Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Three new releases from Iambik

Iambik Audiobooks released three new books today in a variety of genres.  A collection of short stories by Arjun Basu called Squishy: Short Stories is narrated by Bruce Pirie.   Entertaining, funny and literary -- Basu is a wonderful writer.

The second release is a science fiction book called TimeSplash by Graham Storrs.  Narrated by Emma Newman.  The title refers to jumping back in time.  Set in 2050 London, 'time-splashing' is considered fun until people start dying...

The last of the three releases is a romance by Judy Jarvie called Nanny Behaving Badly.  This one was narrated by yours truly and was a lot of run to read.   When pretty and sassy American Maddie meets Scottish hunk Lyle, the barbs and sparks begin to fly.  If you like romance, you'll love this one, especially the 'naughty bits'!

As always, these books are available now on the Iambik website for $6.99 each.  You can purchase them in mp3 or m4B formats.  They will be available on Audible and Amazon in roughly 4-6 weeks and the first chapters of all three books are on Iambik now for easy listening.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Two New Sci/Fi Audiobooks from Iambik

Iambik had added two new science fiction titles to their catalog. The first sci/fi title is The Battle of the Underworld by Katie Paterson.   This is the third book in the "Chronicles of Valonia" series.  The first two books, The Golden Casket and The Spectres of Light, are also available at Iambik.  All three books are narrated by the talented Karen Savage.  

The second sci/fi book Iambik has released is Wrath of the Lemming-Men by Toby Frost.  This is also a 'series' book.  It's the third of "The Chronicles of Islambard Smith."  All three books are read by Clive Catterall.  The first two books in this series, Space Captain Smith and God Emperor of Didcot, are also available at Iambik. 

Both books are now on sale at Iambik for $6.99 each.  As always, the first chapters are posted there for a quick listen.  Enter the code “hurricane-listening” at checkout and receive 30% off any order.  Valid through Tuesday or until the storm blows over.  These titles will also be available via Audible, Amazon and iTunes within a few weeks of this release.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

LibriVox update

I just finished up the solo recording I've been working on for LibriVox called The Mystery of Mary by Grace Livingston Hill.  I really enjoyed this little mystery.  Actually, it's a mystery and a romance rolled into one so it's more of  'two-fer'.  Here's the introduction I wrote for LibriVox:

Handsome young Tryon Dunham has just returned home on the train from a business trip one evening when he’s accosted by a beautiful young woman at the station. She’s terrified that she’s being followed and asks Dunham if she may walk with him away from the station. Her manner and appearance are those of a well-dressed and well-bred lady. However, she refuses to tell Tryon her real name or why she is running away. He feels a responsibility for her and arranges for her to accompany him to a dinner party where she delights everyone there with her exceptional musical talent at the piano. Tryon then assists her in leaving the city on a later train that same night. Captivated by her beauty and talent, he is determined to solve the mystery of her identity. What frightened her so badly that she would leave wearing only the clothes on her back and no money? Is she an adventuress or thief masquerading as a lady in distress? A beautiful lunatic who has escaped an asylum? An heiress who has been declared missing? Tryon will not stop searching until he knows the answer.

If you find that intriguing, you can listen to the book here.

Today I began working on my next solo for LibriVox.  I decided to read another children's book since I hadn't read one for awhile.  I chose Zip, the Adventures of a Frisky Fox Terrier by Frances Trego Montgomery.  I recorded the first two chapters today but I have to edit them before uploading them for the proof listener.  I think this is going to be a fun read.  After owning two terrier mix dogs, I can attest to some of the 'adventures' they like to get themselves into.  Adults who listen to this with children may find themselves enjoying it, too.  Here's the link for the text of the book along with adorable illustrations.  This book was originally published in 1917 but the story, told from the point of view of Zip, has held up well over time.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

News from the Virginia earthquake

I have a  number of relatives and friends who live and work in Virginia and D.C. so, of course, I was anxious to hear from them after the earthquake on Tuesday.  My sister, Heidi, works in McLean where her building was evacuated and closed which left everyone trying to get out of the parking garage at the same time.  Hmmm...  Needless to say, she and Charlie both had long and very slow drives home.  Heidi finally managed to worm her way to pick up their girls from school.

However, today, she sent me these pictures. 
She works on the 6th floor of her building
but she and her dept. were overdue to be
moved to the 9th floor.  As she stated in her
email with these pics, "We were scheduled to 
move to the 9th floor on Monday but Facilities wasn’t done with the renovations. This is the area my group 
would have been sitting in. I guess it’s a good thing 
Facilities is slow . . ."     

