Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Ways To Get Free Stuff + Reviews

Quick update on the little "Jealousy" short freebie. You can still get it as a pdf or htm file from my box.net folder, of course. But as of today, it's also available in multiple formats as a Smashwords edition and for reading or downloading at Goodreads. So if you've been kinda iffy about downloading it from me directly, prefer ePub, etc etc, this one's for you.

I've also created a Free Reads page, since this is something I'll do every now and then, and I like to keep things tidy. For now, it's just "Jealousy", but there will of course be more in the coming months. I like free stuff as much as the next person, what can I say.

In other news, I've been adding reviews for Equilibrium to the page as they've come in. So far people seem cool with the absolute dorkiness of the thing. And by "the thing" I think I mean "Hansen".

Here's the list, so far:
Beatrice @ MM Good Book Reviews - 4 (of 5) hearts
Raine @ Reviews by Jessewave - 4+ (of 5) stars (Also a recommended read for September)
Midia @ The Romance Reviews 4 (of 5) stars

Thank you, kind reviewers and readers of all sorts, for taking the time to check out my first release. You make my life.

PS - Equilibrium is 2 months old today! Awwww...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Free Short -- Excessively Sweet

Just in time for the weekend -- assuming your weekend starts Friday. (What, doesn't it? Er...)

Thanks to Raven the Wonderful Editrix, here's a free short story featuring Hansen and Sam, post-Equilibrium. It's pure fluff-and-smut bonus content, meant to go with your morning coffee or late afternoon martini. It's called: "Jealousy: A Love Story", and you can have it as a pdf or a web page (in a zipped folder), whatever floats your boat.



Oooh, flash widget not workin for you? Yeah, I use an iPad, too. Here are the download links:

Jealousy HTM (zip file)
Jealousy PDF

I tested these babies on my computer and iPad, but please let me know if they give you any crap.

And just in case: no, it won't ruin the book for you, if you haven't read it. It does spoil the "Will we see HEA?" suspense... but seeing as I've flat out said I'm all about the HEA, not much of a spoiler, right? Right!

Happy spirit day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

FAQs and Other Fun Things

I've collected quite a lot of questions over the last few months, especially once a second book was announced. These have come from my family, my friends (both romance readers and those who usually don't touch the stuff, but have made an exception for me -- thank you!), and fabulous readers. I'm grateful for these questions, because my bio page was pathetic -- but now I've added a Superpowered Love FAQ, and talking about books is more interesting. So while I'm not completely sure it's riveting, it's at least marginally more amusing. Yay!

And as a quick reminder, RIOT BOY excerpts appeared this weekend. If you haven't seen, go and check them out. There will be more when the time for the release party comes, but until then, these should give you some idea of the guys who will serve as our intrepid, er, heroes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Riot Boy Excerpts

Some colorful new excerpts have just been added to the RIOT BOY page. Yay! So if you're interested in a sneak peak into Etienne's brain, odd though it is, he is very happy to provide. There are two short bits, rated PG and R. But don't be fooled, that's just the beginning.

Riot Boy: Punk rock, Rimbaud, handcuffs, and supervillains. All the important things in life. Obviously.

And coming soon. Oh so very soon. As in weeks, rather than months!

(What? Me? Nervous? Noooooooo.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Inspired (Part 1?)

I'm bored of talking about myself, so let's talk about other people. Awesome. I asked for input last week after my own little venture into character/place inspiration, and a surprising amount of readers and writers had posts for me to read, said they would write one in the future, emailed, tweeted, etc. Today I'm going to collect the first couple -- the ones that were ready to go. I'll do it again in a month or two when some of the people in brain recovery and/or still searching for theirs have em. Hell maybe it'll be a regular thing.

So, before I do this, I want to point out that I am an equal opportunity romance reader: historical, queer, straight/cis, menage, erotic, unfulfilled, steampunk, scifi, smut, humor, even angsty bloody teardrop emo vampire romance -- okay, I'm more likely to pick up something with a historical or speculative element than a contemporary, but that's just cuz I'm an unabashed genre nerd. So with that disclaimer in place, check these out:

Kirsty Logan. Kirsty writes incredible things -- she writes about all sorts of things, but she hits you in the heart. I first got to meet her when she did a... sort of supershort epistolary lesbian vampire erotica piece (complete with beautiful Abigail Larson catalogue illustrations!) at The Red Penny Papers: Pullen & Bumber's Catalogue of Particulars.

Kirsty does a series on her blog called Thievery about her inspirations -- and I can't believe I forgot this, because I distinctly recall reading the "Girl A" piece about halfway down the first page right now not long after I got to work with her at RPP and falling in love with it. The most recent entry is one about her award-winning story "Underskirts", the lovely Susie, and the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Please to read it here, because it's fabulous.

Belinda McBride. Belinda is a busy, busy woman, if you haven't noticed. She's just had Blacque/Bleu out in August (this is in my basket already, btw), and this Tuesday saw the release of When I Fall, the sequel to An Uncommon Whore. (Link to the series page, there.) Yeah, I know, right -- and that's just the really recent stuff. So you know she's got some serious head voices going on. 

She was kind enough, in the middle of this whirlwind of awesome, to send me a link to this post: Thursday at the Tire Store. In it, she prettily dissects what goes on in her authorbrain on a rainy afternoon, wrapped up in the awkward, quiet, mostly male atmosphere of -- you guessed it. The tire store. It's a fascinating thing... and uh-huh. That's exactly how it works for me, and most writers I know. ('Cept I wouldn't have put it as prettily. Articulation. I need it.)

Speaking of busy, Jessica Freely. Yeah, so, Broken's the next romance I'm reading, if anyone wants to know. I clearly need to add Amaranth & Ash to the list because... guys. Guys, the post she linked me? It could not have been more perfect. It's actually called Rorschach Rocks My World. Bonus read -- totally click through to the article Rorschach Doesn't Do Dirty Communist Liberal Gender article she links from a Bryn Mawr course.

(Okay, I'm gonna talk about myself a little after all: I love Rorschach. So does Sam. Just sayin.)

Louise Bohmer is -- well, like me. Her work is split between horror and erotica, and the wires get crossed now and then. She's working on a collection of her erotica shorts as L. Bohmer right now (yeah, so, I was lucky to get an early look and... yum), and when she unleashes it on the public, I'll be sure and have her stop by to talk about it in depth. Click through to the post for the delicious cover.

She left a telling comment on my original blog post confessing to an affection for cheesy 80s videos... and hair. But if you've seen my playlists, you know I really have no room to mock.

Last month she did a post called Falling In Love With Characters Again -- another one I can't believe I didn't think of instantly, as I made an extensive comment on it at the time. I don't think that before that post I knew she was a fellow pervy horror person, as I'd only read her wonderful horror-sans-perv. Well, as close as it gets, anyhow. ;) Oh, now I know. I adore her story of character rediscovery... and the visuals are nice, too.

And Lisa Kessler. Lisa is a paranormal guru, my friends. I met her via the first Vampire Awareness Month ages ago, and through her seductive combination of vampires and music -- two things that really ought to be together always, but more on that another time -- the Stoker Nominated "Immortal Beloved". (It's a two-parter, but the second part, I think you gotta buy the book. Good book, though!)

Lisa has loads of other romance going around -- right now, most notably, I think she'd point to Book one in her Night Series (vampire-esque, but there's more to it than that), Night Walker. I don't have a post to link you, but we had an awfully fun email exchange on the subject, and yep -- music, music, music:

Yeah I usually have songs that remind me of the hero and heroine on the playlist...

For Night Walker I had "I want to spend my lifetime loving you" from Marc Anthony for Calisto, and "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge for Kate (especially since she spent the entire end of the book almost dying!) LOL

Then the bulk of the playlist was the Mask of Zorro soundtrack.  It was very Spanish sounding and dark and heroic.  It really helped me keep in the mood of the book.

I'm editing Night Demon now, and Lukas and Gretchen have two theme songs each! LOL  Lukas is "If I can't Love Her" from Beauty & the Beast and "Broken" from Seether.  And Gretchen's are "Falling Slowly" by Linda Eder and "My Immortal" from Evanescence.  The rest of the playlist has most of the soundtrack from Apocalyto and a few songs from the new Fright Night soundtrack.  Very dark and scary.
Yeah. That sounds familiar. Except she has better taste than me. Oh, and Calisto plays piano, so we get those tracks in too, I've been told. As someone who has done very similar things, listening to a piece over and over when it's actually in the scene... I feel you, man.

Sooo yeah, that's enough for this time. I just had to share because this is pure awesome. Anyone else has any, hit me and I'll save em up for next time. Published, unpublished, whatever. These stories are great.

Man, the places the voices take us...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sneak Attack Riot Boy Excerpt: That Title

Warning: strong language in this post. Which is the same as most of my posts. But fair is fair.

Apart from the general concept, there's specific reason the next book is called RIOT BOY. So the first excerpt is more of an explanatory snippet. Bonus content: tacking on a snippet that explains the alternate title that, believe it or not, The Editrix and I actually considered. I like RIOT BOY lots, but the other title is pretty awesome too.

So here we go, the reason Etienne refers to Brady as Riot Boy before he knows his name. (Random note: Susanne is Et's big sister.)

I looked to the other end of the bar. Now those guys didn’t belong. Black and white clothes, hair gel, skinny pants, and tattoos for all, metal in their faces for some. One of the metal-free guys looked up, eyes flashing with the electric blue glow above the bar, and caught my glance. He smiled, wolfish and cunning, his long bangs falling artfully over his face, tight gray T-shirt stenciled in black spray paint to read: RIOT GEAR.
An old trick from the Clash -- good taste. I was out of practice with the eye-fucking, but it’s funny how fast it comes back when someone’s worth a good, hard look. Handsome somewhere under that hair, all hard lines and broad shoulders but lean like a panther. Took me a good five seconds to realize his eyes were so striking because they were painted up with black liner.
“Don’t flirt with the gutter trash, Et.” Susanne elbowed me in the ribs.
“You introduced me to punk at twelve. If I’m looking at --”
“It was a phase.”

You can probably guess the alternate title from this tiny snippet:


Susanne grimaced over her beer. “Willoughby Spit.” That pretty much said it all.
Lucy snerked and kicked me under the table. She was tarted up again and looking great. Suse had on a Penguins T-shirt this time, but it was a fitted girly blue one, so it set off her eyes. She only wore that color when she wanted to make a good impression; however, since I liked my limbs intact, I kept the observation to myself. Lucy wasn’t complaining, either.
“They’re good, I promise,” I said.
“So you say.” Lucy winked and looked over my shoulder. Her mouth fell open, and then she laughed. “Oh, God.”
Before I could investigate, there were arms twined around my neck and lips against my ear. A kiss, then Brady said, “Hey, sweetheart.”
As he pulled away, I turned, grinning ear to ear. “Hey, Brady --”
I halted when I saw his shirt, mostly because I was laughing too hard to continue. My face went hot, from 98.6 to 200 degrees in a second flat. It wasn’t the only part of my anatomy to react, either.
The shirt was white and clinging, hot as hell on him, of course. But stenciled in spray paint across the chest in the usual blocky lettering were the words: FUCK ME, ETIENNE.
“Tried to convince the band to change our name, but they didn’t go for it. I settled for the shirt.” He smirked, slipping into the chair next to me. He reached across the table for Suse’s hand. “You must be Susanne.”

While I think most people would secretly -- or not-so-secretly -- like to read a book called FUCK ME, ETIENNE, it's probably a bad idea for people who surf for books at work. I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble here.

Except Etienne. Obviously.

The other title we liked was L'ENFANT TERRIBLE. But that's another story for another time. But seriously, real excerpts next week on the RIOT BOY page. <3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Riot Boy: Covered

You may see it over there on the sidebar -- you can get a better look at it on the RIOT BOY page. But I'm gonna post it again because my god, it is cool.

Haha, punny. Sorry. Just -- the ice is so pretty. Oh, and the dudes too. Obvs.


P.L. Nunn. I mean, that's really all I can say. Just, P.L. Nunn.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Collecting Inspiration

ETA Oct 9: If anyone out there has similar blog entries on inspiration, be it initial inspiration or continued inspiration for a character, place, whatever -- please hit me with a link. If blogger is a jerk and won't let you comment, email kate AT kateyhawthorne DOT com. I am sick of talking about myself, and would like to do a link collection post on the subject soon. You guys are more interesting. (If you have no current blog post, just email me the story and details -- I'll write it up and include it and link to you and your stuff!)

