Xactly Why I Think Beastly is An Xcellent Story

Day 24) X is for X: Choose a book whose author has an X in their name

Say What

An X?

Wow

I couldn’t think of anything, of any name that had an X in it. I decided that I would just shelve it for now and come back to it later.

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But then the days passed and we grew closer and closer to the 24th and I had no idea what to pick.

I don't know what to do

But then my friend returned my book Beastly, by AleFlinn, that I had let her borrow. I looked at it and I knew!

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This was the book I was going to use for my X.

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Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) by Alex Flinn

So I don’t know exactly how I stumbled onto this book. But I read it, loved it, and then went on to read everything else Flinn wrote.

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Flinn is a master teller at taking fairy tales and rewriting them in modern times with youth audiences and characters.

FairyTales

Now I read this years ago, a few years after it was published and just absolutely loved it. Then I heard the movie was coming out based on it, and tracked that film; so excited to see it on the screen and dragging two of my friends with me. But then I saw it:

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It was horrible. I did not like it one bit. They just cut the heart and soul of the book leaving a shadow of what it was. The book was much better.

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Now when I first read the book I had only previously seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and read the tale it was based on. Since then, I have seen a few other things and I have noticed that Flinn pulls from both La Belle et la Bête

And the Beauty and the Beast TV show from the ’80s.

In fact one of the characters is called Lindy in the book and Linda Hamilton played “Belle” in the TV show. Coincidence? I think not. Plus the way he looks, the way he protect Lindy, havoc on the subway, etc.

Well that’s enough of that, let’s check out the book.

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So we start in a way I have never seen a retelling of a fairy tale start before. With IMing between a bunch of different fairy tale characters. We have the little mermaid from The Little Mermaid, the Bear from Snow White and Rose Red, the frog prince from The Frog Prince, and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast,  And who is the chat room run by? Mr. Anderson.

No, not that Mr. Anderson. Anderson as in Hans Christian Andersen.

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So then we flashback to how our Beast, became a beast.

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Part 1: A Prince and a Witch

Kyle Kingsbury is a freshman at a private school, Tuttle, and the son of the very wealthy news anchor, Rob Kingsbury. Kyle is a perfect dreamboat, utter perfection in height, looks, etc.

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But while the outside is a treat, how he acts is the exact opposite.

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All he cares about is his looks and popularity, hurting and being cruel to others around him. This year they are getting ready for homecoming and have their election for freshman Prince, of which Kyle is nominated. As they start voting, one person speaks out.

I don't think so

Kendra Hilferty is not what most would call beautiful. She has a strange green hair, is rather plain, and dresses in black “gothish” type clothing. She is upset about how this contest is all about looks instead of who they are, telling Kyle he is ugly where it really counts.

Ugly

Kyle is angry over what Kendra said so he decides to play a trick on her. He invites her to the Homecoming dance, all the while planning on going with his real girlfriend, Sloane, and roasting Kendra.

She'll get what's coming to her.

She’ll get what’s coming to her.

When Sloane hears that Kyle will be going with Kendra, she is livid, but Kyle calms her down when he tells her about his “joke”. Kyle doesn’t really like Sloane, she’s really annoying and bratty, but she is the hottest girl and after tonight is going to let him come to her house while her parents are out…well as long as he brings an orchid.

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Kyle goes home and tries to talk to his dad, but he doesn’t care. Kyle doesn’t have a mom as she left years ago and has never tried to contact him. His dad is super shallow and only cares about himself and his needs, never thinking of his child or the example he is setting.

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That night Kyle is ready to go to the ball, dance I mean (I’m reading too many fairy tales), when it turns out his maid Madga didn’t buy the orchid but bought a single, white rose. Sloane is furious about there being no orchid and refuses to have the rose. However, there is a scholarship student taking the tickets who exclaims over its beauty. Kyle gives it to her, the only genuine, nice thing he has ever done.

How sweet!

How sweet!

When Kendra arrives and discovers what he has done she tells him he will pay for what he has done and will be as ugly on the outside as he truly is on the inside.

She'll get what's coming to her.

She’ll get what’s coming to her.

