Friday, December 11, 2015

Jason Heyward to the Cubs

Wowie Kazowie. ESPN has the story. No details yet on the contract, but wow. Huge gain for the Cubs, and huge blow to the Cardinals.

I went over to Jason Heyward's Twitter feed, and I think it's safe to say that the Cardinals fans are a little upset. My deepest apologies for the language. I tried to (believe it or not) stay away from the really bad ones...

Best fans in baseball, right?

Green White Book

What does the U.S. Men's National Team have to do with Green White Soccer Club? More than you ever knew. Find out in the pages of the book "Gruen Weiss Vor! 60 Years of Green White", available this Sunday from 3-5pm at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines) and online today at Eckhartz Press. I will be there signing copies of the book, along with my co-author Todd Schneider. The book is also available online here.

Unsolicited Father Knows Nothing praise

Reader Jeanne Rooney posted this on her facebook page yesterday...

Read Rick Kaempfer's book, Father Knows Nothing, today during jury duty. It's a collection of stories about his family of three boys. People kept turning around to see why I would just bust out laughing!! I loved it and could totally relate (especially about the bribe to keep the kids from fighting - brilliant!). Great gift idea for anyone with multiple boys.

Chuck & Rahm

The author of the Eckhartz Press book "Life Behind the Camera" is Chuck Quinzio. A reader of "Life Behind the Camera" is Rahm Emmanuel. They met each other in very different forums the past two years. One is from two years ago. The other is from this week.

Truffles in the News

I just got this e-mail from Truffle Hunt author Brent Petersen...

A suspected terrorist was arrested on charges of smuggling radical Islamists into Italy to plan attacks. (You can read more about that here.) Italian counterterror police intercepted phone calls made by the suspect where he used the word "truffles" as a code word for "bombs." The villain in my book Truffle Hunt is also a terrorist who wants to start an ethnic war in Croatia. Of all the crazy and outlandish things I made up for my novel, I never thought this one would come to pass.

Your Eckhartz Press Amazon E-book Gift-Giving Guide

Did you know that you could give the gift of an e-book? It's true, and it's as simple as clicking a button at amazon. When you're looking for that last minute gift for your Kindle-loving friend or family member, look no further than the tremendous books in the Eckhartz Press catalogue. All of these books are avaiable as e-books at Amazon. Simply click on their titles, and you'll go directly to their pages on amazon.

FATHER KNOWS NOTHING By Rick Kaempfer (e-book: $5.99)

Our Top Selling Book Last Christmas!

An actual amazon reader review from this 5-star book: "The moment I opened up Father Knows Nothing, by Rick Kaempfer (Eckhartz Press, 2014) and started to scan the uproariously funny, yet heartfelt radio transcripts, contained within the introduction, I knew instantly that I was not going to be able to put this book down! Never in my life has any book moved me to roll on the floor with uproarious laugher, while simultaneously tugging at the heart in profound, meaningful ways that required an entire box of Kleenex. This book is a sparkling diamond, whether or not you have children of your own, this literary gem is a must-read book."

RECORDS TRULY IS MY MIDDLE NAME by John Records Landecker and Rick Kaempfer (e-book: $8.49)

Our Best Selling Book of All Time!

An actual amazon reader review from this award-winning book: "I have read lots of autobiographies, and this is one of the BEST ones I have EVER read. From the moment I received this book, I could not put it down. This book will make you laugh, cry, and shake your head in disbelief at the interesting and colorful life Mr. Landecker has lived. Like all of us, he's made mistakes, but he's learned from them, and he is a better person for it. He has shared some very personal things in this book. He went full tilt & totally uncensored with it when he wrote it-some of the things were good, some of them were bad, and some of them were OMG!"

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THE BALDING HANDBOOK by David Stern (e-book: $5.49)

An Amazon Best-Seller!

