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 (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*


FROM ANNA FERREIRA:  Christmas at Blackheath


Agnes Rawlins would never dream of showing a melancholy face to her brother’s guests. She may be a spinster, and treated little better than any common housekeeper, but she is responsible for bringing Christmas cheer into the dark and rambling Blackheath Manor, and she does not shirk her duty, even when she has little reason to celebrate.

William Marlowe, Viscount Claridge, has reluctantly accepted an invitation to spend the Christmas season at Blackheath. It’s not his first choice- how anyone could wish to spend time in the gloomy manor house is beyond him- but when he meets the kind and gentle lady of the house, he finds that Christmas at Blackheath might not be so bad after all.

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER:   No Early Birds: A Short Story – About Time


Four close friends and widows do things together. They visit the Waffle House, go on cruises, and hit the garage sales as a team. When the people leaving a garage sale ahead of them drop a time machine in the driveway, they try to return it. But being scrupulously honest proves to be surprisingly difficult.

FROM JL CURTISThe Grey Man- Sunset.


Whoever said retirement was quiet never met John Cronin…

The old man may have retired for the final time from the Sheriff’s office, but there are still cows to run, court cases to testify at, and consultation calls to tap decades of experience. And that’s not even counting the cold cases he’s still trying to solve…

With his granddaughter Jesse running the gun store and managing the ranch books, and her husband leaning how to fill Cronin’s shoes on investigations and arrests, John is keeping busy training the next generation, while settling a few old scores!



Jake, Anna, and Sweets are back in the long-awaited sequel to Colony!

Fresh off their mission to Pisces, the trio is looking forward to a well-deserved rest, and better yet, a fat paycheck after everything that occurred on the alien world. But all that comes to a crashing halt when they’re waylaid above Earth by their employer and find themselves with an extended contract, sending them right back out into space.

Worse yet, their trio has been split to best handle their new assignments. Jake and Anna find themselves attached to a scientific expedition, tasked as security escorts keeping the expedition safe as they investigate a new potential colony world thriving with a vast, vibrant jungle. Meanwhile, Sweets has been assigned aboard an UNSEC military vessel, tracking down the source of a pervasive cyberattack against their hardware.

But as both teams get to work, it’s clear that there may be more to their respective missions than they were led to believe. The cyberattacks are brazen and powerful, but simplistic and utterly untraceable. The alien world’s ecology defies logic and sense, puzzling the expedition team.

And above it all, the ripples of events on Pisces continue to spread through the galaxy …

MEL DUNAY:  Scapegoating a Hero (Ancestors of Jaiya Book 3).


Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here the humans wield magical powers and fight against an Empire which seeks to enslave them, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Anora doesn’t like having the ability to steal other people’s memories, but sometimes she has to use her power in her work as a spy. But when the sleazy Imperial businessman blackmailing her is killed, Anora’s husband Rijal is imprisoned. What started as a marriage of convenience will turn into true love, as Anora uses all her skills to free her husband from prison…but she has powerful enemies, and not all of them are human.

Note: Hero is meant as a standalone with a “happily ever after” ending. However, the heroes in the later books in this series are descended from Anora and Rijal, who are also the ancestors of some of the characters in the original Jaiya series. The romance is on the sweet side, but due to the situations the characters find themselves in, there is some gun violence and hand-to-hand violence, and there are also passing references to bullet wounds, etc.


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: Winter

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

  1. “I’ve never been this cold before! I hate Winter!”

    “Nah, this winter isn’t so bad. I’ve had worse winters.”

    “Oh, when?”

    “The winter that I spent on Pluto.”

    “Ah, that makes sense.”

    [Just had to do this. :wink:]

  2. When I had a chance, I walked, no ran, away from Winter. The cold would crawl down to my lungs and my chest would tighten until I had to huff to force a breath out. The dry desert air with warmer temperatures soothed me until I forgot the pain.

    Now you have asked me to come back to frozen toes, reddened cheeks, and the cold. You have asked me to give up comfort and warmth for a roaring fire.


  3. “Not black?” Lelia studied André’s grey slacks, darker grey wool vest, and grey morning coat.

