Pitch Slam – Team Stray Tats – Entry 3

Genre: YA Historical Romance

Title: Ingenious Daughter

Word Count: 50,000.

Song: Nothing’s Going to Stop Us


Ben Franklin dared to say it. Jane’s a better scientist than her father. Dad fights back, curtailing research and multiplying chores. Hungry for knowledge, she’s too wily for him. It’s time to marry her off.

First 250:

The curd begins to bubble. I sing three verses of  “Milk and Butter,” and pull it off the fire. I’ll trade this batch for a tempering hook, and Poppa will never know.

Cheese fascinates me. There’s a universe to discover in texture, color, smell, and taste. And the profits from sales save me from household work.

I leave the curd and move to my test batch.

9 April 1742. The Thornton cheese has ripened three days.

I unfold a tea towel, set out my tools – a ladle, three knives, and two pike probes — and tear the cheesecloth off the tun and sniff.

The sour smell has sweeter notes. Accents of lilac.

I scoop up some of the soft cheese, and pour it onto a dish.

Kate clatters a pile of plates. “Miss Jane. Mr. Lewis? He told me to double the order.”

I hate interruptions, but I stop, look up, and force a smile. Kate means well. “Did he give you a note of payment?”

“No, Miss.”

“I’ll speak to him when I’m in town.”

I select the smallest knife. As I slice the cheese, Kate places a tray next to me.

“Have you had any breakfast?” She is forever reminding me to eat. I’m not a baby. I’m almost seventeen.

“Later,” I say. Inside the cheese, a surprise. Tiny air bubbles. I take my reading lens out of my pocket for a better look.

“And, Miss? Your father says he wants to see you. He says now.”

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