Saturday, May 28, 2016

Savvy Saturday: Interview with Colleen Myers and Beta

Today we welcome Colleen Myers and her new character Beta as we discuss their new book. Hello Colleen, hello Beta. It’s lovely to see you.

“Thanks for having us.” Colleen smiles and nudges Beta, who nods.

Beta, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your life before the E’mani came?

Beta sits forward. “I had a normal life. I’d just started college and well, it was fun. I don’t know what more to say.”

Colleen and Beta, what can you tell your readers about this new novel?

Colleen looks at Beta before answering. “Well it is about an apocalyptic event on Earth started by aliens called the E’mani to harvest humans. Beta is one of those humans.” Beta glances at the floor and crosses her arms.

I hear there is a love interest. Beta, will you tell us about him from your point of view?

Beta smiles. “Yes, Marin. He is wonderful, a bit controlling, but he lets me be me.”

Now Colleen, spill the details. We want the goods on Beta and Marin. Berin, or Mata. Do you like those couple names Beta?

“Whatsa MATA with MATA.”

Now, I know you can’t say too much, but we have to know. Is this the last of the E’mani, or will we see them again?

“You will be seeing a lot of the E’mani”

Well, thanks guys for joining us today! Don’t forget to check out Can’t Forget, coming to e-stores June 6th. Now available to preorder at the Champagne Bookstore, Amazon, and Kobo.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Savvy Saturday: Inspiration with Amy McKinley

Book ideas.

Ideas are the easy part. An idea can spark from anything really, and often does at the most inopportune moment: driving, in the shower, falling asleep.

Brilliant ideas behind the wheel are not easily recorded, unless you have the perfect method. I do not. So they have to be remembered or by hastily scribbling a note at a red light. Fortunately, there are waterproof boards or notepads for the shower. In my experience, being in any body of water is relaxing and seems to free up thoughts that are waiting to be heard. That seems to be the same with falling asleep.

This does not normally happen to me, but the storyline and all the plot points for a book I’m working on basically screamed at me one night when I was about to fall asleep. I knew if I didn’t drag myself from my bed, go downstairs and get them in my computer, they’d be lost come morning. Now, I sleep with a small notepad, book light, and pen next to my bed.

Ideas come from anywhere really: a headline from an article, a few words from a conversation, a picture, a person laughing, a memory, or a picture of a doorway that leads to parts unknown. They’re everywhere.

The idea for Hidden, the first book in the Five Fates series, formed while listening to a radio announcer talk about a celebrity having bad dreams. What started as one thought turned into the inspiration for the series. This June, Taken, the second book in the Five Fates releases!

A few new ideas for the third book in the series, fueling the theme and subplot, came about while doing some mythology research. I can lose hours there and on Pinterest. It’s about finding what’s inspiring and letting your imagination play.

Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author of the Five Fates Series. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. You can find her at, or on Amazon, Kobo, Goodreads, and at the Champagne Bookstore.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Savvy Saturday: A Game with Courtney Shepard

Hello, and welcome to Savvy Saturday. Today, we decided to join the summer spirit and play a game. Thankfully, Courtney Shepard was willing to drag her characters Clay and Asha over to our blog to entertain—I mean compete!—in this little contest.

Clay: Thank you for having us. This is a welcome break from training.

Asha: (shoots a glare Clay’s way) We shouldn’t be taking a break, but go on then.

Clay: Asha you said you were down for this.

Asha: (huge sigh) Yes, fine. Sorry. (pause) Thank you. Please go ahead.

So guys, why don’t you tell your cheering fans a little about your book before we get started.

Asha: Well okay, I was separated from my three sisters at birth. We’re quadruplets and we were each born with power over an element. I am fire.

Clay: Yes, yes you are.

Asha: Easy tiger. I was living in the jungle and this one here found me. He tricked me, (looks at Clay) and he took me back to the Order.

Clay: The Order is my home and I was just doing my job. I have three brothers and we also have power over the elements. I am earth.

Asha: Yeah, and tell her how your ‘family’ tortured me.

Clay: I got you out.

Asha: Yes, you got me out, and we found my sisters, so that’s great, but what else happened? That bomb you dropped on all of us?

Clay: Right, you and your sisters are destined to die in sacrifice to the Order.

Asha: Yeah, so now you see why we should be training. No set of sisters have ever survived once they face the Order, and we know they are coming.

Clay: Just be in the moment Asha. We are getting stronger. We might have a chance.

