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. ;)*


The Madrian Empire rules worlds as numerous as the grains of sand on a beach. When the Madrians conquered Roby’s homeworld, they brought him to this godforsaken lump of a world, to toil at their will.

Now the Gate has failed, leaving them without communications or transport to the rest of the Empire. When Roby identifies the problem, he’s offered a chance to fix it.

Roby now faces a quandry. Even if he can repair the damage, should he? Will he be better off reunited with the masters’ metropole? Or will he only complicate a difficult life?

FROM DWIGHT R. DECKER *translator*: Ini: A Novel from the 21st Century

First published in German in 1810 and never before translated into English, Julius von Voss’s INI: A Novel from the 21st Century is a long-lost classic utopian novel. The setting is the world of the 2090s as imagined by an author writing nearly 300 years before, when the Industrial Revolution was just barely getting started. Teams of trained eagles pulling balloons, whales harnessed to a floating island, a gigantic umbrella sheltering an entire city… the marvels keep on coming. INI is also a love story, as the hero spends the novel striving to make himself worthy of the title heroine in the most literal way. Much of the novel is a tour of the world of the future: after traveling through Europe and then North America, the hero meets with disaster in the Arctic and finds himself marooned at the North Pole. With its detailed vision of history and science for the next three centuries, INI is considered by some to be the first German science-fiction novel. While a product of its time for better or worse, it is sometimes whimsical, sometimes eccentric, and always imaginative. Long hidden behind the language barrier and known only by its title from a few scattered references, INI is now available in English to science-fiction historians and others interested in early fantastic fiction. Includes vintage illustrations as well as historical and translation notes that put the story in context.

FROM ANNA FERREIRA: A Capital Whip: A Pride and Prejudice Sequel

An invalid for much of her life, Miss Anne de Bourgh has precisely one accomplishment: carriage driving. She is proud of her skill with reins and whip, and justifiably so.

But when another young lady moves into the neighborhood, and challenges Anne’s place as the most accomplished driver in Hunsford, Anne must prove to herself, to her beloved horses, and to her family that she is worthy of the name de Bourgh, and she does not shrink away from a challenge.

FROM NATHAN C. BRINDLE: Autumn’s Smile: A short fantasy (Seasons Book 3)

“Maybe it won’t be so difficult to believe someone who used to be a pagan Norse Valkyrja, and still acts in the capacity of a Norse semi-demi-hemi god at the orders of Odin All-Father, is going to tell what’s more or less a Christmas story…”

The former Valkyrja Sigrdrifa, now the very American pioneer wife Sarah Randall — who just happens to be the Queen of Autumn — tells a story of the historical Deep Snow of 1830-31 in the American Midwest, as she and two other former Asgardians attempt to control the runaway heavy weather that began in the fall of 1830, while out of the woods come four children from a neighboring homestead with a tale of woe.

Will a visit by the Ancient Wanderer cheer things up as the Solstice approaches?


“Her piercing eyes cut into Beth’s facade, exposing her fear. The tension in the air was fierce, but the weather of the new location remained unchanged and mild. It was like an eternal springtime. Surrounding them, the roughly painted delta radiated with power that seemed almost electric.”

The life of 16-year-old Beth is relatively normal. Until one day, her reality is shattered, and she awakens in a strange new world. At first, it seems perfect, almost too perfect. But as Beth adapts to her surroundings, she finds nothing is as it seems. In a society where secrets are buried in the soil, Beth must learn to fight, lie, and possibly even love.


Side A: Current events, the world is falling apart
Side B: Pop culture
Side C: A discussion about Cerebus

As always, little tidbits are included in-between each essay. With current events, they’re news headlines. With pop culture, they’re random jokes I threw in. The essays on each side are in chronological order, the headlines/jokes are in chronological order but the two do not mix.

FROM D. JASON FLEMING: Jules Verne’s The Vanished Diamond

In 1880s South Africa, French chemical engineer Victor Cyprien has discovered the process to create a synthetic diamond, creating a very large diamond that gets christened “The Star of the South”. When it is stolen, he and his compatriots pursue the thieves across the African veldt.

This lesser-known classic by Jules Verne is remarkable not for its science fictional speculation, but for its singular portrait of its main character.

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN: Wolf of the World: The Elect: Story the First

One searches for oil. The other searches for revenge.

Gregor watches Americans searching for oil in Carpathian Poland. As the Americans grow frustrated by their lack of success, Gregor grows fascinated by Linda, the petrogeologist. His master, Lord Ivan Bethlán, shares that fascination, and demands that Gregor bring Linda to him.

Linda just wants to find oil and get home to Houston. She does not care for being watched – or stalked – and confronts the large black dog haunting the woods near the survey team’s camp. Taken by his politeness and excellent German, Linda starts to wonder. Why is he so well-spoken? And who is the master who Gregor will not name?

A geologist and a Calvinist werewolf must join forces to stop a monster.

A dark fantasy with romance elements.


After fighting a demon in the middle of Philadelphia, Zoe O’Brien wants nothing more than to return to her normal, if stress-filled, life as an assistant professor of history at Summerfield College. But she’s an Elemental mage and that means when there’s potential magical trouble on campus, the squirrels come to her.

Who or what is the dark presence moving around campus? Why is it here and what does it want? Zoe struggles to come to terms with her mage powers and the leadership role her colleagues have given her. Complicating everything are all the papers that have to be graded, classes that need to be prepped, and most importantly, cats that require attention. Oh, yeah. She might actually have a boyfriend as well.

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: CORAGEOUS

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

  1. “I’m not very corageous”.

    “Don’t you mean courageous?”

    “He’s just using the Middle English spelling of courageous”. 😉

  2. “You misspelled ‘courageous’.”

    “No, it’s spelled correctly.”

    “Look. The dictionary says otherwise.”

    “That’s because you’re looking up the wrong word. You’re looking for a synonym for ‘brave’. I’m pointing out that if a room is full of women named Cora, then the room is ‘corageous’.”

  3. “If I may, Lord Admiral, this may cause… problems for the Fleet.”

    “Problems?! The fool abandoned his station at the first sight of danger and left Their Majesties’ treasure fleet to be plundered by Black Bert at his leisure!”

    “A fact of which I am well aware, My Lord. However, I pray you think on what the press would say if the captain and master of Their Majesties’ Warship Courageous were to face a Courts Martial for cowardice.”

  4. Cora Geous pulled out the sucker and handed it to the three year old ginger, wiping his hands on his new blue striped shirt. One more sticky hand wouldn’t ruin the already stained shirt. New shirt.

    It was times like this that Cora was glad she was only the babysitter. Another hour and she could hand off her charge to his father. Then she could go home and clean the sticky fingerprints on her new dress.

    The boy’s father strode towards her. She admired him as he bent over and picked up his son. He threw his son up and then caught him. The boy giggled.

    “Can I rely on you to watch him tomorrow?” The boy’s father asked. Cora hated herself as she nodded, yes.

    She watched him closely, trying not too drool as he walked away. His son looking over his shoulder waved at her. She waved weakly back. “Damn,” she said, muttering under her breath. “Damn.”

  5. Could you move to port?
    Our seats are bolted to the deck.
    Usually move to port is understood.
    Really? I can think of three interpretations.
    Always joking, aren’t you?
    Gotta do something to pass the time.
    Either that or die of boredom.
    Or you could do your job as required.
    Utter boredom.
    Sometimes I hate being Captain.

  6. Phoebe turned to Ava, and lowered her voice as if confiding, though it carried to them all. “His father was pleased by how courageous he was, but his mother insisted that he just didn’t have the wits to tell how dangerous it was. He favored thunderstorms, with hits of lightning.”

  7. “But it’s mis-spelled.” Ambassador Ruthven Takashi had not sounded anything like either petulant or persnickety as he’d said it — poor tradecraft indeed, that would be — but still he hastened to add, “Not that I’m complaining in any way, of course. From what you’re telling me it’s a higher honor than I can properly understand, so far. It’s only that, as a diplomat, I’ve been carefully selected to be one of those truly nit-picky people… you don’t last long or do merely-acceptable damage in this job, otherwise.”

    Amos Zdierka, his chief on-planet runner and fixer and talker, and interpreter of all mysteries deep and Skyfallerish, simply laughed, neither unkindly nor loudly. “No, Guv’ner, it’s not spelled wrong at all, it’s just a different and more, hm, native word than you seem to be guessing. One more pesky bit o’ thing you’d about have to grow up here to know. See, there was this one who did something, once, all crazy and courageous and stupid, but mostly wonderful. That’s for sure. And the way the story goes, someone somewhere said, ‘Cor, what a brave woman.’ And somebody else right close said, ‘For right and for true, that’s a Cor-ageous one indeed.’ That’s the story. What’s for sure is that within a day or two, that word was all over the planet. And more than a few picked up the same bug, and went on enough of a tear to set a lot of wrong things right. Corageous, crazy, magnificent all — or, most.”

    And he smiled an almost-wistful smile. “There’s always the mean, stupid, ugly, just plain batty ones, who do stuff ‘just because’ — but this time, even with people involved, it all about came right. Surely not without breakin’ a few eggs, as that mad little Corsican bantam we’ve talked about said, but still with a mighty-fine panful of scrambles on your plate at the end.” And he smiled a different way.

    “Have I lost you, at any point along that long and twisty road, Ambassador?”

    And Takashi — who, belying his name, looked neither much Germanic nor insular-nihongo but more swarthy and Mediterranean — laughed back, much in kind. “No more than you lost me when you told how Skyfall got its name, at least as the story goes. They looked at this cratered little rockball on the screens, with all the ringwalls and such from the Late Blitz Bombardment half a billion years or so ago, and one said to another, ‘Looks like the whole sky fell on that one.’ And that one said back, ‘So you’re sayin’ we oughta call it Skyfall?'”

    “You’ll do, Ambassador, I’d warrant that you’ll do. Odd bird that you are, you stand up for people. Not just some ones or some picked bunches of ’em, but all of them, whoever they are and however they’ve earned what ought to be coming. And that’s a rare quirk for sure.” And after a pause, “Especially here on Skyfall, as it’s been most of the time till now.” And his eyes lit, mercurially, again.

    “Besides, you’ve got one up on most of the people who ever earned the title, all the long way back to the Corageous Bitch Bulldog Herself. Offworld dodger that you na-the-less are.”

    “And that spendable box-tick would be, Amos?”

    “You’re still breathin’ after claimin’ the title, of course.”

    [Hey, a short(-ish) vignette at last!]

  8. “What are you going to do Courageous?”
    “Don’t worry Minute, I’ll shoot him with my nuclear annihilation gun.”

  9. Yet, no one had the courage to step up and ask her who she was, and what she was doing here.
    Not even, realized Ava, after a startled moment, Lady Arabella. It had taken her that long to recognize the woman in her pallor.
    The last of the dancers stopped.

  10. “You have my admiration, Emissary,” said Cardinal Mwaba. “It takes great courage to tell the Security Council that sexual differentiation is fundamental to human nature.”

    The hermaphroditic alien’s eyestalks vibrated quizzically. *What is courageous about noting so obvious a fact?* it inquired.

    Mwaba chuckled bitterly. “Oh, you wait and see.”

  11. Courageous was a battle-cruiser and and her lines were long, even by Imperial standards. Five hundred and seventy meters long and fifty-eight meters wide, her outer nanoskin was set to a soft white color while she was docked. The ship had five drive rings and as the shuttle flew by, they had part of the second ring generators deployed for repairs. “How has your refit been going,” Jackson asked, considering the view via the screens in the passenger bay.

