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Category: The Hounds of Annwn

Plans and news

Posted in Bound into the Blood, Goals, Heroes, King of the May, The Hounds of Annwn, The Ways of Winter, and To Carry the Horn

As some of you know, I moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania in May, just as I was finishing King of the May. We relocated to our vacation home in central Pennsylvania, an old log cabin (with improvements) nestled into a hollow of the Allegheny mountains.

No one had lived in the cabin for 10 years beyond a few relatives visiting during hunting season, so the place had to be emptied, cleaned, repaired, and painted. On the Virginia end, this included moving two different households to a single smaller location and a warehouse, so it was beyond complicated. I did my best to keep writing each day but the dust is still settling and will be for a while. (Half of my office is still in boxes.)

You may have noticed that King of the May is published by Perkunas Press, still in Hume, Virginia. It will take a little while for me to register the business in Pennsylvania, and after that new printings (and my bio) will show the update.

Southviewcabin1
Architectural detail of the main cabin (1820s) or thereabouts

 

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Recent – porch roofs needed a bit of leakproofing.
shed
Nearby shed in happier times.
Dead shed now.

 

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Shed imploded after being whomped by a fallen willow.

Meanwhile, I've started on Bound into the Blood, book 4 of The Hounds of Annwn. Since I include the first chapter of the next book at the end of the current one, I had to write the first chapter before I could publish King of the May. So I have a pretty good idea how this one is going to roll out.

It will be a more intimate book than King of the May, as The Ways of Winter was more intimate than To Carry the Horn. George will look for answers about his father's family, and the search will take him to strange places with unusual companions (Seething Magma will be coming along).

These four books of The Hounds of Annwn will cover most of a year, from mid-October to end of summer. Interestingly, they are coinciding with the same seasons in real life as I write them — helps me stay in the mood.

I'll produce some more short stories in The Hounds of Annwn world, and collect them into an anthology (sign up for my newsletter to hear about each new one as it comes out and read it for free on my blog), but after Bound into the Blood (sometime this fall/winter), I intend to begin a new fantasy series, The Affinities of Magic.

Depending on the wishes of my readers, there may be more adventures in store for George Talbot Traherne. Please let me know — I'm listening.

King of the May – Book 3 of The Hounds of Annwn has been released

Posted in Fantasy, King of the May, Publishing, Release, and The Hounds of Annwn

KingOfTheMay - Full Front Cover - 297x459I'm delighted to announce that King of the May is now available at a variety of retailers in both paperback and ebook formats.

This was an ambitious work for me, with lots going on in several settings. I ended up focusing on the primary characters whose adventures were in the old world, not because I wanted to scant the efforts of their friends in the new world, but because it is, in the end, George's story, and he couldn't be in two places at once.

I'll satisfy my urge for more new world detail with some of the upcoming short stories. For example, you'll get to see George's fae family take a car ride in the new world sometime in the next few months.

You can find out more about the book and where to buy it here. As always, if you like the book, I encourage you to write a review wherever you bought it, or to post one on Goodreads or Amazon. Reviews make a big difference to authors.

Enjoy!

King of the May (excerpt) – Chapter 1

Posted in King of the May, and The Hounds of Annwn

KingOfTheMay - Full Front Cover Widget

CHAPTER 1

Prologue
Creiddylad knelt at her father’s feet and waited for his response. She surreptitiously watched from her humbly lowered eyes, the subtle smile that was normally on her face hidden from his sight.

Lludd, King of Britain, stiffened in his great seat in his private audience chamber. “Can this possibly be true? The wizards were right that rock-wights made the ways we use, and my son Gwyn knows this and keeps it from me?”

“He’s found a method of controlling the elementals, father,” she said, rubbing salt into the wound. “I fear my friend Madog paid with his life when he challenged Gwyn’s authority.” The fact that Madog had been experimenting with them, had even kidnapped a young one, was carefully omitted.

Lludd ruminated on this treacherous and independent son. Prince of Annwn, indeed. Only by my will, he reminded himself. It was time he took that back and made something more useful out of him. Annwn would be better served by an ambitious deputy who owed everything to him, one who had proven his loyalty.

It would be a shame to hurt him too badly, but he could always breed other children. That’s what they were there for, after all—the glory of his line.

Short story – The Call

Posted in Fantasy, Short Story, The Call, and The Hounds of Annwn

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

A very young Rhian discovers her beast-sense and rushes to the rescue of an errant hound.

This short story takes place before the events in To Carry the Horn.


THE CALL

The Call

In all of her eight years, Rhian had never had a better time out hunting. Her pony Dreinog had kept up with the bigger horses on this gorgeous fall day, and she’d jumped every obstacle that came her way. It was always fun, she thought, but somehow today seemed different, more exciting. It’s like I could feel what a good time Dreinog was having, following the hounds.

