Rochester “Democrat & Chronicle”

June 23, 2010

Author of novel about Finger Lakes winery to appear at Keuka Spring

Keuka Spring Vineyards is hosting a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday by Mary Pat Hyland.

The book, A Sudden Gift of Fate ($20), was inspired in part by the winery, Hyland says on her blog. The winery also sells copies. It also can be purchased at Hyland’s e-store or online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

According to Hyland’s website, in the novel, Fergal and Brídgeen Griffin, an Irish couple from Queens, get an intriguing wedding gift: the chance to manage a Keuka Lake winery. It’s the second book in a series about several friends.

The Keuka Lake Wine Trail is holding its second Barbecue at the Wineries weekend Saturday and Sunday, but Keuka Spring owner Judy Wiltberger told Hyland that people who want to attend the book signing don’t have to buy tickets for the barbecue event.

Keuka Spring is at 243 East Lake Road (Route 54), Penn Yan. For more information on the winery, call (315) 536-3147.

Junior League of Binghamton, Inc. web site

Women’s History Month event, March 15, 2010: The JLB is one of the coalition members of the Broome County Status of Women Council. The Status is sponsoring a book reading and discussion in celebration of Women’s History Month. The featured book is A Sudden Gift of Fate written by Mary Pat Hyland, a local author who write about local venues!!. The 3/15/10 gathering and discussion with Ms Hyland will be held at 5 Riverside Towers. Get your book at  RiverRead Books which is a local, women-owned bookstore, located at 5 Court Street, Binghamton, near Boscov’s and the Court Street Bridge.

WSKG Radio, Off The Page with Bill Jaker

Feb. 12, 2010: Mary Pat Hyland has followed up her first novel, “The Cyber Miracles”, with “A Sudden Gift of Fate”, the story of Irish newlyweds who find themselves in charge of a run-down Keuka Lake winery. It is an adventure of struggle and rewarding growth among the characters, the vines and the Finger Lakes region. LIVE Tuesday 2/16 at 1pm. Rebroadcast at 7pm.

Notes by Bill Jaker: Growing grapes, affections and political schemes in the Lochmare

The Irish are famous for many things — music and dance, beautiful linen, old castles, whiskey — but cultivating vineyards and making wine hasn’t been one of them.  There is a fine Celtic concoction called Meade, but you wouldn’t be likely to find a Chardonnay or Riesling from the Emerald Isle.  So when a newlywed Irish couple receives the keys to a run-down winery in the Finger Lakes Region of New York it does not bode to be the most successful grafting that’s been attempted.  The new life of Fergal and Brídgeen Griffin is only one angle in Mary Pat Hyland’s new novel “A Sudden Gift of Fate”. There is also the powerful relationship between Binghamtonians Maeve Kenny and Andy Krall — a relationship that was nurtured by Andy’s rescue of Maeve after her promising New York City public relations career fell apart.  She hopes to find her way back to personal stability as much as she hopes for new stem cell treatment that will free Andy from his paraplegia.

“A Sudden Gift of Fate” is the sequel to Mary Pat Hyland’s 2008 debut novel “The Cyber Miracles”. She has again drawn on her own Irish heritage and upstate New York upbringing to write of places and situations she knows well.  The novel is filled with descriprions of procedures for growing grapes and making wine, familiar geography of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier of New York and expressions in Irish Gaelige, which Mary Pat speaks fluently and teaches (there is a glossary at the end of the book). Fergal and Bridgeen rename their winery Lochmare, Irish for “finger lake”.

“Wow, look at the size of their farmhouse!” [Maeve] said as they pulled into the driveway.  “Not too shabby for starting off a wine empire, ” Andy laughed.  “That barn must be the winery.”
A red and white border collie rushed down the hill barking at them as the side ramp extended for Andy to roll out of the van.
“Friend or foe?” Andy asked.
“Can’t tell,” Maeve said.
“Misty!  Ná bí dána!” Fergal yelled from the porch as he and Brídgeen came out to greet them.  “Téigh abhaile!”  The dog stopped barking, muttered a bit, then turned and ran back up the hill toward home.
“How’d you like that for a welcome,” Fergal said.  “Didn’t know the dogs speak Irish here, did yez?”
“Fergal the dog whisperer,” Andy said, giving him a fist bump.  “How the feck are you?”
“Yer lookin’ at a wine maker, mo chara.  Can ye believe it?  I’m still waitin’ to wake up from this and find I was just langers after drinkin’ a pint of Colm’s poitín.”
— from “A Sudden Gift of Fate”

