Cursed Cross

I have a friend, call her Lisa. Lisa is not religious, but wears a cross around her neck. She likes what it represents and gives her a sense of…something transcendent that no one can describe.

It is just a simple silver Irish cross on a simple silver chain hanging around her neck. Lisa hates anything too tight around her neck, so the chain is on the looser side with no fear of choking her. At least there shouldn’t be.

Lisa can wear it for months, only taking it off to shower, with no problems. One morning she will wake up because the chain has grown tight. Squeezing her throat shut in her sleep.

She’ll wake up and adjust it, but it still feels tight. The links rub and grind into her skin causing a rash, even breaking and drawing blood in places. No other necklace she owns will do this.

When the cross becomes too tight, she will take it off and hide it but without it on she feels vulnerable. To what she doesn’t know, she just HAS to wear it. So after a day or two, Lisa will put it back on and wait for the next time it tightens and tries to kill her.

At least she used to, Lisa died of strangulation last night. She left a strange note giving the necklace to me…

Religious Breakthrough

So I’m taking Intro to Humanities II, and was asked to look for a piece of art that resonates with me from a chapter in our text and explain why I am attracted to it. I stumbled upon a picture of Notre Dame Cathedral. I am not a very religious person, nor is my family Catholic (though it is in our blood being Irish and all) but I have always felt a calling to the faith. One part of that calling has always been the beauty of Catholic churches. I have always thought of them as Gothic in architecture and dark fitting their purpose, without really knowing it is Gothic architecture. Growing up I was always told that God is loving and kind, but personally I have found the opposite to be true. Vengeful and angry seem to be more His palette and the old churches cropping up from the Renaissance era were perfect for that side.

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Even though the churches look cold and ominous from the outside, step inside and there is sunlight everywhere. When I was young and stupid, I remember vowing to be married in a church that was big and full of overlooking gargoyles on the outside, colored with stain glass windows inside. A huge organ in the front/back (pick your perspective), rows of beautifully carved pews and high arched ceilings vaulting to the sky. Now the yearning is still there, and am still drawn to the magical buildings that captured my heart as a child, but I know better. Notre Dame Cathedral and many others are just a part of my past, that I wanted for my future that will never be in my present. Which is why I think I am attracted to them, it is something I can never have.

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#BookReview Incest by Marquis De Sade 3/5 Stars

Probably going to catch some grief for this one.

Overview: Monsieur Franval is a sexual deviant who continues his deviances after marriage, neglecting his wife. On one of the few occasions he has relations with Madam Franval, she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter named Eugenie. Monsieur quickly whisks his daughter off to another city and keeps her sequestered with a nurse, tutors and three other little girls during her childhood. Keeping all thoughts of religion and politics involving society-determined sexual morals as far from her as possible, but he made sure to visit every night and have little chats with her in the evenings. On her fifteenth birthday, Monsieur Franval discusses his unhappy marriage, how poorly his wife meets his needs as a portal of every marriage. He then proceeds to talk his daughter into professing her love for him and becoming his lover. Making sure to word everything just right so it comes out as her idea. During the affair, which lasts about two years, Madam Franval begins to suspect what is going on and discusses her fears with her mother, Madame Farneille. Madame Farneille invites Eugenie over to her house for an afternoon and without saying anything, comes to the same conclusion as her daughter; Monsieur Franval is having carnal relations with his own daughter. The two ladies try to talk with both parties about calling off the affair but get nowhere. Every suitor is turned away by both Eugenie and Monsiuer Franval. Having enough Madame Farneille contacts Monsieur Clervil, a local priest in hopes that he will have better luck reaching her son-in-law. Abhorring religion, and using the Bible against the priest, Franval becomes enraged and conspires with Eugenie to create a fake affair between Madam Franval, and Monsiuer Franval’s friend Valmont. When asked to seduce the wife, Valmont consents but tells the wife everything and forces him to leave the house. Lies get deeper as Monsieur Franval has love letters created, and bank notes made in Madam’s name to Valmont for outrageous amounts. He confronts his wife with the false evidence and she begs him not to believe the letters because they are fakes. Not listening to her he walks out to be with his lover, while his wife conspires with her mother and Valmont to have the girl abducted and married off to Valmont. Monsieur Franval takes Eugenie out to a play, where she is kidnapped by Valmont and he pursues on horseback. Once he catches up with them outside of town, Franval shoots Valmont and takes his daughter back to their home. He begs his wife forgiveness and promises to break off the affair if she will run away with them to the edge of the Black Forest. She agrees and they run out of town. They played house, happily in the wife’s eyes, for a few weeks before learning Farneille has told the police and Valmont’s family of the murder. Monsieur instructs his wife and daughter to stay at Valmor while he leaves the country until it is safe for his return. He secretly instructs his obedient daughter to kill his wife if she tries to leave before he returns. Through letters he is updated by his wife and daughter for two months on what is going on with his case, but soon letters stop coming. He waits a month and then heads to Valmor fearing the worst. On his way he is robbed and stripped of his clothes. Continuing on foot, he is met by Clervil, whom he had previously kidnapped, who told him the courts had found him guilty of highway murder, his daughter poisoned her own mother for wanting to return to Paris and the daughter than died from remorse. The two men took shelter for the night in a church, which unknowingly held Monsieur Franval’s wife. He fell begging her forgiveness and then stabbed himself in the chest twice.

Opinion: Deep down I think that this was every woman’s fear. Their daughter, a younger and prettier version of themselves, will steal their husband’s (or boyfriend’s) affections from them. I don’t necessarily mean romantic affections either, wives could fear the husband will spend more time with the daughter or show her more attention and forget about the wife. Of course women won’t admit it, or even realize this is how they feel because we live in a society where we are told genetic attraction is wrong and punishable by law in some areas. So they feel a sense of security.

In the book, it is discussed that some cultures Incest happens on some level, it is expected and accepted. It happens enough among humans there is even a name for it, Genetic Sexual Attraction. To a small degree, GSA is in all of us bred from nurture. The old adage of a girl looks to her father for qualities in her future husband, and boys look to their mothers for qualities they want in a future bride. I have even seen a commercial where a father takes his 4or 5 year old daughter on a date to show her what to expect of men when she is allowed to date.

The author even uses the story of Lot from the Bible as a justification for his actions. Personally I cannot speak about that story as I have not read it, but the author uses the excuse of “if it is all right with the lord why is it not right for me” spiel that a lot of people like using for their own means. I find this ironic because he is against religion and the Bible in general, so why would he use this as a right to have sex with his daughter? Aside form being stupid, it is quite genius because the character knows it is the only way they will understand, as well as point out the hypocritical use of the Bible. Religious people are always picking and choosing certain passages of the Bible to use as it fits their situation because they readily admit the parts they don’t use are archaic in design.

While some men are of the mind that it is a father’s duty to prepare their daughter’s for life and sex, in this case I believe Franval went around it wrong. He kept Eugenie locked away from the world and other men, to keep her away from any other choice but him. It would have been different if she were around other people and had a chance to fall for someone else.  Then Franval could have instructed her (be it verbally or physically, truer to De Sade’s writing) on how to please a man of her choosing. It would be no less shocking than how things actually pan out in the book.

Another theme in this book is that married couples are unhappy. Of course this is from a somewhat depressing time period, but I still like to think if they were so unhappy they could have divorced, but  with the wife worshipping the ground he walked on that wouldn’t have happened.

Overall I’m not sure how I feel about the book. Which is why it only rates 3/5.

Recommend: if you have an open mind and not going to criticize it at every turn, then yes.

May #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 21 of 65 and 30 of 65 books read. I really need to start reading books from my TBR pile again! But I have the next Night School preordered and an ARC of RSVP From Heaven to read as well. I am a failure at diving into my long list of TBR.

May books:

Night School: Resistance

Pines non-CLTBR

Wayward non-CLTBR

The Last Town non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 6 non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 7 non-CLTBR

My Camp NanoWrimo book, #LoveandDrugs has been sent off to a Beta Reader (no word back yet). If there is anyone interested in Beta Reading it, I would happily send you a copy for honest feedback!

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I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is still open for new clients. Sadly I think my guest post author has backed out, but if anyone else would like to step up send me a message and we can talk. Any topic you would like, I don’t mind. Also still taking author interviews!

As you saw there have been some posts from my creative writing class and I’ll continue to post them. I have also posted my poems and there may be more in the future…I’m not sure as I don’t write them that often.

April #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 20 of 65 and 24 of 65 books read.

April Books:

Spearwood Academy Vol 3

Spearwood Academy Vol 4

Spearwood Academy Vol 5

Murderous Little Darlings: Non-TBR

Night School: Genesis

Night School: Legacy

Night School: Fracture

In other news, my Camp NaNoWriMo was somewhat of a failure and kind of not. I wrote 23,892 words out of a goal of 30,000. So I failed to make my goal but came very close to finishing. Can’t wait to see what I can do in July!

I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is working with a second author already and still open for new clients. I also announced Guest Posts this month, but have not heard back from the one who contacted me yet. I am opening that spot up to anyone who would be interested, any topic you would like. Classes are going ok but I have just been out of it the last two weeks. I was really sick one day and haven’t caught up yet. Iit’s been a lazy, feel like “blah” last two weeks. I hope it gets better.

Let’s have a good May!

Sanctuary Edits

Have a book that needs editing? Want to make sure all the kinks are worked out before publication? Here at Sanctuary Edits, we will read through your book looking for any and all typos. We will double check to make sure everything sounds smooth and inform you of any issues spotted.

In addition to our editing services, we will also have an honest review ready for you upon publication. The review will be posted to Books and More, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr and Amazon (or Smashwords depending on where you publish). We will also include an Author Spotlight Interview on the Books and More blog. We can also put together a release post highlighting your book the day it is released.

At Sanctuary Edits, we do Substantive Editing and Copy Editing. Substantive Editing is problem solving and overall clarity or accuracy.
Copy Editing, is where we look at spelling, grammar, punctuation and word usage. Prices are $50-100 per manuscript. Price varies depending on size. Short story would be less than an epic novel.

March #WrapUp

First, a quick breakdown of books I’ve read for my Goodreads and CLTBRChallenge15 book reading challenges. Both goals are set for 65 books by the end of December.

January-Roots

Beauty and the Beast

Highland Blessings

Blockade Billy

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Earth Angel

February- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol 3

March- The Time Machine

3 AM Non-TBR Challenge

To the Gallows Non-TBR Challenge

The Glass House

The Dead Girls’ Dance

Spearwood Academy

Spearwood Academy Vol 2

            Chosen

Started an editing company, Sanctuary Edits, and landed my first client. I also started classes for my bachelor’s degree and will finish my first two classes sometime in April. I have prepped for my Camp NaNoWriMo session, and announced the name of the book I’m working on. Author Spotlight Interviews are still open and looking for authors. Musical Mondays will continue until I am out of them.