Romance World Shenanigans

In previous posts, I’ve talked about how much I love the romance genre. In fact, I made a tag in my early blogging days called the Soul Ripping Romance Tag that made the rounds a bit. I follow the world estensively and I also follow a few WordPress authors who write romance serials on their blogs. Huge, huge fan.

The latest news in the world was initally all about RT and how the website and all it’s affliates were retiring. RT stands for Romantic Times. Most people are unaware of them especially in other countries but every year they host a giant convention that’s like the San Diego Comic Con of the book world. Every, and I mean EVERY, romance author or even authors who only incorporate a little romance (fade to black) in their stories, goes to this convention. It’s a HUGE deal and I had plans to go to one some day but I found out that this year was the last year. 😔

RT had been in business for an astounding 37 years. They had a regular magazine I got in my email and you could be a member or VIP member and get all these benefits and freebies. I was just a tiny part of the massive, amazing, supportive community but I’m gonna miss them.

In other news, the week before last I talked about trademarking and copyrighting and the differences between them. The subject came up cause there was an author who is currently in a legal battle over the word “cocky” that she felt was her right to trademark. Unfortunately, the saga is continuing.

Another author has filed a trademark for the word “forever”. 😐 I found this news our because an indie author I follow has a book called forever and she’s afraid she’ll be a target now. Multiple people have contacted the author about this and she’s claiming that she’s being impersonated and that she didn’t do that except to trademark her name and her series. Things are sketchy however because it was filed by her publisher who said they were advised by the attorney of this author. The author is still claiming it’s not hers even though the trademark is up officially.

This kind of thing just blows my mind. I don’t understand why these situations have all of sudden popped up. Is this some kind of pseudo marketing scheme to go viral and get your work attention even if it’s negative? I really hope this doesn’t expand past the romance genre because this type of behavior is just unbelievable especially when groups, bloggers and the community in general work so hard to promote and include everyone.

Have you heard about either of these stories? Does it feel like the end of a good era and the beginning of a bad one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

La Biblioteca

Hello everyone!

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of my post I just want to thank the couple of bloggers that sent me messages checking up on me. You know who you are and I appreciate you because that is so very thoughtful. 🙂

Now, I’ve come to a decision!

I’ve decided I’m going to get a library card! I know what you’re thinking, that’s not very monumental and really Nel, everyone has a library card! Guess what, I don’t. I used to have one and technically still do but it hasn’t been renewed for a long while and I’ve moved far away from the place so my laziness is like, don’t want to drive that far to pick up a book. However, a book was highly recommended to me over the weekend by a friend and it was an author I’ve never read before.

As you all are aware, my reading game is dismal. I’ve been managing one to two books a month just because of time and bodily (body snatcher) issues but this was a freebie on Kindle so I jumped at the chance and grabbed it. For once I didn’t read the description and just jumped right into reading the book. Needless to say, I was hooked and devoured that book in a day and a half. Always amazes me when I do that. So I was looking into getting the rest of the series but I stopped to think, what if I didn’t like the books? Cause you know, just because the pilot of a series is great, doesn’t mean the rest of it will be too and I’d hate to buy a digital book, hate it and then can’t return it you know?

Enter, the library. I went to look at my local library to see if they have the books. They didn’t. However, I still hit the jackpot. There is such a marvelous thing called The Ohio Digital Library. A friend of mine who is a librarian by trade actually informed me that it’s the 5th largest digital library in the country! LA county being the 1st largest if you were curious. Anyway, it basically goes through Overdrive which is a platform you can rent ebooks and audiobooks from and the collection is astounding. I found the rest of the series there but I have no access currently because of no library card. Once I get the library card, which is free btw (can’t beat free!), not only will I have access to ODL but I’ll also have access to a service called hoopla which allows you to rent movies, full music albums and more books and audiobooks with just your libary card!

My mind exploded.

So anyway, I wanted to show you a couple screenshots of what these wonderful websites look like. You may want to do some research cause you could have a similar situation at your local library. They rent out Kindle books, Kobo books and I-books so you can read them on any device and the bonus beauty is you don’t have to worry about late fees for forgetting to return them because they automatically go back when they’re due (assuming you don’t extend your borrowing time)!

