My Favorite Stories on HubPages -mckbirdbks

This is the second in a series of short story reviews of stories that are here on Hub Pages. I am only reviewing the hubs that are currently published. I can't put these in order of liking them as it would be too hard. I am just writing them as they come to mind. No one should feel offended for not being at the top of my list. I just love to read stories and let my imagination soar.

Mike has won the Best Fiction writer award for 2012 on HubPages. Congratulations Mike, I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. Your hubs are a warm reflection of you.

Photo courtesy of Mockingbird Books
Photo courtesy of Mockingbird Books | Source

Emerald Wells Cafe

mckbirdbks has a series that he has called Emerald Wells Cafe. This is a beautiful story of a 1950's cafe and the people who work there, eat there and visit there. It is a warm and welcoming place due to the wonderful character Em, short for Emerald Wells. It is her name, not just the name of a place. The happenings in this series are common small town things. Mike presents them in a beautiful format with music, videos, pictures and references to famous people who were around at the time.

The series has gone through many things in the life of a small town. Public Trick or Treating, Thanksgiving parties, falling in love, romance, weddings, and now a pregnant bride. He writes a Speakeasy night hub about every month with poems from each of the characters, each with the personality of the character showing. This is not a one or two day hub to write. It is intensive work to get this out. Mike does detailed research and makes sure that all of the things that happen, the characters, the actions, and the music are period correct. This makes it feel like you have stepped back in time to a simpler time.

The warmth comes from Mike as well. The visitors to the Cafe order coffee, food and talk about our lives. We all gather there and Mike is our encourager. He helps us figure out formatting problems so we have computer class in the comments of the hub. He ends up with comment sections 500 comments long. We all enjoy the camaraderie and friendships we have made there. We feel a sense of community while we visit with Mike and the others.

mckbirdbks planned to write just the first three but was convinced by another hubber to continue the series. He has a hit on his hands and has written 31 episodes now. He is always at the top of the list for fiction. This series is hot. Check it out and you will not be disappointed.


Published by Mike, mckbrdbks

Congratulations Mike, on publishing your first eBook, Murder Once Done. It is available on Amazon for those who would like to get it.

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Once-Done-ebook/dp/B00D3RUP1G/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369965025&sr=1-2&keywords=Murder+Once+Done

This is a short story set in Mexico in the days after selling out of the United states to a foreign power. Follow Paul Maddock as he flees the country.

Mike has written about the younger years of the characters in the Emerald Wells cafe stories. He calls them Emerald Wells Cafe Stories: Pear Blossom Lane. They are even more evocative of the time and start out with one of the characters telling a story of when they were growing up. These tell how they all came to be such good friends. They also found some letters written by a WWII airman that they are reading one at a time. http://mckbirdbks.hubpages.com/hub/Emerald-Wells-Cafe-Stories-Pear-Blossom-Lane-Gabby

Quinn Moosebroker Mysteries

Mike has written a beautiful series of mysteries featuring a retired detective and his girlfriend Betty. They are wonderful stories and very good mysteries. He has published them and they are available on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Quinn-Moosebroker-Mysteries-Michael-Friedman-ebook/dp/B00R1G2JXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457508850&sr=1-1&keywords=quinn+moosebroker

The Carriage Driver

These stories are stand alone short stories with a common theme and set of characters. Nuelle and the carriage driver. They are uplifting and beautiful stories. They are also published and available on Amazon. He is also writing a sequel to this story on HubPages.

http://www.amazon.com/Carriage-Driver-Michael-Friedman/dp/0986011452/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457508850&sr=1-2&keywords=quinn+moosebroker

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Comments 62 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Becky thank you so much for highlighting the Cafe. The patrons have made all the difference in this series. The comment section quite often is as entertaining as the hub itself. Your gracious promotion is appreciated.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Mike, I am glad you are happy with it. I agree with you, sometimes the comments are better but you set the whole scene by being so warm and welcoming to all of your visitors. Thank you for coming by to visit.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This reminds me of shows such as Cheers and Mel's Diner. A place to go where everyone knows all about you and where you feel comfortable sharing. These type of stories always draw interest. Thanks for sharing.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I do love the Emerald Wells series and am a regular there myself. Everyone come join us for coffee.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

teaches12345, This is like that. The comments section is just as much fun as the hub itself. It reminds me of Happy Days with the era and everyone who visits is so friendly. No snarky remarks ever. Thank you for coming by to visit.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi Hyphen, so good to see you here. I know you love this series. I believe you are the one that convinced Mike to continue it. I so appreciate you coming to visit.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I love our little Emerald Wells Cafe. We all meet there, eat, play the juke box, party, dance, just have a ball. I hope it continues forever. Thank you Mike.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Yes always, Thank you Mike.


Loi-Renee profile image

Loi-Renee 4 years ago from Jamaica

Part two is just as good as part one Becky. Thank you for introducing this story to us. It sound interesting.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I hope you will keep up with this series. I am going to keep writing them until I can't find any more stories on here. I am really good at finding good stories. They will not all be series either. I am going to get to WillStarr and his westerns. They are very good also.


Loi-Renee profile image

Loi-Renee 4 years ago from Jamaica

I don't think we can ever run out of stories here Becky. Looking forward to the next one.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I don't think we will either. I already have part of the third written but I am changing the format a little. I am going to do two or three to a hub. They may be a little further apart also. I want to make them a little longer and include some short stories.


Loi-Renee profile image

Loi-Renee 4 years ago from Jamaica

I decided to put five short strories in each of mine and publish two parts a week or once a week depending on the time I have.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Thanks, Becky, for this interesting introduction to Mike and the Emerald Wells Series. Will check it out. I'll tell him you sent me!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

wow.. this is so interesting I am working on a hub right now about a quaint Italian restaurant here in town.. how amazing it is.. I love this. I have to check it out

vote up

Debbie


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Loi-Renee, I do not know how many I will put in yet but one just isn't enough. I will watch for yours.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

drbj, you will love the ambiance of the Cafe. We all enjoy it so much. Thank you for coming by to visit.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Deborah, I love these little small town cafe's and Mike's is so real from a different time. You will love the atmosphere. Thank you for coming by to visit.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

You have done a great job once again Becky

Emerald Wells Cafe is the 'IN' place to visit. Always a warm welcome and good company


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Thank you Rosemary. Did I get the atmosphere right or what? Warm and welcoming, where we can all be friends. I love that it is always open for us and we can usually find someone there to talk to us. I am glad you approve and so gload that you came by to visit.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Becky,

I am admittedly addicted to the Cafe. I cannot think of many things that I need to do on a daily basis! It is such a wonderful feeling to visit my friends every day for a cheese danish and coffee and some kindness.

I make daily long-winded comments once daily so I guess this comment will be no different (LOL)!

I stay away from the Forum because I feel sad when I read or sense negativity. I have NEVER EVER felt negativity at the Cafe. I feel warm and cozy, in fact.

Becky, thank you for reminding us what often gets lost in our day to day comments, in your title. This really is one of my favorite "stories" to actively follow. Mike is one of the best writers on HubPages and every month the characters reveal a little more through prose or poetry. I look forward to new characters as I would welcome new members to a family. You made a wonderful selection to showcase.

Voted UP & UABI. Hugs, mar.


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Dear Becky,

What a wonderful hub highlighting and honoring our wonderful friend Mike and his terrific cafe. I am like you it is a place to just hang out, develop long lasting friendships..no agendas..just to enjoy the atmosphere of friendship and down home goodness. Mike is the perfect host forever the great listener, and encourager. In my book there is no one who deserves more credit for being the most supportive on hubs..surely there must be an award somewhere! Mar is right there is never any negativity at the cafe...I love that..of course Mike would give them the boot I am sure as he is a fierce defender too...No to mention his wonderful writing..the stories and poems of the cafe take us back in time. We can forget our woes and enjoy the antics of all his colorful characters. Mike is more than just a host but a gifted writer..who many times is in the shadows...

