Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Horror Book & Free Short Story on Iambik and Amigurumi Candy Corn

Iambik Audiobooks is currently offering a free short story by Jon Papernick called My Darling Sweetheart Baby narrated by John Greenman.  You can listen here and also read an interview with Jon Papernick.  Iambik also recently released a new book in the horror genre -- perfect for this time of year.  Horror Story and Other Horror Stories by Robert Boyczuk is narrated by Alex Foster.  This is a collection of tales described by James Grainger, Rue Morgue Magazine here:  "Boyczuk builds up his hauntings and often gruesome metaphors and imagery from the base of his stories' human relationships, which imbues his fiction with an uncanniness that mimics the feeling of being trapped in a maze-like dream. Readers need not worry, however. The horror here is very real—Boyczuk just wants you to have a little fun finding it."  You can purchase this book directly from Iambik for $6.99 here.

Of course, I never let Halloween or any 'kid' holiday pass without making something for my three young nieces who are now 6, 5 and 3 years old.  I decided to make them a piece of candy corn (out of yarn, natch) using an Amigurumi pattern offered free from Lion Brand Yarn.  It can be found here.   Since they're rather small, I decided to crochet a chain using the orange yarn and attach it to the top of the candy corn so the girls can wear them as necklaces and then they can later be hung as decorations.  I didn't forget one of their favorite candies, either.  Each of them will also receive a tube of Halloween M&Ms in their packages.  

On the recording front, I have a mystery now in the processing stage and will be starting work on a psychology textbook and a fun contemporary Christmas book soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A (Monday!) Estate Sale

Well, this was a first for us.  My friends and I have never been to an estate sale held on a Monday.  When I saw the ad for this sale I knew right away that it was near where Duane lives.  The time for the sale (which was actually held Monday-Wednesday) was 3pm-6pm each day.  This was too good to pass up.  It wasn't convenient for Linda to take time from work so Duane and I headed over to the address and got there a little early.  Very few people showed up due to the odd time -- which is not a bad thing.  The house was an old one.  Built in 1919 and surrounded by a white picket fence on a corner. 

The woman having the sale was a little emotional because this was the house she grew up in.  Now, with both parents gone, she had to sell off what she and her sister chose not to keep and then sell the house itself.  The only problem we had was that almost everything we pointed to or asked about wasn't for sale.  This was on our Monday visit and this poor woman was tired from packing plus she had flown in from out of town to take care of this.  I did pick up a cool old camera for George.  He's always telling me to look for cameras and photo equipment so I took a chance on this old Kodak.  Well, I did something right because his father had the identical model and George had wanted it but was never able to find it after his dad died.  So he was a happy camper.

There was a small painting that I asked about but the seller became teary again and said that her mother's best friend had given it to her mother.  By the way, there were oil paintings on the walls downstairs and upstairs in the house painted by this lady's father.  Many of them were quite nice-looking (he had won awards for some of his art) but, understandably, the seller and her sister were keeping all of those.

Duane and I told her that we'd come back on Wednesday.  The seller admitted that she might be singing a different tune by then once she was less emotional and just wanted to get stuff out of the house.  She was right.  When we returned on Wednesday afternoon, she was definitely ready to let more of the items go.  I asked again about the little painting and made her an offer.  She accepted it and now I have something else I plan to put on the wall of our guest room when I begin my 're-do' (beginning with repainting the entire room first).  Duane also came across a very pretty Christmas angel that looked like glass but turned out to be a type of resin.  She bought it for her sister who collects angels.  At that point, we thanked the seller and wished her luck on the sale of her parent's house.  She was in much better spirits and seemed happy that she had a little more cash and that these items will have a good home.

OK, officially, now the only day of the week that we have NOT attended an estate sale is Tuesday.  Who knows what next week will bring... 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday to Iambik Audiobooks -- A Giveaway!

Iambik Audiobooks is celebrating it's second birthday of recording 'audio out of books we love.'   To mark this special occasion, you have a chance to win your choice of one of their collections in the genres of literary fiction, romance, scifi/fantasy and crime. 

Here are the official rules:
"Enter via the usual channels:  Tweet about the giveaway or fan us on Facebook for an entry.  To really increase your chances, we want to know what you think of our audiobooks!  Review any of our titles on Amazon, Audible, Goodreads or iTunes.  Leave a link in the comments section on this post, and earn three entries into the giveaway.

Feel free to leave your reviews on all these sites, and review as many Iambik titles you’ve listened to, and earn roughly eleventy hundred entries.  (We’re word people; you do the math!)  Good luck!"

Head to this page for more info:  Iambik.  Hurry!  The drawing is at the end of this month.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A classic recorded for Audible

It was such a pleasure to record a classic literary short story.  Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald has been a favorite since the first time I read it in high school.   My narration of this story is now available on Audible as of today.

Bernice is spending the month of August with her cousin Marjorie and finds herself unable to fit in with Marjorie's friends.  Marjorie gives Bernice some pointers on speaking to boys and making them want to dance with her.  Marjorie doesn't count on just how well Bernice learns and Bernice is shocked at Marjorie's response to her popularity. I still LOVE the ending of this story.  Perfect.

You can listen to a sample and purchase the book here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday at a community market

Linda and I have decided that Duane lives in the coolest part of town of the three of us.  It's an older area with lots of bungalows (Duane owns one) and shotgun style houses and great places to eat and shop that aren't part of 'chains.'  Duane told us about the monthly outdoor market that her neighborhood has the second Sunday of every month so we decided to go this morning.  It's held on the grounds in front of a beautiful old high school called Hillsborough High (Duane is a graduate).  HHS is one of the oldest high schools in the South. The school has been around since the 1880's but was built on it's current site in 1911.  The gothic style architecture is really cool.  It has a clock tower and stained glass windows in the chapel.  I tried to fit the entire front of the school into one photo but I was unable to get far enough away to accomplish that.  It's way too wide.

The market was great even though the temperature was busy climbing it's way up to the low 90's.  Lots of people bring their dogs (on leashes) to the market which is very dog-friendly.  There are bowls of water set out in various places for our furry friends to stay hydrated and a number of vendors sell organic dog biscuits and other doggy items.  Lots of great-looking fruit and vegetables are available from local growers along with everything from handmade soap to all sorts of jewelry, eco-friendly clothing, handmade furniture, etc.  I picked up quite a few business cards since it was my first visit and many of the vendors also have stores and/or websites.  Lots of variety for a fairly small compact market.

We sampled one lady's homemade whoopie pies (lots of flavors) and they were scrumptious.  Linda was the only one who actually made a couple of purchases.  One item I can't show here because it's a Christmas gift for a mutual friend who sometimes reads this blog.  (No peeking!)  But the other items she bought were three handmade jewelry bags to hold jewelry she's already purchased as Christmas gifts.  I saw a number of items that I'm considering as possible Christmas purchases so it was a great scouting expedition.

Hopefully, the next time we go the weather will be a little cooler.  (Oh, wait, this is Florida -- what am I thinking...)  Here are a couple more pics of the market and the high school and one nice pic that I didn't take of the school's clock tower.  By the way, so many people ride their bikes to the market that they actually have a bike 'valet' service.  Nice.

The clock tower.

Monday, October 8, 2012

You never know what you'll find...

Duane and Linda and I set out early Saturday morning for what sounded like would be the ultimate estate sale.  According to their ad, these people had the estates of two houses plus items from a storage facility.  So we hurried to be at the address listed by the 8 am starting time.  What a bummer.  They were having the sale in a small storage facility that looked like a place they used as a business.  No signs of any kind but they had stuff behind a glass counter and on the walls.  There was another small back room.  Other than some under-priced china, they just looked like they had cleaned out a house of old clothes, some electronics, etc.  This was definitely not a genuine estate sale.

Of course, we were already out and about on a Saturday morning
so we weren't going to let our time go to waste.  Linda looked at the online garage and estate sale listings on her smart phone and we discovered several of them near where Duane lives so we headed back in that direction.  We got lucky this time.  The sale pictured above was at a house where Duane and I had gone to a garage sale barely a month ago.  The guy had had nice things.  I bought a couple of pieces of matte white pottery (including a piece of Poole, made in England) and Duane scored a white pedestal sink with tap for her bathroom for $25.00.  It looked brand new.  The guy even helped us load it into the car.  This time around it was a different guy having the sale.  The previous seller had been in the process of moving so it looked like the new owner was cleaning things out.  I scored some DVDs and Linda and Duane bought some books and some glassware.  Nice one.

