Hi everyone –
It’s great to be on the Coffee Time Romance Blog today!
I have new dark paranormal romance out now, Night Walker, and I thought maybe we could chat about “coffee dates”.
I didn’t discover the “let’s meet for coffee” phenomenon until I found myself single again after fifteen years of marriage. I didn’t know dates had changed! LOL Eventually I figured out the magic of “meeting for coffee”. You could get to know someone new without the commitment of an entire evening and the cost of a meal.
Coffee is warm and non-threatening. You also have the added comfort of a busy public place so you don’t have to be alone with this stranger that you just met.
In my novel, Night Walker, Calisto is immortal and has waited over two hundred years for his lost love to be reincarnated. He recognized Kate from the moment he first saw her, but she has no conscious memory of him. He’s also able to shape shift into a Raven, his spirit animal, so he didn’t drive when he met Kate downtown.
During the walk to the coffee shop, Kate admitted that she left San Diego because being near the ocean left her feeling empty and haunted.
She’d never admitted that out loud to anyone before…
“I know it sounds crazy. Sure you still want to have coffee with me?”
He opened the glass door of a dimly lit café. “I have never been more certain of anything in this life.”
Calisto grinned. His hand brushed the small of her back, an encouraging touch. She let him guide her to a corner table, reveling in the feel of his hand against her and the acceptance in his smile.
Every time he touched her, her entire body tingled in response. And even though she shouldn’t, even though she needed time and room to settle into her new approach to life, she wanted more of Calisto. She yearned for it.
He took the seat across from her. Kate dreaded the awkward silence sure to come, but it didn’t.
“You are a musician in Reno?”
She relaxed into her seat, enjoying the way his Spanish accent colored the name of her city. “Yes, I direct a couple of middle school choirs. How did you know that?”
“I wish I could say that I knew your mother and she told me this, but I cannot. Sadly, I am not involved with the donors at the foundation as much as I would like.”
“Betty told you, huh?” Kate laughed.
“I wondered why a musician would give up a beautiful instrument like your mother’s piano.”
“My mother didn’t give me a choice in the matter. She wanted you to have it,” Kate said, surprised at how bitter she sounded.
“Do you play?”
She shrugged. “Not very well. But I get by.”
“Get by?” He moved his chair back and crossed an ankle over his leg.
In this new position, Kate could enjoy the cut of his shirt over his chest. She cleared her throat. “I can plunk out melodies just fine, but I’m a little rusty at playing the bass line with my left hand.”
“Sometime, I would love to hear you play.”
God, she couldn’t get enough of his accent. Focus, Kate. “Oh I’d be too embarrassed. Betty told me you’re a concert pianist.”
He cocked his head and raised his eyebrows. “How well I play has nothing to do with it.”
Kate laughed, leaning back slightly as the waitress placed their drinks in front of them. “What will happen to my Mom’s piano, anyway?”
Calisto grasped the warm coffee mug and answered, but Kate didn’t register the words. The café, its customers, the smell of coffee, even time faded when she noticed his hand.
His ring. She couldn’t take her eyes off of it. Something about it seemed… familiar. Maybe she was insane. She couldn’t have seen it before, and yet she was sure she had. Either that or she had some vivid déjà vu.
“Kate? Are you all right?” Calisto asked.
Kate blinked and shook her head slowly, breaking the trance she felt when she noticed the ring. “I’m sorry. I saw your ring and I can’t help thinking I’ve seen it before.” She searched his face for something that might tell her why the ring seemed so familiar. “I swear I’m not usually this crazy, but it looks familiar to me.”
His gaze held hers, his voice soft but commanding. “You are many things, but crazy is not one of them. Perhaps intuition told you of our meeting in a dream. Stranger things have happened in this world, no?”
Dream. The word sent a chill down her spine. “You believe in déjà vu then?”
“You do not?”
“I asked you first.” She sipped her coffee, desperate to shake off the nagging anxiety that haunted her since she saw his ring.
Something inside of her kept grasping for a memory that she knew didn’t exist.
“Yes, you did.”
His voice guided her back to the present. “Do you always answer a question with another question?”
“You are not the first to accuse me of such a thing.” Calisto smiled, lifting his coffee to his full lips.
“Now that I can believe. So maybe I’ve seen your ring before, huh?” She glanced at his hand but, concerned the design would entrance her again, she returned her attention to his face.
“Maybe so.” He placed his mug on the table. “As I said, stranger things have happened.”
Kate nodded. Strange things were happening all right. She sipped her coffee, unable to take her eyes off of his. Did he feel the same attraction?
She was a choir teacher who lived out of state in a two-bedroom apartment, and he was a reclusive philanthropist. This was real life, not a fairy tale. She had to wake up. She was on the rebound here.
“We should probably get going.” She set her mug down. “It’s getting late.”
“I suppose it is.” He looked almost disappointed, but he rose from the booth and moved around to help her to her feet.
“Thank you.” The second her fingers touched his, a shock of desire zipped through her. She had to force herself to let go of his hand. Keeping a clear head was difficult when her body reacted to him this way. He made her feel more alive, her senses heightened. Her heart raced just holding his hand.
Imagine if we kissed. Her skin flushed with heat and she rolled her eyes at herself.
“Where are you parked?” Kate asked.
“I am not.”
“You’re not? Did you take a cab or something?”
Kate grinned, shaking her head. “You play the man of mystery well, don’t you? I’d be happy to give you a ride. It’s the least I can do since you saved me from a night all alone.”
“You should never be alone.” Calisto offered his arm, tipping his head slightly toward her.
She placed her hand into the crook of his arm, barely resisting the urge to run her fingers along his bicep. “Are you always so charming?”
His eyes lost focus, and something shifted in his expression. For a moment, he looked as haunted as Kate felt. “Not always.”
She glanced at his ring again and wondered whether she had as much control over her life as she believed.
Night Walker Blurb:
He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.
She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…
After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.
They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…
Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.
Hope you enjoyed Calisto and Kate’s coffee date! So have you ever “met for coffee”? I’d love to hear your coffee time stories! 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting!
I enjoy meeting up online too, so feel free to connect with me there…