FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
Dressed in flamboyant green with butter cream colored trim, Tattle looks like a nutty Irish lass with tweaked wild hair, however, she believes herself and her basket of Irish potato candy, is quite fetching. She jigs!
Wearing the traditional hat, curl-toed boots and green of the shamrock, Wrye grins, "Top of the Mornin' to ye. What is a nuahcerpel?" He jigs!
Tattle returns, "And the rest of the day to yerself. What is a nuahcerpel?" She re-jigs!
"Dressed in green, tiniest man ever seen, catch me is told, if ye wants me gold. Iss' a Leprechaun, backwards. Do you like my outfit?" he turns backwards, peering over his shoulder. "Snack for our Love of Literature Leap?" Reaches into the basket and takes a fistful of the edible treats, "Cream cheese, coconut, sham rock me happy." He re-jigs!
"As many as ye can fit in ye pocket, m'Leprechaun-bud."
With a pre-leaping joint jig, they're off.
Upon landing in Carol McPhee's Romantic Suspense, A STRUCTURED AFFAIR, Wrye sings a few notes of O' Danny Boooy and stops short, realizing he's in the midst of a downpour. Tattle hands him a newspaper, and he quickly covers his head. "Lucky? As finding a horseshoe in a field of clover, which means some horse is barefoot."
Ignoring his puffery, she points to the paper and says, "Read it," as she escorts him out of the deluge and into a mansion.
First shakes like a dog, flipping off water. "HEIRESS FALLS TO HER DEATH," Wrye reads aloud, mutters for a bit, "Blarney!" and then, "Ah, Detective Sloane Jamieson himself suspects murder, and that Stephen Morgan, the husband, could be the killer." Mystery looms?
"'tis for certain he suspects," agrees Tattle, she neatly folds the paper and places it in her apron pocket, planning on recycling for 'tis the season to be green. "Stephen is a quiet, reticent artist, who is aware of Sloane's mistrust. A hunky hunk of misunderstanding. He is also cognizant of the rumors that he only married Emily, the victim, because she had been pregnant. Exquisite drama! Now, presently, their child, Stephanie, is seven years old, and in fragile health. Could there be a larger parental pain?" A ball of a tear forms in her left eye.
Balancing on his shillelagh, he passes an eyelet hanky. "With not enough evidence to convict.... Struggle! Sloane uses the department's psychologist, Catherine Malloy as an undercover agent. She the love interest? How intriguing to watch her infiltrate the family as Stephanie's governess."
Sensing a candy moment, she pickpockets Wrye, letting the sweet melt in her mouth, she further explains, "Needing a distraction from her troubled past.... This is good candy!" She high-fives herself then continues, "Catherine follows orders only to find she has stepped right into it." And it is that it that is the melodrama of the story.
"There is something very wrong in the Morgan household, and a part of that wrongness quickly becomes the mutual and growing attraction between Catherine and Stephen. Starry-eyed and mushy?" Using his shillelagh, he fences with the philodendron. Houseplant wins. "She knows he hadn't killed Emily, she knows he loves his daughter, she also knows their futures are doomed if she doesn't uncover the real murderer." Mystery multiplied by tension.
Tattle thumbs cyber pages to get to the end, Wrye restrains her by holding out an Irish potato candy, which she follows right into the leap zone. They leave a wake of clover.
Tattle lands in a wheelchair, brake is off, she goes spinning down an incline, hits a rock and tumbles off. "Whew!" she expels, as she returns the chair to where she found it, brake set. "Now that's a ride."
"And for those who like romantic suspense rides, they must read MORTAL COIL by Julie Eberhart Painter."
Being playful, Tattle notes, "St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland because he could not afford the bus fare." Tattle hops over a few characters, ignores the opening paragraph anticipating and plops directly into the plot. "Murder!" Pauses, "Bless their souls," and then more forcefully, "Conflict! Danger! Love!"
"More! More! More!" Wrye begins to juggle four blarney stones. "Aye, m'lass, two murders, both of them in Ellen Lange's nursing home." At this point, the Sherlockean in him draws his notebook and he starts collecting clues.
