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. A COMMISSION IS EARNED FROM EACH PURCHASE. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM M.C.A. HOGARTH: An Heir to Thorns and Steel (Blood Ladders Trilogy Book 1)

Morgan Locke, university student, has been hiding his debilitating illness with fair enough success when two unlikely emissaries arrive bearing the news that he is prince to a nation of creatures out of folklore. Ridiculous! And yet, if magic exists…could it heal him? The ensuing journey will resurrect the forgotten griefs of history, and before it’s over, all the world will be remade by thorns and steel….

Book 1 of the Blood Ladders trilogy, an epic fantasy with sociopathic elves, vampiric genets, and the philosophy students mixed up in the lot.

FROM SABRINA CHASE: Sky Tribe (Guardian’s Compact Book 3).

Engineers always find a way!

Jens-Peter Oberacker thought the secret research facility for magical craft would be peaceful and quiet–the perfect place to finish his engineering research paper. He didn’t expect a violent gang of thieves to have their eyes on the ships, or having to escape to save his life. Worse yet, he’s now being blamed for the entire thing!

On the run in the last, badly damaged ship, an unexpected encounter with a housemaid on a mansion rooftop saves him from immediate disaster. But why would she lurk on a roof at night? And where did she learn her utter fearlessness of heights?

Perhaps unwisely, Jens-Peter ignores these questions—and the housemaid’s unexpected knife—desperate to find someone, anyone, who can clear his name. And let him finish his paper…

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: The Gear Engages (Martha’s Sons Book 4)

It takes more than a single terraformer to start a new world.

The human colony on the lost world of Not What We Were Looking For faces fracture and schism. On one side of the river, the settlers from Earth remember what it means to live in a free society. In the Marss-controlled city, the governor cancelled elections long ago and strives daily to cement his grip on the inhabitants.
Thaddeus Dawe and the Hudson cousins, including the one who agreed to marry him, save the colony’s last terraseeder from the governor’s political grandstanding, and head for the secret northern enclave started by Thaddeus’ brother. But all Thaddeus’ careful planning takes a wrenching turn when not one but two parties race in pursuit.

Thwarted in his original goal, faced with repairing the consequences of what he does to escape arrest, and besotted by the discovery of newspapers, Thaddeus wrestles with new ventures and roles in which he dare not fail. He must save not only Earth’s microbial legacy but its knowledge base as well. Not to mention, he’s getting married.

But when the governor’s chief of staff decides to weaponize Thaddeus against both the city’s farmers and the newspaper’s publisher, Thaddeus must fight the governor’s attempts to steal the farmers’ land even as someone destroys everything Thaddeus himself tries to build. In the end, he must do what he can to save those his own betrayal put at risk.

Picking up where Under the Earthline left off, The Gear Engages is the fourth book in the gripping science fiction colonization series Martha’s Sons. If you like action, political machinations, and a driven hero, you’ll want to dive in heart-and-head first.

Pick it up now to join the fight for a lost world!

FROM ELLIE FERGUSON: Danger Foretold (Eerie Side of the Tracks Book 5)

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.

But can they trust her?

Do they dare?

FROM ROBERT BIDINOTTO: HUNTER: A Dylan Hunter Justice Thriller (Dylan Hunter Thrillers Book 1)

“A masterwork of thrills and suspense.” –Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins



Award-winning true-crime author Robert Bidinotto makes his stunning fiction debut with a gripping vigilante justice thriller that has earned more than 500 “5-star” rave reviews from readers.

Two people, passionately in love.
But each hides a deadly secret.
He is a crusading vigilante, on a violent quest for justice.
She is tracking this unknown assassin, sworn to stop him.
Neither realizes the truth about the other.
And neither knows that a terrifying predator is hunting them both….

FROM KAREN MEYERS: The Chained Adept: A Lost Wizard’s Tale.


Have you ever wondered how you might rise to a dangerous situation and become the hero that was needed?

The wizard Penrys has barely gained her footing in the country where she was found three years ago, chained around the neck and wiped of all knowledge. And now, an ill-planned experiment has sent her a quarter of the way around her world.

One magic working has called to another and landed Penrys in the middle of an ugly war between neighboring countries, half a world away.

No one has any reason to trust her amid rumors of wizards where they don’t belong. And she fears to let them know just what she can do — especially since she can’t explain herself to them and she doesn’t know everything about herself either.

Penrys has her own problems, and she doesn’t have any place in this conflict. But they need her, whether they realize it or not. And so she’s determined to try and lend a hand, if she can. Whatever it takes.

And once she discovers there’s another chained adept, even stronger than she is, she’s hooked. Friend or foe, she has questions for him — oh, yes, she does.

All she wants is a firm foundation for the rest of her life, with a side helping of retribution, and if she has to fix things along the way, well, so be it.

The Chained Adept is the first book of the series.

FROM ROBERT WOERNER: The Facts of Roses.

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.

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: BABIES

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

  1. Men of Andromeda, masters of their galaxy, though long lived were a dying race. Origins lost in a distant forgotten past and lifespans stretching eons, none the less their numbers slowly decreased. Dying until a team of their best scientists developed a replicator to create babies.

    They named it woman.

  2. “Have you considered making babies with me?” Diana asked.

    Smiling Andrew replied, “Yes but is there something I don’t know”?

    Diana slapped his naked stomach saying, “Well I am on the implant but I’m thinking about the future and what power-set our children would have”.

    “They’d most likely be Mentalists like yourself but there’s a chance one or two might be Controller-Eater like myself. It’d be more likely that it would be a son with my power-set which could be interesting.”

    “Wanting to challenge you for the top-dog position?”

    “Yes, sons always want to challenge their fathers but my kind are worse than usual. Still a daughter with my power-set is very unlikely but could be more interesting”.

    “More interesting?”

    “Well, you have heard about Vamps haven’t you?”

  3. “They’re so tiny.” Jenny’s voice was hardly more than a whisper.

    Two tiny bundles of fur lay curled up together in the basket, softly purring. Although adult Kitties were as tall as humans, their kittens were about half the size of a human baby. Like ordinary felines, their eyes would remain closed for some time after birth — no doubt it had helped their primitive ancestors to keep denned up during those early vulnerable days.

  4. “Did you expect anything like that in your studies?” said Phoebe.
    “I didn’t know what to expect,” said Ava. “No one told me anything, even that Princess Isabella would be directing them. Though I knew of the princess.” She drank again. She even knew that the princess could never have babies, though they whispered it when they thought she could not hear.

  5. Alexa smiled at her newborn baby. “Michael is a good name for the son of the king” she whispered.

    “Yes. And he will be king after me.”

    Alexa looked up. “I am only your mistress, and your wife has already given you a son.”

    “The queen is at death’s door. I will wed you once she is gone. As for my disgraceful son, leave him to me.”

        1. Well, it could be a Kingdom that doesn’t practice primogenitor, but where the ruler selects whom he or she thinks will be the best ruler out of all their children.

            1. Definitely.

              Especially when the son who takes over as King, kills or imprisons his brothers.

                1. Nod.

                  And if the sons have different mothers (ie the Ottomans), then the mothers get involved in the “fighting”.

          1. Not here. Inspiration comes from Alexander II who married his mistress after his wife died and was working to legitimize their children and disinherit Alexander III when he was assassinated.

  6. “Dad, how do you make babies?”

    “Why are you asking, Timmy?”

    “Well, I know all about gametes, and eggs, and sperm. But I don’t understand how guys are able to switch from taking a piss to injecting sperm.”

    I sighed. So much for saying he was born in a hospital.

  7. “Babies,” Adelaide repeated, rubbing her face with the heels of her hands. “We need to have those at some point soon, don’t we?”

    “Sadly, part of the job of being Empress,” Solomon agreed. “The whole traditional heir and a spare. But, you do have one advantage. Well, two. First, Dawn Empire magical engineering will allow you and your Companions to have each other’s children. There is randomization of genetics to keep it from becoming a ladies world in short order.”

    “And the second,” Adelaide’s hands stopped rubbing her face, covering her eyes in frustration.

    “The second is that between body control and everything else, it should be a relatively easy pregnancy. Hormonal surges won’t drive you mad-and you’ll have your girlish figure back soon after birth,” Solomon stepped behind Adelaide quietly and began to rub her neck and shoulders.

    “You’ve gotten far too good at reassuring me,” Adelaide grumbled, leaning into his fingers.

    “Well, I have been planning on your appearance for at least fifteen thousand years and some change,” Solomon cheerfully sighed. “I’d like to think that I have learned a few things.”

  8. She did not think that this woman had come to seek out a bridegroom for herself, for marriage, and that she might have children for her line.
    Autumn swallowed. She wanted to escape this before this woman drew her into such a dance that no one would marry her, either.

  9. “Three sons is a fine crop. It’s a pity about the princess, but it would be worse if she were the only one. And if there were two more princesses, King Henry still might be angry about the failed match.”
    “When would he not be angry?” said Lady Gillaine, mildly.

  10. Alwer hated his classmates. Noble scions, every one of them. Empty-headed roustabouts, with nary an intelligent thought in their heads. Men raised to rule, but enthralled with brainless philosophies that would never work in the real world. “Babies,” he thought savagely to himself.

  11. “They’re just babies!” shrieked the Social Worker.

    “Yes,” said the Sergeant Major as he finished setting the explosives. “Baby dragons.”

    1. “They still develop without extreme heat, just much more slowly. It’s waking them up and getting them out that’s hard. Usually, it takes a shockwave on the order of a volcanic eruption to crack their shells. Since the RUMOKO Project started, there haven’t been any uncontrolled eruptions. The baby dragons have been dying before they had a chance to live.”

  12. “‘It is said that the evil one eats babies,'” quoted Penelope Gallowglass merrily off the old Doctor Who episode, with a wide smile at having hooked the vagrant thought at last.

    It was so nice to know people actually could see her smile, again, instead of having to remember all her expressions were hidden behind a “covering” and then contrive some perceptible replacement. But at this convention, here in one of the Free States where the Pandemicrats did not rule, no need…

    “And so it makes perfect sense that the wokerschnitzels are turning cannibal, again. Uh, again one more time… Same old bad-time, same old bad-channel?” she continued, in a reference to a TV show that had been cancelled before she was born, as her drinking companion still said nothing — but also continued his own commentary, in a merry and genuine if somehow also slightly world-weary smile.

    “What’s that old saying, from back in the Elizabethan day or thereabouts? ‘Evil will oft evil mar?’ Do forgive me if I don’t get that one quite right, dear lady.” He’d given his name only as Vlad, then when asked again, Vlad T — but despite his convention persona(?) of dark old-style formal clothes and the subtle but consistent ‘vampire chic’ tropes, he was quite the old-world gentleman, and quite a lot of fun to be around. (Obviously twice or more her twentysomething age at least. But nothing at all even vaguely romance-ish, far less creepy; instead a balm to her recently breakup-jangled soul. And he’d given her his Proton Mail, Signal, and Telegram addresses on the first night they’d met. And either it was really some kind of faint Eastern European accent underneath his excellent English, or instead some truly screen-quality dialect acting…) And he took another sip of his trendy-but-good ‘1516’ craft beer. As she dug deeper into her tall glassful of (excellent) dark-chocolate dessert mousse.

    As that, and the feel-good afterglow of the panel they’d just finished attending, “Going the Distance, Non-Fiction Drives for Interstellar Flight,” burned off a little more of the clotted ugliness of her long time boyfriend going full he-Karen on her at last, literally screaming at her to get vaccinated or go to…

    Gas core reactors. Ulam bomb-drives. Lightsails and electrosails. Beam-core antimatter engines…

    “Sorry.” She smiled, this time merely apologetically. “Thinking about him, again, as I should not.” And dredged up another spoonful of mousse. “And you know I do not mean The Good Lord Himself.” As an out-of-the-broom closet neo-Celtic pagan, that had come up… too.

    Vlad smiled back, far more genuinely, with a lift of one eyebrow. “Far better to think about the long, long banquet the future spreads before us all. Even in the middle of these… interesting times. Would you care to revisit the awe and mystery of the… cryptocurrency world? Or discuss the questions from that latest presentation, perhaps?” He’d proven himself impressively knowledgeable on a wide range of things, almost as if he’d spent much of a long life indulging his curiosity, and well.

    And going here, even after all that hair-trigger nova-burst of drama, had been a good idea.

    (They’d promised it, right there in the con’s subtitle: Come Visit The Future The Way It Used To Be!)