An actual amazon reader review from our top selling e-book: "What a great book for both those with or without hair. While I enjoy the fact that I have a full head of hair that I have to maintain, I found myself sympathizing with those who are struggling in life. We tend to put struggles on those who are hungry, poor, etc, but how can we improve as a society unless we acknowledge that those who are bald also need help. Great read! Loved it!"


Our Brand New Book!

A review from esteemed writer Denise DeClue: "Pat Colander toiled with me in the belly of the Chicago journalism beast in the 1970s and 1980s. When major stories were reported, she asked questions. When the questions were poorly answered or evaded, she asked even more questions of even more people. Then in a clear, true voice, she wrote it all down. She found the real stories behind the stories and this collection of her work is just great. She ought to be long-listed for the Man Booker prize."

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A 2015 Release!

An actual amazon reader review from this highly rated book: "This is a smart book written by a smart man, who clearly understands where media has been and where it's going. At times, Kipper takes the broad view ("if the broadcasting industry dies, it will be ruled a suicide."), at other times he takes the reader straight to new century basics ("if you operate a small business, if you haven't already, CREATE A DATABASE"). While this is a book about media, it's also a smart business book with applications that transcend radio, cable, tv, etc. Read it and learn."

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TRUFFLE HUNT by Brent Petersen (e-book: $5.99)

A 2015 Release!

An actual amazon reader review from this 5-star book: "Yes - I loved it. What a **fun** read. I found it to be a 'page-turner' and stayed up into the wee hours to finish in two sittings. "Truffle Hunt" is way more that a 'foodie' book, which some may have assumed. For the history buff, there is a compelling and complex story of the troubled Istria region with all of the wars, ethnic cleansing, purges and resulting current simmering resentments that would naturally remain. For the culture buff, there are the story threads of family traditions and love of the land that create such a vibrant sense of place. For the foodies, yes, there is abundant detail about what makes food truly 'great', and how the creation and sharing of magnificent food is as much the salvation of a people as having their land and an ability to make a living. Then, of course, there is the unique story of the truffle itself and the astounding subculture of the harvesting and the marketing of such a treasure. Buy this book and be ready to Enjoy!!

THE LIVING WILLS by Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer (e-book: $3.99)

Our Best Selling Novel Ever!

An actual amazon reader review of this widely praised book: "I just finished reading Living Wills and absolutely LOVED it! I could barely put it down - read it in less than 48 hours! I'm a pretty avid reader and this one of the best stories I have ever read and the telling of it is simply superb. If you're from Chicago, you'll enjoy it even more. It somewhat reminded me of The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Alboms, which I liked, but this is a better story, better read and I enjoyed it so much more. If Albom can achieve bestseller status there is no reason this shouldn't too as it's better. Definitely now one of my favorite books and I will be highly recommending it! I can't wait for your next book to come out. Congratulations on a fine piece of work, I hope someone makes a movie out of it :)"

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BACK IN THE GAME & MY MAGGIE by Rich King (e-books: $5.99 each)

The Complete Rich King Collection!

An actual amazon reader review from My Maggie: "My Maggie was an inspirational book. How Maggie fought against deafness, blindness, and cancer, not only to survive, but to attain a college degree, is amazing. Rich King stuck by her and his marriage vows, which seems to be uncommon now. Rich King writes about his struggles with being a caregiver while maintaining employment, as well his struggle with religion and questions about God. I believe that the challenges Maggie faced caused him to have these doubts, but I believe in the end, after Maggie finally gave up her fight, Rich King may have developed faith and a connection with God and the belief in the eternity. My Maggie will bring tears to your eyes, but will also leave you feeling motivated and inspired."

An actual amazon reader review of Back in the Game: "Very well done. Rich King writes warmly and candidly about a difficult subject. Shares many interesting insights into his personal and professional lives."

THE DALY NEWS by Joel Daly (e-book: $4.99)

A Chicago Broadcasting Icon!

