Friday, November 18, 2016

Excerpts on Spring Hill

When you're selling something, a book for example, you're supposed to use whatever social media you have to promote whatever you're selling. If you're on Facebook, you tell your Facebook friends about what you're selling. If you're on Twitter, you say a few short words and post a link. If you're still living in the Stone Age, you have a blog.

Marketing isn't my thing. I'm not interested in metrics and sales charts and what moves well where. I couldn't care less about promoting “my brand”. I didn't even know I had a brand. I always thought Pepsi and Kellogg's were brands.

But I have a blog where I can say and post pretty much whatever I want. Google owns the site, so it's not exactly anything goes. They have rules, but as far as I know, I'm well below their radar. It won't hurt anyone if I post an excerpt or two from my new book.

Here's a quick, spoiler-free excerpt from Chapter 7.


Hisham took her to Racha, a Georgian restaurant just off Jaffa Street. It was yet another place next to the hotel that she had never noticed. Whenever Harmony walked onto Jaffa Street from the hotel, she would either turn left or right. Had she merely kept going straight after crossing the street, this restaurant would have been directly in front of her.

When Hisham first mentioned going to a Georgian restaurant, Harmony was expecting grits, collards and corn bread.

“That would be great,” she said. “I haven't had soul food in a long time.”

Naturally, Hisham was talking about Georgia, the country. When they walked into the small restaurant that looked like a converted house somewhere in Eastern Europe, Harmony knew she would not be getting any mac and cheese.

“The best Georgian food in Israel,” Hisham announced.

Since this was the only Georgian restaurant Harmony ever tried in Israel, or anywhere else in the world, she would have to take his word for it.

This was not the type of restaurant Harmony anticipated from Hisham. He was a movie producer who clearly had money. He knew everyone everywhere he went and knew how to schmooze a crowd. He almost never wore a suit, but neither did anyone else. It was usually too hot for a sport coat, but that seemed to be the standard business suit. Harmony could not remember seeing a single man walking the streets in a tie. When Hisham invited her to lunch, she pictured a bright space with lots of windows and white tables and people nibbling from large plates with tiny portions. She pictured Mélisse in Santa Monica.

Racha was a cozy restaurant that looked a little like a run down building from the outside. There was nothing trendy about the street, although it was very close to the main shopping boulevard. Instead of whatever restaurant was fashionable among the trendsetters that week, it was the kind of place that stayed in business for generations. Racha was one of those family owned restaurants where guests actually met the owners. The chef and hostess were brother and sister. Their father made the drinks, including a strong brandy/vodka called chacha that everyone wanted Harmony to try. It was lunch and she had to go to work later, so getting shickered was not on her schedule.

“Israel makes the best badrijani,” Hisham told her while suggesting what she should order.

Harmony thought it was odd that a Georgian dish would be better in Israel than in Georgia, but Israel turned out to be the name of the chef.

“That's just asking for confusion,” Livia submitted. “That's like a stripper in China named China. People say you need a visa to enter China, but I know a guy who got in China for twenty bucks.”

Badrijani is stuffed eggplant with walnut paste and pomegranate seeds. Harmony could not say if it was better in Georgia or Israel, but what Israel made for them in Israel was pretty good. Fortunately, no one at the restaurant was named Georgia.

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