The Seldom Diaries: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice

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The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Anne Rice
Published by Plume
May 1st 1999 (first published 1983)
Paperback
Erotica/medieval fantasy/fairy tales/horror/adult fiction
253 pages

From bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquleaure. In the traditional folktale of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind’s unconscious. Now Anne Rice’s retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.

… … …
I love the original Sleeping Beauty. At least, the Disney version. It’s one of my favourites. When I saw this on the shelf with that little erotic twist, of course it caught my attention.
I hadn’t realized that this was previously written in the 80s. On the cover, it says that Anne Rice actually used the pseudonym A.N Roquelaure. I’ve always wanted to introduce myself to some of her works, but never really have for some reason. So I added the book to my pile with gusto. There was no better time!

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I obviously knew that this version had the kinky twist to it, but I just had no idea when it was about to kick in. I didn’t have to wait very long. I have to tell you though, the scene threw me off that I considered not reading anymore then and there.

Of course, I’ll tell you why…

As the Prince marches through a silent, dormant castle, he finally finds the chambers where the famous Sleeping Beauty has rested for the past hundred years. Instead of the tale that you and I both know: prince charming kisses the princess. She wakes up and they live happily ever after. In the beginning of this trilogy, the Prince takes things further. Maybe the journey to the castle made him a little frisky? He ends up cutting and ridding Beauty of her dress until she’s naked. (still asleep at this point, mind you!) He has sex with her. When she’s otherwise occupied, he finally kisses her awake.

This was not sexy to me. It was actually kind of disturbing to read. But despite my frowns, I tried not to judge the beginning too deeply. I continued on!

Now with her kindgom properly restored, the Prince declares that he’s taking Beauty as his tribute. She’s to go with him back to his own kingdom. The king and queen don’t seem to put up that much of a fight, which is odd. Especially when tells them that Beauty is supposed to be naked the entire time. Village to village, her naked body paraded around for all to see. If she disobeys, she gets punished. Once they reach his homeland, Beauty becomes the Prince’s very first sex slave. Unluckily for Beauty, Queen Eleanor hates her on sight because of her son’s immediate infatuation.
For most of the book, I couldn’t help feeling sympathetic. I don’t seem to appreciate the sexuality in BDSM like some people do. My bad. I don’t mind the erotica genre. I get a kick out of it for the most part. I don’t think this one in particular was my cup of tea. I’m still not quite sure what to think of it.

I do have to give Anne Rice a hand for making this her own though. What do you think of this type of genre being written?

Xox,
Sasha

Mandy’s Miscellaneous Flavours: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Mindy Kaling

Three Rivers Press (Sept. 18 2012)

Hardcover

Humour and Entertainment, Humour, Essays

222 pages

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Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
 
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

***

First off, on the extremely slim chance that you are somehow reading this, I love you Mindy Kaling and I wish we were friends 5ever.

Anyways…

After lugging around numerous dense and heavy books amid midterm season (lord help us), Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me is the perfect break from it all.

Not to say that this book is merely consisted of fluff. On the contrary, this book still has substance underneath all the jokes. Like Ben and Jerry’s after a long day filled of BS. Ice cream with the yummy brownie bits in it.

So what is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me book about? In Mindy Kaling’s words: “In this book I write a lot about romance, female friendships, unfair situations that now seem unfunny in retrospect, unfair situations that I still don’t think are funny, Hollywood, heartache, and my childhood. Just that really hard-core, masculine stuff men love to read about.”

So it’s no surprise being the manliest manly-man out there that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Within this book Mindy Kaling talks about her life from childhood to adulthood, her success with The Office, from her ups and downs, to bullies and best friends, all in the form of witty stories.

We are given a peek into Mindy’s creative and playful mind, with passages entitled “Don’t Peak in High School”, “Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real”, “Why do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly?” and other clever remarks that are sprinkled throughout the book.

At times serious, at times hilarious, but always honest, Mindy Kaling manages to weave a string of what would seem as incoherent thoughts together. Among one of her musings, one story that stuck with me well after reading it was of one about the friendship between her and a girl called Mavis in high school. The story of two friends finding each other at the perfect time only to drift apart and go their own ways just seems like something everyone will be able to relate to.

At times it’s as if she was peeking into my own mind (“There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it”) rather than the other way around. And I guess that’s what I ultimately liked about this book and Mindy herself, how relatable she is. Flipping through the books pages was like reading letters sent by a close friend, which I liked a lot…

And not because the only thing I get in the mail are bills.

Until next time!

Amanda  

Meli’s Nostalgic Tales: The Dark Heroine/Dinner with a Vampire

Title: Dinner with a Vampire
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Type of book: Trade paperback
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 549

Have any of you ever been a victim of quotes on books compelling you to read it because it’s supposed to blow you away? Well, that is what happened to me, this book promised, and I quote, to be “The sexiest romance you’ll read this year…”

four words…What the hell happened???!!!

Do not get me wrong, this started off beautifully, totally sucked me in. Our main Character Violet is left alone by her friend awaiting to go party and suddenly she witness stranger beings going at it all of which end up dead, followed by having said executioner seeing that there is a witness and deciding to abstain from killing her. There are some theories as to why he left her live, but let that be discovered at your own leisure. Golly, Violet Lee, what were you thinking when you saw a massacre happening decided not to use all means to get away fast enough? I liked her, I liked her a lot. When she got kidnapped and became a potential meal for a house full of vamps, she didn’t turn into a lamb and succumb. She fought…like a fearless bastard {my friend’s latest saying} and said “no way am I giving up on humanity! I am an amazon!” which was great!

The thing is these vampires were not as I accepted, in this society, only people of higher positions {military or presidential and so forth} know they {vamps} exist and there is a treaty in place. {Gawd I love talk of treaties feels so much more bad ass}. So should say a vampire kills a human then here comes the next war. Alas, Violet Lee is not our usual specimen; she is in fact the daughter of the Secretary of State for Defense {wowza} and he wants nothing more to start a war but wants his kid safe. I think.

The author’s writing style I enjoyed immensely, her description was appetizing and I think this is one of the reasons I got as far as I could. Violet in her own way appeals to the compassionate side of these vampires, even the son/prince of them all Casper Varn, who is a spoiled hot-head yet deadly couldn’t turn away. I believed I could get through this and write nothing but awesome things about this book.

Unfortunately I cannot. Why you may ask? Because I have yet to reach the end and I am not sure if I ever will. Ladies and Germs, I reached up to page 338-339 and I could not do it anymore. The unspeakable happened…

…They had sex. ;__; Do not get me mixed up I do love some smut, but I felt it killed the whole dynamic of where the book was going. Violet and Kasper had this ongoing sexual tension: he was forbidden to feed off her, touch her or even get near her, all of which he did not heed. Violet couldn’t stop wondering why Casper was an enigma which made her want to seek him out even more. My friends, Violet took a turn for the worse, her sleeping with the enemy not only sealed her fate as a human but comprise the lives of millions. All I could keep thinking about is “why are you so selfish? Did you REALLY have to get it in??” She couldn’t stop crying about missing her family and friends and that humanity meant everything to her but as soon as Kasper would place his poisonous lips onto her, she’s be like “Being human what now?”

I had enough, I expected something else I actually wanted her to plot to get herself out of that mansion, maybe submit Casper a betrayal and more drama. Who knows maybe there is a turn around and maybe I’ll find out but as of yet I keep glancing at it and I cannot muster picking it.

So based on what I read that is my opinion, if you decide to take a gander I accept spoilers.

Grading: 3/5

yours truly Meli<3

Mandy’s Miscellaneous Flavours: Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock (Review)

Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence

Nick Bantock

Chronicle Books- September 1991

Hardcover

Romance/Mystery/Illustrated novel/epistolary book/fantasy/Paranormal

28 pages

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Griffin: It’s good to get in touch with you at last. Could I have one of your fish postcards? I think you were right — the wine glass has more impact than the cup. –Sabine

But Griffin had never met a woman named Sabine. How did she know him? How did she know his artwork? Who is she? Thus begins the strange and intriguing correspondence of Griffin and Sabine. And since each letter must be pulled from its own envelope, the reader has the delightful, forbidden sensation of reading someone else’s mail. Griffin & Sabine is like no other illustrated novel: appealing to the poet and artist in everyone and sure to inspire a renaissance in the fine art of letter-writing, it tells an extraordinary story in an extraordinary way.

***

I have to admit I’m not quite sure where to begin with this book, but I do know that I wish I could take a picture of each page and post it here, but I’ll refrain myself. This is a book blog after all, not a picture album (also imagine the copyright issues, yikes!)

With that said, I should probably begin this review by saying that Nick Bantock’s book isn’t for everyone.

If you’re the type who prefers their books to have a clear plot and narrative, Griffin & Sabine is unfortunately not for you. However, if you’re up for an unconventional form of storytelling, and have an appreciation for art, then you should give this book a try. I know I don’t regret it.

 Also as the title suggests, yes, it’s a romance. Yet it’s so typical of me to finally read a romance “novel” that isn’t truly a romance novel.

I haven’t encountered any books like this one before, so its peculiar format instantly caught my eye. An epistolary novel, the story unfolds (literally) before the readers’ (viewers?) eyes as a series of postcards and removable letters.

Without giving too much away, Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, is exactly what it sounds like. Griffin, a postcard designer from London, has his life turned upside down after a cryptic postcard from Sabine Strohem, a woman he has never met. Claiming to be from the Sicmon Islands, Sabine adds a splash of colour and intrigue to Griffin’s grey and dreary existence. So of course they begin to correspond regularly, leading the two to ultimately fall for one another.

As Griffin writes in one of his handmade postcards: “Why doesn’t this alarm me as much as it should?”

I can honestly say I was thinking the same thing.

As the readers, we are not given any more insight into the characters’ or story’s development. All we have to rely on are the letters that we have before our eyes, and the unfounded trust in the words of Griffin and Sabine. We are forced to be some kind of detective, putting the pieces (or rather letters) together to better grasp what is happening. Despite being so restricted of material, it is notable how heartfelt and believable the connection is between the two star-crossed lovers. However, the “realness” of the exchanges is forever disrupted by subtleties that add to the mysterious and even mystical feel of the book. For example, a major difference between the letters of Sabine and Griffin are how they are dated. Griffin’s always have a date, Sabine’s never do. This shouldn’t really matter; however, Sabine’s timeless and dateless letters only build up Griffon’s theory of his slow descent into madness. His final letter to her is heartbreaking, while Sabine’s last letter basically says:

Shit’s gonna go down.

With all that said, the world has changed since then. This book was published in September of 1991. Now we live in a time of emails, texts messages, instant chat and tweets. Ultimately leaving one to wonder how a book in this format would be received if it were written today.

Seriously, when’s the last time you handwrote a letter?

I thought so.

Mandy

The Seldom Diaries: The Edge of Never by J.A Redmerski

the-edge-of-never-ja-redmerskiThe Edge of Never
J.A Redmerski
Published by Createspace
November 15th 2012
Paperback
Romace\New Adult\Contemporary
426 pages

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

… … …

So I feel like I haven’t read anything completely romantic in a while. This one had caught my eye during the summer when I was frequenting the bookstore. The black and grey tones of the cover, along with the cursive writing of the last word of the title made me think of Paris. I haven’t been there yet, but that’s just what came to mind. The only problem I had with it, was the fact that when you look quickly, the ‘N’ in never doesn’t stand out as much as the rest of the writing. I had thought it was The Edge of Ever.

