Quiet doesn’t mean nothing’s going on

Hi all.

I’ve been shunning my social obligations lately because, well, how many pictures of birds and plants can you take? But I’ve been busy. Very busy–keeping my mouth shut.

It’s shut no more. After spending a nice chunk of time cleansing my writing palette and playing with a few new-to-me writing techniques, I’m officially back writing the Hollows. AMERICAN DEMON, the next Rachel and Trent book that follows right after THE WITCH WITH NO NAME–has  found a home, and a rough publishing date.

(insert wild-Snoopy-dance here)

I am tickled to be back working with Anne Sowards at ACE, which is where and who I got my start with the Truth and Princess series.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

You guys are going to love this.

–Kim

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PERfunctory afFECTION shipping, and almost gone

Hi all.

I’m just about in happy tears this morning after an email from my publisher at Subterranean Press. Perfection is at the warehouse and being shipped out as fast as it’s coming in. They have retained about 100 of the signed and numbered hard covers, but the e-book is now available, and the audio as well. So if you are one to wait, or know someone who is interested, please let them know.

But the tears? That’s because of you guys. I can’t tell you thanks enough for giving this experiment of mine a fair shake. I love the Hollows, and I’m eager to return to it, but only because I was able to play in a couple of different worlds for a while, stretch my thoughts, explore a new way to write. So thank you. Your support as I try to grow as a writer is humbling. I’m not active on my social sites anymore due to family issues, but knowing you are still there is gratifying. (Tim and I are fine. It’s just life.)

On a more personal note, I haven’t looked at reviews in a long time, but I will admit I peeked last night before turning my bedside lamp off with a pleased snap. They are mixed, really mixed, for one of my usual releases, but I’m not unhappy.

Meg’s story is not for everyone, and I knew that going in. One of my goals with Perfection was to craft something that could be interpreted two ways depending upon your expectations, or even your desires. It’s not a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, but I tried to balance it so how you interpret the ending is up to you.

Those early reviews seem to be saying just that, and as a writer, it’s good to know you’ve accomplished your goals–even if that means one- and two-star reviews. (wink)

Feels good. Really good.

Happy sigh as I return to work.

–Kim

Subterranean’s signed and numbered hard cover

e-book: Go to Subterranean for links to all major retailers.

Audible

 

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e-book price drop, pass it on!

Two of the Hollows titles are on sale right now for 1.99, e-book format. It’s a good chance to make a late gift to the Hollows addict on your list, or even for yourself if you are trying to round out your e-library. And please pass the word!

The Witch With No Name: Nook. Kindle

White Witch, Black Curse: Nook Kindle

But while I was looking through my archives for a past post I could easily modify to tell you about the sale, I found this little gem from 2015. It was during an unusual -30 cold snap that seemed to last all winter. When it gets that cold, the mind wanders, and the poet in me claws its way out.

The Breaking of Silence

Kim Harrison, February, 2015

I was awake early this morning, long before the sun came up. It gave me an almost singular chance to sit in my office and drink a cup of cocoa and witness the breaking of silence. There was no wind, eerily still with no sun to push even molecules into motion, no birds to mar the perfect beauty of temperature gradient slices of air so defined you could breathe them in like flavors of ice cream. Too desiccated for clouds, only the black bare branches mark the subtle shadings from apex black, to blue, to a hint of watery pink at the horizon. Definition comes from what lacked, not substance itself.

A foot of Sandman’s sleep lays upon the world, the swollen, ugly red of sun devoid of even a whisper of warmth as the earth rolls in its gravity track and pushes it up through the bands of cream and blue–rainbows so stretched and thin that their color can’t be seen.

It is so cold my attic is cracking.

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Kim Harrison short-short to share

Get your tissues handy! I’ve got a gift from me to you today, written long before I found publication and was raw with the need to reach and connect and short on literary grace. You may have seen this in previous years, but  it still makes me cry, and like the best gifts, please feel free to share it.

