Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Audio Book, Coming Soon!

Cover of Blood Soup by Kelly A. HarmonI’m very pleased to announce that I’ll very shortly have an audio version of my book, Blood Soup available!

It’s a short novel, and the timetable is happening so quick, that it’s likely it will be available from Audible (and elsewhere) by the end of February!

I’m even more tickled to announce that the reader is none other than Edoardo Camponeschi of menestrandise.com who has read so far the first three of Christopher Paolini’s “Inheritance Cycle” books to much acclaim.

When I submitted the book for audition, I requested someone who could read with both Italian and German accents since the two warring families in Blood Soup are modeled after Italy and Germany. I am (indescribably) excited that Edoardo submitted an audition. His voice is rich and luscious, and I know his reading will bring the story to life.

If you want a sneak preview of what the reading may sound like, check out Edoardo’s catalog which features many samples of his work — all in Italian at this time. I could listen for hours. 🙂 My Italian is rusty, but I’m feeling a definite need to brush up…

Do let me know if you’re as excited as I. In the meantime, I’ll work on getting the cover reformatted for Audible…

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I Totally Blew the Whole Book Moratorium Thing (Again) Tonight

A box of books, but not mine.[For those of you recently joining me, here’s a link to the first post I made about a book moratorium, and another on the failure of said book moratorium.]

* * *

I dropped by the library after work tonight to check out a movie, and of course I couldn’t help but peruse the book-sale rack.

I’ve done this a couple of times in the last few months and have been relieved to find those shelves chock-full of stuff that didn’t interest me. (Which was good.)

But the librarians must have spent their time this week winnowing out the sci-fi and fantasy sections of the library and dropped it all on the shelf before I came in.

I can’t even tell you how many books I picked up (though I will say it had to be close to 40, because I spent over 10 bucks and the paperbacks are only a quarter a piece. I did score a few hard backs.

Sadly, this comes on the heels of a book-buying binge over the weekend.

In 2011, I “officially” purged 227 books from the house. This means they were boxed up and carried away from the premises. This doesn’t count all the books I gave away to relatives and friends.

There are literally hundreds more sitting in bags and boxes in a little room off my kitchen because they’ve (so far) been too much trouble to haul away.

(It’s funny how I find it no problem to bring, say… 40, books into the house one day, but I can’t be bothered to take that many out the next time I leave.)

I think a large part of the problem is the lack of venues for divesting myself of books. The local thrift stores will take them, but not in the quantity I have to give away. The library doesn’t want back the books they sold me – though they’ll take the ones I’ve recently bought. I don’t mind giving them away, but I’d rather not have it be at my expense. (See how complicated it’s getting?)

And I am completely against tossing them in the trash.

I’ve been known to take a box of books on vacation, and then leave them for the next renters…but you can only rid yourself of so many that way.

How do you get rid of your excess tomes?

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

How Big is Your To Be Read Pile?

Fallen Stack of BooksMy to-be-read pile fell over.

It’s been threatening to do so for quite some time, but I haven’t heeded the warning. Good thing I don’t tend to stack things taller than myself.

I may have been hurt in the ensuing avalanche.

I’m also lucky that only a little more than half toppled over. The other bits are on a small, sturdy book shelf, with two large baskets (full of books) on top. Those survived the descent into messiness.

What I need to do is go through the pile and determine if there are any that there’s no hope I’ll ever get to …and then give them away.

(Seriously: with so many new books being printed, where will I find the time to catch up on these?)

But it’s so hard to choose which should go: old sci-fi classics with outdated science, but “necessary” for me to read to complete my education? The literary fiction which I know will probably bore me to tears?

(Disclaimer: I have read *some* lit fic I’ve enjoyed, it’s just that with me it’s hit or miss.)

What about all those gift books by well-meaning friends, who don’t have a clue about what I’d actually read if I’d picked it out myself?

Ahh, I see one about angels right on top. I know someone who may enjoy it more than I. I think I’ll pass that one along at the first opportunity.

There are more than a hundred books in this pile. (Yes, there are others stacked up elsewhere. Don’t tell the Husband of Awesome™.)

I suppose I could re-order them by length (rather than haphazardly putting the newest acquisitions on top), and read the shortest ones first. That might weed out several in a fairly short time. Similarly, I could read all the YA first, since they’re usually quick reads for me.

Or, I could toss out all the oldest ones, thinking that if I haven’t gotten to them yet, I probably won’t. But then, how will I know if I’m passing up a good read?

How do you tame your pile when it gets so large that finishing them seems like a monumental task?

 
 

Note: The photo above is not the photo of my poor, beleaguered books. Nonetheless, it’s a fairly good representation in both amount and subject matter!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Two Cool Sites: Kindle Nation Daily and BookLending.Com

I found two very cool sites recently and I wanted to share.

Kindle Nation Daily features free books, tips, news and commentaries all related to Kindle. The site is jam-packed with info.

