Tag Archives: Katy Haye

We interrupt our usual broadcast…

I’m so sorry! My blog this week should, of course, be all about my Q book. However, it’s gone a bit pear-shaped. I had it all worked out: on holiday I was going to finish my P book (managed that) and find and read my Q book.

A nice plan, but I hadn’t realised how rubbish Amazon is when you’re trying to find a book instead of buying one you already know you want. (Tara Sparling blogged about how frustrating it is to browse Amazon recently, and I quite agree).

Q book in the YA genre… Well, let’s face it, every other title is “Queen Something”, so that’s a good place to start … except that Amazon offered me 3 Queen titles, none of which grabbed me, and then that was it: have the top 100 books to scroll through. Pah. And because I was in foreign climes I couldn’t even go to a physical bookshop and ask someone (well, until I got back and that’s what I did).

I’ve also been busy as I launched a new book this weekend (yippee!). If you like my writing, please check out Dissent – and grab a copy this weekend while it’s .99 for launch (it’s also in KU if you have a subscription). If you haven’t read Discord yet (where have you been?!), it’s on a free promo, so you can get both the Echoes of Earth books for a paltry .99 (try getting that from your local Waterstones!).

Click for Amazon

Next week, I promise normal service will be resumed. I’ve started Shadow Queen (yes, I know that’s a cheat for a “Q” book, but I was getting desperate and it’s close enough) so I’ll be able to tell you all about it by then.

And if you want to know what I read on holiday when I couldn’t find a Q, check out The Good Riddance Project, which was tremendous fun. Can you project manage a murder? Read it and find out!

Cover of A K Lakelett's Good Riddance Project
Click for the preview

J is for … Just call me a quitter

I tried, I swear I did. J looked like it was going to become another H for me. I started a couple of books but they really weren’t to my taste. So I then cast about for recoemmendations. My excellent mother made the excellent suggestion that I read Jane Eyre.

Now, for some background on this, I have two degrees in English and the number of works of classic literature that I have NOT read is surprisingly legion. In mitigation I will point out that there is an awful lot of very fine, well-regarded literature out there in the English cannon. I don’t think I’ve been slacking. I’ve even started Jane Eyre several times, I’ve just never been about to get past that dreadful boarding school. I even tried watching the film a couple of years ago and fell at the same hurdle. It’s too dreary for words.

So, fabulous, here was a fine opportunity and a motive to fill this aching gap in my literary knowledge. I skipped the first few chapters to avoid the horrible school and settled down ready for things to become interesting.

Cover of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
It was even more dull than this cover. I’m not even going to link to Amazon because if you want to read this book it’s my duty to save you from yourself.

Oh, how I wish they had! Why is this a classic? Whyever do people like it? Jane and Rochester are held up as icons of romance – they should be in therapy.

I struggled to see the appeal on any level. Was it the impenetrable prose that never feared to use twenty words where one would have sufficed? Perhaps it was Rochester’s breathtaking arrogance and superciliousness; his callous treatment of both the poor mad wife and Jane herself; or simply the fact that he spoke like no human being I’ve ever heard of. Maybe readers are seduced by Jane’s casual racism, or the fact that she has nothing good to say about anyone save herself. Or they are simply swept away by the romance of the most bizarre marriage proposal I’ve ever heard where the intended bride changes during the conversation.

I tried, I really did. But I abandoned it at 70% and consider I’ve done far more than my duty. I can’t wait to move on to my K book.

So, berate me, readers, and tell me (if you can) why Jane Eyre is a classic that deserves my respect!

Rising Tides

Release blitz: Rising Tides

My new YA novel, Rising Tides, came out on Friday, so there’s no chance I’ll be able to focus on anything else at present.

Read on for more information – and a giveaway!

Cover of Katy Haye's YA post-apocalyptic novel, Rising Tides

About the book:

The truth won’t stay submerged forever

City is the last civilised place left on a drowned Earth, a floating town built from metal and plastic from the Time Before. It’s the only home doctor’s daughter Libby Marchmont has ever known or wanted – until her father helps the wrong patient and she’s forced to flee.

