Sunday Writing Challenge And Book Promo

I apologize to the vignette providers.  I didn’t get a word this week, which might be my email eating it, of course.  So I decided to give all you eager scribblers a visual challenge:



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 MARGARET BALL:  A Revolution of Rubies (Applied Topology Book 6).


The CIA has embraced mathemagics, but only as a new way of doing the same old thing: Planting bugs. Thalia and the rest of the Center for Applied Topology’s research fellows have been dispatched across Europe with the mission of attending embassy parties, and teleporting back in later to plant bugs.

Unfortunately, academics are the worst possible variable in the equations of diplomats and spies. The resulting hijinks, escapades, and misunderstandings end up with Thalia on one side of a Central Asian revolution, and her husband, case officer Brad Lensky, on the other… And if they can’t figure out a solution, the entire country may go under water!

FROM D C TULLIS & J D TULLIS:  Through the Mirror (Book 1 of The Veil Series).


In Through the Mirror, Jason Whitelock and Ellie O’Connell are two high school seniors that live in the isolated and slightly mysterious port-town known as Eastmouth. The shocking discovery of a hidden room catapults Jason and Ellie into a clash with terrifying, lovecraftian alien forces and shadowy government organizations. Stranded in an impossible situation, the two must band together to survive the odds and find a way to escape back into the semi-normal lives that they had greeted with boredom only days prior.

This book should be of interest to fans of Jim Butcher’s ‘The Dresden Files’, Larry Correia’s ‘Monster Hunter Series’, and Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’. It is the first entry in The Veil Series.

FROM LLOYD BEHM II:  Shadow Lands (The Shadow Lands Book 1).


A universe out of time…a land of no return…

Jesse Salazar is a priest of the Church Militant, who spends his days—and nights—hunting and re-inhuming the monsters that bump humanity in the night. He’s good at his job and gets paid very well to do it. But when the skies go gray, he wakes up to find himself in the Shadow Lands—the world an ancient Akkadian god uses to feed his minions their favorite food…humans.

Stalked by Abzu, the lord of the realm, and all his minions—including his wife, Tiamat—Salazar must figure out a way to stay out of Abzu’s clutches while assembling a team of survivors and putting together the clues to find a way home. With only limited weapons to protect themselves and no visible means of returning home, Salazar will have to use all of his God-given talents to keep everyone alive.

Especially if there’s no way back.

FROM C. CHANCY:  Pearl of Fire.


Bombs, fire, and murder….Caldera City. Stronghold and refuge, built by faith and elemental power in the heart of a volcano; surviving through magic, tactics, and a daring alliance with dragons. For Allen Helleson, Caldera was an escape from the lives ruined by his family’s hardline traditions; now he walks the streets as an Inspector for the Caldera Watch, defending the city other nations see as a pit of hell. For Shane Redstone, Caldera was the home she risked life and soul to defend as a Flame – until enemy curses blinded her, sending her away from the front lines forever.The war has come home again….Together they survive the first bomb. But Caldera’s enemies never stop with just one. Now a scarred yet deadly ex-soldier and a spirit-reading Inspector have to find and stop the bombers… before Wards fall, dragons die, and the caldera erupts in flame. One wrong move, and the city burns.

53 thoughts on “Sunday Writing Challenge And Book Promo

  1. “I told you the password was something like watermelon!”
    “Oh, shut up. Aren’t foxes supposed to prefer grapes, anyways?”

        1. After I “expanded it”, the ears don’t seem right for a cat.

          Oh well, I’ve been wrong before. 😉

          1. *shrug* I like it being ambiguous– the feet don’t look quite right for a dog, and the fur pattern doesn’t look quite right for a slick-tailed fox.

            Kind of like how the door and wall say “ancient castle,” but the number and rail say “fairly recent England.”

  2. Magnis and Killer, warrior-mage & cat shifter, came up to the Keep’s door.

    Nobody who dared to enter the Keep were seen again so why were the doors partly open?

  3. He put down the lamp. No one else could see how his hands trembled, but that was unnerving enough. He turned back toward the door. And the light. Was that truly the sunlight of legend? The door certainly was made of that mysterious substance wood.
    The cat did not mind. That gave him more strength than his sword as he walked toward it.

  4. They’d hung doors. Farshan was encouraged by that, for they’d hung the doors before trying to clean up the courtyard. On the way in, he’d passed fields of peas, which looked almost ripe, and fields of buckwheat, half-harvested, in what once had been the gardens of Kalodane’s kings. Foods with short seasons, that these settlers could get in before frost, though he had no idea why the buckwheat fields had been plowed again, as if for planting.

