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.

***

“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.

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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.

***

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.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ Advance Troops

Hello fellow Weekend Writing Warriors and random internet wanderers! I’m getting a kick out of my own snippet today, and wish I could keep going, but you know, that ol’ ten sentence rule is reining me in. Good thing, too, or I wouldn’t have any surprises left when it comes time to publish. I’m sharing from my reimagined fairy tale, Snow, inspired by the tale of Snow White.  But because I write gay romance, Snow White is a prince, and he’s about to get in a whole lot of trouble.  Falkner is the huntsman, and Prince Gabriel is trying to engage him in a discussion regarding the magical creatures who appear to be sneaking back into the country after a long absence.

***

“I did some reading on gremlins. They’ll eat anything, but prefer meat. They’re considered intelligent, but of a lower variety than a centaur or even a troll. In the war, gremlins were used as advance troops—”

Falkner held up a hand and Gabriel fell silent. Falkner did not seem to share his fascination, and appeared to be distracted by something on the far side of the meadow. Gabriel followed his gaze but saw nothing.

“Hear that?” Falkner asked. “Something large headed this way, but don’t worry. I doubt it’s a gremlin.”

***

© Raggedstonedesign | 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 ~ Obsession

Hello and welcome to my Weekend Writing Warriors post.  It’s good to be back after a two week break. I went on a writing retreat for part of that time, so pretty soon I’ll be sharing excerpts from the next Jacqui the Cat book. For now, though, I’m continuing with my re-imagined fairy tale, titled Snow. In this scene, Prince Gabriel is reluctantly taking part in the royal hunt. The head huntsman, Falkner, has discovered a mysterious nest in the woods, and Gabriel found something even more disturbing. You can read the last snippet here.

***

Falkner sent his men off to look for tracks, then moved closer, arms crossed over his chest.

“What?”

Gabriel stepped back, and toed aside a clump of ivy. There, moss covered and gray, was a skull.

“Oh, holy hounds of Astrid. Don’t let the king see that.”

“Why ever not?” Gabriel asked, surprised by the huntsman’s reaction, “That’s a human skull, which means there’s been a death on the king’s land. It must be investigated.”

“We mustn’t feed his obsession,” Falkner said.

***

Thunderstorms, mist and rain helped put me in the correct mood on my retreat.

***

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 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 ~ The Wrong Side

 

Greetings and welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less.  I’ve been sharing from my work-in-progress (one of them); a reimagined fairy tale based on the story of Snow White.  And behold, I have finally reached the end of the second chapter! Or almost, couldn’t quite fit the last few lines into this snippet.  So now I get to decide if I continue with this story, or switch to something new.  We are getting close to the exciting hunt scene….Currently, Gabriel is facing the unpleasant realities of his homecoming.  You can read last week’s snippet here.

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Tristan raised his voice to a shout, “Bring my brother a bow and quiver, and prepare the horses! The hunt is on!”

Servants materialized out of the mist like wraiths, and a few noble men stumbled out of the main tent, brushing cake crumbs from their beards and swilling the last dregs from their goblets.

Gabriel decided the stag had little to fear from this sodden band, but Falkner and his men hadn’t been drinking and would be there to bring down whatever animal a drunken lord or duke failed to shoot. The thought made him queasy, but there was nothing he could do about it.

Hunting was a way of life—the way of life for many in Rosenthal—and he’d just have to reconcile his aversion to the society he found himself in. His boyhood games of pretending to communicate with woodland creatures were just that, games and make believe; not something for a grown man to carry with him into adulthood.

Still, he’d always preferred the company of animals to men, and that hadn’t changed. The hunt felt like fighting on the wrong side of a war.

***

Okay, I know these are knights preparing for battle, not aristocrats preparing for a hunt, but isn’t it nicely moody?

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 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~ You Must Obey

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers from a wide variety of genres share their work in excerpts of ten sentences or less. I’m continuing to share from my current work-in-progress, a reimagined fairy tale based on the story of Snow White. In my version, Snow White is male, a young prince named Gabriel who’s just returned home after a long absence. With their mother the queen now dead, Gabriel’s brother Tristan has been made king.  Unfortunately Tristan seems obsessed with the Black Forest which borders his kingdom, and also with forcing Gabriel to join the hunt, which he is loathe to do, being an early pioneer of the animal rights movement. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

Tristan took a few steps toward the river, hands on his hips and declared, “There’s black magic afoot in the world, and it is coming from in there.”

Gabriel took the opportunity to shoot Falkner a questioning look. Again, Falkner shrugged and looked as if he’d rather be anywhere than in Greenswale meadow humoring his drunken king.

But Tristan and Falkner were old friends, comrades-in-arms, and if anyone knew the king’s true mind, it would be the huntsman. Gabriel decided to corner Falkner later and question him regarding his brother’s health.

“We did flush out a stag near the old Brandenburg forest road, just before we crossed paths with Prince Gabriel,” Falkner said in an obvious attempt to distract Tristan. “It won’t cross the river, I’m guessing, and the dogs might be able to pick up its scent.”

“Well, then, no more idling about stuffing our faces.” Tristan turned, eyes gleaming. “And before you whine to me about not wishing to hunt, Brother, let me remind you that I’m your king now and you must obey.”

***

Another creepy forest image. Alas, this one I did not take.

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 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