Friday, October 14, 2005

Oh, Them Erotic Kuwaiti Girls!

I have a confession: I used to read trashy romance novels in high school. I'm not talking about the cutesy little pastel Harlequin books they translated into Arabic. I'm talking about stuff that would set a Censor's beard on fire (good thing not a lot of them knew English back then). Not sure what the situation is now (do they still sell trashy romance novels in Kuwait?), but I do know one book will never make it onto the local bookshelves. Presenting Mystic Visions, co-written by one Ann Jacobs.

It's a steamy tale about forbidden love between a Kuwaiti princess and an American Gulf War vet. Judging from the excerpt given in the website, the writing itself is not that noteworthy. It falls somewhere between being highly offensive, and somewhat close to the truth. Right now, I am choosing to be amused by it. Here's an excerpt from the excerpt:

"Not from my sister, love." Dahoud [the big brother] reached around and pulled Shana[his American wife] to his side. "Father has ordered me to make her behave herself while he attempts to find her a suitable husband. Finding a Kuwaiti man who’s not insistent on having a virgin bride and who’s willing to risk having his ego shredded by her sharp little tongue will not, I’m certain, be an easy task."

Behave herself? Alina[the Kuwaiti princess+protagonist] stopped herself in time to keep from stomping a sandal-clad foot on the gold-flecked white marble floor. Dahoud might think he could rein her in, but she had a mind of her own—and a life she was determined to live her own way.


I've also been tagged, skip this if you're not interested:

1. Last movie you saw? Serenity (loved the series, loved the movie)
2. What book are you reading? Dido's Daughters by M.Ferguson
3. Favorite board game? Does chess count? If not, then Monopoly or Risk.
4. Favorite magazine? T3: Tomorrow's Technology Today.
5. Favorite smell? Freshly washed bedsheets. Clean sweat on little kids when they come in from outside.
6. Favorite food? As long as it's home-cooked, I'll eat it.
7. Favorite sound? A good strong laugh, especially if I'm responsible for it.
8. Worst feeling in the world? Guilt, shame.
9. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up? WTF?! What time is it?!
10. Favorite fast food place? In-N-Out
11. Future child's name? Taiba and Waleed.
12. Finish this statement. If I had a lot of money: Half goes to my parents. Some to siblings and friends. The rest I have fun with.
13. Do you drive fast? Only when I'm not paying attention.
14. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? My cat wouldn't allow it.
15. Storms, cool or scary? Very cool.
16. What was your first car? Nissan SuperSafari
17. Favorite drink? Sweet mint tea.
18. Finish this statement, "If I had the time I would...": write a book.
19. Do you eat the stems on broccoli? Sure, why not.
20. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice? Red, or blue.
21. Name all the different cities/ towns you have lived in? Kuwait, Antibes, Riverside.
22. Half empty or half full? Always half-full.
23. Favorite sports to watch? Ultimate Fighting Championship!!
24. One nice thing about the person who tagged you? One funny girl, that one :)
25. Morning person, or night owl? Definitely a night owl.
26. Over easy, or sunny side-up? Sunny side up with baked beans on the side.
27. Favorite place to relax? Local coffeeshop I like to walk to.
28. Favorite pie? Pecan pie.


Blogger exalen said...

Hi again fellow Browncoat!

My mom and aunties were into those trashy Mills and Boon books while I was growing up. I didn't realise how contrived the prose was! I love it!


Just on Serenity though, there's a bigger community than I expected online. Just goes to show the power of a well told story and cool characters.

Also, yeah, I watched Lost too... was frustrated by the ending of S1... only more questions! Its all i can do to stop myself from stamping my sock-covered foot into the partially dust-flecked ceramic tiled floor!

11:34 AM  
Blogger McArabian said...

hey :)
Are you keeping up with the episodes in S2? - if not, I know what's in the hatch!!

And you don't :P

12:36 PM  
Blogger Mama Fusla said...

That Book is Hellarious!
It sounds Sleezy..I love it.

Oh and you writing a Book!! Now THAT is gonna be fun!

wv: bmcriesd

1:33 PM  
Blogger Delicately Realistic said...

Lol I read a few romance novels when I was in high school, but nothing too trashy. I remember my cousin reading "Riwayat 3abeer", once I took a copy and laughed my head off. China mosalsal modablaj!

Is Dahoud = Dawood?
I've never heard that name.

#14 made me laugh! And I second #24

2:29 PM  
Blogger 7tenths said...

I also know what's in the hatch! Hey I was wondering, did episode 3 mess up on you too? The one I watched got this serious audiovisual dissociation! Didn't stop me from watching the episode though.. Anyway here are some other supercool series you should check out: Entourage (seasons 1 & 2), Weeds and Prison Break :)

4:40 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

write a book , instead of reading romantics

5:17 PM  
Blogger Reema said...

You reminded me of the good old days like others i used to read Mills and Boons in fact i still have them stocked somewhere back home :). I'm an addicted reader to Ellora's Cave publishing, their books or ebooks leans towards the erotic romance genre, my favorite is paranormal. I've noticed after 911 a lot of romantic writers were intrigued by the Arab culture this was not the first time I've seen a love story that had an Arab princess/ prince.

9:36 PM  
Blogger McArabian said...

mama fusla yeah, I really want to do it. Though it's probably not going to be a funny book :P I'm interested in writing about cyborg theory and third world feminism.

delicate Yeah, I'm gonna go with you and guess she means Dawood too, which she easly could've translated to David.

7tenths Hmm..the sound didn't mess with me, unless you're talking about Hurley's dream sequence, that was messed up enough as it is. I already watch Weeds (we sing the song every Monday ;) -Not sure about the other two, I remember the guy from Prison Break being on another show I used to like, 'John Doe', but I can't handle him in Prison Break for some reason. And any show about Hollywood annoys me :P

sailor Wow, giving me orders already :P How old are you, again?

reema I remember there were a lot of trashy romance novels that featured a Sheikh or a Desert Princess or something. It's the first I see something so specified to Kuwait, though. What better way to offend Arabs than to be specific about which Arabs you offend, eh?

2:13 AM  
Blogger Mama Fusla said...

I'm impressed!
All the luck, hope it comes through!

2:44 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

too younge to die .. take it easy

3:57 AM  
Blogger Closet Diva said...

Oh, God, those trashy novels that just add more fuel to the stereotypes on Arabs! I think they should write a book about the Bahraini princess that ran away with the American marine, got on Opera to tell everyone about it, made a movie about it, and then got divorced and went back to Bahrain, tail between her legs.

Now THAT would make me read it.

12:21 PM  
Blogger McArabian said...

mama fusla Thanks! Once I have the time, I'll need all the luck I can get.

sailor ;)

CD I wouldn't mind reading that book myself. I always catch myself wondering about her. Her heart was in the right place but she went all about like a spoiled little brat. Gah. Her story depresses me.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous thebes said...

They sell pastel-ish Harlequin books here. Or rather, if all they see is a bunch of flowers on the cover, they'll sell it. :P

6:57 PM  
Anonymous siriqbal said...

I am a proud reader of smut, and one of Ellora's Cave most loyal consumers, but I have to agree that a lot of trash is mixed in with the good stuff.

It's bizarre, but true that Harlequin Romance still puts out several Sheikh or Arab themed romances every year!! These books are up there with cowboys and firemen in popularity! I find the whole thing icky because I've actually had the dubious priviledge of being up close and personal with arab men my whole life and believe me if these women knew the truth....!
I actually know this author, having come across her in romance book group. I think she's actually lived in the Middle East but very very briefly. That's like me writing a series of books on the French based on the vacation I took there in 1994! I even had a chat with her how it pissed me off that authors just used the Middle Eastern setting to give an exotik flavor to their books and don't give a s**t on getting the cultures right. I guess only one of us remembers that little talk!!

3:45 PM  
Blogger McArabian said...

thebes I wouldn't be surprised :)

siriqbal Gah, hate it when writers do that - spending a couple of weeks in Kuwait does not research make. Well, I guess it wouldn't have been a 'trashy romance novel' if all the themes were well thought out. I wish there was a place that only sold 'quality romance novels', and by quality I don't mean Danielle Steele.

11:16 PM  
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