Wine Country Romance in The Oregon Press


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The Oregon Wine Press is the first thing I grab when I land in Portland to research my next wine country romance. It’s chock full of things to do & places to go in wine country, including lists of wineries, events, and maps. Later, when I get home I tenderly smooth out my latest issue, by now hopelessly dogeared and cut apart, and add it to my stack. Never could I have imagined that one day my very own books would be featured in the OWP!

“5 stars! Once again Heather Heyford has done it!” — Amazon review,  INTOXICATING  

Latest news

Sneak Peak: Intoxicating


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Heath and Poppy have had each other’s backs since they were seven years old. Poppy always made sure the shy science geek got invited to parties. In return, Heath tutored the dyslexic prom queen all through school. Now Poppy needs Heath’s help to pass her sommelier’s exam. How can he say no—even if passing means she’ll be gone from his life forever?

The Girl Most Likely . . .
to be a waitress at her hometown cafe. That’s what Clarkston’s high school yearbook said about Poppy Springer ten years ago and that’s where the beauty queen is today. But that’s about to change now that Poppy has been offered a position as a lady sommelier at a cutting-edge new restaurant. Only Poppy has an embarrassing secret that could keep her from landing her dream job. A secret her high school crush seems determined to help her with

. . . The Man Most Wanted
In high school, Heath Sinclair may have been voted most likely to blow something up, but these days the sexy science prodigy is a self-made success story with his popular microbrewery and chiseled good looks. So why is Clarkston’s most-eligible man so hell-bent on helping Poppy prove that she is more than her reputation? Could it be the enigmatic bachelor has a hankering for the girl who got away?


“We’ll stay in touch,” said Heath, though deep down he knew they would drift apart. It was inevitable.

“Of course we will,” said Poppy.  “I’ll call you—”

They were both thinking the same thing: Like you promised to call me today and didn’t?

Heath cast aside his last shred of pride. “Think of me.”

“I have to do this,” she choked.

This time, it was really the end. Alone in his dark, cavernous house, Heath scrubbed a hand through his hair. Poppy needed him to believe in her, not add to her self-doubt. What was that saying? If you love someone, let her go.

“I’ll come see you once in a while.”

“Sure you will,” she sniffed. “And I’ll come back and see you, too. A lot. Or at least, as often as I can.”

Heath fisted the phone so hard it was a wonder it didn’t break in two, the way his heart was breaking. “And spend the night?”

“If you think I should.”

Get yours here

THE CRUSH—Signed Print Giveaway


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Can a construction engineer resist offering a hand up to a down-on-her-luck vintner?


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Crush by Heather Heyford

The Crush

by Heather Heyford

Giveaway ends February 14, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Clinking Glasses with Year of the Book founder Demi Stevens


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Recently Demi Stevens (genius founder of Year of the Book and all round sweetheart) and I sat down over a cup of tea. Okay, Demi had tea. I had—you guessed it. Here’s an excerpt of our chat.

Demi: As the author of five (soon to be six with the launch of INTOXICATING March 29) romances set in west coast wine country, my readers are dying to hear what inspires you!

