Wine Country and Wine Books

I’ve just returned from a trip to northern California, where I visited both Sonoma and Napa Valley. My trip can be summed up in one word: Fantastic. Maybe one more word: Wine.

However, blogs were not meant to be short and sweet, so let me expound.

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It was my twentieth wedding anniversary (I know! Can you believe it? Yeah, we were babies when we tied the knot. Babies, I tell ya!). My husband joined me, of course. (Might have been a tad awkward if I’d gone for our anniversary without him.) The best man from our wedding (and his wife) and my bestie-in-the-whole-wide-world, aka maid of honor (well, she was technically matron since she got married first, but that term sounds lame, so we stuck with maid) and her husband, and the parents of our flower girl and ring bearer (Who are also super amazing besties of ours–the parents, I mean. The kids are cool, too, though.) all joined us.

(Side note – yes, another one – we suggested the ring bearer and flower girl join us for the next trip, since, crazy enough, they’re of age, which is so weird considering they were these two totally adorable toddlers walking–and maybe a little bit of running–down the aisle at my wedding. But then again, I guess that whole thing did happen two decades ago!)

Anywhooooo, so we vacationed in Cali, these four couples who have known each other for far more than two decades. Which is crazy, because are we even old enough to have friends that long? Okay, okay, maybe I’m referring to the way we act. But hey, if you can’t have fun with your besties…

I won’t bore you with every single detail (not that a single detail was remotely boring–not even that morning three of us woke up early and went hiking, legit hiking, on a mountain that just happened to be at the end of the street on which the house we were renting was located. Of note, we are not from states in which hiking on mountains at the end of the road is a thing, so yeah, we may have been a tad excited.)

I will tell you that it was magnificent, every single aspect, from the wine to the food (we highly recommend Brix in Napa Valley and the Depot Hotel Restaurant in Sonoma) to the company (the laughs, oh my gosh, the laughs!) was utterly and spectacularly perfect.

I will also leave you with a funny story from our trip (and a reminder that I just wrote a book about wine country–okay, okay, it’s based in Australia, but it’s still about a winery, specific a super hot guy who owns a winery, and it’s well worth the read if you’re into, well, wine country, and also romantic comedy or maybe just my books in general. It’s called No Jerks on Monday in case you want to check it out.).

No Jerks on Monday

So here’s the story: My bestie and her husband started their vacay early–they flew into San Francisco on Monday and on Wednesday, when the rest of us arrived, we picked them up and headed north to Wine Country. While we were at dinner on Wednesday, they told us a story about a food tour they’d gone on in downtown SF. It was quite the pleasant experience, until a presumably homeless man stepped in the middle of their group while the tour guide was giving details about whatever building they happened to be standing in front of.

She didn’t miss a beat, keeping her cool and nodding at the guy as he talked gibberish while gesturing wildly. She carried on as if this was a completely normal part of the tour. And then, after he muttered something about someone named “Steven,” she said, “Oh, yes, I know Steven.”

At which point the homeless guy shouted, “STEVEN IS A BITCH.”

And the tour guide, still without missing a beat, said, “And we’re walking,” and herded her group down the sidewalk and on to the next stop.

We found this story outrageously hilarious, and proceeded to insert “Steven is a bitch” into every conversation we possibly could. It became our “That’s what she said” of the weekend.

Oh, but it gets better.

Thursday morning, we went on the Sonoma Food, Wine & History Tour (if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it, and ask for Abby because she’s amazing, as you’ll learn in just a moment).

Our tour guide, as I just noted, was Abby. Friendly, bubbly, made a point to get to know every person in the group. We were comfortable with her in probably less than twenty minutes.

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The tour started right outside the Depot Park Museum in downtown Sonoma. Abby was giving us a bit of history about the area, including the fact that the now-defunct tracks we were standing next to used to carry a train full of basalt (which was excavated from the mountain right there in Sonoma) into San Francisco to be loaded onto boats to be carried who knows where in the world.

An elderly woman who clearly worked or volunteered at the museum happened to be walking by at the precise moment Abby mentioned San Francisco, and the woman snapped, “No, that’s not where it went. It went to blah blah blah [I don’t even know what she said, to be honest]. You should come into the museum so you can learn something.” And then she stuck her nose in the air and stomped away.

At which point someone in our group muttered, “Annnnd Steven is a bitch.”

And then we collapsed against each other, laughing hysterically, while poor Abby looked on, quite mystified. Until we filled her in on the joke.

Which she proceeded to use to her advantage for the duration of the tour.

So, yeah, we had a marvelous time. I can’t wait to go back.

