What do you do when a nightmare threatens your dream? In the disturbingly funny new novel from the authors of Vampire Vic, Brian Lawson receives a dread diagnosis: cancer. But he won’t spare a moment from saving his struggling coffeeshop, even if success comes with his dying breath.
Divorced and ostracized in the rural community, Andrea Goldine sets her sights on the charismatic java man. Brian’s doctors ravage him with chemo and radiation, yet the tumor on his shin grows. Brian drafts Andrea into his battle with a competing coffeeshop, desperate to tap the college campus’s retail gold mine. But Andrea yearns for a different partnership…
Passions simmer below the surface of the tight-lipped community. Fresh from prison, North Dakota’s legendary basketball goddess dangles a ticket to Brian’s campus coffee dreams, and a disgraced scientist’s toxin treatment tantalizes. Two miracles for two maladies—with one cure more deadly than the next.
As I sit here drinking....surprise...Coffee!! I can't help but be in awe of the newest Harris Gray mind melding.It's a wonderful journey into the everyday unknown.
Brian (wholly boogers!) is beyond. Yes, he has Cancer, but screw it...the Chemo may be tearing down his body, however he's gonna save his coffee shop!!!
I think it's all the ups and downs that takes this book to new levels. Unlike Vampire Vic (which I loved), this book could be happening right now, maybe right there in North Dakota....which I have to say was a rather odd state to pick....I keep picturing hot cowboys...LOL
As the story progresses one can't help but root for Brian (I swear if I write Brain one more time...lol). He's just that person that you want to make it, you want him to take his trials and overcome!!!It's a shame coffee just isn't a cure all.
In my truest opinion Harris Gray once again delivers a stand out story. One that has you on a coaster enjoying every single word.
I look forward to reading more from this duo....
About the authors
In the nook seat of Jason Gray’s coffee shop, Allan Harris wrote. And eavesdropped, as Jason told stories. One day Allan found waiting for him a little yellow notepad, crammed to the margins with Jason’s tales. Allan typed them, touched them up, and called it good. Jason had other ideas.
A collaboration began. The writer and the storyteller. As their tales converged and became inseparable, as they were fused by the stories they told…all the king’s horses & men can’t un-make Harris Gray again.
Out of our Minds, Into our Heads
Allan: BJ, you once asked us, if we could be one of the people in our books, who would it be? Jason of course would choose Java Man’s Brian Lawson, a fellow coffeeshop owner to whom he bears an eerie resemblance. Except then we would be closer to having to admit that the quirky, sometimes bizarre characters in Java Man are based on Jason’s real-life customers and employees. And at that point, Java Man might as well be an autobiography, and we would have a reverse James Frey A Million Little Pieces situation on our hands, trying to pass off fact as fiction. We don’t need Oprah getting involved here.
So, like finding a stud running back still on the draft board when it comes your turn to choose, I am delighted to snatch up Brian Lawson.
Jason: Fine, because Java Man is fiction, and Brian Lawson is not me.
Allan: Glad to hear you say that…Victor, is it?
Jason: Sure, I will be Victor Thetherson from Vampire Vic.
Allan: Early stage Vic, before you started biting people. The other Victor scares me a little.
Jason: He wouldn’t scare Brian.
Allan: Good point. I’m getting into character now….
Brian: Welcome to James River Valley Coffee, stranger. What’ll you have?
Jason: This feels weird.
Allan: No-no, it’ll be fun. It’s what BJ wants.
Jason: Okay. I’ll have a mocha.
Allan: Uh-uh, in your Vic voice.
Vic: Hello. I would like a skinny extra-whip three-shot mocha with sprinkles and—
Brian: Oh geez, you have fangs.
Vic: Yes, well, so do a lot of people.
Brian: No they don’t. Really? Dammit, North Dakota is always the last to catch the latest trends.
Vic: I’m not sure what you’re talking about. This is Houston.
Allan: Jason, come on, Brian’s coffeeshop is in North Dakota.
Jason: Why am I the one who has to travel? Oh all right…
Vic: On second thought, hold the whip, and leave an inch or two of room. I need to add some…milk.
Brian: One red-rimmed eye opener, coming up.
