I haven't been here in a while because I've been finishing up my sci-fi/horror novel, "Xmas Carol". Now, don't cringe. There are no witches or goblins or spells in "Xmas Carol". I don't believe in nonsense. It's about something that may soon come our way, if some scientists are right.

The book is what I call a "stealth atheist novel". Every character is an atheist and the story is one big slap in the face of Christianity. But make no mistake -- it's a fascinating horror story based on a very creepy idea. The slap is just a bonus.

I wrote "Xmas Carol" because it's the book I wanted to read. It's a warm-hearted story with a cast of appealing atheist characters. The book stakes an atheist claim on the Xmas holiday. It ain't just for Christians anymore, as I'm sure you know. I thought it was time to let the world in on this secret.

Bill O'Reilly and his ilk are always saying there's a war on Christmas, only no one can see it no matter where they look. I suspect he'll see "Xmas Carol" as the first act in an actual war on Christmas. It isn't, but religious folks are going to hate this book.

I'm hoping that (at least some) atheists will come to treasure "Xmas Carol" in the years ahead. To my mind, it's what's been missing from the Christmas landscape all these years. If you'd like to read it, it's only $2.99 (which I see as a fair price for an ebook). If you don't want to fork over the cash, I'll gift a copy to the first five people who comment on this post and ask for a copy.

It's a deal though: if I give you the book, you agree to review it at Amazon. Reviews are the single most effective way to sell books. Please understand that I'm not asking for a positive review. Just be honest. (The odd fact is that negative and positive reviews both sell books. Go figure.)

The book is available in Kindle format at Amazon, and in all other ebook formats at Smashwords. If you'd like to be one of the five people who is gifted a copy, comment on this post and tell me whether you'd like it in mobi (Amazon's format), ePub (most other readers' format), or PDF (to read on your computer). I think I may need your email address to gift it (I haven't done this before). If you'd rather not post that here, go to my blog and write me at the contact address listed on the bottom.

I hope you like it. I wrote it for all of us. By the way, the book begins with Halloween, so this is the perfect time to pick up a copy. And if you suspect I might be nuts, check out my blog. I'm a daily atheist blogger, like many of you.

It's time for "Xmas Carol". It really is.

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Comment by Keith O'Connor on October 7, 2012 at 5:11pm

Good to hear you've begun to read it. The most fun a writer can have is when a reader shares his reactions. You've got my email. If something hits you and you want to tell me about it, I'm all ears. I hope you keep reading. I think you'll find it's a satisfying tale on many levels.

Comment by Loren Miller on October 7, 2012 at 5:01pm

I guess I'm old-school, Keith - no smart phone, but I get along with Adobe Reader just fine.

I've only had a chance to scan the prologue, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth for a starter.  I'll be intrigued to see what comes of the rest of it.

Comment by Keith O'Connor on October 7, 2012 at 4:26pm

Yay. Two takers. Any more out there? I've still got three free copies. Loren, yours is in the mail. But as I've told both Alan and Loren in email, PDFs are hard to read. The column width is too wide. If you have an iPhone or iPad, go for the ePub. I found it a joy to read on an iPhone. Thanks to both of you (and whoever else joins in).

Comment by Loren Miller on October 7, 2012 at 2:43pm

Okay, I'm intrigued ... and I'm also interested in how this could become a new classic! [chuckle!]  If you would, send mine to Troublemaker125@yahoo.com.  Oh, a PDF file would be good for me, too.

BTW, insofar as a Christmas story starting at Halloween ... have you seen the stores lately?  I walked into BJ's Club yesterday and was confronted with inflatable snowmen and Christmas trees! [grin!]

Comment by Keith O'Connor on October 7, 2012 at 2:30pm

I sent the book, Alan. Check your email.

Comment by Alan Perlman on October 7, 2012 at 12:58pm

I am ALWAYS interested in fiction with a skeptical/secular/atheist message.  I have yet to see a movie or read a book which shows atheists in a positive light or chronicles the demise of religion.  If I am one of the Chosen Five, I'd like a .pdf file (sent to www.alanperlmanphd@gmail.com). I promise to write a review on amazon.  Thanks and good luck with it.

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