    A sensible set of people, then, who had thought about what it would take to survive their first winter here. He figured they would value a hunter, and hear him out, at least.

      1. This isn’t the first comment that suggests I’ve been misunderstood. I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

        1. It’s certainly not you, it’s me. I really enjoyed what you did – there’s a good story there.

          The vegan thought to me was like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to Ray Stantz – “I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.”

  5. The stone railing flanking actual steps was the first sign of Order he’d seen in the Chaos-blasted landscape. He regarded the incised patterns below the railing but could not comprehend them. He started up the stairs toward the doors. With luck, he and his companion would be allowed through despite the way they’d been warped.

  6. The sentries had rendered the road useless to all but the most determined foot traffic. Why they left the house numbers intact was as mysterious as the reason The Deliverer had chosen to occupy this stately old manor.

    “Seven oh three, Buttercourt Lane,” Garrig said to his companion. “This is the place The Watcher said. But now that I’m here,” he surveyed the destruction that began leagues before, “I’m wondering if there are still any skiffs heading downriver.”

    The natterling’s murmuring response rose to a vicious chitter.

    “Look, you’re not the one who must convince a Hand of Varloth that this was all ‘one big misunderstanding’, according to your cowardly priest.” The young hunter let out a deep sigh, “Well, I surely won’t be needing this.”

    Garrig set the lantern down and approached the door.

  7. “703 Storrow Drive, with a pile of road construction debris in front of it. Looks like we’re at the right address, Red.”
    Red woofed. He could smell the meat cooking as the odors wafted through the crack between the doors. Hunting in post-apocalypse Boston sucked, unless you were after degenerates.

  8. I had to copy the picture and blow it up to see it clearly, but that’s just me. Here’s my hastily-contrived bit:

    In my mind’s eye, I always pictured your call, your revelation, whatever it was, looking something like this. You never explained; in fact, you said it was beyond description. And if you couldn’t describe it, I guess nobody could.

    That there was no foreshadowing, no antecedent, only makes it stranger. We’d spent Sunday typically enough, working through most of a case of beer, watching football all afternoon and into the evening, watching Wizards on cable, trying to invent a Wizards game using a deck of cards. When I slithered off to my bunk, I didn’t imagine you’d be awake too much longer.

    Heading out to class the next morning, I was startled to see you at the door, wearing your backpack and your hiking boots, a distant look in your eyes. “Gotta heed the call, man,” you said. “When you hear the call, you’ve got no choice.” I tried to detain you, but you pushed past me. On the sidewalk, I remember you looked over your shoulder. “You’ll hear it too, man,” you said. I watched you as you walked down the block and disappeared into the city.

    That was six months ago. I haven’t seen you since, and I miss you. Worse, I find myself wondering when I lay down: Will I get the call tonight?

  9. Light shone through the gap between the two leaves of the front door. What kind of energies were in there, that they could shine right past weatherstripping?

    At Natan’s feet, Lycos whined with unease. No, not a good sign at all.

    Still, he had a job to do. Best to take the appropriate precautions.

  10. To be honest, I am more concerned about the Left annoying me than about them annoying any Puritans.

    Oh! annoying is an adjective, not a verb? Oops.

    And I quite agree. But mostly, with them, is that it gives them an excuse to hector people who might otherwise enjoy basic human pleasures. Under the Left there will be no pleasure except that assigned by the State. They will sit in judgement and find you guilty of finding fulfillment other than from the State.

    You know where they can stick their state.

    The Left Are Annoying Puritans
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Every time I blunder into a discussion of covers in my field, I realize that the left has turned into puritans so slowly we barely noticed.

    When I was young – yes, and Mastodon roamed the Earth – the left was all about “liberation.”

    Of course, even then, if you paid close attention – or any attention, really – you’d see they idolized the Soviet Union and no one could really believe it was “free” when people were dying to get out.

    But as the seventies progressed on their very strange way, I told myself they were just odd people who believed the lies published about the Soviet Union, and they wanted complete freedom to do whatever they wanted.

    It might surprise the people who were born after the seventies to find out that the left really wanted no taboos at all. At least in Europe, if you attended a certain type of party, you might be importuned by adult males way before the age of consent. And when you refused you were told you had a problem and were repressing your sexuality or had “inhibitions.” (I developed an answer that was something like this “No, I don’t have any hang-ups about nudity. I just have no interest in seeing old men naked, thank you.” It usually made them go away.)

