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

Tuesday, 31 October 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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.

Filed: PW Entries

  • I was super intrigued by your pitch and sample and definitely want to read more of this!! Please send me your query and first 50 pages, with the subject “PITCHWARS REQUEST,” to carrie(at)prospectagency(dot)com. Thank you and excited to see more!

  • Jess Dallow says:

    I love the sound of this. Please send the full manuscript attached in a word doc with your query letter in the body of the email to Jess@Browerliterary.com with #PitchWars and your title in the subject. Looking forward to reading!

  • Laura Crockett says:

    I’m interested in reading more! Please send the query in the body of the email, attach the full manuscript in a Word doc, subject line “Pitch Wars: [MS title],” to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com. Thanks! –Laura

  • Caitie Flum says:

    This looks great! I’d love to take a look.

    Please send the query in the body of the email + full manuscript as a Word attachment to querycaitie@lizadawson.com with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject.

  • Quressa Robinson says:

    I’d love to see more!

    Please query me at queryquressa@nelsonagency.com. In the subject line, write REQUESTED QUERY (PitchWars) and the title of your project. This will help ensure that your query isn’t accidentally deleted or caught in our spam filter. In the body of your email, include a one-page query letter and the first twenty pages of your manuscript.

  • Amanda Jain says:

    I love wine, I love romance, and I love the voice here! Please send your full as an attachment to amanda@inklingsliterary.com. Thanks!

  • Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to take a closer look! Please send the full manuscript attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com


    – Rena

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