Asha: Don’t give me that hippy in the moment crap. You and your brothers are far weaker than we are. If we don’t train we’re doomed.

Sorry to break up this familiar argument, but it's time to explain the game. It’s a trivia game with five questions. The person who gets the most questions right wins. If you are ready, we can start with an easy one.

Clay: (claps his hands) It’s on.

Asha: (rolls her eyes, but gives Clay a warm smirk)

Good! First question: what is the other person’s secret hobby?

Asha: That’s easy Clay’s has to be gardening. (She laughs)
Clay: Ha ha. And yours is one of two. Weapons or kicking my butt.

Good guesses both, and each right! Score starts at a tie. Second question: If the other person were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing they would bring with them?

Clay: Her sword.
Asha: A gun.
Clay: So wrong. I would bring you. (smiles and winks)
Asha: Oh barf.

Sorry Asha, Clay gets this one. What is the other person’s biggest fear?

Clay: Losing her sisters.
Asha: Losing his brothers.

Again with a tie, Clay leading by a slim point. What was the other person’s childhood dream?

Clay: (looks blankly at Asha) To bring down all the big wigs in the international sex trade and make them suffer.
Asha: (surprised) Wow, right on. But he had a dossier on me, so that’s cheating a bit right?
Clay: Answer the question.
Asha: Umm Clay’s would have been, I don’t know. A really big garden?
Clay: (snorts and laughs)

Another wrong answer for Asha! Clay would actually like to become the Master of the Order. Now Clay is leading by two, but lets finish this game anyway. Last question: what is Courtney Shepard’s favorite animal?

Asha: She seems pretty boring. I think a dog, or a horse maybe. Probably a horse. You know girls and horses.
Clay: Give her a bit more credit, how about a panther or an electric eel.

Asha was right on about the horse! Too bad it didn't win her the game. And the winner is Clay with a score of 4 to Asha’s 2. Thank you guys for participating in this little game, I hope you had fun.

Asha: Thanks it was fun, but now we must return to training.
Clay: Aha! You may kick my butt on the battlefield, but I won this one.
Asha: Calm down. (smiles) But you’ll have to tell me your childhood dream one day.
Clay: (holds his hand out to her) Let’s go Asha. The others will be waiting.
Asha: (takes Clay’s hand and squeezes it as they walk out the door together) Thanks again. (she says over her shoulder)

Don’t forget to check out Courtney Shepard’s book, Unbalanced, available on Amazon, Kobo, and at the Champagne Bookstore.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Savvy Saturday: Keith Willis Talks about his Book in Stores

Oh, What a Feeling… 

When my debut fantasy novel Traitor Knight was released in trade paperback edition on March 20, 2016, I felt like I was dancing on the ceiling.

And when I actually was able to hold that book, product of seven years of painstaking labor, in my hands, I thought I would explode with happiness. It’s one thing to have a book available as an ebook. It’s so way beyond cool to actually have that print copy in your hand as to defy description.

And now that I had it, I had work to do. Like getting it out into the world.

I started off in the High School Library.

At my local High Schools (one building is 9th grade only, the other 10th – 12th), both Librarians bought multiple copies of Traitor Knight. [Full disclosure—my darling wife Patty is the secretary for both libraries, and I know both the librarians, so I did start off with a slight advantage here.] But knowing that my novel was in the library(s), available to be taken out and read, was a great feeling. Especially when Patty got feedback from kids who had read it and then recommended it to their friends.

Next my local public library (through some judicious urging by yours truly) bought a copy. And that was even more amazing!. This was getting into The Big Time. Now anyone in our town of approximately 20,000 people, plus all those folks in the surrounding environs, had access to my book. Way cool.

But it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I wanted a store. So I worked up the nerve to walk into a local Indie Book Store—Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza—and ask the owner if she’d be willing to carry my book.

The Book House has a long tradition of supporting local authors, and so she said yes. Not only did they take Traitor Knight and put it on the shelf—they gave me an amazingly awesome placement in the store, much better than I could have ever dreamed. I’m in the company of giants, right up there on the same display shelf with new books by Sanderson, and Weis/Hickman, and Salvatore. Holy Hobbits, what more could any fantasy author wish for? Seeing it on the shelf like this? Priceless.


