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

Book Promo

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 SARAH A. HOYT: Deep Pink (Magis Book 1)

DEEP PINK IS NOW ON PAPER (Yes, yes, sequel soon.)

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.

FROM MARGOT SINCLAIR: Not Exactly Murder: Vol. 1.

It’s the mid-90s in Charleston, South Carolina, and the city is only beginning to feel the effects of the “Third Yankee Invasion.”But Charleston is still Charleston. Large shabby pockets remain ungentrified, and the real estate has yet to be bought up by retired CEOs “from off.” The old families live in the old houses and maintain the old rituals. Eccentricity and ancestor-worship abound.Not Exactly Murder is an explosive and hilarious romp through a recent past when Charleston was still decadent and quirky, and when port city crime oozed through every street.The first in a four-book series that establishes a new genre. Let’s see, what to call it?”Southern Women With Guns”or”Elmore Leonard meets Janet Evanovich meets Dixie”Whatever you call it, you’re in for a ride.

FROM DENTON SALLE: Sworn to the Light: The Avatar Wizard – Book 1

“Power comes from either the Light or the Dark, lad. Nothing is neutral.”

Jeremy has a problem: he randomly turns into a black and white bear cub. The transformations panic his mom, but his father says he knows a wizard who can help. That scares his mother even more.

The volkh wizards once ruled like gods in their power, building the great golden city of Miklagard, establishing kingdoms, and trading with legendary places like Sheba, Chin, and India. Then the Dark arose and the wars destroyed much of the world. Kingdoms fell, cities burned, and the volkhvy were merciless in crushing it.

Master Anthony remains the greatest of the living volkh lords. Can he, will he help Jeremy stop this random changes? And at what price? Why is Jeremy’s dad so worried? Isn’t the war against darkness over?

Join Jeremy as he enters the world of the volkhvy. A world of mysteries and secrets. Where women walk in shadow and men call lightning at will. Where endless war against the Dark continues. If you liked Harry Potter and the Heroes of Olympus, you’ll enjoy this series set in a Rus fantasy world where the lines between Good and Evil are clearly drawn.

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: ON SALE: Simple Service: Science Fiction Colonization Adventure (Martha’s Sons Book 1)

They’re stranded beyond the known stars. Will his treacherous mission on an unforgiving world end in death?

Twenty-year-old Peter Dawe has learned to keep his mouth shut around his father. So the super-strong, genetically modified, human hybrid keeps his focus on his strict parent’s bidding to recover his family’s weapons. But after barely escaping a manhunt, Peter encounters real trouble when he runs into his self-indulgent brother.

Forced to take the vain and reckless fool back into danger with him for a second attempt to retrieve the remaining blasters, Peter fears his sibling’s undisciplined ways will get them both killed. But as the colony begins its descent into tyranny, treachery and betrayal could be far deadlier enemies…

Can Peter survive a desperate plan that puts a target on his back?

Simple Service is the first book in the immersive Martha’s Sons science fiction series. If you like gripping action, insurmountable odds, and alien worlds, then you’ll love Laura Montgomery’s rugged adventure.

FROM D. W. PATTERSON: Mach’s Metric: Future Chron Universe.

Originally published in 2018.
The wormhole drive could finally give humanity the stars, if it didn’t destroy them first. An accident had killed thousands by disrupting the entanglement of spacetime and its continued use could lead to further disruptions unless a solution could be found. Young Elias Mach, physicist and inventor of the drive, took on the challenge with the help of a supportive few. He would have to find a solution to the drive’s dire side-effects before it was too late.

If you like a fast moving story, characters that never give up, and science with a sense of wonder, this is for you.

“Mach’s Metric” is set in the future (2390s) and is the first novel in the Future Chron Universe. If you enjoyed “Mach’s Metric” consider reading the next story in the series “Mach’s Mission” for more Hard Science Fiction – Old School.

For more information about the Future Chron Universe, including a chronological reading order, see the author’s blog

(Also published as “Mach’s Metric Book 1).

FROM LEIGH G. WYNN: The Eye of Elektron (The Sumrectian Series Book 1).

Two souls from different realms. Bound by sacrifice. Torn by fate.

