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Sunday, March 10, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Wanted by Caren Gallimore


Champagne Books is hosting a giveaway for Wanted by Caren Gallimore! We're giving away one digital copy and one print copy (North America only for print version). Tell us in the comments why you love to read romance to be entered in the giveaway. Winners will be announced on this blog on the 15th of March. 

Read on for a blurb and excerpt!


In Wanted, a fearless ranch owner must reunite with the rugged outlaw who stole her heart but left her behind if she hopes to save her kidnapped son.



Blurb
Caitlyn Daniels didn’t plan to fall in love, least of all with an outlaw. Life was too exciting to waste it on domesticities.

However, when Dakota Cabe rode into town, she lost her heart to him. His reputation, which left most women in need of smelling salts, didn’t deter her; she saw the man beneath the tough fa├žade of a hard-hearted desperado. When the sheriff forced him out of town, she was devastated. She understood his reasons to protect her from bounty hunters, but she’d rather live on the run than without him. But he didn’t ask, and she didn’t tell him she was pregnant. Her pride wouldn’t allow her.

Eighteen months later, John Wakefield, a vindictive outlaw, kidnaps her son and her friend. Her pride was meaningless. She’d make a deal with the devil if that could change things.

Alone, but not without skills of her own, she rides out after John Wakefield and his gang.

In her desperate pursuit to rescue her son, she collides with Dakota, surprisingly on the same mission. She needs a man as cold, brutal, and cunning as the man who has her son; she needs Dakota Cabe. And she wasn’t too proud to beg if necessary, but she didn’t have to.

Former lovers, now daring desperados they put their past aside to save their son. Together they confront vicious outlaws; friends turned enemies and an unruly love neither of them can deny nor control.

Excerpt
Caitlyn prepared to make another dreaded excursion into town. She examined her small wardrobe and selected one of her few dresses.

“This is pure vanity.” She held the vivid coral dress under her chin and rolled her eyes at her image in the mirror. Batting her eyelashes for effect, she laughed. “No, now you look silly.”

A sigh slipped through her lips. “Though, talking to oneself may be worse.”

She tossed the dress to the bed. No point fighting herself. Her riding attire was practical for going into town, but perhaps a smaller revolver. A derringer? She snorted. It was unlikely she could hit a barn with that useless gun unless she was within two feet of the building.

Peering out the window, she spotted her father hard at work preparing the land for a new crop. Practical. Her mother had taught her proper etiquette, but her father had taught her to be practical.

Picking up her revolver, she tucked the gun into the back of her riding skirt. Easy to reach and not obtrusive. She gave herself another quick assessment in the mirror and nodded. It would do. She’d wasted enough time. The sooner she got to town, the quicker she’d be back to help with chores.

The ride into town she took at a comfortable clip, enjoying the fresh air against her face. Entering the town limits, she slowed to an unhurried pace, riding with both reins held high, just like a lady.

“Oh bother.” Mrs. Clark’s opinion of her wasn’t something she could change.

Caitlyn leaned over the withers of her horse and moved her foot from the stirrup to examine the old saddle cinch. It should have been fixed long before now.

“I’m sorry, Star.” She patted her horse and slowed even more as she entered the town limits and headed for the blacksmith shop then a thought struck her. For all she knew, she may be riding home bareback. A rush of giggles shot through her. Mrs. Clark’s hair would stand on end if she barreled out of town without a saddle. Caitlyn pressed a hand to her chest to stop another giggle but was unsuccessful.

“I hope I’m not your source of amusement.”

A man’s deep voice and unexpected appearance caused her to jerk and almost kick Star into a bolt. Her cheeks heated.

The strange cattleman from the roundup had caught her unaware and laughing.

“Sir, I can assure you that you are not in the least bit funny.” She straightened her posture and drew back her shoulders. Now she wished she had worn a dress and sat in a sidesaddle. Well, perhaps not a sidesaddle since the cinch was the primary reason for her trip.

“My apologies, ma’am. Good day.” He tipped his large Stetson. His cool, steel gray eyes fastened on hers, but a flicker of warmth sparked.

