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 ALMA BOYKIN: Malevolently Familiar.

Caught between the Old Lands and the New . . .

Less than a month after confronting an ancient evil, Lelia Chan, her Familiar Tay, and their allies meet an unmovable object. Meister Gruenewald needs their help. A new danger rises across the Great Sea, one that requires more than just his knowledge and power.

What Lelia and Master Saldovado find in the Old Land triggers a race. Can the shadow mages and their Hunter allies bring a power-obsessed sorcerer to justice? Or will his twisted idea of paradise destroy all they have fought to protect? Light-side magic workers have tried to stop the sorcerer, and paid with their lives, struck down by a creature from Elsewhere. One with a grudge.

Worse than death awaits Lelia and her chosen family if they fail.

FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: Army of the Forsaken

Korr has watched as the young, exiled King Darvos is coming into his own, but he still has much to learn. That education is interrupted by a threat to the Bohgan lands they have called home.

Meanwhile, Duke Orlandis continues to seek Darvos, the last real threat to his claim on the Altrian throne. To find him, he’s enlisted the most despicable allies possible.

When these forces make a mistake that could threaten a budding alliance, Princess Lauranna and Darvos find themselves knee deep in a fight of their own.

FROM PETER GRANT: Brings The Lightning (Ames Archives Book 1)

When the Civil War ends, where can a former Confederate soldier go to escape the long memories of neighbors who supported the winning side? Where can Johnny Reb go when he can’t go home? He can go out West, where the land is hard, where there is danger on every side, and where no one cares for whom you fought – only how well you can do it.

Walt Ames, a former cavalryman with the First Virginia, is headed West with little more than a rifle, a revolver, and a pocket full of looted Yankee gold. But in his way stand bushwhackers, bluecoats, con men, and the ever-restless Indians. And perhaps most dangerous of all, even more dangerous than the cruel and unforgiving land, is the temptation of the woman whose face he can’t forget.

When you can’t go home again – go West!

FROM D. REBBIT: Fulcrum: The Globur Incursion Book 1

John Forest was famous. His intervention piloting an experimental fighter at the Battle of the Markus Nebula turned the tide against the Globurs and made him a hero. That was over 20 years ago. Now, he is recently retired and trying to settle into his new life on Earth.

The imperial senate called the war and ongoing skirmishes an “incursion.” Globurs probe for weakness and attack without mercy. In the interstellar space along the rim frontier, fleet outposts and patrolling task forces continue to defend humanity in a stalemate that has lasted decades. Now, the stalemate has been broken. The lives of billions are at risk.

An intractable enemy, a desperate mission, and a shocking secret. Fulcrum reveals, new worlds and new technology in humankind’s first contact with sentient alien life.

FROM DAVID L. BURKHEAD: Alchemy of Shadows.

I was born in the year 1215, in a small town in Westphalia. As a boy, my parents apprenticed me to the famed alchemist Albertus Magnus. Under his tutelage I grew to adulthood and learned the mystical secrets of alchemy, including the manufacture of the Elixir of Life. I have gone by many names through the centuries.

I was already centuries old when I encountered the creatures of darkness made manifest that I know only as Shadows. They have chased me down through the years for reasons I have never understood.

Light was the only weapon I had against these Shadows, light that could drive them back but not harm them. And so I ran. Every time the Shadows caught up with me I fled to a new identity, a new life, until inevitably they found me again. At long last, with nowhere left to run, I had to find some way to fight the Shadows, not just for myself, but for the people I had come to care about.

My name is Adrian Jaeger. This is my story

FROM KACEY EZELL: Sundown (Murphy’s Lawless: Watch the Skies Book 1).

Taken from their planet and their century, they are…the Lost Soldiers.

It’s been six months since the daring raid that destroyed the makeshift transmitter which would have summoned the satraps’ vastly superior off-world allies. The Lost Soldiers followed up that victory by scratching out a permanent base on R’Bak and spearheading the further attacks of their indigenous allies throughout the region. But the continued support, cooperation, and—above all—trust of the space-dwelling SpinDogs will be required if the Lost Soldiers are to maintain and expand their area of operations.

The key to good relations with the SpinDogs is the baby Major Mara “Bruce” Lee is carrying. A child of both cultures, the infant would be a bridge linking the two societies. But that link is still uncertain. For an Earth-born woman like Mara, pregnancy on the spins is likely to end in a spontaneous late-stage abortion…unless she receives one of the planet’s near-miraculous drugs.

Unfortunately, that drug is no longer available. The satraps are grabbing it—along with R’Bak’s other medicinals—in anticipation of the arrival of the Kulsian “Harvesters” who covet the exotic compounds.

When Sergeant Elroy Frazier, Bruce’s crew chief and closest friend, hears that raiders may have some of the needed drug, he goes off on his own to track it down. For him, it’s a matter of life and death for a friend. But failure could also mean the end of the fragile alliance with the SpinDogs. And, in turn, the end of all the time-stranded soldiers known as Murphy’s Lawless.

