Hey everyone! Today’s author spotlight shines on Poppy J. Anderson, not only a fellow German writer, but also someone who shares my absolute passion for English. Listen to her while she grants you an exclusive sneak peek into her English debut. Oh, so romantic…
„Let’s Kiss And Make Up“
Going back to the little Texas town where she grew up seems like the perfect plan for Kate. After catching her fiancé in flagrante with their neighbor, she only wants to put distance between herself and her life in L.A.’s bustling chaos. The fact that her grandmother bakes the best cakes in the world is only further incentive to return to Hailsboro for some tender loving care.
But as soon as she arrives, she finds herself at the center of the small town’s rumor mill as a host of gossips assume she’s flirting with the high school football coach, Hugh Lindsay. Of all people! Her childhood best friend, who was not only her first kiss, but also her first for other things … including her first heartbreak.
Kate soon discovers that first love is like a cake recipe. It doesn’t always work out on the first attempt, but the second time around, it has the potential to be delicious.
Kate was already on her second beer, and she was stretching and yawning on the barstool. The work in the bakery was exhausting, and the absurd debate about Kate’s alleged flirtations with Hugh had wrecked her nerves. She’d have rather hung around on the sofa tonight, but Bessie’s pushy nature, as well as her always wanting to talk about Hugh, had driven Kate straight out of the house.
Here, in Ted’s Pub, she was safe. At least from the verbal attacks of the older female inhabitants of Hailsboro. Only men found their way to this rustic place. By now Kate understood very well why the men fled from the women of this small town for the safety of this smoke-filled pub.
The pub was somber, hazy, smoky, and you could smell the beer on the air, yet it still felt like heaven on earth now. No cackling voices talking about menopausal problems, vasectomies, cheating husbands, or diabetic foot syndromes. Here, the men sat at the bar or at the few tables scattered around the place, drank their beer, put coins in the slot machines hanging on the wall, or played billiards. Feeling perfectly comfortable, Kate reached into the small bowl of roasted peanuts on the bar in front of her. The only thing that disturbed her at all were the numerous framed newspaper articles and pictures of Hugh in his football gear that sat proudly on the dingy walls. That definitely bothered her.
Until Lucy arrived. She wrapped her arms around Kate before sitting down on the barstool beside her and ordering a beer. Although she’d just helped birth of a calf, she looked fresh as a daisy, beaming at Kate from blue eyes that perfectly suited her short blond hair. Motherhood was apparently good to her, because she was thin and graceful as ever.
“I’m so glad you’re back in Hailsboro, Kate! Sometimes I think I’ll go nuts if I don’t find someone to talk to.”
A little puzzled, Kate leaned back and took a short look at her friend. Then she took a gulp of her warm beer. “What about Jake?”
“What about Jake?”
Kate rolled her eyes. “He’s the first to pop into my mind when you tell me you have no one to talk to.”
“Oh.” Lucy wrote off the comment with a flip of her hand. “There are a few things I don’t want to discuss with him.”
“Well, for example, this really strange sex dream I had about a month ago.”
“Jesus, Lucy!” Kate sighed. “Though I think Jake would probably love to hear about your kinky dreams.”
Laughing, Lucy grabbed some peanuts and cheerfully announced, “The sex dream was not about Jake.”
Lucy made a gross sound that was a mixture of chewing and giggling. “The dream was so bizarre,” she went on, “because I was doing Fred—you know, from the gas station—in the back seat of Dad’s old car.”
Kate shook herself. “You’re a perv, Lucy! Fred from the gas station is disgusting! He always has this raw meat smell. And the man’s over fifty!”
Not embarrassed in the least, Lucy nodded, eyes wide. “Right? Just imagine Jake’s reaction if I told him about it!”
“The poor man certainly didn’t know what you were made of when he married you.”
Lucy waggled her eyebrows as she took another sip of beer.
“Girls, can I get you anything else?” The pub’s namesake himself appeared behind the bar.
Lucy nodded delightedly. “Two shots of your moonshine, Ted.”
“Coming right up.”
