Some Giveaway Winners

We have three winners who will be receiving a signed print copy of the new Avery Cates story, The Kendish Hit, and this is the story of how they won.

First of all, if you weren’t aware that I was giving away copies of the story, that’s probably because despite my incessant pleas and reminders, you haven’t signed up for my newsletter. Which is, frankly, inexplicable. Four times a year I’ll be sending out an email with news, secrets, embarrassing photos, and giveaways and other exclusive stuff. You can sign up over at the top right of this page, or go here. I suggest you do it right now, before you forget.

In the March 2017 newsletter I asked people to finish a line from the story itself:

“The Big Guy had an accent, something drastic that made every word sound like _________.”

In the actual story, the line ends “… it had been carved out of rocks.” I took all the entries and anonymized into a document, which I submitted to the Jeff Somers Rocks You Like an Email Hurricane Judging Committee, which is staffed by my wife The Duchess.

The Duchess takes everything she does very seriously, and so after a costume change and a snack she settled in to read through the entries, sifting through until she had found three she deemed acceptable for a variety of reasons. Here are the winners:

“… it had been carved out of rocks!” — A.L. Coan

The Duchess says: “I chose this one because they mimicked the Master.”

“… cliff faces falling into the ocean, taking that hospital of paraplegic nuns with them. His voice was what the stratification of the Burgess Shale, the Morrison Formation, and the Laramide Revolution would sound like if you recorded every sound during their deposition, scrunched that into a five-minute soundclip, and turned it into a black metal single. Every intake of breath was the collective screams of pterosaurs and anomalocarids still trapped somewhere below his larynx, begging for just one tracheotomy to let them see daylight again.” — Paul Riddell

The Duchess says: “This one was chosen for the simple, sheer amount of time it took to come up with something like that.

“… he’d been drinking Black Saddle bourbon for 3 days straight” — John Patterson

The Duchess says: “This one wins because it shows he actually read the newsletter.”

So there you have it, folks: The winners of the March 2017 Newsletter Giveaway. Who will be next? You’d best sign up to be in the running. You never know when I’ll be giving away my credit card # or something; I do drink a lot.

New Avery Cates Story

Just a quick note to remind everyone that the new Avery Cates short story The Kendish Hit is officially available. For just 99 cents you get the title story, a prequel set long before the events of The Electric Church, plus several other Cates short stories that are variably available depending on how well you’ve been paying attention over the last few years. Here’s the cover copy:

In this prequel to “The Electric Church,” a young Avery Cates takes on his first job, meets someone who will be an old friend someday, and learns some hard lessons in the newly-formed System of Federated Nations.

Contains the previously-released Avery Cates stories “This Was Battle. This Was Joy,” “The Golden Badge,” “The Oldest Bastard on the Block,” “This Was Education,” “all orphans, at least,” and “The Sewer Rat.”

Enjoy! 99 cents for a digital copy, just $6 for a print book.


Announcing Our “Stringer” Giveaway Winners

Stringer.jpgAs anyone who has signed up for the mighty mighty Jeff Somers Rocks You Like an Email Hurricane newsletter already knows, I recently ran a newsletter-only giveaway offering up five rare print copies of my Ustari Cycle novella The Stringer, which is only available for sale as an eBook right now.

I plan to do a giveaway like this every time I send out a newsletter, and I’ll be doing about 4 newsletters a year. So if you haven’t signed up for mine yet, do the math and sign up immediately. I’ll be sitting here, staring at my MailChimp dashboard, waiting.

Anyways, it’s too late for you to win The Stringer because that ship has sailed without you. But I can now reveal the winners!


The contest was simple. I included this photo:

Unimpressed Cat is Unimpressed

And asked folks to offer a caption. I received a couple dozen entries, which I anonymized and sent to my wife, The Duchess, to choose 5 of the best. Here are her selections, the lucky winners:

  1. “Thumb monkey I demand string. This is unacceptable.” — Terry Moody
  2. Sorry, you can only give away four copies. I chewed on this one a little bit. — Jesse W
  3. “Hey! So, where’s the string?” — Colin D. Smith
  4. Attached are my revisions. — Emerson Dameron
  5. I wanted to play with string and the drunk gives me this. It’s just insulting. — Jason Falter

Personally, #4 is my favorite for no reason whatsoever, although #5’s reference to alcohol is always a winning strategy with me.

Congrats to the winners!

Excerpt from “Last Best Day” (Ustari Cycle #4)

Last Best Day (Ustari Cycle #4)

Last Best Day (Ustari Cycle #4)

“Last Best Day” is out on Monday, October 3. To mark the occasion, here’s chapter 1 of the novella. You can buy the whole story at Amazon, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo for just 99 cents.


THAT HOT DOG SMELL. Lem said we could eat hot dogs for lunch, but Lem said that before and we didn’t. Lem is cranky. I don’t know why. He’s not Hiram cranky, but no one is Hiram cranky but Hiram. Lem is Lem Cranky, which isn’t screamy cranky, but glum cranky. I actually prefer Hiram Cranky, because with Hiram you at least know why he’s mad.

