Book Promo by Sarah & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike


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 author per week. Amazon links only.


ELLIE FERGUSON: Light Magic. (This is Amanda S. Green’s pen name, btw.)


When Meg Sheridan arrived in Mossy Creek, Texas, she had one goal in mind: to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. Now, less than a month after burying her mother, all Meg knows about the town is that it has always been a haven for the Others, even before they made their existence known to the world. As an Other herself, that should reassure Meg. Instead, it raises more questions than it answers. More than that, she has one very large problem. She doesn’t know why her mother wanted her to come to Mossy Creek. Worse, she soon learns not everyone is willing to welcome her with open arms.

Faced with the daunting task of discovering not only why her mother sent her to Mossy Creek but also with uncovering why her mother fled there years before, Meg is determined to find the truth. Along the way, she discovers something else. Even in death, her mother is looking out for her – if Meg will let her.

And if she will accept the friendship and love of those who knew her mother all those years ago.

But danger awaits her as well. Secrets decades old and resentments going back generations seethe just below the surface. Do those secrets have anything to do with why Meg’s mother wanted her to come to town? Will discovering them help her understand why her mother fled Mossy Creek so long ago?

Or will they lead to something much more sinister. . . and deadly?


FROM ALLENE R. LOWREY:   Einarr Stigandersen and the Jotunhall.


Once upon a time, Stigander Raenson had been heir to a thanedom. Then a curse drove him and his family and crew out of their home. Dispossessed, the crew of the Vidofnir wanders the cold seas in search of treasure, glory, and a way to end the curse.

Einarr, son of Stigander, lives a vagabond’s life on the Vidofnir, never giving much thought to the home he barely remembers. That is, until an unexpected squall and the attack of a demon-headed ship send them to winter at the Hall of his father’s childhood friend.

Now Einarr has just a single season to convince the Jarl that he would be a worthy match for the Lady Runa, the Jarl’s only child. Will he return in one piece, or will the Jarl’s impossible quest be Einarr’s undoing?

PAM UPHOFF: Nowhere Man.


A Novella in the Wine of the Gods Series.

Fleeing the aftermath of heroism, Eldon Denison skids into a new Parallel Earth, into a cute chick’s car, and right into new trouble. The life of a multidimensional criminal certainly gets him into some interesting places!

NATHAN BISSONETTE:  Walking to Wisconsin.


If the electricity went off and never came back on, life would change dramatically. What would it be like living afterwards, struggling to survive, remembering life as it was before?

What would you tell your children?

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: reproduce

45 thoughts on “Book Promo by Sarah & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. Malcolm waved the wand again, muttering his incantation. Still nothing. The pound of feathers remained feathery, the pound of lead remained leaden, and the third mat remained empty. He grumbled, glaring at the golden across the room. He would never be able to publish until he could reproduce his results.

      1. Meh. That was left over from when I was at 52 words … or was it when I was at 48? Whatever, remnants will linger.


  2. Reporter: “Professor, how do Ultras reproduce?”

    Professor: “The same as non-Ultras”.

    Reporter: “Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer. Actually I meant, are children of Ultras also Ultras?”

    Professor “When one of the parents is an Ultra, then over 50% of the children are Ultras and always have the same power-set of the Ultra parent. When both parents are Ultras, then the children are Ultras. However, the power set of the child might be the same as one of the parents or a combination of the parents power-sets.”

  3. The drake snoozed contentedly at the foot of his stairs, secure in the knowledge that the entry to his world was well guarded. While it was possible somebody could sneak past and climb the stair, or fly to the portal without his notice, nobody was getting past his questions tree!

    1. I thought that was some kind of weird fish on the bottom step. Loved the whole picture! Sehr kuhl!

      1. Well, there is a certain resemblance. . . you could play it as a sea serpent and have it both ways.

  4. “How do I make sure the greengrocer sees this and it’s not lost in the store email?”
    “Simple, make the subject ‘RE: produce’ and they’ll get it to the right person – and away from themselves – as fast as they can manage. Make Someone Else’s Problem work for you.”

    1. Long before the discussion of EMP here, I had the idea of a book with the working title “Sweethome” (because it came to me while Sweet Home Alamaba was going through my mind). It would tell the story of a modern Carrington event from the POV of a family trying to make it to a place were they think there would be sanctuary, and a relative to works at a utility, and what they do to restore power. It had a twist ending, which readers here could probably see coming.

