This book will be out probably the end of the month or maybe first of August. I have it with the beta readers and some will depend on whether they find major flaws or things easily fixed. I am lucky to have some good beta readers ;). I didn't used to enjoy that benefit and sure appreciate it now. I think beta readers in your genre are the biggest benefit.
A dark-haired, middle-aged man got out of the truck and walked over to shake Mitch’s hand and be introduced to Elke. “You are a genius at wine, I hear,” she said.
“Mitch is too kind,” Jacque said. He had no accent but had a Mediterranean look to his skin and features.
“It was actually my sister, Torre. She’s the wine connoisseur. I am just an apprentice—although I appreciate a good wine. I might recognize one that was corked.” She gave a little laugh. “And I am not being modest.”
Jacques grinned. “Then you can learn if you have a good teacher.” He smiled at Mitch.
“I am just learning too,” Mitch said. “I am, however, appreciative of your skills.”
“After they are pressed, without bare feet,” Elke said, “what happens next?”
Jacques picked a grape and ate it. “You will see that soon if you are here. Perhaps in a week for the first.”
“Mitch always is here for the harvest… or has been. Will you be this time, boss?” Jacques asked.
“I have to go to Tucson on business, but I’ll be back if it’s in a week.”
“Good.” He turned back to Elke. “As to what comes next, well, they aren’t all ready at the same time—fortunately.” He looked affectionately at the grapes as though they were his children. “After the pressing, we produce what is called must. That is when we remove the skins, seeds and solids for the white wines. Reds and whites then go into big oak barrels for fermenting, which varies for how long-- depending on sweet or dry. After that, any solids are removed, and they can be put into bottles or back into oak barrels to age—depending on the quality of the harvest. A fine wine might set in the barrels for two years. It is all done by the touch.” He grinned. “Like touching a beautiful lady. It must be just right and then… voila, they are bottled and sent to buyers or sometimes to competitions. Nothing like ribbons to up the price.” He chuckled changing his sensual words into practical ones.
Walking through the vineyard, alive with bird, butterflies, and bees, Elke’s body and mind were astir with energy and desire. Mitch’s hand rested lightly at her waist, very innocent gesture, but she found herself imagining it other places. She wanted to touch him again, stroke his strong body, make love to him while he made love to her. When she looked up into his eyes, she knew he was feeling the same things.
“Thanks for the tour, Jacques,” Mitch said as they walked him back to his truck. After waving good-bye, Mitch turned back to her. “The river is beautiful this time of the year. Want to see it?”
“I’d love to.”