She hastened to untack him and groom him in the stables behind her foster-father’s court. Gwyn insisted that she see to the care of each of her animals, and she enjoyed doing it. Normally she liked these quiet moments after the hunt with her pony, lingering to talk to him all about the adventures they had just had. But this time there was something wrong, something nagging at her. She wanted to find Isolda and talk to her instead. Isolda would know what to do. After all, she was three years older.

She hurried out of the stables and ran to the kennels to look for her friend. Isolda was usually there, helping her father Ives and the other lutins who were responsible for the well-being of the hounds. She found the usual stir of the pack recently returned, the lucky hounds who had been out telling their left-behind packmates all about it, in their own way.

Rhian ignored the noisy hounds, but she was surprised not to see any of the hunt staff. They hadn’t come to the stable, either. She ducked her head into the kennel-master’s office, and found Isolda there instead of her father.

“What’s happened?” she asked.

“Gwennol’s missing,” Isolda told her. “Iolo brought the rest of the pack home, but he’s gone back out with the hunt staff to find her.”

Rhian was shocked. She liked Gwennol about best of all the bitch hounds. The young hound had a habit in the field of swooping after the quarry, like the swallow she was named for. Was that what was wrong, what had been bothering her in the stables?

Short story – Under the Bough

Posted in Fantasy, Short Story, The Hounds of Annwn, and Under the Bough

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

Angharad hasn’t lived with anyone for hundreds of years, but now she is ready to tie the knot with George Talbot Traherne, the human who has entered the fae otherworld to serve as huntsman for the wild hunt. As soon as she can make up her mind, anyway.

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


UNDER THE BOUGH

UnderTheBough - Full Front Cover - 297x459“I haven’t lived with anyone for hundreds of years,” Angharad said. “I’m much too set in my ways, too used to living alone.”

Her old friend Tegwen looked at her pointedly in recognition of the feebleness of these excuses.

“You’ll adapt,” she said.

But do I really want to, Angharad wondered.

“What do you think of George? Truly?” Tegwen prodded.

She couldn’t help it. Her face warmed and she smiled affectionately. She glanced around the morning room to see if Tegwen’s husband Eurig was in sight, but he must be outside seeing to the running of his estate. They were her oldest friends. They had come to the new world in exile together, when Gwyn ap Nudd, Prince of Annwn, had transferred his domain.

She owed her honesty. “He’s kind, bold, even… ardent.” She looked at the floor. “He makes my knees melt.”

And makes me laugh, too. But was that enough?

She voiced her deepest fear. “He must think me a dried out old lady,” she whispered. “He’s so young.”

“And his age bothers you?”

“Not by itself, no, but we hardly know each other.”

Tegwen asked directly, “Do you have any doubts of him?”

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 catalogued 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.

Short story – Cariad

Posted in Cariad, Fantasy, Short Story, and The Hounds of Annwn

It's going to be a while before the next full-length book is available. It's going well, but the story will be large and a bit complicated.

In the meantime, I thought I'd start writing a few of the short stories from the world of The Hounds of Annwn that are kicking around in my head. I'll try to produce one more or less monthly. They'll only be available as ebooks initially, but I'll collect them into bundles as paperbacks every so often.

So, in time for Valentine's Day, please enjoy this brief story about a man who loses confidence that he's the man his wife needs.

This story takes place between The Ways of Winter and King of the May.


CARIAD

Cariad - Full Front Cover - 297x459Benitoe busied himself with rechecking the girth on Halwyn, off to the side of the inn yard, and kept his eye on the side door of the main building. Two of the tall fae rode in and dismounted, chatting together. A groom came out of the stable to take their horses, a lutin in red like many of the staff at the inn, a foot shorter than the fae, or more, like Benitoe himself, though Benitoe wore his dark green hunt livery instead of the traditional red. The groom looked over and gave Benitoe a wave. “We’ve got his pony tacked up. Are you still planning to return tonight?”

“Shouldn’t be any problem with that, it’s just a few miles on horseback, through the ways, and the weather’s clear. Do you have enough space ready?”

“Luhedoc told us to expect eight, and we can just manage it.”

Benitoe took in all the construction that was still underway as the Golden Cockerel was being hurriedly restored to use. He’d seen the newest interior repairs last night after he rode in, but now, in daylight, the extent of the work was much more obvious. The stables had been in complete collapse when he’d last seen them, a few weeks ago. Maëlys had latched onto the first stone masons and carpenters to become available as the barriers dropped around Edgewood and set them to work, rightly anticipating that the reviving town would need a working inn as its dwellers came back to life, reviving from the curse that had buried them in a sort of half-life for so long.