Kyle is upset, and scared, but continues to do what is expected as Prince of Homecoming. But at twelve o’clock that night Kendra appears to him and reveals she is a witch, and Kyle is turned into a beast.

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NOOOOOOO!

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Part 2: The Beast

When Kyle’s father discovers the transformation, he carts him all over the United States to see what they can do. But nothing can change him.

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He cuts his hair, it grows back. He slices his skin, it instantly heals. Kendra gives him a magic mirror that allows him to see anyone he wants, and she uses it to “call” him throughout the book. Nothing can destroy him, and nothing can change him back except if he could find someone to love him in this bestial form. And he has two years, because of his gift of the rose, to find it or be stuck as a beast forever!

Belle could

And this is what I don’t like about the film. They just give him a bunch of tattoos, but that isn’t as hard to love as something that doesn’t even look human. Plus they cut out how long he has to be a beast, removing his first year of angst, anxiety, and depression and being pushed apart from the rest of the world.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

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Part 3: The Castle

Yes, Kyle’s father can’t stand the sight of him and ships him off to an old brownstone in Brooklyn which has old windows that can’t open and no one can come in and see him. He sends Magda to take care of him and things to amuse him.

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Kyle decides that he is no longer Kyle. After careful consideration, he chooses Adrian as it speaks of his new nature. He tries to find love online, but Kendra warns him that won’t work.

I don't think so

After deciding he will spend the rest of his life alone, he blackmails his father into providing him a tutor. The father complies, but selects a blind tutor, that way no one will hear of what his son is.

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Will, the tutor, comes into Adrian’s life and he and Magda become his only friend, besides those who also have been transformed that he IMs. This is really interesting as they follow what occurs in those stories too.

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Adrian discovers that Will used to have sight, but lost it as he aged. Magda had a family, but they weren’t allowed into the country so she is alone now. Adrian calls Kendra and works a deal that if he finds his love to break the spell, Kendra will grant the wishes of the others.

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Adrian begins to read and study as he has nothing else in his life.

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Something else he does with his time is watch people from his former life and school. One day he looks up the girl he gave the rose to, Lindy. Lindy is from a poor neighborhood and is a scholarship student. Her father is a drug addict and pusher, and she tries as hard as she can to take care of him. She spends as much time as she can reading, the library being her refuge.

LibraryOK

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Part 4: The Intruder in the Garden

One night everything changes. Adrian hears a crash and discovers that someone is trying to break into the house.

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He goes to protect it and threatens the man with police. The man, in fear for his life, offers to trade his daughter for his life. He shows Adrian a picture and it is Lindy.

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Adrian is horrified that he would do such a thing, but accepts as he wants to protect her and has hope that maybe she is the one to break the spell.

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Lindy moves in, and things do not go according to Adrian’s plan. Lindy is furious and wants to leave. Will at first feels the same way, but after meeting her father agrees with Adrian’s solution.

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After giving him a lot of time, Lindy starts to come around as she is just as lonely. At first she is weirded out by Adrian’s appearance, but as their friendship grows she begins to enjoy being around him.

Beauty&theBeastLibrary

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Part 5: Time Lapses, Autumn and Winter

Adrian begins to care more about Lindy’s feelings than his own desires to have the curse broken and gets his dad to rent them a place in the country where they are freer to roam and hangout. He also decides to release Lindy from her commitment to stay with him, and she decides to remain there.

How sweet!

How sweet!

However, one night Lindy says how she is worried about her father and Adrian shows her the mirror. When she looks into it, she sees her father, sick and shaking. She leaves to go take care of him and promises to return.

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Months pass and no Lindy.

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Adrian starts to become depressed and decides that he will be a beast forever.

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They move back to the brownstone and still no Lindy.

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Adrian watches her in the mirror but she never comes to him. All have given up hope except Magda, who keeps encouraging Adrian. It comes down to the final day and still no Lindy.

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Then at night Adrian hears Lindy scream and looks her up in the mirror. She is being held up for money owed by her dad. Adrian takes off in the subway, not caring who sees him, but going to her aid.

