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Long Overdue Newsletter - December 2023

Our first newsletter was posted in December of 2019. Or as we say: four Santa cartoons ago.

Now we're out here building Christmas trees out of Long Overdue books.

Below is the annual Long Overdue Christmas catalog, but first, a couple of notes.

  • As long as you order by December 17th, you should have your books by Christmas Day

  • A few of the books (Hopper's Dell, Pickleball, Strawberry Moon, Martin Blackbriar) are available on Amazon which extends your get-the-book-by-Christmas-Day order window

  • If you're in Chicago, we're having an in-person pop-up bookstore at Barrel Cheese & Wine on Dec. 17, Dec. 20, and Dec. 21

Alright, let's dive into the Christmas catalog!


New Releases

Author: T.C. Pendragon & A.R. MacGregor (Michigan)

What's it about: -The Hopper Family has kept this secret for over 200 years. The secret of the evil that awaits within the woods. And the secret of all the sacrifices they made to keep it bound to their land. Both sides play a shadowy game as they try to outwit the other. And answer an impossible question. Can a monster destroy a family? Can a family destroy a monster?

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Just look at that cover! Great design by Heather Nelson. And cool to see a father and son team up to write this novel.

Author: Vicki Sheaffer (Minnesota) & Illustrator Chanda Cook (Minnesota)

What's it about: -An engaging rhyme paired with playful illustrations chronicling the history of Pickleball and the evolution of the game into today's latest andgreatest court sport. A fun addition to the bookshelves of players of all ages!

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Vicki's 3rd book with Long Overdue and I've got a bunch of die-hard Pickleball players in my family!

Author: Anna Camaiti Hostert (Italy)

What's it about: -Coming from Tuscany is a true story that takes place during WWII in Florence, Italy. It starts when Hitler came to Florence in 1938 and ends when the city was liberated from Nazi fascism. A young woman and a man meet and fall in love, while simultaneously other stories takes place and the world is collapsing around them.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Great to publish a book set in Florence. Our first "traditionally" published book (our other books are on the Hybrid model). And the introduction to the author happened from a reader (Ellen) who read/knew the authors of Safe Landing.

Author: Kate Buss (Minnesota)

What's it about: -From Ice Cream Fine Storybooks and St. Paul, Minnesota-based Author/Illustrator Kate Buss comes a delightful children's book about one little green frond and the dozens of creative explanations/uses offered by the arctic animals. 

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Love the illustrations in this book and always a pleasure to work with Kate Buss and the Ice Cream Fine Storybooks crew. Fourth collaboration, fifth coming soon in 2024!


Author: Melody Smith, Kim Jockl, Jim Borchers (Chicago)

What's it about: -On May 25th, 1979, Melody Smith, Kim Jockl, and Jim Borchers suffered the worst tragedy of their lives losing both of their parents on American Airlines Flight 191. This book tells the three's inspiring journey of rallying together as a family, rebuilding their lives, and making sure all 273 people who lost their lives would never be forgotten. 

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Where should we begin? I don't think there's enough space in this newsletter! One of my favorite covers -- of any book, not just Long Overdue. Designed by Annie Leue. Safe Landing is everything a book can be. It's a beautiful story, shows the healing power of writing, and the meaningful community books can create.

Author: Chris O'Brien (Chicago. Although still likes to claim Michigan, too)

What's it about: -Living in the Midwest, we’re bound to go through a heavy winter every single year. But it’s all worth it on the first nice day of spring, or those long summer nights in July, or a morning bike ride when the leaves are changing colors in late September, early October. Totally worth it… until we’re back in January. Then we look at old vacation photos and think, “Get me out of here. I want to be over there.” Here or There takes the idea of seasons and applies it to life. Inside is a variety of interlinked stories and cartoons, including, “I’ll Always Cheer for Wile E. Coyote,” “How Does the Midwest Sell us on Winter?” and “Big Decisions are Overrated.” This book is a comedy with a side dish of philosophy. It’s about embracing the experience as we travel from Here to There.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Hey, that's my book! More on this in 2024, but it's the first example of a "Book Renovation," a program through Long Overdue where people can re-work and re-publish one of their self-published books.

Author: Adam Hersh (Florida)

What's it about: -Before You Sign is a concise pocket guide designed to demystify contract provisions that individuals may encounter when signing agreements. Whether you're a business owner wanting to understand how specific clauses can impact your enterprise, a law student seeking additional resources on contracts, or a professional looking for an edge, this book has you covered. Authored by Adam Hersh, a multi-state licensed attorney, this book simplifies complex subjects and provides real-world examples to empower business owners, professionals, and students with a deeper understanding of contractual matters.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Since the very beginning, I've wanted Long Overdue to publish a book that falls under the "really smart person sharing their craft in a digestible way" genre. Adam's book, which will be released very soon, is exactly that; and I hope it inspires other professionals to turn their knowledge into a book.

