Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Differences Between Fantasy and Science Fiction?



I heard an interesting definition the other day. It had to do with the difference between fantasy and science fiction. The speaker was postulating that while Science Fiction is set on “Planets,” Fantasy is set on “Worlds.” Sort of the difference between the settings of Lord of the Rings and The Martian. One you can glance up in the sky and imagine it being there, the other you cannot.

The fantasy writer creates a setting and does not necessarily think about the whole, the sci-fi author may work out the how and why their location is different, or logical. If the sci-fi writer introduced dragons into a tale there would probably be a temptation to explain the means by which dragons can spit fire. Actually, I attempted to do that in my novel, “Alex in Wanderland.”

I’ve always felt that what sets sci-fi apart from fantasy, or any other classification of genre, is the “sci” portion of the equation. If you could remove the scientific gimmick or far future technology and setting and the story still works well, then maybe you’ve written it in the wrong genre. Fantasy suspends reality for at least a portion of the tale.

The same may also apply to world building. A magical city in the desert, an evil magician, interference by the “gods,” tend toward fantasy. A sci-fi writer might worry more about how the city’s politics and economy can actually work. Could that city support itself? (greenhouses, aquifers, trade?) How does the evil magician’s magic actually work? (high tech?) What are the gods? (Advanced aliens?)

I tend to write my fantasy while downplaying the fantastical. I still like to have the how it works covered in the back of my mind or at least be aware when I have no idea. When I write science fiction I classify my tales as soft sci-fi. I throw in faster than light travel and ignore long technical passages on how it all works. I don’t really know and I don’t care. (But I’m also well aware of what I’m deliberately doing.)

I recently sat down to write a fantasy tale during a period of time between acceptance of a manuscript and the editing process. At least it started out as a straight fantasy tale, although it has begun sniffing around converting to sci-fi. Some days you can never tell where the unruly characters are going to lead you.

And I like it that way.

R.J.Hore
www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn (Book 1, 2, 3)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: STORM CHILD by K. M. Tolan





From our alter-egos...


FROM THE DESK OF

DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.

AND

ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH


Greetings,

"Are you ready?" Tattle inquires as she enters the office, preening prettily in her Easter finery.

"For the Easter Champagne Books Hunt?" Wrye grabs his cane and top hat.

"Better than a hunt for eggs."

 The dashing duo immediately dive into their Love of Literature Leap."

 STORM CHILD by K. M. Tolan - A sci-fi fantasy Novel

Wrye peers into the story, grinning as he plops into a red velvet train seat.  "Whoo hoo, trains are where it's at, and this book is the place to read." He clears his throats and revelas, "Red rides the living rails in Hobohemia with her trusted friend, Glory.  Is she an elderly hobo, a deranged eccentric, a bombastic traveler or a weary sales person?  Nooooo. Red is a steam child, a whisper of smoke, a puff of fog, a swirling mist, who only on a whim will nearly solidifie. Her red stockings being the first thing that immediately catches the attention of all.  Red and those like her keep the living rails alive, fueling locomotives with their energy.  

Tattle adjusts her bonnet and winks at the steam child rushing past her train window. "Red was once a mortal child, whose severely ill mother sent her to an orphanage." Pouting and patting tear-filled eyes, she continues. "Rage suppresses the raw pain of what she believed a betrayal. While physically being transported with other orphans on a train, Red fled the orphans' heartless and cruel keepers.  She soon became one of the living spirit children under the protection and tutelage of Midtown, her steam mother."  

"Red's young little life had held too much pain, and rather than experiencing the fun-seeking joy of most steam children, fury roils within Red, altering what should have been a carefree existence." Wrye sighs at the injustice of it all. "She persuades Glory to accompany her on a quest to find a bell, made from what was left of a famous trumpet player's (Satchmo) horn. Flapjack told her the story of how the bell rings such a beautiful chime it makes all the bad things go away. Red so wants all her troubles to flee, and sets off to find that bell." 

"Along the way, Red and Glory meet an menagerie of unique characters. Some good... some oooohhh evil... some... well, just strange.  A few try to help, but regarrrrdless, they all seem to provoke either challenges or hindrances. To complicate everything..." Tattle offers a heavenly eye roll. "...a Gypsy blessing, that seems more the curse, empowers Red to a tumultuous degree. As she continues to seek the bell, her very existence is held in the balance."  

