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. ;)*

*Sorry, I’ve been meaning to keep a free and a discount promo running on my books up till the end of the year, but I let it lapse, so nothing is on sale this week, except the barbarellas (which they hadn’t told me about- sigh.) So, on Tuesday both the Goldport set first novels of series go on sale. And one of the collections is free. If I forget to link, remind me? – SAH*

FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Barbarella #1

The Siren of Space returns for a series of all-new adventures by a dynamic new creative team! Multi-award winning author SARAH HOYT and rising star artist MADIBEK MUSABEKOV are at the controls as Barbarella leaves space dock on a new mission fraught with unseen layers of danger, duplicity and perhaps a dose of romance! Camelot is home to the rich and powerful class seeking escape from an increasingly crowded and decaying galactic empire. Desperate clandestine transmissions from an enslaved underclass bring Barbarella to investigate, uncovering secrets that lead to more secrets—and the distinct possibility that someone knew she was coming. High concept sci-fi meets the greatest aspects of the human soul in a series that will reveal wonders that both terrify and delight, plus covers by fan-favorites LUCIO PARILLO, DERRICK CHEW, BRIAN BOLLAND and more!

AND #2, #3 AND #4

FROM C.V. WALTER: The Alien’s Christmas Baby

They were expecting a Silent Night….
As the world waits for news of the first Human-Orvax baby, Kaelin and Dorcas prepare the ship for the upcoming holiday.
So. Many. Pictures.
What will the world see? Will it be a Merry Christmas for the happy couples on the Forward Hope?


In an effort to thank this wonderful community of people for their support and spread a little joy this Christmas, I have a giveaway for some people who were interested in The Alien’s Accidental Bride but prefer the audiobook…and might be a little tight this year.

FROM BEN MASON: The Fight Before Christmas.

Nicholas is about to give presents to children all over the world. But first he’s going to have to battle the forces of Hell! When a portal to Hell opens up Saint Nicholas is going to have to fight off the forces of Hell to make sure Christmas happens. But will the devout Christian bishop be willing to accept the help of pagan elves and faeries to make it happen? Or is Christmas doomed to damnation? Find out in this metaphysical tale of prayer and battle axes!


Mossy Creek, TX is not your normal town. For more than a century, it’s been a haven to Others, people with special “talents”. Magic and shapeshifting are normal there. Others and Normals co-exist as friends, neighbors, lovers and family. But all that is in danger of being destroyed as an untold evil comes to town, determined to destroy not only those sworn to protect the town and all who live there but the very town itself.
Mossy Creek’s wayward children have returned, one by one, to town. Annie Grissom Caldwell, Quinn O’Donnell, and Meg Sheridan are back and determined to do all they can to stand between their town and the oncoming danger. Dr. Jax Powell, the Rogue, leads them and, in her role as one of the town’s Guardians, will do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe. But another of their group, Maddy Reyes, may very well hold the key to victory.
Do they dare?


t in the Mexican desert, two adventurers stumble into the mysterious lost civilization of Tlapallan, populated by people of the night who still worship the ancient Aztec gods — and know that those gods are alive and active — and angry!
This edition of Francis Stevens’s 1918 horror novel the complete novel including all thirty-three chapters, unlike most other ebook editions.
This iktaPOP Media edition includes an introduction that gives genre and historical context to the novel.

FROM BECKY R. JONES: Academic Magic

Zoe O’Brien has found her dream job at a small liberal arts college teaching the history of Medieval witchcraft and magic. Academic life is exactly what she expected it to be…until the squirrels stop by to talk with her and her department chair and best friend turn out to be mages.
Zoe discovers a world of magic and power she never knew existed. She and other faculty mages race to stop a coven from raising a demon on the winter solstice while simultaneously grading piles of final exams and reading the tortured prose of undergraduate term papers. Can Zoe master her new-found powers in time?


Men and women who lay their life on the line never escape unscathed, and when the time comes to return home, they find a wall between them, and loved ones. These tales follow those who gather the hope to begin healing, and tearing down the walls that have sprung up between them, and their loved ones. No one ever said it would be easy…

FROM CELIA HAYES: My Dear Cousin: A Novel In Letters

When Peggy Becker married Englishman Tommy Morehouse in San Antonio in the spring of 1938, her cousin and best friend Venetia “Vennie” Stoneman was her bridesmaid. After the wedding, Peg and Tommy traveled across the Pacific to Malaya, where Tommy managed his family’s rubber plantation. There they expected to raise a family and live a comfortable and rewarding life among the British expatriates in the tropics, while Vennie returned to Galveston to continue training as a nurse.
The start of the Second World War changed those comfortable, settled lives: Tommy Morehouse became a prisoner of war, Peg barely escaped the fall of Singapore with her small son, and Vennie Stoneman was a nurse in the US Army Nurse Corps, tending to battlefield casualties in North Africa, Italy, and France. In Australia, Peg waits out the war, wondering if her husband will survive brutal captivity by the Japanese, and Vennie risks her own life as an air evacuation nurse. Throughout all, the two women write to each other, of their lives, loves, of Vennie’s patients and comrades, and Peg’s children and the woes of running a wartime household among rationing and shortages of shoes for her children.

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: stale

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

  1. “So Master, we can feed on the Life Force of Animals not just Humans? What do lizards and insects taste like?”.

    “Well my young Apprentice, we would have to feed on hundreds of insects to survive. But insects and lizards taste stale as compared to mammals and birds, let alone humans. But remember, feeding on humans and Ultras will get you in big trouble with me and I won’t stand in the way of those you want to kill you.”

      1. The Master is one of the Ancient Ultras.

        The Ancients taught the Modern Ultras much about how to use the Ultra Powers but have little interest in the “Why” of the Powers. 😉

  2. Many years ago, we were making breakfast on Saturday morning. Eggs, toast, juice, various toast to use up bread.
    “Mom, how long have we had these?” holding up the Thomas’s English muffins, found behind the toaster.
    “At least three months ago?”
    This is why three generations no longer eat them.

    1. Hmmm… if 3 month old English muffins weren’t moldy, I’d be wondering about the preservatives in them myself!

  3. “Master Jacques, your apprentice is today Faerie’s greatest hero,” Nymue exclaimed. “Since his summoning last night, he has overthrown a tyrannical ogre, rescued King Alberon from deathly peril, and restored Avalon’s fruitfulness through sheer purity of heart.”

    The baker arched a sardonic eyebrow. “And this excuses letting brioche get stale?”

  4. And now a tale
    About a large, important bale
    of diplomatic mail
    that must be delivered without fail
    before it gets stale
    but that’s a minor detail
    as it can’t be sent by rail
    and slower transports pale
    Only an atomic rocket will prevail
    If augmented with a solar sail.

  5. “Dusty in here.”
    “Yeah,” the two space suited figures clomped their way out of the airlock and into a cavernous bay. Their suit lights illuminated drifting dust particles and dull steel plating.
    “What the heck did they use this for? Bay’s all wrong for lighter cargo, too puny of thrust for heavy.” Delgado asked in her thickly accented soprano. She was the shorter and slighter of the two.
    “Bum barge. Station packed ‘em into cryo capsules and shipped off those who couldn’t make their cred.” Wake spoke with the gutteral growl of an old belter, his voice grown rough with the damage caused by bad air mixes, bootleg whiskey, and time.
    “Shipped ‘em off? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense there boss, gotta say.”
    “How so?” The two carefully climbed down into the bay. Tall stacks of cryo pods surrounded them in lines going fore and aft.
    “Well, boost costs credits. Airmix isn’t all that expensive in comparison.”
    “True,” the taller man grunted. “But it’s not just air. Food, water, power. All of that stuff plus maintenance to keep the hull pressurized, the power flowing, and all the rest. Man’s got to make his own way, Del.”
    The younger woman remained silent as she digested this. The old ship groaned, its metal bones flexing as heat from the docking clamp and their own boots seeped into it. She flinched as something bright caught her eye, flitting away in her suit lights.
    “Just trash. Equalizing pressure and opening the lock stirs things up is all.”
    “Yeah.” She turned back, following along as he slowly made his way aft.
    “Just how old is this thing? Station’s never had a problem with too many people. Not that I’ve heard of.”
    “Old. Probably fifty, sixty years I’d guess.”
    “Older than you?”
    “Maybe.” The man kept walking, hiding a wince.
    “So they were taking people and putting them in these bum barges because they couldn’t pay. Okay, fine. Where were they going then?” Ahead of her Wake was cranking open a small hatch that was barely the size of a large dinner tray. He shined his light inside, illuminating a crawlspace.
    “Through here,” he said, putting action to his words. She squeezed herself in after him, marveling at how easy he made it look.
    “They sent ‘em lots of places. Mostly groundside. Some asteroid habs. Some places they could either make their way or starve.”
    “Sounds horrible.”
    “Probably. But what was they going to do? Let ‘em stay, suck up resources, maybe contribute to the slow deterioration by passively increasing entropy?” There was a pop and a panel fell out ahead of them.
    “Well that’s convenient.” Wake slithered his way through the hole, dropping down and out of sight. She followed, grumbling softly under her breath.
    “But they were people, boss! You can’t just go around letting them starve to death!”
    “They didn’t. They put ‘em on bum boats and sent ‘em far away.” The space they were in now was filled with engines, generators, conduit runs and pipes. A soft amber light glowed beneath thick layers of dust and grime.
    “Standby mode. Looks like there’s still a little bit of power left in this old heap.” Delgado heard him chuckle as he pulled tools from his belt pouch, fiddling with the old console and making something in the deck beneath her boots hum.
    “Still, though.”
    “You’re right, they didn’t want folks to starve. At least not where they could see ‘em, I guess. But it takes work to keep any artificial environment running. Lot of it, point of fact.”
    “My point is they never would have starved on the station. The farms make ten times as much food as we’d ever eat! I know, I grew up on one of them.” Wake waved her over to a heavy looking lever, mirror to the one he had under his left hand.
    “On three. One. Two. Now!” As both levers slid down with a dull *thunk!* the humming sound grew louder. Lights began to glow, first red, then a dirty yellow.
    “And that’s power. It’s not going anywhere through the ship yet, but the gennie’s running.” He sighed, cracking his knuckles. Then his neck and his back.
    “The point was, Del, that that food is worth something. So’s the air, the power, the water. Somebody has to bust their ass to grow that food, manage the air system, keep the power running and the water clean and drinkable.
    “Folks what didn’t earn their keep weren’t worth making somebody like you a slave to do their work for free, just because somebody was too lazy to get off their butt and do something for it. There’s always some like that. But you can’t take care of them all. If you try, you just get more of ‘em. How hard would you work, if you could get all that stuff for free anyway?”
    Delgado bit her lip in thought.
    “Tell you what, Del. You got a cat, right?”
    “I do. Socks is still little, but he’s sooo cute right now! My sister sends me videos of him every day.”
    “Right, so you take care of Socks. You feed him, give him a place to sleep, water and all that. What if you had two? Could you afford it? How about ten? Ten little cute fuzzballs. How about fifty? Could you handle fifty? Food, water, kitty litter- got to keep that living space clean- vet bills and all?”
    “That right there’s why. Why they made the bum barges.” Wake peered over the pipes leading from the fuel reservoir to the massive engines beyond the now lit generator room.
    “Now let’s see if we can’t get this old girl some horsepower so we can save a little once we get her back to the yard.” Delgado shook her head at her boss’s antics. She could see the grin on his face in her mind’s eye, even if he was looking away from her right now. Still acts like a little kid, even if he’s old enough to be my father. Or maybe grandfather.
    “Wait. What’s horsepower, boss? For that matter, what’s a horse?”

