I Bristle At The Word “Inspiration”
Some Good Writ: Christmas, Cancer, Dad, Wine, Sex and Jeff is a collection of thought-provoking poetry covering everything from family to work to personal self-discovery. What was the inspiration for creating this collection of poetry?
You know. I bristle at the word “inspiration” in this case – for reasons. One is, I really can, and it not something for which I want a pat on the back, write poems daily. Sometimes I am a conduit to channel a message for myself to derive fulfillment where a piece of the puzzle may be missing, or to reaffirm a feeling. It was not at all hard to put most of these on paper – they wrote themselves, especially the ones about cancer which were written concurrently to his very short window of time I had left with him. He was starting to take leave mentally late Fall ’21/’22 but no one really knew it was stage 4 until only a week remained and given my propensity to write about everything, poems about working, my sexuality, and other vignettes tied to this time period just came viscerally.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Nothing or no one theme is ever more important than another and you always think your current compendium of work is your best so to me a mixed-bag of material allows each poem to complement in the others given I am trying to create a space in time reflective of what I feel now. The moment’s impact must be heightened by the suspension of time in that yes, we can feel one way from one hour to the next but ultimately the way something re-writes itself or the way the poet allows the muse to come forever defines the gravity of that which inspired the work.
What is one thing that you hope readers take away from Some Good Writ?
That if people who explored my previous work thought those might have been ambiguous or too general know that I can approach the personal or the universal or both in a work where precision for a writer is allowed to take many forms.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
It is hard to say. I want to be in a different place where I can say to people that to capture more moments of joy is the endgame but that would be disingenuous to the reader and to myself so when it comes, it comes and whatever it is, I hope it finds an audience of one because, in the end, what the reader takes away from it is just as important as when they read it or that reading the requisite or the newest book is key. That said, I am curious to see where life’s journey takes me and what eye-openers await. Plus, my feelings about the imposition of time as a man-made construct aside and that we are all part of one mosaic already in-place, I feel the reader is meant to read it when they are, but I cannot wait, as I said, to see what lies ahead
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, cancer, christmas, ebook, goodreads, indie author, Jeffrey Bailey, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, poems, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, Sex and Jeff, Some Good Writ, story, wine, writer, writing
Press for Champagne
“This is the magic of Champagne. You only have to speak of it to make somebody happy.” Author Christopher S. Ruhland is an avid wine lover who has spent years of his life amassing wine knowledge. While he has knowledge of and enjoys all kinds of wine, he has a special place in his heart for the sparkling one; champagne.
As someone who has dedicated a significant portion of his life to the art of wine tasting, he has come up with a guide to make it easier for everyone who wants to taste and appreciate a beautiful glass of champagne. Ruhland takes the work out of going through hours and hours of research to find the best method for tasting and experiencing champagne. The guide doesn’t tell you what is superior and what isn’t. It just tells you what’s noteworthy and guides you in the journey of discovering the sparkling wine.
This informative book consists of six chapters and thus is a quick but valuable read. Readers will find a vast treasure trove of information within these pages. It has a structured approach in order to guide the reader through the steps and explain why he suggests doing things in this order. Ruhland has written with energy and warmth, giving the reader the feeling of having an actual conversation with a wine enthusiast over the dining table.
Press For Champagne: A Guide To Enjoying The World’s Greatest Sparkling Wine has a clever name; it is engaging and informative and incites curiosity in anyone interested in wine and champagne. This exciting book is written on a level that those that have never tasted wine before can understand. It also provides information that a more seasoned wine drinker will find beneficial. If you want to know more about the art and expand your pallet Press For Champagne is perfect for you.
Pages: 186 | ASIN : B09LPBVF1K
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, champagne, Christopher Ruhland, cookbooks, ebook, food and wine, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, Press for Champagne, read, reader, reading, wine, wine tasting, writer, writing
Delightful and Endlessly Funny
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
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.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, college romance, Decanted, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Linda Sheehan, literature, love story, new adult, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, travel, wine, womens fiction, writer, writing
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: 269 | ASIN: B08ZXP8SFG
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Decanted, ebook, fantasy, fiction, france, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Linda Sheehan, literature, love story, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, travel, wine, writer, writing
He’s Obsessed With Her
Char is an intriguing character that I felt I could relate to. What were some driving ideals behind her character?
