Book Review | The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons

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The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons & Vicky Alvear Schecter
Release Date: January 14th 2021 by Serial Box
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Serial Box!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

In Victorian England, a savvy spiritual medium must outsmart the most important client of her career: a scientist determined to expose frauds like her.

But their game of wits has fatal consequences when a vengeful spirit answers their summons. If they cannot put aside their prejudices—and growing passion—and find a way to banish the ghost together, one of them could be its next victim.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I had no idea what this was but if you put “haunting” paired with “Rachel Hawkins” I won’t ask questions, I’ll just read it lol.

I’ve been on a bit of a historical fiction kick so, even better.

The summary pretty much tells you all you need to know about the book and at the 23 page sampler I got there isn’t much to really say beyond that. The murder that happens in the beginning did confuse me a bit; I’d like to know what drove that to happen since it seemed a bit random. Or at least it was a random part to place the opening of a book.

This is part 1 of a 9 part series. I suppose sort of like the Amazon exclusive “Faraway Collection” of fairy tale retellings they did.

Beatrix is a “spiritual medium” and I’m curious to know how something like that came to be so popular in those days. They weren’t a person to be feared or questioned but they were actually searched for. James really need a hobby. “Debunking” other peoples way of living is not his business lol. James, who hurt you?

The sneak peak ends right when things get good; Beatrix starts hearing and seeing things. Even finds proof a ghost might had been warning her. As she pulls up to the manor in question, she suddenly feels a very dark force.

I can’t wait to see what happens while Beatrix is there, sorry B. But that is the driving point of this whole series. And like I said I hope we get more of an insight of what happened in the beginning!

Book Review | The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles

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The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Owl Hollow!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people who will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.

2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII. Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary. With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own….

Amazon* | Goodreads

I love the idea of historical fiction however, I don’t pick it up enough and I’m not really sure why. The Poppy & the Rose not only brought me back to the Titanic (something I’m always fascinated with) but also gave me one of my novel weaknesses: duel timelines.

I’m not going to recap what this book is about, that’s what the summary is for. Though it is hard to remember not to for like word count reasons.

Whatever, anyway, we’re placed in London by Taylor who somehow ended up there just to figure out who some lady in a photo with her father was. Her father passed away btw, and while I get it… I mean I have a ton of questions for my own father who recently passed away; she could had easily I don’t know? Asked a family member? A friend of her dad’s? Like you really went and hopped the pond for that? I’m adventurous but I don’t think I would had went to THAT much of an extreme.

Our second timeline we’re boarding the Titanic with Ava and her father who seems to also be hiding shit from his daughter. See a theme here? Daughters with daddy’s who keep secrets. Daddy’s, DO NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM YOUR DAUGHTER. You think their mama is bad? She ain’t got shit on a curious daughter let me tell you. Parents who don’t provide full transparency get on my nerves; ya’ll always the ones messing up some shit!

Of the two timeline’s I gotta admit, Ava’s was the one I was most invested in. I felt like Taylor’s entire trip just didn’t make sense. She meets up randomly with an older woman named Lady Knight who ends up passing away the day that Taylor is set to have afternoon tea with her. Some of her servants blame Ava… somehow… even though she just met the lady WHO ASKED HER TO COME OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE and she didn’t even know where this manor even was before that day.

So you spend the book wondering who killed Lady Knight? Who IS Lady Knight? And does Lady Knight know Taylor’s dang daddy or not? And how the hell does this have anything to do with Ava? Well it does. But when all of this is revealed, you should had seen how flat my face fell. Like that’s it? That’s the big secret? It wasn’t the big reveal I was hoping for, or that I had assumed it was going in the direction of, but it definitely reminded me that even though I think MY family has problems (both sides are obsessed with money and so on and so on), there are some families who are just manipulative for fun.

