Brad came bursting into office Monday morning, waving another literary award in the air—this time, a bronze bust of some fat guy—already in mid-roar.

"I have won the prestigious Nero Award!" he crowed. "Alert the media! Change the website! This is big news!"

Despite his wanton abuse of exclamation points, none of the The Interns so much as stirred from our tasks.

"Hello!" Brad said. "I'm the first author ever to win both the Nero Award and the Shamus Award for the same book [FACES OF THE GONE]! And they've been giving these awards for a combined 60 years. This is...

Finally, Peter the slothful intern looked up from his computer screen, "Yeah, yeah, we're busy."

This stopped Brad. "You're busy? With what?"

"We're putting together the Buy Eyes for the Holidays™ promotion," said Sarah, the smart intern.

"What are you talking about?" Brad said, finally putting down Nero down next to his new friend, Shamus, and paying attention to us.

That's when we laid it out for him: His next book, EYES OF THE INNOCENT, doesn't release until February, after the holidays. Tragic, right? And we're afraid that if we miss out on the largest gift-giving season of the year, revenues at will fall to the point where Brad has to resort to a RIIF (Reduction In Intern Force) as a cost-saving measure. And Zach, the silly intern, doesn't want to lose Maggie, the clueless intern. He's kind of getting a crush on her.

So, out of consideration to Zach's libido, we've created Buy Eyes for the Holidays™. It's a simple three-step process:

  1. Pre-order EYES OF THE INNOCENT from your favorite book retailer, whether it's a local independent, a member of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, or one of the usual suspects like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

  2. Pick someone from your holiday shopping list who has been especially nice. Or someone who likes to use hardcover books as doorstops.

  3. Print out a copy of this Handsome Certificate (PDF) as proof that you have, in fact, purchased a present for them.

Handsome Gift Certificate

"The certificate even signed by the author," Peter pointed out.

"Wait, since when do you guys have a digitized copy of my signature?" Brad asked.

The interns exchanged nervous glances and Sarah quickly said, "Say, boss, you got a picture of you and the Nero Award by any chance?"

Brad with Nero Award

He did, of course. And, luckily, it got Brad distracted so we didn't have to tell him the truth: Zach's been using that digitized signature to forge checks for months now.

Yours in Fraud,

The Interns