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. 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. ;)*

FROM S. L. BARON:  Vanilla Blood: A Novella


Tragedy leaves Livia Hart a broken shell of herself. Craving escape from her grief and guilt, she heads to Europe, taking the trip she’s dreamed about for years.

While in London, her prayers are answered when she meets Lucian Llewellyn. Lucian offers her more than just one night of bliss to forget her loss: the gift of immortality, to be reborn as a vampire.

Livia enters a world where vampires refuse to mourn their existence. They instead embrace their roles as powerful predators, hiding in plain sight and preying on those who won’t be missed.

But secrets from Lucian’s past threaten Livia’s newfound happiness. Can she survive in her new life knowing the truth? Or will the revelations condemn her to an eternity of regret?

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY:  Sleeping Duty (Waking Late Book 1).


Gilead Tan and Andrea Fielding survived their stint in the military, got married, signed up to emigrate to a terraformed colony world, and went into cold sleep for the journey from Earth. While they slept, the starship went through the wrong fold in space and settled for a different world, a wild world.

Three centuries after the founding of a colony on the uncharted planet, Gilead awakens to find humanity slipped back to medieval tech and a feudal structure.

Worse, the king who wants Gilead awake won’t let Gilead awaken his wife.

FROM ANNA FERREIRA:  As She Was No Horsewoman: A Pride & Prejudice Sequel.


Elizabeth has never learnt to ride a horse. Darcy thinks this a grave oversight in her education, and with the help of a little mare named Rose, sets out to teach his wife the art of horsemanship. Poor Elizabeth had no idea what she was getting herself into…

FROM ALYX SILVER:  But He Turned Out Very Wild: A Short Pride And Prejudice Variation.


In the original Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen there was only enough good between Darcy and Wickham to make a “good sort of man.”
But what if that were NOT true? What if what we — and Darcy — think we know about Wickham was all wrong?
In this short story of intrigue and crime, one might end up feeling sorry for George Wickham himself.

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: High-pitched.

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

  1. “So she sings high-pitched? What’s wrong with that?”

    “It’s bad when dogs howl two-light minutes away when she sings.”

  2. I’m a pitcher. My specialty: the brush-back pitch. YEP! I high-pitch ’em. They don’t like being high-pitched. Is bummer for them. Heh. Heh. Heh.

  3. Secondary Hellbore turret #4 gave a high-pitched squeal as it moved experimentally. Nancy winced in frustration. Going to have to check the turret ring when we’re done, she thought. I don’t care how old that Bolo is, the Concordiat built their Bolos to last and if it sounds that bad now…

  4. The score was 6 to 5 at the bottom of the ninth.
    “ Strike three, you’re out!”, the umpire shouted.
    “Whatdaya mean, the catcher hadta jump 3 feet to catch that!” the batter rumbled.
    “High pitch? High pitched? No way Goliath the ball was still a foot below your shoulders!”

  5. “Eeek!”

    Marci didn’t just look like a mouse, she sounded like one too as she grabbed at the glass falling from the countertop. It hit the kitchen floor and shattered with a discordant jangle that matched the high pitch of Marci’s squeak.

    And she couldn’t even blame missing the catch on the alien gravity. By pure coincidence, it was within half a percent of Earth’s.

  6. “Boss, we’ve got to figure out a way to sell to that planet of canid aliens they just discovered. You have any ideas?”
    “Do we have any stoners in the sales department?”
    “I think we might have a few, why do you ask?”
    “Everybody knows. Dogs listen better, if a thing is high-pitched.”

  7. The shrill note echoed and re-echoed over the city.
    Lunette shook her head. Low enough that everyone could hear it, but either it was meant to drive mankind mad, or something malfunctioned.
    Apollos, she wished. A resonating frequency ought to be his thing. Though she did not know all her powers, let alone his.

  8. “Isn’t forty-five a little too old for this?”

    Patrick looked uneasily at the diagnostic machine. It looked more like an ancient altar than anything made in the last century. All that was missing was a sacrifical knife and fresh bloodstains. A single blue-green light slowly pulsed on the top right like all the newest tech, though. He wondered if it had been added on after the fact.

    “Of course not,” the human sounding, human looking machine said in the carefully modulated, soothing voice they all had.

    “Lie down on the sounding table and we’ll see where you fall in the spectrum.”

    He did as he was bid, swinging his heavy boots up and lying back. It was cold. They always were. From the depilatory to the chop shops where they stuffed your innards back in and glued back on what got shot off, there was no warmth to be found anywhere you could afford in New Saturn’s nine districts.

    Blue green light glowed at the edge of his vision along with a barely audible hum. The hum was artificial, government mandated to let you know the equipment was running. Whatever it was.

    “Oh my.”

    A different voice caught his attention. Older, more masculine, rougher than the false one that all machines used these days.


    “Your Resonance, young man. I’ve never seen one so high pitched before,” the voice cut him off excitedly.

    “High pitched? What’s that mean, I’m singing in falsetto from now on?”

    “Oh no, nothing of the sort. What it means, well, I hesitate to say. Just that things are going to be very different for you from now on, son.”

    The voice was definitely coming from the not-human machine, but it sounded much more real.

    “Hold still a moment, now. The implant rig will take just a moment to synchronize with your pattern-”

    Patrick froze. A heartbeat later, the pain began.

  9. I could deal with working on the overly steep roof. I could deal with the shrill whine of the fighter’s turbojets overhead. The obviously doped up salesmen attempting a hard-sell? Well, it’s a good thing I was doing things the old fashioned way and didn not have a nail gun.

    1. It took me a minute, but ‘didn’ is just you fat-hoofing the keyboard, right? Should be ‘did’?

      Proofread twice, post once, because after you hit that button the words are forever beyond your reach. I, too, have felt that “D’oh!” realization, just seconds too late. Usually because I’m in a hurry. Ox slow. Make that work for you.
      Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

      1. Side-defect of copying/pasting to get word count down to 50 from the initial first-pass 70, finding it was then only 49, and not fully de-contractionizing. Aye, should be ‘did not’. And yes, there are the odd (around here? really?!) cases where ox somehow not slow enough.

        1. Hey, I hear ya. Not long ago I found a missing word in one of my stories, in a chapter posted more than a year before. I had read that paragraph dozens of times and never noticed that one of the words just didn’t show up for work.

          I think it’s because we write these stories, we know what they are supposed to say, so our brains supply all the right words even if our eyes don’t actually see them. It’s a fascinating perspective on the nature of cognition itself.

          Still a little red-face-making when you find ’em, though.
          Edna Mode: “No capes!!”

  10. Mantell jumped out of the batter’s box and ducked in one graceless move. Regaining his footing, he charged the mound in a blind rage. “You son of a –”

    “That’s my strike zone!” sneered Fellowes. “Back off!”

    The brawl cleared both benches, to the delight of the TV broadcast team.

  11. Cari tried to doze in her seat on the airship, the little stowaway leaning against her shoulder in the dark, sound asleep. Whenever he exhaled, the stowaway emitted a high-pitched squeak, barely audible over the drone of the engines. Cari adjusted the boy’s blanket, wondering what would become of him.

  12. A vendor came long the way, calling sweet candied, and small children ran up, their piping voices calling for their treat and their little hands flourishing pennies as they pressed around.
    “What?” said Brian, half laughing. “Do you want to buy a treat like a child?”
    Autumn sighed, said nothing.

      1. She’s still too young to figure it out, but when she’s actually an adult, she will realize that what she really wanted to have bought treats like that when she had been the children’s age.

  13. Just at the upper end of perception, the noise filled the whole room and set teeth on edge. No wonder Alice Murchison had told Engineering to get someone out here ASAP. Justin Forsythe could tell something was wrong the minute he walked in, but he couldn’t tell what was causing it.

    Most likely that sort of screech was caused by machinery just a little out of alignment. He scanned the area, looking for machinery that was apt to be a problem. Robots were a notorious source of those whines on the edge of ultrasound, since a lot of them had precision actuators. On the other hand, so were certain kinds of pump motors. Down at the port facilities, they’d been having trouble with one of the landers that turned out to be a cryonic fuel pump that had become just a little worn.

  14. The right engine had been sounding funny ever since Al took off. He had been keeping every decent airport in mind as the flight progressed, but things had held –

    Bang! The Baron slewed a bit, but Al stomped hard left rudder to get it to fly straight. Identify, verify, feather. Dead foot, dead engine, so it’s the right engine. Verify. Pull back on the right throttle. No change in inputs, so pull the right prop back to the high pitch stop. Still no change in control inputs, so back past the high pitch stop into the full feather position. He didn’t bother with a restart attempt.

    OK, fly the airplane. It was time to get on the ground. The Baron flew pretty well with a dead engine, thankfully. “Mayday, mayday, mayday. Minneapolis Approach, Baron 123AB. I’ve lost an engine. Vectors for Flying Cloud.”

    1. TINS: Beech Baron departed Kansas City Downtown Airport (surrounded by buildings, on the river) and hit a bunch of ducks as he entered the clouds. Engines OK, but the wings and windshield took a beating. He called an emergency. KC Approach: Baron 1234, understand you have an emergency. Do you wish to return to KC Downtown?
      Frazzled pilot: Hell no, I’m not giving them another pass at me! Vectors for Omaha!
      KC Approach: Roger, turn to a heading of 330, maintain six thousand if able.

      They made it to Omaha, no injuries aside from the ducks, but it took a lot of work to get the plane repaired. Note that this was before KC International (the airline airport north of KC) existed, and St. Jo was closed due to weather.

      1. TINS?

        I might have considered Topeka, but if St. Jo is closed, then Omaha isn’t entirely unreasonable if the plane will fly and he’s got an abundance of fuel. I’m not at all sure I wouldn’t have denied the ducks another chance at me, either.

        1. This is no s—. Used when “No s—, there I was” doesn’t apply, because the story teller wasn’t there/it didn’t happen to him. I heard the story from someone who was in the air approaching KC Downtown at the time.

  15. Tighten the seal. Wrap in aluminum tape. Open the valve, check pressure readings. High-pitched squeals as it pressurizes. We’re good. Check my O2 tank, also good. Float down to the next one. A low hum and red lights come on. Battlestations again. Crap. Running out of time. Need more tape.

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