Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some More Love for Cheeseland

Earlier this year Eckhartz Press released Randy Richardson's excellent novel, "Cheeseland". We thought so much of it, we nominated it for several "best of the year" book competitions.

But of course, we're biased. We published it. Don't believe us. Here's what some unbiased readers have been saying and writing about Cheeseland. It's the #1 ranked coming of age novel at GoodReads thanks to comments like this...

"This is a fun coming-of-age novel with one of those archetypal "bad influence" friends from your adolescence. I really enjoyed this book. The protagonist is even-keeled Daniel McAllister, a guy who grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Chicago and then went on to better things. His best friend as an adolescent was Lance Parker -- one of those great, universal characters. We ALL had a Lance in our lives...the "bad influence" kid your parents didn't want around. Or maybe YOU were "Lance" when you were growing up...the guy who always had the crazy, irresponsible idea to do something you shouldn't do (in this case, go on a road trip to Wisconsin instead of going to your high school graduation ceremony). Somehow, we're never quite able to say "no" to the Lances in our lives, and in Cheeseland, Randy Richardson shows how that plays out over a lifetime. There are serious undertones to this novel, including some dark secrets that haunt Daniel and Lance from adolescence into adulthood. But there is also a lot of humor, especially on the aforementioned road trip, which hit close to home. I was a bit of a "Lance" in my day, and I remember all too well how a spur-of-the-moment idea like a road trip can lead to lots of fun -- and lots of trouble. You get both in Cheeseland. Bottom line: this is a very well written coming-of-age novel. Highly recommended.
---Mike O'Mary, author of "Wise Men and Other Stories" (5 stars out of 5)

"Being a Chicago native myself I loved all the Chicago references in this fine coming-of-age novel. From easy access to Pabst Blue Ribbon beer just over the Wisconsin border, where the drinking age was lower, to a rock concert in the heart of the Kettle Moraine, to mindless midnight runs up and down I-94 between the south suburb of Dolton (where people are known as „dolts“) to the airport – I almost felt this was my story! These were my songs. The main characters are bound by blood by a series of events that happened in high school, and the story is a kind of exorcism of their past, spanning three decades. The author sprinkles plenty of surprises in the story, so that I really did not know what was coming next at any juncture. I especially loved the character of Buck, a voice of reason and sanity for boys just trying to survive their childhood. If you liked Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, you’ll love Cheeseland, Chicago’s answer to that Texas classic. Highly recommended!"
---Frederick Brooke (5 stars out of 5)

"Cheeseland is a refreshing, entertaining, and profound bro-mance about choices one makes because of an unforgiving past... Without giving too much away, the ending plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy. It was the only way this kind of story could end both in fiction and in real life. The setting was a big hit with me. As a Chicagoan, I knew the highways, places, towns, and other details Mr. Richardson used. Especially liked his mention of Alpine Valley-many warm and hazy memories from my adolescence. I cannot help but compare Mr. Richardson’s work to Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River. A five star drama!"
---Dina Rae (5 stars out of 5)

The Living Wills in the Classroom

We've just gotten word that the Eckhartz Press novel "The Living Wills" (written by Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer) is going to be read by Marist High School in their Chicago literature class.

Kudos to Marist alum, Brendan Sullivan. That must be a thrill for him.

Some More Love for The Balding Handbook

Pat Colander from SHORE Magazine writes the following on her blog today...

"And Perfect Last-Minute Gifts: For the man who has everything but hair, Eckhartz Press is featuring David Stern's The Balding Handbook: The 5 stages of grieving for your hair. As Publisher Rick Kaempfer says, the book will “bring you back into the light. Of course, you'll need sunscreen when you get there, but the few extra bucks you shell out to the Hawaiian Tropic people is a trifle when you consider the incredible life that awaits you after reading this book. Whether you are a fellow sufferer, or just a mean person that wants to give this book as a gag gift to that baldy you know (“Tee hee, Get it? You're bald!”), “The Balding Handbook is for you.”

Here are a few reviews on GoodReads...

"Stern's book takes the Five Stages of Grieving and applies to hair loss. As a fully actualized bald man, Stern offers advise and insights to his balding brothers. So funny. So funny. So funny. I received this book in the mail and read it the same day. My neighbors must think they are living next to a lunatic as I laughed loud and hard at every chapter."
--Brent Petersen (5 stars out of 5)

"I was given this book by my brother and had no intention of reading it. The next thing I knew I had read the entire book in a few hours. This really is a funny and smart read. Pleasantly surprised."
--Sly (5 stars out of 5)

"This book has given me the will to live. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
--Curly (5 stars out of 5)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Righting a Wrong, Balding Handbook-style

Help Eckhartz Press author David Stern ("The Balding Handbook") right a 200-year wrong. Please sign his official White House petition to rename the "Bald" eagle, the "Follicly-Challenged" eagle. It's the right thing to do.

