Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

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 DENTON SALLE: Oath to a Warlock.

Peng planned to continue to serve the Master in the stables. After all, magicians lived forever. Qian thought that she would care for her niece and marry who the Master said to. Neither of them expected the Imperial Censor to come

Yaros wasn’t happy with the plan of impersonating the Censor and his retinue. All to keep an oath given to a warlock. How much blood would be shed for a traitor?

When magics and weapons clash, nothing goes as planned. And more than two lives are changed

A fantasy novella set in a China where Rus Vikings changed history.

FROM J. L. CURTIS: Showdown on the River: The Bell Chronicles Book 1.

Rio Bell is leading a cattle drive up the Goodnight Loving Trail to Fort Laramie. It’s his first time as trail boss, but with trusted hands and hard work, he expects to be back in Texas by late September though fire, flood, or rustlers bar the way!

He didn’t count on a range war.

They didn’t account for the Rio Kid…

And he sure as hell didn’t count on the girl showing up!

FROM ALENE R. LOWREY: Einarr and the Isle of the Forgotten: A young adult action-adventure viking fantasy.

An Unexpected Detour

Einarr and his companions have made it out of the Tower of Ravens intact, but on their way out they touched something they shouldn’t have. Now they’re becalmed in an unfamiliar sea. While fish are plentiful, water is becoming an issue.

When a storm blows up, Einarr decides to take a chance and ride the squall. Their little fishing boat takes them to unknown shores and wrecks on the beach. Now they have to contend with a rag-tag group of souls doomed to oblivion – all trapped, as they are, on the Isle of the Forgotten. Can they break free of the cursed isle’s clutches in time, or will they return to find the crew of the Vidofnir has succumbed to their own curse?

FROM BLAKE SMITH: The Secret of Seavale.

A cottage by the sea, nestled in a respectable neighborhood. It should be a safe haven…

Elizabeth Markham has run away from school and seeks the house of her godmother, six miles outside of Portsmouth. Seavale Cottage is a place of peace, and Elizabeth will be safe under Mrs. Brownhurst’s care.

But she arrives at Seavale only to discover that Mrs. Brownhurst has gone away, leaving Elizabeth to fend for herself. She finds assistance in her servants and in her very obliging neighbor, Captain Randall, and all is well until Seavale is beset by strange nighttime happenings. Elizabeth is about to discover that her place of refuge holds more danger than she ever dreamed, and she must gather all of her courage and resources if she and her friends are to survive the secret of Seavale.

FROM BRIAN ALAN SKINNER: Our Lady of Roswell: A Novel.

Santa Madre pays two young men from New Mexico a visit before they enlist in the army in1947. Stationed at Roswell, they witness the famed UFO crash

FROM J. L. CURTIS, ALMA BOYKIN, MONALISA FOSTER AND OTHERS: Tales Around the Supper Table: -An Anthology of Texas Writers.

This collection is from ten different Texas authors. There was no ‘world’ or set up for the stories. It was up to the individual authors to write their stories, so you get a wide variety! Vampires, dragons, werewolves, enchanted swords, runaways, SciFi, and cowboys… Stories for everyone in this collection of Texas authors!

Alma TC Boykin- Pigmentum Regium; Monalisa Foster- Caliborne’s Curse; Dorothy Grant- Business not Bullets; Kathey Grey- The Invisible Train; Pam Uphoff- Runaway; JL Curtis- A Favor Owed; Jonathan LaForce- Knights and Dragons; Peter Grant- Starting over; Lawdog- Bad Night in Falls Town; John Van Stry- They Only Ever Just Send One; Wayne Whisnand- For a Child.

This is the result of that collaboration- May I present Tales Around the Supper Table- The Anthology.

BY LAURA MONTGOMERY: Early Spaceports.

In the late 21st century, orbital industry floods the world with riches, riches which can wash up against the unsuspecting just as readily as they accrue to those who reach for them.

With his love for his girlfriend, his passion for the law, and his situation in a good firm, Eli Fisher possesses all that a man could need at the start of his legal career. He doesn’t expect it to change when a billionaire who runs orbital powersats hires him for an art project.

But this art project comes with all kinds of strange, and it requires a pawn.

A novelette.

FROM SABRINA CHASE: Dragonhunters.

