Wining Wife®

Because housework goes better with Malbec...

Month: July 2016

Cover Reveal: Good Things


Good things come from unexpected places…


Genre: Urban Fantasy

To Be Released: August 18th, 2016


Good things come from unexpected places…


Magic and mayhem. Vampires and gods. Cops and werewolves. The binding thread of mysticism in the modern world and acts of kindness, small and large, random and focused. Join these ten authors as we travel through their worlds.


All of the author proceeds from the sales of this anthology will go to the Random Acts Organization, sponsoring kindness throughout the world. This is not official Random Acts merchandise, but is a fundraising project under permission from the charity.


Pre-Order Link on Amazon (Affiliate Link)



Diantha Jones loves writing fantasy books filled with adventure, romance, and magic. She’s the author of the Oracle of Delphi series, the Mythos series, and the Djinn Order series (as A. Star). When she isn’t writing or working, she is reading or being hypnotized by Netflix. She is a serious night-owl and while everyone else is grinning in the warmth and sunlight, she’s hoping for gloominess and rain. Yeah, she’s weird like that.



Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

In 2014, Ms. Chrysler founded Brain to Books: the marketing promotional engine and online Encyclopedia for authors. A passionate gardener and incurable cat lover, Ms. Chrysler spends her days drinking coffee and writing beside a volume of Edgar Allan Poe who strongly influences her style to this day. When Ms. Chrysler is not writing, she enables her addictions to all things nerdy, and reads everything she can get her hands on no matter the genre. Occasionally, she finds time to mother her three children and debate with her life-long friend who she eventually married. Her writing is often compared to Tad Williams. Her influences are Edgar Allan Poe, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein.



Kim’ love of reading came after her mother introduced her to Tolkien and the Hobbit, followed by Lord of the Rings. She also lovingly blames her mother for her love of Science Fiction and Fantasy, thanks to being raised on Star Trek. Kim has always had a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until she finished with graduate school (where she earned a Master’s of Science in Geology) that she found she could focus her imagination into creating her own characters and stories. Much of her writing has been for various play by email or forum role play universes, though Kim does hope this will be the first of many more stories she writes for publication.

When not writing, Kim can be found snowboarding, hiking, or doting on her furry beasts.


Dariel Raye is an award-winning author of powerful IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with alpha male heroes to die for and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). Dariel is currently writing three series: “Dark Sentinels” (wolf shifters), “Orlosian Warriors” (Vampire-like Nephilim), and “Gateway” (a crossover erotic paranormal suspense with romantic elements).

For more about Dariel, follow her blog or visit her website. She also publishes a new release newsletter. If you enjoyed this book, please post a review on review sites. You can also follow her and contact her on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.



Born a Connecticut Yankee in nobody’s court, Mia Darien grew up to brave snow and talk fast. She started reading when she was three and never looked back, soon frequently falling asleep with a book under her cheek. (Something she still does, though these days it?s her Nook as often as a paperback.)

At eleven, she discovered Night Mare by Piers Anthony and entered the world of grown-up fantasy fiction and it was all over from there. She started writing at fourteen, then met vampires as a teenager and the concept for what would become Adelheid was soon born. Epic fantasy remains her first love, but she enjoys writing whatever stories come to mind in any genre.

Now she loves both writing and helping her indie community with her freelancing. A geek till the end, she enjoys role-play by email games and World of Warcraft when she has the time. Married to her very own Named Man of the North, she lives with him, their mini-tank (also known as their son) and pets, who usually act more childish than the child.



Award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado, and resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe.

Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.



Born a small town Missourian, Crystal grew up in a time where reading was used for her escape from the everyday worries of a young girl.  She then began developing ideas of how she would write a book and what she would do with her characters.  Soon, idea came to typewriter and then thankfully computers.

Her love of reading is not centered on one specific genre, but with her writing, she has a tendency to stay with the romance genre.  Whether it be modern day romance or paranormal romance, and a lot of steamy, she enjoys writing a story where characters find love in one another no matter how twisted their lives.

