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: Nominally Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Nineteen
A quiet day in Riverton . . . may be a contradiction in terms.
Ned Oescher deals with a dangerous ruby and dangerous men.
Morgana Lorraine and Smiley review a new Potoo Brothers textbook that just won’t go away.
Mallory Jones and Rosie the giant skunk face a computer mystery (and a system update. On the full moon.)
And more, in this short story set full of magic, courage, and terrible puns.
FROM S.T. GAFFNEY: Facets
Journey through the crystalline surfaces of short stories, that for the briefest of moments , reflect the light and shadows of what it means to be human. Just beyond the brightness of what we know, lurks the shadows of what we don’t yet know or understand. We pretend we stand on solid ground, turn on the lights, and perform rituals to ignore the horrors that surround us. When in truth, the greatest darkness lies within us all. But also, the greatest brightness. Like crystals we hold both. Turn us one way, and we know just how to kill. Turn us another way, and we know just how to love, a love that transcends both time and death.
What facet will speak to you? Rattle your brain, eat away at your heart? Haunt your dreams, disturb your peace? Make you smile, even laugh? Make you promise to live better? Comfort you just a little, teach you how to build a fire to burn away the night?
Come, take a break and read a story. Short stories for those short spaces of time when a novel is too much. Pull away the curtain, take a peek, and see what is reflected in the facets of your own mind.
Facets is a collection of 24 short stories of various lengths for a total of about 69,000 words. Also included is an author’s note at the end with comments on writing and on some of the short stories. They are organized by length, from shortest to longest. These stories do not as a whole fit any particular genre. However, I suppose one could say that most every story has a “strange” aspect about it. I consider myself a storyteller and I find labels only end up being argued about anyway. So, I’ve just decided to use the word “strange” and leave it at that. Some of these stories (not necessarily the same ones) might be enjoyed by those who look for science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror. And I think some don’t even fit into any of those genres. Like I said, I just tell stories. If you end up putting a label to any of them, fine. Just don’t tell me about it. It will most likely only confuse me. And I don’t need any help with that. I’ve successfully confused myself for years already and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
FROM FIONNA GREY: Save the Fate: A Professor Porter Short Story
Three years after becoming the magical protector of Paladin University, Dr. June Porter is ready for the latest adventure…marriage. But it’s just a wedding. What could go wrong?
FROM D. W. PATERSON: Mach’s Mission: Future Chron Universe
Elias Mach had given humanity the stars with his invention of the wormhole drive. In return, he was accused of treason and sentenced to death. Thus began a journey to clear his name, which would take him further from Earth than anyone had dared. And there he would discover the menace that was developing the most powerful weapons in the galaxy. Weapons that would soon be trained on Earth. To survive Earth would need Mach back.
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 Mission” is set in the future (2390s) and is the second novel in the Future Chron Universe. If you enjoyed “Mach’s Mission” consider reading the next story in the series “Open Space” for more Hard Science Fiction – Old School.
See the author’s website futurechron.blogspot.com for more information including a recommended reading order and free stories..
FROM A. W. GUERRA: MOTOWN: THE VAMPIRE MUST DIE: NINJA, SEALS, BELIEVERS: BOOK I OF THE BRUSHFIRE ORGANIZATION SERIES
What do ninjas, devout Christians, and Navy SEALs have in common? On the streets of Southwest Detroit, they’ve had to join forces in order to combat and, hopefully, defeat a vampire infection that’s unknown to the population and that could also end up taking down the planet.
Once the wealthiest city in the world, Motown in this dystopian future is a metropolis laid low by economic circumstances and a seemingly endless series of COVID panics, making it ripe for the taking by the master vampire and his sinister human familiar. Only two of Japan’s finest ninja warriors, four devout Christians – including a Baptist minister and a good Catholic girl — and a supersecret six-man team of SEALs from the US Special Operations Command are left to engage in the ultimate battle against the vampire horde and their human allies.
The fate of Detroit, the United States, and the entire world hangs in the balance because of the vampire scourge, and if humans lose, a nuclear holocaust, imposed on Motown by the US President and carried out by the shadowy Brushfire Organization, could be the end result.
