How Did a Teetotaler End Up in a Wine Anthology?

Cabernet is the star in 50 Shades of Cabernet, an anthology of wine-themed mysteries created by 18 authors. The stories range from light-hearted puzzles to darker, heavier tales of deceit and murder.

I don’t drink Cabernet. I don’t drink wine—or anything alcoholic. So why did I say “yes” when asked to contribute a story to the 50 shades anthology? Aren’t I supposed to “write what I know?”

The requirements for story submission were few: “The only requirements are that your story includes a mystery of some sort (not necessarily a murder), and that there is at least one mention of Cabernet wine somewhere in the story.”

I’m a mystery writer and have penned short stories. I could certainly mention the word Cabernet without sampling the beverage.

My friend Marcia took me on a tour of the extensive Cabernet section at Total Wine where I took pictures of various labels and accompanying descriptions. So now all I needed was a story!

I belong to the Greater Richmond, Virginia branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and we host an annual wine-tasting fundraiser at a local church. I took inspiration from this event to turn out “Wine, Women, and Wrong.” Here is a description of my contribution to this stellar anthology:

Tommy Bradshaw has two items on his bucket list: to solve a murder mystery and to marry Camille Pettit. Fat chance of either happening. Then, when Camille attends a wine-tasting fundraiser and the wine merchant is found in the parking lot, impaled by a hunting knife, Tommy gets his chance to play one of the Hardy Boys. In the process of finding the stabber, Tommy is besieged by women: the glamorous and sexy oenophile who’s hell-bent on seducing him; and the cop who would love to woo him away from Camille. In addition, Tommy finds that detecting isn’t as easy as it is in books.

Joining me in 50 Shades of Cabernet’s are these 17 talented authors, all members of Sisters in Crime: Betsy Ashton, Lyn Brittan, Barb Goffman, Debbiann Holmes, Maria Hudgins, Teresa Inge, Jim Jackson, Kristin Kisska, Douglas Lutz, Nancy Naigle, Alan Orloff, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Jenny Sparks, Heather Weidner, Tina Whittle, and Ken Wingate.

Back to my teetotaling ways. Many famous people share this life choice, including Jim Carrey, Shania Twain, Rob Lowe, George W. Bush, Natalie Portman, Elisabeth Hasselbeck …

And Donald Trump.


Purchase your copy of 50 Shades of Cabernet here.

Visit the 50 Shades of Cabernet web site here.

50 Shades of Cabernet is on Facebook!

… and on Twitter!

Enjoy the stories. And please write a review.



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Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, Death by Cupcake, and Murder by the Glass. Maggie is a member of James River Writers, International Thriller Writers, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a founding member of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, where she manages the chapter’s Instagram account. In addition, she serves Sisters in Crime on the national level as a member of the Social Media team. Maggie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Business Administration, and has worked as a software developer, customer service supervisor, and retail sales manager. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.


How Did a Teetotaler End Up in a Wine Anthology? — 8 Comments

  1. The anthology sounds like a lot of fun. Congratulations on your inclusion in the book. It goes to show you that you can write about almost anything.

  2. I purchased this anthology for my Kindle. Can’t wait to start reading it. Love that you teatotalers are writing about wine. I cook with wine, but am not much of a drinker. LOL