Today I am so pleased to welcome back Katey Hawthorne to Joyfully Jay. Katey has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, The Playhouse, part of her fabulous Superpowered Love series. She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Katey a big welcome!
Hey, Joyfully Jay Folk! Thanks for letting me stop by on release day for the latest in Superpowered Love, The Playhouse. What better use for pyrokinetic superpowers than, uh, stage pyrotechnics, right? Right!
As a kid, I spent most of my summers at my local summerstock theater with my family, and that’s where I got the inspiration for The Playhouse. I even spent one summer in college working there for peanuts, doing exactly what Lily, Cy, Denise, and Genevieve do over the course of the story… well, minus the pyrotechnics, obviously, because you don’t want to go lighting fires in a Civil War era barn. Unless you’re Awakened–aka have superpowers that let you do that kind of thing safely.
While the book is crammed full of spicy romance and high (theater!) stakes, my secondary goal with it was really to celebrate the Playhouse of my childhood and the people who poured so much love into it and made it so special. And that’s where bits like the excerpt here come into play.
Why do you always do that?” Gen asked. She looked up from the spotlight, where she’d been playing with different colored gels.
“What?” I asked, not really paying attention. I was mostly looking at the innards of the light board. I was pretty good with wiring just from trial and error and reading, but if I blew this board, it’d be my ass in a sling.
“Act like everyone’s going to think the Playhouse sucks just because it’s on a shoestring budget.” She said it so plainly, so bluntly, but never took her attention off the spotlight.
I sat up straighter. “I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Well.” I shrugged.
“I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about this place,” Gen said. “People like that it’s in a barn. They like that everything’s done by hand. They like that it’s amateur. I mean, that’s from the Latin for love, Lily. It shows.”
I finally stopped pretending to be totally involved in the wiring and turned to face her. “You’re good at that thing where you pick apart motivations, you know.”
“I’m an actor.” She smiled, then looked up at me. “It’s what I do. My point is, I know you don’t think this place is crap. I know you want everyone else to see it like you do. So maybe if you start talking about it that way, that’d help.”
I chewed at my lip, considering. Then nodded. She was right; I was being a negative little twit, and it wasn’t going to help. Of course, the negative-little-twit thing was kind of ingrained in me, so in spite of that resolve, yet another negative thought suddenly presented itself: Well, it might be great, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be coming back.
It was a horrible thought, and I hated myself for it—not something I would ever, ever say. But it was there. Instead I said, “I guess it’s just because people don’t really come back here, you know? They want to move on to bigger and better things—and they should; that’s not what I’m saying. I just mean, you know.”
Genevieve nodded and flicked off the spot, then turned on the stool to face me completely. “And at this point, you’d be happy to make it your life’s work. I get it.”
“Wow. You really do.” I smiled, though it felt a little wistful. And even though I’d been telling myself not to do this very thing, I suddenly asked, “What about you?”
She cocked her head. “What about me?”
“What do you want to do? And why? I feel like—like you know so much about me, and all I know is how to get you off.”
She laughed quietly. “Well, you’re real good at it.”
Summer has been Lily McBride’s favorite time of year since she was a kid, because that’s when the Brookesville Playhouse opens its doors. Now that she’s an adult and works as their tech director, Lily wants more for her beloved Playhouse: a larger audience, a longer season, and exciting shows to draw new patrons.
This year, though, she also wants Genevieve Mason, a pretty starlet-in-the-making from the local university, recruited for the season’s tech crew. Genny throws her heart and soul into the place too, adding her own dreams of representation to the ‘must-have’ list, and using her sweet voice and surprising flare for pyrotechnics to draw the crowds in droves. They work so well together, it’s not long before their summer crush blossoms into a steamy affair.
Lily’s falling hard, but always feels like Genny’s holding something back. And then there’s the dreaded Brookesville Arts Council—supposed to be a support system for all things cultural, instead dragging the Playhouse down with their old-fashioned stubbornness. There are a lot of hurdles to jump and egos to deflate before they can get what they want, both for the theater and from each other.
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, B-movies, loud music, Epiphones, and Bushmills.
Katey has brought a copy of The Playhouse to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday May 17th at 11:59 pm EST.
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Ooooooh, pick me, pick me! This looks fantastic!
I’m totally up for another Superpowered Love story! 😉
Sounds interesting. It’s great to see another Superpowered Love story =)