Lure

Bread

The ovens light up,

The dough starts to rise.

The door is open wide,

Inviting fools inside.

 

The batter is stirred,

And the sugar is heaped on.

The door is open wide,

Inviting fools inside.

 

The sweets and pastries,

Are laid out to entice.

The door is open wide,

Inviting fools inside.

 

When the sign is finally turned,

The door is open wide,

Inviting fools inside.

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For Love

Michelle counted her tip from the last table and scoffed at the shrapnel, but she’d take what she could.

“Shelly,” ‘What a ridiculous nickname.’ “can you see to table six?”

“Sure thing Ronny!” she called back.

‘Two can play at that game Sharon.’

She worked in a fancy little restaurant, not that that made a difference to her wages, she still got paid next to nothing. Table six was two gentlemen, laughing loudly and already red-faced from lager.

“Can I get you any starters gentlemen?”

They looked up at her and her reaction was instant: “Shit!”

Probably not the best thing to say to customers but she thought it would be okay for her fiancé to hear.

“Umm…” was the only sound Ross made.

A few facts ran through Michelle’s head: A) this was her betrothed who B) didn’t know she worked in a restaurant and so C) she needed to get away as quickly as possible.

“Michelle?”

“Nope.”

She began walking away. Where to she didn’t know (she had two hours left) and with Ross following her it wasn’t like she could hide.

“Honey?”

“Nope,” she kept repeating as if Ross would give up and think she just had an evil twin sister. Through the restaurant they raced, Michelle now lightly jogging as other patrons watched.

Finally, she reached a storage cupboard and hurried inside slamming the door behind her. However, given the door obviously didn’t lock from the inside she was soon joined by Ross.

There was an awkward minute with Michelle staying on one side of the small cleaning room and Ross on the other.

“So…what are you doing here?”

Michelle was already biting at her nails.

“I don’t work in an office,” she whispered.

“Are you a waitress?”

“No!”

“Then why are you dressed like a waitress?”

There was a pause and her mind drew a blank.

“…Because I’m a waitress.”

He laughed and she covered her face with her hands, sitting down on an upturned bucket.

“Hey, it’s okay if you’re a waitress. How…long have you been a waitress?”

“Umm…since I was fourteen.”

“Since we’ve been going out!?”

“Well you have such a fancy sounding job and I got so worried you’d not like me unless I had an office job too.”

“And so, you lied?”

She nodded.

“For the six years of our relationship?”

“Well the longer I left it, the harder it was to…you know, tell you the truth.”

Ross laughed again, and she winced.

“Please stop laughing.”

“Why not? This is such a you thing to do. To be so awkward to keep up a charade for six years.”

She scuffed her work shoes and they left a black mark on the floor.

“Do you really think I’d hate you for being a waitress?”

“Well not anymore…now I think you’ll hate me for lying.”

Ross chuckled again, shaking his head at the ridiculous situation. He strode across the small room and kissed her.

“I’m marrying you because you’re crazy enough to lie. Just…no more secrets Michelle.”

“Well if we’re not having any more secrets then you probably should call me Amy.”

An Important List

1.       That feeling in your chest when cheesy music swells Love tree

2.       When you prove a smartass wrong

3.       Watching crappy TV

4.       And then a movie that makes you cry

5.       Cats

6.       The fluffy ones especially

7.       Getting drunk enough that you’re just casually swaying

8.       And laughing so hard you can hardly breathe

9.       But most importantly

10.   Remembering that someone out there is there for you

Carmilla and Laura: ARC Review

I was given an ARC copy of Carmilla and Laura in exchange for an honest review.

Carmilla and Laura

“I have been in love with no one. And I shall never be in love with anyone, I think, unless it be with you.”

Her lips touched mine. With the gentleness of butterflies upon petals, we kissed beneath the grove of trees, secluded from the world lost in time.

***

This is an interesting book, it is based on the 19th century gothic novel, Carmilla. The book is wonderful in its breath-taking description and poetic imagery, but I have no idea if what’s in the book is entirely new or just tweaked from the original book. I mean assume a lot of it is new because I don’t think this amount of sweet lesbian romance would be written in the 19th century. Though I also think being inspired by a book written at the time adds to the realism and authenticity of the writing about young women during that time period. I’ve always had a soft spot for classic romances, that pride and prejudice atmosphere of prim and proper intelligent ladies just makes me feel cosy enough to curl up and read as a cat,

The descriptive writing is definitely the book’s best feature. It’s a very easy read, despite the gothic tones it’s mostly a French 19th century romance rather than an actual vampire story. At points it can drag with how much it tries to envelop itself in its historic world but honestly, it’s mostly a lovely read with its great creative writing, it can create an atmosphere for anything from a summer’s day in the way someone dresses to a horrific nightmare in how someone talks.

A minor point is that the introduction and epilogue of the book, (which takes place in modern day) is quite jarring and not well explained. It took me out of the book with how strange it was and I wondered why it was included. The reason its included is because that’s how the original book was set up, yet if it was removed the book may actually be better for it.

While the writing style is an excellent reason to read this book, the plot is not. Again, it makes me wonder how much of the original manuscript was relied on, as the starting point of the plot is contrived to the point of farce which shadows the rest of the book which is quite good.

The main character Laura, an eighteen year old lady, is very passive which becomes dangerously disturbing in parts. She refuses to ask questions of Carmilla even when her childhood friends are being murdered. While this is annoying, there are parts where this passiveness becomes…uncomfortable. Carmilla blatantly wants a sexual relationship with her and Laura just lets her, touch her and kiss her and it makes it seem forceful which I’m pretty sure wasn’t the intention.

