Shelby About Town

A murder in Grand Cayman for the books, a trailblazing honor for Martha Turner & a new wine tithe

A murder in Grand Cayman for the books, a trailblazing honor for Martha Turner & a new wine tithe

Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, Steve Reynolds, Allison Lewis, Stephen Lewis
Winemaker Steve Reynolds, left, joins Allison Triarsi Lewis and Stephen Lewis at Decimus tasting. Photo by Kim Coffman
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, Bruce Merwin, Terry Merwin, Ian Merwin
Bruce Merwin, left, Terry Merwin and Ian Merwin at Branch Water Tavern wine tasting. Photo by Kim Coffman
Connie Cooke, dog
Connie Cooke all smiles over anticpated success of her second novel. Courtesy Photo
Martha Turner, portrait
Martha Turner first female to win top Houston  advertising award.  Courtesy of Martha Turner Properties
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, Kimberly DeLape, Steve Reynolds
Kimberly DeLape and Steve Reynolds at Decimus wine tasting.  Photo by Kim Coffman
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, 2010 Decimus Pinot Noir
2010 Decimus Pinot Noir Photo by Kim Coffman
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, Steve Reynolds, Allison Lewis, Stephen Lewis
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, Bruce Merwin, Terry Merwin, Ian Merwin
Connie Cooke, dog
Martha Turner, portrait
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, Kimberly DeLape, Steve Reynolds
Decimus Lunch Party, June 2012, 2010 Decimus Pinot Noir

Businessman Stephen Lewis and Allison Triarsi Lewis, the former KHOU anchor/reporter, have been talking about their new business venture — Tithe Wines — for at least a year. Wednesday night, the couple invited friends over to Branch Water Tavern for the first taste of their Decimus label Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Close to 200 friends turned out to sample the Napa Valley vino and savor samplings from chef David Grossman's highly-applauded menu. As partygoers sampled, the Lewises explained the thinking behind their project. The couple plans to "tithe" 10 percent of the company's proceeds to Living Water International, a Houston-based charity that helps communities acquire clean water.

Tithe head winemaker Steve Reynolds, who owns Silverado Trail vineyard, flew in from California for the tasting. A long-time friend of Stephen, he stepped in to help the Lewises' charitable dream a reality.

Joining in support of the project, that as Allison says "turns wine into water," were Kimberly DeLape, Chris Brown, Paul Posoli, Franelle Rogers, Terry and Bruce Merwin, Michael Ellington, Benjamin Warren and more.

A Mystery In The Making

Connie Reeves Cooke is just back from New York where she introduced her second novel, Cayman Heat, at Book Expo America and Blogworld New Media Expo. Following that soft launch of the riveting page-turner (yes, I've read it), Connie hits the big-time soon with several network shows interested in interviewing her and with discussions already in the works on a possible movie deal.

Special book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times Jenny Tate has said, “What a Thrill Ride! Cooke’s Cayman Heat is sure to be one of this year's bestsellers and must read murder mystery for 2012.” 

Los Angeles-based publicist and former Houstonian Miranda Spigener, handling Connie's latest tome, says that there are three celebrity-driven production companies considering the book for a possible movie. And while Cayman Heat was published by Rose Dog Books, several big-name publishers are entertaining talks with a contract for a sequel and a possible series of future books.

Applause, applause! The book is available on line at Amazon.com and the Barnes & Noble website and will be available in bookstores in the coming weeks.

Top Advertising Honors

Martha Turner and her team at Martha Turner Properties are kicking up their heels with news that CEO Martha has been named recipient of the 2012 Trailblazer Award, presented by the American Advertising Federation-Houston.

She is the first woman to join the heady Trailblazer ranks that include Gordon Bethune, Randall Onstead Jr., Drayton McLane, Don Jordan, Bob McNair, Tilman Fertitta and other top-rung professionals.

The award recognizes business leaders who have built their companies through advertising, marketing and corporate citizenship. Expect to hear more about Martha's accomplishments on Sept. 20 when the award is presented at the federation gala to be held at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. 

Sight 'ems

Margaret and Kim Wheless and Debby and Bill Leighton at one table in the mid-week crush at Uchi, Joyce and Hugh Echols, Uchi regulars, at another  . . .

Dr. Norman Berkman and wife Melinda celebrating his birthday at Lexington Grill with Karen Johnson and Diane and John Connally.