HAPPY SOLSTICE TO ALL – KIM HARRISON

Sunrise - Winter Solstice - New England

Sunrise – Winter Solstice – New England

From Kim Harrison, a happy Hollows Solstice!


 ‘Twas the Night of the Solstice

by Kim Harrison


‘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

(Last-minute gift givers, I’ve got your The Turn is coming card for under the tree right here: http://www.kimharrison.net/BookPages/TT/TurnSignedCopy.html )

PERI REED IS BACK IN “THE OPERATOR” – KIM HARRISON

THE OPERATOR, by Kim Harrison is now in bookstores everywhere.

There are some authors who deserve to be in bookstores. Kim Harrison is definitely one. Her books should be proudly displayed in glass windows along with stacks of hardcover volumes — with life-size images of the smiling author. And the air rich with the heady scent of “new book” and fresh ink.

So, while you read this review, pretend you are in the bookstore of your dreams or maybe your childhood. In one of those old leather chairs, tucked in the corner. With a little table and a standing light by which to read. I’m going to hand you the book. It’s new and the binding crackles when you open it.

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Kim Harrison, whose series “The Hollows” produced a long run of best-sellers, has a new series. The first book in the Peri Reed Chronicles was released in 2015. That was “The Drafter.” It introduced a dystopian near-future world without magic, but with technology indistinguishable from magic. A science fiction thriller that feels real and now.

Science it may be, but there are people who are born with a genetic ability to use it. Such people are called drafters.

Drafters can manipulate time. Not like traveling through a wormhole or time machine. More like making a precision adjustment of as much as 45 seconds, or as little as a blink. Just enough time to undo a fatal bullet or catastrophic error.

kim-harrison-author

Kim Harrison

Drafters are special, innately (genetically) able to manipulate time. To correct it. But there’s a price to be paid for having power over time. A drafter can’t keep two timelines in memory, so all memories from a banished (corrected, altered, changed) timeline will be lost to the drafter a few seconds after the changed timeline replaces the original. Usually a drafter works with a partner. An anchor who can replace a drafter’s missing memories and patch the timeline. The relationship between a drafter and his or her anchor is deeply intimate. Not something most people could understand.

Peri Reed is a drafter. She used to work for the ultra super secret (and thoroughly corrupt) government agency known as OPTI. Now, she’s free and alive — and trying to stay that way. Peri has lost many memories. Years worth of memories. Some memories have been replaced by false ones. Some are just gone, leaving holes in the continuity and fabric of her life. She wants her memory back, but not if the cost to get them is going back to work for OPTI — or any other agency. How to win freedom and control of her life? Regain her memories without selling herself to whoever makes the best deal?

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Reed isn’t just any drafter. Peri is the drafter. The best ever. Which is why everyone wants her — and she wants none of them. Yet, she needs help. There’s no way she can reconstruct her past without assistance from at least a couple of the people hunting her. Dare she trust anyone?

Everyone is making her an offer. Everyone is lying.

The Operator is not merely good. It’s a great read set in a dystopian future world. Fast-paced. Elegantly written with an underlying ironic wit and refreshingly natural dialogue. The plot and characters are layered. Complex. Everyone has a secret agenda. Behind that are more secrets and even darker agendas.

In The Drafter, Peri and the gang had promise.

In The Operator, they fulfill that promise. Peri is brave and brilliant, dangerous and vulnerable. Passionate, with scary, lethal fighting skills. She’s had bad relationships. Lost everything that mattered to her. Made terrible life choices. Lives in a brutal world of danger and duplicity through which she must navigate alone, or depend on treacherous people with dubious motives.

If you love science fiction thrillers and are tired of reading the same tired stories, this will be a treat. This is a fresh story with an intriguing, original plot, full of Kim Harrison’s wonderful writing to sweep you into another world.

THE OPERATOR by Kim Harrison is be available on Kindle, paperback, limited edition hard cover, and on Audible.com. It is a great book, one of the two or three best I’ve read over the past few years. Exciting. Action-packed with a complex twisting plot I dare you to guess.

Every clue Ms. Harrison drops is a real clue. The characters are mad and complicated, embodying his or her own mystery. Not only is “The Operator” worth reading, it’s worth reading twice.

 

AVAILABLE TODAY! THE OPERATOR – KIM HARRISON

THE OPERATOR, by Kim Harrison, is now available online and in bookstores.

It’s been a long wait since the first book in the series. I have missed Kim Harrison. After reading so many bad books, picking up this one was like a breath of fresh air. Good prose, realistic, natural dialogue. A  complex plot without a million dangling loose ends. A professional, dedicated author at the top of her game. A really good book.

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While you read this, pretend you are in the bookstore of your dreams or maybe your childhood. In one of those old leather chairs, tucked in the corner. With a little table and a standing light by which to read. I’m going to hand you the book. It’s new and the binding crackles when you open it.


Kim Harrison, whose series “The Hollows” produced a long run of best-sellers, has a new series. The first book in the Peri Reed Chronicles was released in 2015. That was “The Drafter.” It introduced a dystopian near-future world without magic, but with technology indistinguishable from magic. A science fiction thriller that feels real and now.

