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 JERRY BOYDBob’s Saucer Repair (Bob and Nikki Book 1).


Bob thought he was doing fine on his own. Then the love of his life fell out of the sky. Can he get her back in the air with auto parts and a cutting torch? If he does, will she ever come back?
Nikki took a job before she saw the equipment. Can she keep her passengers alive on a strange planet?
Are the natives friendly?”
John is doing well with his underground medical practice, when his sometime partner Bob calls him with a job. A job that changes everything.

FROM ALMA BOYKIN:  Distinctly Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Six.


Temptation lurks in marshes between the land and the sea…

Lelia and Tay discover a new puzzle…

Fundraising collides with a spell gone awry…

A mage discovers the impossibility of arguing with almost two-thousand-pounds of Familiar…

There’s something distinctly familiar, and Familiar, about these urban fantasy short stories, set in a world like our own, almost.

Short stories, 46,000 words.

FROM PETER GRANT:  Taghri’s Prize.


Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth!

Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess is now paying close attention – too close! – to its new owner. Among the slaves he’s freed is a princess, formerly being held for ransom, who comes with political and personal intrigues all her own. Even if he survives the attention of both, there’s also a pirate lord out there, hell-bent on avenging the death of his son.

It’s going to take all of Taghri’s skill, experience and cunning to survive winning this prize!


FROM SAM SCHALL:  Betrayal from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 5.


War is never clean. Honor doesn’t always win out. Betrayal becomes the shadow currency that can tip the balance of power.

Colonel Ashlyn Shaw learned those lessons the hard way. Five years ago, she lost her command and her freedom because of the machinations of those willing to betray Fuercon, the homeworld they’d sworn to protect. Supposed allies conspired with enemies. Now Fuercon and its allied systems face a war on multiple fronts.

A war where the enemy doesn’t want a diplomatic solution. One where the enemy claims victory based on the number of civilian deaths.

This is not a war of attrition. It is a war of survival.

It is also a war Ashlyn and her allies have every intention of winning. But to do so, they must first unravel the layers of a conspiracy that goes much deeper than any of them suspect.

Honor and duty. Death before dishonor.


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.

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: beam

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

  1. “I won’t touch that with a ten foot pole.”

    “What about a twenty foot beam?”

    “Very funny.”

    [Not enough coffee to do better. 😉 ]

  2. “Isn’t that an audio device?”

    “Originally, but the characteristics were good well beyond audio range, so it got adopted into radio.”

    “Low frequency, I could see that.”

    “Sure, but this’s good across the HF bands.”

    “HIGH frequency? For a nominally AUDIO device?”

    “The 6146 is one helluva beam power tube.”

  3. “Don’t waste your time on that. It’s an utter failure.”

    “But.. it’s an AI… aren’t those great?”

    “The great ones are. The average ones are so-so. The bad ones… are worse than worthless. And that is a B.E.A.M. – the very worst of all!”


    “Berkeley ‘Enhanced’ Artificial Mind.”


  4. “Scotty, beam me up!”

    “Aye-aye, Captain?”

    Teleporter’s Mate Second Class activated the teleporter, then turned to her fellow crewmate.

    “Why the frell does he always say that? My name’s not Scotty, and what the frell is ‘beaming’ supposed to mean?”

    1. And thus we know the Teleporter’s Mate Second Class is not of earth, and has not been told of a particular entertainment of yore – or has lead a very isolated life.

        1. Your society only refers to people by their title, never their name; because using their true secret name gives you power over them?

  5. Revised version. Because I am a dumbass.

    “Scotty, beam me up!”

    “Aye-aye, Captain?”

    Teleporter’s Mate Second Class Ta’chrell activated the teleporter, then turned to her fellow crewmate.

    “Why the frell does he always say that? My name’s not Scotty, and what the frell is ‘beaming’ supposed to mean?”

      1. I occasionally use ‘frell’.

        “Oh, a Farscape fan?”
        “Never saw a single episode.”
        “But…you just said…?”
        “Some things just creep into the culture.”

  6. “What’s wrong Captain?”

    “Spock, I keep hearing these jokes that have me telling Scotty to “beam me up” and I’ve never said that.”

    1. My personal favorite (from “The Doomsday Machine”): “Gentlemen, I suggest you beam me aboard.”

      I can’t get the ukelele(!) cover version to view in my machine, but Terry McGovern, in 1976, then a DJ at KSAN in SF and occasional contributor to the then-new Evening Magazine TV show, did a song called “Beam me up, Scotty”. IIRC, it was partly to show the process of recording a song.

  7. Once behind the altar, he could see how the effect worked. There was a glass panel in the floor, with a set a mirrors below that. These reflected light upwards from optical fibers that presumably went through the wall. Outside, the fiber-ends were dispersed, so you had to be looking for them to see them.

    “This looks like a Temple of Unis.” Nels fretted. “Will they be upset?”

    “No.” Ger pointed at a modest square hole in front of the altar. “They’ve removed the order-flower. They do that whenever they deconsecrate a place and take it to the new one. Once they do that, it’s just property.”

  8. What was this? thought Carrigiana, stalking closer. Out of all the forest, the princeling happened to sit in the one sunbeam that got through the canopy, so that he glowed like gold and silver.
    When she circled a great oak, it struck her: the light was circular, not a beam.

  9. Saw beam and well, with the death of Rutger Hauer, this quote instantly sprang to mind. I know, it isn’t a viginet, but in his honor for a great scene…

    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
    — Roy Batty, BladeRunner

  10. I woke to the warm, bright sun beaming through window. I groaned and turned my head. That was a mistake. All the booze I’d consumed the night before had given me a hangover that merely killing me would be an improvement. To piss, or throw up, that was the question.

  11. Three day’s worth of negotiations, discussions, and conversations had culminated in this Friday night. From the wardrobe (semi-formal) to the etiquette (Western politeness, all in English) to the meal (Scottish salmon with herb butter, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies, with appetizers and dessert), this simple “getting to know you dinner” was planned better than most weddings. Security was tight, and Ian had to work with his counterpart in the Suisha family. “If the security company isn’t a yakuza front,” Ian complained, “it’s only because they hid their associations way too well. Fortunately, we are not in trouble with them now. Even with what happened in LA.”

    The house had not been cleaned as sterilized, and if there was a dust mote anywhere, it was hidden better than a spy’s dead drop. The entire security team was pulling double time, and eight of Ian’s best were sitting in the basement in full armor and carrying very illegal military assault rifles. A humorless and stoic husband-and-wife team came to the house the day before and swept for bugs and surveillance systems. Charles followed behind them, and make sure that they hadn’t left anything behind. And, the Suisha security company was running the outer perimeter security.

    One did not do anything less when Itsuke Suisha went anywhere.

    The Suisha family, from what I had learned initially, was a rich and wealthy family. That was a massive understatement after I had done the research. The family’s records extend back some sixteen hundred years of continuous control over a fortune that is in the top fifteen or twenty in Japan. They are the sort of people that can buy member of the Japanese Diet, their parliament, wholesale. They would consider the Medici Family to be nouveau riche and beneath their notice and time.

    Itsuke Suisha hadn’t been born into the family, but he had changed his name when the family had “adopted” him after he married Aoi Suisha. Even with the sanitized nature of the Japanese press about people that powerful, everything indicated that Itsuke had used just about every means at his disposal to move up the ranks in the family and to expand the family’s wealth. The legality or the ethics of these means was of no consideration at all.

    From what I could read, the term “fairytale wedding” was used for the marriage of Itsuke and Aoi, and they had one daughter, Sayuri. There were whispered rumors of a second child, then nothing. Then, Aoi Suisha vanished off the face of the Earth, as if she had been beamed up to the mothership three years ago. Itsuke had an ironclad alibi and the investigation into the disappearance was as thorough as humanly possible.

    Charlotte had summed up Itsuke for me with this, “He is one of maybe three candidates to take over the Suisha family in the next five to six years when the current head retires. His current ‘personal assistant’ may have been his mistress four years ago, and he is making all the right moves to make their relationship legitimate. But, it all hinges on Sayuri-if anything happens to her before she gets married, questions will be asked that will put him out of the running permanently. And, he will probably kill to prevent that.”