~*~

No Jerks on Monday

 

Tami Lund is an author and wine drinker who writes books about sexy winery owners. Take a peek at No Jerks on Monday HERE.

Run with the Wolves (aka discounted PNR books!)

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Have you ever checked out these Wolf Pack Runs before? If you’re into paranormal reads, it’s well worth your time.

There are mountain lions and spirits and dragons and faeries and wolves and aliens and witches and gargoyles and a phoenix and vampires and magic and cyborgs and surely there’s something on this list that makes you curious!

Click here to learn more>>>WOLF PACK RUN

PS – There’s also a giveaway. A couple of Amazon gift cards. So yeah…click the link above and grab your summer reads!

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PSS – The first book in my Lightbearer series is in this Wolf Pack Run, and it’s only 99 cents!      ~Tami Lund

Too Much Fun Scheduled…

It’s graduation/wedding/end of school season. For me personally, it’s also wedding anniversary-slash-daughter’s birthday season. Oh yeah, and summer; trying to get in every single possible second of glorious sunshine-filled days because I live in Michigan and fully understand how few and fleeting those days are.

This summer, so far, I’ve only received one wedding invite; scheduled for the last day of my vacation, no less. But I do have plenty of high school graduations. In fact, I had two invites for last weekend and two more for this upcoming one. There’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday party and my niece’s horse show, my daughter’s last day of school, and prepping (mentally and literally) for the vacation my husband and I are taking for our twentieth wedding anniversary (!!). And as soon as we return, it’s my daughter’s birthday, and after that, I think summer slows down for a few weeks until our annual family vacation (and that wedding) toward the end of July. Thank God.

Oh crap, and I just realized Father’s Day falls in there, too!

Meanwhile, I’m riddled with guilt as I try to juggle two jobs, a teenager, nurturing my garden so I can have fresh salsa by the end of summer, attempting to lose a few pounds so I actually don’t hate the way I look in my swimsuit; on top of all those obligations listed above. Which, by the way, ultimately, will be fun, so honestly, calling them obligations isn’t the correct term, but that’s how I feel at the moment.

Because it’s too much. And yet I want to—or at least feel obligated to—do it all. Two of the grad parties are for children of cousins whose parents are brothers, so optimally I’d like to only do one, but is that really fair? Truthfully, I may not be able to do either, which only adds yet another layer to my constant companion, Guilt.

And then there’s the reality that my husband and I chose to get married on Father’s Day weekend all those years ago, so we have to figure out how to celebrate that special event, honor three fathers (my husband and both our dads), as well as make my daughter feel special on her birthday, which is also right there in the mix. Oh, and three of my five nieces have birthdays all that same week as my daughter. This summer in particular, I am so grateful we enrolled my daughter in the school she currently attends if only because they end their school year a week before her old one does; otherwise, that grand event would be happening right smack in the middle of everything else listed in this paragraph.

Oy, we should have planned out our lives better!

I know, I know, that isn’t how it works, but that comment makes me chuckle because I am, while not strictly Type A, most definitely a planner, and I need to make everything fit, everything work; find order on the chaos that has become my June calendar. (Yes, I still use a paper calendar. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Because I don’t care what you say, it’s just easier.)

And so, up front, before the event-filled weekends even arrive, I have to mentally make the decisions: What will we do? What will we decline? And those decisions are, admittedly, made with my coveted writing time in mind.

If I go to the work event on Friday, the graduation on Saturday, the dinner party on Saturday, and the graduation on Sunday, when will I have time to write?  And so I start trimming obligations, so that I can sit on my backporch and work on yet another novel for your enjoyment.

Because I enjoy it too. And I don’t feel obligated to do it; I simply want to. Which is how writing ultimately is the winner in the end.

Rather, you are.

 

Dragon in Denial Cover FINAL

Tami Lund writes books and drinks copious amounts of wine to combat the guilt of choosing writing over all that fun stuff she should be doing. This book just released on May 31, if you want to check it out!

DRAGON IN DENIAL

 

 

Vote for Me! Vote for Me! Vote for Me!

Pretty please, with sugar on top?

Oh, you want to know what I’m asking you to vote for! Well, it’s a book. One of my favorites. Okay, yeah, they’re all my favorite in one way or another.

This one is special because it’s about a sexy billionaire, which, true confession, is not a trope I’m particularly fond of. But I wrote it, because my co-author, Misti Murphy, and I came up with what we thought was a funny and adorable way to write this story. Crazy enough, the fact that the hero is a billionaire isn’t even significant to the plot.

Handsome man or muscular macho

And if the review of SEXY BAD BOSS from InD’tale Magazine is any indication, we nailed it.

The review I’m referring to is what got SEXY BAD BOSS nominated for a RONE Award.

