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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Savvy Saturday: Favorite Parts of Elfin Nights from Brantwijn Serrah

We at CBG asked author Brantwijn Serrah what were her favorite parts of her upcoming book, Elfin Nights, to be released May 1st. She not only told us all of the good bits, but she gets to share them today with us as well!

What is your favorite part in your new book, Elfin Nights, and why?


My favorite part: Sure, let's start out with an impossible question, ha! It's so hard to decide, but I think if I had to pick only one, it's a scene about halfway through the book when Finn has to steal a bit of magic from a jealous faerie temptress called the Mariposa. I love writing Finn when he's being witty and snarky; it's just so easy with him! So I loved writing the back-and-forth, the careful way he turns on the charm for Mariposa first, then the point where she pushes him a little too far. Finn drops the courtly politeness and is ready to brawl so quick. I love letting him off his leash, so to speak, and shed the Prince Charming act (which, admittedly, he is also good at), so he can show a bit of the beast beneath.

Teaser:

“Milady Mariposa,” I greeted her, sweeping into a bow. My anger and irritation still seethed—hard to forget all the insults she’d thrown my way, with the spider bite and the cuts of her thorns still smarting all over me—but when dealing with powerful Sidhe one did not jump into negotiations on an accusation. I’d entered her realm uninvited, after all. She’d see it not just as a right, but an obligation, to let her pets have their way with me.

“I’ve come far to ask thine aid,” I told her. “My wards, Gloriana’s changeling daughters, are vulnerable without me, and I have sworn an oath to return to them. The Desert of Bones has left me sapped of magic, and I beg a boon of thee, if thou wouldst share one fruit, nay, even one half, to restore me.”

Her wings folded in and out, shades of pink now rippling across them. Some kind of laughter echoing from within her, I thought. She said nothing for a very long time, though, indulging in a little more of what I could only take to be mental undressing.

“Tis a pretty boon thou asketh of me, Knight,” she said at last. “And with thou disgraced as well, and turned out from thy Court. Were I to help thee, the Queen of Springtime may take offense.”

“The new queen is my ward, and she will hold no wrong against thee for aiding me to find her again. It may even be she will reward such loyalty in bringing me home.”

She laughed out loud, and the pink tint of her wings shivered with the sound and brightened nearly to white. The color settled again to ruby as she composed a smile once more, and she climbed to her feet to meet me.

“Ah, yes, mayhap she would. A boon of my own to return her precious plaything.”

She said it with intentional ugliness, the way a jealous ex might refer to her lover’s new romantic interest. Gloriana probably hadn’t spared the Elvyn Court any detail of my scandal, regardless how it affected her daughters.

Something to discuss after I made it back to my ladies. I bowed my head in a show of humility and said, “Queen Gloriana did rightly punish my transgressions. Alas, though, she appointed no other guardian to my ladies before she died and thus their safety is still in my hands. To my knowledge, the new queen has not upheld Gloriana’s sentence upon me, nor replaced me, so I am left to conclude she yet prefers me at her service.”

Another laugh. The sweet fragrances of rose and raspberries and light, white wine followed her as she circled me. “No, Sir Knight, I doubt the High Elvyn Queen would dismiss such a novelty as thee. I daresay the strength and stamina of the Children of War should be most pleasing to any fae woman. T’would be fine as riding the darkest stallion night after night, and finding him ever ready and willing to ride again evening next. Art thou such a beast, Sir Knight?”

I gestured to the transfiguration Gloriana had laid on me with her curse. “As thou may see, milady, of late I am not exactly the man I was.”

“Hm, yet still a Knight.”

Her ears came to a smooth point, like all elves, and as she turned I caught the gleam of a gold tattoo inked between her wings and winding down her skin past the plunging back of her gown. Butterflies in flight, of course. Flecks of the same gold, like filigree, peppered her bare shoulders, neck, and even the first few inches of her hairline. They caught and reflected the changing glow of her wings like fiery embers.

Maybe I should have expected her touch, but she caught me by surprise. Her fingertips traced my bicep and made me shiver. Without meaning to, I cringed away.

Her leering smile could cut glass. She strolled past me and back to the thick bank of clover. She tossed a wink over her shoulder and let one cap sleeve of her gown drop down an inch or so off her smooth, golden shoulder.

“Since thou ask a taste of my fruit,” she murmured, “I request a taste of thine in return. Join me in my bower, Sir Knight. Share with me the pleasures thou has heretofore squandered on two silly little changeling girls. I will show the Son of the Morrigan true bliss, here in this garden.”

She coyly shrugged her other shoulder, slipping the second cap sleeve free. The dress hung on, but the slightest twitch would send it pooling at her feet.

“And once thou provest thyself a worthy stud, I shall give thee one of the fruit. If, of course, thou still wishes to go…”

I stared at her.

What do you think will be your reader's favorite part, and why?

What I hope readers will enjoy most are the romance scenes, because really, the devotion Finn has for his girls is the very heart of this story. As an erotic writer, I'm very excited to share steamy moments of menage romance (and as in most of my books, I wanted the sex to be brazen, and immersive, and hot--I don't write R-rated stuff, I like it turned all the way up to NC-17!). At the same time, Finn and his princesses have such an abiding love, such a powerful bond. I think this might be the most romantic book I've written so far. So I hope readers can really get lost in that, and get worked up, and get misty-eyed from the trio's very unique bond.

An (unfortunately) PG-13 Teaser:
Nineva let out a bright gasp—not at my words, but at my touch. She shuddered under my hands and squirmed, a mewl of strained delight escaping her.

