Weekend Writing Warriors ~ A Steep Price

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I hope you’re all doing well in these strange times. As an introvert, a writer, and a natural hermit, I must say this stay at home business is rather working out for me, but I feel for my extrovert friends. Someday we shall gather again and make merry, but until then, we have blog hops, zoom meetings, and books. Thank the gods for books!

Believe it or not, I’ve finally reached the end of this chapter and will be moving on to other things. But fear not, I’m making great progress on Snow now that I can set my own schedule and write as much as I darn well please.  Last week, (which you can read here) Gabriel was hit hard by the affects of working magic and Gavin Falkner, the last man he’d expect to do such a thing, offered his support.

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For one brief moment, Gabriel experienced a fantasy of leaning into Falkner and allowing the man to support him.  He shrugged off the weak notion and blinked away the encroaching mental fog. “I’m fine, he said, and dug deep into his reserves to pull free of Falkner’s hand.

He made it back to the meadow where the horses were without falling on his face and was relieved to hear excited chatter about the great white stag and the blessing of the gods.  As he put his foot in the stirrup and swung onto Tempest’s back, he considered for the first time that Tristan might be right, in a fashion. Maybe the forest gods had indeed favored him— not Tristan, but Gabriel, the one who had stopped the killing of the divine emissary. Immediately, his mother’s voice interrupted this line of thought, warning him against hubris.  When the gods meddle in the affairs of humans, she’d always said, trouble is never far behind. Their gifts come with a steep price.

***

© Jakub Krechowicz | Dreamstime.com

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Blood and Bones

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I hope you’re doing well,  and staying safe and sane in these strange times. For me, the sane part is the hardest. Thank goodness for writing and the company of my characters!

I’m particularly fond of Prince Gabriel, the MC featured in my waiting-in-the-wings project Snow, which I’ve been sharing from while toiling on my next Jacqui the Cat mystery in the background. I’m excited that I’ll finally be able to turn my full attention to Gabriel’s story.  Currently, he’s dealing with the aftermath of having wielded forbidden magic, and he hasn’t even arrived at his destination yet; his home of Rosenthal Castle. You can read last week’s snippet here.

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After a last look at where the great white stag had stood, Gabriel turned and trailed after the rest of the hunting party.  He found it hard to lift his feet, the physical toll of wielding magic still working its way through his blood and bones. With his gaze focused on the patch of forest floor directly before him, he walked carefully to avoid stumbling over roots. The thought of the ride to Rosenthal Castle exhausted him, and that was just the beginning of the evening. He would have to present himself in the grand hall to all the ministers, lords and ladies gathered there. He was, after all, a prince returned to his realm, expected to officially declare his support for his brother and to properly grieve his mother’s death at her tomb.

All he wanted to do was sleep. Darkness invaded the corners of his mind and he slowed.

A strong hand gripped his arm from behind, steadying him.

“Are you all right?” Falkner asked in a low voice.

***

© breakermaximus | Dreamstime.com

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Sleeping Nightmares

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  I hope you’re staying safe and sane, and of course reading is a great way to do both.

I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a gay romantic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. In last week’s snippet, King Tristan announced that the appearance of the white stag was a good omen sent in support of his rule and Gabriel was only too happy to go along with it, in order to keep his unstable brother happy. So it appears the extraordinary events of the day will be swept under the rug. Or will they?

***

“Are we to return empty-handed then?” Bryce asked.

“Empty handed but full of heart,” Tristan said, sounding almost like his old self. “We have been blessed by Astrid, goddess of the hunt.”

His men grinned, slapped each other on the back, and followed him into the trees, not one of them sparing a glance for Gabriel. Surely they looked forward to being the bearers of such good tidings. Was his brother correct in presuming none of them would spread dark rumors about the arrow stopped in mid-flight?

His mother’s voice came to him in a soft whisper: blame it on the gods.

Whenever inconvenient occurrences of magic cast a shadow over her benevolent image, his mother pointed to the new gods of the North.  The people were only too happy to have their fears redirected to a more distant, less intimate source of supernatural interference than the forest that bordered their lands.  Let sleeping nightmares lie, the queen always said.