Cosimo came to City for one reason. Then he should have vanished back to his people on the Wastes. But what about his promise to Libby’s father?

Stranded in the middle of the sea, can the two enemies learn to trust each other? And can they survive long enough to uncover the truth: City isn’t the safe haven Libby always believed it to be …

Rising Tides Facebook Blue eyes

Early reviews:

Readers’ Favourite described Rising Tides as: “a compelling read [with] cool and ingenious concepts, a captivating plot [and] vivid and engaging characters”.

Kelly St. Clare at YA Books Central called Rising Tides “a gem of the YA genre.”

Get your copy for just 99c/p this week only (Also on Kindle Unlimited).

Win a book lover's apocalypse survival kit


Win a book-lover’s survival kit.

Your survival kit is as follows:
1. An Amazon voucher for £10/$15US/$20CAN, AUS, NZ. Load up your Kindle with books to read, while shops remain.
2. A solar charger so when the national grid fails you can still read your books.
3. A mirror. When you are stranded in the open sea you can signal for help by reflecting the sun’s light. Alternatively, if you have no wish to be rescued because you still have reading to do, flip the mirror over to depict the slogan, “Go away I’m reading.”
4. Ribbon bookmark. If all your books have been washed away by the rising seas, this can be rolled up and packed into the neck of a cut-open bottle and will double-up as a water filter. Note: this will not desalinate salt water, sorry.
5. An Eat-Sleep-Read-Repeat tote bag to put the last of your worldly belongings into. DO NOT LEAVE THIS BEHIND.

Check out the ways to win with Rafflecopter.

Want to read Rising Tides? Get your copy here.

Free reading challenge: but that doesn’t count!

I’ve bought four books this week, which sounds like a lot for someone who isn’t buying books at the moment, but wait, your honour, I can explain…

One for me…

I have bought a book for myself this week, but it was non-fiction and an excellent reference book for self-publishing (it’s Format it Yourself by Jo Roderick). Being non-fiction and for “use” rather than for “pleasure” doesn’t change the fact that I bought it, but it is allowable, however, under exception category 2. as a book I bought at release to support a writer I know, so I haven’t fallen off the wagon of my free reading challenge.

It’s for a friend, honest..

This week also let me get a fix of book-buying because I had two nieces to buy birthday presents for, as well as it being father’s day. That lead to a very happy ten minutes browsing in Waterstones. (Yeah, I know, that seems pretty brief to me, too. I think I didn’t want to hang around in case I found something I wanted myself!)

Read for review

As far as my challenge goes, I haven’t spent anything on (fiction) books for myself. I’ve read and reviewed or lined up reviews for several books from small presses or self-published authors, and I’ve signed up to participate in review blog tours with Xpresso Book Tours and YA Book Bound.

I’ve also been pretty manic writing promo pieces for Rising Tides, which releases on Friday (argh, that’s really REALLY close now!), so there certainly hasn’t been a dull moment.

Overall, I’m still finding plenty of good-quality books to read for free. Guilt levels are moderate at not paying for them, but they are all legitimately free which means the authors are perfectly happy for me to read them without paying, and I’m maintaining my levels of reviews – anything that is read to the end gets a review. And if I didn’t get to the end, it’s because the book really isn’t my thing, and you really don’t want a review, I promise you that!


Cover reveal

Rising Tides

My new YA novel, Rising Tides, will be published on Amazon (ebook and paperback) on June 24th.

Today is my cover reveal. Designer Jane Dixon-Smith has created another beauty. I hope you like it half as much as I do!

The cover of Katy Haye's Rising Tides

City is the last civilised place left on a drowned Earth, a floating town built from metal and plastic from the Time Before. It’s the only home doctor’s daughter Libby Marchmont has ever known or wanted – until her father helps the wrong patient and she’s forced to flee.

 Cosimo came to City for one reason. Then he should have vanished back to his people on the Wastes. But what about his promise to Libby’s father?

Stranded in the middle of the sea, can the two enemies learn to trust each other? And can they survive long enough to uncover the truth: City isn’t the safe haven Libby always believed it to be…

Like it? Add it to your Goodreads shelf today.

