Here are the tasting notes for the current Wine’s Anvil chronology:
8th Century BCE
Immortalize & Immortalize; Ends of the Earth
There were once a secretive people of the sea; their knowledge ancient, their skills legendary, and their archaic religion under siege. But on the sea they were free. To explore. To trade. To live.
Where the waves of the Syrian Sea wash onto their fragile world, a royal family tries to keep its trade routes a secret for one more generation. In their ship’s noble wake, a gifted winemaker and his grapevines join them to cross the Mediterranean on a doomed expedition to legendary Tartessus.
Stars and signs can guide the wise and confuse the foolish. Oracles see the hidden truths of life, seers see what is and isn’t ahead, and prophets foresee their fates entwined in the struggles of the immortal gods. Yet, the grapevine is the only genuinely timeless character in this story. How will a plant that cannot crawl more than a few feet from its roots learn to swim the sea? How will a vine entangle kings? How will a wine come to be a god?
Looking to buy? Both Immortialize novels are currently available on Amazon in Kindle and in paperback.
8th Century AD
Young Charlemagne’s little sister has gotten herself into a jam…over her favorite jam.
Their father’s army has chased his enemies out of the Loire Valley. Sending young Charles with the Marquis back north to the Breton Marches, he leaves his Court in Samur and chases his routed opponents south into Aquitane to vanquish them before the winter arrives. But not before the temperate king ordered the uprooting of all the grapevines and wine that funded the uprising. Red wine, it seems, has fallen from Royal favor.
Enchanted by her older brother’s tales of the miracles of Breton Saints and the Saint’s poet Taliesin, Princess Gisela imagines fairies have trapped their younger brother in the old grapevine growing outside her window. When she learns that she is to be married off to a prince of the Byzantine Empire the following spring, she grows fearful that without her, no one will save their trapped younger brother when their father returns to finish his vengeance against the grapes.
Winter arrives early, deep with rumors of a local rebellion, and all the war’s prisoners are moved north to the forts of the Breton March. Encouraged by Bible studies and stories of Ulysses’ Odyssey, Gisela devises a plan to undertake a pilgrimage to Dol to earn an “indulgence” from the Saints. She hides amongst the young children of the village prisoner’s families as they are all sent towards Charles in the Breton March.
Swept along with the rebellious vineyard workers, she must cross the lines of privilege and culture. What will this journey cost her in body and soul to find Charles and try to return to the vine of their little brother with her new friends and back into the Royal good graces?
The fate of red wine in the Loire may well hang the balance.
Looking to buy? Tynged is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and in paperback.
17th Century AD
Children of Breton
“En vino veritas!” Abbé Breton offered, toasting his pupil. “In wine is truth!”
“No, my dear Abbé,” Cardinal Richelieu corrected. “En vino arcana.”
“In wine are secrets,” Tiran translated with a raised glass.
Tiran has a lot on his mind for a young man. Wine. Women. Noble wars and religious uprisings. An overshadowing family name and a potential life of celibacy. All these thoughts conspire to send Tiran abroad across Europe during the early 1600s, but a disturbing apparition compels him to return to France and face them once again.
When an old mentor lures him back into the Loire Valley with an offer to help develop a red wine grape, Tiran thinks he may have finally found his peaceful life in the vineyards. As both Tiran and the wine catch the eye of the powerful Prime Minister Cardinal Richelieu, though, his mind only becomes more troubled by his choices.
Will Tiran lose himself entirely into the intrigues of Cardinal Richelieu’s spy networks? Will he drown himself in his passions of pleasure, to doom his name and soul forever, or will he surrender himself up to a life serving God in the clergy?
In the novels Children of Breton, Children of Breton; Hard Cane and Children of Breton; King of the Son, our immortal red grapevine watches it all unfold, as, beneath its leaves, its clusters slowly mature into the Cabernet of today…
Looking to buy? Children of Breton is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and in paperback.
Looking to buy? Children of Breton; Hard Cane is scheduled for release in 2021.
Children of Breton; King of the Son is scheduled for release in 2022.
The Changeling is an early 18th-century novel introducing Barbin Fortier, an aging son returning home from a life of youthful piracy to seek peace and take his place in a failing, once noble, family vineyard. His past keeps undermining his future as he navigates a journey of change in France, change in tastes in wine and a change in his own beliefs.
The Blackbird is a mid-18th-century mystery-romance. Old wine grower Joël-Gervais de Laval finds budding love with another witness amidst the intrigue of a local murder trial. As the trial slowly begins to take on a more national flavor the lovers are carried along, away from their vines, their wines, and their insular past lives.