Friday, June 1, 2018

Tattle & Wrye column June 2018 edition


June 2018


Wearing a skirted bathing suit, Tattle appeared with a straw beach hat and a box of tissues. “Ahhhh-chooo!”
“Ut oh, cold?”
“Actually, quite hot. But I’d prefer not to be sneezing while at the seashore.”
“Well, there is only one way to prevent a summer cold.”
“Catch it in winter!”
“Ha…ha!” She places her hand on her hip and did an eye roll. “Are we ready?”
“After you change, m’partner-in-book-sleuthing.”
“Today’s a Love of Literature Leap Review, and let’s just say, we’re not going to the beach but a galaxy far-far away!”

DECEPTION, Lanyon for Hire, 5 by John Paulits

Wrye landed in the first chapter, took off his space helmet and sniffed the air. Concluding it was breathable, he began, “Being for hire has its draw backs, especially for Lanyon, but everyone knew he was the one to call for those impossible tasks. This is especially true considering he begins what appears to be a simple job, follows around an Argonian suspected of enjoying the pleasures of a Vanadian’s wife. In truth, it was the husband who had a dalliance and wanted to justify it. Whee oh! But the Vanadian paid well and included expenses. Quick thinking, dependable Layton does his job.”  

“Concurrently,” Tattle waltzed about the book. “Predamor has a job for Layton, recovering a shipment of rators (weapons) from Earth. It’s depicted as easy, but it quickly becomes complex and dangerous. Despite that, his twelve year-old side kick, Jophena, is also on the job.”

“So, what’s Lanyon to do?”

“Whatja think?” Tattle grinned. “Why take on another job on the same planet, tracking down the Malcosian Over-minister’s daughter, Meihon. Of course, in both situations, nothing is what it seems, good leads turn bad, bad leads turn horrendous, and Lanyon’s laid back attitude is fully tested.”

“He immediately questions his wisdom in job choices, but as each problem he attempts to press away creates a new wrinkle. He’s in for a whirlwind of complications and is nearly out of choices. Will he fail? Will he even survive? There is no telling what is up or down when it comes to Lanyon,” Wrye predicted.

Tattle donned her sincere expression. “John Paulits has a smooth, sleek, humorous writing style that keeps drawing you into the plot and keeps you guessing as to what’s true, what’s a lead, who’s doing what and where and when! The action is continuous and absorbing. The situations strange and compelling. Nothing seems to connect until it actually does at the end. I couldn’t get enough of this story or the characters. Their quirkiness is enhanced by their depth.”

Wrye is just as earnest but with a depth of enthusiasm. “Encountering Lanyon is like meeting a throw-back to the forties P.I.  Hence, his unique personality placed in a futuristic, far-flung galaxy, inter-species society creates an enjoyable and memorable adventure. The innovative technology and Lanyon’s laid back humor turns the story into a creative romp you won’t want to put down.”

“Though this is the fifth novel in the Lanyon For Hire series, I had no problem just jumping into the story. Past events were presented in the cocoon of present events. However, now I need to find out the intricacies of the previous stories.”

“Whether you enjoy Science Fiction or not, DECEPTION is a great read you won’t want to put down.”

Hope you enjoyed this month’s review. More to come in July!

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Excerpt from Sun Catch Her

Sun Catch Her
Tiffany J Sherman
Three Rivers Deep Series, 1
Champagne Books:

Action, romance, bad weather and broken crayons! When fierce storms race through her home valley, a two-souled artist faces off with a Sky Devil, a being of immeasurable size and power. 


“Aurora, you need to turn your attention to the sky again. You’re going to miss the best part.”

“What? Where?!” My eyes went wide, and I searched the heavens. “Where do I need to be looking?”

“Directly overhead.”

I snuck a quick peek at Micah when he stretched out an arm, his fingers positioned to resemble devil horns. Nice.


“Sorry, sorry! I’m watching.” My head tilted back.

The light originated from a single point, a rapid red glow that expanded in all directions as far as the eye could see. With the short, tragic lifespan of half a heartbeat, the crimson flash filled everything above in an instant, and then, it was gone.

“What was that?” I asked, still looking at the sky, now dark. “And where did it go so quickly?”

“A high-atmospheric electrical discharge. It’s called a lightning Sprite,” Micah informed me. “Keep watching. You haven’t seen the best part.”

My transformed eyes strained to catch a glimpse of what he was talking about. Out of the darkness a blood colored hue emerged. Slowly, it drifted down, soon making its way close enough for me to see individual specs. “It looks like red glitter!”

It is aether, shaken loose from the skies.”

So falling aether. Still looked like red glitter to me. Millions upon millions of sparkly flakes shimmering against the night like flurries turned ruby. They swooped down upon us in wafting billows, dusting us. My breath caught as I watched Micah’s aura transform when it hit him. The aether intermingling with his aura flowed in thin rivulets that caressed his body to turn his aura brilliant, the white light of it tinted scarlet. He looked to be caught up in his own personal storm lingering on the edge of a vivid sunset, the red, twisted light of his aura writhing electrically in his hair, dancing over his skin.

“Aurora.” Micah’s eyes were fixed upon me as well.

He spoke my name with a reverence I had never heard another person use, and I made my way over to him on my hands and knees, blanket trailing. The fleece blanket slipped away to expose me to the chill.

“My sweet, sweet Aurora,” Micah whispered again, gaze going solemn. “You blaze as though your souls have been set on fire!”

“I want to touch you,” I murmured.

The light flowing around him changed color the closer I neared. What started out as red transitioned to orange, then bright orange, and now a brilliant yellow. The effect it had on him was indescribable, and now I understood why he’d given me the aether-woven dress. This was what he’d seen: my aura’s light changing color as the fabric pulsed against my skin in reaction to my emotions.

I was nearly to him when Micah wrapped his arms about himself. “You shouldn’t come any closer,” he protested, but I continued toward him anyway, only inches from his crossed legs now as his tinted aura changed to green. I could feel the electrical charge radiating from his skin. The air was sharp with its presence.

“Aurora,” Micah’s words came out ragged, torn. “Oh gods! All I want to be able to do is touch you!”

“Then do it.”

His gaze became desperate, and his fears tasted real, probably worrying about the time in the hospital when he had nearly electrocuted me. I wanted to believe his fears were unfounded. You’re so much older now. You are in control.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tattle & Wrye column May 2018 edition


May 2018


Tattle leans back in her office chair and groans. "I'm so old I can cough, giggle, sneeze and pee all at the same time."

Wrye waggles a finger at her, "You are such fun to listen to when you lie, cause I already know the truth. You don't consider yourself old."

"Well, maybe not, but the joints are sure smarting. Guess I shouldn't have danced the night away."

"Listening to disco again before bed."

Tattle shrugs, "Of course not! I was out swinging with my peep."

"It really is disappointing when a liar's pants don't actually catch on fire."

"Excuse me, m' sleuthy bud, but I'm not done lying yet...."

"Yes, you are, m'literary twitter and tweet, it is time for our Love of Literature Leap review!"

The two fled and leap into MIDNIGHT IN MONGOLIA, A Blenders Mystery, 4 By Veronica Helen Hart

Al and Larry, part of the Keegan Bay Park Blenders, had followed Doll to the reality TV set of Cooking for Your Life with Mandy Young, and opted for a day of sightseeing. While off on their jaunt, the two were kidnapped in the Mongolian Desert by a high cheekboned man in a cowboy hat and a Peter Lorre (forties actor) look-alike. How could that happen and why? Easily, it is after all Al and Larry, and, well, they were mistaken for American executive that actually had broken down on the road.

Doll, of course, is immediately entwined in an convoluted rescue scheme, ransom bid and no police. You guessed it, they wouldn't help. Howard, who had also tagged along on the excursion, insisted on having her back. Despite being 92 years old, he doesn't shy away from danger. Besides Al and Larry are part of the Blenders, and his friends.

Meanwhile, Al and Larry continue dealing with the debacle they find themselves in, now not as ready to admit they aren't who the kidnappers thought. Dare they pull it off? Dare they manage to escape? Dare Doll and her Blenders find them before they vanish completely? Dare you chuckle and giggle at the humor? Only the desert knows for sure.

"This is the perfect fit in this wonderful cozy mystery series. The entire series is a refreshing change from the norm. It is more reminiscent of Murder She Wrote TV series except with extra sleuths to enjoy. As always, the plot is solid, the suspense is ever present, and the prose is quick. I also enjoy the rich, very real dialogue, that reflects the Keegan Bay Blenders age group. This book was jam packed with excitement and adventure that kept you guessing until the end. It had a nice menagerie of twists and turns as well.  Putting it down is not an option."

"Doll is just a fabulous character, all spunk and no-nonsense. And it is an extra treat to watch the secondary plot of her trying to decide if Michael is truly the man she wants to spend forever with. Will she ever give up on wondering what happened to Barclay? Do you find out in this book? Ah, this is where I say, read, m'friend, read. I really love this series and intend to devour the books I have missed and further read any future ones. It is imaginative and cozy mystery masterpiece."

Hope you took pleasure in this month’s review. More to come in June!

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

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Savvy Saturday: $0.99 Sale!

This month, we are happy to share with the world two amazing books for the low price of only $0.99! That's right, for less than a dollar, you too can own one, if not both fantasy novels on your Kindle. Take a look below to see if you are interested!