I, like pretty much every reader and writer I know, collect inspiration. Some people start with a world or a plot. I tend to start with a character or three and build things around them. Often, as when dealing with something as complex as a whole world that exists just beneath the surface of my own reality (see: the awakened superpowered folk of whom I often write), that ends up changing the characters a little. Which is cool, because that's how it should be -- environment affects real people, and it ought to affect fictional characters, too.

But it starts with the character, for me. And sometimes it comes from unexpected places.

Sam from EQUILIBRIUM, as I've said before, started with my best friend. She's adopted, and this is not a huge deal. I asked her if she ever wanted to read an adopted character with zero angst about it, whose bio parents did not end up being royal or special or at all relevant to his existence. She said yes, please. And she happens to love erotic romance. That's why the book is dedicated to her.

Hansen from EQUILIBRIUM started with a discussion in the car. My husband was driving me and said best friend to Union Station, and informed us that all relationships must be in Nash Equilibrium. A massive dissection of this theory followed, during which B was drawing diagrams on my white board. I immediately saw this dorky vegan know-it-all trying to explain this to someone, and it was on.

Brady from RIOT BOY is all over the place. There's a story he tells about the advent of his band's name, Willoughby Spit, in the course of the novel -- that actually happened. We were driving to Virginia Beach and came across the exit for Willoughby Spit, which is a real town on the Chesapeake. Little punk rock guitar-playing addict that I am, I'm going, "That's a great name for a punk band!" When Brady popped up, I went and made him the bass player instead of the guitarist, because Paul Simonon was, and is, the hottest punk rocker ever.

Etienne from RIOT BOY happened when I was spending a lot of time in the hospital for family stuff. I was aching for a happy ending and reading RIMBAUD: COMPLETE WORKS AND SELECTED LETTERS, and I had this very clear image of him drinking wine and hiding from the world with it.

Jonah from SCRIPPED* was a woman, at first -- but I already had the other two characters, and realized that the story didn't work unless he was a man. Which, as one might imagine, changed things considerably. He's a non-hero, inspired by old school fairy tales -- the kind where once you're lured into faerie, you're probably better off if you never make it out again. You know the kind I mean. Bit of a kickback against the dangerous Faerie Propaganda of Yeats, really.

They all get injections from elsewhere -- some traceable, some not so much. Sam got my favorite, the "whatever" bisexuality**, which seemed to match up with his "whatever" adopted kid attitude. Hansen got an interest in costume drama and vegetarianism. Brady got a checkered comic book villain past. Et got a high school football career and a cop sister. Jonah got a more timid form of bisexuality, the one that's uncomfortable with itself, but is dragged into the light and finds peace there. Partly because he's younger than Sam, partly because that's just Jonah.

And of course there are the other books, but these are the ones that are out or have a fast-approaching release. So now I'm asking you: what weird things have sparked your characters, places, events? Seemingly inane moments in a day, pictures in a window, music on the radio, anything. Which ones stick out as having been more of a discovery than a creation, just because of their inspiration, to you?

And I'm asking this not just of people with books/stories/whatever out there -- any reader/writer invents all day long. Hit me!

*Okay, this is my upcoming book as KV Taylor, for the record, which means it's more horror than romance -- though most people who've read it have referred to it as a supremely broken paranormal romance, anyhow. But it's relevant here since Jonah's, well, mine.

**Note that I've been meaning to make for some time now: 
I could get into trouble for saying this, but I'm guessing bisexual people probably don't write much GFY. It kind of feels like a denial of our already often denied existence. I know it's not intended that way, and have read and enjoyed plenty of GFY -- mostly because it's natural for me to interpret it as latent bi/pan/whateversexuality finally screaming too loudly -- often due to a deep attraction to one individual, yes -- to be willfully ignored any longer. Which is why I think of it as OFY... now I know the term exists. 

We like it both ways, and for those of us comfy with that, it's totally not a huge deal to go from dating a string of men to our first woman, or vice versa, in either direction. At least, no huger a deal than any new relationship. See also: WHATEVER.