However you celebrate the season, I hope you find joy, warmth, and a feeling of completeness.

Kim, Tim, and the boys

Angel’s Song
by
Kim Harrison

 

Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright. . . .

Humming, Kaylin held her coat close against the cold, more from habit than anything else as she dodged through the unseeing, evening shoppers. She was anxious to get home. Her work had seemed to stretch forever today, but finally The Boss had let her go. She couldn’t wait to see her daughter–it had been too long since the entire family had been together.

Slipping at the bus stop, she grasped the door to the bus, just making it on behind two tired women as the doors closed. The sound of their money jingling into the box chimed like bells, and the bus jerked into motion. Kaylin stood where she was, gripping the ceiling support as the gears shifted. Her gaze rove over the heads, looking for acknowledgment she existed. There, at the back where the heat didn’t reach, was a smiling face and a beckoning hand.

Though she didn’t recognize him, Kaylin went to sit with the old man. She smiled shyly, the anticipation of her coming evening prompting her to be more bold than usual. “I’m going home for Christmas,” she said by way of greeting as she jammed her gloves into a pocket.

“First time?” the old man murmured, his brown eyes going sad in memory.

She nodded. “Since my accident. I can hardly wait to see everyone together.” Kaylin put her hands in her lap, glad she couldn’t feel the cold anymore.

The man met her eyes. “See that boy up there?” he said, pointing with his chin. “I’m spending Christmas with him. He’s a college student on his way home. He needs all the help he can get, and my family doesn’t miss me anymore.”

Kaylin bit her lip and fussed with the hem of her coat’s sleeve, uncomfortable with the idea she would eventually be forgotten. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Make the most of the time they remember you. As it’s said, it came to pass.”

She didn’t know what to say. “This is my stop,” she said, glancing out the window to the colored lights.

“Best hurry. The door won’t wait for you.”

Giving him a hesitant smile, she hastened to the front, edging to the sidewalk past the three girls giggling about the presents they had gotten for their boyfriends.

Kaylin’s mood went soft as she took in the familiar street gray with twilight. The curb was jammed with cars. A noisy, joyful reunion on her front steps had the dogs barking. Excitement tingling to her toes, Kaylin waited on the walk, following the last of the children inside.

Her shoulders eased as she stood in the entryway, basking in the cheerful clutter and the too-noisy greetings. She waved as she spotted her grandmother in a corner, deep in the thick of it. The old woman’s eyes sparkled as they met hers. Her fingertips again had a rosy glow, and the blue tint Kaylin remembered was gone.

“Jasmine is in the kitchen!” her grandmother called over the noise. “Go on. We’ll talk later.”

Relieved her grandmother understood, Kaylin followed the smell of heated punch into the kitchen. She stopped in the open doorway as her heart clenched.

Jasmine stood on a chair before the counter, stirring a cup of green frosting. “I can’t do it, Daddy,” she complained, her high voice clear over the excited babble of relatives. “It’s too hard.”

Kaylin’s hands reached out, but she stood unmoving, forcing back the unexpected tears as her husband set aside his dishcloth and went to their daughter.

“Mommy always helped me, Daddy,” the child said around a sniff as his hand covered hers atop the spoon and they stirred together. “I want Mommy. I miss her.”

“Hush,” he said, the pain in his voice causing Kaylin’s throat to tighten. “I miss her too, sweetheart, but look. She’s everywhere, especially tonight.” Eyes bright, the man pointed to the dusty Christmas candles Kaylin had refused to burn, sitting on the kitchen windowsill. “There are her candles, right where she always put them. And the mistletoe above the doorway? She made that just last year. And the bow? Remember her spending an hour on that to get it to look just like the one in the store window? And you can smell her touch in the gingerbread men and taste it in the fruit punch. She’s everywhere.”

“No, Daddy,” the small girl protested. “It’s not the same. I can’t see her at all.”

