I’m more beast than beauty

Today I’m part of the blog tour for Kill the beast. A book I’ve waited a very long time to read. I just adore all things beauty and the beast. So when I heard about this retelling I just knew I had to have it.

From the back cover:

9781943788040-Perfect.inddRo remembers the castle before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.
Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive—just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known. But a beast has overtaken the castle. A beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill. Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him. But things are not as they seem.
Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.
A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Michele-Israel-Harper-HeadshotMichele Israel Harper spends her days as a work-at-home mom and her nights typing away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête— and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else. Author of Wisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, Beast Hunter, and Kill the Beast, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing will touch many lives in the

Why I Identify with the Beast: A Dive-in Review

Beauty and the beast is my favorite Disney movie for one reason. Belle is an introverted, book reading, brunette. I am an introverted, book reading, brunette. That is where the comparison ends.

 I am not patient and I am not kind. I lose my temper and get irrationally angry, I judge people by how they look. I would rather wallow in self pity bemoaning the unfairness of life, than take any responsibility for my own actions.

 I am much more Beast than Beauty.

Beast Hunter

Me and author Michele Israel Harper at the costume banquet during Realm Makers. I’m the beast.

 This is why a Beauty and the Beast retelling is made or broken by one thing. The Beast.

The beast gets the story ultimately he’s the one who changes. It is literally his character arch. He gets to grow up. He gets to make up for his selfish ways and because of that he is more relate-able. 

So why is the beast so overlooked? Why is he, so often, not even given a name? (I’m looking at you Disney.) You could go on about the patriarchy and their desire to make women conform to their ideals of demure servitude. You could cry Girl Power and write essays about how beauty is symbolic of wresting the power from the aforementioned patriarchy.

 Or you can do what Michele Israel Harper did. She gave us this amazingly flawed beast who learns his lesson and finds love and learns that action is always better than self pity. He has a name!

But she didn’t stop there.

 Michele wrote an amazingly flawed beauty too. Rosette is angry and hot tempered and believes rumors and judges the beast on his fierceness. She won’t listen. And she literally has murder in her heart. The book is called Kill the Beast after all.

 This isn’t just a Beauty who feels like a real person. She feels like me. I can relate to a beauty who makes mistakes and who isn’t held up as some unattainable example of what women should be. And yes she still likes books.

 Michele based her novel on the original french version but she also includes many Disney nods for those who can’t separate fairy tale from mouse tail.

 Finally a retelling about Beauty and the Beast, that makes me feel for both Beast and Beauty.

I just want to keep Gushing about the wonderfully twisted ending but I shouldn’t spoil it for you. At least you don’t have to wait four years to read it. Because it’s out now.

Buy it here:

http://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/kill-the-beast/

9781943788040-Perfect.inddThere is also a prequel novella set just before Kill the Beast. It’s called Beast Hunter and you can find it here: https://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/beast-hunter/

A curse has overtaken Ro’s kingdom, blackening the soil, wiping out crops, and bringing ruin. The only people who thrive are the huntsmen, brought in to stem the flow of ravenous creatures. When Ro kills a wolf, an idea begins to form. Could she become a huntress? Before she can act, her father trades her life for his—to a magical beast.

It provides a lot of back story and is just super fun in it’s own right.

I’m giving away a signed copy of the novella Beast Hunter (signed by the author not by me) to one of you lucky readers. Just click through and fill out the Raffle Copter form. (unfortunately this is a physical prize so I need to limit this to United States Only.)

Beast winner

What’s your favorite version of Beauty and the Beast?

Don’t like Beauty and the Beast, what’s your favorite fairy tale retelling?

 

Cosplay on a budget and on the fly: Part 2

So the costume is coming together. But the deadline is looming ever closer. You aren’t quite sure if you’ll get it done in time. Then of course you have to remember to pack the sucker.

Here are my top costume ideas for heading out in character on the fly.

 I was going to take pictures of each of these, but it’s 90% humidity where I’m at so I don’t feel like having a fashion show right now.

 Idea #1) World’s biggest fan.

 You have that one fandom, the one where it’s not just an obsession, it’s a way of life. You don’t just have the cosplay, you have the quote tee, the character tee, the printed leggings, the socks, the watch, the shoulder bag. Your entire wardrobe basically. Use it. Your devotion is your cosplay. You are — The World’s Biggest Fan!

 But, what if you’re a devote of multiple fandoms?

 Well put on a little bit of everything and call yourself Random Fandom.

 The beauty of this is that even if multiple people use this idea, there will never be two exactly the same.

 Idea #2) Hitchhiking through the galaxy.

 Did the airport loose your luggage? Did you forget, in your packing flurry, to pack you costume? Or did you just plain run out of time?

 Throw on a bath robe/pajamas/anything that looks like you just escaped your planet blowing up. Grab a towel and slap the words DON’T PANIC on the back of the closest available book/book like thing. You are now from Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. Which character? Does it matter. It’s a big galaxy with many hitchhikers. Make up a name.

 Idea #3) It’s so Modern.

 Just think about all of the modern characters who wear Jeans and T-shirts. The Twilight characters, the Supernatural guys, a Doctor Who Companion all of these are just modern clothing with a few accessories. You could be the Storybrook version of your favorite Once upon a time character.

Twilight is super easy — just throw on a little body glitter.

Warning:  Do not use Body glitter in 90% humidity. 

 Idea #4) Guys clothing is so much easier.

 Why gender swap, when you can just go as a boy?

I am comfortable enough in my femininity that I can wear men’s clothing and pretend to be a man for a couple hours without having a crisis of identity.

 Lets face it ladies, cos-playing men is so much easier than women.

How about the Beast instead of Belle? That peasant top and black Capri, would be a great post transformation prince costume.

But if you are a guy, gender swapping is still totally an option. It would be easy for you to grab a Blue shirt and a white vest to play Bel. Bel, short for Bellemy maybe? Grab a book, place a rose in that button hole and done. Though if you want to wear the dress, I’m not judging.

Yes I am still waiting for a guy willing to play Bel to my beast. Or I can be Belle, i’m really not picky. Now taking applications for next year.

 So there you have it. My best ideas for super fast, super easy cosplay.

 Who have you always wanted to be?