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Delightful and Endlessly Funny

Linda Sheehan Author Interview

Decanted follows a vivacious young woman as she learns making wine and the perils of love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My daughter, the delightful and endlessly funny Samantha Sheehan, who created and produces Poe Wines Pinot Noir, Ultraviolet Cabernet, and a 95 point organic vermouth under the MOMMENPOP label is my total inspiration for Decanted. Like the novel’s heroine Samantha Goodyear, my daughter quit her job at a big five accounting firm to go to France to learn everything she could about making wine. Like the main character in Decanted, she then moved to Napa and took a bookkeeping job at a winery before launching her own wine brand that’s sold across the US and in many countries around the world.

Samantha is a compelling character that was fun to follow. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted to draw my main character as a young woman who, though she’s a total product of modern times, has a tremendous love and respect for those who came before her. Samantha also has a tremendous work ethic, and never veers from her quest to achieve her dreams.

Wine making and wine culture were intriguing parts of this novel. Why was this an important aspect for you to include in the story?

Many people would like to understand more about wine culture and the winemaking process but don’t know where to begin. My goal in writing the book was to seamlessly give readers a fun wine education and illustrate what separates a great wine that reflects what nature intended from a tricked up brand with ingredients and flavors added by the big corporate wineries to sell the most bottles possible.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is my novel Fore Play, a comedy set at a Los Angeles country club that will be available this coming summer.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Decanted eimage.jpg

From author Linda Sheehan, who’s part of a Napa wine dynasty, comes a story of grapes, wine, first crushes, and juicy redemption. Dreading the desk job that awaits her after high school, eighteen- year-old Vivian Goodyear takes off for pre- World War ll Paris, where she supports herself as an artist’s model.

Flash forward to modern day Manhattan where, inspired by Vivian’s courage, her grand-niece Samantha leaves her pressure cooker career to work the grape harvest in France. There, between picking grapes in the vineyard and crushing them in the cellar, she gets lessons in the art of making wine and in the art of making love. But when her world is turned upside down, a link from Aunt Vivian’s past could right it in a tale of being on top, sinking to the bottom, and coming up for glorious air.

Decanted

Decanted is the story of bored millennial wine enthusiast and super palate Samantha Goodyear. When Samantha gets the opportunity of a lifetime to visit and work on one of the finest vineyards in France, she drops everything to go. Samantha returns to the United States and begins to build her own wine empire from a special gift left to her family by an older relative from World War II. But disaster strikes and the possibility of love once again enters the picture. Will she take the opportunity and will her business survive?

This emotionally charged book that radiates the aura of leisure and gives the reader a beautiful picture of sunny California, historic France and miles of vineyards. Author Linda Sheehan gives readers a light romance that is humorous at times and not too bogged down with heavy drama, although there is plenty of it it’s always refreshing. The flashbacks to the past and Aunt Vivian’s story are wonderful too and provide extra insight into the culture and art of winemaking that shapes Samantha’s life. The one thing that makes this novel stand out from other contemporary romance novels is the wine culture that is used as a fascinating backdrop to some stimulating scenes and alluring characters. The characters are all distinct and have their varying degrees of interest and class in the world of winemaking. There are the snobs, the hard workers, the casual enjoyers, and all are represented effortless yet realistic way. Samantha in particular is a compelling protagonist. She is a relatable millennial who is stuck in the rat race and trying to make a living, figure out life, and manage issues between her parents. But the truly amazing and likable things about Samantha is how she pursues her passions with abandon, all the while staying true to her herself. It is so refreshing and unique to read a protagonist so ready to think, act, and pursue her true self and her desires.

Decanted is a wonderfully realistic and intelligent new adult romance novel revealing a well-researched wine culture that’s effortlessly entertaining. I enjoyed the rich and detailed explanations of the natural views and taste or smells of the food and drink in the book. This book is a paradise for the gastronomically inclined. I highly recommend this as a light and refreshing read to any who dreams of the French campagne, soleil, et bon vin.

Pages: 265 | ISBN: 978-1-68433-703-3

Black Rose Writing

Around the world in 65 years

Author Biku Ghosh shares a detailed account of amazing life lived over six decades and reaching all corners of the globe. Biku Ghosh beautifully describes cities and landscapes. Ranging from ancient cities to modern landscapes such as New York. Amazing architectural descriptions are a fantastic feature in this book, whether it be the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or the Empire State Building or the ‘quirky’ and ‘tacky’ hotels in Las Vegas. He vividly describes many natural settings such as the “copper colored Colorado River,” African deserts, and the Niagara Falls. Biku Ghosh briefly describes his work, but mainly focuses on the sights, food and people he encounters. 

As one of Biku Ghosh’s interests is mountain climbing his climbs feature throughout the memoir. Some of the climbs described include: the Himalayas, the highest peak in the British Isles and Mt Kilimanjaro. He describes his joy when reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Eventually we hear of Ghosh’s climb to the Everest Base Camp. He writes a detailed description of the trip, split into the various stages and mountain heights. Aside from mountain climbing he also describes completing a safari in Africa, raising money for a Breast Cancer charity, scuba dives in Sorrento and the Great Barrier Reef, paragliding and skydiving in New Zealand! There are also photographs throughout the memoir, adding color and bringing life to the story.

The author’s mode of transportation is also a feature of this book. Ghosh describes the type of transport he takes in each journey, from public trains in India, electric buses in Paraguay to taxis in New York. Airplanes of various sizes from large long haul planes to a 12 seater plane to traverse the Grand Canyon. Bus rides vary from local buses, to 45km trips through forests and canyons. All of this really gives you a front seat view of the entire trip, not just the highlights.

As well as his transport and activity details, mouth-watering meals are a constant in this story: dosa, samosas, yoghurt, roti, Ethiopian coffee and popcorn, boiled shrimp, French Onion soup, almond pastries and numerous servings of ice cream to name but a few! The inclusion of food and meals adds to the depth and authenticity of the memoir.

The memoir is organized in chronological order, which makes it very easy to follow. At the beginning the sentence structure is quite long and cumbersome, however as the memoirs progress the writing becomes more natural and easier to read.

Around the World in Sixty-Five Years is an extensive memoir filled with vivid visual descriptions of exotic locations. The travel is extensive, and the anecdotes are always interesting, as are the activities, food, animals and people described. This is an engrossing memoir that will show you how much beauty there is in the world, and inspire you to travel.

Pages: 512 | ASIN: B08P7LQ9JS

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Forging Ahead and Letting Go

Crystal Z. Lee
Crystal Z. Lee Author Interview

Love and Other Moods follows a young woman who has to start life over in a foreign country where she learns a lot more about life than she expected. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Much like Naomi, I left the U.S. in my early twenties and moved to China, a country I had never stepped foot in. The move was initiated by a job, but later was motivated by romance. Both would go up in smoke after a short while. Although the novel is very much fictional, there are some elements that are inspired by real-life events.

Naomi is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

We meet Naomi when she is in her early twenties, having just left New York and is embarking on a new chapter of her life in an entirely foreign country. But the adventure is off to a rocky start when things don’t pan out as planned.

I think personal growth happens most often when we’re thrown out of our comfort zones and into unchartered waters. That’s what happens to Naomi. At the same time she’s adapting to her new environment, issues from her past continue to confront and haunt her. She struggles with juggling the balance between forging ahead and letting go of regrets. I think that’s something most of us can relate to.

The story explores the city of Shanghai as well as the different people and relationships Naomi has. Was there anything you pulled from your own life and put into the story?

Yes. This is very much an “own voices” story. After I moved to Shanghai, my grandfather revealed that his father had once lived in Shanghai as well, during the World War Two era. I myself had lived in China for nearly a decade, and had worked on projects for the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Shanghai is one of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever been to, and I’ve traveled to over thirty countries. There are contrasts abound in every corner—east and west, old versus new, modern meets tradition. Every day I was meeting somebody interesting, from all walks of life, all corners of the globe. There was endless inspiration from the streets of Shanghai, from its inhabitants, architecture, cuisine, history, etc.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is a children’s book, and will be published sometime in 2021. My kids are very excited about this!

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Amazon

Love and Other Moods is a coming-of-age story set in contemporary China, about falling in love, learning to adult, finding strength, and discovering one’s place in the world.

Naomi Kita-Fan uproots her life from New York to China when her fiancé’s company transfers him to Shanghai. After a disastrous turn of events, Naomi finds herself with no job, no boyfriend, and nowhere to live in a foreign country.

Amidst the backdrop of Shanghai welcoming millions of workers and visitors to the 2010 World Expo, we meet a tapestry of characters through Naomi: Joss Kong, a Shanghai socialite who leads an enviable life, but must harbor the secrets of her husband, Tay Kai Tang. Logan Hayden, a womanizing restaurateur looking for love in all the wrong places. Pan Jinsung and Ouyang Zhangjie, a silver-aged couple struggling with adapting to the ever-changing faces of their city. Dante Ouyang, who had just returned to China after spending years overseas, must choose between being filial and being in love. All their dreams and aspirations interweave within the sprawling web of Shanghai.

