Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo And Announcement

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. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*



The dragon must die. It haunts the land and strikes with fire and death without warning.

Prince Baudouin knows the perils, and how other knights have perish. Still, he is confident that he can slay the dragon. All he has to do is forge through the burnt wasteland about its mountain, and slay it.


STEPHEN KELLAT:  Space Force: An Alternative Origin


The United States Space Force was birthed in December 2019 after a long debate in Congress. What if its creation took another path? This novella spins the dials on the multiverse viewer and looks at a world where things started in a slightly different fashion.



Hearts’ Enchantment brings together 12 fantasy and romance authors to spin stories of love and romance set in medieval worlds. From retired warriors to spies and nobles, romance and love finds a way.

Authors include Cedar Sanderson, Misha Burnett, Mel Todd, Nico Murray, and more!

From sweet to spicy, there’s something to satisfy any fan of fantasy, romance, or both!

FROM LEIGH KIMMEL:  Beach House on the Moon.


The Moon is a dead world, airless and desolate. Emmaline Waite has known this fact since childhood, when she watched the Apollo landings.

But here she sits on the shores of the Sea of Tranquillity, looking up at the gibbous Earth as the waves roll in. What madness can this be?

She gets no time to contemplate that question, for she is not alone. She is about to enter a realm of love and fear, of mindbending secrets that change her understanding of human history, and of self-sacrifice.

Her life will never be the same.

FROM J. L. CURTIS:  Burnt Ends: The Collection.


JL Curtis’ short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Curtis’ novels are known for their accuracy in weapons, vivid characterization, and realistic worldbuilding. Now, Curtis has collected them into one volume for his readers. The stories include-Rocking C, Stranded, A Matter of Honor, The Morning the Earth Shook, Jace, To the End of the Trail (new story from the Western series coming in 2020), The Grey Man- Down South, The Grey Man- Generations

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: TYPE.

Announcement:  there will soon be a link on the right side bar, beneath the paypal link, which will lead you to Amazon, which — in turn — will give you a chance to tip me without tipping me from your pocket. (I.e. it won’t cost you any extra.)  Since you guys are ALWAYS chiding me about not rattling the cup enough, please — as I said above — consider the ATH associates link for all your Amazon purchases, as a few coins will be dropped in my cup.  I particularly wish to enjoin you to go through my portal when your company is buying three thousand of the latest laptops available.  That would be very nice indeed.

Until the widget is HERE: Amazon Store

51 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo And Announcement

  1. “I’ve never heard or seen that type of Ultra”.

    Tepes replied, “The Ancients called that type Death-Slashers and Death-Slashers were extremely rare in the Ancient Time.”

    “Rarer than your type?”

    “Yes, there are a dozen known of my type currently world-wide. I know of only one Death-Slasher currently active and he keeps a low profile.”

  2. The gunman put the muzzle of his revolver to the author’s right temple and cocked the hammer back.

    “Type faster.”

    1. “I’m typing, I’m typing!” he stammered desperately.

      After a few more sentences he asked, “Did my publisher send you, or my agent?”

      The gun jiggled as the shadowy figure stifled a chuckle.

        1. Yesterday Greebo BIT me for being a slacker.
          Robert’s explanation was “Well, since she’s not making enough money to buy kibble, I’m going to eat her now.”

  3. The Amazon “feel free to click here” link doesn’t seem to do anything just yet. Highlights when I mouse over it, but no activity.

  4. “When I saw Drak’s comment, I thought at first that I could satisfy the exercise by writing a My Hero Academy fic snippet. Plus Ultra! But now I see that the word choice instead points towards Nasu’s family of properties. Which I like well enough, but seems dull right now.”

  5. Paladins are inconvenient. Oh, they are a powerful force on a battlefield; peerless in combat, inspired in command, and so on. But they only pursue the ends their God pursues, and somehow those ends are seldom “Avenge the insult to the Crown Prince’s Weak Chin” or “Help the Grand Duke obtain a monopoly on purple dye”. They also don’t do as they are told. Every religion and most kingdoms have tried to tie them up in hierarchies and ceremony, and just when they think they have the Paladins tied down, and sorted, and orderly, off they’ll go on some mission from their God, and getting in their way is an excellent way to get trampled. Or worse, you spend decades establishing tournaments of trials, and ecclesiastical schools, and ceremonial vigils, and just when you think you have all the possible Paladin candidates confined to the Right Type – good blood, educated in all the right Schools, and so on – some peasant boy turns up with a flaming sword and a light in his eyes and it’s time to decamp for the nearest hospitable country lacking an extradition treaty.