“But I can,” he said, giving her a hug. “I can see her in you when you cut out your star cookies, I watched her hand move yours when you hung the ornaments on the tree, and I can see her eyes when I look at you. So, Jasmine, she is here.”

“I can’t see her,” Jasmine said, sniffing as she licked the frosting from a finger.

Kaylin ached. The Boss had warned her it would be hard, and she thought she could handle it. But this? This tore at her. Kaylin came close to stand behind her daughter and nudged a cookie, as if she could make the star any less lopsided. Perhaps . . . . Perhaps she could pretend.

And so she was a silent participant, each moment harder than the previous, a bittersweet mix of memories. She hovered in the kitchen while dinner was prepared, blowing on the gravy to keep it from boiling over until someone remembered it. She watched the rolls brown through the oven window with Jasmine, admonishing the child they weren’t done yet when Jasmine pronounced them finished. She stood in the archway to the living room and worried about the carpet as paper plates overflowing with food were balanced on knees. She sat at the kitchen table while the dishes were washed, catching up on the women’s gossip with her fingers curved around a forgotten cup until it was whisked away.

And then it was done. Kaylin knew the signs: the last swallows of coffee, the slowing conversation, the children collapsing in their mother’s arms. Kaylin sighed. She didn’t want it to be over.

Jasmine was slumped in her frills and white stockings in her father’s arms, too sleepy to be anything but content. Kaylin sat on the arm of the couch beside them, running her fingers unfelt over her daughter’s hair. There was one final tradition as yet undone, her most cherished part of the evening, and Kaylin’s heart fell when the first of the coats appeared. They had forgotten.

“Wait, Daddy.” Jasmine stirred as her father rose to say his good-byes. “We didn’t sing yet. Mommy always sings. Please?”

Kaylin waited, hoping.

“Of course, Jasmine,” her father said, giving her a hug. “You’re such a clever girl for remembering.”

Coats were dropped to the couch in the sliding sound of nylon. Her grandmother beckoned, and Kaylin joyfully edged closer to the piano. Jasmine wiggled down to sit on the long bench before the battered keys, her father standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders. Kaylin could see a glimmer of tears in her mother’s eyes as she took Kaylin’s usual spot before the piano and began to play.

“Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright.

Tears pricked at Kaylin’s eyes. Her favorite. Voice quavering, she joined her voice to her family’s.

“Round yon virgin, mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild.”

“Daddy,” Jasmine whispered, her face upturned as she pulled on his sleeve. “I can hear Mommy singing.”

Kaylin’s throat nearly closed, and tears slipped down her cheeks. Angels could sing. And on Christmas Eve, they could be heard by those who listened.

Her husband knelt and gave Jasmine a tight, fierce hug. “So can I, sweetheart,” he whispered, rocking her. “So can I.”

“Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.”

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‘Twas the week before Christmas, and up in the Hollows . . .

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and up in the Hollows,
Solstice bonfires were burning, to toast the marshmallows.

The pixies were snug in their stump, even Jenks,
Who claimed he was tired, and needed some winks.

So I in my parka, and Ivy in her boots,
Were toasting the season, with thirty-year hooch.

When out in the street, there came such a crash,
I thought that it had to be ‘coons in our trash.

Away to the gate, I trudged through the snow,
While Ivy just said, “If it’s Kist, say hello.”

I lifted the latch, and peered to the street,
My face went quite cold.  We were in it thigh deep.

‘Twas a demon, who stood in the headlamps quite bright,
With his coat of green velvet, and his uncommon height.

His eyes, how they glittered, his teeth how they gnashed,
His voice, how he bellowed, his tongue, how it lashed.

The street wasn’t holy, so on Big Al came,
As he bellowed, and shouted, and called me by name.

“Morgan, you witch.  You’re a pain in my side.
“Get out of your church.  There’s no place to hide!”

Like hell’s fury unleashed, he strode to my door,
Where he hammered and cursed, like a cheap jilted whore.

But Ivy and I, we circled round back,
To stand in the street and prepare for attack.