FROM CLAYTON BARNETTE: Worlds Without End: A Sequel to Echoes of Family Lost.

Their minds modified by the Machines, the Hartmann siblings see worlds differently than others do. Gary looks to a future where his A.I. girlfriend, Henge, can live with him. Faustina looks to her friend Tracy, whom she calls a goddess, whose soul has been lost in the internet for a decade, for a new kind of life. A half-generation on in post-Breakup America, they, along with their family and friends in the city-state of Knoxville, try to make their way forward. Social and technological unknowns may hinder them, but beyond those, the worlds they seek are threatened by a madman’s nuclear fire and a politician’s intrigue.[Picking up ten years after the breathless conclusion of “Echoes of Family Lost,” this new novel of Machine Civilization follows the relationship of human Gary Hartmann and his machine fiancée Henge. While centered around, them the book is broken into two parts: the desire of a human to leave our world and pass completely into the ‘net and the desire of an AI to cross in the opposite direction.]

FROM ANDREW FOX: The Bad Luck Spirits’ Social Aid and Pleasure Club (Fat White Vampire)

A startlingly original dark fantasy set in the New Orleans of the acclaimed Fat White Vampire series. Takes place between the events of Bride of the Fat White Vampire (book #2) and Fat White Vampire Otaku (book #3).

Who Knew It Would Be So Easy to Destroy the Big Easy?

Have you ever felt cursed by bad luck? Everyone living in the path of Hurricane Antonia knows that feeling. In their case, it’s justified! A confederation of trickster gods and bad luck spirits schemes to take advantage of inept political leadership and midwife a catastrophe so overwhelming it drives every human inhabitant from New Orleans! They name their scheme “Operation Big Blow”. Who stands between the Big Easy and obliteration? Only a lone traitor, human-loving Kay Rosenblatt, the weakest member of the mysterious Miasma Club… also known as the Bad Luck Spirits’ Social Aid and Pleasure Club!

FROM MCA HOGARTH: Earthrise (Her Instruments Book 1)

“The thrills are nonstop, the alien cultures and races are well developed and fascinating, and there’s just the right amount of humor to keep the whole thing fizzing.” — Analog Science Fiction and Fact

Reese Eddings has enough to do keeping her rattletrap merchant vessel, the TMS Earthrise, profitable enough to feed herself and her crew. So when a mysterious benefactor from her past shows up demanding she rescue a man from slavers, her first reaction is to run for the hills. Unfortunately, she did promise to repay the loan. But she didn’t think it would involve tangling with pirates over a space elf prince…

Book 1 of the Her Instruments trilogy is a rollicking adventure set in the expansive Pelted universe, and kicks off an epic space opera series where the fate of worlds hangs in the balance. Fans who enjoyed Firefly or Andromeda will like this series.

FROM MARY CATELLI: Curses And Wonders.

A collection of tales of wonder and magic. A prince sets out to win his way to the dragon’s lair. A woman fights a curse on her lands. A man returns to his castle, bringing a magical sword, and worse things. And more tales. Includes “Dragon Slayer”, “The Book of Bone”, “Mermaids’ Song”, “Witch-Prince Ways”, “Sword and Shadow”, “Eyes of the Sorceress”, “Fever and Snow” — and “The Emperor’s Clothes”, which is not sold separately.

FROM BLAKE SMITH: A Kingdom of Glass.

Zara hasn’t seen her family in eleven years, but she doesn’t mind. They sent her to live in a neighboring kingdom when she was small, and she’s adopted her foster parents in their place. She lives the life of an aristocratic Garian girl- riding her horse, shooting her bow, exploring the castle with her friends- and she has nothing to wish for.

Until she’s summoned home, to a prospective marriage she doesn’t want, family she doesn’t remember, and a poisonous royal court that threatens everything she’s ever known. The East Morlans are nothing like Garia, and Zara struggles to find her place among the scheming Morlander aristocrats. Along the way, she makes new friends, meets enemies, and falls in love. But secrets abound in the glittering palace, and Zara must discover who she can trust as she fights for her life and freedom in a fragile, beautiful, kingdom of glass.



It is a time of high adventure! A time for heroes to say “No!” to the evils that will befall their families and friends if they don’t rise to the task at hand…even if they don’t want to! If they won’t take up arms and spells on behalf of their people, civilization will fall.

Fifteen exceptional authors have spun tales of reluctant heroes—people often like you and me, who didn’t think they were worthy, needed, or even “the right one for the job.” Sometimes all they have going for them is that they’re the wrong person at the wrong time. When there’s no one else, though, a hero must do what’s necessary, whether that’s fighting demons, the undead, or an unconquerable enemy.

Songs of Valor focuses on heroes rising to the challenge presented them. An untrained human facing an ancient dragon. A necromancer fighting a demon in the land of the elves. A dragon rider well past her prime coming back to protect the ones she loves. An over-the-hill fighter who does what he must to stem the tide of evil.

