Saturday, August 29, 2015

Interview with Veronica Helen Hart

Hello loyal readers! Today marks the first Saturday of Author Interviews, now Savvy Saturday. With us is Veronica Helen Hart, the amazing author of four Champagne books and more. Her books are for sale on our online store, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

In her interview, Hart tells readers a little more about her life as a writer and how she started out.

CBG: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Hart: I first considered myself a writer back in the summer between sixth and seventh grade when I was at Girl Scout Camp – Camp Sakajawea in upstate New York. There was always a talent contest during each two week session. The seven girls in our tent realized none of us twirled batons, sang, danced, or played an instrument. I suggested I could write a play and we could stage it. They agreed. I wrote an early “sit-com” fashioned after the game shows popular at the time, such as 64 Thousand Dollar Question. I confess to taking some literary license with material from tv shows I had seen. The other girls built a set, we created costumes, and went “on the air.” In spite of being generally shy, I directed and played the lead role. In the end, our tent won the talent contest. I have a photo somewhere of three of us, Lillian, Billie Joe, and me holding the blue ribbon.

However, I did not consider myself an author until I sold my first short story, Wendy,to a Canadian religious magazine in 1981. I wrote the story while our six daughters and their friends were in the dining room having a make-up party. I had just read about a funeral being held that weekend by a community group for an unknown teenage girl who had been murdered a year previously. No one had claimed her as their own. I could not imagine such a thing. I created a fictional girl, a fictional funeral, and sent it in, glad to have the story off my chest. A week later I received an envelope from the magazine. My first thought was, “That was a fast rejection.” To my surprise and delight, the envelope included a check!

CBG: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Hart: I don’t particularly intend to have messages in my writing, but as I look back at my books, I see there is always a mother/daughter dilemma. Having serious issues with my own mother, I guess the feelings are coming out in the writing. Sometimes they’re positive, as in wishful thinking; other times they are not so good. The Reluctant Daughters is probably the most serious book when it comes to mother/daughter issues. The Prince of Keegan Bay which starts the entire Blender series of books, covers the problem slantwise. Moira does everything she can to protect her baby, risking life and limb for her. That is what I mean when I say wishful thinking. Throughout the series, Doll periodically questions her own motherhood, but it’s not a major issue. Her big problem is how she dealt with losing her husband. In the latest work in progress, Midnight in Mongolia, Doll worries about Al and Larry when they disappear. She reflects on whether or not she did all she could to find her husband, Barclay, when he disappeared in the Galapagos several years ago. What I like to do with my books is entertain and inform.

CBG: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Hart: The book that is about to be released, Silent Autumn—Champagne is now taking preorders—evolved from a dream. The dream sequence that originally began the book has long since disappeared only to be glimpsed briefly somewhere in the middle of the story. The dream triggered the futuristic state of the North American continent. Once again, we have a mother who sacrifices herself to save her baby. Our protagonists take the baby with them as they trek across the country intent on warning the Western States’ leaders of an impending disaster set to occur during the Winter Solstice. “Power, absolute authority, and food. The East has the first two, the West, the third. And Taylor Female 8635 knows what is about to happen.”

CBG: Tell us your latest news?

Hart: Current works in progress are the fourth in the Blender series, in Mongolia and a new kind of story for me, a paranormal romance, the working title being, Talk to the Knife. When Marianna Edgewater is fed up with her life in the big city, she searches for and finds an ideal location for her interior design business, an old school building in rural Georgia. What she doesn’t bargain for is a spirit haunting the building begging for justice. Nor does she want to entertain the romantic advances of her architect and contractor, two attractive men. She’s had enough of attractive men trying to control her life in the past. Now she wants to focus in building her international business without distractions. Unfortunately, a voice taunts her every step of the way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Publisher's Choice: Housetrap

R.J. Hore

For sale on:
Champagne Books Store

A missing boyfriend, an elf on the run and Martian vampires. What’s a private eye to do?

In a world ruled by committees of wizards, and packed with every creature imaginable, in the sleazy backstreets of Central City you can always count on Randolph C. Aloysius to solve your problems. That is, assuming his trusty Girl Friday, Bertha, can track him down.

A sucker for a pair of legs, Randy takes the case of a long legged Elf trying to locate a missing boyfriend. Simple.

Of course, nothing is ever simple in Randy’s life, what with avoiding commitments to his long-suffering lady friend, an attempted murder, a real murder, stolen baubles, and another damsel in distress. What’s a private eye to do?

