February 1, 2016

A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 2

A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 2

Editor’s Note: This story is a lead-in for A. J.’s latest novel, Forgiving Mariela Camacho,  which is the follow-up to his first novel, Forgiving Maximo Rothman. If you enjoy “A Glint of Metal,” you can follow the characters in his newest thriller. This is part 2 of 2.   * * *   Captain McCloskey yawned then looked at his watch. “Kurchenko, let’s get this over with.” “I thought you should be here for this,” Tolya said. “You were right to think so, but don’t you think this could have waited till later this morning instead of the middle of the night? IA will have to be here for an official inquest.” “I know but under the circumstances I thought we should have a kind of off-the-record conversation with Billy before this thing hits the…

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January 31, 2016

A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 1

A. J. Sidransky’s “A Glint of Metal” Part 1

Editor’s Note: This story is a lead-in for A. J.’s latest novel, Forgiving Mariela Camacho,  which is the follow-up to his first novel, Forgiving Maximo Rothman. If you enjoy “A Glint of Metal,” you can follow the characters in his newest thriller. This is part 1 of 2.   * * *   Washington Heights, New York May 8, 2015   Pete slept with his cell phone on the night table, the sound off, the flasher on. He was no stranger to middle-of-the-night calls from the precinct. No cop was, that’s the cop life. “Gonzalvez,” he said, grabbing the phone and catapulting out of the bed so as not to wake Glynnis. The time read 2:12. “Pete,” Tolya said. “Yeah, who were you expecting?” He passed Jeremy’s room on the way to the living room,…

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January 21, 2016

“Who Done Me In?” by John Martinson – The Complete Novella

“Who Done Me In?” by John Martinson – The Complete Novella

John, the narrator of this funny, fascinating, futuristic story, is dead. As he spins his tale of what it’s like on the other side, he’s also trying to figure out why he’s dead and who got him that way – hence the title. We’re swept up in a Machiavellian mystery tale that takes us into the world of wisps and preeps, to the Burj Khalifa, to Fameland as John tries to figure out who done him in. We published “Who Done Me In” in five parts earlier, but now offer it to you in one complete post.   Who Done Me In? How Dick Cheney, Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, Gilgamesh, and A Few Others Solved My Afterlife Mystery by John Martinson Part I It was a while before I figured out I was dead. Days, weeks, or whatever passes…

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December 24, 2015

For Our Coffee Club, A Christmas Story by Lloyd R. Prentice

For Our Coffee Club, A Christmas Story by Lloyd R. Prentice

Your baristas, Caitlin, Jack, Jason and Mike, would like to wish you, the members of our Fictional Café Coffee Club, a Happy Holidays season. Hey, even if you’re reading this but not yet a member, we still wish you the best of the season. [Maybe it’s time for you to join us?] In any event, here’s a very short but very charming story from our friend and contributor, Lloyd R. Prentice, author of The Gospel of Ashes, a thriller we excerpted here at the FC last month [“titled “Carmichael“], Freein’ Pancho, and the three-volume manga Aya Takeo. Catch up with Lloyd and his books at his Amazon site.  Santa Has Second Thoughts: A PG13 Christmas story When Santa on his yearly round narrowly dodged a shoulder-fired missile, he proclaimed, “Enough is enough!” This went far beyond marking up…

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December 9, 2015

The Poetry of Multi-Talented Maria Termini

The Poetry of Multi-Talented Maria Termini

Editor’s Note: There are two kinds of creative people: the kind that create art and the kind that live it and could know no other way. I met Maria Termini at a quiet little poetry reading in my neighborhood. Within five minutes of knowing her, I could tell she was that latter type of creative person. Before the end of the night, I’d heard about her poetry and her collection of memoirs, and I left the reading with one of her CDs (on which she sings songs in both Italian and Spanish). And as it turns out, she’s also trained artist. Here’s a sampling of her poetry that hints at the stories she’s got to tell from her worldly adventures.   * * *   Star Struck When I was seven, I would shake out…