The book itself. I loved it. Though, I have to admit that I liked Andrew, Camryn’s love interest more than I liked her. I feel a little guilty. Reading romance novels\chick lit, I feel as if there’s a silent imaginary girl code where you have to automatically like the main character for support. A little illogical and unreasonable, yeah- probably. I just feel that way when I crack it open. I think I may have stopped reading them for a bit because all the women just seemed like the same kind of person with different names. A little depressing, but in this book, Camryn nips that comparison in the bud.

Camryn isn’t your typical damsel in distress. She is a likeable character, and throughout the book, I like her a lot more than I did in the beginning. She just comes off a little cold? I guess there’s a point to it, probably having to do with character developement and all that jazz. At the Underworld- an exclusive club that she and her best friend Natalie and Damon, Nat’s BF wiggle their way into, Camryn trots off to the sex room or sex balcony (I couldn’t really gather the description properly) to talk with bartender Blake to talk. Camryn is usually standoffish when it comes to guys, even going as far to tell them that she is a lesbian so they won’t start up a conversation. I’m a little shocked when she decides to chat up Blake boy, but as the reader I roll with the punches.

Later, after a fight with her best pal, Camryn just absolutely has to get away. She has no idea where she’s going, she just knows that she needs to go. I think this is the part of the book that I adored. I can relate to that feeling of just wanting to pack a bag and go anywhere. To read it on paper, or in this case on my cellular device, it was refreshing to read. Now! Andrew finally comes into the picture. But unlike the chatty Cathy that Camryn was with Blake, she tries her best not to talk to him until of course his music shoves her out of her beauty sleep.

Their dynamic changes though when they acknowledge their attraction for each other? It’s pretty sweet, Andrew is this pretty laid back, laissez-faire kind of guy. With tattoos. And plays the guitar. Swoon. Anyway. Besides his misuse with the word ‘babe’, he was totally adorable in that sexy knight in shining armor kind of way. After Andrew saves Camryn from near assault, or dreadfully much worse- they decide to spend the rest of their road trip together. Winkwink. They travel to New Orleans where Andrew coaxes Camryn to conquer a few of her fears while they conquer each other through the sheets. Was that a lame line that I just dropped?

Yes, it was

.The sex scenes were a little weird. I thought J.A was going to border the BDSM craze. She didn’t, but I thought she would.

Though, I think things moved way quickly, but I suppose that’ll happen on a roadtrip with stranger. This book was a tad inspirational in the aspect that after reading it, I immediately wanted to get up and do something I’ve never done. Great motivation. I should take it to the gym. Half kidding.

xox,
Sasha

Paper Garden Presents Hack/ Slash Omnibus


Title: Hack/Slash Omnibus
Author: Tim Seeley, Dave Crosland, Stefano Caselli
Publisher: Devil’s Due Publishing
Year: 2008
Number of pages: 300 pages
Type: Paperback
Genre: graphic novel, horror, humour, fantasy, adult, urban fantasy

Summary:
At the end of every horror movie, one girl always survives… in this case, Cassie Hack not only survives, she turns the tables by hunting and destroying the horrible slashers that would do harm to the innocent Alongside the gentle giant known as Vlad, the two cut a bloody path through those who deserve to be put down… hard

Review:
Firstly, Hack/Slash isn’t porn. I know the cover is misleading, as even I was a little hesitant to pick it up because of the way the heroine (Cassie Hack) was posed and what she was wearing. Mind you there is a severed clown head right beside her, so you would have to be in some pretty kinky stuff.

Anywho, back to business!

Hack/Slash is all about horror, but I don’t mean the computer generated monsters and ghost of this day and age. I mean, the corny, campy horror that involved plenty of make up and rubber. Cassie and her companion Vlad hunt down and massacre, usually with the help of a baseball bat that has nails sticking out of it, serial killers who rise up from the dead. They fight all the classics, including Chuckie the psychotic doll.

