Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday Estate Sale = Cool stuff

Linda and I headed to an estate sale yesterday morning that looked really promising.  Duane couldn't make it this time because she had an appt.  Usually the best estate sales are held in older parts of town in older houses where the occupant(s) lived for many years.  However, this one was different.  It was actually a bit 'out in the country' compared to the areas we usually hit.  The house was large and on the newer side and sat on a large piece of property overlooking a lake.  The company holding the sale is known for having good ones and this one did not disappoint.

The house was two-floors and pretty much everything was for sale.  This included personal items such as make-up and his and her closets full of clothing.  Lots of nice art on the walls.  I was tempted by a couple of the signed prints (fairly priced) but I didn't see one that would quite fit in anywhere that I could visualize in my house.

There was quite a bit of furniture and it covered different styles from mid-century modern to antique reproductions and contemporary.  Also an abundance of china, porcelain and glassware.  It's always interesting to try to figure out what sort of career the owner had.  In this case, other than obvious signs that the man was a graduate of The Citadel in South Carolina, the interests of the owners ranged from cooking to music to art (not just the art and photography on the walls but also art supplies).  Besides more mundane items that I like to search (books, DVDs), I also like to search for unusual or slightly off-the-wall items.

I ended up purchasing a James Bond DVD with Daniel Craig that I've never seen; a paperback picture book about the famous Canadian quintuplets, the Dionnes, published in 1935; two wood musical director batons (I thought these were really cool); an old set of crochet hooks; a spool of thin white ribbon for a knitting project I'm currently working on; and a fab sterling silver charm of Jefferson's Monticello.  Linda didn't leave empty-handed, either.  She bought a hardbound copy of The New Yorker cat cartoons, an old silverplate tea strainer (she loves hot tea), and an embroidered tea cloth with two matching napkins.  

My haul.

Linda's loot.
Oh, I almost forgot that this was only the third or fourth time I've ever had to stand in line to get into a sale.  There were over 30 people in front of us in line before the sale started.  I know this because the lady in front of us counted and gave us the total.  :)  I've seen her with her husband at other sales we've attended.  They were very friendly and were pointing out different people in the crowd and the stuff they like to buy.  Like the couple they've gotten to know who go to these sales and buy up anything with any gold or silver in it and then sell from a shop they own.  They're only open one day a week because they make so much money from what they find.  You really do meet some interesting people.

We hit up Panera's afterwards for iced coffee (me), hot tea (Linda) and pastry for both of us.  It was a terrific sale and well worth the trip and the information about the other customers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Iambik releases 4 new audiobooks

Iambik Audiobooks has released four new titles for your listening pleasure.  The Pilgrim written and narrated by Paul Almond is the 4th book in the Alford Saga.  This volume follows the first three books, The Deserter, The Survivor, and The Pioneer.  This series is based on Paul Almond's own family’s pioneering adventures in Canada. 

You can listen to the entire first chapter here at Iambik.

Next up is a book in the science fiction/fantasy genre.  Kingmaker's Sword by Ann Marston and narrated by Kirk Ziegler is book one of The Rune Blades of Celi.  From Bookends: "Tolkien fans take note! Kingmaker’s Sword has the spirit and the heart of Tolkien in it."

The first chapter is up for listening here.

The Great Lenore by J.M. Tohline is narrated by John Greenman.   From the New York Journal of Books: "The Great Lenore is...beautiful in the same way that J.D. Salinger's books are beautiful...[it] hangs in your consciousness after the last note has sounded, making it impossible for long moments to think. One just feels."

Listen to chapter one here

The fourth of these new recordings is another book in the  
sci/fi/fantasy genre.  Spirit Singer written and narrated by Edward Willett. From George T. Dodds, (SF Site): “…a fun novel with engaging characters and having all the basic elements of a good fantasy…young readers would likely get much more out of this book in terms of good succinct plotting and writing than they’d ever be likely to from the droves of role-playing game tie-ins and fat fantasy trilogies.”

Catch chapter one here.

These audiobooks are available via the Iambik website which has now linked up directly with

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I won a big give-away from the writers at BelleBooks!

The authors at BelleBooks (and Bell Bridge Books) had a big '20 pound' Christmas give-away and I was the lucky winner!  I have a special place in my heart for this publisher because I've narrated two of their books --  Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes by Deborah Smith, Sandra Chastain, Virginia Ellis, Debra Dixon, Donna Ball and Nancy Knight and, more recently, A Dixie Christmas by Sandra Hill.  The notice of the giveaway was posted on the writer's blog Riding With The Top Down.  I left a comment just as many other hopeful entrants did and I was the lucky one when a name was drawn.  I thought I'd share pictures of what I received in my '20 pound package.'

