The Fairest Of Them All: Beauty and the Beast (2.0)

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Welcome my lovelies, to the first installment in my new mini blog-series: “Fairest Of Them All”! I hope you’re ready for spellbinding magic, timeless romance, heart stopping adventure, and even a touch of mortal peril as we travel through the stories that truly never die. In each new Fairest Of Them All post, we’ll delve into a new fairy tale and I’ll reveal my favorite versions, both in film and in print! (Although my favorite fairy tale show Once Upon a Time will not be featured in this series, mainly because they’ve already gotten a few posts of their own and have more coming, but also because I’d basically be writing the same thing on every post which is I LOVE ONCE UPON A TIME!!! So just trust me on this now, if you have a favorite fairy tale, watch OUAT because chances are it’s on the show and I ship it!)

Now, for this first Fairest post, I’ve chosen my favorite fairy tale of all time: Beauty and the Beast, a French fairytale written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, which tells the tale of a young woman who finds the truest of love in the heart of a beastly man…

I first came across this story like countless others of my generation: by watching the Disney animated version, which was released today actually, back in 1991. I instantly fell in love with the notion of a bookish, strong-willed woman intent on saving her father by taking his place in the palace of what she thinks is a monster. Theirs wasn’t a story of love at first sight, more like loathing perhaps, or maybe even fear, but still, this is a love story where the love has to be worked for, to be earned. In the end the Beast is made a better man by loving Belle, and Belle learns the power and reward of trusting her heart instead of her eyes. Both of these characters feel the effects of isolation, both yearn for more, they’re relatable, and their story is nothing short of powerful!

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Fairest Of Them All:

Books:

1) Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley — My favorite retelling of my favorite story, this book is exactly what I want when I want to relive Belle and the Beast’s story: a strong sense of family, seclusion, isolation, new beginnings, sweet romance, a touch of mystery, and one heck of a library! This wondrous adaption has enough “real world” in it to make it believable but still enough magic left to render it charmingly fairy tale-esque. Beauty is bookish, resolute, and pragmatic and when she enters the Beast’s enchanted world her fear and stress is palpable, but so is her bravery. She’s a marvelous character to read and I just love her for being so genuine. Not to be outdone though, the Beast is cryptically wonderful, a reformed gentleman who isn’t given to the outbursts of temper usually displayed by other “Beasts”, which is refreshing in a way. Not that he doesn’t have a little gruffness and stubbornness to him…he’s not that reformed!

9780064404778

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2) Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier — This is a darker version of the classic tale, with an Irish twist that I truly enjoy (even though it creeps the bejeezus out of me…seriously). Belle is now Caitrin, a runaway young woman with a dark past, fleeing to the safety of isolation, though she knows nowhere is safe, what’s coming for her will never stop. After an exhausting journey, she happens upon Whistling Tor, a castle with ghostly secrets, and Anluan, a chieftain who both frightens her and intrigues her. But Anluan’s world may be even more dangerous than those she ran from before, but there’s a mystery to be solved, a job to be done, and a wager she is determined to win. Juliet Marillier is one of the best writers I’ve ever come across and there will be more of her work later on in the “Fairest” series, but this story is truly a work of art. It’s terrifying and yet mesmerizing and I recommend it for anyone who likes their fairy tales with a dash of darkness and death.

HeartsBlood_3900

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3) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — I’ve always seen a close connection between the Beauty and the Beast story and that of wild impetuous Cathy Earnshaw and the scintillating and dangerously captivating Heathcliff. Granted Cathy is less polished that the normal Belle, and much less of a good person, and goodness knows Heathcliff is far more deadly and violent than any other Beast, but their love is still just as powerful, just as evocative. I would say this is a Beauty and the Beast story where everything goes wrong, where Belle chooses the wrong man, and the Beast destroys her for it.

Movies:

1) Beauty and the Beast (Disney 1991) — I don’t think this one needs any explanation really, it’s 100% Disney magic at it’s best and if you haven’t seen it WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR?!!!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) — This Andrew Llyod Webber musical is actually based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux, but it’s the musical itself that I recommend for fairy tale lovers as the book is lovely, but not one of my favorites. Much like Wuthering Heights, I can’t help but see many similarities between this story and my favorite fairy tale: a beautiful young girl, a deformed man, a love that cannot be suppressed… See what I mean? But once again I like to think of this as an example of what happens when people make the wrong choice. This is what happens when Belle rejects her Beast out of fear and the Beast refuses to take no for an answer.

poto2-jpg

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3) Wuthering Heights — I adore the mini-series version from PBS Masterpiece released in 2009 with Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley,  it’s lush, haunting, maddening, and well worth watching my lovelies!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

4) La Belle et la Bete — I’ve mentioned my love for this Beauty and the Beast adaptation before and really it’s just as wonderful as I said it was. This 2014 French rendition is absolutely gorgeous, just a sparkling feast for the eyes, and the visual effects are stunning! If you want full on fairy tale grandeur at it’s best, look no further, this film is perfect!!! (And it’s on YouTube, just make sure you look for one with English subtitles!)

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Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Beauty and the Beast (2017 Live Action) — This movie had epic hopes and dreams placed upon it before  I even walked in the theaters my lovelies. I mean let’s be honest, I’ve waited YEARS to see this thing (I was writing about it back in March of 2015 for crying out loud)! And it was WORTH IT!!! This beautiful, magical, epic film was everything I ever wanted it to be and more! I literally started crying ten minutes in and couldn’t leave the theaters until ten minutes after the movie ended because I was just flat out happy sobbing. No joke. I have no idea why it made me so emotional, but I loved every minute of it and I’m so happy and thankful that this version exists now 😀 The costuming, the music, the visuals, everything was just so spot-on and fun and I cannot wait to see it again. Plus the Beast’s song (Evermore) just broke my heart and has been on repeat ever since I left the theater! Happy sigh…

Just chilling on the staircase with Cogsworth…

And there you have it my lovelies, all my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations and recommendations! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the “Fairest Of Them All” series and remember to keep an eye out for the next one which will be coming soon!

What did you think of my picks my lovelies, did I leave any of your favorites out? Is there a fairy tale you’d like to see featured next? Let me know!

For more information about the origins of the Beauty and the Beast story click here. And remember:

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

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Promises and Excuses

Well my lovelies, I’m chalking up this latest blogging break to unexpected computer issues, the added pressure of a new job, and my own personal reasons, but suffice it to say, I’m back!!! I’m so sorry for getting behind in reading and responding to all your wonderful posts on your blogs and as well as the comments and feedback you’ve given me here, but I’m up and typing and busy getting back down to blogging buisness! So thank you for the tags, nominations, and flat out patience, I promise to get to them all in time, along with my own posts of course. And I’m writing the next installments in the Fairest series and the Ratha James story now, so expect to see them soon!

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Thanks again my lovelies and I’ll post again soon!

 

Once Upon a Time Moments: Season Four

Alright my lovelies, it’s time to delve back into one of my all-time favorite shows: Once Upon a Time!!! I’ve been trying to keep up with season five online (which is a bit of a nightmare really, I’m not used to dealing with commercials and weeklong breaks!) but I’m still reeling from all the shocks and surprises of season four and believe me, there were many! So let’s get to it!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Moonstonemaiden’s Favorite OUAT Season Four Moments:

1) When Snow lost her cool! – Or as I like to call it, the epic “Buy a flashlight!” moment, this is hands down the funniest moment in all of season four! It’s too much, really, just watch and see for yourselves:

2) When Hook had a cellphone – A 2oo year old pirate with a modern technical device…um yeah, let the hilarity ensue! The fact that Hook eventually broke down and revealed his complete cluelessness to Elsa had me laughing up a storm. But you know, kudos for trying Killian!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

3) When Elsa trusted Emma – Yay for this epic friendship! Emma seriously needs someone her age with powers that she can relate to and although I love her bestie-ship with Regina, it’s really Elsa who understands Emma’s fear concerning her magic. And when Elsa braves the danger and takes Emma’s hand I just adore her! Here’s hoping we get more of Arendelle royalty in upcoming seasons!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

4) The Spell of Shattered Sight – Not only was it gut-wrenching to see all my favorite couples and friends separate out of fear of harming those they loved most,  but it was also unexpectedly hilarious. I wasn’t sure whether to be teary with all the goodbyes (Hook/Emma and Robin/Regina anyone!) or to laugh my butt off when Snow and Charming started bickering over how to swaddle a baby and if the stroller was really under warranty! But perhaps the best bit was Snow and Regina’s all-out battle in the police station and their subsequent laugh-fest once the spell wore off and they realized what was happening!

5) When Emma Loved Ingrid -I thought the whole backstory of Emma and Ingrid was incredibly moving. It’s so nice to know that Emma had at least one loving family situation in her youth, and even though Ingrid was flawed, you could see the love between them. I think they would have made a wonderful family if things had turned out differently, and it makes me wonder how different their lives might have been.

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

6) When Anna spoke her vows – I loved Anna in this show, she was just so outrageously adorable, but when she said her vows to Kristoff as they came closer and closer to drowning, I almost lost it. To see her actually lose hope was shocking and so very moving, and yes I am actually tearing up as I type this! If nothing else, this proved just how much she truly loved Kristoff — who, I must add, I ADORED in this show!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

7) When the Snow Queen sacrificed herself – Ingrid was one of those characters I didn’t care for a first and then ended up loving, so when she gave her life so that the town could live, it broke my heart! She just wanted the love of her family and forgiveness and really who doesn’t want these two things?! Between the music in the background and the little montage of her joining her sisters as children again, as though given a second chance, I was basically a weepy mess on the end of the couch.

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

8) When Hook tried to warn Emma – For the love of all that is magical Rumple, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH YOU?! Stealing Hook’s heart and using him to help with nefarious deeds is not cool! But when Hook grabbed Emma’s hand and tried to communicate via their love I just about melted!

9) When Belle banished Rumple – What the Hell Rumple?!!! Sorry, but basically this wasn’t the best season for Rumbelle lovers considering Rumple had a backwards slide into darkness, but when Belle forced him to the town-line and then OUT of Storybrooke, I FREAKED!!! What was happening?! Rumple had been doing so well and then wham, out of the blue his darker tendencies creep back out and now he’s gone?! AGHHHHHH!!!No one messes with my Rumbelle!!!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

10) When the heroes faced their inner-darkness – One thing I did enjoy (as painful as it was) was all the moments when the Heroes finally battled their own inner-evils. Belle was the first, revealing that she’d selfishly not helped Anna in time, then Charming and Snow revealed the horrible truth of what they did to ensure that Emma was born good. Emma mourned the loss of a long-ago friend she’d pushed aside, and even Regina (now firmly a hero in my book) flirted with the idea of returning to her dark ways. I think it’s important to show that these great icons faltered along the way, they aren’t just 100% good all the time. They make horrible, life-altering mistakes, but they do their best to pick themselves up and make the world a better place.

11) When Ursula sang – Considering Ursula is my favorite Disney Villain(ess) ever, I was ecstatic to see her brought to the show for more than that one episode in season three (when Regina pretended to be her). Ursula’s backstory is another example of the writers of the show playing around with the fairy tales origin stories and creating something new but yet recognizable! I love that Ursula was basically Ariel (or a pre-Ariel) and that she and Hook had a semi-sweet history together.

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

You know… before Hook stole her singing voice (to get back at her human-hating and blackmailing dad) and pissed her the HELL off!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

12) When Zelena revealed herself – Marian’s not real!!! I’ve never been so happy to see the end of a OUAT character lol!I mean, not that I’m not sad that Zelena killed the real Marian and took her place and all, but as a Outlaw Queen fan, let me just say: thank goodness Zelena’s back! I was starting to freak out there that another one of my couples was going to be cruelly split apart, so as much as I wanted to kick Zelena’s butt for interfering , I was also so happy to see her and not Marian!

13) When Maleficent met her daughter – I was so happy to see Maleficent back this season in all her stylish glory, but witnessing her emotional journey to be reunited with her daughter (Emma’s pushed away friend) Lily (who was inadvertently lost after Snow and Charming cursed her with all of Emma’s darkness) was one of my favorite parts of this season. I love the two of them together, how Maleficent was the perfect person to love Lily, even despite her darkness, and I look forward to seeing more of them as Maleficent teaches her daughter all about being a “scary dragon bitch”.

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

14) When Regina fought for happiness – Considering the devastation Regina can unleash when her happiness is taken from her (the entirety of seasons one and two anyone?), I was so thrilled to see her stand up and fight for her right to be happy. She doesn’t give up, or turn dark, or curse anyone, but finally takes matter into her own hands the right way! Go Regina!!!

15) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – This was a cute throwback to one of Disney’s most well known films, and it was nice seeing it make it’s mark in Once Upon a Time’s history. And the sorcerer himself has me wondering…

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

16) When August returned – YES!!! How I’ve missed my favorite motorcycle riding puppet-man! There for a time I was rooting for him and Emma in season one, but now I think they are simply the best besties ever (other than my own bestie that is)! August is just so good for Emma, he’s pretty much perfect friend material and I love that their bond had Hook worried (although needlessly). But now that he’s returned he needs to stay put! But then, Pinocchio is not one to be tamed and tethered!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

17) When Disney was an Author – Not only did August deliver one of the best OUAT speeches ever, but he also revealed that Disney himself was an Author back in the day! How awesome is that?! Please excuse me as I sit here and SQUEE!!!

18) When Henry went into the book – It’s about time Henry got to have an adventure and be the hero! He demonstrated just how great he would be to have around in the Enchanted Forest and finally got to join his family inside a fairy tale book (albeit a dark one)!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

19) When Hook was a sweet coward – He may be the cutest, sweetest, most romantic, goat’s-milk drinking coward ever and I just adored him and his flirtatious interactions with Emma! When she was teaching him how to sword-fight I nearly swooned, but when he died to protect her and Henry I about lost it. I know it was all in an alternate universe, but watching Hook die was heart wrenching!

20) When Emma said “I love you” – Emma’s fear was palpable when she desperately searched for Killian after returning to Storybrooke, and their reunion one of their sweetest moments ever, but it was when she finally admitted that she loved him that had me keeling over from all the feels. It took three seasons and three alternate Hooks before she could say it, but she said it! No take backs!!!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

21) When Emma became the Dark One – Thanks to spoilers on Facebook (grrr) I knew this was coming, but watching it happen nearly ripped my heart out. But as sad as it was, I love that Emma did it to save Regina and that Regina can finally see just how much she means to Emma. And considering Emma’s darkness had been stripped away before birth, I think this will be an interesting thing for the Savior of Storybrooke to deal with. But oh, the heartache of her being ripped from her family and Hook!!!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

22) The progression of Captain Swan – In one word: perfection. The show really gave Hook and Emma the time to forge something real after that epic season three finale kiss and I couldn’t be more appreciative! It wasn’t all roses and sunshine for Captain Swan, but they push forward TOGETHER and I just LOVE them like crazy!!! From date nights:

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To epic reunion hugs, they are simple the best!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

23) Henry and his ever-growing family – With two kickass  stepdad-figures like Hook and Robin Hood, and two powerful mothers like Regina and Emma, plus the epicness of his father Bae, grandparents including Snow White, Charming, Rumple, and Belle (she’s his step-grandmother and I totally count this!), a possible step-brother (little Roland), and a brand-new uncle (baby Neal), Henry is surrounded by a loving, complicated, all-encompassing family and I LOVE IT!!! He’s has gone from the little unloved boy (well, he felt unloved anyway) to a teenager surrounded by people who love him more than anything and it just makes my heart so happy! This is the dream people!!!

And there you have it my lovelies, my favorite moments from season four! What were your favorite moments, did I miss any on this list? Do you have a favorite OUAT couple or bestie-ship? Let me know!

And don’t forget to check out my favorite moments from season one, two and three!

The Fairest Of Them All: Beauty and the Beast

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Welcome my lovelies, to the first installment in my new mini blog-series: “Fairest Of Them All”! I hope you’re ready for spellbinding magic, timeless romance, heart stopping adventure, and even a touch of mortal peril as we travel through the stories that truly never die. In each new Fairest Of Them All post, we’ll delve into a new fairy tale and I’ll reveal my favorite versions, both in film and in print! (Although my favorite fairy tale show Once Upon a Time will not be featured in this series, mainly because they’ve already gotten a few posts of their own and have more coming, but also because I’d basically be writing the same thing on every post which is I LOVE ONCE UPON A TIME!!! So just trust me on this now, if you have a favorite fairy tale, watch OUAT because chances are it’s on the show and I ship it!)

Now, for this first Fairest post, I’ve chosen my favorite fairy tale of all time: Beauty and the Beast, a French fairytale written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, which tells the tale of a young woman who finds the truest of love in the heart of a beastly man…

I first came across this story like countless others of my generation: by watching the Disney animated version, which was released today actually, back in 1991. I instantly fell in love with the notion of a bookish, strong-willed woman intent on saving her father by taking his place in the palace of what she thinks is a monster. Theirs wasn’t a story of love at first sight, more like loathing perhaps, or maybe even fear, but still, this is a love story where the love has to be worked for, to be earned. In the end the Beast is made a better man by loving Belle, and Belle learns the power and reward of trusting her heart instead of her eyes. Both of these characters feel the effects of isolation, both yearn for more, they’re relatable, and their story is nothing short of powerful!

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Fairest Of Them All:

Books:

1) Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley — My favorite retelling of my favorite story, this book is exactly what I want when I want to relive Belle and the Beast’s story: a strong sense of family, seclusion, isolation, new beginnings, sweet romance, a touch of mystery, and one heck of a library! This wondrous adaption has enough “real world” in it to make it believable but still enough magic left to render it charmingly fairy tale-esque. Beauty is bookish, resolute, and pragmatic and when she enters the Beast’s enchanted world her fear and stress is palpable, but so is her bravery. She’s a marvelous character to read and I just love her for being so genuine. Not to be outdone though, the Beast is cryptically wonderful, a reformed gentleman who isn’t given to the outbursts of temper usually displayed by other “Beasts”, which is refreshing in a way. Not that he doesn’t have a little gruffness and stubbornness to him…he’s not that reformed!

9780064404778

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2) Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier — This is a darker version of the classic tale, with an Irish twist that I truly enjoy (even though it creeps the bejeezus out of me…seriously). Belle is now Caitrin, a runaway young woman with a dark past, fleeing to the safety of isolation, though she knows nowhere is safe, what’s coming for her will never stop. After an exhausting journey, she happens upon Whistling Tor, a castle with ghostly secrets, and Anluan, a chieftain who both frightens her and intrigues her. But Anluan’s world may be even more dangerous than those she ran from before, but there’s a mystery to be solved, a job to be done, and a wager she is determined to win. Juliet Marillier is one of the best writers I’ve ever come across and there will be more of her work later on in the “Fairest” series, but this story is truly a work of art. It’s terrifying and yet mesmerizing and I recommend it for anyone who likes their fairy tales with a dash of darkness and death.

HeartsBlood_3900

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3) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — I’ve always seen a close connection between the Beauty and the Beast story and that of wild impetuous Cathy Earnshaw and the scintillating and dangerously captivating Heathcliff. Granted Cathy is less polished that the normal Belle, and much less of a good person, and goodness knows Heathcliff is far more deadly and violent than any other Beast, but their love is still just as powerful, just as evocative. I would say this is a Beauty and the Beast story where everything goes wrong, where Belle chooses the wrong man, and the Beast destroys her for it.

Movies:

1) Beauty and the Beast (Disney 1991) — I don’t think this one needs any explanation really, it’s 100% Disney magic at it’s best and if you haven’t seen it WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR?!!!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

2) The Phantom of the Opera (Musical) — This Andrew Llyod Webber musical is actually based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux, but it’s the musical itself that I recommend for fairy tale lovers as the book is lovely, but not one of my favorites. Much like Wuthering Heights, I can’t help but see many similarities between this story and my favorite fairy tale: a beautiful young girl, a deformed man, a love that cannot be suppressed… See what I mean? But once again I like to think of this as an example of what happens when people make the wrong choice. This is what happens when Belle rejects her Beast out of fear and the Beast refuses to take no for an answer.

poto2-jpg

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3) Wuthering Heights — I adore the mini-series version from PBS Masterpiece released in 2009 with Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley,  it’s lush, haunting, maddening, and well worth watching my lovelies!

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Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

4) La Belle et la Bete — I’ve mentioned my love for this Beauty and the Beast adaptation before and really it’s just as wonderful as I said it was. This 2014 French rendition is absolutely gorgeous, just a sparkling feast for the eyes, and the visual effects are stunning! If you want full on fairy tale grandeur at it’s best, look no further, this film is perfect!!! (And it’s on YouTube, just make sure you look for one with English subtitles!)

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

And there you have it my lovelies, all my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptations and recommendations! I hope you enjoyed the first installment of the “Fairest Of Them All” series and remember to keep an eye out for the next one which will be coming soon!

What did you think of my picks my lovelies, did I leave any of your favorites out? Is there a fairy tale you’d like to see featured next? Let me know!

For more information about the origins of the Beauty and the Beast story click here. And remember:

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Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

The Importance Of Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have always been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember my lovelies, and I still content myself with revisiting childhood characters and wonderfully impossible stories whenever I get the chance. From the traditional Disney films, to old classic shows I watched as a child (Grimm’s Classic Fairy Tales!) to reinterpretations both in movie and book format, I just love the magic and simplistic beauty of a well-told fairy tale. The stories seem so cozy, like a blanket I can cuddle with whenever life gets to be too much.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

They tend to be intimate, in the sense that there aren’t a cavalcade of characters bustling in and out, but a select few that the audience is asked to bond with. And so the story is made that much stronger, when the characters ache, we ache, when they rejoice, we do. This links characters and readers together so strongly that their stories become a part of who we are and how we define ourselves.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Mermaid Image From Google.

Their setting can vary from a beautiful palace, to a secluded forest, or the ocean depths, but always there is a separateness, a sense of loneliness that beckons you in and makes you feel like you are an integral part of the tale itself, as though if you didn’t hear the ending, the characters would remain lost and broken forever. You make the story happen.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

The plots are magical, in ways that force you to put the dreariness of everyday life aside and believe – even if for only a moment — that magic and hope really do exist. But too often these stories are overlooked and considered childish because of their perceived unrealistic qualities. We’re told they hold impossible nonsense and that there are some dreams too big to come true, some stories too much to hope for.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

In the end we’re told these characters aren’t real, they aren’t as frail and human as others, and therefore their lessons are less important. But I don’t think there are stories more apt to show the beauty, truth, and depth of humanity than the tale of a mermaid who dreams about having an immortal soul, or a beauty that can see past disfigurement to acknowledge true love. These are truly the stories to admire. These are the stories that live forever.

*Originally posted on 9/30/2014

La Belle et la Bete

Hello my lovelies, hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday evening so far! Mine had been delightful I have to say, I finally got to hold my five month old little cousin, er well, he’s my cousin’s baby, so I don’t know what exactly that makes him to me really. A second cousin? Or first cousin once-removed maybe? Ancestry am I right. Either way, I finally at long last got to hold him )I was horridly sick when he was first born and every time I’ve seen him since, others have stolen him away first so I was forced to wait lol) and he is just the cutest little bundle of smiles ever, and considering I am not a baby person, it’s safe to say he really is just that awesome 😀 But all the familial loveliness aside, this post is really about an incredibly beautiful film I discovered a few weekends back that I wanted to share with you all called La Belle et la Bete, a 2014 French rendition of my favorite fairy-tale of all time: Beauty and the Beast.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

I’d heard about this film a year or so ago and found it on YouTube a few months back, but I didn’t actually sit down and watch it until about three weeks ago, and let me just sat…WOW! Seriously, just wow. It was so worth the three hours I spent watching it, even though it paused every five seconds on YouTube (because my Wi-Fi hates me unfortunately), I mean I just couldn’t look away. Every second of every frame is just breathtaking. No exaggeration. No hyperbole. Just awesomeness. Don’t believe me? Check out the trailer for yourself and see what I mean: (note: this trailer has English dubbing but the movie itself is in French with English subtitles, just so there’s no confusion later!)

See what I mean? Doesn’t it look just wonderfully amazing?! And trust me, it so is! And the sparklies…for the love of all that glitters, the sparklies my lovelies! Even the light glows and sparkles at times, and then there are literal sparklies floating hypnotically all-over the place at times! Perfection? Yes!

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

With the lush costumes, jewel-time colors, stunning romantic scenery, and incredibly talented actors, this film is just a marvel for the eye. I even forgot the aggravation I usually feel when forced to read subtitles throughout an entire film. Within minutes, I was happily drinking in the beauty of the French language, feeling that it only added to the magical, unattainable allure of the enchanting masterpiece. And the Beast himself if created and brought to life so artistically and yet so realistically it’s astounding. This whole production has really raised the bar for my expectations of the live-action Disney version coming out in 2017! My only little quibble storyline wise is that I feel like Belle and the Beast did not get to spend adequate time together, getting to know one another and forging that absolute need for one another. But the chemistry between the actors and the heartbreaking mythological twist to the story almost fully makes up for this lack in bonding.

And there was no library, but really, I think the ballroom makes up for the lack of books, almost. I really enjoyed the dancing scenes, the tension and desire between Belle and the Beast really came through wonderfully as they swept across the black and gold ballroom-floor. Though I would have liked to have seen a library in this gorgeous, rose-strewn castle!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Overall, this is one movie I desperately want to buy now and add to my own collection! Sadly the French DVD does not work with American DVD players, so I have to find one that will work here and hopefully soon, because as wonderful as it was on YouTube (blurry thanks to my Wi-Fi) I’m sure it will be 100 times better with the clarity and crispness of a DVD! And while I was looking it up, I discovered three different and excruciatingly beautiful covers, and now I don’t know which one I want more! Is it sad that I really want all three? They’re just so pretty!

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Bing. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What do you think my lovelies, does this look like something you’d enjoy? Have you seen it and if so what did you think? And which cover would you choose if you could one pick one? Let me know in the comments! 😀

A Rose Bound

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

A Rose Bound

In the labyrinth there’s a castle,

where a bed of roses lie,

thick and bright and color-strewn,

arching turrets to the sky.

***

I see you there, in my sleeping mind,

a shadow in the brightest light,

cloaked in crimson, rich as blood,

beckoning me in from coming night.

***

Come to me, come to me,

your voice echoes low on the wind,

come to me, come to  me,

to our story now, we must tend.

***

Come to me, run to me,

gasping, my heart begins to pound,

come to me, find love with me,

become the rose to which I’m bound.

Once Upon a Time Moments: Season Three

Hello again my lovelies, I hope you’re having an absolutely lovely Monday so far, I’m quite thankful for the sunshine myself 😀 I’m so tired of grey dreary days, bring on the sunlight!

(In case you missed them, here’s my Once Upon a Time Season One and Season Two moments.)

I’m sorry I’m a day late posting this, but epic-ness is worth waiting for right? So without further ado, I present to you:

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Moonstonemaiden’s Favorite OUAT Season Three Moments:

1) When Emma first kissed Hook- My GOD that kiss! Granted he had been waiting quite a while for a smooch, and boy did he get one! The way she just grabbed his jacket and pulled him closer… Phew, it’s hot in here 😀

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

2) When Emma’s secret is revealed- Just SOB!!! She just loves Bae so much and to have him repeatedly leave/die/return just tears her heart out and I can’t blame her for secretly hoping he really was dead, just so she can grieve and move on with her life. The fact that she had to tell this secret to Bae himself, just amped up the feels of this heartfelt moment.

3) When Emma danced with Charming and Hook- It was so sweet to see her dancing with her father (in Charming’s dream) and it was one of those: This is how it should have been moments that made me a little teary. Charming would have been a great father and neither of them had the chance to experience that as they both would have wanted. And later in the season when Hook leads her in a waltz, it was pretty much the sweetest thing ever! Sure, they have vital life-altering stuff they need to do (literally) but Hook makes sure to take the time to treat Emma like the Princess she really is and that’s just fine by me 😀

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

4) When Regina kept baby Henry- That’s right, Regina kept him EVEN AFTER finding out who his mother was and what that would mean for her in the future. After a little soul searching and a quick trip to the adoption agency, she realized that she loved Henry and she had to put his needs first, so she did what any responsible, loving mother would do…she whipped up a Forgetting Potion and chugged it while telling Henry a story of a mother and her “little prince”. You go Regina!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

5) The Midseason Finale- This whole freaking episode is one long, nail-biting favorite-filled moment for me that I absolutely LOVE (and cry over)! Not only does Rumple sacrifice his life for Bae and Belle and pretty much the whole town, but then we find out Storybrooke has to disappear and all the inhabitants are going back to the Enchanted Forest…except for Henry and Emma! (She gets out on the whole Savior technicality.) This family just found one another and now they’re being ripped apart again and to top it all off, Emma and Henry will have no memory of any of the others once it’s all over! Hook’s goodbye was so incredibly sweet and I was sitting there like: You can’t leave now…there’s something happening here!!! But it was watching her and Henry drive over the town line with the purple/green smoke swallowing up all of their family behind them that nearly sent me into hysterics.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

6) When Rumple comes back to life and saves Bae- So after I calmed down enough to realize you can’t keep a good Dark One down, I was sure Rumple would be back and sure enough, two episodes later my favorite pawnbroker was back on the scene and the first thing he does is choose his son’s life over the dagger that controls him. That’s right people, Rumple FINALLY learned his lesson and choose his son instead of himself! GO RUMPLE!

7) Bae’s Death- It just isn’t fair! Rumple learned his lesson, Emma remembered her family, and now Bae has to die?!!! The devastation and heartache on Emma and Rumple’s faces just ripped me to shreds, and I couldn’t help thinking: Not Bae, please not Bae, as Emma held him in her arms and he thanked his father for teaching him about true sacrifice…

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

8) When Zelena and Rumple “Kissed”- As a Rumbelle fan let me just say this… WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED HERE?!!! *clears throat politely* Sorry, but yeah. I understand what Rumple was doing (now) but at the time I was just flabbergasted and horrified. I’ve been waiting THREE seasons to see a Rumbelle moment like that and here he is nearly setting the kitchen on fire with ZELENA, the Wicked Witch! Desperate bid for escape or not, I demand a scene of equal or surpassing Rumbelle hotness in season four!

9) Regina and Robin- I would never have put these two together but now I can’t imagine the show without them! Really, the outlaw and the Evil Queen are just perfect together. They’re snarky and flirtatious and caring, and now one of my top four favorite couples on the show! And the fact that Robin has his son Roland and Regina has Henry just makes this cute little family perfect!!! All hail the Outlaw Queen!!!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

10) When Hook almost drowned- But, but he’s a pirate….it’s just you wouldn’t think of a pirate almost drowning right? Ironic much? But either way he did almost drown and I was surprised enough to let out a loud ladylike scream gasp of horror. Thank God Emma doesn’t hold a grudge long enough to let a good pirate die.

11) When Regina broke the curse- That’s right my lovelies, REGINA broke the curse in Storybrooke this time around and discovered Light Magic inside if herself in the process! I was so happy to see the lighter side of Regina this season, not that I don’t love her as The Evil Queen, but I really wanted to see her bond more with the other characters, and really see that true mother-son bond with Henry. Thank you season three for giving me both!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

12) When Snow crushed Charming’s heart- Yes, you read that right and no, Snow hasn’t turned evil, just desperate. The look on his face as he watched her crush his heart though…my God at the love and trust that resides in this man.

13) When Rumple asked Belle to marry him- This doesn’t totally make up for the Zelena/kitchen moment, but AHHHHH!!!! It’s about time and I’m so happy and I totally want to be a bridesmaid! While he did propose with a dagger instead of a ring (which my mother disapproved of) I thought it was a beautiful admission of love and trust. Rumple gave her not only his heart but his unyielding trust when he gave Belle that dagger (which controls him) and I couldn’t be prouder of him. ❤

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

14) When Rumple revealed the truth- Until five minutes later when he revealed he gave Belle a fake dagger… Sigh. Rumple my love, what am I going to do with you? Naughty minx 😉

15)  When Emma altered the past with Hook- Suffice it to say I ADORE the last two episodes of this season. They’re just so freaking adorable and really, Emma needed to see her parents’ story in real life to truly understand not only them, but herself and where she fits into this new life. And the fact that Hook follows Emma into that time-portal (after she was dragged into it unwillingly by the last bit of Zelena’s magic)  just makes me want to kiss him… you know, even more than usual.

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

16) When there were two Hooks-Ah the glorious possibilities of time-travel and sexy pirates! I love fact that not only does Emma have to seduce Past-Hook, but that Present-Hook gets totally jealous! I mean, it’s just so adorable how flustered he gets knowing Emma will be with his past self, knowing what a cad his past self is/was! ❤

17) When Rumple was confused- It’s not often we see Rumple at a loss, but this little moment after the tear-jerker that preceded it, was the perfect way to end our little jaunt into the past. Thanks for making me laugh Rumple, and for doing as Emma requested and forgetting the truth she just revealed about your son’s fate…I was worried just for a second there!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

18) When Marian returned- Ok I’m all for saving innocent people from an untimely death and really, I understand that Emma and Hook had no choice (after Emma saved her even though Hook told her not to) but to bring her to the future so she wouldn’t muck-up the past…BUT why did this random person have to be MARIAN?!!! Of all the people Emma could have brought back, she grabbed the one who had the power to RUIN the beautiful, budding relationship between Regina and Robin Hood! NOOOOOOOOO!!!! I love the Outlaw Queen (as they are cutely referred to by fans). Please don’t take Robin away from Regina, just find someone new for Marian! How hard can that be?!

19) Prince Neal- Emma’s got a baby brother and they named him NEAL!!! Oh the feels. But Snow and Charming deserved the chance to be active parents and you just know, Emma’s going to be the most protective, loving big sister ever (other than myself of course lol)!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

20) When Hook gave up his ship- He gave up his SHIP, the JOLLYRODGER, for EMMA… My mind can barely comprehend the level of love here. Simply put…Emma & Hook (or Captain Swan) is nothing short of true love and I can’t wait to see more of their relationship in the next season!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

So what do you think my lovelies, do you agree with my Season Three moments? Did I leave any of yours out? And are you loving one couple more than the others as we head into Season Four? Let me know!

Sea Salt

Hello my lovelies, since I wrote about the importance of fairy tales earlier this week, I figured I’d post what I have so far of a Selkie fairy tale that I’m writing. It’s rough and no where near completion, but I love the images in it anyway. I hope you like it!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google.
All Rights Belong To Artist.

SEA SALT

Salt was everywhere; it swirled up from the deep, grey water beneath the boat and clung heavy to the mist that swayed to the hypnotic rhythm of the choppy sea. Coarse and pungent, it ate away at the aging metal that barely kept the craft afloat and roughened the skin and the hearts of the men who busied themselves around the deck. Abril Ansley had never seen so much salt and endless grey in her entire life. The ocean that stretched between the Orkney Islands and the long-awaited Ireland was a vast canvas of swirling grey and white, matching her melancholy perfectly. She sat quiet and ignored on the back deck of the small fishing vessel whose captain had reluctantly allowed her to travel with them, provided she stay out of the crew’s way and not cause any trouble amongst the men. Little to fear there.

The men aboard the Fey Daughter were good natured enough, friendly even after seeing that she would cause no trouble, but Abril was not in the mood to be surrounded by a group of gossipy, superstitious old men. She kept to herself, preferring to sit alone in her little spot, staring at the horizon and occasionally drifting a hand in the frozen water. The crew thought her odd, touched by the faeries, or so she had overheard once or twice, but she never corrected them. It hurt too much to think of explaining the truth; besides, they would laugh at her if they thought she was moping after some boy back in Orkney. He was just a boy, she reminded herself, a boy who lied. The truth, however sugar-coated, was still a bitter draft to swallow.

Icy wind whipped long strands of salt-encrusted hair into Abril’s damp face, smudging the tears she didn’t know had fallen down her stinging cheeks. Wiping a pale hand over her dark eyes, she cleared her throat and sat up straighter; there was no use looking back, not when Ireland loomed so close in her future. Beautiful, sacred Ireland, the home of her mother’s people; she was coming home to a place she had only ever dreamt of.

“Beggin’ your pardon Miss Abril, but we’ll be putting into port today; sometime round five I’d say, yeh might want to be gettin’ your things together.”

“Thank you Captain.”

Abril smiled up at the weather-beaten face of a rather handsome, albeit graying, man in his late forties. Gruff and tired, Captain Liam O’Conner loomed over her, tall, dark and solid; a man forged from the rigors of living a life on the sea. He had little time to waste worrying over a small thing of a lass, but something in her weary frame touched his heart. Perhaps it was her eyes, so open and brave, with the smoke of pain shifting beneath the surface. Someone had used her ill, he’d bet his cap on it but he would never ask; she didn’t seem like the talkative type and he wasn’t one to pry into business not his own.

He stood silent for a moment, expecting her to up and go below to pack what little she had brought but when she didn’t he sighed and bent down to cup her tender face with one large callused hand. “Buck-up chick, there’s no better place for healin’ that the soil of Erin, she’ll put yeh back to rights before yeh know it.”

Abril smiled wide and beautiful, easing into the mask of happiness that comforted those who were unnerved by her somber reserve. “I’m sure it will, thank you. I’ll go and pack now if you please.”

Liam stepped back to let the girl pass, not fooled by her beguiling smile for a moment but content to let her alone, “There’s a lass. Another two hours and we’ll be home.”

“Home.”

~~~~~

“Is your stuff ready for port? We’ll be docking within the next twenty minutes or so, depending on the tide.”

Abril nodded, shivering despite the added warmth of the extra sweater she’d thrown on before leaving her cabin for the last time. “Packed and ready.”

They stood in silence for a minute or two, each breathing in the tangy ocean air before Abril continued, “I think a week at sea is exactly what I needed. I wanted to thank you again Captain…for taking me along. I appreciate it more than you know…”

Liam shuffled, uncomfortable with the polite thanks, “Aye, that’s enough of that talk lass. For all that you’re a quiet thing, you’ve been good company for a group of salty old men. We’ll not be forgettin’ yeh. Now if this damnable fog would just life you’d be able to see the shore, but as that’s unlikely now I’d advise yeh goin’ and sitting in your spot and keepin’ a close eye on the water. The seals should be about here somewhere.”

A real smile lighted across Abril face like the sun glimmering upon the morning water, “Seals? Really?!”

“Aye, seals are protected in Ireland, sacred some calls ‘em but the little lechers are always tearing up my nets! But they’re always here and about this time of the year so you’re sure to see one sooner or later. Steady there Ronald! What are you two doing…?”

With the Captain’s attention occupied elsewhere Abril drifted down to the lower deck and peered over the edge of the boat expectantly. The water was close enough that she could easily dunk her arm under the surface up to her elbow, but there was no sign of any of the Captain’s seals. She sighed; I wish I could see one, just one. An idea suddenly gripped her as her mother’s favorite phrase echoed in the recesses of her mind: `you cannot receive without first giving’! Abril ripped the thin silver chain that lay warm around her neck and held it up to inspect. The single pink pearl that Jack had given her months before dangled precariously in the middle of the silver ropes. What could it hurt to try, she was Irish after all, maybe they would hear her? Spirits of the water please, I wish to see a seal. Take this gift as my payment to you, pressing the pearl to her lips one last time Abril flung the necklace as far away from the boat as she could manage. A small splashy plop was her only satisfaction, it landed somewhere out in the swirling mist; the bitter part of her mind wanted to watch it sink down into the inky blackness.

With a renewed fervor, Abril leaned again over the ledge; the wet wood bit into her soft hands, leaving behind tiny flecks of green wood buried into her palms. Minutes passed but still there was nothing but the continuous rippling of waves lapping against the hull; “Damn it.” Defeated, Abril plunked her head down on the warped wood and wrapped her arms out in front of her with her fingers splaying atop the water. Planting her legs firmly on the deck she moved to lie on her stomach across the ledge.

Beautiful Agony

Because I have so many searching for this one… I’m glad it’s a favorite 😀

moonstonemaiden

A mermaid’s last night on land, dancing in the arms of her Prince…

 

Beautiful Agony:

 

Rippling fire tears the flesh of my newfound legs,

Burning searing, blazing.

Glancing down,

I’m surprised that my skin hasn’t blackened and split open,

Wide and ugly.

A thousand sharp shards prick mercilessly

Beneath the petal-soft surface,

Insistent and urgent, until I want to fall,

Down to the ground and cry my pain

To the loving sea.

 

But I am strong.

I stand tall and straight,

And I dance through the pain for him,

My prince…my love.

He bows to me and extends an exquisite hand,

My heart stops and I smile through the tears,

As he folds me in his arms.

It is a beautiful agony.

 

We dance, but my steps aren’t yet sure,

And sometimes I falter;

But he always catches me and holds me tight.

Anchoring me to…

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