“Oh, Knight!” she breathed. “No, do not let go. Thou hast no idea the fire coursing through me, a flame without air, needing to burn and struggling to breathe.”

She grabbed my wrist and stood on tiptoe to plant a hard kiss on my lips.

“My body must remain within the ley line,” she whimpered. “It washes away excess energies I cannot command. But ah, my Knight! How it burns in me. How it threatens to break me open!”

Underneath my palms the shimmering lines of elvish on her skin buzzed and hummed. The sensation spread and reverberated in me, awakening the prowling need of my own power, which had been roused this day by war, but never fed. When she kissed me, I hardened against her. She bit my lower lip then arched to me with a moan.

“Nina…” I whispered.

“I need this,” she rasped. “Finn, oh, Finn…I feel I will spin out of control…”

“Aye, lass…”

I slid my hands down to hike her up on me, and she wrapped her legs tightly around my waist. We tumbled off balance until I backed her against the stone wall, planting one hand against it while the other clutched her pert bottom to hold her up.

“Nina, lass…you are not usually so…”

“I am taken with fever for you, Child of War,” she growled. “This energy…take it from me Finn. Please, please take it.”

I stared into the white stars of her eyes and read more than heat. She strained for release. She shook with it. She needed something hard and strong and now, to work the tension out of her.

I was all three. And her mad yearning infected me like a plague.

I pressed my princess—no, my queen, now my queen of lightning storms and bursting red blooms, queen of clear bright nights, shooting stars, and brisk, burbling streams—harder against the wall. Our lips met, almost violent, our tongues warring as if we meant to devour each other. Her hands tangled in my hair, grasping, tugging, while my fingers dug hard into the flesh of her buttocks, through the ephemeral fabric of her gown.

Elfin Nights
eBook
$3.99
Preorder:

A fae Knight’s life belongs to the monarchies, but for Finn of the Morrigan, his life comes second to his heart. And his heart belongs to his ladies.

The changeling princesses of the Springtime elves share a unique bond with their Knight—a bond that must remain perfectly secret. When the Queen of the Elves discovers their passionate love, she curses and exiles Finn from the elfin lands forever. With their guardian sent away to a lifeless wasteland, the royal changelings have no defense when the unseen enemies of the Four Courts attack, and the House of Elves falls.

To save his loves, Finn will need to break out of prison, undertake a perilous journey across the lands of Thairy, face wicked creatures, rogue Knights, and one of the most dangerous monsters in the fae world.

The enemy will soon learn what it means to provoke a true Son of War.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell Review by Manoflabook.com


Buy Bai Tide from Amazon.com*
My rating for Bai Tide – 4
Thoughts:
Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell is a fun book filled with adventure and humor. The novel features an American CIA agent of Chinese origin who is brave, sarcastic, and self-deprecating.
I do enjoy the spy genre very much, and have read most of the Ian Fleming James Bond novels. This novel is more like the Bond movies and not like the books, even though Hsu and the literary Bond share the same self-doubt, guilt and obligatory cockiness, and loyalty to country and allies.
The book is mostly action, and I’m quite impressed that Ms. Mitchell managed to develop her characters in such a short book while keeping the story rolling along at a very fast pace. The author writes action very well, her description of hand-to-hand combat is fast, descriptive and exciting.
There are some plot holes, as in many other books of the genre and some of the rookie mistakes Agent Hsu made were, I felt, out of character for a trained agent. I’m nitpicking of course, it’s the little things as we all know, but I still enjoyed the book.
Bai Tide is a light, fast read with loveable characters and exploit. The book is easy to read and a good introduction to those interested in getting into the espionage or thriller genre.
Synopsis:
Bai Hsu, a CIA case officer, gets a “bonus” in the form of an easy assignment at a high-security private school. A North Korean operative tries to break into the school and our hero must find out why.
As Hsu continues to investigate, and get the volleyball team ready for their tournament., he discovers a plot he must stop and save millions of people in the process.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Elfin Nights Cover Reveal

























Blurb
The changeling princesses of the Springtime elves share a unique bond with their Knight—a bond that must remain perfectly secret. When the Queen of the Elves discovers their passionate love, she curses and exiles Finn from the elfin lands forever. With their guardian sent away to a lifeless wasteland, the royal changelings have no defense when the unseen enemies of the Four Courts attack, and the House of Elves falls.

To save his loves, Finn will need to break out of prison, undertake a perilous journey across the lands of Thairy, face wicked creatures, rogue Knights, and one of the most dangerous monsters in the fae world.

The enemy will soon learn what it means to provoke a true Son of War.





Elfin Nights Pre-Order 

Support indie press by pre-ordering at the publisher's website.

Or at Amazon.

Author Bio

They say you should never meet your heroes, but Brantwijn Serrah says otherwise. At a Los Angeles book signing in 2012, Brantwijn met one of her all-time favorite authors of urban fantasy, Jim Butcher, who couldn't have been kinder or more encouraging to her. As it turned out, the book he signed for her that night gave her a spark of inspiration for the Four Courts series.

When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and playing with graphic design. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours on end sketching characters and scenes in her secret notebooks.

Find Brantwijn and her books at www.brantwijn.com.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Savvy Saturday: R.J. Hore The Fearless Pantser

Everyone should be familiar with the term “pantser” when referring to a writer. Basically, it means one who writes by the seat of his or her pants, rather than the traditional “plotter” who is well organized with all details set down far in advance of starting to actually create.

I am a pantser. I want to start into a project as soon as an idea hits me. I don’t want to wait (weeks, months) while I set out the backstories, create scenes, lay out each chapter in minute detail. A plotter might spend as much time researching their story, as actually creating it.

I write because I want to find out how the story ends. Quite often I surprise myself.

Take, for example, how I write my Housetrap Chronicles series. I decided I would write a fantasy detective novella-length story that I could someday turn into a series. For my creative motivation I decided I would simply take a famous mystery title, twist it around a bit, and write a story to suit the title. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

One of Agatha Christie’s tales that came to mind was The Mousetrap. So I decided to write Housetrap. Sitting down to write the story I had no idea what a Housetrap was, but I had the basic idea for an opening, the private detective, his wise-cracking secretary, and something or someone missing. Shades of Sam Spade. Once I got into the tale the story wrote itself.

With the exception of the second story in the series, Dial M for Mudder, I’ve gone back to the original opening scene format. I set it in the detective’s office and have the problem come to him. That way I can introduce the main characters so that the reader can jump in anywhere in the chronicles and is not forced to start with the first in the series. The advantage to reading in order, however, is that I found myself bringing favorite characters back into other tales. This happens in the latest tale, Murder on the Disoriented Express. A character who first appeared in Hounds of Basalt Ville shows up on stage in this eighth episode.

This latest plot was easy to come up with. From the title I knew I was going to write about a train trip and a murder. Where it gets a bit tricky, is in the details. The who, and the why, and stuff a plotter would know well before they started. I was probably half way through before I knew who the murderer was, however the more difficult part was the “why” the train trip in the first place. Once I get to know the characters I turn them loose and they often help me out with the details.

In my other full-length works, mainly mediaeval-style high fantasy, it is often a single face, scene, or headline that gets me started writing. If I’m lucky, I might even have an idea of how it will end. If not, I sit back and enjoy the surprise.

R.J.Hore
Ronald Hore had three stories published in a writer's group anthology in 2005 and in 2006 won a Canadian Author's Association national short story contest for a ghostly love story. His short story "Chrysalis" appeared in the modern vampire collection Evolve in 2010.

In 2012, writing as R.J.Hore, his first full-length novel, The Dark Lady, a medieval-style fantasy was published by Burst Books.ca. This tale has since been turned into a trilogy with Dark Days and Dark Knights. A second series of swords, magic and romance novels followed, The Queen's Pawn, also now a trilogy with The Queen's Man, and will be completed in August 2016 with the release of The Queen's Game.

A stand alone, slightly different fantasy novel, Alex in Wanderland, was released in 2015.

His fantasy detective series, The Housetrap Chronicles got off the ground with the Housetrap, the first of a fantasy detective series of novellas. This was followed by Dial M for Mudder and House on Hollow Hill. These have also been collected in a volume 1 anthology in paperback.

Next in this fantasy detective series came Hounds of Basalt Ville, Murder in the Rouge Mort, and The Treasure of the Sarah Madder, also now available in print in a second collection.

The eighth in the Housetrap series, Murder on the Disoriented Express, joined the group in 2017.

When not writing, or wrestling a large cat off of the keyboard, Ron may sometimes be found sailing on Lake Winnipeg.
www.ronaldhore.com

www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Savvy Saturday: What We Want from Your Submissions

Looking to submit your novel to a publishing company? Well we are open and ready to hear from you! Take a peek at what each of our editors is looking for and see if your book fits the bill.


Owner/Publisher/Editor Cassiel Knight

Cassiel (or more fondly, Cassie) is looking for horror stories, science fiction, and space operas. This lady loves a good story, and is an amazing editor, so if you can manage to snag her attention, you will be in good hands.


Executive Assistant/Review Coordinator/Editor Kat Hall

Kat is a busy lady, but she will read just about anything. So long as there are no zombie apocalypse's. Her favorite genre however, is romantic suspense/thriller. She is "always on the lookout for a gem that stands out, over and above the other stories. The ‘one’ that rocks your mind and senses and won’t let go." Kat has training in many editing fields, and her expertise will surely make your book shine.

Social Media Coordinator/Editor Kylee Howells

Kylee loves romance. Particularly paranormal and historical romance, but she will read any where the characters get a happily ever after. The steamier the better for this lady. Absolutely no horror or scary in the least for this editor. The newest on the CBG team, she is ready to help you edit and promote your book so that it does the best it can.




Editor Nikki Andrews

Nikki is an outdoorsy, songwriting New Hampshire resident who is looking for well-written sweet-to-sensual romances with a strong subplot. These can be mystery, thriller, fantasy, historical, or futuristic, but she will absolutely say no to any dystopians. With many edited books under her belt, and a few of her own published, your book will be safe in Nikki's capable hands.

Editor Diane Badzinski

Romance, romance, romance is what Diane is looking for. She is not a horror fan, but will accept anything else with a bit of romance in it. Historical is her favorite, and she loves a good happy ending. With ten years of five-star editing behind her, you can expect only the best from Diane.

Editor Celia Breslin

Celia is interested in romantic fiction (all heat levels), urban fantasy, and science fiction (especially with a splash of romance). In all genres, she prefers character-driven, emotional stories with a strong conflict, quirky, sassy, and smart heroes and heroines, and a solid plot arc. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are her first loves (Vampires! The Fae! Werewolves! Sorry, no zombies), but she also enjoys contemporaries with humor and action (military romance, romantic suspense), especially if there’s a tortured and tattooed hero or heroine involved. For science fiction, vivid and consistent world-building is absolutely required along with unique but believable characters. Celia has been an editor since the 90's, and is a multi-published author with some pretty great books out there to read. She will be able to tell you how best to edit your book, and how to be a successful author.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Excerpt from the New Murder On The Disoriented Express

Murder On The Disoriented Express
Housetrap Chronicles 8
By R. J. Hore
Fantasy
$2.99
Amazon: https://goo.gl/JNEdNt
Kobo: https://goo.gl/n4qMPs
Champagne Books: https://goo.gl/w0p1Oc

A normal day at the office sends Randy on a trip across the continent with two harmless elves, an elderly maiden aunt and her niece.