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When he arrives, the other pusher is so freaked at his appearance he shoots Adrian, who continues to run at him tossing the gun aside and saving Lindy. As Adrian starts bleeding, Lindy says the words he has always desperately wanted to hear:

Beauty and the Beast

Instantly, he is transformed into Kyle again.

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Part 6: Happily Ever After

The police come and after they deal with that mess they return to the brownstone. When they get there it is revealed that Magda is really Kendra.

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She too had to serve a sentence and Kyle’s breaking of his spell has allowed her to return home to her family. Will’s eyes are healed and three pick up their lives; Will teaching at Tuttle and Lindy and Kyle attending. They continue to live at the brownstone, a happy family, with Kyle being a better person.

Carl and her married!!!

In the end we hear from the chat group how each has completed their own journey, some with happy endings and others with ones that were not quite what they expected.

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It was a great book and I just LOVE it.

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I highly recommend it for any fairy tale fan.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previos post, go to There’s a Cyclone Coming: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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For more Alex Flinn, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders

For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more fairy tales, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

For more Audrey Hepburn quotes, go to At Midnight, Your Coach Will Become a Pumpkin Again, and the Animals Will Regain Their Original Shape Until Your Next Ball: Ella Enchanted

For more on Hans Christian Anderson, go to I Will Not Bend, I Will Not Break

For more G. K. Chesterton, go to A Book Only a Reader Could Write

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Let me just start with this, George you will be missed.

So as this book is about true and false love, I decided to go with the song that has been on the radio nonstop, Last Christmas by Wham!

I love Wham! I’ve been obsessed with them for a looong time. This isn’t my favorite by them, for the longest time I didn’t even like this song; but after hearing it on the radio constantly I grew to really love it.

It was written by the late, great George Michael and tells the tale of someone giving their heart to someone, only to have it broken as they were unfaithful.

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But luckily they find someone to give their heart to that will protect it.

It has been extremely popular and been constantly redone by other artists. Wham! is my favorite, not just because I love the band, but because it is nice to hear the broken heart from a guy’s point of view instead of always a woman.

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For more ’80s music, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more Christmas Carols, go to It Looks…as Though We are Being Kidnapped: Five Were Missing

Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Day 19) S is for Short Stories: Choose a collection of Short Stories

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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop.

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The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

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Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

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However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

OMG gasp

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

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Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

Illustration II: Kaleidoscope

Space Mountain

The crew of a space ship has been torn apart, and this records their last thoughts as they hurl toward Earth.

“It was so very odd. Space, thousands of miles of space, and these voices vibrating in the center of it.”

Illustration III: The Other Foot

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Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

Illustration IV: The Highway

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A husband and wife live by a highway in rural Mexico, where people stop all the time. Something seems to be more pressing than usual, but what?

“Oh, please hurry!’ one of the girls cried. She sounded very high and afraid.”

Illustration V: The Man

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A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

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We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

Illustration VII: The Rocket Man

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Astronauts are hard to come by and a hard life, so those that are astronauts are paid a lot, but gone for months. This story is the relationship of the mother and son as they deal with the father/husband’s absence.

“Doug…I want you to promise me something.’

‘What?’

‘Don’t ever be a Rocket Man.”

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

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A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

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A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

Illustration X: The Exiles

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On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

Illustration XI: No Particular Night or Morning

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Two friends are traveling in a spaceship, as one determines that nothing exists that he cannot touch. Is he right and there is nothing in space but emptiness?

“So I began to find gaps between everything. I doubted I was married or had a child or ever had a job in my life…I couldn’t prove anything.”

Illustration XII: The Fox and the Forest

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In the future, the world is an ugly one full of war and life in a factory creating more weapons of war. The one bright spot is the ability to travel back in time. A couple, William and Susan Travis, decide to run for their lives by remaining in 1930s Mexico. But will their plan work, or will they be captured and sent back?

“Save me, hide me, help me! Color my hair, my eyes; clothe me in strange clothes. I need your help. I’m from the year 2155!”

Illustration XIII: The Visitor

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Mars is a place where those with deadly diseases go and live out the remainders of their days. One day a young boy comes with the ability to create any image or bring back any memory. He plans to use it and rule over the others; but will they be willing to share or will they take him for what they want?

