The Books of 2020

So 2020, am I right?  What else can be said about the year that hasn’t already been spoken?

Let’s talk books!

I’m going to do it a bit differently than I did it last year.  I found a template that I created but never used so this year I decided to remedy that.


Favorite Book

I haven’t reviewed this yet, so I don’t want to say too much, but I knew this had the highest chance of being my GOAT for 2020.  A bold claim, I know, since I finished reading it in February, and indeed, there was another book that almost edged it out, but I’m a sucker for fantasy/sci-fi with realistic emotional impact, and the female MC is so 2020 it hurts.  We all know the 2020 attitude of *shrug* “Yeah that might as well happen” regardless of what batshit crazy thing occurs, and after surviving literal pestilence, Sarah would react just like that to our own.


Favorite Series

I have so far completed the second book of this series, but it’s still my favorite for 2020.  I mean it’s a paranormal romance series about ANGELS ffs, so easy sell.  Anyway, per the the third book’s blurb, the main angel’s evil mom shows back up to drive him into wrathful insanity so that’ll be a totally new thing for me to read about *nods* EXCITING.

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The State of the Gamer: 2/25/21

<–The State of the Gamer: 2/11/21           The State of the Gamer: 3/11/21–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Purchased

  • Fitness Boxing – $49.99 @ Nintendo eShop

What I Finished

Nothing this week.


What I’m Playing

Title: GRIS
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of GRISDate Started: 2/4/21

I was hoping I’d be finished this by now, so I could at least say I did “one” in February (four LOLOL), but it’s been a few days since I picked it up.  I absolutely love it, but I wish there was a way to manually save.  I have to wait for it to do so on its own, and I don’t always notice when it does and am afraid to just turn off in case I lose like an hour of progress.

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The State of the Reader: 2/24/21

<–The State of the Reader: 2/10/21         The State of the Reader: 3/10/21–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 2

Total: $7.98

Books Finished: 1

Title: The House on Abigail Lane
Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
Date Added: January 9, 2021
Date Started: February 5, 2021

Cover of The House on Abigail Lane by Kealan Patrick BurkeMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was…really good.  Lovecraftian in how it never really answered the questions behind the horror, and only gave you enough to let the potential implications wash over you.  You almost think you’re going to have answers, but then the information you’re given just leads to more questions.  The writing is so solid you believe you’re reading about events that actually happened.  Definitely a five star book and the author now has a new follower.


Currently Reading

Title: Night Fire
Series Title: Night Fire Trilogy
Author: Catherine Coulter
Date Added: February 22, 2021
Date Started: February 23, 2021

Cover of Night Fire by Catherine CoulterMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 19%

Ten years ago me would say “I have no defense for myself for reading this!” Current me couldn’t give a fuck. I’m a mess; this book is messy AF, and there’s a story behind it that might actually be the explanation for my own (paranormal) romance writing paired of course with my love and discovery of Aeriseph fanfic :p

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The State of the Writer: 2/21/21

<–The State of the Writer: 2/7/21         The State of the Writer: 3/7/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener & Working on Chapter 1 Outline

A Supreme Ruler needs a supreme steed.  He doesn’t QUITE breathe fire, but his origins are very suspect per the first time I wrote about him in The Serpent’s Tale.  I wound up finding the name “Angaros” in The Book of Angels, a volume I bought years ago that I still use for a reference every now and then (I literally have it next to me right now because as you all know my memory is shit, and I couldn’t quite remember exactly what Angaros meant).  It translates into “courier” from Persian, and I thought, “Well that’s a great name for a dark angel’s horse.  Why the hell not?”  There’s another term “Angiras,” which I thought said “Ankiras” until today so that’s a 13+ year mistake (oops), but…I like the subtle difference between Angaros and Ankiras and plan to use the latter for the name of the titular character’s hawk.  Angiras is from ancient Sanskrit and means “divine spirit,” and I like that for a bird.  The Holy Ghost is often represented as a dove so there you go.

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The State of the Gamer: 2/11/21

<–The State of the Gamer: 1/28/21           The State of the Gamer: 2/25/21–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Purchased

Nothing this week.


What I Finished

Nothing this week.


What I DNF’d

  • What Remains of Edith Finch – I honestly almost forgot I’d started playing this then stopped.  Not because I don’t like it, but I thought I hadn’t reviewed it based on the LP I watched, but I did.  I don’t have any issue replaying a game, but with so many on my backlog, I figured I’d move on to something else.

What I’m Playing

Title: GRIS
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of GRISDate Started: 2/4/21

I remember either reading or talking to Kim of Later Levels about this, and I’ve had it not only on my backlog but my Switch itself for a while.  I figure it’s a good game to play for 4 in February.  It’s absolutely gorgeous with an aesthetic that reminds me of Child of Light’s watercolor graphics and fluidity.

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The State of the Reader: 2/10/21

<–The State of the Reader: 1/27/21         The State of the Reader: 2/24/21–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Purchased: 2

Total: $6.98

Books Finished: 3

Title: Medusa’s Daughters
Author: Various
Editor: Theodora Goss
Date Added: December 20, 2019
Date Started: December 14, 2020

Cover of Medusa's Daughters edited by Theodora GossMedia: eBook/Kindle

I didn’t love this.  I didn’t hate it obviously, but I didn’t love it.  It was an interesting collection of stories about “misbehaving” women, which is why I’m sad I didn’t love it, because that’s my aesthetic.  I might change my mind about it once I have the time to think about the stories more, but that’s my initial perspective (and also why I don’t often rate books as soon as I finish them).

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 13 – A True General’s Task

Update: The previous artwork for this chapter has been removed as I believe it belongs to an artist who no longer wants her work reposted.  I wasn’t able to find definitive proof that this was that specific artist, but it looks visually similar enough to her other work that I don’t want to take a chance.  I’ll be going through all of the chapters and removing any art by that individual as well as deleting it from my image files, so you might see some missing images until I can replace them.  I’ll also be making a post about why I’m so adamant about doing this.  Thanks all!


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 12                                                                                                                                 Chapter 14–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
CHAPTER ARTWORK DISCLAIMER:  The featured artwork is of unknown origin and source.  it has been slightly altered in appearance and to include the chapter number and title.  all rights belong to the unknown artist.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris recovers from her newest ordeal under the general’s unwavering care.

Aeris slept more often than not and dark dreams returned to torment.

“I have you.”  She’d hear, low and assuring, as strong arms tightened around.  Her hand was couched in one large and warm, long fingers curled over to shield.

“I’m still here…”  She’d whisper as he kissed her brow and promised his rose it was true.

With so much sleep, Aeris was terrified to forget a day in her persistent count, but Sephiroth. knowing what it meant to her, always made sure he kept track.

“What day is it, master?”  She’d reach for his hand, which he’d never deny his rose.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 5 – Dear Aeris

Update: Another update is upon us!  The tear stained eyes, the feather, the aesthetic.  This picture is perfect.  You can find it and more of Bethany’s work on Art Station, Deviant Art, and Twitter.


The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 4                                                                                                    Chapter 6–>

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
Banner Artwork Disclaimer:  The featured artwork for the banner is entitled White rose I and was created by the very talented Deviant Artist RemusSirion who was gracious enough to grant me permission to use it here.  The picture has been slightly altered from the original. All rights belong to the artist, and links are included for both the artist page and the work.
Chapter Artwork Disclaimer: The featured artwork for this chapter is entitled Raven pen and was created by the fantastically talented Deviant Artist omegaptera.  The picture has been slightly altered in appearance and to include the chapter number and title.  All rights belong to the artist, and the image is used her with their permission.  Links are included for both the artist’s page and the work.

*******MAJOR CONTENT WARNING*******

Consistent and sustained graphic descriptions and mentions of rape/ sexual assault, sexual slavery/bondage, slavery, human trafficking, physical abuse, graphic descriptions of violence, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, body shaming, starvation, torture, forced pregnancy, forced childbirth, miscarriage, forced miscarriage, abortion, and other potential disturbing and triggering topics.


Aeris’s first letter of reclamation to herself.

00-chapter-5-dear-aeris

A black feather quill with intricate wire work around the juncture of feather and pen. The bottom portion of it is wrapped in black fabric. “Chapter 5 Dear Aeris” in white is in the upper right corner. In the far upper right corner are the words “Vrana Raven.”

Dearest Aeris,

It’s been twenty-one days since I was last used.  My insides are healing, and my bruises have faded, but I’m still so afraid.  I’m terrified to wake back up and find myself starving and chained.  Every time I shut my eyes, I expect this dream to end.  My wonderful master, the Great General, says that will never be.  He tells me he has me.  He vows that I’m safe, and I just want to believe.

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The State of the Writer: 2/7/21

<–The State of the Writer: 1/24/21         The State of the Writer: 2/21/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

I managed to figure out one of the things I had under General Issues and Questions on OneNote from years ago for the male MC.  Sometimes I just have to start writing about the problem and brainstorming solutions, and it’ll come together.  I still have a few more things to do, but I’m starting to think about what I need to finish up in order to start writing the first chapter.  My hubs is the MVP for just listening to me talk about this shit and let me figure it out lol.

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Added: April 13, 2013
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date Finished: September 13, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Young Adult (YA), Mid-Grade

Cover of The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanPages: 286
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Media: Paperback


In this ingenious and captivating reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure The Jungle Book, Neil Gaiman tells the unforgettable story of Nobody Owens, a living, breathing boy whose home is a graveyard, raised by a guardian who belongs neither to the mortal world nor the realm of the dead. Among the mausoleums and headstones of his home, Bod experiences things most mortals can barely imagine. But real, flesh-and-blood danger waits just outside the cemetery walls: the man who murdered the infant Bod’s family will not rest until he finds Nobody Owens and finishes the job he began many years ago.

A #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of many international awards, including the Hugo Award for best novel and the Locus Award, The Graveyard Book is a glorious meditation on love, loss, survival, and sacrifice . . . and what it means to truly be alive.


Per the blurb, this is a retelling/fanfiction of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, but without the blatantly racist aspects of the original work.  In using the graveyard as a paranormal stand-in for Mowgli’s jungle, Gaiman’s novel serves as a perfect parallel to the “return to your own world” narrative, and could in fact surpass Kipling’s motif to the same.  While Mowgli will never belong to the jungle, one day the graveyard will be Nobody’s place, and the somber meaning of his name will be fulfilled.

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