Jason: How does Brian know Vic wants to top off his mocha with a couple ounces from the blood bank blood bag that he carries around with him? Not plausible, seeing as how he lives in Houston, and Brian’s in North Dakota.
Allan: There exists a secret worldwide network of coffeeshop owners who receive rumors and funny anecdotes from business travel customers serving as carrier pigeons.
Jason: Okay, I’ll buy that.
Vic: I saw the poster on your door, for the ping-pong tournament tonight. Can anyone enter?
Brian: As long as you’re fine giving me your money.
Vic: Are you pretty good?
Brian: It’s a benefit. For me. I got the cancer.
Vic: I’m sorry to hear that.
Brian: Me too. I don’t have a head for baseball caps. Here’s your drink. I left plenty of room for your “creamer”. Stir sticks are right there.
Vic: I appreciate that. Most people are pretty grossed out when I do this.
Brian: Cream and sugar, that gets under my skin. This isn’t Folgers, for crying out loud. But vampires need to slake their bloodthirst, I get that.
Vic: So is the benefit paying for an experimental treatment?
Brian: The experimental treatment is free. But it scares me to death. Your dough goes to Decon or whoever makes the poison my chemotherapist gives me. Hey, I just got an idea. You sticking around?
Vic: I was going to get a little work done while I enjoyed my mocha.
Brian: Would you do me a favor? I don’t want to ruin your appetite for your mocha, but…would you suck my blood?
Brian: I think it’s come to that. The chemo’s killing me, but not the cancer. I think this might be my only shot at not dying.
Jason: Hey now, I would not do that. Stay alive by becoming undead? I don’t want to die as much as the next guy…way more than the next guy, probably. But I wouldn’t do that.
Allan: It’s fiction, Jason. And you’re not Brian, remember?
Vic: No. I can’t. I mean I would, I am a vampire after all. But I need to get this work done. Really. I have this accounting memo that’s overdue…
Brian: Come on, just a quickie. You don’t have to drink much. Whatever it takes to curse me with everlasting life. And grow my hair back, hopefully.
Vic: I don’t know…. You want me to bite you right there, behind the counter?
Brian: Will it get messy? Am I going to spurt?
Vic: No, aggh, I don’t think so. Bleh.
Brian: You alright there?
Vic: I just get a little grossed out talking about it.
Brian: So let’s get this done, before I get second thoughts. Get back here big boy, and lay one on me.
Vic: Uh, okay….
Brian: Are you a lefty or righty? Do you need me to lie down?
Vic: No, this is fine, I guess. I can just kind of come straight on.
Brian: Wow you’re taller behind the counter. Should I get on a stool?
Jason: Remember when I said this feels weird?
Allan: Stay in character, Vic.
Jason: Don’t make me bite you, Allan.
Allan: Shhh, this works for both of us.
Vic: I don’t know if I can do this….
Brian: My skin is softer than it looks.
Vic: I’m just not sure about…no. I can’t do it. I’m sorry.
Brian: Is it my cancer?
Vic: It’s not you, it’s me. I don’t do this….
Brian: I understand, you don’t want to create a legion of bloodsuckers. Pretty soon there’s no blood left to suck. Although looks like they would still drink coffee. I’ll go blood bags like you, mostly. I promise I will not let this curse go to waste. I have big plans for a chain of coffeeshops.
Vic: I mean I don’t bite people. That’s why I drink blood from a bag. I’ve never bitten anyone.
Brian: There’s gotta be a first time, right?
Vic: No. I have to go. Thanks for the coffee. Goodbye.
Allan: Aw man.
Jason: Just staying in character, Allan.
Allan: Shoot. Yeah, I guess. Wait, I’ve got a fun idea – let’s switch characters. You can be Brian, and I’ll be Vic.
Jason: Sorry. We need to wrap it up. BJ’s out of space. BJ, we really appreciate you having us back.
Allan: Maybe next time you can join in. You’d make a great Edna Applejack.
Jason: We need to let BJ choose her own character. But you’re right. I would like Edna to meet Vic.
Allan: Book two of the VV trilogy is due this spring. I hope we have a make-believe date.
BJ: Hmmm I'm going have to think about that. I mean maybe I'm not created yet....OMG...That would be kinda of scary with the two of you...LOL