“Come on. Don’t you realize what’ll happen once they discover your talent? They’ll fight over you. They’ll kill each other–kill you–for the right to own you.”

Illustration XIV: The Concrete Mixer

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Mars goes to invade Earth, but instead finds the people welcoming them. One Martin, Ettil, never wanted to travel to Earth. He finds that although the Earthlings hope to exploit Martians, the Earth ways will also mark death for the Martians.

“Don’t you feel it?’ he whispered…Something’s going to happen to us. They have some plan. Something subtle and horrible. They’re going to do something to us-I know.”

Illustration XV: Marionettes, Inc.

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A man is tired of his clingy wife and pays for a cyborg double to take his place so he can go off and have fun. But what if the puppet is no longer satisfied at being controlled and wants to control the strings?

“Your wife is rather nice,’ said Braling Two. ‘I’ve grown rather fond of her.”

Illustration XVI: The City

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A group of astronauts land on an uncharted planet and find an empty city. But they soon realize this city is not as empty as it looks, as it has been waiting to unleash what it was made for.

“I am no longer your captain,’ he said. ‘Nor am I a man.’

The men moved back.

‘I am the city,’ he said, and smiled.”

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

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In the end the last image is shown, our narrator’s death by the illustrated man. He runs for town, but will he make it?

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

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But the good kind of trauma.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more on aliens, go to I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

For more bible verses, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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In The Exiles, they mention how no one believes in Santa Claus and he has become a shadow of the man he was, a skeleton in red. No more Christmas, no more.

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This reminds me of the song I Believe in Santa Claus. This was written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass and used for the Christmas Special, The Year Without a Santa Claus.

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I never believed in Santa Claus, but I like this song as it reminds you that no matter what happens you must hold on to the spirit of Christmas.

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No matter what, always believe in its goodness and love.

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This song was performed by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall

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For more on The Year Without a Santa Claus, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Christmas Carols, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

Day 17) Q is for Quest: Choose a book in which the characters go on a Quest

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So a quest? Which book to do? There are so, so many to choose from.

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I thought and thought and finally settled on:

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The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

I know I’ve talked about this before on here, but I wanted to bring it back as it was such a fantastic story.

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And I think more need to know about it.

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So four years ago I had just come back from class and after dropping off my bags and books I got on the computer to check my email. When I went on, I was notified by the school’s post office that I had received a package and needed to go pick it up as it was too big to put in my box.

ooh!

ooh!

I was surprised as I hadn’t ordered anything or was expecting anything from anyone, so I couldn’t wait to pick it up. When I got it, I didn’t recognize the sender’s label and had no clue who it was.

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When I got home I opened the package and saw Theft of Swords-Volume I of The Riyria Revelations containing The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan.

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I was completely puzzled. Who was this who sent this to me? How did I get it?

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Then I realized, I must have won it on GoodreadsGoodreads does drawings in which you win a free book, and all you have to do is give an honest review and post it on the site. I used to enter in every drawing for every book and the books I had won prior to this all had not been very good.

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So when I received this book I wasn’t very thrilled to read it. In fact I put it off for a long time until my curiosity got the better of me. One day I decided to read a few pages and see what it was all about.

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Well one page turned into many as I just couldn’t put it down.

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After I consumed the novel I had to keep going, reading the second book and then trying to locate the rest. There weren’t any at the local or college library so I had to Inter Library Loan them and wait…

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Finally they came and I just devoured them, the rest of my life taking a back seat as I had to find out what happened next.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

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Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are two of the greatest thieves you could ever go against. Their duo goes by the name Riyria, that name being known throughout the land.

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At the beginning of the novel, the two are heading to work on a job when they are stopped by some thieves. All they have to do is say who they and they scare the others off like rabbits.

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They head off to try and rob Archie Ballentyne, the Earl of Chadwick, by breaking into his impenetrable tower.