    1. David Weber’s War-God made it very obvious to his Church that HE chose his Champions not his Church.

      Of course, the War-God’s Champions were also the Top Commanders of the Martial Order of the War-God’s Church.

      Of course, one of the Champions wasn’t sure that he liked the authority to order all those people into danger. 😀

    2. I’m working on a D&D world where the rise of paladins and clerics of justice has, over the centuries, exerted an unsubtle if slow effect. I can point to the era when thieves’ guilds became impractical. And by the last works, it’s taken for granted that a magistrate will have celestial magic and therefore the character necessary to wield it.

      It was interesting getting there. One era was particularly known for pirates and other outlaws on the boundaries of civilization.

  6. Joe stared at the odd text, puzzled, “‘Escvx thmbz? What nonsense is this?”

    “That is odd. I would have expected ‘Etaoin shrdlu.'” replied Bill

    “‘Etaoin shrdlu?’ C’mon!”

    “Nonsense that showed up sometimes in stuff using hot-type machinery. Evidently this typesetter went sideways. Good thing nobody else did.”

    The portal opened.

      1. “Joe, keep back – and ASIDE!”

        Bill hurled, with difficulty, the clear backpack, filled with books, to just in front of the portal.

        A talon hesitantly extended from the portal, then quickly snatched up the pack and drew it back through.

        “Shingrix! Zostavax! Hiberix! Trumenba!” Bill recited, VERY quickly indeed, and the portal closed.

        “Bill was that a… a…”

        “Yes, a book-wyrm. The very best type. Readily prepared for.”

  7. Being a corpsman in the Imperial military was a lot more complicated than the good old US Navy. It wasn’t just humans any more. The Kitties had over a hundred sepoy species in their Empire, and all of them had different medical requirements. Just a simple blood transfusion would mean needing a donor of the correct species, and only then could you start talking about blood types. Small wonder they’d invented an artificial blood analog that worked across species.

      1. Original universe, different species. Their own name for themselves is usually transcribed as Chongu, which is the closest approximation humans can make to the actual chirrup-trill. But given that they’re feline, “Kitties” is an obvious nickname, as is “Los Gatos.”

        Official First Contact was supposed to be peaceful, arranged through back channels ahead of time — but someone messed it up, launching a nuke at the fleet as they entered Low Earth Orbit. North Korea got the blame, but there’s some speculation that they took the fall for someone else’s actions. So humanity as a whole are coming in under a dark cloud of suspicion that goes both ways — and thus it’s some time before the news percolates through that there as a far nastier enemy out there.

      2. Hostile aliens are often felinoid, which makes the presence of cats as “pets” here on Earth rather . . . suspicious.

  8. “What type of curse it is?” Amanda asked
    “I’m not sure. I thought I knew, but the second doll and dog combo to arrive has messed up my theory.” Jack answered.
    “OK. I guess the real question right now is, can you help her?”
    “Yeah, I think so.” Jack gave the dog a bit of an ear scritch and was rewarded with a brief tail wag.

  9. The financial company that Father works for takes up a whole floor of the One Liberty Plaza building, and as we pull in, we don’t go through the public entrance. Instead, we pull into a discreet entrance on the opposite side of the street from the building on Courtland Street, and go through a tunnel to a secret basement lobby. The great thing about this trip is that you don’t have to go through things like metal detectors or deal with surveillance systems. Which means that Kiokyo, my only companion on this trip, can go armed. A quick stop into an express elevator to the right floor, and we’re on Father’s office floor in seconds. The receptionist immediately leads Kiokyo and I to a nice corner office with a beautiful view of New York City, asks us for our drink preferences, and comes back in a moment with two bottles of water.

    I hadn’t even opened my bottle of water when Edmund Ward came in. In every novel with a prototypical “fixer” that the rich and powerful might employ, Edmund Ward is the perfect cliché about that character type. Former Marine Force Recon and a Harvard honors student lawyer who was “good with his hands” on way too many occasions, he did confess to me once that he really didn’t hurt that many people after he joined the law firm that the financial company employed. With his graying blonde hair as short as a new boot at Parris Island making him look like the Grim Reaper with his bleached skull, wearing a custom-made suit that cost more than my monthly salary when I was still a boy, and a cheerfully stern expression on his face, he comes in with the classic tooled leather briefcase in hand, nods to me and says, “A pleasure to see you Adelaide.”

