The Cold Moon – Jeffery Deaver – My Audio Book of the Month – December

The Cold Moon by Jeffery Deaver.

This was a surprise choice as I didn’t intend to buy it or listen to it but again I had discovered a narrator that I liked and was searching for other books that he had narrated.  The narrator in question is George Guidall who narrated American Gods by Neil Gaiman (another excellent book both in print and audio btw) He did absolutely brilliantly with all the many characters and accents in  American Gods and he does terrific with this one too.  I should explain that I have never read a Jeffery Deaver book though my friend Janien is a big fan and this book is number 6 or 7 in a series so probably not the best place to start but as I said, I couldn’t resist the lure of the narrator :p  I think I may have forgotten this or perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention, but Jeffery Deaver wrote the book that the movie, The Bone Collector, was based on.  I did see the movie when it came out a few years ago on DVD and it was ok, your basic serial killer mystery type movie, and it starred Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. 

The Bone Collector is the first book in the same series as The Cold Moon and features quadriplegic forensic detective, Lincoln Rhyme (played by Denzel in the movie, though I’m fairly sure the character is white) and his sidekick Amelia Sachs (played by Angelina in the movie).  Anyway, I enjoyed this audio book so much that I decided to read the whole series!  I bought the first four books for myself (happy christmas to me!) and the the first two for my BIL who also likes this genre but had never read any of Deaver’s books.  Result!

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman – My Audio Book of the Month – October

In case you don’t know already, let me preface this post by telling you all that I am a BIG Neil Gaiman fan.  So it is with great excitement that I have to tell you to run out and buy the audio book version of his latest book – The Graveyard Book.  This is one of his children’s books, or as Mr Gaiman likes to call them, a book for all ages.  The printed book comes in a range of cover options, and was released a few weeks ago.  The audio version was released on Thursday (30th) and I downloaded mine from Audible.co.uk yesterday.

Why am I so excited about this?  Well I’ll tell ya.  It’s because this particular book has Neil Gaiman himself as the narrator.  He doesn’t always do this (Stardust yes, American Gods and Anansi Boys no) so when I saw he was the narrator I snapped it up.  The main reason being he has such a wonderful voice for reading aloud, and he’s a natural storyteller, so even if he was reading a shopping list it would be interesting, but since he’s reading one of his own books, it is a delight!  It is also one of those rare opportunities to hear the author read the book the way they intended it to be read, so I would thoroughly recommend this audio book to everyone who loves to listen to a good story being read by a wonderful author.


Also available in printed form with a variety of covers including the one on the left by Dave McKean.

Here’s some info about the book:

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.  He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.  But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. . . .

American Gods Book Discussion

Title: American Gods Book Discussion
Location: Book Group Discussion
Description: Hosted discussion of American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Start Date: 2008-09-15
End Date: 2008-10-13

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.

One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.

Publishers experimenting with free e-books – Harper-Collins & Random House

Publisher experiments with free online books

Richard Lea
Tuesday February 12, 2008
EducationGuardian.co.uk

Two competing visions of the future went head-to-head online yesterday as HarperCollins and Random House launched contrasting new experiments in book distribution on the same day.

Building on a scheme launched in 2006 which allows users to flick through extracts of the books they publish, HarperCollins is releasing complete texts from a small selection of authors for periods of a month to test how free access affects sales.

The chief executive of HarperCollins Worldwide, Jane Friedman, was keen to stress the flexibility of the publisher’s systems.

“The advantage of our digital warehouse is that we can securely, quickly and easily change what content is available,” she said, “whether it is to meet an author’s request, to preview a title before it is on sale, or to promote backlist books. And we believe it’s the role of the publisher to develop tools to easily allow authors to promote their work to their communities online.”

With Neil Gaiman and Paolo Coelho lined up to be among the first clutch of six titles, it seems as if the publisher is only beginning to catch up with their authors’ enthusiasm for free distribution. Coelho, who has promoted free copies of his own work online since 2000, has signed up for HarperCollins to provide an entire book for download every month for one year.

