Read-a-Thon: Anne Rice Edition!

Read-a-Thon: Anne Rice Edition!

First off, HAPPY NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY, Charmers!

 

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It is our day! Our day to dive into our stacks of books! Our day to break out of our shell and get our book-loving-freaky selves! And why not celebrate by conducting a Read-a-thon? Not just any Read-a-thon, but one of YOUR own choosing with YOUR own rules.

Now I recently received a message not too long ago that I have the opportunity to read and review, RAMSES THE DAMNED: THE PASSION OF CLEOPATRA, the long-awaited sequel to The Mummy or Ramses The Damned By Anne Rice that is to release later this year! Her son, author Christopher Rice, joins her on this journey into picking up where we left Ramses back in 1989. Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors of all time and I’ve also enjoyed Christopher’s work too so you can only imagine my reaction to this once in a lifetime opportunity

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The last time I read “The Mummy” was after I picked up a copy from my local Half Price Books Store back in 2013. Since it’s been awhile, I’m in great need of a refresh. Therefore, I have constructed a plan….a plan so diabolical, I am surprised no one else has thought of it!

Ok, ok, I’m kidding about a diabolical plan. But I will be conducting a Read-a-Thon featuring one of the most notorious and well-known writers in the gothic horror genre next to H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Anne Rice made her mark upon the literature world back in 1976 with a new take on the nature of the classic vampire monster.

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She gave the vampire a “soul”, a lingering conscience causing them to long for their humanity. Her main character, Louis, provided a heart-to-heart conversation and lesson in “Interview With The Vampire” which left some readers and future authors aghast while inspired many to explore the life of a vampire and bring them back to the “light” so to speak.

This Read-a-Thon will span the next week or so for myself. You are free to join me at your descretion, of course. Apologies in advance for the odd language. I watched the movie adaption to “Interview” last night and my brain is still tuned into the story.

*Film side note, You can’t tell me anyone can top Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Bandaras, or even Christian Slater’s performance in this film! If they remake this film, I shudder to think who they’d choose to replace them.*

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With this Read-a-Thon, I’m planning on reading the following Anne Rice Novels and will be providing reviews with them:

First

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Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.”

Second – ARC REVIEW COMING SOON

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Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.”

Third – Back to the Beginning

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Goodreads Description

“Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.”

Fourth – Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Goodreads Description

“On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking. And the witching hour begins…

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches – a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.”

Fifth – Feeling a Bit…Hairy

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Goodreads Description

“The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man”

Are you a fan of Anne Rice’s novels?

Which one is your favorite?

Let me know in the comments below!

I’ll be adding the books to my “Currently Reading” List on Goodreads. You can add me on there here if you’d like to join me on my journey!

Happy National Book Lover’s Day, Everyone! 

~C.C.

MOVIE VS. BOOK: PRACTICAL MAGIC

MOVIE VS. BOOK: PRACTICAL MAGIC

Boil boil, Toil and Trouble, it’s the second day of October and why not touch base on the 90s classic Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman based on the novel of the same name by Alice Hoffman.

Book

It follows the story of orphans Sally and Gillian Owens who are taken in by their magically gifted aunts. While growing up, they begin to learn how their magical backgrounds have caused quite a stir in their town in Massachusetts through taunts, whispers, and women sneaking to their home in the middle of the night for love potions.

Sally and Gillian long to be considered normal and will do anything in order to do so. Gillian escapes her small town by running away and jumping from man to man while Sally gets married and has two children, Antonia and Kylie. But they soon learn that you can’t run away from your past and especially can’t run away from your true self.

The book is pretty heavy on descriptions, there are often times when they span a couple pages, making the story drag along. We see the growth of Gillian and Sally from childhood onto their forties through their actions. We also get to know Sally’s children Antonia and Kylie and their growing powers.

Movie

I watched the movie when I was younger and have been in love with it for many years. I found a copy of the book at a library sale last year and finally got to read into the Owen sister’s true background story. Before I go further, I always go for the book instead of the movie but in this case I enjoyed the movie more so than the book.

The differences, for starters, are the descriptions of Gillian, Sally, and the aunts. Gillian is described as a blonde siren of a woman in the book and ages at a rapid pace. Sally is introverted and keeps most of what she wants to say on the inside. The aunts are barely there in the book, but the movie brings them to life in such a way that I fall in love with them instantly and wish they were my aunts!

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I would take midnight margaritas any night, I’m just saying!

I don’t know, the movie makes me appreciate the characters more. The story is well developed for a film adaption. It differs quite a bit to the book but not in a bad way! In the book, Gillian finds love not just Sally. I honestly wish they would have added that into the movie to wrap it up with a pretty black bow. I’m not complaining, but it could have added an extra romantic element.

tumblr_nrxevsmfk91uta9o4o1_500In the book, Sally’s daughters names are switched and they are more vocal than their film adapted counterparts. We get a deeper insight into Sally’s marriage and her mourning for her husband. They skim over it in the movie in just the right way without overly drowning you in emotions. The movie reveals Sally poisoned Jimmy, Gillian’s abusive boyfriend, with bella donna while the book says differently. I prefer Gillian doing the dirty work because book Sally does not seem the vengeful type.

