Monday, March 16, 2015

Olga Godim, Award Winner

Congratulations to our very own Olga Godim! Her book Eagle En Garde won the EPIC E-Book Award in the fantasy category.

Her other book Almost Adept and K.M. Tolan's book Tracks were both nominated for the same category, making three out of the four finalists CBG authors. How cool is that! Check out her book at the link below.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sneak Peek at Divide and Conquer

Here is another exclusive excerpt from our other equally amazing March release, Divide and Conquer by Carmen Fox. eBook $5.95 available for order on:

Champagne Book Group

Once I’d paid and exited the cab, I raced inside as if the hounds of hell snapped at my heels. I dropped the bag on my sofa and retreated into a corner of the living room. From there I glared at it. What was I supposed to do with a speaking gargoyle?
Sure, it wasn’t the strangest thing that had happened in my life. It didn’t even top the list of strange things that had happened this month, but it sure qualified as one in a long line of issues for which my future therapist would charge double.
The zipper moved and the gargoyle peeked its head out. His gray fedora hat perched on a grotesque, yet oddly adorable face, and pointy ears projected through its wide brim. “Good, we’re alone. Now, where’s the john?”
I pointed to the hall. “Second door on the left.”
“Thanks, kid. ’ppreciated.” He hopped out of the bag and dropped from the sofa onto the ground with a loud bang. He waddled off, his coat dragging along the floor. In a previous life, it might have been a children’s raincoat, but it had since been shortened to about half-length.
I took a deep breath. Yuck. The air smelled staler than the bread I’d probably left in my fridge. I opened the windows and inhaled again. Better. In the kitchen, I filled the coffee machine with water and enough coffee grounds to make my hair even curlier. I wanted it strong enough to burn its way through the mug, strong enough to jolt me out of this bizarre dream.
Three minutes later, the gargoyle returned.
Flapping his wings, he lifted himself onto the table and sat, crossing his stumpy legs in front. “How ya doing there, kid?”
I opened my mouth, blew out the beginning of a consonant, and closed it again. If I began a conversation with him, I’d be admitting to myself he was real.
I recalled a famous thought experiment about a falling tree in the woods. If I talked to a gargoyle and nobody heard it, would I still be crazy?
“I’m good. Who are you?”
“Kirk.” The gargoyle slapped his chest then his waist, extracted a phone and finally a packet of cigarettes and a lighter from his pocket.
“Don’t even think of lighting up in here.” I raised a warning finger.
“Kid, I’m gonna give you so much info, you’ll wanna marry me. But you ain’t my wife yet, so don’t start nagging.”
After rummaging through the recycle bin, I picked up an empty green bean can and placed it in front of the gargoyle. “Use this.”
“Neat. Now, where’s the hooch?” Kirk pivoted his heavy stone neck and spied a bottle of bourbon I kept for emergencies. He pointed with a stubby, claw-like hand. “Don’t be stingy.”

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Exclusive Excerpt from The Witch's Daughter

Take a peek at this exclusive excerpt from Ron D. Voigts' The Witch's Daughter. eBook $4.95 available for order on:

Champagne Book Group

I stood on the spot with the shovel we had found earlier, staring at the ground where Jane told me to dig. My heart pounded in my chest, and I considered whether this was a good idea. “If a body is here, it might have been buried a hundred years ago. People do die and are buried. It could be sacrilegious to uproot somebody. There are laws about doing things like that.”
Alex sat on the chopping block. She took a deep draw on her cigarette, exhaled the smoke and watched it linger in the still air. “I’m sure whoever it is won’t mind.”
How stupid would it sound to tell anyone I was in the woods with a chain smoking Goth girl and a psychic who could divine the past by touch, digging up a body? If one was buried here, it may lead to a story. The headlines would read: Editor, Goth Girl and Psychic Dig Up Civil War Hero.
I took a deep breath and scooped out the first shovel of dirt, paused and peered in the hole. No body. I dug and tossed a few more spades full. Nothing. I scooped out more earth, finding nothing. My pace became less ginger. Dig. Toss. Dig Toss. Dig. Thud!
Whatever I hit seemed solid. I worked the shovel more carefully, taking smaller bites of dirt. Something pale contrasted against the dark earth. Using the tip of the shovel, I removed more ground until I exposed something long and slender. I’d seen skeletons pictured on anatomy charts at the doctor’s office and more than a few body parts while in Afghanistan, doing a stint in the Army, but I was no expert on bones. “I found a tibia or maybe a femur.”
Alex tossed her cigarette, ran to the hole and stared into it. She knelt and brushed back dirt with her hand. “It’s a root.”
“Can’t be.”
She seized it, and what I had called a bone bent as she tugged on it. I knelt next to her and examined it closer. It sure appeared like a root.
Jane, who had been poking a stick at something in the grass, came over and pointed to a spot about two feet over. “Dig here. Not there.”
I repositioned myself and began digging again, wondering how many more roots I would excavate that resembled bones.
The air grew heavy and my clothing damp as I dug. The sounds of the forest became distant, and all I heard was the shovel striking the ground and my heart beating. The last time I’d worked up a sweat digging a hole was boot camp at Fort Jackson. I didn’t like it then, and my current sentiments were the same. I tossed another shovel full of dirt and spotted something.
Rather than shout for Alex and discover I had found another root, I took it and rubbed the soil away. Definitely, this had to be a bone. Picking through the dirt, I found more bones, like from a chicken.
Alex came over and gazed into the hole. “Phalanges or metacarpals.”
Surprised she’d know the correct names, I stared at her. “Really?”
“I took an anatomy class in college.”
I let Alex pick around in the hole. She found more small bones and sorted them on the ground until they began to form the arrangement of a hand. “I’d say a body is buried there.”
Alex took the shovel and removed dirt from the excavation. She took her time and paused occasionally to peer into the hole. Where I was a bulldozer plowing through the soil, she worked more like a seasoned archeologist on a dig.
As a reporter on the Gazette, I often teetered on the fine line separating legal from criminal. My informants were druggies, boosters and mechanics. I’d done interviews at crack houses, brothels and chop shops. When I came to Maiden Falls, I figured those days were behind me. Things here would be safe, mundane and predictable. Yet, here I was, digging up a dead body.
Alex found more small bones and placed them with the first ones. “Hey, we keep this up we’ll have a complete Mr. Bones in no time.”
A chill passed through me. This was a Frankenstein movie, and we were the grave robbers. We’d take the body parts to the mad scientist and get a bag of coins. Things could not be creepier, and I didn’t want to see a dead body, even if the flesh had already gone to the worms.
We took turns digging, and I worked more cautiously. Alex did the detailed stuff like cleaning the dirt off the bones and arranging them with the others. She named them as she found them. Humerus. Ulna. Clavicle.
“Were you pre-med at college?”
Jane sat in the grass nearby and watched. She seemed indifferent about the body we unearthed, and I speculated about what conditions had molded such a strange being.
I pulled back a tattered shirt and pointed to a broken rib. “Someone shot him.”
Alex looked closer. “Maybe.”
“Do you have a better explanation?”

The trauma of seeing exposed human bones no longer seemed as threatening. I stepped back and let Alex continue the exhumation. I feared the moment when we’d get to the head. The idea of a grinning skull with hollow eyes gave me a chill.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

March Releases

Happy Release Day! Here are our two great books for March, and don't forget to stay tuned for exclusive excerpts.

The Witch's Daughter
Making a deal with the devil is never a good idea, but when it’s with a witch, it can be deadly.
eBook $4.95 available for order on:
Champagne Book Group 

Divide and Conquer
Two women. One prophecy. Zero places to hide.
eBook $5.95 available for order on:
Champagne Book Group 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tattle & Wrye Column March 2015



Tattle laughs aloud catching Wrye's attention.  "What's so funny?"
"Wait until you check out our new Love of Literature Leap."  Curled up in a plush robe, munching on a large carrot stick, Tattle does not look like she is about to leap, hop or skip anywhere.
Wrye can't help an old time Bugs Bunny reference.  "You're not ready, so what's up, Doc?"
Tattle snaps her finger and her attire changes into a sassy little dress with heels.  She takes two steps, wobbles, and decides on flats.  "Be vewwy, vewwy quiet...I'm hunting down Confessions Of The Sausage Queen by Ute Carbone."
"Errrr... sure, silly rabbit tricks are for kids."
"You aren’t in the correct cartoon, m'vewwy screwy dude."
Wrye sighs elaborately, "Let's just leap."
Tattle looks indignant.  "I've been waiting on you."

