Free literary fiction Kindle books for 04 Dec 13

Taking Flight

by Adrian R. Magnuson

Jeremy Walsh’s parents assume he’s been abducted by the elderly man he met on a cross-country flight, but it’s the other way around.

Share in the journey of two unlikely companions who meet in midair: 13-year-old Jeremy, sent against his will by his career-absorbed father to spend the summer with his bipolar mother in New York, and Harry Herndon, elderly, one-legged and afflicted with mid-stage Alzheimer’s, who escapes his the confinement of home for what may be his last adventure. Outcasts of sorts, they begin their cross-country getaway, trailed by Harry’s wife and Jeremy’s parents, each of whom threaten to cut their journey short. The story that follows is a race against time and circumstance as the two quickly bond over their mutual love of birding while experiencing the joys and growing pains of Taking Flight in their own, very different, ways.



The Real Alice Cooper Wants To Be Famous

by Louis Peddicord

NOTE: This novel has absolutely nothing to do with a former rock star who called himself Alice Cooper.

Rather, “The Real Alice Cooper Wants To Be Famous” is a suspense thriller, a saga of questing men and women, and a multi-layered love story. It is a wide-ranging, fully-realized novel wherein lives are ripped apart and rebuilt . . . minds are lost . . . murders are committed . . . children are born, and souls are lost and regained.

Much of the novel’s action takes place at Holy Mansion Monastery, a place of studied calm sequestered in the midst of the ongoing dysfunction of the modern world. A handful of monks there along with Brother Gilroy, abbot of the Monastery, are placidly going about their lives when one Alice Cooper, an escapee from an imploded marriage, crashes into their lives. Alice has always had dreams of fame for herself and when a dead derelict inadvertently offers her a shot at such fame, Alice jumps on it with a vengeance.

Needless to say, complications ensue. There is first the matter of Benjamin P. Cooper, CPA, Alice’s discarded husband, who descends into a world of frightful madness and who relentlessly pursues Alice over the years to come. There is also Bradford Hymen, a Maryland State trooper who believes his life has been ruined by this wanton woman. Not least of all there is a thuggish federal government which knows full well that it knows best when it comes to how we work our lives.

Through it all, Alice Cooper has as her guiding star this notion of fameâ??she must have it, come hell or high water. Ultimately she does achieve everything she’s wished for, and “The Real Alice Cooper” is an account of the rewards that flow from that mania — along with the price of the quest.

The children she bears, the new mate she treasures, the bright and shiny future Alice Cooper exploresâ??these are all grist in the storytelling. It is a telling that is rich in fabric and context while unwrapping the skein of motivations and miscues that mark any individual’s life. Alice and so many of her companions in this years-long saga become real to the readerâ??both as unique people and as object lessons in our own quest for meaning.



The Late Jay Gould May Be Alive & Well

by Louis Peddicord

The Late Jay Gould is an epic love story and a wide-ranging suspense novel that will charm you into an enchanted yet very real world where at least one man can do magic . . . and some wondrous things spring from that magic. It’s a story where money can materialize out of thin air, where frisbees and whiskey sour glasses might levitate, and where a very alluring Museum of The Gods out in the desert of New Mexico becomes the nexus of a saga that sprawls over the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. An engaging novel, but even more so, The Late Jay Gould reveals an engaging way of looking at life.



Let Us Go Then, You and I

by Louis Peddicord

She’s a sane, level-headed woman who’s killing an hour or so in a museum. But Roslyn Petrocelli is in for the shock of her life when she draws close to an oversized painting there. The painting is called Hologramic IV and it holds within it scores of people who are somehow aliveâ??living, breathing people whose stories lure Roslyn into a new reality. She has always asked of life, “Tell me a story” . . . and the painting readily obliges.

But Roslyn does more than simply observe each fascinating story as it unfolds. She finds that she is actually a participant in the lives held within Hologramic IV. She has shed her psychic skin to become those other peopleâ??to experience in the flesh their loves, their hates, and likely their destinies as well.

When she first approaches the painting that morning in a “second-tier art museum in a second-tier city north of Boston” Roslyn stutter-steps back in shock and actually falls to the floor. It’s at that precise moment that her world truly changes. It has shifted on its axis and drawn her into a new realityâ??a transitional reality between living and dying where “Tell me a story . . .” is now her sole task. And she is both storyteller and audience.

