My good friend and fellow writer, Mike Bailey, had an interesting post on Facebook this morning, that I’m just going to downright and steal… because pirates, right?
Obviously the gift-giving season is upon us. I encourage you all to look at small businesses first — be it that you’re a “Stick it to the man” kinda person or just are tired of the mall and superstores lacking the personal touch. The big corporations will find a way to survive, but the small businesses can live and die with these next few months. Here’s a small list of small and local (note: Boston/New England area) businesses run and owned by my friends. I encourage you to visit each one to see what they have to offer. You might find something surprisingly better for that special someone than what you had in mind.
Full list after the jump…
To start off: my first three Jake Hawking short-stories were published this summer. All three are available on Amazon (A Pirates Honor, The Royal Bounty Hunter, Little Queen’s Gambit) while A Pirate’s Honor and The Royal Bounty Hunter are also available for the Nook and on Smashwords (for your other eReader and online reading formats). For $0.99 each, you can give the swashbuckler lover in your life a nice crop of fresh, new stories for them to enjoy.
My brother Chris also has written a book… I guess it’s in the family DNA. A while back he published his children’s book, Steve the Stegosaurus, that teaches kids to embrace each other’s differences.
Going back to Mike Bailey, he recently published his first YA novel, Action Figures, over the summer. It’s available on Amazon as a softcover book and on Kindle. It’s a great choice for adolescents and adults who enjoy an action-packed super-hero story with a great female lead.
Of course, there’s my good friend Jack Badelaire who helped convince me to give self-publishing a try. He has an array of novels and short-stories to choose from. Here’s his Amazon page. His Commando Series is a big hit in the US and the UK. Jack writes pulp-fiction action, spy, and thriller stories. I also did an interview with Jack over the summer, if you want to learn more about him first.
There’s also Dan Eldridge, whose debut novel The Pirates of Alnari just celebrated its first birthday this month. He’s working on the sequel as we speak. I did an interview with Dan earlier this year, but Pirates of Alnari is a fantasy swashbuckler novel written in the vein of Game of Thrones. It’s available as a paperback and an eBook for Kindle.
For those looking for more historical fiction, I recommend my fellow fencing friend Angela Costello. She published her first novel OF Summer and Winter last year. It’s a tale of political strife, loyalty, cultural diversity, and romance on the brink of the First Crusade. It’s available as a paperback and Kindle eBook.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is my long-time friend Magnolia Belle. She’s actually from Texas, but I’m tossing her on this “local Boston” list anyways because she rocks. Belle writes an array of stories, some in a contemporary setting but a lot are historical fiction with Native American leads (love it). She published her first medieval novel, Lady Gwendolyn, over the summer, and I just finished recording my voice work for an audio-book version of her novel. Very exciting.
Clothes & Crafts
It’s been a year since Veronica left her day job to run Storied Threads full-time and she’s doing well. She makes Renaissance and Medieval clothing for your costuming needs, as well as an array of geeky and nerdy patches, scarfs, ties, bags, and more. Visit her Etsy shop. My fiance Kate works part-time for Veronica. They also do custom orders, so if you don’t see it doesn’t mean it can’t be done!
There’s also Geeky and Cheeky, which sells handmade puppets and dolls with a pop culture vibe. The best.
Chelsey Cayer has her artsy crafty geeky Etsy shop, Desperate Muse.
Marion Hunt has her new shop, Vixens Ahoy, which has a small selection of aprons. Go support her and help her grow the business.
For a taste of many things in this handcrafted vein, go visit ARTAsylum, which just opened.
Durty Harry’s is my go-to shop for pet supplies. I’ve known the owners for years. They do dog grooming, self-wash, dog walking, and will even delivery supplies to your door. I love ’em, and so does Rex.
While no shows have been announced for next year, keep an eye on Pastimes Entertainment — which can also set you up with Christmas interactive characters for your holiday party or event. David and Paul Stickney are the brains behind this theater company and I’ve acted, sang, and did stage combat on many shows with these guys.
You can treat a friend or family member to a night of comedy at the Speed of Thought Players Cafe in Attleboro, which is operated by Christian Galpin.