Oscar Wilde once observed that life imitates art. We authors get to play with old axiom and turn it the other way around.
I am constantly on the lookout for intriguing tidbits in the news for possible story ideas. A friend of mine recently returned from Japan and told me how Cat Cafés are all the rage in Tokyo. With rental properties there so small and people packed into tiny abodes on top of one another, very few have pets, even though they love them. Cat Cafés have cats. And coffee. For the price of the latter, one can pet the former.
I already knew this and in fact used one in my recent Amber Allure release, Love's Blood. Something made me go Google them again and somehow I stumbled across the latest Japanese phenomenon: Maid Cafés. These are a little weird. They are their own little cultural universe, where men pay for waitresses dressed like French maids to wait on them hand and foot.
They've become so popular and so self-integrated, the waitresses dress as favorite animé characters. They serve food, usually sweets, and tea and coffee and flirt shamelessly with their clients. A bond forms, and the men return day after day for a fresh round of harmless fun.
To me it was bizarre. I was shocked to learn these businesses have been franchised all over the world, even in the US. There are also some knock-offs and I found one in the Asian section of LA, the San Gabriel Valley. I talked a friend of mine into going to it one night and I must say, my head is still spinning.
This club which will remain nameless since it's kind of underground, is a Maid Café and a fetish club. I am not into BDSM but found myself riveted by everything I observed. What I found most intriguing was like the original Maid Cafés, they served tea, coffee and pastries.
Lord, the pastries.
Yep. I guess these are all feel-good things, but of course, I had to grab this concept give it a shake, a couple of twists and of course, I er, roped in my frequent writing partner, the amazing D.J. Manly and we came up with The Fetish Café, our literary version for the new Amber Allure PAX collection of Tasty Treats stories.
Here's the synopsis:
Imagine a café that caters to your every whim and secret fetish, run by hot young men eager to please. Would you go for it?
When, out of desperation, Bran Caspar takes a job in a women's designer shoe store, little does he know he's just entered a world of secret shoe fetishes and a string of cafés designed to cater to a man's every whim and secret obsessions. It's a world that turns out to be deadly but highly compelling, especially with a certain "maid" named Rick.
For Bran's best friend, Finn, the prospect of a new business is a pleasant distraction from his horrible breakup with his lover, Waldo. And speaking of which, where is Waldo? Right inside The Fetish Café, looking for more than a cup of coffee.
Will these best friends find happiness at the end of their shift, or will they, too, become victims of The Fetish Café?
We have it all here: Gay, Contemporary, BDSM , Group Sex, Ménage (M/M/M), and good, old-fashioned Voyeurism.
Oh, and lovely cakes.
Check out The Fetish Café, by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly here:
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