Behind the Scenes of the Brennan Sisters: Capitola

Capitola, California is a little beach community ten miles south of Santa Cruz.  I first visited Capitola in my late twenties when I was a teacher in Fresno at St. Helen’s, and dating a musician whose family owned a beach house in the heart of Capitola, just a stone’s throw from the beach.  We visited the beach house a number of times, and I never loved Capitola more than when his big family was together (his family was Italian and full of brothers, not sisters!) and everyone crowded into the kitchen, or spilled out onto the porch.  I love families, particularly big families that are passionate and spirited and full of love, and opinons, and I love the way brothers and sisters interact—the teasing, the laughing, the arguing.   It might be too lively for others, but its comfortable for me.  Its what life and love feels like to me.

Back in October, my wonderful surfer husband went to Capitola with me and I showed him all my favorite spots, as well as the places that show up in The Good Woman, and then again in The Good Daughter.  We spent over an hour hanging out at Mr. Toot’s, having coffee, looking at books, taking pictures of ourselves.  It was goofy and fun and a perfect way to spend a rainy, foggy day.  I then dragged him on my mini-tour (here’s Margaritaville!  Here’s Pizza My Heart!  Here’s Paradise Beach Grille!  Here’s the house the Brennans “own”…and the beach they walk on…)

I’m sharing a few pics of my Capitola with you.  Get to know this little beach town because Kit returns there in The Good Daughter and meets one of my favorite characters ever…


Capitola’s Colorful Venetian Court, built in 1924 is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first condominium seaside developments in California
The sign for Mr. Toots Coffee which is the Brennan sisters favorite hang out and cafe in Capitola.
Coffee at Mr. Toot’s with Ty
Mr. Toot’s is a great place to read a book on a foggy day.
I’ve set the Brennans beach house here, as one of the historic Six Sisters houses facing Esplande and the famous Capitola beach. The six houses, designed by architect Edward Van Cleeck, were built at the turn of the 20th Century, and were owned by Capitola developer Frederick Hihn and his heirs until 1919 when H. Allen Rispin purchased the entire development of Capitola.

Do you have a favorite beach town?  Or, a favorite scene in The Good Woman?  Tell me about one of them and you could be entered to win one of two cool Capitola prizes, featuring a GREAT glazed mug from Mr. Toot’s (you can see one of the mugs in the photo above where I’m sipping coffee and reading a book.  I bought three, and am keeping one, and the other 2 are for you!), a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card, chocolate, coffee, fun reads by some of my favorite authors, and lots more great goodies tucked in my brand new I Read Jane silver totebag.  The contest runs through Sunday night and I’ll announce the two winners Monday morning.  So, talk to me, and hopefully you will win!

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