebration tonight. We'll be eating shortly -- a lovely sit-down dinner followed by an enchanting evening of music by my dear, Morgan."

"And where is the guest of honor?" Lyn asks.

"There she is," Mary says, rushing forward as Linda Nightingale steps into the room.

"Thank you so much for the lovely party," she exclaims. "The food looks lovely."

"Then by all means, lets eat," Morgan says, escorting the woman into the elegant  dining room where liveried servants align the walls, waiting to attend the guests' every need.
Once the ladies are seated, one servant brings chilled cucumber soup  while Oliver serves white wine.

This is soon followed by the main course of Norwegian Char with lemon and dill sauce. 

For dessert, there's Drambuie Crème Brule  and a sparkling Moscato wine. 

There's also Port with an assortment of cheeses including Stilton.

And just before Morgan suggests retiring to the music room, the hostess all stand and raise a glass to the guest of honor, Linda Nightingale.

"To you, Linda, and to your awesome new release, A Vampyre Rhapsody.

(This week's 'Roast' written and illustrated by Lilly Gayle)

Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody
By Linda Nightingale From The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Editor: Callie Lynn Wolfe
Tagline: A titled lord, concert pianist, and … vampire, Morgan D’Arcy has everything he wants…except what he most desires…the woman of his dreams—the search is on.
Rating: Spicy Digital Price:
$3.99 Print Price: $13.99

Blurb: The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D'Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless... you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?

“…Morgan…is a tour de force of egotism, wit, sensuality, and talent…” ~Author Toni V. Sweeney

“Morgan D’Arcy is a class act and the most arresting vampire I’ve ever
encountered in literature or films.” ~ Historical and Paranormal Romance Author Beth Trissel

Excerpt (Some adult content)

Mischief overcame me. “Vampires,” I kissed the word, trying to shock her. “Have a static aura.”

“One night you said that your victim experiences...” Her voice was low, throaty, and lusty.

“Intense pleasure.” I brushed my lips to the back of her neck, and a sigh escaped her.

“Kiss me.” She hugged herself, her tight bodice hinting at cleavage. “I long to feel that pleasure.”
Expectancy sizzled in the inches separating us. A shudder of pure desire leapt over me. Passion smoked in Amber’s eyes. She cradled my chin between index finger and thumb. I reached behind her, freeing her hair. Red silk drowned my hands. I sifted the gleaming strands through my fingers.

She was asking me to take her, and ód’s Teeth, I yearned to sink my fangs into her throat and shaft her until she released on a cry.

The tip of her pink tongue wisped over her lower lip. I stared at her beautiful mouth, her sensual expression achieving the effect she intended. My cock flexed hard. The dusky scent of her arousal ratcheted tension to breaking point. I needed Amber for more than sex. Taking her blood might bind her to me—or terrify her into leaving. She had accepted me, was working with me, but our fragile relationship balanced on a shilling.

I freed my face and kissed her hand to soften the blow then shook my head. “No.”

She lurched to her feet. “Why do you refuse? I know you find me attractive. You feel the magnetism between us.”

I glided upright in one svelte move, and fear darted across her face.

“When we are farther along the path of discovery, perhaps. We can’t allow anything to cloud our focus now.”

Her breasts heaved with rapid, angry breaths. “You would wag pleasure before me like a carrot tempting a stubborn horse?”

I arched a brow, chastising her for the dramatics. For several thudding heartbeats, she held my gaze before looking away. Without another word, I drifted to the hearth, my swift departure vampire light and soundless. In no uncertain terms, Amber must know the manner of man she tempted. Behind
me, I heard a soft gasp. If I enjoyed her fear and her angry, was I a monster?

The clock ticked a couple of seconds. How familiar the heavy mortal footsteps chasing me and immortality! She would now offer anything in an attempt to change my mind.

Delicate hands gripped my shoulders with startling strength. “Face me, Morgan, and tell me you don’t want to share pleasure with me.”

I shrugged. “I promised not to lie.”

Buy Link: Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody

About Linda:
Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award.

She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Symphony League, and enjoys events with her car club. Among her favorite things are her two marvelous sons, a snazzy black convertible, and her parlor grand piano. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LNightingale - @Lnightingale
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor
Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing  vampire story.
Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ - Lots of interesting guests & prizes
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

To win a copy of Linda'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)

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Romany celebration for Seeking Patience

“What the heck are you wearing?” LaVerne eyes Mary’s apparel with disdain.

