Today I have Darby Karchut stopping by with a guest post in honour of the release of the third book in her middle grade series.
She's shared details of her favourite scene in a really fun post, but first here is a little about the book.
"Autumn: the season of endings. And beginnings.You can purchase this book at the following retailers (and the other two in the series as well!)
Especially for one young apprentice.
At the annual Festival of the Hunt, thirteen-year-old apprentice goblin hunter Finn MacCullen and his master, Gideon Lir, join other Tuatha De Danaan to honor their people’s heritage. But Finn soon realizes that there are some who denounce his right to attend due to his half-human bloodline.
While he struggles to keep his place by his master’s side, he finds himself embroiled in a decades-old grudge between Gideon and another Knight, bewildered (and beguiled) by a female apprentice with a temper as explosive as his own, and battling a pack of goblins determined to wipe out the entire camp in a surprise attack.
It’s going to take some fancy knife work, the help of a female Knight with a lethal bow, and one old pick up truck to defeat the goblins and prove to his people that his blood runs true-blue Tuatha De Danaan."
And here is Darby talking about, and sharing, her favourite passage from The Hound At The Gate
My favorite passage from THE HOUND AT THE GATE
Like many authors, I have parts of my books that deeply satisfy me, parts that I cringe over, and some parts that, frankly, I can’t even remember writing. But once in a while, I write a scene that is a pure note of Truth.
One such scene is from my latest book, The Hound at the Gate. This is a quiet scene, rather contemplative in nature, and with just one character (thirteen year old Finn MacCullen). It is not emotional or funny or exciting or climatic.
This scene is simply a love note to the wilderness of Colorado.
Yawning, he looked around the tent in the predawn light. Lochlan’s bag, with Lochlan inside of it, formed a lumpy mound in the center of the other cot. Remembering his promise to the Knights, he crawled out, hissing softly between his teeth from the cold.
With his breath ghosting around him, he scrambled to dress, pulling on a thick, hand-
knitted sweater. He recalled Gideon handing it to him while they were packing. Although clean, its creamy color was dulled with age, the cuffs and neck frayed.
“Here,” his master had said, placing the folded garment on his bed while Finn was wadding up clothes and stuffing them in his duffle bag. “The weather is unpredictable in the mountains during autumn, so take this for extra warmth.”
Something in the way Gideon’s fingers had lingered on the garment made Finn bite back the joke about hand-me-down clothes. “Is it yours?” he asked instead, pretty sure he knew the answer.
“Kean’s. I do not know why I’ve kept it all these years.” He made a slight motion with his shoulder. “Although glad I am, now, that you can make use of it. ‘Tis worn, but still has plenty of service in it.”
Finn sniffed the arm. The faint scent of peat and wool and smoke and the sea filled his nostrils. A feeling of homesickness swept over him. But not for Gideon’s home. Another home. Another land.
How can I miss a place I’ve never been to?
Shaking his head clear, he shoved a knife into his belt sheath. After locating gloves and fleece cap, thankful his master had insisted he bring them, he slipped sideways through the canvas flap and pulled it tight together.
A thin layer of hoarfrost iced the campsite; the cold made his eyes water. Zipping his jacket to his chin, he tugged his cap lower and picked up the kettle where it squatted in the dead ashes of the camp fire. He peeked inside. Empty.
With a sigh, he glanced over at the Knights’ tent. A rumbling sound that was definitely Mac Roth snoring made Finn wince. Poor Gideon. Kettle in hand, he headed toward the center of the camp ground, trying to remember where the spigot, attached to a well dug deep into the underlying aquifer, was located.
As he walked, the frost crunched under his shoes. Most tents, scattered about to take advantage of the shelter of trees and boulders, were closed tightly against the chill. A few here and there glowed from within like giant moonstones as their occupants switched on lanterns or clicked on flashlights.
Singing softly to himself, he began swinging the kettle by its handle in rhythm with his stride. “‘A shield in battle and a string in the harp.’” The scent of wood smoke, quite possibly the best smell in the world on a raw, chilly morning, filled the air.
There was something about the forest and the dawn and the cold and the wood smoke that made his whole body almost vibrate with something. Like every sense was on high alert, so that he wouldn’t miss the tangy perfume of pine needles as he brushed past an evergreen. Or the scribble-scrabble of a squirrel hiding another acorn in a soon-to-be-forgotten pile of leaves. Or the sound of his own heartbeat, announcing to the world that Finnegan MacCullen was alive and eager for whatever adventures might come his way.
--- From pages 91-93, The Hound at the Gate
A huge thank you to Darby for taking the time to share this. You can find out more by follow Darby on Twitter, or visiting her official website. You can also find out more details about her books at the publisher website.