Why do flat inflatables look so sad?

Pooh looks like he went on a bender, and the others look like unnamed casualties from ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.’

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A Very Ruby Christmas by Lavinia Kent Book Review

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I thought that Lavinia Kent’s Bound and Determined series had reached its finale when Ruby, the madame of the wonderful brothel that provided the backdrop for most of the other characters’ life changing encounters, found her happy ending in American sea captain, Derek Price.  However, more stories emerged from the engaging world, and I wondered how Kent would finally tie everything together. Her latest novella, A Very Ruby Christmas, serves as a sweet coda to the world I’ve enjoyed since  book one even though I don’t find it the strongest in the series.

Ruby is anxiously waiting for Derek’s ship to arrive on a wintery Christmas Eve when a mysterious pregnant young woman shows up at her door. Who could the young woman be? Why does she think Ruby can help her? And more importantly how is Ruby going to find the right person to take over Madame Rouge’s, so she can marry Derek and go to America with him like he has asked?

Followers of the Bound and Determined series will most appreciate that references are made to the other couples featured throughout, and two even have their own erotic interludes before the plot is fully resolved. Kent’s skill at creating scenarios that blaze off the page continues, and her desire to show that kinky play doesn’t have to end after marriage, even in a historical, is enjoyable.  Derek and Ruby’s reunion also burns with passion, even though their sexual desires run a little more vanilla.

I’ve continually praised how female agency is dealt with through the entire series, and the tension between Derek and Ruby about her inability to find the right person to take over Madame Rouge’s continues the trend.  Derek never forces Ruby, although he makes it clear that he will not wait forever, and he never stoops to using violence against her or withholding affection to push the matter (although he does get more than a little grumpy).  Ruby’s dilemma holds equal value as Derek’s in the story; she is torn between her own happiness and the safety and happiness of her clients and girls. As someone who often feels responsibility for those I work with or consider friends I related strongly to Ruby’s concerns and saw how those traits had made her ideal to take over from Madame Noir.

Overall, A Very Ruby Christmas was a satisfying coda to a wonderful body of work that satisfied my need for something warm, soothing, but still very sexy.  I’m fairly certain this will be the finale of the series unless Lavinia Kent decides to explore the new incarnation of Madame Rouge’s in the future.  Regardless I will look out for more of her works since they hit all of the right notes for me.

4 Fulfilled Secret Fantasies out of 5

 

 

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Fanbase Press Introduces Latina Superheroine in Bilingual ‘Quince’ Comic Book Series!

Fanbase Press Introduces Latina Superheroine in Bilingual ‘Quince’ Comic Book Series

Fanbase Press is overjoyed to announce the newest addition to its publishing slate with Quince, a 15-issue, bilingual, creator-owned digital comic book series that follows a year in the life of Lupe, a 15-year-old girl who discovers that her quinceañera brings with it a super cool party . . . and superpowers.  Emphasizing diversity, family, and female empowerment, Quince’s creative team includes sisters Kit Steinkellner (writer – Z: The Beginning of Everything) and Emma Steinkellner (artist – Pow Slam Sparkle) and creator Sebastian Kadlecik (Penguins vs. Possums).

In Quince, Lupe is just your average, insecure, well-meaning, occasionally cranky teenage girl whose life is completely turned upside down when she discovers she has superpowers at her quinceañera. Her quince powers only last as long as she’s fifteen, so over the course of this rollercoaster year, we follow the adventures of Lupe as she figures out what it really means to be a hero.

“A few years ago, I went to a couple quinceañeras back to back, and it struck me that I could think of no more nerve-wracking situation when I was turning 15 than standing in front of my family, friends, and strangers with all eyes on me,” says Quince creator Kadlecik. “I also noticed my nieces love dressing up as superheroes. Still, I couldn’t help but take note of the fact that here were two young Latinas, and it sure would be cool if they had some more heroes that looked like them, both in a mask and out of one.”

The comic book series will be released digitally through ComiXology on the 15th of every month, starting on January 15, 2017.  Each issue will be released digitally in English and Spanish, courtesy of translator Valeria Tranier (The Maze Runner, Friday Night Lights, Doctor Who).  In addition, the English-language series will be collected into a printed trade paperback that will be released on Monday, October 23, 2017.

“So many of us are still waiting for our letter from Hogwarts or for that blue police box to land on our doorstep,” says Quince writer Kit Steinkellner.  “Part of the fun of being a fan is falling in love so hard with a story that you start wishing for impossible things. My dearest hope for Quince is that some of our readers can add ‘getting superpowers on my quince’ to their list of impossible things to wish for.”

The Quince trade paperback is currently available for pre-order through the Fanbase Press website (www.fanbasepress.com), and the trade paperback will be released for sale on October 23, 2017.  Pre-orders made by August 1, 2017, will receive an exclusive sketch by artist Emma Steinkellner, and all pre-orders customers will receive an exclusive Quince print.

“I love looking at the history of women and girls in superhero comics,” says Quince artist Emma Steinkellner.  “There’s always these fun, strange, little elements of the current culture that worm their way into these stories. The stories of being a girl or a woman intersect in these weird and illuminating ways with the classic story of negotiating your own superpowered uniqueness. With all of the expectations and pressures and joys of being a teenager in our world, we wanted to make sure those were a part of Lupe’s world.”

Founded in 2010, Fanbase Press (formerly Fanboy Comics) is a comic book publisher and an online community supporting other creators and fans through daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum.  Fanbase Press seeks to provide an outlet for up-and-coming artists and writers with a desire to create new works and media.

Fanbase Press’ previous graphic novels, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, Fearworms: Selected Poems, Penguins vs. Possums, and Hero Hotel, are available online at http://www.fanbasepress.com and digitally through ComiXology.

For more information on Quince, please visit www.QuinceComic.com or http://www.fanbasepress.com.   Quince may also be found on Facebook and Twitter, @QuinceComic.  Celebrating your quinceañera?  Send us your #QuinceSuperhero photo on Facebook!

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I Baked a Cake


This chocolate sprinkle monstrosity was a homemade yellow cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting and Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins on top. Despite looking like a train wreck it tasted great, and the birthday boy seemed thrilled that I’d delivered what he’d asked for…well, mostly. The Reese’s were an add on!

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We’re All Still Here


Still working lots of overtime although I’ve gotten two Saturdays off in a row. The critters are all stable at the moment (Suzu’s and Miki’s annual blood work was unchanged) although we do have good and bad walking days. Caring for geriatric babies is hard work, but they need me to keep them comfy as long as I can. 

Patience handled being home alone while Suzu and Miki were at the vet far better than expected. She did pee on a dog blanket, but there was no other destruction…and no barking when we approached the door. Hm. 

Back to chilling with TV, comics, and books to decompress after a very long week!

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Fanbase Press Invites Readers to Check In at ‘Hero Hotel’

FANBASE PRESS INVITES READERS TO CHECK-IN AT ‘HERO HOTEL’

Fanbase Press Invites Readers to Check-in at ‘Hero Hotel’

LOS ANGELES, CA – August 15, 2016 – Fanbase Press is excited to announce the newest addition to its comic book publishing slate with writer/artist Yehudi Mercado’s (Pantalones, TX, Rocket Salvage) creator-owned series, Hero Hotel.

Hero Hotel is a hilarious all-ages comic book series that follows Chet and his cat, Boomer, as they work in a hotel… a hotel for super heroes! Awesome, right? Wrong. Because there’s nothing worse than a hero on vacation.

Collected into a trade paperback featuring four side-splitting adventures, Hero Hotel will be a full-color book that will be released on November 21, 2016.  In addition, the trade paperback will feature bonus stories by several notable creators, including Dennis Culver (Edison Rex, E Is for Extinction).  Additional guest creators will be announced leading up to Hero Hotel’s November release.

For Mercado (co-writer and art director of The Guardians of the Galaxy mobile game), Hero Hotel has been a long-time dream project:

“When I was in elementary school, I used to tell my family that I wanted to become a Hotel Manager,” says Mercado. “My sisters and I used to play hotel all the time. We’d use our stuffed animals as the guests, and we’d put masking tape on all the doors and write the room numbers on them. I would deliver room service and officiate various teddy bear weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. While other kids were playing cops and robbers, I was making beds and putting peppermints on pillows. After working on Marvel properties at Disney Interactive, Hero Hotel let’s me explore the other side of superheroes.”

Hero Hotel is currently available for pre-order through the Fanbase Press website (www.fanbasepress.com), and pre-orders made by Wednesday, October 12, 2016, will receive an original sketch of one of the heroes in the book! The trade paperback will be released for sale on November 21, 2016.

Founded in 2010, Fanbase Press (formerly Fanboy Comics) is a comic book publisher and an online community supporting other creators and fans through daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum.  Fanbase Press seeks to provide an outlet for up-and-coming artists and writers with a desire to create new works and media.

Fanbase Press’ previous graphic novels, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, Fearworms: Selected Poems, and Penguins vs. Possums, are available online in the Fanbase Press Online Store and digitally through ComiXology.

For more information on Hero Hotel, please visit http://www.HeroHotelComic.com or http://www.fanbasepress.com.   Hero Hotel may also be found on Facebook and Twitter, @HeroHotelComic.

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Posting May Be Spotty

I’m working a lot of overtime right now on top of caring for my geriatric pups (Suzu is actually doing much better though!), so Sunday is my one day off. I don’t have much mental energy to come up with posts, so if something strikes me I’ll write, and if it doesn’t I won’t. Hopefully things will calm down soon even if the extra money is awesome. 

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