Saturday, April 29, 2017

Savvy Saturday: Exclusive Peek at J.S. Marlo's Favorite Part of Her New Book Thin Ice

What is your favorite part of the book, and why will your readers love it?

I have many favourite scenes, probably as many favourites as there are scenes in the book, and for many different reasons. To pick just one was hard. I ended up rereading the entire book before I set my mind on this one. It was written around a single sentence: “Well, Maman, you may not be dating the guy, but he’s certainly dating you.” I love that scene. It was challenging and fun to write, and I had the greatest time developing an entire conversation just so it would end with that punchline.

It’s a sweet, a bit awkward, and yet amusing scene during which Julie is trying to tell her teenage son that she met a new man, but she’s worried about his reaction. Most of us I’ve been in a situation in our lives when we needed to have a fretful conversation with someone only to be pleasantly surprised when none of our fears or worries came true. I think my readers will love the way Julie is trying to tactfully handle the conversation, and they will be tickled by her son’s reaction.


Julie walked out of the arrival terminal wheeling her son’s suitcase and headed for the airport parking lot.

Beside her, her only child carried his hockey bag and sticks. He appeared to have grown another inch and gained an extra five pounds since she’d last seen him at the beginning of October for Canadian Thanksgiving.

“I didn’t bring my laptop. I hope you won’t mind if I borrow yours?”

“Of course not.”

As she approached the forest green SUV she’d rented that morning, Julie clicked on the key. The front lights of her new vehicle flashed and the cargo hatch gradually rose.

Thierry slowed down. “When did you trade the minivan for a SUV?”

“It’s a long story.” A story she could have fed him last night when he called after Luke’s departure, but knowing her son was busy getting ready to leave, she hadn’t wanted to bother him any longer than necessary. “I’ll tell you everything once we’re out of the parking lot.”

She lived forty minutes from the airport, which gave her ample time to recount her eventful Sunday.

Her son was the strong, silent type. From the time he was a little boy, he’d excelled at keeping his emotions wrapped in a cool demeanor, an enviable quality to possess as a goaltender, but one that made him difficult to read. As she spoke, Julie observed him from the corner of her eye.

At the mention of the hit and run, her son mumbled something about idiots under his breath. When she described the guests invited for brunch, he shook his head. And as she detailed Luke’s heartfelt attempts at assembling the perfect Christmas tree, she glimpsed the shadow of a smile on his face.

“When you told me over the phone you met Luke at the office, I thought he was a client. I can’t believe the guy invited you for pizza and you recruited him to build Twiggly. That’s not first date material, Maman. You two lack imagination.”

The intersection light turned red. Her gasp of surprise drowned in the squealing of her brakes.

Thierry’s reaction had thrown her for a loop. Though she’d wondered how he’d react to the news she’d invited a man home, this particular scenario never entered her mind.

Stopped at the light, Julie stared at her son, feeling like a teenager caught sneaking in after curfew.

“It’s wasn’t...a date. Not exactly.” Or maybe it was a date. Dates ended with a kiss. Strictly speaking, Luke had kissed her, but she never had the chance to kiss him back before she threw him out.

Maman, it’s okay if you’re dating someone. Now that he’s gone, Papa wouldn’t want you to spend the rest of your life alone. If Luke treats you right and makes you happy, he’s good in my book.”

To receive Thierry’s approval lifted a weight she had no idea she carried. She loved her son, she loved him more than anyone or anything in this world, but he couldn’t fill the void left by his father’s death. Luke, on the other hand, had--

The car behind her honked, scattering her thoughts. She accelerated through the green light before turning left in the residential area where she lived.

“Will you see him again?”

“Maybe. I told him he was welcome to come back and hang the Christmas lights around the house.”

Maman, you’re supposed to be nice to the guy.” A tinge of amusement pierced through her son’s feigned indignation. “Not to put him to work every time he shows up.”

