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

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. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months. One book per author per week. Amazon links only.-SAH*

FROM MARGARET BALL: The Language of the Dragon (Dragon Speech Book 1.


When linguist Sienna Brown comes across a battered notebook containing transcriptions of a totally new and unfamiliar language all she wants is a chance to study it. But even while she discovers the reality-warping power of the language and the high price of using that power, she’s targeted by other people who want the notebook for themselves and don’t care who gets hurt by their pursuit. Can she save herself without compromising her own sanity?

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER:  Friends in the Stars (Family Law Book 5.


It’s hard living next to a giant, even a friendly one, much less a clumsy hostile giant. Earth’s unfriendly billions were an unpredictably restive presence. The Kingdom of Central was on the Moon, and the three allied habitats of Home were already forced to move from Low Earth Orbit to beyond the Moon, dancing around a common center in a halo orbit. That bought them some time, but wasn’t nearly far enough away. The Spacers knew it would come to a bad end. The only question was how, when, and would they survive it? The only refuge was in the stars where they had friends.

FROM BLAKE SMITH: More Courage Than Sense: A Scene from The Garia Cycle.


The sun-baked Alcazar is a place of wonder, where people from all over the world come to trade for the riches of southern Garia- and beyond. But danger lurks in the shadows, and when Zara ventures outside the safety of the castle and into the wilds of the city, she must use all of her cunning to escape safely, with a little aid from the most unlikely of strangers.

FROM MIGUEL FLIGUER:  Cooking With Lovecraft: Supernatural Horror In The Kitchen.


Cooking With Lovecraft is a collection of short gastronomical weird tales, that will also give you directions to make real, tested, delicious dishes. Sometimes the recipe will be just an excuse for the story, sometimes the other way around, and occasionally there won’t be no recipe at all. Most of the stories are tongue-in-cheek, even outright silly, as an affectionate tribute to Lovecraft and the Mythos; but a couple of tales are a bit different.

And this is not your typical “Lovecraftian cookbook” full of inedible witches’ potions. All recipes here are real food, tested and tasted by friends and family, and fairly easy to make.

You will find treats like “Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut” (diary of the cook at the U-29 from “The Temple“); “Anziques Kebab“; “Gulab Jamun“; extra-crispy “Fried Honey-Garlic Chicken of Tindalos“; the Jermyn family recipe for “Banana Bread“; and Theodorus Philetas’ Necronomicon “Spanakopita.”

There is also a spine-chilling take on Robert Bloch (“How I Fed Your Mother“); an alternate-history riff (“The Horror From The Ice-Cream“); straight-out retellings of Lovecraft classics (“The Feastival“, “Commonplace Cookbook“, “The Flavor Out Of Space” and “The Uneatable“); a Kafka/Zappa pastiche (“The Dangerous Kitchen“); and much, much more for your literary and culinary pleasures.



Doug wasn’t sure whether he should trust Satan.

The red flag was that he said he was Satan. But the deal was good: Listen to Satan’s story in exchange for some donuts. And Doug only half-fulfilled his part of the bargain.

But maybe he should have listened better, because during his friend Bryce’s next scheme (theft with light to moderate treason—the usual), Doug and the rest of his friends—Lulu (the fun one) and Charlene (the not fun one)—end up with a powerful artifact, a small metal cube with world-ending power that Lulu decorated with bunnies. And now everyone wants the bunny cube, which means Doug, Bryce, Lulu, and Charlene are being pursued by an insane supermodel general, an army of sadists, a vast criminal organization, a smaller, more-in-startup-mode criminal organization, and an unstoppable killing machine—the worst kind of killing machine.

Doug and his friends may be a bunch of losers who aren’t particularly smart or good at anything, but they have one thing going for them: a really cool name for their mercenary group. And now it’s up to Hellbender to save the world—well, what’s left of it. It’s pretty ruined and war-torn already. But, you know, they live there, so they kind of need it.

It’s a mess, but that’s what you get for listening to Satan. Or half-listening.

FROM E.M. FONER:  Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador Book 1)


“Good SciFi comedy is as rare as hen’s teeth. This was a fun read.”

Kelly Frank is EarthCent’s top diplomat on Union Station, but her job description has always been a bit vague. The pay is horrible and she’s in hock up to her ears for her furniture, which is likely to end up in a corridor because she’s behind on rent for her room. Sometimes she has to wonder if the career she has put ahead of her personal life for fifteen years is worth it.