Only one Mage Guardian now defends Aerope from the malevolent plans of Denais and his dreams of conquest and revenge. Ardhuin desperately tries to make the Allied governments see the danger and replace their murdered Guardians, but the long peace dulls any sense of urgency. Her new husband Dominic fears the Allies consider Ardhuin’s phenomenal power sufficient—and in no need of help from their mages. And yet…a weary traveler from the ends of the earth rushes to their home to deliver a message from a man thought dead. A desperate plea for help, invoking the Compact—as only another Mage Guardian would. Does another survive after all? And what new danger threatens the world?

FROM BRAD R. TORGERSEN: Racers of the Night: Science Fiction Stories by Brad R. Torgersen

Flying at the Speed of Night . . . Following in the successful footsteps of his previous short fiction collection (“Lights in the Deep”) award-winning and award-nominated Science Fiction author Brad R. Torgersen is back with twelve new tales. From the edges of explored space, to the depths of the artificial soul. At once breaking the limits of human endurance, while also treading the tender landscapes of the human heart. Originally appearing in the pages of Analog magazine, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show magazine, Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge magazine, and elsewhere, these stories are collected here for the first time; with commentary and anecdotes from the author. Introductions by bestsellers L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Kevin J. Anderson, and Dave Wolverton (Farland.)

FROM CHRIS KENNEDY: When Valor Must Hold

It is a time of high adventure! A time for noble men and women to say “No!” to the evils that will befall their families and friends if they don’t rise to the task at hand. If their valor doesn’t hold, civilization will fall.

Fifteen authors have spun fourteen tales of hateful wizards, treacherous seas, and scheming foes. Of times when ancient evils roamed the Earth, looking for souls to claim, and dark prophecies foretold what would happen if the Evil Ones were allowed to succeed. This anthology has all of this and more.

When Valor Must Hold focuses on heroes worthy of facing such enemies. A tiny brownie stands up to a massive ogre. A mother races to protect her children. A hunter chases raiders. A guardian serves his king. Heroes lead forces into battle against overwhelming odds. There’s even a goblin trying to save his people by stealing dwarven rum.

Inside are fourteen fantastic stories of enemies testing the valor of heroes great and small. If their valor should fail, they will lose far more than their lives.

Will their swords shatter shields? Will their magic shine forth? Or will they see their homes and families perish when they fail? Step inside and find out!

FROM BRUCE BETHKE: Stupefying Stories 23

Rampant Loon Press is excited to announce our biggest and most ambitious project yet: STUPEFYING STORIES 23. Twelve new stories, covering a range of genres from contemporary horror, to urban fantasy, to science fiction so hard it clanks. Twelve authors, ranging from names you probably know and love already to new voices we believe you’ll be hearing a lot more from very soon. A nice balance of previous contributors and new friends; a good mix of lengths and tones, from a novelette set on a generation ship gone terribly wrong (“Outrider”) to the delightful little confection that is “Brimstone and Brine.”

FROM PETER GRANT: A River of Horns (Ames Archives Book 4)

Walt Ames and his Texas partner, Tyler Reese, know that the U.S. Army is bound and determined to push the Comanche and Kiowa tribes onto the reservation for good. Once the Texas Panhandle is pacified, millions of acres of land will become available. They aim to be among the first to set up a ranch there – but that’ll take money… a whole lot of money.

How do you raise money for a cattle ranch? By selling cattle, of course! Buy them where they’re cheap, sell them where they’re dear, and use the profits to bankroll your project. It sounds simple – until storms, floods, fires, cow thieves and stampedes show up. They’ll have to buy their cattle in blood, as well as money…

FROM KATE PAULK: ConSensual (Con Vampire Series Book 2)

There are vampires in the lobby, succubi in the beds, and bodies in the bathroom.

It’s ConSensual, where the editors are demons, the writers are crazy and the vampires and werewolves might be the most stable people in the room.

If that isn’t enough, Dracula is staying at the hotel on a business trip for his wood-based hardware chain, and he brings with him the mother of all sirens, Leannan Sidhe.

Kit Marlowe is one of the authors, and there’s an out of control baby vampire to deal with. Once again, the “Save the World” department is caught with its pants down. It mostly consists of a vampire whose name isn’t Jim and definitely isn’t Hickey, a barely house broken werewolf, a very confused archangel and his succubus squeeze and other assorted misfits.
With heroes like this, who needs villains?