Had Luke heard Thierry, Julie was pretty sure he would have been tickled.

“Fine. You can hang them yourself tomorrow afternoon while I’m at work.”

Moi? But I have a game tomorrow. How did I get drafted for that awful job?”

“You just volunteered. When’s your game?” Last she’d heard, his hockey tournament didn’t start until the twenty-seventh. In Spokane. “Or do you mean you have tickets to go watch the Capitals?”

Deep dimples dug into his cheeks. “I’m waiting to hear for the tickets, but I found a team to play with while I’m here. They’re called the Detonators. Their captain posted an ad on a rent-a-goalie site and I contacted him.”

“An online ad?” She understood he needed to keep practicing, but she didn’t like the uneasy feeling growing in the pit of her stomach. “Are you sure that team exists?”

“No.” His candid answer didn’t appease her worries. “I guess I’ll find out when I show up at the arena tomorrow morning.”

Given the choice, she’d prefer to know her son was safe at home at the top of a ladder than playing goalie for a mysterious online team called the Detonators, but the choice didn’t belong to her. Maybe the careless, reckless driver of the pickup truck had done her a favor after all by sending her minivan to the garage. Thierry was too young to drive the rental SVU. Someone would need to drive him to that arena.

As she veered onto her street, her right foot slipped from the accelerator pedal. This couldn’t be her house. She’d only been absent a couple of hours.


She eased into the driveway, her eyes glued to the colorful, glittering lights framing the roof, the garage door, the windows, and the shrubs.

Laughter erupted from the passenger seat.

“Well, Maman, you may not be dating the guy, but he’s certainly dating you.”

~Thin Ice, available May 1st, 2017~

Julie Lavoie is no stranger to personal tragedy, but as she contemplates giving love a second chance, she must face her fears regarding the occupation of Rubens “Luke” Lucas, a federal agent embroiled in an explosive investigation.

The sudden disappearance of her only son tests Julie’s courage and determination. She welcomes Luke’s help to search for Thierry, but their two investigations intertwine, jeopardizing her chances of ever seeing her son again.

Available on:
Champagne Bookstore

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Savvy Saturday: R.J. Hore The Fearless Pantser

Everyone should be familiar with the term “pantser” when referring to a writer. Basically, it means one who writes by the seat of his or her pants, rather than the traditional “plotter” who is well organized with all details set down far in advance of starting to actually create.

I am a pantser. I want to start into a project as soon as an idea hits me. I don’t want to wait (weeks, months) while I set out the backstories, create scenes, lay out each chapter in minute detail. A plotter might spend as much time researching their story, as actually creating it.

I write because I want to find out how the story ends. Quite often I surprise myself.

Take, for example, how I write my Housetrap Chronicles series. I decided I would write a fantasy detective novella-length story that I could someday turn into a series. For my creative motivation I decided I would simply take a famous mystery title, twist it around a bit, and write a story to suit the title. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

One of Agatha Christie’s tales that came to mind was The Mousetrap. So I decided to write Housetrap. Sitting down to write the story I had no idea what a Housetrap was, but I had the basic idea for an opening, the private detective, his wise-cracking secretary, and something or someone missing. Shades of Sam Spade. Once I got into the tale the story wrote itself.

With the exception of the second story in the series, Dial M for Mudder, I’ve gone back to the original opening scene format. I set it in the detective’s office and have the problem come to him. That way I can introduce the main characters so that the reader can jump in anywhere in the chronicles and is not forced to start with the first in the series. The advantage to reading in order, however, is that I found myself bringing favorite characters back into other tales. This happens in the latest tale, Murder on the Disoriented Express. A character who first appeared in Hounds of Basalt Ville shows up on stage in this eighth episode.

This latest plot was easy to come up with. From the title I knew I was going to write about a train trip and a murder. Where it gets a bit tricky, is in the details. The who, and the why, and stuff a plotter would know well before they started. I was probably half way through before I knew who the murderer was, however the more difficult part was the “why” the train trip in the first place. Once I get to know the characters I turn them loose and they often help me out with the details.

