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 D. L. CAMPANILLE: Fire’s Maiden (Clash of Honor Book 1)

Don’t mess with dragons. Especially cute little ones.

Princess Eloisa has an idyllic life. Plenty of fresh air, a beautiful old manor house, and an adopted family who adores her. That is, if she doesn’t think about living in hiding, a greedy murderous uncle, a father killed in war, and losing her mother soon after.

But now, with the secret arrival of an injured baby dragon, life is about to get… interesting. He’s trying so hard to be fierce, in spite of nearly dying.

Eloisa has been dragging home hurt creatures most of her fourteen years. How was she supposed to know this little guy was a real dragon? Or that his enemies would dwarf her own?

Add in an evil wizard, powerful Fae, and a very upset mama dragon.

Soon she’s on the run, with few friends, all her enemies after her, and some allies nobody in their right mind could trust. At least she’s got her dog, all one hundred and fifty pounds of shaggy black loyalty.

If the little dragon will stop trying to roast him, and if nobody catches them.

FROM M. C. A. HOGARTH: Sword of the Alliance (Alysha Forrest Book 3)

War is a serious violation of the Alliance’s colony charters, so when the Stardancer is sent to investigate rumors of a conflict on the distant colony of Gledig, everyone is hoping to come up empty. They’re certainly not expecting to be mired in a web of deceit, treachery, and tragedy involving not just the colony, but pirates and a missing Fleet officer. Not only that, but the situation suggests that Fleet itself might have had a hand in creating the situation that inspired the civil war.

But while the conflict might have been decades in the making, time is running out for Gledig, and only Fleet can save the colony from the culmination of the forces working against it now.

The fate of a world hangs in the balance. Can the crew of the Stardancer redeem the honor of the Fleet… before it’s too late?


When a madman and a giant flaming thing attack James Lawrie’s Marine outpost, the medic and an explosively talented sergeant aren’t supposed to save the day. Life becomes no simpler when Petty Officer Lawrie returns home on leave to find federal agents investigating the disappearance of a young woman from his past. A young woman whose body turns up marked with eerily familiar symbols.

FROM PETER GRANT: The Stones of Silence (Cochrane’s Company Book 1)

The secret is out – the Mycenae system is the hottest new mineral find in the spiral arm. Now it’s about to become ground zero in a gold rush by every crooked company and asteroid thief in the galaxy.

Andrew Cochrane, with his crew of the finest veterans and cunning rogues, have an even better scheme. They’ve conned the owner into hiring them as a mercenary security company to defend the system. With no oversight but their own, Cochrane’s Company plans to seize the richest pickings for themselves.

But nothing ever comes easy. If they want to keep their loot, they’re going to have to outwit and outfight every smuggler, bandit and renegade after the same prize – and their boss, too!

FROM DAVE FREER: Cloud-Castles.

Augustus Thistlewood was an idealist. The youngest scion of a vastly wealthy family, he’d come to help the poor, deprived people of the strange world of Sybill III – a gas-dwarf world with no habitable land. The human population, descendants of a crashed convict transport, lived on a tiny, crowded, alien antigravity plate they called ‘the Big Syd’, drifting through the clouds in the upper atmosphere. It was a few square miles of squalor, in a vast sea of sky, ruled by the degenerate relics of two alien empires.
The problem was that the people of the Big Syd wanted to help themselves, first – to his money, his liberty, and even his life.
Only two things stood between them and this: the first was his ‘assistant’ Briz, – a ragged urchin he’d picked up as a guide. She reckoned if anyone was going to steal from Augustus, it was going to be her, even if she had to keep him alive so that she could do it. And the second thing was Augustus himself. He didn’t know what ‘giving up’ meant. Actually, he didn’t know what most things meant. As a naïve, wide-eyed innocent blundering through the cess-pit of Sybill III, he was going to have to learn, mostly the hard way. Some of that learning was going to be out in the strange society that existed on the endless drifting clumps of airborne vegetation, and the Cloud-Castles of the aliens who hunted across them. Most of it was learning that philanthropy wasn’t quite what they’d taught him in college.

