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)


  1. I think my original post got lost in cyber space...on in this case...in the woods, lol...so I'm posting again.

    Thank you, ladies for the extremely fun day! You ladies are a hoot! There was no better way to end my new release blog tour than with you here at the cottage. The chatting, drinks, snacks, and setting were the best!

    All comments are entered in my giveaways for a baker's bookmark and keychain!

    I look ward to chatting with everyone :)

  2. Hi Darlene,

    So glad you like our party, I hope you've had a successful release tour and that you'll have many more sales for 'Nothing to Lose', sounds like a really delightful short read so there's no exduse not to download it!

    1. Thank you, Hywela! It's been so much fun hanging out with you ladies! My fingers are crossed for big sales :)
      Now how about a warm drink with a bit of a kick... ;)

    2. I'm in for a drink with a kick - thanks Darlene! I'll try and hold Mary back just a little longer. Poor Travis won't know what hit him! ;)

    3. Hi LaVerne - yes I think poor Travis may need a bodyguard - or Mary may need one if Jesse catches her! LOL

  3. Holy Cow, what a blog post! Congratulations Darlene.

    1. Thanks for joining us, GiniRifkin! Don't forget to add your email so you're in the draw for that gorgeous prize!

    2. Hi Gini, welcome to the party, if you wink at him Oliver will bring you some of the gorgeous cakes Jesse and Travis have made!

  4. Well, apparently, my previous comment didn't post. But I'm here and I love the cabin. Reminds me of a Thomas Kinkade painting. Darlene, congratulations on your latest release!

    1. Hi Lilly, yes the cabin does have an aura of Thomas Kinkade about it doesn't it! *Sigh* I could happily live here always. Funny comments seem to be going missing today - I wonder who's stealing them. It couldn't be...Cuddles could it> Did the sidekicks follow us today>? Cuddles, Cuddles, come here Cuddles, bring back those comments - now!

  5. I think this has to be one of my most favourite party spots yet. I could seriously live here forever - this cabin is perfection! Congratulations on your release, Darlene and thanks for celebrating with us :)

    1. LOL LaVerne, great minds think alike - I made my comment before I saw yours!

  6. I love autumn too & I have a sweet tooth.


  7. Hi Mary,

    Well there are plenty of virtual goodies here for those with a sweet tooth! (Sadly my 'sweet tooth' isn't virtual though! LOL)

  8. Mu apologies for missing some comments. They came in after I logged out for the day.

    Thank you so much, Hywela, LaVerne, Lilly, and Oliver for hosting me. It was so much fun having you join me at the cottage with so many treats and drinks!

    Thank you for stopping by Gini and Mary!

    I'll be holding the draw soon! Winners to be announced on my blog this afternoon.