Kindle Nation Daily hosted Blood Soup yesterday, and I’m just tickled with the way it appeared. I just love the look and feel of that Web site.

But don’t visit just to check out the Blood Soup page, there’s A TON of things to look at and download.

In conjunction with the KND “spread,” Blood Soup was hosted over at BookLending.com. This site connects readers who want to read books with book owners who want to lend them. It allows folks to share kindle books.

Neat concept!

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

My Book, Front and Center, at the RT Booklovers Convention!

It’s not a romance, but…my publisher thinks enough of Blood Soup to take it to the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention (held in LA, this year).

Here it is, front and center, on the table at the con.

I wonder how many romance readers I can pull over to fantasy?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Fascinating Author, I Am

More newsy-news!

I was interviewed at the “Fascinating Authors” Web site a few weeks ago and it’s finally posted!

:: Exciting!! ::

They requested a written interview and then called me for a phone interview which has been recorded for the ‘net.

Here’s a link to the recorded version. This version is fun because you get to know what I *sound* like. The interviewer asked me some interesting questions and talked about how transparent I am on my Web site.

Here’s a link to the written version. Here I give advice to aspiring authors and talk more about Blood Soup, and I reveal what I do in my day job.

I’ll admit that I haven’t gone back to see what they’ve edited — if anything — for either of the interviews.

(Because I’m a chicken. My hometown newspaper did a piece on me over the summer and the paper is still sitting here unopened on my desk. What if it’s awful?)

And who really likes the sound of his own recorded voice?

Meh. Please, go listen and tell me how it is.

:: Still jumping, though… ‘cos it was a lot of fun! ::

Monday, October 18th, 2010

So Remember that Book Moratorium? #Fail

How to Read a Book - the Book VersionIf you recall, I issued a moratorium on book purchases only a few short days ago.

I’ve already failed…big time.

I had a meeting with the owner of Constellation Books yesterday – this was part meet and greet, part reconnaissance for me. As I am notorious for getting lost, even armed with map and GPS, I needed this dry-run so I could work out the kinks before my reading with other authors there on October 30.

(I did get lost, BTW – and that cost me nearly an extra hour in travel time to get there.)

The problem was not the bookstore…although I did order a book while I was there — but I’d already factored that into the moratorium.

The problem was the church yard sale I passed on my way to the bookstore. Have I admitted here yet that I’m seriously addicted to yard sales? Here goes:

Hello, my name is Kelly.
 
I salivate at the prospect of a good yard sale. I hyperventilate if it’s a multi-family or community affair.
 
If I’m driving, be a good sport and don’t complain when I stop. If you’re driving, you’d better pull over if you know what’s good for you.

Okay – I’m not that bad. I’ve been known to drive by tables filled with, ahem, junk. I do have my standards. Plus: I won’t stop if there isn’t a lot of stuff to look at. Otherwise, it’s just not worth my time.

But I digress.

So, I stopped at this church yard sale….and I nearly filled TWO shopping bags with books. They were mostly paperbacks, which means I fit quite a few into the two bags. I haven’t counted them. Suffice to say, it was a lot of books.

I’d like to think that this serious book acquisition is tempered by the fact that the books are mostly what I like to call disposable books: books I want to read, but (probably) won’t keep. I’ll donate them. In other words: they’re only temporary residents in the house.

Oh, and I picked up a several with someone else in mind (Hi, Sue!). I’ll hand those over the next time I see that someone. And since I didn’t get those for myself, I figure those don’t count.

Nonetheless, a major fail for me and my moratorium.

Anyone else have trouble sticking to this kind of “diet?”

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Moratorium on Book Acquisitions (Again)

No BooksWith one exception, I’m declaring a moratorium on book acquisitions until the new year.

(I say “acquisitions” rather than purchase, because I’m just as likely to borrow a half-dozen books from the library or receive an ARC for review as I am to walk into a book store and buy a few. Alas. And these things tend to pile up.)

I vaguely remember mentioning this last year, but for the life of me, I can’t find the post. Maybe I only thought about declaring a moratorium last year…but this time I’m taking action.

The reason: I have more than thirty (30!) books in my to-be-read (TBR) pile, several of which I need to review for folks. (This number does not include books that I’ve purchased on the off-chance I might get around to reading some day.) If I keep obtaining books like this, I’ll never get to finish those promised reviews before December 31. That’s a self-imposed deadline, btw. I just don’t like having accepted books and keeping people waiting on reviews.

My bookshelves are shelved double-deep and I count nine separate stacks of books in this room alone – two of which are in danger of toppling. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the books were breeding on their own.

Sigh.

So, here’s the exception (and the danger)…

I have an hour-plus one-way commute to my day job and I listen to audio books to pass the time. Depending on the length of the book, I plow through one, sometimes two, during the work week. This requires a lot of trips to the bookstore and/or library.

