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 BECKY R. JONES:  Academic Magic: Academic Magic Book 1.


Zoe has found her dream job at a small liberal arts college teaching the history of Medieval witchcraft and magic. Academic life is exactly what she expected it to be…until the squirrels stop by to talk with her and her department chair and best friend turn out to be mages.

Zoe discovers a world of magic and power she never knew existed. She and other faculty mages race to stop a coven from raising a demon on the winter solstice while simultaneously grading piles of final exams and reading the tortured prose of undergraduate term papers. But first, she must learn to master her new-found powers.


FROM MARY CATELLI:  A Diabolical Bargain.


Growing up between the Wizards’ Wood and its marvels, and the finest university of wizardry in the world, Nick Briarwood always thought that he wanted to learn wizardry. When his father attempts to offer him to a demon in a deal, the deal rebounded on him, and Nick survives — but all the evidence points to his having made the deal. Now he really wants to learn wizardry. Even though the university, the best place to master it, is also the place where he is most likely to be discovered.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, FROM MOE LANE:  Frozen Dreams (The Fermi Resolution Book 1).


It’s a very straightforward detective story! Well, one where the detective lives in a post-apocalypse fantasy setting where there are orcs rampaging in the eastern desert, evil sorcerers lurking in their towers to the north, and Adventurers looting and exploring the post-American ruins. But they all come to Cin City: Cinderella, the capital of the Kingdom of New California. Maybe it’s because of the glitter. Maybe it’s because of the giant iceberg in the middle of the Gulf of California. And maybe it’s because they got nowhere else to go.

*Fear not for the installment of Witch’s Daughter. It will come, probably tonight or at the latest tomorrow morning. I’m still trying to balance the house remodeling and the tasks I should have done this week which I didn’t do because I was remodeling the house. Shoot me. – SAH.*

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: Mute.


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

  1. “Stop the presses!” , he shouted in the middle of the Zoom conference.
    None the less, the group proceeded as if he hadn’t uttered a word.

    “Stop the presses!” , he yelled again, even louder, but again he was ignored.

    “Silly me”, he chuckled, having accidentally hit the mute button.

  2. I got Frozen Dreams from the Kickstarter, and found it a very nice read.

  3. Becky’s book is a Good Read so purchase it so she’ll write the sequels. 😀

      1. Liking it very much so far.

        I think though that the $0.99 price point is pretty low for the leangth and quality of the writing. You’ll be getting a nice review on Amazon once I’m done reading it.

        1. Wait. Is it a full length novel? Becky, put it up to 4.99
          Unless it’s under 50k words, in which case go for 2.99.
          HOW did I miss that. DO NOT PRICE THINGS AT 99c unless they’re short stories. Your writing is not junk.

          1. Oddly enough, many people will look at the length and figure that, at that price, it must not be any good.

            People can be strange that way. If you really want lots of people to read it, put a $4.99 sticker price on it and discount it — for a limited time only!!! – to $2.99 or even $0.99.

            If you can find a way of encouraging people to post positive reviews that also can help.

  4. “Oh shut up” the Old Wizard said to his new Apprentice. “We’ll start your lessons after you show that you can defeat that spell.”

    The new Apprentice replied, “My father’s Court Wizard used that Mute Spell on me plenty of times until I learned to defeat it.”

    1. The Old Wizard replied “Well, I see that I needed to use other spells to challenge you”.

      “Perhaps, but I know the Court Wizard was much better than me and he told me that you were much better than him. As crazy as it sounds, I’m looking forward to meeting your challenges.”

  5. I have tried to come up with something based on today’s writing prompt, but apparently my Muse has been rendered mute. Hoping for a better word next week. 😀

  6. Your writing prompt this week is: Mute.“????

    What is this, an invitation to an Abbott & Costello pastiche? I’ve got nothing to say.

      1. “So, if it’s mute I don’t say nothing?”

        “That’s right, nothing.”

        “I say nothing?”

        “Right, you say nothing.”

        “Okay then, So I says ‘Nothing.’ ”

        “No, you dope, you remain mute, you don’t say nothing.”


        “Right, nothing.”

        “That’s what I said, Abbbott. I said, ‘Nothing’ ”

        “Look, Lou, the prompt is “mute”, so that means you say nothing. You said, ‘Nothing’.”

        “Ain’t I supposed to say nothing?”

        “Right. All I want to hear from you is nothing.”

    1. I think that’s why there’s a winky face, although I am not sure I fully get the joke.

      1. It’s when the new Congress took office after the 2014 midterm elections?

  7. “You want to sign our daughter up for mime training?” My wife’s voice was pushing towards the digit decibels as she contemplated what her friends would say. Performance acts carry no points in mom-petitions.
    “Well, I’ve been trying to find her mute button for the past 12 years. This is the closest I’ve come.”

    1. Sounds like my family and my younger brother. We prayed for two years that he’d start speaking. We’ve been trying to find his mute button for the last 27!

      1. Kids. You spend two years teaching them to walk and talk, and the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up!

  8. Made a trip to the store today. I had hoped that we might have passed Peak Crazy, but it looks like the hysteria is still ramping up. For the first time, the grocery cart sanitizer confronted me outside the door to my usual store:

    “Do you have a mask?”


    “You need a mask.”

    “No I don’t.”

    I made it inside before she could say anything else. An old man on one of the store’s electric shopping lawnmower things followed, berating me for killing hundreds of innocent…blah blah blah.

    Great Ghu, what a bunch of idjits!!

    Me: “Wake up! It’s all just Plague Theatre, the masks are merely stage props, irrelevant to real life!”

    I didn’t see anybody else without a mask in the store. Over half the people I saw alone in their cars had masks on.

    Is all this lunacy driving people batshit crazy? Or were they already bonkers, and this is just giving them license to turn their nutdom loose?
    Erik: “It’s reassuring to find that the world is crazier than you are.”

    1. I went to Elizabeth Park. Lovely place, gorgeous roses — a bit past peak — but while it was open, even the Shack which sells refreshments, the parking was closed. You had to park on the street.

      In hot weather, to double on on “what were they THINKING?”

      1. They’re thinking that manufactured appearances are the same as actual reality, and by muting people, they have created silent consent.

        1. Everyone can see there are people in the park. They are not creating the impression it’s closed.

        2. PRECISELY this. Though they’re hesitant enough they’re now saying “White silence is violence.”
          …. Fortunately my middle fingers are never silent, so I’m VERY peaceful.

          1. More violent than bringing out my sharp tongue and flaying fools with it? I could do that, but it usually turns out that I’m the nearest fool around, though not necessarily the biggest…

          2. Whenever I see one of those signs declaring “White silence is white violence” my inclination is to observe, “You do realize that making it rhyme does not make it true.”

            Speech is violence, silence is violence, with those idiots everything is violence except violence — and they want me to take them seriously??? Throwing tantrums at three-years-old is expected, but once you’ve reached double-digits you ought have learned better.

    2. Is all this lunacy driving people batshit crazy? Or were they already bonkers, and this is just giving them license to turn their nutdom loose?

      Some folks were crazy, some folks were driven crazy, some folks are holding on with bare nails to sanity and so to avoid utterly flipping out and gutting someone with a spoon, they wear the mask.

  9. (Full of finely-aged snark today, I am…)

    “‘If You Were A Megatherium, My Dear’?” the ageless woman inquired, bending over the writer’s screen with a look of mingled doubt and annoyance. “Surely you can do better.”

    “I’m a writer and it’s my job to *educate* the gin-swilling masses!” The author drew in a righteous inhalation. “And I don’t need inspiration from some outdated patriarchal metaphor.”

    “That’s Muses you’re thinking of.” The robe-clad woman adjusted the sheaf of white roses tucked in her arm. “My type…well, we changed one of the letters and send emissaries to get people to *stop writing* until they can get their genres straight.”

  10. “Tis a mute point,” Said Riley as he argled up to the bar, “Muldoon! A pint, if ye please…”
    Burdock’s eyes narrowed.
    “So you say that It’s a point that can’t be made.”
    “I never such. There’s just no point in doing so.”
    “If you knew your language as you ought, you’d know there’s no such thing as a mute point. It’s moot!”
    “So as I said, and for the price of a pint, I’ll prove it to ye.”
    “So you’re on then.”
    Riley shook his head.
    “It’s so simple. If the point were to be moot, then there’s no changing it, you’ll agree to that Burdock dear?”
    “And rightly so.”
    “So it goes without sayin’ the point has no point to it, and being so, is pointless.”
    Burdock waved Muldoon over. “That goes without sayin’ even so.”
    “Ah! So you agree! A thing that goes without sayin’ shouldn’t be said!” Riley exclaimed, “So a mute point it is, and I’ll be having that pint now Muldoon, if ye please, and on him.”

  11. I’m on a hard-boiled noir-ish kick again. Blame L. Neill Smith: I just finished re-reading The Probability Broach.


    Gabby usually lived up to her nickname, but tonight she was a mute: struck dumb in terror as she stared down the muzzle of the hold-up man’s cheap .25 automatic.

    I heard his sputtered threats as I walked through the front door: money in the sack now or you die. Intercut by multiple crude epithets, of course. I pulled my big Smith & Wesson .41 from the Bianchi shoulder rig under my jacket without conscious thought and lined the sights up on his ear. He must have spotted me or realized something was off because he started to turn both his gaze and his gun towards me. I rolled the trigger back through its long double-action pull. The Smith roared. The side of the hold-up man’s head came apart like a ripe cantaloupe.

    That broke the spell. It took poor Gabby the better part of an hour to stop screaming.

    1. > I just finished re-reading The Probability Broach.

      I buy spare copies when I find them. I have a box going to a net.friend up north; he’s getting The Probability Broach, The Venus Belt, and the Nagasaki Vector, plus John de Chancie’s Starrigger, Red Limit Freeway, and Paradox Alley.

