The Japan-based owner of 12 fancy kitties, who proudly describes herself as a "full-time cat mom" reveals what it's like to live with spoiled indoor chinchilla Persians and breaks all the cat lady stereotypes: "I'm happy, so it doesn't really matter what other people think about me having this many cats"- the woman told Catster. On her instagram account, she shares photos of her daily life with those 12 gorgeous cats.
This Is Just My Face
RECOMMENDED: This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe is $2.99 at Amazon! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and isn’t being price-matched yet. Check out the other deals today; there are a few romances included! Redheadedgirl enjoyed this one and gave it an A:
This is a really interesting memoir by someone who I didn’t know much about. She’s got a complicated life story, and a great attitude as she sashays her way through her life. She’s funny, and touching. And, as ever, the inner lives of Black women are still not something that receives nearly enough attention.
The Oscar-nominated Precious star and Empire actress delivers a much-awaited memoir—wise, complex, smart, funny—a version of the American experience different from anything we’ve read
Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”
This book is on sale at:
RECOMMENDED: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt is $1.99! Elyse really enjoyed this book and gave it an A-:
Serial killer. And Ghost of St. Giles vigilante. And river pirate. And bondage.
If any or all of those things appeal to you, I’d really recommend this book. If you’re looking for a spicy historical, or one not focused around the glittering aristocracy, Wicked Intentions fits the bill. Aside from a few ball scenes, this book takes place among the working class of London.
A man controlled by his desires…
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand— she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.
A woman haunted by her past…
Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control—one that may well destroy them both.
A bargain neither could refuse.
A Duchess in Name
RECOMMENDED: A Duchess in Name by Amanda Weaver is 99c! Redheadedgirl reviewed the book and gave it a B+:
This book involves a massive renovation, a HERO that was won in a card game, awkwardness, and learning to love each other despite a most inauspicious beginning. Throw in some terrible parenting, and we got ourselves what could totally be a miniseries jointly produced by ITV and HGTV.
Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham’s finishing school, she’s been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can’t matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.
Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he’s devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family’s fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn’t care to know.
Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn’t so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.
Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake is $2.99! This is a paranormal urban fantasy, and the first book in the Asylum Tales series. The book has a 3.6 average on GR, and readers particularly liked the hero, who is a former warlock who now runs his own tattoo parlor. I’m actually pretty interested in this book, but I’m wary about buying it for some reason. Anyone care to weigh in on whether to buy or bypass?
Buyer beware . . .
Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.
No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.
Though he’s tried to fly under the radar, Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.
Please help us with the following issues:
Barcelona (album) - this is nominated only with characters Boy and Girl. Could the nominator please confirm what album they mean (the one by Freddie Mercury?) and what is meant by the characters? It seems like they might appear in just one song, The Golden Boy. Please clarify.
Battle: Los Angeles (2011) - By fandom name, this appears to be a nomination for the movie, but one character, Lee Imlay, appeas to be specific to the tie-in game. Could the nominator please confirm that all characters appear in the same canon, and confirm which canon they mean?
Carly Rae Jepsen (Musician) - This is nominated with the characters Alana Haim and Carly Rae Jepsen. We’re not really sure what the connection between the two is - could the nominator please clarify or suggest another fandom label?
CNN Pundits RPF - It’s not clear to us that The Magic Wall (anthropomorphic) belongs in an RPF nomination. Could the nominator please explain their reasoning?
Chronicles of the Raven - James Barclay - Ry Darrick only seems to appear in the sequel trilogy; is that incorrect, or does this fandom label cover both trilogies? We’d also appreciate a little more information on the Unknown Warrior.
Devil’s Cub - Georgette Heyer and These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer - these have been approved separately, with characters Dominic Alastair, Justin Alastair, Léonie de Saint-Vire, and Mary Challoner, and Hugh Davenant, Justin Alastair, Leonie, and Rupert Alastair, respectively. However, it’s been pointed out that they form a series. If (and only if) both nominators are willing, we will merge the nominations as the Alistair-Audley series. Nominators, how do you feel about that?
The Katering Show - We’re a bit confused by the nomination of The Thermomix as a character. Could the nominator please give their reasoning?
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) - This fandom has already been approved, but we’d like to hear from anyone who nominated the tag The Mage | Guinevere. This is the canonical tag on AO3 (and Yuletide’s use of it is unlikely to change that; if you have strong opinions please refer them to Support). However, one person who nominated The Mage has argued that they are separate. Would the other nominator also be OK with changing The Mage | Guinevere to just The Mage? If so, we will change it; if not, we will leave it as The Mage | Guinevere.
NaPolA | Before the Fall (2004) - Two characters, Albrecht Stein and Friedrich Weimer, are characters in the film; the other two, Florian Stetter and Martin Goeres, are actors. Nominator, could you please confirm whether you wanted to nominate the movie, or to nominate an RPF canon of the movie’s actors?
Nemocnice na kraji města | The Hospital on the Outskirts of the City (TV) - This title seems to refer to several different versions & reboots of a show. The character Eliška Králová seems to only appear in the 2003 sequel show, Nemocnice na kraji města po dvaceti letech | Hospital at the End of the City Twenty Years On, while the other nominated character Ina Blažejová is in both the 1978 and 2003 shows. Could the nominator please clarify what canon is covered by the title they’ve nominated?
Never Too Wanted - The Composed Faucet Collection (Commercial) - We can’t figure out which character you’ve identified as the US Marshall - pointers, please?
No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Takarazuka Revue - The nominated characters Chauvelin (Ryuu Masaki) and Chauvelin (Yuzuki Reon) appear to come from separate runs of this production, in 2008 and 2010. Nominator, could you please share your reasoning on nominating them together?
Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?
Southpaw Regional Wrestling - we can’t find confirmation that a “Swamp Monster” appeared in this canon. Could the nominator please clarify and confirm?
Star Wars Legends: X-wing Series - Aaron Allston & Michael Stackpole - We have approved this nomination. However, we have also approved a nomination for Star Wars Legends: X-wing Series - All Media Types, with characters Derek "Hobbie" Klivian (X-Wing), Plourr Ilo (X-Wing), Rial Pernon (X-Wing), and Wes Janson (X-Wing). Could the nominator of the Allston & Stackpole series please confirm if it is okay to combine their nomination with the All Media Types nomination?
Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared? (Did you mean Dan Cox?)
决对争锋 | Duì Jué Zhēn Fēng | Beloved Enemy - We can't tell if this refers to the audio drama, the web series, or both, and if both, we'd appreciate a further comment on why they should be grouped together, please. This was nominated with the characters Gu Qing Pei, Peng Fang, Wang Jin, and Yuan Yang.
All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:
- Kino no Tabi | Kino's Journey - All Media Types, characters: Kino (Kino no Tabi)
- Kizoku Tantei, characters: unnamed main character (Kizoku Tantei)
- Kurosagi - All Media Types, characters: Kashina Masaru, Katsuragi Toshio, Kurosaki (Kurosagi), Yoshikawa Tsurara
- A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish
If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.
If you notice any problems with your nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.
"Color is to the eye what music is to the ear."
- Louis Comfort Tiffany
What does "stained glass" make you think of? Church windows? Fancy light fixtures?
How about gorgeous cakes?
Ooh la la! So soft and pretty; I love the watercolor feel to those colors.
(By Paige Fong)
This cake practically glows, it's so vivid. And I like how the flowers are mirrored in the artwork.
(By Maggie Austin Cake)
I can't imagine the time it took to pipe and paint even one of these layers, much less four.
(By Corrie Cakes)
These cookies look like sun catchers! Doesn't the blue background look like a cloudy sky showing through?
(By Melissa Alt Cakes)
One of my personal favorites today! There's a great little Tiffany museum here in Florida, and this one reminds me the most of some of his windows there. Something about all those glowing greens and rich orangey-browns... Just lovely.
(also by Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)
Both are amazing, but that blue! WOW.
(By Bittersweet Pastry)
Perhaps more of a mosaic than stained glass, but I'm blown away by the 3D flowers! Such a great design.
And another tile mosaic:
(By Passionate Cakes)
So much detail! Can you imagine how long it would take to place all those tiny pieces?!
