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, April 29, 2016

The hostesses go back in time to celebrate Lilly Gayle's forthcoming release 'Wilder Hearts'

Argh, this corset is murder on the ribs.”

Lyn elbows Mary. “Ssh!” Her gaze darts around the reception room of Pearl House, a historic hotel in Austin, Texas. “We’re celebrating the release of Lilly’s latest book, Wilder Hearts. Let’s not talk about murder, especially here.”

“What’s wrong with here?” LaVerne asks, giving a little twirl and watching her full-length skirt billow out around her ankles.

Debby leans close, lowering her voice. “One of the cooks that worked here was a suspect in the The Servant Girl Annihilator murders. The case was never solved.”

LaVerne stops her twirling and glances up, her face more pale than usual. 

“So…does that mean the killer is still out there?” She latches on to Lyn who’s busy admiring the glossy leather of her lace-up ankle boots.

Lyn shakes her off and rolls her eyes. “Relax. That was well over a hundred years ago. I think you’re safe.”

“True ” Debby drawls with a wicked gleam in her eye. “But Lilly’s hero and heroine, Jake and Ellie have traveled through time to party with us. Stands to reason the killer could have too.”

Mary’s hand stills in her attempt to squish the girls back into her bodice and instead plumps them back up again. “Is he here? Where? Oh, I just love a proper western man, all burly and rugged. And Lilly’s Jake is a former Texan Ranger. Can he get any sexier?”

“You are so bad, Debby.” Lyn shakes her head and drags LaVerne by the hand towards the centre of the room where Lilly is holding sway to an adoring crowd. “Let’s go celebrate with our Lilly.”

Pushing through the throng proves difficult and as they stop for a breather, they become aware of the music filling the room. In the far corner, on a makeshift stage a live band play a ballad. The melody is at once old-world and beautiful. In the middle of the room, the crowd steps back to form a circle where a couple dance as if no one is watching, their movements simple, elegant and synchronized. When they finish, the crowd erupts into applause and the band move effortlessly into a more modern bluesy rock number.

“My question has just been answered,” Mary sighs. “Jake definitely can get sexier. Look at those hips move.”

“Don’t get any ideas, Mary.”

They all turn to find Lilly standing before them, resplendent in a pink-colored dress trimmed in lace. Her eyes dance and her cheeks glow with pleasure.

The hostesses whoop and cheer as one, taking turns to hug her and talking all at once.

“You look amazing!

“Look at this turn out!

“You clever girl!

“We’re so excited for you, Lilly!

“This place is to die for!”

Mary winces as a large foot suddenly treads on her toes. Her yelp is cut off by the look of death Lyn directs her way.

Lilly hugs them all back. “Thanks for organizing my roast, ladies. You must try the food. I tell you, Austin folk sure do know how to put on a feed! I had to take my corset off after a couple of bites of those baby back ribs and cucumber slaw. I gave up putting it back on after seeing the plates of chicken-fried steak, garlic taters and fried okra.”

“You’re speaking my language, Lilly.” Mary rubs a hand over her ribs. “Save me and lead on to the bathroom so I can take this torturous device off.”

A murmur of agreement goes up through the group.
“Before we do that, ladies, I spy Oliver making his way towards us – bearing a tray of glasses, no less! I wonder what’s in them.”

Every head swivels towards the direction LaVerne is looking. Sure enough, the handsome waiter dressed in saloon-slick leather waistcoat and shirt saunters over. 

Lilly grins. “Frozen margaritas. I thought it fitting 
since we’re in Texas. Thank you, Oliver.”

He bends and give Lilly a quick peck on the cheek then winks when she giggles like a girl before disappearing back through the crowd, his tray empty.

The hostesses all gaze after him, then turn back to Lilly with envious glances.  

Debby is the first to recover. “Well, on that note, I propose a toast to our sister host and author extraordinaire, Lilly Gayle. Congratulations on the release of Wilder Hearts. We’re so very excited and proud of you.”

This week's skit written by LaVerne

 Writing about the outlaw, Jake the Snake, could be the opportunity of a lifetime—if it doesn’t get her killed.

