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


FROM HENRY VOGEL: Trouble in Twi-Town: Travis & Trouble Book 1

Get Trouble in Twi-Town for the special release price of $2.99! Regular pricing begins in December.

In a solar system that never was, in a future that never will be, Trouble always finds Travis Barrett.

If Barrett turned away every troublesome person who darkened his office door, he wouldn’t have any clients. And Tina Tate, the Asteroid Belt’s very own glamour girl, has trouble written all over her. Taking her case means a trip to Mercury and incurring the wrath of the richest man in the Belt – Tina’s father.

Who would be foolish enough to take Tina’s case?

Travis Barrett, that’s who.

FROM PAUL CLAYTON: In the Shape of a Man

Rosemary’s Baby meets Revolutionary Road…

On the border between the necropolis of Colma, home to over two million dead souls and 1,794 somewhat live ones — and the gritty industrial working-class town of South City —

At 1015 Crestview, little seven-year-old Reynaldo cowers under the escalating abuse hurled by an adoptive mother who now sees him as a burden.

Allen, a workaholic Silicon Valley techie, seeks relief from domestic conflict by slipping away to sample the sweet brews at McCoy’s, a mysterious pub and Hell’s Angels hangout.

Up the street, young adults Rad and Tawny drift between the worlds of skateboarding and community activism, free love and commitment. Sampling Buddhism and squabbling with the relatives, they avoid thinking about the 15-foot Burmese python in their garage.

Does evil exist? Is it still with us? How would it manifest in modern life? This genre-bending novel of alienation and betrayal suggests that evil, as well as redemption, can come In the Shape of a Man.

FROM SABRINA ROSEN: Child of Antaris

Don’t touch another person except with the flat of your hand
Don’t touch a living animal
You must be married as soon as you are fertile
You must leave home when your mother becomes pregnant

And never leave the women’s settlement, where nothing changes. Ever.

But when Tirzi finds a way to sneak into the forbidden woods, secrets start to spill out.

As she matures, the clock ticks toward a bitter choice. Is there more to life than silence, and blind obedience?

If she wants to survive and get answers, she must leave the sister of her heart, and all hope of family.

But before she can find happiness in an unexpected friendship, she must contend with a past that will not let go.

Follow Tirzi’s story of courage in Child of Antaris today, the first book of the Antaris Cycle.


Something or someone is killing shape shifters in the small mountain town of Goldport, Colorado.
Kyrie Smith, a server at a local diner, is the last person to solve the mystery. Except of course for the fact that she changes into a panther and that her co-worker, Tom Ormson, who changes into a dragon, thinks he might have killed someone.
Add in a policeman who shape-shifts into a lion, a father who is suffering from remorse about how he raised his son, and a triad of dragon shape shifters on the trail of a magical object known as The Pearl of Heaven and the adventure is bound to get very exciting indeed.
Solving the crime is difficult enough, but so is — for our characters — trusting someone with secrets long-held.

FROM FANCES DECHANTAL AND MARK WIEBER: Let’s Get Out of Hell : Loving the Divine Comedy

Looking for adventure? Try this easy-to-read version of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Extensive quotes from every canto, synopses of important points, annotations and light-hearted commentary keep the action going. Don’t get stuck a third of the way through this masterpiece, reading only about Hell. Travel all the way through Purgatory and Heaven with an amazing poet and his companions.

This book is meant to be a first pass through the entire Divine Comedy. It tries to remain faithful to Dante’s own idea, that the first step in reading a great work is to see the literal meaning of the words on the page. And the literal meaning here is a fantastic journey begun in darkness and fear but ending in love, beauty, and joy. Many people never get past the Inferno, but Dante himself said that he only wrote about the terrible things there so that he could tell about the wonderful things that happened afterward.

BY EDMOND HAMILTON, PUBLISHED BY D. JASON FLEMING: The Fire Princess (annotated): The classic pulp lost civilization adventure novel!

American secret agent Gary Martin was given a task: hunt down the rumors of a warrior princess and her plans to rally the nomadic tribes of East Asia to begin a war of conquest, discern how true they were, and put a stop to it if it was real. The fact that Imperial Japan had already sent their most effective spy in the same direction was worrying.

What Martin did not expect was to find himself in the middle of a lost civilization, captive of a warrior princess who was in love with him, and realizing she had access to terrible ancient technologies that could ruin the world!

    This iktaPOP Media edition includes a new Introduction giving historical and genre context to the novel.

FROM ANNA FERREIRA: Christmas at Blackheath.

Agnes Rawlins would never dream of showing a melancholy face to her brother’s guests. She may be a spinster, and treated little better than any common housekeeper, but she is responsible for bringing Christmas cheer into the dark and rambling Blackheath Manor, and she does not shirk her duty, even when she has little reason to celebrate.