Dawn has sixty minutes…
to plan her death…
so that her brother may live.

Competition to be a portrait artist at Crimson Estate is fierce. One lives. One dies. And participation is not voluntary.

To save her brother’s life, Dawn ensures her own execution by painting a forbidden magical device—the Eye of Elektron. Banned from use by powerful Sumrects, the Eye of Elektron has not functioned since the failed human rebellion against Sumrectian tyranny eleven years ago.

Somehow, it comes to life in her hands…

And seizes the attention of an ancient evil and its archenemy, Ansel Cassadian, the most powerful Sumrect in a thousand years. Strangely, he seems to know everything about her difficult past—a past that holds the key to her future.

As evil threatens to destroy all she holds dear, Dawn must reawaken the Eye of Elektron in time to free the humans and save the Sumrect who risked his destiny to protect her.

If you enjoy fast-paced fantasy and slow-burn romance, then you’ll love The Eye of Elektron, book one of a brand new, action-packed, urban fantasy series. Scroll up and grab a copy to start the adventure now!

FROM JONATHAN DE SOUZA: Solist At Large: The Last Solist #1

Adelaide Taylor is the newest Solist to have gained her powers. A magical warrior of the ancient and lost Dawn Empire, she moved from California to New Jersey in secret. Enrolled in a very Catholic high school, she has to find her Companions-five teenagers that will help her to defeat magical threats to the human race. But, in the process of becoming a Solist, Adelaide has to hide the truth of her past from everyone else. Including the five people that she needs to trust the most.

And, there are secrets that Adelaide still has to discover about herself and the world she has become a part of…

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER: Common Ground and Other Stories

Common Ground and Other Stories by [Mackey Chandler]

A collection of seven Science Fiction short stories by Mackey Chandler.
The lead story, Common Ground is big enough to be a novella. It was published in Jim Baen’s Universe e-zine. Sadly that has gone out of business. They had a goal of paying professional rates which made it more difficult. I’m somewhat spoiled because this was the first short story I ever attempted and it sold.
I won’t ruin your read with detailed spoilers – sufficient to say the seven shorts contain an alien with a very human foible, a joker Joyboy banished to selling shoes on the moon, a crotchety old man holding aliens at bay with a leaf blower, the ultimate Windoze -FAIL-, a self made billionaire who never lost his touch, a sword wielding Earth diplomat who was either very very good or incredibly lucky, and a future Mama’s boy dealing with family in an era of extended life times.

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: ARROGANT

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

  1. The Master said “That will be all my students. I’ll expect your report in two days.” He then left the audience chamber.

    “What an arrogant…”

    The older student interrupted the younger student. “Yes, the Master is very Arrogant but he has very good reasons to be so. But you will learn much from your time here and perhaps in a few centuries you’ll come close to his power & ability. But you won’t survive if you imagine that you can insult the Master even when he’s not around.”

  2. “Tell me more about why Grandma and Grandpa left Earth, Mama.” Leah climbed into the now-empty tilapia tank with a scrubber, to help Mama clean.

    “Well, I’m not sure I know the whole story the way your Papa does, but they left when Grandma was pregnant with your Uncle Ray. The Earth Council is arrogant,” this was said with enough heat by sweet, calm Mama that Leah cringed just a bit,”and they decided that Uncle Ray was not the sort of person who should be born.”

    Leah pondered that, as she scrubbed.

  3. Was Maria arrogant? Oh yes. Cocky? Absolutely. Jealous on a scale that was worrying? Indeed.

    But, I could still feel loose teeth from when her practice blade caught me on my face mask and I knew that every hit she put on me wasn’t luck.

  4. “And what is the meaning of this?”
    Julian, for all his youth, managed to tower while on the same level grass as the gardeners. The grown men cringed, muttered apologies, did not try to answer his question, as if they did not dare.
    Ava felt color seeping from her face.

  5. “And your brothers.” Karlus frowned. “I don’t see them.”
    Autumn blinked. Brian, at least, she would expect to be here. Otto and Walter might not bother to take care, especially not if they had something else that interested them, but Brian would not neglect his duty to his young sister.

