FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
“Hurry,” Tattle demands in a rush and huff of excitement. “We’re late.”
"Full moon already?" He jumps to his feet and does seven steps of a river dance and adds, "There's lunacy in a full moon."
“Oh, Wrye, my grandiloquent darling, you do think of the nuttiest things."
"Nutty like a shrewd shrew," he said, peering over his glasses.
"It’s time to leap... Moon?" She laces up her above the ankle high heels.
“Au contraire, m’Dear, thought we were visiting a Werewolf genre?”
She double-bows her shoes, flips the ruffle of her petticoat, and giggles. “Not Werewolves but where wolves are.”
After a moment of ponder, he blurts, “A rogue or two. Alright! Don't need these silver bullets."
"So do you still have nuts like a shrew?" She jabbed him with her eyes.
"You tart." He then hands her a Streamlight PolyTac C4 Tactical handheld flashlight, “Hold that for a second.” He adjusts his Fedora, glances in a nearby mirror to make certain it has that perfect rakish angle and then takes the flashlight back.
She looks puzzled. “Why do we need…" she asks as she pins a boutonniere to his lapel.
“Trust me,” he says as he offers his arm and initiates the first of their Love of Literature Leaps.
They land with a soft thud on the ecru pages of INVISIBLE by Kimber Chin. Wrye clicks on the flashlight, does a quick soft shoe, humming Dizzy Gillespie, throws out his arms, stomps his left foot, and mouths a tada. “Thought we needed to shed some light on the evasive Maeve Delaney and the billionaire, antique dealer Hagen Rayner.”
Laughter emerges. “Oh, Wrye, you are an oddie.”
“Grandiloquent, m'Tart, says the spark plug to the battery,” he defends and then rushes on before she can respond. “Do you see what I see?" His eyes saucer, whites showing.
“Mmmm, lover’s embrace,” she inches closer, rascal invading her voice.
Wrye matches her movements with equal stealth. “Really? Then why is she threatening his groin with her foot? Oh my... my... ouch!" He contemplates the need for a brass jockstrap.
“Oh skittles and glory, I do have that wrong, Hagen is simply trying to keep her from leaving. He has a deed to find within a very limited time or his conniving cousin could very well snatch his Great-Uncle’s estate right out from under his oh-my-gosh-make-me-sputter-n-
“And I guess the plot device is that he needs Maeve’s help,” Wrye finishes.
"Whell, 'alls on perfect." Tattle nods, “Help from someone who isn’t supposed to exist.”
"We've landed in the world of business where plan is not a four letter word, one's favorite cocktail is Milk of Magnesia, and where a pat on the back is but a few inches from a kick-in-the-pants."
“Ah, it seems there are several pursuits afoot, oblique finances, veiled identities, and the I-got-the-sizzles for each other."
Wrye’s vision captures an eyeful of the couple still straining in an embrace, he holding tight, her feet dangling off the floor. “Penza, Sweet, I do believe the man wants to kiss her.”
“And I sense she wishes, albeit outwardly denies it, to be kissed in return, ooohh.” Tattle leans in for a better look, swiping Wrye's flashlight, and shines it upon the couple. As if two siblings wrestling, Wrye redirects the beam and gently turns Tattle away. “Now, now, I think a bit of privacy is in order.
She responds, "But... but... but... Fine. But..."
Before another but can be issued, they find themselves leaping into Sara Fitzgerald’s YESTERDAY’S WISH, and another conflict of hearts. “Wrong hat,” Wrye says under his breath, tipping his Fedora at James Norcross, dubbed a notorious cowboy by the author.
“Should have told you we'd be in the West.” She shook her skirt giving it life.
"The West... where re-boot is what you do when you are done scratching your foot, and cell phone is where you make your calls from the pokie, and a three and a half inch floppy might be the droppings of a small cow or might that be a microchip?" He snickers alone.
"The collision of old west meets computer age, got it." Tattle pats her mussed coiffeur. “These landings are getting a bit rough. A dangling participle nearly poked me in the…”
“We have viewers, Penza Perfect,” he says, gesturing to the readers. "Sooo perfect up for them."
An oh-dear-nearly-did-an-oops grin appears along with an English Queen's hand wave. “Have you met the protagonists?”
“Saw James," he said adjusting the tilt and torment of his trousers, bowing legs, looking like he just got off a steer. "The type that got a Dachshund 'cause he was told to get a long little doggie."
“Well, there’s sweet Samantha Wells.” Tattle sighs and holds her hand against her throat. “That rascal James Norcross shattered her heart.”
