My name is Casey Feldstein and I wear a number of hats. My regular job – as if anything in my life is regular- is baking desserts for the Blue Door restaurant and muffins for the coffee spots around Cadbury by the Sea, California.
And then there is the yarn retreat. I didn’t even know what a yarn retreat was until I found out I inherited the Yarn2Go business from my aunt. Basically you take a group of people and bring them to a rustic hotel and conference center that happens to be across the street from where I live and offer them some workshops on knitting. You offer them lots of free time to work on their own projects and time to enjoy the rugged surroundings, too. The fact that I don’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook might make it seem a little odd for me to be putting on a yarn retreat. But then I’m known for trying new things. My problem is more with sticking with them.
The baking job makes sense since I have been baking since I was a kid. I think it was a reaction to my mother. She’s a cardiologist and might spend her days fixing broken hearts, but in her mind cookies only come in white boxes from the bakery.
My father is a doctor, too. He’s a pediatrician. I’m an only child and I’m afraid in my case the apple fell very far from the tree and then rolled into a ditch. Baking and yarn retreats are only the latest in a rather spotty career history. My mother likes to remind me that when she was my age (35) she was a doctor, a mother and a wife. And I’m what?
Who knows maybe I’ve finally found my place in the world. I know I love going to the Blue Door at night after they’ve closed. I put on some soft jazz and lay out the ingredients for whatever delicious dessert I’m baking that night. They let me bake the muffins there as well, though I bring in my own ingredients. When I’m done, long after the streets of Cadbury are rolled up and put away for the night, I drop off muffins at the coffee spots in town and go home.
Among my many past profession (i.e., jobs), I did temp work at a detective agency in Chicago. It was mostly phone interviews which is a nice way of saying I got people on the phone and pumped them for information about their cousin Sal who’d skipped town owing a lot of people money.
Who knew my investigative skills would come in handy or that my old boss Frank would begrudgingly turn out to be a big help? But then who would have figure that on my very first retreat, someone would turn up dead?
I’m not even going to bring up the hot cop, Dane Mangano, who lives down the street or my ex boyfriend, Dr. Sammy Glickner, who came across the country to make a house call.
Thanks to Berkley, I have one (1) copy of YARN TO GO to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. Contest ends July 4; US entries only per publisher’s request.
You can read more about Casey in Yarn To Go, the first book in the new “Yarn Retreat” mystery series.
Meet the author
Betty Hechtman grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Like her character, Casey Feldstein, she has sampled a number of professions and has done everything farm work on a kibbutz to working as an associate publicist. Aside from writing the “Yarn Retreat Mystery” series and the national bestselling “Crochet Mystery” series, she works in her family’s direct marketing business.
After getting a B.A. in Fine Arts, she studied photography, magic, improv comedy and film.
She has written newspaper and magazine pieces, along with short stories and several scripts. She splits her time between Southern California and Chicago and has yarn stashes in both places.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.