Excerpt

I make it a rule to dislike elves as a matter of principle. They are treacherous, judgmental, stuck-up, and just plain annoying. So when Bertha opened my inner office door and interrupted my latest ritual of mint-flavored hot chocolate and the morning rag with mildly risqué pictures, I was somewhat aggrieved.

“What do you want?” I said, without raising my head. “This is my quiet time.”

“You may go right in,” she announced in her sweetest voice.

I glanced up. An attractive elf was in the process of navigating a wheelchair through the doorway. The chair contained an elderly member of that same species who looked like she’d seen a century or three of hard duty. She smiled. Long, almost transparent, hands rested on top of the multi-colored blanket wrapped around her. She balanced a lethal-looking cane on her knees.

Her assistant parked the chair directly across, facing me, and stood behind, all very prim and proper.

I rested my elbows on the top of the desk and formed my fingers into a professional-looking pyramid. “How may I be of assistance?” I said through clenched teeth.

“A gentleman should always stand the first time he meets a lady,” the ancient said.

I resisted my natural urge to muse out loud on the facts that I wasn’t a gentleman and lacked current information to comment on her status. Instead, I stood and extended my paw.

“Now that wasn’t difficult at all, was it, Randolf? I thought I should meet you before we set out.” Taking my hand, she examined my fingers. “Your nails are dirty.”

“And just how is this relevant?” I retrieved my fingers and sat. “Before we set out? To where?”

“Nails speak to character.” Two bright yellow eyes examined me from beneath a mop of close-cropped and probably dyed, coal-black hair. A minor mountain range of wrinkles around those eyes spoke to a life at least partially spent outside.

“I’m afraid there has been some misunderstanding.” I started to rise and direct the pair toward the door. “I’m booked solid for the next month.”

“Oh, don’t you worry, sonny,” she said, smiling through well-reddened, thin lips. “Your partner, Miss Wildwater, has confirmed all of the arrangements. I’m probably the reason you are booked up. Meeting you today is simply a pleasant formality.”

I swiveled my growing glare on my executive assistant sitting at her desk. She smiled at me through the window and waved. If good help wasn’t so hard to find I should have fired her years ago. I could chastise her severely, but she wouldn’t pay any attention.

“I’m afraid there has been a small gap in communications,” I said. “Do you mind bringing me up to speed? A brief outline will suffice.”

The yellow eyes twinkled. “My name is Miss Agatha Litchfield. I’m your new employer. This is my niece, Bella Annapolis. She is my ward and one of the Annapolis Royals. We are traveling to the Free Wet Coast where she will be meeting her fiancé. You are accompanying us.”

“As your bodyguard?” I frowned. Why would this pair need protection?

“No, of course not. We simply decided having a male accompany us would be useful, in case of heavy lifting.”

That made about as much sense as this pair needing a bodyguard. “Not that I’m saying I’m going on this expedition,” I said, “but I’m rather expensive for a laborer. You could hire two hobgoblins for an entire day at half my hourly price.”

The smile broadened. “I’ve been assured you are well worth it, Randolf.”

Now who is making referrals? “How are you traveling, by shuttle or dirigible?” Not that I was interested.

“We booked passage on The Trans Continental Deluxe Rapid Express.”

That aged rattletrap hadn’t crossed the entire continent in the last century. Now it was lucky to make the trip from Central City to the coast without incident. And by the sound of things, this pair could well afford to travel first class.

“The old steam train? Whatever for? That will take five to seven days depending on stops. An orbital shuttle would get you there in two hours, more or less. A dirigible might take almost as long as the train if there was a severe headwind, but with far fewer stops.”

Agatha Litchfield wagged a finger at me. “I don’t believe in flying, young’un. Besides, dear Bella has never crossed the prairies or the mountains. Best seen from the ground, not on one of those new fangles.”

Her niece laid a hand on the elderly shoulder. “Auntie was so gracious in arranging this trip. It’s the last chance for us to spend some quality time together.”

I glanced up at Bella for the first time. My initial impression of attractive was well on the mark. Tall and slim, with skin like pale polished porcelain, she had large round eyes that looked as though they could weep tons of tears on cue. Black hair was cropped to just above the shoulder, and thick enough to cover most of those pointed ears. Her outfit, calf-length with long sleeves, was almost too sensible for someone who appeared barely old enough to have graduated from a finishing school.

Bertha was trying to attract my attention through the window. I glanced at her. My half-banshee assistant held up what appeared to be a substantial bag of coins, smiled wide-eyed and pointed at it, nodding eagerly. I assumed that meant the client over-paid. I supposed I could put up with a pair of harmless-looking elves for a week, and it didn’t hurt my private eyeball reputation to be known to be out of town on business once in a while. I guessed I could use some quiet time.

“All right,” I said, “but there are a few conditions I want to get straight. I am not a nursemaid. I don’t do stuff like bathing clients or changing dirty clothes. I expect proper sleeping accommodations and all meals. I do not want to spend two weeks inside those wheeled wooden coffins. You will pay for my return trip on the shuttle.”

“Agreed,” Agatha said.

I blinked. That was too easy. I should have thrown in a bar tab too. “When do we leave?”

