Sunday Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike And A Bonanza of Book Promo.

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Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: perfect

A Bonanza of Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com.  One book per week. Amazon links only.*

STEPHANIE OSBORN: Trojan Horse (Division One Book 5)

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After returning the healer Doron to his homeworld of Edeptis, Echo takes Omega on a training run to make her a Pan-Galactic Coalition-certified starship pilot–celestial navigation, extra-vehicular activity, emergency repair, planetary surveys, you name it. And he secretly delights in seeing Omega’s joy at finally fulfilling a childhood dream.

But when the Cortians show on the scene, intending to take Alpha One into custody for crimes against the Cortian Amalgam, the resulting space dogfight severely damages the Trojan Horse, causing it to crash on a primitive protoplanet. Both Echo and Omega are badly injured, and it will take both of them working together to survive in the wreckage, while more Cortian vessels search for them overhead, and Fox and the rest of Alpha Line try to fight their way through to rescue their friends and colleagues.

KAREN MEYERS: The Chained Adept Bundle (Books 1-2): A Lost Wizard’s Tale.

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The Chained Adept – Book 1 of The Chained Adept

A STRONG WIZARD WITH UNANSWERED QUESTIONS AND A CHAIN AROUND HER NECK.

Penrys’s past is unknown, but she’s got a better grip on her future: find out where she came from, discover what happened to her, and figure out how the unremovable chain around her neck makes her different from other wizards.

What any of this has to do with the renewal of an ugly war between neighboring countries, half a world away, is just something she’ll have to sort out, along with the rumors of wizards where they don’t belong.

Assuming, of course, that no one removes her as a threat before she can find her footing.

All she wants is a firm foundation for the rest of her life, with a side helping of retribution, and if she has to fix things along the way, well, so be it.

Mistress of Animals – Book 2 of The Chained Adept

AN ERRANT CHILD WITH DISASTROUS POWERS AND NO ONE TO STAND IN HER WAY.

Penrys, the wizard with a chain and an unknown past, is drafted to find out what has happened to an entire clan of the nomadic Zannib. Nothing but their empty tents remain, abandoned on the autumn steppe with their herds.

This wasn’t a detour she’d planned on making, but there’s little choice. Winter is coming, and hundreds are missing.

The locals don’t trust her, but that’s nothing new. The question is, can she trust herself, when she discovers what her life might have been? Assuming, of course, that the price of so many dead was worth paying for it.

WARD WAGHERAccidental Nazi.

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A misguided time travel experiment in the twenty-fifth century fans out to impact hundreds of parallel universes. The effects varied widely and influenced billions of individuals. It most directly affected people who appear to be at the precise inflection point to jump them into a world that was almost the same as the place where they left.

Heinrich Schloss had arrived at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport in 1982 to pick up his wife. After a brief migraine-like spasm, he opened his eyes to Tempelhof in 1941 to witness Hitler’s death in an airplane accident. A history professor who had grown up in a divided Berlin was now a party chieftain in Nazi Germany. All of those speculative conversations around the table with colleagues about what could have been changed to avoid the fall of Germany now had immediacy.

The Schloss of this parallel world had replaced Martin Bormann to assume his role of party leader. The transplant now had to make himself into the alternate Schloss and interact with the murderous Nazis who surrounded Hitler. Schloss discovers the perils of simply trying to do the right thing.

J.D.BECKWITH: eConscience Beta

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Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.

LEROY NICHOLS: The End Begins: A Square Root of Time Novel.

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Josanin the Heartless just wanted to conquer the world, not save it.

Josanin has been an ambitious schemer all his life—a calculating wizard who has matched wits with countless heroes over the years. Dwarves, humans, halflings and elfin folk have all borne the brunt of Josanin’s desire for power. But an accidental discovery reveals that the Free Folk are the least of his worries. A terrifying legend out of antiquity, Alimnazer the Hearteater, is real and about to unleash total annihilation on the world. Much to his consternation, Josanin must play the hero for a change.

Josanin may be the chosen one, but he can’t stop an evil of such magnitude alone. To succeed, he’ll need the help of his most resilient foes, the fire paladin Prince Wilelm, his equally fiery wife, Princess Ambre, and all the champions with whom they’ve surrounded themselves. Unfortunately for him, these battle-tested heroes will never believe a word their old enemy Josanin says, much less volunteer to help.

