Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I just got back from the New Jersey Romance Writers annual conference, Put Your Heart in a Book. As usual, it was a ton of fun. There were wonderful workshops, great conversations about writing and lots of laughter. My friend, Sarah White, and I presented our workshop on flawed heroes again. It went well, despite our spate of nerves when Sharon Sala, keynote speaker for the conference, sat in on it.
Giving a workshop has been a real learning experience for me. As the saying goes: I know what I know. Putting it into a coherent format and imparting it to others is the toughest. But when I see heads nodding and maybe an “aha” expression on someone’s face, it’s the greatest feeling. Better still is the question and answer session at the end where we get to help people figure out some of the “hard parts” to their stories. Because everyone needs help with the hard parts. Conferences are a great place to get that help, whether it’s via a workshop or a conversation with a new friend about your latest work-in-progress.
Oh, and I have to give a shout-out to my fellow Maryland Romance Writers. Of the five chapter-mates that I knew attending the conference, two had finalled in the Put Your Heart in a Book contest, and two had finalled in the Gold Leaf contest. Better still, Christie Kelley won the Gold Leaf for her historical romance, Something Scandalous, and Marta Bliese won Put Your Heart in a Book for her unpub’d paranormal, Hangman. Yea!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I was especially pleased that they included the champagne flutes on the cover because this book is set in San Francisco and Michael, the hero, runs his family’s winery.
Of course writing a book about a winery required a little research, so last New Year’s Eve my husband and I went on a wine country tour in Napa Valley.
The first stop on the tour was Domaine Chandon, a winery that produces sparkling wines.
The park-like grounds are spectacular and the winery is huge.
Yes, all these vats are brimming with bubbly.
After a quick tour and brief explanation of the traditional method for making champagne, we were treated to a tasting on the terrace, which was decorated for a New Year’s Eve party that evening. A perfect way to ring in 2010, even though it wasn’t quite noon.
Which brings me to my favorite way to serve sparkling wine...in mimosas for brunch. For each mimosa, I use three parts chilled sparkling wine to one part chilled orange juice. Simply pour the wine into a champagne flute, top with orange juice and serve. Or, for a fresh twist on this classic favorite, replace the orange juice with pomegranate juice. Delicious!
Virgin mimosas are every bit as festive. Simply replace the sparkling wine with chilled ginger ale, lemon-lime soda or tonic water.
And as always, if you drink, don’t drive. If you’re pregnant, please don’t drink at all.
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