When Kelly receives a gift subscription to the dating service that’s rumored to be powered by the same benevolent artificial intelligence that runs the huge station, she decides to swallow her pride and give it a shot. But as her dates go from bad to worse, she can only hope that the supposedly omniscient AI is planning a happy ending.

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: field


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

  1. “I was once out strolling one very hot summer’s day
    When I thought I’d lay myself down to rest
    In a big field of tall grass…”

    “I swear by All that is Right, Good, And Holy on this Earth, you start singing that song again and I will disembowel you with a rusty fork!”

    1. Thank you. I’ve heard (a/the) variant of that on a store PA for years and had always wonder WTH? And now I know… it doesn’t make any sense as the variant *can’t* make sense. Not the original does, either, but… ouch.

      1. I’m pretty sure that whoever wrote that song was on drugs. But then again, I have nonsensical dreams like the one described in the song on a fairly regular basis.

        Be that as it may, it’s still one of the few songs for which I will automatically and immediately change my radio over to another preset if it comes on while I’m driving.

        1. The late ’60s – early ’70s have a lot of regrettable songs left behind. My car radio through 1973 was AM only, and Top 40 songs were mind-rot worthy. Between “Yummy yummy yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy”* and “In the year 2525” it was gruesome.

          (*) In the spirit of Switched On Bach** with cynicism firmly in hand, somebody did a cover version as “The Moog Machine”.

          (**) Personally, I prefer W. Carlos’s original works. Both a good composer and player.

          1. I don’t mind small, infrequent doses of “Yummy…” but that’s likely the early-childhood exposure giving me some immunity. I can deal with ‘2525’ fairly well – again, though, low doses.

            Now, I can freebase Spike Jones, so… what’s THAT say?

            1. I don’t catch enough Spike Jones. “Cocktails for Two” and “Der Fuehrer’s Face” make my day.

              I find I’m missing the source songs for a lot of Weird Al stuff. Not sure it matters, though songs like “Beverly Hillbillies/Money for Nothing” work well for me because I know both. Hell, I remember Railway Express from the opening scenes.

              1. Once upon a time I found a/the 4 CD set Spike Jones & His City Slickers Strictly for Music Lovers. It might well not be everything, but much more than I’d heard up til then. ‘Popcorn Sack’ and ‘Sound Effects Man’ both come to mind in that.

  2. “Recruit! If I have to tell you again to NOT use your powers on the softball field, you’ll be playing softball on Venus!”

  3. “He’s great with the stator windings, but he’s merely an amateur with an armature winding. That’s not just my opinion, but of everyone – except himself, of course – in the motor shop.”

    “And that’s the state of things? He is, how you say, outstanding in…”

    “..the field. Yes, Sir.”

  4. “So tell me, why exactly is the premier historian of the early 21st century out in the wheat?” He paused, and sighed. Of course the wallaby would make sure that the outstanding expert in the field would be out standing in the field.

  5. With the losses at Five Rivers, Fourth Army was short on officers. This included Fox Company, so Sergeant Jant was now Warrant Jant, and commanded the survivors.

    They’d fought well, he reflected, and yielded the field only grudgingly and in good order, but they’d been outnumbered almost two to one by the Elven army, and the sheer number of mages had made up for their lack in artillery. Still, morale was good. They’d lost, true, but the men felt it was the fortune of war, rather than any blunder on their part or brilliance of the enemy. He felt the same way.

    He would feel better, though, if they weren’t heading for Long Ford.

  6. Sorry, Sarah. I have be a pain again. Are my E-mails getting caught in a spam filter? Is my stuff not professional enough? Any guidance would be appreciated.

      1. I’ve been failing to get my book up for a promo for a couple of weeks. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I sent to your other address. Fingers crossed.

      2. I’ve been failing to get my book on the promo post for a couple of weeks. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Sent to your other address. Fingers crossed.

          1. In this crew? Of course. If worse came to worst, we could ask the aardvark for the multiversal map, and go through all the doors to harvest their curse words.

          2. Well, there are plenty. Should one language run out, there are plenty others. And no need to restrict to species, or even a single planet’s worth. Though I suspect what is needed is for WP server rooms to be equipped with slide rules as a pointed reminder that computation is not and cannot be monopolized.

