Writing Challenge 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 JEAN RABE:  The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge A Piper Blackwell Mystery (Piper Blackwell Mysteries Book 4).


Sheriff Piper Blackwell’s three-day vacation with old Army buddies ends in tragedy. At the same time, a vile hate crime along a county road enrages her department. Their forces divided, Piper and her deputies must solve both cases before tensions boil and threaten the rural fabric of Spencer County, Indiana. Only eight months on the job, the young sheriff must weave together clues to uncover both a killer and a secret that could scar her soul.

“Piper Blackwell is a smart and capable small-town sheriff, a thoroughly modern woman who leads a colorful cast of characters in this entertaining read. Well-crafted and suspenseful, THE DEAD OF JERUSALEM RIDGE adroitly threads the needle between Cozy, Procedural, and Action-Thriller. Jean Rabe’s fans⸺both old and new⸺won’t want to miss this one.⸺ Baron R. Birtcher, multi-award winner, and LA Times Bestselling author

“Rabe once again mixes the most colorful parts of a cozy mystery with the grittiness of suspense in THE DEAD OF JERUSALEM RIDGE, launching Piper Blackwell into the most personal, and potentially heartbreaking, intrigue of her career. Don’t start this story if you need to be up early the next morning!”⸺Janet Walden-West, GRW Maggie winner and author of The South Beach series

“Jean Rabe weaves a deceptively staid tempo of a tale in this new Sheriff Piper Blackwell novel that barrels into a starkly taut murder mystery. The main plot, supported by a riveting subplot, is masterly crafted with an intriguing cast of characters, a unique setting, and an ending that feels like a double sucker punch!”⸺Khaled Talib, author of the highly praised thriller, Gun Kiss

THE DEAD OF JERUSALEM RIDGE had me hooked from page 1. The characters were so real it felt like they could walk right off the page. Warning, once you start it’s next to impossible to stop reading until you reach the perfectly-crafted ending.⸺Angela Crook, author of Fat Chance and Chasing Navah.

(I want to point out after months of reading only Jane Austen Fanfic this series got me to read it. (Yes, I “read” other stuff, but it was audio books.)  I don’t know if it will last, but a series needs to be grabby to get me out of the P & P sinkhole at this point – SAH)

FROM MARY CATELLI:  The Wolf and the Ward.


A wolf wanders the land. . . .

Charity had thought it dreadful, being sent like a package to a man who might refuse to take her on as a ward. But when a wolf comes to look her up and down in the woods, and the man she is sent to greets her, making her wonder if she remembers something that never happened, she finds that there are problems far worse than that in the duchy.

FROM PAM UPHOFF:  Warrior At Large (Wine of the Gods Book 52).


Ice is back, and back in trouble! Fired from the Directorate, he’s working three part time jobs, and tripping over problems that a Warrior of the One can’t ignore. Spies from other Worlds and corrupt politicians is just the start

And with no one ordering him around, he’s free to deal with problems his way.



Trust me.
There are things in the lab no-one ever talks about.
Risk everything.
How far would you go to save a friend’s last hope?

Three friends, one fateful conversation. You can’t let your closest friends do something drastic, not if you can help it. When one of you has a a brilliant mind, another is a skeptic, and the last one is willing to be a guinea pig… should you stop them?

A short story.



A single spark. That’s all it takes to ignite an explosion if the conditions are right.

Today in America, conditions are right for an inferno to engulf our nation. We no longer discuss; we screech. We no longer tolerate; we cancel. We no longer agree to disagree; we end relationships that have lasted years. In short, American society is on the edge of an explosion.

Schism is about all of our anger, all of our political rage, coming to the surface in a Second American Civil War. However, this one doesn’t divide us by northern states and southern states, but rather by liberals and conservatives, urban and rural, reds and blues. Spurred on by blog posts, news reports, and protests each side seems to participate in more out of opposition to the other side than any real principle, conditions for the spark grow more and more precarious, priming the pump of hate.

Beginning as what seems like a black and white case of terrorism, events morph into a political struggle over who steers the reins of power. One man seeking justice for his family spins out of control and drags our nation into the abyss while the loyalties of friends, neighbors, and even families are tested against the partisan rancor that pervades society.

Once events explode into a self-sustaining fire, cities burn. Journalists from varying outlets are executed for everyone to see. Power plants are shuttered to cut off each side from the energy our country has become so dependent on. And the whole time, as America is paralyzed in a struggle with itself, an ambitious military officer watches from across the ocean…


*For some reason I still don’t have a word for the challenge. Eh.

Write the opening two paragraphs of a story OR a two paragraph novel blurb based on THIS picture. SAH*

Image by Ulrich B. from Pixabay

48 thoughts on “Writing Challenge and Book Promo

  1. I opened my eyes and quickly closed them. “Man alive what was in that bottle I drank last night”!

  2. “Stone walls do not a cabin make, nor ironed bars a page.”, the writer mumbled while trying to make sense of the picture posed by Ulrich B.

    “Ha, I say ah ha! It’s a farm I see, that’s what it be.” and looking closer went on to say, “A farm with milk for sale, I can include that in the tale. Out the window and to the right you’ll sight a camel or two or three. So about a farm with , milk for sale I, the wright can write alright. A camel, a farm, a dairy farm, a drome-dary.”

  3. “The problem with inventing a time machine and forgetting to lock the controls,” mused the man, gazing at what his daughter had wrought, “is you leave yourself wide open to this sort of thing when you have pre-teen children…”

    The girl ran up, just then, and hugged him. “Daddy! Isn’t it amazing? Why didn’t you let me play with that toy before?” He just sighed, grinned, and tousled her hair…

  4. Alice was beginning to think that ordering the “Mushroom Surprise” pizza from that place where all the guys have dreadlocks and tie-dye shirts might have not been such a good idea.

    1. My paw to Bog, there’s a regional pizza chain in the Atlanta area (or was) called Magic Mushroom. I never had the nerve to order from them.

      1. Are you sure it isn’t Mellow Mushroom? They are based out of Atlanta and their restaurant decor colors tend to the psychodelic…which is probably why I keep thinking and referring to them as Magic Mushroom Pizza. Menu items sound like they were named by hippies, but the food is decent. I usually get the Kosmic Karma (hold the feta) when I do go there, but there are better pizza joints closer, so it is a rarity.

        1. They might have changed their name. In 1991-95 it was Magic Mushroom, at least on their signs. Someone in the legal department might have encouraged a name change.

        2. The one in Lakeland Florida has a SF theme, flash-frozen Han Solo in a Telephone Box, Spock painted on the wall.

      2. “Mellow Mushroom” I’ve been to. Eh. There’s one or two in DFW. They were definitely trying for the “stoned on shrooms” vibe.

  5. There are countless movies about the perils of moving into a house haunted by the spirit or the magic of a Black Witch. Which is ridiculous. Black Witches come to Bad Ends, usually using the last of their magic to try to stave them off, and their spirits go straight to Hell and don’t come back. Their homes often explode, or sink into bottomless pits. If there’s anything left, the locals typically burn it, scatter what’s left, and sew the ground with salt.

    No, the REAL trouble comes when you move into the former home of a White Witch. They often die in their beds, or (less often) fall in battle with Great Evil, far from home. And their houses tend to remain standing, and are full of leftover magic the Witch didn’t get around to using or dismantling. It isn’t Evil, but it can get…playful.

  6. As she surveyed the scene, she gave an exasperated sigh. “Just *who* decided to hang the Elephant Garlic by the bathroom window? It belongs in the parlor!”

  7. Jonna the Giantess hates having to watch over (and bathe) the cows, rhinos, camels and other livestock of Great-Uncle Jack’s farm. But she’s just a kid, and so has to do as she’s told. At least Harper, her riding giraffe, doesn’t need to be bathed. He only needs to be curried and kept away from the garlic.

    Still, there are worse things than keeping reluctant cows (and rhinos) in the tub. There’s Tiffi, Jonna’s annoying little sister. There are the visiting opera singers from Von Vogel. And there’s the disappearance of Great-Uncle Jack, with the only clue being some extremely muddy sheets left on his bed.

  8. Arvin stood in front of the painting trying to make some sense of it. The longer he looked it seemed the less it made. As the moment wore on he began to tilt his head, like a dog attempting to comprehend the tableau. Further he went. Past 30, then 45 until at sixty degrees off his vertical axis he fell, breaking his neck. As the light faded from his glazing eyes he murmured, at last…

  9. “So you found a Magic Wishing Amulet, and you just HAD to leave it where the kids could find it! I can’t believe I was dumb enough to marry you!”

    “Honey, ix-nay on the elling-yay, they’re not going to turn us back as long as you’re still mad…”

  10. “I TOLD you, you idiot! If you’re using the edit_universe() function and you get an ‘abort, retry, fail’ message, you ALWAYS choose retry!”

    stolen from inspired by Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri

  11. >> “Ice is back, and back in trouble!”

    Not gonna lie, Ms. Uphoff: I read the first 3 words and my brain was expecting the next words to be “with his brand new invention.”

    1. Alright stop, grab a copy of this novel!
      Ice is back and back in trouble
      Directorate fired, side jobs are three
      Trouble of a kind that he can’t flee
      Warrior of the Once can’t dodge this fighting/
      Other World spies, politics inciting….

        1. Not poetry, it’s worse! Filking a novel summary for a series I haven’t read to the tune of a song released when I was in single digits. 😀

          You think that’s bad, you should hear the songs my kids get when they’re crying… Elf eventually asked I stop doing variations of “Darling Clementine” even if I did completely replace the depressing lyrics with such gems as “oh my darling, please stop crying, please stop crying, darling mine; you’re a cutie, a patootie, oh my crying, darling mine. Go to sleep, dear, go to sleep, dear, go to sleep, dear child of mine-“

          1. um…. I did frankenstein fanfic lyrics to “are you lonely tonight” Older son complains those are the only ones he remembers…
            Also to the tune of “I’m an elephant too” (the dumbo song) “I’m a dinosaur too”
            He thought those were the real lyrics.

            1. *snickers*
              You should’ve seen my daughters’ reaction when “Hello, I love you (won’t you tell me your name)” came on the radio and they discovered the lyrics had little to do with “Hello, I love you, your name is (baby’s name); hello, I love you, let me tell you again; hello, I love you, are you happy to be my baaaaaaaay-bay?”

              (My translation of 90% of the lyrics: “He’s saying she’s really, really pretty.”)

          2. >> “Not poetry, it’s worse!”

            To be fair to Sarah, I probably should have linked this when I made that comment:

                1. Oh, it says ‘Letter textures’. Had to back it up and pause — it went by pretty quick, I thought it was ‘leftovers’ and wondered what they said about them.

          3. I . . . might occasionally serenade Athena T. Cat with felinefilk versions of Spirituals. You know “Pet-a the cat she’s so soft and fluffy” to “Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham,” or “Hark, I hear the cat approaching” to “Hark I hear the Harps Eternal.” She’s not really impressed.

          4. For the dogs:

            “Let’s go potty now,
            everybody’s learning how
            comeon do a potty safari with me” (“Surfin’ Safari”)

            “Going to the kennel
            and we’re gonna go potty” (“Going to the Chapel”)

            When the border collie hears me doing a straight version of “Papa was a rolling stone”, she figures she better go right away; Daddy’s run out of lyrics!lleleventy!!!

            1. “Ice, Ice, Baby”–DGM’s fault, he commented that his brain auto-filled the lyrics after “Ice is back” and my brain decided it was a shiny toy.

              1. Sarah really shouldn’t let us play together. Apparently we’re more dangerous than the sum of our brains.

        2. Shut up and quit discouraging her. I want to see if I can get her to do the Spiderman theme. 😛

  12. The picture made me think of the Scholastic Books order forms we used to get back in grade school. Maybe the back cover of book so ordered might have read something like this:

    “I’ve never seen anyone go through as many books as that kid does,” said Uncle Rigoberto. “If she ain’t at the library, she’s prowling around the used bookstore in town. I ain’t seen anything like it!”

    For lonely nine-year-old Griselda “Greeze” Bianchi, books were practically the most important thing in her life – name the subject, she’d probably read about it. Her bedroom contained one the larger libraries in her small Maryland town. But what happens when an unexpected earthquake spills her books all over the floor, and escaped plots, characters, and information start running all over her house? Find out in The Page Portal.

    Hope you’re feeling better, Mrs. Hoyt. Gives companionable arm punch.

  13. Are you tired of the same old fantasy adventures with your standard team of wizards, barbarians, thieves, and clerics? Let our new game Magic Garden introduce you to a completely new experience in fantasy gaming.

    Drawing on the whimsical fantasy traditions of Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, this latest addition to the Digital Dreams lineup allows players to enter a world of wonder like no other. Become a child again in a world where you can play with talking animals and wee folk, where you can wish upon a star and fly, and where new surprises are to be found around every corner.

  14. sigh

    It hates the word. That’s the only explanation for its eating the email. Because the promo ones made it through.

  15. Fortunately Petra realized the little people were dolls before she fainted . . . or ran screaming. She stomped around the tub, giving . . . was that the wart hog in the tub with Dad’s prize miniature Holstein cow? She turned off the water and eyed her sister.

    “This would probably be a good time to stop imitating a monkey, and start playing Cleaning Lady, because Mom and Dad are due home in fifteen minutes.” She eyes the various creatures. “I’ll put out the feed and maybe some of them will get back where they belong without resorting to cruder methods.”

    Jill swung down from the window. “If you even think about the cattle prod, I’m telling Mom!”

    “Don’t be stupid. You’re the only one here I’d use it on.”

  16. It was Sunday in the Green Room. Weekend writers were taking their turns pecking away, so people got pulled away every so often to go and help, but even they seemed to slow down on Sunday mornings, and everyone was taking a break. The adult characters tended to relax with a hot beverage and leisurely breakfast, but Jane and Sally didn’t have the patience for that, so they typically spent the morning with the animals. Fortunately, the Minis tended to get restless faster than the full sized adults, so Mr. Jones usually kept an eye on the girls while they played, waiting for the other adult Minis to wander by and chat.

    Accustomed as they were to this being a time for laziness, it was even more of a shock when Jane saw the Mini kids. She had never seen Mini kids before. She knew they had to exist, but apparently the writers didn’t see much need for them very often, because she’d lived her whole life without seeing a single one. It was such a surprise that she almost lost her grip on the window frame and fell into the bath with Bessie and Prancer. Then she almost fell again as she twisted herself around just a little too quickly to yell for Sally. Finally, she sorted herself out just as Sally ran up, and they turned together. New friends!

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