You can sign it here.

He needs 25,000 signatures in a month, so please pass the word. We've got about 24,998 signatures to go.

We're #1

Well lookee here.

The #1 Coming of Age novel listed on GoodReads is the Eckhartz Press release "Cheeseland" by Randy Richardson.

We're #1

On Amazon's list of Hot New Releases/Parodies, lookee here...

The Balding Handbook is #1!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scenes from The Balding Handbook's Book Release Party

Author David Stern was among his people all night. As you can see, they covered a full range of emotions...

The Balding Handbook on the Radio

Tune in Thursday December 27th at 9pm to Sports Night on WGN Radio (AM 720), hosted by Brian Noonan and Dave Kaplan. They'll be talking to the author of "The Balding Handbook", David Stern.

Dave has prepared a list of some of his favorite athletes. See if you can guess what they all have in common.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Balding Handbook Shout Out

The Balding Handbook's author David Stern has been hustling. The book is selling incredibly well online, but Dave also has a carload of these things with him at all times and sells them every day to people he meets.

Yesterday he was at the Horseshoe Casino (probably researching for his next book; either an homage to flashing lights or oversized horeshoes), when he played poker with a man named Fat Ali.

I don't want to say what Fat Ali's brothers will be receiving as holiday gifts this year, but he asked Dave to mention this on the blog. Here goes: "Special shout out to Fat Ali who will be spreading holiday cheer to his six bald brothers this Christmas."

By the way, we're having a little party for The Balding Handbook this weekend and we need your advice. Is there a thematically appropriate beverage or food we should serve? Send your ideas to

Monday, December 10, 2012

More Love for The Balding Handbook

We've been astounded by the way "The Balding Handbook" has been flying off the shelves, so first of all, thanks to all of you who are buying it--especially those of you buying ten copies at a time. (Know a lot of bald guys?)

It's getting attention all over the country. Joe Donatelli is "The Humor Columnist" (based in Cleveland) and he has published an excerpt from the book in his most recent column. It's a section that particularly tickled his funny bone, the description of the different kinds of combovers.

You can read it here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rick Kaempfer

Eckhartz Press co-publisher and author Rick Kaempfer is featured in the current issue of Illinois Entertainer magazine.

The piece, written by Cara Jepsen, is about his co-founding of this company, his previous writing and radio career, and his upcoming book on Eckhartz Press.

You can read it here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet Kim & Randy

This Thursday night Kim Strickland will be part of the lineup at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square (4736 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago). They are staging a "ChicagoNow Bloggers Author Night", and Kim writes the blog "A City Mom" for ChicagoNow. She'll be signing copies of her Eckhartz Press book "Down at the Golden Coin" at the Book Cellar, along with fellow ChicagoNow authors Jimmy Greenfield, Carrie Goldman, Kirk Mango, and Fern Ronay. The festivities begin at 7pm.

This Saturday (December 8) Eckhartz Press author Randy Richardson will be appearing in Woodstock at "Read Between the Lynes" from 2-4pm. He'll be signing copies of his novel "Cheeseland". Read Between the Lynes is located at 129 West Van Buren Street in Woodstock.

The Balding Handbook's Cause

The Balding Handbook gets serious for a moment: Eckhartz Press author Dave Stern is donating a portion of the proceeds to a charity that provides wigs for children undergoing chemo.

It's called "The Happiness Plunge" and you can read more about this great charity here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Press for The Balding Handbook

Over the past few days information about "The Balding Handbook" has been on radio stations around the country (mostly thanks to this "obituary" that ran in the Seattle Times)

It's also starting to find it's way into newspapers.

If you've ordered the book, it's in the mail as you read this. You should be getting your copy any day now.

If you haven't ordered the book...get with the program! It's available right here at the Eckhartz Press store, and has been submitted as an e-book to amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Sony.

As soon as they give us the thumbs up, we'll let you know where to get your copy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday

According to USA Today, this is going to be the biggest Cyber Monday in history. For those of you cyber-ing today, don't forget the wonderful offerings at Eckhartz Press. All of them are perfect stocking stuffers...

