Cigars & Coffee

by | Aug 18, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

Cigars & Coffee , published in 2019, was a book that I had wanted to write for a long time but debated if I should.  A story that is so relatable to me and close to my heart I felt needed to be told, even if I was a little afraid of writing it.  Putting it down on paper ushered in more nostalgia and memories than I had even anticipated.  Even though it isn’t my story, I can very much relate to so many of its elements, events and characters and have based it on parts of my own personal experiences.

 This is a remarkable coming of age story about five-year-old Jamie, who has tragically lost her mother to suicide and has been left in the care of their sixty-six-year-old, widowed neighbor who is also a close friend. He is virtually all she has left in the world.  Harvey and his recently deceased wife never had children and he knows nothing about raising a little girl but refuses to have her anywhere else. He and his brother inherited a chain of grocery stores from their late father that has gifted them success and wealth, and their family views Jamie as a threat and begins devising a plan to oust her from Harvey’s home and the family business as she is raised and preened to take over his share of the stores.    

Jamie begins to take on the challenges of being a pre-teen girl with no positive female influence to answer her questions about her body, boys and peer pressure and finds herself making some unwise decisions while Harvey continues his fight to keep her modest and honorable.

Cigars & Coffee details the extraordinary relationship between Harvey and Jamie while also tackling the more difficult issues of navigating their unorthodox lifestyle.  The wittiness and humor between the pair as they try to figure one another out, the unique and charming connection between them as they talk and laugh at one another’s antics, their agonizing moments of grief and sadness as they travel through their losses together, the perfect love that they have for each other, even amid their many trials, all add to this heartwarming account while Jamie navigates the path from child to adult and learns the difficult lessons that accompany it, but it is the most difficult of them all that truly leaves her reeling – losing Harvey.

I decided to write this triumphant story for other young people searching for that glimpse of hope that Jamie needed in her more challenging moments, when she desperately searched for guidance and a sense of peace within much chaos.  I wanted to highlight the small victories in her life to show the importance of building confidence and believing in one’s self, even against all odds.  Moreover, I aimed to give honor to Harvey, an extraordinary character who readily accepted every challenge thrown at him to fight for the little girl when he so easily could have relinquished the duty of raising her, even taking on his own family to keep the young girl he so loved.  It is my own tribute to someone who once did the very same for me.  Writing this book took me through a whirlwind of emotions as it reminded me of many of my own challenges growing up, but it also reminded me of my many successes.  It was how I learned to find confidence and self-esteem and how others can, too, even when if they are made to feel that they don’t deserve it.  My hope is that my readers can find in it their own confidence, hope and wins in their personal struggles and create a triumphant story in their lives, as well.  My goal is to show that anything really is possible if one believes in the goal.

I have written and published seven novels since 2008 as I am writing my eighth, and I’ve put a little of myself into each of them.  Writing has always been the breath of me, my passion and all I have really ever wanted to do.  I love the idea of reaching others through my characters and their tales, providing that temporary escape to another place and time and leaving that impact long after the book is finished.  I began my writing career as a teenager, finding the perfect outlet in literature through reading and writing it.  I began publishing poetry in various anthologies and submitting short stories to magazines and other publications, and I was the primary article writer for a magazine in my area when I wrote and published my first novel in 2008.  I am the proud mother of an Army National Guard soldier and stepmom to the most inspirational young lady I know, and I live in the great state of West Virginia with my amazing and supportive husband, Rich.  All of my novels are sold as paperbacks and ebooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and other online outlets, and I am always eager to connect with my readers on social media.

Jodi Clark, Author Author’s Lounge

Author Website  



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