      I never did it because even by then the idea of an EMP disaster was getting passee, and that show about electricity going out that came on NBC had me shelve the idea, even though the two were nothing alike. Now I’m reluctant to try it because it’s really old hat now.

      1. Why do I see a wicked witch’s candy cottage with a deadly snake, misreading Sweet Home Alamaba(sic) as a la mamba?

  5. Admittedly I have not read “Walking to Wisconsin” but the idea of the power (forever) staying off makes no sense to me. We know how to generate electricity and would work to get it back. It would take some time, but the idea of it being gone so long that the electrified past had to be explained? Much more than an EMP event would be required.

  6. The music teacher winced as the young band members produced a horrid screeching and off key sounds on their instruments. He sighed deeply and stopped conducting. The noise slowly came to a ragged halt as they all looked at him expectantly.
    “Right, we are trying to reproduce music. Not the mating call of a herd of elephants. Remember, try to breathe right and get your mouths properly set on the mouthpieces. Once more from the top.” He lifted the baton and tried not to shudder. First year music students were always the worst.

  7. “Excuse me sir, I can’t find anything in these large warehouse stores, where is garden fertilizer sold?”

    :OK, just go down this lane to aisle 27, past the produce section, take a left, go 37 more aisles, a quick right and there you will find it, in the reproduce section!”

  8. “Professor, how did our paper ever get accepted? I thought we had to show reproducable results based on independently verifiable data to get published, and I could never get your theory to run the the same way twice.”
    “Oh, that’s true as a traditional rule, Sally. But since our research paper’s conclusions supports the last several papers published by the department chair, plus our results reinforce the properly vetted consensus science published by the leading lights in our field. I knew we’d be accepted for publication, and trust me, we won’t have any troublesome ‘peer review’ issues raised on our paper. Now close down that manuscript and come back to bed like a good post-grad assistant.”

  9. “Can you reproduce it?’
    “This cathedral took the locals three hundred years to erect, by hand. It’s covered in paintings, carvings, sculptures and stained glass windows. Trees in the garden have been woven together over the decades to make living art.”
    “So,is that a no?”
    ‘Sigh’, “Give me a week.”

    1. Before you get too involved in the work, one last question. The boss wants to know if you can do it on the same budget.

  10. “Come. We won’t have to go through that again.”
    Which was technically true. The difficulty in reproducing that combination made it all but certain that neither of them would have to use that portal from that world ever again.
    Not to mention the difficulty in getting out of this world.

  11. It was not as if they hunted for things that could be easily reproduced even by the skilled craftsman, or wizard. The whole point of it was to get things of unique importance. Priceless, in fact. What was mere money next to that?
    “Money leads to carelessness,” said Wilbur, sternly.

  12. “I must say,” said the Senator, “I find the R. E. Produce factory impressive.”
    “And why not?” replied the general manager. “Here at the Rendered and Extracted Produce Corporation, we can take ordinary waste and convert it into any kind of vegetable. Food shortages will be things of the past.”
    “Tell me—” The Senator was interrupted by the shattering sound of an explosion. A moment later he and the G.M. were plastered with stinking gobs of gray paste.
    The G.M. rushed to the scene, followed by the Senator. They found a junior technician, dripping with goo, standing dazed by the wreckage of a production line.
    “Didn’t you read the manual?” screamed the G.M. “How many times do I have to say it? You went full turnip. Never go full turnip!”

  13. “Look, o most foolish of girl children, that most foolish breed.”
    She looked.
    The gray stone steps rose up a steep hill, to a portal. The book stood open with elegant lettering on one hand, and a misty forest to the other. The steps lead directly to it. To one side the gray rock was stark with a few stands of grass or vines. To the other, it was almost as steep as a wall, with a gnarled and leafless tree.
    At the bottom of the stairs spread a dragon, winged, dark brown. It was looking at them.
    “Whether you go to the right or the left,” the woman gloated, “you will fall and break your neck.”
    She walked up to the dragon. “Sir, may we climb these stairs?”
    The dragon’s breath hissed out. “As long as you get out of the sun!” it said.
    She bowed, put her hands to her brother’s waist, lifted him over the dragon, and then hopped over herself.
    Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the woman gaping, but she did not linger to look long. She took his hand and climbed. The climb was not difficult, though the mists were already cooling the sunny air outside.