Also, if you were wondering, even though you are renting for free, the authors and artists are still being paid! Libraries actually provide a good chunk of revenue along with all the other avenues. It’s a win-win-win all around I tell you! Plus, if you decide you must have your own copy, it’s as easy as going to Amazon and buying the hardcopy which is supporting the artist even more. And, one more note about libraries, you can get out of county or even out of state library cards for a yearly fee! The only downside to that though is you have to reapply in person every year.

What do you think of libraries? Does your library have something like this? Let me know in the comments below!

Half Priced Books

Yesterday I spoke a bit about spring cleaning and one of those cleanings involved going through my books and sorting out ones I either know I never read or I found something out about an author (coughtheyareracistcough) that made me want to give away all their books that I own. This ended up with me having 2 bags full of books. If you’re new to my blog, I’m not a book blogger but I am an avid reader. I probably have about 400 physical books in my house because I constantly go to library sales when I can or I visit Half Price Books, the latter of which I want to talk to you about today cause this store isn’t everywhere.

The closest one to me is about a 40 minute drive North. I remember when I first realized that there was one in the vicinity of NorthEast Ohio and got super excited to go. Believe me when I say it’s pretty amazing. The concept of the place is every book and even DVD, manga, game, journal, etc that you buy is half the price of what the publisher printed on the book jacket. For hardcovers, that logic sometimes applies and sometimes it’s an even better deal because a hardcover can be $30 and Half Price will sell it for like $9.99. Suffice to say, it’s quite easy to get stuck in this store for hours at a time. They also have a counter set up where they will buy your books from you. The less often they see books come across the desk, the more money you’ll get. For example, I took The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown up there and it got pennies because they see this book all the time so it’s not really worth a lot. But if you bring in a popular book, for example, a book by Ilona Andrews, it’s worth more because I personally have never seen an Ilona Andrews in Half Price Books. She’s just a hot author and the books just don’t stay on the shelves long enough once they’re brought in.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures I took to give you an idea of what this awesome book store looks like inside:

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Pretty awesome right? Great way to feed an addiction at half the cost 😉 . And majority of the books are in great condition!


Do you have a favorite book store by you that you go to that has awesome deals such as this one? How do you feel about book buying addictions? Not necessarily a bad one to have eh? Let me know in the comments below!

A-Z Bookish Survey Tag

Happy Wednesday and last day of Nel’s tag-a-thon. I wasn’t tagged in this specifically but I thought it looked fun and told fellow blogger, Reading in the Wings, I’d do it. I’m not exactly sure who created it but if you check Reading in the Wings’ blog you might be able to trace it back to that person.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

I’m a heavy series reader so that equals a lot of books from the jump but if I had to pick on the spot, and Shakespeare didn’t count, I’d say Ilona Andrews cause I’ve read almost every series they’ve created or Judith McNaught cause I’ve read every book she’s ever written which is about 16 books.

Best Sequel Ever:

Man, I have a couple I guess because a lot of the sequels ended up being trilogies but here are some of my favorites:

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Heart of Steel features badass pirate Yasmeen who is great at killing zombies and I can never get enough of this book.

Court Duel features badass swordsman Meliara and I haven’t read this duology in a long time but I still love it.

Rise is the sequel to the prequel duology with the first book being Rift and features badass sword wielding, magic using, gladiator of sorts and sits prominently on my physical favorites shelf.

(I have a thing for badass woman characters. Can you tell? 😉 )

Currently Reading:

Nothing. I know. THE HORROR! I’ve been a slump due to my life as well as my addiction to all things Marvel Cinematic Universe at the moment. Hopefully my reading game comes back on one of these days.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Usually water cause I’m boring, haha. I’m not a soda drinker and I’ll do fruit juice on occasion.

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both. I was strictly physical book until I worked 2 jobs regularly and couldn’t haul my books around with me so I got my first e-reader back in college. It was a Sony something or other they don’t even make anymore, before Kindle and apps in general were a thing and I loved it. I now tote around an Android tablet with all the cool kids apps and lots of ebooks on it. However, I still collect physical books of ones that I read and loved and need to own cause I loan my books out to friends often.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

HAHA! I didn’t date in high school. In fact, I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 18 so this question is kind of tough. I think I’d choose Valek from the Poison Study series or maybe Dimitri from the Vampire Academy series. They are pretty dreamy to my high school self.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

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I don’t usually do dark romance but my goodness was this worth every minute it took me to read it through and then some. It was hot and intense and beautiful and I’d read it again in a hot second.