“Good day to you, sir.” Adjusting to a more ladylike stance, she assumed an aristocratic air. The end of her gun pinched her in the fanny, and she winced. She urged Star forward then realized she had passed her intended destination, the blacksmith shop. Her shoulders drooped.

Her obliviousness to her surroundings disturbed her. It was the man. He had distracted her with his-his…damn, it was the man himself. She brought Star to a halt and backed up.

She dipped her chin to the man leaning against the stable wall, his gaze still upon her, she added, “I was coming to the livery today.”

He smiled and pushed against the wall to stand straighter.

She flicked a spot of dust from her collar and waited.

“I see.”

“Actually, I had a late start.” Why on earth do I need to explain myself to this man?

“That can work against you.”

Oh, for the love of God, Caitlyn, do not say another word to him. “My saddle strap needs to be replaced.” With a slap, she placed one gloved hand across her mouth in case it continued to talk without her brain engaged.

His gaze broke from hers and traveled down to the saddle strap. “You’re lucky you made it this far.” He lifted his head and assessed her with a warm familiarity.

Shifting in her saddle, she inspected the thin, worn leather. Indeed it had been luck.

“Yes, but there were other things more pressing to tend to.” She dusted at an invisible spot on her saddle horn.

“Your safety should be the most pressing,” he said.

She had nothing to offer back. It was as clear to her as it had been to Mrs. Clark, she didn’t have a feminine bone in her body. “Oh, well, thank you. I think.” Why didn’t he move out of the way?

“I’m helping Sam today, while I wait for another roundup.”

“Sam?”

“Yes, the blacksmith.”

“Of course.” Sam. “Well then, I guess you’re the man I’m wanting.” Did she just say that? She stared straight at him and fought the heat smoldering at her collarbone.

“Yes, ma’am. I am.” He smiled, his eyes sparkling with a mischievous inner fire. He stepped forward, took the reins from her hands, then walked her horse into the barn. “Name’s Dakota Cabe.”

“Caitlyn Daniels.”

He paused, gave her another quick inspection and resumed his lead.

She might as well be naked in the saddle, but she nodded.

Entering the livery, she started to dismount, but the leather strap gave way. She struggled to free herself from the bootstrap and keep her horse under control, but without the reins, she couldn’t.

“I got you,” Cabe replied.

He did, both Caitlyn and her saddle.

For a moment, she couldn’t react. Cabe’s strength alarmed and disoriented her. She’d never been this close to a man before, or this helpless to extract herself from an unexpected situation. His arm tightened around her waist, and he plucked her free from the startled horse.

“Shhh—easy girl,” he whispered to her mare. Removing a knife from his boot, he cut the remaining strap.

Star calmed immediately, and Caitlyn removed herself from the seat and his grip.

“Thank you, Mr. Cabe.” She adjusted her vest back into place to cover her gun.

“Of course, Miss… Or is it Mrs. Daniels?”

“Miss.”

“When will you be back for your horse and saddle?” Placing the seat on the wall of the stall, he faced her.

“I’ll need my horse before dark, and my saddle too if that gives you enough time. If not, I’ll come back tomorrow for my saddle.”

“Do you live far from town?”

A moment passed, she wondered at his question but didn’t answer.

He held her scrutiny. “Only wondering how’d you get home if I didn’t finish the saddle.”

“By horseback, Mr. Cabe.” Was the man dense?

“Without a saddle?”

Ah, so he wondered what kind of woman rides without a saddle. Mrs. Clark would have a quick response. Caitlyn took in a deep breath and let it out. It was pointless to pretend to be the lady she wasn’t.

“Yes. Bareback.” She raised her chin, waiting for his disapproval.

He smiled. “I thought so. I’ll have it ready.” He untied the small purse she had secured around her saddle horn and handed it to her.

She started to leave and peeked back at him. He was still smiling.


Good luck!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Tattle & Wrye column October 2018 edition


From the desk of ~
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
AND
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH


Greetings!

Wrye is startled by the flying apple aimed at him. “Catch!” Tattle says.  “This is a perfect month for making apple pies and celebrating a new Champagne Books Group review."