FROM ALYX SILVER AND SOFIE SKAPSKI: A Touch Of Night: Pride, Prejudice, Werewolves and Dragons, Oh, My!

A Pride and Prejudice Variation.
In a world that puts shape shifters to death, Mr. Darcy was unfortunate enough to be born as a were-dragon.
But the cruel laws don’t always find their victims. Mr. Darcy has survived and protected Mr. Bingley who is a werewolf.
Meanwhile, in Hertfordshire, Lizzy has been protecting her sister Jane who turns into a beautiful hunting dog.
When Mr. Bingley rents Netherfield, the Were-Laws and the shape shifting of three of them add extra complications to the flowering of romance between the well-loved couples. And Mr. Wickham. joining the Royal Were Hunters, lends additional danger to the situation.
Will they get together despite the danger, Lizzy’s active imagination and Mr. Darcy’s excessive nobility of character?

(This book was previously published with Sarah A. Hoyt and Sofie Skapski as the authors. Sarah’s name has been changed to match her other published Austen fanfic.)

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: HOVER

40 thoughts on “Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

  1. “Steven Abraham Masterson!”

    “Yes Mother”.

    “I do not mind you bringing a very large dog with you on your visit, but where did you find a dog that hovers in his sleep”.

    “Well Mom, he found me and then he followed me home”.

    1. Before Mom could say more, Steve continued “And he doesn’t hover in his sleep”.

      Then she turned her Dark Brown Look onto the hovering dog and a deep voice said “Oops”.

  2. Meanwhile, in the city of Liverpool, on the planet New new New England:

    “ ‘ere ‘e is!”, shouted Flash’s bat boy, Herbert.

    I don’t see him, his chameleon like camouflage is excellent! Are you sure, is he still there?” Flash queried.

    “No Gov, ‘e‘s h’over there now.”. Herbert replied.

  3. Atwood circled his mouse as he watched the inbox counter tick down. Only 342 more emails. Click, drag. 341.

    “My punishment for taking a week off,” he sighed. “I could select all, delete….”

    But he wasn’t that bold. 340.

    His mechanical rhythm halted as the cursor hovered over the next entry:

    Subject: Please Remember Me Atwood I Need Your Help

  4. A dirigible as bright as a ruby hovered over the landscape ahead, its tether invisible with distance. At the castle? Ava studied it with attention, but finally concluded that it had to be somewhere else. She wondered what it bore, of cargo or passengers, since it had to be royal.

  5. “Alright, the secret sauce here is really to think about flying the rotor disc, not your butt, and to move the cyclic with your fingertips – if you hamhand it with a panic-gripped-fist you’ll never be able to get into a stable hover, just because those arm muscles are gross motor, where you really do need fine motor control for this. Look at how I’m doing it – fine motor control. OK, look outside at your references – your aircraft.”

    Sweat was pouring off me in spite of the wind blasting through the open doors, but this is what I was here for. “My aircraft,” I said, taking over control.

  6. “Don’t try to hover like an airship,” she said. “It does not become a lord or a lady to gawk. Not even at your age.”
    Lucie scowled even as she moved. Peggy had never hurried them along like this before. Like they were in a forest where bandits might attack.

  7. “It looked like a perfect deepfake from outside, Arnold. How did you see through it and realize it was a simulation?”

    “They got the people, animals, plants, buildings all perfect or close enough, sure. But they didn’t get into some details, Susan.”

    “Such as?”

    “President Herbert Hover gave it away.”

  8. General Anatoly Belkin watched from the ground as his son handled the Mi-24 helicopter. Of course Klimka was in the weapons officer’s seat, using the auxiliary controls, and the pilot was ready to take back control at the first sign of trouble. Although the Krokodil was so heavy that it had difficulty in a sustained hover, Klimka was holding the bird in position with the same skill he’d shown before the accident.

    At Belkin’s elbow, Muratov continued to explain. “As you can see, his muscle memory has remained intact. We are hoping that in time his autobiographical memory will return, and with luck he will be able to move between it and other-memory at will.”

  9. “…and it looks really good. The starboard third aft landing gear obviously needs replacement, but I’ve done several of those on ships this size.”

    Sayugi was listening absently as she watched the recently reactivated tram brake to a stop. The party got out.

    After the portable work lights in the bay were turned back on, it matched the description pretty well, at first glance.

