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Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate vineyards, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, California. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband, Danny Lord, are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knock on their door. When Danny bought the property, he neglected to check the previous owners’ background and didn’t know about their drug connections. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between helping the Lords or the actors in her Shakespeare Festival. Will Cait’s cop skills be enough to save the Lords from the drug dealer—and the DEA—while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril?

The Big Thrill caught up to author Carole Price to discuss her latest novel, VINEYARD PREY:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

I hope readers will fall in love with Cait and Royal Tanner (RT) again, as well as the Bard. The Elizabethan outdoor and the small indoor theater, the Blackfriars, once again offer plays that I hope readers will enjoy. I tried to make the mystery engaging and Cait’s and RT’s relationship exciting.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

I hope I’ve hooked readers to want to read more of Shakespeare. There’s much to learn from him.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I was happy to see ex-con Marcus turn his life around and show his interest in learning how to cultivate a vineyard. He’s become Cait’s second hand with the theaters and earned the title of assistant manager.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

My critique group has offered positive feedback and encouragement when I’ve written myself into a corner and couldn’t find a way out. I’d rather not name them because everyone has been a tremendous help. I wouldn’t be published without them.


Carole Price is a Buckeye! Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, she attended Ohio State University. She worked for a national laboratory in northern California before turning to writing mysteries. Carole fell in love with the Bard after attending plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. She graduated from the Citizens Police Academy and is an active police volunteer for the Livermore Police Department, a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She actively promotes her books at conferences, literary groups, and many other venues. Carole and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area in the middle of wine country.

To learn more about Carole, please visit her website.