“Tomorrow, at eight in the morning.” She held out her hand. “A pleasure doing business. We’ll meet you at the station at seven. We will have your ticket and all our necessary travel documents. Good day.”

Bella wheeled her out through the office, pausing to chat briefly with Bertha, and then they were gone.

Why did I feel as though the business had just been done to me?



Monday, April 3, 2017

New Release: Murder on the Disoriented Express

Murder On The Disoriented Express
Housetrap Chronicles 8
By R. J. Hore
Fantasy
$2.99
Amazon: https://goo.gl/JNEdNt
Kobo: https://goo.gl/n4qMPs
Champagne Books: https://goo.gl/w0p1Oc

A reluctant Private Eyeball, Randy Aloysius, agrees to accompany an elderly elf and her attractive niece on a relaxing train trip across the continent to the wet coast. They seem harmless enough, so what could go wrong?

Well, there’s the obvious murder of a bent politician, plus a card-playing vampire, a brownie public relations hack, and a grieving widow murder suspect, not to mention other assorted suspicious characters, and someone out of Randy’s past.

Then there is the train itself, which may be in serious need of life support. After all, it does have to cross a prairie filled with woolly mammoths and surmount treacherous mountains passes where nasty things might lurk.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Savvy Saturday: New Month, New Authors

We here at Champagne Book Group have recently picked up several new authors that we would like to give a warm welcome. Check out their bio's, check out their books, and see what these wonderful people will bring to the CBG family.

Kay Latour

Kay Latour resides in Ottawa – Canada’s capital city – with her Techie Wizard husband and two built-in-alarm-system Chihuahuas. She is a self proclaimed nerd and bookworm. She loves fantasy, paranormal and science fiction stories in book, TV or movie form. She patiently waits for the return of the science fiction series FIREFLY – Browncoats forever!

Early on she discovered that her elementary school library contained amazing books like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales and Greek myths. The stories within spoke of goblins, witches, fairies, deities, giants and all manner of magical folk! Incredible! It struck a spark and stoked her imagination. From that time on she gravitated to any type of fantasy, mythology, science fiction or paranormal books she could get her hands on.

Now that Kay’s two children have reached ‘the age of reason’ she has time to write her own stories.

Find Kay on:

And catch her new book Witch on Parole coming this June!

Makenna Snow

Makenna Snow is the pen name for two sisters collaborating to bring interesting stories to the world. We’ve always been passionate about storytelling and impressed by the influence it has on people and the decisions they make in life. We love engaging with the projects we work on, diving headfirst into the research, investigation, and production of stories we feel are worth writing about. We are curious and proactive, interested in preserving the foundations set by classical literature by adapting them to modern themes and trends.


Keep watch for her new book, Children of Neptune, coming this June.

Meg West

Meg West is a former science writer and teacher who lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband, daughter, and two golden retrievers. When she isn't sitting behind her laptop spinning out stories, Meg can be found bargain hunting at the local mall, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, or stretching on her yoga mat.

Meg is the author of The Keys to His Heart, a trilogy of romances set on the barrier islands off Sarasota. In these novels, three young women in their late twenties--one single, one widowed, one engaged--come down to Longboat and Lido Keys from the northeast, expecting to find nothing more than broken shells on the beach. Instead, each finds unexpected true love and a new home on the islands.

Meg's work is a tribute to the beauty and romance found on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Love on Longboat Key is forthcoming from Champagne Books in June 2017.

Follow Meg:

Read her first published fiction, "Notes for a Very Long Love Story," here.

Tattle and Wrye column April 2017 edition

FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
AND
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH

April 2017

Greetings,

Tattle lounged on the deck, sighing softly. “Flowers are blooming, the air is warming, the lemonade is so sweet, the iced cookies are tempting, and….”

“And you are lounging around and haven’t noticed it is the middle of the work day.”

“I was just getting started on my recitation on the beauty of spring in the Northeast and yummy treats. You interrupted.” She gave Wrye the tsk-tsk finger waggle.

“According to Walt Disney, ‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.’"

“Is this your way of telling me it is time for our Love of Literature Leap reviews?”

Wrye grinned. “So astute, m’literary gal.”

And the two soon find themselves ogling DIVINITY by Paula Kennedy, book #2 in the Angels of the Night series, a Paranormal, YA.

Allison Webber was accepted in the secret society of Free Masons because her special powers fed male vampires, who have an alliance with the Masons. Female vampires, though, unlike their male counterparts, have a blood lust they can’t control. They are vicious killers, who show no mercy or heart.

Darcy Wallace, Allison’s hot, sexy vampire boyfriend, is in the clutches of a female vampire, who can control herself, but she is just as brutal as the other female vampires in her coven.  Along with Robert, Darcy’s triplet and a guardian, Thomas MacGregor, she sets out for NYC to find Darcy, irrespective of the cost or bending Mason rules.

Only, Darcy, doesn’t remember Allison, and she doesn’t recognize the boy she had fallen in love with. More so, his dislike of Allison turns dark when he discovers she had killed his brother, another triplet, Thane. Darcy can’t forgive her despite her valid reasons. He doesn’t realize the extent of his peril, but Ally knows she must risk all to save him.

Meanwhile, Robert seems to truly care for Allison, but there is something shadowy and hidden about him. It doesn’t help that he is ruled by Jonas, another twisted character that lurks in a sinister realm but is essential in helping the cause to keep the vampires hidden from the world.