  14. The director hired her to reproduce a hawk’s vocalization in its natural habitat.
    Flute tone: ghostly penetrating
    Location: Yosemite
    She arrived at Half Dome the next morning, set up the recording gear, and spat out a torrent of flute screeches.
    A hawk swooped down quietly and perched by her side.

  15. “We’ve gone over the distribution matrix for monsters with the proverbial fine-tooth comb. There were a couple of errors, but nothing that should’ve put a dracwing that early in the game. Both of us ran through that part of the storyscape with every possible combination of character race, gender and class, but everything worked fine for us.”

    “So you haven’t been able to reproduce the error.” Toni looked from one to the other of the guys the Sword of Alessara development team. “Which means there’s nothing left to do but have me go back in with the same character I was playtesting and see if I can. You two watch on the playtest console and see if we can find the code that’s causing it.”

    Toni wondered if it would be a good idea to ask Roger to link in and monitor? As a post-bio, he might be able to catch something that would slide by a biological brain, even one enhanced by an implant. On the other hand, having him in the loop increased the risk that someone would notice his presence in cyberspace and ask questions for which there could be no acceptable answer.

    1. Reminds me of the old Everquest Monk Epic bug. The devs refused to believe players complaints that the quest was broken for over 6 months. They insisted that once players reached level 50, the quest would unlock and they could complete it. Time and again the reproduced their result; but generating a brand new character, jumping him to level 50, and doing the quest. The problem was, it only worked for characters that were artificially leveled to 50; characters that leveled by playing through every level didn’t set the same flags, and could never reproduce the problem that way.

  16. “How do you write your vignettes?”

    “I compose them in a text editor, revise and proof them, then copy them to the comment box on the site.”

    “So why haven’t you posted today’s yet?”

    “Because sometimes it is harder to produce them than it is to reproduce them!”

    50. And yes, it was a struggle this time. 😉

  17. My father was conceived during a Spring Break party at Fort Lauderdale. Some basketball players from a school in Texas (or maybe Kentucky) had arrived and there was a competition to see which girl could sleep with more of them. Unfortunately, there is still controversy as to the winner.

    My mother was conceived in a hotel room, the result of her mother having met a businessman in the hotel bar and losing her virginity.

    In contrast, my conception was planned with military precision. Initial computations took into account the ideal age difference between siblings and the optimum time of year to enter the school system. Then, once a target month was identified, the precise moment of maximum fertility was calculated. My parents undertook diets and supplements to maximize cervical mucus and seminal fluid quality, and at precisely 4:23 PM the critical event occurred.

    This was typical of the following nine months and first six years of my life.

  18. “We’re completely hemmed in!” cried Nibbles. “Against a cat, the springy-thingies, and those tasty-nuggets-that-make-you-die, how will we ever survive?” Skidoo hated admitting that Nibbles had a point. However, Old Warrior remained serene.

    “We’ll do what we’ve always done,” he rasped. “Make more of us faster than they can kill us.”

    Fifty words achieved via judicious use of hyphens.

  19. I will not tell lies about President Donald Trump.
    I will not tell lies about President Donald Trump.
    I will not tell lies about President Donald Trump.
    I will not tell lies about President Donald Trump.
    I will not tell lies about President Donald Trump.
    Reproducing the Bart Simpson Effect.

  20. “How do you ensure that you have a unique organism? After all, doesn’t it have to be able to reproduce to be considered alive?”
    “We install a gene-lock on all of our products. Not only does it stop reproduction, but any cloning attempt results in complete disintegration of the genome.”

  21. “So, you’re telling me this ‘animated-corpse’ is simply alien anti-virals gone wrong?”
    “Yes, Mr. President. Some discrepancy in units of measure.”
    “Um, Bruce stepped on the delivery unit, smashing the container, and recombining all their gifts into one package. Now it’s trying to reproduce, as instructed, over 1 trillion times.”
    The President looked out over the White House lawn, where thousands of zombies were making their way through the fence, through the Secret Service and through the staff, converting all living humans they encountered.
    The last President of the United States uttered the final words ever to be spoken by a holder of that office: “Fracking Bruce!”

  22. I finally got the steps down to something reasonable, then filled out the form and sent it off to programming.

    1) Enter cave at 45, 28.
    2) Exit cave.
    3) Kill herd of deer, wait 2 minutes.

    Expected behavior: Deer will respawn.
    Bug: Respawn does not occur.

    It was sent back minutes later, marked “Cannot reproduce.”

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