Broken Gait – excerpt

January 19, 2015

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We have an excerpt from “Broken Gait” for your enjoyment! A bit of sweetness and a bit of heat.
Enjoy!

THEY RETURNED from the trail ride in the late afternoon. Both Cayenne and Sen behaved well, and both walked out of the trailer with the relaxed lassitude of those who got to run across the meadows of a large park, knowing their food awaited them. Attila was almost humming with contentment.
Not Kai, though—he felt bowlegged and sore. The long ride taxed his new skills more than he had expected it to, and he could already tell sitting in the saddle, or on any hard surface, would be agonizing for the next day or two.
He untacked Cayenne, brushed him down, and picked his hooves. He then gave him an affectionate pat and left him to his hay and grain. He
moved on to fill the mangers of the other horses while Attila was bringing them in from the paddocks, one by one.
Only once all the work was done and they sat down to their microwaved lasagna leftovers did Attila notice the way Kai winced as his rear settled on the wooden chair.
“What is it? You didn’t pull your back, did you?” Kai shook his head.
“Well?” Attila pressed.
A grin tugged on Kai’s lips. “I guess I shouldn’t ride the day after I’ve been ridden.” Now Kai had the unmitigated pleasure of observing his partner’s reaction.
Attila’s face was frozen aghast. “No! Really? I am so very sorry.” He removed himself from the table and soon returned with a throw pillow from the sofa. “Here. This should help. Did I… did I go too hard last night?”
The question triggered a decisive bodily response in Kai, who only grinned and adjusted himself as he settled on his pillow. “No, I wouldn’t say that,” Kai drawled, taking perverse pleasure in his partner’s consternation. “The walk was fine, the trot was okay because I could post. I think it was the canter up and down the field that did me in. All that friction….”
“Oh, Kai… I feel terrible.”
“It’s okay.”
“Tomorrow we’ll switch horses and do some arena work,” Attila decided. “You can go slow on Sen, and I’ll train Cayenne.”
“He might dump you,” Kai said, giving Attila a dubious look.
Attila shrugged, wiping a nonexistent hair off his forehead. “I don’t think so.” He stood and began clearing the dishes off the table. “In any case, falling is part of riding.”
“And falling for you is part of riding you,” Kai quipped before snagging Attila’s truck keys so he could pick up Grandpa Keleman.
Attila halted in midmotion. He placed the dirty plates back on the table, reached across, and grabbed the lapel of Kai’s shirt. He pulled him in, their lips clashing, teeth scraping, tongues dancing.
CRASH!
They broke apart, startled by the noise and in need of air. The small kitchen table was lying on its side, the round board split in half. Plates lay
in shards on the tiled kitchen floor, and the pickle jar that used to hold
Kai’s dahlias was shattered to pieces.
“Wait, wait don’t tell me,” Kai said. “First we get to make three wishes. Then we clean up.”
“I guess.” Attila sighed, his cheeks still flushed. “Although at this rate, we might have to make do with paper plates.”
“Oh.” Kai bit back a grin. “Yeah. But first I have to rescue the flowers. They are fucking gorgeous, babe.”

BROKEN GAIT: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5465

SWORDFALL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5922

Falling off a horse -Horses vs. Martial Arts

January 19, 2015

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VS
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Kate Pavelle here, celebrating “Broken Gait” which came out in September. And Swordfall, which came out January 9th. I didn’t do much for Broken Gait, and even though it’s selling well, the boys were very upset with me. They crashed the Swordfall party! Asbjorn and Kai shook hands and had this uber-macho, I-can-squeeze-harder-than-you contest. After a while, Attila came over and whispered three words. Just three words, and they stopped. Suggest what three words broke it up, and I’ll sign you up for a free book give-away! (Any book – in case you already have the obvious ones.)
And then Kai was after me to “represent the horse boys” some more. So here we are, talking about Broken Gait while Sean and Asbjorn are looking all huffy over their beer. (We’re drinking “Wild Rock American Ale.” Pleasant but not overly hoppy.”