    In fact, just about anything you didn’t want to do or try, you were told that you had hang-ups, and how much better you’d feel if you just gave them up and did whatever the person talking to you wanted.

    If someone had told me back then that the left would in time become complete Puritans, I’d not have believed them.

    But just look at them now.

    When the cover for Darkship Thieves was settled on, the male editor who was attending the conference I was at did not show it to me because I am a woman, and he was afraid I’d be offended.

    To be clear, the cover has zero sexual content. It shows a woman in a pose reminiscent of Botticelli’s Venus, mostly naked, with a sort of wrap around her that hides all the crucial points.

    It is also quite obviously art, not porn. And it did wonders for the book sales.

    I was reminded of this today when I blundered into a science fiction fan group online. Someone had posted a picture of an improbable space-babe with big boobs and a space suit that showed a little more cleavage than normal.

    Liberal after liberal was throwing fits and talking about the objectification of women and how we should stop objectifying women. …

      1. Not really. I can’t even get my wife to read her blogs. She’s a 14 or 15th generation descendant of the Puritans, and progressively indoctrinated. /sigh

        1. “Descendant of Puritans” doesn’t equal “Real Puritan”.

          The actual Puritans had real flaws but were IMO better people than Moderns think.

          Oh, ironically one of their major flaws is rarely mentioned by Moderns.

          They made the mistake of believing their prosperity meant G*d Approved Of Them. 😀

      1. Well, that’s the crux of it, ennit? Their covers sold WrongThink books, to WrongFen for WrongReasons.

    1. Additional example of Progressive Puritanism:

      Ocasio Leads Left’s Attack On Billionaires
      Watch for It in the Debate Among Democrats

      Mr. Riffle responded on Twitter to the Coates interview, which was at a Riverside Church event marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day: “My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask ‘Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?’ at one of the Dem primary debates.”


      {Fox News’d Maria] Bartiromo defended the billionaires in part by talking about their philanthropy, speaking of Kenneth Langone’s support for New York University’s medical school, Hank Greenberg’s support of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Stephen Schwarzman’s support for the New York Public Library. Such philanthropy sometimes strikes leftists as undemocratic; they’d rather this money be allocated by Washington politicians elected by the public than by the people who earned it.


      One might ask, skeptically, whether people will really stop working as hard, and if the supermarket shelves will really go bare, if the financial rewards of capitalist success were to top out at $900 million rather than $1 billion or $100 billion. Unless some politician or thinker can come up with a better answer to the moral question, voters may be tempted to conduct a practical experiment on the matter using the American economy as a test case.

      My own sense is that the best moral defense of billionaires requires putting the socialists on the defensive by answering the billionaire question with some other questions.

      Would it be moral for politicians in Washington to change the laws so that becoming a billionaire in America would be impossible, no matter how much value an entrepreneur creates for customers and shareholders and society as a result of the entrepreneur’s hard work, genius, and risk-taking?


      Is it a “moral world” where politicians can motivate millions of voters to blame a country’s problem on a handful of wealthy individuals, and to suggest, without evidence, that long-term and intractable problems can be quickly solved if only tax rates were dramatically increased?

      Is the Democratic fixation with the billionaires (problem) and taxes (solution) much different from the Trump fixation on immigrants and the border wall?

      It certainly would be nice to have a moderator ask, and the candidates answer, some of those questions, too, in the 2020 presidential debates.

  11. 703 Betten Court. Yep, I had the address right. Now I just needed to place the tether on the ground, and i could pop in the three pizzas these folks had ordered.

    Yep, that’s me. Ted McCallan, with the Magical Pizza Delivery Service.

  12. “Really?” Tad observed, looking up at his human, Rook. “Shrubberies, outside of a citadel?”
    “They’re just bushes,” the human responded, eyeing the glowing doors. His feet stepped forward of their own volition.
    “Manicured bushes,” the dog responded, “And an address. This is not the entrance to your typical dwarven stronghold. We need to be cautious.”
    “You worry too much.”
    “You don’t worry enough.”

  13. “Ok, here we go, 1795 West Shadowwall street…I hope that this job is worth it after the mix up at the last house.”
    Trevor’s nattercat muttered “Stupid wizards would number their houses in hex.”

Comments are closed.