I’ve heard writers—primarily self published, but not exclusively—who’ve said they don’t care if they ever see their book sitting on a shelf in a bookstore. That having their work in a bookstore is meaningless, and just knowing it’s available online is enough for them. That’s fine for them, but it’s not the way I roll. I really, really, really, wanted to see Traitor Knight on the shelf in my local indie store. And it’s there. It’s a sense of validation for me, that yes, that’s my book up there on the shelf, and I did this. It’s the culmination of the cycle.

Now I’m working on getting Traitor Knight into more bookstores (and libraries). Because I want more of that feeling of seeing the book on the shelves, waiting for readers to notice it’s striking cover (thank you, Trisha FitzGerald, for your amazing work on this) and pick it up to puruse the blurb and maybe a few pages. And hopefully buy it (or check it out. Because that’s what it’s all about—writing the book is only the first step. Getting it into readers hands is the next (and crucial) piece of the puzzle.

Author’s Note: The Book House is also where I’m having my launch party in June. Because where better to celebrate a book release than in a book store?

Visit Keith Willis on his website or take a look at his book on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Excerpt from Summer Star

Summer Star
By DJ Davis
Paranormal/Romantic Suspense
Champagne Books:

A psychic with an attitude, a ghost from the old west, and lost Civil War gold. What could possibly go wrong? Just about everything.


Sunrise came and, Holy Moses
on a moped, it was one to write home about. Orange clouds sent deep purple shadows drifting across the snowcapped peaks. Troy followed the irresistible pull in his head through aspen trees boasting new spring green. A rock, dead center in a small clearing, drew him from the trail like a magnet. The tingling in his fingertips spread to his palms and grew into an itch. Troy dropped to his knees in the mud and melting snow. The gravestone was so eroded he could barely make it out. Emma Anders, September 18, 1865.

A familiar ache pulsed behind his left eye. “You’re going to be a real bitch about this, aren’t you, Emma?” No answer. He didn’t expect one, but who knew? Stranger things had happened in the mysterious void between the past and the present. The space his joker friend Eric called “The Troy Hart Zone” and Troy called a pain in the ass.

He tented his fingers on the weathered chunk of granite and the vision flooded his senses.

Lightning, so close the ozone prickled the hairs in his nose. Thunder rolled off the mountain and echoed back. Icy rain hammered the oilskin duster and sluiced off the wide brimmed hat. Cold mud soaked his woolen pants and seeped through his broken-down boots.

He longed for the heat of his pistols but this part had to come first. First the shovel, then the guns. First Emma, then his brothers.

The pine box, mired in a puddle six feet down, gleamed bone white in the storm-light. Emma deserved better than a few rough-sawn boards and a rock he’d carve himself. The evening sky lacked the sunset colors she loved. There was only rain and churning clouds. He tossed a handful of wildflowers into her grave and took up the shovel. Dirt and stones covered the coffin with the dull thuds of ‘til death do us part.

A bearded, grizzled face swam out of the rain. Hate and grief burned in the man’s eyes. Troy yanked his hand from the stone. The vision dissipated, but slower than it should have. A voice thundered inside his head. “FIND ME!”

Troy kicked away from the grave. That was one hell of a vision, but that’s all it was. He’d had thousands of them and an occasional twist was nothing new. He pointed at the headstone. “I do not take orders from a dead dude with an attitude.”

He made it three steps toward the trail before pain burst like fireworks in the left side of his skull. Troy crumpled to his knees and elbows, crying out as a dead man clawed into his mind.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Release Day Excitement!

For the month of May, we at CBG are happy to welcome Summer Star to our list of amazing books. This is author DJ Davis' second book and it is just as gripping as her first book, Courageous Cain.

Summer Star
By DJ Davis
Paranormal/Romantic Suspense
Champagne Books:

Loner and history buff Troy Hart gets more than he bargained for when his psychic connection to the past leads him to the mountains of Colorado. The legend of buried treasure is nothing new, but falling in love is—and that’s the last thing Troy wants.

Troy’s visions of the old west are all fun and games, until the ghost of an outlaw forces Troy to fulfill his dying wish. To save his own life, and the life of the woman he loves, Troy must follow a trail of greed, betrayal and revenge on a treasure hunt for lost Civil War gold.

Now the fun is over and the game is survival as Troy battles the elements, a dead man and his own heart deep in the remote high country.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tattle and Wrye column May 2016 edition



“Hurry,” Tattle demands in a rush and huff of excitement. “We’re late.”

"For a very important date?”  Wrye jumps to his feet and does seven steps of a river dance and adds, "No time to waste!”

“Are we parroting Alice?”

