Thank you for having me on your blog. I wanted to talk to you about my new book, Knowing Me, Knowing You.
Some of you will be humming ABBA already. Yes, this is the title of an ABBA song, but unlike that song, my guys get together in the end. ABBA’s song is about breaking up and saying it’s for the best. Shane thinks he knows the best by breaking things off with Ambrose… but Ambrose has other ideas!
When I write a story, sometimes the title of the book comes to me before the first word is written – this is the case for me with The Shearing Gun and Shawn’s Law. Sometimes the title comes to me during the writing of the book because of a line used or a theme that comes out. For Knowing Me, Knowing You it was the latter. The title came to me about two-thirds of the way through the first draft and seemed to fit so well.
Shane and Ambrose have known each other forever. They grew up next door to each other, almost like brothers, spending their afternoons and evenings together as their single mothers swapped babysitting duties. They lived in each other’s pockets. They know each other. They are very different – Shane describes himself as a Hufflepuff and bookworm, and Ambrose is an elite athlete playing top level football – and yet they accept and work around these differences. They fit.
I’ve picked an excerpt for you based on this theme. Ambrose lives in another city so he can play for the Hawthorn AFL football club, and only comes home to Perth when he can time off between seasons, yet the two of them fall back into old routines immediately.
In this scene, it’s been seven months since they saw each other, and they’d had a disagreement then. Ambrose’s mother, Tracy, has begged Shane to pick up an injured Ambrose at the airport as she was working, and Shane spent the night to look after him.
Can friends turned occasional lovers move beyond past mistakes and wrong assumptions to build something that can last?
Quiet bookworm Shane has a big secret—one he’s kept for fifteen years. AFL superstar Ambrose Jakoby grew up next door to Shane. They were close friends, and Shane supported Ambrose through school.
One night, everything changed.
Before Ambrose left Perth as a scared eighteen-year-old to head to Melbourne and take up his new footy career, Ambrose and Shane slept together.
For the next nine years, they continued a secret friends-with-benefits situation whenever Ambrose was in town. Shane never knew exactly where he stood or how to define Ambrose’s sexuality—and Ambrose didn’t know either. Then last Christmas, everything changed again, and a disagreement strained their friendship. Shane vowed to get over his unrequited love.
But Ambrose is back, recovering from an injury and hoping to make amends. He claims he’s ready for a real relationship. But Shane has to decide whether Ambrose means it and whether his Hufflepuff soul can take the chance.
Barnes and Noble
He must’ve sensed my awakening, because he turned his head and flashed me a cheery little smirk.
“What?” I asked self-consciously. Had I been snoring? Farting? Talking in my sleep?
“Nothing,” he said, the smirk not fading. “I’m just glad to be home—no training to get up and push through, no doctor appointments to go to. And you’re going to make me breakfast.”
“I am?” I asked in surprise.
“Yeah,” he said as though it were obvious. “I’m on crutches. I’m not allowed to put any weight on my knee. How am I meant to cook or even carry a bowl?”
“I’m sure Tracy will—”
Ambrose looked horrified. “I can’t wait that long.”
Okay. So Tracy wasn’t known for her morning personality.
I sighed and sat up. The slight movement of the bed made Ambrose wince. “Is it that sore?” I asked tentatively.
“I’m supposed to take the tablets with food,” he replied mournfully.
I didn’t fall for the act. “Oh, sure. So now you follow doctor’s orders. But the ‘don’t fly home for another week’ order was simply advice to be taken or left, right?”
He stuck out his bottom lip. “You stopped messaging. I had to come and make sure you remembered me.”
I dropped my gaze. Yes, I had stopped messaging him. But I couldn’t tell him why. So instead I flung the covers back and got out of bed. My pants were where I left them, and I snatched them up and slipped into them. When I turned back, Ambrose was still watching me, showing no sign he’d averted his eyes to give me a bit of privacy. I decided to ignore him.
“Okay. Do you need help getting up?”
“No. I think I’ll be okay. Just slower. You go and start breakfast, and I’ll be there by the time you finish.”
I wandered out to Tracy’s kitchen and began to rummage through her fridge. It wasn’t the first time. Tracy would be more horrified if I didn’t rummage through her fridge, thinking I was putting on airs and starving myself to death. I found eggs and some leftover roast chicken. A quick sniff told me it should be okay. I remembered the couple of times the meat wasn’t okay and I nearly poisoned myself and Ambrose at the same time.
Most of my memories were infused with him.
By the time Ambrose got up and used the facilities—I heard the toilet flush and then a bang and a curse as Ambrose navigated the small bathroom—then crutched his way to the kitchen, I nearly had the omelet cooked. I’d added the chicken and a few of the veggies I’d found. The plates were ready, so I whizzed over and pushed the button on the coffee machine and then rushed back to flip my creation. Ambrose perched himself on the barstool drawn up to the kitchen counter as I pushed the milk and sugar in his direction, plonked the first cup of coffee in front of him, changed the coffee pod in the machine, and pressed the button again. He put in two sugars and lots of milk and pushed the cup back in my direction.
“Thanks,” I said and took a grateful sip.
I found the tomato sauce in the cupboard. He liked to put that on everything. The second coffee was ready, so I passed it over. Ambrose only liked milk in his coffee, no sugar. I checked the omelet, grabbed a plate, and flipped my creation onto it, making sure I decoratively folded it in half. I passed it to Ambrose, put the milk back in the fridge, put the sugar jar away, and placed the pan in the sink. Then he cut the omelet in half, slid my portion onto the second plate, and looked around.
“Where’s your extra cheese?”
I felt my cheeks blush. “I’m not having any.”
Ambrose looked surprised. “You always sprinkle extra cheese on your portion.”
I sucked in one cheek, then admitted, “I’m trying to watch my weight.”
I rolled my eyes. “Since this year, when I realized I’d be turning twenty-nine, and that’s only one year off thirty.”
His gaze slid down my body, and I tried not pull in my small gut.
“Maybe you just need a little bit of exercise,” he suggested. “Aren’t audiobooks all the rage now? Listen while you jog.”
I picked up my knife and fork, leaned my hip against the counter, sliced a bit off my omelet, and said, “Ha. Me? Jog? I can’t. So I’ll do without the cheese.”
Ambrose sliced his omelet as he said, “I think it’s much healthier to jog than starve yourself.”
“Perhaps. But I’m still not going to jog.”
“What about riding?”
“A horse?” I was horrified. He wanted me to what?
“No, idiot. A bike. You could ride to work.”
I popped some more food into my mouth and chewed. Then I said, “I could also die of exhaustion.”
“Tad dramatic there,” he said mildly.
“I just don’t want to risk death,” I replied.
“So I guess you’re giving up sugar in your coffee too?”
I stared gravely at him. “That would be risking your death.”
As you can see, they’re so used to being together. I love their interactions. They have the long history of their friendship that often makes them squabble like siblings. It makes for fun writing.
Knowing Me, Knowing You is now available at various outlets and I hope you all enjoy.
RENAE KAYE BIO AND CONTACT LINKS
Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.
Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.
How to contact Renae: