*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 CEDAR SANDERSON: Inktail, Too!: Dragons and Friends Coloring Book
A coloring and activity book full of dragons, with room for you to create alongside the enchanting fantasy creatures you can color in. Inktail is a little dragon with no particular size, and in this book, he has many adventures! Poetry, silliness, and no less than 45 full-page coloring plates will keep you busy. The pages are laid out to allow only one side for primary coloring, the other side can then be safely hidden if you are using markers that bleed or want to hang your creation up to admire. The coloring activity book is designed to appeal to young and old alike, and is sweetest as a shared experience.
FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Crawling Between Heaven And Earth.
A collection of short stories by Prometheus Award Winner Sarah A. Hoyt. The first edition of this collection was published by Dark Regions Press in paper, only. This updated edition contains two bonus short stories: High Stakes and Sweet Alice.
It also contains the stories: Elvis Died for Your Sins; Like Dreams Of Waking; Ariadne’s Skein;Thirst;Dear John;Trafalgar Square;The Green Bay Tree; Another George; Songs;Thy Vain Worlds;Crawling Between Heaven and Earth
FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: Sabercat (Tommy Reilly Chronicles Book 1)
Despite his rich-kid roots, Tommy Reilly is struggling to make it as a freighter captain. Despite a universe of possibilities, he finds himself running afoul of both pirates and corrupt bureaucrats who seem determined to get in his way at every point. It’s like karma for his bullying past is smacking him in the back of the head.
All of that changes when a figure from his past asks for his help.
Now he’s finding himself at odds with a greedy and overly ambitious business owner who has government backing who happens to be the same man who impounded the very load he needs on his ship. The fact that the load is only the first step in securing information that could bring down the status quo might have something to do with that, however.
Tommy and his crew of misfit rejects have to use skills most of them would rather forget to secure their load, all with eyes watching them everywhere.
FROM MARY CATELLI: Never Comment On A Likeness.
She knows that it is magic, but what magic is it?
Have the Good Folk made her baby look differently than he had before?
Or had they snatched him entirely, and left a changeling in his place?
And what can she do against Sir David’s sly comments on how he can help her?
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: JOG
22 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo”
He jogged over to the trench line, then dropped down into the communications trench just before reaching the military crest. A full squad of men in combat suits waited, one of them poking a remote sensor over the trench’s parapet, his suit set for field camo with only a soft yellow set of butterbars showing up on his shoulders. “Lieutenant,” North said, coming up on the foamed aluminum duckboards the platoon stood on, “report.”
“Haven’t seen an Alpha in two days, sir,” the lieutenant replied, North’s suit automatically dropping an icon of Harlan, Max-2nd Lieutenant in his field of view. “We haven’t even had any hypersmart attacks,” and the lieutenant’s thumb pointed to the PD turret just behind the trench line, the pop-up x-ray laser turret protected from direct fire by a three layer set of sandbags and thin angled plate of grown ceramic armor over the sandbags. “It’s weird, sir. They normally don’t wait this long to counter-attack after the last assault.”
North sighed, then he turned his mike back on. “If the Alphas haven’t attacked yet, they might be organizing for a big push. Trying to get command to send us some more reinforcements. Supply status?”
“High yellow for everything except grenades, that’s low yellow, sir. Had to use a lot of grenades in the last assault,” Lieutenant Harlan replied. North worked his neural mesh and there was a definite-and delayed-request for grenades of all types for the unit. “Out of mines, had lay what we had left after the last attack and the belt is at about seventy-five percent of standard. Got secure lines back for power and water and communications. Two casualties, but we did get some men to cover for us. We’ve got the frontage, at least. Any chance we can take the fight to the Alphas, sir?”
“Not enough panzers,” North grunted. Alphas assaulting a fixed location were bad enough-nearly perfect coordination of brigade-sized attacks down to squad level; and enough artillery, panzers, and hypersmarts to be terrifying. Attacking the Alphas was best as a meeting engagement. If they had any time to prepare, they would seed the entire area with hypersmarts, fuzed to attack a target anywhere between immediately to a month later and always attacking in time-on-target swarms of at least four missiles. Imperial forces liberally seeded fixed defense positions with point defense turrets for that reason, but you needed a panzer if you were going to attack to carry enough point defense to give infantry some chance to survive. And, the Alphas always had at least two soldiers in their platoons with a suicide charge powerful enough to destroy a full-up panzer with skin contact or an IFV if close enough with weakened shields.
Very interesting. What are the Alphas?
An alien race that made the worst of all possible mistakes.
If you listen to Arjen, Alpha folks are us (~_^)
wait, Arjen calls those from Alpha, Alphanes
Oh well give me an excuse to post his short little ditty.
What? It’s under 14 minutes long!
He sighted down one leg of the summoning array. The leftward jog was obvious.
The apprentice shuffled her feet. “Well.. it’s traditional.”
He sighed, stood, and walked to the tool chest.
“Summoned creatures don’t care about ‘traditional’. They care about precision.” He threw a chalk line at her head, smirking at the shock on her face as she caught it.
“Slow down,” Jenna puffed.
He obediently slowed to a jog. “The distance doesn’t count unless I’m running,” he said. “That’s the rule.”
“Did the preceptor make that rule?”
“Then I’ll make one too. When you train with a lady, run at her speed.”
“I hear and obey, princess.”
“I’m no princess,” Jenna panted.
“Do you want to be?”
I jogged down the road. It was very well kept for a dirt road, and I wondered whether they had technology, steam or diesel, or even atomic.
The trees gave way and let me see the broad valley, where oxen pulled carts and plows. My mouth pursed. Well, no, then.
The road continued up the slope, with so many jogs and twists around this well or that orchard that they reached the gate after sunset was long gone, and the last shreds of crimson were giving way to black.
Carrigiana conjured a light as soon as the footing grew uncertain.
“JOG? What’s that?“ I queried my fellow mafia member. “There’s JAG, check; wasted time making a will. DOL; go get stuff, check. POL is petroleum and other liquids so JOG is, um. Beats me.”
“No, Tree, jog as in run slowly.”
Samantha found me as I was pulling my tennis shoes out of the closet.
“What did you forget this time?”
“What do you mean?” I replied.
“Every time you forget something important, you go out for a run.”
“Just trying to jog my memory on something.”
“The Hierophant will see you,” said the acolyte master. “Go at once, Angela.”
She blinked, but walked off. Half the acolytes might lie to her about that and think it something humorous, but not the master.
“And hurry,” he called.
She walked faster. It did not become them to jog.
It was easier than it looked, climbing down, as she learned to find the jogs in the stone and the niches between them. Once she was done, Brian grinned and led her from the shadows of the house out into the street and the radiant day.
“Better than sitting about?”
Inktail Too is good.
I’ve already ordered a second one, because the first one was utterly claimed by Daughter 2. And she’s sneaky.
I ran for the foxhole, but I jogged when I should have jig….
The path to the Starting Stone had a jog in it to detour around a thousand-year-old olive tree. The Starting Stone itself was an old millstone, perfectly ordinary as far as I could tell – not like a certain other Stone I knew that was imbued with alchemical intelligence.
The words “I Am The Starting Stone” were carved into it in archaic lettering. As far as I had been able to determine, it was a practical joke put in place by an early owner of the plantation, as a setup for snipe hunts.
Now those words jogged my memory about the odd connections between this world and Earth. Not only did it have humans and olive trees, but it also had snipe hunts and a book of game rules titled *Hoyles.* More generally, the plants and birds and cold-blooded animals were the same here as on Earth. Only the mammals were different. Except for humans and the very rare dogs.
I set the thought aside. I’d work on that puzzle when I had time. When I didn’t have to worry about the conflict between the Four Empires and the Island Kingdoms. And when I didn’t have to deal with the possibility that, for once, this wasn’t a snipe hunt.
It was supposed to be a simple day trip, out to visit a school for a presentation on space, then back home by evening. Except all these country roads looked alike, and somewhere he’d made a wrong turn. Thoroughly lost, he’d resorted to asking at a little country store that sold groceries, bait and ammo.
Now he was struggling with Southern-style directions. “Go past the old LeClerk place and turn left. If you get to the jog in the road where the Waffle House used to be back before Hurricane Horatio went through here, you’ve gone too far, so turn around where the lone cypress tree used to be…”
He had no idea whatsoever where the LeClerk family might’ve lived or what their farmstead would look like. Not to mention that Hurricane Horatio had been during the Energy Wars, when he was still deployed on a carrier in the Med, not even thinking about joining the astronaut corps.
Commissioner, at what time did this matter come to your attention?
I’m sorry, Senator, but I’m afraid I don’t recall.
I must remind you that failing to answer our questions can be considered contempt.
I’m sorry, Senator, but I really don’t recall.
Well, perhaps this will jog your memory. *Slap*
“Each and every day I see you going by two or three times and and each and every time you are running. I wonder, why do you jog?
“Because I’m in the middle of writing a book.”
“Oh, what’s the working title?”
“These are the times that try men’s soles.”
“Got the stopwatch?”
“You will record each lap, then reset to zero for the next lap.”
” I’ll be changing shoes between laps.”
“So why are your jogging shoes all the same except for the bottoms?”
“Because these are the soles that will try a man’s times.”
50. Sorry, I was hungry. 😉
Carp! Ashkalar just requested a Ballistic Carp!
Thank you, kind sir! That was most yummy! 😉
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