Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tattle and Wrye






“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-swoon good looks. And…”

“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-burning-up attracted to each other, yet the evasive truth has left them both hurting and both thinking the other callous and cruel.”

“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.”

“Do tell.”

“I did."





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…”

“That mouth.”

“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!

Double-cheek kisses,

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

Champagne Books

Friday, May 22, 2009

July Releases

Betraying Chase

By Donica Covey

Romantic Suspense

ISBN: 978-1-897445-44-0

172 pages


Promo Logline: She was hired to kill him, but fell for him instead--ain't love a bitch?

Back Cover Blurb: Chase Willet, DEA agent, is destroying the business of high dealing drug lord, Ramiro Gonzalo Sancho Rivera. It’s not enough that they’ve already put a large chunk in the import train. They have to take Rivera out.

Brandy Montgomery is the red head that swept Chase off his feet. She’s sexy, smart and has a secret. She’s is a hired gun for Rivera and is spending time softening Chase up so that he won’t be prepared for the kill.

The problem with Brandy’s plan is that the more time she spends with Chase, the more she falls for him. How can she do her job if she’s in love with the man? And when Chase finds out what she’s really up to he feels completely betrayed until Brandy offers to help him take down Rivera. But she’s fooled him once before. Can Chase trust her this time?


He grabbed her into an embrace. “Are you cold?” He pulled the covers up close and squeezed her tight. “I won’t let anything happen to you. I’ll die first.”

He grew quiet and the time seemed to drag. She knew he wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep. She also knew sleep would avoid her like the Black Death.

He pulled away. “I’m going to take a shower.” The mattress shifted and the comforting feel of his body left a chill in its place.

He disappeared into the bathroom and once more she trembled. The only way to keep both men off her was to do the job. She’d collect the bounty, leave enough evidence to destroy Rivera for good and disappear.

Her gaze flickered to the desk where the gun was locked away. Inhaling a deep breath, she left the bed and opened the drawer. Once more, she pulled out the box holding the gun, unlocked it and hefted its cold weight in her hand. Leaving the desk, she moved to the bathroom door. The sound of the water running muffled through the wood she placed her hand on the knob.

You just have to open the door, shoot him and get out... The door slid open with a quiet creak. Steam filled the room and through the haze, she could see his silhouette on the curtain. Raising the gun, she aimed it at him and her finger applied slight pressure against the trigger.

Selling Forever

By Kimber Chin

Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 978-1-897445-56-3

82 pages


Promo Logline: Can Cara close the deal on love?

Back Cover Blurb:

The Best Sales Plans…

Real estate agent Cara Jones needs a celebrity handyman for her charity auction. Reclusive billionaire Richard Thompson is the perfect choice. All she has to do is find his trigger and trip it, without becoming emotionally attached.

…Sometimes Go Awry

Richard wishes to be valued for himself, not simply for his money. He certainly isn’t going to fall in love with a pushy, pie baking saleswoman, no matter how sweet she tastes.


“Want another beer?” Cara partially opened the fridge door, concealing her collection of week old takeout.

“No thanks, two’s my limit.” He held up his empty bottle. “I’m driving.”

“Interesting.” Cara grinned at the outright lie. “The taxi driver letting you drive tonight?”

“One of the perks.” His face reddened. “How come you know so much about me?”

Cara wasn’t about to answer that loaded question. “How come there was a message from my very excited father on my machine?”

His head bent a little more over that cupcake he was mauling. “How should I know?”

“Something about a delivery of baby back ribs ring any bells?” He was thoughtful to send her dad, a complete stranger to him, the gift. He certainly didn’t deserve the stingy label smacked on him by the press. But then, she already knew that. One of the things that first…

“Sorry, Quasimodo.” He wouldn’t meet her eyes.

“Came from the account of one Richard Thompson,” Cara prodded. “Meat lover extraordinaire.”

“Damn identity thieves.”

Cara had to laugh. The goof. She concentrated on her cupcake, suppressing the wild impulse to hug him. Him. A complete stranger.

And do other things, much less innocent. The few photos Cara found on the internet, horrid candid shots, hadn’t prepared her for Richard’s subtle good looks, his long, lean body. He wasn’t movie star handsome, but somehow she found him more appealing, more virile, and more male.