  6. I certainly wasn’t expecting these two to run with it. Then again, one of them is The Scary One and she’s been wanting to show up here for a while, so…

    Antanas landed in an out of the way alley and made one final check for his mission. There wasn’t a mirror nearby but thankfully he didn’t need one. All he had to do was extend his hand, channel astral energy, and before he knew it four stars formed the item he needed. He smiled a devilish smirk as he checked himself over. His shirt, tie, slacks, and greatcoat were immaculate, as was his hair. His sword was ready at his side as well, looking the part of a high class caster’s blade instead of the demon weapon that it actually was. Satisfied, he dissipated the spell and turned around to leave, only to find himself staring at an unwelcome face. A silver-haired woman stood watching him with a smile so serene that it frequently left the mortals who saw it uneasy. For Antanas, though, this act of hers had grown stale quadrillions of years ago.

    “To what do I owe the pleasure, Spooky?” he asked, his words dripping with contempt. “Here to stop me?”

    “Not at all, Archon of Audacity,” the woman replied, unfazed by Antanas’ childish nickname for her and tone of voice. “He intends for you to succeed tonight.”

    “Well, next time you see the Overlord tell him it gives me all kinds of fluffy bunny feel-goods that he’s going to let even my rump contingency plan succeed,” he retorted, giving her a theatrical eyeroll. “If His Majesty will even sully himself by speaking to you of course.”

    “He even speaks with the Fallen Star. Why would He not speak to me?” she asked, her eyes shifting from blue to pink as she spoke.

    “Ugh, never mind. You never answered my question either, Spooky. If I’m not going to have to go through you to get to Martin why are you wasting my time here?” Antanas grumbled, his green eyes flashing with arcane power as his anger grew.

    “I simply wish to confirm that this is what you want to do, Archon of Audacity.” she answered, her pink eyes changing to the same shade of green as Antanas’ after she blinked.

    “Do you even have to ask?!” he snapped, barely keeping his hand off of his sword. “I’m finally going to put the Order out of its misery tonight and with them gone things will change. The Unholy’s gone soft, Spooky. If he won’t take the fight to the Overlord’s mortal lapdogs I will.”

    “Surely that cannot be your only goal, Archon of Audacity.” the woman said, tilting her head slightly.

    “Sorry, Spooky. The mortals have a concept called ‘Op Sec’ and telling you anything more would violate that,” the demon replied, his face twisting into an arrogant smirk. “Now are you going to step aside or am I going to have to go through you after all?”