Heather: Writing wine romances all started I when I visited northern California a few years ago. I was struck by the beauty of the landscape and the amazing wine mansions, and I began to wonder what it would be like to live there. That fired my imagination and I started taking notes. By the time I was on the plane for the trip home, I was already writing A Taste of Chardonnay, my first published book in The Napa Wine Heiresses series.
Ironically, on the heels of my first series a close relative moved to Oregon’s The Willamette Valley. While visiting her I learned that The Willamette is fast gaining fame as the best place in the entire world to grow the finicky pinot noir grape. Of course, while I was there I had to sample the Kool-Aid ***back of palm to forehead*** Alas, the perils of being a romance writer . . . and now you might happen to find a few empty bottles of Erath in my weekly recycling bin.
A few things to know should you find yourself in Oregon. First, pronounce it wrong and the locals will be quick to tell you “it’s Will-AM-ette, dammit.” Second, Oregon wine country is said to be much like Napa was twenty-five years ago: rustic and unspoiled. One way it is different, however, is that Willamette vintners are dedicated to doing all things as organically as possible. In fact, many if not most winegrape growers there subscribe to biodynamic farming principles. In other words, they bury cow horns full of quartz crystals in the middle of their vineyards on the summer solstice. Those kind of details are like a gift from the gods when it comes time to sit down at the keyboard. They are richly sprinkled throughout my current release, The Crush!
Demi: Kensington, parent company of your publisher Lyrical Press, made a splash last summer with the news that they were going to launch a line of mass market paperbacks. (And a little birdie tells me you may have been selected as one of their debut authors!) What does this mean for your career?
Heather:  Here’s how I explain it to my non-writer friends. In 2013 (the dawn of the Kindle and Nook age), Kensington saw a chance to cater to digital readers with Lyrical Press. Those books, such as A Taste of Chardonnay, were specifically designed to be read digitally. While it’s possible to buy them in print, the production method makes them expensive compared with mass market paperbacks.
Flash forward to 2017. Kensington stirred the spaghetti in the pot and threw a handful at the wall. Lo and behold, the name Heather Heyford stuck. As printed in Publishers Weekly, I had begun to “garner a following.” As a result I am now thrilled to be contracted for THE SWEET SPOT, book 1 in my third series, A Willamette Wine Country Romance, which will be part of Lyrical’s new mass market paperback line starting in 2018.
What does that really mean, you ask? It means that in addition to e-readers my books will be available wherever paperbacks are sold, such as Walmart, Target, grocery stores and airports.
Demi: How can my readers find your books and connect with you online?
Heather: If you want to be first to get book news, I invite you to join my newsletter subscribers at Another great source is my website, I post often on Facebook and Pinterest. A little less often on Instagram. As for Twitter, it’s more like my grumpy aunt’s house. I visit occasionally, but only out of obligation, LOL. All my social media is under Heather Heyford.
Demi: I’ll be the one texting you pictures of your books beside Nicholas Sparks’ latest, Heather!
Heather:  Thank you so much for having me! And before I go, a hint for readers. Show your love for your favorite author, no matter who he or she is, by posting a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads or other online bookseller. The best reviews are short, have a catchy title, and sandwich any negatives between two positives. Thanks, and happy reading!
Heather Heyford writes romance novels set in the wine country.  Now pre-ordering for Mar. 28 release: INTOXICATING  Latest news


Dog Eared Publicity Presents KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE by Heather Heyford


Title: Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

Author: Heather Heyford

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Digital pre-ordering now for Aug. 29, 2017 release (Print available approx. 1 month prior to launch) 

In the third book of Heather Heyford’s series, set in Oregon’s wine country, a returning war hero and his “friend with benefits” discover that some vintages only improve with time . . .

Uncorking the Truth

When the town of Clarkston, Oregon, welcomes Captain Sam Owens home from the service, Sophia “Red” McDonald is first in line. The sassy psychotherapist has known Sam since they were kids, and the grown-up Sam is darned near irresistible. With his abs of steel and those gorgeous hazel eyes, he could have any woman he wanted. Naturally, Red is thrilled when he takes her hand . . .

She’s a modern woman, happy to canoodle with the sexy soldier, no strings attached—until her heart changes the rules. Suddenly, after months of casual hookups, Red finds she wants more. She longs to possess Sam body and soul. But his warrior’s heart was wounded long before he joined the service. As a therapist, Red has ways of making him talk. Only if Sam opens up and spills his secrets can they finally have everything their hearts desire . . .

PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON|B&N|KOBO|GOOGLE PLAY (Print copies available early Aug. 2017)


Heather Heyford writes contemporary romance novels set in the wine country.

Born in the Northeast, Heather learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England.

“Ya’ll want some scones?” While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat.

Heather is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (@nyliterary) in New York City.


***WINNER of The Crush: ANITA in GEORGIA***
Next Goodreads Giveaway is A Taste of Chardonnay, running between 1/6/17-1/13/17

The Crush autographed print giveaway! Junie Hart’s family leaves her with a fledgling vineyard and some serious trust issues . . . until a footloose ladies’ man lends a hand—and steals her heart . . .

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Crush by Heather Heyford

The Crush

by Heather Heyford

Giveaway ends December 21, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Reviews of The Crush


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Get THE CRUSH, Book 1 of An Oregon Wine Country Romance set in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, the Willamette Valley here.

RT Book Reviews,5.0 out of 5 stars “… a heartwarming romance with lots of spark and great chemistry.”

Loved It! 5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with a wonderful story and well-developed characters.”

