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

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Curiousity Corner: Dracula by Bram Stoker

I’ve said this before – vampires are delicious. I may be paraphrasing. Now it’s no surprise that I would want to read this. It might just be my love for Gary Oldman, or my curiousity with all that good supernaturally stuff  that brought me here. Both, probably.

Since I saw the movie when I was much younger, I didn’t realize it was based off of a book. Though it’s actually one of my favourite movies (no matter how not great it was) so I’m going to make an exception and give it a read at some point. Dracula is supposed to be one of the original bloodsuckers…or as far as I know, at least one of them. I would like to see where Bram takes his imagination with this. I’m not sure if it was the same in the novel or something they changed in the film, but I liked the background that Dracula was given. I think it fit well with the story line. In the book, I just have to wonder if he’s just a lonely vampire wanting what everyone else has? Aww. Sad. Anybody have that problem with books and their movie selves?
Happy Halloween!

Xox,
Sasha

Curiousity Corner: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

This week instead of a review, I’ve decided to write about something that I have hopes to read at some point…soon? In the distant future somewhere at least.

Okay. So. I feel like everywhere I go, I’ve been seeing this book. That’s weird isn’t it? And each and every time this happens, I’m reluctant to flip through its contents. After all my stubbornness, I’m taking it as an extremely delayed sign. I think because the cover shares the same color scheme as the Twilight series (which I’ve read…though I shan’t speak of it) that it through me off a little bit? Yeah, let’s go with that. So I shoved my bitterness aside one day whilst bored on my cellular device as usual. I ordered a sample from Kelley Armstrong. Bitten seems to revolve around werewolves. Normally, I wouldn’t indulge in this sort of furry fantasy. But I’m thinking Year of the Vampire is over. At least for now.

The first few chapters that I got to peek, introduces our main character Elena who is a newly bitten wolf still trying to hold onto her humanity. It does seem to sound like the usual self-loathing supernatural creature, but I’m interested to see where this goes. Especially when Elena gives into her wolfy urges. It’s always a little fun when they join the dark side for a quick spin, don’t you think?
This is going to be added to my collection soon enough. Hopefully it won’t be collecting dust.

xox,
Sasha

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

Picture it & Write

She hadn’t known what she was thinking, but she was never one to pass up a dare. This was clearly a mistake. If she ever made it back to solid land, she’d definitely need to start prioritizing.
“Oh, come on.” she begged, holding her cell phone up in front of her face. Shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun, she noted that she only had two bars left. Just as she was in the process of dialing, the boat tipped slightly before flowing steady through the water.

“What-” Speech seemed to fail her as she caught sight of the whale under water. A giant eye blinked up at her tiredly from below the depths.

This is Sasha’s entry to this week’s Picture it and Write prompt hosted by Ermiliablog!
Enjoy and join in on the fun!

The Seldom Diaries: Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

 

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Hemingway’s Girl
Erika Robuck
Published by New American Library
September 2012
Paperback
Historical fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Literary fiction
352 pages

 

In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match…and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer Ernest Hemingway and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.

When Mariella is hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a rarefield world of lavish celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate off-island excursions. As she becomes caught up in the tensions and excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation…even as reliable Gavin draws her back  to what matters most. Will she cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway or find a wayto claim her own dreams? As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West, Mariella faces some harsh truths- and possibility of losing everything she loves.

… … …

((I loved this book, but the summary was a total pain to rewrite. Was it just me, or does it seem crazy long? Anyway…))

I like a good love triangle, don’t you? They might get a little dicey, but it doesn’t make it any less juicier. I’ve noticed that they always seem to be between the centre piece or in other words, the suspecting undecisive little chick-a-dee, that really nice loveable guy, and the problematic bad boy with a secret heart of gold. In this case, Erika Robuck tossed them all in a blender. The results were very interesting.

Robuck begins the novel with an older Mariella and her son, Jake. Son, you say? Naturally, I had to use the detective skills that I don’t have to read on and figure out which other point of the triangle this Jake belonged to. Especially if our main character’s intense reaction at the news of Hemingway’s demise was anything to go by. Color me intrigued.

The book reverts back to years earlier. Mariella’s relationship with her mother is strained at the death of her father. Her mother, Eva, still grieving at the loss and her two younger sisters who depend on her in more ways than one. Mariella doesn’t seem to get her own time to grieve, really. She’s got to be the strong one, trying to figure out how the family is going to pay of debts and put food on the table. Which is saddening, yet extremely admirable. Luckily, putting an almost stop on her bets at boxing matches, she swings a job working as the Hemingways’ maid.

Now I usually have favourites in these things. Whether it be Gavin’s sweet caring nature. Or Hemingway’s unnecessary complicatedness. I found myself cheering for both contenders, though I suppose Hemingway having already been married was just too sleazy. And throughout the book, it seems to be the same thought ringing in Mariella’s mind when she considers the writer’s actions towards herself and others.

Devastation erupts when she believes Gavin to be dead when the hurricane hits. I think even I might’ve cried. ((I cry over everything…) Thoooough when we discover that things aren’t exactly as they seem, it’s clear who Mariella’s choice was. Gavin and Hemingway are good sports throughout.

I believe I mentioned the badboy with the heart of gold?

This is me trying not to give the ending away. I think I failed.

Erika Robuck did a terrific job. Hemingway’s Girl already has a nice & cozy spot on my shelf. Amazeballs.

Xox,
Sasha

 

Picture It & Write

Tonight? The hours belonged to the dead.

There were rumours that she had a troubled hand. Whisking through the old ways; dark magic. Some said that she met and plotted with the fairies and goblins, deep in the forest where it became too dark to tell when sunlight poured in. Others believed that she sold her soul. No one ever knew for sure just how she knew to do the things that she could. Not even Tomas, but he loved her dearly anyway. And she- him. Until the day he died, hanged for a crime he did not commit. That day, she went a little mad. Her heartbroken cries echoed through the town for a full day. As most of the town crowded Sir Lynden’s family estate, I remembered hours earlier when she had stood in the middle of the square, chaos and destruction running through her veins.

“You’ll pay.” She sneered. “Every last one.”

No one had believed her. Even now, no one knew what to make of this. That this night, the dead walked the streets. Some had given in, not caring of the unnaturalness of it. Simply wanting the second chance that seemed to be granted. This was not such. We’ve lost some. More. It was not love, or making up for lost time that urged the deceased on. It was a like madness to her own. A sudden power. She had brought the dead back to life and they wanted revenge. For what, I can’t be sure.

Hurriedly, all the doors and windows were boarded up. Mama tried to talk Papa out of gathering a small army. Some, people I’ve known since my four years searched the house for as many weapons as they could find. Others prayed. I watched her, before the last of the windows was closed off. She glided through the street, past terrible unspeakables as if none of it could ever touch her. None of it would soil her dress. The screams of terror as the city burned, flowing with fresh streams of blood. They would never deter her. I held my breath as she walked past me with a dazed look in her eyes. A demented smile tugged at her lips.

“Tomas?” she called out. “my love, where are you?”

Contribution by: Sasha

Picture it & Write is a weekly writing prompt from ErmiliaBlog. Be sure to send them some love and if the prompt calls out to you, join in on the fun!
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