Hidden Gem Book:

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I’d have to go with The Final Formula series. Not many people seem to know who Becca Andre is but I love her writing cause it’s not often you see someone write about alchemy and necromancy.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Hmm. Maybe when I discovered how fun reading truly is. There used to be a program back when I was younger called Book It! and you would track the books you read, take the form to Pizza Hut and get a free personal pan pizza for every challenge you completed and then like once a month you’d get a pizza and a prize out of their bin. At the time Harry Potter was super huge so I’ve gotten a lot of Harry Potter collectibles just from reading and only encouraged me to read more and more.

Just Finished:

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Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Audiobooks, non-fiction, religious fiction and lately not a lot of YA

Longest Book You’ve Read:

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1276 pages and 964 pages each respectively.

Major book hangover because of:

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Right now, it’s because of freaking The Trouble with the Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones. I’m dying for the next book because this installment was insane.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Not enough, hahahahaha! I have 3 I use right now but looking to buy two more cause I have a problem. Here’s a snippet of some of the “favorites”:

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Many of them but I’d have to say Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh is probably ingrained into my brain at this point.

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Preferred Place To Read:

That’s the beautiful of digital copies is I can read anywhere. Most of the time it’s on the couch, in the bed or at work when I’m supposed to be working.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

I fight for the Union because America is supposed to be a land where people can be free from tyranny, where families aren’t ripped apart to make a profit, where men aren’t whipped for speaking their mind and women aren’t abused worse than brood mares.

― Alyssa Cole, An Extraordinary Union

Reading Regret:

Probably reading The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. Ugh! This trilogy is so hyped but that book was a waste of life.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the first book but I keep being told it gets better so I should continue.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

These questions are killing me. I can’t answer this question because I have to many favorites and some will get jealous of the others if I only name three!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones and Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews because both are the final installments to my beloved Charley Davidson and Kate Daniels series.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Letting a book keep me awake way past my bedtime cause I can’t stop reading it even when my eyes are bleeding. I don’t get enough sleep as it is so this just makes it worse.

Your latest book purchase:

I bought a kid’s workbook for my friend’s 3 year old for her birthday party from Books A Million. I haven’t bought a book for myself lately cause I haven’t been reading sadly.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

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Besides the ones above, I’d have to say Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop.


If this looks like a good looking fun tag you’d be interested in participating in, consider yourself tagged.

See you tomorrow for Endangered Thursdays!

Generalization vs. Type

Over the weekend I got to talking with a group of my Twitter buddies. The discussion started out being about the Kindle Paperwhite and just evolved into something else. We’re all huge fans of the romance genre so we got to talking about the types of romances we like versus ones we don’t really care for. It was a pretty healthy conversation and it got me thinking real good about how I have generalizations and how I have types and I thought I’d share that today.

So when I think of a generalization, I think of a broad statement about something I may like or dislike. For example, I like berries. Now this is a simple example but let’s just say I like the overall category of everything berry.

When I think of type, I think of it as a subset of a generalization. Keeping with the berry example, I love blueberries and strawberries but I’m not a huge fan of raspberries and blackberries for example. Now I’ve broken it down to the types of berries that I prefer over the ones I don’t.

I like to think of different media forms the same way. For example, I prefer epubs over all other book formats. I don’t necessarily dislike the other formats, I’m just so used to using epub since the beginning of ebook time that that is my personal preference. However, I will make an exception and take advantage of a different book format if I can’t find it in epub and probably still enjoy the book just as much.

Going back to the romance discussion, we were talking about the different subsets of romance that we like versus ones we don’t normally gravitate towards. Most of the time I gravitate towards urban fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. Some of the other girls broke it down even further talking about how they liked alpha romances, dark romance and MM (male/male) romance. There were a bit of agrees and some disagrees, which is natural cause we all have different tastes.