Exhaust and sweat, even though it’s cold. Everybody is always rushing, but people get out of my way. Lem says its because I’m big. I am big. Or things are small. Like toilet stalls. Too small. I get in, I can’t turn around. Took me a long time to remember to back in sometimes.

Lem buys the hot dogs.

He doesn’t get any. He just stands there smoking a cigarette and scowling. I don’t ask what’s wrong. Lem never tells me.


“The Sewer Rat” Free for Everyone

Free Sewer Rats for Everyone Sounds Kind of Weird, Doesn't It?

Free Sewer Rats for Everyone Sounds Kind of Weird, Doesn’t It?

Friends, a few months ago I announced a brand-new, 100% free Avery Cates short story, The Sewer Rat. The story was sent out to everyone who was signed up for my ass-kicking newsletter at the time. Did you sign up for my ass-kicking newsletter? No? Then for god’s sake do so immediately. There’s a form on the sidebar of this wee blog, as well as a link on my main web page.

So, those lucky folks got to read the story months ago, but now I’m releasing it for free everywhere through Smashwords. Because I am awesome. Go on and grab it, and look for it to slowly trickle into all the usual storefronts as well.

As a reminder, this isn’t the first time I’ve released a free story through Smashwords; to promote my novel Chum I released the ass-kicking short story Up the Crazy through Smashwords a few years ago, and that story remains a pretty great value at $0. It’s a “lost chapter” that links the novel Chum to my first-ever published novel Lifers, as the stories share a universe and some minor characters. You should totally download and read that one as well.

“Lifers” & “The Shattered Gears” in Print on B&N

The Shattered Gears Omnibus

The Shattered Gears Omnibus



You may or may not be aware that Barnes & Noble has moved to compete with Amazon‘s Createspace program with a print component for their own Nook Press. That means that self-publishers can offer print versions of their books through B&N’s website as well (and there are supposedly some limited opportunities for self-pub books to get into brick-and-mortar stores, but I’m not focusing on that right now).

Anyways, the point of this post is simple: My two self-pub efforts, my first novel Lifers and the Avery Cates Omnibus The Shattered Gears, are now both available as print books through either Amazon and B&N.

The good news is, they’re both cheaper on B&N, so if you’ve hesitated to buy either because you didn’t want to pay $8 for Lifers or $14 for The Shattered Gears, you can get both $2 cheaper over at B&N.


B&N Nook | B&N Print | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print


B&N Nook | B&N Print | Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print

(You can also buy both books at Google Play and Kobo if you’re so inclined!)

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference Appearance

Writer's Digest Annual Conference

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference

So, I’ll be participating in this year’s Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. This will be my third year in a row at this event, and I’m pretty jazzed.

Unlike the last two years where I presented my patented Take Off Your Pants and Write: Plantsing! seminar, this year I’m just popping in for the cocktail hour and a panel:

The Art (and Science) of Worldbuilding in Science Fiction and Fantasy

With Debbie Dadey, Elizabeth Bear, and Matthew Kressel

Sunday, August 14, 10:15am — 11:15am

New York Hilton Midtown
1335 6th Ave
New York, NY 10019

If you’re planning to attend, shoot me a note and buy me a drink, not necessarily in that order.

Weekly Recap 7-22-16

recap Here we are at Friday again. This keeps happening. Luckily for you, I am a driven man who continuously puts out new writings just for your entertainment.

On the Wee Blog
I wrote a few articles on this here wee blog because that’s what you do when you have a wee blog:

1. “Man Baby” in which I discuss that peculiar feeling when you’re a middle-aged man and your wife doesn’t think you can dress yourself.

2. “The Most Interesting Scene in Mr. Robot S2E1” in which I discuss one scene from the season premiere of the USA show.

ON Other Wee Blogs
I get paid to write for other people for whom writing is a mysterious, dark art. Here’s a few things that published this week:

1. “The Art of the Deal: Bestselling Ghostwritten Books” in which I discuss some bestselling books that were totally not written by the people on the cover.

2. “5 Writers Who Shouldn’t Have Survived to Write Their Classics” in which I discuss a few great writers whose lifestyle choices should have killed them long before they wrote anything.

Writer’s Digest
I have been steadily contributing to Writer’s Digest for the past year, and they recently released a few things including some of my work:

1. Their Yearbook issue on Novel Writing, which includes my piece on Plantsing.

2. “There are No Rules: 4 Tips to Improve Your Writing Instantly” which includes some of my wisdom.

The Ustari Cycle
Stringer.jpgMy novel “We Are Not Good People” is still $1.99 in eBook form, kids, and the next one in the series, “The Stringer” is out in August. So my publisher is pushin’ things:

1. $1.99 still too much for you? You could win a copy of WANGP!

2. BookReels named WANGP as their staff pick as well!


What would these updates be without some multimedia dazzle?

WANGP Super Fan is either at Target buying groceries or about to do some murderin'

WANGP Super Fan is either at Target buying groceries or about to do some murderin’

Spartacus spent all his allowance on a copy of WANGP and now needs liquor monies.

Spartacus spent all his allowance on a copy of WANGP and now needs liquor monies.

Well, that’s it for this week. Hopefully next week I’ll have more stuff for you to completely ignore and make me cry over.

Weekly Recap July 1, 2016

recapHey there hi there ho there, it’s time for the Weekly Recap, where I basically regurgitate everything I’ve already posted, published, or announced this past week. Or, lacking any news, where I will most likely complain a lot about miscellanea. You’re welcome! This is born out of that old idea that you have to tell people things like 5,000 times for them to remember. Will I tell you 5,000 times that We Are Not Good People is $1.99 in July and The Stringer is available for pre-order. YOU KNOW I WILL, BABY. That’s what authors do, after all. We spend about 5% of our time writing and the rest weeping as our crippled fingers tap out Tweets about our books.

Anyways, here’s what happened around these parts this week:

BUY MEDid I already mention that We Are Not Good People, books 1&2 of the Ustari Cycle, is just $1.99 in digital format? I can’t remember, so there it is again. Kirkus Reviews said “In this hefty and insistently entertaining novel, Somers creates a world of seedy urban crime that develops into a violent epic with the help of an intriguingly bloody magic system.” INTRIGUINGLY BLOODY, what are you waiting for? If you already own the novel, you could go post a short review on Amazon, Goodreads, or someplace else. It helps.

Eat me.

Right here on this wee blog, I posted an essay about disturbing commercials that feature food not only eating itself cannibalistically, but eating itself cannibalistically with what can only be described as gusto. To say that I am freaked out and disturbed by this is an understatement.

Jeff Merely Pawn in Game of LifeThis was actually a few weeks ago, but I can do whatever I want because I am awesome and also the god of this here wee blog: I did an interview with Matt Handle that includes the quote “I am something of a natural asshole. My friends will nod enthusiastically if you ask them, ‘Is Jeff an asshole?’ Their nodding will be tinged with affection, but they will still be definitive gestures of agreement.”

ROCK STARI published an essay over at concerning the fact that more than 25% of Americans say they hadn’t read a book in the last year, and how James Patterson has a solution for this. I also had a solution, but it involves an eat-your-veggies approach of offering up some easy-to-read books, so naturally everyone ignored it.

I posted this photo of my adorable cat, Spartacus. It was a hit:


sewer_ratAnd finally, the July Jeff Somers Rocks You Like an Email Hurricane newsletter went out, containing the free Avery Cates short story The Sewer Rat. If you weren’t signed up for the newsletter, you have two choices: Find someone who was who will send it to you, or sign up now. If you sign up and send me a note, I’ll send you the story. Why not?

Until next week, I will be drinking heavily and writing under the influence, which usually generates sentences like “He stepedhgu iuntio the room and rhfdjhsfjkhsdkfjdskjfhdskjhfldksjhfkdsjhfdskjhfksjdh.”


Weekly Recap June 24, 2016

recapSo, this will be a new thing I do at least until I forget about it sometime in the Fall: A weekly recap of things I’ve posted, announced, linked to, complained about, or otherwise referenced in my social media, private out loud conversations with myself I could swear I transformed into a blog post, or other communications channels.I may be stealing this idea from someone, but since theft is the foundation of all my online promotion, why stop now?

So, this week you may have missed

  1. Infographic Porn 4I wrote an article titled “I Asked Novelists How Hard It Is to Write a Novel” that is pretty much what it says on the tin, and which includes fascinating facts such as the fact that 52% of all published authors admit to the use of black magic to get their publishing deal.
  2. sewer_ratTechnically this was last week, but that fits the general theme of incompetence I wallow in, so I’ll allow it: There’s a new Avery Cates short story coming, but you’ll have to be signed up for my newsletter in order to read it, which is some flat-out illuminati stuff, brah.
  3. snowcountryI wrote a new piece for Barnes & Noble about novels that inspire vacation destinations, including A Fine Balance, one of the best books you’ve never read, Ulysses, and one of the best books you’ve never heard of, Snow Country. Read it here.
  4. rebellionI wrote a piece for touting some of the most patriotic bestselling books you can read in order to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July with a modicum of American literary spirit while you drink a beer that’s literally been renamed America. Read it here. I also wrote a piece for B&N about books that were written in prison, because making the act of writing a novel seem exciting is not easy. Read it here.
  5. A lot of cat-related photos, like this one.

While not technically a part of new business this week, let’s all take a moment to pre-order the upcoming Ustari Cycle novellas: The Stringer, Last Best Day, and The Boom Bands,which are coming to blow your mind very, very soon, plus the anthology Urban Allies which contains my short story co-written with Stephen Blackmoore that combines my Ustari Cycle universe with his Eric Carter universe. And finally, don’t forget The Shattered Gears: Omnibus is just $2.99 right now!

Enjoy your weekend. I plan to drink a lot and complain.