More English-language writers are choosing Costa Rica as the background for their fictional literary works. A recent novel by Alexander Banyan, a Florida-based author who has also sailed around the Caribbean, is about a man who saves a Costa Rican woman from a ship’s captain, a privateer working in human trafficking. He falls in love and returns to Costa Rica with her. They steal money from the privateer and build a fashion empire in the United States.
The name of the novel is Amaretto with Coffee. The Costa Rica Star recently corresponded with Mr. Banyan about his experience in our country:
It’s been a few years since I have been to Costa Rica. When I was there I saw strong people, fighting to obtain a comfortable life style. I saw beautiful people with big hearts that did their best to understand my limited Spanish.
In “Amaretto with Coffee” I used the image of a few people I met, to create the book. There were also things that stayed in my mind, like dodging potholes, and the cost of a Burger King value meal, in colones. All of these things and many more worked their way into this book.
Jonah Bradford, (main male character),after several visits back and forth to CR, was able to bring his wife’s family to Florida, and make them his family. This book has many sacrifices on the way to a befitting ending.
Here’s an excerpt from Amaretto with Coffee, which is published by Trafford. There is also a link below to the book’s Amazon page, but you can also download the novel from the author’s home on the Web.
At sunrise Daniel and I were airborne to Costa Rica. I carried my disposable phone and my regular phone, in my laptop case. It was on my left shoulder, and the baby stuff in a bag on the other shoulder, with Daniel in my arms. We hit the tarmac in Limon by 3AM and I called Loren on my regular phone to pick us up.
She was confused, and wanted to know where Lisa was, and I convinced her to wait until we get to the house and get Daniel to bed.
Daniel went right to sleep, and we all sat at the kitchen table as I told the story. The crying was intense as I told them that I need them to be strong. Loren was immediately in, because this man that I wanted to erase was the same man that kidnapped and beat her years ago. Momma was a bit reserved, but agreed when she realized that Lisa had been kidnapped, and raped when she was young and then years later murdered by this man. I flipped open my laptop and hooked it into Loren’s Router. We clicked onto the live camera and the Uncle Tom appeared in Real Time on my screen. I laid the disposable phone on the table and explained that this will ignite that! as I pointed to the freighter.
“We just want him! So we have to wait until he goes to bed” I explained.
“I have a man working for me as we speak. When the phone rings and stops, we are ready to go. So for now we just wait.” I walked into the living room as Momma and Loren stared at the screen.
When the phone rang… RRRRING….. RRRRING… and then stopped, I knew Michigan was on the plane and everything was ready.
The screen showed it getting dark in Florida, and I couldn’t call the other phone until Captain Raymond goes to bed. We watched the monitor as we saw people leaving the boat and the Captain turning off the lights. He stayed in his room until late watching TV and finally got up and went into the bathroom, turned off the lights and went to bed.
We all looked at each other and I started dialing the number on my key pad. I hesitated at the last number and waited………. as I looked into their eyes.
“What’s the last number?” asked Loren.
She reached across the table and pushed 7.
Nothing happened for a few minutes and as I started to get worried, his cabin glowed like the sun from inside it. The camera went to static as it couldn’t handle the intense light. We stared at the computer screen as it finally came back on, to show the center of the metal roof melted into a hole above Raymond’s Cabin. As the intense light faded to flickering flames, the entire ship exploded and the flames danced on the water as the surrounding boats moved away to a safe distance.
If you’d like to read more about Costa Rica as the literary background for great novels, visit our obituary for Elmore Leonard, the late master of crime fiction. Mr. Leonard centered his novel Road Dogs on his bank robber character Jack Foley and his wish to retire in Costa Rica. You may remember George Clooney playing Jack Foley in the film Out of Sight with Jennifer Lopez.
If you enjoy the horror genre, you may like our interview with Clint Romag, the Los Angeles-based author whose Damnation of the Werewolf features our country and culture extensively. Damnation is the final book on a supernatural trilogy, and the novel showcases unique locations in Costa Rica and bring the country to life for readers who have never visited.