*Sorry this is SO late but like the rest of us my sleep pattern has got really wonky, and it sends my ADHD through the roof – SAH*
*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 MARY CATELLI: Free Passage.
When you want to pass the lands of the Amazons, you can ask to be allowed to just sail by. Chloe wants to try it, as the only sane route.
But when their queen dies, it won’t merely be for the asking.
IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS… YES, I PROMISE THE SEQUEL IS ON THE WAY (I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS ALMOST FINISHED. 2020 HAS BEEN HARD):
Like all Private Detectives, Seamus Lebanon [Leb] Magis has often been told to go to Hell. He just never thought he’d actually have to go.
But when an old client asks him to investigate why Death Metal bands are dressing in pink – with butterfly mustache clips – and singing about puppies and kittens in a bad imitation of K-pop bands, Leb knows there’s something foul in the realm of music.
When the something grows to include the woman he fell in love with in kindergarten and a missing six-year-old girl, Leb climbs into his battered Suburban and like a knight of old goes forth to do battles with the legions of Hell.
This is when things become insane…. Or perhaps in the interest of truth we should say more insane.
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: BUMPY
32 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo”
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
“You know Grey Cat that coming in means a bumpy legal road for you” says Ultra Agent Ken Clarkson.
“Call me Joseph, that’s the name I use most of the time and I never use my original name.”
“OK Joseph, but still things will be getting interesting for you”.
Joseph replies, “I have no choice in the matter. One of my people was almost killed and the only real justice for him lies in me working with the Agency to find out who is ordered the attack.
“As for my criminal career, I could have and should have retired years ago. As it is, the Ultra Affairs Prosecutors have little evidence to charge me for most of my crimes let allow convicting me.”
Ken chuckled, “Yep, our first meeting allows the Prosecutors to change you with Criminal Trespass and perhaps Attempted Burglary. The Agency suspects you of plenty of Burglaries but no evidence to connect you. Still, your man was apparently involved in illegal entry into computer files and a strong case could be made that you were planning another Burglary.”
“All true and my attorney will be informing the Prosecutors that at the least my criminal career is over and I will be allowing the Agency access to my affairs to show that it is over.
“Come on Ken, you’d admit that while I’m a thief, I’ve only robbed people who can afford to lose what I steal and I’m not a killer of innocent people.”
“Sigh, I suppose you’re correct.” Then Ken chuckled “but here am I worried about what happens to a criminal.”.
Joseph also chuckled, “criminal yes but not a true enemy to the society that you’re sworn to protect.”
[Yes, I’m over 50 words.] 😀
Why yes, of course, there is a time machine and you’re on it.
It will take you into the future as far as you’re life will go.
Understand though, it’s always on and running but from 10:44, 8 November 2020 on, it is going to be a very bumpy ride!
The media will go bumpity, bumpity, bumpity, when there’s no TRUMP!!!!1111!!!!! to complain about, though they’ll try, with their Square Wheel Tires going flat on them, and lug nuts coming off, and crying “Where did that invisible TRUMP TRAIN come from????????”
The road from the train station to the small bayou town was a bumpy, muddy mess-clearly the Federal Projects Administration hadn’t found out about it yet. Kendrick looked at his new partner and was impressed. He’d met so many women in this business and she had complained the least and done more work than most of the men in the Marshals Service. And, while she dressed like the New York lady she was most of the time, Marshal Joan Lundren had no issues with wearing pants and dealing with anyone who didn’t recognize that she was a professional and had a job to do.
At least the coach was reasonably modern and comfortable-steel leaf springs, ball-bearing wooden spoke wheels with steel tires, glass windows and spring-cushioned seats. Lundren looked up from her notes and asked, “What did you think of the parish sheriff’s report?”
“Complete,” Kendrick nodded. “The doctor might have never done a big-city autopsy, but he did a very good job. Is there something about about the mechanica that was grafted onto her?”
“Extremely well done,” Lundren replied. “I’ve seen much worse both in integration and quality. This is not some madman doing terrible things because the octopus in his head has gone completely insane. He’s either derived from first principals or has a good set of reference material on connectivity and anatomy. I suspect that he was previously a clock-maker or worked on Babbage machines, the precision was that high.”
“I checked the map and maybe the locals will be of help. No Army Ordnance maps for this area of the country yet, but in that kind of terrain with that kind of damage on her body? Ten, twelve miles at best,” Kendrick agreed. “Maybe the parrish records will have property information or something.”
“And, of course, the witnesses,” Lundren considered.
