Author sets thriller novel in Osoyoos

By on February 28, 2017
Jennifer Fraser has set her new novel Crush: A Wine Thriller in Osoyoos. (Contributed photo)

Jennifer Fraser has set her new novel Crush: A Wine Thriller in Osoyoos. (Contributed photo)

Jennifer Fraser has many passions – with good wine, writing and spending vacations in Osoyoos near the top of her personal list.

She has combined all three in publishing her new novel called Crush: A Wine Thriller.

Fraser, who grew up in Vancouver but has called Victoria home for the past 14 years after working for 14 years as a professor in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, said all of the characters in the 280-page Crush are fictitious, but everything about Osoyoos is very real.

“Anyone from Osoyoos will recognize all kinds of things throughout the book … certain streets, businesses and other things that make Osoyoos such a special place,” she said.

Fraser currently teaches creative writing and literature in the International Baccalaureate program at Glenlyon-Norfolk School in Victoria.

Fraser, her husband and two children, ages 21 and 16, have spent virtually every summer as a family vacationing in Osoyoos and she knew a long time ago that this town would be the setting for Crush, said Fraser.

She originally wrote the first draft of Crush more than a decade ago, “but wasn’t pleased with it” and made many revisions over the past couple of years before looking for a publisher once again several months ago.

She’s thrilled with this version and is hoping the numerous rave reviews she has already earned will garner good sales when the book is officially launched during a book and signing tour set she hopes will kick off in Osoyoos in March.

“I really worked hard to bring all of the elements that I wanted into the book and I’m very pleased with this version of it,” she said.

A character called Paige Munro, an investigative journalist who still has nightmares about her partner’s death while covering the war in Syria, is the narrator in this unique wine thriller, said Fraser.

Seeking a distraction, Munro secures what she believes will be a “safe assignment” writing and photographing a book about a hot new wine region in British Columbia.

“Paige is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after just losing her husband,” said Fraser. “Her parents and friends are worried about her … but she wants to get back to work and decides to take what she feels will be an easy assignment and come to the Okanagan to write about wine.

“But when she goes against her better judgment by getting involved with winemaker and smuggler Nicholas Alder, her world is turned upside down as the danger she sought to forget comes rushing back with brute force.”

Illicit affairs, seedy characters and illegal smuggling across the border set the scene for thrills and chills, said Fraser.

“Essentially, Paige’s life is in danger because the people she comes across. You don’t know who is good or who is bad.”

Osoyoos provides the perfect backdrop for the wine thriller, said Fraser.

“The true protagonist throughout the novel is wine,” she said. “But Osoyoos is featured prominently … with its rare beauty and amazing wineries. I happen to think Osoyoos is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It’s the perfect setting for a novel like this.”

The book will be available for sale on Amazon by early March and she hopes to distribute hundreds to various winery gift shops once the book is officially released over the next few weeks, said Fraser.

The reviews of Crush: A Wine Thriller, have been excellent.

“Whether you’re an avid wine lover or a casual sipper, you’ll be enthralled by Paige’s adventures. The journalist who normally covers wars and military coups receives an assignment that offers more mystery and danger than she’d expected. Her situation will keep you guessing until the final pages,” said Kathy McAree, founder of Travel with Taste.

“Crush offers the kind of taste that lingers long after you’ve turned the last page. It races, it hums, it heats the blood. Once you’ve pulled the cork on this heady adventure, you won’t put it down until the bottle’s empty,” said Terence Young, award-winning author of The End of the Ice Age.

“Crush is a suspenseful, emotionally charged mystery, in which wine itself is arguably the true protagonist. So, grab a glass of your favourite B.C. wine and a copy of this book, and enjoy a perfect pairing, said well-known sommelier Sharon McLean.

Crush is a gripping romp through B.C.’s vineyards, a great mystery that portrays the uniqueness of the Okanagan. You’ll gain insight into the day-to-day activities in a winery, the stakes involved in a multinational industry, and the lengths to which some people will go to obtain power. Add realistic characters and a dash of international intrigue, and you have all the ingredients for a fast-paced, informative and very entertaining read. Whether you enjoy a good mystery or have a love of wine (or both), this tale is sure to please!, said Tim Ellison, Chef de Cuisine, Sommelier, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

Fraser has also written several other books and essays, including Teaching Bullies; Zero Tolerance on the Court or in the Classroom in 2015; Be a Good Soldier: Children’s Grief in English Modernist novels in 2011; and Rite of Passage in the Narratives of Dante and Joyce in 2002.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

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One Comment

  1. linda boudreau

    March 2, 2017 at 11:22 am

    would like to get in touch with author could she email me at lindasmail@writeme.com

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