Part II is the conclusion to her first adventure.
( With your trademark Sakai Twist™ )
Sakura is slated to return, according to Stan Sakai, but I've seen no indication of her comeback so far.
Comments, opinions, requests, all in the little boxes below :)
"Ryan explained to me, he wanted it to be done in our style. He likened and wrote Galactus as Garfield and Norin Radd as Jon. That determined what they were going to look like. When you look at the Silver Surfer, he’s 75 percent of the way there anyway with Jon, all we had to do is give him the big eyes. That was a natural. John kind of hangs around Garfield anyway, he’s the straight man to Garfield’s gags and has to get him food. He’s like Garfield’s herald. Galactus was tougher. We were throwing stuff back and forth, and the initial sketches just weren’t working for Galactus. I said okay, we gotta make him fat. The guy eats planets, for god’s sake! Once we do that, it’s a little less Galactus but certainly a lot more Garfield. It looked more natural. Obviously, Galactus has put on a few mega-tons for this strip." -- Jim Davis
( Comic under the cut... )
"At least my face can't turn out like the Joker's, or a giant red light bulb as in that Richie Rich comic...right?"
Okay, time to bring out the heavy stuff here. This tale of revenge upon revenge is so ridiculously, over-the-top grotesque and brutal it makes EC's "Foul Play" look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by comparison. Warning for violence/gore.
( 'There! There! There! Suffer! Suffer! Suffer!' )
This HaBO is from Mai, who’s been searching for this book for months:
I am not quite sure if this is a full-length novel, a novella, or part of an anthology.
It’s a historical book — the male lead is probably an earl or a duke of some sort and he’s married with children, but routine has dampened his and his wife’s relationship quite a bit. The man starts to leave his wife little notes to rekindle their love and I think these notes are about his fantasies or maybe he asks her out; I’m not too sure exactly.
I also remember that the male lead thinks a friend of his wife might be after her and that’s why he is so desperate to have her fall back in love with him.
Does anyone know this one?
This weekend I was at the annual conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, where they held a memorial for sociologist Peter Berger. I thought of Berger and Luckmann’s classic The Social Construction of Reality in the airport on the way home. Whenever people say ritual is dying out, or socially constructed things “aren’t real,” I think of airport lines.
There are always two lines, but rarely any separation other than a sign like this. If you’re lucky, you can catch the gate agent making a big show of opening the “general boarding” lane, but everyone ends up at the same scanner right past the sign (usually only a minute or two after the “elite” passengers). From Berger and Luckmann (the Anchor Books paperback edition):
Evan Stewart is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. You can follow him on Twitter.
The developing human being not only interrelates with a particular natural environment, but with a specific cultural and social order which is mediated to him by the significant others who have charge of him (p. 48).
The symbolic universe orders and thereby legitimates everyday roles, priorities, and operating procedures…even the most trivial transactions of everyday life may come to be imbued with profound significance (p. 99).
That sets up a Batman I want to read. That sets up a Batman whose pain comes from guilt, not just from inaction. I think a lot of us, when we think about the worst parts of our life, we think about ourselves being involved in them. It’s not just the pain that was done to us but [also] the pain we caused ourselves. In looking at Batman and making him more human and raising the stakes of the series, I wanted to bring out that guilt. -- Tom King
( Read more... )
Nothing Like a Duke
Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford is $1.99! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and is currently being price-matched. Redheadedgirl picked this one for a previous Hide Your Wallet since she’s enjoyed the series thus far. Readers said there’s some great banter in the book, but wished the plot and conflict had a bit more oomph.
A Georgette Heyer-esque tale of high society in the glittering Regency
Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about Flora, but his plans are thwarted when she suddenly arrives.
Their attraction flares, but their romance becomes complicated when the sinister Anthony Durand shows up and threatens Flora. Every bone in Robert’s body says to save her…but he’ll have to learn that some damsels in distress can save themselves if he truly wants to win her heart.
If You Dare
If You Dare by Kresley Cole is $2.99! This is the first book in the MacCarrick Brothers series. Readers might be more familiar with Cole’s paranormal romances, but she started with writing historical romances. Cole typically writes Alpha heroes and this book is no exception. It has a 4-star rating on Goodreads.
Kresley Cole introduces a thrilling new romance trilogy featuring fierce Scottish brothers with dangerous lives, dark desires, and a deadly curse.
Can he exact revenge?
High in the Pyrenees, a band of mercenaries led by Courtland MacCarrick wages war for General Reynaldo Pascal. When Court turns on the evil general, Pascal orders him killed, but Court narrowly escapes and exacts revenge by kidnapping Pascal’s exquisite Castilian fiancée.
Can she deny her passions?