William Marlowe, Viscount Claridge, has reluctantly accepted an invitation to spend the Christmas season at Blackheath. It’s not his first choice- how anyone could wish to spend time in the gloomy manor house is beyond him- but when he meets the kind and gentle lady of the house, he finds that Christmas at Blackheath might not be so bad after all.

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: TWO

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

  1. 2nd Lieutenant Sherwood Houses of the galactic investigative battalion, upon boarding the tramp space freighter was somewhat surprised to find another passenger plugged into an outlet in his assigned cabin.

    He said, “As this ship shuttles twix here and Beta II, I deduce you’re going to II too, Watt’s son.”

  2. “Charlotte-Rose,” said Isabella. “You are uncommonly quiet. Tell me how fire differs.”
    “It’s like they are two kinds,” said Charlotte-Rose, uncommonly slowly. “Earth, air, and water are how things are arranged. Fire, and sunlight, are how things are changed.”
    “Nevertheless, we use them,” said Isabella. “So we begin your studies.”

  3. Nice set of promos today, thanks!

    Sanders reached down in the cooler for a beer as he and Phil stared out over the rolling waves. Fishing around, he only felt a couple of beers left. Turning balefully on Phil, he asked, “What the hell have you been doing? Sucking down beers after every run?”
    Phil stared at him in wonder. “What? I was right next to you on every set!”
    Sanders pulled up the last two beers. “Well, where the hell did the other ten beers go?”

      1. Pink elephants and blue mice. The pink elephants are, of course, miniature elephants, they need the alcohol for the calories and fly by flapping their ears.

  4. :off the bat reads that as said like “forget it, Jake, it’s Chi-town” with Twi-Town, has no idea if it’s intended but likes it:

  5. She had been a coward.
    Out of the corner of her eye, Ciara saw her reflection in the night-darkened window. Like some perfect knight glowing in the dark forest.
    She stood. Perhaps it was too late, but perhaps she could return and discover the truth on her second visit there.

  6. Connor would’ve far rather met with the boss out on the terrace, or maybe in the living room. But Spartan had been clear on the matter — they would meet in his office, in his private suite.

    So here he was, giving a most unpleasant report and studying Spartan’s grim, scarred face for any hint of how the news was being received. Just how much protection would the status of liaison officer with the California state government provide if the Old Man were really displeased? There were still stories of a zampolit, a political officer, dead under mysterious circumstances during Leonid Gruzinsky’s first tour of duty in Afghanistan. And the current situation would provide plenty of opportunities for a similar accident to befall the inconvenient political officer from Sacramento.

    For a moment after he finished, there was only silence. Was the boss trying to lure him into saying something that would work to his detriment?

    And then Spartan smiled. “An interesting situation. I believe you are familiar with the saying, ‘When you have one problem, you have a problem. But when you have two problems, sometimes you can get them to solve each other.'”

    Connor could feel the corners of his mouth quirking upward, contrary to his determination to maintain his poker face. This was, after all, the man who’d rescued his housekeeper and in the process left three Federal agencies blaming each other in a circular firing squad.

  7. He kicked his horse’s side, but within half an hour, he recognized the lightning blasted oak again. He had to be on a different track, he told himself, this was more overgrown than the other two times he saw it.
    As if his thoughts were the words to a spell, the branches grew out, entrapping him. His horse shied as the ones before it, and tried to surge forward, and could not move. Not even to dislodge him as it shook its head.
    Why, that old fool who had gotten himself into a ditch! How dare he condemn a prince?

  8. After checking in with dispatch giving them my location along with the plate on the car I just pulled over for weaving all over the road – I got out of my squad. When I came up to the driver’s window it slowly came down to show me a blurry eyed guy in his mid twenties. I asked the usual, “Have you been drinking tonight?”
    The classic reply came back: “I just had two beers officer!”

  9. She sat very still. Her father never actually decreed that the peasants would lose their customary prerogatives, or argued that they should. He argued all day while beating about the bush, and blamed her for not doing two things at once while he argued. And this was the worst time.

  10. The man’s hand went up and struck him across the face.
    “The second one’s to give you a way to remember.”
    His captor turned away as if forgetting him. Marcus’s stomach felt like ice. Or tempting him to flee so that he could punish him. After insisting on keeping him prisoner.
    Nothing made any sense. His face hurt. He wondered if the blow had burned, and would leave a scar to mark him.
    He looked about. The necromancers were leaving the village. So were dead bodies, glowing green as they walked, and skeletons from the graveyard.
    He followed his captor.

  11. Jumping around a bit in the new setting…

    “As to how to best utilize Austin and Ashleshia in this expedition, it depends on how you two in particular evaluate the pros and cons, Your Majesty and Marshal Steinmann,” the minister said, his gaze remaining firm as he faced an imposing blonde man in regal robes and a leonine, gray-haired man in military finery. “It will only be a matter of time before King Philippe invokes his special contract with Wenlock once the expedition gets underway in earnest. The Jade Tempest will be necessary to counteract the Amethyst Sage in that case, despite the…complex relationship between Austin and Lady Carys.”

    “And yet if we move Austin from Eisenstein that damnable Mad Empress might strike.” another man in a dress uniform, this one sitting at a table next to the grey-haired man, grumbled.

    “Indeed, General Dresdner,” the minister concurred. “She’ll likely do so herself alongside Lord Protector Baines and the Diamond Paladin, too.”

    “Whatever issues he might have with Lady Carys, Austin has always been willing to take that arrogant butcher on,” the leonine man said. “There’s no love lost between Lady Ashleshia and Sir Alpheratz either.”

    “Father, may I suggest leaving Vincent at Eisenstein, then?” the blonde girl sitting next to the regal man said. “Leave the heavy lifting to me, Colonel Behringer, and the others and we’ll have King Philippe running his silky white panties up the flagpole before dawn!”

    The men all turned to stare at the girl, who turned a bright shade of red when she realized what she had said. The girl’s father, however, broke the tension with a hearty laugh, saying “The warrior’s life suits you well, doesn’t it Renata dear?”

    “I suppose it does.” Renata responded, relaxing in her seat.

    “If we have both her and Grimhilt and you and Barbarossa on the front lines we likely won’t need Austin, Your Majesty.” another man added, addressing the duo to his right.

    “I’m afraid I cannot leave the capital at the moment, General Eberhardt,” the king sighed, his brow furrowing in frustration. “Dr. Blomgren’s latest project is requiring more personal attention from me than most of his others.”

    “Of course, Your Majesty,” Eberhardt responded. “Princess Renata, Colonel Behringer, and my best pilots will simply have to make up the difference.”

  12. The king cleared his throat. “There is more danger in these pernicious spreading of charms. Their individual catchpenny price should not blind you to the number they sell. This is draining the land of coin.”
    The chamberlain bowed as deeply as he could, and lamented his aged, aching bones. “Your Majesty. A land can face two dangers at one time.”
    And when have peasants buying charms ever been a matter for royal attention? he thought, not daring look at the king for fear his rebellion would show. Some wizard would learn how to make them in the kingdom, for sale.

  13. He raised his glass in salute. “To the best-hearted woman who ever lived,” said Liam Gilbert, nearly-always known to those who knew him as Larry. “Or rather the best-hearted mortal woman who ever lived, wouldn’t do to hazard any offense to the Lady Aine Herself of course.” And he drank, a measured but still decent draught of his delicious Irish distillate.

    He did none of it with any careless air of speaking “to the empty air and whoever else it might concern” — rather, someone speaking to no-one here in particular, and leaving it up to each to decide of it were addressed to that one or not, but still knowing that as someone so often and regularly here he could count himself among a familiar company, for those habitual enough for the familiarity to matter at all.

    “Made it through the Troubles and the Booglet and the Rebuilding and all the turbulence with and in between, did my Marie; then one drunk almost-driver, looking up basketball scores on his handheld, took her off none the less. Likely was more to her in her worst day than the sum of all his best, yet… well, there’s an end to that. She was one of a kind, now I bode to stay one of a kind, like in some melancholy Russian tale.” And he took a far smaller sip, at that, showing himself still not drinking maudlin yet.

    “My condolences on your loss,” spoke up the wool-dressed woman from the table a couple of yards from Larry’s barstool. “And I can sympathize all too well, my Otto died all a-sudden five weeks ago. ‘Acute complications of long-term vaccine injury syndrome’ it was, from those mRNA China Virus shots the University bullied him into taking, that or be fired. Might’ve been a bit better for us if he’d just taken the pink slip; but he was the best in the world at his own little field, and that point of light is out for good, a loss to far more than just me. Chyort take all them that did it to him and so many others, take them off to a well-earned fate I’m so glad I’m not bound to help along.” She’d shifted smoothly and massively to get the one word native-perfect; then double-clutched back to nearly but not quite accentless American English.

    And she took a drink of about a third of the contents of her glass, which looked just like clear water but almost certainly were not. “But what you said… the story I remember best that fits your search term is not ‘one of a kind’ but ‘Two of a Kind’ — Anton Chekhov’s fine short little story. And perhaps counter to stereotype, it’s a happy story in the end; though what you’d call a ‘happy ending’ isn’t actually written down there, it is pointed to rather obviously and directly.” And she smiled, like the winter sun breaking briefly but wildly through a shifting murky deck of clouds.

    “You’re kind to offer your best wishes, and I give you mine in turn. One man’s carelessness is a stupid, callous bit of misfortune. A billion times that, and hardly any mistake at all — well, they don’t call it ‘a crime against humanity’ for naught.” And Larry raised his own glass to her and drank the toast, then continued “And I assume so often that people here know who I am already, I’m Larry Gilbert, and I’m most happy to share your company, dear fellow-traveller in woe. Though I’m far from convinced it’s not surely to be ‘one of a kind’ henceforth for me, after all.”

    “Marina Fessenden,” she said, getting up and snagging her drink and her plate and a few other odds and ends. “Or rather, I guess, though all the papers and records say otherwise, Marina Volkhovskaya once again, I’ll not truly be Otto’s wife in this life a moment more.” She walked the distance to the bar, and settled down with her burdens on a nearby stool. She’d done that same instant shift-and-back again, not muting the foreign “kh” sound on that one word at all, but going back to American-sounding tones the very next. “But I dare to believe that ‘Two of a Kind’ is at least as likely for me, for all of us, than the other. Now that the storms we’ve weathered have blown mostly away from us, at last.” And she smiled a smile, looking at him, wide as the evening sky, poured full of sadness and light. That so nearly mirrored his own heart’s weather and climate, seeing it in someone else nearly stabbed his through.

    Larry realized she’d not sat next to him, but one stool over. And that if she was ever going to do that, he’d have to either invite her to do so, or get up in his own turn and sit next to her himself. That look in her eyes was fully and completely open, assuming nothing, ruling out nothing, and just about as far from the empty, shallow, predatory pick-up stalker’s as anything he’d ever seen or imagined.

    Fully open, opening onto depths within depths within depths. And down very far indeed, it was as if there was the dimmest glimmering of something so strangely and elusively like hope. Like a star seen barely through a cloudy dusk.

    Liam reached out a hand to the barstool between them, touched it flat with a palm. Not patted it as so many would’ve done, but touched it, as if to feel the warmth of a wall blessed by the sun. “Sit here, if you would, Marina. And tell me about your old story of ‘Two of a Kind’ if you will.”

  14. They were finished. Just a pair of simple oil candle bases, but turned from a small block of the mostly highly figured olivewood Jenny could find in her stash. They were not quite identical, but definitely very close sisters. Which was almost how she thought of her best friend, to whom she would be shipping them.

    The two of them had met fifty years ago this past April. Their lives since then had taken different directions. For parts of that time Jenny had lived many hundreds of miles away, for other parts she had lived just across town. But always the connection was there, the support, the sharing of their lives, their dreams, their sorrows and their joys.

    So when her friend asked her pretty please to make a pair of oil candles in olivewood, Jenny knew that the other 115 species of wood in her stockpile could be ignored. The pair had to be olivewood and and they had to be as beautiful as she could possibly make them.

    And so they were.

    And they will be shipped on Tuesday. 😉

  15. Year-End Report: Security and control over the southern (Mexican/Carribean) border has been improved, just as what our best physicists describe as “portals” appeared and a new surge of undocumented aliens (real aliens, this time) appeared at multiple places across the nation. Is seems we’re one step forward, two steps back.

  16. “Did I ever I tell you of the time I delivered a 2L bottle of ‘DATE RAPE DRUG’ (it was just still water, really – all pre-arranged with the recipient) to the Ranting Gryphon?” Seems somone tried to roofie him, but his buddies caught on to things not being right. One show, he went on to talk about that… but ACME Delivery helped a bit with the segue.

    [For those wondering , the “Ranting Gryphon” goes by the name of… 2. Yes, really.]

    {{It was fascinating to see ‘2’ while ‘off’ instead of ‘on’. He faded as far into the background as he could manage. “I am ON, on stage. Everywhere else, is NOT my show.” I disagree mightily with a lot of his politics, but, despite that, the fellow is smart and generally sane and overall a decent guy.}}

  17. [Good Heavens! I know Asimov is not a BIG NAME for much SF (aside from The Trilogy – one of the few Asimov things I’ve NOT read, fwiw…) but I was surprise that $HOUSEMATE had NEVER encountered ‘thiotimoline’ – while ESR & I (how’s THAT for a weird pairing?) had.

  18. Herr Professor Doktor Schrödinger walked over to the small box at the side of the lab. Enough time had passed for the radioactive isotope to have decayed. He carefully opened the box containing his grand experiment. To his great consternation, it now contained two cats – one dead, and one alive.

  19. Two little lizards next to my rose.
    Two little lizards eat bugs by my toes.
    Two little lizards, jewel bright to see,
    Two little lizards, sit next to me.

    One glitters like ruby with wings like the flame,
    The other shines emerald, with jade wings to claim.
    Two little lizards, I swear them to be.
    No dragons would ever come cuddle with me!

    (Okay, so I was two lines over, ah well.)

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