#WineWednesday is one of my favorite blog posts.
My husband and I review a bottle of wine, that we've bought, solely on the uniqueness, strangeness or coolness of the label - and nothing else.
This month's bottle may help you celebrate St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
I have to give my husband full credit for this bottle. He found it in a liquor store in Saratoga, NY and it's by far our best bottle yet. It's from Coppola Family Wines - yes that Coppola Family - and we've been lucky enough to visit their beautiful vineyard in California. One of the best parts is when you walk into the main house there is a long, sweeping, Gone With The Wind type, staircase and at the top is the actual car, bullet holes and all, that Sonny Carleone was shot in, in the Godfather movie. This was a few years ago, and I hear it has since been auctioned off. But it was very cool to see.
But I digress. Without further ado... VENDETTA
The bottle is wrapped in paper and is actually ripped, on the front and back, from the bullet hole. When you visit the website, it gets even more fun. You have to knock three times, like an old Speak Easy and then they send you the password to enter.
From the website: The story of Vendetta begins with a secret. A whisper. A knock on a hidden door. You’ll have to find out where it ends yourself. Vendetta isn’t an ordinary wine, but this ain’t your regular juice joint. A full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, Vendetta was forged in the back rooms and secret alleyways of a bygone era. Don’t talk about it. (drink it.) Concentrated yet elegant, it's a wine you can't refuse.
We had this wine with homemade Chicken Parmagina, salad and garlic bread. It's a deep, dark red and a tad dry, but it went down smooth. I thought it had a bit of a spicy after taste which I loved. My husband is a Cab and Malbec fan so we both enjoyed this wine and will definitely buy it again. It was one of our more expensive wines at $24.99 -our usually budget is $10-$12 or our beloved box of wine that sits in the refrigerator - but since we've had Coppola wines before and always found them very, very good, we'll have no trouble spending it for special occasions.
If at any time Vendetta ends up on your dinner table, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!! SALUTE!
Thanks for clicking over to my blog from the Blood Valentine Horror Facebook Page Event.
My contribution on this day of Love Gone Bad is a flash fiction story I call...
by Debbie Christiana
He rested one hand on Lucy’s shoulder, heavy and warm. His other hand guided the zipper of her dress down her spine, exposing her bare back. He whispered in her ear and nibbled at her neck. Lucy tensed. Where butterflies used to flutter at his kisses, revulsion now resided. She stepped away from him, her husband, a man she thought she knew.
The phone call changed everything.
The headlines of the past two years flashed before her eyes. Ten murders. Ten mangled bodies. There wasn’t a preferred target. Men, women, young and old, all shared a level playing field.
His arms snaked around her waist. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“How could you do such a horrible thing?” Her hand slid toward a knife on the cutting board.
She spun around, knife slashing. Blood sprayed from his sliced face. His mouth dropped open and his eyes widened. He made no sound. Without remorse, Lucy drove the knife into his heart.
He staggered backwards, blood seeping through his J. Crew shirt. His back hit the refrigerator and he collapsed to the floor.
Always incapacitate the victim with the element of surprise. It never failed.
“Why?” He whispered.
“Because you turned me in.”
“No, he didn’t.” The cold nose of a gun pressed into the base of her neck. “I did.”
Click here to head back over to The Bloody Valentine Horror event for more stories, flash fictions, pictures and excerpts from some awesome horror authors.
Happy (Bloody) Valentine's Day!!
Yay! Jami Gray is here today. Jami is a friend, awesome author and lover of Labradors.
It's been awhile since she last visited,
but she comes with a great post and Book III in the PSY-IV Team series,
MARKED BY OBSESSION.
MIND vs. HEART
Much thanks to Debbie for letting me bring MARKED BY OBSESSION over for a visit. Especially since you know me so well and the chaos that tends to follow in my wake. (leaning over and wincing) Should I apologize now for the mess the Fur Minxes will do to your garden? (looking around) I love what you’ve done to your place, by the way! Oh look! (pointing excitedly) Nana and Zrinka were here! (waves enthusiastically) Hi, guys! (brushing hands off and getting into author role)
Hello, oh beautiful followers of Debbie’s wisdom, I’m so happy to get a chance to visit with you. I’ve brought along my latest paranormal romantic suspense release: MARKED BY OBSESSION. It’s the third book in my PSY-IV Teams series which centers around a select group of ex-military psychics who’ve come together to protect others from global criminals using their own misfit psychics.
My first love is Urban Fantasy, which blends the magic into the modern world, so playing in the psychic world wasn’t new for me. Explanations of where psychic abilities originate runs the gamut from theory to myth, but when it comes to storytelling, I tend to lean toward the belief that those extra abilities stem from the magical world. For example, in my first series, The Kyn Kronicles, there is a covert government group that works with the Kyn (a race made up of every known myth) which is composed of human psychics. The Kyn agree to work with them because they see psychics as the multi-generational offspring of Kyn and human matings.
When I created the PSY-IV Teams, I didn’t focus on the why behind my characters’ abilities, just that they existed, despite being completely human. Some of the team were born with abilities, others discovered them later on, normally thanks to some traumatic trigger. In my world, psychic abilities don’t come without costs. It takes a toll on the body as much as the mind and spirit, which meant each character needed to have a core of mental strength and discipline. Which then made using ex-military personnel as my psychic warriors a natural twist.
Warriors of any kind have to main traits: a protective streak and a high level of discipline. Discipline when paired with a protective urge, can be pushed the wrong way, say to the point that the one trying to do the protecting will sacrifice themselves. Think of Spock with Capt. Kirk when he willingly goes in to save the crew at the expense of his life. Yeah, just like that.
