Hello, reader! Welcome to the second post in the sneak peek series for my upcoming fantasy novel, Where The Woods Grow Wild. If this is your first time joining the fun, you can check out the full series schedule or read the book’s blurb/synopsis from the first post.
Today is all about the characters in Where The Woods Grow Wild. Not all of them, of course. There’s too many for one blog post, and I want to keep some of them a surprise. And don’t worry, these introductions are spoiler-free!
Martin Colter and Elodie Tuck
We start things off, of course, with our leading duo.
Martin Colter washes dishes, stacks wood, and cleans up after Percy Durbity in the Cabbage Cart Inn just outside Bardun Village. While the rest of his family has moved on to bigger and better towns, Martin stays behind to scratch out his own living. He tends to think he can do more than he actually can, and that often leads him to frustration, especially once he loses his hand to…well, I’m not telling you what. Sometimes, the only thing that can brighten the long days at the Cabbage Cart is a visit from a certain town courier…
“I’m going to the bridge in the forest. I don’t care if a wolf took my hand, or a bear, or whatever other story people made up. I’m going to find the miserable animal and kill it myself. Maybe then they’ll see I’m worth more than pity-pennies, and I won’t be stuck in this cauldron for the rest of my life.”
Elodie Tuck is the mayor’s self-proclaimed speediest courier. She’s also the most restless and mischievous courier, and she spends almost as much time pocketing oranges and sneaking out for romps in the fields as she does running errands. Clover fields are her personal favorite, but anything with yellow flowers is good (that’s her favorite color, in case you were wondering). If she had to choose between a day out exploring with Martin and a day pranking the mayor’s maids…well, she’d find a way to get both.
“Fine, then, be that way. Yes, I found it when I cleaned out his old desk drawers, and I took it because he has enough brass rings to fill a bean jar. But the fact is I thought of you and I want you to keep it. It’s not the prettiest, I know, but some days an orange simply isn’t enough. But first, you have to promise you won’t make Percy lie to me and that you won’t run from me ever again.”
Peek in the pots or cupboards in the Cabbage Cart Inn kitchens and you’re bound to find Percy Durbity, the mouse-sized boy who works alongside Martin. Percy’s skill set includes dropping pots, squeezing into tight spaces to hide, and leaving the pig pen gate open. Constantly living in terror of kicks from his easily disgruntled boss, Percy somehow manages to keep his job and his rear end intact despite his constant blunders. At the end of the day, however, he’s as cheerful and talkative as can be…assuming he doesn’t forget to send that letter to his mother…
“My mother left a list of things I ought and ought not to do, and right between ‘you ought to wash your feet twice a day’ and ‘you ought to smile at people and say hello’—that’s a hard one—she wrote ‘you ought not to go in the forest, not ever.’ Sometimes I get it all confused and end up saying hello to my feet twice a day, but I know for sure I ought not to disobey my mother.”
Illo and Fella
There may not be two sisters less alike than Illo and Fella, inside the forest or outside. Fella, the elder, tackles life’s problems with a level head, a matter-of-fact disposition, and a willingness to put the needs of others before her own. Younger sister Illo, on the other hand, tackles life’s problems shoulders first with a feral yell. Or if not, she’ll grab her bow and lethal arrows. Illo may sometimes struggle to grasp concepts like empathy and obedience, and Fella may not always keep her own fears in check, but one thing is certain: they both need each other.
“My sister gets a lot of crazy ideas in her head, but I can usually pick out the truth. I know you don’t actually think you’re a trout.”
“Why, you clod brained, gimpy hog-moggins, I’m not evil!”
The final cast member we get a glimpse of tonight, Podgin is exactly what his name sounds like: a little man who lives in a little home underground and who wants nothing more than to be left alone with his oven and his mushrooms. Food is the love of his life, but he’s also a bit of a hoarder, and his house is a trove of mostly useless trinkets. He may say finding the next truffle patch is all that matters, but deep down, under his quivering nose and unravelable beard, he knows and cares a lot more than most people think.
“No, I’m not making stuffed mushrooms, and you can’t have any. You can’t come in, either. I don’t have time for your shenanigans, and I already feel a sneeze coming on.”
Of course, there are lots more characters that you’ll have to wait and meet when you read Where The Woods Grow Wild. I’ve had so much fun (and a fair share of trouble) telling the adventures of this group and more, and I can’t wait to share them all with you soon!
Thanks for stopping by. Come back on Friday for the next installment in the sneak peek series. In the meantime, have a great day!