In order to satisfy both the equestrian and the martial arts camps, I’ll tell you what happened to me few weeks ago. I was riding a new-to-me horse, Gracie. It was windy. We were inside, but the gusts ripped through the arena. I was in two-point, just trotting around at 13mph. That’s when the butt is up and back and the hands are on the horse’s neck, and you jump. You need to practice that position, though, so that’s what I was doing when a gust of wind clanged the metal door of the arena.
Everything happened so slowly, yet so fast.
Gracie teleported from under me. Four feet to my left.
I was falling right-shoulder first, thinking, “I’m falling. So this is what it feels like!”
And then I felt my body take over and do what I’ve spent doing in decades of martial arts practice. (Both Asbjorn and Sean just did a fist-pump. In unison.)
I went with it. Didn’t fight it. Trust the Force, Luke.
I landed in a perfect “breakfall” position: right arm extended, laying on my right side and hip, legs crossed into a letter-4 shape, left arm slapping the dirt in front of me.
Head up. (“Far out,” says Sean. “Bullshit, I always land on my butt,” says Kai.)
My trainer didn’t let me stand up until she checked me over, but I felt glorious. A breakfall! All that training, and I did a breakfall from almost 6-feet up, at 13 mph trot! I got back on and kept riding, and even though I didn’t jump, I cantered, and felt fine.
Until the next day. Boys and girls, I am slightly less kick-ass than I thought I really was. (Attila has a hint of a smile on his face. For him, that’s like a wide grin.)
It turns out that at that level of force, I only *thought* I kept my head up. In reality, my head bounced down and back up again, pulling my neck muscles from skull to shoulder. I didn’t find out till the next day. No wonder my trainer told me to take an ibuprofen :-)

Since I love describing what I’ve actually experienced, I’ll probably slip a good breakfall off horseback into one of my books someday. But I feel really torn. Should I have Sean or Asbjorn fall and use their martial arts skills? Or should one of my horse boys learn how to fall at a local dojo and use it when an emergency arises?
Your suggestions are welcome, and will land your name in the hat for a free e-book copy!

BROKEN GAIT: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5465
SWORDFALL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5922

Reach me on FB under “Kate Pavelle” Twitter under @katepavelle, and at www.katepavelle.wordpress.com for my Thursday Morning Coffee Blog!

Broken Gait – what is it, besides just a book title?

January 19, 2015

Hi, Kate Pavelle here, celebrating “Broken Gait” and it’s September release. A bit late, and I was going to skip it since the book is doing well, but the boys insisted. So, okay. Here I am. So what’s “broken gait?” A break of gait is when a horse in a show changes from one gait to another. LIke if he’s supposed to trot, but he slows to a walk or breaks into a canter. Or if he stops to poop or pee. Seriously, some horses will do that ON PURPOSE and it’s so irritating! Few things are more maddening than going over a jump and almost flying out of the saddle because the horse stopped on a dime before the obstacle and deposited a huge pile. Riders work on horses to train them out of bad habits like these. Poop while off-duty, please.
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Kai is a beginner rider, but he has a infinitely more native talent than I ever will. He’s learning all this because Attila wants to show him off in a horse show. This is Attila’s way of announcing that he is serious about Kai, and Kai will do anything for Attila because Attila is larger-than-life and entirely free of flaws or weaknesses.
Or is he?
Attila was never properly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome. That’s why he’s more comfortable with horses than with most people. And Attila, an expert horseman and trainer, is deathly afraid of crowds. Just braving a horse show again, after all these years, is just a terrifying thing to him. Yet, even the best horse can break gait every so often – and so can the horse trainer. This story is about Kai taking the reins in his hands and helping Attila overcome something that used to cripple his social interactions. Kai grows to manage the operation while things go bad for Attila, but Attila grows even more. He faces his worst fears. Of course, they both emerge victorious. This is a Steel City Story, after all.
I had to overcome a fear of publishing my works in English (my native tongue is Czech.) What fears did you successfully conquer? Drop me a line and get a chance at any one of my e-books, free!

BROKEN GAIT: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5465
SWORDFALL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5922

Broken Gait release party!