    “Still getting use to it,” Holden chuckled, looking a little sheepish. “Nine twelve centimeter and twelve five centimeter beam cannons, and the speed to run down our own heavy cruisers? With torpedoes and defenses to match? I was happy with the Rocinante, back in the day, but…”

    “But, the Courageous could take on the entire Senatorial Navy with just guns alone,” Jackson chuckled. “You could use the point defense cannons and blow the entire Senatorial fleet out of space and not be touched. I’m still thrown when I’m on the Wu Zetian, and she’s a dreadnought these days.”

  12. If a drabble happens to be one hundred words, might an attempt of fifty words (or so, let’s not quibble) be called a dribble? Certainly it would not be a babble. Note how courageous I am being in letting myself be exposed to carp this way . . . .

    1. Back in the days of USENET, on rec.arts.sf.composition, pieces of exactly 50 words were called “cinquentas.”

  13. From the corner of the rooms, soldiers moved, recognizable by their blue coats. For a moment, she fancied that they were clockwork soldiers, fantastical in nature and capable of acting perfectly as long as they were wound up, but their pale, sweating faces showed they were men. Courageous, if fools.

  14. “Not in the city,” said Hesperia. “They were not cowards. They went and cleared out one of the labyrinths. Now they live in it, and woe betide the company that dares to try to clear them out. They do not fear a lord of crime, why would they fear adventurers?”

  15. As Nekrasov maneuvered Baikal into the rendezvous with Falcon, Vitali Grigorenko studied the stricken Amerikanski orbiter. They’d launched from Kennedy with supplies for a three-day mission. It was now closing in on its fifteenth day, thanks to the damage to the heat shield the astronauts had discovered during their spacewalk to repair a military satellite.

    Now their ordeal would finally be ending. But first Nekrasov and the Amerikanski commander would have to successfully perform a heroic feat of station-keeping. Because Baikal would be in a slightly higher orbit than Falcon, orbital mechanics would move them apart over the course of the hours-long process of transferring the astronauts to the Russian orbiter.

    Vitali had no doubts about his commander’s ability to do the necessary precision maneuvering. However, the Amerikanski commander had spent the better part of the last two weeks struggling to keep his crew alive in deteriorating conditions. Could an exhausted man maintain the alertness and focus necessary to do the job?

    Especially considering that I’m going to be the guy out there doing the spacewalks to bring them over here.

  16. Off-topic, but worth a glance (from an article linked* from The Libertarian Enterprise today):

    ” . . . during the last Federal Government census, I could not help but notice that the gender section had 3 boxes. Male, Female and other, which was a blank box. For real, the Federal Government of Canada allowed you to make up your own gender on the last official census. I found this to be a combination of amusing and insane. Feeling particularly bull headed and cheeky at the time, I naturally chose Minotaur as my gender. Yes, that’s right, on the Canadian government census my gender is that of a mythical giant man with the head of a bull.”

    Orvan, it seems you have a soul brother in the great White North.


    (An open letter from a Mountie ‘furloughed’ for not complying with the WuFlu madness.)

  17. “It looks like English, but the spelling is wrong.”

    “No, the spelling is correct. And it is English.”


    “No, it’s true. What you aren’t aware of is that it’s not our English.”

    “Not our English? You make no sense, man.”

    “What I mean is that it’s English, but from another universe. The rules are slightly different. Instead of “I before e, except after c”, they have this curious rule that the second letter of any diphthong doesn’t get spelled.”

    “You don’t say! But how do they know if a word has a diphthong in it and how to pronounce it if it’s not spelled?”

    “Apparently the same way we deal with exceptions in our English, by context and memorization”


    “Indeed. They’re just as smart, inventive, and stubborn as we are.”

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