Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The GoPro © Technique
Recently I watched the 900th Formula One Grand Prix, a breathtaking spectacle of high-tech cars glittering under brilliant lights in the night-time desert of Bahrain. A feast for the eyes even if you don’t care about the intra-team rivalries or the fine details of aerodynamics or the constant jostling over rules.

But I digress.

The pre-race show featured a 20-second montage of those 900 races, dating back to the 1950s. What struck me was not the percentage of the drivers I recognized (a benefit of my age), but the progressive improvement in the images. From grainy black and white stills to handheld newsreels to helicopter shots to in-car cameras, we got closer and closer to the action. During the race, we were able to watch from just above a driver’s head as his car was speared by another and did a barrel roll.* The capability now exists, as in Ron Howard’s film Rush, to show a driver’s pupils narrowing and widening.

In other words, we’ve moved from telling to showing.

It’s one thing to tell the viewer that Esteban Gutierrez crashed; it’s quite another to show the sky rotating over the rollbar of his machine. Though I was ensconced on a comfy sofa, my head spun after that shot.

All of which is to remind you that this is the effect you want to create in your writing. Imagine you are a GoPro© camera attached to your character, seeing through her eyes, hearing through her ears. Even better, imagine you’re a next-generation GoPro©, with the capability to record every physical sensation--the racing heart, the roiling stomach, the aching muscles. And once you’ve done that, take it a much deeper step. We’ll call it an In-Heart camera, perhaps, one that portrays love, hate, anger, joy, fear, celebration.

But you don’t need a camera. You’re a writer. All you need are imagination and words. Go on--show the world.

* The driver’s reaction: “Whoa, what was that?” He climbed out unassisted and walked away uninjured.

Nikki Andrews
Editor/Champagne Books

Monday, May 5, 2014

Review by Sheri Wilkinson

Hollow Point by Gary R. Eddings

Pat Colson is an (Indian) tribal officer. He pulls over a car for a traffic violation and gun shots are fired. He finds the car filled with Meth(amphetamine).  Young people are dying from overdosing on Meth and it is up to officer Colson to find the drug supplier.  Disturbing as is, it hits close to home when people in the Reservation are all suspects.

A fast paced thrilling read. Officer Pat Colson is very likable. I also enjoyed the Native American undertones, stories and legends that occur in this book. The story is very original, fresh and intriguing. I was hooked from the first page until the last. An all night read. I feel that murder/thriller/suspense readers will enjoy Hollow Point as well as those who like to read about Native American culture and legends. A Definite 5 star read!

Review by Sheri Wilkinson

Mortal Coil by Julie Eberhart Painter

Ellen Lange, a widow with a young daughter runs a nursing home. She is doing fine until two residents are murdered. Detective Bill Watts is assigned the case. As Bill investigates the crimes, sparks arise between the two. Each reluctant to start a relationship for their own personal reasons.

A fast paced murder mystery with a touch of romance. I really liked Ellen, she is a strong, hardworking  woman determined to face life as it comes. The story is original, had some twists, turns and surprises. I was definitely hooked from the first page until the last. A definite 5 stars read! I highly recommend to Murder/mystery.romance lovers.

Review from LASR

Acts of Grace by Misa Buckley

Acts of Grace by Misa Buckley
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (24 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
After stopping the power-hungry CO of Global Solutions from burning the world, Grace McKenna turns her attention to Hammel Mental Institute, the asylum where Benedict was locked up without reason, determined to close the place down.
Her investigation uncovers mysterious donations, vanishing patients and a hidden laboratory beneath the building.
Still coming to terms with her abilities, Grace faces the possibility that the mutation was manufactured. But who by and, more importantly, what for?
There’s no such thing as a bad question. Whether Grace and Benedict will actually want to know the answers to their questions, though, remains to be seen.
The last time I met Grace I wished I knew a little more about her as an individual. Her personality shines through this short story, and the scenes that tread into sensual territory make much more sense this time around given everything I’ve figured out about the characters involved in them. Seeing how Grace reacts to what happens to her in this story gives me the urge to reread the first instalment of this series in order to see if there are any clues about her personality that I’ve missed.
There was uneven pacing in the beginning due to all of the references to what has happened to these characters in the recent past. As soon as the plot thickened, though, I became caught up in what Grace and and Benedict might discover in the asylum. A strong ending provided some much-needed answers and made me wish I could start part three right away.
This short story can be read as a standalone tale, but I the importance of certain scenes is easier to understand for readers who are already familiar with what happened in Grace Under Fire. It was especially interesting to see how the Grace and Benedict have grown as individuals since I first met them as not all of the changes are necessarily obvious right away.
I didn’t want Acts of Grace to end. This is a great choice for anyone in the mood for a short, satisfying dip into the science fiction genre.