72-magic-law-clarke-the-operator-17112016_07

Science it may be, but there are people who are born with a genetic ability to use it. Such people are called drafters.

Drafters can manipulate time. Not like traveling through a wormhole or time machine. More like making a precision adjustment of as much as 45 seconds, or as little as a blink. Just enough time to undo a fatal bullet or catastrophic error.

Peri Reed is a drafter. She used to work for the ultra super secret (and thoroughly corrupt) government agency known as OPTI. Now, she’s free and alive — and trying to stay that way. Peri has lost many memories. Years worth of memories. Some memories have been replaced by false ones. Some are just gone, leaving holes in the continuity and fabric of her life. She wants her memory back, but not if the cost to get them is going back to work for OPTI — or any other agency. How to win freedom and control of her life? Regain her memories without selling herself to whoever makes the best deal?

operator-image-amazonPeri Reed isn’t just any drafter. Peri is the drafter. The best ever. Which is why everyone wants her — and she wants none of them. Yet, she needs help. There’s no way she can reconstruct her past without assistance from at least a couple of the people hunting her. Dare she trust anyone?

Everyone is making her an offer. Everyone is lying.

The Operator is not merely good. It’s a great read set in a dystopian future world. Fast-paced. Elegantly written with an underlying ironic wit and refreshingly natural dialogue. The plot and characters are layered. Complex. Everyone has a secret agenda. Behind that are more secrets and even darker agendas.

In The Drafter, Peri and the gang had promise.

In The Operator, they fulfill that promise. Peri is brave and brilliant, dangerous and vulnerable. Passionate, with scary, lethal fighting skills. She’s had bad relationships. Lost everything that mattered to her. Made terrible life choices. Lives in a brutal world of danger and duplicity through which she must navigate alone, or depend on treacherous people with dubious motives.

If you love science fiction thrillers and are tired of reading the same tired stories, this will be a treat. This is a fresh story with an intriguing, original plot, full of Kim Harrison’s wonderful writing to sweep you into another world.


kim-harrison-author

Kim Harrison

THE OPERATOR by Kim Harrison is now available on Kindle, paperback, limited edition hard cover, and on Audible.com. This is a great book, one of the two or three best I’ve read over the past few years. Exciting. Action-packed with a complex twisting plot I dare you to guess.

Every clue Ms. Harrison drops is a real clue. The characters are mad and complicated, embodying his or her own mystery. Not only is “The Operator” worth reading, it’s worth reading twice.

Here’s a link to its page on Amazon. I’m looking forward to the Audible.com version which should arrive in my library today. I’m will happily read it again. Probably at least once more after that. There is a lot of depth to this story and back stories to the back stories.

I can hardly wait for the next book. It’s not over for Peri Reed. Not by a longshot.

A VIOLENCE OF VOICES – “THE OPERATOR”by KIM HARRISON (COMING NOVEMBER 22)

Is the inside of your head full of noise? Does your narrator (or many narrators) keep you awake through the long, dark winter nights?

Last night, as I was trying to read “just one more chapter” of Kim Harrison’s terrific new book, “The Operator,” I paused for a minute. And heard the quiet. The silence. I realized all that racket I was hearing was happening in my head. The world and my house were quiet.

In my head are many voices, each dealing with or explaining some ribbon of reason … or merely expressing it more elegantly than I could without their help.

Reading, in progress!

Reading, in progress!

The reading narrator was telling Peri Reed’s story from Kim’s book. Which I will review soon, before its release this coming Tuesday, November 22nd. The rest of the noise was all the other narrators. The one who provides background description for my ongoing autobiography. He’s the one who adds “he said” and “she said” with the occasional adverb to liven things up. There are multiple “color” commentators who describe the scene. The lay of the land. The sky, the weather, the flowers. The scorched earth.

There are other narrators to manage data and clarify difficult concepts. These are managing mental editors. They wrangle and analyse pseudo and real science. Crunch numbers. Rationalize science fiction and fantasy and let me believe the unbelievable. I have others who specialize in straight news analysis — the “news guys in my brain” who, for some reason, sound a lot like my husband.

The number cruncher looks at the bank balance. He can tell me exactly when we will run out of money. Whether it will be before or after the last day of the calendar month. I had to train this guy because I until I got him up and running, I never knew what was going on with our finances. Now, I do. I can’t say I like what I see, but at least I know. If the devil is in the details, that devil is hot on our trail.

Most of the time, there are no more than a couple of voices fighting for the microphone … but last night, probably because “The Operator” is an exceptionally complicated (but amazingly good) book, everyone got into the act — and into my head. What a lot of NOISE!

Suddenly, they all shut up. For a few minutes, the world grew quiet. Garry was sleeping. The TV was off and Garry’s headphones were on the charging hook. The dogs were sleeping. Even the pipes stopped grumbling and creaking.

The heat was up. Outside, it was as cold as it would be for that night.

I heard the silence. It was when I accepted the truth of why can’t sleep. No one could sleep with that much going on between their ears. Maybe I could cajole Team Marilyn to agree on a “quiet time.” Like between two and nine in the morning, for example.