Roslyn sees that the painting is now “preternaturally sharp and crisp and defined.” She knows in an instant the rich fabric of each individual life in the paintingâ??their likes, loves and hates; their histories, their futures, their needs and wants. She feels the stories of each person building within her mind and, because of that new onslaught of so many lives presented in such minute detail, she feels faint again.

Abruptly, a museum guard, Otis Orlasky, is there to rescue her. He is the first of the new people to come into her new life over the days and weeks to follow. There will be many more. There is Natasha, the super-model who lets Roslyn share with her her new lover, a man who was once a photographer and may now be a contract killer. There is Philip Duquense, an ex-cop who’s now become a techno criminal. There is Captain Armand deGarnette, a lowly cockroach of a cop who begs to be squashed like the scuttling insect he is. There is Georgia Cross, a brilliantly flawed young woman who must flee from life in order to endure it. Finally, there is the woman who comes to be known as Eve/Etc., a woman so exquisitely alluring that both men and women are enraptured as she hints of magical things to come.

All these new people are busily telling their stories to Roslyn, but it doesn’t stop there. It turns out that some of the people she’s always know, like her husband, Julius Petrocelli, have many more stories to tell her than they’ve ever hinted at. She learns that Julius, for instance, has been with hundredsâ??no, make that thousandsâ??of other women throughout the time they’ve been married. And that Otis Orlasky is more an artist than a museum guard. And that commonplace, everyday objects hold within them even more stories for Roslyn.

The shocks come one after the other for Roslyn Petrocelli until, by the end of her story, she is almost ready for the greatest shock of them all, where “perhaps someone has squeezed the universe into a ball to roll it toward some overwhelming question.” For it is now her choice. As Eve/Etc. tells her, “It’s your decision, Roslyn, just as it’s always been, just as you crafted the story long ago.”

“Let Us Go Then, You and I” is a multifaceted novel that will entertain, delight, and quite possibly entice you into a fuller appreciation of your own life.



Mr. Mahoney Has Left The Building

by Louis Peddicord

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

So it is for Saul T. as well. He’s an ex-pilot who stumbles upon a plot to overthrow the government . . . and then finds himself allied with a pudgy little companion who marches to a decidedly different drummer. But it’s that same pudgy fellowâ??none other than Jerome P. Mahoneyâ??who is the only one able to counter the chaos that’s engulfed Saul’s lifeâ??and the mayhem besetting the entire globe.

The story begins as Saul’s wife Paula is kidnapped by a pair of bumbling, garrulous government agents. The ransom? There is none. Paula is simply a lure to draw out this man Saul T., who’s been afflicted with a wildly improbable ability to delve into other people’s minds and lives. Some time back Saul had spent close to an hour in a near-death state and he’s now burdened with a knack for “overhearing” the plans other people are hatching. A certain government official fears that Saul has thus learned of his plot to take over the presidency, congress, the supreme court, and of course the military.

Meantime, coincident with Paula’s kidnapping, the world seems to develop a bit of a hiccupâ??in that everything goes completely to hell:

“No commerce was transacted. No new regulations or restrictions or remonstrations from on high came down. No guns were pulled, no knives were slashed, no brides were bedded. The earth spun on, ringing its diurnal call to dutyâ??but there was no one there to answer the phone. It was a global stillness only dreamed about by the zen master who could not even muster the will to raise one hand and clap it. It was stasis, it was the pregnant pause, it was the inhalation that was heldâ?¦and heldâ?¦and heldâ?¦”

Enter at this point, amidst such worldwide catatonia, Mr. Mahoney, one of the old gents who frequent the bar where Saul T. spends much of his free time. After rescuing Saul from the chaos he reveals a dark secretâ??that perhaps, just maybe, mankind is not quite the master of its fate as it has always assumed. Then who is? There are several levels of control, it seems, and try as he might, Saul T. just cannot believe what he hears. In any event, Mr. Mahoney takes it upon himself to reassert some order in the world and in the process wrest the kidnapped Paula from her captors.

So begins a wild cross-country journey that takes Saul and Mr. Mahoney through harrowing rides on a plummeting jet, a missile attack from a Navy fighter, an insane ride in the baddest taxicab ever loosed on the roads and ultimately a near-magic ride aboard a craft that’s tunefully transported at will to anywhere in the world. “Mr. Mahoney Has Left The Building” is a fascinating, uniquely inventive, and thoroughly entertaining romp through an alternate reality. It’s a novel you won’t soon forget.



