Welcome to author Layla Dorine and the tour for her latest release, Midnight Musicals and Coffee Ice Cream—what a fun title! We’ve got an exclusive excerpt from the book to share with you today, so enjoy!
About the Book
Takashi never imagined that a simple call to an escort service would result in meeting Zander. What started out as a date to the winter gala at his office, morphed into a series of paid dates that offer him several unique opportunities to get to know the handsome, enigmatic escort.
Zander hates feeling like an ornament. After four years he’s ready for a new occupation. Unfortunately, he isn’t skilled enough for any job that would pay him the money he needs to make to support himself and his family. So, he stays with Mateo’s agency and keeps on taking clients, refusing to call them dates because that’s too personal.
Now their both trying to make the best of the brief moments they have together, blurring the lines more and more with every passing night. Takashi wants more, Zander wants to give it to him, but only after he gets the rest of his life worked out. Only problem is, he has no idea how.
Buy the Book: Amazon ~ All Regions
From the Author
Hello and thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today to introduce my latest novel: Midnight Musicals and Coffee Ice Cream. Set in Seattle, the book is a culmination of several visits to the city and a ton of exploration. It’s funny, I get asked all the time if I’ve ever stopped at a Starbucks when I’ve been out there visiting. I have not. I have, however, been to a bunch of small coffee shops, including one inside the public library in Everett where sections of this book were written.
I love coffee, tea too, and hot cocoa and cider; there’s just something about sipping something hot while furiously filling the pages of a notebook that is so enjoyable and relaxing. I find myself lost in my own little world most times, occasionally working until someone taps me on the shoulder and tells me its closing time. Then I wander along to the next spot, especially on a rainy day, find some good food, and amazing atmosphere, and sit and write some more.
When it comes to ice cream though, coffee or any variation, like mocha cappuccino, coffee toffee bar crunch, coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz, and coffee espresso, is my favorite, so it was no shock when it turned out to be Zander’s too.
In fact, over the course of editing this, I realized just how many of my own meals and culinary experiences were woven into the pages. The sweet shop Zander and Takashi visit one night, for example, reflects an amazing place I had the opportunity to visit down in South Mississippi, The flavors of the petite fours Takashi ends up purchasing, as well as the treats Zander samples and ultimately buys come directly from that experience.
If anything, the realization of how much I can weave into a piece of writing after a long trip or visiting someplace new only seems to encourage me to travel more and try something different when I do. I hope to inspire those who read my stories to step out of their comfort zones and try new things too. Life’s too short to be bored, and sometimes, just knowing that there’s another amazing adventure around the corner is enough to brighten even my darkest days.
From his pocket, he could hear his phone buzzing. A quick glance told him it was Mateo and for a moment he was tempted to shove it back in his pocket and pretend he hadn’t seen it, or better still, chuck it into the ocean so he never had to worry about Mateo calling again. Too bad the bills couldn’t pay themselves and his mother’s tired, weary eyes flashed through his mind, prompting a surge of guilt. It was bad enough that she still worked ten hours a day on her feet, waitressing at the same crappy place she’d worked since before he was born. She shouldn’t have to walk back and forth to work on top of it. With a sigh, he mashed the phone symbol to answer the call and pressed the phone to his ear.
Want to explain to me why Gerard called pissed as all hell at quarter to one last night?
“No, he’s an ass, never book him a date with me again.”
That’s pretty much what he said about you. Be careful, Corban, its hard lining up clients who don’t want a bit of bed sport at the end of the night.
Fortunately for you, you seem to have attracted another regular. But don’t make a habit of running off customers.
“I can’t promise anything, it’s all on them. I have no problems with any of my dates as long as they follow the rules and don’t cross the line.”
When will you understand that lines were meant to be redefined?
Mateo chuckled and the sound of it made the hair on the back of Corban’s neck stand on end.
One day you’ll wake up and see that your lofty ideals are in fact, holding you back from a potentially lucrative and successful career.
“There’s more to life than money.”
Perhaps, but never forget that with money, there is also more to life.
Corban sighed and chucked a rock as hard as he could, feeling some sense of satisfaction when it smacked into a wave.
“So, what’s up, Mateo. I take it you have a job for me?”
Two actually, both with the same person. Takashi Himura wishes to have you accompany him Friday night and again next Saturday, both pretty dressed up affairs. Theater and a runway show. He’ll pick you up at the regular meeting spot, six in the evening on Friday as he wishes you to accompany him to dinner first. The runway event is a huge affair, taking up most of the day. He’ll give you details when he sees you, but you’ll be making two grand for that one.
Corban couldn’t help but whistle. Paydays like that almost never happened for him.
Exactly. For a guy who claims money isn’t everything, you sound pleased about that.
“I said it isn’t enough to make me give in and sign on for afterhours activities. I never said it didn’t matter. I’ve got some unexpected bills so, hook me up if you can.”
I’ll do my best, but you know what the easiest way to fix your money woes would be.
“And you know that’s not an option.”
Mateo chuckled again, the sound darker this time, with a hint of sarcasm and a bitter, bitter edge.
Keep telling yourself that. I look forward to the day when you’re forced to retract those words.
Another rock, this one hit the sand and sent it flying in the air. Corban ran his fingers through his hair, choking back a curse, wondering if that’s what it had been like for Mateo when he’d gotten started. Had he had ideals, a time table, plans to stop doing it once he was set up financially, only to see it all erode into something endless and bleak? If it was, then Corban pitied him, but there was no way in hell he was going to allow himself to become like him.
“I gotta go, thanks, Mateo,” he remarked through grit teeth, barely keeping his composure together. As soon as he’d hung up he let out a scream, scaring the hell out of a nearby gull.
Furious, he snatched up a fist full of rocks, hurling them into the water one by one, the wind blowing the sand back into his eyes. It stung, and he cursed, raged, rubbed at his eyes which only served to grind it in and make it hurt more. Stumbling to the water’s edge he cupped a handful of water and splashed it on his face, causing a whole different sort of stinging, but at least it was one that faded and the cold could be dabbed away. Seaweed brushed against his sneakers as he told himself a solution would present itself if he just took the time to go out into the city and hunt for something different. The only thing was, aside from making coffee and being social, he had very little skills. The want ads were full of job openings, but nothing that he was qualified for and he was in no position to investigate classes at the community college to try and learn something new. Feeling particularly dejected, he trudged back up to the boardwalk and headed for home, the echo of Mateo’s words following him. Whatever it took, he vowed to never retract the words he’d spoken or cross the line he knew he would have no chance of coming back from.
About the Author
LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.