The problem is that the voices only get frisky after I retire, when their voices don’t have to compete with the activities and sounds of daytime. They gear up when I’m not engaged. Not writing, processing photographs, thinking about what I’ll cook for dinner, or what bills I haven’t yet scheduled. It is exactly because all of daily business is done that the other voices are so clear and loud.

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There is a bit of good news in the mix. I don’t spend all my nighttime hours worrying. I know where the money is and isn’t. The angst which used to be atop the nighttime noise heap is just a low hum. Nor am I worrying about the election. It’s finished and what is and what will be? I’ll cross those bridges when I get there. I can’t worry about the environment all the time or I’ll drift into madness. Nor can I constantly brood on injustice, bigotry, racism, and how come there are so many incredibly stupid people in the world and why they seem to be thriving.

Sometimes, I need to ponder traveling in time. Finding a wormhole we can jump through to get us to a parallel world not being ruined by greedy morons, nor run by racist demagogues.

I think I’ll go back to reading, now. I’m almost finished. I hope there’s a happy ending.


operator-kim-harrisonTHE OPERATOR by Kim Harrison will be released on November 22, 2016. It will be available on Kindle, paperback, limited edition hard cover, and on Audible.com. It is a great book, one of the two or three best books I’ve read during the past few years. It’s unique on so many levels. No, it’s not “The Hollows,” but it’s as good or better. Exciting. Action-packed with a complex twisting plot I dare you to figure out.

Every clue Ms. Harrison drops is a real clue to solving the book’s many mysteries. I promise it will keep you guessing from first to last page. The characters are mad and complicated, each embodying his or her own mystery. Not only is “The Operator” worth reading, it’s worth reading (at least) twice.

Look for my review, coming as soon as I finish writing it!

GREAT NARRATORS FROM WHOM TO CHOOSE

Voice Work – Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook. If you could choose anyone — from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson — to narrate your posts, who would it be?


Narrating is not acting. It is a separate skill set from acting, though it is certainly related. Many great actors make atrocious narrators. Witness Meryl Streep’s venture into narration where she totally failed to grasp the concept — the narrator is not the voice of any or all the characters. The narrator is the mind of the author.

More than that, the narrator is the mind of the reader, the almost subliminal prompt that gives us the images without forcing us to notice what he or she is doing. It’s the subtlety of narration that makes it such a difficult art form. Enough animation to make the characters identifiable from one another … but not so “acted” that the narrator becomes more important than the story. It’s a thin line.

As a devotee of audiobooks, I think I’d have to go with either (both?) of my two favorite narrators — Will Patton, who narrates all of James Lee Burke’s books as well as many other southern authors and was terrific in the movie I saw last night, playing the good-bad CIA director in November Man

Will Patton

Will Patton

If a woman seems called for, Marguerite Gavin, who has done a remarkable job narrating Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series would be my top choice.

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I’m very much looking forward to listening to her one more time as she narrates the just-released final (13th book) book of the series, The Witch With No Name.

And because he is willing and has such a beautiful voice, Garry — who offered to narrate my book for audible years ago before life so altered my plans — can narrate anything. Because he will do a wonderful job and understands the difference between narrating and acting.

 

CHARMS AND SPELLS AT DUNKIN DONUTS

Pleased to Meet You – Write a post in which the protagonists of two different books or movies meet for the first time. How do they react to each other? Do they get along?


skin game jim butcherDowntown Uxbridge. Late morning. Autumn. We would have met in a bar, but there are no bars in downtown Uxbridge. There are no restaurants either, unless you count Domino’s Pizza, which I don’t. There’s a take-out Chinese place, but not much of a place to sit and chat. The place I used to go a few years ago changed ownership and they no longer serve breakfast, just lunch. So … Dunkin Donuts it is. Everybody likes coffee.

They strolled in together. Even though they hadn’t been formally introduced, I think they knew each other. The funny vibe witches have, that both of them have. And all the leather gear, the spells in their pockets. The big gun on Harry’s hip. The splat gun on Rachel’s.

“Harry Dresden?” I said to the tall guy in the long, black, leather duster. He nodded. “I’d like you to meet Rachel Morgan.” I turned to the gorgeous red-head in the tight leather battle gear.

They looked each other up and down, appraising, obviously liking what they saw. “Hey,” said Rachel, “Like your wand.”

“Love your splat gun,” replied Harry.

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Before I got a word in edgewise — something that rarely happens to me — they were talking shop. Spells. Magic circles. Wards. Dogs. Then they were laughing about spells gone wrong, the time Harry wound up dead. The time Rachel was turned into a ferret. How difficult relationships can be in the supernatural world … and how to avoid banshees. They exchanged cards. Harry pointed out that he is the only Wizard in the yellow pages. Rachel mentioned how she had saved the world … and not just once. Harry, feeling competitive, countered with an anecdote of how he had saved the world multiple times which segued into the story of how he had ridden that Tyrannosaurus Rex …

It was the greatest brunch I ever shared, and over too soon. They walked out arm in arm, still talking up a storm.

And I went home to the computer, to write the story.