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 LAURA MONTGOMERYFractional Ownership.


Perpetual plaintiff Lewis Ostrow needs a ticket to Mars. His litigation profile renders him ineligible. Lewis, however, always stands ready to fight the system.

A legal fantasy.

A short story.

A bit of science fiction.

FROM SPENCER HART: Bert Henderson Double Adventure.



DEATH RAYS & DAMES are all in a day’s work for company troubleshooter Bert Henderson.
CONTAINS 1 SHORT STORY (7500 words) & 1 NOVELETTE (15,000 words)
“When trouble needs shooting, eccentric industrialist Mr. Phillips has just the man for the job – Bert Henderson.

Bert’s boss runs Phillips’ Atomics, builder of atomic-powered planes, spaceships, and industrial tools. These high-tech inventions are revolutionizing the world of 1949. So when Mr. Phillips’ interests are threatened, Bert can find himself traveling anywhere on Earth – or beyond.

Criminals and foreign agents are in for more than they bargained for, when Henderson is on the case.
And if there’s a gorgeous dame involved along the way, that can bring its own sort of trouble…”

Contains Bert Henderson’s first and second adventures: “Death on the Moon” (short story, 7500 words) and “Fire in the Andes” (novelette, 15000 words).

DEATH ON THE MOON: The first ever murder on the Moon brings Bert to Roosevelt Base to find the killer. Mr. Phillips is financing an observatory on the Moon, and construction is halted while the murderer is loose. Can Bert find the killer and prevent more death on the Moon?

FIRE IN THE ANDES: One of Mr. Phillips top engineers has gone missing in Argentina, and Bert is sent to find him. But the investigation leads to the discovery of a greater threat. Complications ensue from encountering a lovely senorita. Can Bert deal with both the case and the dame?

“Pulp Noir Action Thrillers set in an Alternate History with atomic spaceships and ray-guns”

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: embrace

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

    1. We’re not supposed to get under 5 in the next two days!

      After a sloppy mess of freezing rain that will freeze SOLID. sigh

      1. We had that happen week before last. 5inches of snow, then rain, drizzled a bit to swamp things, then freezing temps since. We got a dusting of snow since just to make walking that bit more treacherous

            1. Then Fluffy and all the other dragons have to head off to the Center of the Universe and warm it up with dragonflame. And then we can’t have BBQ for a least a week. (Personally I think it’s six days, except that Fluffy sulks.)

            1. That’s what we’re getting for wind chills — and on Wednesday, it’s not supposed to get below freezing.

                1. It’s… interesting out there. I’m sitting here, wrapped in my fluffy robe looking outside and happy we’re not on the highway for the two days we work outside the house.

    2. We just had the first proper snowfall of the winter here at Chez Phantom. I broke out the Snowblower Of Doom (it has tracks! woo!) and nearly froze my ass off out there. Not much snow, really, but the wind was really something. Needed my fur-lined boot laces today. ~:D

      1. I’ve not yet cranked the snowblower this season other than the “pull from the shed, get running so I can pack the lawn mower in there” start back in November. But, with no snow, the ice is now going to form up good and thick on the lake. Ice racing season to start soon, I bet.

        1. Snow report, it was so cold last night the truck refused to start this AM. Finally got it to go after jumping it for 20 min. New batteries tonight, and plugging in the block heater. I just love puttering with jumper cables in the dark before I’ve had my coffee. Oh yeah. Thankfully I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything else today, following the 0-dark-30 start.

          I’m sure the ice will be hefty after a couple days of this. My pond is frozen right to the bottom. You could park a tank on it.

      2. 8 inches of light snow I plowed off around noontime. Then we got 2 more inches of sleet that bonded together that I’ll need to try scraping off tonight with the tractor.

        1. Tractor! Yes! Throw some salt on there and the sun will do all the work for you. By tonight it’ll be all crackly and easy to break with the plow.

          Isn’t it nice, having the right tool for the job? I love when that happens.

          1. 30 hp diesel, Bobcat CT230 (Really a rebranded Kioti CK model iirc) with a bucket loader and a backblade.

            1. That’s where the sun comes in. On a bright day, the salt lumps will lay in their own little micro-climate and sink down into the hard-pack. This creates holes down to the road surface, and the ice gets weaker. Makes it easier for the blade to shatter it.

              At night, it just lays there and doesn’t do anything.

              I’m lazy and hate shoveling, that’s how I know. ~:D

        2. Here we got the weather where you don’t want to shovel and scrape the cars because snow under freezing ice is better than freezing ice with no snow under it.

          There’s a rather tall upside down tree on the street. It took me a minute to figure out where it had fallen from; it must have done a gymnast dismount.

    1. Did the Shark sign any consent forms first?

      Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you
      Embrace me, my silk-and-lace-able you
      I’m in love with you, I am and verily so
      But you’re much too shy, unnecessarily so
      I love all the many charms about you
      Above all, I want my arms about you
      Don’t be a naughty baby, come to papa, do
      My sweet embraceable you
      I love all the many charms about you
      Above all, I want these arms about you
      So, don’t be a naughty baby, come to papa, do
      My sweet embraceable you

  1. I looked into the Void. The Void looked into me. We embraced. It had been close to twenty years since we had last seen each other. We had a lot to catch up on.

  2. Fwiw, I gave up on trying to listen to “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America.” I could NOT embrace it, nor did I find it embracing, though perhaps it attempted strangling. Instead, for the very first time ever, I embraced the Kindle return option.

  3. Rosine managed a half smile, but she could not talk freely. If the woman knew she could wrap a place in shadow, shrink herself, turn invisible, pick locks without touching them, she would talk with glee about what Rosine could do if she embraced them, not with sympathy about having no knowledge of where they came from.
    At least Rosine would not need the powers to hide that she had them.

  4. An astrolabe sat on the window sill, and other instruments, and an open star chart on the desk.
    Rosine longed to use them all. Cornelius did not deserve them; he used them now and again and just when needed. He had no dream of watching the stars as she did.

  5. “Embrace the suck.”

    These words reverberated in my head as I evaluated my current situation. Being deprived of sleep, deliberately shorted on food, and laden down with a heavy pack will make a guy wonder. Just why am I doing this, again? With a heavy sigh, I continued on to what I hoped would be the next nav point.

  6. at The Huffington Post

    Trump’s Greatest Crime?
    Not Breaking the Law

    by Carol Wilson

    As we reach the second anniversary of a lunatic being sworn into the most powerful office in the world, I’ve come to a new understanding about how he needs to be dealt with. And it was, ironically, gifted to me by a supporter of the “President” himself.

    Like so many others in the last decade or so, I’ve had to suffer the holiday dinner. It’s become a cliche, but it has roots in reality. The uncle, grandmother or brother in-law with the near-neanderthal level of political understanding, ruining a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

    In my case, it was a cousin, Henry and the gathering for New Year’s Day lunch. While most of the family, understandably, stands behind a progressive agenda dedicated to a better world, Henry just naively keeps repeating words like “libertarian”, “individualism” and a truly ignorant understanding of the constitution. I had hoped he would be humbled by the Dem’s victory in the house, but it was not to be. He simply felt that Trump should be allowed to ruin the lives of so many without consequence.

    I spent several minutes explaining the necessity of removing him from office, and the dire results if it were not done. As I’ve said to a great number of people in the last twenty-four months, I ended with “Trump needs to be impeached.”

    You can imagine my surprise when my cousin just got a bemused look on his face and asked “For what?” For What. As if I hadn’t just explained, in painful detail, what the problem was. I started over and he interrupted me and FINALLY managed to make it clear that he was asking what CHARGE should be brought against Trump.

    And I was somewhat embarrassed to realize that he was somewhat right. Trump, while obviously a criminal who must be stopped, invariably doesn’t violate actual laws or regulations. One can only wonder how much time and effort is spent skirting so closely around these issues. And it must be intentional, as no one can be that wrong and that lucky time and again.

    It truly angers me. Honest, hard-working servants such as Hillary Clinton are treated with disdain and threats because of minor conflicts of interest or unintentional infractions against obscure regulations, while the greater gestalt criminality of a veritable monster is laughed off.

    And that’s the answer. We’ve known since the campaign of 2016 that Trump’s ideas and actions are wrong, now it’s time to make them illegal. With control of the House of Representatives and a few Republican senators who will vote their conscience, we can pass laws that will automatically make the illegitimate Commander in Chief a provable lawbreaker. After this, impeachment should be direct and simple. Trump might try to resign to avoid the embarrassment, but one could hope Congress would refuse to accept, and force the trial to proceed.

    I explained this all to Henry over the phone and he muttered some vague protest that sounded like “post hock immunity”. I don’t know if presidents enjoy some such special immunity, but surely, this could be addressed at the same time the laws are passed.

    I sincerely hope this is taken up by our new leadership of the people. Donald Trump is a danger and has to be removed. And I really don’t think our country can afford to wait two years for Elizabeth Warren to do it for us.

    –Carol Wilson lives in Oakland, California. She is an occasional contributor to The Huffington Post and a proud member of the Socialist Fiction Writers of America.

