Monday, March 23, 2015

Interview Catherine MacDonald


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Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can't seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca's torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels Francesca back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to their present survival. 
Magna gathered Francesca's hands into her own cool gnarled ones and stroked them lightly. "Listen dearie. No one is allowing you to remain innocent and stuck on the wheel of life and death for eternity, but yourself. Even though the mind forgets, the soul remembers. Hopefully by examining these lifetimes you will understand the truth. You are responsible for the life you have--no one else." 
From Sonoma, Italy, and the Middle Ages Francesca travels to uncover the truth of the wine and the two men who have fought over her for centuries. Romancing the Vines is the sweeping romance of Francesca, Enrico, and Giancarlo and the secret to the wine that has been eluding her for centuries.


1)      Tell us about your book and why you chose to write it. Romancing the Vines is the sequel to Seasons of the Vineyard. I’ve never written a sequel before, but I was asked by several people: What happened to Giancarlo? (He was the very bad boy in Seasons.) Did Francesca and Enrico get married? What happened to the vineyard? I started asking myself these questions and the book flowed. I really had no idea she would travel to the past for the answers, but after visiting France, the plot just came, and the secret to the grapes surfaced. In Seasons, Francesca is a frustrated vintner. She really didn’t want to be a vintner, but her father became ill and she returned home to a vineyard in chaos. She becomes determined to save the vineyard and uncover the secret to the wine, which was buried with her mother. When she meets the bad boy of Sonoma, Giancarlo, she falls fast and the tension between her and Enrico escalates. Fast forward to Romancing the Vines. There is strain between Enrico and Francesca’s relationship. She has not married him like she promised. The grapes are not plump. The vineyard is failing, and she receives a letter from a long lost cousin in Italy. In typical Francesca-style, she decides to abandon the vineyard and her responsibility. In Italy she meets a seer who propels her back through time on a quest where she visits three lives in which her survival and the grapes were in jeopardy. Armed with the secrets and the truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge the three of them have endured for centuries holds the answers to her present survival and the survival of the grapes.

2) If you could be one character inside of your book who would it be and why? Giancarlo, because I have a very naughty streak inside.

3) Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite books? That’s like asking a vintner what’s your favorite wine! Usually, it’s the one you’re crafting at the moment. So usually, it’s the book I’m reading at the moment. My favorite authors include Madeline L’Engle, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Alice Hoffman, Sue Miller, Anne Rivers Siddons. My favorite book of all time: The Wizard of Oz because there is no place like home.

4) What made you start writing? The nuns kept beating my hands with a ruler because I couldn’t stop talking. Writing made perfect sense and kept my hands free from pain.

5) Who is the one person that has inspired you the most in your writing? My dog (s). Some of them have passed on, but I know I will see them again someday and we will run through the fields together. Currently, my doodle, Lulu, listens intently, and snores by my side.

6) Is there some place in the world that you just HAVE to go to and write about? Yes. I have to go back to France because I know I lived there in a past life.

7) Who is your book boyfriend? Matthew Clairmont, the handsome vampire from Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy. To be that sexy after fifteen hundred years!

8) If you could have one person read the book for audio purposes who would be your star celebrity? My book? Shirley Maclaine—she gets the past life theory.

9) What do you have coming down the pipe in the future? The Era of Desire: set in 1923 in a speakeasy. The Buddha and the Bear: a current day fable.

10) What is your favorite movie? Eat, Love, Pray

11) Do you have any rituals you partake in while writing? Show up on the page.

12) Who inspires you? My grandchildren!

13) Any last words before the lightening round begins? No

Fast 10 – 
Hot or Cold: hot
Black or White: black
Mountain or Beach: mountain
Romance or Mystery: romance
Book or Movie: book
New Release or Classic: classic
Coke or Pepsi: neither—don’t drink soda. But I’ll add one: Wine
PJ’s or Birthday Suit: pj’s
Dogs or Cats: dogs
Sunny Day or Rainy Day: sunny day

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