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Meanwhile, Archie Ballentyne has been waiting for Marquis Victor Lanaklin. Archie has unsuccessfully been trying to woo his daughter, Alenda, as he is after the Lanaklin lands. He has managed to intercept some of her private love letters to the rebel Degan Gault, and wants to use them as leverage with the father. In order to keep them safe he has locked then in his study in the crown tower, a gigantic tower with only one entrance, the only one who can open it being Archie.

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But when he goes to show the letters, they are MISSING! They have been stolen, along with the Marquis’ carriage. Who could have done this? Riyria.

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They return back to their pub and deliver the goods to Alenda, receiving their payments.

Today life is great

Today life is great

But just as one job is finished, there appears there is another who wishes their services.

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Hadrian goes to meet with the man, Baron Delano DeWitt. He has a job that needs to be done tonight. Sadly, Baron DeWitt has committed the biggest mistake anyone in that region could, he looked upon the wife of the master swordsman, Colonel Pickering. Colonel Pickering will duel anyone who stares at his wife, and with his skill he is impossible to beat.

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His only weakness? His special rapier that he cannot fight without. Baron DeWitt has stolen the sword and hid it in the castle’s chapel and he wants Riyria to smuggle the sword out of the castle before they search and  find it.

suspicious Hmm

Now Riyria has a rule about accepting rush jobs, they don’t. But Hadrian isn’t really a thief, he has a warrior’s heart. He likes things to be fair or to fight for something “right”, justice, etc.

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He has felt a little disheartened at stealing things for royals, then notifying the party they stole from to get payment to steal it back. This is a job that will mean something. Plus the pay is really good.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

Royce was raised on the streets and has been a thief as far back as he can remember. He has no qualms about what they do, and because of what he has been through he is also extremely suspicious. He does not want to take this job, but Hadrian convinces him it is worth it as they will get 200 gold tenets.

That's a lot of money

That’s a lot of money

That night they sneak into the castle and into its chapel. They go to search for the sword but find the king, dead.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

As their minds grasp the situation, a dwarf starts screaming out that they killed the king. Guards swarm on them and they end up locked up in the dungeon.

Not good

Not good

Yes, someone murdered the king and framed them. But who? And why?

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Alric Essendon wakes from a tumble with a maid to discover he is the new King. He is furious over the death and prepares a horrible punishment as his revenge.

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Alric is a little lost at what to do, but his Uncle Percy Braga is there to lend a hand and assist him. Meanwhile, Hadrian and Royce await their fate in the dungeon; Hadrian wishing he hadn’t tried to take the job and Royce wishing he had talked Hadrian out of it. To their surprise they receive a royal visit from princess Arista Essendon.

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Arista questions them, so Hardrian tells her the story, claiming they did not kill her father. And to their surprise, she believes them.

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Arista is not like other women. Her father sent her to University and she studied the lost art of magic. She had been given a warning about the threat upon her father’s life but unfortunately didn’t heed it. Now she wants to hire the two to kidnap her brother.

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Hadrian and Royce are surprised, but Arista explains that she thinks someone is after the Essendon line and wants to kill her brother as well. She wants them to smuggle him out of the castle and go to Gutaria Prison, the secret ecclesiastical jail. They they will meet the wizard, Esrahaddon, who will be able to guide her brother. They think it is odd, but faced with death, they take the job.

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Arista has a complete plan in place. She will send two monks in to administer the last rites and have the two unchained to pray. They will knock the monks out, switch clothes and meet her in the kitchen where she will have Alric.

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Everything goes off without a hitch as they head off to the prison to find Esrahaddon, the wizard. As they continue their quest they run into a monk with a photographic memory that survived a massacre; a hidden prison that not only is built into a rock wall but once you enter cannot leave; the great wizard Esrahaddon who has been alive for eons; and secret church and government plot to answer the legend of the god Novron’s son and unite all the kingdoms under one rule!

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Meanwhile, Arista tries to rule in her brother’s place but finds treachery very close to home. They try to brand her a witch and kill her.

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Will this ragtag group be able save the throne? Or will they be outwitted and destroyed by these agents of Novron.

