Friday, January 25, 2013

"Seasons of the Vineyard" by Catherine MacDonald {Book Review}


Francesca Bernard receives a call from Enrico, the foreman on the family vineyard telling her that her father has driven the truck through the barn and doesn’t remember. Reluctantly, Francesca returns with her son and notices the changes in her father and the vineyard. The vineyard is struggling and her father is slipping toward dementia. She must make the decision to stay and resurrect the Zinfandel wine, which once put the vineyard on the map, but the secret to the wine is buried with her mother. The vineyard is in financial distress and brokers are attempting to purchase the property, but her father refuses to sell. Tension arises between Francesca and Enrico and she can’t ignore the sexual energy. Francesca and Enrico have a turbulent past, which is the reason she left the vineyard.

Her mother’s spirit visits at night, startles Francesca, and urges her to help her father because he is too stubborn and arrogant to admit he’s scared and confused. Her mother’s spirit is stuck between worlds and cannot leave until her husband is taken care of. Francesca must make the decision to work the vineyard and bring it back to its once glory. The tension between Francesca and her father is thick and she prods his mind about the Zinfandel: Bella Serrano. She agrees to represent the vineyard at an event, where she meets the dashing Giancarlo, who is also after the vineyard.

Francesca and Giancarlo begin dating, which distresses Enrico so he quits, and she is left with an ailing vineyard, sick father, and rebellious teenaged son. Her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and falls and hits his head, ending up in the hospital.

Giancarlo steps up his pursuit of Francesca and the vineyard. Francesca finally understands that Giancarlo wants only one thing—the vineyard—and she isn’t selling. Nope. Her father slips further and further away. Her mother’s spirit repeatedly visits and Francesca tries to talk to her about the Zinfandel, but the spirit says the wine can wait but her father can’t. Her life is in turmoil. Her father dies. Her new vineyard manager is picked up for drunk driving, and her ex-husband shows up at the funeral. She and Giancarlo have an argument and he hits her, causing her to flee in her car. She hits a deer and ends up in the ditch. She wakes up in the hospital, where she is visited by the spirit who tells her goodbye because it’s her time to cross the great divide into the next world. Her father has safely made it. Then she tells Francesca the secret ingredient. Love. Enrico will love and support her so she grows into a world class vintner, but first she needs to make it right with him and tell him he’s her son’s father, not her ex-husband. Then love will flow through the vineyard and she will create the Zinfandel wine because the grapes will flourish when there is love.

Enrico returns when he learns of her accident. The intoxicating scent of the harvest awakens her true feelings for him. Passion resumes between them and she tells him he doesn’t’ have to wait for her any longer. The vineyard connects her with the cycles of the season. Wine is the holy substance that unites her to the vineyard. Enrico tells her they are going to love each other and because of their love the Zinfandel wine will flourish once more.

About the Author, Catherine MacDonald:

Catherine MacDonald graduated from the University of the Pacific with a B.A. in English and a Minor in Communication Arts. She earned a Masters in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno. A former school teacher, she owns and operates several small businesses with her husband. She was the vice-president of the Romance Writers of Nevada before it disbanded in 2002. Her published works include The Jeweled Path, Divine Diva, Comstock Rose, Road Queens, Coming Home, and The Way. She is a Reiki Master Teacher who has pursued the Diva trail for over twenty years and she urges everyone to empower their life by accessing their own power and creating the life they deserve at

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Catherine pens "Seasons of the Vineyard" in beautifully written, smoothly flowing plot with many twists and turns that makes the book hard to put down. Her characters are strong, believable and relate-able to the point you can actually feel her emotions. I loved how this book took me into the wine country and explains how the grapes are grown and wine is made. Highly recommended for all readers.

I give "Seasons of the Vineyard" a 5 star rating.

* Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Pump Up Your Book and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Pump Up Your Book, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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