September 3, 2018

“Deluge,” A New Novel by James D. Best

“Deluge,” A New Novel by James D. Best

Jim Best lives in Kansas, where lately raging rain has caused rivers to rise and towns to be flooded in epic proportions. So perhaps his latest novel, Deluge, is prescient. Taking a break from his phenomenally successful Steve Dancy westerns, Deluge is set in the present, but its antecedents are in 1862, when a sixty-five-day downpour pummeled the western United States. California suffered the brunt of the storm. Almost a third of the state was under water, roads were impassible, telegraph lines down, rivers overflowed, hundreds of people died, and hundreds of thousands of animals drowned. Sacramento remained under water for six months, forcing the state government to move to San Francisco. Geological evidence shows that a flood of this magnitude hits the western United States every one to two hundred years. Well, it’s been a…

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August 10, 2018

Exploring Literary Trilogies and Tetralogies by Victoria Merkle

Exploring Literary Trilogies and Tetralogies by Victoria Merkle

Editor’s Note: The trilogy and tetralogy are commonplace in genre fiction: science-fiction, fantasy, mystery. But what of literature? Tori Merkle dissects the phenomenon and helps us understand its often unrecognized significance, not only in storytelling but in an author’s oeuvre.  Literary Chronicles: An Exploration of Trilogies and Tetralogies in Literary Fiction by Tori Merkle It’s a fact of storytelling: chronicles sell. Series novels, commonly a trilogy or tetralogy, are especially popular in genre fiction—we sit waiting and watching for the next sci-fi or fantasy saga to top the bestseller list and then hit the box office. Once we get the first luscious taste of a fictional world, we’re ravenous for more. We become attached to the characters as if they’re intimate friends. We’re eager to know what happens next. This is the same energy that…

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May 27, 2018

Hotfoot It to Read Poetry Every Day This Summer!

Hotfoot It to Read Poetry Every Day This Summer!

a guest post by Sarah P. Kersey Writers are readers, and most of us are starting to compile our summer reading lists. A great opportunity for reading poetry is to subscribe to Ghost City Press’s Summer Micro-chapbook series. StackExchange, a writer’s Q&A website, considers a standard poetry chapbook to contain 20-30 pages, or 25 shorter poems. A micro-chapbook has significantly fewer poems, averaging about 10 pages. Click to see some of Ghost City’s previously published micro-chaps from 2016 and 2017. Starting today, May 28th, Ghost City Press is releasing its third annual series, one micro-chapbook each day for 75 days, ending on September 7, 2018. The full roster of poets can be found here. All of the books are free and will be sent to subscribers via email. Contributions/donations are welcome. As stated on Ghost…

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May 24, 2018

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

Philip Roth, 1933-2018

“No two words are more precious to a writer than, ‘You’re free.’” – Philip Roth The Ghost Writer (1979) Zuckerman Unbound (1981) The Anatomy Lesson (1983) The Prague Orgy (1985) The Counterlife (1986) American Pastoral (1997) I Married a Communist (1998) The Human Stain (2000) Exit Ghost (2007) Novotny’s Pain (1980), published by Sylvester & Orphanos The Facts: A Novelist’s Autobiography (1988) Deception: A Novel (1990) Patrimony: A True Story (1991) Operation Shylock: A Confession (1993) The Plot Against America (2004) The Breast (1972) The Professor of Desire (1977) The Dying Animal (2001) Everyman (2006) Indignation (2008) The Humbling (2009) Nemesis (2010) Goodbye, Columbus (1959) Letting Go (1962) When She Was Good (1967) Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) Our Gang (1971) The Great American Novel (1973) My Life as a Man (1974) Sabbath’s Theater (1995)

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April 13, 2018

Free Copies of Sarina Dorie Novels for Amazon Reviews

The first three books in the WOMBY’S SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD WITCHES series is available on Amazon in paperback. I would love to get some reviews up before the ebooks are released at the end of May. If you have received a free copy of any of these books, please consider putting up an honest review. Even if all you have time to do is select the number of stars without writing anything, these reviews help enable authors to promote their work. Each week I announce in my newsletter books that are offered for free on Instafreebie’s Giveaways. Stay tuned for places Tardy Bells and Witches’ Spells and Hex-Ed are available for free. Reviewers can get a free copy of Witches Gone Wicked by entering the password at the address below: https://claims.instafreebie.com/free/wcMppWBA Password: BubbleBubble Thank you! ~ Sarina

