I love fairy tales, but that wasn't always the case. Growing up I didn't like them so much. Now that I’m older I realize the reason. There were no fairy tales that reflected my own interests i.e. downtrodden maiden being rescued by a princess.
The fairy tale theme kept coming up in my work when I first started writing again; although, my stories are M/M rather than F/F because that is what I enjoy reading. Even now sitting on my hard drive is a Cinderfella novella and I recently subbed an M/M rework of the Kipling classic The Jungle Book with a shifter twist. I'm very at home in the fairy tale genre and believe fairy tales are for everyone.
My first novella Beholding Beauty was an M/M retelling of Beauty and the Beast—available from Dreamspinner Press. My last short story The Prince in the Cowboy is a rework of The Princess and the Pea—available from JMS Books. Now, with my first novel, Beautiful Dreamer, I have tackled Sleeping Beauty.
The idea began with the simple premise that what if while Sleeping Beauty is asleep he dreams of his prince charming, and his prince charming dreams of him? It took off and grew from there to include detailed back story as to how and why the curse befell Sleeping Beauty and the boys growing up and falling in love with each other in their dreams. It was a fun challenge to interweave their stories but I think I succeeded and I hope readers will enjoy it.
From the time he was a child, Nicholas Crittendon, oft-overlooked second son of the Duke of Sanburne, has been outcast because of his fascination with the myth of the Lost Kingdom. As legend has it, the entire population was wiped from existence when its prince was cursed into a deathlike sleep.
by an evil sorceress.
Convinced that the Lost Kingdom is real, Nicholas devotes his days to reading and research, trying to pinpoint its location. As he grows older, his nights become haunted with dreams of a blond, green-eyed young man calling to Nicholas for help. Nicholas’s interest spirals into an obsession that drives him away from the comfort and safety of his life and toward the unknown of his dreams. Those slumbering visions may hold the key to everything he’s searched for and a lover he never believed could be real.
Nicholas closed his eyes and allowed his mind to drift. He imagined the looks on people’s faces when he told them he finally knew for a fact the Lost Kingdom was real and showed them incontrovertible proof. He would crow and strut like the cock of the walk. He couldn’t wait for that day. And the recognition would be his and his alone.
Nicholas’s eyes fluttered open and a baldachin came into focus. He smiled, realizing he was in Ian’s bedchamber. He reached out for his lover only to find the other side of the bed cold and quite empty.
“Ian?” He sat up, the sheet falling from his bare chest and twisting around his legs. It wasn’t like Ian to not be with Nicholas after they made love. Usually Ian curled around Nicholas like a vine, his soft breath fanning across Nicholas’s neck, playing with the hair on his chest or toying with a nipple, waiting for Nicholas to recuperate for another bout of lovemaking. There were times when Ian was insatiable.
Nicholas pulled himself from his erotic musings. They were not helping him find Ian.
He stood up and was fully dressed. He looked down at himself, at the odd antique garb he was in: trunk hose, doublet, jerkin, white stockings, and knee-high leather boots. He couldn’t remember ever dressing in such a fashion before. These were clothes like those Ian always wore.
What was going on?
“Ian?” he called once more, his voice filling the cavernous room, but received no answer.
Shaking his head, he walked over to the door and exited. He headed down the corridor and up to the third floor, making his way to Ian’s secret tower room. As he hurried past he noticed the tapestries and paintings that adorned the walls seemed faded and washed out, the sky outside the window was not as blue, nor the grass as green.
Upon reaching the door to the tower room, Nicholas burst through it only to find the room empty. He gasped as if in pain. If Ian wasn’t here, where would he be? Had something happened to him? Had they fought and Ian ran off?
Nicholas turned and ran down the spiral staircase, down corridors, through the palace and out into the grounds. The muscles in his legs felt as if they were going to give out, but he kept going. He couldn’t stop, wouldn’t stop, until he found Ian.
“Ian!” Nicholas called as he ran through the gardens and to the stables. His eyes stung and his throat constricted. His lungs burned and it was as if a great hand were squeezing his chest.
Nicholas quickly surveyed the stables, finding no sign of his quarry. He mounted the first horse he found and kicked the beast into a run. He struggled to catch his breath and contain the panic that clawed his insides like something alive. The horse ran flat-out but seemed to be covering no ground even though scenery whipped past and wind blew Nicholas’s hair back. The horse’s stride began to slow. Everything around Nicholas seemed to be melting, colors running together. In the distance he could see Ian lying on the ground beneath their tree. Nicholas needn’t stop the horse because he was no longer on a horse. He looked around, trying to figure out what was going on, why the landscape was changing. He had found Ian and it no longer mattered. He started to run toward his lover, but the ground was like quicksand, sucking Nicholas in every time he tried to take a step.
“Ian!” He shouted at the top of his lungs. “Ian, please!”
Ian appeared to be asleep—he was asleep, he had to be asleep—at the spot where they frequently made love. So close but so far away. What sorcery had transformed the ground to keep him from reaching his beloved?
“Ian!” Nicholas called desperately, trying in vain to move closer to the sleeping young man. Tears spilled from his eyes, racing down his cheeks, blurring his vision. He would not give up! He would not!
Nicholas sat up in bed, a cry on his lips, breathing as if the devil himself were on his heels, his heart slamming against his ribs. He struggled to remember his dream, what had him shaking with fright and feeling as if he had just lost something most precious to him.
Sam Singer first discovered her love of writing in grade school, and it’s an affair that has continued to grow and flourish. She dabbled in traditional romance before finding her one true love: male/male erotica and romance.
When not writing about beautiful men getting hot and sweaty, she works part time as a librarian and enjoys baseball, feeding her caffeine addiction, and watching classic movies. She lives in a small town in the Midwest and is owned by her fickle Muse and insane cat, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.