Guest post by Katherine McIntyre
I pay close attention to symbolism with nature when I write my stories, and some of my favorite things to focus on are the seasons. The chill of winter has a place in harsher stories, just as the lazy days of summer make for sweeter reads. So, unsurprisingly, my latest release Hunting for Spring has a lot of references to the season. Both Brenna and Conor have seen a lot of bleak days, and throughout the story they’re searching for some rejuvenation—for a reason to hope again.
Not only does spring symbolize rebirth, but growth as well, and throughout the story both characters grow immensely. Conor’s so averse to the loneliness that he’s followed his father’s orders all these years, even though he finds the hate-filled dogma his father spews to be repugnant. It’s not until he befriends Brenna that he finds the strength to rebel, since she expands his view of the supernatural, which had been limited. After all, hunters tend to end up slaying the things that go bump in the night, not making connections.
For Brenna, her growth comes from a different place. She’s spent her entire life as an outsider so she’s built up a healthy distrust of people, preferring to keep them at bay. Yet Conor is kind enough to melt those barriers, and strong enough to keep persevering when obstacles get in their way. She ends up falling for him despite her immense fear of vulnerability, and the way their relationship blossoms is as fragile as a new bud in spring.
There was a reason I came up with the title for this story last. Watching their love unfurl was incredibly enjoyable, and once I began the edits, I spotted all the connections to the season of growth and rebirth that ultimately led to Hunting for Spring.
Hunters are a lonely breed, and Conor’s no exception, until the day he meets Brenna. Even though she slinks in unannounced and kills the wight he was hunting down, the girl’s a mystery and he can’t get that blinding smile or those gorgeous curves off his mind. Since they’re both after the same caster who’s unleashing these monsters, he suggests teaming up, and despite her initial reluctance, the hungry way she scans him down promises something powerful.
However, her secrets have repercussions, and faster than Conor can lift his Glock, he’s drawn into the web of kidnappings and Unseelie mischief, all concealing the machinations of a darker foe—one that plans to bring Philly to ruin.
If Conor Malone could ditch the responsibilities of his clan and somehow forget all the horrors he’d seen, he wouldn’t be stuck tromping through a nasty part of West Philly, trying to avoid stares and the permeating stench of bird shit. But no, the burden of tracking mythical beasts fell to those with the bad luck of being born into the wrong family. His family tree hearkened back to the likes of the Inquisition and Van Helsing—the original warriors against things that went bump in the night—hunters.
After passing the first couple of boarded-up houses and catching movement behind the cracked windows, Conor had his hand on his Glock. Despite the supernatural splatter board of blood, guts, and questionable ooze he’d witnessed through the years, he didn’t forget the atrocities humans were capable of.
Dark gray clouds collected overhead, laden and ready to spill over, although a sunny day wouldn’t make these streets any safer. High-crime cities like this one were the epicenters of the worst bloodsuckers, Unseelie fae, and a hodgepodge variety of nightmares crawling through the streets. Even with his trusty leather jacket on, he shivered as the cold wind swept the first few drops of rain to splash against his cheeks.
Because an easy hunt was too much to ask for. He heaved out a sigh as he picked up his pace toward the end of the block where the wight had last been spotted.
For the third time this week, one of those buggers cropped up in Philly, and he began to disbelieve coincidence. Move here, they said. You’ll always have work, they said. His dad’s friends might not be liars, but they were definitely dicks.
Hunting for Spring Links:
A modern day Renaissance-woman, Katherine McIntyre has learned soapmaking, beer brewing, tea blending, and most recently roasting coffee. Most of which make sure she’s hydrated and bathed while she spends the rest of her time writing. With a desire to travel and more imagination than she knows what to do with, all the stories jumping around in her head led to the logical route of jotting them down on paper. She writes novels with take-charge women, ragtag crews, and emotionally savvy men. High chances for a passionate speech thrown into the mix.