Friday, August 29, 2014

Wound Up in Murder

It is official, the name of the third book in he Yarn Retreat series is going to be WOUND UP IN MURDER. I submitted a bunch of titles some of which we may use in the future. Now just to finish the manuscript. I’ rewriting now which is much easier because I have the main thing to start with.

I went to several bookstores this week to sign their stock. The biggest thing I noticed about them was that they all had business. Yay! They also all had SILENCE OF THE LAMB’S WOOL and YARN TO GO from the Yarn Retreat Series and a number of books from the Crochet series. I was happy to see that IF HOOKS COULD KILL went into another printing. I always seem to find out about additional printings when I go in bookstores.

We made a day of it and went out for lunch. I’d heard about this place for a while and was anxious to try it. It’s a Cuban bakery and cafe. The food turned out to be amazing and very reasonable. How often does that happen? It’s a family owned business and they have an interesting story. I think having a story about a place changes the whole perception of a place. Instead of just a business, it makes it personal.

This family came from Cuba in 1960 with pretty much nothing, but the mother’s talent for baking cakes and their willingness to work hard. At first, she baked them out of her house and sold them. When she outgrew that, they rented a place for her to bake.

Eventually, they added the café which features Cuban sandwiches and specialties. The three children grew up and became part of the business and still are though the mother has retired. Her picture is on all of their pastry boxes.

The location (there are 3) we went to was mobbed and it was around 4 which is usually a dead time at eating places. The whole time we sat there, the line never disappeared. And no wonder. I had a delicious spinach and feta croissant and my husband had a fabulous caesar salad with homemade croutons that melted in your mouth. We shared an order of plantains and garlic sauce. The plantains seemed to be baked rather than fried and were a little bland, but only until dipped into the delicious garlic sauce. We had a Cuban coffee drink which was a double espresso with a dollop of steamed milk. Just the pick up I needed.

On the way out, we couldn’t resist going into the bakery line. The array of sweets and breads was mind boggling. We took home a pound cake made with rice flour, which turned out to be wonderful.

I really think knowing the story of the place and seeing the mother’s picture made everything just a little better.

What do you think? Does knowing a story about a business make it more appearing to you?


Linda O. Johnston said...

Congrats on deciding on your new title, Betty. That Cuban restaurant, and its history, sound great!

Planner said...

Yes, Betty, I do think that knowing the story behind a business makes it more appealing (unless, of course, it's somehow objectionable--but that's not normally the case). When you know the story, the owners become real people and you usually learn that they love what they do and care about their customers. Who doesn't want to do business with talented, enthusiastic, caring people?

I love the title Wound Up in Murder. Can't wait to read Casey's next adventure!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, the place is called Portos and is on your side of the Valley.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, you are right. The owners become real people when you know their story.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I've been going there occasionally for years, Betty, and had no idea about its history!