“The rabbit.”

“Then hop-hop-hop right into our Love of Literature Leap!”

“Ah, I just knew there was a reason for the twitch in your nose. Let’s….” He swipes out an arm to let her pass first. 

Tattle mumbles, “My nose does not twitch.”

The two disappear into the inexplicable whirl-wind of prose.

Tattle and Wrye find themselves appearing in the pages of Colleen S. Myers’s  sci-fi suspense romance, of MUST REMEMBER.

“Hey, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore,” announces Wrye looking about.

“Are you into quoting children’s literature today? First Alice, now Dorothy, and if you are making any reference to me being a dog, well then….”

Wrye cuts her off with a male-appreciating growl. “Grrrrr, look at that hottie-foxy.”

Smacks Wrye’s shoulder, “Don’t be a dirty dog, can’t you see Elizabeth 'Beta' Camden is only nineteen and poor thing is lost and alone.”

“Hey, they grow up fast in outer space.”

“We’re where?”

“Another planet.” He points at the two suns and off-kilter colors of the landscape.

“Ut oh, Elizabeth is truly in trrrooouuble. First, she woke up late for class after a night of partying at a frat house, where she didn’t really want to be and then rushes out the door and discovers her world has become a crazy land.  Not even her best friend, Sarah, who she has known since kindergarten recognizes her.  If anything, she seems lost in her own lunacy just like everyone else. Elizabeth can’t get in touch with her mother or even the authorities.” Tattle dapples at her tear wet eyes. “Fiction can be so heartless!”

“And that is what makes it soooo good to read!” Wrye urges Tattle to take a closer look. “And not long after that, Elizabeth wakes up once again, this time on a strange world, wearing an odd garment, and stumbling into non-human males, magnetic, hot, take-your-hormones-on-an-express-train-to-titillating aliens called the Fost.”

“Not such a bad place to be except, m’literay observer, she is wearing the clothes of their ancient enemy the E’mani and think Elizabeth is a spy.” Tattle shivers.

“Soon she learns she is on the planet, Solum.  At first, the Fost treat her as a prisoner, leaving her to the trusted care of an elder, Ute, who teaches her about the war between the Fost and the E’mani. The Fost is rooted in magic whereas the E’mani is highly technical.  The latter’s technology drove the Fost beyond the mountains through caves into a more barren world where their magic went dormant.”

“Ah, but with Elizabeth’s arrival, that begins to change, and she is the first to exhibit signs that the magic has awakened.  Others begin to display all different powers and levels of powers.” Tattle rushes through the book’s pages.

Wrye follows along. “Oddly, tattoos begin to appear on Elizabeth, making her look more like her hosts. They now realize she is not the enemy but after a couple of murders, she believes the E’mani had followed her. Agonizing memories begin to surface, and she believes the E’mani had destroyed most of the people of her world, bringing only a few to Solum.  Those survivors are tortured and experimented upon, including Elizabeth, but unlike the others she stumbles onto a secret that could destroy them.  Only, she can’t remember what it could be.”

Tattle pauses, reading furiously. “Some of the Fost, though, begin to appreciate her abilities and nurture them, while two hunkie males overtly show their interest.  The Fost are indeed a touchie-feely species, which create hormones-on-a-rampage scenario within Elizabeth.  She soon realizes she’s attracted to both Marin and Finn.”

“As she falls in love with the people, the place and one of the men, she also recognizes they are all in serious danger from the E’mani and she is the key to giving them a chance at survival. If only she could remember!” Wrye can’t help adding, “Da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

“Whew,” Tattle catches her breath.  “That is one hot, fast-paced read.  Collen’s writing style is smooth and compelling. The culture and conflict of the Fost and E’mani is unique in its premise, yet recognizable enough to trigger comforting familiarity.  Meanwhile, the sizzling romance is enough to satisfy any longing for a heated reading tryst.”

“At the same time,” Wrye jumps into the review, “it has enough sci-fi, suspense and mystery to keep a reader wondering what will happen next.  Every answer encouraged a new question while every solved puzzle is eclipsed by another more intricate one.  The book is intriguing and fresh. Colleen’s voice is unique.”

“I agree, and I especially like how the ending left it all open for its sequel, which I can’t wait to read!  Collen is on her way to acquiring a literary following and, we’re (speaking for both of us) are the first in line.”

We hope you all enjoyed our review of MUST REMEMBER by Colleen S. Myers. Until next month, 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