It’s time for a lesson in Scandinavian folklore…though to be honest to untangle all the different names and descriptions is close to impossible.
On October 5th, my story Pine Tree Mary will be released. Hush, one of the main characters, is a hulder or a pine tree Mary if you like. But depending on what story you read, a pine tree Mary can also be called a skogsrå or a forest spirit or the mistress of the forest or a vittra (though a vittra can also be something completely different) or the lady in the forest. And while all these names can mean the same thing, there can also mean different creatures.
In the olden days, huntsmen and wanderers would walk into the forests and never come out again, or they’d come back changed men, all quiet and introverted. This was because they’d met and been seduced by a hulder. She would ensnare them with her beauty and if the men stayed loyal to her she’d blow into the pipe of their rifles and they’d never miss an animal while hunting again – unless they were aiming at one of the moose she rides on, of course. Hulders are often seen riding on moose.
There are many tales about what a wife could do if she suspected her husband had fallen victim of a pine tree Mary. Personally, I believe the hulder simply was an excuse used by cheating husbands once they were caught, but what do I know.
Anyway, a pine tree Mary is very beautiful if you see the front of her, should she turn around you’d see that she has a tail and a back like a rotting tree. She’s tantalizing, seductive, and is the ruler of the animals in the forest. So if you happened to piss off a hulder, you’d go hungry because no game would come close enough to catch.
If you stayed on her good side she’d help you, though. Many stories talk about how hulders helped charcoal burners when they’d fallen asleep and there’d been danger of a fire spreading.
But, according to legend, Odin hated the hulder and chased her like an animal in The Wild Chase.
I kinda like the pine tree Marys, they’re powerful female creatures from a time when women didn’t have much power. Too bad she’s the one most likely to steal your man.
Pine Tree Mary is an M/M romance story, so I’ve cheated and made Hush the one and only male hulder in the world LOL.
Detective Quinn Manning wants nothing more than to see Diamond Dace, one of Fagerdal’s most notorious drug lords, behind bars. After years of the man eluding the authorities, when Manning accidentally stumbles onto an opportunity to catch the powerful dealer red-handed, he doesn’t hesitate. But what should be a simple tail, instead drops Manning into a real-life world of myth and legend.
Hush is a hulder, a forest spirit also known as a pine tree Mary. Since the beginning of time, his people have lived in the forest, feeding off the energy they derive from the lust and desires of passing hunters. But Hush is an abomination, the only male of his kind.
After a lifetime of starvation, Hush has struck a deal with a human. A simple trade that will give the human what he desires and keep Hush from wasting away completely.
When Manning saves a young man from Diamond and one of his men, his view of reality is altered forever. And Hush, who has never met anyone like Manning, finds the man’s attraction to him enough to finally stave off his constant hunger.
When together they set out to rescue Manning’s partner, their connection to one another grows. But can a human detective have a future with a creature of the forest, a creature who isn’t supposed to exist?