Drinkin in California

I decided I wanted to write a book about the Central Valley, where I’m now from which is a vast, hot, 300- mile-long expanse extending from Sacramento to the north and the San Joaquin Valley in the South, and has the most fertile areas in the United States for growing grapes. We produce a full 60 per cent of all the agricultural products in California and we crush 75 per cent of all wine grapes. Wineries are huge. And so are the crops.

One of the core differences between the wine industry in California and that in Europe is the people who run it. The California wine revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s was largely initiated by men and women who were not from winemaking families. After the Prohibition, which lasted 13 years there were few people to train the newcomers, including Ernest and Julio Gallo, which makes close to 70 million cases, including popular inexpensive wine and Robert Mondavi Woodbridge wines which make slightly more than 6 million cases a year. The interesting thing is that these three self-made men were self-taught. Everything they learned they read out of a book.

  • More than 90 per cent of the wine made in the United States is made in California.
  • The state’s incredibly diverse climate and geography allow California wines to be made in a profusion of styles from dozens of different grape varieties.
  • California’s winemakers are among the most innovative and open to experimentation in the world.

Of course, my book, ‘Death on the Vine’ is not so factual, I have romance, murder, intrigue, lots of money, a socio path, and revenge. Some of this has some true parts in it but for the most part, it’s fictional. I will have a sequel to the book, I haven’t quite decided on a title but again it’s set in the small town of Oakhurst, California not too far away from Yosemite. Daisy, Frisco, and a whole host of characters will play a part…and another socio path.

I think you can see from my bio that I have familiarity with socio paths and quirky characters.

I have a contest running on amazon for a free book for Death on the Vine and if you read it, review it, I’ll want to put your name in my next book and maybe we can have a contest for a new title.


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Interviewed by Suzanne Adair

I was interviewed by Suzanne Adair giving a little background history revolving around my book “The Black Madonna


— http://www.suzanneadair.net/2017/02/13/the-massacre-at-beziers/

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Crime Division: Jack of All Trades—The Life of a Patrol Officer by Laurel Heidtman

From 1977 to 1988, I was a police officer in an Ohio city with a population of approximately 60,000. Our department had a hundred or so sworn officers when I started, but by the time I left, that n…

Source: Crime Division: Jack of All Trades—The Life of a Patrol Officer by Laurel Heidtman

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EVENT: Saturday, March 11th


Some of you have signed up already and paid. We would like no more than 2 per table.
We have Channel 24 & 47 have committed for the partnership. We have some more tables available. This is a great opportunity to meet with your local authors and illustrators and see what is new in the community! Checks can be made out to Friends of the Library, or if you want to pay by credit card, you can pay at the door. Let us know as we have limited space.
Friends of the Fresno County Library & A Book Barn are pleased to invite you to participate in our FIRST Authors Event at Sierra Vista Mall on Sat, Mar 11 from 10am-8pm (Mall hours). Event is open to the public.

The cost is $25.00 per 8’ table and 2 chairs, we are expecting 45-50 authors and illustrators to participate. Sharing is allowed. No more than 2 per table, please.

Bring your books, tablecloths, and promotional material. You can sell your own books, so a square, or cash drawer will be your responsibility. If you are unable to sell with your square etc, then The Friends will sell for you for a small fee.

Speaking slots will be available so sign up. We are still working on the schedule.

TV and other media are on board! Let’s get the word out and share our local authors and illustrators!

Please RSVP by February 15th, as we will have to order the tables and chairs. Call Dan or Peg at A Book Barn 559 297-9052 to reserve your spot.


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Interview about “Chilled to the Bone”


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Interview with TJ Green

Today, I want to welcome debut author and my friend,  T J Green.  She was nice enough to let me interview her for my blog, so you the audience have a chance to get to know her. Tracy’s upcom…

Source: Interview with TJ Green

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Interview with TJ Green



Today, I want to welcome debut author and my friend,  T J Green.  She was nice enough to let me interview her for my blog, so you the audience have a chance to get to know her. Tracy’s upcoming Adventure/Fantasy book, “Tom’s Inheritance”, can be found at amazon.com. I decided that I would lure her in with a cup of tea, while I pester her with questions.

Tracy please tell me about yourself and your upcoming books.

I’m a new author with my first book, Tom’s Inheritance, a teen/YA Arthurian fantasy. It’s about a young boy named Tom who is summoned to the Other to wake King Arthur on Avalon. I’m about to release Twice Born, the sequel, on February 10th 2017.

Growing up, what was your favorite book, comic, game or movie and did you create a book1character/player that might resemble you?

