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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December 20, 2017

Reimagining Kristen Roupenian’s Short Story, “Cat Person”

Reimagining Kristen Roupenian’s Short Story, “Cat Person”

Editor’s Note: From time to time, fiction and real life converge like a solar eclipse. The “ME TOO” movement and a short story by Kristen Roupenian entitled “Cat Person,” published recently in The New Yorker, have crossed paths and set the world on its ear. It’s a timely story, to be sure, but it’s also something of a literary fete: the author’s first short story, controversial as hell, accepted by the country’s most prestigious magazine (and one of the few still publishing fiction), which immediately landed Roupenian a book contract with Scout Press, reports the New York Times. Like Roupenian, Rachael Allen is a college student who found herself able to relate to the short story and draw some shared experiences into a complex skein of perception, emotion and experience that reaches out beyond the…

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August 7, 2017

Paula Bonnell’s New Book of Poetry, Reviewed by Simran P. Gupta

Paula Bonnell’s New Book of Poetry, Reviewed by Simran P. Gupta

Editor’s Note: Paula Bonnell enthralled us with her poetry two years ago here at the Café. Now Paula has written and published a new chapbook of her poetry entitled “Tales Retold,” which Simran, our poetry barista, reviews here. Paula Bonnell’s chapbook, “Tales Retold,” can be summed up as a masterpiece of words. Bonnell’s poetry demanded (and received) my full attention, with varying tone, emotion, and clever word choice. With each re-read, a new level of understanding was achieved and a new connection was made. This is not to make the poems in “Tales Retold” out to be puzzles waiting to be solved; that depends on the reader’s interpretation. It does, however, mean that anyone reading Bonnell’s poetry will never be bored, as something new awaits at each level of engagement. Before writing this review, I read…

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July 25, 2017

Understanding Reading Biases and My Mission to Fix Them

Understanding Reading Biases and My Mission to Fix Them

I still have all my summer reading lists from high school. The eternal optimist in me thought that someday I’d run down that list and read each one. Years later, I still haven’t read more than a few of those books, but that collection spawned a very important way of thinking for me. As a student, I treated these reading lists like they were the word of God – that to be a writer or English major in college, these were the texts I should be reading. Still, there was a quietly blasphemous part of me that questioned that belief and as I grew older, I realized that even these holy lists were imperfect. Fast forward to last year, when I was studying my Goodreads “to read” and “previously read” lists. I noticed biases reflected…

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December 20, 2016

Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

My feelings about this novel were like the swells of the sea. At times, I loved the magical realism and the character interweaving, while at other times it was disjointed and irreverent, as the biographical information dragged on for pages with nothing really happening, like a the conversation you wish you hadn’t started with the stranger at the bus stop. The last 30 pages or so are where this book earned its rating for me. This was the ultimate “wait for it…” book. The culmination of everything that happened, the justification of the need for so many frustratingly confusing characters and the symbolic meaning of so much of the book all came together at the end. I didn’t truly *get* the novel until then and when I did, it had a big pay off. I…

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