Title: THE LAST HUNTING SEASON
Genre: YA HISTORICAL FANTASY
Word Count: 65,000 WORDS
How Did You Fall for Writing: I have always loved story and the way you get lost in a great world. So, I wanted to write a story others could get lost in – and that would challenge the current systems of oppression (without being too obvious).
Seventeen-year-old Roslyn McGregor lives in the shadow of the Woods, an uncharted territory of Montana home to an infamous Beast. While monster hunters from around the world come each summer, Roslyn longs for life outside her small town. Her grandmother’s uncanny visions promise that this year will be different. It could be the end of the hunting season once and for all—and an opportunity for Roslyn to leave her responsibilities to the family store and see the world.
Eighteen-year-old DeRay Maxwell lives in the shadow of unjust laws in the Jim Crow South. He may be good at baseball, but his great love is Shakespeare. Before he can afford to provide for his family after the death of his Pop, and maybe even go to college, DeRay must first use his unique gift—the ability to always hit what he’s aiming for—to outwit other huntsmen, slay the Beast, and claim the prize money.
When Roslyn’s little sister and grandmother are kidnapped by a malicious huntsman, she turns to DeRay and finds an unlikely friend and romance in the middle of segregated Montana. Together, they must navigate the Woods, find Roslyn’s family, and outsmart traps set by rival huntsmen, all without becoming another pair of victims of the legendary Beast.
Told in dual perspective, THE LAST HUNTING SEASON is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in 1950s Montana, complete at 65,000 words. This will appeal to fans of THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater and UPROOTED by Naomi Novik.
I have poetry published in Lilliput Review, and have an essay included in Time And Relative Dimensions in Faith: Theology and Doctor Who. I am a regular contributor to the FAITH LINK Bible study series from Cokesbury Press. This is my first novel.
Thank you for all your time and consideration.
Strangeness wove its way under the fingernails of Winter Hollow, Montana. It poured down from the mountains, and whispered in the steamy air. Why anyone came to visit—to settle — in this place baffled Roslyn McGregor.
A full week of May remained, and already every fan in the village buzzed. Summer dripped from the bridge of Roslyn’s nose. If she was in California she could just go to the ocean. She dabbed her forehead with a handkerchief and pushed out into the crowded store front.
At least three dozen tourists milled around, pressing against the aisle shelves. Several men gawked at plain zippo lighters. A couple ogled cans of Campbell’s tomato soup like they were an exotic spice from the far East.
Tourists were ridiculous.
So were the huntsmen, but they didn’t stay long. They went into the Woods and never came out again, or they got some sense and caught the train to Chicago.
At least, huntsmen didn’t fondle the matchbooks or snap photographs of soup cans.
Roslyn took a deep breath. Heat irritated her, made her fiery temper bubble closer to the surface. Tempers were bad for business. Business is what the store needed. She forced a smile and snuck past a stick-thin gentleman in a suit. He murmured to his wife about the “wonders of modern man” while holding a collapsible army-issue shovel. Mother stocked those strictly for the tourists who dreamed of being huntsmen out loud, but secretly were grateful for their sedans and suburban beds.