(Psst: I won a RONE Award in 2016 for my book, UNDERCOVER HEAT. Isn’t it pretty? It sits on my mantel in all its fingerprint-covered glory.)

Rone Award

Now it’s three years later and I have a chance to give my adorable (and pride-inducing) RONE a partner up there above the fireplace.

I NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

I need your vote to move SEXY BAD BOSS to the final round!

Oh, speaking of, here’s what InD’tale Magazine’s reviewer thought was so awesome about this book:

“This steamy romance is hilarious and absolutely unique in that the big, sexy, rich boss man has no clue of his own allure. He is not a playboy, nor does he even have a clue that his own gorgeous assistant is in love with him. Myra is driven and talented and knows what she wants. The connection between the two sizzles, yet communication was somewhat lacking in a few parts. James was a little too straight-laced in the beginning, but once he opens up, he is all fire and passion and when he thinks he has lost Myra for good, he goes to any length to win her back. Add in an adorable little girl, a goat, a duck and a cat, and you have yourself a smoking hot, witty, adorable and heartwarming romance!”

On that note, if you could spare a moment, I’d love your vote so this [potentially] award-winning book can move on to the final round of judging!

Here’s how to do it:

1. Click the link that’s below all these pesky instructions. You must register on the website in order to vote (their rules, not mine).
2. Click ‘login’ at the top right of the page.
3. Click ‘I want to create an account.’
4. Fill in all necessary info. They do nothing with your email address so don’t worry – no spam!
5. Once you’re registered, you will need to actually log in.
6. Go to the menu and click IND’SCRIBE/RONES.
7. Select ‘2019 RONE Awards’ then week six.
8. First category is Contemporary Steamy – that’s where SEXY BAD BOSS is located!! Select my book then select VOTE!
9. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 💖💖

https://www.indtale.com/2019-rone-awards-week-six

Handsome man or muscular macho

Tami Lund writes romance books that are sometimes nominated for awards. But they can only win if YOU vote. So, thank you for your vote!
PS – here’s her website if you want to check out her other books:

 

DC From My Perspective

My husband and daughter were recently gone for five nights and four days. My daughter is in eighth grade and we live in Michigan, and it’s an eighth grade “thing” here to go to Washington DC.

Since my husband is a history buff and also can survive on less than seven hours of sleep per night, he was a chaperone for this trip.

Which meant the dog and I were home alone for FOUR GLORIOUS DAYS.

Oops, who added that extra word in that sentence?

Here’s how the Washington DC trip went from my perspective:

I arrive home from work on Wednesday evening and my husband says, “Will you be able to pick us up on Monday morning?”

Me: “What in the world are you talking about?”

Him: “The bus is leaving tonight and is scheduled to arrive back at the school [which is a Catholic school – this will be important in a moment] at 8:30 Monday morning. Can you pick us up?”

Me: “You have a perfectly well-functioning vehicle. Why would I pick you up?”

Him: “I don’t want to leave my truck there for four days.”

Me: “In a church parking lot?” [See, told you it would be important!]

Him: “I mean, I guess, as a last resort, I suppose I’ll have to…”

Me: “I typically arrive at work at 8:15. To a job that is an hour away. If I pick you up and take you home I won’t get to work until 10 am. What, again, is your issue with leaving your truck in a church parking lot for a few days?”

Him: “I just don’t want to. But if it’s an inconvenience for you…”

Me: “It’s an inconvenience for my employer. Who pays half our bills.”

Him: …

Me, accompanied by an eye roll: “In case you forgot, your mom is retired and generally loves to help out with pretty much anything.”

Him, texting away to Mom but speaking to me: “So this means you’ll drop us off tonight at seven?”

Cue drop off. Followed by a stop at grocery store for weekend provisions. Read: wine.

Then bedtime. After putting fresh sheets on the bed. And then I lie down, spread eagle in the middle of the bed, and enjoy the utterly heavenly lack of snoring.

Single people don’t know how awesome they have it

Day two of Washington DC trip:

Go to work. Get there early because, no school drop off. Hope I can wrap everything up and leave a little early since otherwise the dog will be stuck home alone for ten hours.

10 am, mother-in-law texts: Do you think your dog would like a play date with mine?

Me, texting back: YES.

Later that evening, after work: I think I’ll have a couple of drinks instead of walk the dog…

Day three of Washington DC trip:

Go to work. Get home from work. Walk the dog. Best friend calls.

Her: “What are you up to?”

Me, pouring wine: “I’m home alone at the moment.”

Her: “Me too!”

Conversation proceeds for two hours and half a bottle of wine. Okay, okay, maybe more than half.