Simple really. Follow the clues off-world, avoid demons, vampires and other assorted miscreants, and hope to come home with enough coin left over to meet Bertha’s back wages.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Publishers Choice: Shadows on Iron Mountain

Shadows on Iron Mountain
Chuck Walsh
$4.95 eBook
$13.95 Print

For sale on:
Champagne Books Store

A big-city detective searches for a killer in the backwoods of Appalachia, discovering the elements and backwoods culture are every bit as dangerous as the killer himself

Thomas Jordan, a hardnosed detective from Knoxville, is called in to investigate the disappearance of Kara Lisle, who was abducted from a cabin in the remote backwoods of East Tennessee. As the search begins, local fishermen find the body of Patricia Darby floating in nearby Doe Creek.

As Jordan scours Iron Mountain to find Darby’s killer, as well as locate Kara, he finds himself immersed in a world where laws of another kind exist. He discovers a land cold and calloused, its inhabitants untrusting. As the body count rises, he finds the only way to bring the killer to justice is to enlist the services of one of Iron Mountain’s own.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Publishers Choice: The Cowboy Way

The Cowboy Way
Cat Lovington
Western Romance

For sale on:
Champagne Books Store

When Chance McCabe rides through a fierce storm to rescue Maggie, she seizes the moment to make him her own.

Horny and tired of looking at Chance McCabe from a distance, almost-twenty-year-old Maggie wants nothing more than to break her vow of celibacy with the handsome dude ranch foreman and man of her dreams. When a sudden storm, a runaway horse spooked by lightning, and an abandoned hunter's cabin present the perfect opportunity for seduction, Maggie turns up the heat. Chance resists the lovely young woman’s sexual overtures for fear of loosing the job that forbids fraternization with the guests. Unable to resist the siren’s call, Chance risks everything to satisfy his own lust as well as Maggie’s desire to become a “woman.”

Monday, August 10, 2015

Excerpt from Goblin Fires

Goblin Fires
Chronicles of the Four Courts, 1
By Brantwijn Serrah
Paranormal Romance/Lesbian/F-/F
Champagne Books:

A Fae Knight's life belongs to the Monarchies. For Reagan, a life is a small price to pay for the princess she loves.


The fairy ring in Central Park stood near the zoo, a short walk from the scene of the accident. We attracted too many curious onlookers until Erin started warding them off, casting glamours and illusions around us to help avoid notice. At a snap of her fingers, whimsical misleading birds took flight from the hedges near us, and women’s skirts fluttered up as though a wild breeze caught them. Startled shouts erupted from the park-goers and all eyes were drawn away from us.
The ring, as I said, belonged to our House, a Ring of Herne: small white toadstools under a shady oak, dotting the ground in a rough and playful circle. It would open into the deep realms of the Goblin Court.
Normally Finn and his Ladies would not be welcome to cross over into Herne’s part of Thairy without express invitation; it violated the strict laws of fae etiquette, and faeries were unforgiving where custom and courtesy were at stake. Ceridwen led our party though, which would be permission enough.
My princess entered the ring and invoked a thinning of the veil, imploring the spirit guards of the gates of Annwyn to let us pass. We gathered in the ring with her, and as she beseeched them, the day appeared to darken by degrees, as though the sun were going behind a thick cloud cover. Then it kept getting darker, then darker still, until it might as well have been night around us. The air changed from the lovely springtime brightness and warmth to cool, brisk autumn chill. The scent of turning leaves and damp soil surrounded us, perfumed with more distant notes of baked apples and sweet wine. There were other smells, death smells, graves and ghosts and wild things.
Then we were no longer standing in Central Park, New York. We were in Annwyn, a close and shadowy realm, the lands of the Tylwyth Teg and the High King of Goblins.
My home.
The fairy ring transported us directly into the High King’s orchards, outside the castle of Arawn, former King before Herne. The gray stone of the ancient fortress rose up against a bruised sky, solid, indomitable, eternal. The moon, golden and far larger than it would ever be seen from mortal Earth, hung in the night behind the castle like a leering jack-o-lantern.
Puca, once again in the diminutive form of the impish cat, assumed the lead immediately, scampering up the path to the fortress gates. Finn followed and Nineva stayed close behind him. Erin began to go up as well, but stopped when she saw Ceridwen hesitate, waiting for me.
The moment we’d stepped over into Annwyn, I’d dropped to my knees to press my burning palms against the soil. The very air soothed the iron blaze a little, like Erin’s magic, leaching the pain away with slow relief. The surge of fear, anger, and violence began to wear off a little, but I could still feel the thump and roil of animal power in my blood, the hunger of a tigress running hot in my veins.
This is what it meant to be a child of The Morrigan, the war goddess. We weren’t made to be great artists or musicians or muses or sorcerers. I couldn’t hope to master the craft of enchantment like Erin or play the poltergeist like Oberon’s jester Puck. I had a depth of my own power: the power of a fighter, the magic of war. The blessing my Unbridled nature afforded me, the power I had sworn in the service of High King Herne and his daughter. It bled through me, a raging, thrilling power. Sexual, almost: wild, hungry, predatory, and strong.