When Ellie Wilder takes her sister from their grandfather's home, she's determined to put her family back together and write of their adventures. Then she runs into Jacob Harper, a man who resembles Jake the Snake, a notorious outlaw who once rode with Billy the Kid. Is it possible the outlaw who escaped justice has mended his ways? Or is the handsome Mr. Harper now murdering servant girls in Austin?

Finding out the truth could be the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime.
Former Texas Ranger Jake Harper has returned to Texas to help solve the Servant Girl Annihilator murders. But when a similar murder occurs in Harmony, Texas, Jake goes undercover as Jake the Snake to find a connection between the series of brutal murders. Then Ellie Wilder shows up. Her snooping could blow his cover and get her killed, but Ellie soon becomes a bigger threat to his heart than his investigation.

The book is on pre-order now. It releases May 6.
 Buy links: pre order at:

Available May 6 at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Lilly%20Gayle%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

Also available for preorder through the iTunes store.

To win a copy of Lilly'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. Oh LaVern, I love my Roast. It's perfect and so much fun. An e-book of Wilder Hearts and the first book in my Western Hearts series, Helpless Hearts to on lucky commenter today.

    1. Lilly I hope you sell a ton. I love this story line. Don't I look hot in this dress?? So, what men are available??

    2. You look amazing, Mary. Now, tuck the girls back in before you draw unwanted attention from Maurice. lol!

  2. Hello Lilly, welcome to your Roast and congratulations on your forthcoming release, it sounds like an absolute 'must read'!

  3. Thanks Lyn. Little known fact: The Servant Girl Annihilator struck between Dec. 1884-1885. Soon after, Jack the Ripper began his rampage in London. Some believe the killer was the same person. I document some of the details in the case in Wilder Hearts. And Jake thinks the Malay cook, Maurice was the Annihilator and the Ripper. Come to think of it, I think I heard someone call the assistant chef Maurice. You don't think Debby is right do you? Did the killer travel forward in time when Jake and Ellie did? I don't know about you ladies, but I'm sticking close to Jake and Oliver.

  4. That is so interesting, Lilly I have to admit I hadn't put the two together. Now you have me nervous, yes, let's not let Jake and Oliver out of our sight!

  5. Well, Lyn, it looks like we have them all to ourselves. Uh oh, I think Ellie is watching us. I hope she's not the jealous type. I didn't write her that way, but you never know with some women. And she is young...

  6. lol - I guess maybe I'd better not walk with my arm around Jake then> :)

    Wonder where the others are - hope they're OK; It's getting late - talking about which, let's get back to the food, I'm starving again.

  7. Oh, my!! I hope Debby isn't right! But then, it does give me an excuse to cosy up to Jake. *sigh*

    Lilly - you look absolutely stunning in pink! Congratulations on yet another fab book! I love anything you write.

  8. Gee. Thanks LaVerne. And when is your next book coming out?

    1. Hi LaVerne, well at least the three of us are OK - but I wonder where Mary and Debby are. I hope they're OK. You've got me all jittery talking about Maurice/The Ripper. *shiver* hope they're just holed up somewhere drinking marguaritas!

    2. I just hope I don't pass out. lol! Better late than never, but the party seems to be in full swing now. Thank you ladies for a wonderful roast.

  9. Replies
    1. Hi Karen! Thanks for popping by :)

    2. Hi Karen - we will need your email address to enter you in the draw - otherwise we won't know where to find you if your name comes up! :)

  10. A great roast. Loving all of the gowns.


    1. Aren't they simply gorgeous, Mary! They're even better once the corsets came off though - *relieved sigh*

    2. Hi Mary, lovely to see you here again, I see Oliver making his way to you now with refreshments! Glad you like the gowns, but I'm with LaVerne about the corsets. Instruments of torture!

    3. Wishing our guests luck on the drawing. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  11. Just got my electricity back, sorry for being AWOL, but I am buying this book for sure. It is right up my alley. So pass the food!!!

  12. Well at least your not lying in a pool of blood slashed by the ripper! So glad you're back with us Mary, I'm loving the sound of Lilly's book too!