Another Life, Not My Own

by Louis Peddicord

As narrated by a quirky, otherworldly dog, “Another Life, Not My Ownâ??A Shepherd’s Tale of Life & Death in a Coffeehouse”â??slides you into a decidedly different reality where there’s still nothing worth watching on TV . . . unless it happens to be your own life that’s featured on the tube this season.

The novel is largely set in Jay’s Paradise Cafe, a coffeehouse in a neglected sector of the universe, and one that happens to be run by a certain Hiram Basford. Hiram is a refugee, so to speak, from the ongoing malevolence that is life, and he’s hiding out at Jay’s, waiting for the storm to pass. Enter Marcus Cantor, a screwup employee of the Corporation that runs all things earthly. Marcus too is in the penalty box this season and he’s been sent in in shaggy form to monitor Hiram’s dealings with the denizens of his nowhere cafe. For better or worse, Marcus does a bit more than simply monitor Hiram — and that’s where the novel takes on a delicious spin into chaos that will have you laughing in shock and awe at the logicality of it all.

Helping out along the way is a bevy of enticing women, a holographic simulacrum of a now-departed celebrity with a sonorous voice, and a cafe full of people who bravely back Hiram’s ultimate rebellion. All in all, “Another Life” is a novel that lures you to the brink of a delightful absurdity . . . then gently lets you down into a new way of thinking about life.



State Fair (Minute Stories)

by Blythe Ayne

Minute has a fabulous day at the State Fair until she gets distracted by a hive of bees. Suddenly lost in a sea of fair-goers, she learns about the kindness of strangers in this delicate and beautiful short story by award winning author, Blythe Ayne.

Excerpt from State Fair:

Next they wandered to the grandstand building filled with paintings, pottery, strangely innovated art objects, a conglomeration of carnival jewelry and household multi-purpose gadgets that their sellers cried out noisily were guaranteed to make life simpler. A lie, Minute could clearly see, as just trying to remember what each part of the gadget did made a person stupid.

Minute stood patiently, bored and jostled about by tall people. Something caught her attention across the aisle glimpse after glimpse through the shuffling throng. Finally she braved the current, and forged her way to a display of honey bees.

There, inside glass, was a nation of bees, each working fervently, not caring about the human world outside. Little white cards pasted to the glass gave vital information about the world inside – “QUEEN BEE” in front of a fat and lazy creature being attended on all sides, “LARVAE” above white shapeless objects.

After studying the bees for quite some time, Minute began to wish Daddy would get through watching the demonstration so she could ask him questions about the bees. She looked over where she’d left her family, seeing nothing but legs.

Finally she decided she’d have to shuffle her way back to them to get their attention. But when she got there, they were gone!

Blind terror struck while a fear of being lost forever overwhelmed her. How would she take care of herself? How could she even find her way out of the huge fairgrounds? She stood at the side of the mingling flow of pedestrians, her eyes stinging with tears she tried not to let out, working very hard at looking nonchalant.

Shortly she noticed a uniformed man watching her. She wondered if there was a regulation against standing by the aisle. For sure no one else was standing still. He began to walk toward her. She stood her ground, hands behind her back, watching the people as if they were sights so interesting she couldn’t take her eyes from them.

“Waiting for someone?”

“Yes.” She still would not look at him.

“You arenâ??t afraid of me, are you?”

“Oh, no,” she said and looked him in the eye to prove it. She saw immediately he was a kind person. She began to weaken.

“Are you lost?” he asked very quietly.

“Well,” she hesitated. She couldn’t say another word. A tear came out, unbidden. “Well,” she tried again, “yes.” And then she began to cry in earnest….



The Secret Life of Rutger Button

by Louis Peddicord

“The Secret Life of Rutger Button” is the story of a man who leaves his life behind for a fantasy world not unlike that seen in the movies and on TV. Just incidentally, he becomes the latest Messiah along the way, letting slip the elusive truth that “The world is blue, but it’s your blue.”

Like the rest of us, Rutger Button seeks that moment of epiphany when you can suddenly, decisively escape a life of boredom and drudgery and move on to something new and exciting and ever so fulfilling. For Rutger his epiphany comes with a mangoâ??and his abrupt decision to defy his wife and put that mango back onto the supermarket display and then depart forevermore a frustrating, stultifying life that has him going nowhere at all.

