Book Review: Into the Darkness by K.F. Breene

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So I just finished off Into The Darkness by K.F Breene. A novella that features a heroine who doesn’t fit in, her annoyingly bland boyfriend, and a hot night dweller who goes on to be her tatted up knight in a leather vest.

Overall I found the book to be a decent read although the fight scenes could be somewhat confusing at times. There just seemed much going on at once with the narrator jumping from one thing to the next, with hardly any time for a smooth transition.

I did however like the various points of view that the author used.  It was nice getting into the hero and heroine’s heads and seeing things from their differing points of view.  And their chemistry was amazing! So much so that I kept hoping the heroine’s boyfriend would either die or she would leave him with every chapter.

I will say that if you aren’t a fan of dubcon, that this book might make you feel uncomfortable.  Especially in the beginning when we get some hints of male on male action that isn’t exactly welcomed by some of the participants.

Overall though, I would give this novella 3 stars and will give the second book a chance. It definitely had some promise, even if parts of it verge on the point of being completely absurd (yes, I’m looking at you cartoon monsters.)

And the first book is free. So why not give it a chance?

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50 Shades of Meh

 

After listening to Beyoncé’s haunting rendition of Crazy in Love while watching that movie preview, I finally took the plunge. I read 50 Shades of Grey.

Now according to some of my friends, I am greatly behind the times for someone who has a tendency to weave erotic elements into their writing. One of them even billed the book as being the greatest piece of erotic fiction of our times. Of course that still didn’t convince me that I was missing anything, and I would’ve happily went on with my life without knowing the secret lust for a certain emotionally wounded and unavailable billionaire.

However, the movie trailer got me (damn that elevator kiss!) and so I began to think of reading the book in preparation for the movie debut. After all, there had to be something so compelling about it that it became the best selling, world phenomenon that it is today. And so over the course of a few days (because I am admittedly a slow reader) I followed the journey of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey under the quiet illumination of my bedside lamp.

 

Note: BOOK SPOILERS COMING UP! Read on at your own risk.

After reading the book, I came away with mixed feelings. Anger, boredom, and anticipation to be exact. I found Christian Grey to be an intoxicating character with enough mystery and grace to make me want him. Seriously, when I was a quarter way through the book, I was at work daydreaming about what he would do or say next. On the other hand, his sudden use of the term “laters babe”, broke the spell and left me feeling deflated as he went from being a mature young adult in my mind, to a horny adolescent boy.

I also found Anastasia’s internal posse that consisted of her inner goddess and intution incarnate, to be annoying. I didn’t seriously need to read about how her inner goddess took the lotus position everytime Christian caved to her neediness, which in turn made her feel valued as a woman. But it was there every few pages. I also could’ve done away with the excessive sex scenes. I mean I get that the book is an erotic romance, but some of the sex scenes were just unnecessary.

Her loosing her virginity, necessary. Them having sex in the bathroom twice in one scene, unecessary. It got so bad that near the end I just skipped over anything that mentioned the words down there, my sex, and orgasm. I just wanted to read their story and see how things ended, which brings me to my final point.

I hated the ending. They broke up, and yes if you read this review without reading the book and are now throwing your pillow against the wall incessantly while you scream ‘why!?!?’ Much like I did, then you’re welcome. I still remember flipping those last few pages over in hopes that they would at least find a compromise between her unwillingness to submit to him fully, and his inability to get close to her. And what was the resolution?

They broke up. I’m still angry about it now and don’t even want to go on to read the rest of the series. Although I’ve read over the interwebs about their reconciliation in the next two books. It made me that mad.

All in all though, I can say that I see why the book was so big. It was taboo and dangled the promise of racy sex with a hot billionaire who was the ultimate gentleman in front of millions of women. How can that not sell? Do I think it was good though? Well I think the title of my post answers that.

A word on the supposed Maleficent controversy

According to Hayley Krischer of Femamom, we should all be talking about the supposed rape scene presented in the newest Disney flick called Maleficent. I haven’t seen the movie yet myself, but apparently the supposed metaphorical rape scene involves the main character, Maleficent, waking up in the dirt with her body aching after finding that her wings have been cut off by a man she knew and loved. Hayley then goes on to tell us of how  “rape has so permeated our culture that it ended up in a Disney movie.”

Here is my problem, and the one she later briefly mentions before continuing on her tirade that any scene involving a woman being at her most vulnerable point has to be rape. If anyone has ever read the original tale of Sleeping Beauty, it is indeed a story of rape and betrayal. In the original tale, Sleeping Beauty is actually awakened by the children she bore after being raped multiple times by her prince charming.

So in reality, what does that say about our culture? That we airbrush the origins of a fairytale just to make it palatable to today’s youth. Which is another problem since fairytales were written for adults with adult themes such as rape, arranged marriage, and imprisonment.

The other thing is, almost every fairytale’s hero(ine) is in some shape or form the bad guy. The boogey man that you would want to watch out for as a child, lest they make you dance in fiery red, hot shoes til you fall down dead (Snow White). Or demand that you let them share your bed at night, even though they are a stranger (The Frog Prince).