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The book was so fantastic, that I won’t reveal the ending. You must read this book and rest in the series yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

May

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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For more on The Riyria Revelations, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more magic and wizards, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more on Jane Smiley, go to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

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Speaking of magic, there is just a magic of Christmas that cannot be beat. It is just an amazing time of the year. That thought leads us to today’s Christmas Carol, Christmas Needs Love to be Christmas. It was written and recorded in 1993 for Andy Williams’ Christmas Album. It was released in 1994 and marked his first appearance on Billboard 200 album chart in 20 years. That’s magical.

I like this song because it reminds you what the heart of Christmas is, love.

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For more Andy Williams, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Christmas Carols, go to The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Portrait of a Fangirl

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Yes our Life of a Fangirl posts are back!

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Sorry to have taken so long to finish these posts. It just seemed as if every time I tried to something came up, and then I had to stop for Horrorfest, the holidays came up, etc.

But here we are with another fandom post!

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Journey

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What can I say about this band other than the fact that they are AWESOME!!!!

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Their songs are amazing, the vocals fantastic, the music incredible, and the lyrics are just out of this world.

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I don’t know how they do it, but every song just connects to you as a listener.

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Every time I hear a song, I just get so excited and crank up the volume as I sing at the top of my lungs.

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If I had to choose my five favorite Journey songs, which is a practically impossible feat, I would choose…….

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Don’t Stop Believin’ (you all saw that one coming), Any Way You Want ItSeparate Ways Worlds Apart, Wheel in the Sky, and I’ll Be Alright Without You.

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For more on Journey, go to Any Way You Want It

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Michael J. Fox

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I just love Michael J. Fox. He is one of my all-time favorite actors.

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Oh yes, Michael J. Fox you can do no wrong with me. I love you and everything you have ever been in. Even when you wore horrible shirts in that film that made zero sense, High School U.S.A.; and the camp one, Poison Ivy.

Now you all know my favorite is Back to the Future, one of the best films ever and the best starring him.

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No one can beat the amazingnest he bring to the role of Marty McFly. It just wouldn’t be as cool without him.

And of course he isn’t a one hit wonder, I love everything else he has been in: Doc Hollywood, The Secret of My Success, Greedy, For Love or Money, Homeward Bound I & II,  The Frighteners, Atlantis, Teen Wolf, I could go on but should stop now.

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Besides his films he is an amazing writer. I’ve read all his  books and his style is so fresh and reads like a conversation. When you read his words he is so humble, caring, and completely honest. I enjoy his books as much as I love his films. I just love him.

For more on Michael J. Fox, go to The Future is NOW!: Happy Back to the Future Day

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The Riyria Revelations

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I was first introduced to this series on a giveaway on Goodreads. Like once a month I’ll go through and just enter to win free books. Often times, by the time they have picked a winner and are sending out the books, I’ve completely forgotten about it and am surprised to receive a package.

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One day I checked the mail and found a package for me. When I opened it up I saw that it was Theft of Swords the first volume in the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. I had totally forgotten ever entering any giveaway and was completely unsure as to what this book was.

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I looked it up on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting so I decided to give it a read. I was unprepared for what I found.

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I LOVED IT!!!!! I started reading a few pages which quickly grew into the first book. I would have continued completing the second, but had homework.

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As I worked on it, all I could do was think about what was going to happen next. I quickly finished my work and went back to the book, reading long into the night.

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I finshed it, but then I needed the next book.

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Unfortunately I had to wait as my library didn’t have it, but a sister library did. It was agony! I just had to find out what happened and I needed to now!

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What made it even worse was that I knew NOBODY who liked it, making me suffer alone.

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Eventually the next book came in and was just as good as the first. I had to experience the same trauma waiting for the third volume, but it was worth it. Unfortunately, it was over too soon.

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I still kept it around as I didn’t want it to be over.

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So Volume 1: Theft of Swords contains the first two books.

Book 1: The Crown Conspiracy

Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are thieves for hire. Hadrian is tall, broad shouldered, and a skilled swordsman; being an ex-solider and mercenary. Royce is althletic and wiry, once belonging to a gang of thieves his skills are quietly stalking, safe-cracking, etc. The two were introduced and while orginally disagreeable with each other, they became great teammates and best friends. Hardian has a strong moral code and sense of justice, while Royce is cautious and more of a planner. The two balance each other well.