Traitor Knight
Keith Willis
Fantasy Romance
Champagne Bookstore

When Morgan McRobbie rescues a damsel-in-distress from a dragon, he expects she’ll swoon, murmuring “My hero!” Instead, Marissa has only loathing for the man everyone believes will betray Kilbourne. That’s fine with Morgan. A woman in his life would just complicate things.

A high-level informer threatens the kingdom’s security, and Morgan is out to stop him. Posing as a turncoat himself, he’s walking a fine line between honor and betrayal. A single misstep could result in disaster, and his mission is fraught with distractions: the pesky dragon, a pair of conniving courtiers, and the disillusioned damsel who’s certain Morgan can’t be trusted.

If Morgan’s going to save the kingdom, win the girl, and manage to stay alive, he’ll need to step up his game. Because the traitor is lurking in the shadows, and his scheme calls not just for the betrayal of Kilbourne, but also the destruction of Morgan McRobbie.


Ever look out of a train car’s window and think the world rushing by isn’t yours? Welcome to Hobohemia, where hobo kings vie with rail barons over the value of the human spirit, and steam engines still ply the living rails. Vincent arrives searching for his long lost sister, but quickly finds himself immersed in a battle to stop the Erie Railroad from unleashing a horror that will see the end of hobo jungles and craftsmen alike.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Excerpt from Love on Lido Key

Love on Lido Key
The Keys to His Heart, Book 2
By Meg West
Contemporary Romance
$ 2.99
Champagne Books:

A young widow has to fight off a host of naysayers to win the heart of a handsome Greek.


Every night Janie Alexander drove to south Lido Beach to watch the sunset. Some nights it was a bust. But most of the time the she was treated to a spectacular show, with the sky bursting into every color of the palette.

She hoisted her red sand chair out of her Fiesta and padded in her flip-flops through the sea grapes and thick grass. The dunes were studded with burrs, so she didn’t kick off her sandals until she was on the beach proper.

Tonight the tide was low, the wind was still, and waves lapped at the shore. She unfolded her chair halfway between the dunes and the water’s edge, covered it with a striped towel, then waited for the show to begin.

She wasn’t completely alone. A trio of solitary regulars kept her company. First came an older man passing a metal detector over the sand. Janie didn’t know what he hoped to discover—a gold watch, a diamond ring?—but he never seemed to find anything. Another barefoot guy, dressed in dirty Hawaiian shorts and torn white T-shirt, brought bread crusts to feed first the seagulls and then an enormous raccoon that waddled out of the sand dunes, sending the gulls into a frenzy of flight over the water.

Lastly, on the tip of the island, always stood a salty old fisherman wearing a khaki cap and rolled waders, casting his line to catch the leaping mullet.

These were the single men who surrounded Janie. They nodded at her; she nodded at them. But they never waved or said hello. She watched them go about their business in the fading light, the way she used to when Matt had sat beside her in his matching chair. Then the sun swelled to a fiery circle that hung in the red and orange sky before it dropped to the horizon as quickly as a tennis ball released from God’s hand.

Janie pulled down her floppy hat to shield her eyes. Tonight the sun seemed especially bright as it sank. Then she realized why. Somewhere on the dunes, maybe when she bent to pluck a burr off her ankle, she had lost the tortoiseshell sunglasses Matt had given her on her last birthday.

Panic rolled through her. Everything she saw in the world, from the abandoned pillows on his side of the bed down to every grain of sand below her feet, reminded her of Matt. But those Wayfarer sunglasses were her last link to him. He had picked them out of a catalog and had them delivered to the nurses’ station on the fourth floor of Sarasota Memorial.

“Happy birthday, Janie,” he told her. “Take these to the beach and watch the sunset for me every night you have the chance.”

“It won’t be the same without you,” she said.

“I’ll be there even if I’m not there. And then, don’t worry, there’ll be somebody else.”

“I don’t want anyone else.”

“You’ll find him. I know it.”

It had been almost a year, but seemed like yesterday that Matt sat next to her in his matching chair, handing her another bottle of beer and telling her, “Let’s stay a little longer and watch the stars.”

The pink sky dimmed and blossomed into a blue and purple bruise. Janie gripped the arms of her chair, ready to leap up and search for her dead husband’s last gift to her, when a voice behind her asked, “These your sunglasses?”

Matt had been tall, thin, and pale, and his light brown hair bordered on blond. This guy was dark-skinned and dark-haired, with a roughness about his face that told Janie that no matter how closely he shaved, within half an hour he was going to look unshaven again. He had on olive-green surfer shorts and rubber fisherman’s sandals. She tried hard not to stare at his muscled bare chest as he stood over her.

Monday, April 16, 2018

New Release!

Love on Lido Key
The Keys to His Heart, Book 2
By Meg West
Contemporary Romance
$ 2.99

Janie Alexander never expected to find herself widowed at age twenty-seven, nor did she ever dream she might find her second husband by fulfilling her promise to her first husband to watch the sunset every night on Lido Key.

