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.

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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 ~ Curious

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

I’m sharing from my work in progress, currently titled Snow.  This is a romantic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White. Snow White has been around for centuries, long before Disney, and one of the fun things about reimagining a tale so embedded in the culture is picking and choosing the elements that appeal to me, adding my own, and presenting a story that is both familiar and unexpected.  My first exposure to Snow White came from a big old book of European fairly tales from my Czech grandmother.  Then, of course, at the age of seven, I was deeply impacted by the Walt Disney version (re-released on the big screen!)  This little scene within the larger, darker tale of the hunt, was surely inspired by that animated version, but as I wrote, I found that the idea of having Prince Gabriel  connected to the forest creatures played in perfectly with how things develop later, and might just help save his life. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

A chickadee lit on a branch just ahead of him, cocked its head and let out a shrill series of chirps, tweets and whistles.

“Please go away,” Gabriel said, “We’re trying to be stealthy.”

Falkner waited for him, and Gabriel could have sworn the stern huntsman was trying to suppress a smirk.   Gabriel’s cheeks started to burn. It wasn’t his fault forest creatures found him…curious.  But he didn’t have to talk to them, a point frequently made by his brother.

When he reached Falkner, the birds vanished in puff of feathery motion.

“If you could refrain from soliloquizing, it would be helpful, your lordship,” Falkner said with a perfectly straight face. A perfectly perfect face, actually, except for a faint, dashing scar along his prominent left cheekbone.

Rather than admit he’d been talking to a bird, Gabriel ignored the comment.

***

This isn’t the one I had, alas, but the illustration reminds me of it.

 

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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.

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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 ~ Forest Concert

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 project, a reimagined fairy tale inspired by the story of Snow White.

In this chapter, after reluctantly being forced to participate in the royal hunt, Prince Gabriel finds himself alone with the huntsman, Gavin Falkner, tracking a stag. Not only does Gabriel not want to kill an animal, he frequently finds he gets on better with the creatures of the forest than with other people. You can read last week’s snippet here.

***

All fell quiet except for the almost inaudible brush of Falkner’s hand against limbs as he moved them aside. There was no track to speak of, and Gabriel had to stop to return the arrow to its quiver and sling the bow across his back, in order to have two free hands.  In the brief pause, Falkner pulled so far ahead Gabriel couldn’t hear him at all, only see his dark head among the greenery and catch a faint whiff of his spicy sweat here and there, mingled with the scent of rain, mud and moldering leaves. Clearly Falkner wasn’t too worried about a gremlin leaping out of the bushes.

Loud chirps and twitters started in a tree above Gabriel’s head. He looked up to see a flock of chickadees settle into the branches.

“Shoo,” he whispered, and waved at them, but the little birds with large voices continued to follow and comment on his passage. They made such a racket Falkner actually stopped and looked back with a frown, as if Gabriel had orchestrated this forest concert.  Gabriel merely glared back, as if he didn’t know what Falkner was concerned about.

It was a plague, these birds, or squirrels, or sometimes even frogs; they couldn’t seem to leave him alone.

***

Night Flight by Ginette Brosseau. I couldn’t find any ominous chickadee images.

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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 ~ Unquestioning Obedience

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 sharing from my current work-in-progress, Snow, a fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White.  My main genre is gay romance, so you won’t be surprised to learn that Snow is a man, also known as Prince Gabriel.  In this scene, Gabriel has been reluctantly pressed into joining his brother’s hunting party.  Gabriel doesn’t enjoy killing animals, but his brother is the king, so what’s a prince to do?

You can read last week’s snippet here, if so inclined.

***

He stepped around Tempest, gaze on the tree line, hoping feverishly that the deer would not come into view. After a few moments, it seemed his wish had come true as the sounds from the woods faded.

“Come on, we’ll leave the horses here,” Falkner said and moved swiftly away through the tall grass. Gabriel’s shoulders sagged, but again he followed.

He wondered about his unquestioning obedience. Yes, his brother the king had ordered him to join the hunt, but Tristan was nowhere to be seen and Falkner was little more than a servant. Gabriel could insist on joining the main party. No one would fault him for that; unless, of course, it meant he ruined the hunt for the second time that day.

He trudged on, bow in one hand, arrow in the other. The huntsman had reached the trees, a dark figure all in black cutting a slim shadow through the dense foliage.

***

 

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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.

 

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.

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“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.