Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tattle & Wrye Column September 2015 edition



“I felt it!”  Wrye held up his index finger as they sipped sweet iced tea on the veranda outside their southern office.

Tattle barely raised her head.  They were supposed to be working, but the sweet September morning brimming with sunshine and humming birds lured them outside.  “What did you feel?”

“A breeze, a wonderful, hint of autumn-to-come breeze!” 

“Don’t hurry our lives away, it is still technically summer, m’literary-partner-in-gossip… I mean… ummm… blather… errr chatter….”  Tattle abruptly halted, noting the sound of coo-coo from the clock on the other side of the sliders.  “Ut oh, we’re late!”

Wrye picked up on their tardiness.  “We certainly are late for our Love of Literature Leap into duel interviews.”

With a rush, the two whisked off to the home office of J. C. MEAD, author of THE SILVER CORD.  

T:  Be not afraid, we come bearing cupcakes... and questions.  (Handed Jean a double-iced gooey treat)  Oh, everything in cyberspace, as you know, is calorie-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, allergy-free, and well, cost nada, too.

W:  (Interrupted) But not taste-free.  We use our imagination!

T:  So, J.C., let’s get this interview started!  (Noted J.C. still looked startled)  Ummm…. We’re Penza Dona Tattle and Associate Wrye Balderdash and we’re here for your CBG interview.  (Does a tap dance) Ta Da!

W:  Now, we know all about you.  (Wrye winks)  Or at least about THE SILVER CORD.  Mmmm, very interesting.  Supernatural meets witchcraft meets country with a bit of sleepy southern charm and a dash of romance sort of sums it up… perhaps?  Maybe?  Care to tell us more?

J.C.:  First off, this cupcake is divine! Now then (wipes mouth), I think you have most of it wrapped up. Its got best friends, hot men, interior design, and mommy-stuff, too.  OH! And there’s loads of Georgia history and some Cherokee info bits in it as well. So I guess historic paranormal romance would describe it best as far as genre. So, here’s the deal: After her husband’s death, single mom Kat Cambridge leaves bustling Boston and her high pressure interior design job to raise her kids in a sleepy southern town. Purchasing a run-down property with her best friend and fellow single mom, Jess Greenleaf, is the first in a plan of fixing and flipping homes. It was time for Kat to get back to nature, and back to being a witch.

Getting back into witchcraft was as easy as riding a broom, so easy that Kat begins to have reality-bending visions of a smokin’ hot Scottish soldier in their house. While exploring the house’s history, Kat meets charming & sexy Southern gentleman Colin MacKay, who unknowingly reveals the identity of the man in her visions. The soldier summons Kat and Jess to save his drifting soul before it is lost forever.  As challenging as that seems, creating the perfect spell is easy compared to choosing between the ghost who knows everything about her, and Colin, the real man in her life, who wants to.

T:  (Grins) Just knew you’d like the sweet, ‘cause you are sweet, but that book sounds even more than divine!  Wanna gobble it all up and know more.  Tell us is Kat Cambridge a little like you, or totally made up?

J.C.: A bit of both actually. Authors write what (and who) they know. I did move from the North to the South and there are a LOT of differences, so that part was totally me. I have been here 11 years now and still get a giggle over slang phrases and terms, but love it here.  So, that being said, I definitely know where Kat lives, but there’s a little of me in the character Jess as well. 

T:  So, be honest, it’s just us and all those readers, if you could make the oooh-sizzle hot Scottish soldier or the yummy yum-yum Colin Mackay real, who would be your personal pick for happily ever after?

J.C.:  That is a tough one. The benefit of being the writer of these characters is the fun I have creating these “perfect yet flawed” guys. I mean, let’s face it; Colin is a smooth talking, yet sweet, Southern gentleman (who, by the way, looks best with his shirt off).  The Scottish soldier is, well, Scottish (sigh) and lean and tan and just plain sexy…wait, what was the question again? Oh, yeah…um, I guess Colin (you’ll have to read the book for more info on these two – I can’t give it all away!).

W:  if you could be a character in any of your books, which one would you choose and why? 

J.C.: I love Kat and Jess.  They are women I could definitely kick back with and have a glass (or three) of mead with while watching our kids run amok, but when I grow up I want to be Lilly. She’s awesome, incredibly wise, funny, strong, and I wish she was MY neighbor!

T:  Now, that you've confided in who'd you'd like to be, tell us which antagonist in one of your books you loved to create and if there is any of you in the villainous character?

J.C.: There aren’t really any antagonists in this book other than time. But the cop and garden club cougars were fun to write about, they weren’t really antagonists, more like speed bumps in the grand scheme of things. And no, there is none of me in either.  As far as antagonists, the second book is when it starts getting really interesting. Spoiler alert:  Major trust issues…

W:  Does the tribe of weird and strange apply to you?  Or is logic your muse?  (Points to Tattle and mouths)  Weird.  (Thumbs his chest) Logical.

J.C.: I am pretty weird, and have my strange and exceedingly silly moments more often than not. BUT I’m also a librarian, so I guess that makes me logical as well. Can I be both? Say 80% weird and 20% logical…that was logical of me to come up with, right?

T:  Quite!  Though, personally, I am proud to be a member of the weird persuasion, but I guess, (let's out a long breath) there is a place for logic now and again.  After all I am quite fond of Data and Mr. Spock.  Which brings me to another question.  Do you read the type of stories you write? 

J.C.: Yes! While I read a bit of everything, I am currently reading “Brownies and Broomsticks” by Bailey Cates. There is also Laurell K. Hamilton (love the Merry Gentry series), Kim Harrison, and Charlaine Harris. I think my favorite genre to read is magical realism. Authors I love (to name a few) are Sarah Addison Allen, Erica Bauermeister, Alice Hoffman, and Susan McBride. Being a librarian, I read all genres but my guilty pleasure is rock star biographies.