In my other full-length works, mainly mediaeval-style high fantasy, it is often a single face, scene, or headline that gets me started writing. If I’m lucky, I might even have an idea of how it will end. If not, I sit back and enjoy the surprise.

Ronald Hore had three stories published in a writer's group anthology in 2005 and in 2006 won a Canadian Author's Association national short story contest for a ghostly love story. His short story "Chrysalis" appeared in the modern vampire collection Evolve in 2010.

In 2012, writing as R.J.Hore, his first full-length novel, The Dark Lady, a medieval-style fantasy was published by Burst This tale has since been turned into a trilogy with Dark Days and Dark Knights. A second series of swords, magic and romance novels followed, The Queen's Pawn, also now a trilogy with The Queen's Man, and will be completed in August 2016 with the release of The Queen's Game.

A stand alone, slightly different fantasy novel, Alex in Wanderland, was released in 2015.

His fantasy detective series, The Housetrap Chronicles got off the ground with the Housetrap, the first of a fantasy detective series of novellas. This was followed by Dial M for Mudder and House on Hollow Hill. These have also been collected in a volume 1 anthology in paperback.

Next in this fantasy detective series came Hounds of Basalt Ville, Murder in the Rouge Mort, and The Treasure of the Sarah Madder, also now available in print in a second collection.

The eighth in the Housetrap series, Murder on the Disoriented Express, joined the group in 2017.

When not writing, or wrestling a large cat off of the keyboard, Ron may sometimes be found sailing on Lake Winnipeg.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Savvy Saturday: What We Want from Your Submissions

Looking to submit your novel to a publishing company? Well we are open and ready to hear from you! Take a peek at what each of our editors is looking for and see if your book fits the bill.

Owner/Publisher/Editor Cassiel Knight

Cassiel (or more fondly, Cassie) is looking for horror stories, science fiction, and space operas. This lady loves a good story, and is an amazing editor, so if you can manage to snag her attention, you will be in good hands.

Executive Assistant/Review Coordinator/Editor Kat Hall

Kat is a busy lady, but she will read just about anything. So long as there are no zombie apocalypse's. Her favorite genre however, is romantic suspense/thriller. She is "always on the lookout for a gem that stands out, over and above the other stories. The ‘one’ that rocks your mind and senses and won’t let go." Kat has training in many editing fields, and her expertise will surely make your book shine.

Social Media Coordinator/Editor Kylee Howells

Kylee loves romance. Particularly paranormal and historical romance, but she will read any where the characters get a happily ever after. The steamier the better for this lady. Absolutely no horror or scary in the least for this editor. The newest on the CBG team, she is ready to help you edit and promote your book so that it does the best it can.

Editor Nikki Andrews

Nikki is an outdoorsy, songwriting New Hampshire resident who is looking for well-written sweet-to-sensual romances with a strong subplot. These can be mystery, thriller, fantasy, historical, or futuristic, but she will absolutely say no to any dystopians. With many edited books under her belt, and a few of her own published, your book will be safe in Nikki's capable hands.

Editor Diane Badzinski

Romance, romance, romance is what Diane is looking for. She is not a horror fan, but will accept anything else with a bit of romance in it. Historical is her favorite, and she loves a good happy ending. With ten years of five-star editing behind her, you can expect only the best from Diane.