At the same time, the female vamps are on the move and Allison, along with her father and others, must stop their killing spree. A plan, fraught with uncertainty and possibly lethal, is set in motion and she is forced to accept the help of someone she fully distrusts. Will she be betrayed again? Will Darcy ever remember their love? Will the oldest female vampire destroy them all? So many dangers, so little time.

“Wow!” declares Wrye, “I enjoyed the first book in this series, but DIVINITY takes the plot to a new level. Allison has matured and doesn’t hesitate to make the tough decisions. The story starts out like a derailed locomotive about to go over a cliff. You find yourself holding your breathe with each passing paragraph. The danger feels real, you are there, you are in the midst of it, you experience the fear and danger. This story has the intricacies and pace that would hold the readership of any age group. You won’t want to put it down, and you will continually cheer on the heroine. Though, I normally wouldn’t seek out a vampire novel, I am hooked on this series, and on Paula Kennedy’s writing style. It is crisp, clean and racy. Just like the lines of a racer, and that’s just what you find yourself doing, racing through the pages because you can’t get enough.”

Tattle adds, “Paula Kennedy has created characters that have the pulse of our young generation yet appeal to those of us way past our prime and everyone in between. I enjoyed following Allison on her adventure, and applauding the young heroine’s courage and decisiveness. Allison has grown up since book one, and though I adored her then, I respect her even more now. And there it is, she is real to me. Usually, you put a book down and remember the characters as characters, but Ally is someone you see as real. Even the vampires, male and female, have you believing they might just be lurking in the corners of your room! I’m ready to go hang some garlic! That shows the expanse of Kennedy’s talent. She manages to do the same with the world she created for this series. It is believable, not the same ole same ole but fresh and sharp.  Her style has texture without being cluttered. I am truly a fan, and can’t wait to see more!”

***

Tattle and Wrye leap into SWEET AURALIE by Ute Carbone. This Historical Romance is a full length novel of the Sweet Lenora series.

Anton Boudreaux, a young courageous sea captain, and his spirited wife, Lenora, set sail from San Francisco to Shanghai, hoping to find a lost child. Though Anton is reluctant to take Lenora on such a long, perilous journey, Lenora will not be denied. Just as he begins to accept the situation, she confides something that puts her in even more jeopardy. It doesn’t help that Lily Harmon, the villainous harlot who had nearly sent Lenora to the gallows in the previous book, appears as a stowaway.

Lily does her best to upset Anton and Lenora’s marriage, as well as cause endless turmoil. Meanwhile, Lenora must contend with her conniving relatives who try to thwart them at every twist and turn. The entire trip is saturated with intrigue, treachery and peril. It is followed by Lenora tending a wounded Anton, caring for her children while taking on unexpected male-oriented responsibilities. 

Throughout this historical saga, Anton and Lenora must survive murder plots and thievery. Will their love survive?  Will Anton achieve his dreams of proving himself? Will a new ship, built for speed and breaking records, be their salvation or their curse?

“In the tradition of epic historical sagas, SWEET AURALIE stands out as one to be remembered,” Tattle gives it a thumbs up and attempts a high five with Wyre. They both miss. Settling herself into the Captain’s chair, she continues, “It has a steady tempo that keeps the pages turning and a succulent plot that often provides an unpredicted twist as well as an abundance of historical details that appear naturally without weighing down the storyline. Each character is well-drawn, and although Lenora has the grit and boldness of contemporary women, she adheres to the values and graciousness of the book’s era. You find yourself fascinated by the secondary characters as well.  Mrs. Jiao, the ship’s cook, warms the background and adds authentic flavor while Lily is a conniver you adore hating. Though this can well be a standalone book, since enough background is provided even if you never read the series’ novellas, give yourself a treat and read them all. They are well-worth it.”

Wrye, still puffing from his high-five exertion, says, “Ute Carbone is indeed a gifted storyteller. I loved the rich historical fabric of the story, the Asian accents as well as the detailed nautical elements. Mostly, even though this book starts out with the main characters already married, I was fascinated by the pull and tug of the love story as they struggle against treachery and life’s unexpected hazards.  The realism is fresh and rare among romances in that it engages the romance after the characters have fallen in love. The relationship evolves as they play off each other, compromise, sacrifice, and bond. This isn’t just a story with an intriguing and splendid storyline but an emotional portrayal of a couple’s journey. This book satisfies on every level and is destined to be read again and again!” Wrye thinks, there goes my macho image….


Hope you enjoyed this month’s reviews. Be sure to see read next month’s blog where we will post the finalist in our 2017 Tattle and Wrye award. Officially known as –

THE FABULOUS FICTION FABRICATOR FEATHER IN THE FEDORA, WRYE TOAST FROM BALDERDASH AND TATTLE... JAM OPTIONAL AWARD, DENOTING THAT BALDERDASH BABBLES AND TATTLE PRATTLES AND GOOD WRITERS WRITE WELL...
TAA DAA!  WITH BOW AND CURTSY



Happy Spring!

Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat

Created and written by:  Angelica Hart and Zi

Books by: Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~
CHASING YESTERDAY ~ CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL
Books by: Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
STEEL EMBRACE
BOOK NOOKIE-A LIBRARIAN'S BUIDE TO THE DO-ME DECIMAL SYSTEM

angelicahartandzi.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Savvy Saturday: My First Mystery Novel by Ron D. Voigts

“That was then, and this is now.”
My first mystery novel
By Ron D. Voigts

A long, long time ago (circa 2000), I decided to write a mystery. I’d been a fan of the genre for most of my life. All I needed to do was create a detective, kill someone, and throw in a few clues. How hard could it be? Agatha Christie, move over.

