New eBook Reveals the Dark Side of Sonoma Wine Country – Yahoo! News

When writer Daedalus Howell left Hollywood and returned to his native Sonoma County, he found it transformed into “Wine Country.” He embarked on a journey of wine and words that became “I Heart Sonoma: How to Live & Drink in Wine Country,” a collection of hilarious personal essays.

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) February 10, 2012

When writer Daedalus Howell left a middling career in Hollywood and returned to his native Sonoma County, he expected to find the rural, rolling hills of his youth. Instead, he found the bucolic landscape strewn with vineyards and overrun with tourists. In short, Howell had found “Wine County.”

A fish out of water in his home town, Howell embarked on a personal journey through words and wine, writing an award-winning column for the 138-year-old Sonoma Index-Tribune and other regional and national publications. Berkeley-based digital publishers, FMRL (, has published these hilarious personal essays as “I Heart Sonoma: How to Live & Drink in Wine Country.”

The new ebook features Howell’s dark humor on a variety of subjects like the unspoken war between Sonoma and Napa, how “artisanal” is the New “Xtreme” and how wine country weddings can lead to heartbreak (which the Sonoma-born star of ABC’s The Bachelor can’t tell you). Here’s some useful information from Howell’s ebook:

1.) How can I tell if a wine is corked? Look at the neck of the bottle – if the cork is still lodged within it, the wine is, as it is known in the trade, “corked.” Similarly, if the wine is closed with a screw cap it’s said to be “screwed.” Hence the term “screwed up,” which is colloquial slang for “empty bottle.” For example, the bottle presently in front of me is empty, thus, “I’m screwed up.”

2.) You can’t judge a wine by its label. True, but you can judge a label by its wine. During the first glass, opinions run the full gamut – from “Hmm” to “Uh-huh.” The second glass of wine leads to more in-depth label observations like “Hey, this bottle has a label on it.” By the third glass, label critiques are often characterized by proclamations of “I love you, man” and “Let’s get another bottle of – wait – what’s it say on the label?”

3.) Sonoma’s winery owners are filthy rich. Well, winery owners used to be filthy rich but, as the adage goes, to make a million in wine, start with ten million. Wine is largely a labor of love. And a tax shelter. The trick is getting the owners to “write off” a bottle in your presence. I’ve written off many a bottle since moving to Sonoma and a few have even written back.

“I Heart Sonoma” is available on a variety of digital platforms, including the Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo and Sony eReaders. It is also available through the Google eBookstore and at independent bookstore sites through

For more information about the “I Heart Sonoma,” visit For more information about Daedalus Howell, including an author bio, blogs, short films and availability for readings, workshops and events, visit



5 eBook Apps that Amazon and Apple Will Fear

How do you autograph an ebook?

by Daedalus Howell
Dec 29, 2011 – 03:40 PM
Daedalus Howell

Daedalus Howell

  Given Amazon?s pre-Christmas blitz and Apple?s prowess with any object they care to precede with a lowercase ?i,? there?s a significant chance that you?re either reading this on a Kindle or an iPad. Dozens of e-reading devices have proliferated in the market. Even brick-and-mortar stores like Barnes and Noble proffer a book device some marketing type convinced them to call a ?Nook,? which sounds more like a place one might have breakfast or a word you?d repeat three times to summon the ghost of Curly from the Three Stooges.

  If you?re presently swiping and hyping the written word on your shiny new e-reader, let me personally welcome you to the 21st century. You?re evolution from pulp to pixel is not only saving the backs of hacks but some trees as well. But don?t worry, your media diet won?t suffer for lack of roughage. There will be much to chew on, from breathless editorials eulogizing the passing of print to the inclusion of paperboys on the endangered species list.

  It?s notable that in 2011, Kindle ebook sales overtook those of traditional printed books at Amazon. In an unmarked grave somewhere in Mainz, Germany, a man named Gutenberg is beginning to turn. Though this might betoken a critical shift in how we read books, it also changes how we handle books ? or, for that matter, mishandle books ? now that they?ve gone from physical objects to merely data on an expensive device.

  For example, how do you burn an ebook without having to visit the Apple Store afterward to replace your beloved iPad? There should be an app for that. In fact, there are several apps waiting to be born into this brave new world of reading without paper (it?s when we start reading without words that we should worry).

  Here are my prospective ?5 eBook Apps that Amazon and Apple Fear:?

  1. As mentioned: The ebook-burning app. This app allows you (or the fascist regime you live under) to ?burn? your ebooks by erasing their data with virtual fire without harming your device. As the author of a forthcoming ebook, I invite my critics to purchase and ?burn? as many books as they wish. Seriously, go big ? then watch your money burn a hole in my pocket.

  2. An autograph app. There?s nothing sadder than watching a fanboy trying to wipe Neil Gaiman?s scrawl off an iPad 2. Yes, you can effectively tattoo your tablet with a Sharpie but it makes using it similar to wearing glasses that have been tagged with graffiti (attention, ?cool hunters,? this could be a hot trend for 2012).

  3. An overdue library book app. Many libraries now lend ebooks but unlike printed books they don?t need to be returned, the data just evaporates from your device ? as does the library?s revenue stream in overdue fees. Using geo-location to virtually hide your borrowed ebook somewhere in your house, office, car, etc., the library can charge your credit card until you find it. If you find it.

  4. Smarty Pants eBook Covers. Change lowbrow Stephen King into highbrow Albert Camus with a mere tap of this app, which will stock your virtual bookshelf with a pile of ?trophy? books that make you look smarter than you are. 

  5.  The Used College Textbook app. This app adds a yellow ?used? sticker to the cover of your selected ebook, covers its text with erroneous notes and charges your parents and extra $50 for the privilege.

? ? ?

  Daedalus Howell?s “I Heart Sonoma: How to Live & Drink in Wine Country” is coming to an ereader near you in January. Learn more at