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.
*Note that I haven’t read most of these books (my reading is eclectic and “craving led”,) and apply the usual cautions to buying. – SAH*


The continuing story of April, Jeff, and Heather after they conspire to rebel against North America and their efforts to find friends and a safe haven in the stars. Continuing to close the time gap to the later Family Law series of books.
Heather and her peers impose a ban on armed ships beyond L1 in the Solar System and a prohibition for explorer ships going interstellar heavily armed. There are continuing stories of future characters still stuck on Earth.
Heather has a lot of help from her friends but it isn’t easy being the queen.

FROM PAM UPHOFF: Friends and Family

Lady Olympiada Vinogradov’s Grandfather has died . . . and now she’s going off to some tier four mining World with her mother and stepfather. Ought to be a great adventure! And far away from people who might notice she has dangerously strong Mentalist talents that could get her chipped.

But before she goes, she needs to rescue her friends. But taking them along with her to an unpopulated wilderness full of dangerous animals, to a base totally dependent on imported food and fuel might not be a good thing as the Three Part Alliance slides closer to collapse . . .

But with friends and family, what could possibly go wrong . . .

FROM DENTON SALLE: Tales Yet Unsung: Short Stories in the Avatar Wizard World

Return to the world of the Avatar Wizard with this collection of short stories. See how Jeremy’s mother first met Arianna, how Arianna convinces Master Anthony to marry her, and other tales not revealed in the main story of Jeremy’s path to mastery of the Volkh arts.

Come along as Jeremy rides with the Weather bringer’s Hunt, climb with Harald as he seeks the forge of the Sun, and read how Helena’s mischief almost catches up with her. See the changes that come to the Keep as Arianna has her kits and both of Anthony’s sisters are courted. Go home with Danil as he and Harald venture south to the rich wheatlands to repair the great canal. Visit low dives as Jeremy and Gerasim steal a bard.

In addition, a glossary of people, places, and words has been added at readers’ requests. Please note a few of these stories were published in anthologies in shortened form. This is the ‘canonical’ version.

FROM J. M. NEY-GRIMM: The Kite Climber.

An army poised for battle. A hamlet of innocent villagers in the wrong place at the wrong time. A young kite climber who seizes a ridiculous chance…

The troll-lord’s army abducts young Andraia and forces her to serve as a kite climber—a girl light and nimble enough to climb the tethers of the great war kites, and clever enough to relay the report from each scout stationed aloft.

But when Andraia sees her home village sitting squarely before the army’s intended charge, she knows she must lie and—more importantly—make the cruel officer supervising the kite climbers believe her lie.

Since at least one climber will tell the appalling truth, Andraia needs more than mere ingenuity to outwit him.

Amidst the brutality and violence of the troll-horde, Andraia must learn that even a vulnerable and frail ally can sometimes deliver the wining blow in a fight. If she fails, everyone she loves will die as the troll chariots crush her home.

The Kite Climber is a fairy tale of Old Giralliya brought to vivid life. If you enjoy appealing characters, fantasy worlds that feel real, and high stakes, you’ll love J.M. Ney-Grimm’s story of a young teen mixing genius with daring in a desperate bid to save her friends and family.


Once, they were hated and hunted by mage hunters and Plain folk alike. Now, former bounty hunters turned renegade mages Silas and Lainie Vendine finally have the life they dreamed of – a home and ranch of their own where they can live in peace and raise their family, and the friendship and respect of their non-magical neighbors.

When a company from across the western sea comes to Prairie Wells, bringing marvelous new inventions, Silas and Lainie figure it only means more prosperous times ahead for the town and for them – until an old and vicious hatred of mages rears its head.

As troubles stirred by unseen enemies divide the town, many of Silas and Lainie’s neighbors turn on them. When danger strikes at the heart of their home and family, Silas and Lainie must fight to protect everything they love, everything they’ve worked for, before it’s all destroyed.

If you love fantasy filled with romance and adventure in a unique setting, come join Silas and Lainie Vendine in this new tale from the Wildings.

Mages’ Home is the first book of Defenders of the Wildings, a follow-up series to the epic romantic fantasy-western series Daughter of the Wildings. It is a self-contained series and can be enjoyed even if you haven’t read Daughter of the Wildings.

Contains language, violence, and mild sensual content.

FROM TIM GILLILAND: Lawyer to the Stars: Book One of Damien Durne’s Accidental Adventures on the Frontier of the Galaxy

What makes a Human?

 A frozen world on the edge of civilized space has a deadly secret. The indigenous people, known as the Ixtyl were human-looking to be sure, but they had characteristics so unique there was doubt they were naturally acquired. Human? Or genetically modified creatures? Humans, including Indigenous peoples, were heavily protected by law. Genetically modified creatures were not. They were like lab rats who would have no rights, no hope, and no future. The tribe lives on a planet rich with an invaluable ore: One men are willing to kill for. When Certified Genomist Damien Durne is called to investigate the Ixtyl’s genome, to certify whether they are human or not, he is flung into an intrigue of lies and murder, with an ultimate goal of genocide.


This is a collection of the last few months of pamphlets and booklets, all polished and edited and seasoned. As always, it’s mostly current events and analysis of the leftist horrors filling our days. We would never have expected the misery to be so vast so quickly with no sign of ending, but here it is. This is what I’m here to record and make notes of, passing them along to you.

The A-side is fairly straightforward current events, the B-side is several months of thought, trying to figure out how leftism itself works. We all have explanations but none of those seem to be complete, at least as far as I can tell. I didn’t really do any better, but at least I tried. It also includes a few notes from history, various art forms and even some religion, which I don’t usually get into. I’d hoped to organize them together as a few coherent essays but that’s too much like work, man.

This is what we’re here for and it’s not going to get better any time soon. We need to put up some resistance immediately, that’s the only hope we have.

FROM DAVID COLLINS: The Void Shaper: Starship Medusa book 3 (Space Ship Medusa)

In the first book, On Mars, Jason stumbled across the escape pod to a 3,500 year old derelict spacecraft. The AI for the ship then informed Jason that due to him having traces of alien DNA, he was now the Captain of a massive alien Starship. That ‘should’ have been good news. But the bad news was that Jason’s DNA has an additional trait, one that shouldn’t be there… The last time that anyone had one of the forbidden DNA traits, it started the war that left the ship a derelict. To fight the aliens that want him dead, Jason must become something from their nightmares…

The second book starts with the ultimate bad hair day (with fangs). With the ship finally with a full crew, and outfitted with the most creative weapons that Earth had managed to come up with. They take off to their first interstellar destination, a Mauron (Gorgon) shipyard, that turns out to be run more like a penal colony. While their ship is in the repair bay, they get attacked by a state of the art Felinog battleship. The Felinog were not counting on the unusual Earth weapons that had been added, and some very creative tactics. Who is the Darkness? Who are the Claws? Where does Jason and his ship fit into their conflict? What new secrets hide beneath the strange ship they find, in a world of darkness?

In this third book, now with over half the crew having transformed into aliens, they need to escape from the void prison that they accidentally created. While stuck in another dimension, they pick up several new alien refugees. If they screw it up, they will be stranded a very long way from home. A home where the Finilog are waiting for them, having failed to kill them the last time they met, they have scheduled a jousting match, with straships. The battle will be between the Medusa, the former derelict ship of Jason, using historical Earth technology, against the most advanced weapons the Felinog have come up with.

Jason has discovered that he can create strange shapes out of several different voids. He knows that to solve this puzzle will give him mastery of the void portals. That will be needed to escape from the void prison. But what are these shapes, and why do they completely terrify everyone that has seen one, except for Jason?

FROM GUY ANTIBES: Plight of the Unicorn (Gags & Pepper: Protection Agents Book 1)

Gags, a young magician back from the magicians war, and Pepper, a just-as-young thief band together to create a protection agency, guarding goods in transit as well as providing bodyguards. On their first day of business, a beautiful woman contracts them to protect her husband. The woman asks Gags about his background, and Gags traces his personal story as an inexperienced magician thrown into a magicians war. Along the way, Gags tells of gaining a deep understanding of magic and losing a precious friend in the midst of war, betrayal, and the establishing enduring friendships.

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.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: WILLING

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

  1. I had some vignettes come to mind but since they are fueled by my bad mood, I’m not willing to inflict my bad mood on everyone here. 😉

  2. “Don’t they have to agree to it, freely?” the apprentice asked, uncertainly.

    His master stared into the distance for a bit. “Certainly. Freely and without reservation. Some think that offering the right… incentive will get them that. The spirits can always tell though. And then it gets unpleasant for everyone.”

    1. If the total quantity of bad mood in the universe is a constant, sharing a bad mood spreads it around. If however, bad mood, like entropy, is always expanding, you should keep it to yourself. The Reader is uncertain as to which way the universe leans on this subject.

      1. The Universe hasn’t made up its mind.

        Sometime “bad moods” can be lessened by sharing.

        Other times “bad moods” can be increased by sharing and made cause others to “catch” the “bad moods”. 😦

  3. “You’re willing to give up the testosterone and die earlier?” asked Captain Lorenz.

    “Sir, I’m a guinea pig,” said Jake. “All of us were guinea pigs. Maybe the T helps and maybe it doesn’t – they don’t really know. I’m part of a long term study. So if not going on T gets me in the Space Force, I’m okay with that.”

    “You’re part of a study?”

    “Sort of,” Jake answered. “I mean, I talk to these doctors and they do tests and stuff. But if it interferes with enlisting, I don’t have to. I’m not obligated.”

  4. “How long can he hold out?” I asked, checking my rifle’s loading. “As long as he’s not willing, they can’t get root access to his cortex.”
    Vitals are bad, Izanami replied. The connection bandwidth is low and his protocols are non-existent. All the indicators suggest drug-enhanced physical torture.
    I sighed, and looked around the cab to loosen my eyes up, and took a deep breath. “Will we make it there in time?”
    It is going to be very close.

  5. I am willing to buy and read nearly anything science-fiction related; but my bank account keeps me from being much of a “steely-eyed missile man”…

    In fact, I’ve reread Sarah, Keith Laumer, Poul Anderson, Alan Dean Foster, and “Doc” Smith; but I draw the line before Arthur Clarke.

  6. I’ve just found a REALLY UNFORTUNATE mistranslation in Google Translate.

    There’s a rare Greek expression, heterozygountes, unequally yoked. You know, like in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 6:14.

    And there’s a parallel Greek expression for equally yoked, homozygountes.

    And of course, there’s various derived expressions.

    Google Translate… thinks that “equally yoked” means “same-sex relationship.”

    1. … spectacular. I look forward to that showing up suddenly in a whole bunch of arguments.

      Not sure if they’ll be arguments about whether the Bible encourages homogamy, or arguments about how misogynist the Bible is, but I’m sure they’ll be lit.

        1. Oh, hey, Joe Scarborough is quite certain Jesus wouldn’t mind abortion because the red-letter sections don’t use the word…….


            1. In some Bibles, in the Gospels the words of Christ are Printed In Red as opposed to black letters for the rest of words.

                  1. I always ask them if they believe Jesus is God, then (after they answer affirmatively) read from Psalms 139 where David wrote “God knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

                    The Bible can certainly interpret the Bible better than anyone with any extra-Biblical agenda…

  7. I watched the swineherd carry a full bucket across the yard, whistling a merry tune.

    I asked my friend the farmer if that job wasn’t onerous.

    He replied “Not for him; he’s swilling.”

      1. I’ve been looking for an onomatopoeia to describe a carp-launching. All I can think of is “floppa-floppa-floppa…SPLAT!”

        Actually, I was looking for an excuse to say, “onomatopoeia.”

        1. I’ve heard that after launch, flying carp also whistle “Dixie” until that sudden “SPLAT” at the end.

          Startin’ to sound like Pickett’s Charge up here …

  8. Hafiz closed the spyglass slowly, almost reverently. “And that’s a third scout, little doubt they’re coming for us now, my friend.” His people had perhaps held onto a bit more of the old ways when the Troubles first hit, but mostly it’d simply been keeping different things. It was no heirloom nor remotely ancient, but its Dollond-pattern achromat main lens and three different corrected eyepieces brought the far up close and sharp.

    “Third we’ve seen, bet on more we’ve not tagged. And we really knew they were out and after us the moment we left Little Kyiv.” The man called Jack Fox drawled it out, almost absently, along with looking at the landscape his own way — it wasn’t only that his people’s spyglasses had such poor single-element lenses the wash of ‘color’ rendered most things a blur, to anyone born with sharp naked eyes; it was that his trained vision watched for movement and broad pattern as much or more than any fine detail.

    “Well if there is to be battle, then if The God wills it let us prevail.” He started to ready his bow… not as sure a kill as a rifle shot, but no cloud of smoke or loud bang to betray a shooter’s exact position from the very first shot, either.

    “Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, like my grandaddy used to say. I thought your God was always called Allah, though.”

    “Oh, he is, Jack, he is, ‘al-Ilah’ means ‘The God’ — just that simple. As the old ‘inshallah’ really says ‘if The God Wills it.’ It’s not nearly as complicated as all that. ‘There is no god but The God and Mohammed is his prophet,’ and so forth. Though, of course,” and he smiled something of a secret if rueful smile, “it took the whole Great Schism to decide whether it was the Holy Prophet of Mecca or the Worldly Prophet of Medina to be the one we should truly follow… and still there are Militants out there who want to divide everything into ‘the sphere of Islam’ and ‘the sphere of conflict’ and follow the other path.”

    “Yeah. And nobody else wants ’em around, because that. It’s a big universe with lots of room for everybody, except the jackasses who want it all.” He looked at the shining brass cartridges for his Winchester rifle (by way of bootleg 3D scans and open-source databases and digital manufactories in the bright days of a new colony, then by way of a shop in a shed after the Troubles really got rolling). Most of them trade from the Soggthranin, a hundred miles to the west. The birdlike aliens (who’d been here longer than Man’s kind) had taken only slowly to human technology… then lost it a lot slower when the Troubles had first come to them. “Case in point, the guy in the brown hat who thinks that red rock next to the two gray ones is hiding himself just fine.”

    It would be easy to pick him off, with the Winchester. But that would drop things right in the pot all at once, maybe unhelpfully. And those sealed cartridges were a lot harder to come by than ball and powder and patch for his three other rifles… even if the repeater had saved the two of them once or twice this trip already.

    “He looks like he’s congratulating himself on his cleverness. I think we should call him Smirky, and consider his priority on the target list.” It was another quiet snick, as Hafiz collapsed his telescope. “Are you sure, Jack, that we shouldn’t just try to lose this bunch again, after all?”

    “No, Hafiz, I’m not, I just get a really strong feeling that they’re not gonna break off no matter what, so this is as good a place as any to have it out with them. Mediocre horses, hardly any trailcraft, decent muzzle loadin’ rifles at best… but there’s a bunch of ’em, and they clearly have the supplies to just keep comin’ on.” And he smiled a cat’s sort of smile, in the dull light under the nacreous high overcast. “But two can play at that game, and it’s said that against pure orneriness, the Gods Themselves strive in vain.” A smile more than a little merry; and yet far more hungry than it was merry.

    “Jack, I thought in your pre-Christian Western Tradition the old saying was ‘against ignorance, the gods strive in vain’ — is there another folk version of that one out there?” His bow was ready, his arrows were fine, and his two heavy cavalry pistols were loaded, primed, and ready to go.

    “Hafiz, you know I’m just a Spick-an’-Mick from Ratsmouth, mixed with a splash of Lou-Cadjian for spice. So if I tell you that I’m Deplorably as ignorant as I am stubborn, doesn’t the conclusion I quoted follow?” And he picked up his good muzzle-loader and swung it slowly, precisely, point to point to point. “Q… E… D.”

    “I can take all three of those about that fast, Jack. So when do you want to start?”

    “Soon as you please, my friend. I leave it to your discretion, as I am by now so willin’ and ready to go.” And in his soft voice, as it had been in his slow smile before and now, Jacques Reynard’s feline hunger was patent as the sun in a clear blue sky.

  9. “Does no one here heed the king’s word? Are you all defiant?”
    The knight in the doorway looked lean to the point of scrawniness, his heavy armor not withstanding, and his hair and drooping mustache were white. His voice boomed, though, and servants scrambled and cowered.
    And brought her food.

  10. Father was at pains to explain that it was a simple risk management algorithm, nothing more. Young Nigel Slim-Howland didn’t care, though. He was delighted with his new playmate, and Lily seemed perfectly willing to slide down the helter-skelter with him, no matter what calculations brought Lily to that point..

  11. The places where they would not let in the sunlight for fear it would let in an attacker, except that no one would attack this castle frontally. Except by magic, which would make the windows moot.
    It still had rooms without windows, and Isabella had still summoned them to one.

  12. The NASA Administrator spoke in a calm, level voice . “Mr. President, I must adamantly oppose this plan as a violation of the fundamental tradition that every astronaut is a volunteer.”

    President Flannigan’s expression darkened. “That was a time when space flight was still experimental. Times change, and now we need these people off Earth. If this is so important to you, I suggest you find a way to convince these people they want to go.”

  13. “We are here. The corn is there,” said Skidoo, pointing across the kitchen to the pantry. “Between us is a cat. We need a volunteer to distract her.” Skidoo looked at the other mice in the foraging party, all trembling at the idea. “Okay,” he said, “I’ll do it. Again.”

  14. A very brief, redacted snip from my upcoming book…

    The good news was that Admiral G. and General P. had been willing to give up the war against Texas in order to concentrate on organizing the surviving X forces to start the campaign to liberate X from the Y’s. They were in negotiations with the British Foreign Office and the Texas Secretary of State’s office to work out the details for this.

      1. Hopefully by the end of September. I’m waiting for cover and inside artwork and for feedback from my test readers.

    1. You can’t have too many books about The Republic of Texas.

      Ayes of Texas Trilogy by Daniel da Cruz
      Republic of Texas versus the Soviet Union, future history Cold War thrillers:
      The Ayes of Texas: It was 1994, but Gwillam Forte was an entrepreneur of the old school. Twenty-three disabled Veterans needed a reason to live, so he gave them a rusty hulk – the battleship U.S.S. Texas – and unlimited funds to make her beautiful and seaworthy in time for Independence Day, 2000.

      But the world changed quickly and for the worse. By 1998, the Texas and her supermodern weapons were needed for duty far more important than guarding the National Monument in which she rode at anchor.

      Followed by Texas On the Rocks and Texas Triumphant.

      1. Read that one, a long time ago.

        The book I was referring to is the upcoming sequel to my first book, ‘Texas at the Coronation’.

  15. The soldiers would hunt her down happily, she having no friends to imperil them. Though, there might not be a reward. That would discourage them.
    Except, she did not know if there would be a reward. With Brian dead and silent, she knew only she had a magical fan that was not willing to leave her. That was something that could easily inspire a reward.
    And whoever the heir was, he could offer a reward for her because all would agree that she was the murderer. Who would be more likely?
    She supposed that she was Otto and Walter’s killer.

  16. Augusta looked her up and down. For a moment, her old critical expression appeared on her face. Then she nodded.
    “Hurry, Rose, you do not want to be late.” Augusta took off, her skirts flying behind her.
    Rose ran after. She wanted very much to be late, but what happened after would be worse.

  17. “Yet nowadays they go and make knights who do not, will not, can not, fight, and refuse to serve their king if they do not like his war, and the response of kings is to let them.”
    “It’s hard to fight without food,” said Stephanos.
    “They aren’t needed for food.”

  18. I was glad to see Let Us Tell You Again reach publication, and I enjoyed reading it. The parallel main narratives of the spacers and of the earthbound people in the anarchic remains of California create an interesting panoramic effect.

  19. “Brother Simon, could I trouble you for a small favor?” asked the Vicar.
    “What would you have me do?”
    “One of my young brothers is excessively troubled by his own feelings of unworth. His confessions are too frequent and too lengthy, and there is little occasion for such sin as he imagines himself guilty of. He supposes what little penance I do require to be too little, and then imposes such measures on himself that he will surely do himself harm. I have other duties, but I am not sure how to help him. Perhaps you could speak with him. You have not visited our order long, but I have heard you speak. Your compassion and your understanding of scripture are both deep. You should be an abbot yourself.
    “I should certainly not be an abbot. I am not sufficiently orthodox. Were I to speak freely, I would be declared a heretic in very short order. Besides that, my own vows require me to travel. I cannot stay long enough in any one place to lead an order.”
    “That’s an odd kind of vow, and I have not heard you say anything amiss, but never mind. Surely there is something you could say. Brother Luther is highly intelligent and devout. I would hate to lose him to madness, or if he neglects or harms himself. ”
    “Perhaps you might give him something to occupy his mind, rather than dwell excessively on his own faults. And then…” Simon paused.
    “You have thought of something. Tell me”.
    “Before there was a Church, there was Christ. There were then no priests, no confession, no penance. What He taught was repentance. Perhaps you should help him to see that he cannot torment himself into perfection with penance. While God is just, he is also merciful. Even to those who consider themselves undeserving. Especially to those.”
    “You astonish me. That’s not what I expected to hear at all.”
    “Do you see why I might be considered heretical? But It’s not unscriptural, especially if you look at the epistles of Paul. I would be willing to talk to your monk, but I think such counsel would be better coming from you.”

  20. “Are you sure you want to make these changes, my lord?”
    “Yes. My sons fight amongst themselves over the inheritance, my daughters are spinsters who have no desire to pass their genes, let alone my fortune and lineage down to children, and the only heir of my body that shows any promise is the bastard son of my youngest daughter who chose to whore herself out to that barbarian mercenary Drak. I don’t like any of them, but I need to pass my legacy down to those who come after me. Here is what I’m willing to each of them.”

  21. “We the unwilling, led by the unknowing…”
    “Just shut it, okay?”interrupted Jane.
    “What’s up with you?” Peter replied.
    “This job’s hard enough as it is without you making stupid, inane comments every five minutes. You going to help me fix the world, or do you want to do it yourself?”

  22. “Doctor, my husband’s in the next room. What’s wrong with him?”
    As the doctor listened, he faintly heard
    “Shakespeare – Faulkner – Taft – McKinley – Blake – Yeats – Tecumseh Sherman – Randolph Hearst – the Conqueror – Defoe – Pitt (the Younger) – Farrell … “
    “It is obvious. He isn’t sick, just Will-ing”.

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