  6. “You’re arrogant, old man”, said Wade. “You think you know everything”.
    Simon smiled. “I’ve heard that before. mostly from callow youths who had no idea how little they themselves actually knew. I accept your challenge. If you can inform me of something I have actually overlooked, I will apologize for my arrogance. If it turns out that I have not overlooked it at all, you will apologize for your insolence.”
    Wade looked Simon in the eye. Simon gazed steadily back at him. “Callow?” said Wade.
    “How old do you think I am?”
    “I don’t know…maybe fifty, sixty”. Simon smiled again and held his gaze. , “êow m¯æð êac bêgra calu fugol” he said. Suddenly,Wade had the impression of great age. “Older? he said hesitantly.
    “Beside me, you are but a bald bird. A baby bird, whose feathers have not yet grown”, said Simon. The spell, if that’s what it was, broke. “Yes, older”.
    “I’m sorry” said Wade. “I may have been hasty.”.
    “You were. So what exactly gave you the impression that I am arrogant? Explain.”
    “What language was that you just spoke?”
    “English”. Wade stared.
    “Old English. Now, you were going to explain?”

  7. Besides, this was no time to appear arrogant. I knew less about this world than anyone except the babies in their cradles.
    “Let’s see what we can learn in the hall,” I said, as cheerfully as I could. Perhaps, after all, a metaphysician was something other than a metaphysicist, here.

  8. What do you call a arrogant fugitive falling from a building?

    The arrogant baker declared, “You’ll never hear a complaint about my doughnuts outside this shop window.”
    The customer agreed, “It must be the double glazing.”

    1. *Stentorian artificial voice* ICBCarp launch in five . . . four . . . three. . . two . . . one.


      Warhead one deployment check. Warhead two deployment check. Time to impact, three five seconds and counting.

        1. Are you kidding me? I don’t think she’s ever reacted to one of my puns with anything LESS than an ICBC. It’s never just the carp-a-pult for me; she always goes straight for the “kill it with nuclear fish” option.

          Though now that I think about it, I guess it’s nice to know that she cares. 😛

  9. “Egalitarian crabgrass?” said Brett.

    “Ostensibly,” said Claudia. “Really, it’s just an excuse to ignore my commands and keep overrunning the island, since the local flora ‘don’t deserve special consideration’.” She rolled her eyes. “How arrogant of eggs, to pretend to be all the same!”


    “A saying back home.”

    [A.N.: Bonus points to anyone who knows where Claudia’s from. And sorry, TXRed: no trams.]

  10. They came in hard, but arrogant-two separate teams of three men, light body armor under their clothes and sub-guns, probably cheap-printed 9mm H&K knock-offs. Use them once, toss them, nothing to to trace for forensics. They’d lead off with a grenade, but once again a cheap knock-off, probably some single-shot Russian weapon. They had glasses, but same thing-reasonably cheap disposables they could get rid of when they were done. And, they didn’t have Izanagi running a shadow play on the cafe’s surveillance cameras.

    The first guy I nailed in both knees with the Seburo before he even turned the corner, right through the wall. He fell screaming, tangled up the other two guys…

    …which bought me time to take the first of the three guys coming through the front door. Head-shots for both of them, double-taps tight enough you could put a quarter over the entry wounds. The third guy shrieked and dove for cover, spraying fire high and not at me, but at the girl that I had just met.

    Who was she?

    Third guy took three rounds in the neck and shoulder, and I dragged her out behind me as the guy was coughing on his own blood and the remaining two guys of the shooter team got untangled.

  11. She forced her breath out. Assuming their arrogance would buy her nothing, as long as she did not assume their humility, and caught the truth in time to prevent her suffering injury.
    Or her companions’ suffering injury.
    She glanced at the three. She would have to to trust them more.

  12. She floated in the hot spring, dress spread around her like fins. A shadow fell over her face; she knew without looking who cast it. Fire dragons always preferred to look down on water dragons.

    “Not dead yet, I see.” His voice was rough, and… surprised?

    “No thanks to you.”