And therein lies the danger: setting foot in either always results in a purchase or loan.

My plan: to stay out of either until my TBR pile is “substantially” reduced.

But temptation looms already!

I received a call from the library yesterday that one of the audio books I reserved is in. (I’ll be stopping by after work today to pick it up.)

And I’ll be reading at Constellation Books on October 30. [Details Here] I already know this is a deal breaker as far as my moratorium is concerned: it’s just not polite to be invited to a book store and not buy something. So, I’m not counting this purchase in my moratorium.

If I’m diligent, I should be able to knock out quite a few of the to-be-reads before January 1. And if I’m lucky, I can replace a few of them with audio books and kill two birds with one stone.

At least, that’s the plan.

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I Have a Serious Book Problem

Word Finder by J.I. Rodale
The Word Finder by J.I. Rodale. Pictured with a pile of other books in my eclectic collection.

There’s nothing like finishing your taxes and realizing how many books you’ve gotten rid of in the past year (149) and seeing all the books still piled up around you to hammer that thought home.

And yet, I bought six books the other day. (Please don’t tell my husband.)

Today, I bought two. (He knows about these two.)

Granted, one of the books I bought today was a copy of “The Word Finder” — compiled and edited by J.I. Rodale. (Thirteenth edition, 1957. Still, in nearly mint condition it was a steal at a yard sale for 25¢. Could you pass that up?)

But the fact is, I’ve been trying to rid myself of books since I moved into this house. (A painful purging, I assure you. There’s nothing worse than asking a writer to give up a beloved book.)

Nonetheless, I’ve been trying.

This year so far, I’ve donated 59 books from my collection. (I don’t know how many I’ve given away to family and fellow writers. Not nearly as many, but more than I can remember.) In the last few years, I’ve given away over 500 books.

And still, they’re piled up all over the place. (And, I’ll let you in on a secret: I’ve got LOTS of books stashed in dresser drawers in my bedroom. I learned this trick from my Mom. [Hi, Mom!] She only kept a few books in her nightstand, but I have entire drawers packed with paperbacks. I have to admit…it’s really convenient to have hundreds of books at your fingertips. When you need to do some late-night reading…you don’t even have to get out of bed…)

But I digress.

When the Husband of Awesome and I moved out of our apartment into our first home, we moved with 26 boxes of books. We remember that number, not so much with fondness, as irritation. There’s nothing like moving 26 large  boxes of books out of a third-floor walk-up.

I managed to unload the encyclopedias on Ebay before we moved into this house (what a waste they were, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for books. And the deal included so many more  books than just the encyclopedias.)

The old house was a town home: lots of walls, few windows. It was the ideal situation for a library. This house, detached, is larger…but the sheer number of windows precludes all the bookshelves we need. We’ve been here a few years now…and I’ve still got books in boxes that were never unpacked.

Really, they’ve got to go. This is the year (it’s part of the plan).

So…how do you cull your collection? Other than the obvious wall-bangers, how do you decide which books make the grade and which ones don’t?

Please tell me. I really need to know.

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Does Anyone Read Just One Book?

Piles of Books

Not my Books.

I’m a book junkie. I can’t help myself.

I buy them new, I buy them used. I accept boxes and bags of them from friends and relatives who’re giving them away.

I stop at yard sales, library book sales and thrift stores…

I’m not too  particular. I’ll read just about anything. Of course, science fiction, fantasy and horror rank pretty high on my list, and I’ll usually pick up one of those before I choose something else.

Lately, I’ve discovered a passion for YA….and I’ve been re-reading my childhood favorites: Eager (I found him first) and Nesbit.

But the problem with having a lot of books is the desire to read them all…sometimes at the same time.

I’m currently reading:

  • White Witch, Black Curse – Kim Harrison
  • Buy Jupiter and Other Stories – Isaac Asimov
  • Imperium – Robert Harris
  • Booklife – Jeff Vandermeer
  • Simplify Your Time – Marcia Ramsland
  • Dangerous Visions – Harlan Ellison (Ed.)

It’s true, a few of these are short-story anthologies, but sometimes I don’t even have time to sit and read an entire story. Mostly, with my busy schedule, it’s a few pages at a time. I’ll admist I’m cheating with White Witch, Black Curse : it’s on CD, and I’m listening to it on the way to work during my one-hour commute, and back again in the afternoon.

I got to read the Asimov book for a 40-minute metro commute into DC last week, because it was electronic, and I happened to have my Ipod in my pocket…

So, what I happen to be reading at any given moment is largely turning into a matter of convenience: How much time do I have? How big is the book? What am I doing? (Why, yes ! Sometimes you can get a bit of reading in during a hike.)

It takes me a longer length of time to get through an average book, but I’m enjoying more of them at a single time. The beauty is: I almost never get bored, and if I do, I can always set something down and pick up something else.

Anyone else enjoy reading more than one book at a time?