    Sayugi put down her bag, and removed her good camera.

    A careful walkthrough matched up with the inventory reported so far.

    But that landing gear could imply inoperable structural damage to the carrier.

    “I’m going to need to inspect it up close, from the air.”

    Sayugi unslung and unwrapped her flying sword. Hovering on it, she continued the video survey.

    Ventral launch tubes looked as good up close as from the ground.

    Dorsal vehicle launch tubes had no signs of external damage, or warping.

    “One of the port radomes is cracked, but that antenna isn’t difficult to replace. Everything else looks good, but obviously this will need to be properly surveyed.”

  10. I have just finished re-reading Noah’s Boy (The Shifter Series Book 3) after reading (in order):
    Sweet Alice (Short story)
    Draw One In The Dark (The Shifter Series Book 1)
    Gentleman Takes A Chance (The Shifter Series Book 2)
    Three Matches (Short story)

    And will soon also re-read
    The Camels of Christmas (gift to blog readers)

    So that I am ready for Bowl of Red

    In the meantime, I think a re-read of Dyce Dare’s Furniture Refinishing (mis?)Adventures might be in order.

  11. “But how can it just hover there? What holds it up?”

    Lindy’s voice was colored with amazement, wonder, worry, hope — and more than a bit of the “shock and awe” those military folks had gone on about, not so many years ago. Really, she sounded pretty shell-shocked; but then I probably did too.

    Looking at a five-mile-wide, quarter-mile-high circle of… well, alien-looking space ship was a good way to put it, even though it (and they) had simply appeared in place up there in the sky, between one second and the next with no “glide path” from orbit — really ought to do that to you. Even if that saucer was also two or three times as far up in the sky as it was across.

    Especially when its appearance was remarkably like those huge ships full of nasty aliens from Independence Day — even if only in the same very general way you might decide that, say, the Millennium Falcon from “Star Wars” looked a lot like the space/time ship from “Valerian and Laureline.”

    Or so I was thinking, watching that ship (good a word as any I had) float majestically on its slow, half an hour a turn circuit above the city. (And its circular path was big enough in diameter it blotted out the sun at any given spot below for only a few minutes.) Some other pair of friends might be doubting it was real, or feeling like they were watching a movie; Lindy and I were trying (no matter how hopelessly) to puzzle what made it tick.

    Two and a half hours it’d been there, give or take, and about all we could do was watch. No real word from the government, except the same old dull platitudes. No news out of the ‘media’ either, except a little workmanlike reporting from the alternative outlets.

    “Can’t really be lighter than air — imagine fitting it into a spherical ‘bubble’ of force fields or something, still would only float on water. No downdraft of air around it like a helicopter or that ducted fan thing from the Avengers movie, so also not any normal kind of heavier than air craft. No rocket or jet exhaust, so maybe it’s some kind of antigravity or something, though all the science I know on that sounds sketchy too.” My own voice sounded strange and dim in my ears, and I could only partly guess why.

    After a year of covidiocratic overreaction to the New Wu Flu, after a train wreck of an election “fortified” the same way the British and French “fortified” frontier America, it just didn’t seem all that crazy to have ‘alien’ ships floating serenely up in the skies of twenty, thirty, or maybe even more cities and “significant regions” across the world. At least we could be here watching it, live, not wondering if our TV feed was a “deep fake.” Or another Orson Welles put-on, without even a “Mercury Theatre of the Air” excuse.

    “That anti-gravity stuff sounds pretty far-fetched to me, too, ladies, have you considered a rocket with a nearly-invisible exhaust, perhaps? Like synthetic neutrino-anti-neutrino pairs, maybe, that could go through light-years of lead without much attenuation?” In any other situation, especially on an urban street corner, I might’ve tended to jump a bit at the words from behind me; but on this afternoon, not so much. I turned (as Lindy did too) and saw an ordinary-looking guy in a suit and vest combo, with a reddish tie worn the way they did in those 1940s movies — as everyday good clothes, not some financial Big Time Trader’s dress-to-impress costume or the reluctantly-worn uniform of an American (but Japanese-style) uptown salaryman.

    What he did not do was trip my internal, intuitive warning system. He came across to that old, built-in, and never-wrong-yet part of me… as good folks. If a little forward.

    “Read the science magazines, much?” asked Lindy, in that modern and sometimes hard way she has. “Or is that just the lamest alien-invasion day pickup line ever?”

