Tuesday, January 18, 2011




"I have only one New Year's resolution," states Tattle as she boxes up her tiara for the next New Year's Eve gala.

"And that is?" asks Wrye, placing his top hat in storage.

"To read more work from the Champagne Books authors, what else!"

"Ahh, then I say, let's get you started by seeing what's up with some of our favorite authors."

With a grin and a wink, Wrye leads the way into a Love of Literature Leap.

"This book certainly lives up to its title," states Wrye as he offers a bug-eyed look. "Olivia, the heroine, is oooh-la-la"

"And so is this contemporary romance, HOT COMMODITY by Linda Kage," agrees Tattle. "I really like how Olivia finally stands up to her mother, Vivian, and takes charge of her world."

Finding some left over hors d'oeuvres in his pocket, Wrye speaks between munching. "Only, it doesn't quite work out the way she expects."

Tattle skips through pages, her gown from the previous evening rustling as she moves. "Should we tell?"

"Oh do!"

"It appears while at a business convention in Las Vegas, Vivian had ordered Olivia to seduce Cameron Banks into marrying her. And, she's having none of it."

Wrye plucks a sparkling water directly out of the bar scene, and drinks thirstily. "So, she rebels, picking up the first hunka-hunka that she is certain mommy dearest will despise."

"Chutes and ladders she certainly chose a sizzling hottie," qualifies Tattle. "And he is also a little bit tipsy when she gives him the come-hither."

"But it's his quirky personality that gets her into his arms, and before you know it the two of them are more than an item."

"Take that mama Cruella!"

"Actually," Wrye explains, dapping his mouth with a handkerchief. "Remember things didn't work out as Oliva planned. The man that knocked her socks off, and, well, actually, her panties, too was none other than Cameron Banks!"



"Ut oh!"

"Exactly. This is when the fun really begins."

"Gotta read this!"


Next, the duo find themselves in the romantic suspense LIAR, LIAR by J. L. McCale.

Wrye pops his Sherlock Holmes hat from a pocket and dons it as he gives his best impression of a gumshoe. "There is something afoot, and I'm not talking about sneakers, despite that we're sneaking around."

Ignoring Wrye, Tattle says, "Did you hear that? Whispers. Scrapings. Creaking."

"I hear nothiiiing, nothiiiiing," declares Wrye with a Sergeant Schultz accent, but then his voice becomes soft, serious. "Wait! Whatever it is, it has awakened Mia! It's the same sounds she had heard the night her husband had fallen to his death."

Tattle sighs elaborately. "Poor dear, she has stayed away from the mansion until now, the very place where her husband, Bill, had been murdered."

"Well, it doesn't help that the police don't believe he had been murdered."

"But now she is back, determined to find out the truth, why he had died."

"And, now, it is starting again. The sound of a door closing. A child's voice." Wrye pauses, head bent in the semblance of listening. "The same sounds she began to hear before he had died."

"Her husband had chided that she was insane."

"Was she?" Tattle asks, eyes bright and wide.

"She sometimes fears that. She tells herself that a house makes noises. It's just settling, but she doesn't really believe it. Yet, everything seems to be transpiring yet again."

"Then there is evidence of an intruder, and again a child whispers for her to run."

"She is all alone in her attempts to find the truth except for one detective who has a personal interest, and it's not just in her." Wrye says, wiggling his brows for emphasis.



"I think there is someone creeping up the stairs."

"I think it's time for us to say adios amigo!"

Hope you enjoyed! For the month of candy, flowers and hearts, we'll be visiting with the characters from FAKIN' IT by Dr. Kris Condi, Ph.D., LUCKY IN LOVE by Stacey Coverstone, and DANGEROUS DESIRE by Romona Hilliger.

Happy New Year!

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

Created and written by
Angelica Hart and Zi

Monday, January 3, 2011

Branding, we're not talking cows here

Branding? What is it? I wanted to know more about the term and its use since it apparently applies to us and our writing, not just large corporations.
Definition: Voice? Plot? Values? Reliability: that I will wind up the details of my twists and turns in the plot.

Ah-ha. Branding is me. My integrity combined with my interests and values create my brand, because who I am contributes to and is incorporated into what I write, whether it’s a travel essay, a blog or flash fiction.

But how does my brand apply to my three Champagne novels?

In the contemporary Mortal Coil, a widow with a ten-year old daughter tries to save her nursing home residents from the Ponytail Perp. The cop assigned to the case and she become allies friends, lovers, and more. Brand: sweet romance, family values, sense of responsibility and altruism. Trust the author to wrap up the details.

In Tangled Web, an innocent woman is seduced by what we would now call a player, but in 1935, was a user, a selfish rogue or a philanderer who takes no responsibility for their child. She rebuilds her life and moves from his influence to become a nationally known… Brand: Romance, grit, suspense and eventually sweet romance and the reliability that the author will not only wrap up the details but will not commit any anachronisms.

Coming in 2011: Kill Fee is so named because it involves an environmentally sensitive article that strays into a murder plot and cover-up. Editors want it pulled, thus requiring that they pay the author a kill fee—in more ways than one. No one is innocent. The all too possible story reflects back on the writer and her entire life. By her side is her attorney, with no agenda but to be her helpmate. Sweet romance, loyalty, family values, humor and whimsy wrapped up neatly and logically.

All my writing has commonalties. People have told me, "I found myself agreeing with your article before I saw your name at the end." Or, "I thought that might be yours."

Ellen Smith, our Champagne Books publisher pointed out to me that although the term Branding has been around for several years, newer writers are becoming more aware of it. This is why your Web site must reflect your brand, not just your latest or your favorite book. As Ellen said, "That way, when someone says (your name) they know exactly who they are talking about.
"Branding is especially important when building an author’s platform. It’s what brings your readers to you," she stated.

This makes perfect sense when you consider how we wait to experience the next book by Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Dean Koonz or Stephen King, to mention only a few. They are reliable brands in their own genres.

Build your reliable brand and display it on your Web site. You don’t own it; you are it.
Julie Eberhart Painter is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, in which she practices both medicine and law without licenses, and Tangled Web, a story close to her heart. See Julie’s Web site at The World, the Flesh and the Devil, American Castles and Tahitian Destiny are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her nonfiction e-book, From the Inside Out, a volunteer looks at staying motivated, is considered a best seller on the Net. Watch for Kill Fee, Coming in October 2011.