Against such impossible odds, only a truly heartless manipulator like Josanin has the evil cunning to bend the champions to his will and set up a final battle that gives the world a sliver of hope against a would-be god.

PAM UPHOFFDancer (Wine of the Gods Book 15).

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*Fifteenth Book* In the Wine of the Gods Universe
Rael Withione was once one of the elite, a presidential guard.
After the assassination attempt, she has a long recovery ahead.
Investigating her brother-in-law’s murder was not part of her scheduled physical therapy.

91 responses to “Sunday Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike And A Bonanza of Book Promo.

  1. Might the Square Root of Time need a link?

  2. BobtheRegisterredFool

    “Why are you doing this, Selena?” asked Batman. “Haven’t you heard, Bruce? The Purr-fect is the enemy of the good.”

  3. The elegantly dressed man gestured to a passing waitress as he looked over the baccarat table.

    “Double dirty perfect martini, shaken, not stirred.”

    The waitress smiled instead of giving him the eyeroll and headshake she wanted to. This schlub though he could out-Bond Bond.

  4. I now have bundles for both my fantasy series (first 2 books, last 2 books, all books) at ever greater savings — the all-books bundles are half the price of the books bought separately. Check out the series names: The Chained Adept, or The Hounds of Annwn at your favorite retailers.

    I can always tell when a promo runs on Sarah’s site — you folks are highly visible in the daily tracking. Thanks!

    Working on my new fantasy series now: The Affinities of Magic. Cover reveal for book 1 here: https://hollowlands.com/2018/01/cover-reveal-structures-of-earth/

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “She’s perfect”.

    Andrew looked over at his protege Billy thinking that for all Billy’s trollish appearance he looked like a boy in love.

    “Billy, I think you’re in love. So what are you going to do about it”.

    “Well, after we took in the Rogues she gave me her personal phone number”.

    “Billy since we’re talking about Elizabeth Mind-Maiden, remember she’s a telepath so she knows your opinion of her.”

    “Oh, OH!!!”

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Their love affair was a somewhat bumpy affair but they are happily married with children. 🙂

        • Well, one source of arguments is eliminated:

          “Don’t you know what you did(n’t) do?”
          “No.”
          “Oh… right.”

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            After they got married there was an interesting result of their “first night”.

            Somehow, they have a mental link so he knows what’s bothering her and has some idea of what to do or not to do about it. 😉

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Of course, just think about what it means to be their children. While Mom is the mind-reader, both her and Dad have “far sight” (seeing things at a distance).

          When they get in some sort of trouble, they better be honest with Mom & Dad because Mom & Dad may already know about it. 😈

    • I don’t care how good the love is I would not be with someone who knew what I was thinking. I get mad and I think mean.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Nod, there’s something to that idea.

        Of course, the Mind-Readers of this universe tend to “shut out the sound” of people’s thoughts.

        In this case, Elizabeth felt his emotions and decided that she wanted to get to know Billy better (by means other than just reading Billy’s mind).

      • I think I would be confusing to a mind-reader. When I get angry, it’s pretty much just anger. No words, no visuals. Once in a while, I start thinking about what I would do if I were going to fight them, but by then, the rage is so high, actual thoughts might not even register to them.

  6. Christopher M. Chupik

    In a perfect world, Thrust Carson would have had a jetpack, a ray gun and a space babe in a brass brassiere. Alas, it was not a perfect world, and he had to make do with his Segway, a Taser and the girl he met at speed-dating last week.

  7. He strode into the bar and grabbed a stool in front of the taps. Perfect, he was the first to arrive. He held up one finger to the bartender and shortly his usual pint was placed in front of him. He grabbed it and turned sideways to watch the door.
    ** Bang on 50 no editing!**

  8. Semi-inspired by Christopher M. Chupik’s vignette:

    Oscar mused it wasn’t perfect world. His jets were on a pressure-washer, his laser gun was an inventory control device, and the gal… best not to dwell on that. The only things ever perfect were his drinks, if he wanted the two vermouths mixed – which generally he did not.

