November 3, 2014

“Jenny’s Revenge,” a Novel by James D. Best

“Jenny’s Revenge,” a Novel by James D. Best

    Here is an excerpt from James D. Best’s fifth Steve Dancy novel, Jenny’s Revenge, which was published February 2, 2015.  Best’s westerns are written in the spirit of Zane Gray and, to quote Larry Winget, writing in True West Magazine, March, 2012,”The James Best books…are about the best new Western series to come along since Larry McMurtry.” All five Steve Dancy novels are available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.  — Editors     Introduction After securing a license to use Thomas Edison’s inventions for mining, Steve and his friends return to Denver to pick up belongings they left behind on their way to New York. Steve and Virginia plan to marry, and Captain McAllen retires from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to start a horse ranch. Eager to begin new lives, everyone…

Continue reading →

November 2, 2014

The Sensuous Poetry of Michael Larrain

  One of the beautiful things about artists is the unexpected ways in which we encounter them. I went to college in Sonoma County, California, and make an annual pilgrimage back there. I usually stay with my long-time friends, Larry and Laurie. Last year I came upon a man selling blissed-out flowers from the back of his Jeep about two blocks east of downtown Cotati. Well, this year he was there, in the same spot again, and we got to talking about life, the universe, and how everything and everybody is sometimes discernibly connected and as it went we suddenly discovered we’re both writers. Michael told me about his novel, Movies on the Sails, and I told him about mine, featuring a character named Flowers. I asked him to submit some of his poetry for Fictional Cafe, and here it…

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 →

September 9, 2014

Portrait of Ignatius Jones, a Novel by Peter David Shapiro

Editor’s Note: Herewith, Chapters 1 and 2 of Portrait of Ignatius Jones, Peter David Shapiro’s third novel, now published. Capitalizing on the late-19th-century fascination with psychics and confidence games, with a dash of The Picture of Dorian Gray, the novel takes the reader from Victorian Boston to the Peaceable Kingdom of Vermont, where things are not as peaceful as one might think. Chapter One September 12, 1896 Testimony of Mrs. Eugenia Stephenson concerning a Meeting at the Boston Spiritualist Lyceum I WAS SEATED AMONGST THIRTY others in the audience in a meeting hall of the Boston Spiritualist Lyceum on Tremont Street when Ignatius Jones entered, accompanied by Mr. William Price following several steps behind. Ignatius Jones sat behind a table at the front of the room. To be sure, I’d heard the whispers emanating from…

Continue reading →

September 9, 2014

“Carpe Diem,” A Poem by Catherine Dougherty

“Carpe Diem,” A Poem by Catherine Dougherty

  Watching the world go by; Seeing it pass before my eyes. Bearing witness to another day’s dawn, Preluding, yet, another day’s song. Funny, how it all seems to slip away; Nothing is ever meant to stay. * Still, I can remember, Ah yes, oh so well, Rising from what seemed like hell, Grasping the day and making it mine, Simply living my life And feeling so fine. * But, now I’m old, My time here almost gone. If my life was a battle, I would say that I’ve won. So I have no regrets of what’s come and passed, Always remembering, nothing’s meant to last. * I’m just watching the world go by; Savoring the moments before I die; Thankful and rich for what I’ve done, Where I’ve been, how far I’ve come. Knowing…

Continue reading →

September 9, 2014

Estelle and David by D.K. Lubarsky

  Editor’s Note: This is a chapter from Dante’s Angels, a novel in progress. David’s hands were shaking as he steered the 1996 blue Chevy into the hotel’s circular driveway. He mopped his forehead with a plaid handkerchief and stuffed it back in his shirt pocket. “See. No problem getting here. I told you so.” Estelle kept her mouth shut. The ninety-minute trip from Beaverton to Cannon Beach had taken three hours. The line of cars behind them often extended into the horizon. Estelle looked around. She could see the water, and the top of Haystack Rock. “I can’t believe we’re really doing this.” “Why not? Everyone else goes on vacation. Getting away for a long weekend is just what we needed. I just hope you packed everything this time. Did you remember my pajamas?”…

Continue reading →

August 12, 2014

A Dancing Bear, a Novel by David Free

 Editors Note: Herewith we introduce David Free, our first contributor from Australia. This submission is another first for Fictional Cafe: the premier chapter from his novel appears in two formats, type and podcast. You can begin reading, or scroll to the end of the excerpt and listen to the author in his inimitable Down Under accent read aloud to you. In either – or both – we hope you will find A Dancing Bear as delightful as we did. Please click on the arrow below to listen to the podcast of Chapter 1: Chapter 1 You lunatics, Fenton Bland pretended to think, while taking a fiery glance at his watch. What the hell am I doing here? In truth, he knew perfectly well what he was doing there. He had, moreover, no genuine urge to know the…

Continue reading →

August 7, 2014

Peter Pan Kitsune, a Novel by Kyla Goulet

Editors Note: We’re very proud to introduce a talented new writer, Kyla Goulet. At seventeen, she is also our youngest contributor. We asked how she came up with the idea of Peter Pan as a Kitsune, the mythological Japanese creature. She wrote: “Some powers of Kitsune are that they’re immortal and can fly, so…bingo. Peter Pan as a Kitsune? Telling his backstory and a life full of adventure, the ups and downs of being this mythical being? It sounded absolutely brilliant in my eyes.” Her writing is absolutely brilliant in our eyes. Here is the Preface and Chapter One from her novel-in-progress, Peter Pan Kitsune. *       *       * Preface The strain had just been too difficult, as if pins and needles were purposely launching themselves into his skin. He winced, and—by the looks of it—his stomach…

Continue reading →

July 11, 2014

Alice’s Bar and Grill by Col. Jon D. Marsh

“And just WHAT the hell do you think you’re lookin at?” Eddy doesn’t answer. He doesn’t say a word. Eddy knows what is going to happen next and it doesn’t matter if he speaks or not. It wouldn’t matter if he were the world’s greatest orator and philosopher since Forrest Gump. This blowhard is out to impress upon the world that he’s important and hell-bent on doing it as physically as possible to anyone who can’t get out of the way fast enough. “Hey asshole, I’m talking to YOU! You ooglin’ Brenda?” Eddy finishes his water with lime and lays another buck on the bar as a goodnight tip to Brenda. He knows she is going to have to put up with this stupid drunk until his buddies convince him to leave or until he’s…

Continue reading →

July 3, 2014

Three Things I Learned Last Summer, by Jason Brick

Three Things I Learned Last Summer, by Jason Brick

I learned three things last summer. The first thing I learned was: don’t get drunk on margaritas with your best friend’s wife when it’s just the two of you alone on the deck looking out at a once-in-a-lifetime drop-dead perfect June sunset and the air is warm and clean with a caressing wind coming in off the desert with the scent of spice and the promise of your heart’s desire. It wasn’t as if we hadn’t been drunk together before. Or alone together. Or even drunk together all alone. When it’s your best friend’s wife, and she’s been married to him eight years, you wind up doing most things together at one time or another. The four of us had gotten hammered together with fair regularity, and to say we were comfortable with one another…

Continue reading →