Please help me welcome the amazingly talented Barbara Wallace to Hearts & Scribbles. She is here to share a bit about her book, SAVED BY THE CEO, which concludes The Vineyards of Calanetti series. So if you've been waiting for all of the books to be released before starting the series, now's the time to visit the romantic hills of Tuscany.
And now, I'll turn things over to Barbara to tell us about her wonderful book...
First of all, Thanks Jennifer! for having me come to visit. It was so much fun working on this continuity with you.
My role in the Vineyard’s of Tuscany continuity was to write Nico Amatucci’s story. Nico, you all may remember, is the brother of Antonio Amatucci, from Jennifer’s book Return of the Italian Tycoon.
Nico runs the family winery and plays White Knight to his American neighbor Louisa Harrison when a past scandal catches up to her. (More on that in a bit.) Since much of the story takes place amid the vines of Amatucci vineyards, I needed to do a little research about wine before tackling the project.
Contrary to what you’re thinking “research” did not mean drinking all the Italian wine I could find. (Although wouldn’t that have been fun?) Instead, it involved learning things like how wine is made, what grapes are grown in Tuscany, and of course, what wines Tuscany is known for. I figured I’d share a couple factoids for you here. That way you could do your own Tuscan wine sampling. (Prefererably while reading Saved by the CEO.)
Tuscany is the most famous for three types of wine:
Chianti: The trademark wine of Tuscany. Chianti is made from Sangiovese grapes, which happen to be the king of Tuscan grapes. The wine itself is a smoky red wine with a hint a balsamic and cherry. In Saved by the CEO, Nico tells Louisa about his parents’ tumultuous marriage while they surrounded by branches ripe with Sangiovese. To sample, try Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva.
Brunello: An expensive variation of Chianti produced only in the Montalcino region of Tuscany. The dry red wine is often considered the finest of Tuscan wines because of the care that goes into producing it. Wedecided very early on in the continuity, (thanks to Becky Winters’ wine knowledge) that Nico produced Brunello. After all, he is Tuscany’s premier boutique vintner. His famed Amatucci Red is served at Halencia’s royal wedding – the event where Nico and Louisa also share their first kiss. To sample, try Celestino Pecci Brunello di Montalcino.
Super Tuscan: The concept of a Super Tuscan is relatively knew, and comes from the introduction of new grape varieties into Tuscany. Vintners, looking to expand beyond the strict rules surrounding Chianti production (and there are really strict rules, believe you me) invented blended wines in the late 20th century. As a smart businessman, Nico has branched into Super Tuscans himself. He’s helped himself to his neighbor’s vineyards, and is planning to expand his Chardonney and Cabernet vines. Needless to say, this taking by eminent domain puts him in constant contact with Louisa Harrison. (Something Louisa isn’t too sure about.) To sample, try Castello Banfi Centine Toscana 2005
After a horribly public divorce, Louisa Harrison has escaped to Tuscany craving peace and quiet. But gorgeous local tycoon Nico Amatucci sends her heart into overdrive…especially when he kisses her!
Nico comes to Louisa's rescue when their romance makes headlines, but Louisa's determined to prove she's no damsel in distress! Being in Nico's arms makes her feel stronger than she's ever felt before, but is she brave enough to entrust him with her just-healed heart?
She had to be joking. She was going to claim sovereignty now? “That’s funny, because I don’t remember you complaining about my maintaining it on your behalf.”
“On my behalf and to your benefit. Or are you going to tell me you didn’t double your vineyard without paying a penny?”
“No,” he replied with a shrug. “Why deny the truth?” He had benefited from using Carlos’s land. Carlos would have wanted as much. “You chose to stay away, and I saw no sense in letting good land go to waste.”
“I didn’t choose, I...” Whatever she was going to say was swept aside by a deep breath. “Regardless, that doesn’t give you the right to do what you want. No matter how good you are at it,” she muttered into her cup.
“Good at vineyard management or doing what I want?” Her side eye gave him his answer. “Fine. You’re the owner. If you don’t want to recultivate, what would you like to do with your neglected vineyards?”
“I’ll let you know,” she said, jutting her chin for maximum haughtiness.
They both knew he would replant; she was being stubborn for stubbornness’ sake. He wondered if she knew how attractive she looked when she was being argumentative. Maybe that was why he enjoyed pushing her buttons. Like a person with a stick poking at a hornet’s nest and getting off on the risk, provoking her to annoyance had excitement curling low in his stomach. And damn if it wasn’t easy to push her buttons. Seemed as though all he had to do was breathe and her eyes were flashing.
Those eyes were flashing brightly at the moment. Reminding him of how she’d looked right after they kissed.
Ah. Clarity dawned.
“This isn’t really about recultivating, is it?” he asked, stepping closer. “This is about what happened at the wedding.”
To read more, you can purchase Saved the CEO at any of the following links. (Sorry, wine not included.)
Since winning RWA's prestigious Golden Heart Award in 2007, Barbara Wallace has gone on to sell over 15 titles with Harlequin Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her books have appeared in nearly a half dozen languages and close to a dozen countries around the world. She's a multiple Romantic Times award nominee, a Golden Leaf finalist, and wnner of the New England Bean Pot award. Most recently, her book THE COURAGE TO SAY YES was named Best Traditional Romance at the GDRWA Booksellers Best Awards.
You can keep up with Barbara’s releases through her newsletter. To sign up, visit www.barbarawallace.com
- A Bride for the Italian Boss by Susan Meier
- Return of the Italian Tycoon by Jennifer Faye
- Reunited by a Baby Secret by Michelle Douglas
- Soldier, Hero…Husband? by Cara Colter
- His Lost-and-Found Bride by Scarlet Wilson
- The Best Man & the Wedding Planner by Teresa Carpenter
- His Princess of Convenience by Rebecca Winters
- Saved by the CEO by Barbara Wallace