Tipping his top hand back off his forehead, Wrye, praises K. M. Tolan. "Tolan wrote another winner! He has recreated the universe of TRACKS in a unique and wonderful way. The land of Hobohemia is captivating and intriguing. You find yourself being seeped in the uniqueness of the land. Each character is memorable and there is a layering of personality that makes them all memorable. Yoweeee! I read TRACKS more than once, and I know I'll be reading STORM CHILD yet again."  

"The energy of the story hits full force from page one." Tattle jumps up with enthusiasm as if to demonstrate her wording. "Tolan has written a fascinating, complex and delightfully magical tale. I adore the connection between the characters and they way they interact.  They are well-rounded and dynamic. The world building is incredibly awesome. The writing, as usual, was smooth, clean and laced with action. The plot flowed with just enough complications to keep the pages turning.  It is definitely worth not just one read, but as Wrye said, at least two. Get it! Own it! Enjoy it!" 

Hope you took pleasure in this month’s review. 

Happy Spring!

Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash

of Blather City, Wannachat


Created and written by:  Angelica Hart and Zi


***
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Friday, June 29, 2018

Review: Meg West's LOVE ON LONGBOAT KEY

From our Alter Egos:

FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
AND
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDAS


"Awwww, we are right in Meg West's LOVE ON LONGBOAT KEY. Yay us! Snow is certainly not Julie's cup of cocoa. Therefore, her visit from frigid Connecticut to sunny Sarasota, Florida is just what she needs."



Wrye strolls behind Tattle in Julie's favorite retreat, MARIE SELBY BONTANICAL GARDEN. "There is a down side to the visit. Her parents won't stop bickering, and her boss Amanda Ford saddled her with work over her vacation. If she doesn’t perform well, she risks a poor end-of-the-performance review. Then there is the circumstance that she is approaching thirty with not a smidgeon of romance on the horizon."



"Enter stage left!" Tattle fans herself with her hand. "Tall, sexy hot and yummy, Thomas, who is also visiting his irritable elderly parents in the penthouse of Julie’s parent's condo."



"Proooblem alert!" Wrye enthuses. "Though there is instant sizzle, Julie soon discovers Thomas' father used to be the CEO of Pilgrim Mutual Insurance. This is the company where both Julie and Thomas work. Even worse is the fact that Thomas was engaged to her boss, Amanda!"



"Once Amanda discovers Thomas and Julie are seeing each other, Julie's life becomes prickly. She questions if Thomas is still interested in Amanda, and gets the feeling that Amanda is still attracted to Thomas."



Wrye comes abreast of Tattle. "Complications come in pairs. Julie begins to realize her parents need a daughter who lives closer, and can be on hand for possible health issues."



"Between her job, that she no longer really enjoys, her confusion over Thomas, and her reluctance to go back to the snowy north, Julie's life feels like one big tidal wave of turmoil. What's a gal to do? Gotta read the book to find out!"



Wrye dons his serious expression. "Meg West has provided a sweet romantic treat with a holiday theme. It is a smooth, flowing, quick read that is as satisfying and absorbing as a Hallmark movie. Her characters are engaging and there is just enough mystery to have the reader wondering how Julie will resolve her dilemmas. It is a cuddle on the couch in front of a fire and sip brandy sort of book. Well done!"



"I disagree! It is a beach chair in front of a whispering ocean, drinking a Sunrise Margarita sort of read!" Tattle pauses and wrinkles up her nose thoughtfully. "I concede, either will work.  Meg's writing fully captures the essence of a sweet romance. I just adored the way the relationship between the characters develops with perfect pacing. I was also very impressed at the very real entanglement of dealing with aging parents. Julie's parents were a hoot, adding just enough humor to lighten a very real and serious situation. Meg's plotline was interesting, her writing style smooth as a windless day on the sea. I would highly recommend this book for a quick, satisfying and easy read. I fully enjoyed it." 



Until next time, keep reading!


***
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Thursday, June 21, 2018

Do You Mind if I Throw in Some Humor?


