December 1, 2015

“Carmichael” by Lloyd Prentice

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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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September 10, 2015

Flashterpiece Mystery!

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Flashterpiece Mystery!

Editor’s Note: Good evening and welcome to Flashterpiece Mystery! I’m Mike Mavilia. Tonight, we have a very special night of fiction. In just a moment, you’re going to see the first of three hand-picked stories – truly one in a hundred – culled from the flash fiction anthology titled, Baby Shoes. For hundreds and even thousands of years, very short fictional stories have been told to captivated audiences around the world. And yet, today more than ever, the form of the brief story holds an important place for both reader and writer alike. In a world where Twitter stories exist and technology calls for smaller circuitry in computer chips, the writing on the wall is clear: people want things small, yet powerful: concise. Enter flash fiction. We begin with a little tale called “Consummation,” about a…

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August 25, 2015

“In Leather Chaps,” Another Jean and Rosie Novel and a Special Offer!

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“In Leather Chaps,” Another Jean and Rosie Novel and a Special Offer!

Editor’s Note: Last year, we published an excerpt from Catherine Dougherty’s first novel, in Polyester Pajamas. Since then, she has been nothing but prolific, publishing the follow-up in Woolen Bikinis and now the third Jean and Rosie novel, in Leather Chaps, from which we feature an excerpt. For the next two days, August 26 – 28, Cathy is offering her first novel, in Polyester Pajamas, Kindle edition, to readers absolutely free! Here’s a great way to get into the Jean and Rosie series without spending a dime. If you like the first then you’ll probably like the second and be eager to pick up the third, in Leather Chaps, causing both author and readers to rejoice! in Leather Chaps When Life Gets Tough, Women Get Tougher . . . Jean can handle the upcoming divorce, the constant hot flashes, the unemployed son, even…

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August 24, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Three)

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“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Three)

This is the conclusion of Adam’s supernatural, gothic thriller. Start from the beginning here.  Mrs. Holmes watched the carriage carrying the two young women away to relative safety. She was not certain what would happen, but she remembered vividly the last night before Dougal McCullagh, then called Fergusson, had… rescued her. From her husband. As the memories began to surface, she swiftly pushed them away again. Now was not the time to reminisce about days gone by. There was precious little time left, and she hoped very much to survive the night, though there was every possibility that she would not. She considered whether or not she had made her peace with that and decided that she had not. Rather, she simply could not accept it as a possibility, so it seemed an unreality to…

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August 17, 2015

“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Two)

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“The Face of a Beautiful Monster” by Adam Gottfried (Part Two)

This is the second part of Adam’s three-piece serial. Read Part One here, and come back next Monday for the chilling conclusion.  Mrs. Belinda Holmes, 44, widowed, mother of two grown boys both of whom were overseas serving with the British Expeditionary Force in France, was the only member of the staff who had served the Congdon family longer than Mr. James Atherton and she absolutely loathed the man. He was pretentious, overbearing, haughty, and he treated the rest of the staff like they were below him. In the strictest sense they were, but he treated them as if HE were their master instead of Mr. Congdon and that did not set well with Mrs. Holmes. So when Mr. Atherton came into her kitchen to await the call of Mr. Congdon, Mrs. Holmes was far…

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August 11, 2015

“A Ghost of an Idea” by Beth Roper

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“A Ghost of an Idea” by Beth Roper

Editor’s Note: As Rod Serling, host of “The Twilight Zone,” might have said, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…” Beth Roper’s delicious short story of revenge from beyond the grave, “A Ghost of an Idea.” *     *     * Gavin Van Dam smiled faintly as he heard her high heels clacking down the entry way and the soft click of the door. His wife Amanda was leaving for her girl’s night out after many kisses and apologies. Van had finally assured her he would perfectly fine left to his own devices, and settled…

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