New! Book Trailer for Buttheads from Outer Space!

Looking for a way to tell your friends about that funny new book with the aliens who speak in farts and have butts on their noggins? Well hey, lookee here! Now there’s a book trailer for BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE!

It’s all the fun of the back cover of the book, without all that pesky reading. (OK, there’s still reading… but on a screen!)

Watch, enjoy… and as my kids say when they make their YouTube videos (and even when they’re not making YouTube videos, come to think of it), “Share, like, comment and subscribe. Thanks, guys!”

 

Just a Couple of Gay Dads at Disney World – A MAGICAL UPDATE!

SevenDwarfsMineTrainFour years ago, I wrote about my first trip to Disney World with my husband Drew and our kids. It was something I’d always wanted to do, and it so far exceeded my expectations that I pretty much decided that any time we got to take a family vacation, we’d go back. As I said back then, the best part of our trip was meeting Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, because she was so unbelievably sweet to us and our kids.

That post went semi-viral, and we heard from lots of Disney fans and cast members past and present as a result. Many of them had their own wonderful stories about the Fairy Godmother and how charming she was. A couple of people said they’d pass my post along to her and make sure she got a chance to read the nice things I’d said about her. But I had no idea whether she ever actually read it or even heard about it.

Two years ago, we took our second family trip to Disney World, and this time, there was nothing we were looking forward to more than seeing our old friend.

Sadly, though, she was nowhere to be found.

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Anastasia: “Does he have money?” Me: “We’re at Disney World, aren’t we?”

We asked lots of cast members about her, but no one knew for sure what had happened to her. There were rumors she’d been let go or been sent off to the new Disneyland in Shanghai. Still, every day, we walked by Cinderella’s castle hoping she’d magically appear. We had a great trip, but we were sad when we had to leave without getting a chance to see her.

 

Last week, we took our kids to Disney World again for their spring break from school. This time, Drew and I tried not to get our hopes up. It seemed impossible that she would be there, and even if by some miracle she was, what were the odds she would remember us or my little blog post from four whole years earlier? It was half our kids’ lives ago, after all.

When we got to the Magic Kingdom, we checked the Disney app, which tells you where you can find every character in the park, but Fairy Godmother wasn’t listed. So the kids and I discussed which of the big-ticket rides we wanted to go to first: Peter Pan’s Flight or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Drew just shook his head. “Come on,” he said, leading us toward Cinderella’s castle.

He at least had to check.

Sherilyn

If you go to the Magic Kingdom, look for Miss Sherilyn around Fronteirland. Tell her Jerry and Drew said hi!

But the Fairy Godmother wasn’t there. Four or five times that day, we walked by the spot where we’d first met her, but she never showed up. We did meet some other awesome cast members like our new friend Sherilyn (pictured here) and a nice guy named Mikel who gave my kids a taste of the new Avatar ride when they were too nervous to go on it. Plus, Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters were a hoot. Anastasia was wicked in all the best ways. She told us how much she loved our family, and she even got engaged to our son Bennett. (After first checking that he had money, of course.)

 

Not that we ever had any doubt, but it was obvious that Fairy Godmother isn’t the only incredibly special person working for Disney. We knew we probably wouldn’t actually get to see the lady herself, but there were plenty of other people there to make our trip special.

MagicKingdomFireworks

Fireworks are loud

A few days later, we got to the park early for the opening ceremony. Just before the rope drop, music played and some characters came out for a song and dance to welcome us. The kids and I craned our necks to try to see through the crowd, but we only caught fleeting glimpses of some of the characters. “I think that’s Belle!” I said, though I wasn’t sure. “Or maybe Captain Hook?”

 

Then, Drew, the tallest of our smallish crew, pointed over the heads of a million tourists and said with perfect clarity, “There she is!”

“No!” I said. Of course, I knew exactly who he meant.

“Totally.”

I was still in denial. “The same one?”

“I think so.”

After that, roller coasters and teacups were not our priority. That whole morning, we kept walking past the castle in the fateful spot where we met the Fairy Godmother four years earlier.

… until at last, there she was.

It was her. The Fairy Godmother, taking pictures, signing autographs and interacting sweetly with little kids and their families.

We got in line, practically hyperventilating with excitement. “No way she’ll remember us,” I said.

“Then we’ll remind her,” Drew replied. He pulled up my blog post on his phone, and as we moved up through the line, we wondered what we were in for.

“Well, hello!” she said, when it was our turn. “Last time I saw you, it was over there!” She pointed across the walkway at a shady underpass near a gift shop.

