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 PETER GRANT: Silver In The Stones: A Classic Western Story of Greed and Revenge

What comes with a silver boom? Backstabbers, claim-jumpers and con men – and that’s just the start.

Walt Ames is working hard to keep his horse ranch afloat and his transport business in motion when silver is discovered on his property. It’s going to take cunning, determination and more than a little luck to investigate the claim while others are trying to kill him for it.

Can he keep his business and integrity intact, or is everything Walt loves going to fall prey to the perils of a silver rush?

FROM ROY M. GRIFFIS: The Thing From HR: a Cthulhu, Amalgamated novel


A Cthulhian romp that’s equal parts Terry Pratchett and Mel Brooks… and it just might be the funniest novel I’ve ever read.– Upstream Reviews

I laughed far too much…you’ll enjoy dark humor, dry wit, slapstick moments, and elements of romantic comedy. – Amazon 5-star review

What’s a nice Shoggoth like him doing in a dump like this?

Narg was content working as a Damnation Services-10 in HR. Sure, he was related to one of the Elder Gods, but a little nepotism never hurt any Thing. His life was just wailing and gibbering, right up until his Uncle needed a small favor from his nephew.

All Narg had to do was go down among the humans…and pretend to be one of them.

These are not your Grandfather’s tales of Eldritch Horror: this is the untold story of the ghastly, unappreciated (and entirely expendable) minor monstrosities that support the Inscrutable Plans Of Dark Gods And Elder Things Beyond The Knowledge Of Men.

The Cthulhu, Amalgamated series is a comic romp full of action and mystery, including, of course, Sanity-Shattering Horror––and that’s just the paperwork. Even H.P. could not conceive of the Corporate Terrors that await The Thing from HR.

FROM DENTON SALLE: Charms of the Dark: Book Three of the Avatar Wizard

The war between the Light and the Dark continues and Jeremy survives his last adventures to find even the mighty keep of the volkhvy is threatened by foes from within.

Returning with his Master from Galena’s home town, Jeremy, battered and weakened, finds armed warriors massed outside the keep. Later the bird of prophecy sings of deception and enemies within. When Galena is sent away on her own mission, he finds he must cope without her as the Dark exploits his vulnerability.

Will Jeremy falter or will he resist the temptations and charms the Dark sets against him? Will the Dark triumph in its attack on all that which he hold dear?

Return to the world of the volkhvy where the myths of Slavonic legend are real as Jeremy faces hard choices to defend his friends.

FROM DOROTHY GRANT: A Perfect Day, With Explosions.

Jenna Brooks is a welder, and a fashionista whenever she can afford it. AJ is a former Special Forces spacer, who finds himself completely outside his comfort zone with her. However, terrorist bombs can overcome almost any divide – the hard way.

When Jenna stumbles over a corpse wearing an important clue, she’s roped into a high-stakes counterterrorism operation to uncover a counterfeit fashion ring that’s funding the terrorists.

As the trail of blood money and knock-off shoes starts leading closer to home, Jenna’s going to need all the help she can get to stay alive. AJ’s just the man to do that – but he’s after a lot more than merely her safety. It may cost her everything she’s worked for… and also her heart.


Char of the Real People walked out of a mud-hole she didn’t walk into, wearing a deerskin skirt and carrying a crude spear. Then the murders started.

Char is a unique blend of police procedural and alternate reality, with county sheriff Francine Hart relentlessly pursuing clues–footprints and blood samples–that point to a murderess who is human-like, but not our kind of human.

Whatever else Char of the Real People is, Sheriff Hart discovers that her quarry is brilliant and supremely adaptable, eluding police again and again. Can even the smartest fugitive escape a modern police dragnet and get back to her own reality?

FROM ROBERT WENSON: Unexpected Tales from A to Z.

Some things you just can’t expect. Among them you will find:

Bartholomew and the Banana Blizzard. The denizens of Burensburg are threatened by the activity of a thoughtless gold-mining operation, until Bartholomew finds a solution.

Esmé and the Eloquent Eggplant. Esmé likes to talk to plants. One of them starts to talk back – but there’s more here than meets the ear.

Hendrik and the Horrible Hollyhocks. First there was one hollyhock on Hendrik’s farm. Then there were two. Now they’re out of control and nothing seems to stop them.

Miranda and the Mesmeric Maestro. The War of 1812 is raging and President Madison is quacking like a duck. Miranda finds that a knowledge of Homer is useful.