I strive to make my characters believable. That’s why none of my characters are without flaws. I’ve written characters with depression, characters with insecurity issues, snarky characters, and even whiny over-dramatic characters, but when it came to Char, her flaws were my own. Every character I write has a little bit of me in them. Char, however, has a lot of me in her. It wasn’t intentional, but it worked. Everyone seems to relate to Char. It not only makes me feel good as an author, but also as a person to know that so many people can relate to my own personal struggles as well.
I felt like the book did a good job of exploring self esteem issues. What were some themes that were important for you to write about?
As I mentioned earlier, Char’s very much me. Char’s self-esteem issues are my own. As someone who has struggled with weight my entire life, I also wanted to make that part of Char’s struggle as well. In early drafts, I had her intentionally losing weight. But I changed it because it didn’t feel right for her story. She needed to learn to be comfortable in her own body, as opposed to transforming her body to meet societal ideals. As Char says at the end, “she is not every girl,” so I felt it necessary to make sure she remained true to that through it all. I also wanted to breathe some fresh air into the idea of a relationship where he adores her for who she is as opposed to her having to evolve into some “ideal woman” to win his affection. He’s obsessed with her for who she is, not who she should become, and I felt that was a reminder we all need.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
Well, you never know when I might sneak something out. You just have to follow my social media for that. However, I can tell you that my next scheduled release is a romantic comedy entitled All the Wrong Places that will be out in summer 2019. It was so much fun to write. It’s not as deep as Anticipating Temptation, nor was it written to be. It was just meant to be fun. It’ll be the perfect beach read.
Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram
Char Brown is overweight and underappreciated. But at least she has a boyfriend and a job she enjoys.
Wait, scratch that. He just broke up with her. Over text. And told her to lose weight.
Overly self-conscious about herself and a classic introvert, Char isn’t sure what she’s got going for her anymore.
But Darryl Drummond sure does, and he’s insistent that she’s worth more than she thinks. The only thing he likes more than wine is Char, and he’s not going to relent until she notices. He’s a shrewd businessman and he didn’t get that way on hoping things worked in his favor.
Armed with a magazine column and a newfound appreciation for wine, love, and herself, can she recover from the bruises her ex left behind? Or will she be destined to live in the shadows of her own failures for good?
Posted in Interviews
Tags: alibris, Anticipating Temptation, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, ebook, facebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, instagram, kindle, kobo, literature, love, love story, nook, novel, publishing, randi perrin, read, reader, reading, relationship, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, twitter, weight loss, wine, womens fiction, writer, writer community, writing
I listened to this novel as an audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the narrator’s voice and dramatic affect along with character voices. This sultry novel brought to us by Randi Perrin introduces us to Char Brown. She is a 30-something woman working at a magazine with her closest, and maybe only, friends. She admires the slim, physique of her best friend, Jenny, and begrudgingly attempts to eat salads in an effort to attain a slim physique of her own. She has a strange relationship with her boyfriend, one where he hides her from his mom, so she’ll allow him to continue living at home. When I heard that part, I knew that Char clearly struggles with her self-esteem and you see this theme permeating throughout the beginning of this story.
Things quickly change for Char as the boyfriend breaks-up with her, in a terrible way, and leaves her feeling low and unworthy. Fortunately, she has good friends who get her out and suddenly her world changes and she is caught in a web of seduction woven by a handsome cowboy type…who also owns a wine bar and has a literature degree! I absolutely love how Darryl is immediately drawn to Char. For anyone who has experienced love at first sight you know how that feels and that it exists. Some people might find it creepy that Darryl was able to hunt down her phone number in under 12 hours, but I understand that when that intense chemical attraction occurs there is nothing that will stand in your way. This book brought back happy memories of my own meeting with my husband and how it took me by surprise and swept me away. For that reason, I had an extra appreciation while listening to this story.