“I believe that online reading helps increase book sales,” the author said. “I am very pleased that HarperCollins is able to make my titles available online for my fans to read.”

Neil Gaiman, who offers readers free stories on his website and has been running a promotional blog for seven years, is convinced that tasters are “enormously useful”. He’s running an online vote for readers to determine which of his titles will be given away – a poll currently led by his mythical American fantasy, American Gods.

Whatever the result of the poll, the author is not expecting a straightforward match between the numbers of free downloads and added sales.

“It’s much more about gaining an audience than about some one-to-one correlation,” he said. “It’s a question of how do you find new writers.” People often come to new authors in a library, on a friend’s bookshelves, or by a personal recommendation, he explained. It “doesn’t always begin with a financial transaction. I very much doubt that I discovered a single one of my favourite authors by buying a book.”

Meanwhile Random House is pursuing a different model, launching a pilot project to offer individual slices of books for a small fee. Six chapters and an epilogue of a business title by brothers Chip and Dan Heath are available at $2.99 (1.50) each.

Users will receive a link for downloading the chapters of their choice via email, which the company claims is impossible to share electronically.

“This is a pilot project to gauge whether there is a demand or not,” said Random House’s Carol Schneider. “We’re really doing it as a kind of an experiment.”

It’s an experiment that runs counter to internet users’ expectations of getting something for nothing and to Random House’s enthusiastic promotion of free clips from their library of audio books. With no plans to extend the scheme into other non-fiction or short fiction titles, and no download figures yet available it’s impossible to judge whether Random House’s cautious strategy will prove effective, but Gaiman is convinced that publishers who are bold will be rewarded.

“The problem is not people who read books for nothing,” he said, “it’s people not reading books at all. You’re fighting the fact that people don’t read recreationally [any more]. Anything that can help has got to be a good thing.”

or you can read it here at The Guardian

You can see the poll on Neil’s website by clicking here

So we can look forward to a free copy of American Gods sometime soon, which is good for us as we are discussing it in a few months with the Book Group! I will post more when there are more details.

Neil Gaiman – A Study in Emerald – ** free mp3 audio book **

A Study in Emerald is a short story from ‘Fragile Things’ and Harper-Collins has released a free audio version of it, with Neil Gaiman himself reading the story!

A Study in Emerald
By Neil Gaiman
Performed by Neil Gaiman

Alluding to both the Sherlock Holmes canon and the Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos, this Hugo Award winning short story will delight fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft, and of course, Neil Gaiman. A Study in Emerald draws listeners in through carefully revealed details as a consulting detective and his narrator friend solve the mystery of a murdered German noble. But with its subtle allusions and surprise ending, this mystery hints that the real fun in solving this case lies in imagining all the details that Gaiman doesnt reveal, and challenges listeners to be detectives themselves.

click here to listen or download the mp3 68mb mp3 format or just listen online smile

It doesn’t seem to be a time limited offer, so enjoy!

Neil Gaiman- short stories : free online fiction!

Neil has some free short stories up on his site

short stories
Click on the above link if you want to read these:

The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Neil Gaiman
This is a story called “The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds”. It was first published in 1984, in KNAVE and was my third published short story. It was reprinted in 1993 ANGELS AND VISITATIONS (although I didn’t put it into Smoke and Mirrors) and it’s been collected in anthologies a few times since then. –NG

I Cthulhu
or Whats A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47 9 S, Longitude 126 43 W)?

A Study in Emerald – [5.1 MB PDF file
Written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrations and Layout by Jouni Kopnen – Requires the Adobe PDF reader available at Adobe.com.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon was a princess, a long time ago, in a small hot country, where everything was very old. Her eyes were pearls, which gave her great beauty, but meant she was blind. Her world was the colour of pearls: pale white and pink, and softly glowing.

How To Talk To Girls At Parties
“Come on,” said Vic. “It’ll be great.” “No, it won’t,” I said, although I’d lost this fight hours ago, and I knew it. “It’ll be brilliant,” said Vic, for the hundredth time. “Girls! Girls! Girls!” He grinned with white teeth.