Nabbing the apple from the air as if it's a football, he sneezes as if allergic. "Don’t we need more than one for baking?”

"We’re stopping at the bakery for the pie. That’s just for a snack during our Love of Literature Leap Review!”

He shrugs and quips, “How do you make an apple turnover?”

“Huh?”

“Push it downhill.”

He hoots at his lame joke as they take off.

COUP DE GRACE (Book 6) by Misa Buckley, a sci-fi romantic novella.

When Grace awakens after being injected with nasty serums from the malevolent Doctor Smith, her first thought is for her lover, Benedict. He is right there and they are immediately immersed in another adventure.  Doctor Smith is once again implementing a sinister plot. This time by injecting the rain water with Precipityon, which will kill sixty percent of the world population, and this was just a test! Rather than using his brilliance to cure cancer, which would be too late to help him which is slowly killing him, he prefers to leave a legacy of devastation.

Along with her team and their psychic link as well as her super powers, Grace is determined to stop Doctor Smith and his minions. She knows she can't manage anything without her peers, but especially not without Benedict, her soul mate. Still, setting the sky on fire does seem a bit extreme. Will it work?

"This novella is a thrill ride from start to finish." Wyre acts as if he is soaring on a roller coaster. "I can barely catch my breath. You can't help but read the novella in one sitting, and although it is part of a series, it is easy to read as a standalone.  Of course, it does make you want to read the previous books. The characters are engaging and the plotline is exciting. Misa Buckley has a no-nonsense way of writing. It is crisp, clean and mesmerizing. Can't wait for the next installment."

Tattle fans herself. "Whooeee! Indeed that was an adventure.  I am enthralled by Benedict, the perfect hottie while Grace is the quintessential heroine, strong, untamable and brave. Despite being a novella, the characters are well-developed and the storyline has nice depth. I especially like that I am able to have a quick escapade in a short amount of time. Can't wait to read the previous installments and get to know all the characters more intimately. Misa Buckley is a writer worth following. I totally enjoyed her story."

As an aside, we apologize for being gone for a few months, but we’re back and ready to gobble up more CBG books.

Until next time, keep reading!


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

Friday, June 1, 2018

Tattle & Wrye column June 2018 edition


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

June 2018

Greetings,

Wearing a skirted bathing suit, Tattle appeared with a straw beach hat and a box of tissues. “Ahhhh-chooo!”
“Ut oh, cold?”
“Actually, quite hot. But I’d prefer not to be sneezing while at the seashore.”
“Well, there is only one way to prevent a summer cold.”
“How?”
“Catch it in winter!”
“Ha…ha!” She places her hand on her hip and did an eye roll. “Are we ready?”
“After you change, m’partner-in-book-sleuthing.”
“Huh?”
“Today’s a Love of Literature Leap Review, and let’s just say, we’re not going to the beach but a galaxy far-far away!”

 
DECEPTION, Lanyon for Hire, 5 by John Paulits

Wrye landed in the first chapter, took off his space helmet and sniffed the air. Concluding it was breathable, he began, “Being for hire has its draw backs, especially for Lanyon, but everyone knew he was the one to call for those impossible tasks. This is especially true considering he begins what appears to be a simple job, follows around an Argonian suspected of enjoying the pleasures of a Vanadian’s wife. In truth, it was the husband who had a dalliance and wanted to justify it. Whee oh! But the Vanadian paid well and included expenses. Quick thinking, dependable Layton does his job.”  

“Concurrently,” Tattle waltzed about the book. “Predamor has a job for Layton, recovering a shipment of rators (weapons) from Earth. It’s depicted as easy, but it quickly becomes complex and dangerous. Despite that, his twelve year-old side kick, Jophena, is also on the job.”

“So, what’s Lanyon to do?”

“Whatja think?” Tattle grinned. “Why take on another job on the same planet, tracking down the Malcosian Over-minister’s daughter, Meihon. Of course, in both situations, nothing is what it seems, good leads turn bad, bad leads turn horrendous, and Lanyon’s laid back attitude is fully tested.”