Children's Books

Author: Vicki Sheaffer (Minnesota) & Illustrator Kristie Kaiser Frudden (Minnesota)

What's it about: -Vicki and Kristie are back with a sequel of sorts to their first children's board book "Oh Mother How Funny." But this time the roles are reversed, Kristie is celebrating the birth of her first granddaughter. Enjoy this bright, upbeat story paired with beautiful illustrations.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Example of someone (Kristie) publishing a children's book inspired by the birth of their first grandchild. Got to collaborate with Print Ninja here in Evanston to print the board books.

Author & Illustrator: Kate Buss (Minnesota)

What's it about: Who do you blame when all your socks go missing? It couldn’t possibly be that a ferocious sock-eating monster has snuck into your closet... But if one has and you manage to catch him, if you give him food and shelter and treat him kindly, he may just be tamed.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Has the same type of emotional gut punch (in a good way!) at the end similar to a Toy Story 3 or the song Puff the Magic Dragon. Beautiful illustrations.

Author & Illustrator: Kate Buss (Minnesota)

What's it about: Learn your ABCs and improve your monster-ese with this remarkably illustrated collection of beautiful, bizarre, and downright hilarious monsters. Tiberius Q. Edelgeezer (professor of Monstrology, etc, etc) cordially invites you to explore the thrilling, chilling, sometimes bewildering, but always exhilarating world of monsters. Assembled into one complete volume (unless there’s a sequel), this book will help you and your loved ones spot the many beasts, fiends, and ghouls that roam the earth – and quite a few that lurk beneath it. Each monster is not only richly illustrated but also poetically described by Professor Edelgeezer himself, so rest assured you’re in good hands. After all, what better guide to the field of monsters than a monster himself?

Special Significance to Long Overdue: I'm not sure we have a funnier, more creative book than this one. So many great monsters in here and a great job by Annie Leue on both the cover and the interior.

Author & Illustrator: Kate Buss (Minnesota)

What's it about: Introducing the Horner’s, a family of everyday unicorns and their pet flying pig ‘Puck’. While Mr. & Mrs. Horner are getting busy with their days, big brother, big sister, and baby brother are off playing in their tree fort or making a movie. When Grandma Horner comes over on her Harley it is time to play board games. Get to know the Horners and their adventures in this beautifully illustrated book and the other Horner stories to come.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: My son loves this book. For any parent, grandparent, uncle/aunt who has a 1.5 to 2.5 year old kid in their life, highly recommend The Horners.

Author: Harry Trumfio (Illinois) and Illustrator Dena Ackerman (Israel)

What's it about: Children's book about a father with a lifelong dream of being a candy maker and his two sons who will help him fulfill this vision and have some fun in the process.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: Sets the record for longest distance between author and illustrator. How cool that we could hold Zoom meetings between an Illinois author and an illustrator in Israel and build this project together.


Author: Joy M. Lilley (England)

What's it about: The Patterson family leaves the U.K. to begin a new life in France. St Severin, in the Dordogne, provides the backdrop for the family's new home and all of the life-changing obstacles they are about to encounter. Maisie, who is almost seventeen, narrates this unpredictable story. Maisie struggles as she experiences the changes of coming of age, the pain of loss, and the rollercoaster ride of competing love interests. Maisie's older brother, Dan, rebels over the move and frequently threatens to return to England when his studies are over. Dan starts an affair with a married French woman. After a few months in France, he goes missing which begins to unravel the family. What starts as an exciting move becomes more difficult with each passing chapter. Maisie is left navigating this complicated new world, all while trying to plan the rest of her adult life.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: The very first book we ever edited and published!

Author: T.C. Pendragon (Michigan)

What's it about: A Legacy to Uphold. Martin Blackbriar and the Necronomicon is the story of our generation’s Witch and Wizard, Martin and Ali Blackbriar. They will wield all the powers that magic can offer, provided they can survive against the forces that wish to use them, or end them before their journey even begins. A Lot to Learn. Magic has been hiding in the public eye for thousands of years. As parlor tricks, as superstition, and urban legends. But true magic is nothing like it is in fairy tales. It’s an art form that balances ancient teachings with constant danger. If they are going to survive, Martin and Ali will have to learn magic faster than any Witch and Wizard before them. A Killer to Apprehend. The Blackbriar siblings are not alone in their struggles for greater power. As they learn of their destiny and begin their training, a legendary artifact falls in the wrong hands: the Necronomicon. It gives its wielder the power to kill anybody. If they’re not careful, there’s no telling what horrors await them.

Special Significance to Long Overdue: I mean, come on, a skeleton spine on the spine of the book?? How cool is that!


In Loving Memory

(Uncle) Clark Edward O'Brien

October 25, 1954 - December 1, 2023


Keeping up with Long Overdue

Best place to keep up with all things Long Overdue is a tie between our monthly newsletter and our Instagram page. If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who might enjoy it as well, let us know, we'll make sure to add them to our subscriber list. We also got back on Facebook recently, you can follow us here.

And check out our website - Long Overdue Books. Long Overdue Books is a community for creating books. It's a place for authors (and soon-to-be-authors), readers, editors, artists, and designers to come together and move their stories from ideas to finished books.

Also, if you have any questions, ideas, stories to tell, you can reach Cal the Librarian at -

And hey, in case we don't see ya at the pop-up bookstore events, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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