Bookness by Sarah and 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.-SAH*

FROM ALMA BOYKIN: Familiar Tales


Smiley Lorraine: Wolverine. Rosie Jones: 100-lb. Skunk. Morgana Lorraine: Witch with Editorial Problems.

Welcome to a world where Familiars choose magic workers, and a few others, as their partners. A world of adventure, tax-deductions, bad publisher tricks, and odd veterinary clinics, where wolverines wear glasses and iguanas sing along with the radio—badly—while casting spells and keeping their chosen humans out of mischief.

Or try to.

(Five short-stories.)


FROM ALMA BOYKIN:  Strangely Familiar



When a goth-gal gets a Familiar, everything changes.

Neither Jamie Macbeth nor Lelia Chan wanted Familiars. Now they have them, and Angus and Tay insist that their humans rise to the occasion. From inverted autos and giant cloven-hoof prints to attacking puzzle balls and the perils of shedding season, nothing’s quite the same once a Familiar saunters into the picture.

Especially when magic-workers start dying of unnatural causes. Or do they?

[The silly writer — what do writers know? — calls this a novella, but it’s actually a 50k word novel, not even short by indie standards.  Your gain, you get a bargain.- SAH]

FROM PAM UPHOFF:  Project Dystopia (The Directorate Book 8).


They didn’t warn him about the giant poisonous spiders.

Ebsa joins Paer on an archaeological project seeking to discover who built, and what destroyed a civilization on a cross-dimensional world just a few centuries ago. But the spider attacks were . . . not that bad.

It was when they drove to the coast to help an injured man that they discovered just how bad it could get.



When a heroine in peril disguises herself as a minstrel to escape her treacherous, wrathful brother, she finds herself on a series of unorthodox adventures that raise from lowly minstrel to king’s advisor.

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: Capricious



44 thoughts on “Bookness by Sarah and Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. Oh joy! New books from Hoyt Hoydens Alma Boykin, Pam Uphoff and Bernadette Durbin! Fine tales with which to fritter away idle moments while dawdling about or passing the days! What pleasures to be had, what grand opportunities to be grabbed! Such wonderful capricious chance that brings us such delight.

    1. Mine isn’t new, but my small press publisher finally got the ebook version up (which may be available in Kindle Unlimited, even! I think it is…) So I put up a nudge for those folk who aren’t into buying paperbacks.

    2. Isn’t that supposed to start with “Calloo! Callay!” I thought those were mandatory.

  2. “Capricious! I say!” the mobster said. “The Master has decreed things that we must not do but otherwise leaves us alone”.

    Glancing at the Ultra Agent, he continued “Mind you, his decrees make sense as they keep the authorities mainly happy”.

    “Then The Master will appear to give us orders out-of-the blue. They may make sense but we can’t predict when He’ll Show up.”

    An old gentleman appears seated in the room and says “My actions are only Capricious when you lack all the facts and lack knowledge of my plans”. Then The Master disappears from the room.

  3. Nick stood at the window staring out on the field where snow was piling up on the freshly tilled soil. He shook his head before turning to Captain Steele. “You know, I figured the weather would be unsettled for awhile after impact. I didn’t expect it to be so capricious though.”
    Steele smiled, “Just think of it as good old Canadian prairie weather.”
    Nick frowned, “Sure I could do that, if we weren’t in Southern Ontario currently.”

  4. A Cautionary Tale:
    The last woman on earth sat alone in a room.
    “The universe is not capricious” She said.
    “Pedesis or Brownian motion” she said.
    “Billions to one chance all the oxygen molecules will move to one corner of the room.”
    She said as she gasped her last breath.

  5. “He’s at a dealership, but didn’t say which one, then went like he was talking to his wife. No GPS.”

    “Replay it.”

    The message replayed as Tom walked in. Fred had, and used, quite the vocabulary.

    “He’s at Mark’s Motors out on 107.”

    “The place with all the used Chevies? How’d you get that.”


    “Damn, how’d we miss that?”

  6. Swimming through this blackness, this sea of letters — they could not last long. They could breathe, they grew neither too hot nor too cold, but a place like this was not suited for humanity.
    The first glimpse of something solid ahead had her swimming hard. She nearly cringed when it came into sight: a book portal all right, but the book was tattered and torn, a waterfall streamed from pages half way down from where it was open, and inside it was a barren wasteland. Tufts of grass and a dead tree on earth of baked clay.
    There was an automobile on it. One of the crude and early ones, from a world where it was all technology, and no magic. Better than nothing, Lenore reminded herself.

  7. “It’s the Watch Flood,” called Sven.
    Karl crouched before he even started to sheathe his sword, and he did not try to rise, however awkward it was.
    “It finally felt the curse,” he called back. “It’s been summoned.”
    “After the curse is already broken?” said Queenie. “How capricious of it.”

  8. She felt cold. She knew as well as anyone how capricious the wizard was. But no one in all the centuries of the kingdom had gotten such a thing. She can not be the first princess who preferred quiet to ruckus. Why had she gotten such mysterious keys and lantern?

  9. Nothing was more capricious than such a path.
    But they had been falling through the air. Nothing else could have saved them. She did not know if anyone could have succored them, if aware of their fall, but she did not think so.
    Except by opening another portal for them.

  10. Capricious is not the word for these animals. They are playful, reasonably intelligent and friendly. Capricious is the word for all the things that kill them suddenly beginning with falling down, then fly strike, bacterial disease, poisonous plants, predators, and fatal head butts in the middle of a friendly game.