Do you mind if I throw in some humor into my stories now and then? Some days I just can’t help myself. I also think even the most serious of tales can use some levity once in a while. For one thing, a large percentage of the population can be amusing, at least some of the time, whether they intend to be or not. For another, there are times when a serious situation needs a break. I have also been guilty of starting a serious novel, and having it degenerate into a giggle or three.

Take my fantasy detective series, the Housetrap Chronicles. Just because I take a familiar title, muck it about and then use the result as my plot inspiration, doesn’t mean the tales were not intended to be serious. Of course, I couldn’t resist throwing in the occasional bad pun or ridiculous situation, or have the characters’ innermost thoughts conflict with their words. It gets pretty bad when the publisher complains, “It’s not funny enough.” And here I thought I was writing serious prose.

This never fails to happen to me. My second published novel, “The Queen’s Pawn,” started out as a straightforward fantasy thriller about a young man trapped in a burning city. Before long, nonsense started to creep in. By the time I’d finished what turned out to be the first book in a trilogy, I’d abused him mercilessly and stuffed him into all sorts of embarrassing situations. Of course, this meant I had to carry on in this manner for the next two books. What else do you do with a handsome hero who is clueless about the ladies who keep flinging themselves at him and who doesn’t recognize that when the princess is talking about her wedding plans, he is supposed to be the groom.

In general, even in a more serious tale, there has to be a wise-cracking character or two in my stories to lighten the load. Alex in Wanderland started out as a novel about a feuding married couple a long way out of their depth in an alternative Dark Age style world. They ended up on a quest with a group of characters out of B movies central casting, not to mention the local deity, the Goddess Gladys.

Besides bad puns, which are sometimes more difficult than writing straight dialogue, I enjoy doing what I think of as the parallel conversation. This is where using point-of-view comes in handy. You can have a character saying one thing in conversation, while mentally thinking or commenting something completely different internally. This lets the reader in on the joke.

Even in tales where I have managed to stay on track and stick with serious subjects, I find myself throwing in characters whose sole purpose is to say witty things and comment on the goings on. An example of this shows up in my Toltec series where a Mayan servant and a Saxon cook keep up a lighter dialogue and commentary about what is happening around them.

There is a place for everything, although sometimes everything gets out of place, at least inside my head, while I’m trying to write. But if you don’t giggle once in a while at your own cleverness, who will?

R.J.Hore
www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn (Book 1, 2, of 3)

Friday, June 1, 2018

After the Tears ~ Short Story

She stood there for a long while, listening to the wind, the occasional eruptions of drizzle and eventually walked to the edge of the grave. She bent her head. “Bye Dad. I love you. I am already missing you.” Before she could move her head back, a tear rolled from her cheek and splunked upon the coffin surface punctuating the dirt cross. Everyone else had left, but she wasn't yet ready, she needed time with just Dad, just her and the man who had been her rock all of her life.



After awhile, she retreated about forty feet away but was still in view of the grave. She watched the caretakers lower his coffin, and then cover it with damp earth. She imagined him being welcomed home. Some of the soil splattered against the engraved name of Emily Watkins, Cyndy's mother. She had been passed before Cyndy could remember her. It had been just her and Dad.



Cyndy Watkins started at the graves and cried. Alone.



Would she always be so? Nearing thirty and being attractive, she had her share of dates, but she never clicked with anyone, never found that special love. Her dad threatened quite often to set her up with a blind date. He had a lady friend, who had a son, a real nice man with green eyes and a gentle manner. His friend had met Cyndy once, thought her perfect for her boy. Cyndy didn't remember the meeting, and would always manage to avoid any parentally arranged dates. Funny she thought of that now. Then again, while in the final stages of cancer, he had so worried that that she wasn't settled, as he put it. "Oh Dad," she whispered, and felt her chest tighten with the throbbing ache of emptiness.



Once the final shovel-full of earth was moved and raked smooth, the sun as if cued, began to push itself through the clouds slowly turning the dull pall of the mid-morn rain into a beautiful spring afternoon, almost magical, signifying a new beginning.



Cyndy continued to sob gently, sucking in shallow, painful breaths, allowing hurt to express itself.