However, I pointed out how you never really know what your type is until you try it. I correlated this to how there are so many authors on this planet and they all write differently so just because you think you won’t like a type a book, you can’t know until you read it. For example, I explored dark romance this year, a couple books actually, and didn’t think I would like them but surprisingly ended up loving one author’s style and only thinking the other author’s style was decent. If we’re talking Goodreads rating scale, one was a 5/5 for me and the other was 3/5. But again, that’s one book out of the bunch. Just because you think you love an author’s voice, doesn’t mean you’ll like every book they ever write either because authors themselves like to explore with their writing.

A lot of this stems from an author asking me to read their ARC, which happened to be a psychological thriller to review. I accepted. Over the course of a few weeks, the author seemed to get impatient cause I hadn’t left a review yet and kept sending me links to all the positive reviews on Amazon in order to show me how great the book is. What ticked me off however, was when the author said, “It’s okay if you don’t leave a review. The book may not be your type.”

I had to let her know, for the record, that I don’t have a type. Do I have general book preferences, yes, but I’m willing to try anything. I don’t care if it’s a book, food, movie or activity. Ever hear that phrase, “Don’t knock it til you try it?”, I stand firm by that statement. I understand authors don’t want negative reviews and will try to justify why they got one anyway they can by making it seem like it was the reader and not the book but I think that’s a wrong way to go about things. You’ll only lose a potential fan that way.

Do you have book generalizations and types? Have you ever had an encounter like the one I had above? Let me know your thoughts below!

Love on the Brain

Hello my wonderful friends. I have romance on the brain and I feel the need to talk about it a little bit today. A good Twitter friend of mine wrote a post about how if she could go back in time and tell her younger self some things about the book world. One of the things she noted on her list was she would tell her younger self that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about reading romance. That stood out to me the most cause it made me think back to my younger self picking up that first romance novel and opening up my world to one of my now favorite genres but how if anyone asked what I was reading, I’d hedge a little. By hedging, I mean I would tell the title of the book but when someone asked me what it was about, I would talk about everything except the romance part of it. I also definitely steered clear from covers that had Fabio sweeping a woman off his feet. (I’m a little biased though there cause I hate faces on book covers). But who doesn’t like looking at a hot, musclely man?? Not something I personally can deny.. (looking at you Idris Elba!)

Everything I’ve ever heard about romance novels was that they’re trashy, only old ladies read romance novels, and it’s all porn. Back then, I didn’t necessarily believe this myself but I would always feel like I could hear other people just thinking these things. Definitely made it hard to read in public in general cause now you’re just wondering what people are thinking about your choice of book. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I stopped caring but one day I think someone asked me what I was reading and I proudly looked them in the eye and said the title and that it was a romance novel and yes, there were sex scenes in it. I can’t remember the reaction of the person and obviously I didn’t care considering it only made me voracious for more romance novels.

I have to state here that I’m seriously a romantic. I see love everywhere. I will play matchmaker if the opportunity presents itself. I stare at my husband with stars and rainbows and glitter in my eyes all day long and yes, I like sex. I’m human. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t understand why romance and sex have to be trashy. It’s a natural human process. Every living thing, mostly mammals, have sex in some form or fashion. It’s in our DNA because of the need to procreate. But what’s wrong with reading about a love affair between two imaginary people? Why is going into detail so bad? It’s not porn. People like to say erotica is porn but it’s not. Porn is porn; different category entirely. And see now that’s got me thinking, why is it okay to watch sex on television but reading about is an outrage?? Automatic stigmatization is just wrong to me. I pretty much compare this to stereotypes made about groups of people. Is it not the same thing?

Obviously, to each their own. If reading about romance, falling in love and having sex makes you uncomfortable, I’m in no way bashing you for that. There’s nothing wrong with that either but to be cruel about other people who enjoy it is just wrong. We shouldn’t have to hide something we enjoy you know? Oh and by the way, the romance genre dominates ebook sales; 61% to be exact. Ebooks definitely make it easier to read whatever you want in secret but seriously, don’t ever be ashamed about what you’re reading especially when it comes to love. (I’m hopeless. I know. 🙂 )

Do you read romance novels? Are you embarrassed to admit it? Do you agree or disagree with anything I said? Let me know in the comments below! (Don’t be shy!)