Editor Celia Breslin

Celia is interested in romantic fiction (all heat levels), urban fantasy, and science fiction (especially with a splash of romance). In all genres, she prefers character-driven, emotional stories with a strong conflict, quirky, sassy, and smart heroes and heroines, and a solid plot arc. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are her first loves (Vampires! The Fae! Werewolves! Sorry, no zombies), but she also enjoys contemporaries with humor and action (military romance, romantic suspense), especially if there’s a tortured and tattooed hero or heroine involved. For science fiction, vivid and consistent world-building is absolutely required along with unique but believable characters. Celia has been an editor since the 90's, and is a multi-published author with some pretty great books out there to read. She will be able to tell you how best to edit your book, and how to be a successful author.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Excerpt from the New Murder On The Disoriented Express

Murder On The Disoriented Express
Housetrap Chronicles 8
By R. J. Hore
Champagne Books:

A normal day at the office sends Randy on a trip across the continent with two harmless elves, an elderly maiden aunt and her niece.


I make it a rule to dislike elves as a matter of principle. They are treacherous, judgmental, stuck-up, and just plain annoying. So when Bertha opened my inner office door and interrupted my latest ritual of mint-flavored hot chocolate and the morning rag with mildly risqué pictures, I was somewhat aggrieved.

“What do you want?” I said, without raising my head. “This is my quiet time.”

“You may go right in,” she announced in her sweetest voice.

I glanced up. An attractive elf was in the process of navigating a wheelchair through the doorway. The chair contained an elderly member of that same species who looked like she’d seen a century or three of hard duty. She smiled. Long, almost transparent, hands rested on top of the multi-colored blanket wrapped around her. She balanced a lethal-looking cane on her knees.

Her assistant parked the chair directly across, facing me, and stood behind, all very prim and proper.

I rested my elbows on the top of the desk and formed my fingers into a professional-looking pyramid. “How may I be of assistance?” I said through clenched teeth.

“A gentleman should always stand the first time he meets a lady,” the ancient said.

I resisted my natural urge to muse out loud on the facts that I wasn’t a gentleman and lacked current information to comment on her status. Instead, I stood and extended my paw.

“Now that wasn’t difficult at all, was it, Randolf? I thought I should meet you before we set out.” Taking my hand, she examined my fingers. “Your nails are dirty.”

“And just how is this relevant?” I retrieved my fingers and sat. “Before we set out? To where?”

“Nails speak to character.” Two bright yellow eyes examined me from beneath a mop of close-cropped and probably dyed, coal-black hair. A minor mountain range of wrinkles around those eyes spoke to a life at least partially spent outside.

“I’m afraid there has been some misunderstanding.” I started to rise and direct the pair toward the door. “I’m booked solid for the next month.”

“Oh, don’t you worry, sonny,” she said, smiling through well-reddened, thin lips. “Your partner, Miss Wildwater, has confirmed all of the arrangements. I’m probably the reason you are booked up. Meeting you today is simply a pleasant formality.”

I swiveled my growing glare on my executive assistant sitting at her desk. She smiled at me through the window and waved. If good help wasn’t so hard to find I should have fired her years ago. I could chastise her severely, but she wouldn’t pay any attention.

“I’m afraid there has been a small gap in communications,” I said. “Do you mind bringing me up to speed? A brief outline will suffice.”

The yellow eyes twinkled. “My name is Miss Agatha Litchfield. I’m your new employer. This is my niece, Bella Annapolis. She is my ward and one of the Annapolis Royals. We are traveling to the Free Wet Coast where she will be meeting her fiancé. You are accompanying us.”

“As your bodyguard?” I frowned. Why would this pair need protection?

“No, of course not. We simply decided having a male accompany us would be useful, in case of heavy lifting.”

That made about as much sense as this pair needing a bodyguard. “Not that I’m saying I’m going on this expedition,” I said, “but I’m rather expensive for a laborer. You could hire two hobgoblins for an entire day at half my hourly price.”

The smile broadened. “I’ve been assured you are well worth it, Randolf.”

Now who is making referrals? “How are you traveling, by shuttle or dirigible?” Not that I was interested.

“We booked passage on The Trans Continental Deluxe Rapid Express.”

That aged rattletrap hadn’t crossed the entire continent in the last century. Now it was lucky to make the trip from Central City to the coast without incident. And by the sound of things, this pair could well afford to travel first class.

