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Be sure to check out Book Look in the latest edition of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine. A Sudden Gift of Fate was reviewed by Laurel C. Wemett who calls it an “engaging novel of two likable couples and how they handle the challenges in their lives.”
     If you haven’t read this wonderful magazine before, be sure to give it a look. It truly is a celebration of Finger Lakes life, from the breathtaking scenery to the work of fine artisans, from the fascinating lakeside places to the bounty of their shores, fine produce to exquisite wines.

 

The view from Keuka Spring Vineyard's patio.

Go raibh míle maith ag
(a thousand thanks to) the Wiltberger family, Judy, Len, Mark & Jeanne, for the wonderful hospitality they showed me last weekend during the book signing at their winery, Keuka Springs Vineyards.
     It was a soft day, in the rainy Irish sense, so the numbers of visitors were lower than expected but I was delighted that my books were purchased and heading off to new locations.
     If you ever go to Keuka Lake for winery tours, you must put Keuka Spring on your agenda. The team running the tastings are fun and laid back, yet knowledgeable. The Wiltbergers have a superb gift shop where you can buy locavore cheeses and other treats as well as their wines, delightful accessories and logo clothing.
     When you go, be sure to pack a picnic lunch so you can sit out on the deck to savor the glorious view, sunshine and cool breezes rushing down the vineyards as you sip one of their great wines.

P.S. Keuka Spring is celebrating its 25th year! On Aug. 15 they are having a 25th Anniversary Celebration complete with a pig roast, games on the lawn and live music. Make your reservation by Aug. 9 to attend. Tickets are $20.

Finger Lakes are crushing it! – NYPOST.com.

     Many people have been asking if you can visit Keuka Spring Vineyards for my book signing if you don’t have a ticket for the Keuka Lake Wine Trail barbecue at the wineries event. The answer is “Yes,” owner Judy Wiltberger said with a smile.
     I stopped by Keuka Spring last weekend to drop off signed copies of my novel and discuss the logistics of the June 26 event with Judy. Of course I returned there a couple of days later for my first tasting of the season. (Did you know Keuka Spring’s tastings are free? Not many wineries do that anymore.) I bought a few bottles including a heavenly Vignoles Dessert Wine.

     You can now order my books direct from Barnes & Noble’s web site. Go here for A Sudden Gift of Fate and here for its prequel, The Cyber Miracles.
     Right now, both are selling for $18 there, that’s $2 off the list price!

Tasting Room/Gift Shop of Keuka Spring Vineyards.

I’m delighted to announce that Keuka Spring Vineyards will carry “A Sudden Gift of Fate” starting Memorial Day Weekend.
     I will also be there signing copies of the novel from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 26. The signing will be part of the day’s Keuka Lake Wine Trail Event, Barbecue at the Wineries. According to their web site:

…Each winery features its own barbecue dish with a special sauce, marinade or rub, all made in New York State. We’ll throw open our windows, decks and porches for you to savor the warmth and beauty of the area and to discover a myriad of possibilities for barbecue and wine. $25 per person in advance.
     It has been a delight to watch Keuka Spring’s wines evolve since they opened. They have a wonderful selection (of both whites and reds) that appeals to all palates. (If you come to the event, and enjoy dry red wine, try the Miller’s Cove or Lemberger. Clara’s Red is a sweeter, delightful “house red” wine, perfect for patio sipping in the summer.)

Novel related:
Well, I was disappointed to learn that my novel did not make it into the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough novel Award. Still, I’m very proud it made it into the octofinals. I plan to start up a spring/summer promotion campaign soon. Will let you know the details. 

Lunch at an organic gourmet cafe on Seneca Lake. Wine from winery down the road.

 

FLX-related 

Did you know there are two new trails in the Finger Lakes Wine Region? They don’t involve wineries, that is, directly.
     One is the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail that consists of eight cheese producers. The selection is wonderful, from traditional cheddars to goat cheese to herb-infused. The other is the Seneca Lake Cuisine Trail where organic meals inspired by the local wines are often on the menu.
     These trails, in fact, are actually not that far off from the story line in my novel. I’ve sampled from both, and must give thumbs up for regional, organic foods.

My novel takes place in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country in upstate New York. Today, Finger Lakes Wine Country released a FREE iPhone app that can be your official guide to this beautiful region. The app includes suggestions on how to explore the Finger Lakes with links to Wineries, Accommodations, Dining and Things to Do. It includes maps of the wineries, reviews and related Twitter updates.
     The app is available NOW at Apple’s app store. Applications tailored to BlackBerry and other mobile devices will be released soon, according to the press release.
     If you’ve enjoyed my novel, there’s no better way to celebrate completing it than spending a lazy day exploring the Finger Lakes and trying to find locations in the story.
Be sure to quench your thirst with a glass of fine FLX wine. By the way, May is Riesling Month. Search the app for more info…
   Hmm, perhaps you can even  find Loughmare Winery on this app… ;^)

     In today’s Finger Lakes Times, reporter Amanda Folts writes that an astounding 33 wineries have opened in New York in the last seven months alone!
     Her article provides some interesting statistics:

Winery Creation in New York State

• 4 opened before 1900

• 7 between 1900 and 1960

• 13 in the 1970s

• 40 in the 1980s

• 49 in the 1990s

• 160 so far this decade, with 33 in the last 7 months

As Folts quotes one winemaker in her article, “‘[The] increase in wineries is going to give this area a critical mass that it really needs,’ said Gene Pierce, owner of Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee and Knapp Winery in Romulus.”

The Great Spirit forming the Finger Lakes, scratchboard by Margaret Hyland

The Great Spirit forming the Finger Lakes, scratchboard by Margaret Hyland

     The Iroquois, specifically the Seneca, Cayuga and Tuscarora tribes, lived in the upstate New York region called the Finger Lakes. They believed the Great Spirit Manitou rested his hand upon the earth in gratitude for their courage in battle and devotion.

     Keuka Lake, where much of A Sudden Gift of Fate takes place, is Y-shaped.

     The major Finger Lakes pictured here are, from left, Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga and Skaneateles. Minor Finger Lakes include Otisco, Owasco, Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice and Honeoye.

book jacket

$20
Available NOW at my e-store (Amazon.com),
Amazon.com;
Barnes & Noble;
Powell's Books
What readers are saying:
"This endearing foursome, that so many readers of the first book fell in love with, face new challenges with Irish wit and a generally upbeat outlook on life. They're a group of friends that anyone would want to hang out with."
"After finishing it, I kept thinking of the characters and wondered how they were doing. I had to remind myself they weren't real and had to let them go..."
"I couldn't put it down."
"Pure dead brilliant!"

The Prequel

book jacket

Buy it @ my E-store; Amazon.com; and Powell's Books.

Cost: $20

The story

Irish couple Fergal and Brídgeen Griffin get an intriguing wedding gift: the chance to manage a Finger Lakes winery. When they move to Keuka Lake from Queens, see the rundown winery and meet its surly winemaker, they realize it will be quite a challenge getting from grapevine to bottle.
Meanwhile their friends Maeve and Andy face a challenge of their own, separation as he pursues experimental therapy for his paraplegia.
As the two couples face the challenges ahead, will they be able to keep hope alive?

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A Sudden Gift of Fate: Sequel to the novel The Cyber Miracles

Podcast Interviews

* Listen to my interview with Bill Jaker on his WSKG radio show, "Off the Page" here.
* Listen to my 10/21/2009 interview with Morgen McLaughlin on her BlogTalk Radio show, "Finger Lakes Wine Talk" here.

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