  13. A triptych of vignettes, all concerning the Battle of Eden Colony, or the Double F__kup, depending on who’s doing the talking:

    The first:
    Peru, herself badly damaged, carried home Finlandia’s survivors, the highest ranking being a Chief Petty Officer named Tynan. Years after her return, Chief Tynan wrote of the battle: “We never talked of returning, as we knew most of us wouldn’t. We looked Death’s sneering face in the eye and laughed.”

    The second:
    “Military scholars generally agree that a pinwheel-z-axis turn is one of the most difficult maneuvers a three-starship element can make, and is usually left to centralized navigation control. Whether centralized navigation control failed or Finlandia’s commander was arrogant enough to attempt the maneuver without help has never been proven conclusively.”

    The third:
    “Mister Cambridge,” said Cherry, “I’ve been hearing Finlandia was way out of position, but their skipper was too headstrong to admit it. Was that why my Charlie died?”

    And my wife, thought Paul. He looked at Cherry Parker and realized that she, too young and utterly alone, desperately wanted reassurance.

  14. Alan Shepard is a fascinating, yet enigmatic figure of the early space program. Even after over a century and intense studies of hundreds of his clones, historians still debate how much of his allure was actual ability, and how much was his boundless arrogance.

    Again and again we see variations upon that theme in his clones. Would Reginald Waite have gotten in so much trouble with NASA’s administration if he hadn’t possessed Shepard’s casual attitude toward restrictive rules? Yet at the same time would he have possessed the courage to stare down President Flannigan in the wake of the Kitty Hawk Massacre if he hadn’t possessed Shepard’s boundless ego? Curiously enough, his most persistent flaws may well have ultimately proved a strength in the extraordinary environment of the Expulsions.

        1. The prize is people who hit “reply all” to instruct others to not use “reply all”. They act so superior about it, too.

  15. Halfway up the sky, the coming noondawn gathered itself around the western edge of the wide ashy circle of Betancourt Secundus; coming steadily more and more bright, more and more reddish, more and more settled toward one particular spot on the edge of that sky-dominating “moon” of Betancourt Prime where they sat — the spot where the now-obscured sun would “rise” from behind the smaller twin of their planet, over a few minutes’ time, and show bright in their near-noonday sky once more.

    Limb, young Paul Regan thought to himself, that’s what they call the edge of a planet or a moon in the sky, in the books in my pocket library — so that’s what it ought to be called.

    Just as he was remembering that the disappearence was immersion and the return to sight emersion.

    But as much as he loved to see that first flash of direct, returning sunlight — the eclipse was every day, like celestial clockwork, it only wanted for him to be awake then instead of obediently at siesta with most of the rest of this side of the world — his mind was mostly on something else, right now.

    “The Eloi, the ones who lived on the top of the Levels in the air and the sunlight back in London, were they, well, arrogant? I mean, did they act like they owned the world, the sky, and the sun?”

    His grandfather chuckled, deep and soft and rich. “Many there were where I grew up who’d’a said ‘yes’ to that, less’n a heartbeat right off without needing to think, and whether or not they’d ever even met a one of those ladies and gentlemen” — he said with an ironic sort of emphasis, worn smooth by time. And took another slow drink of his citrus tea, steaming in the midshortnight chill. (Just a bit of a brief nip in the air, now; not like the congealing chill of a longnight when the cold brilliant glare of the never-moving disk of Secundus gave only light, with hardly any heat at all. Or barely a hint of light in the very middle of longnight, as a dark Nearside of Prime faced a Secundus covered fully by Prime’s deep, umbral shadow… for only a relative brief little while. When a dark sky at last unveiled the stars.)

    “And I can’t rightly say I met even one of them, truly, ever, myself, though I’d seen ’em from time to time and usually from a bit of a distance. But to answer your question, Paul, as people rather than parts in a machine or limes in a crate… no, I don’t think I would say they were arrogant. Ignorant, yes, more like, at least most of ’em — even then a learned and durable and dyed-in kind of ignorance, sure and most definitely an educated kind of ignorance. The kind of ignorance that can look at a thing right in front of it, look it in the eye, see it more or less clear, and the next instant insist it’s not there.”

