Saving Grapes - Madeline Kirby

Saving Grapes

Cable’s Bend – Book 1

Madeline Kirby

Saving Grapes by Madeline Kirby

2015 by Madeline Kirby

Cover Design: Natasha Snow Designs ( natashasnow )

EBooks are not transferable. All Rights are reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this ed work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the author’s permission.

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination. Any places, organizations, or locales have been used fictionally and are not to be construed as representative or factual. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or actual events, is entirely coincidental.



E-book 978-0-9961958-1-2

Trademarks Acknowledgement: The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

Chevy (Chevrolet): General Motors

Coke (Coca-Cola): The Coca-Cola Company

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: CBS Corporation

Formica: The Diller Corporation

Shiner Bock: The Gambrinus Company

Subaru: Fuji Heavy Industries


This one’s for my husband, because he cooked, he cleaned, he did the laundry and cleaned the litter box and fixed the car and I never could have done this without him. Well, I could, but I’d be a wreck.

He deserves every bottle of craft brew

that comes his way.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23


About the Author

Chapter 1

THOM CALDWELL looked down the row of grapevines stretching ahead of him and thought again of the list of things he needed to get done. He should hire someone, but his vineyard was small enough that he could handle it on his own with occasional help for a little longer. He’d had a full time hand, but Hank had met a girl and gone to join her in the southern part of the state, growing marijuana. He couldn’t blame the guy – it was probably more lucrative than grapes, Thom figured, and even he had to admit the girl sure was pretty.

He worked himself half to death some days, but it was worth it to be back home in the Willamette Valley, in Cable’s Bend, and know that this was all his. Ever since he was a small boy he had loved his grandfather’s vineyard, and now at the age of thirty-two he was one of the youngest vineyard owners in the state and Granddad was in Arizona, enjoying a well-earned retirement in the dry hot air that was easing his aching joints. Thom grinned as he set to work tying vines.

Thom finished the row of vines and was just about to start the next when he caught sight of Chuck Loomis’s battered Chevy pick-up bouncing along the gravel road leading to the parking area by the old white farmhouse. Thom gathered his tools and started walking towards the house. If his buddy Chuck was here there’d be no more work for a while – the local extension agent out-talked and out-gossiped anyone else Thom knew. It was about time for a break anyway, and he might as well have company for lunch.

Chuck was just climbing down from his truck as Thom stepped out from between the rows of vines about twenty yards from the house. “Hey, Chuck!” he called.

Chuck spun towards the sound of Thom’s voice and raised his hand to wave a greeting, “Hi Thom. How’s it going?”

“Okay. You?”

“Fine, fine,” the wrinkles between Chuck’s eyebrows deepened and he chewed his lower lip. “Yeah, fine.” He looked down at his boots for a moment, then up at the rows of grapevines laddering the hillside above them. “Fine.”

“Yeah, right. Fine-fine-fine. Come on in the house. I was just about to have some lunch.” This was different. He’d never seen Chuck anything other than cheerful and talkative. A distracted, monosyllabic Chuck was disconcerting. He climbed the stairs of the back porch leading into the mudroom and laid his tools on the table just inside the door.

“Huh?” Chuck was following him into the house at least, but his brain seemed to be idling in neutral.

“Lunch? Something to drink? You want a pop?” Thom walked through the mudroom into the kitchen, stopping in front of the refrigerator.

“Okay. Yeah. Coke if you’ve got it.”

Thom grabbed a couple of cans from the