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.

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“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.

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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 ~ Auspicious

Hello and Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Apologies to my fellow Warriors if I didn’t visit your excerpt last week. I actually got caught up in….writing!  Yes, I pushed ahead and finished the umpteenth draft of my other WIP!  Not Snow, which I’m excerpting from here, but that novel-from-hell that’s been sucking up my life for over a year now. Soon I’ll be sharing from that one (hint: it might feature a fashion designing cat shifter with intimacy issues), and pushing to finish Snow in the background.  One of these days I’ll learn to work on one project at a time, but for now, the stories beckon.

I really want to finish out this scene from Snow, in which Prince Gabriel learns all kinds of disturbing things, and that’s before he even gets home to Castle Rosenthal.  Last week, Gabriel had the disturbing thought that one of his brother’s men had deliberately tried to kill him.  He pushed the thought off as ridiculous, but…

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There was a clamor in the trees and then Tristan emerged, looking agitated and flushed, his breathing labored.

“So you managed to interfere with the hunt again, Brother? What’s this nonsense about a magical deer?” Tristan held his bow tightly in one hand, and as he drew closer, it seemed to Gabriel that he was not only agitated, but enraged. Even in the fading light of dusk, blotchy patches on his face radiated red heat and his eyes gleamed with something akin to hate.

Startled, Gabriel took in a sharp breath and exhaled slowly before responding. “It was the white stag, Brother. The same white stag that adorns the family crest.  It is auspicious.”

“And the stag showed himself to you instead of me?”

***

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 and 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 ~ Foolish Lad

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. Everyone is invited to join in, whether you’re a reader, writer, or alien scientist examining Earth’s internet transmissions from space.

I’ve been sharing from my never-ending WIP, a reimagined fairy tale in which Snow White is a put-upon young prince and the huntsman may be a romantic hero, or a dastardly villain.  In this scene, Gabriel (the prince) and Gavin Falkner (the huntsman) have a tracked a noble, snow white (quite the coincidence) stag into a meadow in the forest. Gabriel reluctantly prepares to kill it.  (PS I know having two G-named main characters is stupid, but I haven’t decided how to change that yet. Working on it!)

***

Gabriel removed bow and arrow from the quiver at his side as quietly as he could. Once in hand, he inspected the lethal head of the arrow and experienced a sharp vision of red blood staining the white fur.

He blinked away the stupid, unreasonable moment of queasiness, and lifted his gaze along with the shaft of the nocked arrow.  The stag seemed unalarmed, grazing without much heed of the dangers around it.  At such a distance, and presenting such a broad target, Gabriel couldn’t miss.  He did enjoy target practice, and had won many a competition at it, besting even Falkner on occasion.

As he took aim, the stag lifted its mighty head and gazed calmly in their direction, clearly seeing the two men lurking in the bushes. Why won’t the damn thing run? Gabriel stared straight into the deer’s large black eyes and saw intelligence there.  Foolish lad, he heard his stepfather’s voice scolding him, animals don’t have hearts and minds like we do.

***

Alpar Benedek | 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 scheming alchemist and 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 ~ Auspicious

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’ve been off the grid for a while, doing a lot of traveling, and when not traveling, recovering from traveling. My last jaunt was to Los Angeles for the World Fantasy 2019 convention, which was awesome.  I have a new goal: to have Snow finished in time for Salt Lake City next year! I might submit to one of the mainstream publishers like Tor now that things are loosening up for writers of LGBTQ fantasy, or I might just publish it myself, depending on how much frustration and rejection I’m in the mood for when the time comes.

So on to the snippet. In case you’re new to the story, Snow is a reimagined fairy tale based on the tale of Snow White. I’ve jumped ahead a bit from my last post;  Prince Gabriel and the huntsman Falkner have been separated from the main hunting party, and are tracking a deer on their own.  Gabriel would rather not kill anything, but alas, fate has its own ideas.

***

Gabriel rested his hand against a tree trunk and peered intently into the distance, trying once again to see what the huntsman did.  A flicker of motion caught his attention and his breath caught as a large stag lifted its head from where it had been nibbling on grass.

This was no ordinary deer.  Its coat was pure white and Gabriel wondered how he had failed to see the magnificent creature immediately. Then the deer stepped out of the pocket of weak light it stood in and the white coat faded to gray, rippling with streaks of silver. The beast lowered its head again, a great mass of antlers scraping the limbs above and releasing a shower of red leaves. Gabriel counted nine…ten points: a larger rack than any currently mounted in the great feast hall.

Time slowed and stretched as they lurked in the shadows without moving or uttering a sound, until Falkner elbowed him lightly in the arm.  This was a hunt, not a zoological tour, and the arrival of a white deer was surely auspicious.  Gabriel imagined the fanfare and excited soothsaying that would accompany this kill.

***

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 and 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 ~ Dark Places

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’m sharing from my current work in progress, a reimagined fairy tale with the working title of Snow. Yup, you guessed it. It’s inspired by the story of Snow White.

In this scene, Prince Gabriel is in the woods with the head huntsman, Gavin Falkner. They’re tracking a stag, which Gabriel hopes they don’t find. You can read the last snippet here.

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“Are we getting any closer, do you think, or has the stag sensibly fled into the Black Forest by now?” Gabriel asked.

“Not likely, the animals don’t like the forest anymore than we do.  It doesn’t appear to be running. We may catch up to it yet if we move quickly and stay silent.”

“Well, let’s stay close together so the birds don’t…cluster.”

Falkner gave him a quizzical look as if trying to decide what sort of man attracted birds, then moved on. This time he paid more attention to Gabriel’s progress and paused occasionally, letting go of low pine branches just in time so they swung into Gabriel’s face. Gabriel didn’t think this was on purpose. The man was simply intent on his job of tracking and he was an irritant, no more.

But as they continued on in this fashion, memories of the time when he was the object of his brother’s scorn—and therefore Falkner’s as well—arose against his will, and all the feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy and isolation came creeping out of the dark places in his heart where he’d banished them.

***

I’m just grooving on these vintage fairy tale illustration. This is from 1914, from the book East of the Sun, West of the Moon illustrated by Kay Nielsen.

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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 and 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 ~ Too Quiet

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’m continuing to share from my current WIP, a reimagined fairy tale inspired by the tale of Snow White. In this scene, Prince Gabriel and the huntsman Falkner have been seperated from the rest of the hunting party. Last week, Falkner heard something large coming their way. So soon after stumbling across a gremlin nest, imaginations may have run amok.

***

Gabriel scowled and tried to hear what Falkner heard. “One of the riders returning?”

“Too quiet.”

A moment later, a soft thud, the swish of branches, and a snort carried through the otherwise still woods.

“A deer?”

Falkner nodded. “Get your bow ready.”

Gabriel’s heart sank into his boots, but he did as told. Perhaps if he got it over with, Tristan would never bother him again about the joys of hunting. Or if he missed the shot, then his brother and his cohorts could just go back to mocking him and stop trying to force him to be like them.

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Andreiuc88 | 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 scheming alchemist and 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.