My Rotten Books: Now Available Everywhere!

I had a great time reading and signing the MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER books at the Burbank, CA Barnes & Noble. Best of all, the store sold out of 3 of the 4 titles! (I left two autographed copies of MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER RUINED ALADDIN behind, so if you hurry, they might still be there!)

Best of all, the book is now in stock at Amazon and lots of other bookstores, too! I apologize to everyone who had to wait for their copies, but now the waiting is over for everyone!

Check these handy dandy buttons to see if your favorite retailer has them in stock.

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And if you’ve already read one or more of them, you can help spread the word by leaving a review at any of those places and/or at GoodReads.

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Cover Reveal: BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE!

I’m so excited to reveal the cover artwork for my next book, Buttheads From Outer Space! It’s the story of Lloyd and Josh, two sixth grade misfits who want nothing more than to meet aliens, and their wish comes true! The problem is, the aliens turn out to be total buttheads, in every sense. They talk in farts, they hog the XBox, they barf up Oreos everywhere. And now the guys can’t get them to leave. It’s outer space… in your face!

I’m pretty sure it’ll be heralded as the next great American novel.

It’ll be released in March 2018 from Sky Pony Press, and you can preorder it now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your favorite indie retailer! (And if it’s a bit too early for you, you can always mark it as “to-read” on Goodreads so you don’t forget about it.)

If you’re reading this the day I’m posting it, you may notice that none of those sites have the book cover image yet. But I do! And I’m showing it to my followers first, right here. Ready?

Here it is!

Buttheads From Outer Space cover

Coming March 2018!

This brilliance comes from illustrator Chris Garbutt. Yes, even our illustrator has “butt” in his name. It’s going to be that kind of book, everyone.

I can’t wait for you to read it!

In-Store Event This Saturday (8/19) in Burbank, CA!

IMG_5117There was such a great turnout on release day for my MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER BOOKS release party at Anderson’s Book Shop that the store sold out of books! I understand Amazon has had trouble stocking and shipping the books as well, so my apologies to anyone who’s still waiting to get their hands on copies. But I have some good news for you…

If you live in Southern California, you can get any or all of the books this Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 2-4pm at the Barnes and Noble in Burbank! They’re fully stocked and ready to go, and I’ll be on hand to sign books, as well as to give out book cookies (a/k/a “bookies”), stickers, bookmarks and more!

It’s sure to be another fun day, so I hope to see you there!

It’s Twerk Time! Go go go!

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Here you go! Your final, last minute reminder and nudge to take part in the My Rotten Stepbrother Release Extravaganza/Chart Twerk. If you’ve been waiting to buy your copies of one or more of these books, now’s the time.

Remember, the more people who buy at roughly this moment, the bigger the impact the books will make on their release day. So go to your favorite bookstore or online retailer or buy on Amazon to help me shoot up their sales charts.

Stop reading! Go go go!!!

Then, you know, start reading. The books are fun. You’re going to love them!

REMINDER: Tomorrow’s the Big Day, Twerkers!

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That’s Maddie, the sweet stepsister at the heart of my MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER books, and if she looks a bit miffed, it’s probably for one of two reasons. One, her rotten stepbrother Holden just broke another one of her favorite stories and now they have to go into the book to fix it. Or two, she’s annoyed because you forgot about tomorrow’s Rotten Release Day Chart Twerk!

As you may recall from when my memoir Mommy Man came out, this is when I shamelessly encourage everyone to buy my book at roughly the same time so that it’ll zoom up the charts and make people take notice.

So yes! You can help! Yes, you! Do you really want Maddie to make that face up there? Or would you rather see her stepbrother Holden make this face instead?

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Well, to be honest, he makes that face every time Maddie gets annoyed, and we try not to encourage him, the little jerk.

But I’ll make that face if you go buy one or more of the books tomorrow. Then I’ll dance around and go “Wheee wheee wheee!” Then I’ll get tired and eat a cupcake.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, you can read more about the books here, but if you or anyone you know is 6-12 years old (or ever was), you’ll appreciate the snark and sweetness, not to mention the karate-chopping dwarfs. Then you’ll be the one with the smile on your face!

Mark your calendar, set your alarm or leave me a comment and I’ll email you when the time comes. Come on, you know you always wanted to twerk!

New Post on Scary Mommy Today!

My Rotten CookiesI’m so excited to be back on Scary Mommy. I have a new post up there today called It’s Time For Us To Embrace A New Kind of Fairy Tale. It’s all about what got me to write the My Rotten Stepbrother books, specifically the crummy examples most fairy tales set for girls. Check it out and let me know what you think!

And don’t forget… it’s just two days until the books come out and My Rotten Release Day Chart Twerk! Mark your calendars and order your copies at 12pm your local time, this Tuesday, August 1, 2017!

Finally, if you’re in the New York area, stop by my launch party at Anderson’s Book Shop in Larchmont on Tuesday, 8/1 at 6pm. There will be books, stickers, signings and adorable little cookies like the ones in the picture above. I’d love to see you there!

New book deal! New website!

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That incredibly crude picture isn’t just to highlight my juvenile sense of humor. It’s also an announcement for my new kids book! In addition to the Rotten Stepbrother books, which will be published August 1, 2017 (so soon!), I’m happy to announce another middle grade novel in the pipeline, BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE!

(I’m very grateful to my 7-year-old daughter Sutton for the suggested artwork above. I imagine the publisher may ultimately go a different way, but I have to say, the kid gets me.)

The book is about two sixth-grade boys, Josh and Lloyd, who want to hang out with some fun aliens — and maybe enlist their help getting revenge on their rival Quentin. But their plan to show some E.T.s what a cool planet Earth is works too well, and soon the buttheads want to take over the planet. Oops. Now the boys are going to need to work with Quentin to stop them, or Earth is doomed!

Do you like fart jokes? Have you ever read the great classics of American literature — say perhaps “The Grapes of Wrath” or “For Whom the Bell Tolls” — and thought, “Not bad, but it could’ve used more fart jokes”? Well, good news. This book is for you!

The bad news is you’ll have to wait until Spring 2018 for this one to be published, by the fine, twisted minds at Sky Pony Press.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out my new website. Yes, a whole new website! For me! I figured it was a good idea to have a site just for my kids’ writing, which I could keep free of adult topics and swear words. (Fart jokes are totes a go, though!)

Even better, follow me on my new Facebook site for my middle grade writing. That’s probably the best way to keep in touch with me, since there’s no subscription option on the new writing site. (Apparently, when grown-ups collect emails from kids, it’s “creepy.”)

I may still post here on Mommy Man from time to time, but as you’ve probably guessed, kidlit is what takes up most of my time lately. It’s awesome writing books my kids can enjoy, especially when it gives me the chance to warp their minds directly, rather than letting Jeff Kinney and Dav Pilkey have all the fun.

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The Rotten Stepbrother books are available for pre-order! I’ll probably arrange a chart twerk as it gets closer to the publication date, but if you can’t wait and you want to pre-order now, I won’t stop you!

Let’s Move “T” to the Front of LGBTQ

tlgbqIt’s pretty obvious that trans people need our help these days, so I suggest we update our acronym to TLGBQ as a show of support.

When I was in college in the early 90’s, I was still a few years away from coming out as gay, but I did notice when the campus’ main gay organization changed its name from the GLA (Gay & Lesbian Association) to the LGBC (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Coalition). They felt like the group was becoming too exclusive, and they wanted to make lesbians and bisexuals feel more welcome.

It was the right idea, but looking back now, it’s glaring that even in the reshuffling, the letter “T” didn’t find its way in there at the time. It’s only recently that T has become a permanent fixture of LGBTQ. I won’t go into the debate about whether transgender rights should be considered part of gay rights. As far as I’m concerned, it’s settled. They should be, and they are, and if you disagree, you can go form your own movement, because there’s no room for transphobia in mine.

Let’s remember who fought back at Stonewall. Some of the most prominent protesters were transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The L’s, G’s and B’s of that period in history, in most cases, were happy to blend in or live in the shadows or the closet. Trans people, on the other hand, refused to or couldn’t fit in, and at some point, they’d had it with being abused and marginalized. As far as I’m concerned, we’re lucky they let us join their movement.

And what have us cisgender LGBQ’s done to thank them and show them our support? Well, at some point, we tacked a “T” onto our acronym and started including them in our nondiscrimination laws.

It’s not enough.

Especially today, when trans rights are under attack, we need to do everything we can to let transgender people know we have their backs and we’re going to fight for them the way they’ve always fought for us.

It’s disgusting that Donald Trump has taken away protections for trans students. There’s no question what this shameful move will do to trans kids across the country:

It will kill them.

It will drive more trans students toward suicide suicide and embolden bullies to attack them even more than they already do. We’ve seen how the anti-Semitism in Trump’s administration has led to a rise in anti-Semitic harassment (which Trump refuses to adequately condemn).

The same goes for Muslims and immigrants, who this administration has come after as well. There’s no doubt that an increase in transphobic attacks is on the horizon.

And then which group is next?

Would any of us be surprised if it’s the rest of the LGBTQ community?

Still, it’s clear which members of our community they’ve chosen to attack first, who they consider the most vulnerable and the easiest to defeat. Let’s not give them any impression that trans rights are in any way an afterthought to our movement. Let’s put our trans allies right up front.

TLGBQ

Sure, the people who already make fun of our cumbersome acronym will have a field day.

Let them.

They’ll do all the publicity for us, and we can focus on calling our representatives to support TLGBQ rights and fighting the government in court.

TLGBQ

Start using it now.

Do it to thank the trans community for giving birth to the movement.

Do it because they need our support.

Do it to show the bullies in our government that if they want to come for trans rights, they’re going to have to go through all of us, and we’re going to stand together and fight like Hell.

 

Does Belle Have Stockholm Syndrome? Emma Watson Responds – and so do I.

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As pretty much everyone in the universe knows by now, Disney’s live-action version of Beauty & the Beast comes out on March 17. And as readers of this blog know, my book My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty & the Beast (along with 3 other books in the series) comes out August 1.

beautybeastdisneySo I was really excited to read this interview with the new Belle, Emma Watson, from Entertainment Weekly, where she addresses the tricky subject of whether Belle’s love for the Beast stems from Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition where prisoners fall in love with their captor.

“Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.”

– Emma Watson, Entertainment Weekly

It’s a great point, although I address the subject a bit differently in my version. In My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty & the Beast, Holden, the rotten kid in the title, enjoys needling his fairy tale-loving stepsister by pointing out plot holes in her favorite stories. With Beauty & the Beast, one of the things he mentions is how messed-up it is that Belle falls in love with a creepy recluse who’s holding her prisoner.

Yes, I’ve written a kids’ book about Stockholm Syndrome.

It’s all presented in a fun, kid-friendly way, of course. Holden insists that there’s no way Belle really loves this guy, and soon, the feuding step-siblings are thrust into the tale, where they become characters who have to give the story back its Happily Ever After. Holden is a lawyer who has to defend the Beast against kidnapping charges, and his step-sister Maddie is Belle, whose father is trying to deprogram her and get her to date other men.

I love that Emma Watson put so much thought into this topic, and after you see the movie, I hope you’ll check out my version of the story for a whole different perspective, with an unexpected fairy tale ending all its own.

Coming Soon: My Rotten Stepbrother Books!

I’m happy to announce that my new book series for kids has a publication date! The series is called MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER RUINED… and will be available from Capstone Publishing on August 1, 2017. The books are about a girl named Maddie who loves fairy tales and her obnoxious stepbrother, who loves pointing out the plot holes in her favorite stories. His gripes are actually pretty spot-on… so much so that he breaks the stories, and the two feuding step-siblings have to go into the stories to try to fix them and give the characters back their happily ever after. It’s a fun series for kids around age 6-10 with lots of humor and surprises.

I’ll post when they’re available for pre-order, and I plan to do some events and live readings around the release. There may even be some chart twerking involved. In the meantime, you’ll notice some changes to this site as I focus on promoting my new career as a children’s author!

Here’s a little more info on each book in the series, along with the official cover reveals! The artwork is by an amazing designer named Aleksei Bitskoff.

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Book 1: MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER RUINED CINDERELLA

Holden points out the ridiculousness of a man needing a shoe to track down the woman he supposedly fell in love with. Wouldn’t he remember her face? And don’t a lot of women have the same size foot? What a bad plan!

Soon, he and Maddie are thrust into the story, only to find that the Prince is now engaged to a Wicked Stepsister, and the Fairy Godmother is a little miffed that Cinderella disobeyed the one rule she gave her and stayed out past midnight. Will Maddie and Holden be able to set things right, or will Cinderella remain a miserable housemaid forever?

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Book 2: MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER RUINED BEAUTY & THE BEAST

Holden doesn’t get it: if the Beast gets cursed for being shallow, why is he allowed to break the spell by marrying a total babe? If that’s the case, has he really learned anything? And how do they know Belle’s feelings are real? Maybe she has Stockholm Syndrome, where prisoners fall in love with their captors.

The next thing they know, Holden has become a lawyer in a fairy tale version of France, forced to defend the Beast on kidnapping charges. Maddie is a confused Belle, convinced by her dad to play the field and see if there are better options out there than a short-tempered monster who held her in his castle against her will. Together, they explore where beauty really comes from and figure out if Beauty & Beast were really destined to be together.

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Holden thinks Aladdin has it all wrong. He can wish for anything, and all he wants is for a princess to fall in love with him? Lame! If he had three wishes, the first thing he’d wish for is a million more wishes. Then, a hoverboard. Oh, and having no parents would be great, too.

Well, all his wishes come true when he becomes Aladdin, and for the first time, he has no interest in fixing the fairy tale. Life with a genie waiting on you hand and foot is SWEET! How will Maddie convince him to give all this up so Aladdin can marry the princess and they can go home? It won’t be easy, since she finds herself thrust into the story as a camel, and her rotten stepbrother refuses to use one of his wishes to change her back to a human.

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Book 4: MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER RUINED SNOW WHITE

Holden has been messing up fairy tales so often that now Maddie can’t help doing it herself. She’s playing Snow White in the school play, and she can’t help wondering why the princess doesn’t just gorge on some greasy food and give herself acne to get her jealous stepmother off her case. Holden has his own thoughts, like how Snow White should be training the dwarfs in karate so they can kick the Queen’s wicked butt.

Soon, Holden is the Huntsman, Maddie is Snow White, and a major showdown is looming. Plus, the step-siblings are given the chance to break the spell that sends them into all these fairy tales once and for all. Plus, Holden gets to make a decision that could get his annoying stepsister out of his life for good. What will he choose?

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Can’t wait for you to read these books. I’ve had so much fun writing them, and they’re already garnering rave reviews from my own kids. More details soon!