June 30, 2015

“Diplomacy” by Jane Ward

“Diplomacy” by Jane Ward

Editor’s Note: We welcome Jane Ward back to the FictionalCafé ‘zine pages with a new short story. Her first, “Balancing Act,” appeared in the June, 2014 issue. * “It’s not like that,” she said. They were sitting on the steps of the old house where Raynor had grown up, looking out at the moss-covered rocks on the front lawn, and trying to get the bottle caps to land on top of the biggest rock the way they had done when they were children. The house still reminded Tara of the house in Forrest Gump, the way its size was somehow mediated by its straightforward shape and layout, so that the place managed to appear unassuming. “It sounds pretty much ‘like that’ to me,” he told her, keeping his hand in the air after it let…

Continue reading →

June 5, 2014

“Balancing Act” by Jane Ward

8:45 AM Wednesday, July 15th, 2006 It’s a delicate balance, really. I want to be here early enough to beat the crowds of summer people.  Early enough that all I can hear are the waves slapping against the shore instead of the screams of small children resisting sun screen applications. Early enough that all I can see when I look over the top of my John Grisham paperback are the water, the buoys that signal how far out you’re allowed to swim, and way out, across the miles, the faint, mist-enveloped outline of Long Island. But I also want to be here late enough that the sun is shining in full force so that it has a fighting chance at blending the horrendous tan lines I’ve incurred this summer.  There’s the obvious “farmer tan” or…

Continue reading →

November 1, 2017

The FC Anthology Contest Resumes!

The FC Anthology Contest Resumes!

Dear Coffee Club Members, Contestants and Friends Everywhere, It’s time for the rematches. We had a lot of ties and some no-votes, but here are the Round 1 playoffs! Jane Ward for “Diplomacy” vs. Natalie Rodriguez for “Tongue Tied” Peggy McAloon for  “Elle Burton” vs. Bill McStowe for “Love What You Find” Dee Horne for “Catalupa” vs. Annie Tvetenstrand for “Musee” Please click here to cast your votes and check in on Thursday for Championship Round 1. http://www.fictionalcafe.com/fictional-cafe-contest-championship/  Voting ends at 11:59 pm November 2nd. Yours Truly, Jason

Continue reading →

October 3, 2017

Join the Fun! Vote for your favorites in the FC Anthology Contest!

Join the Fun! Vote for your favorites in the FC Anthology Contest!

There’s a new pair of contestants every 48 hours. Click here to read and vote. Your participation makes our contest more fun for everyone, so please jump on in! And here’s what to expect over the next few days. Literary Round 1 (Mindy Windholz vs. Dee Home) Genre Round 1 (Bill McStowe vs. Joanna Ghazali) Poetry Round 1 (Judy Wood vs. Annie Tventenstra) Literary Round 2 (Mike Mavilia vs. Jack Rochester) Genre Round 2 (Beth Roper vs. Peggy McAloon) Literary Round 3 (Natalie Rodruigues vs. William Cook) Poetry Round 2 (Dee Home vs. Suman Chatterjee) Literary Round 4 (Natalie Rodruigues vs. William Cook — another one) Genre Round 4 (Joanna Ghazali vs. Chelsea Keenon) Poetry Round 3 (Alison Whittenbeck vs. Michael Larrain) Literary Round 5 (Jane Ward vs. Jake Simons) Poetry Round 4 (Judith Manzor vs….

Continue reading →

June 29, 2015

July ‘Zine Features and A Personal Message from your Baristas

July ‘Zine Features and A Personal Message from your Baristas

We’d like to thank all of our loyal patrons – new and seasoned – for your support this month in our relaunch of the Fictional Café. We hope you’ll enjoy our upcoming July ‘zine Member Writing offerings. As we’re sure you have already figured out, we publish new fiction, poetry, photography and art in the early days of each month, along with occasional news, interviews and book reviews throughout the rest of the month. July features an intense short story from Jane Ward, one of our returning writers, a photo essay of egrets by John Woods, a wildlife photographer, and the third installment of Ward Parmentieri’s crazed, sexy, often funny mystery about a missing rockstar. We have no idea where this one is going, since Ward won’t tell us, but we think the journey is well worth taking. As a member of the…

Continue reading →

July 29, 2018

“Trash Picker” by Frank Diamond

“Trash Picker” by Frank Diamond

Emma actually stopped Paul on the church steps. Blocked his way. Emma, Paul’s former sister-in-law, and her posse had been waiting, though Paul had not given indication to anyone from the old neighborhood that he’d be attending the funeral. He’d been disconnected from his troubled history for like . . . hell, forever, it seems. Still, they guessed Paul would show. And why shouldn’t he? Michael is his son. Was. Was his son. He is grieving, Paul is. Can’t they see? Maybe, but they don’t care. Here they are at the top of the steps under a bright September blue that kind of reminds Paul of the 9/11 day. Beautiful, beautiful. Emma, now a middle-age plodder, and two lugheads bulging from their Sunday best, with arms crossed upon bellies. These must be her sons; the…

Continue reading →

April 24, 2017

“Requiem for a Caged Bird” Part II by Dory Fiamingo

“Requiem for a Caged Bird” Part II by Dory Fiamingo

Here is the second excerpt from Dory Fiamingo’s absorbing novel, of which I’ve been quoted as saying, “the best fantasy novel I’ve ever read.” The first excerpt appeared yesterday, and the third will be published here at the Café tomorrow. Sebastian (“Bastian”) is an almost-immortal private eye able to leap from one world to another. Maggie, the love of his life, had walked out on him thirty years earlier. She shows up at his cosmic bookstore, The Falinn, and introduces Bastian to Aderyn, her granddaughter (whom she assures him is unrelated). Later that night, the eight-year-old girl, who possesses magical powers, is kidnapped. Bastian must, of course, give pursuit. * There was a time when I would’ve been terrified that legions of Scrits or Murks were waiting in the dark of the stairs that led up to my…

Continue reading →

October 3, 2014

Daughter of Fire, a Novel by Dory Fiamingo

Helen of Agralee is a fierce warrior who wants nothing to do with her family’s legacy of being the Guardian, protector of the people of Davosad. Trained since childhood in the fighting arts and the only woman in the country of Cruinn allowed to fight, Helen has grown arrogant and selfish. To remedy this her father, Kurel, the current Guardian, sends her to Tieton Abbey to learn humility. She rebels, but her desires matter little. Vulcan of Norlad quickly becomes her enemy while Galen, High Prince of Cruinn, and Brother Patrick, an ex-mercenary posing as a monk, become her allies. When Kurel is murdered by Demion, insect, bat, and wolf-like creatures led by Mallus, who seeks the Guardian’s sword, the power seeks out Helen. It burns its way through her body, forever changing her—and the…

Continue reading →