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


Sunday 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 author per week. Amazon links only.-SAH*

FROM STEPHEN LAWSON: Leaders Taste Better and Other Stories.


This volume contains all my published work from 2017: Leaders Taste Better, Moonlight One, The Death of Arthur Owsley, Game Theory, and Bullet Catch. It also contains two previously unpublished stories, and the semi-pro contest-winning story that affirmed my path as a writer, Gifted. Whether you want to laugh or brood in the shadows; whether you want hard science fiction or urban fantasy, you’ll find a story to delight you in these pages.

FROM ALMA BOYKIN:  The Scavenger’s Gift (Merchant and Empire Book 2).


Of all the gods, men fear the Scavenger the most. Wise men and women take pains to avoid His notice.

When Osbert Manns’hillda ventures into the mine called Scavenger’s Gift, the Dark One takes notice. Or does he?

Short story: 5000 words

BY TOM TINNEY:  Blood of Invidia: Maestru Series Book 1.



2017 Dragon Award Finalist.

10,000 years ago, a warrior race waged unrelenting war across our galaxy. They were the Invidians and they conquered worlds. Arrogant mortal beings, driven to fulfill their destiny and build an everlasting empire , they sought the secret to eternal life. They found it.

And then they disappeared.

Tomorrow afternoon, a Vampire battles Werewolves in the middle of Times Square. Shortly after, the ashen-skinned Agorans arrive to calm our fears. Find out why the galactic order rests on the shoulders of three human beings and one mysterious stranger. To save us, they must follow the ancient path paved in the “Blood of Invidia”.

There’s over-the-top action in this SciFi/Paranormal (Non-Romance) novel packed with Galaxy Conquering Immortals, Shape Shifting Warriors, Yakuza Ninjas and “Roswell” Gray Visitors .

Aliens, Vampires and Werewolves…Oh, my! These aren’t cute candy eating extraterrestrials, or sparkly “Tween” bloodsuckers. This is the breathtaking beginning of the Maestru Series!

FROM DAVID L. BURKHEAD: Study in Black and Red.


Struggling artist Leslie Jefferson keeps finding strange paintings on dark and disturbing themes in his studio. To all appearances, from the signature to the style, they are his work. Yet he has no memory of making them. Are these paintings the product of a sick mind, perhaps even his own, or do they portend something more terrible than he ever imagined?

FROM L. A. BEHM II:  Footnotes From the Apocalypse.


John Peters awoke to a normal day. His wife was off with their son, in Dallas, visiting her folks. It was a typically sunny, Central Texas day. By nightfall he was scurrying around, stockpiling supplies for a long siege against an enemy too small to be seen with the naked eye. And before the end of the week he was puking his guts out, wondering if all his plans were meaningless.
But John survived the plague – one of a few of the scattered remnants of humanity – and alone he must begin to pull the shattered pieces of life together.
Along the path he brings other survivors with him, and they begin a long climb back.

(NOTE- If I didn’t put your book up, I did NOT reject it. As mentioned above, I don’t reject books. I reserve the right to make exceptions, but in general I put up what comes in.
It’s just that apparently people interpreted my vent about how people don’t follow directions as a request for MORE books to pimp. (!) So I had twenty books.  Even the strongest stomach won’t page past twenty books much less look at them, to get to the vignettes.  So, next week. – SAH)

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: Book




34 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Sunday Book Promo

  1. John settled into his chair, the book of dog stories open in his lap. Just as he got comfortable, Muse, his long-haired tabby cat, jumped up and sprawled on the open volume.

    John stroked the handsome cat a couple of times saying, “OK, kitty. Let me read for a bit, OK?”, before he nudged the cat away. Settling back, he began to read one of his favorite cat stories.

  2. “Booked him? For writing a book?”

    “No, making book.”

    “Isn’t writing how you start to make one?”

    “Wrong meaning. Think ‘bookie’.”

    “Library freak?”

    “Gambling, but he was let out and booked foreign flight. Left fast. You could say he was.. bookin’.”

    “So help me, if his real name is Booker.”

  3. The books I picked up were almost entirely non-freshman books, and I take a look at my class schedule. “I’ve tested out of most of the Freshman and Sophomore classes. The only Sophomore classes I’m taking is math,” I note, checking against the class schedule.

    “I didn’t expect anything less,” Mother says.

    “Try this on for size, I’m in college prep English,” I show her my schedule.

    “While you may think of yourself that way at times, you are not stupid Adelaide,” Father pointed out. “I wish you had done better in math, but testing out of algebra and geometry is a good thing.”

    “Occasionally, I’m an idiot, Dad. Emphasis,” I point out with a raised finger, “on occasionally.”

    “I don’t know,” a female voice says behind me, “You demonstrated that you are perhaps rarely an idiot during your interview.”