This multilayered novel explores a kaleidoscope of shifting relationships——familial friction, amorous entanglements, volatile friendships——in one of the most dynamic metropolises of the twenty-first century.

A Classic on Fly Fishing

Kris Neely Author Interview

First Steps to Fly Fishing is the definitive book on fly-fishing and provides invaluable, and actionable, advice readers can use to the fishing technique or begin their fishing journey. Why was this an important book for you to refresh for modern readers?

There were a couple of reasons. First, the original book was considered one of the “go-to” books on fly fishing in its day. Its patient, step-by-step approach to one’s first foray into this sport/art is worth preserving in a world where many times people automatically believe that text from a hundred years ago must ipso facto be bad, inaccurate, outdated, or just plain wrong. Not the case here. The basics of fly fishing 100 years ago have, to a high degree of correlation, synergy with those of today (i.e., e.g. to catch fish you need to know how to read the fish, the water, the weather, the flora, and the fauna. How to present the fly, and so on.) So a proven voice from yesterday, matched with updated tech information from today to me represents value for today’s reader/fisherman.

What were some goals you set for yourself as the editor in updating this book?

To preserve a classic on fly fishing for today’s audiences while at the same time updating the work to reflect contemporary technologies and definitions in particular. To preserve as much as practical, Michael’s ‘voice’ — so as much as I could I left his words and phrasing alone unless my copy editor and I were concerned it might cause confusion for a contemporary reader.

What was something that was new to you and that you learned from this book while working on it?

I wasn’t aware just how pervasive the use of horsehair and silk was in fishing back in the day. On the other hand, bamboo rods were quite the thing back then and these days they are back-in-style — back to the future, as it were.

What were some parts of the book that were included specifically for the modern audience, and what were parts that needed no revisions?

There is quite a bit of new material in this book. Just a quick list of the new parts would include:

  • The History of Fly Fishing
  • The images of the flies
  • The introduction by noted Fly Fishing expert Joshua Bergan
  • The period-specific advertisement images
  • The basic fly fishing knots and loops illustration
  • All of the content on the contemporary fly collection list
  • The Glossary of Fly Fishing

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Website

Fishing with the basics: a rod, a reel, some line, and an artificial “fly” that imitates a fish’s prey is the very definition of fly fishing. And its history is, well, historical tracing its way back to at least the year 200! Today’s technology has no doubt improved the quality and durability of the equipment and materials of fly fishing, but the basics of the art of fly fishing have remained largely the same.

In 1924, Michael Temple wrote what for decades was the ‘bible’ on learning how to fly fish: “First Steps in Fly Fishing.” Now Cresting Wave Publishing has updated this classic for the 2020s! With an introduction by noted fly fishing expert and author Joshua Bergan, and additional material from Editor Kris Neely, “First Steps in Fly Fishing” is now the definitive book for your budding fly fisher.

A Wonderful and Fulfilling Experience

Donna  Avellana Künzler
Donna Avellana Künzler Author Interview

The Overseas Fabulous Pinay is a fun and informative guide to help travelers adjust and live better abroad. Why was this an important book for you to write?

A few years ago, I had a dream to give back and make a social impact. With my limited time and resources, I had to think of a more creative way so I thought of writing this book. With this book, I realized my dream in alignment with my advocacies: by empowering women (planning to move or already abroad) through my knowledge and experience to make it easier for them to transition to their life overseas; by uplifting the image of overseas Filipina women, making it more positive by showing that living abroad can be a rewarding experience and one can be successful; and finally by emphasizing on self-love- that focusing on one’s self to be happy and to be a well rounded person (complemented by being abroad) is important in order to thrive and make your life more meaningful.

You give a lot of great and useful advice throughout the book. What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started traveling?

It may sound obvious but it’s to really spend some time to research on your host country’s history, culture and people before your move. This way you will not go blindly to your new environment and be shocked or educated the hard way. Sometimes a little knowledge, compared to zero knowledge, can go a long way.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

I would like my readers to realize that living abroad can be challenging but with the right tools and attitude, it can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience.

The book draws from your experience traveling across three continents, four countries and five cities. Do you have future plans to do more traveling?