She has written several stories for charity to date and continues to write novellas and novels.  She is an indie author with a large imagination and even larger heart.  She is married with four children, (even though two of them have four legs).  She works full-time as a pediatric nurse and when she isn’t acting goofy with family, you can find her reading or writing.



Kat Jameson has been having just plain wicked thoughts for about as long as she’s been writing, so it seemed like a very natural progression that the two would end up together. She is a woman who seems perfectly average on the outside, but believes in a great capacity for the power of love and the joy of sex and thinks constraints should be put on neither so long as everyone involved is happy. So that’s what she writes about.



Christi Rigby lives in Colorado with her husband and her two teen boys, rounding out the group is a bernese mountain dog and an old orange cat that can’t seem to sleep in the morning past the need for some kibble at 5 am, then returns to the bed after it has been vacated but the owners. She has written a number of short stories for publication and is working on her first book to be published. When she is not writing at a keyboard she is always writing in her mind, so to say writing is her real life over the job she holds would be a fair representation. An avid guide along the path to geekdom for her children and friends, she is a fan of comic books, any number of Science Fiction/Fantasy television shows and movies, computer and console gaming, and just about anything Scandinavian or British Isles in nature. One day she hopes that her choice to make writing her life will lead to a visit to the Isle of Man.



Jessica Nicholls is originally from Northern Illinois. She lived in the Northwest of England for just over ten years, where she studied and had her children. Jessica still lives overseas with her husband and two school age kids. Running, reading and watching films are her favourite hobbies. She loves spirits, passionate love stories, vampires, shape shifters, mythology and almost anything historical. The most important thing for her is for a story to feel real, something to genuinely escape into. Writing the type of stories she would enjoy reading is a passion.


2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro

My_Wine_Awesomeness_box_is_hereI decided I would be adventurous; I decided I would try a subscription* to Wine Awesomeness, which I wrote about not too long ago.  The first shipment arrived, really quickly, and I was impressed. The wine was packaged very well, and it came in an attractive blue box. Upon opening the box, I found a selection of three wines (including the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro I talk about here), chocolate, and a recipe book for making pizzas that pair with the wines. 

Wine Awesomeness's packaging and the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro

I was super excited to try out the wines, but I decided that to do so properly for the purpose of reviewing them, I would make the suggested pizza recipes to accompany them. So, I whipped up some pizza dough almost as instructed to by the recipe book, and I put together the first sauce and topping for the pizza. The sauce recipe for the first pizza I made, “Paulie Gee’s ‘Feels Like Bacon Love'” makes 3-4 12-inch pizzas, depending upon how much sauce you like. This is perfect since the dough recipe makes four pizza crusts. A word to the wise, the recipe is missing the addition of water. I have included my modifications in the recipe, which I will share in a minute.

Wine_and_pizza_nightAbout the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro

First, let’s talk about the wine. The first wine we tried was the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro.  The book of recipes also includes information about each of the wines. This wine is from Toro, Spain, and is 85% Tinta de Toro and 15% Garnacha. I learned from reading the description that Tinta de Toro grapes are more commonly known as Tempranillo. 

The Dominos de Castilla region

The Castilla region of Spain is also known as “the Land of Castles.” The wine is described as a big wine with a lot of elegant dark fruit flavors and as a great peairing with smoked meats and cheeses. The winery’s profile on Winesellers, Ltd says of the region:

“D.O. Rueda stands 2,200 to 2,600 feet above sea-level and is located in the central area of the basin formed by the river Duero. The different grape varieties frown are irregularly scattered over the several municipal districts comprising Rueda Appelation but is known primarily for its fine white wines based on the Verdejo grape. There is only one D.O. in the region of Rueda which is “Rueda D.O.”.

“D.O. Toro is situated west of the Spanish Duero river valley near the Portuguese border. Toro appelation covers approximately 5,600 ha of vineyards at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. At the end of the 19th century great quantities of wines were exposed to France during the phylloxera crisis, which did not affect the local vines as they were protected by the sandy soil. For this reason, the vines of other regions of Spain were replaced by vines from Toro. Today, Toro still has a number of very old vineyards with pre-phyloxera Tinta de Toro.”