“The old steam train? Whatever for? That will take five to seven days depending on stops. An orbital shuttle would get you there in two hours, more or less. A dirigible might take almost as long as the train if there was a severe headwind, but with far fewer stops.”

Agatha Litchfield wagged a finger at me. “I don’t believe in flying, young’un. Besides, dear Bella has never crossed the prairies or the mountains. Best seen from the ground, not on one of those new fangles.”

Her niece laid a hand on the elderly shoulder. “Auntie was so gracious in arranging this trip. It’s the last chance for us to spend some quality time together.”

I glanced up at Bella for the first time. My initial impression of attractive was well on the mark. Tall and slim, with skin like pale polished porcelain, she had large round eyes that looked as though they could weep tons of tears on cue. Black hair was cropped to just above the shoulder, and thick enough to cover most of those pointed ears. Her outfit, calf-length with long sleeves, was almost too sensible for someone who appeared barely old enough to have graduated from a finishing school.

Bertha was trying to attract my attention through the window. I glanced at her. My half-banshee assistant held up what appeared to be a substantial bag of coins, smiled wide-eyed and pointed at it, nodding eagerly. I assumed that meant the client over-paid. I supposed I could put up with a pair of harmless-looking elves for a week, and it didn’t hurt my private eyeball reputation to be known to be out of town on business once in a while. I guessed I could use some quiet time.

“All right,” I said, “but there are a few conditions I want to get straight. I am not a nursemaid. I don’t do stuff like bathing clients or changing dirty clothes. I expect proper sleeping accommodations and all meals. I do not want to spend two weeks inside those wheeled wooden coffins. You will pay for my return trip on the shuttle.”

“Agreed,” Agatha said.

I blinked. That was too easy. I should have thrown in a bar tab too. “When do we leave?”

“Tomorrow, at eight in the morning.” She held out her hand. “A pleasure doing business. We’ll meet you at the station at seven. We will have your ticket and all our necessary travel documents. Good day.”

Bella wheeled her out through the office, pausing to chat briefly with Bertha, and then they were gone.

Why did I feel as though the business had just been done to me?

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Release: Murder on the Disoriented Express

Murder On The Disoriented Express
Housetrap Chronicles 8
By R. J. Hore
Champagne Books:

A reluctant Private Eyeball, Randy Aloysius, agrees to accompany an elderly elf and her attractive niece on a relaxing train trip across the continent to the wet coast. They seem harmless enough, so what could go wrong?

Well, there’s the obvious murder of a bent politician, plus a card-playing vampire, a brownie public relations hack, and a grieving widow murder suspect, not to mention other assorted suspicious characters, and someone out of Randy’s past.

Then there is the train itself, which may be in serious need of life support. After all, it does have to cross a prairie filled with woolly mammoths and surmount treacherous mountains passes where nasty things might lurk.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Savvy Saturday: New Month, New Authors

We here at Champagne Book Group have recently picked up several new authors that we would like to give a warm welcome. Check out their bio's, check out their books, and see what these wonderful people will bring to the CBG family.

Kay Latour

Kay Latour resides in Ottawa – Canada’s capital city – with her Techie Wizard husband and two built-in-alarm-system Chihuahuas. She is a self proclaimed nerd and bookworm. She loves fantasy, paranormal and science fiction stories in book, TV or movie form. She patiently waits for the return of the science fiction series FIREFLY – Browncoats forever!

Early on she discovered that her elementary school library contained amazing books like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales and Greek myths. The stories within spoke of goblins, witches, fairies, deities, giants and all manner of magical folk! Incredible! It struck a spark and stoked her imagination. From that time on she gravitated to any type of fantasy, mythology, science fiction or paranormal books she could get her hands on.

Now that Kay’s two children have reached ‘the age of reason’ she has time to write her own stories.

Find Kay on:

And catch her new book Witch on Parole coming this June!

Makenna Snow

Makenna Snow is the pen name for two sisters collaborating to bring interesting stories to the world. We’ve always been passionate about storytelling and impressed by the influence it has on people and the decisions they make in life. We love engaging with the projects we work on, diving headfirst into the research, investigation, and production of stories we feel are worth writing about. We are curious and proactive, interested in preserving the foundations set by classical literature by adapting them to modern themes and trends.

Keep watch for her new book, Children of Neptune, coming this June.

Meg West

Meg West is a former science writer and teacher who lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband, daughter, and two golden retrievers. When she isn't sitting behind her laptop spinning out stories, Meg can be found bargain hunting at the local mall, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, or stretching on her yoga mat.

Meg is the author of The Keys to His Heart, a trilogy of romances set on the barrier islands off Sarasota. In these novels, three young women in their late twenties--one single, one widowed, one engaged--come down to Longboat and Lido Keys from the northeast, expecting to find nothing more than broken shells on the beach. Instead, each finds unexpected true love and a new home on the islands.

Meg's work is a tribute to the beauty and romance found on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Love on Longboat Key is forthcoming from Champagne Books in June 2017.

Follow Meg:

Read her first published fiction, "Notes for a Very Long Love Story," here.

Tattle and Wrye column April 2017 edition


April 2017


Tattle lounged on the deck, sighing softly. “Flowers are blooming, the air is warming, the lemonade is so sweet, the iced cookies are tempting, and….”

“And you are lounging around and haven’t noticed it is the middle of the work day.”

“I was just getting started on my recitation on the beauty of spring in the Northeast and yummy treats. You interrupted.” She gave Wrye the tsk-tsk finger waggle.

“According to Walt Disney, ‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.’"

“Is this your way of telling me it is time for our Love of Literature Leap reviews?”

Wrye grinned. “So astute, m’literary gal.”

And the two soon find themselves ogling DIVINITY by Paula Kennedy, book #2 in the Angels of the Night series, a Paranormal, YA.

Allison Webber was accepted in the secret society of Free Masons because her special powers fed male vampires, who have an alliance with the Masons. Female vampires, though, unlike their male counterparts, have a blood lust they can’t control. They are vicious killers, who show no mercy or heart.

Darcy Wallace, Allison’s hot, sexy vampire boyfriend, is in the clutches of a female vampire, who can control herself, but she is just as brutal as the other female vampires in her coven.  Along with Robert, Darcy’s triplet and a guardian, Thomas MacGregor, she sets out for NYC to find Darcy, irrespective of the cost or bending Mason rules.

Only, Darcy, doesn’t remember Allison, and she doesn’t recognize the boy she had fallen in love with. More so, his dislike of Allison turns dark when he discovers she had killed his brother, another triplet, Thane. Darcy can’t forgive her despite her valid reasons. He doesn’t realize the extent of his peril, but Ally knows she must risk all to save him.

Meanwhile, Robert seems to truly care for Allison, but there is something shadowy and hidden about him. It doesn’t help that he is ruled by Jonas, another twisted character that lurks in a sinister realm but is essential in helping the cause to keep the vampires hidden from the world.

At the same time, the female vamps are on the move and Allison, along with her father and others, must stop their killing spree. A plan, fraught with uncertainty and possibly lethal, is set in motion and she is forced to accept the help of someone she fully distrusts. Will she be betrayed again? Will Darcy ever remember their love? Will the oldest female vampire destroy them all? So many dangers, so little time.

“Wow!” declares Wrye, “I enjoyed the first book in this series, but DIVINITY takes the plot to a new level. Allison has matured and doesn’t hesitate to make the tough decisions. The story starts out like a derailed locomotive about to go over a cliff. You find yourself holding your breathe with each passing paragraph. The danger feels real, you are there, you are in the midst of it, you experience the fear and danger. This story has the intricacies and pace that would hold the readership of any age group. You won’t want to put it down, and you will continually cheer on the heroine. Though, I normally wouldn’t seek out a vampire novel, I am hooked on this series, and on Paula Kennedy’s writing style. It is crisp, clean and racy. Just like the lines of a racer, and that’s just what you find yourself doing, racing through the pages because you can’t get enough.”

