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.

The Hound and the Hedgehog: A Radio Play

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This is the handmade cover for the original “The Hound and the Hedgehog” which was made out of a Harry Potter book that fell apart.  I later acquired a stuffed hedgehog and gave him the features of our lovable and fearless Pokey.

Weatherhill and Raven Heights Radio Presents

The Hound and the Hedgehog
Written by William Hardy
Script Adaptation by Heather Brooks & William Hardy
Directed by Heather Brooks

Private eye Don Keyhote knew he was in for it the minute he laid eyes on the gorgeous dame in the red dress who walked into his office that gray December day. But what starts out as a lost pet case turns into a whole kennel full of trouble for the doubtful gumshoe as he encounters a shifty bird, a hulking gorilla, and a slippery weasel—not to mention a hedgehog who’s handy with a cocktail sword—in this semi-hardboiled shaggy dog story.

The Players
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William Hardy as P.I. Don Keyhote & Pokey

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Erica Smith as Heather Fields (the Woman in Red) & Myra

Robin Elaine, Erica Winter & Heather Brooks as Ferret, Monk, Detective Brannigan and sound effects.

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Coming for the holidays is a fun little radio play that has been adapted from an adorable book written by William Hardy.

“The Hound and the Hedgehog” was a short story written for me as a gift one fine winter holiday season several years ago.  It contains lots of little inside jokes, like many of the animals mentioned happen to look a bit like our family pets.  Not to mention (though it seems I am mentioning it) the damsel in distress is named Heather and she bears a striking resemblance to another Heather you might have heard of (me) before I let my hair go white and pink and cut it all off.

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This is Hera.  She used to live with me when I had a house and a yard and my family was still all together.  She now lives with Robin in the most doggiest of happy dog havens.  Hera is part hound and therefore sort of a mascot for “The Hound and the Hedgehog,” even if the hound in the story is the gumshoe.

I think about this little story every holiday and Will reads it to our family (at my pressing) from time to time because it’s just short enough to do that.  My love of radio plays, which started with Seeing Ear Theatre’s production of Snow Glass Apples written by Neil Gaiman, had me thinking maybe I’d like to be involved with a radio play some day.  Then, after a couple of podcasts with Raven Heights Radio I read some of “The Hound and the Hedgehog” to Raven Heights mastermind and podcast goddess Erica Winter and asked her if she thought she’d be interested in it as a voice play.  She loved the story and the idea, and so we thought it would make a good bit of story-time around the holidays.  Partly because some of it takes place around the holidays and partly because it’s family friendly and fun.

We’re set to have a rehearsal in a couple of weeks, then we will record in early December.  Erica tells me she will be putting it on the Raven Heights website right before the holidays.

Below are some of the other animals that make cameos in the story.

 

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Copyright 2015 Weatherhill

Late Night Driving

Went on a late night drive with Will. He was restless and happy when he came home from rehearsal. Hair mussed up from his moon roof, chilled-neck hug and then a pat on my backside. “Let’s go on a drive,” he said.  “I want to take you out somewhere.  I don’t know if anything is open, but the night is amazing and I want to take you out.  Maybe we can just drive and find a little place.  Soft-serve maybe.  Maybe pie.”

I said I didn’t think we’d find any soft-serve, but maybe we could find a diner and some pie.  “Yes, let’s go.  I’d love to take a ride with you.”

Cool and humid night air.  Windows down. Talking about stuff we did when we were kids and why we’re always trying to capture that wonder you feel when you discovered something new. The roads were empty and nothing was open. Missed the I-Hop by ten minutes. We’d pass clumps of trees filled with singing insects, then buildings covered in windows, lights on, but no life inside. End of the world, but not.  Empty parking lots. Parts of Route 1 smooth as butter all black and shiny, other parts pocked and shaking the car. We were holding hands and saying I love you, too many times (if there is a such thing, when you mean it, and we did).

Hardly anybody was driving like a jerk and mostly we had the road. It reminded me of being on the road with my family – military, back and forth – California then Virginia, then California, then Virginia, then Texas and Virginia again.  Many hours on the road, watching the streetlights go by.  There was no portable DVD player, just the games my mom and dad made up.  Dad would say, “Hey, there’s a rub-broka,” and we were supposed to figure out what it meant. Mom would toss out “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” questions and my sister and I would play “Paddidle.”  When games grew old it turned to sisters annoying each other.

“Mom, she’s touching me!”

“Stop touching your sister!”

“Mom she’s not on her side!”

“Stay on your side!”

Stopping at I-Hops and Shoney’s and Denny’s on whatever route my dad decided for this trip. There’s something exciting about eating in a nearly empty diner after midnight. That’s still true for me.  A middle-of-night visit to Silver Diner excites some part of me that’s still wild and still seven.  You’re not supposed to eat in the middle of the night.  You’re not supposed to especially eat in the middle of the night at a restaurant.  Always – silver dollar pancakes and “dippy eggs” – usually with milk, or hot chocolate (with whipped cream) if I could convince my parents. There is something decadent about a spherical scoop of whipped butter that spreads neatly over the hotcakes. Mom would eye my syrup portion – I always overdid it, even for a runty beanpole of a kid, she didn’t like my sugar addiction. Grape Nehi, grape-jelly donuts (powdered please), grape Now & Laters, grape Pixie Sticks, grape Tootsie Pops.  I might have had a thing about grape.  I ate a lot and burned it hard and fast, running, climbing, skating, swinging, flipping, jumping – nonstop.

Will and I talked about camping and fishing and he kept laughing and telling me how cute I am, and I held it.  He told me his family went on a lot of camping trips and I tried to count mine.  Not a lot, but enough, I thought.  And for some reason paddle-boats were amazing to me.

He’d rub my thigh with his palm.  We’d talk about the empty buildings.  The lights.

“Does that one look open?”

“I think it closes at midnight.”

“Phone says there’s a Tastee Diner nearby that’s 24 hours.”

“That one’s dinky and really a greasy spoon, you sure you wanna try it?”  He knows more about these things than I do.  He knows these roads.  He knows what everything used to be.

“Maybe not.  I’m fine just driving.  Sorry we can’t find any pie for ya.”  He loves pie.

“It’s ok, I’m fine, too.”

We listened to a podcast we recorded together that had just been posted.  We got home before it was over and we sat in the car, windows down, leaning into each other, listening to us telling the story of how we met.

Now we’re both back in the house, distracted by pixels and electronic machines.  But I’m going to end this now and go climb into bed with the love of my life.

Good night.

Red August Quote – Healing

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Find out where to order Red August HERE

Red August Quote – Heart Holes

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Find out where to order Red August HERE

Red August Quote – Be Yourself

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Find out where to order Red August HERE

Red August Quote – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Find our where you can order Red August HERE

Red August Quotes – Paths

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Find places to order Red August HERE

ALL the Red Riding Hood – Part I

In going through twitter and Instagram promoting my version of Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve come across many others.  I thought I would do a few blog entries to provide links to them.  If ever finish editing my book and have time to READ a book, I’ll have a handy list of Red Riding Hood adaptations.  I’m not specifically recommending any of them, I’m just providing the list.

Let’s kick this post off with a link to National Geographic’s article about the varied origins of Little Red Riding Hood.

Just click on the covers to go to the websites.

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