Seriously, this was a great haul!  Where do I start?  I love receiving all of the books by the various writers at Belle Books, of course, but they also added a t-shirt signed by the writers featured on their blog, another t-shirt with a cool saying, "Drink Responsibly.  Read Recklessly," several book bags -- the red one has a C.S. Lewis quote, "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again...", bookmarks, two rulers, a Christmas ornament (cute pair of mittens) and a very pretty pendant featuring the word (what else?) "Love."  I should also add that several of the books were autographed.  Very nice touch, ladies.

I know that giveaways are not unusual on writer and publisher's sites but this was way beyond anything I've ever won or seen offered before.  I have enough here to open up my own little romance lending library.  And, I suspect that's what I'll be doing to share my good fortune with family and friends.

A shout out to Lois Greiman for sending me not one but two emails to let me know that I'd won.  I really try to be careful when checking my email and do so constantly each day but I had missed her first notice.  So glad she gave me another chance!  Thank you, Lois, and all the writers at BelleBooks!

Now it's back to editing before I head back into my studio for the book I'm currently recording.  This prize was a great pick-me-up when I received it late yesterday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Record, edit, take a break, repeat...

I have managed to take a few breaks from recording and editing.  You know what they say about all work and no play...  Linda and I celebrated Duane's birthday last Sunday with a cake, presents and some shopping.  I gave Duane some jewelry and I made her a pincushion in the shape of a cup of tea.  It's an Amigurumi pattern and I was pleased with how it turned out.  Duane sews so this is actually something she can use.  The pattern can be found here.  It didn't take very long and was fun to make.  Linda made Duane a gorgeous shawl from a beautiful variegated yarn.  I know it took her awhile to make it and she did a fabulous job.  She also made a shawl for me for Christmas.  Mine was knit from a very fine black yarn with a thread of gold running through it.  It's so delicate that it can also serve as a scarf.  I love it.

Yesterday, Linda and I attended an antiques fair in St. Petersburg.  Duane couldn't make it because she's in the middle of a home improvement project in her bungalow.  The show was nice and neither Linda or I had ever been to it before.   But it was really crowded and the booths were pretty small so maneuvering wasn't always easy.  Although there were all sort of items, including types that both of us collect, the prices weren't particularly good.  I told Linda that I was mentally comparing what you would pay on eBay and other online auction sites for some of the items and online still wins.  Neither of us ended up buying anything from the show but
it was fun to go.  We were both pooped after making our way through
every booth including some extra ones located on the second level of
the venue where it was held.  We stopped for a treat at a bakery Linda
knew about nearby and that was definitely worth it.

I've finished watching all of season 3 (unedited episodes) of 'Downton Abbey' from a website my friend Shirley sent to me.  Got my fix but I'm already jonesing for series 4.  I'm actually glad I already knew about the sad parts beforehand.  Spoilers don't bother me and I was prepared.   While watching the episodes I began working on this year's Valentine goodies for my three young nieces.  I'm knitting instead of crocheting and will post later on with pics and the pattern when I have more accomplished. 

And, finally, I've begun another solo for LibriVox to work on besides my paid work.  It's "an adventure story for girls" and is called The Secret Mark by Roy J. Snell.  This author was a prolific writer of books for boys and girls.  Besides his "adventure" stories for girls he also wrote a series of "mystery stories for boys" along with "The Radio-Phone Boys' Series."  I'll be sure to post here when it's been uploaded to LibriVox.  Have to squeeze in dinner and a shower before the season premiere of 'Girls' tonight on HBO.  Been looking forward to this show, too!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back to work...

I'd been easing myself back into recording after Christmas but now I'm back full-steam. 

My next project is a mystery.  Tiaras & Texans (The Presley Thurman Mysteries) by Laina Turner is the latest book in a series.  Presley Thurman is a woman in her 30's who has finally decided, after two earlier careers, that she wants to be an investigator.  She teams up with her old high school boyfriend, Cooper Sands, who runs his own security company.  Unfortunately, Presley is less than thrilled when her assignment turns out to be protecting teenage beauty queens in a Texas pageant.  Although when one of the contestants is found dead, things begin to pick up and Presley finds it much more interesting.

I'm beginning the prep work on Tiaras & Texans and will post my progress here along with any other books I'm able to land.  Yep, the new year has officially begun for me.