At the heart of the classic fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast" is a classic love story, emotional and touching, about the redemptive and transformative power of love.
That's what made me want to do a modern-day gay version of the tale, set right here in my hometown of moody, rainy Seattle...and the windswept, snowy peaks of the Cascade Mountains nearby. I used the original story as a springboard and inspiration for my tale of two lost souls whom tragedy brings together and to demonstrate how love is possible, even against the most impossible of odds.
To celebrate the release of "Beau and the Beast" from Amber Allure, I will give away an e-copy to one lucky winner. Winning is as simple as 1, 2, 3:
1. Ask me a question about the story. Here's your chance to get the inside scoop on my process and more. Can't think of a question about the story, go ahead, ask me anything.
2. Leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
3. Gain bonus points for posting about the contest on Twitter and/or Facebook (for example, you could simply cut and paste the following: Check out Rick R. Reed's modern-day, gay take on Beauty & the Beast, BEAU & THE BEAST and be entered to win a free copy. http://bit.ly/S7q2wE ) Winners will be announced on Wednesday.
That's it. Now, if you want to know more about the story--and how I made it my own, read the synopsis and excerpt below. And if you can't wait for the contest and want to buy your own copy at the bargain price of only $2.60 (a 35% savings--for release week only), go here.
Inspired by the timeless tale, “Beauty and the Beast,” by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Rick R. Reed has crafted a new fairy tale for our times that manages to be ethereal, romantic and ripped-from-the-headlines realistic.
Beau is a down-on-his-luck street artist living on the streets of Seattle, drawing portraits of tourists to make enough money to live hand-to-mouth. He has a knack for capturing his subjects’ “very souls” on paper. One rainy night, he is accosted by a group of fag-bashing thugs, intent on robbing him of his art supplies and humiliating Beau for who he is. Beau is beaten into unconsciousness...
...And awakens in a beautiful bedroom, his head bandaged and with no memory of how he got there. Outside his window pine trees and mountain vistas beckon.
Beau’s tale grows even more mysterious when a large, muscular man begins bringing the injured Beau his food. The man says nothing—and wears a wolf mask. When he finally does speak, it’s only to tell Beau to call him “Beast.”
What secrets does the wolf mask hide? What do these two outsiders have in common? And will their odd circumstances bring them to the brink of love—or tear them apart? The answers lie in Rick R. Reed’s haunting love story that reveals that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
...“So you brought me here? Where is here, anyway? And why didn’t you just take me to a hospital?”
“One question at a time.” The man paused, as though he were pondering which question to answer first, prioritizing them. “I thought about taking you to a hospital, but I don’t like to have much contact with other people. It’s a long story, but let’s just say I don’t have healthy memories of my time among them. I did, however, examine you, right there in the street, checking to see how severe your cuts and bumps were. I was able to determine, best I could, that while you looked like hell, nothing had happened to you that couldn’t be fixed with time and care.”
The wolf’s face turned to Beau and he could feel the man’s gaze upon him. “I still don’t know if I made the right choice. Your admission that you don’t remember what happened to you concerns me; perhaps I need to reconsider.
“In any event, I checked you over and determined that you needed help, so I brought you here, to my home. We are in a remote area east of Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascades. I had this house built for me to meet my need for solitude. I did not bring you here to keep you against your will; let me make that clear. You are free to leave whenever you like.”
Beau looked around him. He had never, in his whole life, been ensconced in such comforting and comfortable surroundings. Still, this was weird. “My things? Where are my things?”
The man put a gentle hand on Beau’s knee. “You had nothing, just the clothes on your back and those were torn and bloody.” He paused. “I had to throw them away. We’ll see that you get some new ones when you want to go.”
The man said nothing for several moments, and then went on. “I think you should stay with me for a few more days. Get yourself more properly healed and then, when you’re ready, I will not only see that you are clothed, but that you have safe transport back to Seattle. And if you need, we can also get you to a doctor. I suspect, though, you’re still in a bit of shock and that’s affected your memory.”
“Why would you do this?” Beau wondered.
“Why wouldn’t I? What kind of beast would I be if I left you all alone, bleeding and hurt, in that alley? I only did what I would want someone to do for me if the tables were turned.”
“But all of this….” Beau gestured to the room with his hand. “All of this seems above and beyond the call.”
“Perhaps for some. I suppose I could have left you at an emergency room and washed my hands of you. But that’s not me. I hope you don’t mind that I took the liberty to bring you here.”
“I don’t know what to think. I wish I could remember what happened.” But Beau wasn’t so sure he wanted that wish granted. Already, shadowy images were swirling around in his memory, hooded figures, cold—and they filled him with dread.
“You will.” The man stood. “Now, I think you should eat before everything gets totally cold. There’s roast chicken there….” He took a few steps toward the door. “In the morning, I’ll bring you some clothes and we can go outside, if you feel up to it.”
The man was closing the door behind him.
“Wait!” Beau called after him. “Who are you? You haven’t told me who you are.”
The man turned slightly and gestured toward the mask. “Just call me Beast.” He chuckled, but the sound carried no mirth, only despair. “It’s what I am, anyway.”
Before Beau could say anything else, Beast had closed the door...
Remember, if if you can't wait for the contest and want to buy your own copy at the bargain price of only $2.60, go here.
here to check out the other titles in the collection.