ClosMalvernePinotageReserveBy Mary Jo

Terroir has nothing to do with terror, horror movies, or upcoming Halloween.   Instead, terroir is a French word derived from Latin "terra" and French "terre" meaning the earth. 

Most often it's used to refer to the natural conditions of soil, sun, weather, climate, et al, that produce specific flavors in food and drink.   In other words, it's the agricultural version of "we are what we eat."   We all more or less know this even if we don't think about it much, but in wine cultivation, terroir is an important concept.  I might add that I am no wine specialist and my house wine is box pinot grigio, which is a perfectly good table wine.  

But the concept of terroir is interesting.  I started thinking about it when I was writing my most recent book, Once a Soldier.  My fictional San Gabriel is a small kingdom between Portugal and Spain and wine is its most significant product. and the only one that has the potential to bring in revenue through exports.  

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Alissa Baxter: A South African Novelist

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

The Word Wenches have always taken a global view of the romance community of readers, writers, and publishers. As I like to say, the sun never sets on the Wench empire since we have authors from the US, the UK, and Australia, and I like to count Jo Beverley twice because of her many years in Canada. <G>

But there are English speaking authors in other countries as well, and one is my friend Alissa Baxter, a South African. Alissa started her writing career with traditional Regencies, which are still available as e-books at RegencyReads.com.  I connected with Alissa and her mother, Tess Baxter, through our mutual love of Regencies, and we've been friends ever since.

Writers like to try new things, and Alissa became the first author to have a chicklit novel published by a South African publisher. I really enjoyed Send and Receive because it Alissa Baxtercaptured the essence of what it's like to be young, single–and South African. Young and single is universal–I liked the way every single guy the heroine meets is evaluated at least briefly as a potential mate before Angie finds The One. At the same time, I was intrigued by the South African setting and the cast of young people trying to find their place in the world.

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