    [Poe Notification:
    I’ve had an issue with this a couple of times, so here goes: this is not from another site. No cut & paste, not transcribed. There is no Carol Wilson (at least not one who wrote this). I made it all up. This does not represent the ideas, thoughts or hopes of any sentient, sapient or otherwise self-aware being.

    This is satire.

    Or is it?

    It…it is. It’s satire.


    1. It reads a lot like stuff that could be, or indeed has actually already been written, by leftist so-called journalists and it echoes the rhetoric coming from large parts of the Democratic Party.

  7. Ten minutes later the three of them were back out in the courtyard. Pol had the copies of the decree in a small letter-case of plain leather. She slipped it into her jacket and turned to her mother.

    “Will you be back for supper?”

    “I don’t know, mother. It depends on what offers there are.”

    “I’ll lay something aside, then, if you need it.”

    She nodded, then embraced her patents. Pol turned – Renpola, now, an adult before her years – and walked down Court Street, towards the Servant’s Guild, to enroll and find what work she could.

  8. Gwendolyn’s ocular hardware observed her employer, Nigel Slim-Howland, holding Clarissa in his arms. Gwendolyn’s firmware quickly added Clarissa to the list of objects composing her environment that evening.

    Gwendolyn’s software, however, rushed pigment to her cheeks and activated her tear ducts. And no programmer could figure out why that happened.

  9. Kieran looked at Zoe.
    “You need to embrace this newfound power.”
    “Yes, I know. It’s just…” she trailed off.
    “What?” he asked gently.
    “I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this new normal.” Zoe smiled at him.

    Kieran hugged her and turned up the street, heading for his car. Zoe watched him go, and turned toward her house, twisting the air currents around her as she went.

  10. Politics is like garlic: it improves the flavor of EVERYthing, from yogurt to pumpkin pie!

    When Everything Is Political Nothing Works
    By Sarah Hoyt
    I have a fan group on Facebook. (Sarah’s Diner. If you have a burning need to join, just ask. Someone will approve you within a week or so. But read on first.) The fan group has some peculiar rules, considering I’m a writer at PJM and have a distinctly political (at least in patches) personal blog. Oh, yeah, and I post at Instapundit too.

    How peculiar? Well, no politics and no religion are the fundamental rules. There are others, mostly to prevent some weird patches of bad behavior people fall into, but those are the basic ones.

    This is because my group started as a fan group on Baen’s Bar and is mostly for my fiction. My fiction, before I came out of the closet politically and the left started seeing politics in everything I write (because how could someone of my obvious evil have an untouched area of endeavor?), attracted fans from all over the political spectrum and I did not want to have someone made uncomfortable while discussing my fiction because someone else insisted on discussing politics.

    This is, in fact, an extension of my growing up in a deeply divided country, where if you wanted to have a family reunion, or a scholarly meeting, or even just lunch with childhood friends, you could not mention politics, and politics were kept off the table (so to speak.)

    The no religion rule has only proved a problem when someone (sometimes my husband) revives the old IBM versus Mac wars. Yes, it’s religious. No, there’s no winning or losing that argument, so it’s just forbidden under religion.

    The no politics rule, though, keeps running us into trouble. …

  11. Colonel Hearne took one last look at Falcon, now looking pitiful and gutted after everything they’d done to eke out those extra days and weeks of flight time until Baikal could get up here. Soon NASA would deorbit the poor old orbiter, bringing her down somewhere in the Pacific far from any shipping lines.

    Now was time to relinquish the responsibility of command, to place himself under the authority of his rescuers as they returned to Earth. As Grigorenko helped him into the airlock, Hearne realized just how weak the ordeal had left him. He’d stayed awake even when everyone else spent their days sedated to reduce their oxygen consumption. The Tsar had been right to insist that cosmonauts fly it up here to assist the astronauts, rather than flying the Buran shuttle entirely by wire from Star City.

    As soon as the outer hatch closed and they were officially aboard, Grigorenko pulled Hearne into a warm Russian bear hug. “Welcome aboard.”

    Once the air pressure equalized and they could open the inner hatch, there would be bread and salt to formally welcome him, as each of his crew had been welcomed before him. But the weariness, the burden of command, were already draining out of him with the knowledge that their ordeal was finally over and they would soon be safely back down to Earth.

  12. For years after her parents died, she had hesitated to tackle the daunting task of doing genealogical research to find the family’s roots. So when her brother told her that his daughter was about to start tracing the family tree and would appreciate some help, she embraced the idea wholeheartedly.

  13. Steep, unscaleable, rocky slopes embraced the high mountain cirque on all sides, with just a single break to the north where water flow had opened a narrow cut. Direct sunlight never touched the dark eerie mere in the center. We looked at the water with a strong feeling of disquiet.

Comments are closed.