  9. “Please enter the code:”

    Ashley had only one clue: the Countess’s statement that everything had to be perfect. She reached for the “6,” then hesitated. It couldn’t be that easy. She thought for a moment and entered “28.”

    The door swung open. “Perfect number for the win,” she muttered triumphantly.

  10. Ralph the Coyote pulled a lever. The large oval labeled ‘time portal’ shimmered to read ‘Meadow: 2 Hours Ago’.
    “It’s perfect!”
    He pulled a sheep through.
    Behind him a portal reading ‘Lab: 1 Hour From Now’ opened.
    Sam the Sheep Dog took the sheep and socked him in the head.

  11. For a moment, that made no sense.
    Then, Solange smiled.
    “You monsters,” snarled her mother. “Interfering when everything was perfect.” She whirled on Solange. “I won’t have it. You will never set foot in my house again. Brat.”
    The neighbor looked surprised, but she spoke eeasily enough, “Come here, Solange,”

    • Silly mother, with her anti-monster bias.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Nah, just an idiot who defines “monsters” as “anybody who disagrees with her” and/or “anybody who interferes in her affairs”. 😉

        • Oh, so we’re ALL monsters now?
          That bar, it gets lower and lower all the time.
          Why, I hear they might even be letting humans in on that gig! Imagine!

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Idiots like that don’t get to “create definitions that others have to follow”.

            Of course, my definition of “monster” includes “any speaking being that tries to eat other speaking beings”.

            On the other hand, any being speaking or not that tries to eat me gets destroyed. 😀

          • Have you seen some of the comment threads (I think from Reddit, but not sure), asking “What if we get into interstellar space and find that Humans are actually one of the toughest species in the universe, rather than the wimpiest”?

            • I believe David Weber already wrote that book: the Excalibur Alternative.

              For that matter, so did John Ringo with the Posleen. And Troy Rising.

              And David Brin, sort of, in the Uplift series.

              • Haven’t read the Weber one, but the others depend on which version of the suggestion you’re talking about. Certainly the one where humans are the crazy ones who will do anything fit those, but I’m talking about physically being the most badass. Things like, “Watch out for those humans, they regularly ingest poison for fun! and some of them can keep fighting even after losing a limb! Many physically fit humans can run for over 20 miles without stopping!…”

            • I remember one on a different blog. . .

              My contribution was approximately:

              Humans form groups like wasps, only enormously larger. Humans have been known to risk their lives for another human being without knowing of even a single blood connection between them. The combination of these allow humans to create “armies” and “navies” which can utterly trample any kinship group.

        • you’re not far wrong. In this case, it has added implications of magic, but that’s because of her circumstances

  12. The sstudent grammarian sighed. He knew he’d messed up that interview. He’d been too tense. It was definitely going to be future imperfect.

  13. Ron broke the seal, unrolling the scroll. Glancing over it he wailed, “Oh no! This coming year I’m being allowed NO mistakes!”

    “Let me see that,” said Harry, snatching the scroll away and reading it carefully.

    “Ron, you dyslexic ditz, it says that you’re to be the Fourth Form Prefect!”

  14. I could almost cry watching it. Genevieve’s form was perfect and I understood, like a NFL replay film in extremely slow motion with color commentary, exactly what she had done.

    Her form was beautiful, the blow coming from the ball of her left foot, flowing up her leg, right up her spine, through her shoulders, and down her arms into the sword, as it came down like an executioner’s axe. The grip was a precise two handed grip that ensured that her right hand was used for the power of the stroke and the left hand was used to aim precisely. She had driven the blade right between the humerus above and the radius and ulna below, cutting perfectly through the humeral trochea with only the sides of the blade touching the bone itself. The position of the blade was as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel-just far enough from the tip to ensure that the thickest part of the blade was doing the cutting, far enough from her hands to get the maximum leverage and speed. Her opponent’s arm was in the exact position she needed-just extended far enough to ensure that it was fully exposed, but not so extended that the stretched muscle and cartilage would act as armor for the limb. And her blow was just enough to cut through the arm without causing the blade to go through and hit the ground, or lose enough control to allow herself to recover swiftly into a mid-guard position with the blade ready to handle the next attacker.

