Book Promo and Vignettes by 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



Zen Sienna is a woman from another world and does not want to become the wife of a ruler of Earth. But she also doesn’t know how to escape the man’s courtship.

Which is just as well, because when a revolution happens, she turns out to have the skills to stay just one step ahead of the corrupt revolutionaries and the insane government to keep herself and those she comes to love alive and lead them to triumph.

Follow Zen in a harrowing adventure where a stranger in a strange land proves herself the most qualified to survive.

Also, (I said I was being a bitch, right?) These two have Paperback and Hardcover editions now. (And have been re-typeset, but that’s matters less. I’ll do the third one probably tonight. I’m hoping to finish the fourth this month for release next month. If I can get rid of the stupid cough.)


Dipped Stripped and Dead

French Polished Murder

FROM HOLLY CHISM: Having a Pint (Liquid Diet Chronicles Book 2)

Meg Turner, vampire accountant and investments advisor, has plenty of living clients, but not many among her fellow undead. That’s about to change: she’s been invited to a regional business fair for her kind. She’ll get to meet and greet more bloodsuckers than she really wanted to (hopefully without having to suck up to any of them). than just the two Vampire cops she helped track down and stake her late, unlamented sire—and hopefully make some friends and answer some questions.

Unfortunately, she’s got a Line Progenitor who’s begun invading her dreams, and a serial killer stalking her future clients to distract her from growing her business. Throw in a sick roommate not long before the conference starts, a mafia messenger boy left on her front porch, and only one car to juggle all of her responsibilities toward her roommate and unexpected guest. And then on top of that, she has the business fair over an hour away that features vampire karaoke, nosy, pushy elder bloodsuckers, and one particular elder who’s friends with her unwelcome dream guest. Seriously, it’s enough to drive her to drink something other than coffee or blood.

Just why did she think this whole conference thing sounded like a good idea, again?

FROM KELLY GRAYSON: Kindred (The SumDood Chronicles)

In the Dakota Territory, a U.S. Marshal haunted by his past works desperately to discover who is behind a weaponized smallpox plague and stop an incipient Sioux uprising.

A Serbian policeman, at war with terrorists as well as his conflicting loyalties, races against the clock in Sarajevo to stop the terrorists intent on setting off World War I.

A gifted New Orleans paramedic finds himself embroiled in the bloody drug cartel wars on the U.S./Mexico border, battling a new kind of plague he does not understand.

All three men have two things in common: the archangel that resides in their heads, and the fallen angel they’re pursuing.

It’s a battle as old as time, with the fate of mankind hanging in the balance.

FROM KAREN MYERS: King of the May – A Virginian in Elfland (The Hounds of Annwn Book 3)

Book 3 of The Hounds of Annwn.


George Talbot Traherne, the human huntsman for the Wild Hunt, had hoped to settle into a quiet life with his new family, but it was not to be. Gwyn ap Nudd, Prince of Annwn, has plans to secure his domain in the new world from the overbearing interference of his father Lludd, the King of Britain.

The security of George’s family is bound to that of his overlord, and he vows to help. But when he and his companions stand against Lludd and his allies at court, disaster overturns all their plans and even threatens the Hounds of Annwn themselves.

George and his patron, the antlered god Cernunnos, must survive a subtle attack that undermines them both. Other gods and gods-to-be have taken an interest, but the fae are divided in their allegiances and fear the threat of deadly new powers in their unchanging lives.

George and his companions must save themselves if they are to persuade their potential allies to help. But how can they do so, attacked on so many fronts at once? Will he put his family into greater jeopardy by trying to defend them?

FROM KENNETH CROMWELL AND CHARLES CROMWELL: The Tomb of Theragaard (New Paladin Order Book 1)

Tryam dreams about becoming a legendary paladin of old and combating the evil that is falling across Medias like a malevolent shadow. But as a ward of the Church, he is forced to obey every whim of an overbearing abbot who preaches peace above all else.

Dementhus is a wizard of immense power and even greater ambition. To further his ends, he has broken faith with the Wizard Council and has learned the forbidden magic of necromancy. As payment for this knowledge, he must deliver to the Dark God a weapon from the time of the Ancients: an unstoppable artifact known as a Golem.

When the sinister machinations of Dementhus results in the kidnapping of one of Tryam’s friends as well as the murder of another friend’s father and the brutal destruction of their village, the youth is compelled to disobey the abbot and venture into the unknown, armed only with his faith.

This is a time of growing chaos, as great civilizations fall into decay and ruthless powers fight to fill the void, a time when the cruel can rise to power from the words of a single spell and the honorable fall from the chop of a bloody axe. This is an age in desperate need of heroes.

FROM JASON FUESTING: This We’ll Defend (Echoes of Liberty Book 3)

Captain Eric Friedrich traded his ship to reach the heart of Confederate space and what temporary safety it offered. Preferring to be the hunter instead of the hunted, Eric now seeks to avenge his fallen and defend his new homeland, but to do that he must plot a course through unfamiliar waters. He will leverage everything he can, bargain with shadowy government agencies, strike deals with politicians, and run head first into danger once again. Failure will cost him everything he holds dear, but the clock is ticking and the only way to go is forward.

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: shocking

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

  1. “Hello Dear. Young Mathews had a shocking experience.”

    “Ah, I’m assuming that he tried to bully young Andrew.”

    “Yes, he didn’t know that Andrew had gained his power over electricity.”

  2. “That was the most shocking and offensive thing I have ever read!”

    “Okay, two things. One: if that was the most shocking and offensive thing you’ve ever read, you seriously need to get out more. Two: who the hell are you, anyway?”

  3. It’s shocking what you can get used to, once you look back in retrospect.

    Nearly fourteen months ago, I was terrified of being unemployed and having to deal with yet another new employer looking for a contract technical writer. Now, I’m in a rented villa in the Trastevere of Rome, lying in bed with an Irish girl who is barely three months younger than my assumed age…who, less than two months ago was scared of her shadow and was now scared that she would fail the lady, the Solist, that had saved her that she would risk anything so she wouldn’t fail in that mission. “Adelaide,” Deborah sighed, “you’re having suicidal thoughts again.”

    “I am not,” I didn’t whine, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t whining. “And it’s a base lie that I’m suicidal, Sayuri just doesn’t understand the deep logic…”

    “You more-or-less threatened to attack the Queen of Air and Darkness and her entire Wild Hunt-solo!-to buy us time to escape or to avoid being in her service,” Deborah interrupted me firmly. “Sayuri said you weren’t bluffing. Merlin says you weren’t bluffing, that you were more than willing to sacrifice yourself to save us.”

    “It’s the only reason why she was willing to negotiate, and it kept the two of you out of her service. Shouldn’t I do that for those that I care about?” I grumbled, but Deborah just pulled me closer, and her bare nipples were grinding into all of the right wrong places.

    “You’re doing things in reverse,” she sighed. “We’re your Companions, it is our duty to sacrifice to save you, not the opposite.”

    “If that is your duty,” I slid down in bed just a little bit, so I could see Deborah in her eyes, “isn’t that my duty as well? If you owe me that, don’t I owe you the same?”

    Deborah was quiet for a moment, then asked me, “You owe us nothing, yet you think you owe us everything.”

    “Perhaps true by Dawn Empire standards,” I tried not to agree with her. “But by any standard that lets me sleep at night, I cannot think that way.”

  4. She swept on ahead, and Delia caught up.
    “I hope she’s not too hard on him,” said Charlotte-Rose.
    Delia shrugged. “He’s met her before. It won’t shock him.”
    “We should hurry then,” said Charlotte-Rose. “Ava may be shocked by her reaction to our rudeness in not greeting a fellow student.”

  5. It was rare that Jane contemplated the similarities between the Southern California neighborhood she now lived in and her home town. In fact, it was more common for her to push those thoughts to the back of her mind to avoid the uncomfortable contrast between the adventurous life she’d thought she was going to live and the staid neighborhood of Bonny Hills. But as the shocking news of murder spread through the school and among her friends, the resemblance to Greene Springs could no longer be avoided: she found herself answering the same questions over and over again.

    Yes, it was awful.

    Yes, her daughter was doing fine. (Or seemed to be – Susan had always been a stoic, and it was hard to tell how she’d reacted to the discovery of the body.)
    No, she had no idea who the murderer could have been.

    And then the meaningful looks, followed by “Well, I heard it was a construction worker that was killed, and you know the problems the developer’s been having…”

    As usual, the only person who had something new to say was Lurie.

    “What did your mother have to say about this?”

    “I didn’t tell her!” Jane replied. ”I don’t want her to know.”

    “Well, why not?” Lurie retorted. “If I wrote home about this, it’s be a nine-days wonder.”

    “Mother…” Jane sighed. She usually avoided any references to her family, but Lurie’s directness made it easier for her to discuss. “If I tell her about this, she’ll use it as another argument that I should never have married Ron. She never wanted me to marry a Yankee. She wanted me to stay in Greene Springs and marry the boy I dated in high school. Why do you think she never visits? We tried to go back for Christmas once or twice, when the kids were babies, but she and Ron never really got along. And she hates to fly, anyway. If I tell her there’s been a murder here, as soon as she gets the letter she’ll be on the phone telling me to come home and what a terrible place this is to live.”

    “Well, I think it’s a little piece of Paradise,” Lurie said cheerfully. “Beats Alabama, that’s for sure. Dishwashers and everything! And decent schools…”

    “Don’t you ever get bored here?” Jane asked curiously.

    “No.” Lurie’s smile had disappeared. “Everything here is so nice.” She gave her friend a sidelong look, hesitated, then added, “We didn’t have indoor plumbing when I grew up, Jane. We didn’t have shoes. Let me tell you, I know a good thing when I see it.”

  6. The mayor said shakily, “We’ve never suspected– ”
    Sam said: “Shut up. Conserv reported signs of intelligence at contact. BioSearch has been compiling evidence since they got here. EarthGov knew. The Alfar knew. We knew it. If this is shocking to you, you must just not have been paying attention.”

  7. “It appears the organism emits electrical impulses directly from organs in its face as you can see on the slide here. Next slide. This is how it appears normally. Next. And this is it’s shocked face.”

  8. Nice, the follow-up to the last one flows pretty well from this.

    “Sir Vincent, Lady Carys, please take your seats over there.”

    King Friedrich pointed to a table where a thin man in a blue dress uniform with grey hair running through his hair and goatee was seated. The two of them obliged, with Vincent taking the middle seat next to the man and Carys taking the one on the end. King Friedrich and Princess Renata joined the leonine Marshal Steinmann in the center table in front of the room. The three of them being at the newly-reclaimed Eisenstein Fortress was surprising enough but the people at the other tables near the king’s was the most shocking thing about this gathering. To the left, Kylian Patenaude, the new King of Loire, flanked by his brother Henri, who like Renata kept a handgun visible. To the right, Beatrix Kynaston, the long-reigning Queen of Wenlock, flanked by an armed blonde woman. It took a minute for Vincent to recognize her as Maylis de Salerno, another one of his and Carys’ childhood friends. The two monarchs were accompanied by their top military officers as well. Whatever this was it was quite serious.

    “Is everyone present?” Friedrich asked, glancing around the room.

    “My delegation is, King Friedrich.” Kylian stated cordially.

    “As is my own.” Queen Beatrix responded.

    “Then let us begin. Sir Vincent, Lady Carys, and Sir Alphonse, I will get straight to the point,” the King of Baldraz said, addressing the trio at the table. “Lysandra Hasapis has terrorized the continent for long enough and we can no longer tolerate her presence on the throne of Arev.”

    “Allow me to address another question before it comes up, if you please, King Friedrich,” Kylian interjected, his smile and tone friendly. “The Mad Empress isn’t simply a problem for Baldraz and her immediate neighbors. Even if I were to continue my father’s war and defeat Baldraz she would turn on Loire afterwards. It would be foolish for us to ignore a rabid cur such as her.”

    “She would no doubt move on to Wenlock if she managed to claim enough territory and resources to do so,” Beatrix concluded, giving the assembly a pained smile. “Thus the two of us agreed to King Friedrich’s proposal that we align our forces and end Lysandra’s reign once and for all.”

    “Now it all makes sense,” Vincent stated, nodding to the assembled leaders. “Hit the Mad Empress with overwhelming force guided by the best tactical minds on the continent.”

    “Correct,” King Friedrich concurred, giving his nation’s Chosen an approving smile. “You, Lady Carys, and Sir Alphonse will be key to this. Even the Diamond Paladin and that accursed Yurena will be no match for the three of you.”

    “Then Ashleshia and I are yours to command, Your Majesty.” the Undying soldier pledged, bowing his head and putting his hand on his heart.

    “Zornitsa and I stand ready, Your Majesty.” Carys concurred, giving the same gesture to Queen Beatrix.

    “Sadalmelik and I will not disappoint, Your Majesty.” the man in blue, Alphonse, swore to King Kylian.

    “Then may Heaven favor us all!” Kylian proclaimed, raising his hand in benediction.

  9. What kinds of language offend the delicate sensibilities of wheat stalks? I don’t know either, but I guess we’ll find out – Grandpa says we’re going out shocking the grain.

  10. “You flee injustice.”
    The voice was cool, crisp, as if discussing whether a mantle would be wise in the weather. As if nothing could be less shocking than a fugitive stealing through the building at night.
    The scholar did not turn from his star-sighter.
    “A path leads down the hill.”

  11. “Now that’s a shocking experience.” Welly’s delivery was so dry that one would think he was referring to a sudden “jump” scene in a movie back at the American moonbase, rather than coming within a hair’s breadth of being electrocuted as they finished connecting the blowers for the chiller runs here in the Soviet moonbase.

    “Count your blessings, buddy.” The words came out a little sharper than Lucius had intended. “At least we’ve spared ourselves an international incident, and we still have you to help us go through this thing, connection by connection, until we find whatever got grounded to the frame.”

  12. Holly B’Golly sat on the steps of what, until today, had been her little apartment in San Francisco, crying. A couple of workers were in the process of emptying the contents of said apartment and piling them up on the sidewalk, all the while humming the refrain from “We Need a Little Christmas”, singing the famous line “Haul out the Holly” every time they went past her.

    “Could you sing something else?” she snapped at them on the next round of dumping her material life in front of her. The workers, shrugging, broke out into a chorus of “Have a Holly, jolly Christmas” as they walked back up the stairs.

    “Shocking, just shocking!!! Holly thought as the mascara ran down her cheeks. “How could this happen to me?” “A Smith graduate, MBA from Wharton, and a HR position with a famous tech company, this just shouldn’t happen to me, it’s just not fair!”

    Even more shocking to Holly was what was going on with her parents. Last year Daddy had sold his partnership in the firm, sold the Manhattan brownstone and moved to Florida. Maybe if they had retired in Miami,
    Palm Beach, or even Tampa it would have been normal, but Palatka? And a fern farm? Daddy had gone from white shoes to Mr Greenjeans in one crazy month. Now he’s complaining about regulations and taxes, just like a (ewe) Republican. And, for the first time in her life, they refused to bail her out. WTF?

    None of her friends owned a truck, with a Prius the best available. The local homeless were starting to paw through her stuff, and Holly was conflicted about chasing them away. “How did this happen?”

  13. That would be shocking. He had not met a beautiful maiden, imprisoned in a tower by a wicked witch. His eyes should not be poked out by thorns.
    He yawned again.
    “What a shame. When I wanted to offer you a sleeping potion.”
    His eyes popped open, and he looked.

  14. “I protest these shocking conditions!” The gnomish little man in the expensive suit shot nervous glances at the large, brutish man looming over the witness box.

    The Chairman rapped his gavel sharply. “Since you have repeatedly lied under oath, and then lied about lying under oath, we’re going to try something new. Today you will testify under oaf. Every time you lie before this Committee, the oaf will clout you upside the head. We hope this will be more effective than charging you with perjury for the umpteenth time, when your cronies in the courts never allow us to prosecute.”
    It’s a Drabble! 100 words exactly!

  15. Nothing happened. The women stopped, the glow stopped, and as far as he could see, the pavement looked just as it had before. He gave a sidelong glance over it. Why would these women do all that for nothing?”
    They looked smug, and he looked down. Nothing he could see.

  16. “I saw nothing! I was just standing on the corner, minding my own business when…”
    The witness protested on, declaiming their complete and utter innocence and total shock at what had happened.
    “I’ll bet,” thought Charlie. His hand itched to grab his taser and shoot him, if for no other reason than just to shut him up.

  17. “It’s quiet, too quiet” he thought, as he cruised down the motorway. He traveled along for a while, enjoying the silence, while knowing, somewhere, in the back of his mind, things were not quite right.

    That’s when it struck him. “Crud, I forgot my wife at the last rest stop!”

    *borrowed from yesterday’s headlines

  18. Oh, come on! Yngvar scolded himself. Was it really so shocking that her criminal schemes had set up the conditions that left Cerulean’s instellation facilities vulnerable to the July Flare 20 years ago? It was unintentional, she insisted…and if he hadn’t known better, he’d have thought she actually felt some remorse. But he had known for a long time that his mother was completely devoid of any sense of morality.

  19. It’s attributed to Sayre “The politics of the university are so intense because the stakes are so low”. To help prevent that, our faculty awards ceremonial titles to our various English Literature professors; so we have the Bronte Baron, Shakespeare Shogun, Chaucer Count, Pinter Pfalzgraf, Eliot Emir, and Shaw King.

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