    50 words!

    1. I thought she was talking about me there for a minute. Playful, reasonably intelligent, and friendly. Sounds like a personals ad, doesn’t it?

  11. The dark watery reflection stretched away into the distant mist, stirred here and there by slight motions underneath, all in bright sunlight. The attendant stood next to me on the manicured edge, near a cabana and several lawn chairs. We both held drinks featuring small umbrellas.

    “So this is the pool of the unborn gods. I suppose the current gods keep a pretty close watch in case one of the new ones wants to be born early?”

    The attendant – I thought of him as the poolboy of the unborn gods, but had neglected to tell him that – looked askance at me, an incredulous look on his weathered face. “Why in the many worlds would they do that? This isn’t some capricious little fantasy like those of your planet’s silly Marx fellow, where any new godling must by definition take something away from an elder god just by coming into existence, slicing the pie of great powers narrower with each birth. The gods know that the vast span of the multiverse is the original limitless pie, and if it is time for a new god, then a new god there will be, each into its own potential for power. It’s up to the godlings what they make of themselves.”

  12. A saucer with a single egg sat in front of each guest.
    ” Enjoy, ” their hostess, Rosella, said with a proud smile.

    The cracking of eggs, then horrified gasps. Tiny black and red vipers fell onto each plate.

    ” Mother! ” Dormani cried, ” You let Capricious chose the menu, didn’t you? “

  13. The Muse can be capricious. Past prompts have quickly suggested either puns or scenarios that required only fleshing out the details and refining the results. This week, after hours of cogitation, the only idea that comes to mind is that “Capricious” would be a cute name for a pet goat.

    50 (I had to at least try for brevity if not cleverness.)

  14. Leah stood at the window, gazing outside. “The weather sure is fickle. Sunny and warm in the morning, snowy in the afternoon. Capacious, you might call it.”
    “I think you mean capricious, dear.” said Fred from behind his magazine. “Capacious means having lots of room. ”
    “Well, the weather is outside and all, but why would you call it that?”
    “I didn’t,” said Fred. “You did.”
    “There you go again, confusing me! Why didn’t you use the right word the first time?”:
    “Never mind” he replied.
    Leah broke into tears. “Why do you have to be so abrasive?”
    Fred looked up. “Huh? How was I rough?”
    “There you go again! Picking on me, finding fault with everything I say!”
    “I think you mean abusive, dear, and I wasn’t.”
    “Liar!” she screamed “You’re always finding fault with me!” She ran from the room. “I’m leaving!”
    About five minutes later she ran past, carrying a suitcase. “How dare you sit there with an amused look on your face!”
    “Hardly that. Bemused is more like it.”
    “Always contradicting me!. She threw open the door, and was met by an icy gust of snow-bearing wind.
    “Ooh!” she said. “Why didn’t you tell me it was snowing? When I least expect it, you can be so romantic!”
    “Are you sure you don’t mean pedantic?”
    She dropped the suitcase and came to give him a hug. “I said what I meant. I always say what I mean.”

  15. In the dungeon, Lukas shivered. There is no justice, he thought, no reward for standing upright in the face of craven corruption. He wanted to curse the games gods played with mortals, to rail against divine caprice. But deep down, he knew the gamble he was taking, and the consequences.

      1. It would help if you would make up your mind about that link and stopped being so confusingly capricious. Or ought that be capriciously confusing?

  16. I thought “capricious” was the proper compliment to the chef after a dinner of Thor’s chariot goats: “Mmm, that was capricious!”

  17. The hyena-pack of girls all laughed again, even uglier. Was it something about the way they curled their lips back, or just the meanness in their voices?

    “I just hope this time it has a grade on it.” This was the girl who deliberately cultivated the look Kate always called sorority-slut. “Last time he handed back papers, I asked him why mine didn’t have a grade on it. He just said I shouldn’t worry and I didn’t have anything less than a B.”

    “Oh, I love it.” The blonde again, voice harsh and jeering. “Just like him waving his hand and going, ‘fine, fine’ all the time. I don’t think he actually grades papers. He just takes his pen and makes those little tick marks in the margins.”

    Sergei flinched, recalled his foster parents talking about procedures. “Do they realize that capricious grading is serious allegation?”

    “Do you want to point it out to them, or do you want me to?”

    (Yes, it’s from The Steel Breeds True. One of these days I’m going to get it rewritten and polished to go up on KDP, but my last effort bogged down, and even if I were to have renewed enthusiasm for the task, this is the sort of work that requires large blocks of time, not bits and crumbs).

  18. “Go ahead, ask her.”
    George replied, “But what if she says, no?”
    “Look George,” I reasoned with him. “If she says, no, then what have you lost? Just a snack. But if she says, yes, you’ve got it all. So what if she’s capricious? It’s only an ice cream cone.”

  19. “Smythe! For the love of God, what the hell do you think you’re doing butting your head into the other actors?”
    “But you said act like I’m Capricorn,” protested John Worthy-Smythe.
    “You half deaf moron, I said act capricious!”
    “But isn’t head-butting odd behavior too?”
    “Damn. You’ve got me there.”

  20. I got a great little bennie from Amazon for a Kindle book I bought over the weekend. It gives me credit toward another Kindle book of 1/4 what I paid for that one.

    Which was free.


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