Pepy and the Princely Prestidigitation. Pepy’s father and the Prince of Egypt have been captured by the Amorites. Pepy is no sorcerer’s apprentice, but he knows a bit of stage magic. Is it enough?

Ursula and the Urgent Ululation. A pair of train robbers are holding Ursula and her aunt prisoner in a cottage deep in the Black Forest – but they don’t know about Ursula’s friend.

The heroes and heroines of these stories are ordinary boys and girls confronted with problems, from an Argumentative Alligator to a Zany Zoo, that call forth cleverness, ingenuity, and courage.

FROM D. W. PATTERSON: Mach’s Legacy: A Future Chron Novel

The appearance of the shining globes at first was a nuisance. But then the disappearances began. At first small, a fusion ship or a space habitat. Then planets and entire planetary systems started “winking out”. Could the famous physicist Elias Mach and his great-great granddaughter, Emmy Gibbs find an answer before it was too late?

“Mach’s Legacy” is a novel set in the future (2490s) and is the twenty-seventh book in the Future Chron Universe. If you enjoyed “Mach’s Legacy” consider reading the next book in the Future Chron Universe, “Spin-Two”, for more Hard Science Fiction – Old School.

See the author’s blog for more information.

FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Other Rhodes


Lily Gilden has a half-crazed cyborg in her airlock who thinks he’s Nick Rhodes,
a fictional 20th Century detective. If she doesn’t report him for destruction,
she’s guilty of a capital crime.

But with her husband missing, she’ll use every clue the cyborg holds,
and his detective abilities, to solve the crime her husband was investigating
when he disappeared.

With the help of a journalist who is more than he seems,
Lily will risk everything to plunge into the interstellar underworld
and bring the love of her life home!

FROM ALMA BOYKIN: The Lone Hunter: Familiar Generations Book One.

All Hunters have a Hunting partner, save for one . . . the Lone Hunter, the Hunter in Shadow.

Jude Tainuit Hunts alone. Exiled from the Clan, he watches over Dover County. A twisted beast and rumors of a new, powerful magic worker force Jude to emerge from the shadows.

A Hunter Hunts, even though it cost him his life.

A Familiar Generations short story.

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.

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.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: GRIEVING

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

  1. The Lone Hunter is a Nice Addition to the Familiars Universe. I helped check for errors and just “threw money at Alma”. 😀

    1. I just threw some more money at her. I’ve been looking forward to this one since she posted a few snippets on her blog.

    2. I’m breaking my personal tradition. Bought it this morning, but I’ half way through Cedar’s anthology, and it’s really good, so I won’t stop it midstream. Give me a day or two…

  2. “Do you grieve about your victims”?

    “Victims? None of the people I kill are innocents so I don’t grieve for them. Still it is sad when nobody grieves for their deaths”.

  3. “Miranda,” I said, “why are you wearing a brassiere on your head?”

    “I’m grieving for my lost innocence,” she replied.

    I blinked. “That seems rather an irrational symbol of grief.”

    “Exactly.” Miranda sighed. “How innocent I was, thinking rationality was important! If only Professor Alter hadn’t made me read Hume…”

  4. Callahan’s eyes were dry as he thumbed cartridges into magazines. There would be time for crying later. Now was the time for a reckoning. He would grieve once this business was through.

    Once each magazine was full, he stuffed it into an empty pocket on his well-worn battle jacket. Stuck at the base of one of the velcro strips that held the mag pouch cover closed was an almost as old, almost as well-worn patch. It was a black circle with a horse’s head in the center. The horse’s head was a pale green with red flames coming from its eyes. Around the border, in the same pale green color, were the words, “And his name was Death, and Hell followed him.

    A fitting symbol, as the Pale Horseman was preparing to ride one final time. He only hoped that Celeste, wherever she was, would forgive him for what he was about to do.

  5. “Does reiving leave you grieving or does swash buckling find you chuckling?”, Princess Lea, of the galactic empire, asked Blackbeard the pilot pirate.

    “Why neither or nor I’d have to say, as I specialize in pilfering pharmaceuticals ”, he replied, “Wrapping and pill aging takes up most of my time.”

  6. “I’ll do my own grieving,” she sniffed. “He mattered to me much more than he did to you.”

    “I know,” I sighed. “But, I do owe him a debt. If you need any assistance, please let me know.”

    “I’ve seen how you ‘help’ people. I also know what you did for my husband. I pray that I will never need your assistance. There has already been far too much death.”

  7. “No, no, _you’re_ a knight when you obey your teachers and walk in a line,” they told the toddlers, whose eyes widened in anticipation. “Jem, you can be the Knight for today.”

    “‘Knight’ is a ceremonial title these days,” they told the children, who listened attentively. “Knights don’t fight any more, but if you do something good for society, they might let you put ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’ in front of your name.”

    “Knights were an outgrowth of an exclusive, imperialistic mindset,” they told the teens, whose faces wrinkled in disgust. “We don’t _need_ anything like that.”

    In her cave beyond the city walls, the dragon waited, grieving.

  8. “Do you ever grieve for—?” Lucy waved a trembling hand at the bodies of the two abyssal beasts.

    What an odd question. Jude turned it over and over in his mind as he collected some of the slight trickle of blood from the smaller of the two creatures. At last he said, “I grieve for the necessity of killing them. I cannot mourn the act of ending evil.”

    His Familiar mantled, then settled once again on the branch over their heads. “Good.”

  9. The room made Ava scowl. “A chapel?”
    “The princess’s private chapel,” said the servant, waving his hand. “The services are held in the chapel of the Three Magi.”
    Ava nodded. An icon of Our Lady of Sorrows was just visible, grieving. Unsurprising for a widowed princess, if she had thought.

  10. “I don’t know why we come up here every year. It’s cold.”
    “And wet.”
    “Yes, cold and wet.”
    “It is.”
    “But I still don’t understand. Why? What’s the point?”
    The overlarge raven shuffled in place, flicking water from his wings as he sat on a stone overlooking a rocky dell. Beside him lay an equally large cat with long dark fur and a brown patch just under its chin, like a feline beard. The cat sighed, not looking away from the dell and the figure kneeling by a carved stone.
    “We’ve been with him, the two of us how long now my feathered friend? A decade?”
    “Seven years for me. I know you were here first, of course.”
    “I was. Thirteen for me. That’s an important number, that thirteen. That’s-”
    “Three claws plus one. I can count, cat!” The raven shook himself irritably. His companion shot him a glare, not appreciating the extra splash of water on his fur.
    “Never said you couldn’t.”
    “So what’s so important about those thirteen years, huh? I’m assuming there’s a point to it.”
    “There is. Thirteen years ago is when he got his life back.”
    “His life back? What, he was dead before that?” The cat shook his head carefully, pointedly not spraying his companion with accumulated water. The light, misty rain continued to fall from gray skies. Thunder rumbled far in the distance, the promise of a good soaking for someone down the valley.
    “The next thing to,” the cat replied after a moment. “Half dead, call it. ‘Neath that stone over yonder sleeps the other half.”
    “Other half?” The bird cocked his head at the cat.
    “Mate, like. One he chose, the one what chose him, too. Humans mate for life, I think. At least this one did.”
    “Sounds daft. His mate’s dead, why not find another one? He’s not ugly is he? Is he ugly? I can’t tell with humans.”
    “I don’t think so, no. I can’t really tell either,” the cat said doubtfully.
    “It’s the beard, I bet. Too much grey in it. Bet the females don’t like it. A good solid black is good enough for any female, cat. Take it from me.”
    “I’ll not argue that,” said the cat, grooming his dark fur with a paw.
    “So what’s he doing down there? Sniffing for whatever cold and rotten smells she’s got left?”
    “I doubt it.”
    “He’s talking to the rock, I think.”
    “You can hear him from up here?”
    “I can,” said the cat, ostentatiously flicking his large ears.
    “Thirteen years, you said. What was he doing before that?”
    “Dying slow, best I can tell.”
    “Dying?” The raven looked incredulously at the cat.
    “Yes. Dying. Slow.”
    “Doesn’t look sick to me now.”
    “No. Not now.”
    “Sounds daft. Dying, then not dying. What was he dying of, then, cat?”
    “They call it grief. Humans do. Well, the living ones do. Don’t know about the dead ones.”
    “Still sounds daft, I think. So what changed? How’d he go from dying to not dying all those years ago?” The cat thrummed a noncommittal noise, looking back at the figure still down in the dell, still leaning on the rock.
    “I don’t really know. Not what changed, exactly. I just know what he’s doing now is something he thinks he’s got to do.”
    “Talking to the rock?” The raven asked curiously.
    “Talking to the rock.” The cat nodded.
    “What’s he saying?”
    “Telling it a story, by the sound of it.”
    “A story? What about?”
    “Us. What we’ve been doing this past year. Other humans he’s met. How the food tastes. Some place that smelled nice. Lots of things like that.”
    “What’s the rock say to that?”
    “The rock says nothing.” The raven peered skeptically at the cat with one eye. The other eye blinked as a fat raindrop landed in it.
    “Not a thing.”
    “Huh.” The cat did not reply.
    “So…” the raven continued. “How long are we going to wait?”
    “Until he’s done.”
    “Right then.” The raven fluffed his feathers once again, more carefully this time. Wouldn’t do to be rude twice in a row.
    “So. The mate under the rock. What was she like, do you think?”

