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I’m in the process of re-reading Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series for the 3rd time. Usually, I dislike re-reading books but this series is my first exception. This is telling about how talented this author is for me to feel the compulsion to grab and explore again and again this series. Mrs. Singh has truly created an ensemble series, scattering pieces and hints throughout each book that make sense in several later books. So I need to re-read and try to catch the clues I missed before.

Today, I was trying to imagine what cardinal eyes could look like. But my imagination wasn’t providing me appealing visuals. I kept picturing the kind of black demonic eyes (no whites, just wholly black) we see in TV shows with evil creatures or possessed humans.

And then, I stumbled upon this page:
http://www.boredpanda.com/blind-owl-starry-eyes-zeus-wildlife-learning-center/
And so I went to the source site:
http://www.wildlifelearningcenter.org/zeus-the-blind-owl/

My goodness! This owl’s eyes are stunningly beautiful!
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I couldn’t believe it at first. It is a bit sad that Zeus is blind but at the same time, it’s heartwarming that he was rescued and can now live protected, safe and sound. It’s not freedom. But in the wild, this “defective” creature would have died long ago due to its handicap.

Now, I can better understand the stupefaction and fascination and wonder the characters in the Psy/Changeling series must feel when looking into cardinal eyes…

Looking through my Harlequin raws collection, one artist makes me ache for another mangaka terribly.

I miss you so much, Takashima-sensei.

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The BL community lost a great artist when she went on hiatus so many years ago. I used to think that should she not have suffered the trouble she had met, she would have become one of the top BL artists, maybe in the same league as Yamane Ayano-sensei. And Yamane-sama is my ultimate reference for the BL genre!

I’m so very sad that Last Client will likely never get the end it deserves.
‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚

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Takashima Kazusa-san proved with this manga how good she was with drama, adult themes, heavy angst and bloody action.

I miss you, Takashima-sensei. 。゚・(>﹏<)・゚。

Please, could you check the inbox of the email address listed at your official site or have a look for PM at your forum?

This month’s releases have started to to be out. Wait a few more days to find them listed at amazon and other ebookstores later.

Week 1

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Well, we continue with the de Burghs, though it’s still not the first or second story of the series. There are others series along that are resumed, and we get the conclusion to the Castaldini trilogy. All in all, this batch looks nice to me.

Week 2

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What a huge release today. Some of them I already have as raws. Among those I don’t know yet, I can’t wait to read the adaptations by Takayama-sensei, Mao-sensei and Uesugi-sensei.

Week 3

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I already read Vengeance is Mine in French. It was published years ago as an anthology of 2 stories, the other one being Enchantment in Venice, illustrated by the same mangaka. Despite my utter dislike of this artist’s art style, I clearly remember enjoying Enchantment in Venice, and hating Vengeance is Mine.
So this week, we get the end of Finding Mr. Right series, resume a sheikh theme series and start the Moretti legacy. I’m more interested in Senke Yu’s book in this set.

Week 4

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Not much to say about this week’s releases. Except for one manga (because dead fish eyes and microscopic mouth with botox lips don’t appeal to me visually), I think I’ll buy most of them.

Week 5

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Nice releases this week. We’re resuming the Kolovsky series as well as the Monte Carlo Affairs. All artists of this set have nice arts, some better than others. The Boss’s Inexperienced Secretary seems very fun. Will buy this one first.

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HQcA Secret Disgrace
By Penny Jordan & INOUE Emiko

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And this month first releases are out. Wait a few more days to find them listed at amazon and other ebookstores later.

Week 1
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Finally, we get to read the conclusion to the Russian Rivals duet. I’ve been waiting so long for this one. I see that the publisher is resuming the Lords of the Underwold series, but for some reason, they’ve skipped Sabin’s story. Ah, the reading order is not their forte — like many publishers — as I can see. But then, it’s not such a bad thing because I do think the art for The Darkest Whisper disturbingly weird. There are lots of new series. So I’m hoping the publisher won’t let us wait too long for them to be completed too.

Week 2
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Um… Not much interested in artists from this week’s releases. I’ll have to rely on authors I usually appreciate.

