Sunday, October 6, 2019

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

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The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
Publisher: 47North
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genre: Fantasy


A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

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1. How did you come up with the idea for The Vine Witch?

 The idea came from watching a documentary about winemaking in France. They were interviewing a famous winemaker whose bottles of wine sell for hundreds of dollars each. She spoke very differently from her male counterparts. While they used all the latest science and machinery to harvest the grapes, measuring for the exact right sugar content with computers and centrifuges, this woman used a more natural, hands-on approach. She spoke about the phases of the moon and the importance of nurturing the vines, letting them trail naturally so they yield the best grapes. Well, she sounded like she was tapping into some supernatural energy to me, and since I had already started a novel about witches, I decided the art of the vine would be their particular specialty.

2. Did you do any research for The Vine Witch?

I'm not gonna lie, The Vine Witch is a fantasy novel first. But the story is set in the late Belle Époque period in France. To make the historical fantasy feel true to the time, I tried to weave in story details particular to that era. That meant researching fashions, automobiles, historical events that coincided with the story's timing, as well as pre-industrial wine and cheese making practices. I also did a fair amount of research on witchcraft, witch trials, and herb lore. All fascinating stuff. My home library may have doubled while writing the novel.

3. Do you have a favourite character in The Vine Witch?

I do love my two main characters, Elena and Jean-Paul, but a certain sidekick sort of took over at a point in the novel. Yvette was only meant to appear in a small scene with Elena and then disappear, but she was just too much fun to write, so she ended up going along with the protagonist for the rest of the novel. She is also one of the main characters in book two of the series, which heavily features more of her back story. And smartassery.

4. Do you have any advice for new writers? 

The best things you can do as a new writer is to write. And finish the stories you start. It's very easy to begin a story. I've started dozens of them. But finishing is everything. Because when you have finished stories, you then somehow find the courage to share them with others and get feedback, and that is the key to leveling up as a writer. That and revision. 

5. What's your favourite book?

Of all time? For pure reading enjoyment and entertainment, say if I were stranded on an island with only one book to read for the rest of my time there, I would hope I'd have a copy of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Romance, intrigue, villainy, men in kilts--it's got it all. 

6. Do you have any hobbies?

Does drinking wine and reading by the fire count as a hobby?

About the Author


Luanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, THE GLAMOURIST. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

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  1. Haha! Gotta love the hobby of drinking wine and reading by the fire. Sounds just about right to me. Love the interesting setting for this book.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction