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. ;)*


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 EDWARD THOMAS:   Unfair Advantage (The Troubles of George McIntyre Book 1).


George McIntyre has a problem.
He caught a nanotechnological disease that turned him into a ten-foot-tall monster. He has scales, fur, horns, big teeth, claws, a face like a pony and a barbed tail. He got an upgrade in strength, speed and intelligence that is so profound it is terrifying him. But that’s not his problem.
He’s been shot, stabbed, blown up and thrown in jail. But that’s not his problem.
He’s created an intelligent robot assistant. But while she is proving to be a lot more than he bargained for, she is not his problem.
There is an alien machine that is trying to turn every human alive into a mindless, remote controlled zombie. That’s his problem.

MACKEY CHANDLER:  April (Paper Edition)


April is an exceptional young lady and something of a snoop. After a chance encounter with a spy, she finds herself involved with political intrigues that stretch her abilities. There is a terrible danger she, and her friends and family, will lose the only home she has ever known, and be forced to live on the slum ball Earth below. It’s more than an almost fourteen year old should have to deal with. Fortunately she has a lot of smart friends and allies. It’s a good thing because things get very rough and dicey. They challenge the political status quo, and with a small population the only advantage they have in war is a thin technological edge.The “April” series of books works towards a merge with the “Family Law” series set further in the future.

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN:  Called to the Council: Shikari Book .


Auriga “Rigi” Bernardi-Prananda wants only to do her duty as wife and mother. The Staré natives of Shikhari call her guardian, Healer, and one of the Wise. With the leaders of the people divided, more and more lower Stamm Staré look to her for guidance.

A hunting trip turned war forces her hand. Trapped by Shikhari’s ancient enemy, Rigi must lead her people to safety. But who are her people? And how can she protect her children, both Human and Staré, from an enemy that hunts from shadow?

Rigi must call on all her resources as secrets in high places combine with low treachery to endanger the world she calls home. Artist, mother, huntress, Wise, Rigi navigates interstellar intrigue (and sibling spats, and wildlife with a dreadful sense of timing.)

FROM MARY CATELLI:  The Book of Bone.


A novelette of curses and journeys.

Avice’s dreams of settling at Clearwater are dashed. The lawsuit had ended, and the lands were made over to her, but a bone wizard lays a curse on the land, and blight begins to spread. All will die before the curse as it spreads.

Neither her family nor her king are willing to help. She is left alone with only the knowledge that the mysterious Book of Bone may have the lore that she needs — if only she can find it.



“Complete your tasks and you will be released. We have summoned you and you must serve us.”

“Never.” The word caught against the fangs in her lengthening jaw and became a growl. She looked down at her tormentors below her and knew them. Fox ears and cat eyes.

“Never!” She bellowed defiance that started deep within her scaled body and expanded with her to fill the sky.


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: Bitter.


65 thoughts on “

  1. Oooh! More Shikari!

    I should really go back through and reread those. I’m fairly sure I’m missing some clues.

    1. *Snort*

      Ar first I read that as Shibari, and wondered where you saw THAT in the books listed.

  2. Promo, WOOT!!!! Yes, The Phantom finally got off the dime and published. All of y’all that wanted to see the cheeky robot girlfriends in action, this is it. Edward Thomas is indeed code for The Phantom.

    Thanks, Sarah!

    Incidentally, for the struggling cover makers out there, the results you see on Unfair Advantage are mostly due to me paying attention to Sarah’s (and others) posts about covers here and at MGC. The mistakes of course are all mine. ~:D

  3. What a perfectly ironic choice of prompt for this week’s vignette challenge, because it’s going to be hard for me not to be bitter that the e-mail I sent with the book I wanted promoted this week apparently got munched by one of the Internet hamsters. And this was after I got such a wonderful sales bump from last week’s promo, so I was hoping if I made sure I got something sent each week, I’d be able to keep the sales coming. But nope, no sales bump for me this week.

    Cue Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.”

      1. Thanks. Let’s hope I remember, and don’t have it crowded straight out of my memory amidst the chaos of living in a house that’s under repair and having to pack my office for the duration.

  4. Many thanks for the promo, Sarah!

    “It is, indeed, a bitter cup, served with such distrust and brewed with tears,” she told him, accepting the goblet.

  5. “You’ll do just fine,” said Faramond, cheerfully. “After a month, you’ll wonder that you ever found the confines of the hills to be home.”
    Minette looked at the road ahead and wished she had spells for silence, to stop his tongue before he made her bitter against him for life.

  6. Harvested about three times my customary daily dosage of sleep and I’m still tired. Some very nicely tempting book covers but it seems as though Unfair Advantage is missing a character of monstrous mien. Well, hot heavily armed robot chick probably moves more sales …

    I don’t feel up to a vignette so instead, as a public service, I shall burn an obvious and bad joke:

    She said she was famished, that she hadn’t had a bite in days, so I bitter.

        1. The carp took you at your word. They swam through the minion pool — the sea serpent is guarding the entrance — and out to the the lake where the flamingos started to hang out after they came to life from being plastic.

    1. Turns out it is very hard to draw monsters. Who knew? ~:D

      Julie Pascal’s dragon cover is very nice. Things like that don’t get the respect they deserve, let me tell you.

      1. Julie Pascal’s cover does indeed arrest the eye — let up pray it is as effective at emptying the wallet.

        As for monsters being hard to draw, Harry Dresden and Owen Pitt seem to have no difficulty drawing them.

        1. Awright, I confess this old memory ain’t what I recall it was and I was forced to [searchengine] Owen’s name. The Deities of Serendip dumped this in my lap and it seems worth an ever more deranged digression than our usual (although, truth be told*) this should occur at arry’s blog and we ought cast one of Sarah’s novels … although I canot think which of them stands out before the others as film-able. Maybe Darkship Thieves but let’s admit: there be thematic elements there what would cause Hollywood heads to ‘splode.

          At any rate, here, stripped of extraneous info) is one clown fan’s** casting for a Monster Hunter movie:

          1. Channing Tatum: Owen Pitt

          2. Scarlett Johansson: Holly Newscastle

          3. Anthony Mackie: John Jermaine Jones (AKA Trip)

          4. Timothy Olyphant: Earl Harbinger

          5. Dwayne Johnson: Special Agent Franks

          6. John Malkovich: Mordechai

          7. Kathy Bates: Dorcas

          8. Max Martini: Sam Haven

          9. Charlize Theron: Susan Shackleford

          10. Kate Beckinsale: Julie Shackleford

          11. Sung Kang: Albert Lee

          12. Ian Somerhalder: Grant Jefferson

          13. John Goodman: Cecil Huffman

          14. Melissa McCarthy: the Elf Queen

          15. Anthony Hopkins: Doctor Lucius

          16. Robert Patrick: Agent Dwayne Myers

          17. Jeff Bridges: Raymond Shackleford IV

          18. Mads Mikkelsen: Jaeger

          19. Jean Reno: Jean Darne

          20. Alan Tudyk: Skippy

          21. Wentworth Miller: The Guardian

          22. Christopher Walken: Mr. Stricken

          23. Christine Lahti: Dr. Joan Nelson

          24. Adetokumboh M’Cormack: Priest

          25. Kristofer Hivju: Milo Anderson

          *Probably best it not be told with topics of this sort.

          **Not this fan’s. For one thing, I’d cast Adam Baldwin as Owen and while I do love me some Tim Olyphant I think Earl has to be a little more mature — maybe Tommy Lee Jones? For Raymond Shackleford IV I’d want Sam Elliott (although if folks want to hold him back for when the movies about Bubba get made I will settle for his picture on the wall.) I also think Nathan Fillion would be a more interesting choice for Grant. Kathy Bates as Dorcas seems terrific. While I don’t particularly care for the casting of Holly and Julie I can’t think of any actresses better suited.

          Of course, it is late and my fever seems to be spiking, so best I wander away from this dropped grenade.

          1. Channing Tatum is too purty to be Owen Pitt. Going to need a lot of uglifying makeup.
            IMHO Scarlett Johansen is too short, too cute and too classy to be Holly Newcastle. She’s a stripper, you need somebody tall and a bit hard looking. Might be further ahead with Milla Jovovich or Famke Janssen. (Who are both classy of course, but they have the bone structure to play a stripper.)
            Charlize Theron could definitely be Susan Shackleford.

            I did find somebody to play Miss Charlotte Smith from my book, finally. Elizabeth Debicki. She’s purty. ~:D

            1. I definitely agree on Channing Tatum being too purty to be Owen. And given Owen’s Polynesian ancestry, I’d think Jason Momoa would be a better pick. As for the ladies Shackleford, they should probably be played by the same actress, given that Julie is supposed to look so much like her mom.

              1. Momoa sounds a good choice. Probably better than The Rock. It would free Earl to be played by Adam Baldwin, who is probably a better choice for the role than Olyphant or Tommy Lee … Put Olyphant in the Sam Haven slot, if only to Justify getting him in a cowboy hat.

                1. Yeah, Adam Baldwin would make a good Earl.

                  Stoopid WordPress. Keeps telling me to enter my information, even though I’m already logged in using FB authentication.

        2. Book 2 of mine is in the Cover Factory now, and contains the biggest monster draw of all time, Alice Haddison. Wherever she goes, there’s a monster.

      2. Thank you. 🙂 The artist is my son, Zack. He did the illustration for me six years ago (because that’s how long I sat on this without getting my tail in gear and getting it published!) He’s on DeviantArt as “Adalore” and is mostly doing commissions for people who want their fursonas or weird kink illustrated. (His gallery is SFW. I just never realized that “inflatable” was a kink.) Unlike my other talented (adult) kids he’s doing this full-time as a job and would probably be thrilled to draw more monsters.


