Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Alberta's Field Stone Fruit Wine

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Welcome to another post on Alberta, the province where I set most of my stories!  To check out earlier posts, click here.

This week, I'm blogging about fruit and alcohol!

I know five things about fruit and alcohol:
  1. A yukaflux is not your friend.  Eating fruit that's been sitting in alcohol for a long time is a bad, bad idea.
  2. There are two exceptions to #1. Exception #1: Cherry tomatoes soaked in rosemary infused gin are wonderful.  Exception #2:  The olives marinated in Napa Valley wines by Mezzetta are also wonderful. (Are olives and tomatoes both considered fruit?  I think so...)
  3. My grand experiment of '96 where I made crabapple liquor should never be repeated.
  4. Making apple wine from apples picked in your backyard is a very messy process.
  5. Alberta does not have vineyards (at least none that I know of--grapes just don't grow very well in our climate), but we do have wineries, fruit wineries to be exact.  (Yes, I know, grapes are fruit, but apparently in wine-making circles this is how they differentiate non-grape wines from grape wines.)
On the weekend, we visited Field Stone Fruit Wines, which is located about forty minutes east of Calgary. Field Stone has five table wines and five dessert wines.  I tasted nine of the ten.  (Yes, I was feeling a little tipsy by the end.)


Field Stone Fruit Wines Entry Sign
Their table wines include:
  • Bumble Berry
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb
  • Cherry
  • Black Currant
Their dessert wines include:
  • Black Currant
  • Raspberry
  • Saskatoon
  • Strawberry
  • Wild Black Cherry
Don't the flavors sound yummy? 

We came away with four bottles.  I chose the Black Currant table and dessert wines.  My husband chose two table wines: Cherry and Raspberry.  I'm looking forward to enjoying them soon...On the Field Stone website, they also have some recipes I may have to try out.

Each of the wines has a distinct and lovely flavor, perhaps in part thanks to their winemaker, Dominic Rivard. If you want to learn more about fruit wine, he has a blog and has also written the book, The Ultimate Fruit Winemaker's Guide.  Hmmm...I have three raspberry bushes...what if?  No, no, no!  I must remember Items #3 and #4 above!  Besides, with three bushes, I'd probably only have enough of a harvest to make one glass.  I must remember: It is much better if I enjoy a fruit and alcohol product produced by experts!

But, I could have one of my future characters own and operate a winery...Yes, that is a much better idea!


Here are the wines we chose.
Have you tried fruit wine?  What kind is your favorite?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A book cover! Annie's Christmas Plan has a cover!

Today I'm excited to share the cover of my upcoming release, Annie's Christmas Plan, which is the second novel in the Morning Lake Series. (Anticipated release date is the fall of 2013.)

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Annie's Christmas Plan

Blurb: Recent divorcee and empty-nester, Annie Bingley wants her family back. Desperate to prove to her ex and her daughter that she can be more than just a craft-obsessed mom, Annie decides to start fresh, move to a small town, and emulate the lifestyle she sees splashed in crafting and home-making magazines. Living from holiday to holiday, Annie works at creating an ideal home and picture-perfect memories full of glitter and hope - and it works. Before the year is out Annie's house is filled with relatives and their pets, but it is nothing like what she'd expected. And, she certainly hadn't anticipated her sexy new neighbor, John Quinn, changing her carefully constructed plans.

Who knew perfection would be so hard to maintain?


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Want to know more? 

I posted early snippets of Annie and Quinn's story last year when I was participating in Six Sentence Sunday. (Back then, this story was called All That Glitters.) You can click here to check them out!

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A little about the Morning Lake Series

These stories are a collection of contemporary romances set in Morning Lake, a fictitious small town in Alberta, Canada.  The first novel in the series is Devin's Second Chance, which was released in June.  Helen, Devin Trent's mom, loves to meddle and continues to play a little role in helping each Morning Lake couple find their happily-ever-after. 

After Annie and Quinn's story is released, Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier, a novella, will be next!

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I hope you fall in love with Annie and Quinn's story as much as I did!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What to Read Thursday!

Things are a little crazy this week!  The When Words Collide Conference (WWC) starts tomorrow and I'm scrambling to get ready for it!  So, this week, I'm mixing up the What to Read Thursday a bit. 

You can check out previous WTRT posts here:
And, here are a few books by some of my fellow ARWAnians who'll be attending WWC this weekend! (ARWAnian = a person who belongs to the Alberta Romance Writers' Association)
  • Duke out at the Diner by Sarah Kades - This is a fun short story with a paranormal twist.
  • A Stranger's Touch by Roxy Boroughs - This is a romantic suspense with a paranormal twist.
  • Her Place in Time by Jessica L. Jackson - This is a time travel romance with Vikings!
  • Women of the Apocalypse by Billie Milholland (Eileen Bell, Roxanne Felix and Ryan McFadden are also authors in this book).  This book is not a romance novel, but the premise is fantastically intriguing
    • Blurb: Four women. Four shooters. Four destinies to save the world…The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming. And four Archangels must find the perfect champions to save the world: fighters, warriors, soldiers, and brave men, all ready to fight for humanity against end times. All they have to do is drink a shooter — a caustic mix of alcohol and divinity that will imbue them with the conviction to battle the Four. The only problem is these warriors don’t drink the shooters. Call it fate, chance, or what you will, but four women drink the divine concoction. Alexandra Carlton, Julia Wolfe, Emily Keller and Dinah Medrano must all take up the mantles of champions … whether they want to or not. Four writers, four horsemen, four Women of the Apocalypse. The world will never be the same again.
Also, I'll be doing a cover reveal for Annie's Christmas Plan this weekend too!  Woo hoo!  I'll post it next week!

I hope you are having a fantastic Thursday! If you are going to When Words Collide this weekend, let me know! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Alberta - Strathmore and Vulcan

This last weekend was the "Heritage Day" Long Weekend in Canada, and the Towns of Strathmore and Vulcan were busy. 

The Strathmore Stampede is held annually on this weekend.  As Canada's third largest rodeo, the rodeo is a big draw and boost to the local economy.  What I find particularly fascinating about the stampede is the Running with the Bulls!  Yes, you read that correctly.  (You can check out videos from past years on YouTube. Be warned: they will probably make you cringe.) I blogged about this event a while ago, when I'd briefly contemplated having my heroine, Claire, in Devin's Second Chance sign up for a similar event, but she screamed at me that no matter how much she wanted to grab life by the horns, she wasn't going to actually do it. Despite Claire's resistance, I do make a passing reference to this rodeo in Devin's Second Chance.



All I can say to that is "people are crazy..."



Vulcan Ale
Label on the
Vulcan Ale bottle.
And, this year, Vulcan celebrated its centennial anniversary.  The big shindig happened over the weekend.  If you haven't heard of Vulcan, Alberta, well, you must not be a Trekkie.  They have been holding Spock Days for over twenty years, there is a Trek Station at the town's entrance and they have a Starship with plaques welcoming visitors in English, Klingon and Vulcan. So, to commemorate this 100 year milestone, Vulcan commissioned their own beer: Vulcan Ale. It even has its own Facebook page.  I bought a bottle over the weekend, but I haven't opened it yet, but I do enjoy the packaging... 




How was your weekend?