January 19, 2015

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Hi, Kate Pavelle here again. I’ll be with you for a few hours tonight to celebrate my September release of Broken Gait. We didn’t do much back then because life was crazy. The characters got mad at me and crashed the Swordfall release party this morning, though, so here we are.
However, life is STILL crazy. I’m sitting in the car in front of my daughter’s school, using school WiFi. I’ll be home in half an hour and then I’ll share more goodies with you all. All responders get put in a bag and shaken, I’ll pull one of you out so you can get a free e-book of your choice, as long as it’s mine (isn’t that a fun visual?) So, respond.Ask questions. I’ll talk to you in half an hour :-)

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Swordfall release party – last excerpt for now!

January 19, 2015

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Hiya all, Kate Pavelle here, pondering the ethics of what Asbjorn did in Swordfall. I’ll be leaving at noon, but will be back at 5pm EST. Thank you for keeping me company for now! For those of you who responded, your names are in the hat for a free drawing of Swordfall. There’ll be another one tonight from 5-11pm.
I’ll leave you with the last excerpt, after which I’ll go swimming, after which I’ll go write a new book from the library. Nothing like a change of scenery. Have a great day, everyone!

SWORDFALL EXCERPT 3

“Asbjorn, I have a meeting with my advisor this afternoon. Would you watch Stella, please?” Nell’s wheaten eyes shone from under her bangs. She didn’t smile, gauging his reaction.
He loved Nell. Surely, a few hours with Stella wouldn’t knock his world out of its orbit. He nodded, resigned to chasing a crawling, cruising baby all around the apartment, reading books to her, building block towers only to have her knock them down amid squeals of glee. When he was with Stella, his hands were too full and his mind too preoccupied – he had no time, no energy to ponder how to best end his worthless life. He hadn’t known that at the time, but both Nell and Dud were counting on just that.

FOR MORE SWORDFALL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5922
Or wherever fine books are sold.
You can reach me at twitter @katepavelle, and FB Kate Pavelle.

Swordfall excerpt and a give-away

January 19, 2015

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The Cliffhanger at Breakfall. I know, my bad. But I had to do it, and I’m not apologizing. The characters tell me what to do. I just make little black marks on the page. Sort of like a medium. Some of you were like, “Wow, I wonder what Asbjorn will do now!” And, yep. This is about what Asbjorn will do now. The excerpt below will hint at how far he’s willing to bend.

SWORDFALL EXCERPT 2

Asbjorn followed Ken’s truck taking Rt. 90 West, bisecting both beltways before they got into a wooded area and pulled over. Asbjorn transferred his gear into the truck and, having left Don’s SUV pulled to the side of the snowy woodland access road, he slid into the passenger seat.
“The lot?”
“The lot.”
Ken drove further south on Rt. 495, pulling off a poorly marked exit. “This area’s more built up than I remember it,” Asbjorn said, eyeing the new mall, the new roads flanked by new houses.
“Fucking urban sprawl. I used to hunt the woods that used to be here,” Ken bit off. “OK. It’s coming up. You hop out and I’ll meet you on the other side of town.”
Asbjorn nodded, snapped on his thin leather gloves, and bailed out of the truck. He walked up a plowed, gravel driveway into a used car parking lot. It wasn’t attended – not in a small town like this on a Sunday afternoon. Freezing wind and blowing snow kept people inside. The weather also lowered visibility.
He liked that. It made his job easier.
Asbjorn walked up to a nondescript, brown Buick. A midsize sedan, pretty old. Nothing special about it. He removed the slim-jim from under his jacket and slid the thin metal between the glass and the door, popping the lock open.
So far so good.
He got inside, his hands reaching under the steering wheel, searching for a familiar tangle of wires.
There. This one, and…this one? No wait. It’d been so long.
He took a deep breath.

The five minutes he took before he exited the parking lot in the stolen vehicle felt like forever. Not stolen – borrowed. Commandeered for a good cause.
He drove through town, obeying the speed limit. He pulled off the shoulder of the road behind Ken’s truck in no time. No houses were in their line of sight; only the forest whispered around them, the limbs creaking in the cold, icy wind.

TO FIND OUT MORE: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5922
TO WIN A FREE COPY: Tell me how far you’d be willing to go to protect your lover from a real and imminent threat.