One day they are hired to steal a sword, and when they go to retrieve it; they find themselves as scapegoats for the the murder of the King! His son and now king, Alric, locks them up, soon to be hanged. Unbeknownst to him, his sister Arista, sorcerer in training, frees them and has them join her in her quest to free a long ago locked up wizard. They set out on the quest, along with ateempting to find out who really set them up and what was their ulterior motives.

Book 2: Avempartha

A young, innocent, farm girl, Thrace; travels to find Hadrian and Royce to get their help. In her hometown there is a monster attacking, the only thing that can stop it being a sword. As the two are caught up in the schemes of the freed wizard Esrahaddon; Royce finds himself trying to enter an Elven tower, while Hadrian tries to rally the town folk to stop the beast. Things become more complicated as it appears there is a contest to detsroy the beast; the victor being the fulfillment of an age old prophecy and ruler of the world.

The second volume contains books 3-4, Volume II: Rise of the Empire

Book 3: Nyphron Rising

The traumatized and completely shell shocked Thrace has been crowned the fulfiller of the prophecy. People are backing her, which causes King Alric and his sister Arista to go to War. Arista once again hires the thieves, who discover that the only way they can emerge victorious is to discover the truth of Hadrian’s past.

Book 4: The Emerald Storm

Hadrian has discovered the mission he was born for and sets out to discover the true heir of Novron. His quest takes him onto a ship, setting out to find Merrick Mauris. Even though Royce hates going on ships, he joins him on the quest, for their “final trip”. As they sail out, they discover much more about the people they know and what the ulterior plans are, more than they ever expected.

The third volume contains books 5-6, Volume III: The Heir of Novron

Book 5: Wintertide

The New Empire, with the puppet empress Thrace, has decided to hold a victory celebration. The prepare to execute Degan Gault, leader of the rebels; along with the Witch of Melengar, Arista. After the execution, they prepare to marry Thrace off and later kill her. Unfortunate for them, Hadrian and Royce have returned to save Arista and the true Heir, preparing help place him on the throne.

Book 6: Percepliquis

This is it, the end. The thieves have decided to head out to the ancient ruins of Percepliquis, in order to gain the tools needed for the true Heir and to restore them to the throne. They are accompanied by a mass of friends from their previous adventures. But what happens next is a shock to all; and when the true heir is revealed will these characters be able to survive what happens next and pick up their lives after their adventures?

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These books were just so amazing. Not only do you have such fantastic and incredible adventures, but two extremely hot, loyal, and awesome men.

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I highly recommend to it all. Check it out!

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch

I grew up reading the comic in the Archie Comics magazine. This grew to the animated TV show and then of course the live action TV show that I absolutely loved.

Sabrina Spellman is a sixteen-year-old half witch living with her witch aunts and their cat Salem, a warlock banished into animal form.

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Every episode lasted a half hour and involved Sabrina getting into some type of shenanigans because of her powers and later trying to solve them.

The show was great until she went to college. They lost the funny characters and she was too mature and grounded in her magic.

Besides the amazing comedy, this show had one of the best pairings.

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Harvey and Sabrina forever. Harvey was just a regular guy; football quarterback, car mechanic, etc. But when he got with Sabrina, he’d find himself caught up in the craziness of her magic. Being turned into a silent film mountie, having to save her from a troll, turned into a frog, etc.

Through it all he just rolled with it and was always there for Sabrina. Love them.

Most of the episodes are on Youtube, and all are on Amazon Instant Watch. You should definitely give it a look.

For more on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, go to A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It: Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1997)

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LifeasaFangirl

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For the previous post, go to It’s A Fan World After All

And Stay tuned for part 18

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For more book-filled posts, go to Folio Fatigue

The Little Moreland

So you all are aware I’m a Disney fan right? I mean after my 30 Days of Disney I think it’s pretty obvious.

So being female, I loved the Disney princesses, my favorite being Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty and Belle from The Beauty and the Beast.

Now in the past I have compared myself to Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle; but I never thought I would compare myself to Ariel.

