Signed books and why Kim is posting cows

The signing at Nicola’s last week went well. I was a bit rusty, but my friends and family were there, and it was nice to see more than a few familiar faces. We had readers as far away as Indiana, and a few who would normally go to the Cincy event. Q&As at the beginning of a series are always tricky as not everyone has read the book, and no one wants to drop spoilers, but we had a few writing questions and of course, the signing.

As Tim and I didn’t do shirts for THE OPERATOR, our traditional family photo was anyone who came in a Hollows shirt, and as you can see, there were a few!. (If you want one of the BROKEN shirts, they are still available here: bedoshirts.com/broken  If you want one of the new ones for The Turn, they are here: bedoshirts.com/Turn ) The picture is high res, and you’re welcome to lift it if you want.

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I signed a lot of hardcovers, and though I can’t personalize any between now and Christmas, you can still get a signed one for under your tree for your die-hard Hollows junkie at home.

theoperatorIf you’re in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area, you can stop in at Nicola’s or email them at info@nicolasbooks.com to have one shipped to you. Outside of the local area, it’s probably easier to use the main link to order. http://www.nicolasbooks.com/kim-harrison International is okay but it will take a little more time.

Because there was a special, hard cover print run of The Operator for the library trade, there will be no more likely ever produced, making them just about as rare as those coveted FISTFUL OF CHARMS. If you want one, now is your chance.

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And if you missed my post last week, The Turn shirts are now available. Tim and I are not making a dime on these to help make them more accessible, and even if you are not going to be going to an event in February, they are sill a great conversation starter at work. (wink) We’ve worked with Bedo before, and they can offer you a lot more sizes than Tim and I ever could.

If you want to see where I’m going this spring, I’ve got the info up at the website already. Event’s Page

the-turn-backI’m officially taking a week or so off to reorganize my head, and since I really need to be away from my office to accomplish that, I’m on the road. I’ll be posting a picture every day on FB/twitter/Instagram if you want to keep track of me. It’s been cows mostly up to now, but things should get more interesting.  You know I love the snow, but I’m not quite ready for it, so I am currently south of my normal haunts.

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Peri Reed has a great voice

If you missed January LaVoy’s rendition of Peri Reed in The Drafter, you’ve got to at least take a listen in to The Operator. She nails it!

Audible

ITunes

Wanna just read it?

Amazon

Click to preorder

 

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One last chance to enter The Turn ARC contest

It’s book birthday Tuesday tomorrow, and to celebrate the release of THE OPERATOR, I’m going to give you one more chance to get in on winning an ARC for THE TURN. (Which will be coming out Feb 7.)

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My pumpkin harvest is in, and you’ve already seen at least six of them turned into little Halloween pumpkins, so make a guess as to how many I grew in total to get in on the drawing to give away my Turn ARCS. I should know how many I’m going to get soon. I just finished the page proofs, so they are probably at the printer right now.

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Send your guess to Tim by Tuesday noon,  EST <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net> with the word “The Operator” in the subject line, and if you guess right, you’ll be in the running for the drawing. Tim won’t be opening them, so put your answer in the subject line, like this:

The Operator 42

I know it seems as if I’ve been dragging this out forever, but I wanted to make sure everyone had multiple times to enter. If you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll have another chance tomorrow. Oh, and the answer, unlike the universe and everything, isn’t 42.

Because The Operator is officially a mass market, I won’t be getting out to sign but for one place this year. You can find me at Nicola’s in Ann Arbor for Shop Small Saturday, 11/26, 1:00 pm. more info However . . . I whined really pretty, and my publisher agreed to bind up some into hardcover for the library trade. You can get them through normal channels, or  you can get a signed one through Nicola’s. I’ve been in twice now to sign so as to get you early birds your copy by the drop date, but if you order now, I’ll catch them when I’m there on the 26th. Bind ups are how we got the first four Hollows books in hardcover, and much like A Fistful of Charms, there will be only a limited number of these, so if you want one, don’t wait too long.

Order signed/personalized from Nicola’s

If you missed it, I did a live chat with Thorne and Cross last Thursday where we talked about everything from Ray Bradbury, to writing tips, to the discrepancy between how my characters and I dress. It is a long podcast, but we’re laughing all the way through it, and it might help take the place of a signing if you’re used to seeing me every year and having a chance to chat. Better even, because I’m in my slippers at the time. It has been archived here: http://tinyurl.com/zkmclzc

I’ll be taking it easy tomorrow, working on Peri number three, The Agent. If I work through the holidays, I should have it done by the time I go out for The Turn. more info on that

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Harvest is in, still taking guesses to win an ARC

Have you been playing along to win an ARC of The Turn? I’m taking guesses again today (and tomorrow if you get the newsletter) to be in the running. Copy edit for The Turn is over, so we’re not that far off now from having one to show you, and then . . . I will have a drawing from the pile of readers who guessed right as to how many pumpkins I got from my harvest this year. I made little houses for decoration from some of them, so you know I have at least four!

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It won’t be long until the ARCS are printed. It’s November! And believe it or not, I have another release in less than three weeks. Peri, book two! The Operator is officially a mass market, but there is a small print run of hard covers, signed and/or personalized if you get them through Nicola’s. I think this run is fewer than the hard cover for Fistful of Charms, and you know how hard those are to find now.

But I like The Operator because Peri is dealing less with forgetting–which she’s come to terms with and is no longer afraid of–and more with the agony of getting something she desperately wants if she’s willing to pay for it with her freedom.  I’ve had a few things taken away from me over the years, and the lure for that magic pill to get it back is real. Anyone who has had something taken away by time or force might be able to relate to her struggle.

Or not. But if you enjoyed the agony of Ivy and Rachel, the slow romance of Rachel and Trent, the steadfast loyalty and sacrifice of Trent (to his goal) and Jenks (to his family and Rachel), you might like Peri and her struggle with herself and those who strive to use her.

I know a lot of you out there have given Peri a try and like her, (Thank you, guys. You are the best!) and others have done the same to come away with no warm fuzzies (Thank you, too, for trying something new.) But if I can make you believe in smart-assed pixies for a few hours, I might be able to tell a good story without Jenks, Rachel, and Ivy.

Drafter Amazon

Signed HC of The Operator and The Turn  at Nicola’s. They will ship overseas.

But The Turn ARC give away. Between now and Wednesday noon, EST, Send Tim an email with Peri Reed and the number of pumpkins you think I harvested in the subject line, like this: Peri Reed 42. The pumpkins are in now, and I know how many, and some of you are guessing right!

If you get the Newsletter, I’ll have another shot for you tomorrow with a new word. Sign up for the newsletter.

 

The Operator

By Kim Harrison

One

“Ah, ma’am? Please don’t touch the car,” the man with the glass tablet said, and Peri flicked her eyes to him, acknowledging his words as she lifted the handle of the hundred-thousand-dollar car. Immediately it opened, the door making a soft hush of sound that meant money well spent as she slipped inside and let the leather seats enfold her.

“Ma’am?”

It smelled new, and her eyes closed for a moment as she almost reverently set her hands on the wheel, smiling as her shoulders eased and an odd relaxed tension filled her. It was sleek, sexy without being over-the-top as if confi- dent in its power and comfortable under the spotlight. Its red color went deep, showing shadowed layers that only an off-the-assembly-line paint could deliver. A two-seater, it looked fast, with wide tires that had ample turning radius in the wheel wells and an antenna array panel to plug in just about anything now or in the future. The sound system was adequate at best, but the onboard computer display was big enough to be useful and glass compatible. Much of it was plastic, though, and Peri’s nose wrinkled.

“It looks as if it was made for you,” the man said, the annoyed slant to his brow belying his smile as he stood just outside and held his tablet like a fig leaf.

Peri tossed her straight black hair out of her eyes, her smile real as she looked up at him. “I bet you say that to everyone.”

He rocked closer. “No. Only those who look like they belong in it.” He cleared his tablet, and the car’s logo ghosted into existence on the clear glass. “Well?”

Angling her slim form, she smoothly got out before he had a coronary. Immediately the chaos of Detroit’s auto show beat anew upon her, the air smelling of ozone and popcorn, and the rhythmic thump of ambient electronic dance music from the live stage pounding into her. Content, she sent her gaze up to the multitude of cameras set to record and identify, secure in the knowledge that the swirls of black smut she’d painted on her face would keep her anonymous.

She wasn’t alone wearing it—face paint had become to Detroit’s auto show what big hats and mint juleps were to Churchill Downs. Both men and women sported well-placed dots and swirls to disguise themselves as they checked out the competition or just avoided being tagged and sent literature. As she was dressed in black leather pants and a cropped jacket with a silk shell and six-inch black boots, the paint made her feel especially flirty and powerful. Sexy.

