Buy Your Mom A Book and PSA – by Sarah & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike


Buy Your Mom A Book – by Sarah

First, happy Mother’s day to all of your out there!  Second:

*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*

DAVID L. BURKHEADAlchemy of Shadows (Shadow Hunter Book 1).


I was born in the year 1215 in a small town in Westphalia As a boy, my parents apprenticed me to the famed alchemist Albertus Magnus. Under his tutelage I grew to adulthood and learned the mystical secrets of alchemy including the manufacture of the Elixir of Life. I have gone by many names through the centuries.

I was already centuries old when I encountered the creatures of darkness made manifest that I know only as Shadows. They have chased me down through the years for reasons I have never understood.

Light was the only weapon I had against these Shadows, light that could drive them back but not harm them. And so I ran. Every time the Shadows caught up with me I fled to a new identity, a new life, until inevitably they found me again. At long last, with nowhere left to run, I had to find some way to fight the Shadows, not just for myself, but for the people I had come to care about.

My name is Adrian Jaeger. This is my story



Gary Schoenfeld is hoping for an express ticket out of his lonely life, but gets more than he bargained for when he strikes up a relationship with a beautiful Russian stranger named Natalya. Things go from super to supernatural faster than you can say perestroika when she rescues him from an attack by an insect as big as he is in a Chicago alley. But not before he is stung by it. Gary is determined to find out what happened, but is also determined to let nothing get in the way of his blossoming romance with Natalya. The questions continue to pile up, though. Why are police ignoring attacks by the same creature all around Chicago? Why has Gary’s body begun to change in remarkable and disturbing ways? Why has his soon-to-be ex-wife decided to reinsert herself in his life at exactly the wrong time? To find answers, he will face down insane gypsies wielding unearthly powers, human-insect hybrids bent on his destruction and a telepathic mutt who’s equal parts philosopher and finicky eater. Gary realizes it’s not just his own life at stake. The new love of his life might just be the greatest enemy humankind has ever faced.

AMIE GIBBONSPsychic Spiral (of Death) (The SDF Paranormal Mysteries Book 5.


Karma’s a bitch, and she’s in town…

Psychic Ariana Ryder is down in Alabama for the last push of her daddy’s Senate race, and when a college staffer working on his campaign drops dead of a heart attack, it doesn’t take a psychic to smell foul play.

Karma’s in town and she has a problem, something has messed up fate in Montgomery, setting off a spiral of disaster that will kill thousands more and could bring the South to her knees if it isn’t stopped, and Karma doesn’t know what caused it. She has her own problems, so she hires Ariana and her vampires to figure it out.

With Ariana’s magic growing, the tension between her, Carvi, and Quil heating to a boil, a friend in the middle of a meltdown, not to mention an assassin after her and only days till the election, investigating this one sure ain’t gonna be easy.

And the life of more than one man she loves is on the line.

PSA- by Sarah

As the Wallaby (happy mother’s day to Mrs. Wallaby!) reminds me, I SHOULD tell you of my PJ posts.  So, if you follow those, let me link the recentish ones:

Are Extraterrestrials Democrats?

You Say You Want a Revolution

Book Plug Friday: Meet Christopher R. Nuttal

The President Is Not Your Daddy

Book Plug Friday: Meet Pam Uphoff

The Semantic Whoredom of the Left

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: beginner

40 thoughts on “Buy Your Mom A Book and PSA – by Sarah & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. Artous lay on the ground dazed and gathering what was left of his wits. He lift a shaking hand to his aching nose and felt wet liquid leaking out. Holding his hand to where he could view it he saw the red of blood. Shakily he stood up and faced his opponent, another page in training and prepared to lunge at him full of fury.
    A hand fell on his shoulder restraining him as his instructor spoke, “Easy there young lad, no need to let you young beginners to succumb to rage. Even a padded stave can kill.”

  2. When you look closely, the Universe is an obvious kludge. Physics’ Laws contain absurd loopholes, such as Dark Matter. The human body has ridiculous structural flaws, such as S-curved spines. Don’t let’s even start on the platypus.

    It may have been intelligently designed, but that designer was clearly a beginner.

    1. Actually, the S-curved spines work very well for absorbing shocks from upright walking. The poor design is in not making the shocks repairable or replaceable. God could have taken notes from the designers in Detroit. On the other hand, He’s got planned obsolescence down to a science.

  3. “What is this ‘poker’?” The horror, with its exoskeleton, had the ultimate ‘poker face’, and Jabberwock Jack, terror of card rooms throughout the Belt, saw a challenge. “A game of chance”, he replied. Hours later, he handed the keys of his ship to the being. “Beginner’s luck”, he muttered.

    1. Idiot. “What is this ‘poker'” is the biggest warning sign for a smart gambler. 👿

      1. “Hi, I’m a complete beginner at poker, I only kind of know the rules, I only sort of know what those little four-leaf clovers on some of the cards mean, and this is most definitely not a hustle.”

