a fairy tale blog
Please welcome Rebekah Garniere to Jessica Aspen Writes. Like me, she twists fairy tales into romances, and her first book in her series is based on Little Red Riding Hood. And like me, she incorporated werewolves. That’s where the similarities end. Check out, Red the Were Hunter.
Red The Were Hunter is the first in nine fairytale retellings that are all woven together in the same world. When I started out I only had the idea for Red and that was all. But then I started thinking of all the other cool fairytales out there and thought it would be fun to weave them all together in a fairytale land called Fairelle. There’s a mythos behind the entire world of how they used to be all humans and united under one banner. But when the king was about to die, his four sons called forth a demon to grant them each a single wish so they would have superiority and be able to rule the kingdom alone. However, the demon twisted their wishes to his own purposes and transformed the four brothers into four different races. Werewolf, vampire, fae and neriad. From there a war broke out dividing and devastating the world. Red The Were Hunter begins many centuries after that war.
In the nineties there was a miniseries called the 10th Kingdom. It did a similar thing, weaving the stories together. I loved that miniseries, but was bummed that the series only followed a few main characters. So I decided that in my series I would make each book about a different couple and their story. The characters weave in and out of each other’s books though. They all know each other in one way or another, or are connected through mutual friends. For instance, in Red The Were Hunter you see a vampire named Sage. He is the vampire prince from Snow The Vampire Slayer. And one of Snow’s brothers is the hero of the third book, Zelle and the Tower. I found that a fun way to write them
It’s hard working in the original fairytales. If you look at what movie companies have done to the original fairytales over the years, you find few similarities. I found, that for me, the best way was to tell my own stories in my own style, and for grown ups. My brothers, in Snow The Vampire Slayer, are not like the seven dwarfs of Snow White done by Disney. My Rapunzelle from Zelle and the Tower, is not like the Rapunzelle of old. My females are take charge women, rarely are they damsels in distress. My men are heroes, but most come with baggage, and they aren’t always nice. However I do try and put elements from the original stories in that people will recognize. Things like, Red’s cloak. The apple from Snow White. Zelle’s long hair. Things like that. But I think the best way to try and do a fairytale retelling is to make the story your own and give it a new twist on an old theme. So what’s your favorite fairy tale?
RED THE WERE HUNTER
What if you were the key to an ancient prophecy that would begin to heal your lands, but fulfilling your destiny meant you had to turn your back on everything you’d been taught to believe in?
Redlynn of Volkzene, member of the Sisterhood of Red, is heartbroken to discover another girl kidnapped and her best friend slain by werewolves. Defying the head of her order, she sets out to kill the beast she believes responsible. The King of the Weres– But there are worse things in Wolvenglen Forest than the wolves.
Adrian, reluctant heir to the throne of Wolvenglen, and his band of wolf brothers are bound to protect the humans; especially the Sisterhood. Finding Redlynn unconscious in his woods, awakens in him a passion he’s never before experienced and a protective instinct that has him ready to turn on his own men. Problem is, a female is the last thing Adrian needs complicating his life.
But all is not as it seems in Wolvenglen Forest and to save the missing girls before time runs out, Redlynn and Adrian must move past their inner demons and learn to trust each other. In the search for vengeance however, sometimes you must give up what you desire most.
Redlynn whipped her head from side to side. Where am I? Pain exploded in her neck; she tried to reach up with her left arm, but it was pinned to her stomach. It’d been strapped in place by a strip of red cloth. Why am I half-naked? Her tunic and cloak were gone. So was her locket. Redlynn looked around frantically for her locket. Pain hit her in waves, confusing her and forcing her to breathe deeply. She refused to cry.
Trying to process her surroundings, the fight with the Were flooded back to her. Shockingly, it seemed she wasn’t dead, she was alive, and in someone’s very richly furnished bedroom. She wiped at her face with her right hand, her vision muddled.
Stone walls surrounded the large, mahogany, four-poster bed she lay upon. Dark, heavy curtains were partially drawn at the end of the bed. On either side, two ancient and beautiful nightstands held ornately carved glass oil lamps. A fire crackled, its golden glow peeking in the gaps of the curtains.
Redlynn maneuvered herself to the side of the bed and set her feet on the floor. It was colder than her wooden planks at home. Slowly she scooted off the downy mattress, and tried to steady herself on one of the posts. She weakened, the blood draining from her head, her legs wobbling beneath her.
On the floor lay her cloak. She stooped to pick it up, but lost her balance. At the last minute, she braced herself on the stone wall and avoided its colliding with her face. Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself once more and slowly reached down for the cloak, pressing herself into the stone for support. It took her several minutes to get the clasps buckled so that she was covered almost to her waist.
By the time she finished, her body shook like she’d tried to pull a wagon by herself. A bead of sweat trickled down the side of her face. Sucking in a deep breath, she tried to clear her mind and listen for sounds. A faint rhythmical buzzing cam e from somewhere near the fire. Pushing past the end of the bed, she saw a large man asleep at a table.