Tattle narrows her gaze and plucks a rubber knife out from the welt of her thigh highs, believing she now looks dangerous, but the word Disney steals that possibility. "I see, Special Investigator Bill Watts, the same Bill Watts that gives moi the hots, oops, can't go there, had been called in to investigate. That man steals my breath." She hyperventilates, gains composure and continues, "These murders are the same as others, known as the Ponytail Crimes." Tattle disentangles her ponytail holder envisioning safe haven.
Wrye is courtly enough not to tell her she looks odd with a floppy knife and her hair the pride of punk. Instead he informs, "As the investigation proceeds, Ellen's daughter, Patti, good Irish name, takes a liking to Bill and vice-versa. A contest of good guy vs. momma knows best. At first, Ellen, a widow, wants to protect Patti with no intrusions from the once divorced Bill. I bet she likes him. Trysty potential? However, as the investigation progresses, Ellen's defenses fall, way to go Bill, and she becomes enamored, way to go Ellen, which delights her young daughter, yea everybody."
Tattle mistakes her own discarded ponytail holder for a rat, previously displaced glasses on forehead, and using moves that would pride Rambo, she plummets it with her rubber blade and continues breathlessly, "Yet, unsolved murders remain a foil to happiness, for suddenly Ellen is gone and in the hands of a vengeful murderer who wants Patti!" Yowlza!
"Are you Patti-whacked?" Wrye gives her the side-eye stare.
"No blarney kissin' for me."
"Well, what happens? This is so great, I gotta know."
"Read and see!"
Wrye finds himself eye to eye with a rolling tumbleweed, home of Jane Toombs's historical romance, ONCE AN OUTCAST, part of the Orphan Train Series. He shouts oxymoronically, "Yeehaw, spread out a bunch!" He shoves at the tumbleweed. He jumps up as if the weed was about to attack him and looks around at the camp site. In the not so far distance a train whistles, low and soulfully. "Gorgeous," he says in a half whisper, dressed with awe as he absorbs the night sky.
"She is, isn't she," agrees Tattle, speaking of the lovely half-gypsy Jehenna Scovia. Tattle dances as if tapping an air tambourine, flipping skirt in a taunting manner.
Knowing he meant the stars, he chose to agree, "Ah, the lass herself, that she is indeed. Unbeknownst to the father, the poor thing was thrown onto the orphan train by a man employed by her father." Creep!
Pain grips Tattle, thinking of being so forsaken. "But for Jehenna that was freedom, no more abuse, no more neglect, no more being trapped in a room with her stepmother playing the hymn, "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes." The pain turns to a rip of anger, knowing that the young are meant to be adored.
"Over time, freedom proves to be a hard course for such a young gal, and that freedom could be short, for Jehenna's father hires Nathan Cole to find her." Angst bubbles with thoughts of returning to a tormented home. Was this father well intended? Confused?
"After a while, Nathan does find her. But she continually manages to escape him."
"Cat and mouse?"
"Seems so. But why?"
"And each time they meet, something hot and sizzling transpires. Is that why? Both are aware they cannot surrender to passion. Torment! It would complicate the complicated. For she was his job, his duty. And she didn't want to go home." What were they to do?
"Finally, Nathan offers a solution. To leave with him, not to go back to her father, but just to be with him. The nobility of the man seems apparent, or does it?"
"So many had lied to her before, dare she trust him? Tears claw at my sensibilities."
Tattle responds with. "I smell ham and cabbage burnnnning! Left it on the stove," and off they leap.
Hope you enjoyed! Next month we'll be bunny hopping from FLAWLESS by Kimber Chin, to FLAHERTY'S CROSSING by Kaylin McFarren, to HEATED DREAMS by Julie Grissom, our first Love of Literature Leap from Carnal Passions.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who turn green!
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
CHASING GRAVITAS (working title) ~ July 2010
Tattle and Wrye can also be found at www.myspace.com/champagnebooks