Tattle adds, “Paula Kennedy has created characters that have the pulse of our young generation yet appeal to those of us way past our prime and everyone in between. I enjoyed following Allison on her adventure, and applauding the young heroine’s courage and decisiveness. Allison has grown up since book one, and though I adored her then, I respect her even more now. And there it is, she is real to me. Usually, you put a book down and remember the characters as characters, but Ally is someone you see as real. Even the vampires, male and female, have you believing they might just be lurking in the corners of your room! I’m ready to go hang some garlic! That shows the expanse of Kennedy’s talent. She manages to do the same with the world she created for this series. It is believable, not the same ole same ole but fresh and sharp.  Her style has texture without being cluttered. I am truly a fan, and can’t wait to see more!”


Tattle and Wrye leap into SWEET AURALIE by Ute Carbone. This Historical Romance is a full length novel of the Sweet Lenora series.

Anton Boudreaux, a young courageous sea captain, and his spirited wife, Lenora, set sail from San Francisco to Shanghai, hoping to find a lost child. Though Anton is reluctant to take Lenora on such a long, perilous journey, Lenora will not be denied. Just as he begins to accept the situation, she confides something that puts her in even more jeopardy. It doesn’t help that Lily Harmon, the villainous harlot who had nearly sent Lenora to the gallows in the previous book, appears as a stowaway.

Lily does her best to upset Anton and Lenora’s marriage, as well as cause endless turmoil. Meanwhile, Lenora must contend with her conniving relatives who try to thwart them at every twist and turn. The entire trip is saturated with intrigue, treachery and peril. It is followed by Lenora tending a wounded Anton, caring for her children while taking on unexpected male-oriented responsibilities. 

Throughout this historical saga, Anton and Lenora must survive murder plots and thievery. Will their love survive?  Will Anton achieve his dreams of proving himself? Will a new ship, built for speed and breaking records, be their salvation or their curse?

“In the tradition of epic historical sagas, SWEET AURALIE stands out as one to be remembered,” Tattle gives it a thumbs up and attempts a high five with Wyre. They both miss. Settling herself into the Captain’s chair, she continues, “It has a steady tempo that keeps the pages turning and a succulent plot that often provides an unpredicted twist as well as an abundance of historical details that appear naturally without weighing down the storyline. Each character is well-drawn, and although Lenora has the grit and boldness of contemporary women, she adheres to the values and graciousness of the book’s era. You find yourself fascinated by the secondary characters as well.  Mrs. Jiao, the ship’s cook, warms the background and adds authentic flavor while Lily is a conniver you adore hating. Though this can well be a standalone book, since enough background is provided even if you never read the series’ novellas, give yourself a treat and read them all. They are well-worth it.”

Wrye, still puffing from his high-five exertion, says, “Ute Carbone is indeed a gifted storyteller. I loved the rich historical fabric of the story, the Asian accents as well as the detailed nautical elements. Mostly, even though this book starts out with the main characters already married, I was fascinated by the pull and tug of the love story as they struggle against treachery and life’s unexpected hazards.  The realism is fresh and rare among romances in that it engages the romance after the characters have fallen in love. The relationship evolves as they play off each other, compromise, sacrifice, and bond. This isn’t just a story with an intriguing and splendid storyline but an emotional portrayal of a couple’s journey. This book satisfies on every level and is destined to be read again and again!” Wrye thinks, there goes my macho image….

Hope you enjoyed this month’s reviews. Be sure to see read next month’s blog where we will post the finalist in our 2017 Tattle and Wrye award. Officially known as –


Happy Spring!

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