    Her opponent, on the other hand, was literally short a hand. And an arm, and he stumbled over his feet screaming as his right arm fell to the floor and he tried to staunch the bleeding with his left.

  15. I left Donnerburg by train, one step ahead of my enemies. They would undoubtedly telegraph ahead; there could be no safety in Blitzenstadt. But in between the train would make a five-minute water stop, and there my faithful Leopold waited with a carriage to take me across the frontier. Alas, I shared the compartment with a perfect bore, who discoursed endlessly on the most trivial subjects. I feigned sleep to escape him; but alas, the feigned sleep became real. I awoke to find myself in captivity.

  16. The plane settled, wheels reaching for the runway. Slowing, the tail dropping, and then the first, faintest kiss of grass blades against rubber, followed by the growing rumble as the plane’s weight transferred to the ground from the wings. The instructor looked at me and said, “That’s just about perfect!”

  17. Hans looked at the perfect blade. He recalled the hours spent from striking the sliver from the flint core, chipping it into rough form, and then laboriously grinding it smooth to a glassy sharpness that exceeded anything else. And once enspelled, it would be even more durable than any metal.

  18. Her body language conveyed it. After all, if you were looking for the uniform she wasn’t wearing it. He had on comfortable flats. The capris and blouse could have come straight off Mary Tyler Moore back in the sixties.

    But the stance and the fierce eyes communicated dominance perfectly.

  19. Sometimes 50 words or less is rough.

  20. Pingback: Sunday Vignette – Herbert Nowell

  21. Perfect? I don’t DO “Perfect”. Though I have to admit my Sloppy Joes come close enough to be big sellers. Buy two, and you get a dozen napkins.

  22. The lathe hummed softly as Jenny honed her gouge for just one more pass. Madrone burl was such a beautiful wood to turn, and this small thin-walled bowl with its incurving undercut rim promised to be one of her best pieces to date.

    Carefully she lined up the gouge and started down the inside wall. So slowly, so smoothly – then came the tell-tale “bzzzzzzzt” of too-thin wood and the whole rim broke off and rotated gently around the gouge handle.

    Fighting tears, Jenny swore as she switched off the lathe. There was no one to blame but her own conceit in trying for the 1/16” thick wall instead of stopping at the very impressive 3/32”. How many times had she been told by other turners, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

  23. I.A. Diamond had not realized that they had managed it, but he and Billy Wilder had done so.  The whole of it worked, from start to finish, from the script to the final production, there was little denying that the film culminated with a splendid line delightfully delivered.

    ‘Nobody’s perfect.’  

  24. “The Council appointed you Perfect? Have they met you?”
    “Not Perfect: Prefect. Of the NorCal Prefecture.”
    “What in the world Do you want with that wretched hive of scum and villany?”
    “Hey, it could be worse – I heard I was also up for SoCal.”
    “Oh my… I didn’t know you had enemies that hated you that much. Have another beer on me, Prefect.”

  25. One lazy winter day, during lunch, they discussed politics, religion, and current events, and no one had an eye poked out with a fork. After lunch, they strolled silently along the waterfront, arm in arm, and found a perfect bench, a warm breeze and a close-up view of the regatta.

  26. Ronald knelt by the door to the gymnasium, carefully placing the last of the dominoes. With the last one set, he stood. “Perfect!” he breathed, just as someone barged through the door, ignoring the “keep out” sign, and started the chain reaction that wasn’t supposed to happen until that evening.

  27. Don’t you remember? January thaw; we in our shirtsleeves, tramping through melting snow. You giggling as I rescued you from that icy ditch. Shivering home, watching old movies and sipping cocoa in our bathrobes. Maybe you can’t hear me, but I wanted you to know: it was a perfect day.

  28. Coming in a little late because I was selling at a convention this past weekend, but I wanted to get something in:

    As the private L train of the Heir to Cody rattled down the tracks past the Embassy Row station, Yanchi Siloan cast an uneasy look at the Maroan embassy. “Just how safe are we?”

    Ligonier Rafferty considered his answer for a moment. “I won’t lie to you and say that you’re perfectly safe. Nothing’s perfectly safe, not in this vale of tears. But here in Codyland you are under my protection. Gorlath’s people will not get their hands on you, not if I have anything to say about it.”