Thursday, May 1, 2014



Tattle dragged Wrye onto the porch to view her handiwork in the garden.  "Isn't it wonderful?  April showers do bring May flowers."

Wrye squinted and looked closely.  "Errrr, they're all silk, not real flowers."

Crossing her arms over her chest, Tattle pouted.  "They are too real, and I paid real money for them."

"Ummm, yes, sure, right, but what about the reference to April showers?"

"I just got them (and planted them) on the first of May so logically that means because of the April rain and my dislike of shopping in storms, I couldn't get them until May."

Wrye's recently developed tick goes wild.  "Huh?"

"Oh, never mind, let's focus on our Love of Literature Leap."

And they do.

“Errr, where are we?” asked Tattle while holding her nose.  “And what is that stench?”

“On a boat and bass.”  A fishing rod appeared out of nowhere, and Wrye cast a line.  “Know what they call a fish that won’t shut up?”  He doesn’t wait for a response.  “A big mouth bass.”

“Bass…bass…bass,” Tattle tapped her finger to her head.  “Ohhh, we’re in CHAIN REACTION by Richard Hacker, which is a Nick Sibelius Mystery.”

“You got it, gal.  Now, move aside and let the master work.”

Tattle snapped her finger, the fishing rod disappeared along with the boat.  “Exactly!  Look at that.”  They suddenly find themselves in a scene where Nick was grabbing a man named Dillion by the shoulders and shaking him.

Wrye ignored Nick and Dillion.  “I’m looking at the lovely lady, Dolores.  She’s tearing up, poor thing.”  He moved toward her as if about to put a comforting arm around her.

Tattle gave him a Pembroke Corgi nudge and Wrye stumbled away.  “Rule one, don’t get involved with the characters.  Besides, that is what Nick is for, and Dolores’s pouty adorable expression is softening Nick’s heart and we all know he’s gonna get tangled up in her troubles, which also happens to be the country’s troubles.”

“Which involves secessionists, drones, and a serial killer, oh my.”  Wrye stared wistfully at Dolores.

Grabbing Wrye’s hand, Tattle deliberately caused them to leap into another chapter.  “And all because he took on a client who seemed to be involved in an apparent bass fisherman grudge match.  That leads to a secessionist plot headed by Bruce Reynolds, who intends to create the independent nation of Texas.”

“Nick being Nick with Nick luck ends up being recruited to head a task force to defeat such a maneuver, and is being faced with the impossible task of eliminating the drone air force under Reynolds’ control, Governor Fran Adamson’s political career and a client’s murder.”

“We talking Civil War and the possible break up between himself and his love, Theresa?”

“Not if Nick has any say about it.”

“Look!  A castle,” declared Tattle.  “I love castles.”  Even as she said it, the duet appeared in an elaborate throne room.

Wyre settled a jeweled crown on his head and strutted about, waving graciously as if the room were full of royal subjects. “Like a little romance with your suspense?” 

“Do rabbits like chocolate?”

The crown disappeared, and an eyebrow was raised.  “Rabbits don’t eat chocolate, they prefer carrots.”

“Well, some rabbits are made of chocolate, and are delicious.”  With a defensive stance, Tattle yanked a sword off the wall and fenced with the air. 

Wrye’s tick returned, following Tattle’s logic was never a wise option.  “Anyway, we are in the historical suspense, DARK DAYS by R. J. HORE, where the lovely Queen Nefasti is barely holding on to her kingdom.”

“Yup, there she is with war threatening and declared suitors worming their way into her presence if not her heart, although, there is that one who is kinda cute.”  Tattle winked at the leader of a neighboring kingdom but of course, the character can’t see her. 

“Rule two, m’flirtatious gossip monarch, don’t get involved with the characters.”

“Wasn’t!” Tattle gave the wide-eyed innocent stare.  The sword flew into the rafters and stayed there, floating.  “I think Nefasti should though, or at least someone gallant and protective, considering her closest friend and guardian is about to leave, a dear lady-in-waiting is on the verge of suicide, and not all the gold and jewels being offered her can change the fact that many want her dead.”

“Assassins?”  Wrye whipped aside a curtain and glared into the emptiness.  “No one here.”

“Ahhh, but they are in nooks, crannies and shadows.  Trrrrouuubbble, for certain.”

“With seemingly no way out.”

“Ut oh.”


“Knife!  The queen is able to be stabbed.”

Wrye jumped into the pages, but Tattle yanked him back out.  “Sorry, Sir Wyre Galahad, we can’t interfere.”

What an enjoyable leap!  We do so enjoy our gossipy travels….errr investigative travels into the world of CBG books.  So much so, we are looking forward to a new venture by occasionally reviewing a book.  Then we can get the real dirt…ummm, we mean, plot.
Have a wonderful May, and pick some flowers, even the silk ones, they last forever. 

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

Books by Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane