Friday, December 9, 2022

The Skin Of A Hen's Teeth (Free Book!)

 Free at last, free at last! Thank Kathy and Stilton, it's free at last!

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I'm delighted to announce the publication of "The Skin Of A Hen's Teeth," a cartoon-filled humor book that I more or less co-wrote with my late wife, Kathy. 

A bit of backstory: Kathy had a wonderful gift for accidentally combining two or more idioms in ways that almost made sense...until they didn't. About taking a risk, she might say that a person is "sticking his neck out on a limb." Or referring to a very close race, she would say that someone "won by a nose-hair."

When I would point out these linguistic fender-benders, Kathy would laugh hardest of all and insist that I add it to her ever-growing list of "Kathyisms." 

After losing her, I desperately needed something to work on but my brain wasn't cooperating. While trying to think of a topic I could blog about, I remembered the list of "Kathyisms" and thought about turning it into a post. But to do that, I should really illustrate some of her sayings and...(ding!)... I had an idea: hire someone to illustrate all of her sayings and turn it into a funny book. A remembrance for family and friends that is about laughter rather than loss. And this is that book.

Inside, you'll find things like this...

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And this...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, kathy, kathyisms, the skin of a hen's teeth, book, free book
And this...
stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, kathy, kathyisms, the skin of a hen's teeth, book, free book

Working on this book with Kathy has been a Godsend for me in these past months, and I'm delighted with the finished product- due in no small part to the fabulous illustrations by Richard Svensson. This guy knows how to draw funny and finding him felt like the Universe was helping this book come into being.

And now, you can have it for free (in ebook form)! And you can tell your family and friends to get it free! But only for a limited time: Friday Dec 9 (today) thru Sunday Dec 11. Just go to the Amazon order page, make sure that the price of the Kindle ebook is free (and not just "free with Kindle Unlimited" which is a different thing), then click to get it at no cost. And here's the link: "The Skin of a Hen's Teeth."

Don't have a Kindle reader? Not a problem! You can read the book on any computer, tablet, or smart phone by using the free Kindle Reader app which you can download at this link.

If you prefer a beautiful paperback edition (a perfect holiday gift, hint-hint, and available for Prime shipping) which is really the best way to read the book, it's sale-priced just as low as I can make it at $3.59 and it will be moving to $4.99 after this introduction.

I really hope you'll download the book and spread the word online - because every time someone laughs at something in this book it's like Kathy getting another heartbeat. And you should know there's nothing sad or depressing in this book at all. You know and I know that this is a memorial of sorts, but there's not a hint about that in the book. The goal here is just laughter. So get it while it's free! And laugh!


Please do! The more reviews the book gets, the more Amazon is willing to promote it to other readers. But if you do choose to write a review, I'd like to ask you to consider these guidelines:

• Please don't mention anything about Kathy's illness or death.  

• Please don't mention this blog by name or anything political.

• Please don't mention the name "Stilton Jarlsberg,"
because despite the special "just for you" book cover at the top of this post, I'm using a different name on the cover of the actual book to avoid getting bad reviews from politically-minded trolls.

Thank you and ENJOY THE BOOK!


Amazon makes things a bit confusing with their "free to read on Kindle Unlimited" thing, so just to be clear, here's what you're looking for:

You need to click in the "Kindle" box right next to the book cover, then over on the right side DO NOT click the yellow "read for free" button, but DO click the orange "Buy now with 1-click" button to get your $0.00 ebook!


M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Ordering three copies as Xmas gifts! :)

Jerryskids said...

Sad that you can't even use your own name, so to speak, for fear of the trolls.

Keith and Mary said...

Just bought the book version. I figure it’s easier to read over and over if it’s on the coffee table. It also makes it easier for our friends to peruse when they drop by.
Appreciate this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you this wonderful, fun tribute!! As they say, “An early bird in the hand is worth two worms in a bush” (any dadgum day)!!

Unknown said...

It's good therapy for you as well as us. Thanks. now primed for a laugh.

milanmark said...

Bought it!
Thanks for writing it!
I like your brand of humor!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Stilt! Got my Kindle freebie with plans to buy several paperbacks for friends and family. Really great labor of love, but I promise to follow your rules when adding my glowing review!

Chevypro said...

Many Thanks...
Can't read...
Season's Wishes to you and your daughter this Christmas!

Mike Ferguson said...

Thanks so much. I’ll enjoy relaxing to your book on our next cruise.

Really-Windy said...

Just bought the kindle version on Amazon. Can't wait to read it over the weekend. The first three examples had me already laughing, which was a nice way to begin my morning. Thank you for sharing this labor of love with us.

ruralbob said...

Thank you, Stilton! This is very generous. Looking forward to reading the eBook!

Berferd said...

Will it eventually be possible to get a copy with the cover shown above?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Berferd- Probably not, I'm afraid. In today's crazy cancel culture, I just want this book to be about Kathy and not draw fire from liberals and other whackjobs. For all other projects, I'm still willing to go bare-knuckle on the lunkheads!

John T said...

Gabrielson and White, They're great! Is illustrator Stevenson anybody whose work we've seen? I just downloaded a copy, I look forward to settling down with a nice glass of Hiney wine and laughing away an evening...thanks so much!

jayjay said...

Congrats! With the stress and strife of this crazy world, I can't wait to tickle my funny bone with this book. I downloaded it and will give you kudos in my review. Thanks for the early Christmas gift and Merry Christmas to you and daughter J.

John the Econ said...

I've downloaded my non-psychic polluting weekend reading. Thanks!

Coffeypot said...

Got my Kindle addition, and looking forward to reading it. Congrats, too.

DougM said...

Got it!
Thanks, Stilt
As long as we're pushing freebies,
SondraKistan has moved to
(long story)

JustaJeepGuy said...

I was able to get the Kindle without setting up an Amazon account, but they seem to require an account to download the book. Sorry @Stilt, but I won't do business with Amazon even if there's no money changing hands. If there were money changing hands, I'd want it to go directly from mine to yours. Amazon can pack sand.

HappyCamper said...

What a wonderful tribute to Kathy and a very enjoyable read. Thank you, Stilton!

Rod said...

Stilt: I've just had an awakening as well... about you. I have had no idea how you've been able to maintain the sharp wit, sense of humor & then also navigate the crap which life has tossed your way >>>> while also mastering the skills required in this Internet / Digital / All linked up world. Most of this stuff just confuses me; sometimes wastes a lot of my time when there's a glitch; pisses me off & pushes me away. I can look at a Circuit City ad flyer and have no idea what most of that stuff IS; what language are they using; and how does one ever start to learn it?

I am in awe & am pretty sure others are as well. And also so glad I stumbled into "Hope & Change" back in (what has it been)? 2+4+8+1 & more so estimated over 15 years ago. But now I have a new clue. Kathy. How delightful she is with her Kathyisms.

Anonymous said...

I guess I must have an old Kindle because it says, “This book is not available for download on this devise.”

Smokin'Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamafrog said...

I just bought the paper books because I need some quick gifts for people who have no sense of humor (not just Dems, lol). And yes, I left a non-denominational review, just said it was silly and funny. I figure that's not a lie.

dk nolte said...

Stilton, you're a good man. Back in 2016 I lost my wife to heart issues. It f'n hurt. I purchased your paperback because you are a good man. I am also a writer, and I feel you deserve the measly $3.88 I paid for it, at least what little of it you will receive. Something like this should not be sucked up for free but purchased for the value it is. You worked hard for it and deserve to reap its benefits. I would bet money that Kathy would agree.

The next time you sit in quiet, talking to this amazing woman who put up with you, tell her some old fart from Texas said she was lucky to have an old fart like you to cherish her.

God bless you.

Smokin'Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smokin'Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smokin'Q said...

Stilt, Thank you so much for making this book available for your loyal readers and fans. We appreciate you so much and have loved your brand of humor ever since the early "Hope and Change" days. I downloaded the Kindle version for myself and bought 6 paper copies today to give to family at Christmas.

I "Laughed ass tears down my face." (Combo of, "I laughed my ass off" with, "tears running down my face.") Meaning: To get a really big belly laugh out of something that is extraordinarily funny. Example of usage: "I just finished reading *ahem* "Steve" and Kathy's new book and I LAUGHED ASS TEARS DOWN MY FACE the entire time I was reading it."

I know the past few months have been very difficult for you with Kathy's loss. I know your pain as I have been through a similar circumstance since I lost my best friend and soulmate this past August. I'm glad to see you are getting your funny bone back. The hurt will never go away completely, but time will make things better. Hang in there my friend!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Wow, a crazy day and I'm delighted so many of you have gotten the book. And there are still a couple of days left (as of this writing) to get the ebook for free or the paperback at a (deliberately) non-profit price. For me, anyway - Amazon always gets paid!

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Thank you!

@Jerryskids- Part of using a different name is because of trolls, but another part is that it was (and is) important for me to have Kathy's legal moniker on the book since I plan to give copies to a lot of family and friends who are blissfully unaware that the man they think they know is merely a secret identity for StiltonMan.

@Keith and Mary- Owing to the layout of the book, the paperback version will really give the best reading experience. And man, what a perfect little book for people of taste and elegance to keep in their crapper!

@Anonymous- You have seized on the very gist of this literary work.

@Unknown- Working on this book has been a life preserver for me. It was exactly what I needed and when I needed it.

@milanmark- I'm glad you like my somewhat odd sense of humor. The book is an interesting mix of Kathy's guileless pronouncements and my oddball "use examples" of her "Kathyisms." And every single one of the phrases in there is a memory of Kathy and I sharing a great laugh.

@Anonymous- You're so welcome!

@Anonymous- Thank you! And part of the reason I'm asking for certain things in reviews is simply that I don't want people to get the idea that this is a "laughing through the tears" kind of book, or that they'll suddenly be blindsided by depressing reality. Who wants to read a "funny" book like that? Granted, that's an odd position for the Johnny Optimism author to take... (grin)

@Chevypro- And the best of the season to you and yours!

@Mike Ferguson- As Kathy once said, I hope the book puts "Buoy in your step" at sea!

@Really-Windy- I hope (and believe) you'll enjoy all the cartoons. The illustrator brought this project to life in a way that felt a little bit like a miracle to me. Now I need to figure out more projects to share with him!

@ruralbob- Enjoy!

@John T- If you're enjoying some Hiney wine tonight, why not treat yourself to their top-of-the-line poured in a special glass? Yes, I'm talking about Snifter Hiney.

The illustrator, Richard Svensson, lives in Sweden and is a fascinating and talented guy (he's a stop-motion animator among other things). This is my first collaboration with him and I'm going to try to make sure it isn't the last.

Smokin'Q said...

P.S. Just don't ask me for an illustration of, "Laughing ass tears down my face." OK? I'll just leave that to your imagination or perhaps that of your excellent illustrator, Richard Svensson.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@jayjay- I'm sick of stress and strife, too! Happily, this book won't contribute to either of those things and may indeed be an antidote!

@John the Econ- It's the subliminal messages hidden in the book that'll get you.

@Coffeypot- Thank you!

@DougM- Thanks, DougM. EVERYONE should head over to on a regular basis for smart & funny posts!

@JustaJeepGuy- I understand completely. Amazon annoys me in countless ways, but for this kind of project they were the best choice. If you'd like, send me your email address and I'll try to shoot you a PDF file!

@HappyCamper- The book is absolutely a celebration of Kathy and a remembrance of a lifetime of laughter together.

@Rod- In truth, I'm not really kept afloat by optimism on my part, but I'm hardwired to find humor in the strangest places (which is why Johnny Optimism just keeps on going). As far as mastering technical skills and digital matters, I'm really pretty much of a piker. This blog is proudly using the basic tools introduced before the turn of the last century. But I do have my niche skills, including being able to build a book and get it online. And this evening I edited some video of Santa and snow flurries to project on a window of my home for the passersby.

But it was Kathy who balanced my nuttiness and made us a functional family. We complemented each other in a lovely way. And so "co-authoring" this book with her is good for my heart.

@Anonymous- Well THAT'S weird. It's not like the book is trickier than OTHER ebooks. You can always read the book by getting a free Kindle Reader app for your computer, tablet, or phone. I put a link in today's post!

@Smokin'Q- I'm so very sorry for your loss. For some reason, my mind just went back to grade school and a friend at recess asking me if I wanted a Hertz Donut? I said yes and he punched my arm as hard as he could. "Hurts, don' it?" he laughed. And here you and I are, each with a supersized Hertz Donut. Damn.

I'm glad you're enjoying the book - and thanks for buying print copies, too! I'm watching the book's ranking on Amazon and it's flirting with being #1 in a couple of categories if a few more print sales roll in. Mind you, nothing magical happens if it becomes #1 for 15 minutes, but it's fun to pretend that it's important!

@mamafrog- Hopefully even the humor-impaired can enjoy the book, although I've already encountered a few folks who find it a bit baffling because the "Kathyisms" sound correct to them. "What's funny about winning by a nose hair?" they ask. Ah, well. And thank you for the review - I think "funny and silly" are pretty safe claims to make.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@dk nolte- Come on over here and let me give you a manly hug. I'm so sorry about the loss of your wife. I'm hoping to eventually find Life's "suggestion box" so I can put in a few harshly-worded notes about what's working down here and what isn't.

I appreciate the paperback purchase and think you'll find that it's the best way to enjoy the book. And while I very truly appreciate your kind sentiment about my deserving some money, this book isn't about that in any way (not that I have anything AGAINST money, mind you!) At the current price for the paperback, Amazon makes $3.58 and I make, um, nothing. And that's fine - I'll probably bump the price up to $4.99 soon just so the book looks credible ("How good can it be if they're selling it for $3.58?!") And after this giveaway, the Kindle version will be $2.99 which is the least Amazon will let me charge for it - although that will give me about a $1 royalty.

If the book makes any profit at all - and I'd love for it to - every cent will go to Leukemia research. I'm fortunate enough to not be in a position where I need money. What I do need is for more people to know Kathy and for them to laugh over the things that tickled us here at home. I don't want Kathy's wonderful spirit to be cooped up in this house with me - I want to give it some wings with this book.

And Kathy was indeed an amazing woman and an actual saint to put up with me. I loved her and will continue to do so. Hopefully, readers of this book will love her too!

Anonymous said...

Still can’t get it on my Kindle. I’ll try the paperback. My wife also says things that only make sense to me. I’ve tried to correct her in the past, but now I just think she’s funny. Love her to pieces, because she’s always there for me.

Jee said...

Thank you, Stilton, that’s kind and generous of you to share with us. I always enjoy your sense of humor. I hope you and your daughter will have some joy during Christmas this year.

Brie Camembert said...

Downloaded the kindle book from Amazon - many thanks. Hillarious! A fitting memorial to Kathy.
Judging by the photo, ol' Steve ain't lookin' so good!

Terrapod said...

Ordered 3 hard copy, going to grands and one for grins.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

My copies have arrived! Man, that's service! :D

Jack said...


Excellent except that Kindle Fire leaves the text too small to read easily. I contacted Amazon and got a smartmough answer that made no sense. (I am deaf and Amazon wants me to call on the phone.)

I will get it sorted out because your book is of value.

Thanks for all that you do.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jack- I just tried downloading the book on my phone and I have the same problem: the picture is about the size of a postage stamp and the text is so tiny that it looks like it was written by a lawyer. Obviously that's NOT how it's supposed to be (and it wasn't that way using the online preview tool from Amazon). I'll try to get it fixed ASAP and I thank you for calling this to my attention!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jack- Well, that was quick! The book should be read in "landscape" mode (horizontal) and is itty-bitty in "portrait" mode (the way you normally hold a phone). I knew that, but I couldn't get the book to cooperate when I turned my phone. But it turns out there was a fix in my phone's settings (an Android). Here it is:

Open the book you want to read horizontally and tap anywhere at the top of the screen, then tap the “Aa” icon to access the Display Settings menu. Tap “Layout.” Then, under Orientation, tap the landscape reading icon. After a second, the screen will rotate.

I hope this helps - let me know!

Also, I may do a more extensive revision to make things larger still.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jack and @Everyone Else- I've found a way to make the Kindle ebook much more readable on smartphones (using bigger text) and should have the updated version sent to Amazon shortly. Hopefully your book will automatically update - I'll let you know if you need to download it again (you won't need to repurchase it or anything).

Jack said...

Good heavens! It does work properly that way. Thanks a gazillion.

Mufflerking said...

Thanks for the book. Seems like your Kathy and my Jackie were two of a kind. Two peas in a pot.

Phil Manko