Want more? Read an extract on my website.

Queen of Rubies

I’m manically busy at the moment. My next-next book winged its way to the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme this week, I’ve written 21k words of the one to follow that since the start of the month, while simultaneously revising something from long ago which I hope might be the start of a series. This leaves me with precious little headspace to think up blog topics.

Which is a long meander to say I hope you’ll forgive me, readers, if I post up the start of a short story that will be going out to my newsletter subscribers at the end of the month.

If you want to read the rest of it, sign up to my Reader Group and you’ll be first to receive the whole thing at the end of the month.

Queen-of-Rubies-Katy-Haye-FINAL-V1-KINDLE (2)

Queen of Rubies
The candidates were playing queen of rubies as the men rode out to sue for peace with the Blood King.

The games room, bright with candlelight and the broad fire’s flames dancing against the pale walls, was a stark contrast to the scene outside. The twisting column of men and beasts crept beyond the city walls, crossing the valley like silent, inching ants. Magic swirled around the horses’ fetlocks, thicker than the mist that rolled down from the mountains, and they lifted their hooves high as they walked, as though they could step out of it. Pointless to try. This close to solstice it barely got light all day and the Blood King’s influence grew stronger with each step they took.

I found Jerd’s dark head at the front of the column, the pennant carried behind him flapping with angry twitches as though admonishing the mist that greyed the air around them. I wanted him to look back, but he didn’t. My breath misted the window’s glass. Jerd had never looked twice at me: orphaned, penniless Ernina, distant cousin of the castle’s lord and lady. He had greater ambitions for his future.

A crow of triumph in the room behind me jolted me from my self-pity. Alyssa was beating Guletta, her musical voice declaring each successful move as it happened. I kept my back to them, watching through the window until the pennants fluttered out of sight, indistinguishable from the grey path that wound through the valley to the mountains.

I kept watching even when Jerd was out of sight. He wanted to become prince of swords so badly, and I was sure the Blood King would choose him – courageous, determined, gods-fearing, he was a strong candidate. I wanted him to get his heart’s desire.

I just wished becoming prince of swords wasn’t his heart’s desire.

“Ha! I’ve taken the last of your soldiers. You can’t become queen of rubies without soldiers.” I turned, my back to the window that now showed nothing of interest. Alyssa’s excitement shone in her smiling face. As focussed as Jerd, she was determined to be queen of rubies for real this year. Beautiful, clever and well-born, she had as good a chance as Jerd as getting what she wanted.

My movement had been small, but it was enough to grab the attention of the players now they weren’t engrossed by the game.

“Perhaps Ernina wants a turn,” Guletta snapped, disappointment making her spiteful. “Maybe she’d like to be queen of rubies.”

“I can’t be queen of rubies.” I was too low-born to be eligible for the honour. Even if I wanted it.

“It’s only for fun,” Alyssa taunted me. Buoyed by success, she rose from her place as though to make room for me. “Play Guletta first, she’s easy to beat. You’re not ready for me yet.”


Alyssa lunged as though she’d grab my arm and force me to play. I shrank away, my back to the wall. I shouldn’t have come to the games room, but the best view of the valley outside the city walls was found here.

“I’ve no interest in becoming queen of rubies.”

Alyssa opened her mouth to argue, but Guletta spoke first. “No, you just want to dream about Jerd all day.”

Heat rose in my face. “I don’t.”

“Just as well,” Alyssa snapped. “Because he’s certainly not dreaming about you.”

She giggled at her wit, while Guletta folded her arms. “I’ve seen you, staring after him like a lovestruck fool.”

I shrugged, silently cursing my flaming face. “He’s handsome. We all like watching him. There’s nothing special in that.”

Impatient at not being the centre of attention, Alyssa plumped back onto her seat. “Never mind her. Play again, Guletta.”

“No. I’m bored of queen of rubies.”

Alyssa glared at her friend, then swept her hand across the board, sending the remaining pieces flying across the room. “No one can beat me, so there’s no point playing.”

“You haven’t been crowned yet,” Guletta pointed out.