    “No pickup, ladies, I’m just passing through, myself. Charles Martin, and happy (if you please) to make your acquaintance.” And he tipped his hat to us. No, really, he did, right out of 1940s movies too, a natty fedora if I remembered things rightly. His smile was… infectious.

    (And I do not mean it the way the covidiotically-paranoid would think; although I’d also not missed how this Charles guy was as bare-face-naked as the day he was born, also quite 1940s-chic. And yet he was, at most, 10 years older than either of us.)

    “Melanie Stroud, and this is Lindy Norcross. We’re watching… the impossible. And trying to guess how that thing can be here, floating up there, at all.”

    He smiled, a ten-thousand-watt smile as they used to say. “Still say that idea about a low-interaction rocket might do it. Especially if you can imagine a sort of ‘catcher’ on the other side of the Earth, so you don’t have to transform all that matter and then just waste it to the deep void.”

    “So, what, next you throw it right back at the sending ‘rocket’ and just keep on bouncing it back and forth? Like one of Larry Niven’s fictional teleporter drives, from those articles way back when?” Lindy was as mercurial as ever, now in full-on geek mode, when she’d been practically accusing hm of being some low-rent lounge-lizard pickup artist only a minute ago.

    “Spreader! You selfish evil young man! Get your mask on!” This karen was younger-looking than he, female, and probably quite pretty under her two layered facerags; but at least she didn’t stick around long enough to be any more of a nuisance than that. And Charles did something that surprised me just a little: held two fingers up in the V-for-victory sign, and with an even more high-yield smile said brightly, “Live long and prosper, Earthling!”

    She just shook her head grimly and walked away even faster.

    “Uh, hate to break it to you, Charles, but you didn’t do that Vulcan IDIC thing quite right, you need all four fingers up, like the Blessing of the Cohens.” Full geek mode, definitely.

    “But, Lindy, I wasn’t doing that. The wish was perfectly sincere, if a little ironic aimed at a hypochondriac in the middle of a self-inflicted economic wound. And as small-minded of me as it was, I was rather hoping she’d catch the allusion to that old TV series, ‘V’ you’ll likely remember, with the hungry lizards from outer space who had ships that looked a lot like that” — and he pointed up and a good bit north-west.

    Yeah, sure, and butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, either.

    “Don’t think she watches those re-run channels,” I found myself saying. “And you shouldn’t sound like some sort of advance-man for the alien invasion, it might not be so healthy for you to start spouting more stuff like ‘take me to your leader’ to random civilians just right now.”

    He chuckled. Literally, in full view of the Five Mile Saucer and all. “Getting an audience with the Potted Plant of the Potomac would be one of the very last things on my list, if I were some kind of advance-man or roadie for the guys from beyond the stars. Surely, if they’ve got ships that big, they’d have room to bring along, say, one alien ambassador to Earthlings for every, oh, thousand people down here or so. That’s less than, what, two or three hundred thousand people, in a ship that size? You could even call it, oh, ‘Operation Face in the Crowd’ or something catchy like that.”

    And the hair was suddenly standing up on the back of my neck. (Never been wrong yet.) “You mean you could be, say, some lizard person like the Visitors on ‘V’ instead of a regular human like us?” I tried to keep my voice light but I wasn’t sure, even then, if I’d failed.

    He smiled, again, in a genuinely not-creepy way. “Don’t be so mammal-ist as that, Melanie. Lizard people are good people too, and they’re only a small minority of our society. Most of us are human stock, from way back, just a bunch of two-legged rescue dogs from the pound of Fate.” There was a sort of wistful smile on his face, then, and that was most unsettling of all.

    “We’re here, we’re alien, and we’re human. We’re about a couple of centuries ahead of you in tech. We’re also, thanks be to Darwin, as Deplorable as all get-out. And here to save you from the Fermi Horizon best we can.”

  12. Still trying to decide if this a good place to startGolem! Not that I’m going to start writing it right now. Nope. Got too much else to do first!