    Straight-faced, he said, “Goth winter camo.”

    Lelia closed her eyes for a moment, shaking her head. “You win.” As he collected his sword-cane, she added, “as usual,” well under her breath.

  4. “At that,” said Imogene, “I doubt it’s chance that had them send us out now, when winter looms with all its peril.”
    Carrigiana said, “We don’t adventure in the winter. We hole up for safety and fight such perils as happen on us.”
    “As a child, I fought such perils.”

  5. They huddled round the fireplace. Elise, her fingers wrapped around steaming cup of mulled cider, said, “It’s not likely they escaped. And all of them, to not leave any bones. It is much more likely that they were used for magic.”
    The wind roared, and sleet hissed on the walls.

      1. Still working on the outline. Think I may have to fall back and take a stab at a higher level — scene by scene is not working for this one.

  6. “So was the winter,” said Florio. “The first days, we were surprised that summer’s end was all green and growing. Then, early that autumn, we were blasted with snow and wind and trudged through it. Only when we reached green trees did it dawn on us that it was magic.”

  7. The cleared sidewalk steamed slightly in the weak afternoon sunlight. The darkness of the wet concrete provided some relief from the bright snow to either side. There were still a couple of hours of daylight left; the path should be dry by nightfall. There would be no ice patches here.

  8. “I do not think you understand, Monsignior Coquinael.” The elder diplomat spoke in that trained voice that revealed nothing, only the pleasant mask of professionalism. “You compare New Rome to your homeworld and think it bitterly cold when winter comes. Imagine if you will a world which is always winter, where it is possible to grow crops only because they are warmed with geothermal steam. Yes, I see you understand now why any nation on Tharishon is considered to be a hardship post.”

  9. “White is for winter,” said Nico.
    “We are not going there,” said Corridon, firmly. “We were not sent with the proper gear for a winter journey.”
    “We,” said Phoebe, “were not sent with the proper spells to ward off an enchanted winter. Any more than fire or flood pr desert.”

  10. “I miss winter,” she said.
    “This IS winter. It got below 60 last night!”
    “Don’t you want to live somewhere with REAL seasons?”
    “Southern California HAS real seasons. They just aren’t the ones that you’re used to!”
    “Yeah, right,” she replied. “Summer, a long fall, two weeks of rain, and a long spring.”
    “No. The seasons here are Fire, Flood, Earthquake, and Tourist.”

  11. From WIP, Coffee with Kali The Destroyer:

    Winter in the Arizona desert is a different experience than in the Northeast. Henrietta was hot because the sun was beating down on her, and cold because the wind was blowing. With her jacket on she sweated, with it off she froze. Technically it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but the mountain breeze was biting.

    “Gruesome!” she shouted down the cliff face at her companion. “What in hell is the matter with this weather y’all drug me out into? Too hot, too cold, pick one, dammit!”

    Her companions was a mechanical scorpion as big as a refrigerator, currently hanging upside down over the edge of a sheer 80 foot cliff. She gloried in the name Gruesome Mary McScary, given to her by Henrietta when they first met. She had it painted on the side of her scorpion chassis in a beautiful flowing script. There were also hot rod flames in red and yellow, pinstriping, Von Dutch-style flying eyeballs and chrome decorations.

    “Can’t take the Arizona weather?” she inquired. “Made of sugar, are ya?”

    “Damn sun screws everything up here,” complained Henrietta forthrightly. “Back home in Amarillo we have two temperatures. Too hot and too cold. This here is both at once. That ain’t right.”

    “Could be worse,” said Gruesome Mary philosophically. “We could be in Hamilton today. Freezing rain.”

  12. The van’s heater kept the cold outside as Ted waited by the railroad siding. The four-year-old Chevy Express was good at that, despite having well over 400,000 on the clock, and Ted was grateful for its four wheel drive. It got lonely out here in the middle of nowhere waiting for the train, and imagining things was too easy…like that light, streaking down from the sky.

    BOOM! The van rocked as the streak hit the rocks beside the track.

Comments are closed.