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

FROM CAITLIN WALSH: Mama Bunny #1: Comics and Stories.

Parenting is tough, but it’s also rewarding. And occasionally even hilarious. Now collected for the first time, follow Mama Bunny and her family through this series of mostly-autobiographical strips and written stories as they navigate the ups and downs of dinnertime, chores, and all the other day-to-day adventures of a stay-at-home mom trying to raise and teach two children.


Calvin Tondini has his first client, but he may be in over his head.

It’s the twenty-second century. Humanity’s first and only interstellar starship returns safely. Its mission to discover a habitable planet succeeded beyond all hopes, but there’s one problem. Captain Paolina Nigmatullin of the USS Aeneid left an unsanctioned human colony behind and now stands charged with mutiny.

Despite a somewhat spontaneous approach to his own career, life, and limb, Calvin intends to map a more cautious path for his new client. Captain Nigmatullin, however, shows an unnerving penchant for talk shows—appearing on them, that is—and otherwise ignoring her attorney’s sober counsel.

How can Calvin ensure his client’s freedom when death stalks the Aeneid’s crew, and Nigmatullin herself hides secrets from everyone, even her lawyer?

Buy Mercenary Calling today for the legal thrill of next century!

FROM J.M. NEY-GRIMM:Persephone Errant (The Hades Cycle Book 5)

he buried herself to escape her past, but now it’s followed her down to hell…

The dark queen anchors her soul in power—power as her husband’s beloved, power as the guide for shades seeking absolution. When the hero Orpheus invades hell to pluck the heartstrings of its rulers, his song reminds Persephone that beneath her sovereignty lurks weakness she persistently ignores.

Orpheus proves but the herald of another illicit visitor to the underworld. Confronted with her memories in the person of an old enemy, Persephone resolves to bury her past anew.

But hidden amongst congealed impotence, frustration, and swallowed rage lies an opportunity the queen banishes at her peril. If she refuses the challenge, she who saves the souls of the damned will lose her own.

Persephone Errant is the fifth tale in the enthralling Hades Cycle. If you enjoy deep mythology imbued with an intimate focus, you’ll love J.M. Ney-Grimm’s rite-of-passage story in which a goddess confronts the choice that will define her for the ages.

FROM D. A. BROCK:Texas at the Coronation (Republic of Texas Navy Book 1)

For seventy years after a devastating war, the Republic of Texas kept to itself. But it would be rude not to attend the international naval review celebrating Britain’s new king, George VI. So with war clouds over Europe, Texas sends the elderly armored cruiser, San Antonio, and her new captain, Karl von Stahlberg.

While making new friends and meeting Texas’ ancient foe, can Karl and his men avoid sparking a war?

FROM RON CORRIVEAU: The Least Significant.

An alien thief has escaped to Earth with an object of critical importance to his planet.

With the authorities close behind, the thief plans to hide by blending in among the people. But there’s a problem. His native form would make him stand out, so he’ll need to borrow a human body.

And he has a specific one in mind.

Catherine and Marcus are a young couple enjoying the evening of their engagement in downtown Dallas when Marcus suddenly vanishes from the sidewalk in a burst of shimmering lights. Unable to explain his disappearance, Catherine is soon approached by a mysterious man who tells her the thief he is chasing has taken over Marcus’ body and displaced his essence to another dimension.

Unsure whether to believe him, Catherine reluctantly agrees to help when she learns the man can return Marcus to his body. But, as they begin to close in on the thief, Catherine uncovers a shocking truth about Marcus and the alien planet more fantastic than she ever imagined.


It’s not easy being married to the leader of the band, even in the best of times. When everything becomes political, you’ve got a nightmare on your hands.

Laurel had her doubts when her husband signed on to headline Governor Thorne’s Independence Day concert in Candlestick Park. Now that the band’s committed to the appearance, the Flannigan Administration has decided to shut the show down, with prejudice.

Laurel knows she has to fight this attempt to stop the signal. But doing so may put her in more danger than she could ever have anticipated, and risk those she loves.

A story of the Grissom timeline, originally published in Liberty Island Magazine.

This edition also includes a bonus essay on the era of dictatorship in Grissom-timeline America.

FROM KYRA HALLAND: Dreams of Magic (Mage of Storm and Sea)

They called him a war hero. The savior of the common people of the Islands. The greatest weather mage the Islands ever knew. But once, he was a lonely, misfit youth with some impossible dreams.

Esavas Daruvias wants two things in life – to become a weather mage and to marry the girl of his dreams. But, bookish, awkward, and misfit, his magical power stunted since childhood, he knows that his hopes are completely out of reach and life as a scholar at the remote, secluded Tower is his only refuge from a society where he doesn’t belong.

Then his father offers him the impossible, an arranged marriage to the beautiful Pirazina, the girl he’s always loved – who barely even knows he exists. Determined to win her heart and admiration, Esavas risks everything – his freedom, his future, even his power itself – to become the mage and man he longs to be and make his dreams a reality.

Dreams of Magic is the prequel to Mage of Storm and Sea, an epic fantasy series with a prominent romantic storyline in the later books. There will eventually be an HEA for the characters, but they have to work for it first!

Contains strong language and mature subject matter, including drug and alcohol use and sexual references.

FROM JACK LONG: The Dark Frontier Adventures: DANGO.

Dango, a retired half-elf army scout, sets out with his friends to start a quiet new life on The Dark Frontier. Maybe raise some tuskers, no more fighting. But fate has other plans.

Kidnapped by savage elves Dango must fight for survival, but escape is just the beginning of his trials as he finds himself embroiled in a struggle for dominance of the territory with the vicious Gradokk Gang.

Join Dango and his friends as they fight corrupt ranchers, murderous elves, and the mountains themselves.

Welcome to gritty and visceral chases, murders, pit fights, betrayals, battles, and redemption on The Dark Frontier with this volume of The Dark Frontier Adventures – DANGO!


This book is a collection of material from seven of my published books, covering the virus and vaccine. The tyrants have made full use of these to seize power and impose misery. This is just a straight-forward, day-by-day reaction to the events as they unfold. No great climax or narrative, just an increasing realization that we need to resist them. This also includes many news headlines and random jokes I made up about the nonsense we’re all forced to live under. It will keep spreading, unless you buy this book. In fact, buy several copies as a booster. It’s the only way.

FROM DAN BRIDGEWATER, A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY: Abandoned: An Anthology of Vacant Spaces (Legion of Dorks, book 4)

Abandoned places can be intriguing, creepy, and forsaken, but are they always empty?

In this fourth anthology in the Legion of Dorks presents series, fifteen authors poke around in vacant places and let us see what turns up.

You’ll discover:
· the wreckage of an enormous, ancient, alien craft and what it hides
· a young woman looking for a shopkeeper, but who runs into a genie instead
· an old researcher who travels to a hidden island
· an AI satellite that rebels against its programming
· a dragonling that threatens the safety of a kingdom
· and so much more.

These books are put together with love and a generous heart as a way to give back. So, 50 percent of the profit goes to charity. Pick up your copy today and join the adventure while supporting children in need.

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: CONNECTION

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

  1. Encyclopedia Galacticta, Ancient Earth;

    Among the many unsolved mysteries, Stonehedge and the electric automobile orbiting Terra. Why did those primitive ancients move 50 tonne rocks hundreds of miles and drive an electric car into space? Scientist attribute both to sun worship but so far a connection has not been found.

  2. “Thank you for coming in, Agent Matthews”.

    “When the Director of the US Ultra Agency asks to meet with an Ultra Agent, the Agent better have a very good reason not to come in”.

    “Chuckle Chuckle, Point taken. Now, I understand that you have a connection with Agent Andrews.”

    “Thats putting it mildly. We almost had a permanent mind-link between us. Fortunately, we were able to prevent it from happening. She’s very easy to like and she liked me but we didn’t want the other to be permanently in our mind. So why are you asking about this?”

    “She’s missing and nobody can locate her.”

    “What? One of the best Mentalists in the US is missing and nobody can find her?”

    “Afraid so, her fellow Mentalists should have felt her death but didn’t.”

    “So she may be alive and you think that I can find her.”

    “Not think, we hope that you can find her.”

    “Well, I hope that I can find her. What facts are available?”

  3. “We have a connection,” Belladona sighed.
    “We have many connections, which one are you thinking about?” I asked, eyebrow raised.
    “You and I are just alike enough to be together safely, Adelaide,” and here, Belladona let her lips twitch into a particularly wicked smile. “But we are not completely alike, so we serve as spice for each other. Where you are restrained, I am…generous. And vice versa.”
    I had to think about that for a moment, and shook my head. “Your generosity is rather bloody.”

  4. Trapped in an elementary school music classroom terrarium, Prince Heinrich vowed bloody revenge on both the evil sorcerer who had turned him into a frog, and on the composer of “The Rainbow Connection.”

    1. I can’t help but wonder if Prince Heinrich deserved that Fate?

      IE The Sorcerer wasn’t that evil and Prince Heinrich was the evil person. 😈

    2. [Looks up lyrics…Kat the dog has loud preferences in music]

      I think I can see why the Prince might be annoyed. Kind of like the people who were trapped in the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. I rode through it once, with friends w/toddler in tow. Shudder.

      1. AAARRRGH! That’s in my next chapter:

        “Let’s ride those boats!”

        “No. Just no. One minute of that song is intolerably annoying, and you’re stuck in the boat long enough that poking your eardrums out with a stick becomes a tempting option. Then it stays stuck in your head for hours. Heavy metal won’t knock it out. Please, spare me from that ordeal.”

  5. The former prisoners were shunned, and forbidden from living near the ‘regular folks’. Eventually, they lived in villages of used transport boxes, and their former criminal status was remembered only in their tribal name: the Ex-Con CONEXians.

  6. “Even if they are trying to match one of us off with him.”
    Charlotte-Rose gurgled with laughter. “Have some sympathy, Delia. Equally just to say that they are trying to match him off with one of us.”
    “Perhaps he does not want a bride who does not greet guests promptly.”

  7. Her foot hit a muddy spot and slid. She pulled it back, and realized there would be no escape. She was going downhill, which meant she had to be going into the waterwoods by the city. If she managed to escape the swamp there.
    If escaping the swamp was possible.

  8. It was almost embarrassing to find that those annoying tutors were right. Still, having made the right connection, he should use it.
    “But, my lady, I must wonder why you offer me a sleeping potion. Surely you do not mean me to put myself to sleep to await a princess?”

  9. Making connections was tricky when you didn’t want to get noticed. Mikhael Yehuda really would’ve preferred a dead drop, but for reasons unknown to him, the big brains back in Jerusalem wanted a direct handover.

    Whatever data was on those cards, they’d better be super-important, to merit this level of risk.

  10. “For more than 100 years, we’ve used illegal immigrants to do the work, usually hard physical labour, that citizens don’t want to do. Generations of business owners have benefited. Today, no politician can effect the number of illegal immigrants coming into the country. There may be a connection.”
    “Ya think?”

  11. Of course this bunch would run with it and not quite in the way I first imagined it would unfold…

    “Oh dear! Vincent, are you back already?!”

    The sight that greeted Vincent as he stepped into Eisenstein Fortress’ clinic would have left most men dumbstruck. A stunning blonde sat at the receptionist’s desk, the fit of her partially unbuttoned white blouse emphasizing her hourglass figure. Vincent had no doubt that she wore the same short black skirt and blood-red heels that she always completed the look with even if they were concealed by the reception desk at the moment. She completed the look with striking red nails and the sort of makeup you rarely saw outside of high society parties.

    Yet Vincent regarded her with pure cool professionalism as he responded “Of course. Nobody emerges from battle with Edmund Baines unscathed.”

    “That’s so tragic, Vincent! That they keep sending you up against – wait, did you just say Edmund Baines?!” the woman’s look of mock surprise turned to confusion. “It wasn’t the Amethyst Witch this time?!”

    “The ‘Amethyst Witch,’ as you put it, is here to help your king put the Mad Empress out of her misery,” Carys growled, pushing her way past Vincent as she stared the woman down. “Sabrina Lafrenz, I presume?”

    “That’s right,” the blonde woman responded, giving the newcomer a glare cold enough to freeze a roaring flame solid. “And you must be Lady Carys. Dr. Dunst and I are honored that you would come to visit our humble establishment.”

    “Of course,” the sorceress replied, giving the woman a strained smile. “I could hardly pass up the opportunity to meet such an esteemed physician when I had the chance.”

    “Dr. Dunst is a very busy man,” the receptionist retorted, matching the newcomer’s smile with one of her own. “He might make time for you if you were injured but even I can tell you have none to speak of. Vincent’s a grown man and doesn’t need anyone to accompany him so why don’t you return to your quarters?”

    “Great…” Vincent thought, glancing between the two women with trepidation. He knew exactly how much destruction Carys could bring when provoked and didn’t want to see that kind of disaster unfold. He knew little of what Sabrina was capable of but he had no doubt that Dr. Dunst had taught her a lot of sinister magic. Her very appearance radiated sorcery, after all.

    “Now, now, what’s with all this racket?” a voice croaked as an elderly man opened the door to the waiting room.

    “We have an uninvited guest insisting on accompanying dear Vincent, Dr. Dunst.” Sabrina sniffed, pouting at the doctor.

    “Forgive the disruption, sir,” Carys replied, giving the man a cool, professional smile. “I merely wished to make sure that Vincent made it here safely.”

    “Ah, so you’re Lady Carys,” the man stated, giving the sorceress a courteous bow. “Walter Dunst, at your service.”

    “It is an honor to meet you, Dr. Dunst,” she replied, barely keeping her composure in the face of Baldraz’s renowned doctor and magician.

    “Likewise, Lady Carys, but time is of the essence,” Dr. Dunst said, giving the trio a serious look. “The sort of treatments Vincent requires are confidential and I cannot allow you to proceed beyond the reception area.”

    “Of course,” she replied, nodding her understanding. “I shall take my leave.”

    The sorceress shot the soldier, the doctor, and the receptionist a warning glance before she left, saving her most venomous one for Sabrina. The blonde receptionist crossed her arms and huffed while Dr. Dunst merely chuckled at the drama that had just played out before them.

    “I’m not sure if you’re the most fortunate man alive or not, lad,” the old man remarked, an amused smirk splitting his wizened face. “Only true death will break the connection between you and Lady Carys. Since we can’t have that happen yet follow me.”

  12. “They’re not ours,” said the red-haired woman, sullenly. “They’re Blaze’s.”
    Marcus blinked.
    “They’re yours. You took them from him.”
    “Anyway, how could we know that they would steal?”
    “What? I allowed the first. You should have led them by another way, not past here, once you knew the problem. The second was clearly all your fault, for the second time.”
    “What?” said the brown-haired woman. “We should walk how many ells out of our way for your convenience?”
    “My darling Rune, you should walk leagues out of your way to avoid harming your fellows’ handiwork. Should I send the roots of my trees under your pavement?”
    “You wouldn’t dare,” said the red-haired woman.
    “Ah, clearly I should, Sigil. You would not have dared prance your slaves past me if you had feared harming my orchard as you should have.” His eyes glanced between them. “Blaze has a claim as well.”

  13. “It’s not even noise! Somehow, it makes even less sense.”

    “That’s on purpose. This is a Discreet Inelegant Subnoise connection.”

    “A DISconnection?”

    “Security through impossibility.”

  14. He sat back for a second and thought. The password should be right. Now he just had to get through. He waited for a couple long minutes, waiting for the computer to link up and make the connection. There. He bent over the key board and began to type carefully.

  15. Professional Development

             G.H Reynolds XXVI Esq.; Patent, Copyright, & Trademark Law; Earth. My credentials proclaimed my identity to any and all who might be interested. In 600 standard years the format had changed little. Nor had the purpose: making a connection with others in the profession, now it involved members of 15 species scattered throughout the Orion arm. A lanyard with the ID dangling at the end announcing my name, credentials, and association to anyone who might be interested. Now, instead of the cheap plastic sleave holding a printed paper with the above noted information there was a thin electronic wafer about 3 x 3 inches (I’m old school about these things, plus Metric and Standard IS measurements have never made since to me) displaying the information in my native language while broadcasting the information, appropriately translated, to other attendees, staff, and vendors at the conference. The single biggest improvement was the double-sided feature, so it didn’t matter how it hung, the relevant information was always face forward.
             I had collected my credentials at the conference desk set up at the lobby of my hotel in Aurora City (that would be the closest English Translation) on Xerson, the administrative world of the Worlds of the Accord. Some 15 interstellar species in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way had come together to promote trade and peaceful cooperation. In the first 400 standard years the Accords had succeeded marvelously, with trade, cultural exchanges, and scientific cooperation improving the lives of all of the member species. Earth was the newest member, having developed a basic interstellar drive 50 years ago. Our First Contact was with the K’rill whose help and guidance quickly improved our technical development and provided introductions to other members of the interstellar community.
             Unlike the hundreds of Science Fiction stories and vids made before we made First Contact, the various species were not physiologically compatible with one another. Most were oxygen breathers and had similar temperature and gravitational tolerances, but there would be no sitting down to dinner to sample each other’s cuisine. Even the couple of species which had DNA and Amino Acids as the basis of their cellular function differed in particulars and the diet of each would be incompatible, if not outright lethal, to the others with similar physiology. One benefit of this was that there had never been a cross species infectious disease outbreak, another popular SiFi trope. So, each species had its own hotel, restaurants which served food imported from their home world, and other comforts of home.
             I walked up to the desk of the hotel and was greeted by name by the robotic desk clerk. Humanoid in appearance, it had already gathered the relevant information from my conference credentials and had pulled up my information.
             Robbie: Greetings Dr Reynolds, your room 4312 is ready for you. Conference information and schedules are available on channel 1 on the entertainment system. Breakfast will be served for conference attendees in the Cochrane room on the 10th floor starting at 1730 UTC, which would be about 0630 local time. Ground transport to the convention center will start at 1900 UTC and run at 15-minute intervals throughout the day and for 2 standard hours after sessions finish in the evening. A reception for human attendees will take place in the Fermi Ballroom starting in about 4 hours from now. Please sign into the register with your fingerprint.
             I didn’t have any questions or unmet needs, so I pressed my index finger on the proffered pad and turned to collect my bags. Except, a courier bot had already picked them up and motioned for me to follow it to the bank of lifts at the far end of the lobby. At least I didn’t have to tip the bot. (and how would you tip a bot? A can of oil? Powdered Graphite? At some point AI is going to be declared sentient and the question will have to be addressed.) The room was nice, with a panoramic view of the city and the bay on which it was located. The bot had placed everything in the closet and left. I kicked off my shoes, loosened my tie, and set an alarm for  3 hours in order to freshen up before the reception. I sent a quick message to my wife to let her know that all was well. Then laid back on the bed. The next thing I knew the alarm was going off, time to get ready for the reception.
         The flight (?) from Earth to Xerson took about 3 days with half of a day moving out of the Sun’s gravitational well to safely jump, a couple of days in HyperSpace, and another 12 hours to enter the local system. On the way out the captain had been able to pass Jupiter and Saturn, giving those of us who were relative newcomers to spaceflight the opportunity to see these planets in spectacular detail. I’m thinking of making reservations at the circum-Titian station hotel for our 25th anniversary. Kathleen will love the view. Speaking of Kathleen, there was a message from her queued up on the information system.
                 Me: Alexa play message
                 Kathleen: Hi dear, I’m glad to hear that you made it to your conference in one piece. I’m still not comfortable with the interstellar jump alternate dimension thing. The kids will be home from school in a bit. I hope your meetings go well, send me a message when you are done each day. Love you, Starshine.
                 Me: Alexa, reply to message: I miss you already, Beautiful. The flight was boring, other than the flyby of Jupiter and Saturn. I’m surprised how tired I ended up. I took a nap and am now getting ready to attend the opening reception. I’ll message you again after tomorrow’s meetings. Love you!
     I pulled my good Italian suit and university tie from the closet where the bot had hung them and got ready to head to the reception. In the elevator I  said “Fermi Ballroom” It took me to the top of the hotel, the 67th floor, and instructed me to turn right and go to the end of the hallway. However, when I got there the room was empty. I turned to the cleaning bot working in the hallway and asked:

    Me: “Where is Everyone?”

    It looked blankly for a fraction of a second, then answered:

             CleanBot2600: The weather was so good the organizers moved the reception to the rooftop garden. You can go back to the elevator and go up one more level. Is there anything else that I can do for you, Dr Reynolds?
             I thanked it and made my way to the new location. Finally, I arrived at the reception, and joined my colleagues, getting excited for the conference starting in the morning.

    …to be continued

  16. When they walked in, the Select Subcommittee gazed down on them like a row of hungry buzzards. The Chairwoman sitting in the center seat looked hungriest of them all.

    She banged an unnecessarily large and ornate gavel twice. “This meeting will come to order.”

    When the room was quiet she proclaimed, “Swear in the witness.”

    A man approached and held out a thick black book. “Place your right hand on the Bible.”

    Tovala knew her part in this ritual. She complied.

    “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” he intoned, rather theatrically.

    “Yes.” Your god means nothing to me, but honesty is my way.

    “You may be seated.” He lowered the book and walked away.

    The Chairwoman had grown an unpleasant little smirk. “You are now under oath. Do you understand what that means?”

    “Yes. I do have one question, though.”

    “What is it?” she snapped, clearly impatient to get on with the show.

    “Why are none of you required to tell the truth?”

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