PW #139: Adult Women’s Fiction: BEHIND CELLAR DOORS

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Laura Brown

Mentee Name: Keli Vice


Category: Adult

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Word Count: 87,000 words


With the ink not yet dry on her winemaking degree, Taylor rushes home to run the family winery after her father’s stroke. She struggles to manage a stubborn winemaker, missing barrels, and mounting bills, while exploring her budding romance with Alec—the sexy-as-hell new investor in the neighboring vineyard. But someone’s trying to force a sale of her financially-unstable winery, and she soon suspects her new love is after more than just her heart.


The clock on the wall reads 10:42. Eighteen minutes left—three questions to go. I pinch the bridge of my nose, struggling to picture the notes I reviewed over and over last night. Bleary-eyed and exhausted, I finally crashed out on the couch, hoping to snatch a few hours’ sleep before my phone buzzed to wake me.

As though on cue, the backpack at my feet starts to vibrate. I glance around, hoping no one can hear the low buzz. Thank God I remembered to switch the ringer off. Who the hell would be calling me right now?

The vibrating finally stops and I concentrate on the exam in front of me.


The question sends a smirk across my face and my scratching pencil joins the sound of forty-one others, dashing across the paper.

Malolactic (ML) is a secondary fermentation that converts tart malic acids to softer lactic acids. It produces diacetyl as a side-product, which adds “buttery” notes to Chardonnay. It’s generally performed on a percentage of the wine, though some Chardonnays are taken through 100% ML…

But only if you want them to be fat, flabby Chard-bombs.

I snicker, and the guy in front of me glances back, frowning. I wave a silent apology. I’ve never been a big fan of Chardonnay.

7 comments to PW #139: Adult Women’s Fiction: BEHIND CELLAR DOORS

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