“He immediately questions his wisdom in job choices, but as each problem he attempts to press away creates a new wrinkle. He’s in for a whirlwind of complications and is nearly out of choices. Will he fail? Will he even survive? There is no telling what is up or down when it comes to Lanyon,” Wrye predicted.

Tattle donned her sincere expression. “John Paulits has a smooth, sleek, humorous writing style that keeps drawing you into the plot and keeps you guessing as to what’s true, what’s a lead, who’s doing what and where and when! The action is continuous and absorbing. The situations strange and compelling. Nothing seems to connect until it actually does at the end. I couldn’t get enough of this story or the characters. Their quirkiness is enhanced by their depth.”

Wrye is just as earnest but with a depth of enthusiasm. “Encountering Lanyon is like meeting a throw-back to the forties P.I.  Hence, his unique personality placed in a futuristic, far-flung galaxy, inter-species society creates an enjoyable and memorable adventure. The innovative technology and Lanyon’s laid back humor turns the story into a creative romp you won’t want to put down.”

“Though this is the fifth novel in the Lanyon For Hire series, I had no problem just jumping into the story. Past events were presented in the cocoon of present events. However, now I need to find out the intricacies of the previous stories.”

“Whether you enjoy Science Fiction or not, DECEPTION is a great read you won’t want to put down.”

Hope you enjoyed this month’s review. More to come in July!

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

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tattle & Wrye column May 2018 edition


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

May 2018

Greetings,

Tattle leans back in her office chair and groans. "I'm so old I can cough, giggle, sneeze and pee all at the same time."

Wrye waggles a finger at her, "You are such fun to listen to when you lie, cause I already know the truth. You don't consider yourself old."

"Well, maybe not, but the joints are sure smarting. Guess I shouldn't have danced the night away."

"Listening to disco again before bed."

Tattle shrugs, "Of course not! I was out swinging with my peep."

"It really is disappointing when a liar's pants don't actually catch on fire."

"Excuse me, m' sleuthy bud, but I'm not done lying yet...."

"Yes, you are, m'literary twitter and tweet, it is time for our Love of Literature Leap review!"

The two fled and leap into MIDNIGHT IN MONGOLIA, A Blenders Mystery, 4 By Veronica Helen Hart

Al and Larry, part of the Keegan Bay Park Blenders, had followed Doll to the reality TV set of Cooking for Your Life with Mandy Young, and opted for a day of sightseeing. While off on their jaunt, the two were kidnapped in the Mongolian Desert by a high cheekboned man in a cowboy hat and a Peter Lorre (forties actor) look-alike. How could that happen and why? Easily, it is after all Al and Larry, and, well, they were mistaken for American executive that actually had broken down on the road.

Doll, of course, is immediately entwined in an convoluted rescue scheme, ransom bid and no police. You guessed it, they wouldn't help. Howard, who had also tagged along on the excursion, insisted on having her back. Despite being 92 years old, he doesn't shy away from danger. Besides Al and Larry are part of the Blenders, and his friends.

Meanwhile, Al and Larry continue dealing with the debacle they find themselves in, now not as ready to admit they aren't who the kidnappers thought. Dare they pull it off? Dare they manage to escape? Dare Doll and her Blenders find them before they vanish completely? Dare you chuckle and giggle at the humor? Only the desert knows for sure.

"This is the perfect fit in this wonderful cozy mystery series. The entire series is a refreshing change from the norm. It is more reminiscent of Murder She Wrote TV series except with extra sleuths to enjoy. As always, the plot is solid, the suspense is ever present, and the prose is quick. I also enjoy the rich, very real dialogue, that reflects the Keegan Bay Blenders age group. This book was jam packed with excitement and adventure that kept you guessing until the end. It had a nice menagerie of twists and turns as well.  Putting it down is not an option."


"Doll is just a fabulous character, all spunk and no-nonsense. And it is an extra treat to watch the secondary plot of her trying to decide if Michael is truly the man she wants to spend forever with. Will she ever give up on wondering what happened to Barclay? Do you find out in this book? Ah, this is where I say, read, m'friend, read. I really love this series and intend to devour the books I have missed and further read any future ones. It is imaginative and cozy mystery masterpiece."

Hope you took pleasure in this month’s review. More to come in June!

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