Betimes Books, the good people and lovers of the word who are bringing you the entire, newly-repackaged Hector Lassiter series, is now offering a new Christmas short story collection you can read for free in a very slick PDF format right here.
(For lovers of paper, a special, trade paperback edition is also available for purchase from Amazon for a reasonable price.)
The Betimes collection consists of a range of short stories and short pieces from the Betimes Books stable of writers. Befitting the array of authors represented, the stories also run the gamut in mood and approach, but all are centered on the holiday. Each piece also contains a short, original introductory essay by its author.
My own contribution is lifted from PRINT THE LEGEND (soon to be newly available from Betimes in early 2015; here's a glimpse of the new cover).
My piece is structured as a believed-to-be Ernest Hemingway-penned lost chapter of his Paris memoir, A MOVEABLE FEAST. In the short piece, Hemingway and fellow up-and-coming author Hector Lassiter share a recalled, bittersweet Christmas morning at Le Select.
The moment detailed actually prefigures the opening of FOREVER'S JUST PRETEND, whose opening pages see our literary duo on the evening of the same Christmas Day detailed in the PTL excerpt. (Yes, I really plotted the whole nine-novel series that tightly.)
If the new story puts you in the mood for more Christmas Lassiter material, please keep an eye open for the December release of THE RUNNING KIND, which is set in and around Christmas 1950, in the wake of a historic, massive November snowstorm that actually buried the midwest, then triggered terrible flooding throughout the east (sound all-too-familiar, good people of Buffalo?)
But back to the Betimes Christmas collection: In addition to asking you to check out my own story, I'd also recommend the darkly comic "Slay Belles," by Hadley Colt, which takes some pretty dark shots at the publishing industry and some of its more recent turmoils. Here's an illustration that's being used to push that story and its gun-toting, strapping Santa...