    I turned, and standing behind me at about six paces was the nun that I had met during the interview. Same full habit, perfectly tailored and cut to emphasis her form and in high-end silk. Same well-blended concealer on her knuckles, and the same too-perfect smile in a beautiful face. She nodded, and smiled again. “A pleasure to see you again, Adelaide,” she said in Spanish.

    “And, you as well, Sister…” and I let my voice trail off in English.

    “Oh, Sister Justina,” the nun chuckled and continued in English. “Traditionally, you don’t know the names of your testers during the process, to ensure that there’s no bias. And, despite what Father Herrera tried, you did pass with flying colors by my standards.”

    “Thank you, Sister Justina,” I smile. I look around for a moment and find my stack of books and get it organized. They had string to tie them off with, and I’m starting to tie them up when Sister Justina comes over and puts her hand on the books.

    “May I?” Sister Justina offers, and I step back as she swiftly ties the books down with a single piece of twine. “Have you considered what clubs you’re going to be taking this year?” she asks, handing me the bundle of books.

    “I’m still getting used to the idea that I’m here, Sister,” I reply after a moment. “What about the clubs?”

    “There are all sorts of clubs here,” Sister Justina begins, saying off a well-recorded spiel. “And they meet during the hour break for lunch, and every other weekend at certain times. While club membership isn’t required,” and I could hear the emphasis in her voice, “questions will be asked if you aren’t a member of at least one club or three. There’s pretty much every club for every interest, even if you’re only allowed to go to the freshman clubs.”

    “Is there a list?” I asked, curious.

    “There is, but I thought I would also give you the list of the clubs that I’m running this year for freshman,” she said cheerfully. “I’m running four this year-a freshman club for ladies interested in STEM, a freshman club for kendo, the novicii magicis puella club…”

    “What?” I interrupt just as she finishes up that statement. She just didn’t say freshman magical girl club in Latin, did she?

    Sister Justina looks at me and chuckles. “Sorry, it’s an interesting story. Since all the clubs are sex-segregated until your junior year, there’s a boy’s and a girl’s anime club. That we call it the ‘Freshman Magical Girl Club’ is a long running joke here. There’s, of course, the Order of St. Sebastian for the male anime fans. And, of course, we have a photography club.” Here, she leans over slightly and whispers conspiratorially. “We also do some cosplay work with the anime club and the fashion club, doing photos.”

    I’m looking at her, somewhat amazed, and I chuckle. “I’m very much tempted. Do you have a schedule?”

    Sister Justina reaches into her habit, and pulls out a postcard sized sheet of paper with information on it. And, sure enough, it’s the information you’d need to join the clubs that she runs. I slip the note in the bundle of books, and smile. “Thank you, Sister.”

    “Oh, you’re welcome, Adelaide. Hope to see you soon,” and she walks away, singing softly to herself. I have to smile, and as I turn around, Father is looking as she leaves.

    “We need to discuss something,” Father says after Sister Justina turns the corner. “On our way back home.”

    Something tells me that this will not be a pleasant conversation.

  4. Grey Cat, Master Thief, boldly entered the dark shop of the local Fence.

    The strangely nervous Fence said “Master Thief, what do you have to sell?”

    Grey Cat pulled a large book out of his bag saying “Just this but it should be worth a king’s ransom”.

    The Fence stared at the book and turned to his right side asking “Is this your book?”

    The Dragon came out of the shadows and said “Yesss That’s My Book and the Grey Cat Is Also Mine”.

  5. “You have any books on magic?” the young man asked.
    “Oh, several. What do you wish to learn? How to control the wind, the tides, or flame? Perhaps you wish to make a lady fall for you?”
    “No. I’m here from the council of mages and you are under arrest!”

  6. The smallest page cried out fearfully when a strange marble wall abruptly appeared in the library. Alarmed, the other pages quit dusting and started speculating about all sorts of sinister plots. Suddenly a second identical marble wall appeared, trapping the pages between them. And that is where the book ends.


  7. Always read the description carefully.
    There’s dropping in a book worm, and dropping in on a book WYRM.
    For the second, it’s best to be a book worm yourself, ideally with the wyrm’s taste, because the discussion will be long, extensive, and intensive.
    Careful ignorance might garner you the book.

  8. Finally the fancy-dress lawyer ahead of them was finished, and it was their turn. The clerks behind the counter looked less than pleased to face a pair of country people in plain dress, but the head clerk managed to keep it out of his voice: “What business do you have for us today?”

    “Registration of a statute company.” Larum was second chair, so they’d agreed he should lead. “Canals, navigation, and trade.”

    The clerk paused, looking down at the ledger-book in front of him. Then he drew a slash across the bottom and turned the page. “Form of company?”

    Larum realized he’d been holding his breath. “Partner-certificate.” He slid the stack out of the carry-box and started undoing the strings: identity letters, partner pledges, bylaws, resolutions, letter of purpose. He checked his wax-board. “We also will need two letters patent and eight certificates.”