“What is wrong with you?” Lyn’s audible sigh and grim smirk speak volumes.

As Mary gazes down at her floor length dark robe, the scarf covering her hair, wrapped haphazardly around her head reminiscent of a lopsided, colorful cake. And the garish makeup makes her look like a crazy person. Mary grins. “Well, my mother told me that the gypsies would kidnap me, and that I should try to fit in and escape when I could. They liked red haired little girls and my mother had bright red hair. Her mother warned her too, to be careful in areas known to have gypsy people living. They would snatch you up and make you one of their own.”

Lilly cannot help but to laugh. Debby joins in and soon the only one not laughing is Mary, who, wide eyed, smiles and blushes. Which makes the girls laugh all the harder at her.

“Listen sweetie, you are not a child and you don’t have red hair. I do. That only scratches the surface of the problem you pose in that getup. Couldn’t you just dress like the Rom here do?” Lyn points to the women in camp who wear long skirts and and blouses,
some colorful, some plainer homespun clothing. “Just take off the huge cape and you look fine underneath. Though we might have to chisel the makeup off. They didn’t have makeup like that in Regency times. Also, I hope you won’t call them gypsies, it’s disrespectful. ”

“I always research a bit when we go to these book celebrations. We know that the guests and the wonderful Josie Riviera will dress in the book’s time period.” Lilly’s nose twitches when she gets started.

Mary shrugs off the long cloak and mutters under her breath, "You guys have no imagination. someone might want to kidnap me. It's possible, really."

They enter the Romany camp Oliver, swashbuckling as ever, pats her on the back and gives her a huge smile.

“What is that roasting on the open fires?” LaVerne wonders aloud.

“That ladies, is roasted hedgehog.” A handsome, dark skinned, brooding man, with lots of black hair and almost black eyes passes the ladies each a glass of ratafia (Courtesty of Lady Blackwell) charming them with his flashing grin; he
calls out to Josie. “Josie your guests are here.”

“Bring them over by my fire.” A voice answers from one of the many blazes in the camp.

As the girls approach Josie’s caravan, the sounds of celebration fill the camp, and music brings lots of dancing.  The joy of the Rom’s free spirit is felt by all.

“Welcome ladies, are you ready to attend your first Romany celebration?” Josie hugs each one of them and offers seats around her fire.”

“We want to congratulate you on a wonderful story. And I can’t wait
to meet Luca and Lady Patience. But, in the meantime we’ve brought you a huge English pound cake decorated with clotted cream. I must say Josie, you drew me into that story with your writing. And we are thrilled to be here with you today.” Mary explains with a huge smile and obvious glee.

“Is she for real?” Lyn mutters and grunts when LaVerne elbows her. “I mean one minute she is crazy acting and the next more normal than imaginable.” Lyn whispers to LaVerne.

The girls join in the party and the Author Roast and Toast  helps welcome a terrific new book to readers. And love conquers all once again…

(This Roast was written by Mary Ricksen)


Do people prove their worth by strength , or by character?
Half-Romany, half-English lord, he lives a perilous Gypsy life … until a sweet English rose saves his life, and perhaps his soul. Widowed by a cruel husband, she's given up all hope of love. Brought together in peril, they dare to reach for a brighter future together.

Luca Boldor, Romany leader, lives a nomad’s life in Regency England with his Gypsy caravan. Believing his noble father abandoned him at birth, he refuses to acknowledge his English blood, or live a settled life. But when a vicious attack by a rival leaves him bleeding on an English lady's doorstep, he has no choice but to accept her help. Her gentle faith stirs his heart in a way he has long denied.

Lady Patience Blakwell, widowed countess, lives in near poverty. Her husband's heir uses threats to keep her from demanding her rightful inheritance. With a few faithful servants, she exists quietly in the country, only her faith keeping her strong … until the day a bold, handsome Gypsy collapses in her hall. He's unlike any man she's ever known, and she'll confront any subterfuge to keep him safe.

But when a secret from Lady Patience's past emerges, Luca must face his own past, or lose her and all hope of love. Will this strong man humble himself to open his heart for his lady?

Travel back to Regency England for this sweet, inspirational romance—get your copy of Seeking Patience today


Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Amazon Bestselling Author

 Click on her website for a free book:

To win a copy of Josie'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)