Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

In a Frenzy!

Cover of

I’m reading a fantastic book (a novella) by Carole Johnstone right now and I wanted to share. It’s called, Frenzy, and I can’t put it down. I plan to have a little Q&A with the author when I’m done, so look for that soon! Here’s the information:


Caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea…

Eight men wake up to find themselves on a life raft in the middle of an ocean. They are stranded and alone, with no memory of how they got there, and no idea if help is coming.

But they are not completely alone. As hours become days, as water rations dwindle and tempers fray, there stirs a threat more deadly than either sharks or each other.

There is a shadow in the abyss beneath their feet. Watching. Waiting. Stalking eight men lost and adrift above the deepest trench in the world…

Available in e-book format from Eternal Press
Available in print paperback from Amazon
ISBN: e-book: 978-1-926704-38-8; print: 978-1-926704-46-3
Visit the author’s website

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Murder, Betrayal, Comeuppance…

Cover of Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon Murder, Betrayal, Comeuppance…

That’s the tagline for my novella, Blood Soup, available from Eternal Press on September 7. The “Coming Soon” announcements page has recently been posted. You can see it here.

Blood Soup will also be available in print via Amazon, about three weeks after the electronic version.

Do you tweet? Do you like FREE fiction?
I’ll be running two twitter contests related to the book, both on September 7th:

First: The 25th and 50th person to re-tweet my announcement on the 7th will win an electronic copy of Blood Soup.

Second: Anyone who buys Blood Soup will also have the opportunity to win print versions of Triangulation: Dark Glass and Black Dragon, White Dragon (two anthologies that some of my other work appears in) just by tweeting specific information from Blood Soup. For instance, I’ll tweet: What’s the last word on line 4 of page 22? Give the correct answer and you may win a book. I’ll give away up to five print versions of these books. More details to come closer to the launch date. In the meantime, you may want to follow me on twitter: @kellyaharmon.

Excerpt from Blood Soup:

Theodicar looked down at the mewling infant in his arms, and felt the anger rise up. Even in death his wife defied him, the nurse ensuring her success. Women did not rule. He would not allow it. They had created a male child, and that child would take the throne upon his death. “You can save the boy,” he said to Salvagia.

She slitted her eyes at him, her stare mutinous. Her words were loud and hard in the wake of Pia’s death. “I have the power to save one at the expense of the other, Sire. The girl is stronger. And eldest. She was born to rule.”

Theodicar watched the girl curl up in his arms, her birth fluids staining a brown patch on the dyed-yellow wool of his tunic. She burrowed into the crook of his elbow, trying to achieve the comfort of the womb.

“I will not hear those words again,” he said. “That absurd idea died with my wife. My son will rule.” He reached for the boy, thrusting the girl child back into the nurse’s hands. “There’s no need for a daughter. And no need for anyone to know of her.”

“So be it,” Salvagia said, wrapping the weary girl in a square of wool, covering her face. She reached for her basket.

“Kill her now,” said Theodicar.

Salvagia looked stricken.

“Sire, if we kill her now, she will be of no use to her brother. Once dead, the blood won’t flow, and we need her blood to strengthen his.

“Then drain her now,” he snapped. “I will not have her crying out when we call the witnesses back to cut the boy’s cord.”

She paled, but nodded, and grabbed the necessary implements from her basket. She did the job quickly, tears streaming down her face. To keep it warm, Salvagia set the flask of blood in the ashes at the edge of the hearth. Then she wrapped the tiny body in linen and shoved it deep into her basket.

“Your life is forfeit if you speak a word of this to anyone,” Theodicar said. “Do you understand?” She nodded, pushing the basket out of view.

He sat down in his chair. “Call the witnesses back. We’ll sever the cord in their presence to prove the succession. Wipe those tears,” he said.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

e-book Reading on the Rise

Dispelling Myths about e-books

I just came across a study about e-book usage in UK universities and it’s made me very excited, particularly because I’ve recently signed a contract with Eternal Press for my novella, Blood Soup, to be published in both print and e-format this September.

More than 48,000 people answered the 2-part survey, making it the world’s largest e-book survey. (Wow!)

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) conducted the survey.

JISC “supports education and research by promoting innovation in new technologies.” (And I suspect sells textbooks, but I don’t know that for certain…)

According to their report (PDF), responses “point to a growing acceptance of e-books by the academic community, with both teaching staff and students making greater use of e-books…”

I realize that academic usage doesn’t often correlate to recreational usage of books, but I can’t help thinking that at least some of those university students reading their texts on-line, and enjoying the experience, will find themselves picking up other reading materials (read: fiction) in electronic format.

Some of the survey questions were general enough to relate to non-academic use:

Q: Do you use e-books?
  2008 2009 Index
Students in a JISC Discipline 63.2% 65.5% 103.6
All other Students 61.4% 64.2% 104.6
Teachers in a JISC Discipline 57.0% 63.5% 111.4
All other teachers 58.9% 64.9% 110.2

Also, according the survey, “well over one-third of students (42.2 percent) had consulted at least three eBook titles in the month prior to the survey.”

Here are a few other interesting findings:

  • Books were available 24/7, but were most often read at lunchtime. (The one o’clock hour showed the most usage at 9%.)
  • One-fifth (1/5) of all usage took place over the weekend.
  • Students spent more time reading (as opposed to browsing information) over the weekend.

Sounds like a lot of recreational reading! These students might have been reading text-books for school, but it seems to me like they’re also building their non-school e-book reading habits.

You can read more about the survey at the JISC National e-books observatory project.