Kate watched as Ted filled two shot glasses with a dark liquid, and she asked Lucy in a low voice, “Homemade?”
“There is a slight chance you’ll go blind, but it tastes great. Moonshine with a nutty flavor.” The vet sighed in anticipation. “Tonight’s my night off—Jake takes care of the baby while I enjoy myself. So enjoy myself, I will.”
Lucy is absolutely right, Kate thought as she drank back the dark liquor. It tasted great, even if it burned like hell on the way down. Nevertheless, they ordered another round. After today’s assault by that pack of old women, Ted’s alcohol seemed to be capable of working true miracles as her nerves relaxed. Of course, she had to tell Lucy all about it and thus endure her friend’s amused gaze.
“Kate, don’t take it so seriously,” she advised. “You know how these women tick here. Tomorrow they’ll pounce all over the fact that you can buy a new kind of toilet paper in Bill’s shop.”
“But can you imagine? They think I would flirt with Hugh? With Hugh!”
“He’s a hot guy,” Lucy said simply.
Grimacing, Kate looked at her friend. “What’s your point?”
Her friend shrugged. “Hugh is a hot guy. In addition, he’s a nice guy.”
“Let me tell you what Hugh is, Lucy. He is the one thing I don’t care about,” Kate announced calmly and resolutely, before taking a deep swig of beer. Even her best friend, who was supposed to be on her side, was suddenly praising Hugh. That was a damn shitty thing to do.
“Kate, I know how you felt when—”
“Apparently you don’t!” Kate interrupted. “Because all of a sudden you’re on his side.”
She heard Lucy’s heavy sigh.
“Of course I’m not on his side,” Lucy said. “I just wanted to point out that he’s really a nice guy. He does a lot for the community, and he coaches the high school football team.”
“It totally doesn’t matter to me what Hugh does or doesn’t do, as long as he leaves me alone.”
“How long has it been now, Kate?”
Kate slid around on her barstool to face her friend before explaining, “I know what you’re trying to tell me, Lucy. But please understand that I’m done with Hugh.”
“Okay. Got it.” Lucy put her hands up, palms out, in a conciliatory gesture. “I just thought you might’ve forgiven him for that whole thing. That would certainly be easier for you now that you’re living in Hailsboro again.”
Kate nervously rubbed her forehead with her fingertips. “I don’t even know if I’ll stay here.”
“Well, I want you to stay here,” Lucy announced fervently. “There are no nice women our age, Kate. Some are too boring and the others are completely cuckoo.”
“Didn’t you tell me a while ago that you met a nice woman who’d just moved to Hailsboro when you were out shopping?”
“Josy Phillips.” Lucy sighed and shook her shoulders as though she’d just gotten the creeps.
“That name sounds familiar.”
“Sweet, twenty-six, single, and absolutely Barbie-like. At first she was really cute, but eventually I couldn’t stand her chatter.” Lucy pointed to Kate. “She’s got a huge crush on Hugh and volunteered, for that reason alone, to coach the cheerleaders.”
Kate looked at the counter and bit her bottom lip. “Cheerleader … that suits him.”
“It’s all right.” Kate ran an angry hand through her hair, which hung to her shoulders. “Let him have fun with Josy Phillips. I’m done with men anyway.”
“I understand.” Lucy looked at her from the side. “So … how are things with Steven?”
“‘How are things’?” Stunned, Kate shook her head and groaned. “My God, Lucy! How should things be with him? The last time I saw him, he was naked, on the sofa I bought with my first salaried paycheck, while our neighbor was between his legs giving him a blowjob!”
Lucy gasped for air before she started laughing out loud. “Sorry, Kate, but …”
“But? But what?”
“But that couch was really ugly anyway!”
Originally from Germany, but in love with typical American stuff like Apple Pie and Black Friday, I decided to write stories about two of my favorite interests: football and romance. “Let’s Kiss and Make Up” is my first novel published in English – but there are a few more waiting to be translated. The next one will be released in fall, 2014.
I find my inspiration in everyday life whilst enjoying myself with friends and family. My readers should always be able to look forward to a happy ending, and I want them to smile, laugh and cry while reading.