I'm Cathie MacDonald, former school teacher, small business owner, and novelist. Life always presents interesting topics and people, and I am a very good observer, which helps in my work. I am a metaphysical student and Reiki Master, and I always implement a thread of that in my novels. I spend a great deal of time researching, and in Romancing the Vines I traveled to many vineyards and sampled a few glasses of wine. (Okay, more than a few!) Francesca, the main character, becomes the owner and operator of Serrano Family Vineyards, which is known for its zinfandel. Her mission is to become a top vintner, put their wine on the map, and win the wine competition, no matter what the cost. Francesca, Enrico, and their son, Roberto, spend hours toiling in the vineyard. But the tension that has plagued them for lifetimes returns. They fight, the vineyard struggles, money is extremely tight, and the wine is flat. Something is missing in the ingredients. Wine comes from the heart and hers is in turmoil. Does true love need to exist like the spirit of her dearly departed mother suggested? Francesca doesn't know if she believes in true love, or soul mates for that matter. She is still conflicted over her feelings for Giancarlo, whom Enrico despises. Giancarlo owns one of the most prestigious vineyards in the area and has been called the Bad Boy of Sonoma. Enrico is threatened by his looks, money, and empire. Both men want the same woman, but she can't make up her mind. She takes a trip to Italy, where she is transported into three past lives and learns the truth of the three of them through a seer. Magna reads the energy around her and says that she is conflicted between her head and her heart and this problem has been with her for centuries. "Part of you is in love with a man you think you shouldn't have, and then there is the man you live with. You are a very confused woman, my dear." She tells Francesca she will use past life regression three times in order to solve the riddle of her soul. Magna talks about a time centuries ago when there was a beautiful woman, her son, and the farmer she lived with. The lord of the valley fell in love with her and plotted to take her away. She weaves a colorful narrative, and Francesca finds it uncannily familiar. Magna tells her that the heroine didn't use her heart. She used her head because she didn't want her noisy neighbors gossiping that she was using her heart.
Currently, I am finishing a love story set in 1923, complete with speakeasies, mob activity, bootleg liquor, and Ouija boards, and I've been having fun researching that period. This is a coming of age love story in a very turbulent, violent time period.