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Although now that I’m a redhead, I can see it.

In fact, I once took a quiz that said I was her, and I thought yeah right, that’s not me.

Go here to see which you belong in/are

Go here to see which you belong in/are

But the other day I was full on The Little Mermaid. Although, truth be told it wasn’t really the Disney version, but the hardcore Hans Christian Anderson one.

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You see in the original story The Little Mermaid was the youngest of six sisters. On her 15th birthday she is able to go up to the surface where she sees the prince and saves his life during a storm.

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She visits him everyday at his palace at the seashore and falls in love.

So romantic!

So romantic!

She soons becomes heartbroken as she can’t be with him. Nothing makes her happy, all she wants is to be human.

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The other mermaids tell her to be happy, she can live for over 300 years. But she won’t have it. She travels to the sea-witch who lives in a horrible area and is an awful crazy person. The sea-witch turns her into a human, for her voice. However, their are strong consequences. One, she can never, ever be a mermaid again. Two, every step will be agonizing pain. Three, if the prince marries another, the next morning she will die with no soul but turn into foam. The Little Mermaid agrees and her tongue is cut out.

Sadface Batman

She washes up on shore and the prince takes her into his house. He clothes her and cares for her, as if she was his little sister. He tells her of the girl that saved his life and that she will be the only one he will ever love.

Yay!

Yay!

Well time comes when the prince has to marry. And the girl chosen is so beautiful he agrees. In fact, he asks the Little Mermaid to be in the ceremony.

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She is in so much heartbreak as she is doomed to die while the man she loves is to be married to another.

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Her five sisters come to see her. They have cut off all their hair and given it to the sea-witch. They give her a knife and tell her that if she kills the prince and sprinkles his blood on her feet then she will be a mermaid again. But she must do it before the sunrise. She goes into the room to kill him…but she can’t do it. She loves him too much.

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So she dies.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yes she dies. But she doesn’t turn to foam. She instead is given an eternal soul because she sacrificed herself for another.

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I always knew the books we read as kids strongly affect us.

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But I didn’t know how much until now.

So you are probably wondering what this has to do with me? How am I like The Little Mermaid? Book or film, I’m pretty sure all of you are wanting me to get to the point.

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Well for Halloween this year I decided to be Poison Ivy. She is my favorite villainess, as I think she is just amazing. I did a post on her that includes pics of the costume.

So anyways, this past summer I mentioned I was in Wyoming, and that is the land of meat + potatoes. Fruit and veggies are few and far between. So since that summer, I’ve been feeling large.

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Yes I do, but I noticed I have put more weight on in the butt/thigh area, or at least that’s what it feels like. So I decided that it was time to get into shape. I started doing squats and did about 100.  I was feeling pretty good about it too.

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The next day I was a bit sore, but still feeling good.

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The next day that was radically different. I drove to an interview, wearing my two inch boots, preparing to change into my four-inch heels when I got there. When I reached the site, I had to park a bit away. After I parked I changed into my heels.

Now I love heels. If you remember from a previous post, I’m short. I’m only 5’3, so heels are great as they finally make me closer to my dream height. They make me feel powerful and awesome. The higher the better.

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So walking in 3-5 inch heels is not unusual for me. However, this time was much different. It WAS SO PAINFUL.

No no no no no

No no no no no

I felt just like The Little Mermaid.

“It will feel like a sword were passing through your body…each step you take will feel like sharp knives piercing your feet. “

That’s how it felt with me. Each step was utter agony as my muscles just burned and were so inexplicably sore.

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I had to take so many breaks. As soon as I could I went to my car and changed my shoes. I’ve decided to rest from squats. And heels. I’ll just have to accept my bod for what it is.

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Or focus on a different exercise!

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For more on The Little Mermaid, go to I’m Not Gonna Lose Her Again

For more on Hans Christian Anderson, go to Disney Lesson

For more on my fashion style, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more on Disney, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

For more fairy tales, go to Happily Ever Aftermath

For more book-y posts, go to Conan the Librarian

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Part XI: A Movie Line List ‘s Excellent Adventure