Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New content on

Last week, I attended the San Francisco Writers Conference to meet with literary agents in hopes of getting representation for my debut novel, Where I Want to Be. I have submitted portions of my manuscript to a few interested agents and now I'm hoping one of them writes back soon and wants to take the next step. At this point, they want to see sales...

If you haven't read my first book yet, I ask you to please download it on Amazon or iTunes and begin reading it tonight! (Thank you thank you thank you!)

After meeting with the agents, I attended many panels and presentations from fellow authors at the conference. One thing I heard over and over was to "blog at least twice a week". I realized I would blog more if I wasn't busy updating two websites. So, in an effort to blog more often, I am merging my Sip, Swirl, Savor wine blog with my beautiful new website.

The content here on will still be available to reference older posts, but for new information, please join my mailing list at

Please note that my new Facebook page is, my sole twitter account is @AuthorCortney, and my Instagram account is also @AuthorCortney. Thank you and I look forward to continuing to provide wine tasting notes and winery recommendations to you!


Friday, February 14, 2014

A smart and "Savvy" new guide to wine

About a month ago, I received an email from a fellow USC Trojan alum. Although we had not met prior, when Brittany Deal asked if I would be interested in reviewing her new book about wine, I immediately agreed to take a look at it.

Savvy Girl: A Guide toWine is a cute and contemporary handbook for wine novices. Written in a sassy and conversational tone, this 87-page paperback is filled with useful tips, quirky comparisons, and “wino buzzwords”. After reading it—with a glass of wine in hand, of course—I asked Brittany a few questions…

Thank you for contacting me to review your book! What motivated you to start Savvy Girl?

In 2010, I took a sabbatical to travel the world and reflect on what I really wanted out of life.  I have always been a lover of learning and a lover of how-to books. But one day while reading a book on my Kindle in the middle of the Bolivian Amazon I realized that most non-fiction books were full of fluff and repetition. I remember thinking, what if I wrote a book series that made getting savvy quick, effortless and fun? What if I made books that were beautiful to look at, and written in a way that felt more like a conversation than a book?  
So I set out to create Savvy Girl, a go-to source for rich, yet concise, knowledge on the topics women care about.

I think your debut book is perfect for women who want to learn more about wine that don’t have enough time on their hands to, for instance, enroll in a wine class. What inspired you to write the first Savvy Girl Guide about wine?

I chose wine because women love wine, yet many wish they were more wine savvy.

Ultimately, my goal for the wine book was to cut through the clutter and make learning the basics of wine simple and fun so a reader could walk away feeling more comfortable talking about wine, buying it, and reaching for that wine list!

Plus, researching wine was a lot of fun.

Yes, haha. Research and development is always fun when wine is involved! Who are your wine mentors? 

I absolutely love Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan. I love that she took a risk to follow her passion in wine and I also admire her drive. Before I pulled the plug at my banking job (and long before I decided to make the first Savvy Girl guide wine related), I saw an article about her in Fortune Magazine. It talked about how she went from “leverage” (from a banking career) to “corkage” (to being the 4th woman in the U.S. to get the Masters of Wine title). [The] courage [she had] to go after her dream was inspiring.
What’s your favorite wine?

I’ve tried so many good wines it’s impossible to pick a favorite!

Good answer. Your favorite winery?

Favorite winery—Del Dotto. Their cave tour is the most memorable wine tasting experience I have ever had.

I can relate! I was at Del Dotto last month (see picture to the right) and might feature their caves in my second novel in the Wine Country Series... You mention quite a few wine-growing regions in your book (Napa, France, Italy, New Zealand, etc.), what’s your favorite?


Good answer. What’s next on your Savvy Girl agenda?

Savvy Girl is growing fast. The next two new titles are scheduled to publish in the Fall of 2014. Our long-term goal is to have over 100 guidebooks in the brand.

We’re also launching a YouTube Channel in 2014. Sign up for our email list at or follow us @SAVVYGIRLguides to stay in the loop.

That sounds fantastic. Best of luck to you, Brittany!

Brittany Deal is a Los Angeles resident and a Seattle native. She graduated from USC with a degree in business and began working for a bank. After a couple of years of two-hour LA commutes, Brittany gave up her job and traveled. She started Savvy Girl shortly thereafter and published her debut book in October 2013. Savvy Girl: A Guide to Wine is available on Amazon in ebook andpaperback.

***Want to win a paperback copy signed by the author? It would be my Valentine's Day present to you! Send me an email now to enter!***