The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener (The Dark Forest #1)

Title: The Golden Apple
Series Title: The Dark Forest
Author: Michelle Diener
Date Added: February 25, 2016
Date Started: February 20, 2018
Date Finished: March 12, 2018
Reading Duration: 20 days
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tale, Young Adult (YA)

The Golden ApplePages: 298
Publication Date: March 23, 2014
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle


Kayla’s world has been turned upside-down . . . 

Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.

Rane’s honor is torn in two… 

In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to–including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.

Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together . . . 

Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla’s actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.

The Golden Apple is loosely based on the fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill.


Per the blurb The Golden Apple starts with “The Princess on the Glass Hill,” which is not a fairy tale I was familiar with, but it follows the typical fairy tale rules.  The unlikely hero is Cinder Lad, the youngest brother of three who’s ridiculed, bullied, and forced to live among the ashes.  However, he was the only one brave enough to stay in the barn the entire night when the noises outside frightened his two eldest brothers away.  The source of the noise was a copper laden horse the first night, a silver chased one the second, and a gold bound one the third.  When the king offers up his daughter to the man who can climb the glass hill and retrieve three apples, the two older brothers mock Cinder Lad for even thinking to participate, but then they and all the other men are bemused when a knight in copper armor on a copper laden horse rides up a third of the hill before backing down again.  The princess tosses him one of the apples before he rides away.  The next day comes the silver chased who goes two-thirds of the way up for a second apple, and finally the gold bound goes the full tilt to win the third fruit and princess’ hand, half the kingdom, and his brothers’ shock because SURPRISE it’s Cinder Lad.

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The Broken Rose: Chapter 12 – Ways and Means

The Broken Rose Page

<–Chapter 11                                                                                                                                 Chapter 13–>

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 aerith AND WAS CREATED BY THE Extraordinarily talented hatori0322.  THE PICTURE HAS BEEN SLIGHTLY ALTERED IN APPEARANCE AND TO INCLUDE THE CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE.  ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THE ARTIST.  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 must make her biggest decision since her rescue two months ago.

Painting of Aeris/Aerith.

Painting of Aeris/Aerith. She is looking wide-eyed off to the left with very red and slightly parted lips. She has a large red rose in her long brown hair. Her eyes are a huge and vibrant green. The background is lighter green. Chapter 12 Ways and Means is in the upper left corner in a slightly darker green than the background.

Sephiroth wandered around the kitchen with his phone couched in his right hand.  Heavy boots made no sound on the floor though his hair whispered against his coat.  He could silence that, too, if he so wished, but there was no need for stealth now.  During his hunt, he’d thought of his rose and how she slept safe and secure.  He did not smile to not crack the mask, but emerald filled the darkest corners.  No monster that evening could stand a chance against a righteous protector’s wrath, and the Great General only wished it was Midgar that burned within his sight.  Not yet, the reckoning will come at its proper time. 

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Northern Lights Audio Recording: Blurb

It took nearly six months and it’s less than a minute, but I finally have a blurb/teaser for my Northern Lights Audio Recording project.  I still have some kinks to work out in regards to music.  There are songs I’d love to use, but since many of them are copyrighted, it might get a little hairy on YouTube.  I suppose we’re going to find out, since I made two versions of the blurb: one with copyrighted music and the other with music I’m going to buy the license for.  This post will contain the former (I haven’t purchased the license yet) and more favorite of the songs.  I’ve used it in my videos before.



Music

Artist: Enya
Song: As Baile

Images
  1. Sephiroth by Toximancy (Deviant Art Non-Active)
  2. Sephiroth Holding a Snowflake by Unknown Artist
  3. Sephiroth by RobasArel (Deviant Art)
  4. Sephiroth Dissidia by Sephy321 (Deviant Art)
  5. Sephiroth Sama by elsinrostro (Deviant Art)
  6. Sephiroth from Crisis Core screenshot
  7. Lucrecia from FFVII screenshot
  8. Lucrecia Holding Young Sephiroth by Unknown Artist
  9. Dandelions by Pchoppy (Deviant Art)
  10. Final Fantasy VII Aeris by Felix Liu

Now all of your curious people know what my “recording” voice sounds like 😀

James & the Dragon by Theresa Snyder (The Farloft Chronicles #1)

Title: James & the Dragon
Series Title: The Farloft Chronicles
Author: Theresa Snyder
Date Added: February 23, 2016
Date Started: February 15, 2018
Date Finished: February 19, 2018
Reading Duration: 4 days
Genre: Fantasy, Mid-Grade/Young Adult (YA), Short Story

James & the Dragon coverPages: 61
Publication Date: June 21, 2013
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle


What would you do if you were adopted by a dragon? When ten-year-old orphan James nearly drowns in a bog, he finds himself rescued by Farloft, a centuries old dragon with a glittering collection of treasures and an even richer collection of stories. But, dragons and boys are not meant to live together – or are they? When Laval – a wizard harboring a secret hatred for Farloft finds out about James, he sees his chance for revenge.


Farloft the dragon in instantly likable with his sound arguments and fascinating stories, although it’s unfair to ignore his nemesis, Laval’s, point of view.  The wizard has very sound reasons for hating the dragon, though Farloft’s prior actions were based on even more past experience, nor could he have known the unfortunate outcome.

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The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau (Book of Ember #4)

Book of Ember

<–The Prophet of Yonwood (BOE #3)

Note: Since this is a sequel there are spoilers for the prior book even in the blurb.  Something to keep in mind if you haven’t read the prior books and don’t want to be spoiled.

Second Note:  TSN gets (US) political for comparison.


Title: The Diamond of Darkhold
Series Title: Book of Ember
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Date Added: September 17, 2017
Date Started: January 14, 2018
Date Finished: February 19, 2018
Reading Duration: 36 days
Genre: Mid-grade/Young Adult (YA), Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian

The Diamond of Darkhold coverPages: 285
Publication Date: August 26, 2008
Publisher: Yearling Adventure
Media: Paperback


It’s been several months since Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and, along with the rest of their people, joined the town of Sparks. Lina knows they are lucky to be there, but life aboveground is hard. Instead of opening a can for dinner, they must plant and harvest their food. And while there was no sun or moon in Ember’s sky, neither was there rain, sleet, or wind. Now, in the middle of their first winter, Lin finds herself feeling homesick for her old city.

It’s during this dark time that Doon finds an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device, a piece of technology from before the Disaster. Doon becomes convinced that the Builders of Ember meant for them to find the device when they left the city, to help them in their new lives. Together, Lina and Doon must go back underground to retrieve what was lost and bring light to a dark world.

In the fourth Book of Ember, bestselling author Jeanne DuPrau juxtaposes yet another action-packed adventure with powerful themes of hope, learning, and the search for truth. 


The final installment to the series finds Lina, Doon, and the other Emberites fully integrated into Sparks so they all live as one people, but times are hard, and Lina finds herself longing for the warm familiarity of her underground home.  Doon’s discovery of the blurb’s mentioned book gives them a reason to return to the now dark and dying Ember where things don’t go quite according to plan.  There are people living there, but if squatting were still a thing in this post-Disaster world then the Trogg family would be squatters.

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