    “Did he murder Aoi, or have it done?” I asked.

    “I don’t know,” Charlotte replied after a moment. “Kiokyo asked a number of her contacts, and negative reports are just as informative as positive ones. I wouldn’t be surprised if Itsuke had the murder done, and the killers ‘cleaned up’ afterwards. He is very through like that.”

    This thought stayed in my mind as the convoy of three Mercedes-Benz sedans came up the driveway of the house, and pulled directly in front of the house. The security man riding shotgun came out of the middle car and opened the door. The man that stepped out of the car, wearing a simple but expensive suit, looked around carefully in concealed judgement. He was probably in his mid-40’s, short salt-and-pepper hair, decent shape for a banker and money manager, and some of the angriest eyes I’ve ever seen on a man that wasn’t in the middle of a bar fight. Sayuri follows after her father, and behind her is a very attractive Japanese woman in her late ‘20s in a suit and skirt combination that looks extremely professional, carrying a fairly large handbag and a wrapped package that looks like a bottle. The three of them come up to use, and the man says, “Mr. Taylor?”

    “Mr. Suisha,” Father nods. “Welcome to our house, and thank you for coming.”

    Itsuke nods curtly, and says, “Shall we go in?”

    Father leads Itsuke in and Sayuri comes up beside me as we walk into the house.

    Itsuke pauses in the foyer and says, “Very good, the house is well done.”

    “We got the house furnished, and my wife has been adding her own touches,” Father replies and the two of them walk around, talking about the house. Mother follows with the woman that came with Itsuke, and Sayuri is walking with me, as Father gives Itsuke the cook’s tour of the first floor of the house.

    “Very impressive,” Itsuke replies, and he looks at Father. “We have some time before dinner, shall we talk?”

    Father tilts his head slightly, and replies, “Most certainly. Shall we head up to my office?”

    “I think we should let Miss Nakamura and your wife get acquainted while we talk,” Itsuke replies. “As well as our daughters.”

    As a dismissal, it could have been done much more politely. I turned to Sayuri and said, “Miss Suisha, shall we take the full tour of the house?”

    Sayuri nods and we head towards the stairs to see the next floor.

  12. Sunlight came down in a great beam from the high window, in the shadows. Bredon jerked his head aside.
    “O look at him now, so sensitive he can’t take that much light.”
    “Just wait until he’s in daylight!”
    “Well, he won’t have to take it long!”
    They all laughed, loudly.

  13. In the great hall, Minette felt a bitter pang of homesickness for her mother’s little cabin. Both buildings were built of entire trees, notched and hooked together, and had beams that ran the length of the room.
    Though this was a hall, and not, like theirs, the room where they did everything, even sleep.

  14. Beamer was chasing waves while I watched the yacht cruise towards the harbor. She was heavy in the beam – the yacht, not the dog – and the sails were furled. Come on, girl! Heel! – The dog, not the yacht. Beamer scrambled to my side and stood quietly. Ahoy Captain! Welcome home!

  15. The thin beam wasn’t structural, rather it was used to hang light banners, flags and decorations across the length of the grand hall. Still it was sound, Vyn decided, and clinging to the wall in the silence and shadows started inscribing several simple patterns of strength and concealment upon its slender length. They wouldn’t last long, but her job wouldn’t require it to.

  16. His flashlight shone brightly. Eight hundred lumens swung from left to right as the beam illuminated the hallway ahead.

    “Idiot drunken barracks rats!” The Staff Sergeant muttered loudly to himself. Some days he wished he’d never re-enlisted. CQ duty did that to him rather often, he mused to himself. In his experience, Charge of Quarters duty ranged from tedious to terrible, with rarely any upsides worth remembering.

  17. Beams of light came from Carolus, illuminating the shadows and his stern face.
    Rosine bit her lip. He looked like all the dreams of paladins she had had as a children, the ones she had grown out of, knowing that they would never be true, and still less for her.

  18. “Sorry Captain, but all our barrels went up with the rest of the whiskey when the warehouse went up a few months ago.”

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