If you like Stephen King, vampires, and the faithful Christians that fight those evil creatures, if ninjas and martial arts combat intrigues you, if Tom Clancy is your ideal for a military story, and the amazing things US special operations personnel do on a regular basis is what you’re looking for, then this fast-paced novel is the one for you.
FROM ANNA FERREIRA: A Summer in Scarborough: A Pride & Prejudice Sequel.
Miss Anne de Bourgh was delighted to receive a letter from her cousin Georgiana, explaining that she would be spending the summer by the sea, and requesting the pleasure of her company. A glorious few months of balls, shopping, and walking by the sea awaits- a wonderfully diverting holiday for Anne, who has rarely left Rosings before.
But Anne is a de Bourgh, and life is never simple. Before long, she finds herself caught between the attentions of two very different men, and must choose if she will follow her heart or disoblige her family. One must be disappointed, and Anne has never been very practiced in the art of disobedience. Must she give up everything she has ever known, will she find the strength to search for happiness elsewhere?
FROM KRISTEN MORTENSEN: Character Tool for Novelists.
I built this guided notebook originally for my own use, to help me create, document, and track characters as I write my novels. It has space to help you imagine and document up to 12 three-dimensional characters, including:
- Names, nicknames, and aliases
- Family trees
- Major life milestones
- Physical features
- Dress/clothing styles
- Personality traits
- Skills, abilities, and talents
- Occupations and finances
- Social identities
- Habits, tics, and pet peeves
- Interests and hobbies
- Conscious aspirations
- Unconscious needs
- Thematic roles
My Character Tool for Novelists also includes workspaces to brainstorm and list all your novel’s character names, making it easy to keep track of your characters as you dream them up (and to avoid using names that are too similar!)
My attention to character-building is a major reason that I recently won a first place Incipere award for my novel “Once Upon a Flarey Tale.” Characters engage readers. They enrich plots. They make novels come alive.
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: DRUM
21 thoughts on “Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike”
His first thought was to hope that the troll in his head would stop beating on the drum. Then Albert started paying attention to the conversation around him.
One voice was saying “I wonder how he stopped the capture drones. It didn’t seem to be any power that you Ultras have used.”
A gruff voice replied “According to Diana, he’s a Feeder/Controller. He must have Fed on the energy in that thing’s capture drones. He better not try Controlling Us.”
A lighter voice said “Don’t be silly Boris. He can’t control a Mentalist like myself and my telekinesis can handle him.”
Albert opened his eyes and joined the conversation saying “Right now I need some real food and something for my headache.”
“Students are not to be released from the Public Schools until every trace of originality and individuality has been drummed out of them.”
— Secret Handbook of the National Education Association, page 3
“That’s strange.” thought Captain Middle. Despite the armored underwater suit he wore in a sea where no life larger than a paramecium had ever been found, he heard the sound of drums. A 4/4 rock beat with the bass drum hitting every quarter note and the snare every half.
Rain drummed on the roof. Ava wondered if she could use ill health as an excuse to break the engagement, so she would not burden the prince.
“Don’t indulge her much,” said the doctor, outside. “Such a fall might lead to morbid fancies, but she will recover, if not indulged.”
“Hum. I think I thought I heard a drum.”
“You couldn’t have, we are in a vacuum, that’s just dumb.”
“I did, it just went dum de dum dum dumb, what’s your reply to that?”
“Never laugh so hard you fart when you’re in a sealed space suit!”
His heart drummed, and he swallowed. Don’t be a fool, he told himself. You read all the tales. The heirs flee into exile and study magic and swordcraft and history, and then they return to reclaim their rightful inheritance from the usurper. He had to know it was coming. Sometime.
I first started to hear the drum in my dreams after Obama had won and promised to step on all the sneks. It’s been getting louder since the fake pandemic lost us all our liberties.
Now my employer’s NYC-based leadership is demanding we get a minimum of 2 covid tests a week… The sound of the drum is drowning out almost everything else…
The drum and the fife. They’re playing yankee doodle.
And soon they may start playing Danny Deever. God help us….
Pray very constantly. That we be spared if it’s possible, but mostly that liberty survives for humanity.
