The Count of Monte Cristo ~

I always loved “The 3 Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo” is another by Alexandre Dumas. It’s a powerful book about loyalty, commitment, determination, strength of spirit, of seeking justice and yet not giving up hope. And along with that, if you like sword fights, revenge, disguises, deception, then it’s right up your alley!

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

No truer words said! As the main character finds out, he finds his ‘truth’ in the most unexpected way, through the people he meets that come into his life only briefly and teaches him something at the moment he needs it the most. 

Edmond Dantes is unjustly framed for treason and sent to a prison fortress for 14 long years. A fellow prisoner is able to teach him all he knows, to figure out his purpose and to plan his vengeance on his duplicitous ‘best friend’ who stole is life, and love. With the secrets to the treasure of Monte Cristo, he is able to re-instate himself in society as the mysterious Count, surrounded by wolves in disguise, he learns to keep his enemies close….

So, no matter what, we must endure. Nothing is perfect in life or happens as we expect, it’s about our mindset when we face disappointment and adversity, and how we act that counts.

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“When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.”

~ The mystery of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ ~ 🖤🌹

‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is definitely a tale about escapism- Christine spends her whole life being coached by a ‘mysterious voice’ that mentors her to do better and achieve beyond what she thought possible, when she finally steps through the mirror and meets the man behind the voice, her illusion shatters and she is repulsed by his deformed face. 💀

Instead, she goes for her childhood sweetheart Raoul, and, the phantom realises that despite all he’s given her, she still turns away in horror. She pities him and yet still agrees to lay a trap, by going along with his grand plans for her on the stage, but in the end, his jealousy still destroys them (and the opera house which is also his home.) 🎼🎭

We see him as the villain of the story, but we also feel sorry for him, hiding away with no love and kindness- and perhaps it’s this forced solitude & space to develop his talents that turns him into a musical genius. There are many things to learn from it, that you can’t force love, that you can’t expect too much from anyone, yet also the power of forgiveness and also dedication throughout a lifetime. 🖤🖤

Another thing I love about the Phantom are the aesthetics, the opulent backdrop & historical references- after all it’s a theatre, the masquerade balls, the grandness, and of course, the amazing soundtrack!! Andrew Lloyd Webber really transformed it and made it his own- hence why it still stands the test of time. 👰🏻👻🎞⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

~ 𝔔𝔲𝔬𝔱𝔢 𝔠𝔬𝔯𝔫𝔢𝔯~

“They played at hearts as other children might play at ball; only, as it was really their two hearts that they flung to and fro, they had to be very, very handy to catch them, each time, without hurting them.”

“And, despite the care which she took to look behind her at every moment, she failed to see a shadow which followed her like her own shadow, which stopped when she stopped, which started again when she did and which made no more noise than a well-conducted shadow should.”

Drifting 5 weeks in a balloon 🎈

Hello again after having vanished for a few years (epic writer’s block there…) I received this lovely Barnes & Nobles edition as a Christmas present so I started reading! (Who could have believed I was such a “Back to the Future”/ lit nerd & not read it…the mysteries of the world

I drifted off to the sound of trickling rivers and gentle harp music only to find myself in the land between imagining if my character Dinah in my own novel ended up stepping through the pages and let herself be swept up in a one so frequent African storm, saved only by Doctor Ferguson’s ingenuity for aeronautics, Joe- ever the optimist lending a helping hand as she traversed the barren desert 🏜 of her own journey , and the intrepid hunter Kennedy cracking jokes and shooting his rifle at the inhabitants and beasts below (as he so often does to protect the balloon). No doubt they would all be in awe of her leather-bound she refused to surrender (because after all, how would she even get back to her own reality without the aid of her Jules Verne collection?) 

She could technically go months if not years page hoping from one story to the next, an entire bookshelf’s worth of novels at her disposal. 

Just like I escaped through the pages of my dreams – and imagined how wonderful it was to be surrounded by constant adventure…

Right now I’m still lost somewhere in a giant hot air balloon suspended in space, barely touching the horizon, resting above the clouds spread out like a furry white throw caught in the rays of the early sun ☀️ there’s no need to come back to reality just yet… 

Everything aside, I found myself laughing out loud at their anecdotes and wondering how amazing it would be to travel (with the right expert to guide you of course) across deserted plains & forests in a hot air balloon avoiding disease, illness, battles & quite frankly~ other people on the ground…

They met many obstacles but otherwise it was smooth sailing watching all the drama unfold below. But just being a quiet observer above, what did they truly miss?  🤔 Kennedy could vouch for that, no hunting for him, but sometimes it’s important to be in the thick of things to really experience all life has to offer…

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*Sneak Peak!* My Book Cover

cover final_s (1)Thanks to the very talented Bonnie for my wonderful book cover design! The novel is called “Caskets of Ice”.

If you have any questions, or think I should release a preliminary chapter (or two!) out into the blog- world, then please feel free to comment below! Here is a link to Bonnie’s page so you can check out her other illustrations and general awesomeness:

http://bonniepang.weebly.com/

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