Book: Love in the Vines by Magdalena VandenBergcategories: Book, Fiction, Food, Wine, Love, Betrayal, Restaurant, Cooking, Contemporary Romance
Magdalena VandenBergabout this book: From day one I knew he was dangerous. The fire of lust burned deep in his ocean green eyes, adding to the edge of attraction that was palpable between us. Feeling the magnetic pull of desire I knew there was little I could do and resistance would be futile. It was only a matter of time before his smouldering gaze would snap me out of the resignation that I was never going to be a domestic goddess.
I was now a month into my new job as the Office Assistant for a prestigious local winery. I had easily settled back into the rhythm of work after taking some time to concentrate on my children and a marriage I had once believed in. To be truthful, it was such a relief to be back among people who could hold conversations that didn't revolve around the incessant chatter and needs of children. For the first few years I loved staying at home nurturing a young family. But, after a while the novelty had worn off and, it was on, one of those days when, out of the blue the phone rang.
My credentials still carried enough significance and a few days later the job was mine. So, here I am, driving my car up the vine-framed driveway ready to turn the page on the next chapter of my life. Little did I know, how destiny would unfold in my life when I put my foot on the first step of the staircase, leading me up to my new contemporary office space.
With floor to ceiling windows every single office looked out over acres of lush green vines. I had the sense that every day was going to be like working in a romantic dreamland. Looking out over the stunning beauty surrounding me, here was a picture perfect canvas of nature's finest work. I was not known for my gardening skills, so, I couldn't fathom the dedication required to keep everything looking so pristine and the vines so healthy.
In the winery heavenly aromas filled the air, with the fragrance of the promise of new wines to be made. Sitting in the artisan French handcrafted vats, the rich burgundy Pinot Noir grapes glistened in the anticipation of satiating the palates of wine lovers from across the world.
Desperate for a refreshing change of scenery, I was hoping this would inject enthusiasm back into our suburban humdrum where superficial cracks were beginning to appear. After years of marriage, at the very least I'd have something different to talk about around the dinner table. By returning to work I was hoping to glue the cracks together before a seismic shift occurred scarring the landscape of our marriage.
I was inspired to write Love in the Vines by the sensuality of food and wine. There is nothing more romantic than a winery vineyard setting. I thought it would be wonderful backdrop for a bored married Mom to reignite the flame of desire long since been extinguished by the boredom of domestic humdrum.
The promise of new wines and seasons carry so much anticipation, its lure is seductive.
The title, Love in the Vines, followed on from the notion that you can't make great wine from bad fruit. For great wines you need superb grapes. All great wines begin in the vines. Love begins in the vines.
It took me eight months to write the book, and, at least as many drafts. The hardest part was writing appropriate love scenes to resonate with the characters. The last thing I wanted was to be too corny and cheesy. It took me a while to strike the right balance.
I definitely spent time researching my book to make sure all references to wine or the wine making process was correct. I also invited someone heavily involved in the wine business to fact-check and read my book prior to publishing. The feedback was invaluable. Most of my research was done online or garnered from my own personal experiences.
For the Love in the Vines cover I knew I wanted a dramatic clean image. One that said, love, wine, betrayal. It had to be uncluttered and be contemporary and modern. I found the image and did a concept cover, a graphic designer friend generously added her creative genius. I love the end result.
While writing the book I learned not to be afraid to add, delete, change, and work and rework your words. It's an exciting process and I'm a big believer in having someone else edit your work and reading it word by word. If I remember rightly I felt comfortable enough to hand over my book after eight or nine edits.
I believe my primary readers of Love in the Vines are women aged 30+ who are interested in food, wine, love and a good contemporary romance story. Food and wine is linked throughout the story and at the very least you'll learn a little about the two along the way!
I'm excited to share Love in the Vines with my readers. I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.
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