Real fairytales show that everything is not always as it seems. That sometimes the people you trust are the ones who will screw you over the most. Or that prince charming may not be so charming in the least bit. Disney, not so much. Which is another reason why I am happy that as a child my mother gifted me The Yellow Book of Fairytales. It really was an eye opener after growing up watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid as a child.

However, I would like to know what everyone else thinks. Do you think Maleficent went too far with its nod to its darker roots? Let me know below.

Famous by Annie Reed (A short story review)

I really hate short stories and usually will keep on moving if I happen across one. However, last night around 1am after I had finished another round of edits, I stumbled across the short story Famous by Annie Reed. After some finagling with Kobo’s website, I was able to read a preview of the book and instantly clicked on ‘buy me’.

 

Finishing the short story in about ten minutes with the aid of some Red Bull, I closed my tablet and found myself both satisfied and thirsting for more. The story follows a young man named Jeremy, on his quest to set out to become a famous serial killer. However, he doesn’t want to be just any serial killer. He wants to be famous for killing supernatural beings and so he goes to the Shadows, a place known for hosting tittie bars full of supernatural women with seemingly perfect bodies. I won’t go into much more detail in case any of you want to read this story. However, I will say that the plot keeps you intrigued until the story is complete with a plot twist that makes you want to laugh in a sadistic sort of way.

Overall, I’d give the book 4.5 stars, with half a star missing due to the price. It’s $3.49 on Kobo which seems somewhat high for the length of the book in my humble opinion. Had it been coupled with two or three of their other works, I’d give it a five. But maybe you can read it for yourself and see what you think of it.

http://anniereed.wordpress.com/fiction/collections-and-anthologies/

Edit: I have just found out that there is a collection of these stories available on Amazon. *Cue my gleeful squeal of excitement* So definitely go check that out!

It Wasn’t All Bad – Sweet Times Among the Sad

This is a really good post I found from a blog I follow called A Walk on the Wild Side. The blog is about a mother’s journey as she battles with the challenges caused by having a son whose life is controlled by substance abuse. The article is about appreciating the glow of hope and normalcy, even when it is shrouded in darkness. Please give it a read.

A Walk on the Wild Side

IMG_3983 Sometimes when we write blogs like this one, where we feel like we’re battling demons, flailing against the dark, we forget those shafts of light that make everything, if just for a moment, golden.

When we’re focused on trying to save someone’s life, and there’s so much tension and trauma going on, we forget to write about the good times. The times that make the fighting worth our while.

We forget to savor what we’re trying to save.

So when I go back and look at my last several posts and see the storm clouds gathering, the dark skies thundering, and cold rain pouring down, I must remember those dark days were pierced with light. Sweet moments of sunshine, golden spots of time. Warm laughter and tender embraces.

I owe it to my son and to myself, and to those of you who have been following our story, to write…

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Where have I been

Banff Gondola

Image via explorerockies.com

 

After some hair pulling on my fiancé’s part and some hemming and hawing on my own part, I just got back from a very much needed vacation in Southern Alberta. And yes, I did ride that gondola and did see those mountains. It’s gorgeous, right?

Anyway, I just want everyone to know that I am still here. I am still writing and Her Knowing is still being released at the beginning of June. (Cue the squeal of a thousand guinea pigs) Anyway, I’m really excited to introduce everyone to my newest novel. Also aside from this post, I will be posting a Q&A with my main character Sarah Jempser this week (possibly today). So look out for that and have a great week.

Red Eyes and Reality

A great post on how daily life can influence your writing for the better.

AugustRogue

This is my first writer’s blog! I want it to chronicle my thoughts, experiences, and everything else as I write my first book and publish it! I love writing anything new adult, sci- fi and fantasy with characters that I can fully convey not just their emotions, actions and their thoughts but, even other important aspects like their sexuality because I feel like a lot of writers just stray away from those kinds of subject matter.  It’s time for more strong  female oriented characters that can stand on their own!

Now the title of this blog entry is called “Red Eyes and Reality’ for one simple fact. I believe my writing, as well as true for some other writers, are impacted by their dreams and their own personal experiences. Some people say write what you know and others say write what you don’t. I think you should do both. And…

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Second Star to …

Second Star to the Right and Straight on Til Morning

Quote from Peter Pan by James M. Barrie

I have a very deep love in my heart for Peter Pan. The entire story has fascinated me since I was a child thinking of the boy who never grew up. As a child I wanted to be like him, and as an adult some days I get lost in my own Never Neverland that resides inside my mind. With that said, I’m sure you are wondering what this post is really about. Well, as much as I adore Peter Pan, movie adaptations and abridged novels of the popular book have been the bane of my existence for awhile. The original has, and always will be, perfect in my mind. That is probably why when I bought the book for my young nephew last year I scanned the pages for Tinkerbell calling Wendy an ass. I knew if that one part wasn’t in the book, the story would deviate off into some Disney watered down short story.