An actual amazon reader review: "A good short read for Chicago TV fans...Learned more about Joel Daly than I ever knew. Summa cum laude Yale grad, Chicago broadcaster at WLS TV from 1967 to 2005 and later life student who went back to law school at age 50 and worked as an attorney while still on the air."


A Must for all Cub Fans!

An actual Amazon reader review: "Wonderful tell-all, great insider information :) A fun read! As a CUB fan, Great! Knew some of the ushers."

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CHEESELAND and LOST IN THE IVY by Randy Richardson (e-books: $2.99 and $3.99)

The Complete Randy Richardson Collection!

An actual amazon reader review of Cheeseland: "Cheeseland is a poignant and often funny account of friendship lost and friendship found, and the healing of old wounds. It's a nail-biting ride along with Danny and Lance as they ditch their graduation and take a road trip to Wisconsin where they drink beer legally (sort of), encounter some eccentric people, and confront demons of the past. A quick, engaging read with authentic and relatable characters."

An actual amazon reader review of Lost in the Ivy: "This is the perfect contemporary mystery. It has three-dimensional characters, innovative plot twists, cryptic hints, and an unpredictable, nail-biter of a conclusion. Not to mention the love/sex/profession subplots, all against a highly detailed backdrop of Chicago and Wrigleyville from someone who clearly knows and loves them well."

LIFE BEHIND THE CAMERA by Chuck Quinzio (e-book: $9.99)

An inside-local-television-news masterpiece!

An actual amazon reader review of this 5-star book: "Compelling, interesting, scary and very very funny. Chuck has seen it all and doesn't hold back. Buy it, money well spent!"

RECALLED TO LIFE by Dan Burns (e-book: $5.99)

A wonderful father-son story!

An actual amazon reader review of this novel: "When it comes to what is important the answer is really best found in how you spend your time. If you examine that we are able to get a great picture as to what really matters to you and what you have given your heart to. Dan Burns reminds us of what really matters in this thoughtful yet entertaining novel, and I think you will not only resonate with the characters but see a piece of yourself in them as well."

The Golden Globes

When NBC won the rights to air the Golden Globes, they couldn't have guessed that their network would be nominated for zero of them. That's right, zero. Talk about embarrassing.

The Hollywood Reporter has the details.

Amy Landecker's series "Transparent" was nominated again. I wonder if her pops will be traveling to Hollywood for that one. When I spoke to him the other day he was still undecided.

Dick Enberg to the Hall of Fame

To be honest, I was surprised to hear that he wasn't already in baseball's Hall of Fame. Dick Enberg is this year's winner of the Ford Frick Award--which sends his smooth "Oh My" to the hall. Enberg has been doing the San Diego Padres games for years.

Details are here.


Geraldo Sues Cumulus

Last month, Geraldo Rivera showed up to work one day at WABC in New York, and was told that he didn't have a job anymore. In radio, we call this "radio". Geraldo, who is more accustomed to television, calls this "a lawsuit". Bloomberg has the details. He's suing for $600,000 (his salary for the next year--he says they had a handshake agreement), but says "it's not about the money. It's about the disrespect." Knowing how our legal system works, I can tell you who will win this legal battle.

The lawyers.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A worthy protest

I think my friend at the Pothole Store would agree with this...

Green White Book

What does the former Mayor of Chicago (Jane Byrne) have to do with Green White Soccer Club? Find out in the pages of the book "Gruen Weiss Vor! 60 Years of Green White", available this Sunday from 3-5pm at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines) and online today at Eckhartz Press. I will be there signing copies of the book, along with my co-author Todd Schneider.

RIP Bob Clark

Who is Bob Clark, you ask? He was a former ABC News reporter. Clark is the only journalist who was present at both Kennedy assassinations.

Read more about him at TV Newser.

Clark was 93 years old.