    “You will not,” the woman answered, gracefully stepping aside. “I shall merely find myself a vantage point to observe.”

    “Good. You won’t be disappointed,” Antanas said, walking past his visitor before pausing briefly. “He doesn’t appreciate you doing this, you know. None of them do. Ask Tristiel about his hound some time.”

    “I spoke to the Bringer of Despair just a few moments ago, in fact,” she replied, her placid smile unchanging though her eyes were now a watery hazel. “He is in fine spirits as always given the sin he carries.”

    “Of course you did,” Antanas remarked, rolling his eyes in disgust. “Anyway, put up your feet and enjoy the show, Spooky. You’ll remember this one for the next quadrillion years.”

  7. “The bread’s stale,” called a kitchen maid.
    The cook looked at them. With a sigh, Ava followed Delia and Charlotte-Rose out of the kitchen.
    “Really,” said Delia. “They expect us to cast spells of the highest import as soon as our studies are done, and they don’t trust us yet?”

  8. “I hate the tourist areas of space stations,” Danica said, tossing her long auburn hair over her shoulder. “The air always smells stale.”
    Deputy Corbin pinched the bridge of his nose. “That still doesn’t explain why you were bothering cow-spiders.”

  9. And, she would have to find a place to stay before what she carried turned stale. They had no true traveler’s rations in the house, and she could not linger long enough to buy even at dawn.
    Her mouth twitched. It could be bought at night, no doubt, from markets that she did not know, and would not trust if she did. Best if those who ran such markets never even realized that she was fleeing into the night.
    For a moment, she dreamed of brazening it out, but Maximina would never allow the theft of something magical go unpunished.

  10. It had been a second-rate amusement park at best: outdated roller coaster, rides that looked more at home in a traveling carnival, peeling paint, the smell of stale popcorn permeating the air. But decades later, long after shutting its gates forever, Griselda treasured the memories of their place, Maryland Adventure.

  11. On the couch, Max was still asleep as Cari crept from her bedroom and quietly rifled her refrigerator.

    Eggs? Three. That will have to do.

    Cheese? Enough, maybe.

    Bread? Yes. A quarter-loaf, not moldy, but damn, it was stale.

    Fry-up it is, Cari thought. He’ll like Eggs in a Basket.

    1. In German, there’s the wonderful word Treppenwitze for the perfect comment or quip that springs to mind—the moment you set foot on the steps as you leave the gathering. We need something like that for “I could have phrased that so much better” and/or “Oh, there’s typo/autofill/punctuation problem!”

    2. No. I instead find myself wishing I had a bit more discipline and discretion before hitting post. I work towards being better next time.

  12. The air in the compartment had the stale flavor of cheap air filters and someone in the section being sparing with moving the breathable. Which is why they put the bodies there, four deep and wrapped in cheap plastic to keep the mess down. I flipped open my knife and got out the gene scanner. Well, let’s get started, and I carefully cut the plastic open.

  13. “What you’ve got here is the interstellar equivalent of a stale check.”

    “But it’s a digital letter of credit with a quantum key. It’s supposed to be completely counterfeit-proof.”

    “Counterfeiting isn’t the problem. Time is. The longer it sits around, especially if you’ve got superluminal travel involved, the more likely you start getting decoherence. Then there’s no way to make sure the actual money is still in the issuing bank, short of contacting the bank directly. And you know how much that costs.”

  14. Armando Delavega winced as he chewed the stale cracker. In another time he would have considered it barely suitable to be fed to the pigeons and most certainly not to be given to his prize Koi. He had eaten the Koi already and was glad to have the crackers now.

  15. “We’ve ordered in too much bread. We need to sell it all before it goes bad.”
    “I know! We can have a ‘Stale!'”
    Evan rolled his eyes. “Kill me. Kill me now.”

  16. “I’m getting stale,” complained Rilchiam the wizard. “Just look.” He cast a fireball. It fell to the ground ten feet away and sputtered out. “It’s been too peaceful since we put Good King Melchior back on the throne.”

    “Missing the days of battle, murder, and sudden death?” asked his friend McDougal, a retired warrior.


    “You want something to do that’ll give you thrills, excitement, and heartbreak? Something that’s a challenge even to the most skillful practitioners?”

    “Lead me to it!”

    “Take up golf.”

    Two weeks later the sound of thunder came to McDougal as he was relaxing on the veranda. A column of black smoke rose in the distance. “Och,” he said, looking at the ripples in his whisky. “He’s in the bunker again.”

    1. Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, they called it witchcraft. Now they call it golf.

    1. Spock is a fictional character thus doesn’t really exist (bearded or otherwise) in this universe. 😉

      1. I wondered about the “why” of that person’s question.

        It appears that my suspicions were correct. 😦

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