Basically, if you don’t like blood and gore, you are not going to like this one. If you can’t stomach the following photo, find yourself another graphic novel because this is nothing:

Oh, did I mention that Cassie is a freaking badass! She is tough, sarcastic, and will do anything for Vlad, who would do the same for her. He is also very cool being big, green, and Hulk-like minus the invincibility. I liked Cassie. She came from a screwed up family, including a serial killer for a mother, and had some serious issues, as one does when you spend your life travelling across the country, hunting, and killing undead serial killers. She also isn’t a typical heroine, in which I mean she isn’t an “independent” woman that needs some hot guy to swoop in to save them at the last minute and then they fall in love. God am I sick of those stories. Cassie has a sort of crush on this one guy, but that lasts a single issue. The only person who saves her is Vlad, and he is not getting anywhere near her pants unless he is doing the laundry.

She is sort of a mix between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Tank Girl.

Oh, remember when I said that this isn’t porn? It still isn’t, but there is some nudity… okay A LOT of nudity, but come now, with HBO and the Internet, you should all be used to some boob flashing… and lesbian make out scenes. Whatever.

Hack/Slash is funny, but in a cheesy, God-the-80s-called-and-they-want-their-material-back kind of way. I loved it just as much as I love horror and John Hughes movies.

Oh! I forgot to mention one little thing that I found a little annoying at the beginning, but then got used to it. The omnibus contains a bunch of stories, not all of which are drawn in the same way (there is one drawn like an Archie comic), and there are also little previews of stories that are really cool, but at the time I didn’t think they were going to be written. Luckily for me, they appeared in later omnibuses. Yay!

So, this may not be for everyone, but I loved it and I will keep reading it. Some people I know didn’t like it because they thought that it was too bloody or too much sexual content, but I found this series addictive and hilarious.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Michelle

Meli’s Nostalgic Tales: Cinder

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Type of book: Hardcover
Genre: Science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, young adult
Pages: 387

Once again I do bow down to the greatness of Goodreads, if there is one thing I regret is that I didn’t get to this book sooner. This is modern re-telling of Cinderella. Now I think one of the reasons I was so skeptical was because some of my fairytale re-telling normally don’t get executed to my expectation. Then I am left chucking another book against the wall. I joke. I don’t chuck disappointing books at walls, I chuck them at pillows.

What was great about this book is that while it took some of the similar approaches such as: horrible step mom, being treated like a slave, hopeless life, longing to go to the ball {although she claims that she would rather not}it still managed to make itself unique. For one, Cinder is an android! Now how cool is that?! But she would rather keep that on the down-low since her type of individual is frowned upon. She has a close friendship with one of stepsister, an upside to an unhappy home! Not to mention Cinder is a darn good even famous mechanic. Luckily or unluckily {still up for debate} she gets visited by Prince Kai {he makes‘em girls swoon people even had my heart racing a tad, but being a prince I suppose it just comes with the title} to repair a drone of his, a drone holding some important secrets. They are facing an invasion you see, in the guise of supernaturally-altered supreme beings called Lunar, and their queen who has some dark plans for planet earth.

Oh and there is a mysterious epidemic which is killing people off. It is a pretty bleak situation. -.-

This book is not all about action adventure, uncovering dark truths surrounding the Lunar and the mad doctor who perhaps isn’t so mad, although it is what keeps you turning the page >.<. Our main characters are each fighting for their own sense of freedom and struggling with the choice of doing what is best for them vs what it could mean for everyone. What I also enjoyed from this Cinderella was that she was head strong and won't shy away from doing what is right. I also felt that as the story progressed especially near the end she had reached a sense of maturity. For the first installment of this trilogy it left me crying out for more especially the way it ended. Also, should you decided to purchase this book there is a small bonus for the 2nd book Scarlet. Let me just say DELICIOUSNESS.

The time is ticking, Prince Kai is in danger and if Cinder doesn’t figure out how to stop the Lunar-race and their mutant army mankind will be exterminated. How exciting eh?!!