Wednesday, December 23, 2015

F*ck You, Santa! A Christmas Story written by Will Bly, narrated by C.D. Gallant-King

I'm sure you're all rushing around madly trying to finish your last-minute holiday shopping/decorating/cleaning (assuming you celebrate this Friday's holiday in some form or another). However, in between your errands (and watching The Force Awakens), take a moment to stop and remember what this season's all about: Enjoying some hilarious and inappropriate Christmas-themed stories, narrated by yours truly.

That's right, for the first time ever, I've lent my dulcet tones to a wild and crazy tale about Santa Claus that I really cannot explain. You'll just have to listen to it yourself. Just don't let your kids listen to it. It kind of paints Santa in a less-than-flattering light.

The story was written by Will Bly, author of the awesome dark fantasy novel Ravens in the Sky that came out earlier this year. The audio is hosted and produced by our friends at the Grim Tiding Podcast (also available on iTunes), an excellent show for all things grimdark and fantasy that you should absolutely check out.

Check it out:

If you want to follow along at home, the eBook version of F*ck You, Santa! is currently available for free at Amazon, but only until Christmas. So grab it while you can! And if you can figure out how to stuff an eBook into someone's stocking, please let me know.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, everyone. And whatever you do, don't piss in Santa's milk!

Monday, December 14, 2015

GUEST POST: Hot Chocolate and Self-Help 101 by L.G. Keltner

Today I'm turning the blog over the lovely L.G. Keltner to talk about her hilarious-looking new book Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family. That and the finer points of hot chocolate. I trust you will all be as enraptured as I am, and will shortly run out to pick up her book.

*     *     *

I’d like to start by thanking C.D. Gallant-King for letting me stop by to promote my Christmas novella Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family.

I’ve been celebrating things related to Christmas at each blog tour stop.  Today I’m celebrating hot chocolate/hot cocoa.  It may not be exclusive to Christmas, but it’s certainly an enjoyable part of the holiday for many people.  Those of us who have to trudge through tons of snow to get to our Christmas gatherings tend to appreciate the power it has to warm you up.

So why did I mention both hot cocoa and hot chocolate?  Haven’t we all heard them used interchangeably?  The truth of the matter is that there is a difference between the two, and it makes perfect sense.  Hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate, and hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder.  When I decide to forget about the premade mixes and put more effort into my hot beverages, I tend to make hot cocoa.  Why?  It’s simple.  Actual chocolate doesn’t last long enough around me to be made into a drink.  I have a problem.

The history of hot chocolate is an interesting one, though.  As I’m sure some of you have heard, it originated with the Aztecs.  If you want a holiday drink with a kick, look up a recipe for Aztec hot chocolate.  They use cinnamon and chile peppers.  If you don’t like spicy things, you should probably avoid that one.  I love spicy things, so I intend to try making some the second I can get a chocolate bar to last long enough around me to make it into the pan.  No promises on how far into the future that will be.

Do you prefer hot chocolate or hot cocoa?  Are there any interesting twists on either of these beverages that you enjoy?

Now I hope you’ll enjoy a little snippet from Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World through Tolerating My Family.

*     *     *

After Mom walked away, Seth looked at me.  “Is that how it’s going to be from now on?  A mixture of ‘oh, you look so sweet together’ and ‘if you touch my daughter, I will end you’?”  It might have been a serious question, but there was a hint of amusement in the words.

I nodded.  “Absolutely.”


Title: Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: Holiday/Humor
Length: 27,000
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Dani Finklemeier has decided to write a self-help book about how to take over the world, but she’s not sure where to start.  After all, she’s only seventeen and looking for a better way to make money than babysitting.  She buys a self-help book that promises to teach her how to write a self-help book in the hope of getting the job done.

Not that it’ll be easy to get any work done this holiday season.  Her family is staying at the house for Christmas, and fights break out almost immediately.  Dani also has to deal with the fallout from an unexpected kiss with her best friend Seth and the feelings that go along with it.  On edge around her family and unsure how to interact with the one person she’s trusted with everything in the past, she can only take what inspiration she can from the crazy circumstances surrounding her and see what happens.

One way or another, it should be an interesting holiday.



L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

IWSG December: Downswing

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group here.

Due to some personal stuff, the bottom completely fell out of my productivity in November.

Sometimes that just happens, I guess. Writing isn't my job, technically it's a (passionate) hobby. It's not the number one priority, so sometimes it needs to be put aside. It sucks, but that's what it has to be. The trick, I suppose, is not to get too hung up on it. It would be very easy to get caught up in the stagnant inertia and just give up for while. I've seen it happen to others. It's happened to me. I know this is a down time, and will accept that, and move on. I'll keep writing what I can, when I can, and eventually I will get to a place where I have something I'm ready to share again.

It's a cycle. All of this has happened before. And all of this will happen again.

This guy is waiting for me when I don't meet my word counts.
I'm not going to worry about it today. November was a write-off. December won't be a hugely productive month either I'm sure, but that's okay. We've got bigger things to worry about at the moment.

Let's go decorate a fucking tree.

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