Pray that I’m wrong and my worst fears – that the coming sociopolitical violence will make Sarajevo and Srebrenica look like Sesame Street – never comes to pass.
Lyall stumbled out of the gym, a tired but satisfied smile on his face. Not many families made close combat training while blasting heavy metal a part of their routine but neither he nor his father would have it any other way. The drum solo playing when he took his last fall was still ringing in his ears as he slid down on a bench, gulping down a bottle of water. Only one thing could make this day better, and she came along right on schedule.
“Looks like your old man got you again, Lyall!” the girl smirked, raising a pierced eyebrow at him.
“Phaedra my dear, I’ll fully admit to having an ego but even I know I have a way to go before I can surpass him.” the boy replied smoothly, finishing off his water.
“Aw, you’re no fun!” she pouted, sitting down next to him. “Learn anything good?”
“A few more ways that an experienced combatant can grab you and put some ice to your throat, from the receiving side,” Lyall sighed, throwing the empty bottle in a nearby trash can. “No chance to learn it from the offensive side of things, sadly. At least I managed to put one more win in my column against my brother.”
“Hot damn!” Phaedra grinned, slapping him on the back. “Pretty soon Riley’ll never be able to catch up to you!”
“Here’s hoping.” Lyall chuckled, looking her over appreciatively. “So, have you decided what you want for your next tattoo yet?”
“Yeah, but you can’t appreciate it all bruised and beaten up like that!” she retorted, sticking her tongue out playfully. “Earl’s shop’s open all week so I can wait for you to heal up!”
Lyall could only imagine what she had in mind and where she was planning on getting it and grinned in anticipation. This day really couldn’t get any better.
“Those ancients are kinky. Check this out:
‘A drum, a drum, MacBeth doth…'”
“Umm, it’s an archaic usage. It means ‘to arrive.'”
“Seriously? English is weird.”
“If you only knew…”
Where is he? Cari drummed her fingers nervously on the countertop. Max said he’d meet me at 1730 at the coffee shop, right? She double-checked Max’s wireless message. Again.
He was half an hour late, and worse, he wasn’t answering his wireless. He’s standing me up! I should have known!
Max shivered, only partly because of the cold, as a dozen young boys marched up the darkened street, led by another child beating a rhythm on an old bucket. They were gaunt, wide-eyed, bodies almost translucent. “We’re hungry,” their leader said. “We’re cold.”
What can I even give? Max thought.
The mummy shambled toward the six bandmates, its eyes alight with eldritch hatred. “Who,” it intoned, “has dared beat the cursed drum Zubushazzi, and roused me from my netherwordly slumbers?”
All eyes turned to Benjamin, who coughed and glanced awkwardly downward. “Well,” he murmured, “I *did* need a replacement tom-tom…”
The constant drum played a maddening beat of fear and surrender and despair, trying to panic the herd and drive it into the pen, or worse off a cliff, but voices crying out against the constant drumbeat could not be silenced.
Huh. Was that Leah-bait? The last time I wrote about her, she was helping pack up Papa’s drum set…
Leah caught the ball square in her stomach, mid-jump. She was six feet in the air, in the sports dome of Vonbraunport, home field for the other team. She saw stars, but managed to pass it to Camilla. Everything was a bit hazy after that until she was in Papa’s arms and he was beaming at her, with Mama smiling over his shoulder…
“Atomic orbitals are quantized for the same reason that the notes of an organ pipe or the vibrations of a drum are quantized. H-bar shows up there because it shows in the argument of the wave equation. Second quantization, on the other hand, is something entirely different – we don’t *have* an explanation for it – just the observation that electrons and neutrons, and less obviously photons come in discrete units. For there to be an explanation, there would have to be a model of the underlying medium. A *dynamic, generative* model where the behavior arises from the dynamics instead of being put in by hand.”
“ZOMG, he disbelieves quantum field theory. CRAAAANK! Drum him out of here!”
“‘We hear drums. Drums in the deep. They are coming.’ What a load of hogwash. It’s obviously fake. Like any ancient civilization would take the time necessary to carve this into a stone edifice when an ELE was unfolding around… say? Anyone else hear that? It almost sounds like…. uh oh.”
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