W:  What does sci-fi characters have to do with....  Oh, never mind, like I mentioned earlier, weird!  Now, for a more sensible query.  If you could live on a planet of your own creation, what sort of planet would it be?

J.C.: Fun question! Let’s see, it would have loads of books, magic, oodles of forests with both coffee and mead waterfalls, music, puppies, and exceptionally nice people who don’t dog ear books or yell in libraries. 

T:  (Mutters) And he's the logical one? 

W: Did you say something?

T:  Yup.  Was just asking J.C., if there was an alien invasion, and you could only take one thing, would it be your laptop, best sneakers, heels or your stash of candy?

J.C.: ALIENS!? (shudder) My laptop.  Not only for writing, but music. I’m a music addict and can’t live (or write) without it! I even have a playlist that goes with “The Silver Cord”, it is on my website.

W:  Thank you so much for allowing us to steal a piece of your busy schedule.  You have been a dear.

T:  And exceptionally patient.  (Grinned broadly and pointed to Wrye) He sometimes asks strange questions.

J.C.: Thank you! Loved the questions -the stranger the better. See? 80% right there. 
Again, thanks for your time – and the cupcake.

J.C:  Note:  J.C. can be found at and loves questions and comments. If you would like to Skype with her for a book club, drop her a line on her comments page – she really loves book club discussions! J.C. is currently working on book two of the Cord Trilogy, so keep an eye out.

With a huff and puff, the duet blow through cyber barriers and burst into JOYCE PROELL’s world.

W:  Hey lovely lady, it's been a while.  For those of you out in cyber-land, this is JOYCE PROELL, one of Champagne Books Groups talented authors and this is our second interview with her.  (Turned back to Joyce)  We brought some chocolate candy and fancy fruit.  For some reason, Tattle started eating fruit.  (Looked at Tattle as if she had grown a second head)

T:  I am trying to be healthy.  Now, hush, m'partner in squeezing-the-author-for-info.  Whoops, Joyce, you weren't supposed to hear that.  Anywho, how have you been?  Writing hard?   I heard you have a couple of sequels to A DEADLY TRUTH.  Tell us about them, and whatever else you have been working on.

Joyce:  A BURNING TRUTH came out in 2014. In it, Doyle Flanagan’s life is again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke. 

A WICKED TRUTH, the third book in the series, comes out on September 7th. In this book, the wedding date is set, and life is magical for Doyle and Cady. Honor bound to repay an old debt, Doyle agrees to help a friend find her sister. As he searches for the girl, painful memories surface, stunning Cady when she discovers facts about Doyle’s hidden past.

In spite of incredible odds, Cady and Doyle’s love has flourished. But in the midst of a life threatening accident, murder, and Doyle’s secrets, their wedding date and happiness are in jeopardy. Mired in tragedy, can they overcome the turmoil with a fateful decision that changes their future forever?

As to what I’ve been working on lately… Well, I’ve been editing a colonial spy story titled Amaryllis. The hero, Griffin Faraday just one the Legend: A man for all seasons in the WRA Hearts through History Contest.

W:  Holy Writer-thon, you have been busy!  So, for another very vital question:  Have any aliens visited lately?  If so, what was their favorite book?

Joyce:  How psychic of you to ask. Several weeks ago two weird looking aliens came to visit. They brought with them several odd contraptions with two wheels which they used to take them to a neighboring town. There, while wearing their strange, bulbous headgear, they sat on curb to watch a parade. Many people threw candy at them. They returned to my house later with a heavy bag of the sugary stuff. They inhaled the goodies until I shrieked, “Stop, you’ll ruin your appetite.”

As to books, they love The Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter series.

T:  What sort of question was that?

W:  A perfectly good one. (Juts his chin out like an ole western movie star)  We discovered Joyce has alien children.

T:  (Sighs) Don’t mind him, too much chocolate and not enough fruit.  (Ignores Wrye’s frown)  Now, for a good question, if you could live in any one of your stories, which one would it be?

Joyce:  It would have to be in Chicago where the Cady Delafield stories are set. I love Chicago, where the stories are set. I’m also partial to the late Victorian and the Belle Epoque periods. I love the fashion, art work and all the social changes brought on by new technology of that time. 

W:  Now, down to the nitty gritty, tells us exactly on a scale from 1 – 10, how odd are you?

Joyce: I see my reputation precedes me though my daughter lovingly refers to me as nutty rather than odd. This opinion is seconded by my husband. I worry not. In fact, I embrace my nuttiness and the quirky humor amuses me.  It’s true, life is more fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously. Once I accepted that notion, things loosened up considerably. 

T: (Squints down at a scroll littered with questions.)  Back to A DEADLY TRUTH, tell us if there is a bit of off-kilter in either the hero or heroine?

Joyce: By today’s standards, the heroine, Cady Delafield, would fit right in. In 1881, not so much. From her grandmother’s perspective (a woman with a traditional, old-fashioned bent) Cady’s choice to have a career baffles her. Not understanding it, she questions Cady’s judgment and thinks she’s odd.

W: (Looks over at the list of questions, they had prepared earlier) Who is the one fictional character you would like to spend a week with and why?

Joyce: Hmmm. Any romantic heroine would do fine. It seems no matter what the obstacles the heroine always prevails in the end. Think of the benefits. She always manages to hook the best and hunkiest guy in the room and the sex is great. Best of all, there’s always a happy ending.

T/W:  Thank you so much for a great interview.  As always you are a delight!

Joyce:  Thanks for hosting me today.

Hope you all enjoyed our jaunt into our latest book review.  Until next month, when we will list all the nominees for our first review award, keep reading!

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

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