Guest Chick: Kate Lansing

Please join us in giving Kate Lansing, author of Killer Chardonnay, a very warm welcome! Killer Chardonnay is the first in her delightful Colorado Wine Mysteries series and it is available NOW! 


The Subtle Art of Book Tasting

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest!

Before anyone gets too concerned, let me start by saying: No, I’m not actually consuming books, licking pages, or anything of that nature. Rather, to celebrate the release of my debut novel, Killer Chardonnay, I’d like to talk about the ways in which reading is similar to wine tasting.

Take the initial sampling, for example. For wine, that’s a 3-ounce pour, not unlike perusing the opening pages of a book at your local bookstore or downloading the first chapter on your favorite e-reader.

You hold the glass up to the light, observing the subtleties of the colors and the way the liquid dribbles down the edges of the glass. Is that a gold undertone, ruby tinge, or maybe it’s an inky indigo the viscosity of jam? You inspect the cover, make note of the genre, read the synopsis.

The swirling, sniffing, and sipping are all to analyze the nuances of flavor, picking up on fruity or herbaceous undertones in a wine. Likewise, readers are considering the narrative style, voice, and characters. We swish words around in our minds, determining if a particular label is for us. And if we’re intrigued enough, compelled by the story, we might just bring a bottle—er, book—home.

While we savor our purchases, new flavors emerge. Perhaps a surprising tropical finish or smoky aroma comes to the foreground after being paired with the right food or achieving an optimal temperature. In books, powerful themes and unexpected twists keep us turning pages with an anticipation that occasionally leads to book hangovers.

The best part about this metaphor, though, is how much better these components are when enjoyed together.

Dear readers, do you sample books in a similar way? What makes you decide to ultimately give a book a chance? What’s your favorite beverage to pair with a good read?


Kate Lansing is an award-winning short story author. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and a chair-napping tabby cat named Maple. Killer Chardonnay is her first novel.

For more information about Kate, please visit katelansing.com. For more about Killer Chardonnay, please visit one of the following.

35 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Kate Lansing

  1. Congratulations, Kate, on the release of Killer Chardonnay.

    I love finding new authors. I usually choose one by reading the blurb on the back of the book while browsing in a bookstore (remember doing that?) or seeing a recommendation from a mystery blogger or website, like the Chicks.

    I normally don’t drink anything while reading. Maybe a good, strong cup of dark roast coffee in the morning, or water.

    Boulder is one of my fave places to visit in CO. I visited every summer to attend a natural hazards workshop at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much, Grace!! Oh yes, I remember browsing at bookstores–that seems like such a luxury right now! How cool you were able to visit Boulder so regularly! The CU campus is always so gorgeous, especially this time of year.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I was lucky to go to Boulder for 6-7 years in a row to attend that workshop, Kate. I loved the quirky shops and restaurants on the Pearl Street Mall, and the bike trails were awesome, too.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Congrats on your debut, Kate! If the author isn’t known to me, I like to read the beginning of a book to decide whether it will be of interest. Even better if a friend recommends it or it has a cover as cute as yours.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Congrats on your debut. I enjoyed the book.

    I made the mistake of sampling a book and then when I went to buy it, I thought I had read it, so now I just make the purchase out-right. The cover, the synopsis and hearing about the author helps me decide if I’m going to read a book.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much, Dru Ann!! And thank you again for reading, and for your kind review ❤ I've made a similar mistake, of reading a sample and then going to purchase the book, only to discover I already owned a copy!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on your first novel, Kate—we Chicks are excited to be part of your debutante ball! Love your book and wine tasting pairing. When choosing a book I also check out the back cover copy—and then I flip through the middle pages to see if there’s enough white space. (I know. I’m totally weird. An old editor’s trick.) My fave drink while reading? An Arnie Palmer.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Love this post, Kate! And yes, dipping into a new book is a lot like wine tasting (both of which I’ve done my fair share of…).

    I’d say coffee has to be my beverage of choice while reading (wine would make me too sleepy).

    Congrats on your debut release–so exciting! I’d say that calls for Champagne!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Congrats on your debut!