Once in the book, Tattle puts her hands over Wrye's eyes.  "Don't look!"

He peeks through her fingers.  "Whoo Hoo!  I like that hat!"

Rushing into a scene, she flips the page so Wrye can no longer check out Mandy Minhouser's famous garden hat picture.  "Tsk.  Tsk." Tattle wags a finger at Wrye.  "It's bad enough, her hubby, Randy, sent a picture of Mandy wearing nothing but that hat to Girls! Girls! Girls! You should show some respect."

"Nice rack," Wrye can't help blurting, repeating what almost every adult male in the small town of Kassenburg has said. 

Tattle frowns at him.  "Mind your p's and q's, Wrye Balderdash.  You know, everyone has seen the picture or knows about it.  And it is not the best rep for the library's bookmobile driver."

"There is a bright side..."

"And what's that?  She has taken her young son, Sammy, to live with her quirky, stiletto wearing, margarita drinking, cookie eating grandmother, Lila Rose, and is quite furious at her hubby."

"Ahhh, she isn't as upset as she makes out," Wrye argues, "for all Randy has to do is look at Mandy and she melts.  She is more annoyed at having to live in his trailer by the pond.  She simply wants a place with running water."

"I am still not getting the upside in all this...."

Wrye squiggles his finger at a paragraph.  "The silver lining, m'defender-of-the-young-and-sexy, is that Bill Ludowkis, owner of Bill's Big and Tasty Sausage, has a sudden heart attack while having a lovers romp with Lily Rose under the hydrangea bushes.  Mandy's Gran and Big Bill have been lovers since forever despite his marriage to the ice queen."

"And this is good?"

"Gotta read the book for the ins and outs of it, but the good is he leaves his factory to Lila Rose and makes Mandy CEO, which is vewwy, vewwy grand, m'bunny funny, considering the library no longer has funds for the bookmobile and Mandy no longer has a job."

Tattle considers, adding, "Ah, but there is more bad when her sister, Mindy, appears and takes over the bedroom where Mandy has been living.  Mindy misguidedly thinks her police husband, Ricky, is having an affair."

"Yup," Wrye agrees, "It makes for a comical tangle of messiness.  But back to Mandy, the worst part is she is clueless when it comes to the sausage biz, and the purple attired mural artist, Leland, and assistant to the late Big Bill and now her assistant, has been blackmailed into keeping Mandy clueless."

Snooping further into the book, Tattle giggles and laughs and points to the funnier scenes.  Wrye joins her at first, but then they both frown. 

Tattle places her hands on her hips and utters a few unmentionable cusses.  "Big Bill's grandson Hughes, the factory's CFO, has cut the factory workers pay, and plans on lay-offs, which will all get blamed on Mandy.  If that is not bad enough, he and his henchman aka butler, are willing to go to any lengths to see that his own nefarious deeds are left hidden."

"Just what is a sausage queen to do?"

"First laugh at that title her son has given her, and then gather up all her family and friends, including her sexy lovable husband, and slap stick their way to getting at the truth and saving the factory."

"Do they?"

Well, Tattle and Wrye are not about to let you know.  However, they agree that Confessions Of The Sausage Queen is one hysterical romp through the perspective of a small town, uninhibited gal whose family and friends are as uproariously hilarious and peculiar as the heroine.  Ute carbone has created relatable characters, yes, relatable, for isn't everyone a bit eccentric.  And the easy readable prose keep the pages turning and the laughter coming.  Yet, through the humor a shade of mystery and danger seep through giving the story extra depth, taking it a notch above your typical comic contemporary story.   

It is important to note, however, allow a single sitting to read the book cause you won't be able to put it down, and if you read into the night, you will wake any and all in the household with laughter.  The duo proclaim they haven't had such a gala time of it while reading for ages. 

Ute Carborne is a fresh voice and this team will be anxiously looking forward to her next book.

Hope you enjoyed our latest review.  Until next time, keep reading CBG books!

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