It is always refreshing to read romance where the male character is working hard to build the confidence of his female interest out of admiration and respect. He doesn’t just try to bed her but shows an interest in who she is and truly finds her beautiful. It is so common for a woman to experience low self-esteem due to the world and men beating them down. It is nice to see Char experiencing this affection and adoration and starting to realize her worth. There is definitely a kink in the sexy cogs where Char is disillusioned and brought back to her former beliefs about herself but that is totally normal, and I appreciated that it wasn’t all just roses.
I am not a drinker but there was a lot of wine knowledge embedded in this story that a true connoisseur would enjoy. There are a lot of sexy wine metaphors as well! There is a little erotic action, but it is done respectfully and not in a raunchy or distasteful way. This was a fun read with a beautiful and romantic story that got me feeling all warm and fuzzy and wanting to relive my romance all over again.
Pages: 126 | ASIN: B073HF2LG8
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: adult romance, alibris, Anticipating Temptation, audible, audiobook, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, love, love story, nook, novel, publishing, randi perrin, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, wine, womens fiction, writer, writer community, writing
With an intriguingly unique title, Gravity Games, “A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller,” by John Matsui certainly piques readers’ interests right from the start. The crossover of foodie and thriller novel is not one that is commonly found on bookshelves, and Matsui cooks up a plot that is decidedly more interesting than any book reviewer’s lukewarm cooking puns. The novel follows the title character, Nathan Sherlock, and his sidekick, Bonnie Nakagowa, as they venture through an international conspiracy full of modern-day super-humans and, of course, a few supervillains.
Gravity Games starts off at a quick pace with a plotline that immediately pulls readers in. Nathan Sherlock, famously known around the world as “Nate the Nose” for his otherworldly sense of smell that renders him capable of creating literally orgasmic food and wine pairings, also dabbles in crime-solving. Thanks to his heightened sense of smell, Nate can conveniently detect the smell of murder, as well as other useful emotions, like fear, lying, and attraction. The novel seems to relish the fun and lightheartedness of being a foodie thriller novel: the last name Sherlock, the food puns, and the clichéd beautiful FBI agent. But the superficial fun can only sustain readers for so long, and unfortunately most of Matsui’s novel falls somewhat short of expectations.
Matsui’s thriller deserves a well-earned four stars for creating a completely unique plot and fascinating set of characters. The international mystery that dabbles in physics, finance, and genetics is certainly full of enough intrigue to keep readers motivated, and Matsui also weaves in modern issues like the Occupy Movement, sex trafficking, and the energy sector to keep the thriller somewhat grounded in reality. That perhaps, though, is Matsui’s downfall: by creating so many captivating characters and throwing in a myriad of plot twists, it is hard to follow the novel’s true focus. There are several competing story lines, and each is mesmerizing but feels squeezed for time in Matsui’s concise thriller. Matsui also packs his fast-paced novel full of one-of-a-kind characters, from mad scientists to vicious oil tycoons to mysterious ladies of the night. But apart from Nathan and Bonnie, most of the characters lack the development that their interesting backstories deserve, and it feels as if Matsui could have dedicated entire other novels to some of his supporting stars.
Matsui writes in clever and well-written turns of the tongue, keeping a quick stride to accompany Nate and Bonnie on their adventures. Gravity Games weaves an unbelievable, eye-popping series of events into one cohesive tale that culminates in a delicious finale, leaving readers drooling for the second installment of the Nate Sherlock Foodie Thriller Series. Part of the joy in reading about super-humans and fantastic events is simply how unrealistically fun they are, and Matsui embraces that. Though readers may be craving Aunt Lucy’s famous cabbage rolls by the end, readers will be craving a more thorough and in-depth novel by Matsui even more.
Pages: 266 | ASIN: B01755YLN4
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: action, adventure, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, author, book, book review, books, chef, cooking, detective, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, food, foodie, fun, funny, goodreads, gravit games, humor, john matsui, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, murder, murder mystery, mystery, mystery book, mystery novel, novel, publishing, reading, review, reviews, sci fi, science ficiton, science fiction, science fiction book review, sherlock, stories, suspense, thriller, urban fantasy, wine, writing