One of the most popular questions I get as a writer is, “What is your routine like?” While I’ve always thought that my routine is pretty boring (Get up, write/edit from 9-5), there is one aspect that I, personally, find very interesting.
Tea. My routine always involves drinking copious amounts of tea.
Growing up, my English mother drank five cups of orange pekoe a day and I hated it. She tried and tried to get me to like it, but I wouldn’t have it. I was a coffee girl, through and through.
Something changed a few years back and I tried my first loose leaf tea. I can’t recall what it was, (it was probably green) but I was hooked. Quickly, coffee was gone and tea was my jam. Greens, blacks, whites, oolongs, all of it. Mate, rooibos, herbal, I’ll take it all.
I’ve always got a tea with me while I’m writing and I find what I’m drinking can change my mood, my output, even how I feel about a character or two. When I’m writing something sensual and sexy, I find myself drinking teas that are dark and earthy, like a Nepalese black tea. When something funny is happening, I tend to drink flavoured oolongs. Mate and matcha are reserved for high energy fight and chase scenes when I need a lot of energy!
For fun, I also imagine just what kind of teas my characters would enjoy, and on that note, what teas reflect their personaliteas (wow).
Dawn Garrett – She’s a fan of Japanese Sencha, a green tea that is a little oceanic, a little delicate, but full of flavor. In another life, she’s enjoyed some of the best Sencha’s the world has to offer, but now she settles for grocery store offerings.
Jase Byrnes – He’s a Lapsang Souchong drinker, when he can get his hands on it. Deep, dark, and smoky, it’s strong enough to get him through a long night of work. The smokiness reminds him of campfires and he finds a strange comfort in it.
Jo Warren – If she could get her hands on it, she’d love pu’rehs with a touch of cinnamon. It’s earthier than most teas, and with the cinnamon it would give her the kick she loves. She would just need to try it first!
Oh, and I still don’t like orange pekoe.
Genre: Paranormal New Adult
Publisher: Jynxed Moon
Date of Publication: January 30th
Word Count: 70,000 words
Dawn Garrett has left behind the horrors she faced in Goosemont for a life on the road with Jase Byrnes. With his guidance, she’s started her training as a hunter of the things that hide in the shadows.
But that training is interrupted when another hunter needs help on a case. Together, Dawn and Jase head south to Louisiana to discover just what is behind a series of gruesome attacks in the suburb of Bon Marais. It’s the perfect chance for Dawn to show off her new skills, but with real danger lurking everywhere, Jase isn’t ready to let her out of his sight.
She’s sick of being held back, but when someone from her past arrives in Bon Marais, Dawn will face her toughest fight yet. She has to make a choice whether to become the hunter, or to follow her heart.
The trio ate in silence, and Dawn did what she could to keep an eye on the crowd, to listen, but everyone who passed was more occupied with talking about what else they had to buy for Christmas than they were about any of the strange goings-on in town.
“This is a bust,” Jo moaned as she finished her burger. “Most people are downright ignoring us.”
“It’s because we’re a group,” Jase said to her. “It’s harder for people to feel at ease around a group of people they don’t know. Just standing here, we look like we’re watching them. We need to go about this another way.”
“Such as?” Dawn asked, though she knew the answer and was not looking forward to it. “We need to split up,” Jase said. “Sixty minutes, got that? We meet back at this exact spot.” “So you can get another burger?” Jo joked.
“Hey, now,” Jase laughed with her. “Just because I want a second helping doesn’t make it my only motivation.”
Dawn wished she could share in their lack of concern, but being left on her own was scarier than she remembered it being only weeks before. She’d grown accustomed to having Jase by her side, and there was no way of knowing if someone—or something—was out in the woods just waiting for them to split up.
Her concerns weren’t long-lived. As Dawn began to pace around the clearing on her own, she couldn’t help but let herself enjoy the sights, the sounds, and most of all, the smells. It was all so familiar, a beautiful flashback to her childhood. A cotton candy stand beckoned her on her left, while a vendor selling fudge called to her from her right. All around her, people were smiling, and a few even said ‘hello’ to her as she passed. Despite the dangers, people seemed friendly. Maybe even forcibly so.
Just as her guard began to drop, Dawn spotted two silhouettes off in the shadows between the motor for the Ferris wheel and the pump for the unused bouncy house. Despite their poufy jackets, their shapes were decidedly female, and with the noise around them, there was no way they weren’t having a conversation they wanted to keep between just the two of them.
Slowly, Dawn made her way through the crowd of people. The two women she was keeping an eye on had their backs to her, and over the noise they might never hear her, but she couldn’t take that chance. She just needed to get close enough to hear something, anything, before she made her retreat again.
Around her the crowd broke, and she managed to get close enough to hear a soft, lilting voice just above the roar of the motor. It wasn’t a voice she recognized—at least, she didn’t think so—but despite its softness, there was anger there.
“Look,” she heard one of them hiss at the other, “I screwed up, but I’m not the only one. You need to keep that damn ghoul on a tighter leash.”
Dawn’s heart skipped a beat. She’d found them. There were at least two witches, and she’d found them. All she needed was to get close enough to them to see who they were before she found Jase and told him just what she’d discovered.
It was risky, but she had to do it. Her heart pounded as she moved. They were only a couple feet away, and all she needed was a quick look and she could disappear into the crowd, unnoticed and unseen.
Her luck was lacking, though, and from the shadows a third figure appeared. Before she could make sense of the hooded face before her, they raised their hand and a fine pink dust clouded the air. In her eyes, her nose, and her throat, the smoky plume burned, and she nearly fell to her knees, coughing in a feeble effort to stop the attack.
It was only when she was able to breathe again that things started to change. With every inhale came a deep warmth that flowed through her veins and filled her with passion, desire, and need.
About the Author:
Helena Shaw resides in a small town in western Ontario. When she is not writing, she is taking care of her two boys and her husband.