Hiya peeps, we have Jon McDonald visiting today with his new release Spritzer, we have a fantastic guest post, a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~
Spritzer Vallier is the manager of a large commercial jug winery in Northern California. The new owner, Spritzer’s great-aunt Del, wants to make a quality champagne as well as the cheap wine that is the bedrock of their business. Being a down-to-earth, no-nonsense guy, Spritzer resists Del’s fantastic idea. However, she insists and hires Michel, a French champagne master, to direct the setup of the new venture for four years until Spritzer can take over the running of the winery by himself.
Spritzer and Michel must work closely together and right from the beginning it is clear there will be fireworks. Michel tends towards arrogance and control. Spritzer resents Michel’s authority and demands, and is a bit of a stubborn hot-head.
Keeping the two in check is Del—steady, caring, and wise, she directs the two toward the accomplishment of her dream.
Storms, accidents, and money problems plague the progress of the new winery, but eventually Michel and Spritzer work their way towards a successful conclusion to their efforts. But fate seems to have another destination for them as well, as they begin to fall in love with each other.
Here is some information and pictures of the Sonoma area where Spritzer is set.
Sonoma County has more than 425 California wineries and award-winning wines. Its amazing range of terroir and micro-climates makes Sonoma County one of the most diverse and special wine growing regions in the world. The Pacific coastline, redwood forests, fertile valleys, and mountains produce an array of exceptional wines. Sonoma County was named the best U.S. wine destination and second in the world by TripAdvisor in October 2012. Sonoma Wine Country includes 17 distinct appellations or AVAs: Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast and more. Sonoma wineries are known for wine varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. Many wineries offer exceptional behind-the-scenes wine education and wine tours for visitors to enjoy.
Interestingly enough the Russian River valley is a top gay destination attracting many gay San Franciscans for weekend visits.
The Russian River is the West Coast’s favorite LGBT playground. Situated in the heart of Western Sonoma County, this string of offbeat river villages attracts thousands of LGBT visitors every year for a wide range of activities and fun.
Gorgeous dry, sunny days dominate May – September, perfect for sunning by a pool with your friends or canoeing down the River. You can go biking, hiking and wine-tasting during the day, and every evening there is something happening at the bars & clubs.
Or you can decide to do nothing at all and relax after dinner to the sound of the wind in the redwoods.
Boasting over 250 of the world’s most award-winning wineries, 76 miles of scenic coastline, pristine beaches, the mystical Russian River and majestic redwoods, Sonoma County is uniquely experienced with the Russian River as your home base.
The River offers all types of gay and gay-friendly accommodations from resorts and inns to camping under a canopy of brilliant stars. Local restaurants range from simple taquerias and burger joints to four star restaurants. Special weekends feature jazz, wine, women, leather and bears.
Guerneville is the focus of the area’s gay nightlife – one of the few resort towns in the country where you can proudly walk down Main Street day or night.
Whether visiting for a weekend, a week or longer, a visitor won’t find any other getaway that matches the Russian River’s unique and spectacular natural beauty, combined with friendly businesses and residents who genuinely appreciate diversity.
Spritzer: A Sparkling Gay Romance, Jon McDonald © 2017, All Rights Reserved
Spritzer Vallier stood in contemplation, gazing at the strange sight before him—a couple of dozen or more folks, dressed mostly in black, standing at the crest of a hill overlooking a Sonoma vineyard. It stretched out below them as far as one could see in every direction; rows and rows of cultivated grape vines, marching neatly in their straight lines. The early morning mists slowly evaporated in the warmth of the climbing morning sun.
Spritzer ran a hand through his dark, curly, unkempt hair, distracted from the immediacy of the memorial service for his recently departed great-uncle Tom, as his mind wandered to the urgent need to be harvesting the glowing, ripe grapes spread out before him. There is a moment when the grapes’ sugars are at their peak, and any delay might harm a season’s harvest. Spritzer had checked the sugar levels in the grapes just yesterday afternoon and decided that they should start the harvest today. But Aunt Del, Tom’s sister, had already arranged for the memorial service to be held this very morning.
He shook himself free from those thoughts, and turned his attention back to the droning priest. Spritzer was standing between his great-aunt Del—short for Deloris—and his childhood buddy, and occasional girlfriend, Kan. He turned to his aunt and squeezed her arm, as the priest extolled her brother’s many virtues.
“Are you holding up all right?” Spritzer asked gently.
Del looked over and smiled. “It’s still hard to believe he’s gone.”
Kan—blonde, lean, and tomboyish—leaned into Spritzer and whispered, “Nice service, don’t you think?”
Spritzer turned to her and said, “Yeah, yeah. But look at all those fuckin’ grapes. The old man would kick off just when I need to start the harvest, right?”
Just then, a biplane approached from behind the gathering, flew low over the heads of the crowd, and began to spray the vineyard.
Kan looked puzzled. “Isn’t this an odd time to be spraying insecticide, for Christ’s sake?”
“That’s not insecticide, that’s Uncle Tom,” Spritzer answered, with a flash of his quirky grin. Kan looked at him questioningly. “Some people want their ashes at sea. Uncle Tom…” He gestured toward the vineyard.
“Yuck. It’s going all over the grapes. What’s that going to do to the wine?”
Spritzer thought about that for a moment, then answered. “Probably make the horrid supermarket plonk we produce a hell of a lot better than it was when he was alive.”
Kan laughed and turned back to the service.
Jon McDonald lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has seven published novels, a memoir, and three children’s books. His short stories have appeared in a number of prestigious publications. He considers himself a genre-bending author—he loves to take an established literary genre, play with it, and turn it on its head. He has lived abroad and traveled extensively.