Swordfall and book research

January 19, 2015

Kate Pavelle here, happy to be here with you fine readers at Swordfall’s release party. (Broken Gait horse boys are here, too – Attila made Kai and Asbjorn stop shaking hands in a show of dominance with just three quiet words. The man’s amazing sometimes.)
So, Swordfall and research. This is Asbjorn’s book and it shows the way he deals with a threat to Sean. Asbjorn is a 5th dan karate practitioner and knows how to use a katana. How did she research that, you might ask? Well…
I’m a 4th dan karate practitioner, and I used to take kenjutsu classes. That’s 20 years ago, and I resumed taking sword again last year. My teacher has a way with words, never letting us forget that this is a weapon and not a recreational implement. When Asbjorn remembers his words on how to clean the bits of flesh and blood off a sword… well, I’ve blanched the first time I’ve heard those words. It’s an old saw now, and it’s fun to hear sensei get all gory when there’s a new student in the class! I’m not nearly as good as Asbjorn, though. The only thing I’ve ever cut was a 2-liter soda bottle filled with water that was hanging off a tree. If you do it right, the bottom just falls. If you do it wrong and the sword is just a bit tilted, the bottle will swing on the rope, an evidence of sloppy technique for all to see! Instant feedback is nice.

Let me know what three words Attila used up above to have Kai and Asbjorn quit their Battle of Manly Handshake, and I’ll enter you into a drawing for a free e-copy of Swordfall! Answer here or on my Twitter ( @katepavelle ) or FB (Kate Pavelle) accounts!

Swordfall: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5922

Broken Gait: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5465

Swordfall and Broken Gait: will the characters play nice?

January 19, 2015

My horse-boys from Broken Gait were miffed with me since I didn’t give them a proper coming out, so I invited them to Swordfall’s release party! Broken Gait is part of the Steel City Stories and a sequel to Wild Horses, but can be read as a stand-alone. It came out last September, unheralded, but enjoyed by many of you regardless.
Right now, Kai shaking Asbjorn’s hand. Wait… they’re squeeeeezing and squeeeezing. Knuckles white. Faces tight. Smiles pasted on. Is this one of those stupid alpha things going on? Geez. Seriously. Asbjorn may be a high-level black belt and all, but Kai’s been shoveling horse manure and he’s about Asbjorn’s size.
“Cut it out, you morons.” That’s me talking.
“Hey… I’m Sean.” Ah, Sean’s introducing himself to Attila. Attila’s back is pressed against the wall of the recording studio and he’s holding a cold water bottle. He peels himself off the wall, switches the bottle to his left, and offers his right.
“Attila Keleman.” He pauses, inclines his head. A strand of long, black hair slithers down his face. “What do you do?”
“Student,” Sean grins. “And I teach martial arts. Aikido, to be specific. And you?”
“Horse trainer.” Attila looks like he was going to say more, but Sean cuts right in.
“No shit? Really? You ride? Where do you ride? What style? That must be… wow. I’ve never ridden a horse. That must be fascinating!”
Attila’s reserved demeanor seems to melt a little. He glances over to where Kai is still squeezing hands with Asbjorn. Their faces are now red and their expressions constipated. He turns his back on them and clears his throat, facing Sean at a thirty-degree angle. Just like his social skills coach suggested.
“Indeed. Equitation is possibly the only activity where a smaller and weaker predator – human – tries to impose its will on a much larger and stronger prey animal – a horse. They both have a mind of their own and their mutual understanding is cursory at best, yet the human will strive to become a kinetic whole with the horse. I’ve always wondered how come we don’t fall off more often.”

People, what should I do about Asbjorn and Kai? They aren’t even in the same plot! They have no business doing their testosterone posturing here… we have stuff to discuss. Suggestions, PLEASE!

“Swordfall” release party!