“You loser,” I shouted.  “I’m waiting for you.”
And the demon, he spun, taking on a red hue.

Ivy stood ready, and I whispered, “Okay . . .
“If he wants to get rough, I’m ready to play.”

With nary a word, us two girls got to work,
Putting foot into gut, of the soul-sucking jerk.

I circled him quick, with a few words of Latin,
While Ivy distracted him with lots of good wackin’

“Get back!” I yelled out when my trap was complete,
And Ivy somersaulted right over the creep.

My circle sprang up, entrapping him surely,
Al fussed and he fumed, like a demonic fury.

The neighbors all cheered, and came out of their houses,
Where they’d watched the whole thing, like little house mouses.

So Ivy and I, we both bowed real low,
Then banished Big Al, in an overdone show.

But I heard Al exclaim, ‘ere he poofed from our sight
“You won this time witch, but I’ll get you one night!”

Kim Harrison
December 14th, 2005

Kim and Guy wish you and yours all the best of the holiday season and a glowing new year.

Pssssst! If you are looking for something exclusive for your Hollows fan, or something special for yourself, my next release, PERFECTION is available for pre-order. Unlike my usual publications, there will be only 1,500 of these hardcovers, and all of them are signed. They won’t be readily available through the usual stores, so this is the best way to get them, and pre-ordering makes me look good. (Wink)

But please pop over to Subterranean Press and pre-order one before you go and put this under your tree as, unlike my usual publications, there will be a limited number of these signed and numbered, and they will not be readily available in the stores come March.

I’ve even got a gift card for you to print out to put under the tree.  Happy Holidays!

 

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Ho, ho, Oh!! A Rachel Doll for sale?

Yep. After much soul searching, I’ve decided to let a Rachel Morgan doll go. Actually, thanks to an arrangement with my local yarn shop, Artisan Knitworks, I’ll be letting a few Hollows dolls into the wilds as they move from my needles to Sandra and Larry’s store.

It’s just a single Rachel doll right now, but Trent is almost done, and of course, I’ll make a new Al doll for you. Actually, Kisten is just about ready, too . . . Once I find a yarn that knits up to look like leather.

If you want Rachel for yourself, you need to contact Larry or Sandra at 734-562-2682, or by mail at larryhart2.lh@gmail.com It will help Larry find your email if you put RACHEL DOLL in the subject line.

Due to being one of a kind and handcrafted by me right down to the patterns used, I’m asking $495.00 U.S. dollars. This doesn’t include shipping or tax, but it does include a hand-stamped tag, which is signed by me as well. I’m only going to make 25 Rachel dolls for general purchase, which makes this one 1/25.

 

If you’re looking for something unique, but not THAT unique, PERFECTION is still available for pre-order through Subterranean Press. These are signed and numbered as well, and a little more accessible. 🙂 I’ve even got a card you can print out to put under the tree. 🙂

But please pop over to Subterranean Press and pre-order one before you go and put this under your tree as, unlike my usual publications, there will be a limited number of these signed and numbered, and they will not be readily available in the stores come March.

If I don’t connect with you between now and then, Happy Holidays from Tim and myself!

Kim

 

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Is one of these yours?

So . . . while you wait for AMERICAN DEMON (the next installment of Rachel in the Hollows) I’ve got something really special. A nice little tidbit of magic and what is real, and what we want to be real. PREfunctory afFECTION (or PERFECTION for short) is already up for preorder, and today an excerpt has been added to the pre-order page. Look! Look! I signed one just for you!

Every one of these is hard cover, signed and numbered. A true collector copy. The extra-special, leather bound bunnies are already gone, but the regular, signed hardcovers are still available, but when they are gone, they are gone!

While there, check out your other favorite authors at Subterranean Press. You’ll be surprised at what your favorite authors have been doing. Subterranean Press books are usually small run and not readily available in the usual outlets, so this is pretty much the best way to get them. Perfection excerpt

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