Inside are fifteen incredible stories of heroes rising to the occasion. Their willingness to brave the peril, though, doesn’t guarantee their success. If their valor should fail, all indeed will be lost! Will they succeed? Step inside and find out!

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: ITCH

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

  1. “Ten volumes to master,” the Magus said, “before my apprentice you can be.”

    “But is it not an error I found written within the first tome; An itch in time saves nine?” the young applicant queried.

    The Magus paused, cackled gleefully and then replied; “Only if you scratch the surface.”

  2. “Look, it’s perfectly simple. A loves B, but B loves C, who in turn cares only for D. Only, D is secretly married to E, who…”

    * * * * *

    “…so X unites with Snee against Itch and M, who…”

    “Wait – who’s Itch, again?”

    “W’s illegitimate child by Floob. Try to keep up, Tom.”

  3. “i thought you hated that sweater?” He looked over the apparently expensive, bulky, knit garment.

    She shrugged. “It’s not to my taste, but it was a gift from my brother, and it works for in the house, if I wear long sleeves under it.” She scratched at her wrist. “Props to the Chinese for making acrylic as itchy as real wool.”

  4. Grit was everywhere.
    “Don’t scratch,” said Isabella, sharply. “Don’t ever scratch. You will get the grit in, and then it will itch for forever and a day.” She walked briskly over. “We have to do it properly before you get it into the skin.”
    Charlotte-Rose winced. Ava could only agree.

  5. Her nose itched.
    Autumn winced. She eased as far back into the shadows as she could, watching warily for anyone who might be watching her, and scratched.
    There ought to be some spell to keep you from itching at a ball. Especially your first one. She inched back out again.

  6. “Why are you itching”?

    “I got a case of magic fleas”.

    “Where did you get a case of magic fleas”?

    “From a magic dog. Where else?”

    [Yes I’m feeling crazy.]

  7. Lizzes took one long look at Miguel picking thorns out of a red and angry patch on AJ’s bared snow-white legs, and winced. “Hornetary near-nettle?”
    “Yeah, now he knows what they look like.” Manuel replied, and AJ sucked in his breath through his teeth as another fine thorn was pulled, then looked up at her.
    She read the chagrin easily enough, and gave him a sympathetic look. “I think everybody makes that mistake first time out in the field. I’d show you my scars, but I’d have to take off my shirt.”
    “Your shirt? How’d you…” The question distracted AJ, and he shut up, then started getting a smile that was imagining all the wrong things.
    Lizzes grinned, because that was exactly what she’d intended, to take his mind off the stinging, burning pain no cream could combat until the thorns were out. “No, not like that. They can grow up to 5 feet tall, and I was going too fast down a game trail to realize what was overhanging it. Never made that mistake again!”
    His gaze tracked down to her chest, and paled a little. “Ouch.”
    “Yeah. Trust me, I sympathize. At least you get to keep your boxers on.”

  8. The itching started minutes after Tanner stepped out of the airlock. Not that severe, but persistent, and right at the small of his back, where there was no way to scratch inside his EMU.

    There was an old story in the space community that the first murder in space had happened when some joker put itching powder in another astronaut’s spacesuit. Although Tanner had never found any actual evidence for it, he found the story completely plausible.

  9. “Get the ITCH!

    Integrated Technologies Computer Hardware!
    We’re so sure you’ll have a trouble-free experience that we have a SEVERN YEAR warranty.

    Yes, a SEVEN YEAR ITCH!”

    John shut the TV off in annoyance.

    “Ya’know, sometimes I wish the Steves had named their company ‘Apple’ or something silly like that.”

      1. * Horns a token over, across the wire, as a ‘win’ or at least a point. *

        Admission: I shamelessly stole ‘I.T.C.H.” from some 1980’s home-computing book. They also mentioned a cheeky outfit that named themselves “ibm” (lower case!) as “itty bitty machine company.”

        Like Newton, I stand upon the shoulders of GIANTS.

        Unlike Newton, me merely a moo.

  10. So many rhymes for “itch,” thought Shelley. “Flitch, niche, Czarevitch…” Composition was so difficult these days. Mary had gotten far above herself since the runaway success of that pseudoscientific Gothic rubbish of hers—and as if things weren’t bad enough already, Gillray had agreed to work with her on the graphic novel!

    “Percy!” came a shout. “Are you scribbling again? Isn’t it about time you got a real job? If it was up to you to support us, we’d still be sponging off Lord Byron!”

    Shelley jumped up and shouted back, “I should have drowned you in the Rhine, you—” Of course! He sat down and began to write furiously.

  11. There it was. Miles and miles of desert. Not the dunes of the West Saharan, but the scrubby dull high desert that bordered Nevada and California. No smart person would walk into this godforsakenness without water. The one thing I did forget was the sunscreen. First my skin would itch, then burn and when the sun was full in the sky, the little bubbles would rise on my skin. I pulled the hat down to cover my eyes and started walking.

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