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Cowboys & Wine Tastings | Heather Slade

Kiss Me Cowboy Cover
The latest book in the Cowboys of Crested Butte series, Kiss Me Cowboy, has (somewhat surprisingly) a wine tasting scene in which our hero orders a bottle of Marqués de Murrieta Rioja, and pairs it with charred shishito peppers stuffed with almonds, Catalonian flatbread with dates, caramelized onions and bleu cheese, and blood orange sorbet. I don’t know about you, but if an already hotter-than-you-know-where cowboy ordered what I just described, I’d follow him to the ends of the earth.

Readers will find that almost every one of my books has some reference to wine, and as I did in Kiss Me Cowboy, I typically include a food pairing. Why? First and foremost, I am an executive sommelier—which is sort of like an executive chef, except instead of knowing way too much about food, I know way too much about wine.

I can say honestly, that getting my second tier sommelier certification was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Instead of taking seven or eight weeks to complete the program, I thought it would be a good idea to enroll in the seven-day intensive class.

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Guest Post

Romance & Wine in the Butler Ranch Series!

Can Naughton Butler risk letting Bradley Saint John into his heart, or will his brother’s secret ruin his one shot at love?

Naughton Butler is a loner, partially by choice, but also because the secret his dead brother left with him could tear his life apart. When he and his brother Maddox inherit four hundred acres of prime vineyard property, they must decide how to manage Butler Ranch Winery, along with starting a new winery on Demetria Estate.

The solution is to hire the new kick-ass, hotter-than-all-get-out, winemaker who just landed on the Central Coast. When Naughton meets Bradley St. John, he’s expecting a man—and she is anything but. Thinking it’s a joke, he refuses to take her seriously. Bradley leaves, forcing him to follow and apologize. He watches as she makes her way through the vineyards, she was born to them, just like he was.

Getting a job with Butler Ranch Winery right out of college, is more than Bradley could’ve dreamed of. When Maddox Butler interviews her for the position, he warns her that Naughton could be difficult, but once he recognized her abilities, he’d back off. The burning question now was, would she want him to?

Naughton can’t stay away from her, even knowing being with her is impossible.

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Guest Post

Movies that Will Make You Fall in Love with Romance

Like so many other romance fans, I can watch the same HEA movies over and over again.

I have always been a sucker for Hallmark Christmas movies. I don’t start watching them until the day after Thanksgiving, and never watch them after New Years Day, but in between, my husband does a lot of eye-rolling. Truthfully, he thinks my obsession is adorable.

My go-to romance movies otherwise are Pride and Prejudice, the Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen version. My youngest son used to say, “Mom, are you watching the English movie again?”

Another favorite is While You Were Sleeping, with Sandra Bullock. And who doesn’t love You’ve Got Mail? I could watch both once a month, or more.

The first to change my life, or make me a romance fan, are much older. My grandmother and I used to watch Cary Grant’s His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, and The Philadelphia Story. Needless to say, Cary was my first ideal leading man!

Most recently I discovered the “Before” movies . . . Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. I know I was late to that particular party, but being able to watch all three in a row, without having to wait ten years in between each, was such a gift. These three movies inspired me as a romance writer, more than any other. Brilliant subtleties, rich and complex characters, breathtaking scenery . . . that’s what I want to write.

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Guest Post

Things I Would Like To See More Of In Romance by Heather Slade

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

The answer is always, “yes, you can.”

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it.

Did you ever wish you could meet someone again for the first time?

I don’t just write romance, I jump in and roll around in it. I’m incurable. And an optimist.  I love the idea of meeting someone again, for the first time. Having that second chance at love whether it’s with someone you know, or someone you’ve just met. Reaching for the dream that you believe is impossible to achieve, because you wake up one morning and say, “what the hell—I’m going for it.”

I’d like to see more leaps of faith in romance. One of my favorite poems was written by George Sand. It begins, “Once my heart was captured, reason was shown the door, deliberately and with a sort of frantic joy.” I love the idea of throwing out all reason and allowing ourselves to fall in love without allowing fear to talk us out of it.

I believe there comes a time in everyone’s life, when they wonder what if? Or is it too late for all my what ifs? Letting love in, even when we think that phase of our life is over.  Deciding it’s time, finally, to make a a lifelong dream a reality.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn