Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Champagne Lies Book Review

Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: DocUmeant Publishing (November 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937801403
ISBN-13: 978-1937801403
I have a new book to share with you called Champagne Lies written by Wendy VanHatten.
Champagne was going to make it all better. But it didn't. From San Francisco to Italy, Stacie can't figure out how and why things keep happening. Throw in a few murders, a secret vault, a husband she thought she knew...and it all ends up in an Italian villa. With enough twists and turns to create some confusion, Stacie is positive she is done being surprised. But, it is far from the end.
My Thoughts:

This was some story! Stacie is one minute planning a trip with her husband whom she had been married to for 30 years. It was going to be a long awaited vacation. He had gone out to get some champagne but never returned.

She had been told he died of a heart attack but that was far from the truth. Her life goes in a whole new direction that she never could have imagined.

It seems her husband was in with the FBI in tracking and getting back stolen jewelry, art and drugs from the mafia and others who broke the law. Tom, the FBI person, finally emerges and gives Stacie his business card and tells her that they have a lot to talk about.

No kidding! There are quite a few surprises awaiting Stacie at that meeting with Tom. She thought she had been through a lot already, but this is one meeting that will blow her mind!

This story is full of twists and turns and will keep you glued to the pages, waiting for the next bombshell to fall. Very well written and I love surprises, as it makes the book worth reading and I am sure that you will love reading this one.

Happy Reading!


What the hell? I know I’m not the most graceful person in the world, but I usually don’t trip over grains of sand on a well manicured beach. Unless, of course, that sand is piled two feet high smack dab in the middle of that beach. Right where everyone, including me, walks.

Excuse me…but what is this doing here?

Can’t I enjoy just being out here, watching the sky change colors as the sun sets, and listening to the waves? Why would I look down at my feet? Plus, I walk here all the time at twilight and there’s never been anything but an immaculately groomed, sandy beach.

Bending over and looking closer, I discover it really is a heap of who knows what. It’s not very neat either. There’s sand scattered all over the top of it. Actually, the sand appears to be spread on top of the pile, deliberately trying to cover it. Plus, it’s almost in the shadows cast from the sun as it dips behind the condos and resort buildings. No wonder I didn’t see it and tripped.

But, who in the world would leave that size of a pile of stuff out here on such a nice expanse of beach? Did someone forget their things? Is it garbage? No, I think it’s larger than a bag of garbage. There’s no bag that I can see. And, it doesn’t smell at all that I can tell. Maybe someone forgot their towels. No, it’s much bigger than that. Whatever it is, it shouldn’t be here. I just don’t get it.

This whole complex with its upscale resort and permanent condos are as good as you’ll find along the Mexican Rivera. I’m talking five stars. Their white sand beaches are pristine…even at night. I’ve seen the beach crew raking, cleaning, and smoothing out every little wrinkle of sand. This pile won’t make them happy.  And, if it is garbage…they’ll be really mad, more like pissed off.

Looking around, I see some couples walking hand in hand along the water in the distance. Maybe I should move it away from right here in the middle of the beach so no one else trips. Then, the beach crew can deal with it in the morning. It really is right in the path where everyone walks. And, the sky is getting darker. Pretty soon it will be impossible to see this heap.

I’ll just shove it out of the way. Umph…that doesn’t work. Wait…there appears to be a piece of material or something sticking out of the sand. Maybe I can grab that and drag the whole pile out of the way. Bending my legs, I grab it and tug. Huh…that doesn’t work either. I work out but I’m not into heavy duty lifting so I know I won’t be able to pick this up.

With the roar of the surf, it probably wouldn’t do any good to call for help, either. No would hear me anyway. I’ll have to try something else.

One more time I dig my bare feet into the sand and tug harder on the material.  

But, as I try to move it even a couple of inches, I discover it’s more than heavy. It’s quite unmanageable. Looking closer, I don’t think sand is just on top of it; I think it’s partly buried in the sand. That could be why it doesn’t budge. I wonder if the material belongs to someone’s shirt. Probably some tourist who had too much to drink, stumbled out here, and fell into a heap.  That still won’t set well with the beach crew.

Clearing some of the sand away from one edge, I grab what appears to be an arm. Maybe this will make whoever it is wake up. Wait…it’s stiff. Stiff and kind of cold. I wonder how long they’ve been out here. Days have been hot; well into the 90s. But, nights can get quite cool. This person, if it is a person, must really be out of it.

I tug some more and then all of a sudden it hits me. This motionless pile isn’t going anywhere. Dropping what I assume is an arm; I quickly step back and kneel down onto the beach to stare at it. It’s not moving at all. What’s wrong here? The more I look at it, the more I’m positive it’s a person. But, it’s definitely not moving. Looking closer, I’m not even sure it’s breathing. Could I have just stumbled over a dead body?

Yikes…a DEAD body?

Somebody help me. Looking in all directions for help, I want to scream but nothing seems to come out of my mouth. What is going on? Why would a dead body be right here? Grabbing my cell phone from my pocket, I call the front office. They can call the police or whoever…

I was having such an enjoyable night, too…before all of this.

All previous, pleasant images from my walk on the beach that were in my brain have vanished…the sand so soft and cool it could be sugar; the light as it now drifts down from a full moon, enough to illuminate most of the beach and a few wandering couples; the misty spray from gently crashing waves that moisten my face; the ever-present warm wind…more like a strong breeze at night.

As I stare at the pile, waiting to talk to the office, I’m numb. Nothing else registers in my brain.

Did I really just trip over a dead body?

About the Author:

Wendy VanHatten is a published author, Editor of Prime Time Living Magazine, professional editor for authors, and contributing writer in additional magazines. Her children’s books, the Max and Myron series, teach children to read as they learn how to become good citizens with positive character traits. She has taught writing at the college level and travel writing for continuing education workshops.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.


Gala said...

Looks like another great mystery/adventure/detective story book which won't let you stop, thanks for the review.