Sinatra at 100

I rarely agree with George Will about anything, but I think he nailed it in this column about Frank Sinatra. Will offers his assessment of Sinatra's greatness, and I think he really picks out the factor that made Sinatra so great. Yes, of course, he was a great singer, but there were lots of great singers. Sinatra's greatness was that he was consumed with correctly interpreting the lyrics--to give the lyrics the respect they deserved. He felt those words so thoroughly, it's hard to believe he never wrote a lyric himself. Just watch him. When I saw him live he was toward the end of his life, but he still felt every word to his very soul. That's greatness.

America's Reaction to the Front Runner

The Power of Makeup

Thanks to "JD" for this one...

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Green White Book

What does the ruler of Monaco (Prince Albert) have to do with Green White Soccer Club? Find out in the pages of the book "Gruen Weiss Vor! 60 Years of Green White", available this Sunday from 3-5pm at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines) and online today at Eckhartz Press. I will be there signing copies of the book, along with my co-author Todd Schneider.

The People Have Spoken

I don't know why I care about this, but I do. Here's the headline: Sorry, New Yorkers: Chicago Has Been Named the No. 1 Pizza City in the U.S.

It's kind of a "duh", but not to New Yorkers, who actually believe their crappy pizza is the best. The article in Entrepeneur magazine linked above explains why it's really no contest. And it's from the folks at TripAdvisor, reviews written by real travelers. So, it's clear. The people have spoken.

Now please zip it with the ridiculous New York pizza talk.

Great Graffiti

Thanks to "LK" for this one...Happy Hanukkah

Hello Ben, Goodbye Starlin

I just like this headline: "This Time, Cubs Beat Mets by Signing Zobrist". And it's in the New York Times. World Series champ and super utility man Ben Zobrist was signed to be our starting second baseman.

You can read all about it here.

On the other hand, Starlin Castro was traded to the Yankees. Castro is a 3-time all-star and is only 25 years old, so it's a risky move. In return, the Cubs got a pitcher named Adam Warren and a player to be named later (reportedly infielder Brendan Ryan). It seems to me they could have gotten more for him, but I'm choosing to trust these guys running the Cubs. (That felt weird even writing that)

From CSN Chicago: “He really grew up in this organization,” Theo Epstein said. “He went through a lot here, made tremendous positive contributions to help get us to where we are. So it’s certainly a bittersweet feeling with some sadness that we see him go. I wish him nothing but the best for him and his family in New York and wearing the pinstripes, where I believe he’ll thrive.

You can read the whole article here.

Pat Colander

Great article about Pat Colander's Eckhartz Press book, "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago" in ChicagoNow. The author of the piece clearly read and enjoyed the book.

You can read it here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

On this day, 35 years ago

This is how I found out the news...

And Ringo tells how he found out. You can hear the pain in his voice...

Green White Book

What does the greatest player in German soccer history (Franz Beckenbauer) have to do with Green White Soccer Club? Find out in the pages of the book "Gruen Weiss Vor! 60 Years of Green White", available this Sunday from 3-5pm at the Frisbie Center in Mt. Prospect, and, of course, online today at Eckhartz Press. I'll be there on Sunday with co-author Todd Schneider signing copies of the book.

Around the Publishing World (December 8)

We stay on top of happenings/trends in the publishing world to help out busy writers who are spending their time doing what they should be doing: writing.

1. Society of Midland Authors Literary Contest
The Society for Midland Authors is now holding its annual literary awards contest for books published in 2015. If you are interested in knowing more, check the website. Founded in 1915, the Society of Midland Authors is a professional and fraternal society of book authors, poets and playwrights residing in the twelve-state area of the midwest.

2. Writing tips from great authors
You may have seen these before because they've been around for a while, but it never hurts to read them again. These pearls of wisdom are all of the tough love variety. If you can't trust fellow authors to level with you, who can you trust? One of our favorites:

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
– Dorothy Parker

3.Brutally honest self-publishing tips
Therin Knight is a sci-fi and mystery author and despite being young, she has some pretty good insights about self publishing. Again, of the tough-love variety. Every writer needs to hear these things occasionally.

