January 8, 2020

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

We’re very pleased to introduce Amanda Grafe, an artist, illustrator and author of four books. A Rhode Island native, she holds a M.S. from Johnson & Wales University. We met Amanda at the Rhode Island Author’s Expo in December and were immediately impressed with her creative work. We hope you will be, too. Artist’s Statement (1): Abstract painting allow rules to be bent in ways other art forms cannot. Sticking mainly with oils, but occasionally incorporating other mediums, has given me a chance to selfishly explore, emotionally mend, deconstruct enigmas, and fight against both societal and personal constructs I feel do not serve humanity.  Generally, I prefer not to title my work. Although titles are useful, I believe they can in some instances confine the viewer’s mind, instructing them as to what they should be…

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December 27, 2019

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Editor’s Note: We’ve been honored to publish Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death” short story which, due to its length, has appeared in three parts this month: Part I, Part II, and herewith, the final chapter of the author’s triptych. Please read them in order for full appreciation. **      Robert dressed in dark clothes and arrived at the banker’s estate in the East Hamptons just after 2:00 a.m., Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The site was secluded off a main road and down a winding lane. He surveyed the area with night vision field glasses. Except for a subtle breeze and ruffling leaves, all was calm, the sky moonless, overcast, therefore pitch black. Very good conditions. He exited the car near the gate and blew the dog whistle several times. No dogs on the estate at least….

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December 25, 2019

“Professor of Death,” by Dan Coleman Chapter II

“Professor of Death,” by Dan Coleman Chapter II

     In his other profession, Robert Fountain was an assassin. A highly skilled and experienced, highly paid and very well-connected killer of important people mostly of political persuasion, but occasionally a high-class criminal or two. At least he thought he was. Lately, he was beginning to wonder if it were still true. This career began long before his academic one when he dropped out of college after a year to join the Army in the heat of the Vietnam War. He was sent to officer candidate school and trained as a Special Forces commando, eventually serving three tours in Vietnam. On his first tour, he was promoted to captain two months before his twenty-first birthday, making him, at the time, the youngest captain in the U.S. Army. He was a major when he got out,…

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December 23, 2019

Jim Best’s Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Jim Best’s Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Author James D. “Jim” Best is one of our favorite fans, and we’re one of his, too. Jim cares passionately about reading books, and offers these last-minute suggestions for people on your holiday gift-giving list. 18 Ideas for Gifting Books At times, friends and relatives can be hard to buy for. Some seem to have everything. Due to age or illness, others may be less mobile than in years past. Some don’t really want much. Families scatter across this huge country and selecting a gift, packaging, and shipping can be a chore.A book is a perfect gift … and a great way to avoid the crowds. Books provide a great entertainment value, delivering hour upon hour of pleasure. Reading fiction is like taking a mini vacation without leaving home. An engrossing story makes worries fade…

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December 23, 2019

“Professor of Death,” A Short Story by Dan Coleman

“Professor of Death,” A Short Story by Dan Coleman

Editor’s Note: This short story will take you through a few unexpected turns with each chapter. You may begin to think you are being treated to a horror/fiction story and then maybe it’s really about a romance. Or is it? In any case, we hope you enjoy each chapter. We present these three intriguing chapters of the short story “Professor of Death” – beginning tonight and continuing throughout the week. ** Things were getting a little too scary to suit Robert Fountain. He could feel the times changing around him, sense the movement of sinister winds, like the rolling in of a tidal wave, and he didn’t want to be standing on the beach when it got there. He was a man with two professions, one public, in which he was a respected authority of some…

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December 13, 2019

Revisiting “The Maltese Falcon” – A Special Podcast Performance by Fake Radio

Revisiting “The Maltese Falcon” – A Special Podcast Performance by Fake Radio

This week we feature a very special story and private-eye noir mystery: “The Maltese Falcon,” performed by the cast of Fake Radio with guest Lynne Stewart! While most podcasts and audio productions posted on Fictional Café have scripted and edited content, Fake Radio is one of the brave – and few – that insist on recording all their productions LIVE! The Maltese Falcon is Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel featuring his hard-boiled private eye, Sam Spade. In “old-time radio” plays, actors often were given a script and expected to put on the show for their listeners with very little rehearsal time, often having to improvise their way out of any mistakes. “The Maltese Falcon” has been made into a motion picture four times and several radio and audio adaptations as well. The Fake Radio version is…

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November 23, 2019

“Oblivity,” The Saturday Night Podcast

“Oblivity,” The Saturday Night Podcast

We’re excited to bring you a top-notch podcasting team from the British Isles in performance here at the Cafe. They’re called Oblivity, and that’s the eponymous title of their production as well. “Oblivity” is about a disgraced war hero who’s posted to the remote ice plains of Pluto (think banned, punished, relegated, etc.) It’s her toughest mission yet: to oversee a small, dysfunctional research team. Then it starts to get humorous. Cate Nunn plays Commander Falconer, and Hannah Wilmshurst is First Officer Christy. Hey, more fun, a female crew! What? Oh, yeah, sorry! Also starring Max Windich as Officer Burney and Ash Hunt as Officer Lowell. Here they all are. Tonight, please listen to the trailer and the first two episodes of Season One. If you like what you hear, you can slide over to…

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November 9, 2019

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

One of Us    A sucker-punch thought,  we will end.  The assault turns into a cold sweat  from the contours of my couch.    One day we might fight over  the over-due mortgage,  you promised to pay.  The dent in the new hallway’s paint,   I never denied.  Who keeps the dog   when we sell the house?     We fought the morning  a bus crashed into the glass store.  The highway exit was blocked  and first responders’ lights spun.  I read on my phone that no one’s hurt  and we held hands the drive home.  What if we’d decided   to replace the glass in the tv stand  an hour earlier.    The first time I wrote this  you sat next to me on the couch.   TV commentaries must-know insight,  scores on your phone,  notes for a fantasy,  but you…

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November 6, 2019

Novel Excerpt 2: “Kado,” Chapter 10, by Rusty Braziel

Novel Excerpt 2: “Kado,” Chapter 10, by Rusty Braziel

Editor’s Note: This is the second excerpt from Kado, a just-published novel, from which we excerpted the Forward and Chapter 9 yesterday. This exciting adventure novel is available from Amazon in hardcover, Kindle, and Audible formats. The Red River This was the damnedest thing I ever seen. Mon Ami, how did you know? Over the next two weeks, we made our way down the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Red River. The trip was easy and rapid, thanks to the current being in our favor. The workload was light, and the variety of river traffic provided occasional entertainment for those of us who had spent most of our lives staring at fields of corn and cotton. Sometimes we saw keelboats such as ours heading upstream, while other times we overtook a flatboat moving…

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November 5, 2019

Novel Excerpt 1: “Kado,” by Rusty Braziel

Novel Excerpt 1: “Kado,” by Rusty Braziel

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to premier Kado, a new adventure novel, today and tomorrow. Today, the Introduction, Foreword and Chapter 9, followed by Chapter 10 tomorrow. Kado was published today on Amazon and is available as a hardcover, Kindle and Audible book. Get yours here. Introduction It is the early 1800s in the new frontier west of the Mississippi. Eighteen-year-old Tom Murrell could never understand his father’s dreams of carving a new life out of the wilderness. He wanted to do something else with his life besides spend it behind a plow, but with the family moving to the Red River in Arkansaw Territory, he was stuck. Everything changes for Tom when he witnesses the death of Tiatesun, spiritual leader of the Kadohadacho tribe, and is drawn into a raging conflict between the Kado and…

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