February 2021 Playlist

February was a fast month. I felt very productive though. Was able to get the sci-fi novella ready to publish in March. It was a lot of work, but it was worth all the researching and learning.

I finished watching Bridgerton a few days ago. Initially, I had avoided it because there was too much hype around this Netflix show. I then learned that it was a book series by Julia Quinn and that piqued my interest. I started to debate as to whether I should read the books first or watch the show. I currently have a long list of TBRs and husband and I were running out of things to watch so I figured I’d wait on the books and watch the show. I’m glad I made that choice. Bridgerton was so good! I fell in love with the scene where Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Hastings had their first dance. It was the music that captured my heart. I should admit, Eloise (Daphne’s younger sister), was an interesting character. She caught my attention as well. I can’t wait to see where they take her in the next season.

This was the scene that got me 100% invested. At 1:05 is when the dancing starts and that beautiful music. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the show, this is the scene when Daphne and Simon are pretending to be in love to prove to Nigel (the older man watching them) that her relationship with Simon is real. Daphne’s brother (in the clip, he’s the one that goes off with Lady Danbury) had tried to marry her off to Nigel but she didn’t want to marry him. While they were dancing, you can tell that they were starting to really like each other.

Here are the other songs I listened to this month:

“Love Again” by Avaion

“Better Off Lonely” by Nurko

“Angel” by Massive Attack

“Ten Thousand Times Before” by Twelve Titans

“Chamber” by Songs To Your Eyes

Book Review: Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle

Title: Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle
Author: Kirsten Beyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Year Published: March 31, 2009

Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle by Kirsten Beyer is a science fiction novel based on the television show Star Trek: Voyager. It continues the story after the last episode of the show.

In this book, the main plot surrounds B’Ellana Torres, Commander Paris, and their baby daughter, Miral. There is a subplot on Admiral Janeway and Captain Chakotay’s relationship that plays an important part in the story. There is also a sprinkling of story on the main crew just to remind us that this was the Voyager crew.

I enjoyed this read. It was fast paced and ended too quickly. I would have loved more story on Seven of Nine and Tuvok.

Spirit & Opportunity

I just finished watching “Expedition Mars: Spirit & Opportunity” on Disney+ and I gotta say, I was overwhelmed, sad, and happy. The rovers seemed so human that when they died, it felt like I lost a friend. Anyway, I’m happy to say, NASA has sent out another rover that should touchdown on Mars this Thursday (February 18th). This one is going to join the one currently on Mars named, Curiosity. It’s going to be exciting!

Made a scrapbook layout of Spirit and Opportunity. The images and text are from NASA’s website. The template is by digital scrapbooker, Shannan. I’ve made adjustments to the template.

January 2021 Playlist

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since the 2nd of this month. My Instagram is also suffering. I guess I’m going through a phase trying to figure out what’s important in my life right now. I’ve got two books I need to review from December and I have a book I had planned to publish in December too, but because I wanted to get it copyrighted, I wasn’t able to publish. It took a month to get the copyright certificate, which was around the first week of this month. Then, I had to decide if I wanted to get it into the Library of Congress and also if I wanted to purchase only one or two ISBNs or 50. I’ve been struggling with plunking down the money for 50 but I think it would be a better deal than to buy one or two.

I’ve also been thinking about future finances. I’ve got a few debts I need to pay off and then I really want to hit hard putting money away for retirement. Nobody tells you this but when you have kids, putting money away for retirement takes a back seat. The kids always come first. Speaking of kids, my youngest will be going to high school next fall and I think that’s hitting me hard. It could also be why I’m finding it so hard to blog and write and do every day things.

Here’s my playlist for January:

“Prism of Life” by Enigma

“Why!” by Enigma

“Looking Through Patient Eyes” by PM Dawn. The lyrics are crazy amazing. Nobody writes lyrics like this anymore.

“Million Miles” by Angelina Jordan

“Sleepwalker” by Qveen Herby. I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Karmin (the name of the group before they switched labels and went with a solo name) back when they first became big. But I love the style of Qveen Herby!