Combine that with his personality. Oh, sugar. The media had it all wrong there, too. Richard Thompson wasn’t sullen and silent, but witty and engaging.


Maybe not so witty. She glanced up to find him folded behind the island, that butt of his sticking in the air.

When The Ocotillo Bloom

By Linda LaRoque

Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 978-1-926681-14-6

245 pages


Promo Logline: Lynn Devry and Seth Williams challenge old fears and issues to find self-renewal in life and love.

Back Cover Blurb:

Teacher Lynn Devry, eager for a kid free summer, finds herself working at a camp for problem children in West Texas. Psychologist Seth Williams is still in love with his ex-wife yet finds himself inexplicitly drawn to the prickly woman. As they help youngsters improve behaviors, wills and attraction collide.


The rowdy hum of children’s voices replaced the clatter of trays and cookware. Evidently, Seth believed meal times were for socializing as conversations and laughter flew around the room. Her eyes sought their fearless leader. He sat amid a group of teenage boys, laughing at the antics of one. Her respect for him grew a notch. She admired a man who enjoyed the company of kids.

Seth watched his new bread cook. Her face flushed from the heat of the ovens and the hard work of rolling out biscuits. If she were tired now, she’d be dead when she finished kneading bread dough.

He leaned back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest, and looked around the room. It was going to be a good day. The wranglers were well fed and happy. Lynn’s face lit with pleasure at their compliments. She deserved every one. Her biscuits were some of the best he’d eaten. He considered going back for two more, but didn’t want to experience another glare like the one she’d shot him as he went through the line. Probably because of the big grin he had on his face. Flour smeared her cheek, and a glob of dough clung to a strand of her bangs that had escaped the bandana she wore to hold her hair back. Damned if she didn’t look cute.

Lynn finished her breakfast. When she glanced up to see him watching her, she stiffened. Ignoring him, she stood and walked back into the kitchen.

Love Comes Blindly

By Marie Higgins

Historical Romance

ISBN: 978-1-926681-20-7

100 pages


Promo Logline: If love isn’t blind to past indiscretions, can absence truly make the heart grow fonder?

Back Cover Blurb:

Lord Gregory Fielding has been wounded when he travels to Scotland to find the next big story for his London newspaper. Now blinded, he relies on the soft, comforting touch of one of the nurses at St. Mary’s Abbey. He thinks she’s a novice, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to make her sigh in passion.

Madeline O’Neil cannot believe her misfortune. The man she had almost married three years ago is back in her life. Gregg doesn’t know who she is and she doesn’t dare tell him. Not until she makes him like the new Madeline. But as each day passes and her heart grows fonder, she fears he’ll hate her for certain once his eyesight returns. Especially when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for three years…


As he talked, his voice softened, and familiarity struck an odd chord in her memory. Where had she heard his voice before? Had she met him once? Or did he remind her of someone she’d known?

While growing up, she lived in London and Essex. Since she left that area almost three years ago, all ties to her past severed. She couldn’t bring shame to her family. These good Sisters needed her here. Now Madeline’s life had meaning. But what were the odds she’d known this man before?

When he ended his dictation, his voice tightened. Her eyes misted again. Obviously, he loved his family and his life at the newspaper. She prayed he would see again. Only God knew the outcome.

“Sir? I will send this letter as soon as possible, but I need your name first.”

“Oh, forgive me. I suppose my brain isn’t functioning too well.” Slowly, he lifted his hand again to his bandaged head. “My head is throbbing and it’s hard to concentrate.”

“I understand.”

Once his hand dropped to the cot, he breathed deeply. “My name is Lord Gregory Fielding.”

The name from the past hit her like a physical blow to her chest. She gasped and quickly covered her mouth with her hand. Gregg?

She jumped to her feet as her heart hammered. Dizziness threatened her vision, and she feared she would swoon. No, she mustn’t. She had to remain strong. After three years and being this close to starting a new life, how could fate throw into her path the one man she’d wronged so badly?

No matter what, she couldn’t let Gregg know who helped him. He hated her. Thankfully, he couldn’t see. Her identity must stay a secret.

As must her other secret that he must never discover.