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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!

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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!

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     Last night I added a bit of Finger Lakes viticulture history to the beginning of each chapter in the sequel. Spent the whole day doing research on when grape varieties were introduced into the region. Fascinating stuff. Gives me a lot of respect for the work being done in the vineyards at Loughmare Winery.
     One more read through, finish up the cover and I’ll be shipping “A Sudden Gift of Fate” off for publication. Phew! Can’t wait. Just in time for the new vintages to be bottled….

Gold Seal Winery president Charles Fournier and Dr. Konstantin Frank
Gold Seal Winery president Charles Fournier and Dr. Konstantin Frank

Central New York ran a wonderful article last summer about Dr. Konstantin Frank and his impact on the Finger Lakes Wine industry.
     Frank, an immigrant after WWII from the Ukraine, shared a dream of Gold Seal Winery president Charles Fournier: find a way to grow vitis vinifera— Europe’s best-quality wine grapes — in the harsh climate of upstate New York. It was an idea Philip Wagner was able to prove successful in the more moderate Maryland climate. Frank and Fournier teamed to make it a success on Keuka Lake. 
     What did this mean? Instead of the typical “native” varieties such as Catawba, Delaware, Niagara and Isabella — all used to make sweeter wines — it was now possible to grow grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir (both drier reds), Chardonnay and Riesling. In other words, their efforts changed Finger Lakes winemaking forever positioning it as a source of world-class wines.
     You can read the fascinating article HERE.

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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