        1. There’s a scene in one of Weber/Ringo Prince Roger novels where some of the Marines invite Prince Roger to join in a card game and Prince Roger “wants to know what the game is about”.

          A few hands later, the Marines are grumbling about how good he is.

          Mind there may have been some grumbling about how Prince Roger hustled them. 👿

  4. Jane Grayson, called Greytitan, watched the man riding the pseudo-matter platform.

    He was flying but seem hesitant in his flight.

    After he landed on the roof of the nearest skyscraper she flew over to talk with him.

    “New at this” she asked. “I’m Jane Grayson, Greytitan.”

    “I’m Edward Marlone, formerly called Zaridza”.

    “The Master Thief?”

    “Yes, but I’m retired from that game. As a Master Thief I was very experienced but as an Ultra Agent, especially publicly flying, I’m just a beginner.”

  5. James watched the new kid start building the house. Sure, it had been raining lightly, so putting up the roof first sort of made sense; even if the youngster did arrange the thatch before putting the support beams in place to tie it to. Beginner magicians were always showing off.

  6. I can’t buy my mom anything.

    Oh and a bit of advice: whatever you do, don’t leave one (or two, in my case) of Sarah’s PJMedia stories open in browser tabs if you’re running Firefox. It ends up consuming more and more (and more) memory, as in by the time i noticed it those two tabs were consuming 4 GB apiece.

    1. I see you are a beginner in the InterWebz:
      it’s not the stories, it’s the edz.

        1. Well hell, who doesn’t need better programmers? Maybe if Firefox didn’t make synchronizing with the cultural Zeitgeist a critical job requirement they’d not have such problems.

  7. “For the last time, the words are irrelevant. You bound your soul to that of another. Do you really think you can argue legal technicalities?”

    The girl looked alarmed. The old woman sighed. Of all the beginning mages out there, she was stuck dealing with a beginner at death magic.

  8. Probably the only good thing about my circumstances? I never had the beginner mistake of learning how to put on makeup and either looking like a raccoon or a really cheap streetwalker. The first week we were in London, Charlotte had sat me down daily and we went through the whole process, step by step, and having to clean myself off if I goofed at any point.

    It took a long time, but I could easily pull off high end courtesan makeup or perfect for the club makeup and get it done very quickly, and without having to use magic at all.

    (Pro-tip-it’s like going to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice. Also, make a list of what you need to apply and how and try it out beforehand. Unless you are very desperate, always wash and clean your face first before and wash and clean your face after. And, quality does count, but be careful as sometimes “quality” is just another word for “markup.”)

  9. Dear Sarah,
    Please pretty please toss out a post here whenever you have a new one up at PJM. Otherwise, this yearning reader must cruise through that site daily looking for the Mother Lode — which is what they want us to do, of course, but falling for that old bazaar trick is a mark of the internet beginner.

  10. Just like most beginner pilots, my student in the left seat was overcontrolling. With every control movement exaggerated, she was sending us all over the sky. Luckily this practice area was well known, so I didn’t have to worry much about traffic.
    “Easy, don’t move the stick with your fist – just use your fingertips. Try another turn towards the crater wall. That’s it – a light touch. Add a bit of left rudder to get rid of that yaw. OK, now ease everything back to center. Better.”
    I glanced over and saw my student was sweating bullets in her helmet, a deep frown on her face as she concentrated on the lesson, so I decided to give her a break. “OK, my aircraft. Let me show you something called Dutch Rolls.”
    “Your aircraft. This is harder than I thought, but I like it.”
    “Yeah, it’s just as cool flying here as it was back on Earth, just with more red landscape. OK, we’re going to line the nose up on up Olympus Mons way out there and work on coordinating roll and yaw. I want you to avoid getting the attitude thrusters to fire – stay within the aerodynamic control limits. So watch how I do it – roll to the right, then compensate with rudder while rolling back to the left, and repeat. See how I’m using smooth, easy control inputs? OK, you give it a try. Your aircraft.”
    Her frown of concentration came back. “My aircraft.”

    1. No kidding about overcontrolling. The first time I flew a Zodiac light-sport aircraft, I was all over the damned sky. It wasn’t till the second day that the instructor said “You’re finally controlling the aircraft, instead of the other way around”.

      Still…I have to wonder about things like airspeeds and wing loadings on Mars to get an aircraft to fly aerodynamically.

        1. Yeah, that’s why I gave the aircraft backup attitude thrusters – they are talking about both fixed wing and rotorcraft drones for future unmanned Mars landers as more-mobile sample-retrievers and I-wonder-what’s-that-over-there camera platforms.

          This snippet actually started out on the moon, but while the “don’t overcontrol” bit would be the same, doing lunar flight instruction would be all thrusters, something akin to doing ab initio primary in helicopters here on old Earth, which at my guess could be very frustrating for all involved.

      1. Think “Gossamer Albatross” as it’s probably going to take that sort of wing loading and construction – and even so stall might be 50+kt.

