Release Day: Highland Blood Now Available!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's release day for Highland Blood, Book 2 in The Celtic Blood Series. I thought I might share a few fun tidbits about the making of this novel. Pretty much anything I write about the content of the novel itself is a spoiler, so if you are a fan of the series, I won't ruin it for you. But how about some inspirations?


One of my favorite things about writing The Celtic Blood Series is that it gives me an excuse to listen to Celtic music. This was the primary soundtrack to this novel. Highland Blood is one of the more haunting novels I have ever written. If you've read Chasing the Green Fairy, I would say this book is on par with that in terms of tone. This music set the stage perfectly for the book.


Much of Highland Blood takes place in Madelaine's keep, Epona's coven, or at Cawdor Castle. Researching Cawdor was a fun little rabbit hole to slip down. Cawdor Castle "dates from the late 14th century, having been built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor, with the ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree." Dated to the 14th century, it's a few hundred years too late for our story. A little digging has suggested that Cawdor, which featured prominently in Shakespeare's Macbeth, has long held a fortress. I took some creative liberties with history, following in Shakespeare's footsteps, and envisioned a castle in Cawdor earlier that the 12th or 14th centuries. Regardless, images of the Cawdor Castle did inspire much of my depictions in the novel:

You can find more about Cawdor Castle here:


While The Celtic Blood series retells Shakespeare's Macbeth through the eyes of Gruoch, the historical Lady Macbeth, the novel is not a straight historical. There is magic, dark goddesses, the fey, necromancy, and lots of old Celtic beliefs running around in the novel. In this novel, I touch on a few mythologies:

Talisen from Arthurian Literature
Scáthach, the legendary shieldmaiden from the Isle of Skye
Cartimandua, ancient Queen of the Brigantes
Boudica, Queen of the Iceni
The Banshee
The Fey
The Wyrd Sisters

...and many others. Much of Shakespeare's works were inspired by Roman myth. Mine are inspired by Celtic mythology. I'd love to write novels on just about all these figures, Boudica in particular, if only I had time!

This series is a labor of love. Gruoch's story is a difficult one to write. At times, I feel like she's directing the story far more than I am. But that's okay with me. I hope you enjoy the next novel in this series.

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Surfaced, the Clockwork Siren Series, by Katie Hayoz

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Sometimes, love means exposing the darkest part of who you are to the world.
Half-monster, half-human and completely in love: Melusine Doré, part-human, part lethal mermaid, is doing her best to live her happily-ever-after and it seems, for once, that nothing will cause her to lose grip on her fairy-tale ending. Levi loves her for what she is and Melusine herself has finally come to terms with it all—despite the fact that she must hide her secret to survive. When she and Levi discover someone is trapping and torturing monsters, their inquiries lead them to a traveling Freak Show. But what should be a simple investigation quickly turns into a tangled mess. Levi goes missing and Melusine rushes guns blazing to find and rescue her lover. This time, though, she is utterly unprepared for the creatures she is about to face.Will she be able to make the sacrifice necessary to save Levi?
Adventure number three in the Clockwork Siren Series, Surfaced by Katie Hayoz takes us from the muddy Chicago River to the fading tents of a steampunk traveling circus to the deepest pools of fear about exposing oneself.
Surfaced Teaser

The Series
The Series


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About the Author
Katie grew up in Racine, Wisconsin where she acquired an irreversible nasal twang and an addiction for books with a slightly dark edge. She now lives in Geneva, Switzerland with her husband, two daughters, and two fuzzy cats. She has been an avid reader of YA fiction for years. While she has a penchant for the paranormal, she devours a range of books -- along with popcorn and black licorice. She consumes all three in large quantities. Luckily, the books don't stay on her hips.
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Highland Blood Releases Wednesday! Let's have a sneak peek

Saturday, February 13, 2016

It's almost release day! Nothing like an upcoming release to get an author...excited (read crazy, sleepless, showerless, etc.). If you read the first book in this series, and its accompanying Author's Note, you'll already know this series likes to give me fit. FITS, I tell ya!

If you've been with me for awhile, you'll already know this series went though a rebranding. The series was previously titled "The Saga of Lady MacBeth," and Book 1 was titled "Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens." The market didn't respond well to the old cover or title. Of course, that was no surprise given the "curse" that seemed to surround the book.

But here we are, once more, with a new book. I had originally intended The Celtic Blood Series as a trilogy. Well, working on Highland Blood, I discovered I have at least 4, if not 5, books to give you in this series. So the good new is there will be an additional book in The Celtic Blood Series!

I can't say a lot about the upcoming tale that isn't really spoilerish, but I do have the tiniest of sneak peeks for you from the very first chapter.

Oh! And if you are new to me or my series, I put Book 1 on sale for 99 cents. The novel is set in a historical time period, but features dark magic, sword play, wizardry, the fey, and necromancy. This isn't your grandma's historical romance. :)

Sneak Peek

I took two hesitant steps into the darkness. Thora bumped against my leg. My head felt dizzy. My temples pounded. A sharp pain seared across my forehead, making me wince. It was all I could do to stay upright. Thora began to whimper when the darkness didn’t pass. We were stuck between worlds. The silence was thick and heavy, the darkness tangible. If I didn’t focus, we could get lost forever in the in-between space, neither the realm of the living nor the otherworld. I shuddered at the thought. I forced myself to concentrate past the pain wracking my body. I could feel the living, breathing world just beyond my grasp. It was like someone had dropped a black veil between me and the realm of the corporeal. I breathed in deeply, trying to inhale the smell of earth, to hear the sounds of nature, to feel the living energy which belonged to the world of men.
It felt like an eternity before the sound of trickling water came to my ears. The sharp, tangy scent of mud filled my nostrils. We’d made it back. We were in the realm of the living but where? It was so dark. I took a few steps forward but my foot caught on something, and I fell into the wet mud face first. Thora whined. I reached out in the darkness and felt mud, roots, water, and gritty stone. We were in a cave. Water dripped from roots overhead. The air was spiced with elemental smells. I rose and wiped the mud off my face and out of my mouth. Carefully, I reached out and touched the cave wall. It was wet and slimy.
Using the cave wall as a guide, I worked my way forward. Water trickled over my hand, down my arm, and into my dress. My foot slipped. When I reached out to steady myself, I felt the soft body of a bat. It screeched and flew out of the cave.
I jarred sideways and fell into the mud again.
Thora whimpered.
“It’s okay, girl. We’ll get out of here, and everything will be okay,” I said, trying to convince both her and me.
It was too dark to see, but I knew my hands, knees, and elbows were bleeding. Mud worked into the cuts. The wounds stung. I dashed away hot tears of frustration, and tried to keep my focus on my task. This was just a small inconvenience. My physical body could survive this discomfort. At the end of this trial, my love would be waiting for me. A marriage contract…finally, Madelaine had secured my match with Banquo.

Something wicked this way comes.

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