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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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.

Reading in Baltimore

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Please hop over to the Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast website and look at this place.  It’s the cutest and has the best theme ever:  literary.  They are a highly rated B&B that is in a wonderful section of Baltimore within walking distance of great shopping, food and one of my favorite museums The American Visionary Arts Museum.

Don’t forget to check out their packages page – one of them includes some theatre and dinner and flowers.

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Scarborough has graciously offered to host a reading of Red August just in time for the holidays.  Also, did you know that you could get a room discount of 30% until March!?  Trust me, I don’t even live that far from Baltimore, but I got the Grimm room (I mean, seriously – how could I NOT stay in the Grimm room?) for Will’s birthday a couple of years ago and we loved it.  We kicked around town all day and then rather than driving back, we lounged around in our room, being sweet to each other and eating Dangerously Delicious blueberry birthday pie.   Then to top off the amazing decadence of it all, we got to eat the wonderful breakfasts that Barry makes.  Everything was fresh and homemade.

They also have a sampling of locally made items near the entrance – including locally roasted coffee and scarfs and stuff.

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Erica Smith & William Hardy

The reading in Baltimore will be an expansion of our last reading at The New Deal Cafe.  Actors Erica Smith and William Hardy will be reading passages for about an hour. The theatre in one of the packages mentioned above?  That theatre is Spotlighters, which William Hardy (who also happens to be an amazing writer, and my lovah) used to perform pretty regularly at years ago.  Baltimore is full of great stuff.

There will be some hot cider and traditional Scottish black bun (a Hogmanay tradition) as well as other refreshments.  Stop by for the reading, check out the B&B and then go shopping.

There is a Facebook Events Page for this event.

December 5th  from 1-3pm
at Scarborough Fair Bed and Breakfast801 South Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Inheritance

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Philyra rests next to the books on the table, where she isn’t supposed to be.

I’m a divorced woman who spent a majority of her 20 year relationship with her ex-husband at home with her children.  When my marriage came to an end I felt vulnerable, financially.  I felt broken, emotionally.  This is a story told over and over again by women.  It’s nothing new or shocking, even if some of the details are. It’s a story of betrayal and low self-esteem.  Of things happening I wished I could change, but later was glad they didn’t.  It’s nothing thousands of women don’t go through each year, some to a greater and lesser extent.  That fact used to make me feel like a stupid statistic.  Like I’d fallen into a foreseeable trap by my own foolishness.  I see it differently now.  Instead, I feel a part of something as though that shared pain brings me closer to a sisterhood.  It means I’m not alone.

I’ve always been a feminist and an advocate for women, in part because I have daughters and in part because of my own history as a victim of various types of abuses.  And despite feeling close to all women sometimes, at other times I feel the distance, too.  Yet, I’m not always aware of it when I’m feeling disconnected.  Probably because I can be introverted in long stretches.  I think I was feeling inside my own bubble when I picked up two books in a row that re-focused my feeling of being connected to women out there in the world.  Not just the ones alive today, but all those who have ever lived.  I feel my place in the universe, one planet among galaxies of women.  With my own gravity.  With my own landscape of barren deserts and rich ecosystems green with life and beauty.  I have my own orbit and satellites in orbit around me, as well.

It started off with checking out The Red Tent by Anita Diamant from the library on my Kindle.  You can read my Good Reads review of The Red Tent HERE.  By the time I finished that, I was lucky enough that Wild by Cheryl Strayed had become available to check out.  You can read my Good Reads review of Wild HERE.

Just a couple of days after I finished Wild I decided to order it and The Red Tent as gifts for my daughters.  Paper versions.  Objects they can hold in their hands and feel the paper under their fingertips as they flip each page.  A sort of prayer that connects them to all the things that make them sisters, not just with each other, but all other women.  And probably a memory years from now when I’m gone, of what has gone before them and what they want to do to affect what comes after them.  To remind them of their connection to this world.  And also, that they don’t need to fall apart when I die.

This is the most valuable inheritance I have for them.  I lay in bed last night imaging the letters I would write to my daughters to accompany these gifts.  Should I share valuable (to me) bits of advice?  Should I apologize for my shortcomings as a mother?  I composed until I fell asleep and woke up to sunbeams on the bed with my cat laying next to me.  And I thought about Dinah in Egypt and her first experiences with cats.  Coincidentally, my cat, Kali, is Egyptian and from a long line of sacred females, as well.

Kali the Abyssinian napping in the sunbeams on my bed.

Kali the Abyssinian napping in the sunbeams on my bed.