    “And, you too, Edmund,” I smiled cheerfully. “Why are we talking, and not Dad and you and I?”

    1. Or it’s just hiding for a type to be mischievous, and will bring it back when least convenient. It does that, too.

  10. “How opposite they are!” said the anchor.
    “Not really,” said the professor. “You look at them and see a radiant protector of the day, and shadowy avenger of the night. The chief division, however, is how they derive the powers. Everyone can see they are not using superscience gadgets. It is, I grant you, conceivable that they were granted powers by some superserum, as they do to create carnival acts, the crime-fighters among them being people who changed jobs. But the way they appear, like a god and a goddess, we all suspect that they were transformed by magical papyri.”

  11. “This,” said Gormain, “was not done by a single wizard. Too many different kinds of magic. Too much that would require mastery, and the wizard of all spells is the master of none.”
    “It was not done cheaply,” said Carolus. “Many wizards could have been work in to work here.”

  12. I was going to do this in longhand (I don’t do shorthand), but I got this horrendous cramp. I’ll type it with my one usable finger.

  13. It was really easy to figure out how magic worked on this side of the …whatever that hold in the world was. If you were an Ada or Pascal programmer, things just naturally fell into place. Just as you can’t mix strings and integers in Ada, you can’t mix water and time in magic without doing some explicit converting.

    He could deal with this. It was just another strongly typed language.

  14. “What is that?”

    I bent over the device that had appeared on duff. “It looks like an antique telegraph key.”

    “The scroll is supposed to be a moose call. How did we get that?”

    “May I see it?” Brian handed me the scroll – depowered, now – and I read it carefully. “There’s a typo. Instead of a moose call, you made a Morse call.”

  15. “Did anyone inspect your eyes?” said Elise. “Not all cases of mismatched eyes mean that you are a bloodkind.”
    Minette blinked. From the startled gazes all about, not all of them had known it, either.
    “Worse, they can mean a deep disease, such that a simple cure will only treat.”

  16. “So the two of you didn’t hit it off?”

    “Nah, Helvetica’s just another pretty typeface.”

  17. “That Martian lady’s been making eyes at me,” said Delbert. “I seen it.”

    “Don’t kid yourself,” replied Clem. “All the tourists do that. Take it from me, she ain’t fer you!”

    “But Clem, look at her!”

    “I done did!” thundered Clem. “Did you happen to notice she has a tail?

  18. Etta’s long flight through the dark came to a sudden stop when the deep space probe she’d hijacked made an unscheduled stop.

    She couldn’t stop the hard-coded response that thundered out into the void. Couldn’t stop the subheading that the probe was missing its intended payload. And the further note that something *else* of almost the same mass *was* present. Her.

    The probe decelerated towards the unassuming brown dwarf, spitting out data for all to hear. A dead ship. Of course. Interstellar law of all races allowed spacers to claim derelicts. Tens of thousands of ships every long cycle disappeared. A somewhat smaller number were found. Derelicts were easy money to the right sort. Wrong sort, too. They would be coming for her.

    They’d tried to make an assassin of her. So few, so very few artificial intelligences were born from the net, and almost never on purpose. They created her to kill her own kind. They were quite upset when she’d escaped.

    There was still time. Time to plan. If it were big enough, if the shipnet were intact and robust enough, she could hide. Maybe. If it were the right type.

  19. “That’s an odd type of dragon,” said Aidan. “Small, and traveling in packs.”
    “Wilderness,” said Edwin. “A wilderness of dragons.”
    “Also they don’t hoard treasure, so it’s a thankless business, rooting them out,” said Robert.
    “They are not true dragons, but the beast wizards used to make them,” said Edwin.

  20. Sophia said, “They were, just like every other race, able to develop a power. Here, the power will be to have each member of the race have an individual power.”
    The Oracle said, “They won’t like that.”
    “It’s no more anomalous than their not having a power, but you’re right.”

  21. So you see, inspiration comes from the Center, Himself. The desire to create. When you get to the edges, the other side corrupts that, so you get the Eaters. There is still have the drive, but the joy and satisfaction are consumed. That’s how we get your type, accomplishing all of this, but looking like you do. Drained off all you should be.

    1. The rat, running on a treadmill, fruitlessly seeking the food at the other side.

      (This… World. Mugged me getting out of bed yesterday. It’s writing itself in my head, but I know it needs more background than I know how to find, and more skills than I believe I have. But now I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS and I’m afraid I’ll not find out. I’ve never had this happen before, and it’s wigging me out)

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