      – TRX (“Here, read this book, it won’t hurt you…”)

  12. Three up, three purchased. Although don’t expect reviews for a while; they’re going to have to sit on the desktop for a while until I clear room on the Kindle (the only thing I can read easily until I can get in for new glasses on the 30th).

  13. Oh, and happy Father’s Day to the other fathers out there. About to head out back for Man! Meat! Fire! – store had some good looking rib eyes for half off today.

  14. The woman, in gray robes, her black hair falling like a cloak, walked on the water as if it were a pavement. Her staff was like a royal specter, and white, winged things flew about her. Her eyes were solid white.
    It was almost a relief that she stayed silent.

  15. “Beastly woman,” grumbled Nigel Slim-Howland as he watched the car drive away, “only after my money!”

    “So it seems, sir,” said his butler Jenkins, noncommittally.

    “I say,” said Slim-Howland, “you won’t mention this to anyone, will you?”

    “Our programming does not allow gossip, sir,” said Jenkins. “We shall remain mute.”

  16. Muriel Mueller chose her mellowest mute, set it in place, and lifted her trumpet. Mute Muriel couldn’t speak, but her muted horn sang for the angels–and anyone who paid the cover charge.

  17. As the airship descended, the stowaway tried to burrow into Cari’s shoulder. In her arms, she could feel the little fellow trembling. “Don’t worry,” whispered Cari, “We’ll land soon, and we can figure out how to get you home!”

    The stowaway looked at her with pleading eyes, but said nothing.

  18. “You won’t find anything. I spent two days on the phone! Everything’s booked _solid_ two weeks in advance of the eclipse.”

    “Trust your husband, dear! I found room in a retreat center, meals included, for 8 days, right in the path of totality!”

    “That’s incredible! Where?”

    “In Gethsemane Trappist monastery.”

  19. She stood there with her hand out in the rain, and bent her attention on the waters, to shift them. Minutes inched by, but she felt the water receding from her.
    She walked out into it. It took more effort, but she stood dry in a downpour, and wordless, too.

  20. Prince Carolus himself. Also Princess Aurelie. Both wearing armor and weaponry as if they intended to take the field at once. The room glowed with enchanted light.
    Rosine stood mutely before them. She had fought for the land before, she told herself. The governor had no reason to hate her.

  21. The shadow-construct held a weapon up before the mage’s eyes.

    “You know this weapon” it said.

    “…mute.. knife… ” the mage choked, her voice thick with pain.

    The construct smiled and pricked her shoulder with the knife’s tip. “Can’t have you warning him when he comes to reclaim his face.”

  22. Tara still didn’t know why she’d been assigned to help teach a grade school music class. She wasn’t that good of a singer, and she didn’t hang around musicians all that much. But she wasn’t going to ignore the connections she did have.

    Today she’d arranged for Tristan to show the kids his trumpet. He’d played some basic bugle calls like Reveille and Taps, then some actual trumpet music, both military and popular tunes. About midway through his demonstration, he reached into his bag and pulled out several conical objects. “Does anyone know what these are?”

    After a moment of uncertainty followed by some wild guesses, he explained; “These are mutes. When you put one into the bell of the trumpet, it changes the quality of the sound.”

    He demonstrated the effects of several of them, from the straight mute to the wah-wah mute. “Most of these I had fabricated when I got up here. However, this one,” he picked up a silver mute to which a pair of headphones were attached, “was important enough I went ahead and shipped it up here. This is the silent or practice mute.”

    He pressed it into his trumpet, then set the headphones on his ears. When he began to play, not a sound was to be heard.

    “I think you see why. My roommate can be sleeping right beside me and I don’t have to worry about disturbing him when I practice.”

  23. “The factory control server ought to have reset itself. Why didn’t it?”

    “A melanistic Cygnus olor impacted the power substation at the precise location required to trigger an exceptionally unlikely cascade of sequential voltage regulation failures.”

    “And translated out of techno-speak that means?”

    “It was a black mute swan event.”

  24. “Muldoon!” Burdock cried, “How can ye be takin’ his side on this, you know he’s mangled the King’s language! It’s trick! a trick I say!”
    Muldoon regarded him with one eye, the other being in a perpetual squint from his sailing days. His face so cragged and leathern it made a prune look like paper.
    “So says ye,” Muldoon replied, “And you would be thinkin’ of me as yer referee? Well, on that point I stand Mute. That’ll be six shillings, if ye please.”

  25. “Awful lot of noise for a mute point.”
    “Dude. Moot point. From, like, the old English posse meeting thing, deciding if they were gonna go whup up. When they weren’t allowed to go whup anybody, it became useless, so the stuff they decided was useless.”
    “Of academic interest, maybe. Both their conclusions and the lecture. I meant that they’re arguing with someone who cut them to the quick by standing there with a raised eyebrow.”

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