The Hamsters Ate the Prompt and Sunday Book Promo!


The Hamsters Ate the Prompt

Lately I’ve been on the receiving end of pranks via the Internet Hamsters, Email Division.  Things arrive, don’t arrive or get put into trash or spam seemingly at random.  Thus it must have been with this week’s prompt, which I didn’t check earlier, because I’ve been under sustained and ongoing attack by a weird muse, as well as re-varnishing living room floor, to remove “crazy cat pee stains” the crazy cat (Euclid).

Note the picture above.  If you feel like writing, use that as a prompt.

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 ALMA T. C. BOYKIN:  Clearly Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Five


Wandering wolverines, catfish in the sky, owls that can’t fly straight… Welcome back to the Familiar world, where magic and the mundane coexist (and collide).

These short stories introduce some new characters and revisit familiar (and Familiar) ones, including Morgana and Smiley Lorraine, Dr. William Lewis and Blackwell, and Shoshana Langtree. Sorcerers gone mad, heavy weather, and the thin line between insanity and magic, all standard fare in this Familiar place and time.

FROM EDWARD WILLET:  Worldshaper (Worldshapers).


From an Aurora Award-winning author comes the first book in a new portal fantasy series in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.

For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.

But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…

Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.

Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.

FROM CEDAR SANDERSON:  Possum Creek Massacre (Witchward Book 2).



Renowned for her witch hunting skills, Detective Amaya Lombard knew that being summoned from the coastal rainforest of Oregon to the backwoods hollers of Kentucky meant the case was something special. From the moment she arrived at the magic soaked scene in an abandoned farmhouse she knew how bad it was going to be. She had no idea just how complicated it was going to get, professionally and personally. Now she must catch a killer before they catch her. The roots of evil plunge deeply into the past, and the blood soaked history of Kentucky’s witch warded houses and barns may hold the key to keeping her alive in the present.

27 thoughts on “The Hamsters Ate the Prompt and Sunday Book Promo!

  1. “We see here the cliff-dwelling giraffe of Earth-90765 in its natural habitat, tending to its offspring.”

  2. I see that picture and all I can think of is Janet Kagan’s book Mirable: when genetic surprises make the Loch Ness Moose-Otter, why wouldn’t they make giraffe-dragons? (The babies really need little wings to go with the long necks, to make it perfect.)

  3. Book promo. “New” books. Sigh. I’ve already downloaded both Alma Boykin’s and Cedar Sanderson’s latest books, and read them. Both excellent entertainment. I’ve always been aware of Alma’s detailed research, but Cedar’s depiction of back-country life is spot on! Now, can the rest of you who write books I want to read keep me supplied? It’s the only thing that keeps me halfway sane!

  4. Toni chuckled as she worked her way through the images, recalling the old saw about acorns falling. At fifteen, Jase already had the makings of a game developer, with his wide imagination and technical chops in image manipulation.

    However, she was going to have to talk with him about suspension of disbelief, and specifically about its elasticity. While the image of the baby giraffe in a nest might be charming in a humorous way, most people knew enough about biology to take it seriously even in a fantasy setting.

  5. It looks like WordPress ate my first attempt, so here’s another:

    Silvia stretched her neck to check on her daughter. Yes, she was still sitting safely in the nest — but how long could this insanity last?

    But how to break the mad wizard’s enchantment and free herself and her child before they lost their own sanity? In the stories her grandmother told, the heroes always got told what they had to do, whether it was slaying a dragon or knitting a dozen shirts from nettles.

    Nobody was telling her anything.

  6. Well, I’ll be. Nothing like trying a second posting to get the first one to appear.

    Sometimes WordPress is like a hall full of funhouse mirrors.

  7. looking at the top of the screen, this art. reads … “The Hamsters Ate the Prom”. Just one little letter cut off, but might explain how much out of control the Hamsters of the internet are getting.

    1. Actually, the hamsters eating the promo would have created some marginal improvement in my life. . .

    2. But that one works just perfectly, for a story idea/scene summary…

      Title/subtitle: Muffy Summers, Hamster Slayer: Battle of the Vorpal Hamsters Prom [or thereabouts]

      *If only* Internet Hamsters actually *had* a slayer you could call!

  8. I long ago begun to doubt it was only a dream.  I had woken-up on the side of a mountain path overlooking a ledge with a rather large nest.  Instead of the raptor I had anticipated with trepidation, a giraffe arrived to watch over the hatching of the first egg. 

  9. ‘I knew it,” said Dr. Smith-Jones. “I knew we could find the cameleopard if we looked hard enough.”