His head was tilted to the side and long, wavy black hair fell over his eyes and chiseled features. His large and strong form was set with broad shoulders and a powerfully built frame. He’d fallen asleep in his linen shirt and breeches, with his boots still on. A flutter settled in her stomach, the same surge of adrenaline she got before a fight. He was snoring. What was he doing there?
Confused, Redlynn wasn’t sure if it was her fighting instincts kicking in, or something else all together. Part of her wanted to know what his lips would feel like on hers. Another part wanted to run.
What the hell is wrong with you? You’d think you’d never seen a man before. She swallowed hard. She hadn’t.Not a man like him.
She searched for an exit and found it to the far left of the room. The sleeping man didn’t look like he was guarding her, but why would he be in the same room with her, if he weren’t? She scanned the room for her things. Her pack, bow and quiver were nowhere to be found. If she were going to break out, she needed a weapon.
On the table lay a tray with an empty plate, a knife, fork and spoon. Redlynn inched toward the knife. The closer she got to him, the more drawn she was to him. She stopped, a foot from the table.
Keep it together! He’s only a man, and obviously your guard. For all you know, he could be a murderer!
She slid her good hand across the polished wooden surface. As she reached for the knife, her collarbone burned with pain. She stumbled, tripping over her cloak and crashing into the plate.
The man was up in an instant. Rising, his chair clattered to the ground. Redlynn grabbed hold of the knife and held it out in front of herself, backing away. It took him a moment to comprehend what was going on. He stared at her, not moving. She shook like a rabbit. He had golden eyes.
“Your . . . your eyes,” she whispered.
“What’s wrong with them?”
“They . . . They’re gold.”
“No . . . No, they aren’t.” She shook her head. “They’re golden… just like—”
“Like yours,” he murmured.
Redlynn nodded, her head fuzzy, and her knees wobbly. She blinked several times. His eyes were brown. They had golden flecks in them, but they were definitely brown.
“You’ve had a bad wound. You should rest.”
“I have to leave. I have something I need to do.”
“Do you remember what happened?”
“Where am I?”
“Who in their right mind would live in Wolvenglen? Don’t you know there are Weres out here?”
“Please, put down the knife.” He motioned to the knife Redlynn had forgotten she was pointing at him.
She glanced at it and weighed it in her hand. It was solid. Her hunting knife was larger, but she could make do with it if need be.
“Where are my things? I need to go.”
“Hanna, our healer, will bring them in the morning when she comes to check on you, and bring you a change of clothes.”
Still holding the knife, she reached up and touched her collarbone, underneath her cloak. A bandage covered the wound. It was tender. Peeling it away, she assessed what she could see of the damage.
“I wouldn’t do that,” he warned.
Redlynn gave him a hard stare and went back to inspecting the wound. She stuck her fingers in the salve and rolled it between her thumb and forefinger, smelling it.
“Comfrey and calendula.” Pulling at the green leaves, she winced as they ripped a piece of skin and seeped. Smelling the leaves, she put them in her mouth and chewed them before spitting them out. “Fernblend. Did she do that?”
“No, I did.”
“Don’t you know you have to keep it wet?”
“I thought saving your life was more important,” he bit back. “You were in bad shape when I found you.”
“Well when I scrub it off, I am going to wish I were dead. Where did you find me, anyway?”
“Listen.” He took a deep breath. His eyes softened and his voice gentled. “I was trying to help you. It was one of the few things I remember my mother teaching me about herbs.”
“Your mother’s a healer?”
“Was. Now, will you please lie down before you pass out? You lost a lot of blood.”
“I’ve had worse,” Redlynn lied. “I need to get my things and be on my way.”
“You need to rest. You can barely hold that knife, let alone walk through the forest.”
“I’ll be fine.”
He stepped out of her way. “Very well. You are free to leave.” He motioned to the door.
Was this a joke? Was he really going to let her go? Gripping the knife, she took several steady steps toward the exit before her knees buckled. He caught her around the waist, sending a shockwave of tingles through her body.
His musky scent mixed in her nostrils and her head lightened again. His body wasn’t just warm, it was hot; he was a fire in his own right.
“Let go,” she said softly.
“I was merely keeping you from further injuring yourself.”
His light blue tunic opened in a “v” and his chiseled, hairless chest peaked out beneath. Her eyes locked with his. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two; the whiskers looked ruggedly good on him. His face wore an expression she’d never seen aimed at her before. Desire. The butterflies in her stomach danced and spun. His face was so close as he studied her features.
“Please, let go,” she choked.
Rebekah is an award winning author. Her first novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, will be published May 1, 2014. Her trilogy The Society will be released in early 2015 by Kensington’s Lyrical Press. Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her moderating on Savvy Authors.com and in her local SCV Writers group, or hanging out with her husband, four children and dog, rabbit, two bearded dragons, three tortoises and a handful of fish. The escaped snake has yet to be found.