"The Balding Handbook"
By David Stern

"Finally a book for America's most overlooked minority! We are balding, hear us roar, in numbers too big to ignore."
---Radio legend John Records Landecker

"The Living Wills"
By Brendan Sullivan & Rick Kaempfer

Rollicking and real on so many levels, "The Living Wills" is a captivating collaboration by two immensely talented writers.
---Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune

By Randy Richardson

Every once in a while, a sleeper of a novel comes around that you really HAVE to read. For me, it's CHEESELAND... It's elegant, well-written, and the characters are wonderfully wrought. I highly recommend it.
---Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of A Bitter Veil, Set the Night on Fire, and the Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis Mystery Series

"Down at the Golden Coin"
By Kim Strickland

“Down at the Golden Coin” couldn’t be more timely or original, with the most eccentric spiritual guide since Clarence the Angel. Prepare to set your brain to “spin cycle.”
–--Paige Wiser
"Windy City Live", ABC-7 Chicago

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). They are being printed as you read this, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In Stage Five Acceptance, Stern describes the many advantages of being bald.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 19

The first thing you’ll notice when you finally come to grips with who you are is that you suddenly have more time and money than you ever imagined. Did you realize that you are actually a wealthy person who has been hiding inside a not-so-wealthy person’s body? Did you realize that you were the kind of husband/father/boyfriend/friend that could always be there for your loved ones?

Oh, my bald brothers, let me count the ways.

Time is on your side—Morning

How would you like to sleep an extra twenty minutes, thirty minutes, sixty minutes or more? Done. You have all the time in the world in the morning because you no longer have to waste your time doing things like…

• shampooing
• drying your hair
• swirling your hair into a combover
• checking the weather channel for wind patterns
• spraying hair spray to hold remaining strands in place
• applying gel or mousse
• looking in the mirror at your bald spot growing
• applying Rogaine
• picking the dead skin around your plugs
• making up fake illnesses so you can stay home
• combing your piece
• trimming your piece
• fluffing your piece
• kissing your piece

By eliminating these items from your morning prep-time, you are on your way to giving the world a gigantic boost in the arm.

Time is on your Side—Daytime

With up to an extra hour of sleep, you’ll find that you’ll tap into energy that you never realized you had. This will make you get your work done faster, more efficiently, and will turn the head of your boss. That means you’ll get promoted, and everybody knows what happens when you get promoted: It’s slack-off time, baby! Now you can make everyone else do all the work. That leaves you with up to six extra hours of time per day.

Throw in the extra time you’ll save by no longer doing the following…

• shopping for hats
• trying on hats
• washing and maintaining your hats
• reading hat catalogs
• ordering hats from catalogs
• awkward chit chat with hair stylists
• writing angry letters to makers of sham bald products
• conferring with your lawyer about restraining orders you’ve received from sham bald product manufacturers
• writing letters to attorneys of sham bald products
• testifying at Grand Jury hearings against sham bald products
• putting sugar in your bald-joke-loving brother-in-law’s gas tank
• putting lice in Warren Beatty’s hat
• hunting animals for their hair

With all of these activities off your schedule forever, you suddenly have more time than you ever realized. Look out world, here come the answers to your problems.

Time is on your side--Evenings

With your new-found confidence and stamina, the little woman in your life is going to find out just exactly how virile a bald man can be—and she probably won’t be able to keep that silly smile off her face. Trying to keep up with you, she will be forced to get into shape. That means she won’t be home much. She’ll be at the gym working out for that night’s session. That means you’ll have all sorts of extra time that you used to spend…

• refilling the dish washer to her ridiculous specifications
• digging through the garbage for things that should have been recycled
• talking to her
• listening to her
• begging her for a little…ahem…love

If you’re a father, this extra time will allow you to spend more time with your kids, which will help you form a healthier bond with the next generation of bald dynamos. When your wife sees how much you are helping the kids, she will get even more excited by you.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that you won’t have too much free time after she gets home from the gym…because she won’t let you leave that bedroom until she passes out with fatigue.

And you were upset about going bald?

Pre-order your copy of The Balding Handbook today!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). We'll be getting them from the printer on November 16th, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In Stage Four Depression, Stern shares some soothing words of comfort from some of the greatest poets of all-time. Turns out that many of them were also balding, including the immortal e.e. cummings.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 17...

E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

Famous balding poet E.E. Cummings was one of the most popular American poets of the 20th century. He was known for his bold approach; shunning rules and conventions. Cummings wasn’t bothered with rhymes, punctuation, syntax, or baldness. He was a poetic rebel and an intellectual giant.

My baldology colleague Michael Medina has been a Cummings-head for many years, and claims to have uncovered this previously unpublished Cummings poem. Yes, it was hand written, and yes, a few handwriting experts have confirmed that the handwriting was an exact match with Medina’s own handwriting, but whether or not this is the really work of Cummings himself or just a Cummings-head, it’s truly comforting. It’s entitled “Follicles”…

follicles needy, my petulant child, gimme gimme gimme,
gimme nutritents, gimme soap, gimme nutrients, gimme soap, gimme life then give me freedom
take your freedom, take it down the drain, tangle yourself there
a plumber charges seventy five dollars an hour, liquid plumber is cheap,
and I pour it on you, eating you up, sending you down in the sewer,
now you tangle on rats as you swim to the sea and you tangle on dung and you reek,
you have freedom, enjoy your new life, my bald head doesn’t miss you, my petulant child,
no more gimme, no more gimme, no more gimme.
I breathe now.
You rot in the sewer.

Pre-order your copy of "The Balding Handbook" today!

Meet Randy Richardson

It's local author night at the Book Cellar in Chicago (right next door to the Brauhaus in Lincoln Square), and one of the featured authors this month is Eckhartz Press' very own Randy Richardson ("Cheeseland").

The other authors scheduled to be there include Bree Housley (We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story about Friendship, Death, and Mix Tapes), and Samantha Hoffman (What More Could You Wish For).

Come on out and support your local Chicago authors!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). We'll be getting them from the printer on November 16th, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In Stage Three Bargaining, Stern helps the balding man prepare his inevitable offer to God. (If you give me my hair back, I'll...). There are gift suggestions that you'll simply not find anywhere else. There's even some sales training to help you if you somehow get direct access to the client.

For instance, the following is an excerpt from Chapter 13...

What If He Answers Me?

Good news, bad news. The good news is that He does grant face-to-face sales appointments on occasion. The bad news is that you’ve probably just been involved in some sort of fiery car crash.

This is the ultimate go-time. Have your closing argument on the tip of your (potentially severed and bleeding) tongue. It’s your only chance. Here are a few tried and true sales approaches that might work for you.

The Porcupine Close is a technique that uses leading questions to get desired results. For instance, if the Lord asks: “Have you accepted me as your personal savior?” You can respond with something like “Would you like my bushy new full head of hair and me to accept you as my personal savior?”

Mirroring could work too. That’s a technique that counts on mirroring speech and mannerisms of your potential client in an effort to build a rapport. It’s going to be tough to prepare because He hasn’t really spoken to anyone we know of for a while, but last we heard, He was doing the whole burning bush thing. A few prepared quips like “And I thought Boca was hot, you know what I’m saying?” could work wonders.

Bringing Up the Competition is another possibility. We live in competitive times, and the Almighty may not be immune to market forces himself. If it starts sounding like your request is about to be denied and all hope is lost, you may want to bring up the competition. For instance…

God: I appreciate your time on Earth and all, but we’re really looking at going in a different direction.

You: Satan said you’d say that.

God: You’ve called on Satan?

You: Oh yeah. He said that hair re-growth was definitely an option, and that I should go with him, because you couldn’t do it.

God: He said I couldn’t do it?

You: He also thinks you can’t restart my heart and make me avoid that fiery car crash.

God: Satan is a hack. Watch this.

The Balding Handbook is available for pre-order now!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Countdown to "The Balding Handbook"

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). We'll be getting them in on November 16th, and they'll be out in the mail shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

The balding reader will probably most enjoy the second stage of grieving: Anger and Rage. In that section Stern provides healthy, fun and cathartic exercises for the angry balding man, while still helping him stay out of jail.

For instance, who or what is it OK to hate? The following is an excerpt from Chapter 8...
Hating the Generic

During Stage Two Anger and Rage, you might want to avoid hating specific people entirely. There are plenty of generic classifications of Fullheads that are easy to hate instead.

For instance; Anchormen. As a group, it’s hard to top anchormen. Television news directors obviously scour the country looking for genetic freaks that still have fabulous heads of hair well into distinguished old age. The list is endless. On a national level, over the years we’ve been treated to Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Peter Jennings, Scott Pelley, Brit Hume, Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity, Chris Matthews, Geraldo Rivera, etc. Local television news anchors are also hair freaks. Just hate them all, and you can’t go wrong.

Movie casting directors are another safe target. Why? Because the evil villains in movies are disproportionately bald. The James Bond series was particularly inflammatory in its portrayal of bald men. No less than three of its evil villains were bald. “Austin Powers” went so far as to call its bald villain, “Dr. Evil.” This is not a new trend. Since the beginning of the movie era, the bald character was more likely to be the murderer, the psychopath, and/or the bad guy. Was it really necessary to cast a balding man as Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life"? Surely Bela Lugosi was available.

The Broadway musical “Hair” is another great thing to hate, for obvious reasons, but instead of hating the specific people that perform in it, or the jerk who wrote it, if you hate it generically, you can’t get into trouble. It still plays all over the country, so there will be lots of opportunities to have it boil your blood. Just leave Treat Williams (one of the original stars) alone. He has suffered enough in his career. If you reserved a weekend to watch all of Treat’s award winning acting performances, you would still have time left over to clean the garage, run a marathon, cure cancer, write a novel, translate War & Peace into Gaelic, do a 34,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and balance the United States budget.

It’s also OK to hate children. Instead of lashing out at specific kids like the one in the elevator that says to her mommy “What happened to that man’s hair?”, if you hate all children equally you won’t feel the need to lash out specifically. Your own children may have a few rough years, but remember that Anger and rage won’t last forever, and think how much emotionally tougher they’ll be if they have to work a little harder to receive Daddy’s love.

High school reunions are another easy target of generic hate. There are really only two things that former classmates discuss at those horrible events; the girls that got fat, and the guys that went bald. Just so you know, the girls that got fat usually don’t attend. That leaves one target, and you look at him every day in the mirror. For the love of God, don’t ever attend one (unless your school mascot was the “Skin Heads” or "The Fighting Emus"--then school spirit may compel you), but feel free to generically hate them anyway.

And by all means, hate the hair care industry. These faceless generic people think nothing of charging $20 for a thirty-second haircut. They intentionally sell some of the ridiculous hair care remedies we mentioned in Stage One. But worst of all, they treat us as if they haven’t even noticed we aren’t Fullheads. Ordering workers to make small talk about mundane matters while pretending to cut non-existent hair is contemptible, and certainly worthy of your generic Stage Two hate.

The Balding Handbook is available for pre-order now!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some Love from Shore Magazine

An excerpt from Pat Colander's Everyday Living blog at Shore Magazine...

Catching up with Shore Columnist, Renaissance Man and World's Best Dad Rick Kaempfer: I'm beginning to lose track but I believe when the The Balding Handbook starts shipping next week (November 16th) it will be the fourth book for his Eckhartz Press, which Rick launched about a year ago. The first was a novel Rick wrote with Brendan Sullivan called “The Living Wills,” a comic morality tale about a bowling team I thoroughly enjoyed. (Can't wait for the movie!) This season, The Balding Handbook by David Stern is going to be a hit for creative gift-givers who are victims—or members of the family of victims---of involuntary hair loss. Stern describes the five-stage grieving process including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. On the cover, the author is shown working through Stage 4. At the end of the process, Rick says, the fully actualized bald man can emerge whole into the light. “Of course, you'll need sunscreen when you get there, but the few extra bucks you shell out to the Tropicana people is a trifle when you consider the incredible life that awaits you after reading this book. Whether you're a fellow sufferer or just a mean person that wants to give this book as a gag gift to that baldy you know (Tee hee, Get it? You're bald.) The Balding Handbook is for you.”

Next up for Eckhartz? The long-awaited story of John Records Landecker, Records Truly is My Middle Name will be published as part of John's 66th birthday celebration in March. With Rick's help---not to mention his other famous friends and colleagues including Bob Sirott, Jonathon Brandmeier, John Gehron, Joey Reynolds, Jan Jeffries, Catherine Johns, Eric Ferguson, Bill Zehme, Kevin Matthews and Don Wade---John has managed to tap into his inner playlist and remember an astonishing amount of what actually happened during the past 40 years. You heard that number correctly Boogie Checkers. John Landecker first conquered nighttime radio in Chicago, oh, I don't know, probably some time in the 1970s or 80s. I mean who cares, right? But Landecker is still going strong in the same time slot from 630 – 11 pm weekdays on Cumulus Media classic hits WLS-FM (94.7) Keep your eye on this blog for more information on this upcoming bestseller. Who knows you could be in it?

Monday, November 5, 2012

John Records Landecker

The mystery radio memoir we've been teasing on our website has been revealed by Robert Feder at TimeOut Chicago. Here is what he wrote...

Next March 28th will be a red-letter day for fans of John Records Landecker. It will mark not only the Chicago radio legend’s 66th birthday but the publication of his new memoir, Records Truly Is My Middle Name. Written by Landecker with longtime producer Rick Kaempfer, it’ll be published by Kaempfer’s Eckhartz Press. “I worked with the guy every single day for 10 years, and never heard some of these stories he tells in this book,” Kaempfer says. Among colleagues and pals who contributed additional stories about the great man are Bob Sirott, Jonathon Brandmeier, John Gehron, Joey Reynolds, Jan Jeffries, Catherine Johns, Eric Ferguson, Bill Zehme, Kevin Matthews and Don Wade. Forty years after he first conquered nighttime radio in Chicago, Landecker is still going strong — from 6:30 to 11pm weekdays on Cumulus Media classic hits WLS-FM (94.7).

We'll have more details in this space in the weeks and months to come.

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

We're currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. It ships on November 16th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In the first stage of grieving (Denial), a balding man will go to miraculous lengths to restore his hair. In Chapter 3, David debunks each and every one of them.

However, Stern also notes the 5 methods that have proven to work...