  10. “I had to look up what a giraffe is before I got it”, Gnivata admitted. “We have surrealist schools ourselves, though Nafanese surrealism is much more abstract.”

    “How can you have abstract surrealism?” Claudia demanded. “Visual precision is one of the key elements!”

    “Oh, but it is a visual precision. It’s just not a Human one.” Claudia looked confused. “Daruith call it the hunt-vision. We focus on the target animal, and everything else is reduced to patterns of light and motion. The Davreda school, the most prominent surrealist school on Nafan right now, focuses on creating exceptions to that peripheral pattern.”

    Claudia still looked confused. Gnivata decided that the older Human was one of those regrettable people who wouldn’t recognize lunch if it was eating her hat, for all this had been in the book-packet that had preceded her to Earth.

    Fortunately, Markus Sol had better prey acquisition. “Like Strange Sapling?”

    “Yes. You’re intended to focus on the taran-bird in the lower center, and the anomaly is in the upper left. It’s an old camp-stove, swaying in the breeze. Dolri Havnam trained in nature-paining first, so his works are considered to be more accessible than most.”

  11. “But Momma, I don’t *like* having four hooves and no hands and no wings and a dinky bare tail like a lionette, and more neck than — *everything*!” Even though at Dear-Daughter’s age they were only shapeseeming together, not shapestealing, a well-projected illusion of being someone or something else required the authentic *feeling* of being it, too, not only what you truly were behind it.

    “Now, Daughter-Dear, you know how a successful hunter needs attention and patience and knowledge of the prey — and how better to know them than get nearly as close as the inside of their own skin?” While it was impossible for even the largest single hunter to carry away a full-sized giraffe, flock hunting let the hunters attack first the vulnerable eyes and head and neck, then hound the lone target till it fell of exhaustion and blood loss, then feed together on the bounty of meat and innards and marrow-filled bone, keeping even the hyenas at bay all the feasting long. The great dry plains were so rich, that way, it was near-impossible to understand how much; but they were seldom if ever kind.

    And long ago, others had learned the Rapturen were long-feathered death and scarlet-bright hunger. So they had found, themselves, at length and by deep searching, a way around that obstacle too. Some Elders said it amounted to the soul of the People stalking inside the souls of the prey-kinds, however and wherever that might be understood.

    “I know, Mother-Wise, not only by the word but by the inside knowing. But it is still so *strange* for me, to be such a clumsy climber as this, to reach toward the sky with your neck instead of your wings!”

    “Perfect your knowing of them, Little-One, heed the hints their Seeming gives you, learn this lesson well and hunt far better in all the years ahead.” It was the timeless wisdom father had passed to son and mother to daughter for time out of mind, and yet nothing on the plains ever really stayed quite the same.

    And there were those stories, rumbling ever nearer like a herd of buffalo on the march, that more and more odd two-legged monkey-kind had been appearing in clouds of rainbow light, long sticks that spoke thunder and felled prey like lightning in their clever paws. Ones than emanated empathic bloodlust and fierceness, in a way that would have done credit to the Rapturen themselves, if only the monkey killers had been of the People.

    They, too, would bear careful watching, and perhaps even more careful hunting.

  12. “Right – here’s a drone image taken thirty miles from what remains of the lab in western Zimbabwe.”
    “…aaand this is a giraffe …climbing a cliff side to its…. nest…”
    “Exactly. The viral stew released when the rebels blew up the lab has gone airborne, and it’s doing all kind of genetic rewrites on all the local fauna. You can’t see it in this image, but the giraffe-mod has claws instead of hooves to allow it to climb cliffs, and obviously lays eggs instead of mammalian live birth.”
    “Just fauna?”
    “No. Here’s another drone video – We saw these trees walking to better soil, and then pushing over the non-walking trees to sink their roots in, this morning.”

  13. “Mommy, if our ancestors were humans then how did we become egg-laying giraffes?”

    “Well, when their genetic engineers first started making designer babies there was a *BIT* of a learning curve…”

  14. Davidson sighed, working on an illustrated guide to life on the lost planet earth shouldn’t be this difficult. Sure, they had lost much of the knowledge of old Terra’s biology when the arc points changed millennia ago, but some things should be obvious, even if the name is misleading….
    “No Shavin, just because it was called a giraffe-bird…..”

  15. “and Moe Lane, who was an evil giraffe, and loved his children very much…” read Blandine to the Relievers.

  16. It had been a great Father’s Day. Lot’s of sun, bar-b-que, and alcohol. Once the bugs got too numerous, we went inside and watched a Nation Geographic Special. Picked up Red Planet and read about halfway through it before falling asleep. Did have some strange, exhaustion and alcohol-fueled dreams though!

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