Pride and Love

pride

Pride is a good time to talk about who we are “supposed” to love. Who we are “supposed” to have sex with. I love writing fantasy stories because you can talk about all sorts of things that are hard to talk about. Plus, when you start with a classic fairy tale, some of the framework is all set up. So if you’re telling a story about different kinds of magical creatures, it’s a little easier to say a Hunter shouldn’t be with a Lycan because that’s not as anchored in the “real world.” In fantasy and supernatural stories you can talk about things indirectly in a way that removes the real world politics that are already in place.

I do have a gay and a bisexual character in my Red August series and I hope that when readers who might not normally be open to that idea will see the parallels between saying one species of magical otherkin shouldn’t be with another  – or with a human – it begs the question: why does it matter? If you’re rooting for the wolf and the non-wolf to get together, maybe you should be rooting for love instead of being concerned about which gender loves which. How does it hurt you if a wolf falls in love with a shifter? How does it hurt you if a woman loves a woman? How does it hurt you if a person’s biological sex doesn’t fit the gender they choose? It doesn’t hurt you at all. It challenges some of your beliefs, sure. I get that. I didn’t always know or understand all of those things. I sometimes reacted badly to new information. But challenging your beliefs is not the same as it hurting you. Show some grace and let people live their lives. It is hard to take in new information, but once you do try and allow yourself to change your mind.

Once upon a time I got very defensive about my use of yoni (vulva) imagery in my artwork. I upset some people by trying to over-explain why it mattered to me and I didn’t mean anything bad by it. But I couldn’t grasp the deeper issue because I personally had never dealt with it. Through that experience I eventually came to realize the below image would have really helped me. Why didn’t I think of it right away on my own? Because I was being reactive. Feeling attacked. But I stepped into a conversation I really should have not stepped into so defensively to begin with. I should have stepped in with more curiosity and less defensiveness. One thing some people will eventually learn is that the older you get the more things you will have to adapt to if you want to grow as a person. Things change over time. Change can be hard. But if it makes the world a better place, it’s worth it.

This below image is one I found on Facebook. It doesn’t have a credit, so if you know who made it, please let me know! I feel like it’s a really good representation of what I’m talking about and it’s a great image to share. Thank you, whoever did it!

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Guest Blog by Natasha Lane

When Natasha and I spoke about her doing a guest blog entry on my blog I was very excited to have her voice speak through this conduit. She’s always been energetic and thoughtful about her approach to writing in the year I have known her. She has a video series on Youtube as well as your usual social media outlets. I suggest you follow her because she is bursting with ideas, and enthusiasm, which can be quite contagious.

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tasha
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Why the Literary World Needs Fantasy

By Natasha Lane

It’s no secret that when it comes to writing being considered literature, fantasy gets a swift kick in the head. Often so far stretched from reality, many snobs out there don’t consider any fantasy novel worthy of being called literature. “Lord of the Rings” is one of the most renowned book series in the world, some would even say it set the foundation for epic fantasy adventure, yet there are still those who would never equate it to works like “Pride & Prejudice” and Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Continue reading

Supernatural Summer Reading 2017

Hello mortals! If you’re in Maryland and like vampire and werewolf stories, you will definitely want to come to Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast on July 22nd to enjoy short readings and follow-up discussions with authors H.L. Brooks (that’s me!) and Dea Schofield. We will be reading some short excerpts from our latest books. There will also be some light refreshments and a door prize for one lucky winner. If you are a book blogger, vlogger, or bookstagrammer, send me a note if you can come by and we will hook you up with a swag bag.

TIME:
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
4pm-5:30pm

PLACE:
Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast in Baltimore, MD
http://www.scarboroughfairbandb.com

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Amazon, you hit like a bitch.

This is a pretty sad state of affairs.

The Never Ending Book Basket

It’s taken me a bit of time to write this post, but I figured it’s about time to share the utter nonsense that’s happened between me and Amazon, and how a company that I once highly respected, has now become one that I have zero respect for.

I’ve thought about writing this post for weeks, what I would say and how I would capture everything that’s happened, and I’ll be honest with the fact that this post has taken on many forms, but finally I decided that it would just be easiest to state the facts.

So here it goes…

IMG_0376 This is the first email I got from Amazon. As some of you know, on February 24th I was sent an email from Amazon letting me know that I could no longer post reviews on their website, and that all of my previous reviews had been suppressed or removed…

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Micro Fairy Tales

I have been writing micro-stories that are based on images I find in my feed. So far Faerie Magazine has been the source, but I see many things on a daily basis that get me inspired. Here are a couple of micro-fairy tales. Perhaps they are just a nip of something much bigger. You never know. I post them on my Facebook page, so if you wish to catch them, that’s the best place to do it. I can’t promise they will always end up here. PLUS, at the FB page you can click all those little links and learn about the models and the photographers and stuff. Which you TOTES wanna do!  🙂

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Reading in Baltimore – 3 and 4 of 4

These are excerpts from the book Red August, by H.L. Brooks – read by actors Erica Smith and Will Hardy. It is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Nobel and iBooks, among other places. Links can be found at http://www.hlbrooks.com

In this scene Red/August has been meeting her handsome neighbor near the stream that runs down their properties. They read books and discuss them.

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This reading took place at Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast in Baltimore, Maryland.

http://www.scarboroughfairbandb.com/

*This is an abridged version meant to be read out loud.

Book Synopsis

What if you found out that you were descended from a long line of clandestine fighters, and that your family was still at war? Or that the love of your life was something other than human? August Archer thinks she’s a normal teenage girl—even though she has been having disturbing and erotic dreams about wolves lately. Still grieving over the loss of her bookish, charming father, and wondering over his final gift of a red hooded cloak, August is uprooted from her New York City apartment to a tiny town in Maryland, and the rambling Victorian house where he grew up. There she meets a wise woman with a gift for herbal medicine, the gentle old man who keeps the house in repair and the grounds thriving, and her new neighbor: an enigmatic, irresistibly fascinating man who refuses to talk to her, yet who seems to know her better than she knows herself, and fuels her most intense romantic fantasies. But it’s when August begins to coax her feisty Scottish grandmother out of her self-imposed catatonia that a strange tale of werewolves and hunters emerges—one in which the man of her dreams may be her family’s oldest enemy—in this modern-day telling of the Red Riding Hood story.

 

Reading in Baltimore – 2

This is the second of four videos of Erica Smith and Will Hardy reading excerpts from Red August.

In this chapter, titled Talking to Strangers, August/Red is working at an apothecary in town, of which “Wolf” is a customer.  He enters the shop and August hides when she sees him.  This is their second encounter, the first being on Halloween night the year before.  That night August immediately felt attracted to her new neighbor, but he wouldn’t give her his name.  He didn’t even shake her hand when she tried to introduce herself, telling her they couldn’t be friends in such a small town.

You can watch the first video in my previous post, or go to YouTube HERE.

This reading was done at the lovely Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast in Baltimore.

Book Synopsis

What if you found out that you were descended from a long line of clandestine fighters, and that your family was still at war? Or that the love of your life was something other than human? August Archer thinks she’s a normal teenage girl—even though she has been having disturbing and erotic dreams about wolves lately. Still grieving over the loss of her bookish, charming father, and wondering over his final gift of a red hooded cloak, August is uprooted from her New York City apartment to a tiny town in Maryland, and the rambling Victorian house where he grew up. There she meets a wise woman with a gift for herbal medicine, the gentle old man who keeps the house in repair and the grounds thriving, and her new neighbor: an enigmatic, irresistibly fascinating man who refuses to talk to her, yet who seems to know her better than she knows herself, and fuels her most intense romantic fantasies. But it’s when August begins to coax her feisty Scottish grandmother out of her self-imposed catatonia that a strange tale of werewolves and hunters emerges—one in which the man of her dreams may be her family’s oldest enemy—in this modern-day telling of the Red Riding Hood story.

Reading in Baltimore – 1

There was a reading of Red August at Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast in Baltimore this past Saturday.  Actors Erica Smith and Will Hardy read excerpts from the book and we enjoyed warm cider with a tiny audience.

This particular excerpt is one of about four I will post.

The excerpts I chose include those where August and Faolan have interaction.  I came to realize that the excerpts may give the impression that the book is straight romance, but it’s a fairy tale adaption of Red Riding Hood set in 1980s small town Maryland.

Find out where to buy Red August by visiting HLBrooks.com.

VIDEO INFO

This is an excerpt from the book Red August, by H.L. Brooks – read by actors Erica Smith and Will Hardy.  It is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Nobel and iBooks, among other places.  Links can be found at http://www.hlbrooks.com

In this scene Red and her handsome neighbor meet for the first time.  She is new to town.  She’s had a rough several months, including having been assaulted by somebody, which she is trying to heal from.  On this night she watches something kind of naughty on TV and falls asleep and wakes up restless in the middle of the night, so goes for a walk along her property.

This reading took place at Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast in Baltimore, Maryland.

http://www.scarboroughfairbandb.com/

*This is an abridged version meant to be read out loud.

Book Synopsis

What if you found out that you were descended from a long line of clandestine fighters, and that your family was still at war? Or that the love of your life was something other than human? August Archer thinks she’s a normal teenage girl—even though she has been having disturbing and erotic dreams about wolves lately. Still grieving over the loss of her bookish, charming father, and wondering over his final gift of a red hooded cloak, August is uprooted from her New York City apartment to a tiny town in Maryland, and the rambling Victorian house where he grew up. There she meets a wise woman with a gift for herbal medicine, the gentle old man who keeps the house in repair and the grounds thriving, and her new neighbor: an enigmatic, irresistibly fascinating man who refuses to talk to her, yet who seems to know her better than she knows herself, and fuels her most intense romantic fantasies. But it’s when August begins to coax her feisty Scottish grandmother out of her self-imposed catatonia that a strange tale of werewolves and hunters emerges—one in which the man of her dreams may be her family’s oldest enemy—in this modern-day telling of the Red Riding Hood story.