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Month: March 2013

Hunting red deer

Posted in Plot, and Research

Red_deer_stag_2009_denmark-319x480As the readers of my Hounds of Annwn series have discovered, it's not fox they're after in the fae world, but other beasts of the chase.

The list of the royal beasts of hunting was always topped in the Medieval period by red deer, a close relative of what we in the new world call elk. (What the Europeans call elk, we call moose. Confusing, isn't it?)

I've seen a good bit of foxhunting in the last few years, but alas we do not (mostly) pursue deer with dogs in the US, and certainly not elk. So when I want to flesVenerieDuBarry-3-200wh out my understanding of the sport, so that I can incorporate it into the world of my books, I have to turn to those parts of the world where something similar still goes on. Vive la France!

There are many fine photographers who follow traditional hunting in France, by which I mean hunting on horseback, in livery, with horns, following a pack of hounds. Examples include Stéphan Levoye and my current favorite, Eric Dubos. Modern wrinkles include car followers dodging boar and crumpled French horns.

For more beyond this small sampling of images, please check out their websites.

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Short story – Night Hunt

Posted in Fantasy, Night Hunt, Short Story, and The Hounds of Annwn

Another short story from the world of The Hounds of Annwn.

George Talbot Traherne thinks about the choice he made to leave the human world behind.

This story takes place between and To Carry the Horn and The Ways of Winter.


NIGHT HUNT

Night Hunt - Full Front Cover - 297x459

His eyes popped open in the dim light cast by the banked fire. For a moment the bed felt strange and then he remembered—Angharad’s house—and there she slept, turned away from him, breathing slowly. He was wide awake and on the alert.

What woke me? The snow was deep on the ground, muffling any outside noises. No cars were here to disturb him, no engines in the fae otherworld, and he was still getting used to the absence of the sounds of human civilization. He cataloged what he could hear—the tick of the embers in the fireplace, the occasional creak of the floorboards as they adjusted to temperature changes, Angharad’s soft breaths.

Then it came again. Muffled barks of excitement. He looked over at his dogs by the fire. Sargent, the yellow feist, was motionless except for his chest rising and falling, but the bluetick hound was quivering in his sleep, his paws twitching as he ran. He panted and yipped, his eyes closed. No wonder it woke me, he thought.

George had no trouble providing the real sound behind Hugo’s dream, the loud, deep bays as he followed a hot scent. That cry would ring off a hillside, but here it was, indoors, just a remnant to wake him in the night.

Nothing to worry about, he thought, as he relaxed back down into the warm bed by his wife’s side. He wasn’t sleepy, but if he stayed quiet, sleep would return.

Inevitably his mind turned to the tumult of his recent weeks. I made a choice, he thought, the most important of my life. I’ll never face a bigger one. I chose to turn my back on the human world and stay here, with these new-found kinsmen.

Book Signings

Posted in Book Signings

book-signing-800x800I will be doing two book signings in March in the northern Virginia area, and I'd like to invite everyone to come! Both of these are in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

On Saturday, March 16, from 2:00-4:00, I will be at the Coterie Shop in Sperryville at 12018A Lee Highway. Please call Jen Perrot at 540-987-8249 for details.

On Saturday, March 23, from 2:00-5:00, I will be at Crest Hill Antiques in The Plains at 4303 Fauquier Avenue. Please call Sally DeLuca at 540-253-5790 for details. I will also provide a foxhunting slideshow for your amusement. Flyer.