Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Ripe For Murder by Carlene O’Neil


Penny Lively here, taking time out from ploughing on my California winery. Yes, I did say ploughing, because in its early stages wine is a field of grapes, just like any other crop. It’s freezing out today but the work needs to be done. These are the times you don’t talk about in the cozy tasting room, when I frequently hear from a visitor, “Oh, running a winery must be a wonderful way to live.” It can be, but today isn’t one of those days. The last of winter is holding out in early March and there’s a raw wind coming in off the Pacific. My hair is tucked into a ski cap. I’m wearing two sweaters, a fleece and the warmest coat I could find. Hardly highbrow, and yet that’s often one of the things that keeps people from really enjoying wine…the feeling that unless you really know what you’re talking about you should, well, be drinking beer.

I’m just going to come out and say it: Wine can be intimidating. I know it shouldn’t be, and as a winery owner I don’t want it to be, but it happens.  Unfortunately, some people in the wine business foster that sense of mystique, and that’s a mistake. It keeps people from enjoying what they drink. Afraid of selecting the “wrong” wine for a meal, they will stick to the same two or three varietals they know, or decide they just don’t like wine.

Then there are some of the terms, and heaven forbid if you’re caught with a wine snob and don’t know what something means. For example, take the term terroir. In some areas of the world this is no laughing matter. Classifications of various grape growing regions in France are utterly strict and closely controlled. Very serious stuff. At least to some of the Châteaux in this area that have had the classifications of First Cru and Premier Cru for hundreds of years. Literally. Now, simply translated, terroir can refer to the terrain the grapes are grown in. It can also mean the slope, rainfall, drainage and how much sun the vines receive, along with a hundred other things, but honestly, do you really care? Of course not, and why should you?  If you like something, drink it. Experiment with something new, like a Malbec. Smell it before you taste and see if you can recognize the fruits. Roll it around in your mouth. Is there a bite to it? That could be the oak. It might be smooth, and soft, something good with mild foods. First and foremost, remember that wine should be fun. Just ask the Romans and Greeks. They figured it out thousands of years ago.


Penny Lively

post-divider rightripeSeries: A Cypress Cove Mystery (Book 2)
Publisher: Berkley (March 1, 2016)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425274020
ISBN-13: 978-0425274026
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


From the author of One Foot in the Grape—a new full-bodied Cypress Cove mystery that is certain to delight, even if one wine lover is about to expire…

Penny Lively loves running her family’s winery, but to keep business growing, she needs to find a way to attract more guests. When she’s approached to invest in a new train line through wine country, Penny and her intoxicating winery manager, Connor, hightail it to a lavish resort to hear the details. Unfortunately, her neighbor’s daughter, Chantal, is also there, swirling up trouble by flirting with the married investors—and with Connor too.

When one of the investors’ wives is murdered, Chantal, who was seen fighting with the woman, is the prime suspect. Chantal may be a sour grape, but she’s no killer. So Penny, who’s become a sleuthing connoisseur, starts sniffing out the real suspect—and discovers that her fellow potential investors have been savoring more than their share of deadly secrets…

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Ripe for Murder to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on April 2nd

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

post-divider right

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarlene O’Neil grew up in the heart of Northern California Wine Country and is accredited by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. A former television writer, she currently makes her home outside Los Angeles, where she can be found sailing in the Santa Monica Bay or doing research for her next novel.

Clearly, any novel set in wine country requires extensive research. One Foot in the Grape  is her debut novel.

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Cypress Cove Mysteries



*** Guest post provided by the publisher.






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  1. A very interesting post about the Wine. I'd love to read Ripe For Murder. Thank you for the chance to win.

    Carol L

  2. Della Williamson says:

    A most interesting subject.  I had just been getting into wine and it's uses.  For medical purposes.  and for cooking.  My 4 year old had a cold that would not go away.  Dr. Bader was very concerded.  Nothing seemed to work and we were just discussing putting him in the hospital for a battery of tests, etc.  He remembered an article in JAMA about an experiment conducted in 2 hospitals back east.  We discussed it and thought we would give it a try.  The article said that a good quality red fruity wine was excellent for respitory, heart, and digestive issues.  3 ounces at bed time.  It worked.  By the beginning of the next week he was improving greatly.  I also drink a bit with him and really enjoyed it.  So I want to learn more about them.  Book looks like a great read.  Would like to see how Penny does in clearing Chantel

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