I love reading, and read lots as a child. I had several favorite books, all of them adventures, or mysteries such as Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and the Famous Five, but my favorites were the Narnia stories, especially the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Horse and his Boy. I also loved The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, such a gorgeous story.

I didn’t create a character, but I molded the characters to become more like me, as I inserted myself into the narrative!

As children, we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I always wanted to be a nurse, or a work with books in publishing or editing. I’m not exactly sure why nursing, but that’s what I ended up doing and do now. It pays the bills while I write. And of course, now I work in publishing!

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know; what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

I do not have a first novel stashed away, I published it – Tom’s Inheritance. However it took me 5 years, on and off, between studying for an English Degree and working full time -a ridiculous amount of time for such a short book! It was a huge learning curve, and I wrote the second one in less than a year.

I first started writing short stories when I was 8 or 9, more like flash fiction actually – and I’ve always kept a diary.

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers, creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (lot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy name and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

Many times in Tom’s Inheritance I had to stop and work out characters, plot, world building. I realized I was over thinking some things, so I just stripped back and started certain things again. I was mentally battered!

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

book2Follow the characters, rather than force the plot, although I think you need a plot, or the characters run off doing their own thing. I like to plot certain points or story arcs, and then let the characters get there in their own way.

And always use a professional editor!

Great Advice, Tracey!



Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

I’m not sure about a specific one, but something from the One Thousand and One Nights.


Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

The Land of the Green Man by Carolyne Larrington

Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits by Emma Wilby

The Book of Magic by Brian Copenhaver

Greatness one liner of all time?

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly. Winston Churchill.

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism.

Strangest item currently residing in the space you write in?

The cat litter tray! We have a kitten, and the study is her safe zone and sleeping area for now.

Favorite supernatural creature?

Dracula! – But that does not extend to all vampires – I think they’re a bit overdone.

Where are you from ? live and work. Husband, children?

I’m English, from the Black Country, just outside Birmingham. However, about 10 years ago I moved to the Hutt Valley, Wellington, New Zealand, and live in a beautiful wooded valley. I live with my partner Jason, and my two cats. I’ve never had children, by choice. I’ve always wanted to do other things!


You can find Tracey at various virtual locations

Website/blog – www.tjgreen.nz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tjay_green

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tjgreenauthor/

Pinterest: https://nz.pinterest.com/mount0live/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/T-J-Green/e/B01D7V8LJK/

Barnes and Noble –http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toms-inheritance-t-j-green/1123572907?ean=2940152931143

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/tom-s-inheritance


Book Depository


Thanks so much for the chat and jasmine tea, I’ve had a lovely time!

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Keeping My Sanity While Launching a Thriller Series by Martha Carr

Excellent and informative

Mystery Thriller Week

A little background about me, first to put all of the past few months into perspective. I’ve been a professional writer in some capacity since 1990. First as a journalist, then an author traditionally published with an agent, then a nationally syndicated columnist and now an indie author. There was a brief stint where I tried blogging but quickly left that to others to conquer.

I’m like a human timeline for the modern evolution of a career as a writer.

That means I’ve been writing since just before the internet was born, since before a lot of other authors I talk to were born. I’ve been writing so long that I had to go back and put a year at the beginning of my first novel, Wired so readers wouldn’t wonder why I didn’t mention cell phones. They weren’t around yet.

My novel had become retro, I suppose along with…

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Writing Crazy without Going Crazy by K. Brooks

Mystery Thriller Week

Let’s start with a truth that rules many an author’s writing: villains make the world go around.

Protagonists without antagonists are vanilla sundaes without toppings; they’re there, they’re okay. They’re good for a quiet night alone on the couch. But in the end, you’ll feel mildly disappointed that there wasn’t something more exciting filling your bowl. Without “the bad guy” gracing your pages, how does the story grow?

It doesn’t.

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The World Needs Readers

Part II

I’m not a disciplined or systematic reader. I’ll read just about anything that catches my eye. Though I have read few self-improvement books myself, I feel that most books have improved me in one way or another.  Sometimes when I’m walking through a bookstore I’ll stumble across a book that may change me in a way that I won’t realize until later in my life, when I’ve thought about it in a more significant way.

In my youth, books helped me escape the realities of my own life, discovering life through the various characters and their adventures. As I aged, books revealed more than an escape, but a discovery of ‘self’ and the realities of life around. Reading a book regardless of the grim realities, there is always an affirmation of life. This affirmation lies in the way the author takes control of the retelling in his or her own way with the hope that the reader is seeing the world from the authors viewpoint, with the hope of grabbing on to the very least, your empathy.

Free Speech means little without a Free Listener, that power of the message comes from not just the words that are written, but by how they inspire you, the listener. So to all of you, I say this ‘Be free and read’…

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