          1. I think there is contact information on DeviantArt. And I have to ask, what is a *lippy* robot spider?

      3. How odd. A famous Chinese painter thought they were the easiest — it was dogs and horses that were hard, because people actually knew what they looked like.

        1. I’ve known a number of dogs who seemed to know very well what they looked like. Top of the list was a black French Bulldog maned Maurice who had the insouciance of Chevalier in a body that looked like a fuzzy bowling ball with ears. He knew he was a peculiar looking cuss, and didn’t care. You expected him to break into ‘Thank Heaven for little girls’ or ‘I’m so glad I’m not young anymore’ at any moment.

  7. ‘I don’t know why people won’t return my calls.’ said the Climate Science journal editor bitterly, after publishing a paper by researchers from the Republic of China Army Political Warfare branch showing that the Corona virus epidemic was caused by failure to meet carbon emission reduction objectives.

  8. He could have walked.
    The dog men still hefted him up, their clawed fingers digging into him, and lugged him along, jolting him with every step and grumbling that it was a cruel burden, and why couldn’t he just walk anyway? They would show him he needed to respect them.

  9. “And now the hunters are at rest,” said Oracle. “For at least a quarteryear or so. While these ones give them the news, and until they grow discontent.”
    “You sound bitter.”
    “Merely because they always find another race to be unacceptable after they slaughtered the last? Why would that make me bitter?”
    “They can’t all be of one mind on it.”
    The Oracle snorted. “True. Some might be spineless wonders who let the others commit genocide because they can’t give it up. Why should I care what sin it is, when they don’t so much as try to stop it?”

  10. I set out a cup of minotaur bait. Heaven only knows why he liked the incredibly bitter booze you can only get in Chicago, but there’s no accounting for taste.

    Now, to figure out what to do with him once I caught him…

      1. Its Russian name is Chernobyl which falls into the category of — coincidence! That planet was named for nearby wormwood fields.

        My brother-in-law was talked in having some once. It was, according to him, memorable.

        1. “Memorable”. Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

          At Mad Mike’s wedding reception at LibertyCon, we managed to slip him a cup of the stuff when he was expecting Scotch. His reaction was epic.

    1. I just realized I could have made it exactly 50 words if I’d added “or the wilds of deepest, darkest Wisconsin,” after “Chicago”.

      1. “deepest, darkest Wisconsin”

        You’ve never gotten THAT deep into the woods (so deep *Gleason* looks like civilization – let THAT sink in)… nor been up at those hours in the country, as far as I can tell. Wisconsin, during daylight hours, is stark white, verdant green, depressing gray (clouds), or uproarious yellow and orange (autumn color).

        [For MST3k fans – yes, THAT Gleason. MST3k was being *kind*. Also, the “rock shop” is now a freaking health food store, of all things.]

  11. They were intended to be some kind of roses. At least the flowers had the right shape and perfume. But the stems were iron, with bitterly sharp thorns.
    She did not see a castle in the middle. Fairy tales had sleeping princes as well as princesses, but she did not think she had stumbled on one.

  12. “Nothing more to do.” Edwin shook his head. “I read up on the Conundruum before they summoned you, but half of it has to be lies. It says that things taste bitter inside. How could anyone know that when you don’t need to eat as long as you are inside?”

  13. “What was once an innocent fashion accessory becomes a sinister instrument in the bitter struggle between style and death…”

  14. I asked my college roommate, “What is with you this week? You filled the fridge with all kinds of weird veggies: Arugula, Chicory, Kale and other junk, yet you only chomp on each once and then throw it back in the tub.”
    His reply? “I’m on a Bitter Biter Diet.”

  15. The nuke that went off in what remained of Detroit was a mistake on several levels, but what made the Islamic leadership that had ordered it in the first place especially bitter was that it made America so angry while killing so few infidels. They had expected shock and horror. They had emphatically not expected the Great Satan to overrun the Middle East with fire and the sword.

    But they never had been all that smart about the West.

      1. The thing is, I fully expect something like that to happen. The Islamotwits really need to sit down with the Japanese and have a long talk about how unpleasant life gets when you piss the Unites States off.

  16. She stared absently at her soft, claw-less forefee… hands. Hands, because the curse bound her into human form, and was slowly draining her life.

    The oracle said the way to break the curse was with the help of a dragon of the opposite element. She was of water, so that meant fire; the curse was darkness, but fire made light, so surely that would work. She turned her gaze to the distant volcano. She only knew one fire-drake, who if he still lived, dwelt there.

    They’d met decades before. Didn’t get along, of course. Conflict between water dragon and fire dragons was… heh… elemental.

    She curled her hands into fists and rested her forehead against them. She would go to the mountain, she would ask for his help, and she would offer him any price to get it.

    Surely, humbling herself before an hereditary rival couldn’t be worse than dying.

    150, so only three times as long as recommended!

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