Lady Annalía Tristán Llorente despises her towering, barbaric captor almost as much as she does Pascal. Her inexplicable attraction to the Highlander only fuels her fury. But nothing will stop her from returning to Pascal—for if she doesn’t wed him, she signs her brother’s death warrant, as well as her own.
Can there be love between them?
From the moment Court discovers that Anna’s prim façade masks a fiery, brave lass, his heart’s ensnared, and he dares to defy the curse that has shadowed his life—to walk with death or walk alone. But Pascal vows that he’ll hunt the two, never stopping until he’s destroyed them both.
Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft is 99c! This is the first book in The Order series and right now, you can grab all three books for less than $3! There’s definitely an element of suspense, which readers liked, while others felt it had a lot going on in terms of the cast of characters.
Tara Collins just wants to be normal. Everyone else wants her dead.
Tara’s eccentric aunt raised her to be fearful of the world and follow the rules. But after her aunt’s death, Tara is ready to take control and experience life for the first time. But she quickly discovers that everything she’s been told is a web of lies. Determined to solve the mystery of who she is truly, she hires private investigator to help her uncover the truth.
Christian Roth is more than your average PI. A vampire and ex-demon hunter, Christian lives among the humans, trying to be “normal.” But recently, things seem to be falling apart. There’s a crazed demon hell-bent on revenge hunting him down, and a fae assassin on the loose with an unknown target. And the Order he abandoned desperately needs his help.
As the secrets of Tara’s past collide with the problems in Christian’s present, she finds herself fighting her attraction to the dark and mysterious investigator. Falling in love does not fit into her plans at all, but Tara soon learns that some rules are meant to be broken.
Burn for Burn
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian is $2.99! This is a YA novel about three young women out for revenge and I immediately added this to my TBR pile when I saw it on sale. Be warned that there’s a quasi-cliffhanger ending, given that this is the first book in a trilogy.
BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY…THEY GET EVEN
Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes — and three girls secretly plotting revenge.
KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.
LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.
MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.
None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.
With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently…” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.
This HaBO request comes from Julia and she’s trying to find a medieval romance:
I read this medieval romance about 12 years ago, back when I was a tween and my local public library still had their romance novels in one spot: the very back of the Adult Fiction section. I do not remember character names or the author, sadly. Here’s what I remember:
– Book was probably set in the 1300s.
– Heroine finds out her older sister has died and their father pulls her out of a convent to marry the hero in her sister’s place. I think the sister’s name was Sibylla, or some form of the name, but it may have been the heroine’s name instead.
– There’s a big spiel about spouses sleeping naked together. Heroine is nervous about this but hero assures her he’s not going to do anything until she’s more comfortable. Though I’m convinced he taught her the proper way to spoon.
– I remember a large battle at the end, where the hero’s helmet flies off during a duel with someone, probably the villain. I also think the heroine was either pregnant at this point or is giving birth while this is going on.
– The author had a “Historical Notes” section at the end. I think she used part of it to explain politics, how the hero’s helmet fell off during his duel, and say that “yes, medieval spouses slept naked”.
– I know there was an inside cover, and I think dark fuchsia was…incredibly prominent. It may have been a giant bed with dark fuchsia sheets. The fuchsia may have been on the cover as well.
[howling wind and dog together]
[plus a sprinkling of light rattling chains]
Darkness falls across the land...
The fowl-est stench is in the air...
The FUNK of forty thousand years!
Give or take an eon.
And Grizzly ghouls from EVERY tomb...
Are closing in...to seal your DOOM.
And though you fight to stay alive...
"Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. I'm missin'myarm, and whereismyface?"
Your body starts to SHIVER.
(Or maybe that's Orlando Bloom. Hm? LADIES?)
For no MERE MORTAL can resist...
... David Caruso riding a unicorn under a double rainbow!
(Oh. Or that)
Is that supposed to be steak?
Thanks to Melinda M., Sarah C., Natasha, Nell H., John M., Rebecca J., Carrie, Robin L., Wolfie, and P. Humperdink for saving us from having to find a cake for "y'alls neighborhood."
Before I ever read a romance novel, I devoured Gothics by Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. When I was probably around twelve I found them on a bookshelf in our basement, and I think over the course of one summer I read everything both authors had written.
Gothic romances were and are the perfect blend of the creepy and the sexy. Usually set on a crumbling estate, the innocent heroine shows up (sometimes as a governess or poor relation or new wife) to meet the dark and mysterious lord of the manor/castle/whatever. These books were always told only from the heroine’s POV as she tried to piece together spooky happenings (ghosts, curses, diaries left behind by mysteriously dead former wives) while simultaneously fearing the hero and also wanting to bone him.
Sadly, there was no boning in Victoria Holt’s novels, but Eve Silver’s Dark Gothic series is here to rectify that. His Dark Kiss is the second book in the series, but totally works as a stand-alone read.
