QSFer Pelaam has a new sci fi fairy tale book out:
Set on an alien world, Red is a re-telling of a classic fairy tale, and the first in the Once Upon a Future series.
Ceron, known as “Red”, comes from the village neighbouring a Wolven pack. Storm, son of the Wolven Alpha, befriends Ceron who finds that friendship soon becomes something much deeper.
For generations, Ceron’s people and the Wolven have lived in peace, but now, the Wolven are accused of attacking villagers.
Ceron and Storm know they’ll face prejudice as their relationship deepens. But more dangerous and deadly is an unknown enemy.
The sounding of the village bell sent a shiver through Ceron. He gave a soft groan. Of late it could only mean one thing; another run-in by a villager with a Wolven. He rubbed his eyes; the orbs were still heavy with sleep. He found it hard to understand why, after so many years of the villagers and the nearby Wolven pack living harmoniously, there would suddenly be such antipathy between the races.
He yawned as he cast his mind back over recent events. One villager had complained of harassment by Wolven males, another even showed the signs of claw marks down his jerkin. Equally, the Wolven Alpha male made repeated accusations that their water was being contaminated, or that their food source, the animals they preyed on, was being chased away before the Wolven could catch what they needed.
Like everyone in his village he knew that Wolven lived in extended family packs; not in houses, but in large, wooden caravans. He had seen some of these caravans from a distance, and had been amazed at how beautifully crafted they were, each uniquely carved and painted. The Wolvens’ specially bred, massive horses pulled the caravans when the pack moved. But this pack had been living next to Ceron’s village for at least four generations. This was their home as much as anyone who lived in the village.
They traded with the village. Wolven were gifted weavers and made beautiful clothing decorated with intricate sewing. They were also furriers and providers of meat. His village was not particularly wealthy. There were no farmers or land owners with large numbers of domesticated animals for food. The village made use of the meat from the wild animals the Wolven supplied, whether it was the caprea that leapt high up in the mountains, or deor or arktos that roamed deep in the forest bordering his village.
The male caprea’s large horns were prized by silversmiths for making jewellery. The deor skin provided leather, and the huge arktos, good thick fur that the Wolven traded or made into clothing. Ceron knew they traded their goods with other villagers and even the nearby town. If the Wolven moved on, he was sure it would be to the detriment of his village.
“Where would we get meat or fur from if they go?” Ceron spoke aloud. Sometimes he needed the sound of his own voice to stave off loneliness. He shook his head. At the moment, the two peoples seemed to be finding it increasingly difficult to live in the accord they had once enjoyed.
Ceron ran his hands through his long, rose-gold hair before securing it at the nape of his neck. Loose, it reached to his shoulder blades. He had inherited the colour from his mother. The thought of his parents made him reach for the chain on his neck where their rings hung. No matter how poor he was, he would never sell them. One day he hoped to wear the one and give the other in marriage.
He stretched and yawned. He had already begun the work of grinding grain to make flour for the village. He always rose and started this task before even dressing. He was up a good hour or two before anyone else. Once the mill wheel mechanisms were working he could time his appearances to ensure enough grain was poured through.
His other job was working the dough that went to make up bread for the baker to bake. He’d already worked several batches while the mill ground the grain. The miller and baker were brothers. And although they were hard taskmasters, they were fair and provided him with a place to sleep, and food, even if his wages were meagre. In this way, he could ensure his grandmother’s small vegetable patch was supplemented by whatever he could offer.
As the last of the grain passed through the mill, Ceron could take time to hurry to his grandmother’s and work the next batches of dough on his return. He was grateful for the freedom he had in his jobs.
Thinking of his grandmother made him smile. She was an indomitable lady who always wore a white shift and red apron. She adamantly refused to move into the village from her cottage. Even with the unrest between the village and the Wolven. It was quicker to cut through the ancient woods to reach her than go around, despite the rumours that Wolven now prowled in them. Ceron had not been molested by one when visiting.
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Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotic books. When not busy writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.
Pelaam’s “On Dragon’s Wings” won LR Café Best Fantasy 2014. “Future Imperfect” is nominated in the 2015 Rainbow Awards and “Breath of the Feathered Serpent” was a finalist for the 2014 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi.