miserable holiday stories wins best book award!

I’m thrilled and honored to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has won a 2021 Best Book Award in the category: Humor! MHS was also a finalist in two other BBA categories:  Fiction Anthologies and Fiction Short Story.

The awards were presented by AmericanBookFest.com which states that “this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers” including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers, New World Library, NYU Press and Oxford University Press, among dozens of others.

About the book:

No matter what holiday you celebrate, this quirky yet bittersweet compilation will have you longing for mid-January. Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, “who ate all the $#!@% figgy pudding?!”

Miserable Holiday Stories (20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours)
Publisher: Racehorse (a division of Skyhorse Publishing)
Available from Amazon.com, BN.com, numerous other online retailers, and finer bookstores everywhere.

blue christmas

Blue Christmas, the very first story in Miserable Holiday Stories, is about a young man that has to provide an entertainer at the last minute for his temple’s big holiday party – and the only one he can find is a temperamental Elvis impersonator. In the clip below I read the story in it’s entirety, and do a terrible terrible Elvis impression. I apologize in advance. Big thanks to the Springfield Free Public Library for hosting the event!

 

miserable holiday stories wins independent press award!

Extremely excited to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has been recognized as a Distinguished Favorite in the Humor category in the 2021 Independent Press Awards!

In 2021, the Independent Press Award had entries worldwide. The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.

About the book: “Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, who ate all the $#!@# figgy pudding?!”

Miserable Holiday Stories is published by Racehorse, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. For more information on the book, please click here.

For more information on the Independent Press Awards, please click here.

miserable holiday stories

Very excited to announce the release of the NEW improved version of Miserable Holiday Stories – just in time for the upcoming holiday season!

From the copy blurb:

Throw another yule log on the fire and let the seasonal suffering begin! No matter what holiday you celebrate, these quirky yet bittersweet tales will have you longing for mid-January. Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, “who ate all the $#!@% figgy pudding?!”

This upgraded 2.0 version comes from the fine folks at Skyhorse Publishing, and contains eleven new pieces, including the entire (kid-friendly) novella The Unbreakable Toy!

Miserable Holiday Stories is the latest “Miserable” release and a lovely year-end gift for all those friends and relatives who you feel haven’t suffered enough already in 2020!

give the gift of misery!

Even Santa agrees – Miserable Holiday Stories is the perfect holiday gift for that very special someone you’d rather never hear from again!

Featuring the the infamous chapter-book parody “The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!” and stories from such eclectic journals as The Big Jewel, Litro, Corvus, eFiction, Dysfunctional Family Story, The Legendary, Blue Print Review, and Hobo Pancakes!

This collection of quirky, bittersweet tales is a terrific stocking stuffer and cheaper than coal!

Now available in e-book and cheap paperback to boot!

Miserable Holiday Stories – Now in Print!

It’s the perfect stocking stuffer and cheaper than coal!

For the first time ever, Miserable Holiday Stories is now available in a print edition!  And just in time for the holidays!

Yes, now you can actually wrap up a physical copy of Miserable Holiday Stories – with a bow, if you like! – and send sleigh-loads of seasonal misery to family members and other people you don’t really like.  And, unlike the e-version, the print version is flammable and ready to help set your yule log ablaze!

Featuring the infamous chapter-book parody The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!, the new print version of Miserable Holiday Stories is available from your favorite online retailers as well as discerning bookstores everywhere!

santas on the subway

SantasSubway1

Last year, around Christmas time, three Santa Clauses – two tall ones, and a short, fat, jolly one – followed me onto the subway.  I didn’t think they were following me, per se.  But still, there they were.  It was rush hour and the subway car was packed.  Not sardines packed, but full.  And I pressed myself up against the back wall, which is where I stand when I’m standing in a subway car.  And the Santas were nearby, huddled together.  One of the tall ones had an mp3 player turned up way too loud.  The other ate a sandwich from a bag.

And after a minute I noticed that all three seemed to be staring at me and nodding and whispering.  And I thought, nah, they’re not looking at me.  But they were.  And then everyone in the car was staring at them staring at me, some smirking.  And I was creeped out and pissed.  And then one of the Santas – the short, fat jolly one – lifted his hand and pointed a finger at my crotch.

And I looked down…and saw my fly was open.

So, I turned to the back wall, nonchalantly, and zipped up.  When I turned back, the short Santa nodded and smiled: good job.  The mp3 Santa gave me a thumbs up.

And I said the only thing you really could say at that point:

Merry Christmas!

the #$@!# bicycle boys save christmas, again! (and so can you!)

BikeBoysCover1H_112014

“Santa Claus has been kidnapped!” exclaimed the President of the United States. “This is a crisis only The Bicycle Boys can handle!”

I’m pleased to announce that The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again! has been released as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com. In a stand-alone tale from Miserable Holiday Stories, Flip and Chip, junior detectives, go on their wildest adventure yet in this “fake” chapter book that Amazon readers are calling “hilariously funny.”  (No, really, they’re actually calling it that.)

Even more importantly, from now until 12/31/14 all proceeds from both Bicycle Boys and Miserable Holiday Stories (after Amazon takes their cut) will be donated to Newark Renaissance House! – a specialized therapeutic community designed to meet the unique needs of adolescents, and men and women who are suffering from the affects of substance abuse.  Since 1975, Newark Renaissance House has been saving thousands of lives, one day at a time.

Click here to order Bicycle Boys.

Click here to order Miserable Holiday Stories.

For more information on Newark Renaissance House, please go to www.nrh.org.

miserable holiday stories – more easter eggs

LousyTree1Z_120313

Time for a Miserable Holiday Stories update!  Here are some random answers to questions that no one was really asking.

  • MHS is now up on Nook and Smashwords.
  • The Nook and Smashwords versions have different Easter egg stories than the one on Amazon.  (And Amazon’s had two so far.)  So, floating out there on the internet – I’m not saying “on the webs” –  doesn’t that sound awful? – there are four different Easter egg stories.
  • Honestly, they’re not even really all “stories”.  Well, a couple of them are pretty much stories.  But a couple of them are just extended bits.  All run a half-page or so.  So, quantity-wise they’re all pretty equal.  They’re all pretty equal quality-wise, too, actually.  So no harm, no foul.
  • All of the pieces are, at least, winter-themed, if not holiday-themed.  Because I know that’s really important.
  • The names of the pieces are:  “Too Much Snow”, “Norelco Electric Shaver”, “Santas on the Subway”, and “Blizzard”.
  • One of them is a particular favorite.  But they’re all pretty good, in my opinion.  I feel no shame in offering up any of them, and my goal was to make them all fairly equal in worth.

One question that some people have actually asked:

  • Yes, I did the cover myself.
  • The cover at the top, btw, was planned to be the cover for quite a long time, until about a day before we published – at which point it was pointed out that this would look way too small in the thumbnails that Amazon so often uses.  Hence, the current cover with the really big fonts.

Hmm.  What else?

  • Got some nice reviews on Amazon.  Hey!
  • (Feel free to add your own!)
  • The book remains vaguely readable, despite the fact that the holidays are over.  In other words, many of the stories will most likely still depress you, 24/7/365.  But having a pumpkin latte nearby may add to the overall misery quotient.)

Oh, and