Traveling for leisure, yes. But for relocation? Not in the near future but I’m definitely not closing my doors on the possibility.

Author Interview: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

The Overseas Fabulous Pinay is a comprehensive, easy-to-read and light-hearted handbook written especially for professional Filipino women.
Have you ever wondered what it takes for someone to live abroad?  If you are moving overseas, do you know how to plan your move?  Where do you start?  And if you are already living abroad, how can you make your life more meaningful and fun?
If you are seeking answers to any of the questions above, this book is for you!  
The book draws from the author’s learnings and personal experience from years of living overseas across three continents, four countries and five cities.
It is full of guidance and practical tips to  survive life abroad while being confident, sophisticated and responsible–the embodiment of an Overseas Fabulous Pinay. From planning an overseas move to integrating in one’s host country, it answers burning questions such as:
⁃ What survival skills do you need to learn before moving abroad?
⁃ What do you need to know and prepare before your move?
⁃ What do you need to prioritize within the first six months of arriving in your destination?
⁃ How do you beat homesickness?
⁃ What are the five rules that will help you succeed professionally abroad?
⁃ How do you make friends in a foreign country?
⁃ What are the six practical questions to make you more financially conscious?
⁃ What is the secret formula to help you integrate in your host country?
⁃ How can you continue enjoying life abroad?
 
And much more!

Love and Other Moods

Love and Other Moods by [Crystal Z. Lee]

Love and Other Moods by Crystal Z. Lee follows Naomi through a disastrous turn of events that leave her alone in a foreign country. The reader is introduced to an endearing character named Naomi, who moves from New York City to Shanghai with her fiance. Naomi breaks off their engagement when she finds out he has been unfaithful to her. She stays in Shanghai and starts her life over. Now stuck in a foreign country she must learn the language, find a job, and learn how to get around Shanghai on her own. Readers follow her on mesmerizing journey through an exotic location, meeting people and seeing things that will keep you furiously flipping pages.

Author Crystal Z. Lee has artfully crafted an authentic story that captivated me from the moment I started reading. I loved Naomi’s character because she is portrayed as strong, fierce, and independent and she has a fun personality that was always interesting no matter the situation she found herself in. Dante was another great addition to the novel. He was funny and intelligent and I loved his presence. Lee’s writing is so vivid you feel as if you are in Shanghai. The descriptions of the streets of Shanghai, the exotic food, and the culture are eloquently written. This is important as the city is just as much a character in this captivating novel as Naomi is. We get to experience life in Shanghai through Naomi, and it’s always entertaining. The author takes readers on a cultural journey through the streets of old and new Shanghai; a place I’ve never been but have a desire to go now that I’ve read this book. Written from a third person perspective, the reader gets plenty of insight into the various characters in the book and you begin to understand and connect with them.

Love and Other Moods explores topics such as self discovery and falling in love all with a backdrop of Asian culture that I found to be delightfully charming. Love and Other Moods is a compelling contemporary romance novel that I heartily recommend.

Pages: 326 | ASIN: B08NTL2PGR

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The Overseas Fabulous Pinay

 

Many people dream of living abroad but don’t have the information they need to make it possible. As such, this is the book you need to read! When preparing for this journey, you’re going to wonder, where do I start? How do I plan my move? What are the things I need to know? Donna Avellana Kunzler writes from her own experience living abroad and enlightens readers on making it work for you by offering practical tips everyone can put to use.

The Overseas Fabulous Pinay is a fascinating and fun read because you are presented with a helpful guide that offers essential tips on what you need to know.  A bonus that the author has added in the book are recipes on how to make Filipino dishes. Author Donna Avellana Kunzler has made this an easy to read and engaging book that makes me want to explore new foods and different cultures. The author also provides tips on how to beat homesickness; which is an example of the many unexpected by helpful tips you’ll find in this entertaining and informative book. Her last piece of advice is to invest in and love yourself. Is this a self-help book two? Sort of; as the author states, ‘when a person is happy, she radiates positivity’. Kunzler says that living overseas can help you learn more about yourself. What a fantastic route to personal development!

This quirky book has a fun and upbeat tone that feels comfortable and inviting. The author offers vital information and helpful tips in a fresh and relatable way. I have a more powerful yearning now to travel abroad and spend a good portion of my morning imagining what it would be like working overseas. The Overseas Fabulous Pinay is a unique, fascinating and fun read that I recommend to all who are traveling, who are going to travel, or those that want some inspiration to travel.

Pages: 128 | ISBN: 3952520101

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