Emma Parrish arrives at Manorbrier Castle to act as governess to the son of her late cousin, Delia. Rumors abound that Lord Anthony Craven, Delia’s husband, was responsible for her death, but practical Emma dismisses this all as “stuff and nonsense.”
When she gets to Manorbrier, however, she realizes some seriously spooky shit is going on. First of all, the previous two governesses died under mysterious circumstances.
She overhears her student, adorable plot moppet Nicky, discussing her with the cook:
“I haven’t met her yet. But if she is like Miss Strubb or Miss Rust or…” The child shivered and hesitated briefly before saying the woman’s name in a hushed whisper. “…Mrs. Winter, then I think I should not like to meet her at all. And certainly if she is like Mrs. Winter, then she should go away and never come back. Papa could send her off in a pine box. Just like he sent Mrs. Winter.”
A pine box? Emma stood frozen, digesting the implications of all she had overheard. Clearly the child was frightened, and had quite possibly been ill-treated by his previous governesses. That he had suffered was a sad thing to be sure, but his trust could be gained with patience and love. So she worried not overmuch as to Nicky’s opinion of her, but the mention of a pine box for the unknown Mrs. Winter gave her pause. There was only one type of pine box he could mean.
A chill crept across Emma’s skin. It seemed that Mrs. Winter had left Manorbrier in a coffin, and by the child’s account, it was Lord Anthony who had put her there.
One of the things that’s tricky in a Gothic is making the hero a menacing and potentially murderous figure, while simultaneously making him desirable to the heroine and reader. Like a true Gothic hero, Anthony is darkly mysterious and handsome, and has a penchant for wandering around his castle with his shirt unbuttoned but tucked in. The Gothic hero sometimes intersected with (or was a precursor to) the vampire hero, so if you’re confused as to how he could be appealing, think about Spike or Angel or whoever Sarah McLachlan was singing about in “Building a Mystery” (ah, the nineties. Good times).
Emma doesn’t think Anthony is a murderer. He’s a devoted and loving father to Nicky, and he’s also very kind to those in his employ (when a maid gets pregnant out of wedlock, he keeps her on and also pays for the care of her sick mother). But there’s definitely something fucked up going on at Manorbrier. For one, all the other servants seem creepy and tight lipped about everything, like they’re all in on some huge conspiracy. Then there’s the mysterious Round Tower that Emma is explicitly forbidden from entering.
One day Emma is enjoying the fresh air when she sees the coachman, Griggs, carrying a bundle into the Round Tower:
From the bottom of the bundle dangled a human hand, the fingers curled like talons, the skin wrinkled and pale save for a terrible blackened lesion that marred the flesh, the center glistening wetly in the sun. Emma gasped and lurched away. ‘Twas not just any body, but a terrible, frightening thing riddled with disease.
Taking another involuntary step backward, she held up one hand, palm forward. Such a futile gesture aimed at warding off the horror that confronted her. She swallowed against the bile that crawled up her throat as frozen talons of true horror gouged her heart.
Griggs looked down.
“His Lordship likes ’em fresh,” he said. “Says it’s best for the harvest.” With a grunt, he hefted his morbid parcel, turned his back on her, and disappeared into the tower.
Now, any sane person would be like:
Not the Gothic heroine, though. The Gothic heroine is gonna wait until midnight, put on her flimsiest nightgown, grab a candle, and go figure this shit out.
One of the things this novel does really well is keep Anthony a darkly intriguing figure while also making him super bone-able. It’s a tough chord to strike, balancing fear and desire together, and going too far in any direction will ruin the mood so to speak.
Emma is illegitimate and acutely aware of what an affair with the lord of the castle could mean for someone in her position. That said, she and Anthony are drawn to each other with a delicious intensity. And the sex scenes in this book are hella hot.
One of the things that was a little frustrating, but also frankly a convention of the genre, is that much of the conflict could have been solved by Emma and Anthony talking. “Hey, why is Griggs carrying bodies into the Round Tower?” would be a pretty reasonable question to ask. Emma doesn’t often explicitly voice her concerns and when she does Anthony answers her in a vague and roundabout way. It keeps the mystery going, but it’s irksome.
That mystery is resolved nicely though and the clues as to what the hell is really going are peppered throughout the book in a way that the reader can solve it if they want to.
Now I do want to add a trigger warning. There’s a scene where a woman is in labor and in distress, and there is a frank conversation with the physician about performing an abortion (and how it would be performed) in order to save her life. This could be upsetting for anyone who had experienced something similar.
His Dark Kiss is also fairly creepy. It didn’t give me nightmares, but the horror element is sufficiently explicit that it might freak out more sensitive readers. Since I read creepy shit all the time, it didn’t bother me much.
If you’ve never read a Gothic and want to try one, or are just looking for seasonally spooky read, His Dark Kiss would be a good place to start.