Like the slow, intrusion of the sun a few moments before, a man’s voice encroached upon her grief. At first it was just a low murmur, then as if the wind had deliberately turned direction, it picked up the voice and brought it to her like a gift. She turned, surveyed the landscape but did not see anyone though she still heard it. The voice. Where? It danced upon the air. Playfully. Though obviously male, she could not discern what he was saying, just that he sounded happy with the buoyancy of an entertainer. Drawn, like a child to a puppet show, she moved toward the theatrical tones and intonations.



Back to her, he knelt there, right on a grave. She took a quick step sideways and hid behind a tall monolithic granite monument. Watching. Listening. A man, clad in a green slicker with the hood up rose, his face still hidden from view. He sat upon a green and white blanket that had been arranged neatly. He didn’t notice her. The blanket was perfectly square to the stone he faced. A brown wicker basket squatted to his left. Open. Food occupied two plates before him while adjacent the plates, she spotted two bottles of water. “A picnic?” she muttered, shaking her head, brows knitting.



An occasional laugh interrupted his loud speech. A gesture or two marked many of his sentences. Again, playful.



She thought, how inappropriate and insensitive. This was a cemetery, for goodness sake! What right did he have to be so disgraceful? So disrespectful? She moved closer with all intentions of saying something in a scolding Sunday school teacher way. She was just in the right mood to scold someone, even though a small voice told her she shouldn't. The closer she walked the more she began to hear even though the breeze kept distorting the intonations.



He sat Indian-legged with a leather-bound briefcase setting in his lap. He read from the case. Laughing. Teasing. Gesturing. Talking to the headstone as if it were a friend and loved one. Showing moments of seriousness. Stopping for emphasis. Sipping some water. Eating a grape. Looking down at his portfolio, studying a minute then talking again. Turning the pages slowly. Entertaining the stone.



His actions brought her pause. They were so wonderfully personal. Private. She felt the pull of embarrassment because they were so private.



She crouched behind another stone, listened to his stories, becoming engrossed when he talked about a baseball game he saw and the foul ball that bounced two seats away. A genuine heart-felt humanity emerged when he talked about a calico cat that got into his home and hid under his bed for two days, tormenting his dog. He finally caught her and found her a home, and he wished he had known her better. The ‘her’ she first thought was the cat. Then she realized it was the person buried. More tears emerged when she heard his voice crack under the abrupt intensity of emotion. “I truly miss you. I wish we had had more time. When it was just getting good, you were taken. I have been blessed to have you, but hurt that you are gone.”



New tears streamed down Cyndy's cheeks.



He rose. Collected his picnic. Kissed two of his fingers, touched the stone and said, “See you next year. Don’t go anywhere. Okay!”



Cyndy smiled at his humor remarking beneath her breath, “What a gentle, caring man.”



He walked away without ever looking in Cyndy’s direction. She waited until he was gone then curious, believing that it had to be his wife, approached the headstone. She read it and saw that the date of death was the same as today, but many years earlier. She calculated date of birth and death. It was his mother. A flash of bonding with the soul and spirit of the unknown man formed, a bond, born in the loss of a parent on the same date. Their date. This man she had been about to scold became a distant, even though unknown, friend. May 12th connected them. Forever.



Her tears stopped. Cyndy somehow didn’t feel quite as alone.



A year passed, she had forgotten about the man, but not about visiting her parents' graves. Unlike the day of the funeral, it was a glorious day, truly spring with the promise of summer. She knelt before the tombstones and began a long discourse about her work, her life, her lack of romance.



Suddenly a man's voice interrupted. "Care for some water?" He held out a water bottle. "My name's Charles."



She looked up into kind green eyes and remembered the voice, the tender modulated tones from the year before.



At that moment something clicked, something solid and right. "Thank you," she said, and instantly knew in a strange warm wash of certainty that she'd never be alone again.



In the heavens, Charles' mother and Cyndy's father grinned at each other. They finally managed the blind date their stubborn children had once refused.

****





***
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sometimes I Really do Wonder


Sometimes I really wonder why I do the things I do. I just spent the last few long months wrestling with the second volume of my space opera epic. Made several changes, additions, and went through the beast until I was cross-eyed and finally sent it off. Before that I was putting the income tax nonsense into some kind of order. Now, with that finished and the manuscript off my plate, I could get caught up on all those other things I’ve been letting slide.