Nick Costas is the opposite of Janie’s first love. He’s dark-haired, muscled, unreserved, openhearted, and a quintessentially working-class Greek. At their initial meeting, Janie is drawn to his good looks, but also his kindness. Nick recently lost his mother and sympathizes with Janie’s descriptions of watching her husband succumb to cancer. He alone of all her friends seems to understand grief.

Janie and Nick’s budding romance; however, isn’t looked upon kindly by Janie’s uptight former in-laws nor by Nick’s old-world family—in particular, his superstitious father and trio of sisters Nick dubbed “The Furies.” Janie has three strikes against her: she’s been married before, she isn’t Greek, and she isn’t Nick’s former girlfriend, Daphne.

As the anniversary of her first husband’s death approaches, can Janie find the strength to beat off these naysayers and to hold the heart of Nick?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Savvy Saturday: An Interview with Meg West, Author of Love on Lido Key

Love on Lido Key is available for preorder on Kobo and at the Champagne Bookstore!

Meg West is author of the soon-to-be released Love on Lido Key, a romantic comedy that leads up to a spectacular Fourth of July celebration. Today we talk to Meg about love, death, and some of the other unexpected fireworks found in her novel and in ordinary life.

Tell us a little bit about Love on Lido Key.

Lido Key begins with a young widow, Janie Alexander, fulfilling her promise to her late husband to watch the sunset every night on the beach. It leads to a chance encounter with a man who's just the opposite of her first love. Nick Costas is unreserved, openhearted, and the only son in a large, loud, and quarrelsome Greek family. One of the themes of the novel is that you never know what kind of curveballs life will throw at you--so this initial chance encounter is followed by a number of other coincidental meetings and accidents that bring Janie and Nick together but also threaten to keep them apart.

Love on Lido Key has a large cast of supporting characters that act as obstacles to Janie and Nick's happiness. Tell us a little bit about their role in the novel and how you integrated them into the plot.

Although Love on Lido Key deals with a tragic situation--a young woman who ends up widowed at age twenty-seven--it's essentially a romantic comedy. Literary critic Northrup Frye defines the pattern of comedy as follows:

a. a young man wants a young woman

b. his desire is thwarted by opposition (usually paternal)

c. through a twist in the plot, the hero secures his love

d. a new society is formed around the hero and heroine, which is celebrated in a festive ritual (usually a wedding)

In Love on Lido Key, the heroine and the hero's desire to get together is thwarted by the uptight parents of Janie's first husband, Peg-n-Ed Alexander, who live upstairs from her and who insist on having stodgy dinner parties with her every Thursday. On the opposite side, Nick's grouchy old father and fearsome trio of real-estate mogul sisters want him to marry a Greek girl--specifically, his old girlfriend Daphne. All of the opposing characters do their best to stand in the way of Janie and Nick's happiness. The novel ends not with a wedding, but a Fourth of July dinner cruise on a boat full of Bingo-crazy senior citizens.

Why did you choose to set the novel during the weeks leading up to Fourth of July?

Janie meets Nick as she approaches the first anniversary of her husband's death on July 3. I included the death scene in the novel because I wanted to show how shocking and traumatic it would be for a young woman to lose her husband as the rest of the world blithely celebrated Independence Day with barbecues, beach picnics, and sparklers. I ended the novel on the Fourth of July to show how far Janie had come in one year, and to bookend the story with a natural display of beauty--the sunset--and a manmade display, fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico.

Did you have an ideal reader in mind when you wrote this novel?

Yes! She--and he--are readers who love to experience the up-and-down seesaw motion of everyday life--in which we laugh one minute and cry the next. I hope readers will get a kick out of watching Janie and Nick fight off their respective families as they work their way toward happiness, and that they will be touched by the emotional trials of finding love so soon after tragic loss.

Love on Lido Key is the second in your trilogy of novels set on the barrier islands off Sarasota. Tell us about the first and third books.

This trilogy is loosely linked by place and doesn't have recurring characters, so the novels can be read in any order. Love on Longboat Key, published in 2017, is a heartwarming romance about a young woman who dreads spending Christmas in Florida with her cranky elderly parents. Yet that changes when she arrives at Sun Tower and meets the eligible bachelor whose equally quarrelsome parents have just moved into the penthouse. Love on the Links, forthcoming from Champagne Books, is a comic novel about a young woman who is forced to learn golf in order to be accepted by her future in-laws--but who comes dangerously close to losing everything when she falls for her handsome golf pro instructor. Although the novels are billed as beach reads, I also want to pitch them as great "snow reads," as they give readers a chance to travel to Florida and experience love and sunshine even in the dead of winter.

About the Author:

Meg West lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband and their two golden retrievers. Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @megwestnovelist.

Love on Lido Key is available for preorder on Kobo and at the Champagne Bookstore!