Do you love fluffy, happy coffee shop romances? Are you completely horrified by the United States' treatment of immigrants? Do you have $10 to $30? Then this is the fundraiser for you.
Like many of us, I've been struggling recently with what I can do to combat the atrocities I see taking place in my country, and one thing I can do right now is write romances and give them to you as a token of my appreciation for your donations to the National Immigration Law Center. Here's how it works:
1. I'll write five linked stories about people who work in a coffee shop and find love. You look at the descriptions, see which ones strike your fancy, and donate an appropriate amount of money.
2. Once you've donated, fill out this google form so I know which stories you'd like!
3. I'll send out the stories within a few days. Feel free to give whenever! I have no intention of closing this down.
4. Hopefully enjoy! If nothing else, you gave to a great cause.
The minimum donation is $10, which will get you one story of your choice. It's $5 for each additional story. So if you see two stories you like, donate $15, $20 for three, $25 for four, and $30 for all five. The stories will be at least 7500 words each and will not feature any explicit content. Just people falling in love and living happily ever after.
So, what are the stories? I'm glad you asked! They all take place at Bean Alive, an independent coffee shop/bakery in the Boston area, and take place in chronological order, so you'll see the same characters appear throughout! Here's hoping you like them.
#1: Ian & Hannah
Shop manager Ian is used to being the cool one. A few years older and more experienced than the rest of the counter staff, he thinks of himself as a calm, collected role model. But when he gets a message from his high school crush saying she's moving to town and wants to meet up, suddenly he's a nervous kid again, and everyone's dunking on him. But it's worth it for a second chance.
(Please note Hannah was AMAB but has fully transitioned by the time of the story, and this is not a cause of conflict. Her deadname will not be used.)
#2: Claire & Keiko
Biology student Claire is nearing the end of her graduate program, trying to finish her thesis, find a job, and not murder anyone in her lab before she gets out. It's been rough on her social life, but she does keep one indulgence: Keiko, the cute barista at Bean Alive whose hair never seems to be the same color twice. She doesn't know if Keiko's into girls or taken or what, but there's no harm in looking, right? Everyone needs a hopeless crush.
#3: Marco & Tom
Barista Marco has been trying to avoid developing a crush on Keiko's bandmate Tom for months, and despite Tom's apparently crippling caffeine addiction, he was doing pretty well, right up until Tom walked into his figure drawing class and dropped his robe. Now, on top of graduation and finding a job, he has to live with knowing what his crush looks like naked. Senior year is going great.
#4: Julie & Graham & Renata
Lawyer Julie has a pretty good life going. She's fighting the good fight against hatred and injustice and just moved in with her boyfriend Graham. But when Graham's business partner, Renata, the founder and head baker at Bean Alive, gets divorced, she's adrift and leaning on him for support. He's clearly worried that Julie will be jealous, but she couldn't be happier--as far as she's concerned, this relationship has room for one more. Now she just has to convince everyone else.
#5: Liam & Cara
Coming off the third season of a cult TV show, Liam is at a weird point in his fame where people either don't know who he is or know everything about him, He's having fun flirting with barista Cara (who doesn't seem to know who he is) right up until a fan snaps a picture, and now everyone thinks he has a girlfriend. Even more surprising, Cara thinks they should just go with it. He's not sure it'll really keep the fans off his back, but it's worth a try. It's just one summer.
So, if you see anything you like, hit that donate button ($10 for the first story, $5 for each additional one), fill out the form, and watch your inbox! If you have any questions, please feel free to email chjhousman[at]gmail.com.