Just as “The Cyber Miracles” turned on creation of a website that drew surfers seeking a miracle in their lives, and whose wishes were granted, at Lochmare there is a well whose waters have unexplainable healing powers.  The success of Lochmare is hindered by the delicate “living art” of the wine industry, even as it’s advanced through the cooperation of other wine growers.  The winery and the Binghamton bakery where Maeve finds a job are caught up in the machinations of an ambitious State Senator from downstate who comes on the scene with his own upstate economic development scheme, and with eyes for Maeve.  (Mary Pat’s senatorial sub-plot seems to echo some recent developments in Albany).  Maeve is further distressed when Andy leaves for medical treatment in Belgium and unwittingly attracts the attentions of an overaffectionate physical therapist.

Mary Pat Hyland joins Bill Jaker on OFF THE PAGE to tell about the novels that continue to unfold with their Irish flavor and New York setting.  To join in the conversation call during the 1:00 PM live broadcast to 888/359-9754 or post a comment here to OffThePage@WSKG.ORG.

Irish News USA E-Missive

Dec. 30, 2009: “A Sudden Gift of Fate” — the new novel by Mary Pat Hyland 

…tells the story of Irish newlyweds who are given a run-down Finger Lakes winery to manage as a wedding gift. It is the sequel to “The Cyber Miracles,” Hyland’s debut novel. This book includes Gaeilge, the Irish language. Cost: $20. Available at For more information, visit the official blog:
Look for a complete review of A Sudden Gift of Fate in the January issue of the IRISH NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT

Broome County Arts Council News & Announcements

Nov. 25, 2009:  Local author to read, sign latest work
     Local author Mary Pat Hyland will give a reading/signing of her new novel “A Sudden Gift of Fate” from 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 11 at RiverRead Books, 5 Court Street, Binghamton. This is the sequel to Hyland’s debut novel, “The Cyber Miracles,” and follows two couples, best friends, who face life-altering challenges. One couple, from Ireland, gets a run-down winery in the Finger Lakes to manage as a wedding gift. The story is set in Binghamton, Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region as well as County Clare and Dublin, Ireland.
    The evening includes a reading, author Q&A, signing and sampling of Finger Lakes wines.
     Hyland is the former community conversation editor of the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Syracuse University College of Visual & Performing Arts Alumni Showcase

November 2009: “Mary Pat Hyland ’77
Mary Pat will read and sign her latest novel “A Sudden Gift of Fate,” the sequel to her first novel “The Cyber Miracles,” December 11 from 7-9 p.m. at RiverRead Books, 5 Court St., Binghamton, N.Y.”

Finger Lakes Wine Country Blog

October 21, 2009: A New Novel is Based in Finger Lakes Wine Country 
Mary Pat Hyland, the author of the new novel A Sudden Gift of Fate, is a big fan of the Finger Lakes and its wines. She is such a fan that her latest book actually takes place at a fictional winery and vineyard, Loughmare, on the east side of Keuka Lake.  If you love the Finger Lakes this novel should be on the top of your reading list.

Mary Pat writes in the beginning of the book that this story is dedicated to the Finger Lakes winemakers who have the courage, despite many odds, to plant their hopes in complicated glacial soils, weather the vagaries of upstate New York’s climate, harvest nature’s bounty carefully, and marry it lovingly with chemistry into potable art

Mary Pat currently lives in Binghamton, New York and spends a lot of time in the Penn Yan area where many of her relatives live. If you love Finger Lakes wines, you will love this story that intertwines wine, romance, politics, and lots of local flavor.
    Listen to this episode of Finger Lakes Wine Talk where Mary Pat talks more about her book and where she found inspiration for the story and why “forget me nots” is her favorite flower. Finger Lakes Wine Talk episode.