***

© Igor Goriachev | Dreamstime.com

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Truth

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. I hope you’re faring well in these strange times. One excellent way to cope is to seek out some engaging fiction, so don’t forget to visit the other authors participating in the blog hop by clicking the link above. You’re sure to find an irresistible story or two or three.

I’m sharing from my current WIP, a reimagined fairy tale inspired by the take of Snow White.  I’m nearing the end of this scene. I know it seems like I’ve been saying that forever, but it’s coming! And then I’ll move on to other things, but for now, Gabriel is having reality pulled out from under him. And like most victims of gaslighting, he’s just fine with that, as long as it keeps the perpetrator happy.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

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Gabriel scanned the line of men nodding their heads. They were all Tristan’s men, none of the visiting lords had lasted this long into the hunt, and so the story could be retold in a version more flattering for Tristan. Gabriel didn’t mind, and actually hoped that Tristan came to believe it himself. That jealous rage in his brother’s eyes had unsettled him deeply.

And then there was the arrow—Tristan’s arrow. He forced away the treacherous thought. It hadn’t happened, just as the stag had not appeared before him, but before Tristan.

One man was not nodding. Gavin Falkner watched Gabriel closely, and when their gazes met, an acknowledgement of the truth passed between them.

***

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

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Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Great Things to Come

Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

First a public service announcement: Smashwords is having a “stuck at home- bored out of your mind” ebook sale, with participating authors’ books discounted from 30% to 60%. If you find yourself running low on reading material, check it out. My bestselling gay fantasy, Gryffon Hall, is included in the sale.

As it happens, Gryffon Hall shares a world with my current WIP, Snow. The world is The Black Forest, where ancient magical creatures live far from the sight of man, only occasionally appearing to cause mischief and mayhem.

In last week’s snippet, King Tristan told his brother Gabriel that he’s engaged, a very unexpected turn of events, given that Tristan was in a fury only moments before.

***

“The joyful news will be proclaimed tonight at the feast, with my brother by my side.  You will love her, won’t you?”

“Surely, if you do. Who is she?”  Gabriel’s head was spinning. Nothing about Tristan’s demeanor suggested joy or love or even the smug certainty of a good match.  And what of the announcement coming directly on the heels of an accusation of treachery? “What’s going on here?” he demanded.

But his volatile brother spun away and faced the men who’d been milling just out of earshot.

“My brother is right,” he said loudly, “The white stag is an omen, a sign of great things to come and it presented itself to me on this eve of the Hunter’s Moon to deliver this message: the old folk of the forest welcome my rule and submit to the new order of things.”

***

© Nenh302 | Dreamstime.com

Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Dreadful

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

I admit I did think about skipping this weekend so that I might spend all of my time obsessively reading  corona virus updates, but then I had a flash of inspiration that said “BOOKS WILL SAVE US ALL”. Never one to ignore flashes of inspiration, I hurried to sign up.  What better way to keep in touch while we’re all hunkering down and counting our toilet paper rolls?

In last week’s snippet, Tristan revealed his paranoia that his brother Gabriel might have designs on the throne. He asked “Who is this stranger who stands before me?”.  Gabriel is shocked by the accusation, but there are more shocks to come.

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“You’re the one who’s changed, Tristan.  What’s gotten into you?” Gabriel hesitated and then opted for honesty. “You look dreadful. Are you well?”

Tristan’s rage seemed to falter. His gaze softened, but at the same time, his grip on Gabriel’s arm tightened. A smirk twisted his lips and then he huffed lightly, a cross between a laugh and a sigh.

“No, I’m not well, I’m engaged.”

“You’re…what?”

***

Ready to meet your future sister-in-law, Gabriel? Heh heh heh. © Catalinandrei | Dreamstime.com

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Blurb-in-progress for Snow, a reimagined fairy tale:

Following the death of his mother the Queen, Prince Gabriel is called home by his brother, now King. Gabriel hopes for a reconciliation with his estranged brother, but all is not well at Castle Rosenthal. King Tristan has fallen under the sway of a mysterious noble woman with a dark past, and all along the border of the Black Forest, magical denizens are on the move. Gabriel begins to fear for his life. Is the handsome huntsman in on a plot to assassinate him, or is there an even darker, more evil power afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient magic at work, if Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover it.

****

Weekend Writing Warriors is a blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share from their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  Click the link to check out the other writers participating today.  It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.