She turned back to the coup, thinking it was cheating to show it in a paint job that you couldn’t get from the factory. “How do you get around the weight issue of the batteries? You’ve got them in the front, but the drive tram is in the back. The weight isn’t over the wheels, and it’s going to turn as if it was on pudding.”

His interest sharpened. “It’s not an issue at posted speeds.”

Peri nodded, and he winced as she ran a hand caressingly over the car’s sleek lines—all the way from the front to the back. “Over posted speeds is when you need the control, though. Acceleration?”

 

“Zero to sixty in four-point-two seconds,” he said, tapping his tablet awake.

“Battery only, or warming engine assist?” she asked, and he smiled as he brought up the literature. Ten steps away, a printer came alive with the stats.

“Engine assist. You can’t break four seconds on just battery.”

“A Mantis can.”

The man looked up. “I mean a real car.”

Peri eyed him from under a lowered brow. “You’re saying a Mantis isn’t a real car?”

“I mean,” he tried again, flustered, “a car you can actually have. If you’re looking for speed, have you considered—”

“Sorry. No thanks.” Peri stepped out from under the hot spotlights and into the milling crowd, snagging a tiny flute of champagne in passing. Her dress and attitude parted the way, and her warm feeling of satisfaction grew as the tingle of alcohol slipped into her. It was nice to know she still had the best. Ahh, life is good.

“Why do you tease them like that?” a voice said at her elbow, and she spun, hand fisted. But the man had dropped back as if expecting it, mirth crinkling the corners of his brown eyes. The brief protest of the surrounding people subsided as they pushed past and around them—and were forgotten.

“Silas?” she questioned, her gaze flicking to the messenger drones at the ceiling, worried a high-Q might be hiding among them. Then her eyes dropped to his tall, body- building form. His cashmere coat across his wide shoulders made him even more bulky, but his waist was trim and his face clean shaven. The white of salt from the street rimed his John Lobb shoes, and he grimaced when she noticed. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?” she said, shifting into the lee his body made when someone jostled her.

 

Taking her empty flute and setting it aside, he pointed to a nearby communal area set up with tall tables and rentable connections to get a message outside the no-Internet- zone needed for security. “I’ve never known you to miss the opening of the Detroit auto show,” he said as they walked. His low voice at her ear slipped through her like smoke, staining the folds of her mind and bringing a thousand unremembered moments with him to hover just beyond recollection. “I like your hair that length.”

It was quieter among the tables, and Peri touched the tips of her jet-black hair just brushing her shoulders. She’d let it grow. No need to cut it. Slowly she levered herself up on one of the high stools. He’d been watching her. That was probably where her itchy feeling had been coming from, not that she’d had to close her store on a Monday to hit opening day.

The hot-spot connection found her phone and chimed for her attention, and she turned the rentable link face-down. Silas looked tired. There was a familiar pinch of worry in his eyes as he levered himself onto the seat across from her. He laced his thick hands together, setting them innocently on the table, but she could smell the hint of gun-powder on him; he’d been to the range recently. A black haze shadowed his jawline, and a memory surfaced of how it would feel if she ran her hand over it, delighting in the prickly sensation on her fingertips. Behind him, people in extravagant dress and having enough technology to run a small country mingled and played. She’d come to lose herself among them, to pretend that it was hers again for the day. She missed the feeling of being in control so surely that the rest of the world seemed a fantasy.

I shouldn’t have come here. I made a mistake.

A misplaced anger seeped into her, pushing out the doubt. She’d made a place for herself, a new life, found a new security that didn’t hinge on anyone but herself. “Are you alone? Is Allen with you? Damn it, you do realize you might have blown my cover?”

“It’s nice to see you, too. Yes, I’m fine,” Silas said dryly, and she slumped, looking past him and into the crowd for anyone watching without watching. Sighing, Silas scratched the side of his bent nose, his focus blurring as if remembering a past argument. “I might not have been the best agent, but I know better than to go to your coffee shop. As for Allen, I don’t particularly care where he is. I’ve not been in contact with him since”—he hesitated, lip twitching—“you quit.”

She had left, and he’d found her. So not good. “Stay away from my coffee shop.” Heart pounding, she slid off the stool.

“Peri. Wait,” he said, voice weary. “I only came to give you your book back,” he said, reaching past his coat to put one of her journals on the table. Her breath caught, and she stopped, recognizing the leather-bound tome. It had been painstakingly pieced back together, the damage pressed out as best as possible, but it was still obvious where the bullet had torn into it. Kind of like her life.