“Thanks again for letting me borrow your mower, Nick” Bob said as he wheeled it back up Nick’s driveway, “but what’s up with all the little bumps on the handle? It looks bumpy over by the gas cap and exit chute as well.”
Nick sighed, “It’s braille. California decided the safety stickers weren’t ADA compliant.”
I woke up Wednesday morning, looked at the news reports, and thought “We’re in for a bumpy ride.”
This is only my second vignette attempt, as I rarely have the time to read them, let alone write one … but I’m feeling angry now, VERY angry, and vengeful. I hope this is fun both to write and to read:
They were doing the final checks on the first one. The compact camera inside was transmitting a crisp, clear image, and the mike was sensitive enough to pick up the sigh of the wind over the wide mouth of the huge steel barrel. Its lid lay on the ground nearby, ready to be clamped on. “Are we go?” asked the second-eldest Justice, his face dark and hard.
The Sergeant at Arms looked toward the two 60″ viewing monitors, one showing the barrel’s interior with its stubby, sharp spikes in multiple neat rings, the other displaying the long, rocky slope plunging over 450 feet to the ravine below. It was going to be a bumpy ride. In the background were more of the special barrels, many more, one for each of the squirming, whimpering wretches, limbs securely zip-tied, guarded by alert federal marshals; beyond they could see the Marine platoon backup — just in case. But the blustering threats of rescue and righteous bloodshed had turned out to be no more than that. Celebrity “journalists” know very few men of action, and government oath-breakers have very few friends, after all.
“You really don’t need to watch, Your Honors,” the Sergeant at Arms reminded them. The Chief Justice, very pale and visibly trembling, seemed relieved, and quickly trotted from the chamber, followed closely by the Historic Fourth Woman Justice. The wise Latina hadn’t even showed up in the first place, and the eldest Justice was sitting in the far corner with eyes closed. The five who remained stayed where they were; only the youngest Justice spoke. “Yes, we do,” she said. Beside her, the Vice President nodded. That was all.
The President nodded too, and spoke the command to proceed into the speaker on the Resolute Desk.
Whoever said puns are the lowest form of humor are badly mistaken.
With that in mind…
Entry #1 (the clean one)
There is an old fool name of Biden.
In whose interest the media’s lyin’.
Through corruption and fraud,
and sins known but to God.
From Justice they’re desperately hidin’.
Oh, goody! I wanna play with you!
California’s Kamala Harris,
A fantasist much like Chuck Barris,*
You can give her what for,
Even call her a whore,
But she’s impossible to embarrass.
(* I direct your attention to that entertaining and harmless man’s fake memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. The movie version is fun, too.)
Entry #2 (the bawdy one)
There once was a whore on the Willy,
Who said, “This may seem awfully silly.
I’ve been thinking of late,
I could screw a whole state.
Then master my artform in Philly.”
It’s it better to rush that last line with the half-foot, or does it scan better with the full foot of “And then”?
“And then” But no period at the end of the
From current WIP, an elf gets taken for a ride:
George’s suborbital flight with the elf woman in tow was uneventful, if rough. First the launch from the middle of Main Street in Hamilton, aided by lift fans which folded away after the fusion rocket took over. Basically, a plasma weapon configured for thrust instead of destruction. The engine sucked in air at the front and heated it to plasma temperatures with a fusion reaction, then blasted it out the back at immense pressures. The only reason the whole thing didn’t melt was intense magnetic fields guiding the plasma and keeping it away from the walls of the pinch chamber.
When it left the atmosphere, the engine heated water stored in tanks, making it a steam rocket. A very violent one with accelerations in the 5-7 gravities range. It spent quite a bit of fuel accelerating toward the Earth after launch, to keep from flying off into a high orbit.
Consequently, the elf woman spent most of the 20-minute trip crushed in her acceleration couch with a horse sitting on her chest. George left the turnover very late and made the landing under 5Gs. With no windows to look out, the ride was not fun.
George was unsympathetic. If half what he suspected was true, the elf deserved worse than a bumpy flight. Still, on the theory that revenge was a waste of time, he didn’t make it rougher than it needed to be. He brought them down on the tattered onion field, deploying the lift fans for the final touch-down. He figured the field did not need another glassy crater in it.
The cockpit was very still after the noise of the fans and the rocket engine, the only sound was metal ticking as it cooled. “Shall we?” he asked her.
Ava held out her hand, emulating Isabella’s gesture, and enunciated each word, trying to get the earth to rise.
It grew bumpy.