  11. My kids’ mom bought herself $55 worth of new ebooks this morning, including the latest from both our esteemed Hostess, and the irrepressible Tuvia Tenenbom (how’s that for an unlikely combination?)!

    As for the vignette prompt “beginner”: I don’t write anymore, but I do feel a song coming on!

  12. I’ll note that I don’t particularly _want_ a revolution. I just expect one, and I’d rather that the proggies lose it.

    Oh, and I want tyranny – which we’ve been slowly sliding towards for at least a century, arguably two – less than I want revolution.


  13. Heh. I remember when Mary Three Names called Mrs. Hoyt a racist. Truly baffling.

  14. With the wall of the barn at least two feet closer to my windshield than I thought it could get I turned in a fury to the driver. “You said you were an expert not a beginner.”
    “I said I was an expert at my driving lessons. And I am. I know exactly what to do in the lesson. I just never did it in a real truck before.”

  15. She felt like a fool. Or worse, a rank beginner. It ought to be possible, she supposed, but she did not know. Despite hours upon hours in the library, on her lessons and on her own.
    “This way,” said the man. She followed. Leon went too, without arguing, at least.

  16. “Vince,” Lori yelled, “you cheap bastard. Knock it off. i’m Paying for top-tier liquor. This second level stuff is bad.” She stepped closer, an lowered her voice. “Look, I’m on board with the production line of common drinks. Serving 5000 a day, I get it. But you’ve always used the good stuff. That’s what keeps people coming back. So replace who ever is altering the recipe and let’s get back to making money.”
    Lori knew my weak spots, and she used that knowledge well. I tasted her G&T, and realized she was right. The beginner B-gin-eer would just have to go.

  17. Reginald Waite looked over at his younger clone-brother, sitting quietly in the far corner and pretending to study for a geology exam. Yes, Drew was listening in, no matter how he might try to put a polite face on it.

    But as long as Drew was maintaining the pretense, making an issue of it would be an even more grave breach of courtesy. Yes, he’d been up here long enough to know the finer points of lunar courtesy, and a Shep would find ways to game the system.

    Reggie suppressed a smile, recalling himself at that age. His first few weeks at Annapolis had been a real eye-opener after so many years spent skating through coursework and rules-lawyering himself out of trouble.

  18. I am a beginner. I’m not referring to lack of expertise here. Rather, I tend to start on new interests, hobbies, projects, tasks with enthusiasm and verve. Depending on the scope and novelty of the activity, I will focus on it for hours, days, even weeks, acquiring needed materials, watching tutorials, reading articles and books, designing or outlining or otherwise planning the project. I will begin work on it eagerly, and often wax eloquent to others about my latest interest.

    Then, unless it is something that can be finished reasonably quickly, like a woodturning, or a necklace, or something with a hard deadline that must be met, I inevitably lose focus, run out of energy, get stuck, get distracted, get bored. And I abandon the task. It may be a temporary hiatus of a few days or weeks. Often enough it is months or years. Too often, it is simply stored away and forgotten.

    I write these vignettes as an exercise in self-discipline. They are short enough to be completed the day the prompt is posted, tho this one is really stretching that timeline. Since last December when I started writing them, I’ve missed only one, last week. Woe is me – I could not think of anything rational and I was involved with another intensive activity that sucked brain power.

    Over the years I have begun many creative pursuits. At this point in time, the only ones that I reliably come back to are woodturning, jewelry making, and these little writing jaunts. I am a perpetual beginner who considers it a victory worth celebrating to actually finish anything. But I keep trying.

    Posted at 23:28 MST on 5/13/2018. Made it the same day!

  19. Sign seen last week outside a liquor store:
    “Mother’s Day is coming up. Why not buy Mom a bottle?

    Remember…. YOU are the reason why she drinks!”

  20. The lady with the long dark hair watched the radiant echo of a dying star fade from her beautiful eight-sided scrying mirror. With much regret, but no remorse.
    Every wise warrior knew some wounds must be cauterized, every skillful healer knew some ills might yield only to the knife or the hot iron. Shrinking from such necessity was mere cowardice.

    When the clear-sighted Frenchman had first prophesied it, she’d hoped and wished it need not come; when the need and opportunity arose, she’d whispered quietly and nudged gently to help bring his cure about. And now she’d seen his “great fire in the land of the rising sun” rise twice.

    She knew the Americans, her Americans, beginners at this deep and violent art of coaxing the collected long-cold funeral-pyre ashes of a brilliant Sun back to life, had no A-bombs left to drop.
    She could only wish them the wisdom to use what they’d learned, and trust in the integrity of her own Son of Heaven himself to carry this heavy burden the rest of the way home to its destination.
    Though between the Emperor her hammer and the foreigners her anvil, she might yet re-forge the nation back into a straight and true blade.

    Amaterasu, Lady of the Sun, leaned back against the wall of her cave, closed her eyes, and sighed. Some times like these, for all the light she’d seen come and gone by now, she felt like a beginner herself.

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