    “Stop that.” Liz did not even look up from the scroll she was reading.
    “Stop what?” The voice that responded sounded supremely unsurprised, as he should after fourteen years.
    “Am not.”
    “Are too.”
    “Am not.” Buttons were being pushed. Of course she knew he knew that.
    “… Fine. Not hovering. You’re distracting me.”
    “Oh, is that what I’m doing?” She finally put the scroll down, giving it up as a lost cause, and stood. The late afternoon sun shone through the open window, illuminating the dust and making it look like tiny sprites dancing in the light. She was reasonably sure they weren’t actually sprites, though. Mostly.
    “Yes. You are.”
    “And you are worrying yourself into a puddle, dear one. You haven’t budged from that spot in hours. And, by my count, you’ve read literally every scrap of relevent data at least twice. We know he’s here in this world somewhere from the message he left us, so of course we came running. I’m damned glad we did, too.”
    He smiled, letting his gaze linger. Liz had never been one to blush, so she stared right back at him with equal interest. Back on Earth, he’d been interested in her long before she noticed it. Her main job as a pilot and secondary as a combat nurse left little time for relationships. Their first date happened after the second lull in Africa when he’d somehow managed to snag a little runabout and pack it with surprisingly decent booze and a picnic basket full of snacks. She still wondered where he got the basket.
    “Paul is a tough one. You remember how he ended up after the ambush. Losing both arms and one leg couldn’t stop him. The hospitals practically threw him out.”
    She barked a laugh at that and turned away. Mercy Regional could not quite fathom how a one legged man with no arms could escape his room without setting off any alarms, but the doctors and nurses there didn’t know Paul. The man just had no quit in him. ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way’ should have a picture of his ugly mug right beneath it as exibit A. Marcus wrapped her up in a hug from behind. She leaned into it, enjoying the heat. Her own personal space heater, she always said.
    “I know, love. He’s like a crazy kid brother to you, too. Yes, I know he’s one stubborn bastard, but why don’t you seem worried even a little bit?”
    She squirmed around to look up at him. He grinned, that impossibly cute little boy grin that shouldn’t ever look right on that craggy face but did. She raised an eyebrow.
    “Really, that’s all it is. I’m used to it. That said, though… I just get the feeling we’d know if he died.”
    She inched that eyebrow higher.
    “You don’t?”
    “No. I never know who is going to live or die.”
    She wriggled out of his arms to pace again, now that she couldn’t waste time fruitlessly poring over the letters and records they’d acquired from the town.
    “I mean, I know the ones that just give up, they die. No reason to live, so the body just stops working. But beyond that? No clue. And I want to know, dammit!”
    Liz didn’t have any living family that she knew of. The ones she let close, all three of them, those she didn’t want to lose. All the psychology and mandatory therapy in the world wasn’t going to change that. She wasn’t clingy. She hated clingy. She just wanted to know they were okay was all.
    “We’ll keep looking, hon. We know he’s not in town and hasn’t been for some time. So I think it’s time we blow this popsicle stand. The trade road runs up towards the mountains and back towards the farmlands. In a world full of magic and monsters, which way do you think he’d go?”
    When you put it that way, the answer was obvious.
    “To the mountains, of course!”
    Hold on, little brother. Don’t die. And am I going to give you such a smack for worrying me…!

  13. Human parenting is tough. Other races can be worse. Elves take 50 years to grow out of childhood; 10 years to potty train! And fairies. You know what trouble a kid with wings gets into? Try hovering over a two year old. Whole new meaning to the term, helicopter parents.

  14. Not related to the vignette writing… it looks like there’s no ebook edition of Darkship Thieves? Is that right or is it lost on Amazon somewhere under some other name/imprint?

    1. Sarah got all of her books back from Baen (including the Darkship ones) so it is a matter that she hasn’t gotten the Darkship books back in the Kindle Store.

      IE The Baen versions shouldn’t be in the Kindle Store.

      1. Oooh, thank you. I am… about 75% done with the backlist now, I’d estimate, and that was the next big chunk I haven’t devoured. 🙂

        Esteemed hostess, if you need help, let me know. My ebook conversion process works off a doc file and produces pretty results very quickly. 🙂

          1. Ugh, yeah, I can’t do that either. I pretty much have to settle on a project and do nothing but that until done.

            1. Add to that that I’m in the rewrite treadmill with the for-pay comic script, (meaning it’s not just for my stuff, I mean.) It’s….. getting interesting.

  15. Do you have any idea how much money these book recommendations are costing me? I’m not buying more ammo because of you! Seriously, thanks. I’m making a pile of books to read as a reward for fixing up the first floor of my house.

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