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December 1, 2015

“Carmichael” by Lloyd Prentice

“Carmichael” by Lloyd Prentice

Editor’s Note: I met Lloyd Prentice at a publishing conference earlier this year. For a room full of writers, there was little talking going on. Lloyd and I struck up a conversation about, what else, writing. He mentioned that he belonged to an informal writing group that would get together and write on the fly. A character he’d created without much personal fanfare one day in the group turned out to be a crowd favorite. That character’s name was Carmichael. I made a mental note. We exchanged business cards. Lloyd and I connected via email shortly after the conference and I read over some of his work. When I came across this chapter from his novel, The Gospel of Ashes, I knew we had to have it up on the Fictional Café. As far as…

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October 5, 2015

The Sweetly Evocative Poetry of Suman Chatterjee

The Sweetly Evocative Poetry of Suman Chatterjee

Editor’s Note: When I first read Suman Chatterjee’s poetry, I felt swept up in the scents and sensuous evocations of Omar Khayyám, even to the similarities in the ruba’i stanzas. These are short poems, sometimes romantic, often charming, ever flowing from a kind heart and a fleeting thought which the poet took the time to remember and craft in verse. Take a few moments to savor each of them. *     *     * A Beautiful Mind A thousand oceans and seven seas, Among blue, green and red, Species known, Unknown traversed I, in depths unseen, Free-floating in an infinity, With stars that bear in time, Back and forth, and back, Of life, light and wisdom: The colorful canvass of Gold, The scribbles of Old, The secret they hold, leading, The way towards freedom and…

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September 27, 2015

Novel Excerpt: “White Bike” by Jack B. Rochester

Novel Excerpt: “White Bike” by Jack B. Rochester

Editor’s Note: Jack is one of the four authors reading tonight, Monday, September 28, at an event in his home town, Lexington, Massachusetts, called “Spellbinding Stories: Four Local Authors Read From Their Novels.” Jack will be be joined by  Peter David Shapiro and X.J. “Joe” Kennedy. The reading will be held at the First Parish Unitarian Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington, and starts at 7PM. Readings will be followed by a discussion of writing and publishing. Refreshments will be served. White Bike is a novel based upon a real incident and a growing problem in America: People on bicycles getting run over by motor vehicles. Across the country, an anonymous group that calls itself “Ghost Bike” leaves a white bike at the scene of accidents which take the life of a bicyclist. As the novel opens, four close friends and owners of…

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September 23, 2015

Novel Excerpt: “Ghosts on the Red Line” by Peter David Shapiro

Novel Excerpt: “Ghosts on the Red Line” by Peter David Shapiro

Editor’s Note: Peter David Shapiro has entertained the Fictional Café habitués on several earlier occasions, for a simple reason: he is a prolific author with three novels to his credit. Debuting now is his first novel, Ghosts on the Red Line. It was followed by The Trail of Money and most recently Portrait of Ignatius Jones. Peter’s books are available in Boston area bookstores and on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. An innovative author, Peter has made Ghosts available as an audiobook/podcast as well. Peter is an innovator in another important way. It’s sometimes said an author writes the same book over and over, but this is definitely not the case with Peter’s novels. Each is distinctly different in subject matter: ghosts in the subway tunnels; crooked financiers laundering money in Hong Kong; an ignominious psychic out to fleece old…

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September 21, 2015

Novel Excerpt: “A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer” by X. J. Kennedy

Novel Excerpt: “A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer” by X. J. Kennedy

Editor’s Note: We’re extremely pleased to publish an excerpt from X. J. “Joe” Kennedy’s novel, A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer. It’s a ribald story of post-World War II America that rivals another Joe’s novel – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Joe Kennedy’s novel is, in our opinion, a more finely wrought work, and perhaps even funnier, which is as it should be from a man for whom literature has been his life work. Earlier this year, Joe was awarded the Jackson Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement in poetry. The judges wrote: “X. J. Kennedy’s forms are perennial, his rhetoric is at once elaborate and immediate, and his language and diction are always of the American moment. He translates the human predicament into poetry perfectly balancing wit, savagery, and compassion. His subtly dissonant rhymes and side-stepping meters carry us through the realms…

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