Oh, two of the most memorable scenes in the movie never existed in the book.  If you’ve seen the movie, remember that whole resurrection scene? Yeah, never happened. And Gillian’s possession? Never happened either. Jimmy is a poltergeist but he never makes his slimy way to Gillian. And Gillian and Sally bury him under lilac bushes instead of attempting to resurrect him.

Regardless of the differences…

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In this case, I believe the movie won this round.

 

Have you read Practical Magic?

Which did you prefer, the movie or the book?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews: Dime Store Magic By Kelley Armstrong

C.H.B. Reviews: Dime Store Magic By Kelley Armstrong

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Since it now officially pretty much the beginning of summer, I thought I’d continue on my road of The Otherworld Series. I’ve been behind on writing about the third book due to other books I’m currently reading. Luckily, I finally have a day off of work and I plan on filling up my draft box of reviews, tags, and other goodies for you.

This book bridges off into it’s own story. In the last story, the author used it as a bridge for new characters to cross over and lay down their own personal tales. This one, in particular, picks up on Paige Winterbourne who is still trying to pick up the pieces of her mother’s death from the last book. Paige has also taken in Savannah, the daughter of the half-demon/witch, but the child has brought on a Pandora’s box of problems.

It’s almost like the events that follow come in strikes:

Strike 1: Paige wants to take over her mother’s position in her mother’s coven, but the Elders or leaders reject her proposal. Mainly because Paige is seeking to officially adopt Savannah. Savannah is beginning to show signs of gaining powers which the Coven believes will bring unwanted attention. Despite this minor setback, Paige then convinces herself she is capable of being on her own.

Strike 2: Paige receives word that Leah, a half-demon who betrayed Elena at the compound and revealed to be with the enemies, brings a petition for custody on behalf of Savannah’s father, Kristof Nast. Let me tell you, the information in this book comes in waves so you have the keep up. The Cabals are like part of a long range of high-power sorcerers. Sorcerers look down on witches but in the case of Savannah’s parents, stuff happens, haha. But Kristof is the head of the Nast Cabal which is one of the variety of Sorcerer families. Think of it like The Godfather.

She is granted three days to prove that she is fit to be Savannah’s guardian. Unfortunately, Leah and her goonies set up tricks and traps around Paige’s home in order to set her up and draw attention to her. This brings the attention of the local sheriff, the community, and social services.

Strike 3: She is framed for the murder of a man who had bumped the back of her car. He propositions her in order for the fees to “disappear”. Appalled, she goes straight to his wife who does not really care about Paige’s accusations. She is then set up by Leah to go to his office where Leah uses her powers to murder him, setting Paige up for murder.

It always comes in threes, BUT, Paige’s saving grace comes in the form of sorcerer/lawyer Lucas Cortez. Witches don’t trust sorcerers and since Paige has had recent problems, she doesn’t accept his help. Luckily, he proves his worth and he ties himself to her for better or worse.

This book is pretty intense, especially with information like I said. I consider it a part one of two books. I say that because the second book continues on Paige and Lucas’s story. I won’t spoil what happens in the end of this book but evil get’s it’s just desserts.

 

My Rating: 7 1/2 out of 10

I miss Elena and Clay, I will not lie, but it’s refreshing to get to know other characters in the world.

Have you read any of this series or the whole series?

What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

Charmed Book Haven Reviews #3 Bitten By Kelley Armstrong

Charmed Book Haven Reviews #3 Bitten By Kelley Armstrong

91n4P8inMFLIf anyone is a fan of the Syfy original series “Bitten”, some of you may or may not know it is based on a book series entitled The Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong. This series surrounds the lives of a variety of different women with supernatural qualities. I had actually purchased a few of the books unknowingly out of order. I realized this as I sat down a few months ago to read Stolen (book number 2) and noticed my mistake.

A big pet peeve of mine is to read books, including the novellas, in the order they were intended. This past March, I happily stumbled upon a broken spine first edition of Bitten sitting on a shelf at my local library Spring sale. Ok, outwardly I immediately grabbed it off the shelf. Inwardly, though, I was jumping up and down with glee. I had been looking for this book for months for a great price and to find a first edition copy was even better.

laura-vandervoortThe book surrounds the life of a young Canadian journalist named Elena Michaels who has a dark secret. She lives in an apartment with her boyfriend Phillip Madden in Toronto, Canada. Elena goes out for a “run” of sorts in the middle of the night with her psychiatrist “cousin” Logan. We find out that Elena is truly a werewolf only not by blood case. Then out of nowhere, Elena receives a phone call from her former lover Clayton, which sends her back home to her “family estate” Stonehaven. 

We find from her pack leader, Jeremy, their need for her to track a mutt who is attempting to frame their family with the bodies of devoured townspeople. As the story continues, we go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of secrets, betrayal, death, and werewolf politics.

I give this book 10 out of 10 Book Charms. It’s one of those stories you do not have not heard anywhere else. If you are in love with the show, you’ll fall even deeper with the books. What do you think of this series, television and book? Do you agree with the rating? Let me know in the comments.

If you want to read the books along with me, here are the books in order:

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If you have a book suggestions, let me know and you’ll receive a SHOUT OUT in the article!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.