Thursday, July 14, 2016

STOP AND SMELL THE COFFEE by Max Dieter


If you visited Lavender, Texas before I moved there you probably remember the local coffee shop as Das Kaffee Haus. The former owner played oom-pah-pah music and did a negligible business.  I wanted to modernize things – but not too much. My sister says I’m stuck in the 70’s, and I say “what’s so bad about the 70’s?” 
 If you come by, you’ll notice me. I’m the one in the polyester print shirt and blue leisure suit. “Saturday Night Fever” is one of my favorite movies, and I have one of those revolving disco balls in my living room.

When it came to picking a name for my new and improved coffee shop, a Donna Summer song came to mind and fit perfectly. Hot Stuff Coffee Shop was born.


I sell coffee to plenty of quirky characters. First, we have the coffee addicts. They’ll drink three, four, five, or sometimes more cups of coffee in a day. That’s a serious budget line item, even though at Hot Stuff I charge a good bit less than that other famous place – you know the one.  Of course, being located in a Texas Hill Country vacation town, we have lots of tourists. They visit during the summer to raft down the river, in fall for the festivals, in winter for holiday shopping, in spring for the bluebonnet tours. Last but not least are the locals –townspeople who make it a habit to come in, hang out, people watch, and gossip. Lord have mercy, can they ever gossip!

Now I don’t mind people talking. Talk is normal. Talk is good. Gossip – not so good. Especially when they talk about the old Bad Luck Cat legend.  I can’t claim that I’ve ever had a cat of my own.  Not that I dislike cats, but my wife and I have always been dog people. I heard the legend about the Bad Luck Cat the first week I opened my shop, and I didn’t think much about it until I met Sabrina Tate. Sabrina’s a mystery writer and one of my regular customers who spends a good bit of time writing at Hot Stuff. She and a black cat named Hitchcock adopted each other, and now some are saying that he’s the legendary Bad Luck Cat. Shame on them. Most people are smart enough to not say this to Sabrina’s face. She’s a writer and she could easily put someone in a book and kill them. Not that doing so would make her feel any better. She’d prefer people stop slandering her cat. Hitchcock’s a cool cat, and if I ever decided to have a cat of my own I’d want one just like him.


Hitchcock and Sabrina have solved a couple of local mysteries, and I hope they decide to stick around. I, for one, feel like they make Lavender a much safer town to live in.  You can read about their escapades in BLACK CAT CROSSING and THE BLACK CAT KNOCKS ON WOOD. And don’t forget to stop and smell the coffee.

Regards,

Max
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Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling Author of the Bad Luck Cat mysteries BLACK CAT CROSSING and THE BLACK CAT KNOCKS ON WOOD by Berkley Prime Crime. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division. Kay lives with her husband and pets in a Houston suburb. Visit her at kayfinch.com.







11 comments:

  1. Looking forward to reading this new to me series. I like cats and don't believe black cats are bad luck. In fact, my husband and I have a black and white cat.

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  2. Thanks, Dianne B. My protagonist, Sabrina, and I don't believe black cats are bad luck either.

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  3. I had a black cat and she was not bad luck. I think they are getting a bad rap.

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    1. You're right. I wonder who started this silly suspicion.

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  4. I have read both of your books and love both of them. I also have a rescue black cat. He has his moments but he is still far from Hitchcock. I hope we get to see more of this series.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the books. I'm writing book 3 now, and it's set to come out next June.

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  5. I am a dog lover but your cat looks like a wonderful pet.
    Looking forward to reading this book
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Joye. I have 2 dogs, and I sure wouldn't mind if Hitchcock suddenly came to life and appeared in my house.

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  6. I love coffee and books! My favorite things! I want to read your book so much! Donamaekutska7@gmail.com

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  7. Sounds great and I haven't read in this series but I need to...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  8. Just enough story to wet my whistle. I'm always in a hurry. I'm usually early, but still always rushing... it's a horrible habit that I'm trying to break. I just need to pull over and read for a bit!! =) Marci - konecny7@gmail.com

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