Tea and Romance
One of my favorite ways to relax is to sit down with a book and a cup of tea. Though I usually drink plain black tea, I enjoy different flavors as well. Some of my favorites are orange, blueberry, mint and lemon. If I’m feeling stressed and I can find the time, I’ll have a cup of tea and read a favorite book.
I remember when I first became obsessed with romance novels. I was in my late teens and I couldn’t get enough of historical romance novels–the bodice rippers. One of my favorite memories is of drinking orange tea on a Saturday afternoon in the summer while reading a romance novel set during the civil war.
Now over twenty-five years later I still love romance novels and I still love tea. Some things never change and in this case that’s a good thing. When I’m depressed or stressed a good book, whether it’s romance, horror, fantasy or sci-fi, can help lift my spirits.
My love for tea has sometimes influenced my characters. Many of them prefer tea to coffee. In my novel, Back to Haunt You, the main couple first meet in a tearoom.
What are some of your favorite ways to relax or some of your favorite pastimes? If you’re a writer, do your favorites sometimes appear in your books?
The following excerpt is from one of my older titles, Back to Haunt You. It focuses on the first time the hero and heroine cross paths. Hope you enjoy it!
Back to Haunt You
Ellora’s Cave (Blush)
Morgan playfully shoved Uma’s shoulder before they left the car and headed for the tearoom’s entrance.
They walked up three steps and opened the door to the soft tinkle of bells.
“Morgan! Uma!” Deb, thin and dressed in a flowered print dress, hurried from behind a glass case filled with delicious-looking cookies and pastries. Her thick-soled leather sandals thudded on the floor before she stopped in front of the mother and daughter. “I’m so glad you finally came. It’s really quiet this morning, so for now you’ve got the room to yourselves.”
They followed her through a door to a room decorated in pastel colors. Five charming little tables were set up, three in the center of the room and two by the picture window overlooking the park in the town square. Across the room, two cushioned high-backed chairs with round end tables flanked each side of glass double doors leading to the porch.
Deb guided the mother and daughter to a window seat.
“I’ll be right back with your tea. You’ll have to excuse me for darting back and forth, but my employee called in sick this morning, so I’m on my own.”
“No problem,” Morgan said.
Several moments later, the two were enjoying tea and cookies while discussing their favorite movies, a subject that rarely incited arguments between them.
Morgan was suddenly distracted by the arrival of another patron. A man, strangely enough.
A compelling man garbed in black, with dark hair streaked with gray and bound at his nape. His gaze swept the room before he walked to one of the chairs by the glass doors and sat. His posture was almost military and his legs parted in a masculine pose that seemed at odds with his uncommonly refined attire. While he wasn’t exactly goth, he certainly wasn’t a normal. Unique was the only word that suited him.
Morgan turned toward the window and discreetly studied the man’s reflection. His great taste in clothing aside, she couldn’t quite determine whether he was ugly or handsome.
Beneath the table, Uma kicked Morgan’s leg to gain her mother’s attention. She shifted her gaze in the man’s direction.
“What?” Morgan mouthed the word.
“Cute,” Uma mouthed back.
Way too old for you, Morgan thought, hoping Uma would have the common sense to use her telepathic gift so their companion wouldn’t suspect he was the subject of their conversation.
“I meant for you,” Uma whispered. “And I do have common sense.”
“I told you, Uma, I’ve given up on roller skating,” Morgan said, alluding to her rules regarding the opposite sex. “I’ve had too many falls.”
“Because you were wearing badly fitting skates, Mum,” Uma said, then lowered her voice. “I’m going to check him out.”
Morgan sighed, a smile flirting with her lips. It wasn’t ethical for Uma to use her telepathic powers to scope out dates for her mother, especially when Morgan had no intention of wasting her time on men. She had her jobs and her kid. That was more than enough for any woman.
Uma’s brow furrowed and she turned back to her tea. “That’s weird.”
Uma reached into her pocket book and found a pen. She scribbled a note on her napkin.
I can’t read his mind.
They glanced across the room and found the man staring at them with slanted green eyes. Morgan felt her face flush.
“Let’s get out of here, kid.”
“Good idea.” Uma picked up the last cookie, broke it and handed half to Morgan.
The man’s lips twitched in an amused smile before he turned and glanced out the window.
About Kate Hill
Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.
When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets.
Visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com.