Here are the tasting notes for the current Wine’s Anvil collection:
8th Century BCE
Immortalize & Immortalize; Ends of the Earth
a pair of novels
There were once a secretive people of the sea; their knowledge ancient, their skills legendary, and their beloved goddess under siege. But on the sea they were free. To explore. To trade. To live.
Where the waves of the Syrian Sea wash against their coastal harbors, a Phoenician royal family tries to keep its trade routes to Gibraltar a secret for one more generation. In their tarshish ship’s noble wake, a black-wine sage of the Mysteries joins them to cross the Mediterranean on their expedition to Carthage and then further on to legendary Tartessus.
Wandering stars and mystic signs can guide the wise and confuse the foolish. Oracles reflect on the hidden truths of life, seers divine 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? Start with the first book of the pair, Immortalize, and travel across the ancient Mediterranean. If you enjoy it, then the adventure continues over ancient Iberia in Immortalize; Ends of the Earth. Both Immortalize novels are currently available on Amazon in Kindle and in paperback.
8th Century AD
Gisela is Charlemagne’s treasured younger sister. She adores the stories of the Saint’s grand adventures against pagan witches and magic, but when fairies entrap their little brother Pepin in the great old grapevine of Saumur castle’s courtyard, it forces her to choose between her own future or saving his. She chooses to hide amongst the young children of the village families, whose parents are prisoners being marched towards young Prince Charles in the Breton March.
Swept along with the rebellious vineyard workers, she must cross the lines of privilege and culture to make new friends along the way. But what will this journey cost her in body and soul to find Charles and try to save the enchanted vine of their little brother with an indulgence? Can she ever find her way back into Royal good graces?
The fate of red wine in the Loire Valley may well hang in 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.