For a more hair-raising account of the quake from a good friend of my friend, Babs, read 'Emma's' account of her experience while she was at home in Richmond here on Bab's blog.  Needless to say, we're all glad that 'Emma' and everyone else I've had contact with are a little shaken (no pun intended) but, except for some broken items, they're fine.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Into the closet, scum queen!*

* Adapted from the line "Into the mud, scum queen" from the Steve Martin movie The Man With Two Brains.

Well, it finally happened.  I've been driven to record audiobooks in my closet.  I knew it was only a matter of time but I needed to clear the closet and then set up my mic, script (paper or netbook, depending), and various other items such as water, throat lozenges and this wonderful mouth spray called 'Entertainer's Secret.'  It really does help to cut down on the mouth clicks.  Some days it's dry mouth and other days I feel like Mr. Slurpy.   This spray is great for dry mouth/and or throat days.

I've also added to my arsenal of physical barriers to cut down on mouth sounds getting into my recordings.  Besides the black mesh pop filter that I've been using, I came across another more substantial filter made by Blue, the company that made my microphone -- the Blue Yeti.  It attaches to my mic but can be used with just about any brand of microphone.   It's made of two metal mesh screens that actually curve around the front of the mic.  I bought mine from Amazon which is one of the cheapest places to buy one.  The price can range from $30-$70 depending on where you buy it.  This filter really makes a difference, particularly with breathing noise.

My studio -- not pretty but it gets the job done.
I've been recording from my closet/studio for several weeks now and it's such a big difference when it comes to outside noises.  I covered the back wall of the closet with an egg crate mattress that we weren't using.  Just nailed it to the wall.  Then I nailed old blankets to the side walls and the front wall where the door of the closet opens into the room.  When I shut the closet door, I just pull the blanket on that wall across the door and attach it to a nail I already have there holding the blanket from the side.  Still close enough for my mic's USB cord to plug into my desktop but away from the computer noise.  I'm lucky that this is an inner closet.  No outer walls of the house are near it and there's an attic above it.  This cuts out almost all street noise unless an enormous jet flies overhead or there's a thunderstorm going on.  Since the closet is carpeted, I actually sit on the floor, cross-legged, which is very comfortable for me.  I can lean back into the egg-crate and I have my mic still inside it's little protective box I built for it.  I can't see my computer screen once I shut the closet door but I've found that that really doesn't matter.  I don't have a tendency to 'spike' in my speech unless I stop to cough which gets edited out, anyway.

I have the mic box stacked on heavy books so that it's directly in front of my mouth when I speak, although I usually speak 'across' it as I'm reading from a paper script or from my netbook.  The small parsons table is there to hold my water, throat lozenges, throat spray and lip balm.  (Dry lips can present a problem, too.)  The string you see hanging in the doorway allows me to turn the closet light on from the floor. I'm currently finishing up another book on LibriVox and I'm sending out auditions for more Iambik books (now made in my 'studio').  I still have one book I finished for Iambik that hasn't been published yet.  It's in post-production but should be out within a month.  I'll post here, as usual, when it's available.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More new releases from Iambik

This week Iambik Audiobooks presents three new titles in the genres of literary fiction, science fiction and a book for children.  Fight For Your Long Day by Alex Kudera, narrated by Mark F. Smith is our latest lit/fic offering.

Unwelcome Bodies by Jennifer Pelland, narrated by Linette Geisel is the newest addition to our Science Fiction/Fantasy collection.

The third book was written for children and is called How To Do Nothing With Nobody All Alone By Yourself by Robert Paul Smith and narrated by Justin S. Barrett.  I served as the proof-listener on this one and parts of it were definitely a trip down memory lane.  The book was originally published in the late 1950's but many of the activities the author described were things I did as a kid growing up in the '60's and '70's.  Robert Paul Smith made every single toy/activity himself along with some help from his two young sons.  His wife, Elinor Goulding Smith, drew sketches of each project during the 'making of' and the finished product. 

Iambik has included a PDF file of all of the illustrations and they are downloadable with the book.  Each sketch is numbered to match up with whatever section of the book is being heard.  Among the 'toys' Smith teaches the reader to create are handkerchief parachutes (I did this as a kid using a plastic hamburger bun bag), boomerangs, bows, arrows, slingshots, musical instruments, peach pit carvings and more.

The narrator, Justin S. Barrett, did a terrific job voicing this book.  He also found an interesting site with a video of the author where he was interviewed by Edward R. Murrow.  The site is pretty cool and includes a section called 'from the readers' where people have uploaded videos of themselves or children having made some of the items in the book.  You can check the site out here.  A really fun book and one I'd recommend for kids or for those who are still 'kids' at heart.

