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FROM PAM UPHOFF: Agent of the 300.
Axel Vinogradov is back!
And trying to make Siberia Max self sufficient. But is traveling to other worlds to research dairy farms the cover for covert contact a foreign government about an illegal method of controlling portal travel, or are both cover to hide that he’s really there to help the son of a friend through his perilous Presentation and Challenge?
As Axel falls deeper into a tangle of outmoded laws and customs . . . his Cyborg friends have troubles of their own . . . or is that . . . opportunities?
FROM CELIA HAYES: Deep in the Heart.
Two husbands, a large house, many friends – that was predicted for Margaret Becker Vining. That she would be a widow, left to raise her four sons in a tiny frontier town was not mentioned in the old conjure-woman’s prophecy. Austin, the makeshift capitol city of the Republic of Texas, was threatened and besieged from all sides. Peace did not come with Sam Houston’s victory over the Mexican Army at San Jacinto. Between old and bitter enemies and the inconstancy of unreliable friends, Margaret Becker Vining, her family and her friends must fight to maintain their independence and security . . . while Margaret herself despairs of ever finding happiness again.
FROM KEN LIZZI: Obsidian Owl.
In the wrong hands, the obsidian owl can wreak death and devastation on an unimaginable scale.
A nihilist biker plans global extinction. A rival biker wants merely to retire, if he’s allowed to. A young woman wants revenge.
Karl Thorson, ex-Special Forces soldier, agrees to help Trisha Wagner track down the biker gang that slew her father and brother, and stole an artifact — an obsidian owl. Nero Jones intends to use the artifact in a ritual he hopes will cleanse the world with fire. Vegas Kuzmich wants to bring his drugs to market, then retire from the life of an outlaw biker. But his men demand he first get some payback from Nero Jones’ bikers. All of them are headed for a showdown in Yellowstone.
Can Karl Thorson retrieve the obsidian owl? Can he thwart Nero Jones’ scheme? And will Vegas Kuzmich ever get to retire?
Don’t miss the third book in the Semi-Autos and Sorcery series. It’s what fans of Larry Correia and Jim Butcher are hungering for.
FROM WILLIAM KLINE: The Channeler.
The people of this generation, man and woman alike, can remember what they were doing when the power commonly called “magic” returned to the world. Despite, or perhaps because of, the chaos and calamity that took place afterword, that moment remains locked in the memory of all humanity.
For Tommy Nelson, that day was notable because he didn’t have to go to school for a week.When people experienced a new power and went insane, Tommy didn’t care. No one Tommy knew lashed out, burned their family alive, or destroyed an entire building. When the government crackdown happened and squads of men came to Tommy’s school looking for “mages,” several of Tommy’s classmates were escorted away, never to be seen again. Tommy felt safe.
But Tommy wasn’t safe. His power was dormant and forced to emerge. Tommy was driven into hiding, away from his family, into a new world of dark and light magic where he must quickly learn to control his new powers, and figure out who to trust.
FROM NATHAN BRINDLE: The Lion in Paradise.
All Col. Dr. Ariela Rivers Wolff, M.D., Ph.D., USSFM – the Lion of God – wanted was a little piece of paradise to call her own.
Being stuck on a desert world – even if she was the CO of the premiere battalion of the 1st U.S. Space Force Marines that was based there – was not getting her any beach time. Mostly because, without an ocean, there’s really no beach at all.
But she’s got a fix for that problem.
Now, if only the academics studying the problem of terraforming the exile world of al-Saḥra’ would get out of her way . . .
. . . and if only the religious fanatics who want their planet left as a desert, despite all the water from the planet’s former oceans being accessible only a few miles down, will leave the terraforming project alone long enough to see the good it will bring them . . .
. . . then, the Lion would truly be in Paradise.
But even in paradise, black clouds – and black ships – can herald danger for the Lion, herself, and for her daughters as well.
FROM STEPHEN HOUGHTON: Clash at Grettier’s World: Book 1 of: Against the Tide, the Saga of the New Commonwealth.
The authoritarian Terran Union has been expanding for centuries conquering independent worlds on its frontier. When Justin Brand ambassador of Grettier’s World to the Union learns that his home is next on the list to be conquered, he must scramble to escape earth, warn his home world and find allies to help it resist Terran Aggression. Will he convince the New Commonwealth to help, or will the liberty of Grettier’s World be crushed under the heal of the Terran Union forever?
FROM MAGGIE HOGHARTH: Marda Quincesinger, Postulant.
When the Adversary shattered the world, the Savior and her Companions kept the remaining pieces from falling into the void. The school they established trains young boys and girls to continue their work, healing the cracks, facing wrongbeasts, and reversing the aims of the Adversary wherever they can.
And all of this is work for heroes, as far as Marda Quincesinger is concerned. She’s more interested in the cake her mother’s baking her for her fourteenth birthday than in taking on the daunting work of an Outremer. But faced with the chance to help her family, she decides to see if she has what it takes to join the Outremers’ ranks.
Full half the hopefuls who arrive for their first year don’t return. Will Marda be one of them? Or will she find the hero in herself?
A gentle story in the tradition of the Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, and Harry Potter.
FROM Z. M. RENICK: The Harper.
It’s been a year since Shane Richardson’s older brother was murdered by evil fairies. Shane is trying to rebuild his life and move on, but the supernatural seems determined not to leave him in peace. When his brother’s grave is vandalized and parts of his body are stolen, Shane finds himself drawn into the world of a powerful Fae known as the Harper, a creature with influence over the dead and the truths they can tell. Some would do anything to see that truth come to light, while others would kill to keep it buried. Caught in between multiple magical forces, Shane must figure out what side he’s on and fight to protect his friends, his family, and himself.
FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: Transport and Deliver.
When flight on a boat jeopardizes all a family has worked for, can an errant son risk his life to save their future?
The Luwenthals—second generation settlers on the lost planet Not What We Were Looking For—confront the destruction of their past life, and are forced to flee. As the boat containing the family’s prized linotype crosses a river lit by the flames of the printshop they had to abandon, fifteen-year-old Tobias Luwenthal must face his father’s ire over what he sees as his son’s betrayal. Disaster strikes, but will Tobias seize the chance to redeem himself at the cost of his own life? Will his father learn from his son as Tobias has learned from him?
A short story that picks up right at the end of The Gear Engages.
If you’ve enjoyed the Martha’s Sons series, start reading now for a glimpse into what happens next in this dystopian lost world!
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: STOVE
35 thoughts on “Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike”
“Why are you looking at liquid petroleum stoves? We already have the microwave, the Foreman grill, the Sous Vide, the toaster oven, and the full oven & range. And your butane/propane camp stove. Oh, and that charcoal grill you’ve never used, yet have so much charcoal for.”
“Haven’t you been paying attention? Don’t count on anything, for sure. That’s why.”
“What, no alcohol burner?”
“None yet, but I have enough stuff to rig one in few minutes if need be.”
“Pre-scamdemic 91% isopropyl and real 190 proof, not 151 proof crap, rectified spirits. I’d hate to simply burn something so useful, but if I have to, I can.”
“Nuts beats dead. Better you laugh at me than cry over my grave.”
When I was a child, my great-grandmother moved to my grandpa’s house and her coal-wood stove, a cast iron beast moved to our house. My father installed it in the kitchen with a long stove piple that would fill quickly. He made a hatch in the pipe so that he could clean the ashes. My mother hated it because the ash residue would land on her clean floors and tables.
When she asked him to get rid of the beast, he just gleamed and told her that you could make the best bread in that oven. Plus it was a better than central heating and we would be warmer in winter. I don’t think mom believed him, but I did learn to bake bread in that stove.
Plus a few months earlier our central gas heater had a malfunction in the middle of the night and I woke up vomiting. We were saved by my mother’s mother. The only time my dad liked her by the way.
That beast followed us for several moves until I left home. When I last saw it, it was in the back room and was being used as a secondary heating system. At my dad’s funeral it had disappeared into history.
I wonder what happened to it. I did learn some useful things from that beast– how to tell clinkers from coal and how to start a fire. My last lesson was I learned was cast-iron stove is hotter than a regular oven.
Also– keep a kettle on top to keep the air from drying out. lol and yes, this is a true memory
I *really* miss the kettle on the fire stove.
Yeah. Wood stoves are the best.
It is a warmer heat.
I recommend Ruth Goodman’s Domestic Revolution
yes– I do too.
I installed a blower on the barn stove and the main deck doesn’t get hot enough to make the kettle worthwhile. I’ll have to check the section by the exhaust pipe. OTOH, insufficient humidity in the barn usually isn’t a problem. (Remembers when it is — minus OMG temperatures.)
The Sergeant looked at the store front which somebody or something had completely stoved in.
“What happened here Sherriff”?
“Don’t know. One of my deputies got a report that somebody broke into the store. He saw this and got a glimpse of something monstrous inside. He reported in and I contacted you people”.
“Well, whatever is inside is keeping quiet so I better check it out”.
Call MHI! 😀
The Sergeant is a Super Being able to handle single-handed most “monsters” in his world.
Oh, the person inside the store (actually a food store) may look monstrous but is basically a hungry boy.
Of course, the boy just got super-powers including super-strength so is making a mess without intending to make a mess.
The stove was your classic import from a Type VI world for Type II worlds-durachrome in place of cast iron that never rusted and could withstand rifle fire without a mark, glassine in place of more conventional silicon glass that never broke or got cloudy, hinges and seals that would work perfectly for centuries in hard vacuum-let alone if cared for well, and nanocoatings that hot soapy water alone would clean everything so that you could pour fresh soup into the ash bin and eat from it safely. Accessories cunningly hidden under the warming tray meant that you could switch from the default wood fuel to wood alcohol to coal to liquid propane to even liquid kerosene or gasoline. Carefully designed taps and plasti-fiber sheets gave clear instructions in standard English, standard Low Imperial, and several other languages how to adapt the stove to electrical or mana-based heating technologies.
It meant that it was still a bitch to move, but not a cast-iron bitch, Kimball remembered. His wife’s grandparents had a locally-built stove and that was several kinds of cast-iron bitch to move. At least his wife was more than willing to accept a “foreign import,” and she’d complain for hours…but meals cooked at least twenty percent faster.
It had cost nearly two year’s worth of the excess crops in whiskey form-and three months shipping-to get the stove, the solar-powered icebox, and the glassine windows that looked like thin local glass but would stop heat from getting out in the winter and keep it out during the summer. The Exploration Service-spec medbox was something that he had…borrowed…when he left the Service, with Captain Valoren writing the box off as “damaged beyond repair, salvaged locally” for him.
“Perhaps we will advance to the art of stove stones,” said Leon, mildly. “The grave, arcane art that peasant lads and lassies learn when they first learn their letters.”
“No wonder we have such big kitchens,” said Charlotte-Rose. “To hold the appropriate sized stove stones, lest our work be wasted.”
I had such hopes for my little cabin. It was going to be a peaceful refuge far away from everyone. But I feared the worst when the tornado came. As soon as it was clear to travel I hurried out to my refuge. The cabin was a shambles with the roof torn off and the windows stove in.
Caitlin glowered at the stove as she took a deep breath, getting ready to try again. Why did cryomancy have to run so strong on her dad’s side of the family? She wasn’t as gifted as either of her brothers in that regard but it still made cooking a pain in the neck. And speaking of which…
“Having trouble, dear sister?” Lyall asked, giving her his trademark smirk as he entered the kitchen.