It was from her last year in Opti training, an entire twelve months of memories intentionally erased from her mind so she could successfully bring down the corrupt Opti from the inside. The United States’ clandestine special ops program was gone, and the diary was her only link to why she had done it. Her pulse quickened at the answers that might lie in the pages. Why she hated blue sheets, why silver Mustangs made the scar on her pinky itch, why the scent of chocolate chip cookies left her melancholy. There were answers in the pages, guarded by demons she feared would tear apart what little self she’d managed to pull back. Her ignorance made her vulnerable, but it also made her safe.

 

Hand to her cold face, she backed up, her footing unsure on the thick carpet. “I’m not that person anymore,” she whispered. Damn it, she was going to have to rabbit. If Silas had found her, anyone could.

“Peri.”

He pulled her to a stop. Anyone else would have gotten her heel through his instep, but she hesitated, letting him draw her back. Breath held, she looked up at him, her soul crying out for what she’d left behind. She’d liked who she’d been, and the wrongness of that still woke her in the night when all was quiet. Silas had been a big part of that, not the worst, but a part nevertheless.

“I’m not asking you to return to the person you were, just understand her,” he said. “It’s been almost a year. You have to stop hiding from this. You won’t ever be free of it if you don’t come to grips with what you’ve done, the good and bad.”

“Is that your professional opinion, Doctor?” she said, yanking out of his grip. Her wrist stung, but she refused to look at it.

Silas’s jaw clenched as unknown thoughts flitted behind his eyes. Her chin lifted, daring him, and with a frustrated grimace, he turned away. “Never mind. I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have come. You take care of yourself, Peri.”

“You, too,” she said as he walked away, hunched and unseeing. His tall frame and wide shoulders were tight under his coat as he wove through the lights, bare skin, and beautiful people. With a feeling of having won, she watched the crowd take him, but it shifted to worry as her fingers traced over the book in indecision, until finally she picked it up.

A business card from the Georgia Aquarium slipped out, falling to the floor. It wasn’t Silas’s name on it, but he’d likely be using an alias. Next to it was a hand-printed phone number. She stared at the card for a moment before turning and walking away, leaving it to be lost in the clutter.

To know what she had done might destroy everything she had made for herself. It was easier to ignore it, keep pretending she was happy and hope the lure to return to the power and prestige would never be stronger than the loathing of what she’d turned herself into to get there.

But she wasn’t sure she could do that anymore.

 

 

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The Turn Tour 2017

tthccoverDid you know this Halloween will be the 50th anniversary of the Turn? That is, if genetically altered tomatoes had actually carried a deadly virus that wiped out a quarter of the world’s population. We went to the moon instead. Probably a good choice.

I won’t be celebrating this momentous occasion apart from perhaps a quiet salute with a hot cup of cider, but I will be getting out this February to mark the publication of the Turn, where I finally tell you all about it. (There is a small bit in the Hollows Insider, but as they say, the winners of a war write the history, and you’ll find a few, ah, incongruities.)

It’s a short tour, but I’m getting back to the West Coast after what seems like a very long time. I hope to see some of you readers out there as I’ll be signing not just the new book, but The Drafter series as well. The Operator comes out just a few months before it, so I’m hopeful that the stores still have them on the shelf.
theoperatorIf I missed your city, you can always get a signed/personalized book through Nicola’s. Orders for The Turn placed by Jan 23 will ship the week of Feb 7th. Also, Nicola’s is the ONLY  place you will get a signed/personalized hard cover of The Operator, (out November 22.) It is a mass market, but I whined, and I got a few bound up in hard cover for the library trade and you diehards. Talk about exclusive. I do believe there will be fewer than that hardcover run of  Fistful of Charms.

Order from Nicola’s

Monday February 6 – Nicola’s, Ann Arbor, MI – 7 PM

Tuesday February 7—University Book Store, Seattle, WA —7 PM

Wednesday February 8 –Powell’s Books (Cedar Hills location), Portland, OR –7 PM

Thursday February 9 –Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA –7 PM

Friday February 10—Barnes & Noble, Sacramento, CA – 7 PM

Saturday February 11 – Joseph-Beth, Cincinnati, OH – 7 PM

For more information, click to the Event’s Page

Also, I’ve begun to harvest my pumpkins, which means there will be another chance to enter to be in the running for a Turn ARC. More on that later.

