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.

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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!

***

May 2019 be peaceful, happy and wondrous.

 

 

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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.

****

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 ~ No Demands

Hello and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where you can sample a great selection of stories in excerpts of ten sentences or less.

I’m sharing from my work-in-progress, a reimagined fairy tale. There’s a pretty big clue at the end of this excerpt as to which fairy tale it is. In this scene, Prince Gabriel and his man servant Webster are returning to Gabriel’s home through less travelled forest roads. You can read last week’s snippet here.

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Gabriel calmly observed as a buzzing bee distracted his servant. Webster waved one hand frantically in front of his face, angering the bee and confusing the horse, who turned in an agitated circle. Webster was twenty, the same age as Gabriel. Taller and thinner to the point of being gangly, he had dark brown hair, a peppering of hairs on his pointy chin that might one day knit themselves into a beard, and pale blue eyes that found fault with everything they shrewdly took in.

He’d only served Gabriel a short while.  Lord Craigmoor, Gabriel’s uncle, had assigned Webster to him because it wasn’t proper, nor safe, for a prince to travel the forest roads alone. Not that Webster was any protection, but he was company, and had learned to set up camp fairly well, though he complained endlessly about the bugs, the dirt, the thieving jackdaws and squirrels, his disobedient horse, the weather, trees that dripped pine sap, flowers that emitted irritating pollens, and rivers that ran too swift and were too cold.

Gabriel, in contrast, was never happier than when he was out in nature. He preferred to be by himself with only the woodland creatures for company, but he’d quickly become accustomed to Webster, whose constant stream of words merged into the background noises of the forest like the chatter of a chickadee. He made no demands on Gabriel’s attention and, knowing nothing of Gabriel’s history or family, didn’t judge, gossip or look sidelong at Gabriel’s near-white hair.

***

Into the woods…

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Next week I’ll post a blurb and maybe even a title! For those of you wondering what happened to Jacqui the Cat, Book 4, well, I’m sooooo close. The story became longer and more complicated than I’d originally intended, as stories do, but I think I’m in the home stretch. Wish me luck!

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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 ~ A Commanding Presence

Hello there, and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. WWW is a blog hop where a bunch of writers share excerpts of ten sentences or less from a wide variety of genres. It’s like the sampler option at your local brew pub; you get to try a little taste of everything.

I’ve been sharing from my current work-in-progress, which is a reimagined fairy tale. In the first chapter, Prince Gabriel and his manservant Webster are returning to Gabriel’s home along a forest road. Webster, castle born and bred, is having some trouble with his mount. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

“You there,” Gabriel pointed at Webster’s horse in his most princely manner, “You must always stay three yards behind Tempest here, who is your superior. Do you understand?”

The horse, a rather skittish young chestnut, tossed its head, snorted, and took three steps back.

Webster shook his head. “I swear they do understand you, my lord.”

“They understand a commanding presence,” Gabriel said, and looked at man and horse sternly. “You must not be so polite to your mount.”

“I’ve actually been quite short with him on occasion, but it makes no difference. I’m not cut out to be a horseman, your lordship.”

“That much is clear.”

***

Well, this is much fancier than anything Gabriel would be caught dead in, but I love the artist. Ivan Bilibin. Image in public domain.

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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!