Our next stop was a lady having a sale in her driveway.  We couldn't believe it when we saw a box of all sorts of yarn for $5.00.  Some of the yarn we can use for The Humble Stitch Project and some of it is boutique yarn.  Duane also found some Williams-Sonoma serving pieces.  Ah, another happy ending.  Our last stop was a gay church in Duane's neighborhood that was having a big bazaar.  Sadly, we hadn't known that it had actually begun the day before on Friday.  They still had nice things, though.  I found a vase and Duane and Linda found more books.  I'll bet the stuff on Friday morning was primo. 

We were tired after the last stop so we went to Starbucks for a mid-morning caffeine jolt and snack.  Another successful morning.  Good buys and good company.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Dixie Christmas now available on Audible

One of my latest recordings, A Dixie Christmas by Sandra Hill, was released for sale on Audible today. This book is actually two novellas -- Blue Christmas and Jinx Christmas.  Both stories are set in the south so if you like southern romance, Sandra Hill knows how to write it.  Blue Christmas is set entirely in Memphis as Clayton Jessup III finds himself in one of those 'fish out of water' situations.  He's a wealthy Wall Street businessman who finds that he's inherited an old hotel (The Blue Suede Suites) among the riches his father left him when he died.  With plans to stop in Memphis just long enough to put the hotel up for sale to be razed and replaced by a strip mall, Clay doesn't count on meeting beautiful Annie Fallon.  Annie and her brothers are in dire straits trying to earn enough money for a new roof for the barn on the family farm.  Sparks fly when Clay hurtles in and threatens the Fallon family's plan to raise money.  Clay gets a little more than he bargained for when he meets this southern lady.

Jinx Christmas begins with NASCAR driver Lance Caslow deciding to try one last time to win back his ex-wife Brenda.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Lance seeks the assistance of Tante Lulu, a Cajun matchmaker.  Before this one is over, Lance finds himself appearing in a raucous Cajun Christmas show with Tante and her family "whose menfolk dance for charity events in little more than a smile...."

You can purchase A Dixie Christmas here on Audible.  It will also be available soon on Amazon and iTunes.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Audiobooks from Iambik

Iambik Audiobooks has released a couple more new books along with new versions of two classics.  First up is Andy Nebula: Interstellar Rock Star by Edward Willett and narrated by the talented Justin S. Barrett. This is a book for young adults but it also falls into the science fiction category.  From John Wilson, Quill & Quire: "The action in Andy Nebula moves along at a cracking pace and the characters are well-drawn…Andy Nebula is fast and furious enough to keep even reluctant readers turning the pages, and young teen fans of fantasy and science fiction will not be disappointed.”

Next up is The Lamentations of Julius Marantz written by Marc Estrin and narrated by the versatile Anthony St. Pierre.   This is in the fiction category with themes of science, religion, history and satire.  From Publisher's Weekly: "Clubfooted, 60-something Cal Tech grad Julius Marantz is pursued by both the Central Intelligence Corporation and a corporate coalition known as GEKO in this Kafkaesque near-future mashup from Estrin (Insect Dreams: The Half-Life of Gregor Samsa). Julius’s crimes include having perfected a mechanism known as the Doodad, which, among other things, polarizes the water molecules in living beings and is used to create rapture-like experiences among the multitudes of India. ”

Now for our new versions of two classics.  We have the lovely voice of Cori Samuel reading the children's book The Railway Children by E. Nesbit.   "In this classic children's book by E. Nesbit, three children are suddenly uprooted from their happy suburban life to move to the country with their mother. Their new house, "Three Chimneys", is near a railway line, and Roberta (Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis (Phil), find amusement in watching the trains and waving to the passengers. They become friendly with Albert Perks, the station porter, and with the Old Gentleman who regularly takes the 9:15 down train. The children get involved in all kinds of good deeds, while their mother is busy writing children's books." - Iambik.

Last but certainly not least is another of my favorite English author's books, Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy, voiced by our favorite Irishman, Tadhg Hynes.   "Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published anonymously in 1872. It was Hardy’s second published novel, the last to be printed without his name, and the first of his great series of Wessex novels."  - Iambik.

Iambik is undergoing a makeover of the website so, unfortunately, there are no audio samples to listen to for these books.  However, these are all seasoned narrators who have recorded for Iambik before and you can check out their voices on some of their other Iambik releases.  We hope to have our new website up some time in October.  As always, these books are on sale for $6.99 each and are available in mp3 and m4b formats.