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10 Things you Might Want to Know about “Red August”

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Guest post by Greenbelter H.L. Brooks, author of Red August –  a “sexy fantasy romance adaptation of Red Riding Hood set in 1980s Maryland.”


When I was invited to do a guest post for this blog that was related to my debut novel, Red August, I tried to imagine what people might want to know about the novel, so I came up with this “Ten Things You Might Want to Know” list, inspired by questions about the book from friends and fellow Greenbelters.

  1. Red August took about two years to write.  My friend and fellow Greenbelter, Xochi, arranged meetings to encourage a small group of us to list and meet goals, then we would check in with each other about how far we’d gotten on our goals.  That was in October 2013 and I decided I wanted to write and publish a book.  The meetings helped me get things rolling and stay on task, and also provided much-needed moral support at times when I was struggling.
  2. Red August is available starting today – August 19th!  I don’t know yet if and when there will be print copies.  You can visit my website to keep tabs on things like that.
  3. You do NOT need a Kindle or Nook to read the e-book.  Here on Amazon there’s a link below the cover image to apps you can download for FREE to read the book on your computer or device.
  4. I attended archery class taught by “Doc” through the Greenbelt Parks & Recreation Department last year to help me write about the archery parts in the story in a more informed way.  The class was fun and educational, and I even got one of Doc’s coveted faux “eagle talon” pendants for hitting a bullseye.
  5. Red August is a modern adaptation of Red Riding Hood set in a small town in Maryland.  While the town of Mahigan Falls is fictional, it is a composite of several small, main street towns in Maryland.  The word Mahigan means “wolf” in Algonquin.
  6. I set out to write an erotic short story of about 10,000 words.  The criteria for the erotica genre is that the story has to be primarily about sex and if you remove the sex from the story, it falls apart.  After I got a few chapters into my first draft of Red August, I realized that I couldn’t just write the lusty, sexy bits.  I kept wanting to put feelings and complex interactions into the mix.  I started to care about the characters and I wanted to add several other characters who would have derailed the erotic genre entirely for the project.  Now that the story is complete it’s considered Fantasy Romance, though iBooks puts it under Paranormal.  The book ended up at around 92,000 words.
  7. Even though most people wouldn’t think of romance as feminist, this is a feminist story written by a feminist.  I like my female protagonists to be strong and self-possessed.  I also like there to be mutual rescuing of both genders, by both genders.  I’m sure I won’t fill in the box on every feminist’s checklist, but I feel good about what I’ve done with this story.
  8. The foundation of the story is about love.  Not just romantic love, but all kinds of love, and the ways people try to love each other.  It’s also about all of the rules and boundaries society applies to who we can and cannot love—some legitimate and reasonable, some not—and what happens when you try and force people apart when they are in love, or together when they aren’t.
  9. There is already a second book in the works.  I plan to release Red Archer next year this time next year.  There are several books planned for the series.
  10. There is a heavy Scottish and Celtic influence in the story.  My husband, who is also a writer, is of Scottish heritage and I have always had some unknown draw to the culture, myself. My family heritage hails from Gloucestershire, England. 

To Order

You can order the e-book for $3.99 at the following links: Amazon  iBooks  Barnes & Nobel  Kobo or  Smashwords

Reading at New Deal Cafe

There will be a reading from Red August at The New Deal Café on Sunday, November 1st from 1-3 pm.hl

Click here to listen to a podcast interview on Raven Heights Radio about Red August.

Red August 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 sexy 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.

Author Bio

H.L. Brooks is a writer of fiction and is a longtime lover of fairy tales.  She also writes on such topics as art, music, feminism, body acceptance and beauty standards.

She has had a presence on the internet since the late 1990s, first publishing an arts-related homepage that eventually gave way to a blog in 2002.  In 2004 she founded a website dedicated to the local art scene in parts of Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia, writing features and reviews on music, theatre, and art shows.  Later, she served as a staff journalist for an online news source in Southern Maryland.

She is a resident of Greenbelt, Maryland, where she lives in a tiny little tree castle with her fairy tale prince.

You can find her sensual writing practice in the Sensual Sunday micro-stories on her blog.

Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV.

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