Like my office. The children have warned my wife not to enter it on her own without tying a rope around her waist so she can find her way back out. Even I have to admit it’s been getting a bit unruly in there.

But then ideas keep bubbling. You know the feeling. It’s an itch that requires scratching. What to do? Two new plots were struggling for attention. Now what?

I chose the path of least resistance and decided to start on both of them and see where that led me.

The first option is one in the series of Housetrap Chronicles novellas. I always find these relaxing as I can have a lot of fun throwing in everything (including a kitchen sink) into my fantasy detective series and work out any frustrations. Slight problem, this particular plot requires more planning than I’m used to with these. Normally I come up with a mash-up of a mystery title and then write a story to fit the title.

The second option is a more-or-less straight fantasy tale that bit me when I wasn’t looking. This thing has decided it wants to be full novel length but is unsure whether to be teen, young adult, or adult. Only the bedroom scenes may eventually decide that rating.

After writing the opening chapters of each of these ideas, I decided I really had to get a serious grip on these creatures; and work on only one writing project at a time. So I did.

Glancing around my office, it is still sinking under the weight of the paper piled on my floor. But that is not surprising, my desk and shelves are full.

Carry on writing, especially if you enjoy it. I often write so I can find out how the story ends.

Why do you write?

R.J.Hore
www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore

The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn Trilogy (Volume 1, 2, 3)

Struggling With a Space Opera - Part Two



Back at the start of last year I decided to try writing something new. I needed a change from dragons and damsels, or detectives facing vampires and wayward housewives. I decided it was time I ventured deep into outer space.

As usual I started with a scrap of a plot and plunged right on ahead. I knew what the opening chapter would look like, and the final dramatic scene. All I needed was the middle part of the beast. My Beta reader uncovered the usual number of faults but I pressed on. Unlike some authors and betas, we look at each other’s work as it goes along, a few chapters at a time. We don’t wait until the completion before we do the swapping of manuscripts and the serious critiquing. The advantage to me is I pick up on any problems early enough to incorporate the fixes as I create the next section and repair the last.

I usually write quickly. I’ll start each day by reading and editing what I wrote the day before, and then charge on ahead. I also go back, adding scenes, inserting comments, sprinkling in incidents as they pop up.

Decided on a working title: “Of Destiny’s Daughters.” So, what happened after I finished this epic? Sent it off to the publisher and settled down for the usual waiting period, chewing nails to the quick. Of course, the brain keeps active during this period and the ending had generated some ideas on what might happen next in the story.

Might as well keep on writing, eh?

My beta reader complained the start of volume number two was a bit slow. Okay, I add an opening scene with a flashback complete with explosions. Somewhere during this process I also imagined a third volume. Then of course I changed my mind and compressed the projected third volume into the end of book two, which had a working title of “Hammer Across the Stars.”

Might as well finish this off and send it to the publisher so she can get an idea of how the tale unfolds beyond the first book.

Of course, as I put volume number two to bed there is an itch in the back of my head. The revised ending has given me a brilliant (I may exaggerate here) idea for a third volume. No, I haven’t started on this one yet, but the ideas are percolating.

One reason I haven’t started anything on book three (working title unknown although “Expedition to Earth” has a nice ring to it) is that I’m now up to my eyeballs in edits on the first volume. The publisher has said “Yes!”

The moral here, persistence pays off. Now about that book three…

R.J.Hore
www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore

The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn (Book 1, 2, of 3)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Once Upon a Chat



Once upon a chat in a land far away and a time long ago, we became long winded while answering questions at a Romance Café.
We thought to take this opportunity to share some of our responses with a bit of curtailing and a bit of enhancing.



Did you always want to become a writer?



A: Was born with a story in my mouth.



Z: Yup, her first words were gagagoba dada... which means... Once upon a diaper change.



What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?



Z: Most interesting... although we work in seclusion we're actually on a stage, displaying for the world the strange workings of our minds in the form of stories... all for the sake of entertainment



A: Less interesting... Zi makes great coffee



Z: Ang that has nothing to do with writing.



A: Sure it does... fuels my thoughts... energizes my body... puts me in a good mood



Z: You usually drink tea.



A: Well, there is that.



How did you celebrate your first release? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?



A: I sent smile-face e-mails to all my closest friends and family, engaging them to atta-girl me, and they do.



Z: The question asked about ritual. Ok, here's my ritual. My neighbor has this immense weeping willow tree, and after a book release, I wait for the blackness night in the heaviest rain, strip naked and run helter-skelter through the drooping branches screaming, "Look what I did... Look what I did... Look what I did..." Then I dress and act as if it never happened.



So tell us about your very first release as a writing team. What is it about, what inspired it and is it a stand-alone title or a series book?



Z: KILLER DOLLS.



A: (Making a note to avoid the office when it is a heavy rain and the middle of the night) ... is a stand alone at the moment but there is the possibility of a sequel, working title LOVE LETTERS.



Z: Our inspiration came from Angelica's handmade spoon doll collection and the simple words what if... All coupled with the state of our world and the post-9/11 fear of terrorism. We are both strong proponents that you confront fear not hide from it, and our small slice of storytelling is both cathartic and, hopefully, a place where some might find strength or closure. Obviously, that is a very serious point and we hope our tone and texture has reflected it but we are both humble enough to understand we may not have.



If you could meet any paranormal creature, who would it be and why?



A: A wyvern... there is so much intrigue in a flying dragon. Could I see myself as the damsel in distress with the valiant hero racing to rescue me. Damn straight I can. Then again, I can also envision flying in on a dragon to rescue a hero in distress...a nice hunky hero. (Big grin)



Z: I'm kinda liking cupid... kinda short and pudgy, wearing a diaper, running around with a bow and arrow, popping people in the name of love. Is that a gig or what? Now, if he gets a good annual out of it, I can see that as a future job possibility. Though a diaper in my size would require me jumping a fence and measuring the arse end of a cow. But, hell, money and arrows, cool.



If you could change places with one character from any book, who would it be and why?



Z: Killjoy, the clown from Stephen King's IT. To be both humorous and diabolical and to wear a funny nose and wig, wouldn't that be a hoot. Don't make me laugh I just might have to kill you.



A: Ssisapho from our book SNAKE DANCE... She's not the heroine but she is one sassy, sharp, determined shero.



Z: Yeah, a big you-know-what and is half dressed all the time. I change my character to anyone who is near her.



If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?



Z: I'd visit Ben Franklin during his kite and storm incident and get the poop about the key and the lightning. I don't believe it happened and he has gotten so much pub for something that couldn't have happened but people believe it must have happened. I need his publicist.



A: I want is to go into the future when we can to travel to other planets. Imagine playing chess with Zisot from the planet Kilatot.



Z: Future... I saw Demolition Man. I think I might like that mental fornication. What do you think? Put on that little metal helmet, bingo, bango and whoa, whoa, whoa... Then again, chess is nice.



Where can readers go to find out more about you, your books and other good stuff?



angelicahartandzi.com As well as--www.champagnebooks.com



If you could meet your favorite celebrity and spend the day with them, who would you choose and what would you do?



Z: Tiger Woods and help him count his money. Do you remember Scrooge McDuck with his huge vault of coins? The richest duck in the world. Quote, “Me I’m different, everybody hates me and I hate everybody.” That would be me. He he he...One...two...three...million...he he he... Then we’d golf. And since it’s my fantasy, obviously I’d win every hole by two strokes each. And we were playing a million dollars a hole….



A: Are you done yet?



Z: Maybe… Ok… ok… you’re turn.



A: Took too long… I forgot what I was going to say.





***
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Friday, April 6, 2018

Even An Armadillo Needs Love

Sharing Cover Art by Angelica Hart
The singular most important emotion a human spirit craves is to be loved. It seeks it out. It needs it. It craves it. Walk into any book store and check out the romance section, it dominates. There is a reason for that which isn't just about sensual romance. It goes back to that basic need that we long to be loved. There are many romances that play down the aspects of sexuality, take that of a story about a boy and his armadillo, a generational family saga, even a story about war, all play the emotional gambit yet somewhere in each, you will find love, be it for a pet, a child, or your country.