Lots of love,

Sunnie


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Great reviews Becky.

The Frog


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

mar, we are all addicted to the Cafe. The daily visits make me feel like things are right and good in this world again. I know exactly how you feel. I thank you for coming by to visit. Hugs back, Becky.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Sunnie, the best part of the Cafe is the wonderful, warm friendships that we have all made. I count you as one of my friends now and it is all through the magic of the Cafe. Thank you for coming by to visit me. Hugs


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Frog, I just have to let everyone know of the wonderful stories available out there on hubpages. Reading is a passion for me and I just love to find a good story. I thank you for coming by to visit.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

You are One of a Kind Becky, as was this Wonderful Hub... and who deserved to be Highlighted, but our own Fun Guy, and writer, and Fellow Hubber... Mckbirdbks!

Fun Read.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi b. malin, one of a kind, huh? I am glad that you like this. I finally figured out what I know, and that is good stories. They tell you to write what you are passionate about so I guess I have that right. This story deserves to be given a good review. Mike writes a wonderful story and puts a lot of work into it. I thank you for coming by to visit.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Thank you Becky for an excellent recommendation for this fabulous series and for our own very special hubber, gifted writer and valued friend Mike.

The cafe is a wonderful place to hang out and meet our friends, we are always guaranteed a warm welcome and excellent coffee - we'd be lost without it for sure!

Best wishes Lesley


penofone profile image

penofone 4 years ago

What a wonderful life for these individual people in these really quaint places of conglemeration...

Love it!

Anish


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Lesley, so nice of you to come by and leave this wonderful comment. We all enjoy the Cafe so much. Thank you so much for coming to visit.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

penofone, I am so happy to introduce someone to the wonderful fiction on hubpages. This story has gained a life of it's own. Come by and visit and you will see what I mean. I so appreciate you coming by to visit today.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Mike has the most charming and interactive series I've ever read and HubPages is very fortunate to have him as a writer and member. At 31 chapters he's finished his first season going by the tv shows and all look forward to the second season with the folks at the Emerald Cafe!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Alastar, This series is the best, isn't it? It is as timeless as Happy Days. That is what this series reminds me of. A second and third year would be good. Thank you for coming by to visit and leaving the wonderful comment.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Mike is such a talented author and The Emerald Cafe Series is fun to read, including the comments.

The other great thing about Mike is his warm online personality that makes every commenter feel welcome and his ongoing support and encouragement of so many other hubbers.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Mike is such a wonderful personality and so supporting of his commenters. I believe that this is responsible for the success of this series. His writing is superb but his warmth with everyone is wonderful. He makes us all feel so welcome. Thank you for coming by to visit. I need to send a copy of all the comments on these hubs to the writers. It will make them feel so loved.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

That sounds like a wonderful idea and so very thoughtful.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Every small town in America has an Emerald Wells Cafe, which is why Mike's serial is so outstanding!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I just thought of that but will definitely add that to my list of things to do.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Yes, Will, the small towns still have them but so many of us do not live close enough to them to partake. Thank you for visiting.


Ghost32 4 years ago

Interesting. Just (for the first time) checked out Emerald Wells Cafe. Felt like Norman Rockwell art, only in prose form.

Voted Up and Fantabulous.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Thank you for the encouragement. I do find good fiction. Loved the Fantabulous. Thanks for visiting.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Great write up of our mutual friend Mckbirdbks. He never fails to make me feel welcome. What a treat. And the company that surrounds the stories are a blast. Thanks Becky, for highlighting the master of ceremonies of Emerald Wells Cafe. I am honored to be a customer there.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Peg, This may be one of the most visited hubs around. Mike makes it so welcoming and he is so helpful whenever any of us have a problem with formatting our hubs. These are always on the hot list for books. They usually are right up at the top. I love visiting there. Thanks for coming by to visit.