Miraculously enough, the universe goes along with Rutger. Even as he’s tooling away from his old life in a brand new Audi (or maybe it’s a Mercedes) his family ever so obligingly disappears. And thus the legend begins to take root. Rutger, in that moment of mango-rejection, wished for a life as contrived and unreal and preposterous as anything in a novel written by a woman with three names. It takes. Within mere moments of his new resolve, he’s lassoed by a pretty young thing with glorious blue eyes. Then another such woman, then another. Then another.

Rutger’s escape into this new fantasy life inspires the predictable tides of both admiration and envy. Embodying that latter impulse is the local district attorney who vows to stop Rutger in his tracksâ??and dispatches a young assistant to do just that. She too, however, falls under the spell of this marvelous new adventure that Rutger Button is leading and joins with him to explore just how perfect life can be.

As do millions of ordinary folks who are enamored by Rutger Button’s astonishing good luck. But while they are enamored, they are also the price to pay. Rutger is hailed as a new Hero For The Ages . . . as well an Enemy Of The People. How to resolve the dilemma, and how to stay secured in this perfectly impossible (and impossibly perfect) new life? That’s the challenge Rutger faces. His answer rounds off a smart and witty foray into a story that will stay with you long after the last page is turned.



Annie White, RIP

by Louis Peddicord

Annie White, RIP is a novel of love, betrayal, and revenge.

As much a cautionary tale as it is an account of one couple’s dynamics, “Annie” takes the reader from the start of a marriageâ??where a wedding-night miscarriage is clearly an omen of what’s to comeâ??on through Annie White’s decision to cast doubt on whether her husband is truly the father of their subsequent child.

Annie is a 23-year-old artist who leaves her husband to marry an older man, a widower with three young children. Gil Wexler, that new husband, narrates this account. He tells us early on in the novel that only much later, well after their son Todd was born, did he discover Annie White’s treacheryâ??and that he’s about to take Todd for a DNA test to determine if he is, in fact, the child’s father.

Within the nine-day framework of waiting for those DNA results, Wexler recounts the highlights of his meeting Annie, their living together, their struggles for accommodation, and ultimately their estrangement when Annie makes it clear that she wants the newborn Todd all to herself, in a separate house, in a separate life apart from Gil and his three children.

It’s a chance discovery some years later that leads Wexler to the truth. The youngest of his three children had kept a journal in the time before Todd was conceived and, to Wexler’s incredulous shock when he comes across that journal, Annie’s sordid affair in the weeks and months leading up to Todd’s conception is revealed. The youngest child, Wolfie, had naively jotted it all downâ??the furtive yet energetic sex with another man, the ongoing betrayal of a marriage all the while Annie and Wexler were making plans for a child together.

As engrossing as the story has been to this point, it becomes even more riveting as Wexler recounts his and Annie White’s actions in the days and then the years to come. The cautionary tale inevitably veers into tragedy and by the story’s end, the reader, along with Gil Wexler, can only mourn for a young woman who has everything she needs, but then goes too far in her quest to have it all.



The Dark Prophet

by Brandon Roy

A modern retelling of The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.
In a mysterious town lost in time, a homeless prophet walks the streets. At the time of her send-off, she leaves the townspeople the gift of her wisdom and observations. The townspeople follow the woman to the docks; they take turns asking her questions about life. The woman offers up her knowledge of the world and the nature of the human heart.
Inspired by Gibran’s words, Roy offers up his own interpretation of life trials. A 21st century poetic essay which will touch on every aspect of life from love to children. A realistic view for those not afraid to explore their own feelings



Ten Pretty Good Stories

by Darryl Halbrooks

Among the ten new short stories by Darryl Halbrooks, in this, his 7th collection, is a story about researchers on an African animal refuge, who discover that their troupe of elephants have astonishing abilities in the areas of art, music and sports. A writer, working at his retreat in the Colorado mountains, allies himself with a rattle snake to fend off the advances of the Jehovahs Witnesses. In “A Cartoon Animals’ Guide to Free Thinking” a group of cuddly cartoon creatures go on a scientific voyage into atheism.



A Single Day

by Peter Black

A single day shown from the perspective of family members as they approach their breaking point

A story generally has adventure or mystery or at least spans weeks to build characters and events, but that is unlike life.

‘A Single Day’ takes place over twenty four hours as a Husband, Wife, young son; his older brother and once close friend live their lives, dealing with emotions, desires, and events that have been building for years, but still have not reached their climax and eventual fall.



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