“Cram it!” she snapped, her blonde hair flying as she whirled around. “And don’t even think of trying to ‘help,’ either!”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” he remarked, chuckling slightly. “I was getting ready to meet Phaedra for dinner anyway. Try not to blow up the kitchen, though. I need some practice myself, you know.”
“You?!” Caitlin burst out laughing. “You’ve frozen more meals solid taking them out than I have!”
“Maybe, but it’s a necessary evil,” Lyall sighed, shaking his head dramatically. “Phaedra can’t even microwave a burrito without making it explode.”
He might be a pompous jackass but Caitlin had to admit that Lyall had a way of lightening the mood. Once she stopped laughing she sent him off with a smile and a “Well, get going then!”
“As you wish.” Caitlin waved goodbye to her brother before going over to the freezer and opening it. Surely there was something in there she wouldn’t mess up at the finish line.
The dark rovers and ugly drovers talked by the stove in the abode in the grove by the road in the cove, but the light scaled Bug Eyed Monster couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
They all ignored him as they felt he was far too way fair and stranger
“A stove?” said Noel. “Certainly, ma’am. We have wood stoves to heat your house with, gas stoves to cook on, electric stoves to point and laugh at, and 17th-Century German stoves to have world-changing philosophic insights in.”
“I’ll take one of each,” said Lisa.
Noel chortled. “I love rich people…”
Reflected sunlight from Solar Stove mirror array began to heat the rotating asteroid. In about 40 hours the heat would reach to the core where a carefully calibrated amount of explosives and water would cause the asteroid to expand to several time its current diameter making it easier for the mining and smelting ships to extract the metals. Until then the only tasks were to keep the mirrors on station and to heat the rock uniformly.
“Have you considered converting one of the star suites to a stove?”
Jon wasn’t looking as Ezahk tried to charm his hopefully-future-foster-mother-in-law, but he could hear the confusion in his expression. As long as he very carefully focused on the controls in front of him and feigned obliviousness, he could stay riiiiight here, just in case the big pilot needed to be saved.
“A…stove?” Oooh, he was trying to be subtle. You could tell because his voice hadn’t dropped into a deep bass or complete sentences. As far as Jon remembered, a ‘stove’ was something you cooked on in the fancy, non-synth food preparations. Which should be familiar to Ezahk, even if he did insist he was only a dabbler in cooking. Interesting.
The fluttery Earther lady continued gamely– Jon could hear the stress in her voice, but it was likely his friend was far too worried to notice. At least consciously.
“Yes, for plants. Darsi said you do some trading in suspended seeds and starts; being able to show them might bring around the reluctant– oh, does not enough light come through for plants, all twilight and all?”
“I’m not very good with plants, Miss Cass, but I really don’t know what cooking would have to do with roses. That’s more my aunt Esbeth’s domain. Or Mizzus Kar.” Ezahk was definitely running his hand through his hair now, and Jon would bet on pain of not using cream in his coffee for a month that his friend’s eyes had widened into the ‘confused puppy’ expression. “I’m mostly good for not breaking things, honestly….”
“Oh, my….” Darsi’s foster mother’s laughter sounded amazingly similar to her daughter’s, and Jon felt himself relax. “-dear, you English is so good, I’d forgotten you’ve never even visited Earth, much less knowing London– a stove, dear. A conservatory, for forcing starts!”
“-A greenhouse? All Vinca’s lights are sunlamps-”
Ezahk’s favorite safe topic. The ship.
Jon forced himself to not actually settle back as he mentally prepared to be able to head off the next possible disaster. At this rate, he’d have to take Ess up on her offer to replace his hair with something less wispy, because he’d pull it out by the roots before the Cass’ visit had ended.
Twitch stood at the stove, breathing the scent of freshly roasted squash still cooling on the side, and the sautéing onion. He’d been out in the cold autumn rain, and his knees and hips were aching to match the arthritis in his trigger finger. He wasn’t going to complain; at best, it’d sound like whining. At worst, medical would get entirely too interested and put him in the queue for regen, and he’d be damned if he took a scarce slot one of his troops needed far worse than him.
