The State of the Reader: 4/26/17

<–The State of the Reader: 4/19/17          The State of the Reader: 5/3/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week: 8

  1. (Almost) Average Anthology: Tales of Adventure, Loss, and Oddity by Jason Nugent: Passed – The writing comes off as very amateurish.  According to the blurb, the author pulled together the work he had posted on his blog, which I find very admirable; unfortunately, in execution, it reads more like a first draft or an outline, at least the first story did.
  2. Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson: Kept – I nearly teetered to the other side of the fence with this one.  There was a lot of heavy jargon in the beginning, and quite a few pages of literally listing the cast of characters.  I think the story would’ve started out much stronger if the author had begun with the first chapter, which is the reason I decided to keep it on my list.
  3. The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson: Kept (Purchased) – It’s geared towards ages 6-12 and reads like a fairy tale.  I can see myself breezing through this book.
  4. The Enchanted by Rene Denfield: Passed – It didn’t grip me for all its stream of consciousness writing.  I found it to be quite tedious if I’m being honest.  It comes with high accolades, but I don’t think it’s for me.
  5. The Glade by Harmony Kent: Kept – I was very close to putting this on my really-want-to-read list, but I’m trying to save that for books that I must have immediately, and while this was really interesting and set up a mystery with numerous plot coupons to cash in, it’s not on my must have radar.  It’s really hard for a non-fantasy book to wind up on there.
  6. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay: Kept (RWTR) – The prologue nearly brought me to tears; it was so beautifully written.  I’m a sucker for any stories that invoke the concept of memory, and the beginning of this book focused on a prince and a sculptor who were thrust into a battle they know they will not win.  It begins with the sculptor contemplating the stars on this last night and him expressing his regret that he never had the chance to sculpt his prince’s sons.  What struck me was how Mr. Kay conveyed what type of ruler this prince was in such a short amount of time.  Both of his teenage sons as well as the sculptor’s one were on the banks of that river with their fathers knowing they would all die in the morning.  He was neither a ruler who shirked his own duty nor did hide his sons away while asking his people to sacrifice their own.  Things like that are never forgotten.
  7. The Empty One by Matthew Stanley: Kept (Purchased) – I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book written in verse, but it works…it strangely works, and it even rhymes.  Since it fulfilled my “under $2” rule, I bought it after I read enough of the sample.
  8. The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey: Kept (RWTR/Purchased) – The first chapter of the sample made me a bit irritated, because it was the typical “princess has to marry a prince,” which the thirteen year old Caityn did not want to do, and to be honest, her mother was kind of gaslighting her.  I mean, I get it.  It’s what princesses are supposed to do, but I’m happy she stood her ground for as long as she did.  Then it turns out she’s quite excited to marry the prince who is a really awesome dude, and Caity and her brother have this amazing bantering, sibling relationship that reminds me of the one I have with my older brother.  Also, both the princess and the (brother) prince, while royalty, were exposed to charitable works their entire lives.  Caityn taught at a school and comforted orphans and widows, and Prince Adair (the brother) talked about a punishment where he had to serve in the scullery for a week.  I loved that.  Even though they were royalty, their parents taught them that there are consequences for misbehaving and instilled in them the idea that to rule is really to serve.  I can think of quite a few politicians who severely need that lesson.

Passed: 2
Kept: 6


Books Purchased This Week: 6

Title: The Diamond Tree
Author: Michael Matson
Date Added: January 26, 2016
Date Purchased: April 22, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

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The Missing Orchid by Fia Black (Submissive Beth Mysteries #3)

<–The Red Rose (SBM #2)

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017
Date Finished: February 20, 2017
Genre(s): Mystery, BDSM, Erotica

Pages: 122
Publication Date: February 3, 2017
Media:
Kindle

Lily aka Mistress Orchid needs Beth to help her find the daughter she was forced to give up when she was sixteen. With the help of Jason and Lily, Beth tries to find the girl only to learn she was searching for Lily too. But the happy ending turns tragic when they find the girl only to learn she is missing. Beth and Jason become determined to bring Lily the closure she needs even if that means solving two missing person cases.


This is the third book in Ms. Black’s Submissive Beth series, and I’m happy to say she continues to impress with her mystery, erotica novels.  Each iteration has done something new, but still upholds her paradigm of Beth, the BDSM worker turned successful PI.   The Missing Orchid hits a bit close to home with several characters and their familial issues, and I like where Beth and Jason are heading in terms of a potential partnership.

The end reveal is psychologically sound, and the author seems to be making a great effort to not become stale, formulaic, or boring.  I was half-expecting a particular ending, so I was happy and impressed when that did not occur.

The only issues with the novel are some grammar and spelling errors that could be taken care of with a careful edit.  The Missing Orchid is a swift, fast-paced read that perfect intersperses Beth’s work at the Club with her work on her cases.  It does BDSM the right way in terms of ensuring consent, going over the rules, and participating in after care.  I’ve said before I’m not remotely an expert on that lifestyle, but I understand the basics, and the author is far better at the basics than a certain, unfortunately popular series out there that’s giving many people wrong information.  I want them to read this instead since it’s better written and doesn’t promote abusive relationships.  Ms. Black also manages to leave a little bit of mystery and addition to an overarching theme that I’m sure will be explored in novels to come.

I linked Fia Black’s WordPress site above under her author name, and she has an excerpt for the next book right here (Warning: Graphic descriptions of torture).

4 stars.

<–The Red Rose (SBM #2)

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The State of the Reader: 2/22/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/1/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017
Date Finished: February 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 12 days

I was more than satisfied with the ending of this book, and I’m glad to see the author isn’t becoming stagnant with her story lines.  I hope she plans to continue this series, because I have ever intention to keep reading.  I’ll have a review for it up by this weekend.


Books Purchased This Week: 2

Title: Hollow City
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: September 25, 2016
Date Purchased: February 18, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $8.79
Retailer: Target

Title: Cinder
Series Title: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Date Added: January 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 18, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $7.99
Retailer: Target

This is why I shouldn’t be allowed in a Target without supervision.  I’ve already talked about why I’m interested in Hollow City here, but since I added Cinder before I started doing my weekly SOTR posts, I’ve never actually talked about why it found its why on my TBR list in the first place.  It’s a retelling of Cinderella where the titular character is a cyborg mechanic, reviled by her stepmother (just like the other fairy tale princess) in addition to being a second class citizen.  The story is more complicated by sinister lunar observers waiting to make their move on our planet (Lunarians anyone?), and I’m sure our intrepid, mechanical heroine will have a major role to play in thwarting this.


Books Received This Week: 2

fullsizerender-2I’m still figuring this purchased/received thing out.  Since I purchased these two last week, I put them in last update’s Purchased section, but since they were bought online, I didn’t receive them until this week.  Whereas I bought the two books purchased above from Target yesterday, but I didn’t take a picture of them *organizational issue meltdown*

I think what I’m going to do going forward is to note down the day I purchased something, but I won’t include it in my SOTR until I have the volume in my hot, little hand.  Maybe I’ll rename the section Books Purchased and Received This Week.  Yes.  Yes, I like this very much.  I will perfect my organization mwa ha ha ha.

Anyway, I definitely wanted to show a picture of Riddled With Senses since it’s by someone I know!  Fellow blogger and writer Inkbiotic who has been providing excerpts to her story on her blog (the latest one being here), and from what I’ve read, it’s going to be phenomenal.  I love the taste of the language and am already a big fan of magical realism.  It’ll be the next book in my fantasy, sci-fi, general fiction rotation once I complete Prospero Lost. 

The Dark Portal just arrived today and was recommended to me through Goodreads due to my love of RedwallIt has a section that introduces all of the characters.  I’m really hoping it’s not a “all mice are good/all rats are evil” motif, because Redwall does enough of that.

Update:  *sigh* It does seem to be an “all mice are good/all rats are evil” motif.  Oh well.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Series Title: Stoker and Holmes
Author: Colleen Gleason
Date Added: August 1, 2016
Date Started: February 21, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 4%

Since I finished The Missing Orchid, that meant a new Kindle book needed to be picked (FYI: I really need to load more books onto my Kindle).  I initially started reading Dolor and Shadow, but it really didn’t hold my attention.  I’m not going to scrap it from my TBR list just yet, but this retelling/re-gendering of Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker seems like it will be a fun read.

So far the two young ladies have met up with Irene Adler (the woman) and are about to be given what I’m assuming is the novel’s main mystery/plot point.  So far it’s been written from Holmes’s point of view, and I like her voice.  It has a crisp, fresh feel to it.  I’m curious to see where it all goes.

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 18%

This book is interesting and fun.  I have a few minor issues with it.  It introduces a lot of ideas at once, and it’s hard to keep them straight, but the characters of Miranda and Mab are a nice “odd couple” (though they’re not an OC by any means), and the author is excellent at leaving cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 31%

I finished the chapter on the color of black holes and am now on the one about the origin and fate of the universe.  To be honest, the black hole chapters weren’t all that interesting, but I think I’ll really enjoy the origin chapter.

It seems appropriate that I’m reading this volume at a time when NASA just discovered seven earth sized exoplanets orbiting a dwarf star 40 light years away.  At least one of the planets could be in the “sweet spot” for liquid water, which means it could support life.  It’s pretty freaking exciting.  I suppose seven is a lucky number 😉

Well…it didn’t take my troll brain too long to go off on a horror/horrifying tangent, and now I’m terrified, but it’s still exciting.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 62%

Ms. Stiefvater is doing an excellent job fleshing out the character of Ronan, who took more of a backseat to Gansey in the first novel, but she’s not doing very much to help me decide how I feel about him.  This is a good thing, because I love complex characters.  Ronan does things that are utterly reckless and pointedly stupid, and reasons are not excuses.  I know more about him and his situation than ever before in The Raven Boys, and I’m hoping the more we find out, the more sense some of his terrible choices are going to make.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 66%

I have to say the characters in this final branch are my least favorite of them all.  They swindled a character who was featured in a prior branch out of his swine and are now acting utterly entitled to them by virtue of thievery.  It’s not so much Gwydion and his brother GIlvaethwhy, but rather Gwidion’s men.  Granted Gwidion did initiate the trick, so he must’ve felt justified in doing it.  I’m hoping there’s some grand, godly design to this plan, otherwise the Old Tribes are going to seem like complete asses in this section.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 50%

As mentioned before I can’t say much about this story, but I will say it’s great.  There are a lot of complex issues and emotions going on, and my writer friend is dealing with them so well.  Since we’ve been friends since high school, I know a bit about some of his personal beliefs, and he’s not handling them shallowly in this story.  The “bad guy” is sympathetic (surprise, I like that!) even though he’s a total douche, and this goes back to reasons for horrendous behavior not being excuses.  I feel bad for him, but not so bad I wouldn’t run him over with my SUV.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

You know an author is doing a great job when you want to smack all three of the characters in the love triangle.  Holy lord.  This really speaks to the philosophy of the outside point of view.  When your own emotions aren’t on the line, it’s far easier to be objective.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 3

Title: Raising Stony Mayhall
Author: Daryl Gregory
Date Added: February 18, 2017

When I saw Cupcakes and Machetes’ review of this I knew that name sounded familiar, the author, not the title.  I’ve read AND reviewed Mr. Gregory before.  One of my first reviews actually: The Devil’s Alphabet.  It was a novel of great potential that missed the shift to a higher gear.  It seems that Gregory is a sort of a hit or miss novelist, and according to C and M, Stony is more of a hit.  We started talking about it in her review of another book We Are All Complety Fine found here.

Stony is a different take on zombies, and since I’ve already added a few books from Cupcakes and Machetes about the same thing, I figured why break up a good streak?  Granted I haven’t read them yet, but it’s the potential that counts.

Title: The Children of Húrin
Series Title: Middle-Earth Universe
Authors: J. R. R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien
Date Added: February 22, 2017

I remember finding this book in a Target years ago, but I didn’t buy it for whatever reason (I was probably trying to save money lol what the hell was I thinking?).  I forgot about it until I saw it in my Goodreads newsfeed.  It’s one of the many unreleased Tolkien books that the master of fantasy never revealed before he died.  I think there was some controversy with Peter Jackson wanting to use some of this content for the movies, and the original Tolkien’s son Christopher putting a stop to it, but the younger Tolkien did edit and release a bunch of works, The Children of Húrin being one of them.  Per the blurb, it sounds like it borrows from The Kalevala (shit…I need to add that, too), and since I’m a lover of ancient tales and mythology, I’m cautiously optimistic about this book.

Title: The Kalevala
Authors: Elias Lönnrot & Anonymous,
Translator: Keith Bosley
Date Added: February 22, 2017

I read snippets of stories from this when I was a child.  We had a Mythology Childcraft book (I loved those books.  Would love to find a set of them again), and in it was a story about the Sampo, which was a huge, magical MacGuffin in the Finnish tales.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 551
Change from Last Week: -3

I did some clean up on my list this week.  I try to keep only the next book in a series on my list, and I had all of the Jeff Lindsey Dexters still on it.  Not that I didn’t love the first book (or the first seven seasons up until the disastrous last one that still could’ve been saved if they hadn’t utterly fucked up the finale grrrrr), but I figure it’s easier to just add them one at a time.


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/15/17          The State of the Reader: 3/1/17–>

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The State of the Reader: 2/15/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

DNF This Week: 1

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017
DNF Date: February 8, 2017

Media: Hardback
DNF Progress: 20%

I think the moment I say I’m probably going to declare something DNF is the moment I’ve decided it’s going to happen.  It wasn’t what I expected, which isn’t always a bad thing…but it was in this case because this novel was not only urban fantasy, but young adult, the two (sub) genres I have the most trouble with.

I actually wrote the review for it last weekend, but I need to proofread it before I post.  I manage to go off on a tangent that includes both Shakespeare and FFVII, which considering that I’m a writer and an FFVII fanatic, is not that farfetched.


Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dolor and Shadow

Media: Kindle
Price: $2.99

Every time I look at the title of this book, the words “Saevam iram, iram et dolorum…” run through my head like the merciless earworm they are.  Bonus points if you know where those words are from.

Title: Urchin of the Riding Stars
Series Title: The Mistmantle Chronicles
Author: Margaret McAllister
Date Added: May 17, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Urchin of the Riding Stars

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

When I find books on my TBR list for less than $1.00, I’m quick to scoop them up.  This looks like a re-purposed library book; I don’t know yet, since I just ordered it from Amazon this weekend, and it’s going to take a few weeks to get to me.  This one and the one below were recommended due to my love of Redwall (and looking at the covers, it’s plain to see why).  Even if I don’t like either of them, I paid more for the shipping than for the books, and I’ve wasted $5.00 on worse things.

Title: The Dark Portal
Series Title:The Deptford Mice
Author:Robin Jarvis
Date Added:May 13, 2016
Date Purchased: February 11, 2017

Dark Portal, The

Media: Hardcover
Price: $0.01

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017
Date Purchased: February 12, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.99

This is one of those rare books that I bought before I added, and I had to put all the information into this post while trying not to read the blurb, because I haven’t finished the prior book Prince Lestat.  I started it over a year ago, but I think my designated reading time for it was before jazzercise.  Since I haven’t been there in more than a year, and since I didn’t start scheduling my reading time until after I put it aside, I never got through the novel.  It’s not a DNF though.  I full intend to finish it.

The reason I purchased the sequel was due to a tweet by Anne Rice herself, informing her followers that the book was only $0.99 on Amazon.  Like I said above in regards to Mistmantle and The Deptford Mice, I won’t pass up a buy on any book on my list if it’s under $1.00.  That would just be silly.

Title: Riddled With Senses
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Purchased: February 15, 2017

I made a promise to fellow blogger Inkbiotic that I would purchase her book after receiving my next paycheck, and I’ve gladly kept that vow.  If the samplings she’s so graciously posted on her blog are any indication, I’m going to enjoy this greatly.  It’s magical realism with a same sex relationship.  Yes and yes.


Books Currently Reading: 6

Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 10%

Since I declared Vassa in the Night DNF, it was necessary for me to pick another physical book to read the next time Vassa came up in my reading rotation (I’ll have to tell you all about that some time…).  I actually wasn’t entirely set on what to choose next, so I decided to read the first page in a few of the books in my pile and see what caught my fancy.

Prospero Lost was one of those books I judged by its title and cover first (so you see I wasn’t lying in my Rapid Fire Book Tag post), and I judged it well.  I don’t just buy books based on that though (I’ve been burned quite a few times before), but the blurb sparked by interest even more.  An ancient and immortal, magical family in the modern era who own a company that strives to do good in the world.  It was a tidy bit different from most mega-corporations in sci-fi and fantasy (and science fantasy), and since I have writing ideas for something similar, reading this book would also be a good learning experience.  The writing is good, and the plot coupons thus far presented are intriguing.

Then I came to this paragraph:

“I sat at a wrought-iron table next to the fountain, stirring my tea.  My hair, so pale as to appear silver, was piled atop my head in a Grecian style that had gone out of vogue more than a century ago.  My garment, a tea gown with a high lacy collar — the enchanted satin of which matched the emerald of my eyes…”

All I needed.

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 36%

I’m really hoping this case turns out differently from Beth’s others.  She’s investigated missing persons before, but they usually end up dead.  It’s not that every story needs a happy ending, but I really hope this one ends in a happy reunion :\

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 27%

I just finished the chapter about black holes, and the next chapter proclaims that black holes aren’t actually black.  Astrophysics is amazing.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 48%

I’m tearing through this just as quickly as I ripped through the first.  Somehow Ms. Stiefvater managed to make a drug laden, dangerous teenage party with Molotov cocktails in a field seem poetic #talent

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 63%

One of the many things I find interesting about this compendium is how it will return to prior characters that were main ones in another branch and have them be side characters or even antagonists.  Since the fourth branch focuses on Gwydion and his brother Gilvaethwy, it’s from their point of view, and prior characters could be in positions set against them.