    This time Paul had been sipping his own tea, strong Betancourt orange pekoe with far more than a hint of oil of bergamot, or rather a sort of hybrid of bergamot, lime, and lemon that most here simply called ‘citrus’ and had done with it. “That sounds crazy. I mean, Grandfather, that’s what they told us last month in cognitive studies class. One of the best working definitions of ‘insane’ is not believing what’s in front of you, acting like it’s something else. Like the Emperor’s Clothes, seen but not there.”

    “I’d guess you’re leaving out part of that, Paul, the part where you have to not work or play well at the things you need to, where and when you are, with the people around you too. But what can I be expected to know of such things, I’m just an old London Morlock retired from the mercenary service.”

    The light in his voice, dancing like sunlight on the water of a bay, would be hard indeed to miss.

    “And that’s the bigger problem in what you just said, what they said. If you’re wondering whether or not you’ve got things straight — never mind for the moment whether you’re a redundant core in a reliable multiprocessor or a person in a society, and I know you’re well enough along in hacking class to understand what I just said — the simplest way to check is to ask others following along what they are seeing or reckoning, too, and compare it to what you’ve got.

    “But that only works for single-point failures, not common-mode ones. Say you’re all getting bad data from the same sensor, or bad intelligence from the same spy, or bad teaching from the same lot of chummed-up teachers — then how can you detect the wrong? And maybe you’re the one that’s not seeing the same old mirage from the same old lazy small sample of intel — that method of ‘checking’ will go right on and tell you that you’re the one wrong, and next lead you all into the same ambush.”

    And he paused. “Lost some of the best friends I ever had, that way. Story for another day.”

    Foggy warmth blew briefly around his face as he breathed into his tea, in what Paul recognized as a simple moment of silence — for absent friends he’d never met and now never could. “It’s not really possible to detect such an error, and that’s what it is, by cross-checking within a compromised set of things of any kind… machines, newsblogs, people, books, reports, analysts, anythings at all.

    “And that, Paul, in a few words, was their big problem. Sure and enough, they’d come across as the most arrogant two-legged sons and daughters of bitches ever whelped, so much of the time; but then so what? Seeing it, complaining about it, focusing on it — all that does, once you’ve established it as a bare fact, is trap you further within a compromised system. And I mean compromised system pretty much the same way Mrs. Stendhal, your elementary hacking teacher, would mean it in class.

    “As individual people, being people according to what they were taught by their parents and peers and teachers and bosses and authoritative news sources — even now I can barely say that one with a straight face, Paul, oh my! — they really were not, far as I can tell from ‘way too little first-source data and so forth, most of them most of the time all that arrogant, all that self-important, so very controlling.

    “But as cogs in their machine, the machine they believed everyone was or was supposed to be part of… well, arrogance to the rest of us is so much of what they ground out. Do you see the difference?”

    “Yes, the one is a failure of the individual, the other is a common failure to the group. Which then means in turn, that you’d have to be an uncommon individual to escape it, I guess.” He sipped his own tea, and watched the gathering light get ready (so he judged) to leap outwards as the naked disk of the sun again, no longer veiled by its refractive, reddening detour through Betancourt Secundus’ lower atmosphere.

    And then grinned, lopsidedly. “Sorry, Grandfather, I just realized that was a pretty evil pun.”

    “Nothing to apologize for, Paul. Old family and unit tradition, that. Never fear to be uncommon.”

    And as the limb of the sun broke once more free of the moon’s cloak, they drank to it together.

    [Based on pre-existing characters and setting.]

  16. The entomologist and his student were crouching over the nest. “You’ve explained everything clearly, Professor,” said the student. “The queen, the workers, the soldiers. There’s just one thing I don’t understand – the odd-looking one over there that’s ignoring the others.
    “That one?” replied the entomologist. “It’s a rogue ant.”

  17. “So it’s your fault!”

    “No, it’s— I mean, yeah, I made the suggestion, but it was supposed to be a joke! How was I supposed to know none of ‘em would get it, or even be aware of the history?”

    “You had to know how arrogant they are.”

    “Okay, fine, but I sure underestimated their stupidity. I swear I never expected them to actually call their little cabal ’The Committee Of Public Safety’ for real! Or to act so much like the original.”

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