Looking Back on January 2022

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Even though I’m not doing goals for 2022, I’m still going to continue with writing out everything I accomplished at the end of each month. Mainly as a diary for myself to look back on everything I managed to do. Ultimately my plan for the year is just to experience new things by playing video games I never have before (a lot of Nintendo games that were on consoles I never had growing up along with others), have fun creatively with art and body painting, and finish writing my novel (without restarting it as I have for the last few years every time I near the ending). On top of that, I think at some point this year I might get another dog, a puppy to be specific, I would like to get one while Pixie still has a pep to her step so she can help train the little one before her elder years. Plus, Pixie ultimately does better when there’s another dog around.

Body Paints of the Month

Books I Managed to Read this Month

If they have a ♥ next to them, they are available on Kindle Unlimited. If I did a review, I’ll link it outside I decided to include quick reviews of books or series. If it’s a series, the mini-review is at the end of all the books. Mostly it’s just a quick blurb about what the book/series was about. For the most part, these are in the order that I read them in, but if they were a series I kept them together so the blurb went underneath the series.

  1. Wolf Hunted (The Last Shifter, Book 1) by Sadie Moss – 3.25 stars
  2. Wolf Called (The Last Shifter, Book 2) by Sadie Moss – 3.25 stars
  3. Wolf Claimed (The Last Shifter, Book 3) by Sadie Moss – 3 stars
  4. Wolf Freed (The Last Shifter, Book 4) by Sadie Moss – 3.25 stars
    • This series follows a group of individuals who were tested upon by a corporation that turned them into shifters. Individuals with the ability to change from humans to wolves at will. They are trying to escape the corporation and bring them to the ground after the horrible things they did, not just to them but to hundreds of people over the course of decades. It is a reverse harem series. Some elements were glossed over or rushed around the romance elements of the book.
  5. Hooked (Never After Series) by Emily McIntire – 3.5 stars
    • A Peter Pan re-imaging following Hook (nickname of a mob boss) and his love interest, Wendy, who is the daughter of Peter. Almost all names are identical to the original tale except for Tinkerbell who becomes Tina Belle. This is a dark romance so there are a lot of darker themes in the book.
  6. Scarred (Never After Series) by Emily McIntire – 3.5 stars
    • A Lion King re-imaging following the Scarred Prince and his love interest. Most of the names in this re-imaging from the villain’s perspective are changed though they take on similar names. Paul is Pumba, Simon is Simba, Timothy is Timon, etc. There are also more Hamlet references in this version compared to in Lion King. This is a dark romance so there are a lot of darker themes in the book.
  7. Blood and Ruin by Rumer Hale – 3.75 stars
    • I stayed up all night reading this book as I couldn’t put it down. While it is a reverse harem book, there are no sex scenes in this book though I have a feeling that will be coming in future installments of the series since this book leaves off on a major cliffhanger. It is a very dark book with torture scenes against the main character. I’m very curious to see what happens in the next book, which has not been released yet. Most of the book focuses on the main character, Kiarra, attempting to escape her stepfather who kidnapped her six years following the murder of her mother. She is reunited with her childhood best friends who turn out to be her mates. We don’t know a whole lot about what type of supernatural being Kiarra is other than she can survive pretty much anything as her body has the ability to heal even in situations where she should’ve died.
  8. Lost Boys (Slateview High, Book 1) by Eva Ashwood – 3.5 stars
  9. Wild Girl (Slateview High, Book 2) by Eva Ashwood – 3.25 stars
  10. Mad Love (Slateview High, Book 3) by Eva Ashwood – 3.5 stars
    • While I typically don’t read books regarding high school or anything real life unless there is a hint of a retelling of a classic fairy tale or mythology… sometimes I do end up reading outside my usual bubble. I remembered likely Eva Ashwood’s other series called Dark Broken Savages and I’m waiting on the next book to be released for that, so I decided to try out one of her other series. This one is regarding a girl whose father was arrested for fraud and ends up going to public school where everyone hates her due to what her father did in the past. Three boys called the Lost Boys end up taking her under their wing for protection in exchange she belongs to them. It’s a romance novel but there’s some plot outside of the romance elements. Mostly, it’s just a turn your brain off and entire the romance kind of book.
  11. Lord of Embers (The Demon Queen Trials, Book 2) by C. N. Crawford – 3.5 stars
    • In the second book of the series, Rowan finally learns the truth about what happened to her mother and who she really is. We also get to see the start of the power struggle between Orion and Rowan over the crown for the City of Thorns, since both are destined to be the true ruler. As it turns out, the Dying God (Orion’s father) wanted a competition so he gave the mark to his son while Rowan has it for other reasons. There is still some attraction/romance between the two as they are constantly thinking of the other, but both deny it in favor of their goals so most of those scenes are dreams. Honestly, I’m hoping they somehow find a way to get together by the end of the series, though I don’t think that’s possible at the same time. They want very different things. Can’t wait to find out what happens in the next installment, which comes out in June.
  12. Fortune Favors the Cruel (Dark Maji, Book 1) by Kel Carpenter – 3.5 stars
  13. Blessed be the Wicked (Dark Maji, Book 2) by Kel Carpenter – 3.5 stars
  14. Twisted is the Crown (Dark Maji, Book 3) by Kel Carpenter – 3.5 stars
  15. For King and Corruption (Dark Maji, Book 4) by Kel Carpenter – 3.5 stars
  16. Long Live the Soulless (Dark Maji, Book 5) by Kel Carpenter – 3.5 stars
    • This series takes place in multiple POVs with the majority being Quinn (a fear twister) and Lazarus (a soul eater) as Lazarus attempts to become the King of Norcasta. He has to deal with the blood heirs, Quinn’s past and revenge, and an old friend that betrayed him in the place. All the while Quinn is trying to get revenge on her family for selling her off as a slave and rescuing her half-sister, Risk. There are a lot of dark moments throughout the series as neither of the main characters are “good”. They both delight in being wicked and are very ambitious which make them a formidable pairing. It’s an interesting series that I quite enjoyed.
  17. Electric Idol (Dark Olympus, Book 2) by Katee Robert – 3.5 stars
    • Modern Retelling of Psyche and Eros set in the same universe as the previous book, Neon Gods. Demeter is still up to get power plans going after the position of Hera using one of her daughters. However, Psyche ends up running into Eros which pisses Aphrodite off. Similar to the original myth, Psyche and Eros fall in love much to Aphrodite’s dismay resulting in her wanting Psyche eliminated. In this case, she wants Psyche’s heart. Only Eros can’t bring himself to do it and ends up marrying her instead. The rest of the book follows the two of them as they deal with Aphrodite, fall out over Demeter’s plans, and falling in love with one another. Can’t wait for the next book which is Helen, Achilles, and Patroclus in a competition over who will be the next Ares.
  18. Gods & Monsters (Gods & Monsters, Book 1) by Janie Marie – 3.25 stars
  19. The Fallen Queen (Gods & Monsters, Book 2) by Janie Marie – 3.25 stars
  20. The Light Bringer (Gods & Monsters, Book 3) by Janie Marie – 3.25 stars
    • This series is about a woman named Jane, who has lived a very tortured/abused life. However, her life changes when zombies happen and she discovers that she is the promised other half to a vampire knight that’s part of King Arthur’s round table. Not only that but she is bonded to the Angel of Death/Fourth horsemen of the Apocalypse. And Lucifier desires her as well. The series follows Jane on her path of self-acceptance and forgiveness with angels, demons, werewolves, vampires and more with other individuals from Norse and Greek mythology. Some parts are very repeatitive or confusing. Honestly, I’m still not 100% sure how to intercept the ending of the series. It was good, but be warned that the last book ending can be very muddled in what the conclusion is to the trilogy. There are a lot of time jumps and things that don’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s kind of up to the reader to decide what it means (I think). Still, good but not a clear cut ending. I would’ve rated this series higher if things hadn’t repeated so much, were confusing, or literally whatever the last 20% of the final book was. Not spoiling what happens, but just what?!? Shrugs. I still enjoyed it and thought some elements were well executed. Others felt a bit rushed or glossed over.

