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A SUDDEN GIFT OF FATE has just made it through the first round — the story pitch — in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. WOW! The novel joins 1,999 other works selected from a pool of 10,000 entries.
     In the second round of judging, Amazon editors and Amazon Vine Reviewers will be reading an excerpt of the novel (roughly the first 5,000 words). They’ll narrow the field down to 500 quarterfinalists to be announced around March 23.
     This moment is HUGE. Last year when I entered THE TERMINAL DINER in the contest, it failed at the pitch stage. That was so frustrating because no one read a word of my work. Not this year, buíochas le Dia!
     So say a few prayers, light a candle or raise a glass of Finger Lakes wine and send good thoughts toward my novel.

I found out today that another book club in Binghamton has selected A Sudden Gift of Fate to read.

I’m thrilled to hear this, and if any members of the group care to send me feedback on the group’s reaction to the novel, I’d love to hear from you.

You can send an e-mail here.

If you know of any other book clubs carrying the novel, or if you want to know how you can get your local bookstore to carry the novel, please send me an e-mail.

On Friday, Dec. 11, be sure to stop by RiverRead Books for a fun evening of holiday shopping. Starting at 6:30 p.m. there will be live music, I will read & sign my new novel plus lead people through a tasting of Finger Lakes wines. Special guest will be there, too! Click here for more information.

     Over the next couple months, several reviews are planned of A Sudden Gift of Fate in publications including two Irish-American newspapers.
     I just posted a reader’s review on the Reviews Page.
     If you’d like to send your own review, email it here.

Local indie bookstore > local author > local story >
… get them all on Friday, Dec. 11 from 7-9 p.m. at RiverRead Books, 5 Court St. Binghamton. I will be reading from A Sudden Gift of Fate, answering your questions about my writing process and signing copies of both my novels (The Cyber Miracles, too!) There will also be a sampling of Finger Lakes wines to enhance your holiday shopping experience. If you haven’t visited Binghamton’s coolest new bookstore, now’s the time. Great books & gifts!

A book is a gift that keeps on giving.


Photo by Anne Woodard

     I was the guest of Jane’s Readers Club tonight at RiverRead Books. The evening started with a review of Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs. It was fun being an author sitting among a group of readers telling what they thought of a story, what the author was trying to accomplish and whether they found her successful. I imagined what it would be like if the group was discussing my novel, and what I was trying to accomplish with A Sudden Gift of Fate and whether they found my effort successful.
     After their discussion, I spoke about the selection of Finger Lakes wines Jane had set out for a sampling, telling them the history of wine grapes in New York and what I’d learned about the wine industry while researching the book. After they sampled two Rieslings, a dry and semi-dry, then I read from the novel and answered their questions about writing it. One woman, Donna, had a similar background, Syracuse U. art grad, loved music, thought of combining the two into designing record album covers. Small world!
     I found out that Jane’s husband grew up on Italy Hill, one of the locales in the novel! Even smaller world!
     It was a delightful evening made all the cozier by its great location, the always fabulous RiverRead!


Patty the sommelier asks, "Would you care for a vinifera wine?"

     Thanks to everyone who came out to my book launch at RiverRead Books in Binghamton today. It was a fun afternoon and my niece, Patty, did an exceptional job as the sommelier for the Finger Lakes wine tasting.
     Today’s event was such a success that RiverRead booked another reading/wine tasting event with me for Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. I’m also going to be speaking about the novel to Jane’s Readers Club, which meets there on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.


As the pumpkin at Jackson Farms says, "This season, fall into a book!"

Reminder: Tomorrow is the official book launch for A Sudden Gift of Fate from 2-5 p.m. at RiverRead Books, 5 Court Street, Binghamton.  Festivities will include a reading, Q&A with the author (mise), book signing and sampling of Finger Lakes wines. Hope to see you there!

Finishing preparations for the official book launch for A Sudden Gift of Fate. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Date/Time: Nov. 1, 2-5 p.m. (Celtic New Year’s Day!)
  • Place: RiverRead Books, 5 Court St., Binghamton, NY
  • Event: Reading, Book Signing & Finger Lakes wine sampling

You can pre-order autographed copies by calling the store at 607.217.7292

flxblogtalkHere is the permalink to my interview with Morgen McLaughlin today on Finger Lakes Wine Talk radio. I had a fun conversation during the half-hour interview with Morgen, who has the enviable job of promoting Finger Lakes Wine Country.
You can follow Morgen on Twitter at FLWineLady. Follow the Finger Lakes harvest on Twitter at  FLXcrush.
Read more at the Finger Lakes Travel Journal and learn more about the region at

book jacket

Available NOW at my e-store (,;
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;; 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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