My vision was a dreary old house in the country with a woman, home from college, finding a dead body. I wrote the early chapters and pitched them to my writer’s critique groups. One thing came to light quickly. The actions by the main character were a much younger person than the age I assigned. By the time I adjusted her age to her actions, she had become a thirteen-year-old tomboy who wore bib overalls and a stocking cap pulled tight around her ears. She had moxie, could be brash, and told it like it was. Penelope was born.

I tossed in a bunch of off-the-wall characters—a wild, crazy gypsy, a gangster uncle on the lam from the mob, a Broadway actress who’s her own biggest fan, a creepy cousin, a mystery woman named Teal, and some quirky parents. They get snowed in during a celebration of Penelope’s birthday. Someone is murdered, and it takes Penelope to figure it out.

I shopped the book around for an agent because that was the way it was done back then. I had a few nibbles but mostly rejections. Finally, I found Parkeast Literary who liked the story and had faith in my work. A few more major rewrites came, and the book was sent out to nearly every publisher in the industry. We had some interest here and there but no takers. Finally in 2011, by agreement, I self-published Penelope and The Birthday Curse. Only took ten-plus years to get there.

Three more middle-grade mysteries in the “A Penelope Mystery” series followed. Then I switched gears and began writing for the “big kids.” One novel that followed told a story of a rich northerner who travels to rural North Carolina and gets involved with moonshiners, good-ole-boy politics, and killers. Another book covered a murder in a remote village in the Appalachian Mountains, and the main suspect is a vampire. Then I found my love….writing paranormal mysteries.

In 2014, my literary agent found a home for my “A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery” series with Champagne Books Group. Book 2 came out this past month. The Fortune Teller’s Secret arrived March 6, and I am so excited about it. I still write a bit off-the-wall. This eccentric cast includes a Goth witch, a psycho psychic, a belly dancer, a bad-ass sheriff, a crafty carnival manager, a waist-high sideshow barker, and a sleazy school teacher. A dead body is found aboard the Ferris wheel at the fall carnival. Cavendish Brown, the editor of the town newspaper, matches wits with a ghost, a killer and a bunch of kooky carnival characters to solve this Who-Done-It.

It took a long time and self-belief since that first book. And I’d do it again.

About the Author

Originally from the Midwest, Ron D. Voigts now calls North Carolina home where he and his wife have a home off the Neuse River. Ideas for his stories comes from the rural areas where he has lived, places he has visited, his love of the paranormal, and an overactive imagination. Ron considers his writing to be a literary fusion of mystery, thriller, paranormal, and any genre that suits the moment. When not plunking out a novel at the keyboard, he spends his time sharpening his culinary skills, watching gritty movies, and eating cookies with chocolate chips.

Author Website
http://www.authorrondvoigts.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Ron-D.-Voigts/e/B005H4IM9K/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490118342&sr=8-1

Social Media
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRonDVoigts/
https://twitter.com/RonDVoigts (@RonDVoigts)

Monday, March 20, 2017

New Release: Fallen

Fallen
By Andrea Cooper
Paranormal Romance
$3.99
Amazon: https://goo.gl/cSM1LY
Kobo: https://goo.gl/23BvDa
Champagne Bookstore: https://goo.gl/Cx0pzN

Succubus Adeline lost her powers. The crystal that all her kind crave has attached itself to her and rendered her powerless. Unless she finds a way to remove it, she’ll transform into a human--a fate worse than death.

Jack is running from vamps and weres. They want his hidden doppelgänger talents to locate a stone that enables weres to transform at will, but he just wants to be left alone. Now he has a bounty hunter after him.

Adeline is determined to get the bounty on Jack so she can pay for the answer to remove the bracelet. She soon discovers his secret. The tables are turned on the succubus, and she finds herself the one who is at the mercy of desire.

In a race against time, vampires, and weres, Adeline and Jack travel from Boston to Greece to New Orleans to stay ahead of the hunters.

When Jack confronts a dangerous voodoo queen alone, Adeline learns that love is sacrifice. But will they both survive the lesson?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Savvy Saturday: My First Published Book with Shiela Stewart

Its hard to believe its been 11 years since I published my very first book. The title was Kidnapped and the story started with a simple line.

”Well wasn’t this a fine predicament she’d gotten herself into now, and won’t dear old daddy be thrilled when he finds out his only child was being held captive by a bunch of thugs.”

That line popped into my head and the rest of the story just flowed after that. I couldn’t write fast enough. Yes, write. That was before I knew how to use a computer. I hand wrote all my books. To this day, I still have a box of hand written manuscripts in my storage room. Only two of the twenty have been published.

During writing Kidnapped my hubby bought me a computer and taught me how to use it. I started putting my written novel on the computer. Kidnapped, though it sounds series, and it is, but mostly it was a fun novel. Before it was changed, but I’ll get to that.

I love being sarcastically funny as does my hubby, so of course, that was how I wrote Kidnapped. The female, Elizabeth, didn’t take the kidnapping series which pissed her captors off. Mac needed money to save his farm and was convinced to kidnapped to kidnap a famous actors daughter for money. All he had to do was hold her for a few days and then release her and get his money. Simple, right? Not! Elizabeth is not about to sit by and cry, begging her captors to let her go. Nope, she’s a feisty chick who does everything in her power to break free. She makes Mac’s life a living hell. She makes fun of him in any way possible. Really, who could take a captor series when he’s wearing a Bart Simpson mask.

Writing Kidnapped was so much fun I often found myself giggling while typing.