    It was another two hours before they were back on the street. The clerks had read everything, quizzed both of them, taken the warrant from Hald to pay for it all, and finally, almost incredulously, taken their oaths. They had their certificates and a warrant for the letters that would be ready the next day.

    “What next?” Hald asked. “Goldsmiths, lawyer, or mage?”

    “Goldsmiths. We want the lawyer to have one of the letters, and we need the lawyer to hire the mage. So let’s get the company name on the money.”

    It hit him as they were walking back up the hill. They had ‘booked’ a company. Counts and Dukes had had companies. Rich merchants and landowners in coaches and sedan chairs had companies. And now, they had a company. It really was happening.

  9. Roy finished entering the figures into the spreadsheet. He knew things had not gone as well as he’d hoped, but the numbers were turning out worse than he’d expected.

    “So how did it go?”

    He looked up at his wife, standing at the door to the office. “We made table, but we didn’t make book.”

    “So we won’t be able to go back, will we?”

    “It’d be hard to justify, especially as poorly as that convention did last year.” Roy paused, considered how to put what needed to be said. “Times have changed, especially with certain people beating the drum of hysteria about human cloning and genetic modification.”

    Lily looked away. Yes, she’d heard the cruel words whispered behind her back. She’d hold her head high at the con and act like it didn’t hurt her, but it was an act.

  10. Master Talas hefted the strangely carved statue. “This is how we save Amarath, Katrina.“
    “I can feel, it’s been exposed to some powerful magics. But how does it work?” Katrina responded.
    “I interact with it, you do what I tell you.”
    “Shouldn’t there be instructions, like in a book?”
    ”Girl, the Arcanum has guided us each time we reversed the incursion of the wasteland. It is the Book.”

  11. “Mommy! Mommy! I just read that the reason the Germans got in their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1938 was because their declaration of war was locked up in moderation!”

    Mary started to put down her book, then froze. At least 5 errors, a geographic displacement and the odd temporal discontinuity or so. Which to correct first?

    Her husband reached over, lowered his history-professor spouse’s arm, and said, “I got this.”

    Taking their offspring by the hand and heading out the door, he said, “Let’s go get Mommy some ice cream. I think you gave her a brain lock. First of all, don’t believe everything on the internet…”

      1. Maayyybbbeee. 😀

        (It was fun. Didn’t get to less than 50 words, but then again…Ice Cream!)

  12. I spent the evening soaked to the gills clearing the street of a Bradford Pear.  The gentleman from across the street helped. (We found out he had cleared the limb that fell last month.)  Firefighters helped.  The grumpy neighbor came out as well; I’d place book we shan’t become friends.

  13. Dear Andrew Groblinks,

    Thank you for your submission. However, we must decline to publish your book.

    While generally well written, there are several points which exceed the suspension of disbelief and pitch the reader right out of the narrative.

    As an example: You have this media figure character, this coarse “Trump” fellow, running for President of the United States, but some number of government employees in the US Intelligence Community dislike him so much that they effectively start a preemptive coup attempt, and the best evidence they can gin up, with all the resources of the US spy infrastructure at their disposal, is some salacious “dossier” about overseas sex workers urinating on beds or somesuch, and it turns out that the author, who was paid by the opposition candidates campaign under that table, is a “former” British MI6 officer? And then when this “Trump” character somehow actually is selected, the disaffected US spooks initiate a media campaign to use that same dossier as the basis for claiming the new President somehow, and you never actually say how, coordinated with Russia?

    There are just too many gaping plot wholes like this in your book.

    You never even indicated how everyone knew this “Steele” character was actually a “former” British Spy – why, given your plot, he could have been an active agent of the British Crown attempting to influence the US election via this “dossier”!

    Frankly, your story is just too fantasmagoracally unbelievable, even for the Murderous Antipodean Aquatic Bird Publishing House.

    I wish you luck on your further endeavors.


    Alexander Misfit
    Murderous Antipodean Aquatic Bird Publishing

  14. “Did you remember to pack your underwear?”
    “Yes dear. And I put a gallon of water and two cans of oil under the seat of the truck.”
    “Did you remember to book your hotel room?
    “Yes dear.”
    You’d think she thought this was the first time I ever traveled anywhere.

