Posts Tagged ‘A Long November

28
Feb
14

Blake has written books Day 5: Everything Else

Throughout the week, guys, I’ve given you glimpses into the full-length novels I’ve got available. But that isn’t the extent of my work. There are several shorts and collections available as well, and darn it, don’t they deserve their day in the sun?

Tales of Siegel City:

The Restless Dead of Siegel City

The Restless Dead of Siegel City

In this novella, it’s Halloween night and the city of faux superheroes finds itself overrun with the REAL undead — mummies, zombies, vampires, and all manner of creatures of the night have come to wreak havoc. Copycat, Animan, and their crew have to dig out the root of the infestation, and Josh has to confront the ghost of his greatest failure.

This is the first direct follow-up to Other People’s Heroes.

Lucky Penny: A Christmas Story in the World of Siegel CityLucky Penny

Gill Lutz is a Las Vegas runner — a man employed by a casino to make sure that everything runs smoothly with no interference by people with “special” talents, which in a world full of metahumans is no small task. When the Vegas-based superhero called Lucky Penny uses her powers make Gill’s casino pay out jackpot after jackpot, he’s got to stop her before the casino goes bankrupt or, even worse, he’s out of a job.

This new story is set in the world of the novel Other People’s Heroes and the short story “The Restless Dead of Siegel City,” but can be read independently of those works. This eBook edition also contains a bonus short story, “Stowaway.” It’s Christmas Eve, 1827, and Louis Baudreau is determined to find something in the skies over the Gulf of Mexico he never thought he would see again. Instead, he finds a visitor on his boat that may take him places he never imagined.

GhostofSimonTower2The Ghost of Simon Tower

Every Christmas Eve the heroes of Siegel City come together to raise a glass to their fallen friends. On Josh Corwood’s first Christmas among them, he learns of an apparition that has haunted Simon Tower for years… a mysterious, nameless phantom, who may hold some of the Tower’s biggest secrets yet.

Set the Christmas after The Restless Dead of Siegel City, This short story continues the tale of Other People’s Heroes with a gateway into the past of Siegel City, and a glimpse into its future.

AssociatedPressure_HiAssociated Pressure

After the battle of Simon Tower, there are a lot of questions… heroes missing, villains who have changed sides, evil twins, and rampant confusion. The new LightCorps is holding a press conference to place everyone’s minds at ease. Unfortunately, one of the new superheroes can’t keep his story straight…

This very short story takes place in-between the final two scenes of Other People’s Heroes, with a humorous look at a Josh Corwood taken totally outside of his comfort zone.

Christmas Stories

A Long November and Other Tales of ChristmasA Long November

A Long November was written as my National Novel Writing Month experiment for 2005 and became my first Podcast Novel. Duncan Marks is just like you — sick and tired of Christmas coming before the Thanksgiving turkey even comes out of the oven. But this year, a Spirit of the Season takes him on a journey that tests his resolve… and upon which Christmas itself may rise or fall.

This short story, along with eight other Christmas themed stories of mine, has been collected into an eBook. Some of these shorts, including the Siegel City storyLonely Miracle,” have been included as bonus content in some of my feature length novels.

Making Santa AdventMaking Santa

Making Santa is my first effort at a true serialized novel, a lighthearted sci-fi story for the holidays. Yes, you read that right. It’s planned to be released in four installment, one each year at Christmas time. Here’s the info on part one:

Advent:

Nicholas Grace and 199 other men have been abducted by a strange alien race called the Yool — a “benevolent order” that travels the galaxy helping undeveloped worlds by providing them with the things they lack. On our world, the Yool are trying to give us our missing icons. With the help of the Yool and their advanced technology, one of the 200 abductees will be chosen to fill some of the most legendary boots in history. One of these men will become Santa Claus.

Geek Punditry

Reel to Reel - Monsters NO BLEEDReel to Reel

The Reel to Reel project is my ongoing effort to study, document, and pontificate on different genres of movies. Once or twice a year, I intend to run the “first draft” of each project, a day at a time, online. I’ll then come back later with the expanded eBook editions, including more movies and more content. Here’s what’s available so far.

Vol. 1: Mutants, Monsters and Madmen

The first project looks at 40 of the greatest, most entertaining, and most influential horror movies of all time.

The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary

For years now, I’ve offered up my geek punditry at CXPulp.com and various other sites across the internet landscape. Now I’m gathering together the best of those columns and articles in a series of short, low-price collections around different themes. Here’s what’s available so far.

RevolvingDoor_MockupVol. 1: A Revolving Door in Heaven
A look at the phenomenon of life, death, and the rapid turnaround between the two in American comic books.

SuperSanta_HiVol. 2: Is Santa Claus Super?
In this volume we look at Christmas comic books, Christmas music, how to shop for the Geek on your list, and we answer the most burning question of all… is Santa Claus a superhero?

24
Nov
12

Christmas Content Countdown

Hey, guys. Obviously there’s an AWFUL lot going on with me right now, both in my personal life, at work, and in my writing. I’ll actually let you guys know a bit more about that last part in a few days. But in the meantime, the countdown to Christmas has begun, and I thought I’d just remind you guys that I’ve currently got two Christmas themed eBooks available and I’ve got a wedding to pay for.

First up, a for a mere $2.99 you can get A Long November, my anthology of Christmas stories written from 2000-2008, including the novella A Long November and nine short stories, some of which do tie in to the Other People’s Heroes or Beginner/Opening Night of the Dead universes, others which are more standalone. Here are all the places online to find it:

Second, last year I got into the eBook game big-time, including the release of a new short story set in the world of Other People’s Heroes. Christmas in Las Vegas in a world full of superheroes gives us the short story Lucky Penny. And there’s a bonus short in there as well, a sci-fi yarn called Stowaway. Here’s where you can find this 99-cent quickie:

And in the next few weeks, you can expect to find a few more Yuletide goodies from me. Is Santa Super? will be the next “Obligatory Everything But Imaginary” collection, rounding up several of my holiday-themed columns and features from around the internet. And as I’ve done since 2000, I’ll have a new Christmas story for you as well. This time it’s going to be a new OPH story, The Ghost of Simon Tower. Because screw Halloween, there’s no time like Christmas for a ghost story.

Keep your eyes open, tell your friends, and check out these books, guys. Hope you enjoy them, and I hope you come back for more stuff from me very soon.

 

12
Dec
11

Things I DON’T like about Christmas

As you’ve probably heard right now, I love Christmas. I love it in a totally unironic, unapologetic way. I love it so much that I’d help coordinate Dickens’s three spirits to new misers every year. I love it so much that I know not to wish for it to be Christmas every day, because I’ve seen enough cartoons where that happens to know that would be disastrous. And in fact, I suspect most people reading this love Christmas too. Even those who claim to hate Christmas secretly love it, because it gives them an excuse to complain loudly to anybody who will listen how much they hate Christmas. They’re like hipsters that way.

But that doesn’t mean I love everything about Christmas. So for the sake of you Scrooges out there, I thought today I would point you towards a few of the things about Christmas I could do without. None of these are particularly original suggestions, but they’re mine, consarn it. Some of the things I really hate are…

Christmas Shopping

I love to give gifts. I love handing over a brightly-wrapped package to a loved one and seeing their face as they tear it open, and I love putting on my own most charming smile as I hand over the gift receipt so they can exchange it. But I hate the actual shopping process. I don’t really like crowds in the first place, so wandering an Old Navy packed with enough people to keep an NBA franchise in a small market city is horrifying to me. Because although I subscribe to the theory that people, at heart, are basically good, I also subscribe to the theory that most people immediately between myself and whatever my goal of the moment is are raging morons. I hate having to elbow my way past sixteen people to see if they’ve got the particular aroma of soap at Bath and Body Works that showed up on my sister-in-law’s Things I Want.com list. I hate those who block the aisles with huge shopping carts at awkward angles that clearly aren’t moving any time soon because they’ve just pulled out their cell phones and started a conversation about the LSU/Alabama rematch. I think people who get into the “10 Items or Less” line with 11 or more items should be shot. Out of a cannon. At a brick wall.

Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, but I’ll tell you this: if I was in charge of shopping, all express lane cash registers would automatically shut down after the allotted number of items have been scanned in, and the cashiers would be instructed to tally up the items scanned thus far and tell the perpetrator to take the rest of their crap to the end of the line.

And while shopping online has helped this situation considerably, there are still pitfalls — like figuring out what to get for everybody. My father is one of the hardest people in the world to shop for. If I get him books I think he’ll like, he never has time to read them. If I get him DVDs, he never has time to watch them. I have no idea which tools he already has or needs, and I don’t even know if he needs a left-handed or right-handed triple-ground flange escalator. I am lost.

As a corrollary to the shopping situation, I also hate…

Traffic

You know how stupid people are in stores? Put them behind the wheel of a car and their IQ automatically drops another 37 points. There are special places reserved in Hell for those who cut off six cars to advance twelve feet in heavy, slowly-moving lanes of traffic. It’s catercorner to those who tailgate, next door to those who cut in-between cars just because they aren’t tailgating, and down the block from the spot for those who think turn signals are a quaint anachronism that aren’t really necessary because they’re so damn awesome everybody should just get out of their way on general principle.

I realize that none of these particular complains are specific to the Christmas season, but they are without a doubt multiplied this time of year. More people on the road translates to more stupid people on the road. The great Dave Barry once said that, in traffic, anybody who drives slower than you is an idiot and anybody who drives faster than you is a maniac. I would amend this slightly. I believe anybody who drives slower than me is an idiot and anybody who drives faster than me is a maniac.

The Christmas Shoes

You know this song. Adorable waif shows up in a store on Christmas Eve. He goes to the clerk with a pair of shoes and about eleven cents and a gum wrapper in his pocket, and asks if that’s enough to buy them for his sick mama, who’s about to go meet baby Jesus. People cry and we all learn a Very Important Lesson.

Look, I’m all for Christmas stories having a message. In fact, I think they should have a message beyond just, in the words of the immortal Animal from A Muppet Family Christmas, “Gimme Presents!” But no storyteller should resort to something so painstakingly manipulative as a chronically dying mother get his point across. The song is specifically and deliberately structured in order to make the listener feel like a pulsating burlap bag of horse crap in the hopes that they will call their mamas and tell them they love them and buy them copies of the CD.

And the worst part is that the damn song is now stuck in my head. Okay, I’m gonna have to blast “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” while I write this next one just to get rid of it…

ABC Family’s Definition of “Christmas”

I respect the ABC Family network for loading December with Christmas programming, and for how heavily they promote it. I love the fact that they give us marathons of Rankin and Bass specials, original holiday movies, and so much other content.

On the other hand, certain things just don’t fit their definition. Sure, there’s a December scene in most of the movies, but Harry Potter? NOT a Christmas film. No matter how many of the movies you show in a row. The same goes for the marathons of Pixar movies. You’ll be hard-pressed to find somebody who loves The Incredibles more than me, but it’s still not what I’m going to put on if I’m in the mood for some holiday cheer.

I’m not saying that ABC Family should avoid showing these things during the month of December. Let’s face it, if we didn’t allow them to show Harry Potter movies they’d lose their entire weekend lineup twice a month. But if you’re going to do that, don’t bill it as a “Christmas” marathon.

People Afraid to Say “Christmas”

I’m not talking about the whole “Happy Holidays” thing here, guys. Honestly, that doesn’t bother me in and of itself. I recognize that there are many celebrations, both religious and secular, that take place this time of year, and I fully support everybody’s right to celebrate whatever they happen to believe in or hold traditional. What bothers me, though, is when I feel like somebody is going deliberately out of their way to avoid saying the word “Christmas” or allude to anything even remotely connected to the holiday, as though it were some horrible, verboten topic that everybody knows about but doesn’t actually want to mention, like the real reason Uncle Walter keeps ordering little sailor outfits from those Japanese websites.

To fully demonstrate my point, I’d like to point out last year’s chief offender from my primary nerddom of comic books: the DC Universe Holiday Special. Comic companies have done holiday specials for years, of course, most of them featuring several stories with multiple characters and, most of the time, showcasing various holidays. Again, that’s cool. I don’t mind a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa story, I don’t mind seeing the  Justice League ring in the New Year or the Avengers sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. But if the idea is to be inclusive, Christmas is traditionally included as well, right? That’s… that’s what “inclusive” means, it means that nobody gets left out. I know, I gave it to my 11th graders in a vocabulary quiz.

The six stories in this comic book included a winter solstice story set in caveman times, a western Hanakkah story, a Superman Thanksgiving story, a story about the Shi’a Day of Ashra and Easter (combined), a story of the Vernal Equinox, and a far-future story where all holidays have been mashed together into one generic “Holiday.” Seriously. That’s it. The word “Christmas” never appears in the book, nor “Yuletide,” or even “X-Mas.” No image of Santa Claus, not a tree, not a trace of Christmas lights, not a bloody snowman. Even the Easter mention was in passing. Christmas was so conspicuous by its absence that it couldn’t have been a more deliberate snub if they’d had Sarah Silverman urinate on a Nativity scene. It’s a damn far cry from the classic 70s story where Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes actually took a spaceship to look for the Star of Bethlehem.

(In all fairness to DC Comics, they did also publish the Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special last year, which starred an alien driven by greed who comes to Earth and suffers a horrendous and hysterical misunderstanding of Santa Claus. And speaking of Santa Claus…)

The Santa Clause

With all due respect to Tim Allen, this makes me want to crack people over the head with a yule log. I know the problem didn’t originate with his movie, but it certainly seems to have gotten worse since then, so let’s get something straight, people:

The Santa Clause is either: A) A series of Christmas films starring Tim Allen as Santa Claus or B) The specific clause featured in said series of movies that leaves someone beholden to become the new Santa Claus if they put on the suit of the previous Santa Claus should they meet with an untimely end.

That’s it.

The name of the person himself? SANTA. CLAUS. With NO “E.”

It’s the English teacher in me, guys, but it drives me bonkers. It’s a spelling error and I keep seeing it again and again and again and — argh! There’s a spot in the Special Hell for people who do this too. If Santa CLAUSE was coming to town, I’m imagining a lawyer driving in with a briefcase full of legal papers that are going to indemnify you in the case of Nicholas Vs. Guy With a Slippery Roof. If you see Mommy kissing Santa CLAUSE, that means she’s got her lips caught in a DVD case and you need to call 911 again.

Get. It. Right.

Okay, that should be enough evidence that not EVERYTHING about Christmas fills me with joy and revelry. Just most of it. And if you’re missing out on any revelry yourself, here’s an inexpensive way to get a little…

My eBook, A Long November and Other Tales of Christmas, is now available in the Amazon.com Kindle Store, the Barnes & Noble Nook Store, on your iPad bookstore, or for every other eBook format at Smashwords.com! This eBook contains the entire short novel A Long November, PLUS eight additional short stories of the holidays, including the short story “Lonely Miracle,” set in the world of my novel Other People’s Heroes. That’s nine stories for just $2.99, friends. Check it out, tell your friends, and Merry Christmas!

01
Dec
11

A quick burst of Christmas self-promotion…

I promise I won’t pummel you with this throughout the month of December, but as it’s December first, I’ve gotta get at least one plug in for my Christmas short story collection, A Long November.

Since 2000, I’ve written a new Christmas story every year. This eBook collects the first nine short stories in a handy collection for a mere $2.99! Included in this book are the following stories…

  • Lonely Miracle (2000): In this tale of Siegel City we meet Lightning, the woman who loved Lionheart and who has, since then, had to exist year after year without him. This year, however, there may be hope for a miracle…
  • Clarence Missed (2001): A night in a small-town drunk tank shows a man a glimpse at a world that should have been.
  • Pencil Sketches (2002): Two college buddies who shouldn’t even be friends realize that the strongest family may be the one you choose for yourself.
  • JLZX622 (2003): Reg Bennet is ready for another Christmas alone. When a woman he’s admired from afar disappears, he finds himself caught up in a search for her, and a chance to change his entire life.
  • Promise (2004): In the world of The Beginner, a retired nurse is given a chance to help a long-ago patient fulfill a Christmas promise he was never able to keep.
  • A Long November (2005): Duncan Marks is just like you — he’s sick of Christmas getting earlier and earlier each year. When an obnoxious holiday elf appears to him on the day after Halloween, Duncan finds himself in a bizarre quest to find what the season truly means to him, and why that may be more important than he ever imagined. This short novel was my first attempt at National Novel Writing Month, and is (appropriately) the longest story in the collection.
  • The Helper (2006): Nicholas Carson is watching his wife fade away. Would it be worth leaving her at the end, even for his heart’s desire?
  • Circle (2007): It’s said that a simple act of kindness can send out ripples, circles the person who made the first wave may never know. In this story, we follow a circle throughout the holiday season.
  • Return to Sender (2008): Every year thousands of Santa Claus letters wind up in the dead letter office. This year, a mystery from one of them sends a postman on a quest to find someone with a different kind of need.

I’ve enjoyed writing every one of these stories, as well as the ones in the years since then (and this year’s story is in the works right now). Although it’s been available on Smashwords.com for a few years now, this marks the first year you can get it on your Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, or in the iPad bookstore. Give it a try, write a review, spread the word. Merry Christmas!

14
Nov
11

With Thanksgiving approaching…

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I know how busy everyone can get. How you can be flat-out swamped. And how those of you who are on the lookout for content for your blogs and review websites may have trouble picking out things that are holiday-appropriate to fill up some column inches.

My friends. I’m here to help.

Although this year has been the time when I really began to try to make a serious push with my eBooks, it’s not the year I started. A couple of years ago I put out my first eBook, a collection of nine Christmas-themed short stories that I wrote over the years as a sort of “Christmas Card” to my friends and relations. A Long November and Other Tales of Christmas is available now, for the low, low eBook price of $2.99, for all eBook formats. But that’s for everyone else. Have you got a blog? A podcast? A review website? Do you read and review books frequently? Do you write about e-publishing? Are you just a fan of Christmas stories and want to tell your friends about them?

Here’s your chance, my friends! If you’re interested in reviewing A Long November on your website, drop me a line at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and let me know what website you represent and what eBook format you prefer, and I’ll send it to ya. MOBI, EPUB, PDF, whatever you want, I got it, and all you have to do is let me know you want it.

And what the hey… why should I restrict this offer to my Christmas book just because Christmas is approaching? So if you’d like to review any of my other eBooks — Other People’s Heroes, The Beginner, or The Restless Dead of Siegel City — the same offer applies. All you’ve got to do is e-mail me and tell me what format you want.

You can do it, friends. You can help spread a little Christmas cheer to the big, wide Internet. And, y’know, help me gather a little present-buyin’ cash in the process. Join in and spread a little Feliz to everybody’s Navidad.

 

12
Sep
11

The Beginner: Now (mostly) available!

You can’t get it everywhere and in every format yet, friends, but for you early adopters my novel The Beginner is now available!

After spending many (many, many) hours this weekend tweaking and playing with formats and uploading and retweaking and reuploading and re-retweaking and re-reuploading, you can now purchase The Beginner in the Amazon.com Kindle Store for a mere $2.99!

“But Blake,” you say, “I don’t have a Kindle! I have an utterly different eReader of a different sort! The sort that reads books in EPUB, PDF, or other assorted formats? Is there anything for me?” Oh, indeed there is, my friend. You folks can cruise on over to Smashwords.com right now and get the book for the same $2.99 as those Kindle readers!

Now there are a few more formats in which the book is not yet available. I’m waiting for the book to go through the “Meat Grinder” process which will make it available in the Barnes & Noble Nook store and the iPad bookstore, but in both cases, I anticipate the book will be ready in a couple of weeks. And if you’re holding out for the print edition, that’s coming soon too! As soon as the proof gets to me and I give it the thumbs-up, it’ll be available for $13.99.

So it’s all coming, folks.

Don’t forget, in the meantime, I’ve still got two other books available!

Other People’s Heroes  is available for Kindle, Nook, iPad, as an audiobook or in print!

A Long November is available for Kindle, Nook, iPad, and as an audiobook!

Make sure you get the entire Blake M. Petit library!

08
Sep
11

Where to Buy… A LONG NOVEMBER

A Long November and Other Tales of ChristmasA Long November and Other Tales of Christmas

A Long November was written as my National Novel Writing Month experiment for 2005 and became my first Podcast Novel. Duncan Marks is just like you — sick and tired of Christmas coming before the Thanksgiving turkey even comes out of the oven. But this year, a Spirit of the Season takes him on a journey that tests his resolve… and upon which Christmas itself may rise or fall. This short story, along with eight other Christmas themed stories of mine, has been collected into an eBook, including a new introduction and notes on each story.




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