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. ;)*




Everywhere Evangeline looks, a thin coating of ice makes objects gleam in the sunlight. However, the beauty proves deceptive, for it hides a deadly secret, one only she can recognize.

In her youth, Evangeline had aspired ot master the powerful magics of her world. Those dreams died the day her Gift awakened uncontrolled and plunged her into a vision of a full fleet battle. The Admiral’s Gift will not be denied, and for Evangeline there was no choice but to trade her mage’s robes for Navy blue.

Now she is faced with an enemy she cannot fight save by magic. Except those who bear the Admiral’s gift are forever barred from working magic.


FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN:  Called to the Council: Shikari Book 6.



Wife, Mother—Councilor, Spy?

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.)




It’s their world. He’s going to take it away from them.

The Apkallu are masters of magic. Theirs is a secret tradition stretching back to the dawn of civilization. They rule the world from the shadows, using mind control and deadly monsters to eliminate any threat to their power. If they know your name, or have a trace of your blood, you can never defy them.

Sam Arquero lost his family to a demon, and knew that nobody would believe the truth. An old man named Lucas offers him the chance to find out who is responsible, and bring down the Apkallu forever. All he has to do is join them . . .

Under a new identity Sam learns the secrets of magic, infiltrates the Apkallu, and walks a razor’s edge as he picks off their leaders while avoiding supernatural detectives on his trail.

But Sam faces a greater threat: As he fights monsters, what is he becoming?

At the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).


FROM MIKE WATSON:  The Beacon at Barrington Light: A Novella of the Tri-Cluster Confederation.


Marilee Harris is a Lighthouse Keeper for a subspace beacon at the edge of the Caledonian system, a lonely post some think is the worst possible assignment; she will be alone for a year. Marilee, however, doesn’t mind. She has another purpose, and the beacon provides a perfect laboratory for her research—until she suddenly disappears. Or, has she?

FROM T. L. KNIGHTON:  With Triumph And Disaster (Tommy Reilly Chronicles Book 3)


Alien life is theoretically possible, but what few signs of life are scattered through the universe are of primitive cultures that barely made it out of their own stone age, if that.

So when a big discovery threatens to shake the very foundations of xenoarcheology, it’s big news. The problem? Someone doesn’t want it discovered and they’re willing to kill to keep that from happening.

When an old friend asks Tommy Reilly and the crew of Sabercat to give them a hand, he can’t say no.

That’s when things get interesting.

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: Song.

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

  1. “Tell me, how DID he take over the country?”

    “The takeover? It’s rather embarrassing really. You’d expect an invasion, a war, a coup d’état, maybe some long march subterfuge. But no, he simply got the whole country for a song.”

    “A song? Just a song?”

    “Alright, a song and dance.”

  2. “The SONG was a rather horrifying weapon, really.”

    “Chemical? Biological? Nuclear?”

    “Physio-psychological. It hit below the belt, quite literally. Removed pleasure from am intensely pleasuring thing, which beyond obliterating the birthrate, increased stress enormously. Took away a relief valve and replaced it with panic.”

    “SONG means?”

    “Synchronous Oscillations Numbing Gonads.”

  3. “Come on Fred! Join us in a song!”

    “Nope, you and nobody else here wants to hear me sing.”

    “Oh come on, you can’t be that bad.”

    “Ever heard about the disaster at Port Dismay?”

    “Haven’t heard much but what does that have to do with you singing.”

    “I caused the disaster by singing there.”


  4. It was almost time. The doors were closed, lights were down, people were settled.

    The diva paced just offstage, humming notes under her breath.

    Any minute now she would go onstage and let flow with her most emotional song.

    Now! The female orange tabby started meowing outside the bedroom door.

  5. Mighty fine assortment of covers there, kids! Right purrrfessional looking! Keep up the good works.

  6. Wolfred was sinking deeper into depression. Silva tried to help, but all her bright, cheerful optimism rolled off him like water on an oiled surface. Gorgan decided to try something else. “Hey, Wolfred, I have something for you”.
    “It’s a music collection.” He handed over a pod.
    “Glorious songs of the revolution! Are you out of your mind?”
    “Actually, it’s a collection of old song hits from the mid to late mid 20th century. One of my friends from the outside slapped a false title on. The censor was doing a physical inspection and didn’t listen to it. But I thought you might appreciate it. ”
    Wolfred plugged in the earpiece and turned the pod on. For about ten minutes, there was no response, but then Gorgan saw the ghost of a smile, the first one Wolfred had shown in days.
    “You like?”
    “Well, a lot of these collections were trash. But…It’s my era’s trash. And one of these numbers is a real treasure. I had forgotten. Let me keep it for a while, there might be more.”

  7. can’t write for carp, but can copy and paste:

    This was last Tuesday’s earworm. If your gonna have an earworm, at least make it a good one.