 5.0 out of 5 starsThe Crush by Heather Heyford! I loved it!! The Crush makes Heather Heyford’s fifth book, and it may just be my favorite thus far. Heather’s wonderful ability to paint word pictures, in both her character development and scenery descriptions, makes you feel as if you are right there in the story. You are actually watching as friends make their ways through a vignette of their lives. Romance, suspense and family intrigue abound.”

5.0 out of 5 stars The Crush   grab tissues close to you. I liked this book and would recommend it to anyone to read.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Stuborn vs stuborn This is a serious stubborn vs stubborn who will win it. Junie is a woman that lost everything except the love of a winery which is in need of some serious help in more ways than one. And then there is Santos that has this ego the size of Texas but deep down all he wants is his family…when Santos and Junie meet they clash in all directions . . . ”

5.0 out of 5 stars Can’t wait for the next book of the series!” it’s a story about male/female attractions, about the process of making wine, but it is really a much more complex story. It’s about family, and family loyalties, about trust, about family expectations, about finding oneself, about dreams that sometimes change for the better and about finding that someone who “gets you” and appreciates you for who and what you are.
I am glad I have a new author in my list of favorites.”

5.0 out of 5 stars … spice, sass and lots of pizzazz. There is a sexiness and flavor that is abundantly clear from the word go. Junie is a woman that has an emotional bond to wine. Her late father owned a winery and she wants to honor his memory and prove to herself that she can keep his dream alive, despite the odds. Her pride won’t settle for less than success. Manolo knows a thing or two about flavor. His background makes him an asset, but his arrogance makes him an aggravation in Junie’s eyes. Opposites attract but can these two work together without combusting? A robust story that blends spice, sass and lots of pizzazz.”

Get THE CRUSH here.

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The Romance Reviews

Talking about Wine Country Romance with HarlequinJunkie


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1785973368c0de4c82c600683764c8d3Posted by in Blog, Spotlight / 11 comments

it is my pleasure to Welcome author Heather Heyford to HJ!

Hi Heather and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Crush!

Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:

the-crushStruggling young vineyard owner Juniper Hart must learn to trust a smooth-talking stranger after everyone else has let her down. Just touched down in crunchy granola country, Manolo exudes plenty of East Coast swagger, but he has a lot to learn about independent Oregonian women!

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Rap rap rap!
Juniper Hart’s head shot up from her bills, agonizing over which of her wine business’s creditors would luck out and get paid this month. She scrambled out from behind her desk and dashed into her tasting room, heedless of the papers she set sailing. Inches short of the threshold she skidded to a stop to smooth down her faded T-shirt emblazoned with We Are Pinot Noir. From the other side of the door she heard a familiar voice.
“Last I knew, lieutenant, you had women in, let’s see—Fort Bliss, Fort Belvoir, and New York City—and that’s just stateside.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • If you mispronounce the name of this valley in Oregon’s wine country where The Crush is set, the locals will correct you with, “It’s Will-AM-ette, dammit!”
  • Research for The Crush required a considerable number of wine tastings. *Sigh* it’s a tough job . . .
  • At one winery, I was given a discount after I told them about my book because they said I was “industry.” Yay! Who knew?
  • While trekking through the vineyards, I met another romance writer!
  • The setting of The Crush was modeled on a gorgeous, father-daughter winery called Montinore.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

I have to say it was lust at first sight, though Junie, my heroine, fights her attraction tooth and nail. Junie has never considered herself a beauty. On the other hand, growing up, Manolo’s three older sisters told him every day how beautiful he was. She didn’t think she could measure up.

Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?

Grounded girl steals rake’s heart.
The First Kiss…

…happens in a vineyard:

Wrapped in her embrace, the sun and the planets and the stars seemed to revolve around them.
His heart swelled. Tenderly, he pulled back, intending to take her in a kiss. Junie gazed up at him with soft eyes.
If she hadn’t suddenly blinked—flinched—Manolo wouldn’t even have noticed the bleating car horn.
Not now. Anytime but now.

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

Manolo, a confirmed bachelor and ladies’ man, has designed the tasting room of Junie’s dreams for her. For the past few months they’ve been inseparable. On opening night when the whole town has turned out to christen it, his work is done. He seems about to bow out:

He took her by the shoulders, gently turned her around and nudged her toward the door. “I’ve monopolized you long enough. You belong out there.”
She stumbled forward, then stopped, turned and saw him standing there alone. Outside, the sound of raucous merriment went on unabated.
“Go on,” he said with a toss of his chin.
She felt like she was being thrown out of her own office. “Aren’t you coming?”
“This is your place, and those are your people.”
She frowned. “What about you?”
He hesitated. And then he said, “I don’t have a place.”


If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?

Manolo has secretly arranged for Junie and her late father’s special, father-daughter song to be played at the grand opening of her tasting room, in a ploy to reunite Junie and her distant mother:

Then a familiar piano melody filled the air.
Mom extended a graceful hand.
“What’s this?” Junie wondered aloud.
Mom’s eyes glistened. “Your father would be so proud of you. I know he would have danced with you today. But since he can’t, would you dance with me, instead?”
Junie glided into her mother’s arms. The crowd parted as mother and daughter twirled around and around, surrounded by a panorama of friendly faces.
When the song ended there was a smattering of applause and more than one person dabbing her eyes.


Readers should read this book …

… to laugh and cry along with Junie and Manolo on their journey.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2016?

The Crush is Book 1 of An Oregon Wine Country Romance. Unlike my Napa Wine Heiress series which could be read in any order, the three books in AOWCR work best read sequentially. Book 2, Intoxicating, is available for pre-order. Buy it now and it will be a happy surprise when it shows up on your device on 3/28/17. Book 3, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, will launch later in 2017. I’m having a blast working on the love scenes between the therapist and former special ops guy who has more issues than Vogue!

Giveaway: 3 digital copies of THE CRUSH.To enter Giveaway: Please go to Harlequin Junkie here:

Excerpt from The Crush:

“What’s a beauty like you doing hidden away in a place like this?”
Her hands paused where they struggled against the stubborn cork. Beauty? Her? He didn’t just look like Daryl, he laid it on thick like him, too.
Stick to your script, Junie. What had they said at that free class for entrepreneurs at the Yamhill County extension? She was the one who should be asking the questions. Marketing 101.
She gave the screw a vicious twist. The cork came out with a muted pop and she began to pour the one-ounce servings used for sampling.
“How long will you be in the Willamette Valley?”
“Not long. I’m a traveling man. Just passing through.”
Lieutenant Manolo Santos was a walking, talking cliché, thanks to his good looks and bad lines.
Be nice to everyone, they said in the class. You never know who might turn out to be an ally. She clenched the bottle tighter in her moist palm, determined not to fumble under his penetrating glare, ally or not.
Sam hoisted his glass and the others followed suit. But before he could make a toast, the stranger beat him to it.
“To the Beaver State,” he said, eyes sparkling with mischief.
That brought more cautious chuckles, as her friends weighed their loyalty to her against the novelty of the suave newcomer in their midst.
Sam swirled his wineglass at eye level, checking for all the signs: color, viscosity, legs.
Rory downed his glass like cider, followed by a satisfied belch.
Junie’s heart sank. Heath was a brewer and Sam was in the wine business, like Junie. Keval was industry, too, if doing I.T. for the consortium counted. Was it too much to ask for them to appreciate what she was trying to do here? They’d tried her wine before. They knew word of mouth was everything. That’s where sales came from. But they couldn’t pass the word on how great her Pinot was if they persisted in chugging it like marathoners on Gatorade. Maybe they couldn’t handle three tastings in one day, after all.
“Yummy.” Keval licked his lips and picked up a battered copy of Wine Spectator from the bar. “Just think, Juniper. Maybe you’ll be in here someday.”
Yeah, right. She couldn’t even afford to renew her subscription.
At least Sam had the decency to give his wine time to wander around his palate, letting it speak to his taste buds. “Your wine sings, Junie.”
Junie swelled with pride. High praise, coming from Sam. But even he couldn’t seem to find her a distributor, though he’d been looking for the past couple of years.
True to his word, he spat into the receptacle provided. “Now, how about that rosé?”
Junie poised the new bottle to pour but there were only four empty glasses on the counter. She skimmed the room for the fifth, spotting it in the hand of Mr. New Jersey.
Thick, workingman’s fingers cradled her fragile stemware. Dense lashes brushed against carved cheekbones as he lowered them to gaze at the ruby liquid. Then he glanced up over the rim, catching Junie staring. “Young, bright appearance.”
He lowered his Roman nose into the bowl and sniffed, then looked up, his eyes landing in the vicinity of her chest. “Juicy plums.” He swirled and sniffed again. “And some other fruit I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.”
Junie forgot about the bottle she held poised and it sank to the bar under its own weight. “Lingonberry. It’s native to the Pacific Northwest.”
Manolo drank then. But all the while he worked her wine around in his mouth, he didn’t take his eyes off her.
The tasting room grew uncomfortably warm, despite the chilly April air. Lieutenant Manolo Santos had a politician’s command of the room. Even the guys quit horsing around in anticipation of what he would say next.
“Soft and supple, yet structurally complex. I like that.”
The breath Junie didn’t know she’d been holding whooshed out through her broad grin. This vintage was her most ambitious effort to date, and that was exactly the response she was going for!
“It’s good in a wine, too.”

