|Another Cup of Coffee|
It's Always Time for 'Another Cup of Coffee'- just ask Jenny Kane!
Many thanks to Kayelle for inviting me to the brilliant Romance Lives Forever site today, to share a little of the background to my latest novel, Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, Sept 2013)- my very first novel under the name Jenny Kane.
Okay- I admit it, I have a serious coffee shop habit! I am addicted- not just to the coffee itself- but to the cafes themselves. I just love them- all of them! I love to watch the people around me, to smile at strangers to see how they respond, to wrap my hands around a coffee mug and inhale the aroma of the drink within. For me, there is something very soothing about them, whether they are jammed packed and noisy, or as quiet as the proverbial grave, with myself being the only one in residence. I simply feel at home in coffee shops.
It won't surprise you to learn then, that every novel I have written took shape in various coffee shops. It seemed totally natural to me therefore, that when I came to creating my first non-erotic novel, to make coffee shops the main places of meeting and discussion for the main characters.
Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn't seen since she was at university.
Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she's kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.
It's time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in
England, when her heart got broken and
the life she was building for herself was shattered. Time to make sense of all the
feelings she's been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it's time to
discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…
With her mantra, 'New life, New job, New home', playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest...
The coffee shop that features most within Another Cup of Coffee is called Pickwicks, a tucked away cafe run by the ever bubbly Peggy, and her husband Scott. It is here that, newly arrived in London from Scotland, Amy is to find a refuge from her troubles, a temporary job, a possible future, and a potential friend in Kit- a woman who spends her days sat in the corner of Pickwicks writing erotic stories for an American Internet company...
"Jack, it's me again. I'm sorry if I upset you. You caught me by surprise, that's all. I've spoken to Rob. Please call me. Coffee sometime?"
Kit left a third message on Jack's voicemail as she trudged thoughtfully towards Pickwicks. Since Rob had told her Amy was Jack's ex, and then Phil had mentioned an Amy, Kit hadn't been able to shake the feeling that she'd wandered into the plot of a third-class soap opera. It had to be her. The same name, new in town, and fresh from
Scotland. How clear did it need to be
for God's sake?
Kit hadn't mentioned to Phil that his client could be one of Jack's other exes; she hadn't even asked him what this Amy was like. Kit felt uncomfortable as she negotiated her way through the busy streets, as if she was keeping secrets from her husband, but she wasn't sure why.
"Coffee's coming," Peggy called out as Kit pushed open the café door.
Inhaling the comforting aroma of freshly-ground beans and baking cakes, Kit headed towards her table as if it was a place of sanctuary, "Thanks, I need it."
"What's up? The smut not pouring forth from the pen?" Peggy winked theatrically as she finished checking the till.
"That's it; tell the world what I do for a living why don't you!" Kit spoke rather more sharply than she had intended.
Lot on my mind." She smiled with gratitude as Peggy brought
her over a cup of coffee so large that it could have doubled as a soup bowl. "You're
so good to me, petal."
"And am I rewarded? No!" Peggy put her hand to her forehead in mock despair.
"Actually, you are. Here." Kit passed her a couple of pages with five hundred words of carefully constructed thrills neatly typed onto it.
"You inspired it, so it seems only right that you own a copy, but for God's sake don't flash it about; my publisher would not appreciate you getting an advanced copy."
"Wow," Peggy scanned the first paragraph, "I'm surprised the paper isn't singed around the edges. You wait till Scott reads this!"
"Yes, well, I'd rather not know."
"You're amazing. How can you be so prudish and yet write this stuff?"
"I've always been complicated, honey. Now, be a good little waitress and go yonder to serve that poor woman by the window, she's been sat waiting for her pot of tea for ages."
As she watched Peggy zip toward her new customer, her mobile announced the arrival of a text.
What Rob say?
Kit read Jack's message with a mixture of relief and foreboding. She really didn't want to land Rob in the doghouse. On the other hand …
Told me someone called Amy was in town.
Kit pressed Send and sat looking at her phone, willing Jack to respond, yet full of apprehension as to what his reply might contain.
When Peggy arrived back at her table an hour later with a fresh top up of coffee, Kit realised that she'd been staring into space and hadn't written a thing. Depeche Mode's words, reach out and touch me, were still whizzing around her head, but she couldn't decide what to do with them. Some sort of bondage and punishment story seemed obvious, and fitted in nicely with the rather vague story request she'd received from Pearls early that morning, but where to set it? It was time to call in a second opinion and ignore the lack of activity on her phone.
"You bellowed, your writer-ship." Peggy put down the cake tongs and moved towards Kit.
"Oh, great. What is it this time?" Peggy pulled out a chair and sat down, rubbing her hands together as her head trotted through a selection of her own highly charged fantasies with which to assist her friend. She spoke with relish, "You stuck on a character's name, or can't you think of what unspeakable things they should do to each other?"
"Sometimes I wonder why it's not you writing and me serving coffee." Kit lay down her pen. "I need a location to work from. I can't picture anywhere suitable in my head."
"Where have you used recently?"
"Here for one. I've got something drafted set in a bookshop, and last week I had a go at the bus station."
Peggy nodded, running possible situations through her mind, "What sort of story?"
"Bondage, probably with some punishment, but not too heavy. Nothing forced. Lines from Personal Jesus keep running through my head."
"Cool. I'll have a think." Returning to the counter to collect some cheese on toast, Peggy delivered it swiftly to another regular, and returned to Kit with a wicked expression across her face.
"How about the snooker club?"
"What the hell has snooker got to do with being desperate for someone to reach out to touch you?"
"Think snooker tables, balls and rope. Oh hang on. It's for the
US, right? Better make it a pool table."
Kit's eye brows rose, "Bit clichéd?"
Raising her eyebrows suggestively, Peggy answered, "Don't knock it till you've tried it."
Not for the first time, Kit looked at her friend with incredulity, "Why do I get the feeling I don't want to know?"
Peggy laughed, and with a curtsey said, "More cake, madam?" ...
Find Me Here
Find Jenny's darker side, Kay Jaybee, on her erotica website http://kayjaybee.me.uk