  7. On the books only, since I have no ability to write (AC is going in to the office tonight or tomorrow, after which I might get the brain back from whatever cooler place it has gone off to) – if you pick up the first Union Station, be prepared to binge for a while. One of the few extremely long series that has not gone downhill. Her other books are just as good, BTW.

  8. Minette stood nervously at the edge of the trees. Grass and wildflowers, rising as high as her shoulder, spread as large as the millpond back home. She could see the trees on the other side, but she could not see any sheep or any sign this was a hay meadow.

  9. “What is it?”

    “Don’t know. It’s grey, wrinkled looking. Some kind of pale, eight-legged animals walking around on it. Odd looking vegetation sticking out of the ground.”

    Scientists! That’s what you get when you restrict their field of vision through a telescope when looking at the elephant in the room.

  10. Poppies and ripe wheat filled the field with gold and fiery red.
    “Like,” said Roberto, “being sent to escort a raw adventurer were not insulting enough. They have to make us do it as winter is coming.”
    “You assume he will live through fall,” said Carrigiana.
    “He might,” said Edwin.

  11. “It was one of those high mountain meadows,” said Florio. “Past where the trees grow.”
    “Past the clouds, often enough,” said Rosine. “I have not seen such sunlight since we came to this land.” She rolled her eyes. “Not that it kept off monsters. Off trying to lure us astray.”

  12. “Everyone move closer together,” said Rosine. “You need to be in the field of effect.”
    They stood like people who had known times when such clumping would bring down a fireball that could destroy the band.
    “I don’t have enough spells to do you in two groups,” said Rosine, sharply.

  13. He raised those lemon yellow arms, and said, “Look about. Look at those fields. What do you see? The brown earth? No, the brilliant flowers in orange and yellow, the foliage in green. Other places, you will see red, or blue, or violet. But brown belongs hidden in the earth.”

  14. “And those fields are absurd. Windflowers, poppies, goldenrod, all in careful array. They do not even stand in clumps. Is this supposed to be nature’s hand? No, this is planted as neatly as a garden.” Liliane sniffed. “They could have at least left a garden path, since it is one.”

  15. “And those fields are absurd. Windflowers, poppies, goldenrod, all in careful array. They do not even stand in clumps. Is this supposed to be nature’s hand? No, this is planted as neatly as a garden.” Liliane sniffed. “They could have at least left a garden path, since it is one.”

  16. “And those fields are absurd. Windflowers, poppies, goldenrod, all in careful array. They do not even stand in clumps. Is this supposed to be nature’s hand? No, this is planted as neatly as a garden.” Liliane sniffed. “They could have at least left a garden path, since it is one.”

  17. He looked over the tech’s shoulder at the instrument panel, all knobs and dials and switches so unlike the software-configurable screens he was used to. “What’s going on?”

    The tech adjusted some settings on this monstrosity that looked like a relic from the Apollo moonshot program. “Field strength’s dropping fast.”

    “And that means what?” You say that like it’s a bad thing, he thought but did not add.

    “It’s going to get harder and harder to move across time. Low enough and we could lose the connection to the other world altogether.”

    His stomach clenched with sudden dread. To be stranded forever in an alien world, to never see his family again — this was supposed to be an exploration, not an exile, dammit.

  18. I desperately want to make a “field goal” pun here, but it’s just not coming to me. Sports aren’t my field.

    1. The score was 22 to 20, 5 seconds left on the clock, fourth quarter, 4 and 100 yards to go after the last play. The coach was going to throw in the towel and concede the game when John Boy spoke up.
      “I can kick a 100 yard field goal.”

  19. “How do you get them to drift? I thought illusions were stationary.”

    “I can attach them to something.” Li grinned. “I used soap bubbles. It’s humid, so they last a little while, and there’s a breeze.”

    Lucy smiled back. “Let them fly for a while. You said you were hungry, so –”

  20. The Union Station series is a fun romp.

    Light-hearted, easy to read and interesting characters.

    Highly recommend.

  21. Moira sprinted through the field, legs pumping, lungs about to burst. When she reached the verge of collapse, she turned her head to look back.

    It was still there. At the same distance away. Hell.

    She turned away and continued on at a walking pace.

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