Day four of Washington DC trip:

It’s Saturday. My favorite writing day, usually. Except I committed to participating in a 5k race. (By participate I mean walk.) Which then leads to lunch, drinks, a visit to a nearby wine store.

Me: Single people really have no idea how great they have it.

Day five of Washington DC trip:

The house is clean, the dog is walked, the grass is mowed, the laundry is done and holy shit I still have six hours before Game of Thrones. This has been a glorious DC trip.

I suppose I do miss them a little, but damn, it’s nice to have a clean house and no snoring. I haven’t slept this well in twenty years.

Day six of Washington DC trip:

It’s Monday. Alarm goes off. That was my last night with the bed all to myself. Also, no snoring.

I’m gonna miss the no snoring.

My phone vibrates with a text.

Husband: “Bus is early. We should be there around 7:30. Can you pick us up?”

Me: Ugh. Grimace. I don’t do well with last minute changes of plans on Monday mornings, even if it means I’ll get to see them before I head to work. “I suppose.”

Him: “Great! See you soon!”

Seven-twenty-five: I pull into my parking space at the church, where a whole bunch of other vehicles are parked and appear to have been there for the last five days, and a moment later, the bus pulls up and starts belching out exhausted looking kids and parents.

Me: Heart gives a funny little lurch when hubby and then daughter step off the bus.

Okay, maybe I did miss them.

But I still didn’t miss the snoring.

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Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and really does love her husband and daughter. Although she could definitely do without the husband’s snoring. Check out her website for the latest release: https://tamilund.com/

PS – This book right here is on sale for only 99c right now, and it’s the first in a great new dragon series. And book three, Dragon in Denial, is releasing soon…

From Kindle Worlds, republished!

You might remember that last year, Amazon shut down the Kindle Worlds program they had. I was so disappointed when they did that. If you don’t remember what it was, you can read about it here.

At any rate, anyone publishing in Kindle Worlds last year received an email that they were closing down and our books would be taken down and couldn’t be sold as Kindle Worlds books any more.

I wrote in the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mysteries World. The series is written by my friend Terri Reid. Once Kindle Worlds was over, she was gracious enough to give us permission to go ahead and republish the books out from under the Kindle World umbrella.

Now, I could have done this last year, immediately after Kindle Worlds closed down. I could have. But did I? NOPE…life gets in the way. Work, grandchildren, going back to school, the desire to have free time; they all got in the way of me republishing my titles.

However, I found some time a few weeks ago and have republished both Grave Injury and Trouble Lake.

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These books were fun to write, and they’re more fun to read! Head on over to my author page  and load up your Kindle with these two ghost novellas.

Happy reading!

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has five of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

 

Docu-Diet, Twitter-Style

Yeah, I just made that word up. What do they call that? Click-bait. I wanted you to check out my blog post, so I came up with something to entice you into clicking. That’s it. The only purpose for the word, Docu-diet.

Well, maybe not the only purpose. I mean, I really did start a diet last week, and I am documenting it on Twitter, so maybe I just created a new word? Hmmm….

Anyway, what the hell am I talking about and why do you care that I’m dieting? Well, I’m sure you don’t, other than my dieting woes may create a few chuckles for you. Because let me tell you, the only way I’m going to make it through the next seven weeks is by using a lot of sarcasm. Dieting is not my thing. Wine and too-large portions are more up my alley, and those are apparently big, fat no-no’s in the dieting world.

Let me explain, via my Twitter feed:

Side note: Based on her reading preferences, this is the series I recommended she start with: TWISTED FATE SERIES ON AMAZON

 

 

Wait, you aren’t following me on Twitter? Click HERE or any one of those tweets above and remedy that, asap.

I’ll wait.

Also, another side note: Guess what I learned today? HOW TO EMBED TWEETS INTO BLOG POSTS. May not be a big deal to you, but I feel a little bit like BuzzFeed right now.

So anyway, back to dieting… Yes, I’m doing it, or at least making more of an attempt than I ever have before. Which likely isn’t saying much compared to real dieters. But I truly do want to lose an inch or so around my waist so all those cute little skirts fit me again, and I figured joining a challenge with other people who are much more aggressively competitive than I am will at least encourage me to try harder than the average Tami.

So if you enjoy watching someone in misery or maybe you actually find my sense of humor amusing, head on over to Twitter and cheer me on. I need all the encouragement–and likes–I can get!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, award-winner, and, apparently dieter. She’s also still a wine drinker, and is trying really hard not to keep Napa Valley in business, at least for the next seven weeks. Until she wins that prize. And then all bets are off.

PS – Yes, this pic is a few years old, and no, Tami isn’t updating it.