Can’t Get Out of My Head

You know, I think I sort of understand where reading slumps come from now. Over the weekend, in order to fulfill my January obligation for the #UltimateReadingChallenge I picked up an old favorite I haven’t read in a few years. I did not expect to read it in half a day nor did I expect to cry my eyes out the whole time I was reading it either. Now I’m at the point where I should be moving on to a new book but I can’t get this one out of my head long enough! And then you start comparing what you just read to what you’re currently trying to read and it’s just so hard.

A friend suggested that I read another book by the same author to help tide me over from this high. Such a good idea right?? But when you’ve read every book an author has ever written, how do you even choose?? So now, not only do I have one of her books stuck in my head but I’m so indecisive that I can’t choose a different one. Usually when this happens, I turn to Netflix and end up getting into a show I can binge for a while. But then the same thing occurs again once the show is over! It’s truly a never ending cycle.

Another thing I like to do when I feel a slump coming on is turn to a completely different genre. For example, from contemporary to fantasy. Usually, a good fantasy book is able to perk me right out of it. I actually read and finished a fantasy I had left open for many weeks before I binge read this contemporary and had every intention of leading right into said book but I remembered my challenge and how there is not a lot of January left so I took a detour. Well that detour caused an accident figuratively speaking, lol.

That’s pretty much all I have for today. Clearly, I just can’t be original enough to think more originally like I usually do on Mondays. Hopefully this new book I’ve so far read the prologue of, jump starts my brain out of the previous book fog it’s lost in.

Happy Monday!

Why I Love Fantasy Books

I was having my usual conversation with my good friend Noriko and I was telling her how my reading black hole slump has been demolished by my current read. I’ve read 70% of the book in two days and it’s really hard to stop. It’s so crazy because I had no interest in reading for weeks for one reason or another but my husband grew concerned that I wasn’t reading and I finally decided it was time to climb out of the hole.

Man, I am not disappointed not in the least! My current read is called A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet and this was her debut novel last year. The amount of magic and mythology and everything else she has dumped in this book is literally giving me the best dreams ever, haha. Anyway, so I was gushing to Noriko (my muse) about it and describing the general premise of the story when I thought it would make a good post to tell you all why I love reading fantasy books more than any other genre especially when it’s sprinkled with a little romance (which is my second favorite genre). So here we go:

  • Uniqueness: Fantasy novels are completely unique in that you are conjuring a world in your head that literally doesn’t exist anywhere in this world. Sure it might have a little bit of resemblances to certain cities perhaps or particular landscapes but it’s largely a world the author has created in their head and passed onto you. Not only that, the people, creatures, spirits, gods that live in the world are just as unique as the world itself.
  • Character names and their powers: We all wish we could have a certain power whether its a light one or dark one. Maybe we want to be a God, witch, mermaid, etc. We get to do that in a book. Not only have you transported yourself into the unique, fantastical world, you’ve also transported yourself into the characters. The writing makes you feel everything they’re feeling while your imagination is running wild. You’re flying on a dragon’s back or running through the forest on the back of a minotaur. I mean the possibilities become so endless. You feel as invincible as your character.
  • Conflict: This sort of piggybacks off of the uniqueness but the conflict that occurs in the story is something you never really could imagine. For example, in my current read, the main character was tortured for many years as a young child and when she finally escaped she stayed in hiding until a warlord found her. She lives by a very specific lifestyle that keeps her alive because her particular powers are very much wanted by many in the realm. She’s literally almost invincible but she struggles to figure out how to really live when she’s so used to people using and abusing her. Like, I know that sounds like something you could read in any book but you have to remember there are beings thrown into the mix that are conjured in this world that amplifies this conflict tenfold.
  • Research: I know every author who writes a novel does research. They want their books to be as accurate as possible. I just feel like when it comes to fantasy there’s deeper research involved to make sure it’s right. When stories involve Greek Gods such as Zeus and Poseidon or mythical creatures such as Cerberus, you need to know what you’re talking about. The feeling of Googling the mythical name to see if what the author wrote in the story is true or a spin on the regular myth is such a good feeling because not only did the author teach me something new I may not have known before but it also encourages me to continue learning long after I’ve finished the book.

So those are the four main reasons I wanted to share with you all. I could go on forever but as this post is already almost 700 words, I don’t want to lose your interest especially if you’ve made it this far. Do you read fantasy books? Do you like the genre or have a favorite genre of your own you want to share with me why you love so much? Let me know in the comments below!

