Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Taste of Chardonnay Blog Tour!

Title: A Taste of Chardonnay
Author: Heather Heyford
Series: The Napa Wine Heiresses
Pages: 206
Date Published: October 13th 2014
Publisher: Kensington Press
Format: eBook
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Join author Heather Heyford as she uncorks a sparkling new series following the St. Pierre sisters, heiresses to a Napa wine fortune who are toasting the good life and are thirsty for love…

Chardonnay St. Pierre's father is as infamous for his scandals as he is for his wine, and it's up to Char to restore the family name. The Challenge, an elite charity competition held in Napa, seems like the perfect opportunity for the socialite to cement her image as a philanthropist. But all eyes—including Char's—are on the Hollywood heartthrob who's also entered the race…

Long before his face was splashed across the gossip magazines, Ryder McBride grew up in a working-class family in Napa. He knows all about the St. Pierre sisters and their notorious father, and when he learns he'll be up against Char in The Challenge, he assumes the grape doesn't fall far from the vine. But the more they get to know one another, the more they begin to realize that nothing pairs better with a heated rivalry than a healthy pour of flirtation.

Today we’re talking to Heather Heyford, author of A Taste of Chardonnay, Book 1 in The Napa Wine Heiresses Series.

Heather, how does it feel to be launching your very first book?

Nine months ago, if you had told me that all four books in The Napa Wine Heiresses would be bought by Kensington and today I’d be knee-deep in interviews and guest blogs and book signings, I never would have believed it! I feel like I’ve just given birth. My head is spinning!

What’s all the buzz about The Napa Wine Heiresses?

The daughters of Napa Valley’s most notorious vintner appear to have it all, but when Maman ran off and Papa divided them among eastern boarding schools, their lives were literally torn apart. Over the years, their buzz has been slowly fermenting until now, when an invitation to rub shoulders with the fully-matured St. Pierres at their family’s annual gala is the social coup of the season.

Can you tell us a little about Book 1, A Taste of Chardonnay?

Though she might look like just a blond celebutant, on the inside Chardonnay yearns to be recognized for her true self, not what she appears to be. The real Char is a hardy field hockey player and her dearest ambition is to start a foundation for the children of the immigrant grape pickers. Unfortunately, when he meets her, actor Ryder McBride can’t see past the surface. Growing up middle-class in Napa, he’s heard all about ‘wine princesses,’ and he’s not impressed.

Likewise, Char has an inherent distrust of actors. She’s met a whole slew of them at Papa’s parties, and most are only pretty faces with big egos. Both Char and Ry have a lot of convincing to do!

What gave you the idea to start writing?

I wrote my first book because there was a story in my head that wanted to get out. I don’t ever remember taking a formal creative writing class, but I thought, I can do this. Ha! In that virgin attempt, I knew nothing. I made every possible mistake a writer can make. People asked me, what genre do you write? And I’d say, ‘genre?’

That book was rejected about a dozen times, but almost all of the feedback had something positive in it. I took everyone’s advice to heart and began to really study the craft of writing. After about 3 frustrating years—frustrating because when I’m interested in something I want to understand everything about it, immediately—it finally clicked. Turns out, there’s a craft to writing. Who knew?

Now, don’t tell anyone, but…I’m revising that first book, what I call the book of my heart (BOMH) and re-submitting next year.  Eeeee! I get excited just thinking about it.

How did you come up with the idea to write The Napa Wine Heiresses?

While visiting the northern California wine country I was enthralled with the breathtaking landscape, the over-the-top mansions…the whole wine-making culture. I found myself fantasizing about what it must be like to grow up in a fabulous wine mansion. Of course, as we all know, everyone has issues, even the most privileged among us. We all have to figure out what we want to do with our lives, who we want to spend them with, and it’s never easy. That’s what makes great story.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing about love and romance?

To be honest, this year has been such a whirlwind I almost don’t remember what I did when I wasn’t writing! Seriously though, I’m a very visual, crafty person—my first career was in the visual arts—and I have yards of fabric I bought to make drapes and slipcovers with, just sitting there. I have no idea when they’ll get made. What else? I love antiquing and walking on the beach with my husband, seeing who can find the most sand dollars. There’s something about shell searching that’s a metaphor for life. We’re always looking for something, aren’t we? Even when I have a bucketful of sand dollars, I’m focused on finding the next one…

It’s been great talking to you, Heather! What’s on the horizon this fall?

Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited to be reading from A Taste of Chardonnay at Lady Jane Salon in Silver Spring, Maryland on my birthday, November 15. I love meeting readers, so if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come on over!
~Try an Excerpt!~
“Do I seriously have to go to this thing?” Ryder McBride asked Amy, his publicist. He had better things to do than spend his Friday night with a bunch of ritzy people he didn’t even know and would probably never meet again. He’d just got off the plane from LAX yesterday to find his mom’s gutters needed cleaning and the lawn mowing, and he was anxious to get started on it. And then there was the favor he’d been asked to do by the Firefighters’ Relief Fund. But going to the right parties was part of promoting his acting career and arranging the invitations was Amy’s job. And he had to admit, one she was damn good at.

“Are you kidding me?” Amy was incredulous. “Look, Ryder, I busted my butt finagling this invite. An actor—even a lucky one like you—has to network. You might be a rising star, but a ticket to one of the St. Pierre winery parties is envied up and down the whole north coast. You might meet anyone there, producers to politicians. Of course, they always blend a few mere mortals into the mix. But you have to be on your toes. Tomorrow you could read that the stranger you chatted up during cocktails was a Pulitzer Prize winner, a federal judge, or some rapper on the brink of gold. So hell yes, you have to go. No amount of my hard work will have an effect unless you do your part.”
~Meet Heather!~ 
Born in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. (“Ya’ll want some scones?”) While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City. The first book in her Napa Wine Heiresses Series from Kensington Publishing, A Taste of Chardonnay, is now available!

Heather will be awarding a digital copy of A TASTE OF CHARDONNAY to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks Mary! I love the cover too. The next 3 books are variations on the vineyard theme, and all the colors are luscious!

    It was great being here on Unabridged Andra this week. I hope everyone enjoys A Taste of Chardonnay. There’s plenty more drama coming up in the The Napa Wine Heiresses. Congrats to Brandi D. who won a free ebook! I’ll be sending that your way soon, Brandi. And don’t forget, if you enjoy the books, tell a book-loving friend. Thanks and stay in touch on facebook, twitter, pinterest or instagram...