January 19, 2015

Hi, Kate Pavelle here, ready to entertain all you fun readers and inspiring friends! This release party is for “Swordfall,” book 2 of the Fall Trilogy and a sequel to the somewhat controversial “Breakfall.” Swordfall came out on January 9th.
Where Breakfall showed the way Sean reacted to sexual assault by playing bait and getting the perp in jail, Swordfall shows how Asbjorn reacts to the perp breaking out. Asbjorn’s protective instincts are in overdrive. None of this is spoiler territory – you can tell from the blurb.
Now, Sean does aikido, but he learned a lot from other martial artists. Asbjorn does karate. Sean’s teacher disapproves of mixing the arts together, so Sean’s picking up these tricks on the sly. Sean also dreads telling his teacher about what happened to him. That’s never easy to talk about. Add into it the feeling that you somehow failed, should have done better, should have reacted faster… it takes Sean forever before he gathers himself and Skypes his teacher. Some of you were curious about the seeminly inflexible Burrows Sensei. I’ll be back with more before noon, but for now, find out more in the following excerpt:

SWORDFALL Excerpt 1

“But…” Sean sat, stunned. He expected to be lectured.
“Sean. You misunderstand my concern regarding the purity of what we practice and teach. Nowadays, people exchange so much information, the original, historical arts can easily be altered beyond any recognition. The practitioner won’t even realize it while it’s happening. If it happens too fast, without due consideration, good techniques become ruined, lost forever. Then who will teach them to the next generation?” Dark eyes glowered from under their bushy eyebrows.
“Sean, martial artists have always learned from one another. We have always gone out, fighting for fun and to see if our techniques work. Why, Ken Swift and I, we… well.”
“I know,” Sean said, allowing an impish grin to blossom on his freckled face. “Yokohama harbor, right?”
“Right.” Burrows-sensei sighed. “But you are not in a teaching situation. You are in a survival situation. I want you to learn everything you can. Every dirty trick you’d never show anyone else. Just… make sure that you adopt only several techniques – don’t try to absorb the whole style. Then make those absolutely perfect. Make them work at full speed, without even thinking. Make sure they are the right ones for your body, for your mind.” He paused.
“Alright, Sensei. Many sloppy techniques will only create openings.”
“That’s right.” Now both corners of Burrows-sensei’s mouth lifted up slightly, smiling. “You will do just fine, Sean. You’re my best student. I want you to go out and do your best, and then I want you to tell me all about it, when you come home again.”
Sean signed off. It occurred to him how much he missed hearing that voice. Suddenly homesick, he was tired of Danish. He was tired of the fine, bitter snow. He wanted to hear more English, soothing and familiar.

Asbjorn peeked into the den. Sean sat by the computer, motionless, tears rolling down his cheeks as his vacant eyes stared at the dead monitor.
Asbjorn hesitated, then he eased himself into the room and embraced Sean from behind. His arms snaked around the slighter shoulders, his nose buried itself in the longer hair on Sean’s neck.
“Bad call?”
“No.” Sean’s voice was but a whisper.
“What’s wrong, sunshine?” He let his thumbs wipe the prominent cheek-bones dry. Sean turned to face him and stood up.
“Tissues?”
“Here.”
“Thanks.” Sean cleaned himself up. “Just… homesick, I guess?”
“Yeah. Now, in the martial arts, especially when one’s teaching, we’re not supposed to express negative emotions. There is this aura of control, and serenity, and more control… .” Sean shuddered, then inhaled yet another deep breath and centered himself, possessed of perfect control to all outside observers. Only his wet eyes gave him away.
Asbjorn cocked his head. “I remember having felt homesick. It’s like… uprooted, or something. And then you come back to what you think is ‘home’ and they change everything while you’re gone. Sometimes, the culture changes, the language changes.”
“Even language?” Sean thought back to Burrows-sensei’s soothing voice.
Asbjorn nodded. “Sure, idiomatic expressions, all those new words for new technology, ATM machines – stuff like that. It can be weird.” He rubbed his knuckles, feeling the scabs left behind from his assault of the apple tree. That had been his personal reaction to change.

Winner of A Barlow Lens

January 18, 2015

Hello,

Thank you everyone for participating in my release party for A Barlow Lens this past Friday. I had a wonderful time and I always love interacting with readers, you all are great!

My winner this time is Angela. I’ll send you an email shortly. Congratulations!

Elizabeth Noble

PS…don’t forget:

Use the promo code Noble0116 (case sensitive) for 25% off all my books. It’s good until Monday Jan 19. You can find the full list HERE.