We’re so pleased to have author Cass Lennox joining us today on the tour for book for in the Toronto Connections series, The Wrong Woman, discussing a subject near and dear to my heart. Coffee…
There’s also a great giveaway from Riptide up for grabs, so be sure to check out the entry details below.
How’d You Like Your Coffee?
Any caffeineheads out there? I’m not one, but I know plenty of people who simply cannot cope without their morning cup of java. One of my first jobs was a barista at a vast international corporation whose name will not pass my lips, and I saw the face of true desperation while there. Blinking, wan people knocking on the door half an hour before opening because they could see me setting up and “just wanted anything—anything”; red-eyed people ordering what we called The Redeye—a cup of filter coffee topped up with espresso, black, occasionally with sugar; me, knocking back espresso after espresso after a night out and struggling to count the change (then falling asleep on the bus home).
My heroines both enjoy it, but Zay especially loves it. Her mother’s Lebanese, and, frankly, Lebanese coffee culture is on a whole other level. Lebanese kahweh, or coffee, is strong, black as death, sweet as sin, and a shock to the system. Standard serving sizes are around espresso cup sizes, which is honestly about as much as a weak non-caffeinated person like me could handle. The coffee is ground so finely that it’s essentially suspended in the water, and the larger grounds leave behind a sludge in your cup in which your future can be read. High-quality and well-roasted Arabica beans are must for this kind of coffee. It’s utterly delicious. A cup of Starbucks or Timmies doesn’t really compare (ahhhhh sorry Canadians, Timmies has its place, of course it does).
There’s a scene where Zay makes this for herself and her roommate. She uses a small pot because she doesn’t have the correct brewing implement, a long-handled pot called a rakweh, but the methodology is the same.
Zay’s Mom’s Kahweh
1 espresso cup cold water per person
1 tsp ground coffee (extra-fine or Turkish grind) per person
1/2 tsp sugar (or to taste) per person
A pinch of cardamom powder (for large amounts of people, an actual cardamom pod can be used, but a sieve will need to be used for pouring. You can also buy coffee premixed with cardamom.)
Add all ingredients to the rakweh or pot. Increase or reduce sugar according to your guest’s taste. Stir until mixed together, then hold over a low heat until the coffee is boiling. It will foam and rise up the sides of the pot. Take off the heat until the foam recedes, then put back on the heat. Watch it foam up again, then take off the heat again. Repeat once more if the coffee needs to be extra strong, but twice should be enough. The coffee should only boil a maximum of three times.
Pour into espresso cups. Leave for a few seconds to allow larger grounds to settle, then sip during conversation with your guest. Buzz for the rest of the day.
1 mug of hot water
1 tsp of instant coffee
Pour boiling water into mug. Add coffee. Stir. Add milk and/or sugar to taste. Drink. Watch your girlfriend make a disappointed face.
About the Book
As an independent filmmaker, Katie Cherry is used to difficult shoots—but a band’s music video in a tiny lesbian bar is proving worse than most. Stress-busting, expectation-free sex with Zay, the calm, gorgeous bartender, seems just the ticket. But then she and Zay discover the band’s lead singer beaten into a coma in the bar bathroom. They need an alibi, but playing girlfriends is a role Katie’s never excelled at, so she can’t see this ending well.
Zay Fayed-Smith is finally getting her life back together after her junkie ex broke it apart. She’s working part-time while pursuing her dream of being a lawyer, and definitely keeping things chill on the girls front. Of course, that’s when a crime happens in her bar and her ex shows up wanting to try again. “Dating” Katie seems like the best way for Zay to keep her head down and teach her ex a lesson.
Except pretty soon, the charade begins to feel less and less like acting. And when the attacker turns his attentions toward Katie, they have to cut through the lies to discover what’s real.
About the Toronto Connections Universe
The winters might be cold, but hearts are warm in Toronto. Canada’s largest city is home to a big lake, a big tower, and a big queer community. People here are trying to get by like everyone else: pay the bills, deal with life in the city, and maybe find some happiness along the way with someone who’s sweeter than maple candy and more constant than a Canadian’s love for Timmie’s coffee.
For some, falling in love is a real challenge. For others, falling is the easy part—it’s the happy ever after that proves a little more difficult. But in the end, love is worth every complication, misunderstanding, and occasional swear word.Check Out Toronto Connections
About the Author
Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.
To celebrate the release of The Wrong Woman, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 27, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!