December Playlist

Hope you all had a happy new year. I had purchased a Huion Kanvas 13 graphic tablet in mid-December to replace my old Wacom Intuos Pro, but after a few days of it working perfectly, it stopped working correctly. I was getting ready to create a “December Playlist” image and the pen cursor and the pen were not aligning. I tried everything under the moon to fix the problem, but nothing worked. I ended up returning the thing and got a Wacom One, which was a lot more expensive than the Huion. It wasn’t all quick and easy to setup either with the Wacom. The tablet required a USB-C to HDMI adapter. For some reason my iMac doesn’t like generic or other brands of adapters. I tried one that was $35 (these adapters range from $15 and up) and because it didn’t work, ended up paying $70 for an Apple one that worked.

I’ve read quite a few reviews on the Wacom One having issues. I just hope mine isn’t one of them. This was what my mind was occupied with in the last few days so my new year felt like an extension of 2020. You know, like one big mess. Anyway, here are my favorite songs of December.

Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi on The Voice (I love the song and his voice, but check out the piano guy. Isn’t he just amazing?)

Only Love Can Hurt Like This – Paloma Faith

Restless – Maddy Hartson

I Hope – Gabby Barrett

Book Review: The Lost Queen

Title: The Lost Queen
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Fantasy
Year Published: 2018

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike is a novel written through the eyes of Languoreth, the daughter of Morken, a high chieftain in the Kingdom of Strathclyde. We follow Languoreth from ten-years-old until her mid-thirties.

The story takes place in 550 AD (6th century) in what is now Scotland. It is basically a different version and angle of the legend of King Arthur (Uther Pendragon). The focus isn’t on the legend that we are familiar with, instead it is about the family who took in the young Uther. In the book Uther is known as Gwenddolau and we only get glimpses of him. The focus is on Languoreth and her struggle between desperately wanting to help her brother, Lailoken (who is a warrior as well as the spiritual advisor to Gwenddalau out in the Borderlands), and her family in Strathclyde.

I found the first half of the story a little slow. It didn’t pick up until halfway, but when it did pick up, it was amazing. I loved it. I’m a die-hard King Arthur/Merlin fan and anything having to do with this legend, I pretty much eat it up. I really enjoyed this angle from a queen who played a huge part in the lives of those warriors.

To me, Languoreth is a little bit of Catelyn Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire and Aelswith from The Last Kingdom. What makes her different is that she’s not so strong mentally when it comes to relationships. She has a hard time letting go. She has this ideal image of what love is and for some reason it creates unnecessary conflict. I can’t relate to her in that sense, but I do love her character.

The book is well written with flowy and beautifully orchestrated words. It’s like a magical piece of artwork. It’s just brilliant.

Music

I’ve been binge watching “Chuck” on Amazon Prime. When the show first came out, I watched an episode or two but didn’t have the time to keep up with it. I’m so happy that it’s on AP. One of the episode played “One More Try” by Timmy T in the background. That just totally solidified my love for the show. That song brought back so many memories.

This song came to me early one morning. I know why but I’ve got a lot of memories attached to it. It was used in a TV series called “Mr. Robot” but I haven’t seen it. I remember the song from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

“In Time” by Robbi Rob

Here’s one that I just love. It’s a timeless song.

“Kiss the Rain” by Billie Myers

Book Review: The Alchemyst’s Mirror

Title: The Alchemyst’s Mirror
Author: Liz Delton
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Year Published: October 27, 2020

The Alchemyst’s Mirror by Liz Delton is a fantasy story about two sisters who are on a quest to find their kidnapped brother. At the same time, there is a missing object/item that’s very dangerous and needs to be found before the wrong person gets to it. 

Petra and Maisie own a bakery and are very happy in their lives. The only thing that worries them is their missing brother. They both want to find him, so they set a plan to find him. Maisie gets kidnapped before they began the search leaving Petra to go without her. While Maisie is gone, Petra and an explorer named Evan commence the mission to find the brother. During their search, they find clues to a dangerous secret society, and before they know it, they get tangled in a trap. Maisie, while kidnapped on a ship outsmarts the person who kidnapped her and finds her way back to save her sister and Evan.

This was a really fun read. The two sisters were strong and knew what kind of life they wanted to live. Even though they had lost their parents and their brother was kidnapped, they kept it together. They were very protective of each other and you can feel the love between them. The action was wonderful, and the villain was well done. This story was a little fast-paced and there were lots of telling/describing things (that were unnecessary), but otherwise, it was a great read.

There was one thing I found a little annoying and I hope this changes in the following books, but I found Petra somewhat unlikable in the sense that she was often verbally abusive to Evan, who happened to really like her. She bossed him around and yelled at him when he made mistakes. I’m not sure why he stuck around or why he’d like someone like that. I was confused. I think that’s the only issue I had. I secretly wanted Evan to stand up to her.

I’d say this book would be great for those who enjoy a middle grade level of reading. It reminds me a little of Harry Potter in writing style.

NOTE: This book was given to me to read and review, but the opinion is purely my own.

Book Review: Theseus’ Lostness

Title: Theseus’ Lostness
Author: Stefan Calin
Genre: Fiction, Literary, Erotica
Year Published: August 5, 2020

Theseus’ Lostness by Stefan Calin is the first book in The Journeys We Wander trilogy. The story is about a man named Allan who finds himself between two relationships. He seems to struggle with which woman to get closer to but eventually makes his decision after some soul searching.

Allan works at a newspaper agency as a reporter. The receptionist at the agency, Marry, is one of the women he’s attracted to. The other woman is named Ilsa. Ilsa was accused of murder and was hospitalized due to injuries during the altercation that allegedly led to the murders. The case was so popular that the agency sent Allan to interview Ilsa for her side of the story.

While Allan is with Ilsa at the hospital, he listens to her tell him the story about her relationship with the man who was murdered. As he listens to her and spends more time with her, he begins to fall for her. She was a free-spirit, adventurous, and willing to try different things. These qualities appealed to him and kept him excited each time he visited her. At times, she was abrupt and impatient and that clashed with him making him question why he went to visit her at all. At the same time, he was slowly beginning to have an interest in Marry. He’s worked with her for a while but suddenly was attracted to her. Marry’s character is very straight forward. She comes across a little stiff or cold because of that. Allan tries to spend time with Marry but finds that it’s not as easy as he’d thought.

I enjoyed this story. It’s not very long and took me a couple of days to finish. I had originally started it and then took a few days off to catch up on other things. When I returned to it, I started from the beginning again. Once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. I found the story of Allan and Ilsa very interesting. My personal opinion of Allan was that he took advantage of Ilsa after she opened his eyes to what he calls “freedom.” I liked how Ilsa went about it. She allowed him deep into her heart to see all the good and the bad about who she was. I think he was attracted to that and the fact that she was easy to get along with and open up to. She had a way with pulling him to her with her words and actions and he totally fell for it. But then on the other end, he knew she had less freedom than he did, and here he was selfishly wanting the one thing she gave someone else. Marry wasn’t so easy to get close to. She was the perfect girl with a stable job and lots of friends. There were hoops to jump through to get close to her so even though she liked Allan and he liked her, she made him work for their relationship. I think Allan kind of spoke for all guys when he didn’t pursue her as hard as he could have. It took too much effort for maybe, just maybe, a chance to date. And even then, the relationship might not last. I can’t say for sure what decision Allan will make in the end. There are two other books in this trilogy so I don’t know who he’ll will end up with.

The sexual tension/erotica was tastefully done and necessary. I really liked the foreshadow surrounding this part of the relationship.

The only thing that I really didn’t care for were the surface, unclear, going nowhere thoughts and wonders Allan had. He does a lot of reflecting about life. At one point he talks to the reader as though the reader is a friend. Sometimes he will talk about thoughts in general, but have it come across as though he is preaching. It’s almost as if he thinks the reader agrees with him or the reader already knows what he just concluded. It didn’t provide any deeper meanings as I think it was meant to do. I also found the title a little confusing. Theseus was a king in Greek mythology, but I don’t know if I may have missed something in the book that was associated to him. There was no reference of any sort, or if there were, I missed it. These things were just minor though. This story was interesting with a well-developed main character and theme.

If you’re looking to read a fast-paced book with slight tension buildup, interesting perspective, and well-written erotica scenes, this would be an excellent choice.

NOTE: This book was given to me to read and review, but the opinion is purely my own.