Blog Tour: The Hound at the Gate by Darby Karchut + Excerpt

The Hound at the Gate
The Adventures of Finn MacCullen #3
Author: Darby Karchut
Reading Level: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Released: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Middle Grade

Autumn: the season of endings. And beginnings. Especially for one young apprentice. At the annual Festival of the Hunt, thirteen-year-old apprentice goblin hunter Finn MacCullen and his master, Gideon Lir, join other Tuatha De Danaan to honor their people’s heritage. But Finn soon realizes that there are some who denounce his right to attend due to his half-human bloodline. As he struggles to keep his place by his master’s side, he finds himself embroiled in a decades-old grudge between Gideon and another Knight, bewildered (and beguiled) by a female apprentice with a temper as explosive as his own, and battling a pack of goblins determined to wipe out the entire camp in a surprise attack. It’s going to take some fancy knife work, the help of a female Knight with a lethal bow, and one old pick up truck to defeat the goblins and prove to his people that Finn’s blood runs true-blue Tuatha De Danaan.


Finn stared at what seemed like a forest of hurleys. He glanced down at the weapon in his hand. The handle was darkened with age, the bumps on the antler worn smooth by the years in Gideon’s hand. He could almost see his master’s fingers curled around it. His own tightened. He set his feet and threw back his shoulders in an unconscious imitation of his master, right down to the cocky grin. Anger seemed to have taken over his common sense as well as his body. Ennis halted in surprise. “What are you laughing at?” “You.” Finn shook his head in disbelief. He gestured with his blade. “Only a mad Celt would bring a hurley to a knife fight.” A couple of the other boys guffawed. Ennis narrowed his eyes. Without turning his head, he spoke over a shoulder. “You guys think that’s funny?” A deep voice spoke from the doorway. “Aye, I do.” Toryn Mull. Stepping into the barn, he shouldered through the pack of boys until he stood between them and Finn and Lochlan. He glanced around, keen eyes taking in the scene. “Ye know the rules, boyos. Ye have a problem, then ye settle it man to man and fist to fist.” He shot an icy stare at Finn and Lochlan. “Ye’re to never draw a weapon against another Tuatha De Danaan—’tis one of our most severe laws.” “Yes, sir.” He lowered his blade; Lochlan followed suit. The head of the Rath swung around to the others. “Six against two, Ennis MacCullen? And older boys against younger, as well?” Ennis shrugged. “If that halfer can’t handle what goes down at the Festival, then maybe he should just leave.” “Harsh words for family kin.” “Family kin?” Ennis spat to one side. “More like family shame. We never wanted him—we just got stuck with him when his loser of a father and half-breed of a mother got killed on a hunt.” Finn willed himself to not even twitch. He knew the rules to the game. Never let them see the hurt. Act as if being punched, being insulted, or shoved aside didn’t matter. Mull shook his head. “Back to yer game.” With a flick of a hand, he waved them away. He waited until the older boys left the barn before turning to the two friends. “What are ye doing in here?” Lifting the dagger still clutched in his fist, Finn answered. “Getting our weapons. Gideon sent us to get them.” “Are ye injured?” The Knight asked Lochlan. Lochlan grimaced as he raised his arm up and down. “It’s okay. More numb than anything.” He bent over carefully and picked up the sheath he had discarded earlier. “Finish yer errand, then.” He waited while Finn and Lochlan located the rest of Mac Roth’s weapons and consolidated them into one box along with Gideon’s, then followed them out of the building. “Straight back to yer masters now. And no picking another fight on yer way.” “We didn’t start the last one,” Finn protested, hoisting the box in his arms. “Ennis did.” The chieftain cocked an eyebrow at Lochlan. “And this one here dinna say anything to make the situation worse?” He shot Lochlan an I-thought-so glance when the boy blushed. “‘Deadly with blade, deadlier with tongue’ is the auld saying about the O’Neills.” “That’s for sure,” Finn said, giving his friend a wink. “Oh yeah?” Lochlan nodded at Finn. “So, what do they say about the MacCullens?” “‘Tempers as fiery as their hair.’ Now, away with ye.” With a final stern look, Mull waved them away.

Interested in seeing another great Excerpt from the novel, visit A Leisure Moment on tomorrow.

Darby Karchut

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, teacher, and a compulsive dawn greeter. She lives in Colorado with her husband and owns more backpacks than purses. As she should. Her Middle Grade books include FINN FINNEGAN (March 2013 from Spencer Hill Press). The next book in the Finnegan series, GIDEON'S SPEAR (Spencer Hill Press) will be released February 2014, followed by THE HOUND AT THE GATE (January 2015). Her YA books include GRIFFIN RISING, GRIFFIN'S FIRE, and GRIFFIN'S STORM. She has also co-authored a non-fiction book for teens entitled MONEY AND TEENS with her husband, author Wes Karchut.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being part of the blog tour! You picked one of my favorite scenes, too!


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