*rubs hands together with glee*

Neil Gaiman – free online fiction

Neil has some free short stories up on his site

short stories
Click on the above link if you want to read these:

The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Neil Gaiman
This is a story called “The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds”. It was first published in 1984, in KNAVE and was my third published short story. It was reprinted in 1993 ANGELS AND VISITATIONS (although I didn’t put it into Smoke and Mirrors) and it’s been collected in anthologies a few times since then. –NG

I Cthulhu
or Whats A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47 9 S, Longitude 126 43 W)?

A Study in Emerald – [5.1 MB PDF file
Written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrations and Layout by Jouni Kopnen – Requires the Adobe PDF reader available at Adobe.com.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon was a princess, a long time ago, in a small hot country, where everything was very old. Her eyes were pearls, which gave her great beauty, but meant she was blind. Her world was the colour of pearls: pale white and pink, and softly glowing.

How To Talk To Girls At Parties
“Come on,” said Vic. “It’ll be great.” “No, it won’t,” I said, although I’d lost this fight hours ago, and I knew it. “It’ll be brilliant,” said Vic, for the hundredth time. “Girls! Girls! Girls!” He grinned with white teeth.

*rubs hands together with glee*

The Bram Stoker Awards

The Bram Stoker Awards are given annually by the Horror Writers Association, to acknowledge excellence in horror writing.

Best Novel Awards

2005
Dread in the Beast: The Novel by Charlee Jacob
November Mourns by Tom Piccirilli
Creepers by David Morrell
Keepers by Gary A Braunbeck

2004
Deep in the Darkness by Michael Laimo
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
The Wind Caller by Patricia D Cacek
In the Night Room by Peter Straub (winner)

2003
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
The Hour Before Dark by Douglas Clegg
The Night Class by Tom Piccirilli (winner)

2002
The Lost by Jack Ketchum
From the Dust Returned: A Family Remembrance by Ray Bradbury
Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (winner)

2001
The Indifference of Heaven by Gary A Braunbeck
The Deceased by Tom Piccirilli
Silent Children by Ramsey Campbell
The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club by Brian A Hopkins
The Travelling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon (winner)

2000
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
Darker Than Night by Owl Goingback
Hexes by Tom Piccirilli
Mr. X by Peter Straub (winner)

1999
Fog Heart by Thomas Tessier
Darker Angels by S P Somtow
Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz
Bag of Bones by Stephen King (winner)

1998
The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
Earthquake Weather by Tim Powers
Children of the Dusk by Janet Berliner (winner)

1997
The Hellfire Club by Peter Straub
Crota by Owl Goingback
Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite
The Green Mile by Stephen King (winner)

1996
Widow by Billie Sue Mosiman
Deadrush by Yvonne Navarro
Bone Music by Alan Rodgers
Zombie by Michael Slade (winner)

1995
From the Teeth of Angels by Jonathan Carroll
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
Insomnia by Stephen King
Dead in the Water by Stuart Woods (winner)

1994
Blackburn by Bradley Denton
The Throat by Peter Straub (winner)

1993
Hideaway by Dean Koontz
Death Grip by Brian Hodge
Homecoming by Matthew J Costello
Children of the Night by Dan Simmons
The Blood of the Lamb by Thomas F Monteleone (winner)

1992
The Waste Lands by Stephen King
Needful Things by Stephen King
The M.D.: A Horror Story by Thomas M Disch
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
Boy’s Life by Robert R McCammon (winner)

1991
Savage Season by Joe R Lansdale
Reign by Chet Williamson
Funland by Richard Laymon
Mine by Robert R McCammon (winner)

1990
The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R McCammon
Midnight by Dean Koontz
In a Dark Dream by Charles L Grant
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (winner)

1989
Flesh by Richard Laymon
The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
The Drive-In by Joe R Lansdale
Black Wind by F Paul Wilson
Stinger by Robert R McCammon
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (winner)

1988
Unassigned Territory by Kem Nunn
Live Girls by Ray Garton
Ash Wednesday by Chet Williamson
Misery by Stephen King (winner)
Swan Song by Robert R McCammon (winner)