The biggest challenge I faced with this series was ensuring that my apparently “super-human” warriors weren’t, well, super-human at all. They couldn’t be all knowing, stronger than those around them, or invincible. They are, after all, human, complete with all our nifty little neurosis and self-doubts, and cobweb draped corners of hidden darkness. So while their abilities come in handy, they can also be the reason my characters fail in the first place. Think what it would mean to you if you could read the minds of those around you, or if you knew what the future held. How long before expediency left you twisting the minds of those around you to get the outcome you wanted, because it was just easier than arguing about it, or you began manipulating situations to avoid certain futures because you know doing it this way hurt less people?
Now I had heroes/heroines with personal stumbling blocks trying to outwit a profit-driven clandestine organization with their own darker versions of the good guys (that would be the paranormal and suspense parts), but it wasn’t enough. I decided to pair my heroes/heroines with partners guaranteed to set their world on its ear, then flip it to its back, kick it in the stomach, then tickled it until they couldn’t breathe. (Yep, that would be the romance part of the story.) For MARKED, our studly hero is Wolf, the team’s telepath and all around alpha protector (growly teddy-bear with fangs). His match? The slightly obsessive, introverted, girl next door, Meli, who’s mind was locked tighter than Fort Knox. Now Wolf has to actually rely on his male instinct to figure out how to get surprisingly independent Meli to trust him enough to keep both her body and heart safe from the mysterious psycho stalker she’s managed to pick up. And to keep it fun—she thinks his colorful vocabulary is a bit much, and he’s determine to enhance hers.
Despite the unusual talents of my characters, in the end it comes down to discovering our own inherent strengths. Not all of us were meant to kick righteous ass and take down evil with wicked right hooks, some of us are those who face down evil armed with courage, conviction, and a selfless-heart. No matter the weapons, both are warriors to be respected.
Some betrayals hide behind love, others obsession...
The loss of her beloved brother and a series of unexplained events plunges Meli Dwyer into a dangerously unfamiliar reality. Alone and floundering, she turns to the sexy and unsettling Wolf Kincaid, PSY-IV Team’s skilled telepath, for help even as her battered heart whispers to steer clear of a man more dangerous than what hunts her.
Will Meli find the answers to her personal nightmare before one man’s obsession costs her the heart of another?
Available in paperback or e-book at:
Or anywhere books are sold!
MUSE IT UP Publishing AMAZON B&N KOBO
Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.
Hunt her down at:
www.jamigray.com Twitter Facebook Goodreads
Hi Debbie, Thank you so much for having me on your Curiosities blog today!
You know, it’s a little funny when I think about the inspiration behind The Crimson Curse and the theme for your blog. My story was sparked by curiosity. Beauty and the Beast has always been my all-time favorite Disney movie. An image I saw online reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, and I started wondering…what if the woman was the beast? How different would the story be? In a world where much value is placed in a woman’s appearance, what would it be like for her? And so, The Crimson Curse was born. I hope people enjoy my twist on this classic tale as much as I enjoyed writing it.
This week's new Novella Niblets release...
The Crimson Curse
Romance / Fantasy
By Melissa J. Crispin
Release Date: Feb 7, 2017
Keywords: Romance, Fantasy, Sweet, Novella, Beauty and the Beast, Fairy Tale
Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.
Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.
An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can't ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.
Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can't reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?
Calliope returned her attention to Bastian, grasping his shoulder with a gentle hand and giving him a small shake. When he didn’t stir, she considered how she could clean the wound without undressing him as he slept. She had never taken off a man’s clothing before, and she hardly wanted her first time to be when he wasn’t even aware of her actions. But, no other options seemed available. She started at the bottom button of his shirt, working her way up with trembling fingers, and spreading the fabric apart when the last of the buttons slipped free.
Her eyes roamed his upper body. While she was supposed to be assessing the extent of his injuries, she couldn’t deny the flash of heat that blasted through her at the sight of his bare skin.
She dipped a washcloth in the basin that Mrs. Widdleworth left on the night table, wringing out the excess water. As she dabbed at the gash near his naval, his vulnerability in that moment struck her in a way she had not expected. After their first encounter, she would have predicted his ego to get in the way, choosing to bleed to death in the cold rather than accept anything from her.
Although he suffered a serious injury, his daughter seemed to remain his utmost concern. Could his earlier ill-temper have been an unusual display? A behavior born out of fear for his daughter’s safety?
Maybe she had been wrong about him.
She pressed her lips together, allowing the notion to sink in as she dropped the bloody fabric off to the side, and proceeded to stitch the wound with shaky fingers. When the task was complete, she picked up a fresh cloth to use as a dressing. Relief washed over her as she inspected the area before covering it up. The slice in his flesh went deep, but not nearly as deep as she initially feared. She positioned the bandage and fixed it in place, her gaze catching a thin trail of hair that started under the center of his chest, following the way it continued lower down his body, and even further yet where it dipped beneath his trousers.
“It’s been a long time since a woman has laid her hands on me,” Bastian said, his voice rough.
Calliope jumped, heat infusing her cheeks. “My apologies if this offends. Marcus doesn’t fare well with blood. I had to care for your injury myself.” Her eyes met his, and to her surprise, no anger seemed to stir there.
“I was only teasing.” He swallowed hard, appearing to bite back the immense discomfort he had to be feeling. “Thank you.”
She inclined her head. “You’re welcome.”
“I shouldn’t have been so terse with you earlier. Yareena is my life, and when I couldn’t find her, well…” He reached for his face, pressing the heel of his hand against his jaw. “I lost my sense for a short while. I apologize.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.
From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it's almost always about the romance.
$25 Roane Publishing Gift Card, Bracelet with charm from Sweet Inspiration, Hot cocoa mixes and mug from The Crimson Curse
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