Superhero Showdown

There’s a podcast I frequent by one of my favorite authors. It’s called Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing and live streams every Monday on Youtube. It features indie authors giving advice and experience with marketing their books. They often feature other authors on the show as well. Three weeks ago Nalini Singh was featured on the podcast (which was SO AWESOME!) and last week the focus was on how authors can get their books into libraries and the process libraries go through to receive books whether you’re indie or traditional. The featured author was actually a librarian as well as an author and he was discussing his new book that he said was in the superhero fiction/urban fantasy genre. That sparked a little bit of a debate in the live chat about what readers consider superhero fiction vs. urban fantasy and how hard it is to find “true” superhero fiction cause it’s being drowned out by urban fantasy. One viewer got quite heated about the subject. It got me thinking about the characteristics and qualities of a person for them to be considered a superhero. In this post, I’m going to discuss definitions found on Google as well as what I personally think.

When the term superhero is used, the images that automatically come to mind are Marvel or DC Comics heroes; i.e. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, SpiderMan, Thor, etc. These are heroes we’ve all grown up with. They have quite an extensive universe as evident by the hundreds of comic books, television shows and movies. However, can we consider a different fictional character as a superhero? Is the definition of a superhero as broad as I think it is? Let’s take a look at some definitions around the interwebs space.

A simple Google search produces this definition:

“A benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers powers, such as Superman”

The one right below it comes from Merriam Webster’s dictionary and states:

“A fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also :an exceptionally skillful or successful person.”

These two definitions are quite similar. One implies only a fictional character while the other suggests that a superhero doesn’t necessarily have to be fictional as long as they are skillful and successful. The individual I mentioned above, who got heated during the conversation stated that a superhero is “a costumed crime fighter with super powers.” That narrows it down a bit more specifically with the words “costumed crime fighter”. Now as specific as that definition is, it got me thinking about some of our costumed superhero favorites. For example, the Green Arrow is a costumed crime fighter but he literally has no super powers. He’s just “exceptionally skillful” with a bow and arrow and he’s rich. Hell, even Batman doesn’t have any super powers nor does Iron Man. They’re just highly skilled in tech and they’re rich.

Now, if we look at a character out of an urban fantasy novel, to keep it simple, they’re usually a shapeshifter, a vampire or a witch (or some type of magic user) wouldn’t you say? To take it step further, they are usually in a situation where they’re fighting a villain who has superpowers or some type of non-human super trait that allows them to fight one another. Usually, they are trying to save the human race in some form or fashion even if the human world is governed by these supernatural creatures. The only trait these fictional characters are missing is the costumed part of the definition. Let’s look at the definition of supernatural shall we?:

“(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.”

Looking at that definition, would you agree that a supernatural character is not the same as a superhero? But does that not contradict the superhero definition? For example, Superman is not even human. He came from a different planet entirely with powers that are not of scientific understanding or the laws of nature as governed by humans of Earth. But then someone like Spiderman is considered a superhero because his powers can be explained through science, i.e. he was bitten by a radioactive spider who’s venom manifested inside of him turning him super human. Then we look at characters such as witches and wizards. They are a bit of both wouldn’t you say? Some are born with power yes, but they still tap into science as well as nature in order to enhance the power they already have or to draw power into an object making it more powerful.

I asked my husband what he thought of the difference between superhero fiction and urban fantasy (after explaining urban fantasy to him). He stated that he believes that urban fantasy characters can be considered superheroes. He thinks of superheros as people or creatures, who participate in vigilante acts that protect the human race or race of species in general. When looked at it that way, I can agree with my husband that at the end of the day, whether your powers come from science, magic or an alien universe, a character can still be considered be a superhero – costumed or not. I’ll end with this definition from Stan Lee:

“A superhero is a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way a normal person couldn’t.”

What are your thoughts on superheroes in fiction? Do you believe the definition is cut and dry or is it more broad? Do you have any favorite non Marvel/DC characters in a fictional universe that you would consider superheroes? Let me know in the comments below!

