A Christmas short story for ... well, Christmas.

If any of you who subscribe to the newsletter didn't get it today, check your e-mail spam boxes ... that's where I found my copy.


 My annual thank-you to my readers, here's a short story prequel to Coming Attractions.


Granddaughter's first birthday party

Party for Lilli's first birthday!

A mermaid theme. Why not?

Our present to her, continuing the Oz family tradition.

"What now?"

"Oh--and I'm walking!"

"Dad, Mom--Let us eat cake!"

Well, that didn't last long. What's next?

Christmas Parade Pics

Just a few pics from this year's Albion Christmas Parade, which--as you might imagine--happened in Albion. And by a few I mean the only ones that came out even close to clear, because my camera handles temps in the 20s about as well as I do.

There were a lot of Jeeps ... in case of deep snow, I assume. Ironically, it's been snowing far to the south, leaving us with nothing but cold.

This vehicle was made entirely out of black pine, which is amazing. Or, possibly, it's the entry from Black Pine Animal Sanctuary.

This vehicle was just driving down Highway 8 when two rare white deer ran out and jumped right onto its trailer.

Hope floats. Which is a word play, for those who remember that movie.

Jason Brown is the best elf in town, although I'm puzzled about why he's not on a shelf.

It's Frosty the Snow ... Thing ...

I always seem to catch Santa going--which is fine as long as he leaves chocolate.

Coming Attractions is e-booking all over the place

As you know, one of the weirdest things about being a writer is seeing your book up for sale.

Or maybe you didn't know that. I didn't know that.

Coming Attractions is my tenth published book, so you'd think I'd get used to it, but it's always ... weird. Promotion is even weirder: As I've said before, my parents taught me better than to run around shouting "look at me, look at me!" So instead I'll say ... hm ...

Look at this, look at this! There, redirection.

Here are the places Coming Attractions is up for sale as of now, that we know of. All e-book, so far; it is up in print on Amazon, but we made a few tweaks and haven't gotten our proof copy back, so we're not publicizing that yet. Still, I did make that offer to show something incredibly embarrassing if we sell our first hundred copies by January 1st, so the least I can do is give you all a chance to embarrass me.

Of course, it's up along with fourteen other entries on our Amazon author page:

It's available almost everywhere in the world on Amazon except, oddly enough, most of the Middle East. (Those fifteen entries include the three anthologies I have stories in, plus separate print and e-book entries for Radio Red and Coming Attractions. No, I don't know why.)

Then there's Barnes and Noble, which specializes in books. And coffee, and toys, and games, and novelties, and such. Come to think of it, I bought the Doctor Who soundtrack there.

That's the link to all our books on B&N, and isn't Christmas shopping season reaching right for us like a pocket picking politician? If you can't click on that link, just type it all in from memory.

Also, here's a Smashwords link to Coming Attractions:

Smashing. By which you can get it on epub and mobi and pdf, and stuff.

And you can get it on iTunes!

Even though it's not a tune. In fact, if you click on my name you can see a bunch of other stuff, also not tunes.

We also have Kobo:

Which I used to think was the name of that ape who knew sign language.

Some of our books are all over the place, including places I hadn't heard of because I was busy watching cute puppy videos. Although Coming Attractions isn't quite there yet, many of our other books are on Blio:

The new book should be there any moment. It's already on Scribd:

Which seems like it's missing a letter, but who am I to sy?

So there you go: your Christmas shopping list. I'm sure Coming Attractions is or will be on other sites, so if you happen to see it there, let us know. And congrats to Emily for all her setup and distribution work!

You can get a sample of the book on many of those sites.

A book rollout rolls over, ice bucket challenges, and other tales of woe

Coming Attractions has had delays getting up in print and e-platforms other than Kindle, although it's coming soon. There was also a problem with an illness, the details of which I most definitely don't want to share (and I'm getting better).

But it is up on Kindle, and you can read a sample here:


 These things happen. It's my fault for making premature announcements when I knew I was going on vacation--a virtual guarantee of illness or injury, or both. I went so far as to promise to post an embarrassing photo of me if we sold 100 copies in the first couple of weeks.

Well, it's been a couple of weeks.

I know many of you want to see me be embarrassed. So, in the hopes that we'll have everything set up in the next few days, I've extended that promise.

Never mind the question of whether an author should lure in readers by promising to make fun of himself. I spent years making fun of myself in my humor column--why stop now?

So if we sell a hundred copies of Coming Attractions by January 1st, I'll read one of my own poems online (and trust me, I'm bad at it). In addition, I'll share one or more truly embarrassing pictures of myself. We've been going through photos for a book project, and I've found one of me in my prom tux, and another that was even worse.

And if we make a thousand total sales of all our books between now and the end of the year, I'll do something even better. Or worse. I've been told the ice bucket challenge is so last winter, so if any of you have better ideas, I'm open for suggestion. Or I could just do a book giveaway? What do you think?

Sick (bath)room

And so we continue our family tradition of someone getting sick and/or injured during all my vacations. I’ve been ... inconvenienced ... for several hours, with what I was beginning to think was food poisoning. Emily points out that we’ve been eating the same food—she thinks it has to do with a big change in diet and sleep patterns over the last several days. 

Either way, I’ve missed an important meeting and haven’t done anything with our “Coming Attractions” rollout or our new book project all day. Emily and the dog are taking care of me, and although I still have a bellyache I’ve stopped sweating, and I’m getting some color back. Some more Powerade and crackers, and I’ll be good as ... well, I’ll be okay.

Coming Attractions Cover, or: I'd like to thank my editor/wife/cover designer/layout coordinator

NOTE: I already sent this out on the newsletter, but I'd like everyone to know about Emily's hard work on the Coming Attractions cover. Also--and I'll mention this a lot--it's already up on Amazon for Kindle, even in the UK, France, and Germany: 


The first idea Emily and I had for a Coming Attractions book cover didn't work out, and I'm glad. That's because Emily came up with something better, which she excels at.

It's a romantic comedy, but I didn't want the overused Hot Guy/Beautiful Woman cover art. Since the story is about a fight to save a drive-in movie theater, I thought of using some actual photos I took of the Auburn-Garrett Drive-In, and maybe having either the marquee or the movie screen frame the title. But for the life of me I couldn't find the original, large version of those pictures. The too small copies are here:

It would have taken a bit of Photoshop magic, of course. But while I was rooting around for the photos, Emily came up with another idea that I ended up liking better, even though I actually brainstormed and outlined the story at the Auburn-Garrett.

As a refresher, here's what Coming Attractions is about:

In the darkness of an Indiana drive-in movie theater, Maddie McKinley returns from the concession stand, climbs into the wrong van, and gets tackled by the father of the kids inside. Logan Chandler is embarrassed about roughing her up, but also intrigued by the beautiful young woman from Boston, who arrived alone at the movies wearing an expensive dress. Unfortunately, he’s the local businessman leading a battle to save the drive-in from developers—and she’s the attorney sent to make sure it’s torn down.

And here's the final result, which you should be able to click on to make bigger:

What do you think? Interested in reading it in one format or another? (After all, I have to figure out how many print copies to order!)