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Juniper Hart has her dream job—or rather, her dream job has her. Under Junie’s management, the winery her late father started is finally getting noticed. But she’s lonely, deep in debt, and overwhelmed with work. Even if she had time to date, the only men she meets are smug, stemware-breaking hotshots like Lieutenant Manolo Santos, whose good looks and smooth charm don’t half make up for the sour taste he leaves on Junie’s palate.

After years as an army engineer and a childhood in a restaurant kitchen, Manolo can see Junie’s winery is about to go sideways—and he’s bursting with ideas to help. Except Junie’s far too magnetic for comfort. He left New Jersey to escape becoming one more Santos man shackled to a captivating woman and a failing family business. But in the misty hills of Oregon, with a sip of supple Pinot on his tongue, pulling away is the last thing he wants to do

Gateway to Wine Country: Newberg, Oregon


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Hipster coffee shops are not usually my cup of tea. You’re talking about someone so sensitive to external stimuli that she picked her gym based on its color scheme. I wasn’t built to write in a setting that requires earbuds to hear myself think—let alone the distraction of good-looking lumbersexuals in plaid shirts and neatly-trimmed beards strolling in empty-handed and leaving clutching their cups of Stumptown Holler Mountain, sending the bell above the door clanging both ways.

But on a recent book research trip to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, my Airbnb up on Ribbon Ridge had “no phone, no lights no motorcars, not a single luxury” (kidding, I had a rental car). After a few days’ solitude to edit my work-in-progress, The Crush, I needed to touch base with my editor in New York. So I asked one of the farmhands where I could go to get Online. She recommended Chapter Books and Coffee, just down the road in the town of Newberg.


photo Chapters Books and Coffee on Instagram

Newberg is an authentic, small farming community founded by Quakers. But it gives off a vibe of being on the edge of something. Beneath the typical American Main Street lined with small businesses runs an undercurrent of change. As soon as the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is finished, the town is gearing up to take full advantage of its location as the gateway from Portland to the wine region known as the Willamette Valley.


Big Pink Hill by Oregon wine country artist Jane Aukshunas

The Willamette has the ideal, maritime climate for the finicky Pinot noir grape. Pinot has brought an influx of tourist dollars and new homes and businesses. The Newberg Downtown Coalition has a vision for Newberg to become not just a gateway, but a destination in itself, with wine tasting rooms, restaurants, and art galleries. For those who prefer finer amenities than my Airbnb offered, a world-class resort called The Allison is already getting rave reviews.

That’s how I ended up spending a couple of hours tucked into a corner of Chapters, steeped in the rich aroma of freshly ground coffee while emailing back and forth to the concrete jungle on my MacBook Air and studying the local characters. Though I’m still not a coffee shop kind of girl, that day, I felt very lucky to be there.

Heather Heyford writes contemporary romance novels set in the wine country. A Taste of Sake review: “Caution: you will love it and want to buy the whole series!” – five star amazon reviews.

ATasteof Sake

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Harvest Time in Wine Country: The Crush


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photo 1859oregonmagazine

In wine country, they call it “the crush” . . . that glorious time of autumn when the grapes are bursting with juice and just the right amount of sweetness, ready to be harvested.



The vineyards crawl with pickers in their bright-colored hoodies to ward off the pre-dawn chill. Soon big plastic bins full of fruit will make their way to the press and the fermenting tanks or barrels.


To celebrate the crush, I’m giving away this lovely gift box chock-full of autographed, contemporary romance novels set in wine country, plus chocolate and wine accessories. This box will show up on the doorstep of a lucky person who signs up for my newsletter by clicking here. Contest starts now. Good luck! Winner announced Oct. 1 on my Facebook page. Continental US only.

Heather Heyford writes contemporary romance novels set in the wine country. THE CRUSH, Book 1 of An Oregon Wine Country Romance and set in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, the Willamette Valley, is now available here.

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