My Favorite Time of Year

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I love the holiday season, starting with Halloween in October. Even though it’s currently 90 degrees here Las Vegas, I am drinking tea out of my Halloween mug. (I bought 2 even though I don’t need them when I got my flu shot two weeks ago. Apparently, Las Vegas will not have fall this year. We’re moving from summer to winter in the space of a week. (Next week, the high will be 65, supposedly.)

I’m finding I can still enjoy Halloween, even in the heat. We had a run a few days ago (properly distanced with masks) and it was lovely.

I love it when the Halloween items appear in the stores, though, and on doors and cars and other places. The celebration season has begun.

I love reading holiday stories, as well. This year, more than ever, we need some holiday cheer. (I was going to say a bit of Christmas right this very minute, but many people don’t celebrate and wouldn’t realize I was paraphrasing a delightfully sad song.)

Last year, I finally put together an advent calendar of holiday stories, a dream of mine for a while. With WMG Publishing’s help and the support of some courageous readers, we got the Holiday Spectacular off the ground. Subscribers fell in love with the conceit of the Spectacular—a story per day from American Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

We decided to do it again—before the damn pandemic shut everything down. Now it seems like we were prescient, because we need a bit of cheer. So many of us have a different holiday season ahead. We can’t travel to see family, and we can’t celebrate with friends. Here in Las Vegas, my two favorite holiday events (both runs) have gone virtual, so I have to wait until next year to participate.

Rather than dread the holidays, though, I wanted to give you all something to look forward to. A story per day, every day. Some of the stories are light. Some are filled with fantasy. And a few are very dark. But not a single one mentions COVID or the damn election. Not a one.

And—important—the stories are not religious, either. This is a secular collection with a bunch of different holidays, some you probably have never heard of. (I can think of one in particular that’s simply a note on the calendar, no longer celebrated.)

Last year, we ran a Kickstarter to gauge interest in the Spectacular. This year, we know there’s interest, but we want you and your friends and your family to sign up at a discount. So we’re running the Kickstarter again. And—as I typed this, we hit our funding goal! Which means we’ll hit some stretch goals, so you’ll get all kinds of neat things.

One of the best parts of the Kickstarter, in my opinion, are the rewards that allow you to buy a calendar for yourself and another for friends. You can set up a Zoom call daily to discuss stories or maybe do so on your Facebook page, as a new way to celebrate this properly distanced holiday season.

I know a lot of you are dreading the holidays this year. I hope this puts a bit of hope and light into your season. Please watch the video, then head over to the Kickstarter and check out the rewards. They start as low as $5 for an ebook collection and go up from there.

I have two other cook things to share right now, both Storybundles. The first will provide you with a lot of escapist fiction. The Big Time bundle, which I curated, has ten ebooks about time travel, alternate history, and other time-ly adventures. You’ll find spectacular books from Dean Wesley Smith, Robert J. Sawyer, DeAnna Knippling, me, Ryan Williams, Michael Warren Lucas, and Kim Antieau. And (even better), Stefon Mears, Lisa Silverthorne, and Fiction River Presents all provide exclusives—time travel books you can’t get anywhere else.

So head on over and get some lovely reading to tide you over until the last Thursday in November, when you’ll get your first story for the Holiday Spectacular.

While you’re there, check out the Nano Writing Tools Bundle. You’ll find 16 ebooks and a WMG Pop up online class that will help you survive the current downturn. More on this bundle later in the year, but I wanted you to know it’s available—and you shouldn’t miss it!

Other news…I’m on the downhill slide for the Diving novel that comes after Thieves. (Once you read Thieves, you’ll understand why I’m doing this novel next.) This novel is loooooong and so far untitled. But it’ll be fun. I’ll have more news on that, and all the other series, in the next few weeks.

Until then, you have a lot of great reading ahead. Check out the Kickstarter, and the Storybundles, and get yourself a holiday mug or two. This holiday season will be about the little things, so enjoy them. I know I plan to.




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