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Want to win an ARC of The Turn?

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Kim’s hand-pollinated, seed pumpkin

It’s not the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but there is sincerity as far as the eye can see out in my pumpkin patch. We’re getting close to harvest, and that means I’ll be giving the ARCs of The Turn away. Until then, I’m going to let you keep making guesses as to how many pumpkins I’m going to harvest, giving you more chances to get in on the drawing for the ARCS.

Speaking of ARCs, you super-readers out there who got the three mass markets of The Drafter a few months ago? I think Gallery has sent out ARCS of The Operator to you. I’ve seen a few online at Facebook and twitter. Keep sending me pics. I love to see them. I was told they weren’t doing ARCs, but bound manuscripts. Gallery didn’t give me one, but from what I can tell, they look like bound galleys, not bound manuscripts. If you got one, and you’re in the businesses to know the difference, I’d appreciate your thoughts.

The real deal is available now for preorder. The Operator is coming out in all formats on one day, which I think is really cool. (mass market, audio, e-book, hard cover) It’s truly a mass market, but I whined, and my agent got them to make a small hard cover run for the library trade.
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Mass market also means no tour, so the only place you will EVER get a signed or personalized hard cover for The Operator is through Nicola’s. Here’s the link. They ship everywhere, even overseas.

Once there, you can scroll down a little and get to the signed/personalized The Turn, as well. I love my local store. They are the only place I’m going to sign The Operator when it comes out, so if you’ll be in the Ann Arbor area on the 26th, come out to Nicola’s for Shop Small Saturday for my 1:00 event. There is no home game that Saturday, so driving around town will not be organized chaos. more info

 

But you’re reading this because I said contest for an ARC of The Turn.

You have until Thursday, (10/13), noon, EST to send Tim an email at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net> with the number of pumpkins you think I’m going to get out of my most-sincere pumpkin patch in the subject line along with the word CHARLIE BROWN. We won’t be opening them, so make sure your guess is in your subject line. i.e. Charlie Brown 42.   When I harvest, those who have guessed correctly will be in a drawing for however many Turn ARCs I have to give away. Out of the U.S? Not a problem.

Readers subscribed to my mailing list will have an additional chance tomorrow with a different word, so keep an eye on your email if you’re on the list.

Want to sign up? I don’t share your address with anyone. I hate that. Tim says those of you who are signed up need to Open it! We have a +30% open rate, and he wants to get it higher just on principle. (grin)

link to newsletter

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Kim’s mobile puppy fence

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was trying to imagineer a mobile small-dog fence that was cheap, mobile, didn’t take up much space when collapsed, and would stand WITHOUT support stakes. Some of you mentioned wanting to see how it turned out, so here it is!

Important to note, this fence is not designed to securely contain any animal from getting in or out. It is designed to be used only while you are actually with your animal, giving them and you a little more room to roam with a scooch more security. I’ve used it a few times like a play pen to keep my aging dog nearer to me while I work outside in the yard, but it has a wider scope than that.

I used a three-foot plastic fence as a base, with a tight mesh. Bigger holes made for a flimsy structure. The packaging says the mesh is 1/2 inch, but the actual holes in the mesh are about 3/8 of an inch, which is important.

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I folded it in half lengthwise to form an open triangle, the opening against the ground. It was about 18 inches tall, which will keep my small dogs contained and still let me walk over it easily.

To give it more structure and prevent it from just flopping over, I made spacers from  1 1/2 inch PVC pipe which I cut into 4 inch lengths. The spacers are held in place by 8 inch lengths of 3/8 inch dowel shoved through the fence mesh. The mesh should hold the dowel tight enough so it doesn’t spin as the PVC pipe will. I’ve noticed some of the cheaper dowels are not actually 1/2 inch, and don’t hold the spacer well. You might have to take some mesh into the store and try a few dowels to find a good fit.

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I spaced the, ah, spacers about 18 inches along the bottom of the fence, and got something like this.

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My dogs are timid and don’t even try to get through the fence, but your milage will vary. I wouldn’t expect this to stand up to a puppy intent on getting out, or a big friendly ( or otherwise) dog trying to get in. I can’t say enough that this is not a fence to be used without supervision.

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When time to take it down, just remove the dowels and spacers, roll up the fence, and stow it.

I’ve found the black fence I used didn’t roll back up as well as I would like, but it’s still better than trying to stow five foot lengths of standard fencing.

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