Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike With a BONUS PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT


This is a public service announcement: I’m so angry I’m shaking right now. No, not at anyone on this blog, or anyone who sent me links, and not my background anger at politicians.

Let me explain: A lot of you are enthusiastic and confused. A lot more have trouble reading directions. That’s fine. I have been there sometimes, and done the most bizarre things by way of asking for promotion or some other favor. No big.

HOWEVER this week, in the batch of requests for promo, I got a — not unusual — offer of free chapters, and a line to not-Amazon.

While I usually prefer to link for Amazon, because, yes, I earn a commission, I’ve been known to link to books not on Amazon, if I can figure out how. Though I first look to see if the book is on Amazon and link that if I can. (Hey, it’s money, and while I do this because I love you, I also do it for money if I can.)

This one seemed to be a small publisher, and the book was not on Amazon. So I set up to link to the publisher, but sent the writer back a message about “if you’re not on Amazon your publisher isn’t serving you right.”

However, as I continued putting up books, the name of the publisher kept bugging me. I was sure it was on a list of scams.

They are probably not scammy enough for the law, however they are DEFINITELY a vanity publisher. Which means the writer published through them is unlikely to see any money (the publisher makes the money from the writer.) AND they’re unlikely to see any royalties, since the house makes no effort at selling the book.

In this day and age of indie publishing, it is painful to me to see ANYONE giving money to be published, and getting nothing in return.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE: Always remember: MONEY FLOWS TO THE AUTHOR. If it isn’t flowing to the author and you’re paying a so-called “publishing company” to publish you, they have no reason to SELL your book. Their business model is to get paid by you, not by readers.

IF you don’t know how to publish your book indie and don’t want to spend time submitting to traditional publishers, ask in the comments. Yes, you can HIRE copyeditors, cover artists, etc, and bring the book out yourself, under your full control. No, it’s not the same as having a “publisher” ask you for money.

Please, I beg you with tears in my eyes: before giving money to a vanity publisher, contact me, or Cedar Sanderson, or TXRed, or a dozen other people. We can at least point you in some direction (even if my time availability is crazy right now.) And I can send you the names of copy editors and cover artists. (I can do a post with those, if people want.)

JUST don’t give away your hard work, and pay for it being buried out of sight of the buying public. You’re better than that.

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. ;)*


Odd Magics
This is a very strange collection of fairytales, recast for modern life. In it the prize isn’t always to the fairest, the
magic is rarely to the strongest.
But lonely introverts do find love, women who never gave it a thought find themselves at the center of romance.
Doing what’s right will see you to the happily ever after.
And sometimes you have to kiss an accountant to find your prince.

(And yes, I feel bad about the price for the hardback, but the production costs are high. Apparently.)

FROM STEPHEN PALMER: The Unlikely Candidate: A Novel of Politics, Religion, and the Media

After completing his second and final term as governor of Mississippi at age fifty, Jeff Ackerman is seeking direction for the next stage in his life. On a whim, Ackerman decides to run for president in the 2016 election against incumbent Democrat Upton Landers. Landers is a reasonably popular sitting president during a time of peace and a stable economy. The well-known Republican politicians elect to sit on the sidelines for the 2016 election, implicitly conceding re-election to Landers. This leaves the Republican field open to squishy moderates, has-beens, and never-have-beens such as Jeff Ackerman.

The Unlikely Candidate takes the reader on a thought-provoking and sometimes infuriating journey into the Oval Office, Air Force One, a New York City newsroom, the pulpit of an African-American church in Detroit, and the headquarters of an agribusiness conglomerate in Iowa. One part political commentary, one part media criticism, and one part Christian apologetic, this novel prioritizes ideas and ideals. Author Stephen Palmer weaves various threads into a compelling, fast-moving narrative that keeps the reader thinking while anxiously turning pages.

After a successful twenty-year legal career, Stephen Palmer retired from a major international law firm at age 46 in order to focus on writing and public speaking. He’s originally from Jackson, Mississippi and now lives in Marietta, Georgia with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters.

FROM MARK DOUGLAS ROBBINS: Killing Deep States: How to Spread Freedom

Thomas Paine said almost 250 years ago, “government even in its best state is but a necessary evil “. In ten pages KDS shows how a $10.99 political donation initiates feedback on government spending. This short pamphlet (1 hour), modeled on “Common Sense”, leans into unique processes implemented using technology, and existing proven systems, to give free people control of their governments.


23-year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time. Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely-functional smaller states, and vast swathes of barbarian badlands. Her sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.

Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd, but dear friend, whom she met online: a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.

Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seeks only a quiet, normal life. But, that past and her present conspire against her. A new Morning has come, and with it, delights and terrors, happiness and adversity.

FROM DALE COZORT: Snapshot42-Book2:Through The Texas Gate (Snapshot-42 Book 2)

Snapshot42: Through the Texas Gate is an alternate history novel. In early November 1942, with World War II hanging in the balance, an invisible wall cuts Europe, along with parts of the Middle East and North Africa, off from the rest of the world. With the Allies running out of vital raw materials from the rest of the world, they look for ways through the wall. They find two gates to other realities. One leads to a still-independent Republic of Texas that still uses black powder weapons and is barely holding off fierce nomad raiders, while another leads to a strange land without people but overrun by still-living dinosaurs.

Jim Bridger and Colonel Tillman need to buy oil and food to keep the allies in the war, but first they have to survive fierce new enemies in these new-found realities.


Andre runs into trouble, riding with Rachel, while he’s on leave. By the time he’s back on duty, Rachel has decided to join up with BSR. Her first job is a doozy, though. She has to keep the twins out of trouble. Slavers show up again, with hopes of getting the company out of the way. After the fleet explains the error in their ways, they head out to check on a new planet. A stowaway causes trouble for Topper, but it turns out for the best.

FROM KARL GALLAGHER: Captain Trader Helmsman Spy (Fall of the Censor Book 4)

Niko Landry needs to infiltrate the Censorate to find a weakness before it launches its next assault. The Censor bans maps of hyperspace, forcing freighters to find their way by word of mouth.
He and his crew will pretend to be ordinary traders while finding out all the secrets they can. Any mistake could leave them broke . . . or executed.

FROM TONY ANDARIAN: The Massacre of Lannamon: Dawn of Chaos 2 – Hell Gate, Part III (Sanctum of the Archmage Book 4)

A new constitution prepares Carlissa for an era of enlightenment. The harsh traditions of the past fade, and a promise of freedom stirs the air.
In the space of one terrifying day, that promise is shattered in a bloodbath of fire and magic.
Thousands of years ago, an epic battle was fought between good and evil. The demon lords had opened a door to the realms of hell itself, and their horde threatened to overrun the earth. But the Kalarans, led by the hero Calindra, destroyed their hellgate and drove them from the world.
The Great War has long since been lost to myth and legend. The Church struggles for relevance as the people forget their covenant with the gods. A renaissance of freedom and learning stirs the air in the modern age of Carlissa, led by the royal family, and the wisdom of the Archmage.
All of that comes to an end when a dome of shimmering magic appears in the capital city.
The people fight desperately to survive the chaos that follows, and wonder bitterly why the gods seem to have abandoned them. Their only hope lies with the magic of the Archmage — and his, with a young princess who never wanted to rule. She must find the strength to set aside her bard’s calling and take up a battle against impossible odds, or surrender her land and people to the Black Magus and his demons.
In The Massacre of Lannamon, the city’s refugees fight desperately for survival, but their prospects become ever more bleak in the face of the advancing demon horde.Sanctum of the Archmage, Volume One – Dawn of Chaos
Dawn of Chaos, Book 2: Hell Gate
Hell Gate, Part III – The Massacre of Lannamon
Note: An earlier version of this book appeared as part of the novel Dawn of Chaos, published briefly on Amazon in 2017. That book has now been re-written and expanded into a series of six novella-length installments.

FROM B. RENE SHEKMER: Restoring Order: A Detachment 3 Novel.

A young college student is kidnapped while on summer vacation. Her father, a U.S. diplomat, has the connections to involve the CIA and he does not hesitate to use them. Detachment 3 is given the assignment to find and retrieve the young woman. From Northern Virginia to the Mediterranean, the team follows the available clues in the search for Sofia and her kidnappers, who turn out to be more than mere criminals.

FROM DENTON SALLE: Not Snakes, Exactly: A Hall of Heroes Short Story

When Megan reached out to the Brotherhood over the odd old woman who came to her church, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially after the Greek Orthodox priest who gave her their contact info insisted she be blessed first. But the old woman was so adamant about needing them.

She never expected to find the monsters and creatures of Ukrainian and East European myth. Nor that the strangeness would invade her professional life. But that old woman warned of doom overhanging her West Texas city.

A story from the Hall of Heroes, where the legends of East Europe walk in Texas, and sometimes even cowgirls need to deal with them.

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.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: laborer

42 thoughts on “Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike With a BONUS PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

  1. “Garbageman? Why do you have a statue of a common laborer in New Washington?”

    “Well, he and the Librarian defeated the Rogue Ultra called Tidal Wave who destroyed Congress and killed the President. He refused any fancy code-name saying he was just a man who took care of the garbage.”

  2. The beer had been flowing for at least an hour, now, and the big alien had matched him drink for drink. Combine that with much faster digestion, and even someone who spent all his time on the docks should be relaxed enough to get careless.
    “What do you really do?”
    “I’m a laborer. I pick up things, move them, and set them back down.” Blue eyes looked sincere, but that was a childishly simply dodge. The security officer took another drink from his mug as he framed his response. It was really good beer, even if the company was questionable.
    “What kind of things?”
    “Right now? Mugs of tea.” The other man’s eyes were laughing as he lifted his mug of ‘beer’. “They know me too well to let me drink here.”

    1. “Right now? Mugs of tea.” The other man’s eyes were laughing as he lifted his mug of ‘beer’. “They know me too well to let me drink here.”

      LOL 😆

    2. ““Right now? Mugs of tea.” The other man’s eyes were laughing as he lifted his mug of ‘beer’. “They know me too well to let me drink here.””
      GOOD one! 😀

    3. > “I pick up things, move them, and set them back down.”

      Helix? Is that you? 😛

  3. “How do you say Happy Mother’s Day in Bruyx?”, he asked his alien friend.

    His friend replied; “We’ll we used to say Buffyhr atgeoun werrrlx johneg wryerhhed nobodk leelkmmker howurb ahgrtu toewarhyn dolrhswzf wtrpsgfdhjklxmnzq qwrey olprmn buuu nik,
    but since you came and woke us, we say, Happy Laborer’s Day.”

  4. Sigh … again.
    I have a sideline on the Teeny Publishing Bidness where I assist writers through setting up with Ingram Spark – I do the formatting (for a consideration) and a fairly simple cover (for another small consideration) to Ingram Sparks’ standards. I’ve been overwhelmed with clients through the start of this year. A lot of people were sitting on books they wanted published, apparently during the covidiocy. This isn’t this hard, people. Just … reach out.

  5. There’s only three kinds of laborers on a station. The first are artisanal “laborers” that people with far more money than sense pay for “real human labor” when bots can do most of the work. The second is when a human is actually cheaper than a bot, rare as that is. And, the third kind are lurkers and nightsiders, people that are living off-book on the station that need any jobs that pay cash, no questions asked, and have to avoid station security grabbing and throwing them in a recycle vat for failure to pay air taxes.

    Of fucking course Arnel was the third kind and I had to figure out how to get down to the lurkers without attracting too much attention from station security, or having somebody try and shiv me in the downbelow.

  6. Observation: the sorts of people that you legitimately pay are printers, not publishers. You go to them, you get a print run, you get to sell it all on your own.

  7. Words onna page. Gah. The current chapter has been being difficult. It is necessary and cannot be skipped, but the how of it is being fussy. I know the why. There are things that need to happen, zombies that need to be blasted and butchered, etc, but little things keep popping up and wanting screen time.

    The Other Stuff has not been helping either. Back to the word mines. Another plot point needs to be written tonight, lest Monday fall the way Friday did.

      1. Always more stuff to do and less time and sanity to do it with, it seems. Doctors and hospital related paperwork, yard related work, cat related shenanigans…

        A white cat attempted to infiltrate the fearsome fursome foursome’s patch of weeds and porch with sunny spots to lay in. Repeatedly. Nastycat was the only one on watch at this time and proceeded to defend the porch with all the furry fury in his little kitty body. Much fussing ensued.

        White cat was run off, to sulk and sigh from the not-as-good porch across the street.

        Nastycat then proceeded to find the only spot in the yard with no grass and roll in the dirt in triumph. The bath he got for trying to bring his dirty self into the house was not appreciated. At all. Where was the love for defending his patch of porch in the sun?

        Doofus ran afoul of the white interloper upon his return to the porch in the sun. In typical Doofus fashion, he responded to the cat slap-and-hiss with a look of bewilderment and the kitty tail flick of profanity. Full on “what in the heck did I ever do to you? I don’t even know you!” kind of look. White interloper hissed anew and drew back for another kitty smack-

        Before noticing Nastycat approaching at full zoom and deciding to retire from the field for the nonce.

        From the sound of things, Nastycat and Doofus have been narrating their heroic defense of the porch to Neighborcat and Othercat this evening, in between naps and stops for scritches. The latter two appear not to care, if cat-yawns are anything to go by.

        Neighborcat brought me a snake today. Usually it is a mouse, mole, or some other ratty-type creature. Today, a snake. Quite dead. Neighborcat needs no help to keep the grounds clear of vermin. Though he only brings me one, I have found evidence of many more that thought they could escape the watchful gaze of Neighborcat. A fatal and final error for one and all.

        Othercat’s adventures have brought a new twist to the mystery of his disappearances. Yesterday he returned with a gift. He brought me a tiny plastic bird, proudly placing it alongside yesterday’s rent mouse as if he’d slain a giant. Scritches were given, as one does. The mystery of Othercat’s Other life continues.

        Chapter and plot point are locked and loaded for later today. Now I just need to somehow squeeze and improbable amount of writing into a tiny amount of free time.

  8. Folly to wonder so. She had found the room. The driver, or whatever manservant had lugged the luggage, could not be a fool, to miss so simple a direction, and the maids would have noticed while unpacking if they had.
    She turned to look at the furnishings of the suite.

  9. The other laborers on the crew, all Plores, all with outsized hands that came from decades of practicing their trade, tolerated his lack of productivity once they realized he was brand new. “You’ll get faster,” they reassured him, and they were generous with advice.

  10. Many migrants live in hillside camps. At the crack of dawn, they hustle down the hill and congregate in front of lumberyards or near the freeway on/off ramps. Construction companies, or anyone else who needs a day laborer, can pick one up here. Police roll by from time to time.

  11. Being bustled down a back corridor, such as the laborers used (even in hiding, in the countryside, the heirs could hardly use the servants’ corridors), only too keenly reminded him of the flight from the city. Felix scowled. If there were another peril, they were old enough to know it.

  12. “You shouldn’t be doing that, sire. You’re a peer of the realm, not a common laborer.”
    “I understand. You think I need to set the example as a proper aristocrat, standing around and watching all my serfs work, instead of pitching in and helping.”
    “Well,… yes.”
    “Then, I’m sorry to disappoint you. There’s work to be done and they need another pair of hands more than a useless noble. Besides. I came up as a common soldier. I like getting my hands dirty.”

  13. Sarah, this post would serve me as well as a post dedicated to providing resources.
    I have no idea how to publish a work of fiction. And since I keep writing in addition to soap making and cooking and deck gardening and pastel painting and anything else I can do with my hands this post is pure gold.
    I’ll mark it for later as “the book promo that made Sarah angry. 🙂

  14. A good friend of mine paid $10,000 to a “publisher” to get her book printed in paperback. Infuriating.

  15. She threw her hands in the air. “And maybe some cowherd or gardener’s boy would steal it back from the giants but I need it to find my prince. Since it’s going to be a prince that I marry, and not a cowherd or gardener’s boy. However noble and valiant.”

  16. “So why are we here?” said Rosine, and her mouth felt dry. “It’s not so much as a danger to a wandering and overbold shepherd, or a laborer trudging to his job before dawn. No one’s gone in it without your knowledge, or the earlier governors’, for over a century.”

  17. There are two kinds of headaches, Leonid Gruzinsky reminded himself. The first were physical and reminded him that he was still alive in spite of taking a serious head wound. The second were the result of aggravation, of which he had altogether too much. Every advancement in rank increased what he had to deal with by an order of magnitude.

    It didn’t help that his staff had been scattered to the four winds during his convalescence. Some aides he’d been able to pull back from their new duty stations, but others were now attached to senior generals it would be impolitic to cross, even if the Defense Minister could in theory demand any of them. And others, like his former chief of staff, had been sent south and gotten swept up in whatever madness gripped Tbilisi. Best to consider those men permanently out of reach.

    Still, he had to admit he’d come a long way from his origins as a miner’s son in Magnetogorsk, sent to the Suvorov School at the age of ten after besting a bully two years older and a head taller. He’d delivered his adversary such a savage beating that the raicom chairman had told him, “Your fighting spirit is admirable, but it must serve the Soviet Union.”

    But there was no time for reminiscence. An aide had just brought in two messages, both marked urgent. Best to give them a looking over.

  18. I saw my old high school buddy Mark in the hospital lobby, carrying a big sheaf of hot-house roses and a bag from the rather exclusive chocolatier downtown.
    He was on his way to encourage the soon-to-be-mother of his first child.
    Excuse, me: the soon-to-be-birthing-person, according to the posters on the walls.
    “Congratulations!” I said, “She’ll be happy to get those goodies.”
    “Well,” he replied cheerfully, “the laborer is worthy of her hire!”

    (PS to Jiminalaska – I wrote that before seeing your excellent entry, but sadly, I don’t speak Bruyxian.)

  19. As the laborers swarmed over the limestone outcrop, their overseer was called away by Pharaoh’s Commissioner of Monuments.
    “Do you need more men, Ramose?”
    “No, we’re fine.”
    “Really? I’m told your gang is behind in your work; Pepy’s gang is forging ahead.”
    “Well, of course. They’re at the front end of the Sphinx; we’re at the other.”

  20. Can I has a list of the copy editors and cover artists? Margaret Ball (All hail and praise be on her house) recently did an edit on my forthcoming novel, Lawyer to the Stars, but I’m in the market for a cover, and who knows what all else. Oh and if anyone has more info on a strategy to roll out a release and who/ where to promote same I am > 90% ears on the subject.

  21. Laborer: noun. See Author. Slaver in the word mines trying to turn dross ( dreck) into gold. Also known for mumbling to themselves and tilting at windmills.

  22. Ok, ok, I have a book coming out from a vanity publisher, and I know it’s money gone. But, having written, the moving hand moves on to ask about resources for the next book. Services such as editor, layout, cover art, and publishing. I can write, I can design, I can make the decisions, but I have no expertise or experience in editing anything other than intelligence reports. I shoulda, coulda, woulda reached out before, but now that I have a feel for the process and a well-developed outline in my head and a couple of chapters on digits, I need to start preparing for actual publication.

  23. “Hey, Shorty, what’re you doing?” he called to an Ishvalan drawing a circle several yards away from the tent. Shorty was actually a bit taller than Kaufman, who wasn’t short himself, and broader from heavy work as a field hand. Most of the Ishvalans who had studied alchemy were scholars, but a few were ordinary artisans, and this one had actually just been an unskilled laborer like Kaufman himself, who had been a miner.

  24. “What can I do, Bellman?” Princess Isabel moaned. “I love Charles desperately, but Father and Mother won’t hear of my marrying a common laborer.”

    “Unless,” the court wizard mused, “he wins your hand by breaking your nefarious curse.”

    Isabel blinked. “I’m not under any curse.”

    “Well, that can be remedied…”

  25. The priests led the sunrise ceremony to Ra, again. Only four more taxed days of labour for this year,
    before he could go home to see how the chickpeas and family were doing. Straining together, his work gang pulled the block up the ramp towards the top of the pyramid.

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