    “Yes. Some or all of the above. Or even better. It doesn’t really do me any good to think about Ralph or what he turned into, or was all along. Or even to follow, too closely, all the insane political Mean Girls On Crack stuff that’s floating around, and even raining down from on high.” (Vic, as she usually was called from the middle name she went by, carefully again did not think, “Let’s go Brandon!”)

    He took another slow swig of beer, as if considering. (It was true he’d never consumed anything more “solid” than a milkshake in her presence, so far. But he’d also walked through wan and wintry but full sunlight with her, just now, to get from the convention center building to the bar/restaurant.)

    “It’s always been good to have… situational awareness, as they call it now, Penelope.” (From him, the first name she’d always mostly hated felt right, as if she really was some character out of the good old, bad old days in legendary Greece.) “It’s a far more cliché thing than many understand, that one about ‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.’ And I really have enjoyed talking with you, latest of many others, about such things as Spygate and the Woo Flu and the January 6th Fakesurrection and the rest, even as much as I like discussing quantum computing and the upcoming quantum break in cryptography.” And then he carefully put down his beer and leaned back and sighed, very quietly.

    Into an odd sort of stillness, that enveloped them like a cast circle and covered them like a blanket.

    “But all that gets old. Yes, it is said that the evil ones eat babies, or leave them out on hillsides to be eaten by wolves or to starve quite slowly, or throw them into fiery furnaces to appease insatiable but not very good gods. But that’s the old-school way of doing things, and it’s quite… Mesopotamian of them. Now these are the days of just-in-time and virtual closeness, and soon Metalface Versebook if Zuk and the Fat Resetters have their way.” And he held up his beer to the light, as if candling an egg, perhaps even ‘reading’ a raw diamond. With a subtle expression she’d never even… imagined.

    “Now eating or murdering babies is passé — now they, any number of ways, wish them never born.”

    And that quietness, that she could hear over all the noises of the bar around her, grew loud indeed.

    “If they do what they say they will, Penelope, this future, our future, will and can ne’er be.”

    And for the first time since she’d met Vlad, she felt herself in the presence of a predator. Not at all as prey, any way any how; but she felt the hunger far underneath, as if it were millennia deep.

    And close on the heels of that, for the first time ever, suddenly she felt genuinely sorry for Ralph.

    And for all his like, wherever they were. Every one.

  13. “We need to sleep,” said Florio, looking about. He pointed at two trees, growing close together. “Safer by day than in the cold of night.”
    She nodded, and they found a place there, more grass than root, and lay down like babies in a cradle.
    Falling petals fluttered on them.

  14. “Captain, if you believe in anything like a soul and value it, listen to me very carefully”, the sweating ambassador said. “Our … uh … gracious hosts are going to ask you a few things when you meet with them. Among those things they will ask is if you and the crew are coming before them as adults, or as children. And so help you, you will swallow your pride and tell them that you are *babies*.”

    Captain Marchek scowled at the timid man. Something about his assignment had clearly broken him down. “These creatures are ancient and venerable, and we have a lot to learn from them I’m sure, but…”

    “No buts! Each of them is *personally* older than the recorded history of our race! Adult? You have no idea what that even *means*. None of us do.”

    “And if we ask to be treated as adults?”

    “The safeties come off”, the ambassador said, trembling. “I’ve only ever seen anyone arrogant enough to do it once. Oh they’ll play mind games with you either way, and they probably don’t *mean harm* either way, but they’ll treat you as if you know what you’re *doing*. Please tell Von-Neumann to send a replacement … I cannot stay here …”

  15. Sir Frederic wandered over the moor. It was midnight, the witching hour. The sun blazed down from the oppressive sky, giving the thickly falling snow a dazzling glare.

    Suddenly there arose an eldritch cry, a howl of unappeasable hunger. It was answered by another. Sir Frederic tried to run, but found he was knee-deep in a bog. Something leaped upon his back and worried him dreadfully. “This is it,” he thought. “I’m going to die…”

    He awoke. Letty was beside him in bed, shaking him. “Come on, Fred,” she was saying. “It’s three o’clock in the morning and the twins are hungry.”

    Fred got up and went to the nursery, where their twin babies were squalling. “I’ll bet you need changing as well,” he grumbled. “Just give me a minute.” He yawned.

    When Letty came up from the kitchen with the warmed bottles, she found him sitting on the floor, asleep again.

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