She strained. Dirt rose in a small hummock. She let her breath out. She could use it to trip someone, if she could make it work more quickly.
Prairie dogs can generate similar results, as can gophers (as Caddyshack demonstrated).
Nah, they leave holes.
“No, the bumpy surface is not a flaw.” Ken Redmond pulled himself up from the squatting position in which he’d inspected the floor of the shower in one of Shepardsport’s newest apartments. “You want some roughness to ensure solid footing when you’re running water in here. And it’s going to have to be more than on Earth, because we’re dealing with only a sixth of Earth’s gravity, which changes how friction works to provide traction.”
The train’s rhythmic thump calmed some of the passengers, but Max remained awake. He thought about Cari, how they met, how bumpy their relationship was over the years, and how now, at sixteen, he wanted no one else. And about how unfair it was that his family had to move.
I have no vignette for you. I just came to tell you what you have been telling everyone else. President Donald James Trump won the Office of the Presidency on the day of the election. Over four years ago I knew when then Mr. Trump threw his hat in the ring that he would beat Jeb. Jeb is a punk, easy to beat. I also knew he would beat The Beast, at least I did until the last ten days before the election and I did not see the move in the polls that I expected for Trump. Oh me of little faith. But I trudged to the poll to cast my ballot because even if the cause was futile it was a serious obligation. We know what happened. This time I knew President Trump would win but I also expected it would be a lot closer. I was wrong, even with the initial cheating it was not close at all. President Trump won easily. Then came the massive, obvious, blatant cheating. I think this will be the criminals undoing. Anyway, you know all this. You know it better than I; you have great sources of information. I know you are worried and fretting and already you were ill. Please give the President and his team a little time and in the meantime try to preserve your health. I think Trump has got this. Do not read anything that says otherwise. Avoid it like the plague of doubt that it is. I suspect that in the days to come the President and his team will be communicating what they expect and possibly need. No use trying to get ahead of their play. No use expending valuable time and energy before knowing what is needed. Do not let fear guide you but be prepared to focus your righteous anger to the right target when the time comes. Just remember, I think Trump has got this. I think you know it as well. A sure and certain hope.
You asked a while back about sources of information on Scipio Africanus the Elder or Scipio the Younger, i forget which. The Teaching Company offers a course from Professor Rufus Fears entitled, Famous Romans. There is a chapter on each of them and you may find all you need from listening to those chapters but I recommend listening to the first two hours before they are presented. The audio version is fine, No need for the DVD.
I would like to offer something for the content I receive from you but I will not use Amazon or Paypal. I will not trade with the enemy. You once mentioned something about an office but I could not find an address. I do not want your home address; you have exposed too much of your personal information already. Or maybe you have access to a PO Box or maybe you know someone who knows how to use Bitcoin (you would need to explain how that is done).
Obviously, this post is meant for your eyes. You have a pretty exclusive club and I would not want to belong to any organization that would have me as a member. I just wrote because you were hurting and needed someone to tell you what you have been telling everyone else. You are one of the few that sees the whole picture, you write what many are thinking. Try to relax, sleep, eat healthy, stay sharp; I think some clarity is coming soon.
I can send you an address. I don’t give out home address except to personal friends.
I am contemplating accounts in substack and local (will probably create them tomorrow) which have different methods of subscription/paymennts.
Heh, Just read your Blue Smokescreen. Great minds think alike? At the same time?
Of course you should not send out your home address to anyone you do not know. If you have an office address or PO Box or if the Substack or Local thing you speak of will work I will give it a try. You have my email address.
I am glad you are feeling better.
our office address is inside every ebook, on the copyright page. You can probably see it with look inside. Goldport Press books.
Just to confirm, PO Box 1403? Attention Sara Hoyt?
Hold on. No, not PO Box.
There is no PO BOX. Are you looking At a Baen book?
From Deep Pink
3570 East 12th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80206
Yes, but I see Deep Pink provided the address.
Durr, I’ve most of your books, and never thought to check for your address in them.
While I do not currently have anything physical to transmit or relay, I might one day be interested a ‘drop’ address. I would *NOT* expect a ‘real’ residential address.. even if for NO other reason than, what ox not know… ox NOT know.
Orvan, Sarah has said that the Goldport Press is OK to use.
From Deep Pink
3570 East 12th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80206
In her bedroom, Cari remembered the night she thought Max had stood her up. She’d found him stumbling up the bumpy cobblestone streets south of town, performing an errand of mercy. It was freezing, but she didn’t notice. “You’re mine now,” she thought then. “But now he’s gone,” she sobbed.
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