It’s also fascinating to note that the Old Tribes don’t really have a sense of fatherhood, but the New Tribes do.  The New have also introduced the idea of marriage, which many of the Old are quite against for good reason.  This fatherhood conundrum is a concept that I’ve read in both fiction/fantasy and historic or rather prehistoric fiction before.  You have to leave your presentism behind and remember that science and technology have not always been on the same level.  Women’s bodies were (and still remain in many cases much to my annoyance) a complete mystery.  No one really understood how conception occurred and sex was seen as merely pleasure or relief.  The connection between it and babies wasn’t a necessary fact, which meant that the idea of fatherhood was tenuous at best.  Even when it was mentioned, many scoffed at it since women aren’t impregnated by each sexual encounter, though Gwydion does note that if a cow is put into a field alone or only with other cows, she remains barren; however, if you add a bull, she’ll become pregnant.  Unfortunately, human pride stymies this comparison due to the idea of special creation (which I think is bunk) and not wanting to be compared to the beasts of the field.  Even in the present, this idea persists, which puts a damper on a great deal of progress and progressive thought.

Title: “Beta Reading”
Author: High School Friend/Fellow Author
Date Added: N/A
Date Started: February 14, 2017
Media: PDF/Kindle
Progress: 10%

What the hell is this? you ask.  Well an author friend of mine from high school whom I keep in touch with through the book of faces honored me the other day by asking me to beta read one of his novels.  I gladly accepted and figured out how to work it into the rotation.  He sent it as a PDF so I’m reading it on my Kindle during my lunch break along with the other two Kindle books.  He asked if I could have it finished by late February/early March, and I don’t think that will be a problem.

Obviously due to it being an unpublished novel, I can’t tell you anything about it or rather I’m erring on the side of discretion.  I’ll post my progress on it, just because it’s better for me to do so, since I’m more likely to make progress on reading, but alas, I shall have to keep details about the book hush hush until it’s published.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

She updated this week! I haven’t had a chance to read the next chapter yet.  I’m hoping this weekend will allow it.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: Komarr
Series Title: Vorkosigan Saga
Author: Lois Bujold McMaster
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I replied to a comment on a body positivity site about bullying, and another commenter replied to me recommending this book.  Though the blurb appears to be in Swedish, Goodreads insists the book is in English, and though it’s the 11th book of the series, I was informed this would be one I’d want to read.  The main character deals with bullying from all sources (family and schoolmates), which is something I grew up with, and like the MC, I was told to “ignore it and it’ll go away,” which is absolute bullshit.  I thanked the purveyor of the comment and added this to my TBR list.

Title: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
Series Title: The Vampire Chronicles
Author: Anne Rice
Date Added: February 13, 2017

I talked about this above in the Purchased This Week section.

Title: One
Author: Sarah Crossan
Date Added: February 13, 2017

Thank you to The Writing Hufflepuff for throwing this into my sphere!  Apparently, it will rip my heart out.  I am so not ready D:

It’s about conjoined twin sisters Tippi and Grace who are perfectly happy being two in one, but then something happens that forces them to make the choice they’ve always been avoiding, and I already have a feeling I know what’s going to happen…

Title: Dweller
Author: Jeff Strand
Date Added: February 13, 2017

My Rapid Fire Book Tag (which I’ve already linked above) incited others to join in the fun, which is what such tags are about!  But there is a selfish side to the book tag phenomenon mwa ha ha, and that’s the fact that I find out about more new books to add to my ever growing TBR list.  Wait…this may not be so advantageous after all noooooo.  Hehe, truly, while I’ll never have time to finish them all, I’d hate to miss something I may very well love, and Ignited Moth almost casually mentioned this interesting horror gem (horror gem?  Horror gem?) in the Underrated Book section of the tag.

We’ve all heard stories about monsters in the forest and bogeymen in the woods.  They’re usually the Big Bad of any tale, and initially the main character Toby is terrified when he sees the creature in question, but the next time he encounters it, he’s lonely, unhappy teenager bereft of friends and overburdened with bullies.  The hungry creature provided a solution to both.  I just put this on my “Really Want To Read” list.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 554
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/8/17          The State of the Reader: 2/22/17–>

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The State of the Reader: 2/8/17

<–The State of the Reader: 2/1/17          The State of the Reader: 2/15/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: Rest in Piece
Author: B. W. Ginsburg
Date Added: December 12, 2016
Date Started: January 22, 2017
Date Finished: February 6, 2017
Reading Duration: 16 days

I’ll be working on a review for this soon.  I’m still a bit backlogged with them.  I’m in the middle of one for The Raven Boys, which I should’ve finished last weekend.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to catch up on Ms. Steifvater’s novel and review Ms. Ginsburg’s this one.


Books Purchased: 1

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017

Media: Kindle
Price: $0.00


Books Currently Reading: 5

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017
Date Started: February 8, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 5%

This is currently available for free on Amazon, so if you’re interested in erotica and/or mystery, I highly recommend it.  I never really considered myself an erotica reader (I’m not against it, and I’ve even dabbled in writing it), but Ms. Black does what I wish other authors would with the subject matter.

This is the third book in her Submissive Beth Series, and I’m already liking what I’ve read.  The lovely author sent me a gratis copy, but I had some trouble sending it to my Kindle.  It was odd because the format was correct, but I kept getting an error message.

Title: The Illustrated A Brief History of Time/The Universe in a Nutshell
Author: Stephen Hawking
Date Added: June 25, 2016
Date Started: January 2, 2016

Media: Paperback
Progress: 23%

I just started the chapter on black holes and the history of such.  One of the main ideas around black holes is contingent on light being considered both a wave and a particle.  If it’s the latter, that means gravity could have some sort of effect on it, but a large amount of gravity is require in order to have said effect.

Title: The Dream Thieves
Series Title: The Raven Cycle
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Date Added: January 23, 2017
Date Started: January 26, 2017

Media: Kindle
Progress: 28%

Ugh this book is so freaking good.  There’s no quality loss in the second book, and the author never lets up with the surprises.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 61%

I am finally in the last section, or Fourth Branch, of this book.  There are three sections, and I’m hoping to finish at least one per month, so I can say I read this compendium in less than a year.

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Date Added: October 15, 2016
Date Started: January 25, 2017

Media: Hardback
Progress: 20%

I’m giving this book a few more chapters to capture my interest.  I’m currently on Chapter 4 around page 50.  I think I’ll give it until around page 100 before relegating it to the DNF pile.


Fanfictions Finished: 0

Fanfictions Currently Reading: 1

Title: I’m the Darkness, You’re the Starlight
Author: runicmagitek
Fandom: FFVI
Pairing: Celes Chere/Setzer Gabbiani

No updates yet, but I’m still on the lookout for them.

Fanfictions Added to TBR List: 0


Books Added to Goodreads TBR List This Week: 4

Title: The Missing Orchid
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: February 2, 2017

I was graciously given a copy of this by the lovely author; it’s the third book in the series.  I try to keep at least one indie or new author book in my rotation.  This will be the next one after I finish Rest in Piece.

Note: I know this book is in the Purchased and Currently Reading section, which are the more recently updated.  I update the books I add to my TBR list during the week so as not to be overwhelmed in one day.

Title: The Ripper’s Shadow
Series Title: Victorian Mystery
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Date Added: February 2, 2017

I’ve admitted before that I’ve never really been particularly interested in Jack the Ripper, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be interested in novels about Jack the Ripper.  Since the entire story isn’t known, writers have a duty to fill in the gaps, and this book comes recommended by Kim of By Hook or By Book who gave it 4.5 stars, so I’m sure it’s worth my time.

Title: Behind Her Eyes
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Date Added: February 3, 2017

The fore mentioned Kim of By Hook or By Book recommended this to me on Goodreads, and initially I didn’t add it, because it didn’t quite strike my fancy, and I have plenty of books on my TBR list to get through already, but then I read her review of it, and I’m dying to know what kind of a twist could throw a (former?) librarian for a loop.

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Date Added: February 8, 2017

A pun led me to add this book to my list.  A friend tagged me in the below meme:

dory-in-gray

Once I finished unashamedly giggling, I realized I didn’t have the Wilde work on my TBR list and went to remedy that.


Total Books on Goodreads TBR List: 551
Change from Last Week: +3


Books Added to Goodreads To Be Reread List This Week: 0


What are you currently reading and/or what’s on your radar to read next?  What would you recommend based on my current and recently added?  As always I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

<–The State of the Reader: 2/1/17          The State of the Reader: 2/15/17–>

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The Goodreads Book Tag

This is one of the many “tag” posts I found months ago that I saved for when I had more time.

I found this on Callum McLaughlin’s blog a while ago and put it aside to do later.  It’s currently later, and I’m excited to finally do this tag.  Like Callum, I encourage anyone to add me as a friend on Goodreads!

Let’s get to it.

  • What was the last book you marked as “read?”

The Red Rose by Fia Black from the Submissive Beth Mysteries.

This book and the one before it got me into the mystery genre, something I need to do since I want to write in it at some point.  It also has the extra bonus of portraying the BDSM scene a lot better than some more well known series out there.

  • What are you currently reading?

Four books right now:

Since I discovered that I could easily fit some Kindle pages in during lunchtime at my job, I’ve added an additional book to my reading trio.  Oddly enough, now that I’m on my vacation I’m reading less of Sigil than I was during work.

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The Red Rose by Fia Black (Submissive Beth Mysteries #2)

<–The Jade Dragon (SBM #1)                                                 The Missing Orchid (SBM #3)–>

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Genre: Mystery, BDSM
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: August 23, 2016

Pages: 119
Publication Date: August 5, 2015
Media Type: Kindle

Allana Bale dropped off her eight-month-old daughter at her mother’s house and never returned. With a pattern of running away and drug use, her disappearance isn’t given a second look. Until Beth comes along.
Beth, now a professional PI and submissive tries to juggle the two when she is given this missing person’s case. Having to delve into a person’s past can be dangerous but Beth is determined to learn what happened to Allana. Did she run away from the pressures of motherhood or is everything not as it seems?


This is the second book by author Fia Black that I’ve had the pleasure to review.  She provided me with a free copy under no obligation, but I was delighted to have another novel in the Submissive Beth Mysteries series to read.

The main character Beth remains just as intriguing with her “day” work as a PI and her “night” work as a submissive.  If you are not well-versed in the BDSM world, this is a far better series to set your sights on than some others.  It’s incredibly sex positive and non-shaming in addition to presenting BDSM with all the rules of consent in place.

As in the first novel The Jade Dragon, the missing person is someone of “ill repute,” a recovering drug addict and prostitute who seemingly abandons her eight month old daughter before going off on another bender, but there are numerous factors pointing away from what seems the obvious option, and Beth is more than willing to take this case that the police believe is open and shut  As in Dragon the victim is doubly victimized by utter lack of empathy and justice on the system’s part, the latter of which would’ve stood unless Beth intervened.  What complicates matters is our heroine’s rocky relationship with Detective Reiner whose help she needs in order to work the case.

This mystery is a quick read that uses direct and no nonsense language.  The parts where Beth is working her submissive job are so immersive and fascinating, and as I mentioned above, the novel and series as a whole are very sex positive/non-shaming, which is refreshing and needed.

Miss Black’s style of writing works very well for this genre.  It’s quick and to the point with no unnecessary fluff bogging it down.  Beth does serious work whether or not she’s sleuthing a case or satisfying a client, and in both instances, she always gets results.

4 stars.

<–The Jade Dragon (SBM #1)                                                 The Missing Orchid (SBM #3)–>

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The State of the Reader: 8/24/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/17/16          The State of the Reader: 8/31/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown
Date Finished: August 23, 2016

This was a nice quick-read mystery that I highly recommend along with the first book in the series The Jade Dragon.  I’ll be writing a full review of this hopefully by the end of the week.


Books Currently Reading: 4
Change from Last Week:
 +1

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 77%

I finally finished the chapter on Malkuth, and I’m about to start the one on the Qliphoth or Unholy Sephiroth (emanations from the left hand of God).  After that the format of the book changes to be more instruction like for practical workings so I’m not sure how much of that I’m going to read.  We’ll see when we get there.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 7%

I read two and a half chapters in one setting this week instead of my customary one.  This compendium continues to delight.  Ms. Walton has a wonderful way with language.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Series Title: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Date Added: May 11, 2016
Date Started: August 24, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 13%

I added this book on the May 11, 2016 State of the Reader post.  The instant I picked this volume up in the bookstore a tingle ran through my bones.  I knew it was going to be extraordinary, and I have not been disappointed.  It grips you from even the prologue, which is amazing since prologues are considered out of vogue these days and Ransom Riggs is a new writer, (or rather this is his first published book) so I know the story is fantastic since newbies are usually castigated for making that faux pas (I removed the prologue from my original WIP for that very reason).

This is a mystery that involves a murder, but the murder is only the start.

Title: Sigil
Author: Aidan J. Reid
Date Added: June 9, 2016
Date Started: August 23, 2016

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 10%

I added this book on the June 16, 2016 State of the Reader post.  Like the first story I read by this author, Spectrum (reviewed here), Sigil immediately grips you.  Each chapter so far hangs you on a cliff and you have to see what happens next.  Murder-mystery in a sleepy (Irish) town is certainly something that’s been often done, but the unconventional priest detective puts me in the mind of another unconventional murder-mystery 3 Gates to the Dead by Jonathon Ryan (which I’ve reviewed here).  The author himself is from Northern Ireland so there’s a powerful and authentic voice behind every word.

If you didn’t notice I’m currently reading four books instead of my customary three.  I noticed I was getting a bit of reading done on my Kindle right before bed with The Red RoseI’d already decided I was going to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children next, and realized that since Kindle reading (on my phone at least) doesn’t require a light, I could snatch some pages up before going to sleep.  I used to read from my Kindle prior to jazzercise (back when I was able to go ;_;) and have noticed I can even get some chapters read at work during lunch.  I’m always trying to get as many finished read as possible especially considering I’ve over 500 on my TBR list.  Since I managed to read 10% in only about a day, I think this plan has merit.

Therefore I’ll now be doubling up on my fantasy/general fiction reading since I can have both a physical book and a kindle copy going concurrently.

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The State of the Reader: 8/17/16

<–The State of the Writer: 8/10/16          The State of the Writer: 8/24/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 0


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week:
0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 73%

I’m still on the chapter about Malkuth. It’s a slow crawl to the finish, but I’m making progress every week, which is something.  It’s been ten years since I’ve attempted to read this book, what are (potentially) ten weeks more?

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 5%

I considered adding Ms. Walton’s fantasy novel Witch House to my TBR list, but held off for the nonce.  Now that I’m looking, I can see that she has a bunch more stories to her credit.  You may see some of them on my Goodreads added list next week.

This compendium continues to delight.  I’m only reading a chapter with each session, and since the chapters are short, but the book is long, it’s going to take quite a while at this pace.

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 69%

I’m breezing through this book thanks in part to the author’s quick and easy to read style. I didn’t realize how much I’d love that for mysteries, but it fits so much better than the heavy prose I use and am used to for high fantasy.  It’s definitely a stylistic tip I want to remember if/when I try my hand at the genre. I just hit a big point in the narrative the other night. I’m hoping to finish before my update next week.

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The State of the Reader: 8/10/16

<–The State of the Reader: 8/3/16          The State of the Reader: 8/17/16–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Finished This Week: 1

Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Series Title: Hogwarts Library
Author: J.K. Rowling
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 28, 2016
Date Finished: August 5, 2016

Finished and reviewed within the week.  It was cute and definitely worth the time and money.


Books Currently Reading: 3
Change from Last Week: 0

Title: The Mystical Qabalah
Author: Dion Fortune
Date Added: August 13, 2012
Date Started: Unknown

Mystical Qabalah, TheMedium: Paperback
Progress: 71%

Malkuth has a long chapter.  I have 20 pages left in it before I get to the Qliphoth, the averse or Unholy Sephiroth.  I’m…a bit interested in that, but a little bit wary, too.  While I’m fairly scientifically minded, I don’t find it wise to poke the things that go bump in the night.

Title: The Mabinogion Tetralogy
Author: Evangeline Walton
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 31, 2016

Medium: Paperback
Progress: 4%

This book is absolutely amazing.  I’m not surprised that I find it interesting, but I am pleased that it reads more like a story than separate myths.  It’s quite long though so I think I’ll probably be reading it for a while.  I’ve been averaging about a chapter a week, which isn’t much considering.

Title: The Red Rose
Series Title: Submissive Beth Mysteries
Author: Fia Black
Date Added: August 8, 2016
Date Started: Unknown

Medium: Kindle
Progress: 41%

Ms. Black is one of the amazing authors I’ve met through my WordPress adventures.  I read and thoroughly enjoyed her first Submissive Beth Mysteries book The Jade Dragon, and I was generously gifted a copy of the second.  It’s only $0.99 on Amazon (the same price as Jade), so it shouldn’t break your bank to purchase.

This book is so easy to breeze through.  The first four chapters are available on her blog, which I linked above under her name, so you can actually get a free sample before purchase  The best gift you can give an author is a review of their work.  This book and the prior are unique in its protagonist is a PI who also works in the BDSM scene.  She takes the cases the cops often brush aside, and that alone makes a statement that people who don’t fit a “perfect” profile are still worthy of being helped.

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