Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Hunter’s Moon

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

I’m so excited.  We might actually get a bit of winter here in Oregon. While the rest of the US has been gripped in the icy talons of the polar vortex, we’ve been watching the crocuses and dandelions begin to bloom. But this week, there was a dusting of snow! I had to wear a coat! Thrilling times here, let me tell you.

As it is in the world of Snow, my current work-in-progress. Prince Gabriel has returned home on the eve of The Hunter’s Moon, a celebration that carries dark memories for him.  Last week, Gabriel lied to Galvin Falkner, the king’s huntsman, telling him he didn’t remember him.  Note: the king is Gabriel’s brother.

***

“Well, there was a mob of us,” Falkner said, looking away as if he suddenly remembered what the mob had gotten up to.

“If this is the king’s hunt, where is the king?”

“Back at Greenswale meadow, where the tents are set up for the festival of the Hunter’s Moon.”

Ah, yes, how could Gabriel have forgotten? The most tiresome day of the year. At Castle Craigmoor, where he’d spent the last several years, much less fuss was made over the celebration. Yes, the villagers offered piles of slain rabbits and pheasants to Astrid, the goddess of the hunt, and everyone drank too much, but at Castle Rosenthal, the slaying of a stag on the day before the Hunter’s Moon was considered an essential rite of passage for the nobility, one that Gabriel had never passed.

His mother the Queen had never cared nor pressed him on the matter, but his brother took it as a personal affront, a rejection of all that was manly, noble and respectable. The more his brother taunted him, the more Gabriel dug in his heels and refused to go along on the hunts at all.  The brothers—bonded by the early death of their father—grew quickly and irrevocably apart.

***

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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 scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and 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 force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

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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!

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Weekend Writing Warriors ~ The Fire of the Hunt

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the changeover without too much damage to ye olde brain cells. We need all of those, you know, because we have a fresh year of story-crafting ahead of us. If you’re perusing the web in order to find your next favorite read, don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog hop at Weekend Writing Warriors, where you can sample from a wide-array of story snippets.

I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a reimagined fairy tale titled Snow. I’ll let you guess which fairy tale inspired it.

After an absence of three years, Prince Gabriel is returning home along a forest path when he’s startled by a large stag, and then by the hunting party pursuing it.  Last week, Gabriel challenged the head huntsman, questioning his right to hunt on the king’s land. The huntsman speaks first.

***

“This is the king’s hunting party! Where’s the stag gone to?”

A baying in the woods seemed to answer his question. Gabriel shrugged, and didn’t move out of the way.

“I saw no stag. There was a rabbit earlier, is that what you’re after?”

“Who the hell are you to get in our way?” The man finally settled his horse. He looked more irritated than angry, and upon reflection, Gabriel thought he knew him. Black hair, brown eyes that flashed with the fire of the hunt, sharply aristocratic features, with a matching aristocratic attitude—By Grindle’s Beard, it’s Gavin Falkner.

***

Blurb-in-progress:

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 scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and 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 force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

****

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!

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May 2019 be peaceful, happy and wondrous.

 

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Are You Mad?

Welcome to the last Weekend Writing Warriors of the year. I hope you all had a peaceful holiday and are looking forward to the new year. I know I am. I started 2018 out with a bang, releasing three new books and re-releasing seven more, but have run out of steam here at the end. My New Year’s goal is to release Wild, Jacqui the Cat Book 4, by the end of January, and Snow, my current work in progress, before summer, when a book titled Snow might not have as much appeal!

So here is the next snippet from Snow, a re-imagined fairy tale inspired by the tale of Snow White. Prince Gabriel and his servant, Webster, are on the road, returning home after a long absence, when they are surprised by a fleeing stag pursued by a pack of hunting dogs.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

“Oh, dear Astrid preserve us,” Webster whispered, eyes shut. His nervous horse, who’d stood frozen a moment before, turned and bolted. Two of the dogs pursued.

“Webster, stop!” Gabriel called after his servant, who jangled up and down in the saddle, stiff legs bouncing free from the stirrups.

Another horse burst out of the fog, a huge, black stallion that looked as if it would charge straight over Gabriel and his mount.

