by Isabelle Rowan
First of all I must thank The Blogger Girls for allowing me to visit their blog and introduce my new novel!
Although Furborn is not my first novel, it’s my first YA title so I’m pretty nervous about its release. However, I am proud of it and it has a whole lot of things that I love – horses, dogs, foxes and of course a young goth guy meeting a mysterious redhead in the dark depths of a eucalyptus forest.
Spencer is a gentle teenage boy who wears all the gothic trappings – long black hair, pale skin, lip piercing and Marilyn Manson t-shirt. Connor Coutts couldn’t be more different! His hair is long but dark red, his skin is equally pale and … perhaps they’re not so different after all?
That’s where the magic happens! Furborn is a tale of first love and discovery with all its missteps and first touches. It is set in sheep country Australia where both boys are outsiders.
Connor lives in a small cottage with his sister and gran. They have minimal interaction with the world outside theirs because the little family has a very big secret that has never been told – not all foxes are just foxes!
Spencer is intrigued with the feral redhead and has been since the moment he saw him disappear into the forest when they were both young boys. There is something magical and Spencer feels it long before he knows anything about the secretive Coutts family.
Someone was watching them. He was perched on the top rail of a fence staring with a look that definitely wasn’t a country welcome. Spencer smiled. The boy didn’t smile back. He slid down from the fence, turned his back on them and walked into the gloom of the eucalypt forest. The last thing Spencer noticed was the swing of his long red plait.
The intrigue is still there when they meet again as teenagers:
Beneath the cool leaf canopy the air was rich with the smell of mulched earth and a hint of summer flowers and forest herbs. Spencer filled his lungs. A Rainbow Lorikeet screeched loudly above and dropped a chewed gum nut that bounced off his shoulder and onto the ground. He jumped. His startled heart thumped a little faster, but he shook his head and bent down to pick up the seed remnants. The hard casing was crushed by the tough beak, and only some of its contents eaten. He threw the nut into the undergrowth and caught sight of movement at the corner of his eye. Spencer stood very still. He didn’t hear anything other than the rustle of leaves above, but there was definitely someone there. A gum nut hit him square on the side of the head.
That was no parrot!
A young man around his age or maybe a bit older leaned against the rough bark of a tree. He was shorter than Spencer, but not much. His skin was as pale although his long hair was a rich dark red – not ‘ranga’ orange red, but a deep red that, Spencer decided later, matched the glass of wine he’d been given at Christmas.
“Why’d you do that?” he asked, not appreciating the silent scrutiny of the teenager’s glower.
“I’ve seen you before haven’t I?” Spencer tried again. “Years ago down at the fox tree. You were watching me then too.”
“Go back to your sheep,” he said. His voice was quiet but echoed around the trees.
“They’re not my sheep they belong to my grandparents. I’m Spencer, what’s….”
That was as far as he got when the other boy turned and walked away. The figure merged with the forest and all Spencer could see was the hint of red hair until that too faded.
“Seriously?” Spencer called out.
He picked up another gum nut and threw it in the direction the feral vanished.
There are many questions that Spencer needs answered:
Why are the city horses wary of Connor? Why do the farm dogs growl at him? How did Connor end up naked in the moonlight without the cast on his broken leg?
But for answers to be given there needs to be trust.