Week 3
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Alright, the publisher finished the Payback affairs series, resume The lords of the underworld — whatever you may say, I hate Fuyuki-san’s chara design for Darkest Whisper — and started the de Burghs — I love the novel series, I don’t like much Hidaka-san’s drawings, what a waste of good stories! Regarding the de Burghs series, they’ve released the 3rd story today. I often say, why start by the first book when you can begin by the second, third or even the last! LOL

I’m mostly pleased by the release of Twelve nights of Christnmas. I bought the raws last Christmas and really enjoyed what I could see, wanted so much for it to be translated. Now, my wish has come true.

Week 4
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The last batch of releases for this month is rather interesting. We get new series and the publisher has translated the latest manga for the Lords of the Underworld series — sadly, there’s no more until a new book is adapted in Japanese.

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HQcClaiming His Chirstmas Bride

By Carole Mortimer & MAKI Akemi

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Harlequin and Romance comics

If you don’t know yet, I’m addicted to manga adaptations based on American/British romance novels.
I’ve made a list HERE of some raws sitting on my HD for now. I used to have more Harlequin comics raws but after several HD crashes, half of them were lost.
If you’re feeling like scanlating an untranslated manga from the list, you can request the raws HERE.

I haven’t tidied my room for New Year’s. Bad me! I’ll do it for the Chinese New Year’s day. I don’t care for yuletide — this time of the year is just depressing me. I couldn’t sleep at night for about a week, dozing most of the day. I sure don’t get enough rest. Don’t know if it’s anxiety or a ghost playing tricks on me. And if you ask, yes, I believe in ghosts, angels, demons, witches, etc. Maybe I should go to mass again. I can’t remember last time I attended church, maybe it was over 10 years ago.

I’m bored, waiting for time to pass.

Today, what was my special dinner? I didn’t have lunch, wasn’t hungry then. Tonight, I ate rice, steamed cabbage with a sauce made of boiled egg and nuoc mam. And because I was still a bit hungry an hour ago, I made myself a plain pork rillettes sandwich. The fancier thing I prepared for myself was hot cocoa with a hint of cinnamom and with soy milk as I try to avoid dairies. But from time to time, I still can’t resist buying croissants or pains aux raisins at the baker’s… and there’s an aerosol of whipped cream in the fridge, still untouched for now but I’ll succomb to its creaminess call soon. Gah!

Out of boredom, I listed my purchases of the month for BL manga ebooks. Wow! I’ve busted my budget this week. I’ve never bought that much BL mangas within a week in the past. But I wanted to make use of booksonboard holiday season promotions, so I paid about half the price of those ebooks — in fact, a little less than half their prices thanks to BoB rewards and extra discounts.

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Et encore du Barbara Cartland pour poursuivre ma série de souhaits.

Barbara Cartland

Titre anglais : Touch a star
Titre du roman en français : Rêver aux étoiles
Auteur : Barbara Cartland
Artiste : Hibiki Sakuraya
Genre : Historique
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Je connaissais les Harlequin comics, mais je ne savais pas que l’éditeur japonais Ohzora Shuppan publiait également des adaptations de romances d’autres éditeurs anglo-saxons sous la collection Romance comics (Rc). Voilà qui me réjouit et accroît encore mon intérêt pour ces manga romance. Si pour le moment, mon coeur palpite pour les romances passionnées et sensuelles, voire érotiques, je me suis rappelée que quelques mois plus tôt, une camarade du forum des Romantiques avait demandé des recommandations manga romance pour sa fille adolescente.

Vu mon âge, je suis davantage intéressée par les Ladies et josei avec une pointe de cochonceté. Ce n’est pas que je sois contre les shoujo, mais très peu sont vraiment à mon goût. Lorsque j’ai commencé à les lire, de par mon attirance certaine pour les shoujo avec plus ou moins de sexe — plutôt plus que moins —, la perception de la sexualité dans la plupart de ces manga me mettait déjà un peu mal à l’aise. On a l’impression de retrouver l’esprit des romances d’avant les années 80 — héros alpha obtus et souvent brutal, héroïne soumise façon serpillère, thème du viol prépondérant et normalisé —, sauf que dans ces shoujo, on a affaire à des collégiennes ou lycéennes alors que dans la grosse majorité des romans occidentaux de type romance, les héroïnes sont majeures. Mais bon, je ne vais pas débattre ici de la maturité du lectorat et des spécificités culturelles de chacun.

Dengeki Daisy
Pour en revenir à nos moutons, lorsque ma camarade Romantique a demandé des suggestions de romance manga pour sa fille, j’ai été bien en peine de citer un titre coquin qui aurait mon adhésion, le seul me venant immédiatement en tête — bien qu’il n’y ait pas de sexe mais que je recommande quel que soit votre âge — étant Dengeki Daisy de Motomi Kyousuke, mangaka dont les oeuvres sont des bouffées d’oxygène dans la vaste production des shoujo standards.

Limited LoversNB : Maintenant que la série Limited Lovers de Yamada Keiko est disponible en français, je la recommande aux amateurs de romance. Il y a une petite pointe de sexe, l’histoire est assez classique mais elle a l’originalité de traiter du handicap, et l’héroïne lycéenne est fantastique de force et de détermination. Voilà un shoujo mature et romantique qui emporte toute mon adhésion !

Sur le moment, j’avais déploré l’absence en France de choix en manga romance pour adolescents. J’entends par là que ce qui existe sur le marché, c’est du shoujo innocent ou coquin, mettant en scène des collégiennes/lycéennes. Sinon, pour trouver un peu de sexe, il reste les shoujo matures, ou à la limite les josei et seinen. Mais les adolescents lisent moins les 2 derniers genres. Et de toute façon, comparativement à un roman d’amour, le shoujo mature, le josei et le seinen sont souvent bien prise de tête ou pire, finissent mal.

D’où en apprenant l’existence d’adaptations manga des Barbara Cartland (BC), j’ai vite entamé des recherches. Pour moi, dame Barbara appartient au genre sentimental, en quelque sorte l’étape intermédiaire entre le conte de fée et le genre romance à proprement parler. On a chez elle tous les éléments de la romance sous un aspect plus ingénu, plus idéalisé et le sexe adopte une forme pudiquement suggérée. C’est pourquoi je suis d’avis que ces manga constitueraient d’excellents shoujo d’initiation à la romance.

Sur les 3 livres que je vais présenter dans ce billet, je crois n’en avoir lu aucun, sauf peut-être A world of love/A l’ombre de ton coeur qui me dit vaguement quelque chose mais je n’en jurerais pas. Dame Barbara ayant publié plus de 800 romans, quand on en a lu beaucoup comme ce fût mon cas à l’adolescence, on finit par tous les confondre et au final, les oublier… à part peut-être une dizaine d’entre eux que l’on retient parce que particulièrement originaux par rapport au style habituel de l’auteur ou juste parce qu’ils sont inoubliables.

Barbara Cartland

Titre anglais : A world of love
Titre du roman en français : A l’ombre de ton coeur
Auteur : Barbara Cartland
Artiste : Kyouko Sagara
Genre : Historique
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Ces derniers jours, comme j’écoutais en boucle quelques chansons avec des samples d’opéra, ce n’est que hier que je me suis souvenue qu’autrefois, était diffusée sur Arte cette mini-série d’animation de l’Opéra Imaginaire. Je raffolais de ces clips vidéos et c’est avec cette série que j’ai ensuite voulu voir un opéra complet pour la première fois.

Cela me fait drôle après quelques recherches de voir que cette série a été réalisée en 1993. Cependant, l’animation n’a rien perdu de son charme alors que nous sommes désormais en 2008.

Mes morceaux préférés sont ceux de la Traviata, avec la pâte à modeler — je ne me lasse pas de le voir — et Lakmé avec ses superbes images de synthèse, dont je vous ai mis quelques captures d’écran à la fin du message ainsi que le lien pour visionner les 12 vidéos de la série.

Lately, I’ve been listening over and over again a few songs with samplings from operas and it’s only yesterday I remembered that mini animated series, Opéra Imaginaire, which aired on Arte in the past. I was crazy about those clips and it was because of that series I wanted afterward to go see for the first time a whole opera.

It feels odd after some searching to realize it was produced in 1993. Even now on 2008, the animation hasn’t lost any of its charm.

My favorite pieces are the Traviata one with modeling clay—I never tire of it—and the Lakmé piece with the superbs CGI. See for yourselves under the cut.

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