Speaking of Disney, that is where my hate for movie adaptations for this book began as a child. My mom had let me read the book on my own before I actually saw the popular Disney classic. So I knew what was actually correct to the tale when I finally watched the movie. To my horror I remember seeing lovely mermaids, a naughty fairy named Tink, and a silly rendition of Captain Hook that made me want to cry. Yes, I really hated the movie that much.

So for years I refused to watch anything related to the book that had been turned into a miniseries or movie. The only exception being Hook with Robin Williams just because it wasn’t a replica of the old tale. That and I loved Rufio and his crazy, cool Mohawk.

Image via Orientify.com

Image via Orientify.com

Anyway, I did finally find what I still consider to be the holy grail of Peter Pan movies and that was the aptly named film, Peter Pan. Made in 2003 by Universal Pictures, it had the little green house for Wendy, murderous sirens, a vengeful fairy out for blood, and a Captain Hook I could be legitimately scared of. It was brilliantly done and I would say that no other movie could come close to it. It stuck so close to the original manuscript and made me want to dust off my own copy of the novel, in order to take it for a spin again.

So when I found out that another movie was coming out soon, a shiver went up my spine. After all the bad renditions from before, I knew the chances of this one being good again were slim to none. So I did some research and found my fears to be warranted. To show you what I mean, here are a few facts from the movie so far:

1) Captain Blackbeard is in it although he’s nowhere in the original book. But I guess an extra character was needed to bring in Hugh Jackman somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr. Jackman as an actor. But Blackbeard does not belong in a Peter Pan movie.

2) We have a white girl playing Tiger Lily. I’m sure there are lots of Native American actresses out there looking for a role. So why they didn’t find one is beyond me. But that’s Hollywood for ya.

3) Tiger Lily and Peter Pan’s age gap makes no sense. Peter Pan was a young boy in the novel and Tiger Lily was a young girl. Even Disney got this part right. So why they decided a 28 year old should play her makes no sense. Especially since Tiger Lily has a crush on Peter.

All in all, I think this movie could either be a complete failure or a good movie for those who either don’t care, or don’t know, anything about the original book. Will I go see it? Probably not, as I can’t stomach watching such a classic be ripped apart and pieced back together to make it “marketable.” But I’ll be sure to keep my eyes out on the reviews that will surely follow.

With this said, I would like to know if you have any book to film adaptations you personally hate? If so, what are they and why?

Why I left Word for yWriter

As mentioned in my first post here, I first started on my upcoming debut novel about five years ago. At that time the idea of specific writing software was foreign to me, and I counted Microsoft Word as my only friend and enemy. The thing is I do not, and never have, written my stories in the linear fashion that Microsoft Word directs one to. I’ve always jumped around between the beginning, end, and middle of anything I’ve ever written. Even when I’d write papers in school, I’d jump around from place to place. It has always been a major part of my writing style, and eventually became a major stumbling block in me finishing anything.

So, after years of disenchantment with Word’s fancy fonts and endless layouts and reformatting, I almost gave up. That was until I did a search for writing software and found yWriter. Now I won’t say yWriter is perfect by any means, since it does have its own flaws to contend with. But, if you write anything like me, jumping from place to place in the plot of your story, it is a great tool to work with. Instead of writing one full length linear story, it allows you to write scenes. This in turn allows you to write with abandon, not worrying about where you will put everything until you are done. It also has a handy location and characters panel that allows you to keep track of who is who, what place is where, and what everything looks and feels like with description notes.

There are more features as well, like the audio feature that reads your story back to you, and the story board that gives you a brief overview of the storyline of your work in progress. But the feature that sold me the most, other than it’s hassle free, simplistic layout, is the fact that it is free. Yes free! And if you are an aspiring novelist, free can be a very good thing. Especially if you are on a tight budget like me. If you’re reading this and thinking, “well yeah I’d like to try that.” Here is a link to the free download on the ywriter website. You can also donate to the creator Simon Hayes, who continuously develops this great software, by registering your version of yWriter on the website.

Sailor Moon! The wait is (hopefully) almost over

So there are a few things in life that I am absolutely head over heels in love with. My fiancé, southern comfort food, the Cheesecake Factory, and Sailor Moon of course.

Image via Fanpop

Image via Fanpop

I’ve loved this anime since I was a young girl, and still catch myself watching it in my spare time. So when the mangas were rereleased earlier last year by Kodansha Comics, I had to get them. But when I heard about the rerelease of the anime series, I was over the moon happy. According to sources such as The Anime News Network

The new anime will begin streaming worldwide on the Niconico service in July.

Although the rerelease will only be in English subtitles, my hope is that a dubbed (aka English version) of the series will be released later on. Then fans like me might actually get a proper Sailor Moon adaptation of the mangas that doesn’t rework the relationship of two senshis as cousins. And yes Uranus and Neptune, I’m looking at you! Or turn the starlight sailors into female drag queens, or would that be kings? Hmm? Well I guess time will tell, but I am over the moon happy right now.