As many of you may remember, last year I started a Christmas tradition. I released snippets of my as-of-yet unpublished epic Christmas novel, the Christmas (Noun).   (which I recommend that you read first, so this will make more sense)

 It is a tale of forgiveness, redemption, love, and Black Tiger kung-fu.  Yet, because the Christmas (Noun) was such an amazing story, so far beyond any other work of great traditional literature (like Moby Dick, or Schlock Mercenary) that I’ve yet to find a traditional publisher daring enough to buy this story of Christmas awesomeness.   My regular publisher asked me if I was off my anti-psychotic medications again, and yes, I was, but that’s entirely beside the point.

So despite this, (and egged on because all those other Mormon writers keep making billions off their Christmas novels featuring Jars, Letters, Sweaters, and other nouns), I have produced The Christmas (Noun) 2.  Market research has not yet determined what the noun will be at this time. I’m still working on that.

So, ladies and gentlemen readers of Monster Hunter Nation, I present to you, snippets of the epic masterpiece, The Christmas (Noun) 2: The (Noun)ening:


 From Chapter 1.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past,” said the ghost of Christmas past.

Tim frowned suspiciously. “I don’t know… you look a lot like that one dude, what’s his face? Christopher Walken.” And as we all know that is kind of scary.  I mean, have you watched the Prophecy? Holy crap.   

 The Ghost of Christmas Past paused and adjusted his bowtie. “Maybe, but contractually, I cannot comment. A man’s gotta work you know. Now are you listening or not?”

“Sure,” Tim shrugged. “But I don’t get it. I already saved Christmas last year. I learned the true spirit of the Christmas (noun), fought the Anti-Claus in the Peppermint Thunderdome, and rescued Hulk Hogan and a bunch of puppies… what else do you people want from me?”

The Ghost of Christmas Past handed Tim a big stainless .45 automatic. “Christmas needs you, Tim. To save it… in the FUTURE!”

Tim took the gun. “You know, this violates the heck out of my parole.”


From Chapter 2.

The children laughed and played after they found the magic hat. And when they put it on a snowman’s head, it came to life. But it didn’t really dance or do anything cool, so the kids thought it was pretty boring.  

“This is stupid,” said one of them. “We should have put the magic hat that makes stuff come alive on something that didn’t suck.”

“Like a monster truck!” suggested another. “Or a dinosaur!”  The village children were not very smart.

“Hey, everybody! Maybe it’ll be like Frosty the Snowman,” suggested one of the children. “Dance, Frosty!”   

“Frosty?” The snowman asked, and then sucker punched the kid in the face. “Frosty? I’ll show you Frosty…” he started after them, but the children were already running for their lives. He shook his fist in the air. “Frosty is a punk. I’m Stabby the Snowman,” the evil snowman shouted as it broke a razor sharp icicle off a nearby roof and tested the balance.   “And Stabby don’t dance.”

 Even though it was snowing, there was an ominous crack of thunder.


From Chapter 3.

Sally Love-Interest waited beneath the mistletoe for her boyfriend Tim.  Sally had a crush on Tim since they were eight years old and Tim’s entire family had been torn apart by Christmas.  She loved him extra more now that he’d learned the true meaning of Christmas and killed all those zombie old folks. 

“Where, oh where is Tim?” Sally asked.

“I don’t know, Sally,” said Tim’s mother, gesturing about the mall with her stainless steel candy-cane hands.  “But I’m worried.  There are things I haven’t told young Tim… Terrible Christmas secrets.  You see, Tim’s grandfather was a member of a secret society that protected the Christmas (Noun). Something wicked this way comes this very Christmas Eve. Something wicked and terrible is coming our way now!” She pointed one hook dramatically across the food court.

“Huh?” Sally was easily confused.  “Like from the Orange Julius?”

“Good thing you’re pretty, honey, ‘cause your brains sure won’t pay the bills,” Tim’s mother said, and then proceeded to explain the plot in one big info dump, complete with vague historical references taken out of context, and some poorly researched pseudo-religious innuendo… kind of like a Dan Brown novel.


From Chapter 4.

Why are all Santa’s elves making magic hats?  Wondered Tim as he lowered himself on a rope from the skylight like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, not the really bad one that John Woo did with all the unnecessary slow motion shots, but that other one. 

Tim couldn’t figure it out. The elves had been kidnapped from Santa’s workshop, and were being forced to make cute little top hats on an assembly line.  A nutcracker cyborg walked behind the elves, randomly hitting them with a bullwhip. Tim hated nutcrackers.

“Stabby is building an army of evil snowmen,” growled the Ghost of Christmas Present, who looked suspiciously like Clint Eastwood.  “He’ll destroy Christmas for sure.” He pulled a .44 magnum from his shoulder holster. “You ready, kid?”

“Born ready,” answered Tim.


From Chapter 5.

The army of snowmen was right behind him.  It had been a trap.  They had underestimated Stabby, and despite the sheer radical awesomeness of the ensuing jet-ski chase, the evil snowmen were closing in.

With the Ghosts of Christmas Past & Present trapped in the magic snow globe of pain, there was only one man that Tim could turn to melt the army of snowmen before they ravaged the entire town.

Tim banged on the mansion’s front door.  It opened slowly and a fat man in a bathrobe regarded him suspiciously.  “Former vice president Al Gore?” asked Tim hopefully.

“Yes.”  Al Gore answered suspiciously. “Hmm… you don’t look like a caroler.”

The snowmen were closing in. The mansion was surrounded. Tim had no time to lose, so he karate chopped Al Gore on the neck and carried him inside.


From Chapter 6.

Al Gore woke up tied to a chair. “What’re you doing? Are you nuts?”

“Nuts like a fox,” Tim answered quickly as he peered through the blinds.  The snowman army was there, waiting for him to make his move. “But I need your help.”  Tim pushed the vice president’s chair to the window. “Check this out.”

Al Gore screamed when he saw the evil snowmen rampaging.  “They’re terrifying, what with their eyes made of coal. Coal is a leading cause of green house gases, just behind farting cows. However, I am glad to see that they are using biodegradable materials such as carrots for noses.”

Tim pimp slapped Al Gore. “Get a hold of yourself, man!”  He thought better of it, and slapped Al Gore again, just because it was kind of fun.

“What can I do to help stop this terrible army of evil snowmen?” Al Gore asked. “Anything. Just please make them go away!”

“I need you to let global warming happen!” Tim said. “Rising temperatures will cause Stabby and his army to melt. We might not be able to save Christmas this year, but we can still save humanity. I’d rather be farming Greenland than impaled on a giant icicle.”

Al Gore grew quiet. “Uhm… well… that may be a bit of a problem…”

“What?” Tim cried. Outside the snowmen were building a siege engine.

“Yeah… that global warming thing. We… uh… we made it up… The data was all fabricated.  I… uh… I just wanted to be important. And I used the money to buy a rockin’ private jet. You must have missed that thing with the e-mails.”

“But… but you won the Nobel Prize!” Tim gasped.

Al Gore laughed. “Are you kidding? Haven’t you been paying attention? They give those things out in Happy Meals now!”


From Chapter 7.

Sally Love-Interest screamed in terror as Tim stumbled into the mall. “Tim! You’re covered in blood!”

“Don’t worry, it’s from Al Gore,” Tim answered quickly.  That Stabby sure lived up to his name.

Sally screamed again as the giant-ice-sculpture-main-battle-tank crashed through the mall entrance and rolled through the shoppers at the food court, like a tank through a bunch of squishy things.

“Tim! You have to unleash the power of the Christmas (noun)!” Tim’s mother cried as she tried to lift the Christmas (noun) with her ineffectual hook hands. “Darn it, Sally, be useful for once and pick up this darn(noun).”

Stabby the Snowman leapt from the top of the ice tank, twirling a razor sharp icicle in both hands. Tim dodged as Stabby tried to murder him to death!  Tim picked up a giant Styrofoam candy cane and blocked the attack.

“Is that the best you’ve got?” Tim taunted.

“Freak, dude, I’m made out of snow. What did you expect? Bruce Lee?” Stabby answered.


From Chapter 8.

The melting snow was pink with spilled blood.  The mall had been totally wrecked in the epic final battle sequence. Sparks fell from the attack helicopter that was dangling from the Christmas lights, on fire, but the rotor was still turning slowly and dramatically. The Swedish bikini team fanned out with their assault rifles to make sure all the snowmen were melting. Tim picked up the carrot that had been Stabby’s nose and ate it. Tim liked carrots.

“Christmas is saved again,” said Sally Love-Interest gleefully. “Thanks to the Christmas (noun) and the global warming power of love!”

 “Good work, son,” said the mysterious man who magically appeared.  

“Who are you?” asked Tim.

“I think that’s Lance Henriksen, one of only two actors to be killed by a Terminator, an Alien, and a Predator,” said Tim’s mom. The others looked at her. “What? I spend a lot of time on IMDB. I don’t have hands. You expect me to take up bowling?”

“I’m the Ghost of Christmas Future,” said the Ghost of Christmas Future.  “You’ve saved Christmas again, Tim, and there’s somebody important that wants to say thanks.” The guy from Millennium stepped out of the way, and who else should appear, but Santa Claus!

“Tim, thank you for killing that awful snowman and freeing my elves. They made something for you,” and Santa reached into his magic sack and pulled out a present. Tim unwrapped it and saw that it was the limited edition Optimus Prime with laser ax and eyeball cannon that he had wanted when he was eight. “Clerical error down in Naughty/Nice filing,” Santa explained. “I’m sorry your grandfather died for nothing.”

“Sweet!” Tim said. Since it was still in its original packaging, this thing would bring a fortune on E-bay.

And everyone lived happily ever after, until next Christmas, when Rudalfo the Red Nosed Hit-deer and the Reindeer Mafia came to collect on Tim’s gambling debts.


(once again, a note to readers, The Christmas (Noun) and The Christmas (Noun) 2: The (Noun)ening are not real books. They are spoofs. Do not let the sheer awesomeness of the above writing excellence scare you away from purchasing any of my actual novels that are on sale at Amazon and fine bookstores everywhere)

Merry Christmas!

Signing books, it is not just a job, it’s an adventure. Or. Back from Denver.

Colorado was the last stop of the book signing tour for the year.  

Author John Brown and I drove out to Denver this last Friday.  We hit every Barnes & Noble on the way down, did two signings on Saturday, and then had dinner with a bunch of really great people. The first signing went pretty well, the second was awesome.  Several of the B&Ns ordered in lots of extra books for us to sign, even if we were just doing a drive by & sign, in order to have an end cap of signed copies for Christmas sales.

I was able to meet a bunch of people that I know from blogs and forums.  I met Dravur from THR, and then at the night signing I was able to meet Justin , and Larry & Sandy Ashcraft, who I’ve known for like ten years on the internet, but who I’d never actually met face to face.  I was finally able to meet Farmgirl who is awesome, and her mom.  Then a bunch of Colorado bloggers from came.  And I’m probably even forgetting some people.

We ate dinner at a local place, which was good, and then crashed at the hotel, brain damaged and exhausted with low level carpal tunnel from signing so many books.  Luckily, John Brown was not stalked by any Reptoids this trip. (that we know of…)

Denver folks, I love you, but from now on I’m only driving across Wyoming in the summer.  The trip home was just spiffy. It snowed most of the way. We saw eight wrecks between Longmont and Fort Collins.  It was icy, and I discovered that the reason my Focus gets such great gas mileage is because it weighs approximately fifteen pounds, which means that it doesn’t exactly stick to ice very well, and Wyoming/Hoth style winds will shove you around a bit.  At one point I was forced to kill a Tauntaun and crawl inside to stay alive.  I think I actually drove past the Terror and the Erebus. But fifteen hours of white-knuckled terror later, we made it out of the surreal winter wonderland. (If Utah’s motto is “This is the Place!”  Then Wyoming’s motto is “Eh…close enough.”)

I do love Wyoming though. It is the Keep Off My Lawn State. Wyoming people don’t screw around. They don’t take crap off anyone, and since they live through the winter there, they are tough as nails. Wyoming is always the first state to tell the federal government to go to hell on most topics. So I love them. So no offense intended to my Wyoming readers, I just hate your howling winter death winds.

So I’m back, working from home today because we’ve already gotten a foot of snow this morning on the Oquirrh benches, and I don’t feel like driving through anymore snow. 

One little update, if you’ve ordered books or patches from me in the last few weeks, they are going out on Thursday.  I ran out of patches, but UPS says that they are on the way.  Then it is back to work on Alpha, and I will be putting out another Christmas Noun, probably later this week.

John Brown’s review of MHI

John finished MHI while we were on our signing trip through Denver.  I’m swamped trying to catch up at work now, but I’ll post about the trip as soon as I can. We had a great time.

Book signings in Denver

John Brown (Servant of a Dark God, from Tor) and I will be in Denver this weekend.  Come by and say hi.  Or buy lots of books. They make great Christmas presents.

December 5
1 pm – 3 pm
Meet public, discuss book, signing–Brown & Correia Loveland, CO Barnes & Noble
The Promenade Shops at Centerra
5835 Sky Pond Drive
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 663-9473
December 5
5 pm – 7 pm
Meet public, discuss book, signing–Brown & Correia Denver (Lone Tree), CO  Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
8374 South Willow Street
Lone Tree, CO   80124
(303) 706-9660

EDIT: It’s cool.

EDIT:  Okay, before reading forward, everybody can relax.  I spoke with the owner of the Two Hour Wargames after I posted this. Yes, he was inspired by the first part of MHI. He will be putting up a thing on his page about that is where he got the idea. He apologized, and will be linking to where people can get my book.   Ed apologized, said that he read that bit and got fired up, and should not have used my stuff like that.  I respect that he contacted me so quickly to apologize and to try to make things right. 

I don’ t mind fan fiction, in fact I love it and there is some great MHI fan fic on the internet. I know of at least a dozen different gamer groups that are running their own MHI based campaigns and I think that is awesome, but when someone uses a writer’s creation to make money, then that is different. Baen Books owns the rights to MHI, and anything that ties in there needs to be cleared through them through proper channels.

So I’m pulling this down. Thanks to everybody who jumped in there. I’ve got a brutal fan base. You guys rocked, but we’re cool here.


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