#1: Get bitten by a werewolf.
#2: Wear the enchanted skin of a dead wolf or werewolf.
#3: Drink water from a wolf's footprint.
#4: Eat a wolf's brain (a little cayenne pepper really brings out the flavor).
#5: Have sex with a werewolf and survive.

The Balding Handbook is available for pre-order today!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Countdown to "The Balding Handbook"

We're currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. It ships on November 16th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it. Reason #1: Consider this official endorsement from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio personality John Records Landecker. Here's what he has to say about it...

"Finally a book for America's most overlooked minority! We are balding hear us roar, in numbers too big to ignore."

Would John Records Landecker steer you wrong? No, he wouldn't.

Pre-order your copy today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Eckhartz Press Presents: "The Balding Handbook"

Eckhartz Press is thrilled to announce the release of our latest book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. We're currently taking pre-orders. The book ships on November 16th.

What is "The Balding Handbook" all about?

It's modeled after the stages of mourning devised by Elisabeth Kubler Ross in her book "On Death and Dying". "The Balding Handbook" takes the balding man through the five stages of mourning for his hair loss; Denial & Isolation, Anger & Rage, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

David Frank Stern has penned this self-help masterpiece drawing from his many years of anguish and pain.

Stage One, Denial and Isolation- Stern delicately discusses subjects like the Bald Man's Crack (the baseball hat). He takes on the much harder and dangerous head gear such as: fedoras, Indian headresses and over sized sombreros. He also tackles combovers, plugs, wigs and more. That first stage is a painful one.

Stage Two, Anger and Rage - Easily, the most enjoyable stage of the grieving process, Anger and Rage provides a much needed outlet for the balding man. From defacing relative's graves to snapping the heads off GI Joe and Ken dolls, Stern provides healthy, fun and cathartic exercises to hasten the voyage through Stage Two.

Stage Three, Bargaining - Looking to the heavens, desperate bald men turn to a higher power in Stage Three, begging God to give them their hair back. Stern takes his suffering brothers through the entire sales process. From opening ice breakers, to fool proof closing techniques, Stern makes selling the Ultimate Decision Maker easy. The bad news is that if you get an appointment with Him, you're probably dead.

Stage Four, Depression - Stage Four announces it's arrival with the onset of hopelessness. Balding men mired in this stage realize that the loss will be permanent. Seeking other afflicted bald men is the key to a healthy recovery, and Stern will tell you where to find them. He also has uncovered some truly therapeutic and soothing words from the greatest poets of all time.

Stage Five, Acceptance - The painful journey will end here with self actualization. Stern outlines his vision for the eventual utopia that awaits when bald men of the world unite.

"The Balding Handbook" is more than a book. It's going to change the world, $15.95 at a time. Pre-order your copy today.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Balding Handbook has a website

And it's a pretty good one too.

It includes a preview, a link to social media, a blog, and all the latest information from a totally bald-centric point of view.

Click here to see it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Some Love for "Down at the Golden Coin"

Eckhartz Press author Kim Strickland gets some love from across the pond, a British book review site had this to say about "Down at the Golden Coin"...

This book is funny, serious, enlightening, and thought provoking. It is a story told of a young woman who is struggling with numerous problems in her life, and who meets her messiah Violet, with blue streaked hair and a nose stud, at just the right moment in a launderette.

It is easy to relate to the main character Annie, who has heard all the self help, spiritual guidance stuff before, read ‘The Secret’, and lots more, and still her life is falling to bits. She is taken through some past life experiences and even jumps ahead to a possible future for a while, which eventually starts to make sense to her about what she has to learn about positive thought and all kinds of forgiveness.

The book is written in a simple straight forward style and is a very comfortable read, albeit, with hints of telepathy and small miracles. There is a small cast of characters in the story but everyone is well drawn and is essential. There are some laugh out loud one liners, i.e. when Xavier’s dad asks to borrow some fabric softener, Annie thinks-

‘If I’d overheard what we were talking about, I’d have turned around and walked away. Taken my chances with static cling.’ Very funny in context.

The ending of the book is a nice twist and leaves you with a satisfied feeling and a smile on your face. If this book doesn’t change your life for the future it might just make you think carefully about how to deal more positively with the present.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Announcing: The Balding Handbook

One month from today, Eckhartz Press will be shipping our newest book: "The Balding Handbook: 5 Stages of Grieving for your Hair Loss" by David Stern. On November 1st we'll start taking pre-orders for this self-help classic, at the Eckhartz Press website.

David Stern is no ordinary cueball. He's a fully actualized bald man. Stern has gone through all five stages of grieving for his hair (that's the author on the cover during stage 4), and he's now in a better place. If you or someone you know wants to join him there, "The Balding Handbook" will provide you with a road map.