I got up the nerve to submit it to a publisher on line, and guess what? It was rejected. But….the publisher told me how to fix it up and asked me to resubmit it. I bought a bunch of grammar books and learned all I could about writing. It took months and when I sent it back to her, she sent it back saying I was on the right track but it needed a bit more cleaning. So back to the drawing board I went.


Two weeks late I sent it back in. I dreaded seeing her email in my box because I was sure she would tell me it needed more work. To my utter surprise, she accepted it. I think the neighbors heard my cheer. It was such a euphoric feeling. Someone thought I was good enough, my story was good enough. It still needed polishing, and that was not an easy thing to do, especially when she wanted me to make it ore series and to change the beginning. I was mad, but what could I do. I knew nothing about publishing so I went along with it and rewrote a good portion of it. 

I wasn’t happy, but I still put my heart into it. The first time I saw my cover I again felt so giddy. A book, with my name on it, was going to be out in the world for everyone to read. It was a huge accomplishment for me, given I only had a grade nine education. I knew nothing about ebooks and got a crash course on it. Ebooks were still early in its development. I did the chat circuit and answered countless interview questions. Then my publisher submitted it to The Romantic Times Review Magazine. I got a three out of five rating. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible. It was after all in one of the biggest romantic magazine in publication. Sales were great. I bravely decided to do a book signing at a local book store and did an interview for a local TV station. So many firsts and my head was spinning. To my utter surprise and joy, my book was the number one seller for three weeks in a row. Not a bad way to start a career in writing.

Since then, I have published 17 books. Quite and accomplishment for a high school drop out. Not all my books are still in publication, but I hope at some point they will be again.

I’m a true believer that dreams can come true if you work hard enough to make them a reality.

About Shiela:

Shiela Stewart has been writing for the better part of her life, pouring her heart out in words, living a fantasy through the characters she creates. It has always been a dream of her to have her work published, a dream she has finally seen come to life.

When not writing, Shiela likes to spend time with her husband, best friend and love of her life. Together they have three grown children and one granddaughter.

Shiela has a deep affection for animals which is evident in the seven cats, one dog, fourteen fish and one turtle.

Places to find me.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shiela.stewart
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShielaSue

Places to purchase my Darkness series: http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sneak Peek #2 - Murder on the Disorientated Express

~Coming April 3rd, 2017~

I was up early the next morning. There’s something catchy about lying on rough pine planks being shaken like a martini by the jerky movement of the train, which usually managed violence in all directions. When I get up I prefer to be gently stirred. I headed for the dining car where I discovered Bottles assisting with the morning meals.

“Don’t you ever sleep?”

“Waste of time. Figure I don’t have too much of that left.” He was doing strange things to eggs behind the bar. He had a steaming pan, and a bubbling yellow mixture. It was the spices I wasn’t certain about: cinnamon, chunks of dark chocolate, some nuts, peppers, and large unidentifiable lumps that reminded me of frogs. “Want a heaping plate of today’s special?”

“No, thanks. I’ll have the oatmeal and scalded goat’s milk. With the marmalade topping and just a dab of the whipped cream. And thick black coffee.” I settled into a booth. All that was missing to make the hour complete was the latest morning paper, and maybe Bertha chewing me out for some imaginary sin. I relaxed and let the motion of the train lull me.

“Here you go.” Bottles set a heaping platter down in front of me. “I added a bit of the special as a treat.”

I winced. He didn’t leave. I glanced up with a raised eyebrow. “You forgot the coffee.”

“It’s coming, brewing it down to a sludge. Have you checked for the key lately?” he said.

“What key?”

“The spare key to the compartment where you have Winston J. Blabb under confinement.”

“Oh that key.” I patted my jacket. “It’s safe inside my inner pocket.”

“Have you checked your pocket lately?”

Some gremlins have enough nerve for a trainload of fools. “Of course I have.” I patted my jacket again. Then I fished inside. Then I checked all my pockets. The key was missing. “Well, it must have fallen out yesterday when we were having all that fun. It’s not important. Trixibelle also has a key.”

“Looks to me as though that pocket you checked was self-sealing. How could the key have fallen out?”

I glared at him. “I don’t know.”

Bottles leaned over and lowered his voice. “Think back, was there any time in the last day or two when a person of some interest in the murder case had an opportunity to remove that key?”

We locked gazes. I knew what he was getting at. Dame Suzanne had escorted me from the bar car that night and I woke up a bit out of sorts. But why would she take the key if she was innocent?

“I see the wheels are turning,” he said.

“Is Blabb still safe inside?”

“Yes. I feed him regularly. He’s in there. For now.”

I pushed my breakfast to one side. “I guess I should go have a chat with her.” I’d been avoiding the lanky hobgoblin with the wandering hands and a terrible taste in beverages.

“Or, we could simply keep a close eye on the pair of them until we get to the Free Wet Coast.”

“Okay, buster. Who do you work for?” I stared at him, and then glanced around the car. There was no one within ear.

“Who, me?” said the gremlin. He straightened up, grinned, and went back to burning things at the bar.
~To Be Continued~

Murder On The Disoriented Express

A reluctant Private Eyeball, Randy Aloysius, agrees to accompany an elderly elf and her attractive niece on a relaxing train trip across the continent to the wet coast. They seem harmless enough, so what could go wrong?
Well, there’s the obvious murder of a bent politician, plus a card-playing vampire, a brownie public relations hack, and a grieving widow murder suspect, not to mention other assorted suspicious characters, and someone out of Randy’s past.

Then there is the train itself, which may be in serious need of life support. After all, it does have to cross a prairie filled with woolly mammoths and surmount treacherous mountains passes where nasty things might lurk.

Available for Preorder on the Champagne Bookstore website.