Halloween’s over, and so is Daylight Savings Time. I’m already seeing ads for Black Friday specials, and those sales won’t happen for another 27 days. People love to experience the season, and they love to read about the season. Holiday books always come out early enough for folks to read while the cookies bake and the turkey defrosts. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here are this year’s holiday projects that I’ve had a hand in.
First, my good friend Kevin J. Anderson did something we’ve both talked about for years. He collected the holiday stories that we used to write for our Christmas Eve celebrations. Back before our group of friends had much success, back before the marriages and the children, when we were all rebel writers searching for a cause, we used to gather on Christmas Eve. Too poor to buy elaborate presents, we bought everyone dollar gifts, and read brand-new stories to each other around a fire. Kevin made lasagna, I made kuchen, everyone made Christmas cookies, and we all ate drank and made merry until the wee hours. Kev and I discussed doing an anthology as all the writers made more and more sales and became recognizable names. We both pitched it to traditional publishers, but never got a nibble. Now that indie publishing has made these things easier, Kevin jumped on this anthology first.
I’m glad he did. He gathered all the writers, and got Myles Pickney to do a marvelous cover called “St. Nicholas, Dragon-Slayer,” and put together the best of the best stories. The anthology features stories by Kim Antieau, Kathy Oltion, Rebecca Moesta, Dave Farland, Dean Wesley Smith, Larry Correia, Debra Gray De Noux & O’Neil De Noux, and two stories each from me, Kevin, Kent Patterson, Jerry Oltion, and Nina Kiriki Hoffman. The anthology has several of my personal favorites, including Kevin’s “The Ghost of Christmas Always,” and “The Wereyam,” a classic known only to those of us who loved Kent Patterson (who died too soon to fulfill his destiny as one of the field’s great off-beat voices). You will love this anthology. It’s available in print from your favorite bookseller, and as an e-book from all the usual suspects, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and the like.
Kevin beat me to the punch on this anthology because I was editing another Christmas anthology for Fiction River, under my pen name Kristine Grayson. I have long wanted to edit an anthology Christmas ghost stories, so the moment we started Fiction River, I planned this anthology. Christmas Ghosts has stories from Louise Marley, Dean Wesley Smith, M.L. Buchman, Lisa Silverthorne, Carole Nelson Douglas, me, Anthea Lawson, and Mary Jo Putney. It’s also been getting stellar reviews. Publishers Weekly calls it “a sugary Christmas treat.” RT Book Reviews says each story is special and “guaranteed to jingle someone’s bells.” Library Journal says the book of eight stories has “several satisfying happy endings.” So what are you waiting for? You can get the book in ebook format on Amazon, All Romance, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and all other ebookstores. Or get the trade paper from your favorite retailer. (Or order it here.) You can subscribe to the entire Fiction River anthology series here. An audio version will be available shortly, and I’ll announce that when it becomes available.
And then there’s the latest book in my Grayson holiday series, Visions of Sugar Plums. You can read the back cover copy and find ordering information in this post, as well as information about the previous book in the series, Up On The Rooftop.
For those of you whose minds are still processing Halloween (and who are still chomping on Halloween candy), here’s a freebie for having made it to the bottom of this post. Until late Wednesday, you can hear my dark horror story, “The Hook,” on WMG Publishing’s weekly podcast. It’ll cost you nothing but some time. Do it while you’re surfing the net, and return every week for free story podcasts from a variety of authors.