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All About: Sour Grapes by Eliza Lentzski

Sour Grapes All About the Books Graphic
Sour Grapes

by Eliza Lentzski

Released: Feb 07, 2023

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Why this book and why now?

This novel has been published since June, but was only recently released in audio. The plot has been with me since my wife and I took a trip to Napa Valley for our 15th anniversary, back in 2019. We stayed at an Airbnb on a vineyard in St. Helena—which sounds fancy, but believe me, I am *not* fancy—and we spent most evenings just wandering around the property and marveling over the views. I thought to myself, ‘I should really write a book about a vineyard.’ The resulting novel became Sour Grapes, which features June St. Clare, a 40-something woman from the Bay Area who’s looking for a new start, and Lucia Santiago, a grumpy assistant wine maker who is definitely not interested in any of that.

What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?

The main character’s love interest — Lucia Santiago — is definitely one of the more surly love interests I’ve ever written. I didn’t intend for it to go that way though. I originally wanted her to be a female Lothario who doesn’t want to settle down with only one woman until June’s arrival, but Lucia had other plans for her character.

Every time I sat down to write early banter between the two characters, Lucia was Grumpy with a capital G. I tried to make her be a smooth operator compared to June’s clumsy awkwardness, but Lucia refused. She’s not an ice queen who needs to thaw; she’s a grump who needs needs to be vulnerable and let her walls down.

What TV show would your main character(s) most likely binge watch and why?

Something with a creepy factor to it like The Last of Us, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, American Horror Story, etc. Both Lucia and June would pretend they’re not scared, just to save face in front of the other person.

“Want to watch the next episode?”

“I can handle it if you can.”

One of your main characters is planning a romantic night. Tell us about it.

Lucia is a romantic; June is pragmatic. I’d want June to be the one planning the romantic night since it doesn’t come easy for her. She would stress about every detail leading up to the evening.

June is actually a really talented cook, so she would go all out with a multiple-course meal and a perfectly set table with lit candles and flowers. Afterwards, she would convince Lucia to grab a bottle of cabernet franc and go for a walk along the property where they’d find a blanket set up on a little hill. They’d lounge on the blanket and sip their wine and stare at the cloudless, starry night and tell each other secrets that they’d never shared with anyone else. That’s the kind of intimacy they both crave.

Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment and it’s time to party! Choose a celebratory beverage for one of your main characters to toast the release of your new book.

Since this is a book about a Napa Valley vineyard, it’s only appropriate that the celebration beverage be wine. Lucia and June grow cabernet sauvignon grapes on their microwinery, plus that’s my wine varietal of choice, too. A big bold cab with swagger, just like Lucia Santiago.

What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?

I make a Spotify playlist for all of my novels. They inspire me as I write the first draft and go through my edits. Each playlist has at least one song that’s all about the couple in my latest book; it could be a lyric or even just the song’s vibe that inspires me.

For Lucia and Santiago, I chose “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers. I get crazy good chills from the harmonies and these specific lines: “I have emotional motion sickness / somebody roll the windows down / There are no words in the English language / I could scream to drown you out.” June and Lucia’s story is all about being a fish-out-of-water. Their mutual disequilibrium–like having motion sickness–pulls them to find stability and shelter in each other.

Connect with Author!

Visit Eliza’s Website


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