These flowers look like they're bursting out of the glass design:
(Also by Maggie Austin Cake)
(By Vinism Sugar Art)
I take it back; I think this is my favorite. The balance of dark and light, the perfectly blended colors, that butterfly...! It belongs in the Tiffany Museum! Or my belly. One of the two, anyway. ;)
Hope you guys enjoyed! Happy Sunday!
Lightning Reviews are back with another trio of quick thoughts on a few selected books. We have a must-have cookbook, a Clueless graphic novel, and a YA book that blends fantasy, Chinese folklore, and high school!
- Lemony chicken with spinach and potatoes: This one is made in a skillet, and comes together very quickly (a number of the recipes are labeled as “weeknight friendly,” which I appreciate!). The flavors are simple but interesting, and I liked the wilted baby spinach. Usually spinach that’s not raw in a salad makes me gag.
- Lime ginger chicken with rice: This made a lot of rice, but it was delicious. There are a bunch of different flavors and the combination didn’t get boring. I wanted to keep eating.
- Italian sausage with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and polenta: I loved this recipe. It’s all cooked on a sheet pan, and the combination of textures and the balance of the sausage, the polenta, and the pepper/tomato mixture was perfect. We’re making this one again very soon.
- Mexican-style spaghetti squash casserole: I’ve made this three times already. I usually hate squash – I think it has a weird aftertaste. But by heating the spices in olive oil, then tossing the spaghetti squash and the chopped vegetables with that oil means that the spices permeates the squash and yay, no weird aftertaste! I have eaten a portion of this casserole every day for lunch for a week and have been very, very happy about it. (Seriously, yum.)
Clueless: Senior Year
author: Amber Benson
While nothing can match the divine quality of the movie Clueless, the graphic novel Clueless: Senior Year is a fun reunion with Cher, Dionne, and Tai, the main characters from the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it before reading the comic, because the comic will make more sense and because everyone should watch Clueless.
The story picks up on Cher’s last day of junior year. One of her teachers tells the students that they are being assigned a project. By the end of their senior year, they have to turn in a report on what kind of adult they want to be. Cher, Dionne, and Tai each get a chance to answer that question in their own chapters while Cher’s romance with Josh, her boyfriend who is now in college, suffers due to her experimentation with being an “activist-environmental-entrepreneurial grown-up.”
Cher’s storyline is, like Cher, adorable. She jumps into her project in the graphic novel with the same overboard enthusiasm with which she jumped into the Tai makeover in the film Clueless. It’s even more fun to see Dionne and Tai come out of Cher’s shadow and develop their own confidence. All three stories are relatable and celebrate both independence and female friendship, with some romance as well.
My favorite thing about this is the art. It matches the aesthetic of the movie but throws in some grunge drab for a visit to Seattle, and soft earth tones for a trip to Tai’s family farm. Movie fans will be pleased to see that Cher’s poufy pen (what did we call those?) makes many appearances, as does some Lisa Frank-inspired art and a lot of cassette tapes. It’s a fun love letter to the movie and to the 1990’s.
– Carrie S
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
author: F.C. Yee
Y’all, I gotta tell you, I’m getting some great pitches from Twitter these days.
This was billed as a treatment of Journey to the West, and I totally admit that most of what I knew of Journey to the West is from The Forbidden Kingdom, which is not a good movie, and has significant problems, but also has Jackie Chan and Jet Li. As an introduction to “Hey you can read more about this!” for JttW, the film doesn’t suck and the fight scenes are glorious.
Anyway, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is about our heroine, Genie, a Chinese-American high school student who is in the midst of college prep when a new student shows up and turns everyone’s life upside down, especially Genie’s. Quentin is annoying, and always around, and Things Happen around him….and he’s also the embodiment of the Monkey King. And he’s drawn to Genie because she’s a reincarnation of another member of the Journey’s party. Together, they have to save the world from escaped demons. And also get into college.
This was a FUN READ. Genie is hilarious, and fights so hard against destiny because goddammit, this isn’t in the schedule, and also this Quentin dude is annoying and clingy! I find that romances based on literal destiny can be dicey – I like agency in my romances. But they spend enough time together that Genie gets to know Quentin on his own terms and like him for himself, not just because they are supposed to.