The further we are from love, of feeling loved, of being loved, the more isolated we become, cynical sometimes, and at its worse a life without being loved can poison the body. The closer any emotion comes to love, the more that emotion vitalizes and nourishes the body. Negative emotions seep into our spirit and spread emotional distress that could actually make us ill. Therefore, it is empathically accurate to say that love can cultivate well-being, and in well-being there is joy.

The human spirit constantly searches for that connection, that cannot be found in a new electronic toy, although, one wouldn't mind having that, or a cruise, or a piece of pecan pie. Ok, maybe, the latter is true love. Seriously, no material or emotional love in this world can touch us, encourage us, protect us, fulfill us, strength us, bless us, provide for us, care for us, feed us, house us, clothe us, or heal us like love that comes from inside us, love that we wish to share.

As authors, we choose to share our love with the world though our writing. In our early books from CBG, starting with KILLER DOLLS, the love is more mature, more dynamic, more intense, that snap that comes with instant attraction all centered around the possibility of loss and death. Whereas, in SNAKE DANCE, the love is fresh, new, just as instantaneous but with a connection born from something mystical. CHASING GRAVITAS cuts into the ache and desires of the heart, a yearning that might not be realized, a mysterious truth that might destroy. Yet, in each of these stories there is one truth, the characters have a basic to love. It isn't just the sexual attraction, or the culmination of that passion, but about the real reasons one loves, about see the soul and knowing that soul melds perfectly, that the yin of one cannot exist without the yang of the other.

Some say the romance genre is just a disguise for soft porn. We strenuously disagree, reading romance is partnering with love, championing it, recognizing the fact that love will win out, every time. Maybe, that isn't always the truth of reality, but dang, isn't it wonderful that there is a place where we can play and know for certainly happily-ever-after does exist?

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We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Thursday, March 29, 2018

Balance in Writing (An Equal Opportunity)


Given all the chatter recently about the need for a proper gender balance in our lives I thought I’d take a look at my writing to see how I’ve fared so far. I consider myself a story-teller and certainly not a literary writer. When I began creating novels I was looking at the tale, not the blend of characters. So, how did I do?

My first published novel was The Dark Lady. The POV main character was female, and most of the main villains were male. One strong male character gradually appeared though the trilogy and I even added a nasty female villain. I’d consider it a good balance, with the ladies taking a larger percentage of the main parts.

My second trilogy was The Queen’s Pawn. The POV character here was a young hapless male way out of his depth. The tale had at least three strong female characters and a pair of male villains. I think they evened out well.

A stand-alone novel that followed, Alex in Wanderland, had two POV characters, Alexis and Alexander, a pair of husband and wife protagonists. The villains were also equal opportunity gender balanced. I don’t think any side was left out.

A stand-alone novella I wrote, Knight’s Bridge, started out as a short story about a defeated warrior who reluctantly rescues a fleeing woman. That turned into a four-part POV novella consisting of: the knight’s story, the villain’s story, a young squire’s story, and the woman’s story which brought all the elements finally together. Because she got to wrap it up, I’d give her at least the equal billing.

Looking at my fantasy detective series, the Housetrap Chronicles, I have a male detective matched up with a strong female counterpoint, his assertive secretary, Girl Friday, partner in crime solving. The villains through the series so far are a mix, though some of my personal favorites tend to be the strong females who delight in mayhem. I’ll give this one a draw, although the hero is frequently overwhelmed.

I try to choose the characters who best fit the tale. I suspect that being good or bad, weak or strong, are gender-equal opportunities. At least in the stories I try to write so far.

In a space opera pair of volumes I’m close to completing I didn’t know who would be the main character when I began. A brother-sister pairing opened the story. I gave them both the chance to run with it, but in this case, the sister assumed command and took over. The aliens in these tales are another matter completely. I just write the stories down. The characters I create tend to gallop off in all directions. I apologize to the reader in advance if I leave anyone out. I just do my best to treat or abuse everyone alike as the normal part of the story-telling process.

Do you deliberately think about this issue when you begin to layout a tale?

R.J.Hore
www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore

The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn Trilogy (Volume 1, 2, 3)