  8. “What is that gawdawful noise?”
    “Sir, I believe it’s a song.”
    “A song??”
    “Yes, sir. He said it was the song of his people.”

      1. Neighborcat does that a lot. I threw things too. Until I realized he wanted things thrown, so he could chase them.

        Neighborcat is a very confused dog. That meows. And plays “fetch.”

  9. Under the tree, the bard began to play. Softly, softly. Minette blinked, and then scowled. Slowly she inched back toward Bredon and the other scouts and rangers.
    Old Will glared at her.
    “The birds are singing in tune to his song,” she said.
    Old Will snorted. “Bad magic indeed, that.”

  10. “Come in, come in,” caroled Tiffany.
    Candlelight illuminated the room with gold. The harp sat by the fire awaiting her song, but Tiffany stood.
    Her father rose and bowed. A moment later, Tiffany curtseyed as well.
    “Good prince,” said her father. “It is an honor to make you welcome here.”

  11. A cheap radio blared the stupidest and shallowest of the latest pop tunes as if its owner could not bear anyone to enjoy peace and quiet. Linnet sighed. Unmagical, she thought. The magical songs would be charming.
    In more than one sense, but at least they would not be ugly.

    1. “It’s essential our magic be concealed,” said Ulric sinisterly.

      “How shall we hide it?” asked Feldrick.

      “We shall bury it in their popular music,” replied Ulric. “They’ll be none the wiser.”

      The implications dawned on the junior conjurer. “Do you mean –”

      “Yes. Justin Bieber will be our Pop Wizard.”

  12. Cari, Max thought, was possibly the worst singer he’d ever heard. Still, after the hit he took on the field the day before, her lullaby soothed him – the pain in his ribs and knee abated considerably. He couldn’t understand it, but there was a lot about Cari he couldn’t understand.

    1. Poor Max, Cari thought. Even breathing hurts you. I wish I could do something. Unable to think of anything else, she crooned the first verse of “Starling, Starling.” Amazingly, Max started to relax. She couldn’t understand why Max played such a rough sport, but a lot about Max puzzled her.

  13. The song ended. If you could call it a song. More of a set of screeching whines accompanied by a piano. I waited for the entertainment director to hustle them off stage and off the ship, but she motioned to sign them up for the next leg of the cruise. I was appalled. I had to say something.

    “Captain, that was…”

    “Yes, it was, well, words fail, but really bad would go in the right direction, Senior Chief.”

    “But we are signing her up!”

    “Right. And she’s bringing her family. Her extended family. And all of them will almost certainly jump ship once we get across the line and of Federation space.”

    I shook my head. “The chain knows about this?”

    The captain smiled. “We added these routes inside the Federation specifically because we are able to get people out this way. The Ships Counselors can be bought off in this sector, StarFleet’s heavies are all Far away on the other border making angry faces at the Romys, and these refugees that are able to dodge Section 31 and get here can use us to get across to free space.”

    His expression turned serious. “The council ordered the Navy to keep getting people out of this nuthouse until we can’t anymore, and these cruise liners hold auxiliary fleet commissions. We which is why a Special Ops Senior Chief like you drew duty aboard her in a customer relations billet. This whole charade won’t hold up much longer, but neither will the Federation. Most likely we’ll be over on this side of the line when it does, and then you will get to apply your real skillset.”

  14. Ashen faced, Rene and Lt. Gruber turned to one another as they dug the Brie from their ears.

    “I thought Vogon poetry was bad,” said Rene, “but putting it to music raises it a whole other level.”

    “Jawhol, Rene,” replied Hubert, “And your lovely wife certainly captures its full spirit.”

  15. Although the Alternative Lunch was right before his air shift, Spruance del Curtin never seemed to get to listen to it. Shepardsport Pirate Radio never played in the dining commons, probably because they usually had at least one monitor tuned to a TV news station. And the second hour of that program was geology class, which pretty well put the kibosh on listening.

    So he was a little surprised to arrive at the station and find Quinn Merton in the dj booth. He usually did the Full Moon Barn Dance, the evening Country-Western program, not surprising when one considered that his ur-brother was a farmer for the decade and change after he left NASA. If he was covering for the Timeline Brothers, who was going to be covering his air shift tonight?

  16. “There’s almost enough of us,” said Gormain, “that a bard would be worth his weight.”
    Carolus laughed, deep in his chest. “One might. But only a trustworthy one, who was equal to the task. I would not bring a bard in only to have him perish at the first peril.”

  17. Edwin began to sing, softly.
    Aidan said, his voice flat, “Is this supposed to be a test? Of whether we realize when a bard is trying to charm us into silliness?”
    Edwin laughed, shortly. “That I would not try when you are this weary. For the first lessons at least.”

  18. She began to sing. She often did when spinning. It helped clarify the thoughts.
    What she did not expect was to look and see the boy listening intently. She was not singing loudly. The boy should not be able to hear her.
    If his hearing were within normal human bounds.

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