Tasting the wine

The first thing I noticed about the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro was that it had a really nice nose. I got anise, vanilla, and plum. When I then tasted the wine, I found it tart, acidic with some good degree of tanins, and that it was very young in flavor. Despite being young, it was well-balanced. It also had notes of dark and bittersweet chocolate. 

I found the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro and pizza pairing spot-on. The pizza really brought out the wine’s pepper and green – maybe even ancho – pepper finish and it really highlighted the tannins in a good way. On the whole, I was really impressed with this wine and its quality.

Subscribe to Wine Awesomeness, and get your first month free

Trying the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro made me excited to try the next wine in the box. I will share my notes on that one soon. For now, I can recommend this wine as well as the box. At $45 a month, it is a really great value. These are not your typical $15 wines. They have quality, and I’m sure if you wanted to cellar them, they would stand up well and develop complexity over time. With that in mind, you can do what I did and Become a member today and get your first month FREE at Wine Awesomeness! (Affiliate Link)

Meanwhile, enjoy this modified version of the pizza recipe that accompanies the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro. 

*I took advantage of the free month offer in order to provide my readers with a review of this monthly subscription box service. 

Smoky Bacon and Black Pepper Pizza
Yields 4
This delicious pizza is the perfect accompaniment for the 2013 Dominos de Castilla Tinta de Toro. It has a great smoky flavor.
Write a review
For the Dough
  1. 5 cups organic unbleached bread flour
  2. 1 tbsp sugar
  3. 2 tsps table salt
  4. 1 package yeast
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 cup water
For the toppings
  1. 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 can (28 oz) Italian peeled tomatoes
  4. 1 large Vidalia onion
  5. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  6. 1 lb Applewood smoked bacon
  7. 2 sticks salted (yes, I know, but trust me, it's good)
  8. 1 tsp oregano
  9. 1 tsp basil
  10. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  11. Ground pepper to taste
For the dough
  1. 1. Sprinkle yeast over 1 cup of lukewarm water and the sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes. It will be ready when the yeast is all bubbly and the area smells kind of like a brewery.
  2. 2. Add flour, salt, and olive oil to the bowl. Mix with your hands until smooth. You may need to add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to get the right consistency for your dough. If your dough is too sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
  3. 3. Turn dough out and divide into 4 equal pieces. Put dough into zipper lock bags and let sit out for fifteen minutes. Next, you'll want to refrigerate them overnight. You can also freeze dough pieces you won't be using.
  4. 4. Take the dough out of the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to roll it out.
For the Sauce and Toppings
  1. 1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2. On your stove, in one pan, melt the butter. To the butter, add 3 tablespoons of flour. Once it starts to brown, add the chopped onion. In the other pan, fry up the bacon (you can also bake it). Drain the fat from the bacon.
  3. 3. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant.
  4. 4. Add the tomatoes to the saucepan. Bring to a slight simmer. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until mostly smooth. Bring to boil and add crumbled bacon.
  5. 5. Shred the mozzarella. I used my food processor, so it was super-easy.
  6. 6. Put flour down on your counter or a large cutting board. Roll out pizza crust to desired thickness (12"-14").
  7. 7. Brush crust with olive oil - I used oil that was marinating the mozzarella for this.
  8. 8. Scoop sauce onto crust and spread around.
  9. 9. Add cheese.
  10. 10. Bake 10-13 minutes or until cheese starts to brown slightly. Grind black pepper on top, slice, and serve.
  1. To avoid killing the yeast, make sure that the water you use feels the same temperature as your pinky finger.
Adapted from Paulie Gee's "Feel Like Bacon Love"
Wining Wife®


Book Review: Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

See All the July Book Selections at Book of the Month
Book of the Month Club June 2016So, you guys, I did it. As though I need more books. I joined The Book of the Month Club (I had incentive, I was gifted a three-month subscription*). And the first book I received was Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West. I had a really hard time deciding which of the June books I wanted. Here were the choices:

  • Shrill by Lindy West, 
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub,
  • The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel,
  • Before The Fall by Liberty Hardy, and
  • Enchanted Islands by Alison Amend

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