“Yes!” Drew said. I didn’t remember at all, but apparently, she sometimes stood in a different spot. Could it be that she actually remembered our last meeting better than I did?

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She remembered us!

Well, she did. She gave us giant hugs, and she talked to us like it had only been a couple of days since we’d seen her, instead of four years. She told us she did see the blog post, and it meant so much to her. She said she thought about us often, because we were such a special family. My kids were dazzled, not just that she remembered us, but at how she got down and spoke to them like old friends, curious to hear all about them. Drew was so moved, he was in tears.

 

We spent a minute catching up, and I told her that since we last saw her, I’d written a book about Cinderella, My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Cinderella. One of my favorite characters in it is Cinderella’s fairy godmother, who’s a little miffed that Cinderella didn’t get home by midnight like she was supposed to. The real Fairy Godmother couldn’t have been nicer and even told me she was going to pick up a copy. Then, we moved along, because Fairy Godmother is very popular and had plenty of other people to see. We hung out for a second and watched as she greeted all of the next guests as warmly as she did us and made them all feel just as special.

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Fairy Godmother with my book!

We couldn’t leave Orlando without seeing her one more time, so on our last day, we waited in line outside the castle again. This time, I  brought along a copy of my book to give her. She told our kids they were lucky to have such wonderful daddies and to be part of such a special family. She gave us each a hug and a kiss on the cheek and told us that she loved us.

 

When I wrote my original post four years ago, I thought maybe we got special treatment at Disney because we were gay dads. Well, I no longer think that’s the case. I don’t think we got special treatment because we were gay dads or because we were friendly or even because I’d written a blog post.

I still think being different brings with it wonderful benefits you can never imagine.

But not this.

This happened because we had the great fortune to meet a fairy godmother.

And because she is magic.

And I can’t wait to see her again when we go back in two years.

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FairyGodmotherAutograph

* * * * *

Hey, did you know that in addition to the occasional post about being a gay dad, I write kids’ books? It’s true! Help me feed those adorable kids in the pictures above by checking out my website for my childrens’ writing and by visiting my author page on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever you like to buy books. Hooray! Books!

Happy Book Birthday to Me! The Buttheads Have Landed!

BUTTHEADS_final cover

Today is a huge day for me.

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while might remember when it was my dream to get a book publilshed about my journey to parenthood. That book, “Mommy Man,” came out in 2014. Hooray! Bucket list check mark! So… then what?

Well, today, I’m celebrating the publication of my 6th (!) book. And I couldn’t have done it without all the support I got from my readers in the early days of this blog. You convinced me to follow my dream and my voice and to keep writing.

mrsr-cinderellaAs you probably know by now, I’ve shifted gears a bit and started writing kids’ books. My four-book series MY ROTTEN STEPBROTHER RUINED FAIRY TALES came out last year, and I’ve gotten some amazing feedback on it. 10-year-old Oscar at Kid Book Reviewer wrote, “Every time I finish reading a book in this series I keep thinking it is the best, funniest book in the world. I don’t know how Jerry Mahoney makes each book sooooo much funnier and amazing than the last.”

Reading a review like that is the best feeling in the world. It’s like my happily ever after.

lloydblank2_edited-2So I couldn’t be more excited to have a new book to share with you. This one, as I may have mentioned a thousand times before, is called BUTTHEADS FROM OUTER SPACE. It’s about two best friends, Josh and Lloyd, who try to persuade aliens to come visit them by writing an Earth travel blog. And it works! The problem is that the aliens who show up are total buttheads — literally. They have butts on their heads, and they talk in farts. They love Earth so much they invite 70 billion of their friends to come join them here. Uh-oh…

I’ve mentioned it’s a kids’ book, right?

lemoncelloOne of my favorite kids’ authors, Chris Grabenstein, who wrote the gazillion-selling, award-hoarding smash super-hit ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY and dozens of other awesome books, even wrote me a blurb: “I laughed my butt off!”

It was crazy. I sent him an email through his website and told him about the book. He wrote back with his address, so I sent him a copy. Then, he wrote me that perfect blurb. (Side note: Please go buy all of Chris Grabenstein’s books. He’s a great writer and a swell guy.)

joshblank_edited-2There have been other great reviews, too, like these:

“Will cause giggle and snicker overload!” – Kirkus Reviews

“A strong bid for Captain Underpants grads!” – ALA Booklist

“A fun, wacky story that kids will love! A great book to hook reluctant readers!” – Erik, This Kid Reviews Books

“276 pages of blasting-dookies-who’s-the-weeniest-phasmic-wave-induced fun. Buttheads from Outer Space is expertly paced, comical, and full of heart!” – Joyce Audy Zarins, Writers Rumpus

I’ve decided not to do any chart twerk-type stunt with this book. If you’ve read my other books or even just a few of the posts on this blog, you know what you’re in for: cheap, lowbrow humor and shameless tugs at your heartstrings. Hey, I know my skill set.

I also know that tons of kids hate to read, but if a book has fart jokes in it and their parents think it’s gross and offensive, then they just might pick it up and check it out. Then, they’ll get all the booky goodness they’ve been missing by not reading, without even realizing they’re enriching themselves. (Suckers!)

Think of it like putting chocolate on top of a salad. Wait, am I the only one who does that?

So I hope you’ll check it out. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for a kid you know. Buy it for a teacher or a school library. If you want to buy it today-ish and help me get a boost on the charts, even better.

Here are some places you can find it. (Click on the links to go to the sales page.)

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Thanks again to everyone reading this. This blog and all the support you gave it has made all the difference in giving me the writing career I’ve always wanted. I hope you (and/or your kids) will enjoy my new book.

And for those of you who come here to see pictures of my kids, here they are with their friend Duncan at my book release!IMG_0145

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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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!

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!

Announcing: My Rotten Release Day Chart Twerk!

blogbookhead_3If there’s one thing I’ll never fail to procrastinate about, it’s promoting my books. I mean, I worked really hard on them, I’m super proud of them, and I wrote them hoping lots of people would enjoy them. But taking that step to say, “Please buy them” just feels kind of, y’know, icky.

Promotion is the writers’ equivalent of a root canal, a tax audit, or sitting through a marathon of all 97 Transformers movies back to back. I would do just about anything short of colluding with Russia to get around it.

So I’ll make this quick.

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Maddie – loves fairy tales, can’t stand her stepbrother

My books are coming out, and I think you’re going to love them. They’re fun, irreverent twists on four beloved fairy tales, with lots of humor and heart. They’re great for kids and fun for parents who like to read to kids. They answer questions like “What if the glass slipper fit one of the wicked stepsisters before Cinderella got a chance to try it on?”, “What if Belle wasn’t beautiful?” and “What if the seven dwarfs were kick-butt karate masters?” You can read more about them here.

 

Obviously, I’d love to see them sell a bunch of copies. Then, hopefully my publisher would order more books in the series and I’d get to spend even more time with these characters I’ve grown to love. So that’s my pitch.

Um… please buy them?

Since there are four books, you can take your pick! Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, Snow White. Buy whichever one is your favorite fairy tale, and you’ll see how Maddie and Holden mess it up and then try to fix it. (If you want to read them in order, Cinderella is book 1, but reading them in order isn’t essential.) Check one out and see if you like it — or heck, just grab all four at once! That’s a great idea, too! (Ick.)

 

Have I convinced you?

Well, wait! Don’t do it yet!

holdenonly

Holden – can’t stand fairy tales, loves driving his stepsister nuts

Here’s the thing: if everyone who’s planning to buy one or more My Rotten Stepbrother books does so at roughly the same time, they’ll make a much bigger splash. They’ll rank higher and get more attention, which could lead to more people discovering them. I did this with my memoir Mommy Man, and it made a huge difference. Thanks to all you awesome readers and followers, that book went to #1 in its category, #2 on Amazon’s Movers & Shakers chart and #260 overall. (That’s right. It was in the top 300 of every single book on Amazon!)

So I’m asking you to do me a huge favor. If you’re going to buy one or more of the My Rotten Stepbrother books, please do it as close to 12pm on their release day, August 1st, as you can.

If Amazon is your preferred vendor, then do it there. But if you like to support brick and mortar stores or another online retailer, then please stick with them. Anyone who sells books in 2017 is OK by me. Or buy the eBook if that’s what you prefer. Those are great, too. FYI a fuller list of vendors and links to their My Rotten Stepbrother pages can be found here.

And of course, if you’re coming to one of my events, I’d love for you to wait and buy the book(s) in person so I can sign them and support the stores that are hosting me.

august1Tuesday, August 1, 2017. 12pm your time, wherever that is. Or as close as possible to then as you can manage.

Mark your calendar, follow my tweets or leave a comment below if you’d like to be reminded by email.

OK, thanks for listening to my shameless sales pitch. See, that wasn’t so painful after all. And I did it without any help from the Kremlin. Yay me.

(Ick.)

 

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.

mrsr-aladdin

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.

mrsr-snow-white

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?

* * * * *

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!