Something New: Play This Game

Photo by Kevar Whilby on Unsplash

Hello Again, My Loves❤️

I hope this post finds you all well. I have not been in the right headspace for weeks now with all that is going on in our world. And like many others, it has left me emotionally and physically exhausted and depleted. It seems like one thing after another and every day I find that I am attempting to grasp at tiny straws to keep my anxiety at bay.

This week I finally had the thought of picking up my tablet to read again. And even the inspiration to be creative. This reminded me of a poem I wrote for a contest held in a discord group I’m a member of. The piece is titled Play This Game and it is based on the theme of being “bored in the house” during quarantine. 😆 It took a while to finish when I was working on it because it evolved into a much longer piece than I intended, but I had fun working on it. And I love how it turned out.

It tells the story of an engaged couple having to spend their time together while under quarantine. In the beginning, things are fine but as the days drag on their perfect relationship begins to fall apart. This isn’t a literal reflection of any romantic relationship of mine but the frustration in the narrative and the doubt that steadily creeps in were drawn from my own anxiety and frustrations during quarantine. As you read you will notice how each of them sees their relationship and the partner they have chosen to spend forever with.

I hope you like it🙂 I’m pleased to share it with you now. Here is Play This Game:

 

Day 5

“Let’s relax and Netflix.”

Bored, but overlooking the urge to explore deeper.

Showtime. Food Network. Apple Tv.

Binge-watching anime is still the winner.

Day 10

“Let’s walk the dogs.”

“Let’s try out that new cookbook.”

Day in. Day out.

This routine has worn me down.

Day 14

“Let’s talk.”

“Let’s reconnect.”

Cosplaying as Asta and S.A.M. are losing its effect.

Do you just want to have sex?

Day 16

Prickly. Hot. And constant.

The depth of my thinning patience,

Against your incessant annoyance

Is weaning

Day 21

“Let’s replay God of War.”

“Or we can pull out the grill.”

“We can always just Netflix and chill.”

Permit me a moment alone to be still.

Day 27

Breathe. Blink. Staring out at empty streets.

The stale air in this house, just shy of suffocating,

But I’ve found better ways to play this game

Day 30

My tongue across your skin.

Salty. Bitter. Hungry.

I’m tasting a different part of you; unseen.

Corse, rough hands consume me.

Demanding. Powerful. Empty.

Day 31

I thought I missed your lips,

But I think I’m just bored again.

Day 34

“Let’s FaceTime our parents.”

“And watch-party with our friends.”

“So, you can remember the plans for our new beginning.”

Day 37

I’m choked up,

I’m tongue-tied.

I loved you once,

I swear my heart wasn’t a lie.

Day 40

But you’re convinced being cooped up inside

Has morphed this boredom into an unruly monster.

“That’s what is playing tricks with your mind.”

“Come to bed. Close your eyes. Let your mind wander.”

Day 42

I agree with your touch.

Loving. Tender. Sincere.

I agree with your assumed conviction.

Overbearing. Dismissive. A harsh puppeteer.

Day 43

As the days linger on,

Doubt settles further

What entity in these four walls is the true unruly monster?

Day 44

An easy smile and the grasp of my hand.

I submit but my mind begins to understand.

Cold. Unfamiliar. Forced.

Curl over to shield my heart’s remorse.

Day 45

Desperate for a peace of mind that is my own,

I cry in silence while you sleep.

Is this boredom controlling me?

Day 46

“Let’s clean up to stay organized.”

Nodding. I cannot refuse.

There isn’t much else to do

have to play this game with you

Day 50

Color coordinating what stays and what goes.

Blue & purple dots present our story’s inevitable close.

Day 51

It cracks and weakens.

The house’s foundation is screaming.

Alongside our own,

I can no longer smile in this designated role.

Day 52

Our relationship was built on BlerdCon and tethered binds

But we are not the kids we used to be.

Indifferent strangers from a foreign time

So, stop playing this game with me

You shout,

I whisper.

You scream,

I hum.

Gesture to throw your fist,

I run.

Day 53

“Let’s make up.”

“I need to make it right.”

“Let’s track down a counselor. “

Let me sleep on my own, for once, tonight.

Day 54

Failed attempts to decode love’s mainframe

While we slow-burned cold in this obligated isolation

What did two bruised hearts achieve playing this wicked game?

If nothing else, an ironic and bittersweet self-reflection.

Day 55

When these doors are forced open,

And the locks are released.

I will march away willingly.

But you’ll cling to the rotting memories.

Day 63

Too much time wasted bored in this house

I pack up a box and leave the rest behind.

You try to snake around me like a vine,

But I am already halfway to the nearest liquor store for some wine.

~Play This Game by Gia.©~

 

Thank you so much for stopping by to check out Play This Game. Did you spot the anime references? 😄 *hint*: Black Clover & Buster Canons. I aim to be back at reviewing soon, loves.

Until the next post, be well. Stay safe.

Gia.❤️

 

Photos credits for this post:

*Cover Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
*Header Photo by Kevar Whilby on Unsplash

Active Memory (Mirador #3) By: Dan Wells | Review & Giveaway

book cover active memory
Active Memory (Mirador #3)
By: Dan Wells
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Rating: 4 stars
Release: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Balzer & Bay
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Synopsis:
From Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence and the John Cleaver series, comes the third and final book in the dark, pulse-pounding, sci-fi neo-noir series that began with the acclaimed novel Bluescreen.

For all the mysteries teen hacker Marisa Carneseca has solved, there has been one that has always eluded her: the truth behind the car accident in which she lost her arm and a mob boss’ wife, Zenaida de Maldonado, lost her life. Even in a world where technology exists to connect everyone’s mind to one another, it would seem that some secrets can still remain hidden.

Those secrets rise violently to the surface, however, when Zenaida de Maldonado’s freshly severed hand shows up at the scene of a gangland shooting. If Zenaida is—or was—still alive, it means there’s even more about Marisa’s past that she doesn’t know. And when she and her friends start digging, they uncover a conspiracy that runs from the slums of Los Angeles to the very top of the world’s most powerful genetic engineering firm. If Mari wants the truth, she’s going to have to go through genetically enhanced agents, irritatingly attractive mob scions, and some bad relationships to get it.

Dan Wells’s widely acclaimed series continues with his most shocking, pulse-pounding, and visionary story yet

Unforgivable Love By: Sophfronia Scott | Review

Unforgivable Love: A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons
By: Sophfronia Scott
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction, Retellings, Romance,
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Synopsis:

“A dazzlingly dark and engaging tale full of heartbreak, treachery, and surprise.” – Kirkus

In this vivid reimagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, it’s the summer when Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier and a sweltering stretch has Harlem’s elite fleeing the city for Westchester County’s breezier climes, two predators stalk amidst the manicured gardens and fine old homes.

Heiress Mae Malveaux rules society with an angel’s smile and a heart of stone. She made up her mind long ago that nobody would decide her fate. To have the pleasure she craves, control is paramount, especially control of the men Mae attracts like moths to a flame.

Valiant Jackson always gets what he wants—and he’s wanted Mae for years. The door finally opens for him when Mae strikes a bargain: seduce her virginal young cousin, Cecily, who is engaged to Frank Washington. Frank values her innocence above all else. If successful, Val’s reward will be a night with Mae.

But Val secretly seeks another prize. Elizabeth Townsend is fiercely loyal to her church and her civil rights attorney husband. Certain there is something redeemable in Mr. Jackson. Little does she know that her worst mistake will be Val’s greatest triumph.

BOOK REVIEW:

Unforgivable Love is a retelling of the classic Les Liaisons Dangerous, but I’m not familiar with the original story. What I do know is that this book is filled with this laid-back, passionate and vibrant imagery elegance from start to finish. The love and details of music associated with Harlem and the rippling complexity of each of the characters draw a number of favorable points for this book.

Besides being set in one of my favorite eras, I found that the cockiness of the main characters was something that really kept me hooked almost right away because their confidence and self-assurance was not only entertaining but intriguing; almost daringly pulling the reader into their games with them. Likewise, the characters brought an infectious intensity, twists and at times bits of humor in the narrative.  Like others will, I’m sure,  I really loved the well laid out social intrigue between Mae and her inner circle.

Underneath Mae’s calculating motives and cool demeanor, there’s a girl so hungry for love that I couldn’t help but empathize with. It is clear that the loss of her closest and dearest friend, and first true love has turned Mae against the world and the core motivations behind her plan regarding her cousin comes from a place of pride, ego, rejection and old wounds that haven’t healed around her heart.

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect By: Lissa Reed | Book Review, Q&A (+Giveaway)

Absolutely, Almost, Perfect (Sucre Coeur Series #3)
By: Lissa Reed
Genre: M/M Romance, LGBTQ+, Contemporary Fiction, Rom/Com Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: August 3, 2017
Publisher: Duet Books/ Interlude Press
Received an ARC copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.

As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.

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A House Without Windows By: Nadia Hashimi | Review

A House Without Windows
By: Nadia Hashimi
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Culture, Mystery, Family, Friendship
Rating: 4 stars
Reprint release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks/ Harper Collins

Synopsis:

A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

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Prelude To Insurrection: A Legends of Tivara Short Story (Dragon Songs Saga) by: J.C. Kang | Book Review

Prelude To Insurrection (Dragon Songs Saga)
Genre: High Fantasy, Epic Adventure, Mythology
Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: May 3, 2017
Publisher: Three Moon Press
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis: Only an orphan half-elf spy can avert a rebellion before it starts. Jie’s superior senses have made her the perfect lookout. Now, as the adopted daughter of the Black Lotus Clanmaster, she wants to prove her pointed ears aren’t a liability when she’s tasked to infiltrate a rebel lord’s castle. In this prequel novelette to Songs of Insurrection, Jie must decide between her duty to the emperor and her sense of compassion toward the downtrodden. No matter her choice, it will have explosive consequences for her, the realm, and the upcoming war.

My Thoughts:

By now, my love for Jie’s character and the Dragon Songs Saga is no secret. So I was excited to see that J.C. brought us this Legends of Tivara short  and how well this short story tied into how we are first introduced to her character. Engaging narrative riddled with Black Lotus infiltration and action, equally balanced with small bits of humor strapped against an impending siege with Jie in the middle. What more could you ask for?

While a standalone story, reading this prelude before the series gives readers a greater insight into some details of Jie’s personality as well as parts of her past that we don’t read much about until later in the series. Though immensely skilled, perceptive and tactful, Jie’s character is also funny and hides a deeper layer of empathy that most don’t see. I might just be overly fan-girling but I stand by my statement ^_^. This short story was great and is highly recommended.

Thanks so much for reading, guys. Prelude To Insurrection is out now, so go check it out 🙂

Until the next post,

Gia.

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The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day | Review

The Day I Died

By: Lori Rader-Day
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Psychological, Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: April 11, 2017
 Synopsis:
From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother’s desperate search for a lost boy.Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she’d rewritten.

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Soul Blade (The Sword Of Light Trilogy #3) by: Aaron Hodges | Audiobook Review

Soul Blade (The Sword Of Light Book #3)
Narrator(s):David Stifel
Unabridged Audiobook: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Magic, YA Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology
Release Date: December 5, 2016
I Graciously Received A Copy Of This Book In Exchange For An Honest Review

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:
The Three Nations are crumbling. Darkness is gathering. Only one remains to stand against it. Eric stumbles through the wilderness, searching, hunting – desperate for  sign of his sister. But the girl is gone, stolen away by the power of  the Soul Blade. With each passing hour its hold on her tightens, her spirit fading before the onslaught of its magic.

If he cannot save her soon, it will claim her soul. And he will have to kill her.

Meanwhile, Gabriel is lost in the darkness. It is his whole world now, its presence absolute, suffocating. Time, hope, sanity, all have long since slipped beneath the waves of his despair. Only it remains – the  unrelenting voice of the demon. It haunts the darkness, mocking him with false promises of freedom.

How long can he resist its call?

Audiobook Review

Having the world and all the heroes pitted in such a thick cloud of darkness and doubt for the final chapter of this trilogy made this audiobook really enjoyable. Characters/heroes are only as good as how they react under such disparaging circumstances. I found that Eric’s character really seemed to come full circle in this last book as he and Anala find their way back to each other and the rest of their group while doing all that they can to learn to control the strength and weakness within their magic.

Though I was still not a fan of Eric and Inka’s relationship (that has always felt more like a siblings/close friend relationship) I do contribute a lot of his character growth to the support she’s given him throughout this series. With high fantasy/adventure stories like The Sword Of Light Trilogy I think it can be hard to really immerse yourself within these stories if the narrator does not bring a sense of animation and layer personality to the story.

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