*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.
FROM FRANK J. FLEMING (YES, OF IMAO.US FAME): Hellbender.
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