    1. Cans? Oil Cans?
      The company I worked for, selling autoparts, had perhaps the last cans of oil sold by Mobil. We supplied Speedy Oil Change, and the Mexico City location demanded cans because they ensured the customer (and the Speedy) that the oil contained was actually the oil they were paying for. Seems it was and likely is still common for either the shop to refill the bottles with whatever oil, even used oil, and put a new cap on, or sometimes the oil gets shortstopped, and replaced with cheaper stuff by a distributor. I know of one time the bottles had water in them instead. Cans prevented that. in the ’94 to ’96 span we were no longer able to get the cans. The machine was taken offline and not run any more. When I started selling Penzoil, they said they stopped about the same time . . . It might have been the same factory. Specialty Oil filled iirc Penzoil, Quaker State, Havoline, Motorcraft, Exxon, and their house brand was filled during the cross-over. When they decided to change oils, they inserted their bottles before swapping tanks, then ran theirs for some time after making the switch to ensure none of the other brand got into the wrong bottles.

      1. Never referred to them as bottles. Most of the guys in the shops I worked either referred to them as quarts, or called them cans anyway. Call it an anachronistic shorthand for ‘containers’; which come to think of it, is what most of us call the one gallon plastic things that various oils frequently come in nowadays for bulk sales.

        1. I see the Quaker State oil changes have some boxed bagbottle 5 gallon thing they use. As long as the bag don’t leak, it seems a good way to keep the crap outa the oil.
          Well, except some places really need to learn how to keep the transfer container clean.
          “Here, let me sit this open 5 quart oil pitcher on the floor next to the trash can, while I sweep up sand into the cracked dust pan and try to get most of it into the trash can . . .”
          (actually, I saw that before those box things came out. The manager really wished he could fire that moron)

        2. oh, and we called em Quarts, or Gallons, or 5 gallons (4 of those to a case)
          Anything bigger was handled by the oil or gas distributor

          1. Okay, this just got weirder. The things you learn when you go researching stuff.


            Q: How Do You Determine the Value of Antique Motor Oil Cans?

            A: Quick Answer
            The value of motor oil cans is determined by many factors including brand name, can material, graphics, age and condition. Many oil cans are empty, but collectors also buy full cans if they don’t leak.

            Full Answer
            Early oil cans, which were made from metal, were square and boxlike. These gave way to metal cylindrical cans that had to be hand-soldered. These can be identified by the gray stripe of solder on the side of the can. During World War II, metal became scarce, so cans were made of cardboard with metal lids and bottoms, but eventually oil was stored in plastic cans.
            Popular brands and unusual can designs or shapes add value, although some obscure cans are quite valuable. Cans with bright colors and easily read logos are more valuable than the cans with faded or damaged writing. Look for cans with little to no rust, dents or scratches, as those also affect value. Oil companies often changed or upgraded the logos or designs on their cans. Research is required to determine the time-frame of a particular can as that may affect its value.

            The most common can is the one-quart size, although there are other sizes available, including half-gallon, 1-gallon, 2-gallon and 5-gallon sizes. However, due to the larger size and amount of space needed, fewer collectors may be looking for those pieces.

            1. the last cans we had were plastic, much like a paint can, they had a plastic tube closed with metal ends, though paint cans usually only have the top in metal.

  15. This one got away with me, but I’ll post it anyway.

    “So what is it?” I demanded of the man seated across the desk from me (actually, it was a folding table, in my tent). I had already heard of how heavily protected the object had been: five layers of leather wrappings, each layer sealed with varnish, then the whole package coated in wax, which was then placed in a stoneware pot filled with oil. That pot was sealed with wax and placed in a larger pot filled with oil, sealed, and placed into a third pot filled with oil and sealed, then buried in a small stone sarcophagus, which was really out of place here in North America.

    “It’s two clay tablets and a book.”
    “A book? As in, paper?”
    “Yes. Specifically, it’s a diary.” He pointed to a journal on my desk. Your diary. The clay tablets told what you were doing when you were transported back in time 3,000 years.”
    “Yes,” he said. “They also said you had something very important to do there, and insisted that we destroy them immediately, so that you would not try to avoid it, so we ground them to powder.” And with that, he stood up and walked out. I just sat there, stunned.
    After a moment, I picked up my journal and headed for the tent where the new findings were kept, intending to get more information from him. I found him at a table, studying a box with very odd symbols on it. He looked up at me and said, “I’m sorry, sir,” as he touched a symbol on the box.
    I realized, too late, that there must have been other instructions on those tablets, as well as there having been a device, probably alien in nature, included in somewhere, probably a false bottom, since it was obviously me who had placed this elaborate storage structure.
    I looked around. Hmph. Didn’t look too much different than it had ten minutes ago, or 3,000 years in the future from this vantage, except the tents were gone…

  16. After a long life and many labors, the Hero put aside Earthly cares. The Gods gathered around his remains and debated as to who was to bear them to the Elysian Fields. Finally, their chief made his decision. Turning to the lord of peaceful demise, he exclaimed, “Book him, Thanatos!”

  17. Her large living room was sparkling, operating room clean, as were the book cases along all four walls.

    However the shelves were filled, overflowing, with stacked, loose, pages torn from the backs of novels.

    Not unexpected, not surprising, quite understandable, once you realize that she is a bookends collector.

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