Twelve Random Facts: Eloisa Reyna Carreon, from Save The Cake

One of the main concerns raised by my beta readers on Save the Cake comes idea that nobody knows what Eloisa is really like as a person, even though the story is told from her first-person narrative. Maybe it’s because I’m more used to writing in the first person when I’m talking about myself (heheh), but it’s beginning to make me wonder if I should put Eloisa through a review process to figure out what she really looks like. 

With that in mind, I shall cede the floor to Miss Eloisa herself. 


This is what I know about me, Eloisa Reyna Carreon: 
1) I’m 28 years old.

2) I’m a pastry chef and cake baker who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. 
3) I am part of the family business at Reyna Bakery, which was established by my grandmother Carmen Reyna. Lola Carmen died when I was 17, and the bakery struggled a bit without her, but with the help of my Mom (Guadalupe Reyna), Pappy (Pablo Carreon), older brother Paul, and younger sister Neri, we were able to save the family business by opening a cafe that serves light meals along with yummy cakes, pies, brownies, and empanadas.

(Paul: Don’t forget the muffins. Aren’t muffins the same as cupcakes? Eloisa: No, muffins are heavier. Paul: But they’re sweet, and they’re baked in the same pans! Neri: Jim Gaffigan says that muffins are cake you can eat for breakfast. Eloisa: Can you please let me finish this Random Facts list first?

4) Because I’ve been cooking and baking for most of my life, people like to compare me to Nigella Lawson. Yeah, right! I don’t have her body, but I know I can cook. 
5) My body isn’t really that “chunky” for a chef like me. Thanks to Pappy’s genes, I was born tall (note from SMT: around the 5’3 – 5’6 range) with square shoulders and lean arms that I have to stretch all the time from all the heavy lifting. My sister Neri takes more from our Mom, body-wise, since she’s shorter and rounder all over.

Gong Li, via Pinterest

6) My friend Hazel tells me that I look like a younger version of Gong Li from certain angles, and I think I can see it from the nose and mouth, and the square jaw (another thing I got from my Pappy). Most of the time, however, I think I look more like Lola Carmen because she has round eyes and wavy hair.

7) Two reasons why I cut my hair down to shoulder length: One, I’ve been told so many times that I look more like Lola Carmen when I keep my hair short and wavy, so I’ve stopped trying to fight it. Two, I don’t like having my hair getting in the way of my work; one strand of hair can ruin an arrangement with ganache or fondant if I’m not careful, so keeping it short makes it easier for me to tie it back with a bandanna and a ponytail.

8) I hate straightening my hair.

(Hazel: But you look so nice with long straight hair! Eloisa: No. I hate spending money on my hair. My hairdresser told me that it’s easier to keep it layered anyway.)

9) Most of the time, I live in jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers, because I value my comfort that way. My T-shirts are always plain and bright to contrast with my navy-colored apron; my favorite ones are from Old Navy, which I can get from the surplus store. The jeans are always Levis, because the denim is tough enough to stand the long hours that I spend on my feet. I also discovered Superga sneakers when I used to live in Singapore, which I think are quite comfortable when I have to be on my feet all day.

10) There are only three pairs of heels in my closet: one for corporate functions, one for formal wear, and one just for fun. I don’t wear them all the time, but it’s nice to keep them around just in case.

11) The last time I wore a dress was for the dinner party at Hazel’s house; I bought it on sale from Mango, but I had no idea how uncomfortable it was until it rode up the backs of my thighs while I was sitting down. That wasn’t even the most unpleasant thing that happened that night, either, but at least my hair looked great, and I got to sit next to Hazel’s cousin Sean Alvarez, who just happens to be really, really cute.

12) I sometimes wonder if Sean Alvarez also noticed that my dress was too short.

(Sean: Don’t tell Eloisa I said this, but that dress looked hot on her that night. Pappy: What did you just say about my daughter? Mom: Give the boy a chance, Pappy. He means well. [Eloisa smiles, and nudges Sean affectionately.])

If there’s anything else you want to know about me, don’t forget to leave your questions in the Comments section. Stella and I will do our best to answer them. Thanks! 

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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