Welcome to my blog! I'm very excited to participate in the Fairy Tale Magic Blop Hop!
Hunter's Mark, my Beyond Fairytales book via Decadent Publishing, releases October 10.
Comment to be eligible for the following prizes on my site:
1) Wolf pendants
2) $10 Amazon Gift Card
3) SWAG (magnets, signed postcards, LED key chains, pens and memory fobs)
Also be sure to participate in the hop's grand prize ($100 Amazon Gift Card!) below.
The link list to the other amazing people participating in this blog hop is at the bottom of this post.
As a child, I was completely fascinated with fairy tales. I greatly enjoyed the traditional stories and the contemporary retellings of these works. As an adult, I also love the naughty, twisted tales, as well. So when Decadent Publishing posted a new line for twists and re-imaginings from assigned stories, I knew I had to be a part of it.
I was assigned the Grimm Tale "The Skillful Huntsman." I've linked the title to the complete story, but I'll summarize here:
A young man becomes a locksmith by trade, taught by his father. He decides to go out into the world and do something else. He encounters a huntsman and learns from him how to be a huntsman and is given a special gun that never misses.
He goes off on his own and comes upon three giants. They want a princess who is locked away in a palace, which is guarded by a tiny dog that barks and wakes everyone who comes near. The Huntsman kills the dog (eek) and goes to check out the princess. While she sleeps he helps himself to some items including part of her clothes (stalkeriness!) Then decides he can't turn her over to the giants' mercy. So he tricks them, chops off their heads, and removes their tongues placing them in his bag (must be lined with Fabreeze!) as trophies. Then he's off wandering the world again.
The next morning the King and the princess find the dead giants. The King's nasty Captain takes credit, and the King says the princess is to marry the awful man. She says no, and the King says she has to dress like a peasant and go out into the world. So she borrows pottery and sets up a stand. The King not happy that his daughter is out there, has carts wreck her stand and break all the pottery (control freak King!). She doesn't have enough money to pay for the pottery, so the King sets her up in a cottage in the woods where she serves food but doesn't charge money for it since she still refusesto marry his captain.
The Huntsman comes along and has a meal. They have a connection, and he shares that he was the one that actually killed the giants. And he has proof! The King tricks his Captain with a question, and throws the Captain in prison and ultimately has him killed in a very gruesome manner. The Princess and the Huntsman marry, his family comes to live with them, and eventually the Huntsman rules the land with his lady.
So what did I come up with? Hunter, who is a wolf shifter assassin who kills only horrible humans. Pottery artist Casey is a wolf shifter who doesn't know about other shifter having been raised by humans. I used many symbolic elements of the original story. The dog (cute and very alive in my version!), the pottery, the food without charging a fee, the hunter's marksmanship, along with others I will leave you to discover. Below is the blurb and excerpt from HUNTER'S MARK, releasing October 10.
Artist Casey Smith lives a quiet life, under the radar of his enemies, until one fateful night he loses control and the astonishing image of a wolf racing down a suburban street splashes all over social media.
Hunter’s bullet never misses its target. The assassin seeks out and kills his prey with a clear conscience by following two simple rules: 1) Don’t kill innocents 2) Don’t kill shifters.
Realizing his latest assignment violates those rules, the hunter activates Princess Protocol and the assassin becomes the protector. Red hot attraction flares between the hit man and his former target. Can Hunter resist the sweet shifter in his care?
EXCERPT (with language edited)
He stepped closer to Casey’s stall but stumbled over something small and furry. The toe of one Birkenstock caught on a clump of grass as he attempted not to trample the little beast, and he ass-planted with said beast jumping onto his chest to give him a broad doggie smile.
His buddy laughed piss-your-pants-hard in his ear. F**k a duck.
The target he’d worked so hard to observe remotely sank to the ground between his sprawled-out legs, peeling the tiny hairball off his chest and setting it on the ground.
“I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”
Big blue eyes fringed with long, pale lashes scanned his body while strong yet gentle hands moved over his ankles and legs, searching for an injury. Oh, a toucher. His wolf basked in the tactile attention. His breath hitched as those hands glided past his knees and skimmed his thighs.
Damn, he needed to get laid after this assignment.
“Oh, my, what a li’l sweetie. Look at those freckles! I wonder if he’s got them everywhere. I’d like to lick them,” Rex crowed in his ear.
The other man chortled. “Possessive, much?”
He inhaled deeply, only to be slammed with the force of a Mack truck. Strawberries on a warm summer’s day and fresh-cut grass—shit, his target smelled delicious. He took another breath, and his brain reeled. He’s a wolf shifter, too? F**k.
Casey’s brows furrowed. “Where are you hurt?”
He forced a smile. “I’m fine. No worries.”
Casey returned the smile, his wide and high beam combined with sparkling eyes. Hunter stared as warmth wrapped around him like a blanket. He had no ammo against such a happy, open expression. The guy f**king glowed.
V.S. Morgan has lived all over the US but calls Minnesota her home now. Her family includes her hubby, son, and a menagerie of pets.