author is worse than the first day at a new school. Will anyone like it? Review
it? Want to take it home for a play date?
I threw an extra dose of nervousness into the mix because my novella, Malbec Mayhem, really isn’t a mystery.
“Don’t confuse your readers—they expect a consistent brand.” Yeah, the conventional wisdom wasn’t droning in my ear when I wrote the novella. (Bites fingernails.)
“Don’t worry,” one beta reader said. “It’s a great story.”
“Is that blood pouring into the glass?” another asked about the cover.
Yikes! (Reaches for a glass of Malbec.)
So, Visiting Reader: Pour yourself a virtual glass of wine and read along. Malbec may not be as well known as reds like cabernet, merlot or pinot noir, but that’s changing fast.
Here’s some backstory: Malbec originated in southwest France and served mainly as a blending grape to enhance other red wines’ flavor. (It’s one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine.) Weather and insects nearly wiped it out in Europe when frost and root rot killed most of the vines. Fortunately for us, the grapes found a new home in Argentina. Most of the Malbec on the market today still originates there. Recently, vintners in Washington state have planted the grapes and found it thrives in eastern Washington’s higher elevations and dry climate. These vineyards have the hot days and cool nights necessary for the grapes to produce more acidity, which means great tasting wine.
A crowd-pleaser—easy to drink, with a ton of juicy fruit flavors—some people love to call Malbec a working man’s Merlot, since the wine has many of the characteristics that make Merlot easy to drink, with an added spice and acidity that makes it seem less polished.
I loved this line I found on a wine buying website: “Malbec is the guy who rides the Harley to Merlot’s guy that drives the Vespa.”
Have you tried Malbec? What’s your favorite red wine?
When the Malbec grapes go missing…there’s mayhem.
Successful restaurateur Alex Montoya’s charmed life has hit a snag. His trusted business partner turned out to be not exactly trustworthy, and Alex could be facing jail time over some of his partner’s shady financial deals. As if that weren’t bad enough, creditors are calling in loans he didn’t know he had and he’s desperate to prove his innocence before all his businesses are repossessed.
After a career-building stint in Napa Valley, Sofia Pincelli has returned home to eastern Washington to take over the family’s winery. Running the family business, however, means dealing with her ailing father’s continued micro-management—and his disapproval of Alex. Her father’s condemnation of Alex’s rumored involvement in his business partner’s schemes runs so deep, it threatens Alex and Sofia’s blossoming romance…along with the Pincelli family’s signature red wine. Sofia needs Alex’s crop of Malbec grapes to show her father she has what it takes to make award-winning wine—and save the reputation and finances of the Pincelli winery.
When the Malbec grapes go missing, Alex and Sofia must join forces to find the fruit before it spoils—or risk destroying both of their businesses and their hearts.
Special release week price!
Cathy Perkins started writing when recurring characters and dialogue populated her day job commuting daydreams. Fortunately, that first novel lives under the bed, but she was hooked on the joy of creating stories. When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.