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Publisher's Summary

There is a big old sledding hill not more than two or three good snowballs' worth of distance from our home, just behind Hank Macabee's house. That hill was waiting for me and my brand new toboggan. It's one of those sneak-up kind of hills with a long slow ride down that picks up speed as it goes with a bump-hump at the end that you never see coming. I didn't see what was coming next, either. The Christmas tree crashed through Hank Macabee's bay window. The tree stand clattered behind it and bounced with a clank on Hank's half-frozen front lawn.

Hank came through the door with a shotgun in hand. He wore a Nova Scotia plaid bathrobe and a pair of fuzzy, blue Smurf slippers. He pumped and blasted the Christmas tree, shattering the decorations that escaped the initial picture window caber toss. He continued pumping and blasting until his shotgun ran dry....

WHY is Hank Macabee shooting his Christmas tree? Grab a copy today of these two surprisingly heart-warming tales and find out for yourself.

©2015 Steve Vernon (P)2018 Steve Vernon

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Elf on a shelf had better look out!

If I have learned anything about Steve Vernon it is that 1) He can craft a story and 2) You never know what you are going to get from him. Sometimes it can be terrifying, and other times it will be pure hilarity. For example, you could read Dead man's Salute or Uncle Bob's Red Flannel Bible Camp and get two very different stories. He seems unbound by genre, and that is pretty impressive, either way we, as readers, win. I am particularly fond of his horror stories, but I must admit an affinity toward's Uncle Bob.

One thing Vernon always manages to provide is humor. Sometimes it is incredibly dark, and other times it is as light and fluffy as some tasty pancakes. Still, the humor is usually there, and is the heart of his writing. I think that when you boil everything else away the core of his stories is something twistedly dark and humorous. He has a skewed eye, and now he's turned that peeper onto a great Christmas story.

If you were to ask me why I might throw a perfectly good Christmas tree through a window and begin to pump it full buckshot I would have to answer squirrel. I can totally see blowing away a perfectly good tree if it were infested with those furry varmints. Vernon, however, has a different take, and the reason Hank Macabee pulled a gun on his tinsel hanger is something only he could come up with.

I must say, I love the cover to the book, it says everything you need to know about the main story, and is done with class and style. It is simplistic, but conveys its message with aplomb. It also serves to pull you in, as the minute I looked at it I said, OK, I have to see what Vernon has come up with now! Good choice!!

JK Carpenter does a fine job narrating, and some how channels Gene Shepherd's spirit as he goes along. I have expected Macabee to field dress his fully dress tree once he was done killing it. That is because of Carpenter's delivery, it's almost like deadpan with a wink. But it's not deadpan at all. He just speaks so naturally that you get the impression he is telling you some stories right out of his life. The characters are well played, and the story vocalized in a satisfactory manner. You will hate to hear it end.

I do not recap stories, but I will say that this is a perfect set of X-mas stories, so I'm going to have to have Christmas in July when I relisten to this book in a month or so. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and honestly, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable way to spend a commute

Listened to this in May, still nice two stories even outside of the holidays. The writing was impressive, wasn’t expecting it to be so nice. The narration was superb actually, just enjoyable to listen to really. Great narrator and recording quality, no ambient noise, smooth voice. Good way to spend a half hour.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Short and Entertaining

As the title suggests this is a pair of short, light hearted Christmas stories. The first one is alright, although somewhat simplistic. The second one was the best in my opinion. I mean with a title like "Scalping Santa" what's not to like? It very much reminded me of 'A Christmas Story' in it's wacky holiday fun from a kids perspective. I laughed out loud more than once. JK Carpenter's narration was good, although not my favorite.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • H. Fosdike
  • 05-17-18

Enjoyable Short Stories

Two seasonal short stories brought together in one enjoyable package, this is a festive treat for all. The first tale focuses on just why a neighbour might be shooting a Christmas tree outside, whilst the second focuses on a couple of siblings imagining that horrible things are happening to Santa on Christmas Eve. Both are enjoyable and the narration of the audiobook is excellent.

Full disclosure: I received a copy of this tale on Audible at no cost in exchange for a fair and honest review.