“Whoa, Nellie-knows, way I heard it, she sliced and diced his up twenty ways from Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday." A moment of pause. "So what's the Concord grapevine say?"
Tattle taps her foot, realizes she forgot her shoes while wading through INVISIBLE'S word pond, and shrugs. “Hmm, all I know is that they are both britches and bloomers in love and flash-me-a-wet-one-cause-I’m-
“Got it, a ten gallon hat filled with twenty gallons of intrigue." He stutters, "Th... th... then there’s the will.”
“There’s a will? I don’t know about a will. What will? How did this snippet of gossip escape my infamous nose for nosing out news?”
“Shipoopi... Shipoopi... Shipoopi... the girl that's hard to git, it’s fine. Calm yourself.” She continued to mutter until Wrye fans her with his hat, confiding, “The way I hear it, after her father passed he left a will stating she can only inherit Wishing Wells, the well-known Bed and Breakfast Inn if she marries James. Coooonflllicccct.”
Tattle snatches the hat and fans herself more vigorously. “That poor dear. What was her father thinking? Goodness, that on top of being in danger.”
“Oh, didn’t I mention, someone might be trying to kill her.”
With that Tattle doesn’t allow another question. Instead she snags Wrye’s arm and pulls them along. “We’re running behind schedule.”
He tugs her the opposite way. “We have a schedule?”
“Of course, darling, I am due for a massage and hot stone treatment today.”
“Oh… Rock star?”
“Umm, where are we? Did you direct our leap, m’Ornery fellow?”
“Can’t let you have all the fun. We’re in Hollywood and Regan Taylor's book AMERICA'S HERO." He stood and saluted, humming, Francis Scott off-Key's the Star Spangled Banner.
She places a finger to his lips.
Instead of being silenced, he chortles, “Hollywood... The place that put plastic into surgery. The place when asked the question how many executive producers it takes to screw in a light bulb the answer comes back, none, they screw in hot tubs."
She smacks him and calls him, "Bad... bad... bad! Apologize."
He says sheepishly, "Sooorrrry."
"And is that…” Her words come out in a semi-gasp.
Ever the gentleman, Wrye daubs at Tattle’s glistening brow with a crumpled handkerchief. She self-queries was it well-used, knowing it was not for show but for b... and stops herself not wanting to finish the thought.
“Now, now, don’t get all overheated, Sweet Potato Pie. Yes, that is the handsome-to-a-pant star Austin Quinn also known as America’s Hero.”
Fluttering, she swoons, “I must sit. He’s simply…”
Wrye offers the tribute-to-heaven eye-roll. “Yes… yes… I know, but in truth it is United States Marine Corps Major Cass Winters who is truly America’s Hero. Austin is an actor intent on telling her story about when after being shot down she kept herself and her partner alive despite almost getting caught by the enemy. CMH stuff.”
“Yes, yes, I know,” Tattle says impatiently, “But those eyes… those muscles… those lips…”
“Yes, that is what I said… that mouth…”
“No, no, kiddo, her mouth. Cass puts her foot in it the moment they meet. She simply does not like the idea of being forced to help him, nor the fact that in the movie he plays her…”
“Excuse me? Trans-what-dresser? Wig? Heels? Lipstick?”
“No… no… same story… but the hero is a man.”
“Ooooh, sure she doesn’t like that.”
“Nope, but it makes for side-tickling-hysterical banter. See…”
Following his finger across the page, she laughs once, twice, and again. “Oh my… did she say that... she did... oooh... she's a tart.” and then Tattle's eyes grow enormous and she repeats. “Oh my… what are they doing in that plane? They are no longer in Hollywood but on location. Oh…. No… Oh goodness! They get shot down. I must know what happens next.”
“Sorry, as usual you are late for an appointment.”
Spinning her around and away from the plot, Wrye pulls her back and back until they de-leap into the office.
“I must stop making appointments on leap days,” she says, lips pursed in a perfect pout. “I never get to find out the endings.”
“Guess you’ll just have to purchase the book like everyone else.”
“Did you buy the books?"
“Yes, Penza, I did."
"Would you lend me the books?"
"Bad... grandiloquent... bad!"
Tattle groans, but straightens her skirt and smiles at all you fantastic readers. “We are so happy you joined us, and as always we hope you enjoyed our trip into the talented works of Champagne’s exceptional authors. We are already sneaking peeks at Michael Davis’ FORGOTTEN CHILDREN, Melissa Blue’s WITHOUT REGRET MY LOVE and Donica Covey's BETRAYING CHASE. Until then, don’t gossip but certainly do share tidbits. Keep reading!
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq.
and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written by
Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ September 2009
SNAKE DANCE ~ February 2010