Wine is romance. Well actually it may be closer to sex. Think about it. The next time you see an oenophile quivering in front of a rare Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, watch them. Decanting the wine, pouring it, studying it in the glass, inhaling the aromas, sipping, savoring…the whole thing is sensual and evocative. I had no idea. And I too was caught up in the sensuality of wine. And an oenophile was born. And a voracious researcher.
And here is where prudence is key—putting what I learned into the story. Wine is a huge topic. So much to know and learn—I’m still an incredible neophyte. But I love learning about all of it, from choosing the varietal, the clone, the land, to cultivating, pruning, growing, harvesting, then crushing, maceration, pressing, fermentation….and all of the choices at each interval. You can imagine if I even tried to mention each of these in the story, reader’s eyes would roll back in their heads and they would be throw out of my fictional world. Not what I’m looking to do as a writer—I want to keep you immersed in the lives and complications of my characters. If you want to learn about wine, there are courses and books, but that has very little place in a novel.
In CRUSHED, Napa and the wine culture is actually a character, in a way, so details (just enough) are essential to setting the scenes, the location, in building the world. Sure, this whole wine thing happens in other places in much the same way, but most of us don’t live in those regions, so giving the readers enough to understand the complications and challenges of that universe was important.
Where many writers err is in falling in love with the research then feeling compelled to stuff it all into their stories. think Tom Clancy in some of his later stories. I seem to recall about ninety pages on how the stock market worked. He got away with it because he was Tom Clancy. I am not. Most of us are not. So, less is more when it comes to inserting research into stories.
Title: Crushed, a Novel of Wine and Love
Author: Deborah Coonts
Publication Date: March 9, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
In Napa Valley, he who has the best grapes wins.
And in the pursuit of perfection, dreams and hearts can be crushed.
Sophia Stone is a widow on the brink of an empty nest, stuck in an unsatisfying job managing the vineyard for a mediocre Napa vintner. Faced with an uncertain future she wonders how do you choose between making a living and making a life? Between protecting your heart and sharing it? Five years ago, after her husband was killed in an accident, Sophia put her heart and dreams on ice to care for those around her. Now her home, her dreams, and her family’s legacy grapes are threatened by the greed of the new money moving into the Valley. Sophia has a choice—give up and let them take what is hers, or risk everything fighting a battle everyone says she can’t win.
Nico Treviani has one goal in life: make brilliant wine. A woman would be an unwanted distraction. So, while recognized as one of Napa’s premier vintners, Nico finds himself alone… until his brother’s death drops not one, but two women into his life—his thirteen-year-old twin nieces. In an instant, Nico gains a family and loses his best friend and partner in the winemaking business. Struggling to care for his nieces, Nico accepts a job as head winemaker for Avery Specter, one of the new-money crowd. And he learns the hard way that new money doesn’t stick to the old rules.
Deborah Coonts’ mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago. Deborah isn’t so sure—her mother can’t be trusted. These things we are fairly certain of though: Deborah was raised in Texas on BBQ, Mexican food and beer. She is the author of WANNA GET LUCKY? a humorous romantic mystery set amid the glitz, glamor and gaudy of Las Vegas that was a NY Times Notable Crime Novel and double RITA™ Finalist and received several starred reviews as have the five sequels. CRUSHED the first novel in her Heart of Napa series is out now. Deborah can usually be found at the bar, but also at her website.
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