4. Literary Tweets
Both of these brilliant minds are comedians, but we present their tweets to you with all the literary love they intended to convey...


Thanks to "RW" for this one. This goes for every faith, by the way...

Fox News Commentators Suspended

Two Fox News commentators were suspended because they used profanity while angrily ripping the president on television. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a Fox News strategic analyst, and Stacey Dash, a Fox contributor, both were suspended for two weeks. Details are here.

Of course, they are being hailed on the right as heroes for their courage. Please. That's not courage. That's just unfiltered spouting without thinking. Their JOB is supposedly to offer analysis. "The president doesn't care about terrorism or his own country" is ojectively nonsense on it's face. Think about it for two seconds, because that's essentially what both of them were saying. These are supposedly professional analysts on a professional news network during a professional news program. That's not analysis, and if that's their actual analysis, they're incredibly bad at their jobs, regardless of whether or not they say bad words.

Scott Weiland's Ex-Wife Tells the Unvarnished Truth

This is a jaw-droppingly honest account of what Scott Weiland was really like--told by his ex-wife (and mother of his children) in Rolling Stone magazine. (You can read it here). It's a gut-wrenching read. Here's a small taste...

Even after Scott and I split up, I spent countless hours trying to calm his paranoid fits, pushing him into the shower and filling him with coffee, just so that I could drop him into the audience at Noah's talent show, or Lucy's musical. Those short encounters were my attempts at giving the kids a feeling of normalcy with their dad. But anything longer would often turn into something scary and uncomfortable for them. Spending so many years immersed in Scott's multiple illnesses led to my own depression; at one point, I was misdiagnosed as bipolar. I feared the same would happen to the children. There were times that Child Protective Services did not allow him to to be alone with them.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Have we seen and heard the last of Rush?

I'm afraid so.

This article sure sounds like Neil Peart is retiring from the music biz.

Without Neil Peart, there is no Rush.

Pearl Harbor Day

I admit I don't think about it until I see the date written. December 7th. Pearl Harbor Day...


Nice job on this parody...


This is truly profound. Words to live by. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I found it on Landon Donovan's (the soccer player) facebook page...

Gruen Weiss Vor!

What does the greatest player in soccer history have to do with Green White Soccer Club? Find out in the pages of the book "Gruen Weiss Vor! 60 Years of Green White", available this Sunday from 3-5pm at the Frisbie Center in Mt. Prospect (corner of NW Highway & Mt. Prospect Road) and online today at Eckhartz Press. I'll be there on Sunday along with co-writer Todd "Fritz" Schneider, signing copies of the book.

And also with you

Thanks for this one, "KC"...

New York Times Front Page Editorial

This weekend the New York Times did something it very rarely does. It put an editorial on the front page. The subject of the editorial: "America's Gun Epidemic". I thought it was well written and persuasive. You can read it here. I think this is the strongest paragraph...

Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did. But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs.

Grammy Nominees

They were announced just minutes ago. The complete list of nominees in all 83 Grammy categories is now posted at Here are the big four categories...

Best New Artist -- Courtney Barnett, James Bay, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly and Mehgan Trainor

Record Of The Year -- "Really Love," D'Angelo And The Vanguard (RCA Records); "Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars (RCA Records); "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran (Atlantic Records); "Blank Space," Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records); "Can't Feel My Face," The Weeknd (Republic).

Song Of The Year -- "Alright," Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters); "Blank Space," Taylor Swift (Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters); "Girl Crush," Little Big Town (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters); "See You Again," Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth (Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters); "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters)

Album Of The Year: Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes (ATO Records); To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope); Traveller, Chris Stapleton (Mercury Nashville); 1989, Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records); Beauty Behind The Madness, The Weeknd (Republic).

Now as an E-book too!

Pat Colander's great book "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral & Other True Tales of Love & Death in Chicago" has been flying off the shelves here at Eckhartz Press.

It's now also available as an e-book!

Get it for your Kindle at amazon today.