      1. Thank you, and all of you who enjoyed the story. I honestly didn’t expect such a reaction from something I wrote in under eight minutes and didn’t have the time to do any more than fix one spelling mistake on.

        It did have and ending! And it was supposed to, so that’s something I’m glad of. All of y’all are awesome. Have a great night!

  11. As much as he’d like to handle this in his usual hangout, his current position meant that Maximilian Amsel had to handle a lot more paperwork on the Order base than usual these days. The nearby shadows twitched as he passed, the only sign of his irritation with the matter. He wanted to get out there and hunt down the perpetrator of the massacre but the Order conveniently couldn’t spare him any staff to handle their reports.

    “Excuse me, Sir Maximilian?”

    The knight looked up to find a familiar face, Chryssa’s sister Anya. She greeted him with a shy smile and he gave her a warm one in return. He owed his life to her, after all. “Can I help you, Cleric Anya?”

    The petite blonde was pleased that he remembered to use her title with the Order rather than her noble one and her smile brightened before her expression turned serious. “Have you been to see the Falchi family since you were reinstated?”

    “Of course not,” Maximilian replied, shaking his head. “Those wounds are still too fresh for all of us. I’d rather leave them to grieve in peace.”

    “It wasn’t your fault, Sir Maximilian!” Anya admonished, a pleading look in her dark blue eyes. “But that doesn’t matter now. There’s something going on with little Walter.”

    “Something that you can’t handle?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “I only ever studied the basic first aid spells. You’re far better with healing than I am.”

    “I don’t have experience with it. You do. Walter, he… It’s the shadows around him. They’re starting to shift around when he gets upset.”

    “Gott im Himmel!” Maximilian exclaimed, his composure completely shattered. Had the unfortunate events three months ago caused someone else to awaken to powers like his?

    “Sir Maximilian! The shadows!”

    Once he realized that his own power was starting to surge Maximilian closed his eyes and began to chant an Azuman phrase that Don Esteban taught him in order to calm himself: “Meikyo Shisui… Meikyo Shisui…”

    The knight regained his composure after a few minutes, stopping the pending storm of shadows. He placed his pen and paper on the desk with deliberate precision and took his cloak from a nearby rack before setting his sword in his belt. There was no getting around how much this task was going to hurt, but it had to be done. Either Walter would learn to control his power or his power would control him and Maximilian was the only one who could teach him how to use it from experience.

    “…Very well. Take me to them.”

  12. “All of it, gone forever?” said Miss Unseen, staring out at nothing in particular.
    Red shifted uncomfortably. She should sympathize. Should have fellow feeling, even. But what she was feeling was that it was a possibility that her quest was mad, her parents might have been murdered with her kidnapping.

  13. Finlandia wasn’t coming back. Carolyn Cambridge and Tommy Tristam weren’t coming back.

    Cherry Parker sat by David Cambridge on the shuttle back from space dock, each lost in silent shock. Neither said a word. Cherry followed David home and slept on David’s couch for three days. Neither spoke then, either.

  14. David Cambridge woke up in time to go to the surface and watch a binary sunset, just as he and Carolyn had, years before. He didn’t notice Cherry sitting by him until she spoke, the first voice he’d heard in days. “They’ll come back up again, won’t they?” she said.

  15. The cold morning air moistened Selena’s skin as she awaited the bus that would take her close to the diner. She couldn’t think about the routine tasks that would fill her shift today. Habit would drive her while she wondered how she would face this desolute new world.

  16. Leave humans in a place long enough to experience death, growth and rebirth and you’ll end up with ghost stories. Most places have at least a Grieving Mother or Widow or Bride and a Dark Carriage. When he started getting reports of a ghostly apparition on the boardwalk, the first thing Deputy Corbin did was call tech support.

  17. “Reporting with updates, General sir!”

    Vara Reynolds looked up from the papers crowding his field desk, again aware of the soft pattering of telegraphs in the next tent, consciously ignoring them by his late habit. (But once a telegrapher, always so…)

    “Yes, Captain?” (The answer to the familiarly-emergent question “Were we ever that young?” came just as familiarly by now, off in some corner of his mind, remote as that back-brain part idly sifting through Morse code. Yes, yes we were, once upon a time. And quite well blessed by it, too.)