Besides, every regen was so expensive it pretty much came with a mandatory active hitch unless you were AJ, and he wanted a training slot so he could be here for when his wife gave birth.
When the onions were translucent and golden, he threw in the garlic and ginger, stirred, and added the black pepper, allspice, and pinch of cayenne. Not too much; this wasn’t supposed to be a spicy dish, just filling and warming all the way through. Once the spices had a chance to bloom, he added a splash of sherry, and deglazed the bottom of the pot, then poured in the vegetable stock. It wasn’t as good as his mother’s, but it was still a world better than the cubes Lizzes bought and tossed in water.
Some things were worth the time, and a proper stock was one of them. He only regretted the dried rosemary added next wasn’t fresh, but deployments meant he’d never kept a houseplant alive, and his lovely wife? She kept rocks for decoration, not plants. If he could stay home long enough, he was going to get a puppy for the kid. Kids and puppies were like ice cream and chocolate; they just went together.
As the stock came up to temp, he added the roasted squash, and shaved in the nutmeg. The smell rose strong, reminding him of jungle rot and the strange sight of the jungle that had been impenetrable when he’d first snuck through now open and full of daylight and splinters after the battle. Damn shame; they’d fought for the control of spices only to destroy vast swaths of the groves. At least they would grow back.
“Hon? What are you frowning at?” Lizzes was standing in the doorway, and Twitch couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her.
“I was trying to decide what breed of puppy we’re getting for the kid.” Because what was past, was past. His future was padding up to give him a kiss.
“There I was,” rumbled the former WO1, “15 hours away from port and shore leave and the Cap’n and all the other brass hats was takin’ as nice a nap as ever you saw after a party.”
“Was that when it happened,” asked the Bos’n?
“Yes,” the old Seaman Basic admitted. “A rogue wave swung the bow 20 degrees ta’ starboard. The sudden shock dropped that extra keg we loaded in the overhead, which dropped and got stove in on the corner of the plot table. And then the liquid set off the klaxon for ‘Away Fire and Rescue Party’.”
“A spell that replaced a stove might be more useful,” said Lucie. “If, that is, our studies take us the summer, and through the fall until it grows cold, or even until winter.”
“Needing a fire spell? That would be a good reason for us to study with more speed.”
By the way, I can’t remember when exactly I was supposed to ask about the book-box sale again, but I’m pretty sure we’re past it by now. Obviously I didn’t like to bring it up when things were so obviously chaos on the Lady’s end, but, on the supposition that Sunday vignettes are a sign of order returning to the cosmos, I suppose this is as good a time as any to make sure I haven’t missed it yet.
No. THings went …. weird. So when son returns (Next Friday) and has slept (another week) we’re going to start setting up to ship Boxes From Sarah’s Garage
For one, we need the $$$ until the house sells. For another we downsized by almost half (not quite) so, some stuff has to be got rid of.
Have you found the mouse sander and coffee cup?
yeah. weeks ago.
Made me think of Sha-Na-Na:
Sorry ’bout the duplicate.
The sign said “Free Stove.”
I looked at it; cast iron, fire-blackened, dingy glass window, rust on the spiral metal handles. No wonder it was free.
Still, “free” was attractive. Some TLC, some cleaning, and it might work out.
I was all in, until the skull in the oven.
Jennifer Redmond looked across the shining new institutional kitchen before her. “The only thing I miss is gas burners. The induction burners are nice, but you just can’t get the same level of control….”
She paused, noticing the shift in her husband’s expression, recalling his ur-brother’s history. There were reasons for the deep aversion to any open flame in a space habitat, to the point of it being a taboo, long after NASA had shifted to dual-gas atmospheres. Here in Shepardsport’s residential areas, the mix was pretty close to Earth standard, but the old habits and traditions still held sway.
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