Yet despite the main character’s passiveness, the romance does pick up and it is both sweet and heart-breaking, given they cannot be together as Laura’s a woman and Carmilla is you know…a vampire. It becomes very passionate and loving, focusing more on their emotions rather than their actions. But on the other hand, Laura is torn as per the time period about the ‘sin’ she’s committing, it’s really sad.

However, the ending part is both where the story differs the most from the original and is the worse section. The romantic nature of the first two parts which made it a delightful read are gone to be replaced by rushed and heavy exposition. The magical elements are taken to the extreme in a way that reminds me of ‘so bad it is good’ fanfictions. It really puts a downer on what is mostly a decent and lovely book.

 

Carmilla and Laura is now available for purchase.

The Bittersweet End: Champion by Marie Lu Review

champion-1.jpg

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.
But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.
With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

***

The final instalment of the Legend trilogy is by far the best in the series. The story of the first two books has been shed off and allows this final novel to spread its wings and just be the action book it was meant to be. The world of Legend is once again expanding further by the chapter, giving us a world we’ve never seen before. This series has always been able to surprise me, I keep expecting that I know where it’s going but I have been shocked at every corner, especially by how it kept breaking my heart, (but in a good way, I swear)!

It was so fast paced, even more so than the previous one. It was unrelenting and unstoppable as it just goes at full speed and never lets up on the tension. I couldn’t put it down for more than ten seconds without rushing back to it to read another chapter.

I love returning to these characters, even if it is for the last time, it practically feels like I am living their lives beside them as I read, we learn as they do, debate every argument they have with them. There is no more good versus evil, its people in a shit situation arguing, and that is not as appalling as it sounds, it’s really hard to know which path is the right one to take and I don’t know any better than them.

 

Communication is STILL KEY!

At the start of this book, it’s eight months later, but Day is still a big mess after the last book, enjoying (as best he can) a normal teen life and being obsessed with June. It’s cute and though I was very worried that he and June wouldn’t talk about his diagnosis for AGES. However, it quickly is resolved, and the story begins pretty soon after.

 

“Hey—with your metal leg and half a brain, and my four leftover senses, we almost make a whole person.”

~My broken messes, how are you going to survive this

 

On the Edge of My Seat

At first the tension didn’t really grab me, but what hit me was how dark it quickly became. There were new obstacles to tackle all of them incredibly murky and grey in quality. Especially for Day and the inevitable, which isn’t often tackled in YA fiction and I really think it adds to Day’s character. All sides are making valid arguments to explain complex matters of the class system and mortality and feels more down to Earth than ever. There can been no true happy ending, the USA cannot be reunited, and I love that because no clear ending can be predicted. It’s a mystery to everyone.

As the story progressed however it quickly ramps up the pressure. The fight scenes are especially tense given Day is no longer on form and is slowly losing his mind. Throughout the book it feels like they are constantly on defence and unable to win any fight. It makes it really hard to read as I’m afraid that someone is going to die on the next page. Though, despite that, Day’s ability to avoid bullets for the majority of this book is still ridiculous.

 

The Villains

I love the Chancellor, he’s an amazing villain because he can take EVERYTHING and more from Day. But June’s villain (Commander Jameson) is less threatening. She’s fine except for the fact she tries to say she and June are the same. It’s a cliché I don’t care for because…well June is nothing like Commander Jameson and she’s a clever otter, she should see right through it. Come on June, you’re better than this! But other than that, I loved the opposition, I’m glad Thomas’ arc got resolved as well. I love the Colonies for threatening Day because he isn’t a superhero in this book, he’s dying and if I were him, I’d side with them because there’s nothing the Republic can give him, but he stays loyal and I love him for that stubborn determination.

 

“I’ve been searching a long time for something I think I lost. I felt like I found something when I saw you back there.”

~Ah my heart!!

My favourite couple and how they destroyed my poor heart

I love these two, by God I love June and Day, they are adorable. The eight-month gap between books really helps cements the awkwardness between them, even if I don’t want it to be there. And so, when June and Anden started to gain feelings for each other, I was heartbroken, but I understood it. They’re in this horrible situation and both want something to make them feel human and protected, it’s cute. But of course the soulmates get back together eventually.

But then the ending happened and…I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s unnecessarily sad. It’s very bittersweet and I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, but it just wasn’t needed. I’ve been inconsolable for days!

Kingly Duties

King and Throne

The crown was made of wood and yet weighed a thousand times that. The throne felt worse, though it was where he found himself. It was like tar, consuming him where he sat and the longer he stayed there, staring down at his hands, the less likely he could free himself of it.

Hell, he couldn’t be free of it, the throne was his until he died, what would even be the point of moving from it? He’d carry the throne and the crown’s weight wherever he went.

He sighed. His hands were calloused and dry. In several places the skin had cracked, and dried blood flooded his palms. Were these the hands of a King? Did a King bleed? He huffed, apparently so.

He had murdered men with his sword with these hands. Now they could command the deaths of anyone he chose. The people had handed their lives to him and had done so wilfully after he’d killed his predecessor.

Would they cheer if someone better came along and cut off his head?

“Your Majesty?”

He looked up, the hall was waiting for him to speak. For the first words of their King, but if they didn’t approve of them they would turn on him.

Sure, the ruler ruled all, but the ruler was ruled by all.

Writing Tip: 208#

Helen Benedict

‘Another common mistake is to fall so in love with your research that you stick in facts all over the place, thus clogging the narrative and making you sound like a show-off: “She donned her necklace, made of a rare blue amethyst discovered by Richard Burton in the mines of Eastern Peru, and went down to dinner.” This leads to fiction filled with factoids but without a believable character in sight.’

-Helen Benedict