Recession Blues? Laugh Them Away With Three New Books

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Authors form a three-way "humor bookfest" after connecting on a writers' blog.

Humor is a personal taste. What's funny to one may not be funny to all. It is also a serious business for authors who need to promote themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Three writers who took on the challenge discovered common ground after connecting on an Amazon blog. They have since joined forces to discuss their work: Into the Sunset (Kindle and Rebel Press/iUniverse: 2007) by Donald Capone; Dancing with Jou Jou (Kindle and iUniverse: 2010) by Barbara Louise Leiding; and Something to Read on the Plane: A Bit of Light Literature, Short Stories & Other Fun Stuff. (Writers Circle Publishing: 2006) by Jan Hurst-Nicholson.

“I laughed out loud after reading a scene Don posted,” Leiding said. "The premise of his book alone was funny."

Into the Sunset is a racy story about a young man who disguises himself as a senior citizen to rent an affordable apartment in a retirement community--then finds true love with a woman old enough to be his mother.

“Only an original mind with a daring wit would come up with a story like that,” Leiding said. “I just had to drop him a personal e-mail after seeing his address on Amazon's authors' pages.”

Leiding’s novel, Dancing with Jou Jou, was a winner at the 17th Annual Hawaii Writers Conference, taking second place. The story is a madcap tale about a sweet-talking con artist who ropes his trusting girlfriend into swindling a pair of lottery winners out of a fortune. She is also the author of the parable, Would You Eat a Rotten Tomato for a Million Dollars? A Slightly Quirky Tale of Greed, which was awarded “Editor’s Choice” in 2004.

As Capone and Leiding exchanged e-mails, Hurst-Nicholson was reading their blogs from her home in Durban, South Africa. She reached out to Leiding after discovering her e-mail address through Amazon.

"I've been looking for a way to widen my readership," said Hurst-Nicholson. "I wanted to connect with other authors in the US, preferably ones whose work is in the same genre as my own."

Hurst-Nicholson got the idea to publish a compilation of her humorous articles and short stories while volunteering at a charity bookshop. She often helped customers who were looking for "something to read on the plane."

"There are stories to suite all tastes, from humour to crime," Hurst-Nicholson said. "And we made the book pocket-sized, with a decent font, and even used some illustrations for people who only read books with pictures," she added, laughing.

Hurst-Nicholson is also the author of several children's books, including Leon Chameleon P.I. and the Case of the Missing canary Eggs; Leon Chameleon P.I. and the Case of the Kidnapped Mouse; Bheki and the Magic Light; and Jake. Her adult humor novel, But Can You Drink the Water? is currently a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition.

Capone’s work has appeared in print magazines and online journals, including: Edgar Literary Magazine, Word Riot, Weekly Reader's READ magazine, and Thieves Jargon; and in the anthologies See You Next Tuesday, Skive Quarterly 6, The Ampersand volume 4, and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction.

The writing styles of the three authors are as varied as the ways humor can arise. Whether its from a premise, narrative voice, mistaken identity, or through dialogue, especially during a conflict when expectations collide, their approaches are very different.

"The characters in Dancing with Jou Jou thrive on mayhem that's spurred on by status-seeking greed," Leiding said. "The story is intended to capture the cheerful pandemonium of a classic, madcap comedy, but in the form of a novel set in the current day."

Hurst-Nicholson describes her style as observational humor. "It's the kind where people recognize themselves and the situations," she said. "It is very much British humour."

And Capone's style? "Into the Sunset's humor is playful, sexy, racy, and ribald, though ultimately--and hopefully--insightful," he said.

Book & Author Info:
Cover art, story summaries, author bios and media kit content can be found online:

Into the Sunset by Donald Capone (Kindle and Rebel Press/iUniverse: 2007). Kindle: ASIN B002C4L6SM (.99). Softcover: ISBN-10: 0595451276 and ISBN-13: 978-0595451272. ($15.95). Pages: 242. Author’s Site: and

Dancing with Jou Jou by Barbara Louise Leiding (Kindle and iUniverse: 2010). Kindle: ASIN B003A83NS0 ($2.95). Paperback: ISBN-10: 0595527558 and ISBN-13: 9780595527557 ($19.95). eBook ISBN: 9780595628070 ($7.95). Pages: 324. Author’s Site: and

Something to Read on the Plane by Jan Hurst-Nicholson (Writers’ Circle Publishing/Obsome-Porter Literary Services 2006) ISBN: 0-9584978-4-2. Paperback/Softcover: $12.95. Pages: 164. Available through Amazon. Author’s Site:

Somerset Communications LLC provides promotional writing services for public relations, marketing, and non-profit campaigns. The company was formed in 2004 and is based in Bedminster, NJ.


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