Alyssa pouted. “It’s only a matter of time.” She shook back her long, thick hair, lifting her chin arrogantly. “I’m sure to be queen of rubies. The Blood King will like me best so why not get on with it?”

I looked down, captivated by a games piece that had rolled close to me.

Magic swirled around it, obscuring the wooden floor. It was a soldier, with a chip of ruby set in the hilt of its tiny, carved sword: one of the pieces that had brought Alyssa success. It rolled towards the worn toe of my shoe, close to the gap where the leather had worn through and my smallest toe could be seen. I shifted so the piece – and the magic – wouldn’t touch my skin.

Alyssa stared. Her eyes darted between me and the ruby soldier on the floor. I glanced up and our eyes met.

“Pick it up, then,” she ordered, half-cross, half-bemused that I hadn’t done so already. Guletta swooped down and snatched up another piece that had rolled beneath her seat, clattering it back onto the board.

I swallowed. I wanted to reach into the magic, to know how it felt, and at the same time I was terrified to do so.

“What are you waiting for? Pick it up.” Alyssa’s tone dripped scorn while her eyes sparkled, a predator sensing weakness.

I looked down at the ruby soldier that I could touch if I just moved my toe a fraction. The mist of magic swirled from it to me, slipping over my toe, cold and delicious. Magic swelled in the room, not visible like the substance rolling from the games piece, nor like I’d seen outside on the road to the Blood King’s palace, but there to be felt, charged like the air before a storm, waiting for me to touch it.

“Holding a soldier won’t make you queen of rubies, you do know that, don’t you?” Guletta snapped.

Both girls were looking at me now. I swooped down, reaching through the mist, fumbling for the soldier.

The mist grew thicker still. As my fingers closed around the small, cold games piece, I was swept out of the castle to the court of the Blood King.


Who becomes Queen of Rubies? What happens at the Blood King’s court? If you want to read more, sign up and I’ll send you the full story at the end of February.

What you need to finish a book:

… tea, chocolate, and desperation (oh, and Post-it notes).

  1. Tea. I’m British, and this is the national curative. Just been in a minor accident? I’ll make you a cup of sweet tea for the shock. Bad exam results? Have a nice cup of tea and remember there’s always re-takes. Leg bitten off by a crocodile? Don’t worry, have a nice cup of tea while I wind this tourniquet around the stump of your leg and you’ll soon be feeling much more the thing… While writing tea keeps me going, and a pause for a cup of tea enforces a few minutes’ break during which my tea-lubricated mind can find something to fill in plot holes and generate a few ‘ah-ha’ moments.
  2. Chocolate. My writing is fuelled by a fairly random reward and punishment system which depends largely on how I feel at the time I’m writing. On a good day, all that’s needed is to let the muse flow through me, the words to add up on the computer, and to note each shiny, new one thousand words with a sticker to show I’m making progress. On days where the words have dried up and the plot descended to implausible treacle, chocolate is required: once I’ve written a thousand words I can have a chocolate brazil. Or maybe once I’ve written 500 words. On truly desperate days, a sentence earns it. Chocolate ensures progress when nothing else can.
  3. Desperation. I was the class swot. During my educational career, every single essay or piece of work was in early or on time (there was one exception, which stands out precisely because of its singularity, that simply goes to show I’m human, although a swot). Those early, ingrained habits show up now in my writing life (case in point: this blog post was actually drafted a week ago in dread of running out of things to say). To finish a book, all I needed to do was set a deadline for publication and watch myself get more and more focused as the date drew nearer with the thunderous drone of stampeding animals.
  4. Which brings me nicely to: Post-It notes. There are backs of envelopes and scraps of paper, but I know I wouldn’t be half as productive without Post-It notes. Invaluable not only for plotting stories, they came into their own as I organised all the other jobs self-publishing requires, creating to-do lists which I could screw up in glint-eyed delight once I’d performed the task scribbled on it.

So, those are my four cornerstones. Anything you wouldn’t be without while writing?

Cover of Katy Haye's The Last Dreamseer
See what tea, chocolate and Post-It notes can create!