FROM KAREN MYERS: Mistress of Animals: A Lost Wizard’s Tale (The Chained Adept Book 2)

Book 2 of The Chained Adept.


Penrys, the wizard with a chain and an unknown past, is drafted to find out what has happened to an entire clan of the nomadic Zannib. Nothing but their empty tents remain, abandoned on the autumn steppe with their herds.

This wasn’t a detour she’d planned on making, but there’s little choice. Winter is coming, and hundreds are missing.

The locals don’t trust her, but that’s nothing new. The question is, can she trust herself, when she discovers what her life might have been? Assuming, of course, that the price of so many dead was worth paying for it.

FROM BLAKE SMITH: The Hartington Inheritance (The Hartington Series Book 1)

Almira Hartington was heir to the largest fortune in the galaxy, amassed by her father during his time as a director of the Andromeda Company. But when Sir Josiah commits suicide, Almira discovers that she and her siblings are penniless. All three of them must learn to work if they wish to eat, and are quickly scattered to the far reaches of the universe. Almira stubbornly remains on-planet, determined to remain respectable despite the sneers of her former friends.


Charlotte Fisher lives under colliding skies.

It’s the second half of the twenty-first century, and mankind has reached Earth orbit but not much farther. Orbital debris is a by-product of the industrial activity, and it’s dangerous both to everyone up there and the bottom lines of the corporations offering a prize to get rid of it. Charlotte heads up a team chasing the Manx Prize for the first successful, controlled de-orbit of a dead satellite. To win, she and her team must out-think and out-engineer a cheating competitor, dodge a collusive regulator, and withstand the temptations offered by a large and powerful seastead.

The sky’s not the limit. It’s the challenge.

If you like hard science fiction, impossible odds, and a touch of romance, you’ll love Laura Montgomery’s Manx Prize.   Buy Manx Prize to join the race for space today!


People love easily. Look at most of your relatives or coworkers. How lovable are they? Really? Yet most have mates and children. The vast majority are still invited to family gatherings and their relatives will speak to them.

Many have pets to which they are devoted. Some even call them their fur-babies. Is your dog or cat or parakeet property or family? Not in law but in your heart? Can a pet really love you back? Or is it a different affection? Are you not kind to those who feed and shelter you? But what if your dog could talk back? Would your cat speak to you kindly?

How much more complicated might it be if we meet really intelligent species not human? How would we treat these ‘people’ in feathers or fur? Perhaps a more difficult question is: How would they treat us? Are we that lovable?

When society and the law decide these sort of questions must be answered it is usually because someone disapproves of your choices. Today it may be a cat named in a will or a contest for custody of a dog. People are usually happy living the way they want until conflict is forced upon them.

What if the furry fellow in question has his own law? And is quite articulate in explaining his choices. Can a Human adopt such an alien? Can such an intelligent alien adopt a human? Should they?

Of course if the furry alien in question is smart enough to fly spaceships, and happens to be similar in size and disposition to a mature Grizzly bear, wisdom calls for a certain delicacy in telling him no…

The “April” series of books works from an earlier time toward merging with the “Family Law” series.


Side A is the closest I’ll ever get to autobiography, covering anecdotes and lessons from my ten years in the Army. Side B has the latest batch of popular culture insights and jokes. For the first time, I’ve done a book with a Side C, covering my recent mental damage.

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: Produce

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

  1. “Produce? Why did our teacher want Vegetables?”

    “Idiot, he wants us to produce a feat of magic”.

  2. “You’re being charged with falsifying the organic vegetable inventory.”

    “You mean—”

    “That’s right. If you don’t produce the produce you’re going to jail.”

  3. “I must have misread some of the instructions for the translator, this can’t be accurate.” Jon turned the supposed mind-reading report a few times, looking confused. “I know the Perin are…strange, and Shade’s one of the stranger ones, but… I wish she’d just speak English. There isn’t a proper sentence on the whole sheet.”
    “You know she can’t, that grandmother of hers will have kittens. What’s it say?” Isaac looked as much curious as helpful. Jon shrugged.
    “Sure, it’s your brain… Some of ’em, I don’t even know the words… this one says, ah…. Valkyrie.”
    “Ancient mythology. Warrior yokai, all women, basically human, claimed the brave dead.” Isaac said promptly, drawing an annoyed glare from Jon. “Usually very pretty, and blonde.”
    “How do you keep track of this stuff? So, pretty, blonde, fighter, female, in your head, that’s got to be Security Officer Cass.”
    “Eh, not wrong.” Isaac smiled a bit, and shrugged. “What’s the rest?”
    “Ah… says, Valkyrie, construct, construct. The second construct is circled.”
    “So, construct, and then… again-construct?”
    “Re-construct, maybe. Re makes sense, for again. So what’s another word for construct… Build, fabricate, assemble, produce-”
    Isaac made a choking sound, and turned a brilliant shade of red. After a moment, Jon started to snicker.
    “Oh, that is your mind.”

  4. They ate for a time. Boats came into the lake, and Ava, with a frown, reckoned and concluded they had had to row up the lake. They carried hampers, large enough for a picnic for a thousand.
    “Ah, the produce is arriving. You eat well here, Lady Ava,” said Phoebe.

  5. In Ottawa, did Fidel’s son
    A vaccine mandate introduce
    Not thinking it was over done
    Nor that in the longer run
    A back lash would produce

    1. And let us cry, Beware! Beware!
      The great big rigs; the horns of air!
      Now repent thou vain elites!
      And forgo masks, forget the jabs
      Unchain the ones within the cabs
      To bring produce and beefy meats

          1. What are they going to do when the jails are full of ‘extremists’ and they haven’t made a dent in the crowds?
            When police arrest violent criminals to protect innocent people, they are Jackbooted Fascist Stormtroopers.

            When police arrest innocent people at the behest of corrupt politicians, they are National Heroes.

  6. “Man, I wish this grocery store wouldn’t put the vegetables up front.”

    “Oh? Why?”

    “Well, here I am, the quintessential indolent Newport heiress preparing for another week of gluttonously extravagant First-World consumption, and the first thing I see is a sign saying ‘PRODUCE’. My conscience doesn’t *need* a loudspeaker, dammit.”

  7. SIGH. I don’t think there’s enough carp in all the temple ponds in Japan, China, or Southeast Asia for today’s prompt.

    1. Don’t Blame Us!

      Blame the auto-system that sent Sarah That Prompt!

      We’re Innocent! [Crazy Grin]

  8. The woman swirled around. Brian swallowed.
    An intrusion on Lady Arabella’s ball, as surely as the wicked fairy godmother on a christening, but if she were so bold, perhaps placating her was wise. Who knew what benefits courtesy and perhaps flattery could produce?
    She smiled at him. He walked forward.

  9. “She promised that I would live happily ever after,” said Rosaleen. “Who knows what she might produce to help me?”
    “Fairy godmothers,” said Lady Gillaine, “show up after the curse that you will sleep is fulfilled.”
    “If Ella thought that,” said Rosaleen, “she would never have gone to the ball.”

  10. “It’s an old argument that traces back at least to the Rebinding.” Ligonier Rafferty laid the formal letter on the table before him. “They forget that hand-crafting is the marked case here in Codyland. So of course we use metaphors drawn from the factory and the assembly line, because that’s the ordinary manner of production in our culture. If I were speaking to an audience in New Rome, I would use metaphors of the artisan’s workbench, because that’s what they see in their daily life, not chutes and conveyor belts. Here, those images would indicate custom work, which has a completely different connotation.”

  11. Rosine felt a cold weight in her stomach.
    “Indeed, I think they have a notion of your presence. I doubt your absenting yourselves would remove the wish to retaliate. I do not know what that will produce, but I do not wish to suffer it.”
    “You are wise,” said Florio.

  12. “Odd, well, even, but still odd.”

    “Huh?” “Notice the vegetation. Everything is in pairs or twins. No singletons, no triples, no quads, etcetera.”

    “A bit strange, but so what?”

    “What factor causes that? How will it affects on things NOT in pairs? We need to find what, here, is pro-deuce.”

    1. What?


      What are you trying to say?

      What are you talking about?

      You told me to pay attention. What was it you wanted me to hear? And while we’re at it, why are there two of every kind of animal in these stalls? And why am I feeling seasick?

        1. “coup de horn”

          I am unsure Canada will get stupid enough to trigger a “Ceaușescu by Trucker” but that term would SO fit if Justinclown managed it.

  13. “Nobody wants to read the reports you produce, John,” said Sam. “You’re always writing stuff that talks about USA this and personal responsibility that.

    “They just want something mindless to read between text messages.”

    “But they need to know,” John insisted. “The next black swan event is just almost here!”

  14. “Produce, this planet needs it but is it a noun or a verb?”

    “Yes, of course produce is the key, no matter if it’s action or acted upon.”

    “Elucidate, if you please.”

    “Simple Simon, they need produce to produce, if they don’t produce they have no produce, hence can’t produce.”

  15. “Simply produce the note establishing your alibi…” My lawyer stopped, noticing me wince. “You have it, right?”

    “Kinda sorta…” A mental calculation: busted at 3 AM; it’s now 2 PM. I’d wrongly assumed her note would only condemn me. “I’ll, ah, produce it tomorrow.”

    It was his turn to wince.

  16. “All right, let’s take this again from the top, shall we, Master Trader Arsenault?” Commendably, the Assistant Associate Portmaster’s voice held neither a trace of irony or any audible distaste at that last bit.

    “So your cargo of trade goods here is… exactly what, again?”

    “Produce.” He said it as if indicating the sun in the clear sky. To the fully-credentialled village idiot.

    “And its point of origin is..?”

    “Offworld.” (With, if anything else, more implied ‘obvious!’)

    And it was pretty clearly produce. In the prettiest flawless-oak crates I ever did see; planed into near-perfect, almost gage-block boards even if they were held together with (now rusty) cheap iron nails. Inside the one open crate (the ‘Master Trader’ had complained in horror at that) were visible what looked very much like green oranges, a bit undersize.

    “And you refuse to produce either an itinerary or a manifest?”

    “Don’t need to. Got a buyer all lined up, here.”

    “No certificate of departure, no pre-clearance at port of origin?”

    “No need, I checked your regulations well in advance. ‘Courtesy’ might be well and good for repeat business, but this is a one-off for me — and if ‘courtesy’ is not granted you’re still required to leave me go through, in the end. And without any ‘undue delay’… it says.”

    “And you’re refusing us even the courtesy of a sensing scan, not so much as an old-fashioned NMRI or X-ray?”

    “Don’t need to. Got nothing to hide here, but they’re valuable and easy to bruise, and my buyer won’t like that.” He actually stroked his trimmed little chin-beard. “Property destruction is explicitly forbidden by the letter of your regulations, Portmaster.”

    I couldn’t quite suppress at least an inner smile. “Got nothing to hide” was one of the surest giveaways, ever, to the contrary. But mostly, I’d been watching the clock. He’d brought out the one crate, not the one we’d eventually took a wrecking-bar to and opened, over an hour ago. The whole lot of them had been sitting in the open, on our deck, for 29 minutes now.

    While they talked on. As they continued, now…

    So I finished screwing the 10-gauge sampler probe onto the bio-analyzer and made sure my dataslate had relayed all the jots and niceties…

    And when the clock hit 30:00, then 30:15 for good measure, I reached out my hand and snagged one of the ‘oranges’ for a closer look.

    “Put that back! That’s private property, you can’t even touch that!”

    “By regulations, Master Trader Arsenault, you are correct. I cannot.” And for the first time he allowed himself the ghost of a smile, though rather still a kindly one. “But she can touch it, handle it, analyze it. As a Port Biosafety Specialist, Miss Macbee has authorization to inspect any unknown foreign biological material in our Port space. And though we never have had any grounds for immediate suspicion, yet, of hazardous materials or dangerous biologicals… after an interval, unknown material (organic, inorganic, just not higher animal life) may be “identified” further. That half-hour interval is elapsed.”

    And he smiled, a little more. “Port Regulations, Essay VI Chapter 17.”

    And quick to forestall stupidity, I took the probe of the analyzer already in my other hand and swiftly, softly, plunged it down into the center.

    And I smiled, mostly inwardly, at the felt-far-more-than-heard thunk as the needlelike probe (like a hollow icepick, or a biopsy needle for fruit) hit a hard center. Not like a seed or a pit, but more like metal or ceramic. Or something harder yet, suggested some ever more suspicious part of my mind.

    (I’d had no real idea if I was holding one of… those. My grandfather had left the High Valleys as a boy, never to return to dirtside to stay. None of us later generations had been back, either. And always had they been an unco rarity. But one thing about an Addy Lime was quite clear enough…)

    “Vandalism, that’s what it is! My buyer has connections, this will cost!”

    The screen of the analyzer had filled quickly with data on the sample its probe had picked up, and though a full gene-scan and match might take a few dozen minutes even through the main Port computers… “Four sigma out of normal biological trade parameters, Master Varley. You know the trip threshold is two and a half.” (It was strange, really unusual; even in a few seconds, the little handheld could tell that much. And the hair was starting to stand up on the back of my neck…)

    “Proceed, Miss Macbee.” The AAP’s voice was neutral as buffer solution.

    So I put down the analyzer and pulled out my pocket knife, and flipped out (yes, one-handedly) the really sharp blade — made like the rest from sideritic stainless steel from the Asteroid Belt of Home System. And, though there was a literal howl from the Master-Trady-Person, cut swiftly and nicely around the equator, down to that hard pit in the center. Closed the knife and held the “green orange” level, as I pulled off the top half where the probe had gone in…

    To reveal a colorless, perfect octahedron right in the middle of what now just about had to be a Glenarden Adamantine Lime.

    The word I’d been looking for was.. reverent. Even a bit of far-off home.

    I put the other half down on the clean surface of the opened sample case in front of me… “No, don’t pull it out, it’s not ripe!”

    And… very careful of the sharp edges… spilled out that amazing, and very prismatic, little thing into another, padded, case. Still wet with the juice of the lime (bizarre product of ancient alien genetic tinkering or whatever else it really was) that grew it, back on Glenarden down in its not-so-cool, floridly-swampy lowlands. An inch across, at least.

    A biosynthetic, almost pure-carbon-12 diamond. Too bad about the rest…

    “Master Varley, I can run an optical dispersion, get index 2.4, I can test it to see if it really is nearly pure carbon 12 and all. But we really are just about there, this is an Addy Lime from Glenarden. Whole cratesful of them. Not yet proof but surely plenty for presumption.”

    And all AAP Alexander Varley gave me in answer was a nod.

    “All right, Mister Arsenault, I’m seizing all this cargo and taking full possession of it in the name of Hypatia High Station.” Matter of fact.

    “You can’t do that!” His voice rang like a falling pressure sphere hitting an iron deck, all smoothness gone. “This load is mine!!”

    The AAP smiled sweetly, so sweetly. “Thank you, Erskine Arsenault, for clearing that up for us all. The record will reflect that you admitted that freely and with no coercion or entrapment on our part.” And once again he smiled, so slowly, so sweetly. “Miss Macbee, if you’d please explain to the nice man here what he’s just copped to.”

    “Nothing really wrong with importing the adamantine… pits, I think they call them off Gleann-ard.” (Deliberately I let the Gaelic leak into my voice a bit.) “But what your research seems to have left out is… while the limes themselves are really good, to those that like limes, and have never been identified as having any ill side-effects to humans, there’s also an indigenous non-human population on Hypatia the planet below us.

    “And to them, what makes us a really good lemonade or lime tonic, is a really hardcore euphoric, hallucinogen, and aphrodisiac intoxicant. So here on the station, just like down-dirtside, Addy Limes are as illegal, well, as all get-out as they used to say.”

    “Erskine Aresenault, you are charged with importing dangerous and banned addictive pyschoactive substances to Hypatia space. You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to knowledgeable counsel, you…”

    I licked my fingers. It wasn’t even against regs. And knew what was for me, at least, a very wholesome old-homey moment of bliss.

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