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April 3, 2018

“Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches” By Sarina Dorie, Part 2

“Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches” By Sarina Dorie, Part 2

As promised, following Chapters 1 and 2 yesterday, here are Chapters 3 and 4 of Witches Gone Wicked. If you like what you’ve read, the author has a special, limited time offer for you. You can have a free copy of the ebook in exchange for writing a brief review. If you’re interested, please go to InstaFreebie to claim your copy. Once you’ve finished, please thank Sarina by posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads.   Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches by Sarina Dorie Chapter Three Encounters of the Witchkin Kind   I had hoped that once I came to Womby’s, everything would be clear to me: I would understand where I came from and how my powers worked. Now that I knew my best friend, Derrick, was in this realm, I…

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April 2, 2018

Sarina Dorie’s New Novel, “Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches”

Sarina Dorie’s New Novel, “Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches”

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased and honored to publish a two-part excerpt from Sarina Dorie’s latest novel here at the Café. The third in her “Womby’s School for Wayward Witches” series, [click to visit her website for more details]  it’s a wonderful story, immediately engaging, skillfully mixing fantasy with reality. In short, Sarina is a really great storyteller! Chapters 1 and 2 appear here today, and Chapters 3 and 4 tomorrow. Here is a synopsis: You think you know the world of magical boarding schools?  Not from a teacher’s perspective at a school for at risk youth. Witches Gone Wicked: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches is a whimsical urban fantasy. Like any twenty-two-year-old who grew up obsessed with fantasy novels, Clarissa Lawrence expects all her Harry Potter fantasies to come true when she is invited to…

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February 20, 2018

Introducing Rachael Allen, FC’s Creative Nonfiction Barista

Introducing Rachael Allen, FC’s Creative Nonfiction Barista

Please join us in welcoming Rachael Allen as our first Creative Nonfiction Barista. Rachael is a long-time prolific FC contributor. She wrote an “expose” article about working in an Amazon bricks-and-mortar bookstore. She has written several times about her desires and doubts about pursuing a writing career. She and Barista Simran Gupta were pen pals, exchanging thoughts in FC blog posts while on their Study Abroad programs in Italy and France, respectively. Most recently, she interviewed Whitney Scharer, a million-dollar first-time author of the forthcoming The Age of Light. You can review all of Rachael’s contributions by clicking the Q at the far right-hand end of the blue menu bar and typing her name. When we met with Rachael  over coffee, of course – to discuss her baristaship, it came as no surprise that she…

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January 30, 2018

Debut Novelist Whitney Scharer’s Million-Dollar Book Deal

Debut Novelist Whitney Scharer’s Million-Dollar Book Deal

Barista Rachael Allen meets the novelist everyone will be talking about. Whitney Scharer and her fierce protagonist are set to take the literary world by storm! At this time next year, Whitney Scharer’s debut novel, The Age of Light, will stare up at you from your nightstand. The book will not stare at you so much as, potentially, display a woman staring into the distance, anonymously cropped at the neck, with scenic Paris blurred behind her. As much as she hopes for something different, Scharer says wryly, audiences are familiar with this kind of book jacket (think Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife). And, following its million-dollar deal widely covered in the media, the book is banking on this commercial success. Perhaps a dreamy woman will attract an audience, but the book—and its personable, expressive author—aims…

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January 4, 2018

Chimezie Ihekuna’s “Poured Out Thoughts” – A Poetry Chapbook Review by Simran P. Gupta

Chimezie Ihekuna’s “Poured Out Thoughts” –  A Poetry Chapbook Review by Simran P. Gupta

The Fictional Café has recently been treated to a drop of sunshine in the form of Chimezie Ihekuna’s poetry collection, “Poured Out Thoughts.” We happened upon news of his forthcoming chapbook of collected poems as a happy accident, through corresponding about his submission to our virtual ‘zine. Affectionately known as Mr. Ben, he is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and is a poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, speaker, and voice-over artist. He says his “love for humanity has inspired him to thirst for knowledge towards its advancement.” Though this review is centered on his upcoming book, you can get a taste for his work through the five poems published here on the Fictional Café. Mr. Ben’s poetry collection is titled “The P.O.T.- Poured Out Thoughts.” His poems are organized around themes that anyone, regardless of background, with…

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