Check out this post to see how my rating scale works, but quick version: 5 stars = Masterpiece, nothing can literally be better than this. Not to mention, a major book slump happens afterward where I cannot pick up another book for quite some time. 4 stars = One of the best books I’ve ever read, I couldn’t put it down and found little fault in it. 3 stars = A good book but there were some flaws from editing to plot to you name it. 2 stars = Liked the book, but wouldn’t say it was something that was memorable. 1 star = Book wasn’t for me. I almost never give a 5-star rating, some books have come close but something always held me back from giving it to those books. I also use .25 increments with the ratings, so there’s a range in each of those levels.

Twitch Updates/Reflection

I increased the number of days I stream from 3 times a week to 4 times with an additional bonus stream on Saturdays whenever I was playing games with my friends: Foxtail, Joker, and Sandy. There’s a little structure around how the days flow with what I’m doing on stream:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: Playing whatever the main game I’m working on. This month that was Hollow Knight. I haven’t finished the game yet but I’ve been enjoying it a lot!
  • Fridays: Horror/Spooky Game
  • Saturdays: Body Paint streams.

Though technically this happened at the very end of last year, I joined the Skytech.exe stream team! They are amazingly supportive of streamers and two of my close friends (Joker and Foxtail) are also on the team. I also redid all of my emotes for my channel this month and created alerts (though I might still work on making those better). Still, it made me feel a sense of accomplishment getting those done. These are all of my current emotes, a good portion of them are on Discord since I’m only an affiliate on Twitch:

Not sure what next month will bring, but I’m looking forward to several books that are going to be released and maybe finishing playing Hollow Knight over on Twitch. I’m honestly surprised I’ve been enjoying this much and not just rage quitting it. Typically, I don’t end up finishing platforming games or games of this nature because I’m not the greatest at them, but I’ve made a lot of progress so far. I think I might be close to finishing the game, then I’ll be starting Skyrim over on Twitch since I’ve never finished playing that before. Off stream, I’m playing Pokemon Legends Arceus. I really wanted to play it but didn’t want to wait until I finished Hollow Knight to begin.

Hope you had a great January, and if not, then your February will be even better!

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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