girltalksshop 4 years ago

I love the stories surrounding the cafe. : ) He makes you feel as if you are a part of their community...somewhat like Jan Karon and her Mitford Series. Voted up, of course.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I do not know of Jan Karon, a hubber? I think we all love his wonderful series. They are such feel good reminiscences of times gone by. We all can feel safe and at home there and his wonderful hosting presence is so warm and patient with us all. I am so glad that you came by to visit.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

Hello Becky and sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 11:39pm - thank you for your legendary support and kindness and yes Mike lets me have free coffee at his cafe and his hub series as you have written of here is legendary too - but I would say that it's because of nice people like you that HUBPAGES is an awesome place to be.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

epigramman, I really appreciate you coming by to comment on this hub. Mike is one of the warmest, kindest men that I have found on hubpages. His hospitality at the Cafe is responsible for it's success. His writing is superb and as you say legendary.

I find it incomprehensible and reprehensible that a site should be allowed to post other people's work on it without their permission. The poetry and stories that have been stolen even have the names and copyright data on them. I cannot see how those people think they are going to get away with it. Sunnie Day has had one stolen also.

I looked at many sites before I found hubpages and found them all lacking something that they have here. They seem to have managed to keep out the riffraff. This site is just full of wonderful, kind people who actually have manners and class. I hope we can keep it this way. Thank you for coming by to visit.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 4 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Story sounds interesting will check it out when i get sometime.

Thanks for sharing ;)

God bless you


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Lady Fiddler, This is a very good story and the comment section is just as good. Some of us hang out and talk back and forth on there. It is a wonderful gathering spot for us. I thank you for coming by to visit.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Becky. I happen to see this and revisited. I see you updated it to include Pear Blossom Lane. Thank you very much for your support.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi Mike, I always try to update these to include the newer things y'all write. I am glad you like it. You support everyone else, it is the least we can do for you, my friend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Becky. Your hub was highlighted on my reissue of Em's story of being kidnapped so I stopped by to refresh my memory. Thanks again for this acknowledgement. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Oh, and Em was not pregnant at the wedding. Harold was anxious to start a family with Em, hence the swingwset out back.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi mck, good to see you out running around. I spent my day at the VA and just got home. Dennis and I are beat.

Of course, Em was not pregnant. That is a ridiculous thought. I really appreciate you coming by to visit.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Glad you are home safe. Now you can get some rest.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Yeah Mike, I switched to my soft fuzzy slippers and sitting here seeing what's going on. I am heartbroken, my Kindle got broken today. How am I going to read without it? I can't even hold a book, without it starting to hurt. Dennis said he'll get me another one as soon as he can, but it could take a couple of months.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Becky - that is terrible news. Any chance it is under warranty? I hope the situation resolves itself quickly. In the mean time, download the Kindle APP to your computer to help with your continued reading.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I have had it for too many years now, for it to be under warranty. I have the Kindle app on my laptop, but I can't take it every place I go. I can transfer the books to my computer too, but it isn't a tiny laptop that will fit in my tiny purse. I found some on e-bay auctions last night that I might be able to afford. Going to see what we can do on that.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hi Becky - there are a lot of treasures to be found on eBay. So good luck finding a well priced eReader to purchase. There are so many types of Kindles these days. I do understand the convenience of the device. I take it you lose your library when the Kindle breaks?


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

No, the screen broke, and I can still download all of them to my computer, I just can't take them with me. The laptop weighs more than most of the books I still have. Those both cause pain in my hands from the weight, so I don't go there if I don't have to.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Well it is good to know that you do not loss the library. I have often wondered if that was the case. Any chance installing a new screen would be less than acquiring a new one? (Not likely)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I took it over to my shop on the way home. He said it would cost $30, just for the screen. Then he would have to charge labor. He showed me online where I could get a used one for less than that. That is why I like this shop, he tells me the truth. I will have to shop around a little bit for one now, when I get the money for it. You can also redownload your library from the sites you got them, if you remember what and where that was. They do keep the records, so you can do that.

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