The Hunting of the Muse

Owl CC0One eerie night in Van Diemen’s Land, Mollie Harper gets lost in the heart of the forest. A pack of ensorcelled tiger-wolves pick up her scent, and the hunt begins. Just as the lead female springs to pounce on the terrified girl, someone–or something–intervenes, accidentally and irreversibly shrinking Mollie into a wee being and wiping her memory. The Keepers’ son bumbled his magic, but he saved the girl.

The Keepers, a family of magical wee caretakers, take Mollie in, quickly discovering even a pint-sized human complicates and endangers their simple lives. Ever feeling out of place, Mollie and her owl sidekick Boobook, set off to George Town, in search of the home she can’t remember.

Mollie is unaware she’s being tracked and lured into a maze of faerie traps. Malison, a wee-game trophy huntress snares specimens to complete her macabre collection of fey creatures, which she pickles and catalogues with ruthless precision. She’ll stop at nothing–enchanting tiger-wolves, enslaving an army of bats, even blackmailing bumbling hobgoblins into doing her dirty work. But what the huntress requires as a matter of life and death is a Muse, from whom she can distill Essence of Muse to end a crippling curse before it ends her.

Guess who’s a Muse and doesn’t know it?

The Hunting of the Muse winks at the traditional fairy tale The Cobbler and the Elves while offering a uniquely Australian adventure. Set in 19th Century Van Diemen’s Land (aka Tasmania), it could be described as The Wizard of Oz meets Doctor Doolittle with a dash of Green Mansions. Young readers will love the spooky, wriggle-in-your-seat tension, the fabulous fey beings and adorable animal characters, and, of course, the very complex, clinically evil Malison.

Some teasers to savour:

Are you curious about Malison’s pickled fey specimens? Check out The Hunting of the Muse companion board on Pinterest here. (Even though the pins’ captions suggest the items are “real,” I am of the opinion they are the gorgeous artwork of some very clever people. If I knew who they were, I’d include an attribution.)

Also on the board you will find: Mollie and Wil Stowt; pygmy possums (Sooo cute), toadstools, owls galore, and Tassie rainforests. The quokka and joey picture is there because it’s so darn cute. Sadly, it has nothing to do with my story, as quokkas live far, far away from Tasmania–in fact, as far away as you can get and still be in Australia.

{Note to self: next story must include quokkas…]

thylacine-160488_1280Ever wondered what happened to Tasmanian Tigers? Are they really extinct? Well, have I got a story for you!

In Muse, I call them tiger-wolves. They are (IMHO) far more lupine or canine than feline, as the name tiger suggests. Check out the image and decide for yourself. Incidentally, the correct name for this mysterious marsupial is thylacine.

3 thoughts on “The Hunting of the Muse

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