Modern Movie Adaptations of Classic Stories

I was speaking to my Swaziland bestie the other day about music with great lyrics. That lead me to talk about a song off one of my favorite movie soundtracks and got me thinking about modern movie adaptions of classics. For those who don’t know what I mean when I say modern movie adaptations, it means stories created by such authors like William Shakespeare or even such tales like Cinderella, are revamped to be set in the 20th century instead of the teenth-century they were written in. So instead of horse and buggys, there are cars and planes adapted to fit the story. It’s still related to the story’s overall plot and the endings but it’s also a little bit different. I actually think it’s quite brilliant when writers and directors do this but anyway, here are a few of my favorites:

  • Romeo + Juliet (1996 film)Image result for romeo + juliet

Okay first thing we must talk about is the cast line up. You have Claire Danes who plays Juliet, Leonardo diCaprio who plays Romeo, John Leguizamo who plays Tybalt, Harold Perrineau who plays Mercutio, Pete Postlewaithe who plays Father Lawrence and a whole host of other cast members that just make this movie so amazing to me. On top of that, instead of speaking in modern tongue, they literally speak the exact dialogue of the story, swords are brand name guns and there’s a bit of a musical feel to it. It doesn’t have the highest rating by movie critics so I’m probably in the low minority of people who love this film but I believe it’s worth watching plus the soundtrack is FANTASTIC!

  • O (2001 film)Image result for o film

Another film with a great cast line up! O is a modern retelling of Othello but it’s set in high school with the premise of teen violence. Mekhi Phifer plays Odin (Othello), Julie Stiles plays Desi (Desdemona), and Josh Hartnett plays Hugo (Iago). It’s also another film that doesn’t have super great ratings but I liked it enough especially since the cast was so diverse plus I was on a Julia Stiles kick back then and she was featured in so many of my favorite movies back then!

  • Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998 film)Image result for ever after

There’s a trend with cast line ups! I don’t care what anyone thinks but but this is literally the best Cinderella film I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of them! I also want to point out that I’ve never really been a huge fan of Cinderella’s story in general but man does this movie change my mind. Drew Barrymore plays Danielle (Cinderella), Dougray Scott plays Prince Henry (Prince Charming) and Angelica Huston plays Rodmilla (evil stepmother) along with a whole host of others. One of the things I adored about this film was how they were able to meld a fairy-tale with a bit of a historical feel. Leonardo da Vinci (played by Patrick Godfrey) is featured in the film especially when it comes to creating Danielle’s gown for the ball. Cinderella is also not portrayed as this quiet mouse who only talks to animals. She’s this strong female who has a huge thirst for adventure and love!

  • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999 film)

Image result for 10 things i hate about youRemember how I said Julia Stiles was popular? Well, here she is again. What a lot of people don’t know that this teenage romantic comedy is actually based off another William Shakespeare story; The Taming of the Shrew. Heath Ledger plays Patrick (Petruchio), Julia Stiles plays Katarina (Kate) and Larisa Olyenik plays Bianca (Bianca) along with a whole host of other awesome actors. Looking back I can’t say there are lot of teenage based films I would watch again because adult Nel thinks they’re quite cheesy now but this one definitely has special place in my heart. If you know the story of The Taming of the Shrew, Patrick is the bad boy kid new to school who’s not interested in much but then his friend suggests he “courts” Katarina because none of the other hormone driven boys have been able to even crack a smile out of her plus her dad has really strict dating rules. The film centers around Kat creating this list of the things she hates about Patrick, in the form of a poem.

Honorable Animated Mention: Treasure Planet (2002 film)Image result for treasure planet

Have I mentioned how much I love space operas? Because I freaking love all things space opera! Treasure Planet is a modernized version of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson set in space. Joseph Gordon Levitt voices Jim Hawkins, Brian Murray voices John Silver and Emma Thompson voices Captain Amelia. The story revolves around a restless young adult looking to join a ship and go on a fantastic journey. He joins up with John Silver thinking he’ll be part of a cool crew only to find out that John Silver has his own secretive, nefarious plot. This film is Disney made and got a decent enough review. I always thought it was so unique for someone to turn a very old classic, into a fun, intergalactic twist.


There are PLENTY more that I could discuss so I’m thinking of possibly turning this into a monthly series. What do you think? Have you seen any of these adaptations? Do you have favorites of your own that you would like me to discuss in a later post? Let me know in the comments below!