I have a new story out in the Hot Off the Press Anthology at Dreamspinner Press! In fact, I am the lead-off story. The stories all had to be about writing. So, I wrote a story about a writer who hates coffee doing research in a coffee shop. Jerrod is an adorable geek.
His soon to be lover? Hot, tattooed java house owner.
Here's a wee bit.
JERROD REDUS swirled his tepid tea in his mug, wishing for the fifth time in less than an hour that his protagonist drank tea. No, he had to write a damned coffee drinker, which he knew dick-all about. Not only was his main character a coffee drinker, he owned a coffee shop.
That stupid, simple fact meant that Jerrod had written himself into a corner, and he was going to have to do some damned research. He had a personal assistant. Someone to handle e-mails and read- throughs and scheduling appointments. Most of the time, though, Jerrod preferred to do his research by himself, for himself. Nothing beat experience for making something ring true in a book. Jerrod had done ride-alongs with EMTs and police, had interviewed FBI agents and politicians, and had gone surfing and mountain climbing. The problem was that he hated coffee. Sighing, he sat back in his chair and rested his head against the little neck roll. He’d bought the chair when his first novel had been hailed as a breakout success, when he’d realized he’d earned his advance. The poor thing looked a little shabby now, but he loved the soft leather and cushy seat too much to replace it.
He finally saved his doc, opened his e-mail, and shot off a request to his PA, Patty. “Need a work-along with a small, privately owned coffee shop, ASAP.” She would do the legwork for him, make all the arrangements. All he would have to do was show up and hold his breath so he didn’t have to smell the evil demon brew. Hopefully he’d get a good pastry out of the deal. He should have put that in his e-mail. So Jerrod sent another. “Make sure there are cookies and muffins.”
There. He grinned, rising so he could stretch out his back and neck. Joints cracked all over his body. Man, he needed to get out more, maybe do some hiking or something. When the writing flowed, he stayed in like a hermit, clacking away at his keyboard. He’d tried voice capture software, but he liked the connection to the words that typing gave him. He grabbed his mug again and headed to the kitchen of his condo, ready for something to settle him down for the evening. Chamomile didn’t do it for him; he liked hibiscus. Lowered his blood pressure, soothed his throat. He’d have that and an almond cookie before he took his shower. Jerrod liked his routine, liked to know what his schedule looked like weeks in advance.
His nerves jangled a bit when he thought about taking time out to do the research he had to do. The coffee shop looked to be as big a character as anything else in the book, damn it. He had to make it real, had to make people believe it. He listened to the kettle ramp up, bubbling, then whistling. His sister gave him electric kettles all the time, maybe once a year. He preferred his mom’s old stovetop model. Tradition. Habit. The scent of a fresh cup of tea settled his nerves. Coffee shop. Just for a few days. He could do this.
You can also get it in paperback!
Move is over, and I should be back on track here now! Hooray! I have many thoughts and feels and newses.