Book Overview

Forty-eight-year-old Corbett Thomas, a one-hit wonder of the 90s, now works as the lead sommelier at Napa Valley’s hippest restaurant. Set to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, Corbett self-destructs during his final exam, ruining his last chance at capturing the stardom and adoration he got a taste for in his youth.

When billionaire game designer, Brogan Prescott, asks Corbett to consult on a major vineyard acquisition, Corbett sees it as a shot at redemption, until he learns of Brogan’s ridiculous vision of a virtual-reality, Woke Ant Colony Winery. Disgusted, Corbett decides to buy the vineyard himself and preserve its magic and history. Cashless, clueless, and with his reputation in tatters, Corbett enlists the help of his bass-player-turned-lawyer Seamus O’Flaherty, who may have finally lost his stomach for Corbett’s bad ideas; his uber-rational daughter Remy, who wants Corbett to uncork some family secrets he’d rather leave in the cellar; and Sydney Cameron, whose sudden appearance in Corbett’s life may repair his heart or shatter it forever.

With their help-and sometimes despite it-Corbett discovers what Brogan has known all along: a four-billion-dollar gold deposit lies beneath the vineyard. If Brogan acquires the property, the ensuing gold rush will destroy Napa Valley.

But if Corbett can get out of his own way long enough to purchase the vineyard first, he’ll be faced with the hardest decision of his life: take the fame and fortune he desperately craves, or save the soul of the valley he loves so much.

Don’t take our word for it.
Check out the reviews!

“LAUGH-OUT-LOUD SARCASM AND STUNNING!”

” A hilarious riff on coming-of-age much later in life with rock ‘n’ roll and wine!”

“Do you ever have a friend recommend a book, put it on your “to read” list, and then just forget about it? Don’t let Pairs with Life by John Taylor become one of those books. Just buy it now and then actually read it. Corbett Thomas is one of those guys who just has crappy luck. In everything. Epic failures in work, sometimes of his own making. Relationships that don’t take off the ground, not always of his own making. And often interesting life choices that make you question if it’s really bad luck. But despite being someone who could very easily be unlikable, Corbett has a self-awareness that makes him endearing and a love for his friends and family that let you know that despite his, at times, bumbling response to life, he’s a good guy with good intentions. He’s the kind of person you want to win in the end, in spite of it all. This story takes you through the ups and downs of following a passion in wine to live out a dream to own a vineyard. Set in the Napa Valley area, this book truly transports you into the heart of the wine industry, without feeling heavy handed. Although you’re living in the world of maybe-Master-Somm, Corbett Thomas, the plot, the characters, and the relationships are still relatable even if you’re not a cork dork. This book will have you laughing out loud, dabbing tears from your eyes, and feeling grateful you took the time to enjoy it.”

Carrie Flaspohler, Goodreads Reviewer

“John Taylor’s debut novel offers a hilarious look into the Napa Valley wine scene from the perspective of a self-involved sommelier who can’t seem to catch a break (though it’s mostly self-inflicted). This is the first book I have read in a long time that has actually made me laugh out loud – and often! Taylor certainly has a way with words, and comes up with the most startlingly accurate similes, spot-on observations, as well as amazing, quotable expressions (“precious awake juice” as a synonym for coffee comes to mind). The protagonist’s charm quickly wins over the reader, and your fingers are crossed the whole time that he will follow his heart in the end. No spoilers though! Definitely recommended to all wine-loving bibliophiles.”

Mel, Wining With Mel

“So this book. Wow. What can I say about this book other than I loved it? I read this in a single shot. I started it this afternoon and finished this evening. I could barely put it down to go to the bathroom. That’s how much I wanted to continue Corbett’s story… Most of all, I loved that the characters are just human. There is so much more to this novel than just vineyards and wine. It’s a story about self-discovery and second chances, and realizing that sometimes, dreams do pay off. Pairs With Life is a funny, laugh-out-loud-while-simultaneously-ripping -your-heart-out novel that is wonderfully written and one hell of a debut. Thank you Voracious Readers and John Taylor for my copy! I will be looking forward to his next book!”

McChanster, Goodreads Reviewer

“Pairs With Life…this story has a little bit of everything. Corbett, the main character, is given a second chance to find his happiness in life, however, the journey there is lined with bumps along the way. From confronting and dealing with his past to making the ultimate decision on what holds more value to him. A second chance to grasp that fame he lost long ago or doing what’s right. This story has that life lesson of, “it’s never too late to start over” embedded into it. It’s a great read that you won’t be able to put down.”

Derra Nic, Author of Slumberland

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Pairs With Life

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GoIndieNow’s Joe Compton
interviews John Taylor

In the early 90’s John Taylor and his brother Steven fronted a major label band called The UnInvited. Long before that though they were an Indie band and a little bit after that brush with fame, they went back to being an Indie band. Then John and Steven went off to do their own things and for John that was to become an Indie Author. In this Season 2 Origins episode Go Indie Now’s Joe Compton sat down with John Taylor and talked all about these dynamics and times that shaped John as an artist and then they talked about the art that came from that and how it shaped him some more as an artist.

Pairs With Life
Podcast

A weekly podcast on love, life, parenting, adulting, sex, relationships and all the wine that pairs with it. Hosted by John Taylor, author of the aptly-titled novel Pairs With Life, the podcast is a brutally honest, hilarious and sometimes-insightful/sometimes-inebriated conversation about why we drink what we drink.

Listen to the Podcast

About The Author

John Taylor has been writing about wine since 2012, but his meanderings on life began way before that. Born and raised in San Diego, California, John moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to pursue dreams of screenwriting and filmmaking. He attended the University of Southern California, where he majored in Shattered Dreams and False Hopes, with a minor in Getting Gut Punched By Reality. After being handed a degree in Journalism in 1987 as a consolation prize, John dove into a career in music. Because getting gut-punched just isn’t painful enough.

By 1996, John and his band, The Uninvited, had produced four independent albums and became one of the most popular acts in the western United States. This lead to a deal on Atlantic Records, which released the band’s self-titled debut album in 1997. The band had two Top 100 hits, and toured nationally with Dave Matthews, Blues Traveller, Third Eye Blind and many other acts. Their music appeared in the TV shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five, and in the motion pictures The Commandments and North Beach. The band can also be heard in several HBO Documentaries, video games and on that annoying “One Hit Wonders of The 90’s” station your co-worker always plays on Spotify.

In 2001, John’s vast experience in shattered dreams was once again called into play as the band hung up their touring shoes for good. After a brief but horrifying career in real estate, John got wise and made a career out of his favorite hobby – wine – and has held various sales & marketing positions in Napa Valley since 2011. John’s writing career started in earnest at this point, with blogs, essays and short stories appearing in various publications. John is the author of three novels, including the aptly-titled Pairs With: Life, which will be released by Hurn Publications in September 2020.

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