Tempest stood firm, not a horse to be intimidated, and finally the other rider reined in, horse rearing up, hooves kicking the air between them.

“Are you mad?” the rider shouted, as other horsemen galloped up and joined the now chaotic mix of dogs and horses.

Gabriel ignored the disrespectful question. “This is the king’s land. What right have you to hunt here?”

***

Blurb-in-progress:

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 scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and 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 force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

****

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 ~ Without Warning

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Before we get down to business, I have a word of wisdom for those of you who might know this: December is not the best time to take in a semi-feral kitten.  Especially a semi-feral kitten who has a personal vendetta against paper of any kind. No presents under the tree for us this year!

On to the snippet.  I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a revisited fairy tale titled Snow.  Last week, as Prince Gabriel and his servant Webster were riding through the woods toward home, a mysterious shape began to form in the fog, accompanied by ominous sounds.

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Without warning, a large deer burst from the mist right beside them. The stag veered sharply to avoid Tempest, hooves digging into the dirt, nostrils flared and eyes wild as it sprang past them and crashed into a narrow gap in the woody thicket on the other side of the road.

Gabriel rode up to the gap and peered along a nearly invisible tunnel through the brambles. This well-worn animal track was the only way for something as large as a deer to penetrate the woods.

Webster squeaked in alarm and Gabriel shifted his gaze in time to see the deer’s pursuers emerge from the fog. Several large black hunting dogs charged him, focused only on pursuit.

“Halt!” Gabriel shouted. The pack broke ranks. Only one dog ran past Tempest into the gap. The others loped up and down the road, still baying, panting and milling in an agitated swarm.

***

Ivan Bilibin (1876-1942) Image in Public Domain

Blurb-in-progress:

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 scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and 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 force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

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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 ~ Death by Bee

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

I’ve been sharing from my current work-in-progress and will continue to do so until I run out of words or another project captures my fevered imagination. Snow is a re-imagined fairy tale with a prince in the title role. In this scene, Prince Gabriel and his manservant Webster are traveling home to Castle Rosenthal after a long absence. Webster, neither horseman nor outdoorsman, has been stung by a bee.  He’s the first to speak.  (You can read last week’s snippet here.)

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“Are bees poisonous? I feel a little faint.”

“Not usually, though some people puff up and find they can’t breathe after being stung.”

“I, ah, my breathing is a little…” Webster patted his chest and wheezed.

“Nothing to worry about, I suspect.” Gabriel turned to look down the road again. The fog had thickened. Only a flapping black and white flag on top of the tower was visible now. “Though some people do die from bee stings.”

“Rare, though, isn’t it? Death by bee?”

****

I like bees. It was probably a wasp that stung Webster.

Blurb-in-progress:

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 scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and 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 force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

****

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 ~ Schemes and Whispers

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 everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a good one, and those of you who don’t, I hope you had a very nice Thursday!

I’m sharing from my current work-in-progress, a reimagined fairy tale inspired by the story of Snow White. In my world, Snow is a prince, the Huntsman is hot, but possibly evil, and dwarves are not cuddly, rosie-cheeked fellows named Happy. My first stab at a blurb is included below.

In chapter one, Prince Gabriel is returning home after a long absence. He’s traveling with his manservant, Webster, who’s having an altercation with a bee while Gabriel muses on his imminent homecoming. You can read last week’s snippet here.

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He supposed, once Webster was flung into the swirling mire of schemes and whispers that filled Castle Rosenthal’s corridors, this man too would draw away from him and regard him with suspicion, his manners poisoned by the slight veneer of contempt Rosenthal servants regularly got away with. How long before he started to call Gabriel “Snow” behind his back?

But he was a servant, so Gabriel shouldn’t care. Only, it had been pleasant to simply be master and servant for this brief journey.

“Is something the matter, your grace? Have I done something wrong—Ow!” Webster slapped his neck. “It bit me! The vicious little beastie!”

“No, Webster, I was thinking of something else.”

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Into the swirling mire of Castle Rosenthal

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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 scheming alchemist, the magical denizens of the bordering Black Forest are on the move, and 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 force afoot? A forced flight into the Black Forest may expose ancient powers at work, if only Gabriel can survive long enough to uncover them.

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