Back to Ava; there were so many different characters and stories and potential endings… I wanted to know where Ava ended up later. I mean it’s lightly covered but I wanted to know KNOW what her life after the Titanic looked like. There was a huge twist I didn’t see coming when it came to Ava and it had something to do with the bigger part of what drove her. My heart broke when her dad decided to slap her with reality. Loss is hard for everyone but I think her dad was 100% selfish.

If Ava ever gets a spin off novel or if we get a peak inside the life of Lady Knight after Titanic, I’m so here for it all.

Book Review | You by Caroline Kepnes

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You by Caroline Kepnes
Release Date: August 18th 2018
Genre: Adult Fiction > Contemporary
Source: Scribd
Format: Audiobook
Summary:

When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I listened to this on audiobook via Scribd and loveeeeeeeeeeeeed it! Every single minute of it! I tried to make it background noise but I found myself stopping what I was doing and just staring at the wall listening to the audiobook. I feel like Joe’s inner thoughts are everything everyone thinks even though they’ll say they don’t. I get that we weren’t suppose to like Joe and I get that most people find what he did creepy but I may be in the minority here when I say “eh, it coulda been worse.” I mean come on, people read horror and thriller books with way worse stuff but Joe is a creeper. Okay.

I guess I say this because I definitely Googled my husband when I met him. I found his sisters social media, his address, saw his house on Google Maps… I mean if you know the right key words then yeah, you can find anyone. And people are curious. Beck had all her shit public so it’s not like she was trying to aim for privacy to begin with. Second of all, realistically who keeps 2 phones active knowing you dropped the other one and ANYONE could have it? KNOWING you’re logged into EVERYTHING on that phone?? I would not. Once I got a replacement that shit would be off and all my saved settings would be wiped! Like WHO does that?!

And I mean you have to admit; the people Joe went after really really had to goooooo. Esp the second one cause goodness they really got on my nerves. Like, seriously. Beck herself got on my nerves a lot. Joe coulda did so much better. There’s a whole world out there and you choose Beck? She doesn’t even know what she wants when it comes to… well anything. Like Joe dude, this girl is tiring by the chapter! MOVE ON!

Overall, this is the first book in AWHILE that actually totally caught my attention and one I looked forward to reading/finishing. I’m on the fence about reading the second book in the series and I barely started watching the show… I really need to set aside more time to watch shows. But I wasn’t really freaked out or anything from this book/concept.

I absolutely admire that the author somehow made it so that we cheered for Joe, it’s crazy. And crazy talented. Also, the audiobook was SO MUCH FUN and it’s read by the guy who plays Hans in Frozen. Not my favorite person, but he did an amazing job.

It’s also probably worth mentioning that Joe’s Tweets were freaking hilarious, just saying.

Have you read You? Were you rooting for or against Joe?

Book Sample Review | Lore by Alexandra Bracken

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Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: Jan 5th 2021
Genre: Young Adult > Retelling
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Hyperion!)
Summary:

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I’m so sad to say that as many books of Bracken’s I have on my Kindle and forever TBR, I haven’t read anything of her’s until now. I’m a sucker for Greek Mythology and maybe it was because I’m watching Great Greek Myth’s on Amazon Prime (which I just watched the episode about Gorgons which I had no idea were a group of sisters! The story of Medusa was much shorter than I had thought and was really sad. The irony that Athena is the one asking for help.

The story for me had a bit of a slow start. We meet Lore who goes by Lauren and she’s a street fighter. That’s how she makes her money, and how she I guess deals with her demons. She’s successfully avoided all this crap the mortals and God’s are in until an old friend finds her. I had a hard time grasping what was going on since we only got bits and pieces of her past. We’re introduced to her friend Miles who is seriously friend goals to the max. It wasn’t until Athena shows up that starts finally started to make sense. And things start to get interesting.

In this short book sampler we’re introduced to the basics of the story and the main characters. I’m definitely going to pick this up on release day! I need to know more!

Are you into mythology/retelling’s? What is your favorite one?

Book Review | The Will and the Wilds by Charlie Holmberg

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie Holmberg
Release Date
: Jan 21st 2020
Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Summary:

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

Amazon* | GoodReads

Ironically Charlie’s book Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet has been on my TBR for… way too long. And somehow I jumped to this read instead. I don’t… I don’t know why. But the cover absolutely caught my attention.

I wasn’t in love with this read, but for some reason I could not stop reading it! It’s like I needed to know what happens to Maekallus. Who’s memories is he seeing? What’s the deal with Enna and her dad? We get the answer to some of these questions I had, but not all of them. As far as I know this isn’t part of a series. But I feel like it definitely should be!

This author definitely has a talent for making you feel like you’re in the forest with them; despite this being a stand alone read the descriptions and time spent with the creatures make it feel like you have a good understanding of who they are and what they are. It was full of curiosities and stories within stories.

There is something strange about both Enna and Maekallus which is what I think makes them a very interesting pair. I do wish they went more into Maekallus life as well as Enna’s grandmother considering she sort of plays a big part of Enna’s story without actually being there. The theory behind Enna’s dad’s condition also triggered my interest. Towards the end Maekallus experiences a pretty significant shift and that made his interaction about Tennith so much more entertaining!

Tennith shifts his weight to his back foot. “What I mean is . . . I never approached you—”
Maekallus barks a laugh, but there’s a sharpness to it that seems to echo against my ribs.
“This is intriguing.”

“—but I noticed you. Of course I did, though you didn’t go to school with the other girls—” I feel like my very bones are curling in on themselves.
“Tennith—”
“No, no.” Maekallus folds his arms. “Let him continue. Please.”

It’s so hard to talk about this without spoiling any part of the story but omg. I really just want to lol! I spend most of the book not knowing how I felt about Maekallus and by the end of the book I completely adored him!

If you’re into fantasy paranormal books rich with lore I highly suggest this one!

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Review — Lush Eggplant Bath Bomb

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I’ll be honest; I had no intention of buying this Bath Bomb.

When I saw the promo shot for Lush’s Valentine’s Day products I was like that one’s a nope. They had previewed the Eggplant and Peachy Bath Bombs and they were obviously pulled from emoji’s which I have no problem with. Keep with the times.

It wasn’t until I saw someone’s Bath Bomb video that I was like: huh, that actually looks really pretty.

Granted I’m a sucker for the colors purple and pink.

I stopped taking baths for awhile because adjusting to pregnancy changes and pains were getting hard and usually when I’m laying in the bath I get really bad heartburn; I’m not sure if it’s because I’m laying on my back or what. Not to mention Baby Lo is usually VERY much active when I’m in the bath so it doesn’t help with the heartburn aspect.

But because my back has been in so much pain and discomfort lately I decided to give in and start them again. Not to mention that Bubba has been stocking me up with Lush products the last 2 trips, I think he was trying to encourage me to take more baths anyway.

I’ve always loved taking bubble baths since I moved out on my own. It’s the one thing I look forward to at the end of every day; just relaxing in a nice smelling bubbly bubble bath. Something about it just makes me feel so refreshed when I get in bed.

Continue reading “Review — Lush Eggplant Bath Bomb”

Dallas Eats — Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie

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Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie located in Uptown Dallas, TX is a bakery that’s been on my foodie bucket list for awhile.

They always feature the cutest shaped Macarons and most recently they added letter and number cakes to their menu’s. We’re actually planning on getting one for Baby Lo’s baby shower!

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They offer not only a huge range of Macarons to choose from but mini cakes and tarts as well. They also do full sized cakes and Macaron Towers for events.

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Bubba went ahead and grabbed a box of Macarons for us to try and I grabbed a pastry. I’m trying to remember the flavors he grabbed; Tiramisu, Gingerbread, Mint Chocolate, Coconut, and I can’t remember the last two… I wanna say Lemon and Raspberry but I’m not 100% sure anymore lol.

We’ve tried a handful of Macaron places in the last 2 years but this place as BY FAR been one of the best Macaron places we’ve tried! The flavors are definitely there and will definitely punch you in the throat! I wasn’t a big fan of the Gingerbread simply because you could TASTE the Ginger and pretty strongly at that! Bubba however loved it. My fav of all of them had to be the Toasted Coconut.

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That awkward moment when you’re trying to take blogger photos in front of the bakery and you accidentally actually EAT the Macaron lol!

Bubba was snapping the photos and he’s like; “DID YOU BITE INTO IT?!” lmao whoops. I couldn’t resist lmao!

If you’re ever in the Uptown Dallas area or looking for a bakery that sells true to flavor Macarons I HIGHLYYYY suggest checking out Bisous Bisous!

Winter Favs: Colourpop Liquid Lippies

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I LOVE Colourpop Liquid Lipsticks!

They’re one of the first liquid lipsticks brands I’ve tried. They can be a bit drying, but I think all liquid lip can be to some sort of drying. I always put on lip balm then do my normal makeup routine THEN put on the liquid lippie last so it gives the balm time to sink into my lips. Especially since I struggle with dry lips, all year round.

These are a few of my fav reds that I like using during the holiday season — though some of these I also like to grab year round.

Continue reading “Winter Favs: Colourpop Liquid Lippies”

Movie Review: The Princess Switch

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The Princess Switch
Release Date: November 16th, 2018
Distributed By: Netflix
Genre: Romance

A Chicago baker is competing in a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia. There she bumps into the prince’s fiancee. They look alike and switch for 2 days.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

When I saw the trailer for this I knew I had to watch it this holiday season! I have a soft spot for Vanessa Hudgens just as much as I have one for Zac Efron.

This follows Stacy who’s a baker from Chicago and owns a bakery with her best friend Kevin. The movie opens up with Kevin and his daughter Olivia saying they entered Stacy into a baking competition that takes place in Belgravia and she was accepted to compete.

Stacy is the “must plan” type so her dropping everything at her bakery for 3 days to compete seems like an impossible idea. After running into her ex with his new girl she decides to take a chance and go on this trip.

Meanwhile Lady Margaret is set to marry Prince Edward after the holiday season and while she longs to be a normal person without the worries of being royalty she know she has a “duty” to fill since her parents have passed away.

The Princess Switch (2018)

The two run into each other during the baking practice and assume they must somehow be related (I mean ya’ll look EXACTLY alike but sure you must “somehow” be related — uhm no one even mentioned they might be twins).

Overall this movie was cute and quick. I loved the influence that Stacy had on Prince Edward. It’s easy to forget how submissive women in royalty are expected to be and how “threatening” how a strong willed woman could be. And a bit sad because aren’t queens historically more powerful?

I wish they went more into Stacey and who she is, who her parents were. If she had any family. But they barely even touched on her or who she was. Versus we got to know Lady Margaret and Prince Edward a little bit more.

When it came to the actual romances in the film we spent a bit more time with Stacey/Prince Edward and not as much time with Lady Margaret/Kevin.

I know this isn’t meant to be some full length detailed movie so I’m not going to list all the “well what about….” questions that had popped up after I was finished watching it. I did appreciate it for what it was — a cute festive movie just in time for the Holidays!

Have you seen this movie? If not do you plan on watching it? What’s your favorite or go-to holiday movie?

Sugarfina: Bunny Bark

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Earlier in March we took a trip to Dallas cause I wanted to check out the Easter collection at LUSH and we were planning on heading to the Dallas Farmers Market but ended up going to another mall instead. Whomp. Some day I’ll make it to that Farmers Market!

Tbh I wish I could spend more time in Dallas, there’s so much to see and do and discover there!

We did head to my favorite mall and I saw that Sugarfina had successfully finished moving into their bigger store. So I made a small haul purchase.

But we’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to talk about the Bunny Bark!

Continue reading “Sugarfina: Bunny Bark”