There’s also some great tension between Genie and her mother which explores the children of immigrants dynamic. Add a little magic in there, and things get really fun. Yee also does a really good job of instructing the reader in the salient points of Journey to the West, so if you didn’t grow up with this tale as one of your childhood stories, you can still follow what’s up. I recommend this for anyone looking for fun adventure stories that invert a lot of destiny-romance expectations.
author: Cook's Country
I don’t usually review cookbooks here, but this book has been making me so happy, I had to share. I first borrowed this cookbook from the library, because the Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks can be costly, especially if I end up liking one or two recipes. I ended up liking this cookbook so much, I bought my own copy and have been adding recipes to our rotation since it arrived in July.
Y’all. Y’ALL. I love this cookbook. I love recipes where I can put a bunch of stuff on a sheet pan or in a dutch oven and let heat and time do their thing while I do all the other things I have to do. Some of the recipes are more hands-on than others, but the ones I’ve made I’ve enjoyed so much. Each section focuses on one container or method of cooking: skillets, sheet pans, dutch ovens, casserole dishes, roasting pans, and slow cookers. There are a set of recipes designed for each method, and I’ve tried several so far.
If you’re a vegetarian, alas, there aren’t too many recipes in here for you. Most involve meat or fish. And if you eat zero carbs, like no potatoes, rice, or pasta, the pickings get a little sparse.
But for my weeknight cooking rotation, this cookbook has made me so happy. I am trying new recipes in the next few weeks, and I’ll report back how they go. I love the ease and convenience of using one method or container for the food preparations, and so far the flavors and combinations have been terrific.
– SB Sarah
by Ian McLellan Hunter, John Dighton, and Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)
Sarah: I had my hair cut this week, and as I got in the car, I thought that having very short hair is very appropriate for watching this film.
“And Introducing Audrey Hepburn…” Oh, we have met, I assure you.
I love the long opening credits. And Edith Head did the costumes! Of course she did.
This is a trope that works for me – individual bound by a massive weight of duty and expectation finds a temporary escape to be themselves or the opposite of their lives. It’s a lovely mix of behind-the-scenes and public self vs. private self, both of which I love.
CarrieS: If I were going to present her with stuff it would be cookies, tennis shoes, and a puppy.
“I’m just being veeery happyyyy” yes dear, I know that’s exactly what happens to me when I eat creme brulee. No lie.
Sarah: I also love the tension in the boring “please meet everyone” scene where she nearly loses a shoe, and then the Cinderella reference when she can’t get it back on in time. Adorable. Also the relief that they helped her avoid a breach of protocol.
Though I question the protocol that requires all these people from different countries bowing to her
CarrieS: What is it about Italy and romance? How many romance movies have we looked at so far with an Italian theme?
Sarah: That said: here is some fun, though not sourced trivia:
The Embassy Ball sequence featured real Italian nobility, who all donated their salaries to charity. The reporters at the end of the film were real, too.
CarrieS: If there’s anything we should have learned from romantic comedy it’s, “Never make a bet.”
“What would you do for $5000” is a line with strange overtones when it’s spoken by one guy to another while grappling in a bar.
Sarah: “It’s nerves. Control yourself, Ann.”
Bugger off, lady! Girl is dramatically upset and it’s totally earned. And she gets a royal sedative.
Sarah: Nighttime gallivanting with a sedative in your bloodstream seems like a bad idea. But if you’re going to pass out on a low fence, Gregory Peck is the best thing that could happen, I think.
CarrieS: Peck improvised the Mouth of Truth so her reaction is genuine.
Sarah: I love the “dance” on the staircase going to his room.
“I’m terribly sorry to mention it, but the dizziness is getting worse.” I love the absurd politeness. I’m going to say this all the time now.
I love that he thinks he holds all the cards (ha ha) and he does not.
CarrieS: Gregory Peck should always be wet and disheveled.
Sarah: The haircut scene is one of my favorites. When I last donated my hair, and my stylist put my hair in a ponytail to cut it all off, even though we both knew what we were doing, I was so nervous, and so was she. Also why the hell is he back-combing her hair before he cuts it off?