    “Reports from all sixteen advanced units, sir. Encirclement nearly complete, only light contact with the enemy so far. God willing, soon it’ll all be over but the shouting.” He actually didn’t sound cocky, merely confident. That old War College idea of his father’s generation was still bearing fruit.

    Reynolds’ mouth couldn’t help quirking in a soft smile. “Not quite as sure as that, I daresay, young Scoggins.” Though resurrecting the old, old idea of ‘lightning war’ and making it work with horse-drawn guns and vehicles proved no small thing, either in the making then or the using now. “Given how, for instance, it’s still up to the commanders in town to either dig in for a true siege, or surrender to us quickly.”

    “But if they did that, General, and not to outstep my place, our new mobile lightweight heavy artillery could probably shoot right through those old mortared-stone walls. We’d not likely be here for weeks or months, or even days, by any but mutual consent.” It was not ill-manners, he’d been trained to discuss strategy and tactics whenever appropriate… War College man.

    And he nodded to the needlework hanging from the framework stiffening the tent wall, Anne Reynolds’ gift to her warrior husband. Maximum practical available force, minimum effective applied force — one of many little maxims the College had extracted from Vara’s work and turned into something between canon and dogma, there.

    Reynolds looked up fully from the weight of intelligence on his desk and leaned back in his chair (a real one, not a folding thing). “Ah, but you do need to pay attention to the second part, Captain Scoggins. We’ve got so far so fast with so little resistance by acting, what, a twentieth of the size and strength we really are? And by making it seem we couldn’t possibly have heavy artillery with us, as we’ve gone?” And his voice, and his gaze too, dropped suddenly. Avalokiteshvara had been the old Buddha of Compassion or some such thing, centuries and light-years off, and it was his name only by descent through generations; but he did embody it some, here and there.

    “But there’s more to it than that, Captain. So hard, on the edge of a moment like this might be, to remember the rest of it. Even were this tomorrow morning and our guns all drawn up in sight of their walls and ready to smash them down… it would not be all over but the shouting. There will, if we do that, inevitably be also the grieving, and the long shadow it casts.

    “Tell me, Captain Scoggins, what would you think if — just hypothetically of course — I were to have those guns drawn up there, at dawn, and keep them quiet there till noon, then just strike our formation and ride swift away?”

    “But General, then the Royalist Third Army, they’d get away! And without any control of Porte-des-Fleuves, our position on the river and in this whole valley would become nearly untenable, we’d likely have to withdraw back to the border or take immediate heavy losses. And outside of pure strategy, of course, well, there’s what they did to us forty years ago, at Copperfield! We cannot — of course I mean extra-militarily and hypothetically, General, with all proper respect — meekly allow that horrible slaughter to stand.”

    Vara Reynolds smiled a wise but sad smile. “My point, Captain, my point.”

  18. “Look, there’s no use grieving. Fluffy’s dead and that’s that.”
    “Oh, but I miss her so much! My poor Fluffy!”
    “Stupid name for an armadillo.”
    “Fluffy was not just any armadillo. She was a screaming hairy armadillo.”
    “Whatever. They’re all the same anyhow. Nasty leprosy-carrying panzer rats.”
    “You horrible man.”

  19. Grieving over my lost and/or misspent youth, I was reminded of the scene from Peter Jackson’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” where Pippin, seeing Merry with a large mug, says “It comes in pints?”

    I miss the world I grew up in. I miss my old friends. I miss my youth: health, lack of cares, dreams for the future…

    What we have now is what we have. Let’s make the best of it. Wednesday I hit four years six months cancer-free. We’ll see what the future holds; but we’ll keep our feet regardless (1 Corinthians 10:13).

  20. The Trojan warrior buckled his grieves onto his calves, and then wondered, Did I spell that right? Oh, well, grief’s a-comin’.

  21. The assassination had plunged all the nation into mourning. Even the news stations had muted their speculation about how an assassin could get into a major party’s nominating convention and shoot their candidate just as he was ready to accept the nomination, out of respect for the sensibilities of a people still in shock at the sheer brazenness of the attack, even during wartime.

    However, Special Agent Gregory Horn got no such considerations. He had a job to do: find out whether the assassin had truly acted alone, or was he in fact a secret sleeper agent for one or another country in the Middle East. It should’ve been easy, except for one problem: in capturing the assassin, the Secret Service had shot him in the head. The man now lay comatose, not expected to recover, and only a telepath could pull that vital information out of his head.

Comments are closed.