Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Kiss Is a Kiss Is a Kiss

Ode to Baristas

What is it about baristas? I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I get crushes on baristas all the time. There’s a cute little indie coffee shop around the corner from where I live and whenever I hang out there, I find myself all a-flutter. There was Jeff, the guy who flirtatiously named a drink after me. I couldn’t help but fall for him. Then there was Karmen who used to give me bonus add-ons like syrup and soy “just because”. She was impossible to resist. That’s why I couldn’t resist setting my recent story A Kiss is A Kiss is A Kiss at a fictional version of that very café. It seemed such a likely place for a crush to take place. Life inspires art.
A long time ago, I was a barista so I’ve been on the other side of the counter and I think I have a theory about the attraction. I worked a couple of the big chain shops and also at indie places. The indie ones are inevitably better for meeting compatible people because self-expression is encouraged. Yet in both types of environments, I found that there was a playful aspect of the job that allowed me to tap into my inner flirt in ways no other jobs have done since. Maybe it’s because phrases like “May I take your order?” or “What can I get you?” have a natural propensity to be understood on several levels. Or maybe it’s because many coffee drinkers are at their most vulnerable right before they take that first sip – a condition that’s so fun to play with – or maybe it’s because after a while you tend to know your regulars by name, but coffee shops were, to me, a breeding ground of butterfly feelings.
I couldn’t resist exploring the location in my latest story. It’s a nod to all my old regulars, and to all the wonderful people who’ve made my lattes over the years.

My crush is a barista next door. I don’t know her name. She barely acknowledges my existence but her Australian accent and her hippie dresses and nose ring drive me wild. I’ve made up all kinds of stories about her but never had the nerve to say anything other than, “Double Americano, please.” How utterly unimpressive. Welcome to my world. That’s why I’m perpetually single, forever falling for straight girls and getting in my own way.
But, being Pride, this day was imbued with some kind of magic that even my lowly expectations could not destroy.
The coffee shop was packed. Sparkly, sweaty, glittery people everywhere talked, yelled, lined up and danced in the spot. The neighborhood is flooded with young gay guys and girls on Pride. I don’t know where they are the rest of the time.
Behind the counter, the Aussie was cool and together. She was so composed in the midst of the chaos. As I was standing there admiring her, I noticed the strangest thing. She had a picture of Gertrude Stein on her tee shirt. Gertrude fucking Stein. I wrote my Honors thesis of my first literature degree on Stein. I reminded myself that she probably has a boyfriend. It’s a little known fact that most Gertrude Stein readers are actually straight, therefore Aussie is straight and that means she definitely has a boyfriend. Even without a boyfriend, I reckoned while rehearsing my coffee order in my head, she’d still be unattainable.

On Pride morning, bookish and reserved Rachel musters the courage to talk to her barista crush, only to discover she’s not alone in her desires.
Where does an introverted bookish dyke hang out on Pride morning? Her local LGBTQ bookstore, of course. While helping to put together the store’s annual float for the parade, Rachel reveals that she has a crush on the barista at the coffee shop next door.
The bookstore gang encourages Rachel to step out of her comfort zone and talk to the barista, even though Rachel is convinced she must have a boyfriend. Much to her surprise, the girl flirts with her and even shows up at the bookstore on her coffee break, where she introduces herself as Mavis. In spite of her shyness, Rachel lays bare that she has had a crush on Mavis for some time and Mavis—to everyone’s surprise—wants to know what Rachel is doing after the parade.
Beside herself with disbelief, Rachel skips through the parade. She is so unsure of herself and the new connection with Mavis and she’s convinced that Mavis is straight. When Mavis confesses she has never been with a woman, Rachel must face her worst fear—that she was right. But it doesn’t take long for Mavis to convince Rachel that she’s up for a new experience.
Rachel doesn’t want to be an experiment and she has a hard time trusting that Mavis wants more than just a bit of fun on Pride. Can she take the leap of faith so necessary in taking their connection to the next level?
General Release Date: 18th August 2015

Like the sound of A Kiss is a Kiss is a Kiss? Buy it here.

About Destiny Moon:
Romance heroines have saved my sanity numerous times through break-ups and life changes. I find escaping into a romance both soothing and revitalizing—and even better when there are some steamy scenes to tantalize the imagination.
For most of my adult life, I’ve concentrated on carving out a serious career, but a number of love-hungry, sassy characters keep taking over my mind, insisting that I daydream, live vicariously through them and tell their stories. Watching these women emerge on the page gives me a different sort of satisfaction than I get from my day job. It is a joy to share them with readers.
I live in a tiny apartment in a crowded city and I like to think there is something romantic about this. I did manage to find my soul mate here.

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