And short bangs! She looks so good with short bangs. Interesting pacing note: she gets her hair cut at nearly exactly half way through the film. She buys ice cream and flowers at about 1:02 and the film is about 2 hours long. Epic change midway through!
CarrieS: Um they totally just smashed up a lot of other people’s stuff, people who probably didn’t have a lot of stuff to spare, and lied their way out of paying for it and that is a jerk move, also, how old are these characters supposed to be? Peck you are a little stalkery.
CarrieS: “You should always wear my clothes.”
“It seems I do.”
Sarah: I love how Joe is early on a varying level of jerk, and slowly does something unselfish. I also like the way the film parallels itself. Her princess agenda includes going to all these sites to improve trade relations and connections on one level, and her tour of Rome in semi-disguise is more personal, and focuses more on how real people in Rome live day to day. She’s supposed to be given a car which she will refuse, but then she steals a scooter and drives it all over Rome (and makes a big mess – geez, woman). And the movie begins with her dancing at a ball, distant, silent, and impersonal from each person, and midway through she’s on a barge dancing (scandalously!) close with Joe and actually talking to him. There’s the distance of her role contrasted with the intimacy and experience of her day as a (sort of) anonymous individual.
Her realization that her job and her role mean a lot to the people of her country: “Were I not aware of my duty to my country and my family, I would not have come back tonight, or indeed ever again.” Also: she’s wearing a dark almost-black dressing gown instead of white silk — o RLY?
CarrieS: The grab and hug just kills me. Every. Damn. time.
Sarah: They do a lot of subtle face reactions and they get my right in the hearty feels.
Also, I LOVE that the first question is like, “So, princess, what do you think about a European Union?” Well, let me tell you some things from the future! You’d better sit down.
Expressions of personal affection through bland press statements – I am terribly sorry to mention it, but I am a puddle of feels right now.
“I will cherish my memories here as long as I live.” I’ve seen this movie a mess of times, and I am all sniffly.
CarrieS: It’s an A movie, obviously. Am helpless before its powers.
Sarah: Meeting the press contrasting the opening meeting of the dignitaries — this movie’s parallels are so well done. My catnip, so much catnip.
And then he stays there, waiting longer than anyone before he leaves. Oh, gosh, this movie works so well on me.
I just did the dumbest thing: I wondered if there were fanfic for this movie. Can you imagine such a ludicrous question? Of course there is!
This is so timelessly effective and charming, and gets me every time I watch. It’s easily an A for me.
Complete aside for trivia via IMDB: The original writer, Dalton Trumbo, was blacklisted as one of the legendary Hollywood Ten, and therefore could not receive credit for the screenplay, even when it won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Story. Instead, his friend, Ian McLellan Hunter, one of the writers of the final screenplay, took credit for the original story and accepted the Oscar. Hunter did, however, pass on the $50,000 payment he received for the job on to Trumbo. Trumbo’s wife, Cleo, was finally presented with the award in 1993, long after his death in 1976. The Oscar she received was actually a second one, because Hunter’s son wouldn’t give up his father’s Oscar. Thus, two awards for Best Motion Picture Story of 1953 exist. The story credit was corrected to credit Trumbo when the restored edition was released in 2002, nearly fifty years after the original release.
The drunken Ann recites a poem, “If I were dead and buried when I heard your voice, beneath the sod my heart of dust would still rejoice.” which prompts Joe to declare her “well read.” The poem is actually an original work by Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted writer.
Sarah: The history of the blacklist in Hollywood is both fascinating and very eerie given current political media climate. I really enjoyed this series from You Must Remember This devoted to the history of the blacklist. If you’d like to know more about it, I hope you enjoy it.
Is Roman Holiday a romantic classic for you? Or does it not hold up to modern scrutiny? Let us know what you think!
Years ago I started writing notes and putting them in random places like behind paintings in hotels, between the pages at book stores and in Sky Mall Magazines on airplanes. While browsing through a PostSecret book, I found one of my notes. That small ripped piece of paper is featured above. I attended your event last week at CMU. I’m thankful for your ability to speak to people in their broken places.