FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
“Hot…hot…hot!” exclaimed Tattle, fanning herself.
“Well, it is the dog days of summer, some say, woof, woof, but I find summer to be perfect when the birds are chirping, the fishing rod is hooked, the sun is shining and….” He stared out the window and frowned at the overgrown lawn. “The lawn mower is broken.”
“Wasn’t talking about the heat, but about one of Champagne Book’s hottest authors, RITA BAY. Remember we read FINDING EVE, part of her Lyons’ Tales series?”
“Shapeshifters, right? The one about a feral cat lost in a world of exotic animal hunters? ”
“That is the one, one among many other books. She also has an upcoming erotic mythological CONQUERING CUPID coming out in December?” Tattle followed Wrye’s gaze and handed him a flyer for a lawn service.
“Ah, yes, not only is she prolific, but she promotes her fellow authors as well. And, now that I have no lawn duties, should we invade…errr, I mean, visit with the dear lady?”
“You are so astute m’partner in blather. Time for our Love of Literature Leap!”
The two appeared right next to Rita Bay as she furiously tapped away at her computer. The author jumped up, a bit startled.
Wrye waved his hands like a magician and a round, stylish table appeared with chairs and a summery repast of fruit, small cakes, and lemonade in tall iced glasses.
“Ready for your interview and the promised Host Review of THE TRAVELERS by KEITH MCCOY?”
Rita doesn’t respond, still looking startled.
“She forgot,” whispered Tattle to Wrye.
“I doubt it.” He pulled out a chair for Rita. “I believe she really didn’t expect us to just appear out of nowhere.”
R: No, I certainly didn’t expect guests appearing out of nowhere. Like most of my feisty female characters involved in fight or flight situations, I’m hard-wired to fight. The antique 12-Gauge shotgun in the corner is way too messy in a confined space which I would have to clean. My trusty 9mm pistol concealed beneath the desk would leave holes in my wall which I would have to repair. Then I spy my sharpened letter opener with the purple crystal handle sitting innocently in my pencil holder. Perfect. Weapons at the ready, I cautiously greet the two interlopers. “Tattle and Wrye, I presume. Welcome.”
T/W: Both approved of her welcome, along with her precautions. They like a gal with spunk! The two took their seats, after Rita settled in hers, with Tattle immediately indulging in an iced chocolate sweet.
T: “So, Rita, tell us how you do it all? I mean, really, like are you an immortal? An insomniac? A sorceress? Give us the truth, it’s just between the three of us….” Then muttered ever so softly. “And everyone who reads the newsletter.”
W: Wrye looked at Tattle. “Really? Rita, you don’t have to answer that. But you do have to let us know if you were a shapeshifter what creature would you be and why?”
R: “Well, Tattle (and everyone who reads the newsletter), you were right about sleep. Five hours is my norm; six, if I’ve worked in the yard which I love to do. As for being a shapeshifter, Wrye, I like the big cats like the Lyons’ Tales series. Noble, clean, top of the heap – no mouse or bird, for me.”
W: Excellent choice. Personally, I might choose to be a wolf, but I know Penza Tattle would adore being anything of a feline nature.
T: “I do so like to alternately roar and pure.” Dipped a strawberry into melted chocolate and made strange moaning sounds before asking, “Tell us about your favorite character that you have created and which Champagne Book can we find him/her?
R: “Marie, the event planner extraordinaire with amnesia from Into the Lyons’ Den (the first story in the Lyons’ Tales series), is a favorite. Life was tough when she was lost to the Clan as a child. When her promised lifemate Anthony - the Clan’s leader – finds her years later, he doesn’t know quite how to deal with the independent twenty-something he’s contracted to plan a wedding at Lyons’ Den.”
W: Handed Tattle a napkin to wipe the chocolate off her chin. “Rita, please tell us if you belong to the tribe of weird like….” Nodded his head toward Tattle. “Or are you a sensible, logical person like… well…moi, for instance?”
T: Mouthed the words, sensible, logical? Yeah, right.
R: Y’all are asking me about weird? Wrye, I saw you spill that chocolate on the carpet and cover it with your foot, then toss your half-eaten strawberry toward the trashcan – and miss. Really! My Mama raised me better, that’s why I love to write my risqué, occasionally erotic, paranormal stories.”
W: Wrye ducked his head shamefully, garbling, “Sorry.”
T: “Thank you so much for answering some of our questions, and since we are hosting one of your reviews, please share.”
R: KEITH WAYNE MCCOY owes me big-time on this one. I thought this was going to be a review about a book I really enjoyed. I’ve never played hostess to such peculiar guests in my office – and a Southern girl must always be gracious, regardless. Oh well, suck it up and move on. THE TRAVELERS, McCoy’s debut novel with Champagne, is a sci/fi tale that begins aboard the Queen Mary …
In 1947, the luxury liner Queen Mary transmits a routine message which is intercepted by an extraterrestrial intelligence. A dying alien world uses the beacon to transport a mother and her two young children to the ship amid flashing electrical lights and a raging storm. James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his British war bride returning to New York are astounded by the apparition of a woman with her two children who gradually assumes corporeal shapes. Jess is drawn to the pathetic woman and accepts her silent entreaty to take her children. As the woman retreats into fog and disappears, the Bennett’s return to their cabin with their children. Despite the biological math being off a bit, the Bennett’s claim the children as their own and raise them on the family farm.
Flash forward to the present. Guy Turner, a melancholy black film maker, is tasked with filming a history of the Queen Mary. While the film will be a boost to his career, his personal life has recently fallen into shambles. His girlfriend of many years gave him “the ultimatum.” While he was fine with marriage, the idea of bringing children into the world was intimidating – so much that he allowed the love of his life to leave.
When Guy interviews James and Jess for his film, he never imagined he would be drawn into their lives and another extraterrestrial visit. When the flashing lights and storms appear and decades-old messages are received signaling another visit, his friend, a government employee he’d shared the couple’s strange story with, demands that he become involved in the new visitation.
The Travelers goes beyond fantasy to portray the life journeys of the characters to the limits of anxiety, despair, grief, and joy. A great read that not only entertains but challenges the reader to put him or herself in the shoes of the characters and perhaps examine his/her own priorities in life.
W: Again, thank you so much for taking the time to share a part of you and Keith’s writing with us. We are looking forward to reading more of your work and his.
And just like that they disappeared.
Readers, it has been a delight to share our Love of Literature Leap with all of you. Until next time, keep reading Champagne Books!
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat
Created and written by
Angelica Hart and Zi
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