Book Promo ~ Miserable Holiday Stories

Hilarious short stories for anyone
who hates the holidays!

by Alex Bernstein

Whether your family’s favorite holiday dish is a brisket, glazed ham or Cajun catfish, it’s virtually a given that it will be seasoned with the universal flavor of December: misery.

From the sharply satirical mind of award-winning author and humorist Alex Bernstein comes Miserable Holiday Stories (20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours), a collection of quirky tales that feature Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys.

Providing the yin to the Hallmark Channel’s yang, Miserable Holiday Stories delivers hefty doses of seasonal satire presented in the form of 20 short stories you can read while the babka is baking or anytime you need a respite from manufactured holiday merriment.

Tales include:

• “Blue Christmas”

• “Coloring Books”

• “The Unbreakable Toy”

• “The Smoking Lounge”

• “Brownie Mix” (A Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award finalist)

• “The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!” (Also released as a single on Amazon)

• And many more!

Sure, Christmas and Hanukkah are supposed to be full of laughter, generosity and quality time with friends and family. But everyone knows the truth: the holidays are stressful at best and downright depressing at worst. Miserable Holiday Stories offers tongue-in-cheek escapism in the form of offbeat, thought-provoking tales, that just might prompt you to appreciate something about your own holiday experiences.


Alex Bernstein is the award-winning author of the Miserableseries of books (Miserable Adventure Stories, Miserable Holiday StoriesMiserable Love Stories) and Plrknib. His work has appeared at McSweeney’s, NewPopLit, The Big Jewel, The American Bystander, Yankee Pot Roast, Swink, Litro, Back Hair Advocate, Corvus, BluePrintReview, Hobo Pancakes, Gi60, The Rumpus, The Legendary, MonkeyBicycle and PopImage, among numerous others.

He is a staff writer on the new Discovery Kids cartoon The Dog & Pony Show. An occasional stand-up comic, Bernstein performed extensively in his youth and frequently over the past several years. His book Plrknib is a memoir about being the youngest comedian in Cincinnati in 1980.

For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Facebook (AlexBernstein_author), Twitter (alexbernstein_author) or Instagram (alexbernstein_author).

Miserable Holiday Stories (20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours)

Publisher: Racehorse (a division of Skyhorse Publishing)
ISBN-10: ‎1631585819
ISBN-13: ‎978-1631585814
Available from,

and numerous other online retailers

Acclaim for Dog Training The American Male by L.A. Knight

Dog Training The American Male: Take The Test To See Who Is A Member In Good Standing Of The Canine Club

L.A. Knight’s own marriage and the experiences of two different dog trainers he hired to train his German Shepherd, provided the unique inspiration for his laugh-out-loud book, Dog Training the American Male. Realizing his wife often treats him like a dumb animal (deservedly so, he admits, since most men are simple creatures who essentially want sex, food and to watch football), he jokes: “Give us what we want and domestication is possible. After all, who among us hasn’t performed for a treat, peed on a tree, dry-humped a woman’s leg, howled at the moon, or stuck his nose in a groin or two.”

At the heart of this hilarious tale is Dr. Nancy Beach, a relationship counselor who hosts a local radio show in South Florida called Love’s a Beach.  Sadly, since this relationship guru can’t seem to make her own relationships work, her credibility and ratings are in the toilet.  She is set up on a blind date with Jacob, a casualty of Lehman Brothers, who lost his job and swagger and now yearns to be a stand-up comedienne/ventriloquist.  Since he’s already a walking thesaurus of phobias and now he’s dating a psych major― these two are either the perfect match or the relationship is a ticking time bomb.

Their siblings, for different reasons, don’t care ― they just want to be rid of them! Jacob’s brother (gynecologist Vinnie) and Nancy’s lesbian sister (Lana) encourage the young couple to move in together. When the honeymoon stage abruptly ends, Lana convinces Jacob to buy her sister a little white foo-foo dog ― a pet she enjoyed as an insecure child. Being a “typical man” Jacob doesn’t listen and instead goes to the dog pound, returning home with Sam – a 120-pound German Shepherd.

Needless to say, chaos ensues and Nancy flips out. But after hiring a dog trainer she has an epiphany … what if the dog trainer’s techniques can be used to housebreak Jacob?  What follows is a wildly hilarious, social experiment that every couple and dog owner can identify with.

Kirkus Reviews states “Dog Training the American Male is funny in the best way: the humor propels the action rather than pausing it . . . prose flows like a jocular babbling brook. L.A. Knight is a naturally-gifted comic writer; what is more, she is a talented storyteller.”  What is also funny is that like many readers, Kirkus assumed L.A. Knight is a woman. In fact, the author is NY Times best-selling author Steve Alten whose riveting hit series MEG was recently optioned by Warner Brothers for a movie to be directed by Jon Turtletaub and starring Jason Statham.

For information, please visit the website at:


Available in bookstores and all online outlets including Amazon
Dog Training the American Male
A&M Publishers
September 2016
ISBN-10: 1943957002
ISBN-13: 978-1943957002



Laysha Duran, Manhattan with a Twist:  “Laugh out loud funny!” Dog Training the American Male: A Novel, by L.A. Knight will have you in stitches … L.A. Knight’s debut novel and it’s a great one at that. Both sexes will enjoy reading this quirky take on how to housebreak the male species…”

CeliaSue Hecht, Writer/Editor , Have Dog Blog Will Travel: “This is definitely NOT your usual romantic comedy romp between the sheets and the relationship. It started kinda slow to me… but it is a very funny premise about a man and woman and a dog. The woman is a radio talk show host and a psychologist … Nancy has issues with men, to say the least. She moves in with her boyfriend, Jacob, he gets a dog and the dog is out of control so she hires a dog trainer… Nancy hires two dog trainers to help with the German Shepherd pound puppy five years old and not fixed. Then she decides to use the training tools she is learning on the dog with the man … what ensues is kinda kooky, crazy and just plain funny.”

Tom Mayer, Mountain Times Publications: “Teaching your old dog new tricks simply requires the right treat — so goes the story of Dog Training the American Male, a riotous romp through relationships of the young, the old and the restless … Comedic newcomer L.A. Knight offers a fresh farce replete with a cast of well-drawn characters, fast-paced wit and merging cinematic story lines that triumph as a novel, but would feel equally right on a London stage, as a Netflix original or in a theater near you.”

Arielle Sidrane, Spa Week Daily: “At first I thought it was a self-help book, but I quickly learned otherwise. It’s actually a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek novel that will have you in stitches from start to finish. Each character has the same smart, witty banter that you can actually hear going back and forth in your head. Although it’s a bit over-the-top, (I could have done without the sexcapades in retirement homes), I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this. And lucky for my boyfriend, I’m no closer to “training him.”


A portion of the proceeds from DOG TRAINNG THE AMERICAN MALE book sales will be donated to Paws4Liberty in honor of Wade J. Maller.