"The Balding Handbook" takes you beyond those embarrassing denial moments (hats, combovers, plugs, pieces), keeps you out of jail during that angry second stage, helps you construct a perfect offer to God while you bargain for your hair back, comforts you through the depths of balding depression, and brings you into the light. Of course, you'll need sunscreen when you get there, but the few extra bucks you shell out to the Tropicana people is a trifle when you consider the incredible life that awaits you after reading this book. Whether you're a fellow sufferer, or just a mean person that wants to give this book as a gag gift to that baldy you know ("Tee hee, Get it? You're bald!"), The Balding Handbook is for you.

"The Balding Handbook" isn't just a book. It is going to change the world...$15.95 at a time.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Meet the Eckhartz Press Authors

Next week and weekend there will be several chances to meet the Eckhartz Press authors around Chicagoland.

On Tuesday October 9th, from 12:30-1:15, Brendan Sullivan ("The Living Wills") will be conducting a writing workshop at Oakton College on their Des Plaines campus, in the Library (Lower Level). Everyone is welcome--there will be snacks.

On Saturday October 13th, from 11am--3pm, Randy Richardson ("Cheeseland") and Kim Strickland ("Down at the Golden Coin") will be appearing at the Joliet Public Library (3395 Black Road) for Author Fair 2012. There will be lots of other authors there too--a good time should be had one and all.

Also on Saturday October 13th, at 12:30, Brendan Sullivan ("The Living Wills") will be at iBAM (Irish Books Arts & Music) at the Irish American Heritage Center.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Meet Brendan Sullivan

Eckhartz Press author Brendan Sullivan ("The Living Wills") will be appearing at iBAM (Irish Books Art & Music) 2012 in Chicago next Saturday, October 13. His speech "Breaking Through Creative Blocks" will be at 12:30 in the library at the Irish American Heritage Center.

This is the write up about Brendan on the iBAM website...

“The Living Wills” is the product of collaborative creativity between Brendan Sullivan and writing partner, Rick Kaempfer. A decision made in two seconds can change, damage, save or even end a life. Henry Stankiewicz made such a decision and he is still dealing with the ripple effects over 30 years later. Can he and the people he affected now maneuver their way through a world of baristas and Army veterans, cartoon pirates and exploding port-a-potties, Canadian cowboys and bowling teams, office politics an young love, to find the strength to heal before it’s too late?

Brendan Sullivan is a creativity coach. He helps organizational teams, leaders and individuals to create more innovative solutions, more successful creative ideas, and a healthier, more collaborative work environment where talented people can flourish. Brendan has designed, facilitated and presented his programs to a wide range of clients, including large corporations like Kellogg’s, Harley-Davidson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sara Lee, Jenny Craig, PepsiCo, Aetna, Marriott Hotels and many others, as well as to many smaller companies, nonprofit groups, schools and government agencies.

Brendan also was the creative producer, for 10 years, of a top-rated morning radio show in Chicago, the Jonathon Brandmeier Radio Showgram. His job was to create material for the show, written pieces, creative ideas and humorous character segments. Brendan developed successful, transferable techniques for generating creative ideas quickly. As an actor, Brendan has appeared in national television commercials, feature films, television productions and the theater. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Brendan has also written scripts which were produced for television and the stage, as well as feature articles in magazines and advertising copy for business publications and radio commercials. Brendan and his wife, Susan, have four children and live in Chicago.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Randy Richardson: A Review, An Interview, An Event

There he is, Randy Richardson reading page 24 of the Sept./Oct. issue of Conversations Magazine, Cyrus Webb's review of "Cheeseland". Cyrus writes, "Delivered with skill and captivating from beginning to end, "Cheeseland" reminds us of the preciousness of life and the importance of making the most of each and every day." Nice.

Here's an interview with Randy at Dina Raye's Write Stuff.

And if you'd like to meet Randy, he'll be here this coming Sunday: "This month the incomparable Rose Metal Press partners with Sunday Salon Chicago. They’ll be featuring two of their authors, Aaron Teel and Kyle Minor. Chicago writers Randy Richardson and Paul Jones fill out the bill. Please join us in the super-cool back room at Black Rock. You'll have fun and go home happy, we guarantee it! 8-9:30pm, Black Rock Pub & Kitchen, 3614 N Damen Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60618"

Kim Strickland's Book Blog Tour

Eckhartz Press author Kim Strickland ("Down at the Golden Coin") is going to be busy promoting her book over the next month or two on a book blog tour!

Her first stop was here.

But she'll be doing quite a few more...

November 19 - Mrs. Mommy Booknerd Book Reviews
Guest post, interview, excerpt

November 20 - A Novel Review
review only

November 22 - Samantha March
Interview and excerpt

November 23 - A Buckeye Girl Reads
guest post and interview

November 26 - Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

November 27 - Whooopeeyoo
Guest Post and Excerpt

November 30 - Storm Goddess Book Reviews

December 1 - Shelley's Book Case
Guest post, Interview and excerpt

Monday, September 17, 2012

Randy Richardson at the Beverly Arts Center

Attention Chicago South Siders! Mark your calendars for this Sunday. Penny Golden will interview Eckhartz Press author Randy Richardson about his new book, "Cheeseland", at the Beverly Arts Center (2407 W. 111th St) at 2pm.

Penny does a wonderful job interviewing authors, and Randy has a distinctly south side story to tell.

Set on Chicago’s south side, “Cheeseland” is a story about loyalty, friendship and the self-destructive nature of secret-keeping and unresolved anger. In the first part two high school boys take a road trip through Wisconsin as they grieve over another friend’s suicide. The journey of recovery is filled with comical twists as the two teens navigate Cheeseland, a place that blurs the line between adolescence and adulthood.

The second part takes place 30 years later as the novel's long and winding road comes full circle and the two friends finally confront their past and come to grips with their present lives. “Cheeseland” is a published by Eckhartz Press.

An attorney and award-winning journalist Randy Richardson’s essays have been published in the anthologies “Chicken Soup for the Father and Son Soul,” “Humor for a Boomer’s Heart,” “The Big Book of Christmas Joy,” and “Cubbie Blues: 100 Years of Waiting Till Next Year,”as well as in numerous print and online journals and magazines

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Balding Handbook on Twitter

Our next Eckhartz Press book, "The Balding Handbook: 5 Stages of Grieving for Your Hair Loss", now has a twitter account. The book comes out in just over a month.

In the meantime, follow author David Stern's hairless tweets.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet Randy Richardson

There are quite a few events coming up in the next few weeks where you can meet Eckhartz Press author ("Cheeseland") Randy Richardson.

*Evanston Writers Conference, August 25, 2012

*Chicago Writers Conference September 15, 2012

*Author Afternoons at the Beverly Arts Center September 23, 2012, 2 PM
(Randy will be doing a reading from and discussing "Cheeseland" with moderator/interviewer Penny Golden)

*Sunday Salon at Black Rock Bar, Chicago, September 30, 2012 8 PM

*Authors on the Fox at Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL, October 21, 2012, 1:30 PM, register here beginning August 25, 2012

*Local Authors Night at The Book Cellar, Chicago, November 14, 2012, 7 PM
(One of our favorite local independent bookstores)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Cheeseland" the e-book

Randy Richardson's critically acclaimed "Cheeseland" is now available as an e-book!

Find it...

On Amazon for your Kindle.

On Barnes & Noble for your Nook.

On Sony for your Sony E-Reader.

And coming soon to the Apple store!

The links to every available Eckhartz Press book in every available format can be found at the Eckhartz Press website.

You can also simply click on the direct links on the left hand column of this blog listed under "Link List".

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meet Rick Kaempfer

Eckhartz Press co-publisher Rick Kaempfer will be appearing at the Writers Block Party - Meet the Presses panel discussion and networking event on Saturday, August 11, 1 - 4 p.m., at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.

The event is co-sponsored by the Chicago Writers Association, In Print, and Author! Author! Book & Author Marketing Network. Register to attend through Eventbrite at

Tickets are free but space is limited.

Rick was profiled in this interview in anticipation of that event.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some love for "Down at the Golden Coin"

The blog Chick Lit Plus reviewed "Down at the Golden Coin" and gave it four stars.

You can read the entire review at Chick Lit Plus, but here's an excerpt...

"Down at The Golden Coin by Kim Strickland was not at all what I expected when I first started reading it. In my opinion, the name gives it quite the spin and I can’t help but to think of it being about an adventure of some type. Well, don’t be fooled like me … this book is more along the lines of a self-help book and about improving your overall outlook on life. Now, don’t run away just yet. It isn’t your typical self help book- this book is filled with wit and humor and it makes you really ponder the life that you are living. Kim does a fabulous job of making you think and making you see things in a different light. Overall, a great read and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a little pick me up."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Meet Brendan & Randy

If you're on the South Side of Chicago this coming weekend, be sure to stop by The Bookie's and 7-11 Parking Lot party.

Date: 7/7/12
Location: 2419 W. 103rd Street, Chicago Illinois (Next to the 7-11)
Time: 5-8pm

Not only will Eckhartz Press authors Brendan Sullivan (above, co-author of "The Living Wills") and Randy Richardson (below, author of "Cheeseland") be on hand, so will a host of other local authors. The Wrecker Brothers will be performing live music, the 7-11 will be selling $2 hot dogs and handing out free slurpees, there will be a raffle with some fun prizes, and of course, you can purchase some books (and have the authors autograph them).

Full details are here.

Sounds like a great time! See you there!