    I’d never thought about reading and wine tasting in that way, maybe because I don’t drink wine, but you have some excellent point.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Congrats on your debut novel, Kate — and thanks for visiting the Chicks! I normally pair coffee with my reading time, but sometimes enjoy a glass of wine while reading close to bed time!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Vickie! And thank you, Chicks, for having me! I also love pairing coffee–and sometimes a nice relaxing herbal tea–with reading, it all depends on the time of day! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Congratulations on your book, Kate! We’re so thrilled that you’re here during your launch week so that we can celebrate your fabulous new series.

    *throws confetti*

    That’s a great comparison, by the way. In person, browsing, I am drawn in by covers first, then the book description on the back cover. But if I hear the book description first and like it (for example, online, with a call-out quote or someone I respect talking about it), then I don’t pay attention to the cover at all.

    I’ll sample the first page or two to get a feel for the voice though, always.

    *throws more confetti* Wishing you much success with your new series!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia!! It’s amazing being here to celebrate! And congrats on your new release–so fun being launch day twins! 🙂 In person browsing is different for me, too, and definitely more focused on the cover, and I hear ya, voice is so key!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome, Kate, and congratulations on your new series! I love wine and have been drinking too much of it during this pandemic. Sadly, not the good stuff. More to take the edge off, which is not a great reason, lol.

    i do sample books this way. I give myself a few pages to see if I’m going to invest in a book or not. I think I need to start giving the same care to a bottle of wine!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Ellen! I’ve definitely consumed my fair share of wine during the pandemic, too…what would we do without it, or coffee?! 😉

      Like

  10. Welcome, Kate, and congratulations on your debut! As Leslie says, it’s time to break out the Champagne.

    This is such a wonderful analogy! I also listen to the advice of reader friends, which is perhaps the wine equivalent of an award or Wine Spectator recognition.

    As for beverage pairing, it’s something hot (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) or wine, always with a snack close at hand.

    Congrats again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kathleen!! I find it so interesting how important recommendations, or word of mouth, is in the book world. Ooh, you make an excellent point–snacks also pair exceptionally well with a good book!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats, Kate! Your analogy is perfect. I definitely sample books first. Or I buy them based on recommendations from friends. Plus, I’ll look at the imprint/publisher (I do like those Berkley reads!).

    I actually tend not to drink while reading–it takes away time I could be spending in the pages of a book!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Jen! Gotta love those Berkley books 😉 And totally fair point, especially when time is of the essence!

      Like

  12. Kate … I saw your book launch party on my calendar and got so sad! Such a bummer, but I’m glad to celebrate here at least. Can’t wait to read this one and I’m so happy for you.

    I read for pleasure at 5am after I feed the dog, so it’s coffee then. But on hot summer afternoons, you can usually find me with a book on the patio with a margarita, wine, or Guinness. I’m not picky!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Becky! ❤ Yes, I was bummed about my launch party, but am trying to make lemonade and changed it to a virtual event instead (Instagram Live this Saturday, in case anyone is interested). And of course, I'm beyond thrilled to be here celebrating with the Chicks! 😉

      And oh my gosh, your reading routine sounds so lovely and relaxing…

      Like

  13. Congrats on the release of Killer Chardonnay, Kate! Chardonnay was my mom’s favorite wine. When I’m reading, I enjoy Irish Whiskey & Water. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Looking forward to reading this. When life (kind of) gets back to normal, will you have a book launch/wine tasting? Perhaps the wines tasted paired with the title of the book? Speaking for myself, it would be successful in every way. I can’t resist books or wines. (And why should I?!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mary!! Goodness, I would love that. There are a couple local wineries it would be so fun to have events at, and even a local bookstore that serves vino and snacks…in short, yes!! 🙂

      Like

  15. Congrats Kate on your new book. It looks very good. I always read the back blurb to see if I want to read the book. My drink of choice is a nice kahlua and cream in the summer and a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows in winter!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon! I always check the back blurb, too. Even when I’m fully invested in a story, I often like to reread, just for fun. I must say, your beverage choices sound especially tasty! 🙂

      Like

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