Remember, these books are unabridged and are available for $6.99 each at Iambik.  I believe that the code "rulebreaker" will still allow you take 25% off the your purchase(s).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hyperparathyroidism! There, I said it!

And, now, for something a little different from my usual posts...

As always, I love bragging about my nieces and nephews and my oldest nephew, Sam (see post for March 16, 2011), has had an interesting summer.  Sam will begin his junior year in college this month but spent his summer working with world-renowned surgeon, Dr. Jim Norman.  Sam was allowed to be present in the OR to observe and video Dr. Norman performing parathyroid mini surgery.  Dr. Norman is recognized as the inventor of minimally invasive radioguided parathyroid surgery in the mid 1990s, and is credited with dramatically changing the way parathyroid surgery is performed. Dr. Norman has performed over 16,500 mini-parathyroid operations.  Observing Dr. Norman was an incredible opportunity for Sam who is a pre-med student.  We're very proud of him!

There is almost no blood in this video (I'm a bit squeamish) and I thought Sam did a good job with his camera work.  After observing Dr. Norman perform this procedure a number of times, Sam wanted to video it for a project for school.  The video (along with a lot more information) is also being shown on Dr. Norman's website here.    

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My third Iambik audiobook debuted today

My third book for Iambik Audiobooks debuted today along with two other new selections.  Someday This Will Be Funny by Lynne Tillman, a collection of short stories, is now available as part of our literary fiction collection.  The stories are varied with everything from an imaginary meeting between John Lennon and Marvin Gaye at the Dakota where Lennon lived,  a guy caught hiding his 'little black book' from his wife, to a look inside the mind of Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings.  Anecdotes from everyday life mingle with extraordinary events.  My personal favorite is the story of a 'letter' called "Dear Ollie" to an old boyfriend.  Be sure to give this book a listen.

Iambik also released a new science fiction book, God Emperor of Didcot by Toby Frost.  This is the second book  of the Chronicles of Isambard Smith.  Clive Catterall narrated both books in this series.  The first book is called Space Captain Smith and is also available at Iambik.

The third book released today is a romance (or it should probably be more properly called a historical romance), The Lady Soldier, by Michelle Styles and Kate Allan.  This one is narrated by the writer Emma Newman.  Emma's work includes a novel, 20 Years Later, an anthology of short stories, From Dark Places, and numerous stories published in various books.  Her website is here.

As always, our books cost $6.99 each.  We still have our 25% off discount going on -- just use the code 'rulebreaker.'  For those who are members of Audible or prefer to buy from Amazon, these books will eventually be for sale there.  There's usually a lag of 4-6 weeks before our books appear on those two sites. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What if I don't like it???

There are a number of sites online where you can post about what you're reading and then review it, etc., but I particularly like this site for deciding if I want to purchase a book (or even check it out from the library). BookDaily allows you to read the entire first chapter of any of the over 60,000 titles in it's database.  They have a very user-friendly search system where you can search by title, genre, author, etc.  Yes, this site includes newly released and bestseller books. 

You can fill out a brief profile listing your interests and elect to receive an email from them 3 times per week or a "Featured Book of the Day" email or both.  Under 'subscriptions' on your profile, you can also receive a daily sample based on a category (e.g., romance, mystery, sci/fi) or a weekly update by genre (lots of choices here, too).  Because I read a lot of nonfiction, I really appreciate that BookDaily has so many nonfiction books on their site.  You're also provided with what's called 'My Sample Shelf' where you can put books that you're interested in but don't have time to read the chapters as you come across the books.  That way they're waiting for you on your 'shelf' for when you do have time to read.

A shout out to my old friend, Becky, for 'accidentally' causing me to think of posting about this site!

At Iambik Audiobooks we also have the entire first chapter available for listening for all of our books. Unlike the big store sites where our books are also for sale, like Amazon and Audible, our clips aren't simply taken from some part of the book, you get the whole banana. We know that often it's the first chapter that can hook a reader so drop by and give us a listen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Iambik releases two new YA and one new SciFi title today

As I reported in my last post, Iambik Audiobooks has begun releasing books sooner in smaller quantities as they become available.  We will still continue to offer great deals on specific genre groupings but here are today's new titles.  In the science fiction category, Defining Diana by Hayden Trenholm is out for you hardcore sci-fi buffs.

In the category of young adult, we're introducing two new titles.  The Mitochondrial Curiosities of Marcels 1-19 by Jocelyn Brown and You Can't Get There From Here by Mary Anderson. 

These books are $6.99 each and are available in two formats.  MP3 for any media player or M4b for iTunes/iPods/iPads/iPhones.

Remember, you can still use the code “rulebreaker” at checkout for an additional 25% off your purchase.  

So, get 'em while they're hot!  This discount is for the summer only!