1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she’s never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret — a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother’s hard-won dreams of staking her family’s claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past. The Winemakers is a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.
“Absolutely adored THE WINEMAKERS. Beautifully layered and utterly compelling. Intriguing from start to finish. A story not to be missed.” – Jane Porter, USA Today and NYT Bestselling author of It’s You and The Good Woman
I have read all of Jan Moran’s novels, to date. Each one of them is centered on strong women of their time. Each set in various time periods dating back to the early 1900s. What is interesting is that even the two major works she has written: “Scent of Triumph” and “The Winemakers” have an essence of being tied into “The California Series” which is about four young independent young women, each who is making their way in life, in the L.A. area. At the same time, each is making their mark in the beauty industry.
In the Winemakers all of the strengths and fallibilities that we as women have, come into play and you find yourself in a world of secrets within secrets, as each of the central characters keeps her world wrapped up within pride to protect those she love around her. But as the leaves of truth start to peel back, the world they have always known starts to crumble around them into a thousand pieces like a dried out bouquet of flowers when crushed under foot. It is only the strong love of family and pride of who they really are that allows them to struggle through, to find the answers at the heart of the lies and secrets that the years have held close.
Jan has a way of drawing the reader into her stories. She takes a paint brush to her words and brushes a panorama across the pages. You find yourself falling into the scenes of the lands and places that she builds for her stories to take place. The smells, sights and sounds accost your senses as you find yourself peering through the eyes of the characters and seeing a world unfold before you.
This is not limited to just her scenery, but also to the very fiber of her story lines. They live and breathe as you find yourself flipping the pages to keep up with the characters, wiping tears of sadness or laughter. Suddenly a page turn will bring a catch of breath that forces you to set down the book till you can breathe again…forcing you to think back, re-access and draw on your own strength to go forward with the young heroine.
Once again Jan has given us a glimpse behind the shutters of the wealthy and high-born to show us that all who live have lives that can be fragile. All who breathe can suffer great loss and hold great secrets that seem unbearable. Wealth and breeding do not make people immune to the bad things that can and do happen to families. Evil is evil, no matter the last name. Kindness, generosity, and love come from within and cannot have a price tag attached.
Jan has also shown the struggles that independent strong minded women have endured during the early part of the 1900s. She includes the prejudices against women in business within her storyline. I deeply appreciated this. We forget how much our mothers and grandmothers fought to make our lives better for us. How we must continue to strive to make the way better for our daughters and grand-daughters who follow behind.
Jan Moran has written stirring and remarkable works from her first novel, Flawless, but with each offering, she has shown continued growth in her craft. The Winemakers is a novel worthy of note and one that is sure to make many lists and take awards for 2016. I give The Winemakers a FIVE STAR rating for craftsmanship and entertainment. This is a must read for 2016.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Moran is an author of historical novels for St. Martin’s Press (Scent of Triumph, The Winemakers). She also writes the Love, California contemporary series, which includes Flawless, Beauty Mark,Runway, and other upcoming titles. She wrote Fabulous Fragrances I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list, and Vintage Perfumes. She is represented by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency. Books are also translated into German, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, and other languages.
As a fragrance and beauty expert, she has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, Women’s Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. As an editor and writer, she has covered fragrance, beauty, and spa travel for a variety of publications such as Cosmopolitan, Costco Connection, and Porthole Cruise.
A VISIT WITH JAN
The Winemakers is set in Napa valley and Italy. Have you ever been there?
Napa valley and Tuscany are two of my favorite places in the world. I fell in love with the natural beauty of both regions, which are truly feasts for the senses. Add to that a leisurely paced lifestyle, excellent food and wine, and good friends, old and new — perfection!
What genre do you write and why?
My favorite genre is the 20th century historical saga, followed by contemporary mainstream (or chic-lit, though I think that moniker is demeaning). The Winemakers and Scent of Triumph take place in the first half of the 20th century, a pre-computer technology period I find highly textural and engaging for storytelling. As for my contemporary books in the Love, California series, I enjoy writing these because they’re a break from detailed historical research, plus they’re a lot of fun to write!
Favorite travel spots?
I love to travel and have been fortunate to have seen much of the world. Favorite places? Wine regions, of course. Napa and Tuscany rank high on my list. Paris, the south of France, Hong Kong, London, New York, Austin, San Francisco, Hawaii, and so many other places. I’d love to visit the wine region of Argentina, too.
What is your next project?
I’m working on another historical novel set in the 20th century and can’t wait to share it with readers.
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