Ink Dupes #11: Organics Studios and Diamine

For those who don’t know, BWIPS stands for Baltimore Washington International Pen Show. The BWIPS 2018 ink was a special edition ink that was given away around the show that year. Because it was such a small batch, I couldn’t find an ink review, but I’ve found it to be rather dry.

The Inks

Organics Studio BWIPS 2018
Price: Free
Bottle Size: 80ml (ish)
Price Per Ml: 0
Availability: Limited Edition
Diamine Dark Forest
Price: ~$16 USD
Bottle Size: 40ml
Price Per Ml: $0.40
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Dark Forest and Organics Studio BWIPS 18

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Review – Seize

Seize

by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor

SeizeSeries: Magnus Blackwell, Book 3
Genres: Adult, Supernatural
Release Date: March 26th 2019
Pages: 359
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Lexie Arden has a loving husband, a thriving business, and consults with the New Orleans Police Dept on murder cases. Kalfu has given her everything she desires, but challengers to her authority are closing in.

Her dark secret remains hidden from everyone except Magnus. He sees the evil growing stronger, changing her, and hurting her marriage. If Lexie doesn’t rid herself of Kalfu’s influence soon, the consequences will be irreversible.

When she unexpectedly inherits a cottage in the swamp, she uncovers a library of rare books on voodoo. Their spells can reverse the dark lord’s hold and set right the balance between darkness and light. But such magic requires a great sacrifice; one Lexie isn’t willing to make.

With the shadow spirits and raging voodoo gods vying for her attention, Lexie is on the verge of losing everything—her husband, her power, Magnus, and possibly, her life.

The battle for control of the mambo’s soul is about to begin.

Continue reading “Review – Seize”

Book Blitz – A Touch of Darkness

Disclaimer: I’ve stated in the past that I don’t feel comfortable promoting books I haven’t read. I signed up for a review tour stop for this book, but received notice on May 2nd that the book would not be available in time for the tour. Rather than abandon my spot on the tour, I decided to post this excerpt as requested by the author via Xpresso Book Tours. Please consider this post as informative as opposed to promotional. I have not read the book as of posting this.

A Touch of Darkness

by Scarlett St. Clair

A Touch of DarknessGenres: Adult, Mythology, Romance
Series: Hades & Persephone, Book 1
Release Date: Spring 2019

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

Continue reading “Book Blitz – A Touch of Darkness”

Conflict in Books

I hear often enough that without conflict, there is no story. That a story without conflict is just a boring series of events. But when I read, I prefer either a short conflict, something that I’ll read the resolution to before I have to set the book aside to go back to life, or light conflict, that you know the character can make it through. I’m guessing this puts me in the minority.

But here’s the thing — reading is my escape. There’s plenty of conflict in movies, the news, and my own life to last me ten lifetimes. To escape from that, I want something different. Let me say, I’m specifically referring to fiction here. Obviously, I don’t expect non-fiction to lack conflict or to be anything other than truth.

I appreciate a book where it’s obvious from page one that there will be a happy ending. It means I can just lose myself in a stable, happy story. I can also work with a story with conflict that gives you frequent highs to get you through the lows.

But when the main character, or any character you can become emotionally invested in, is hit by problem after problem, it’s depressing. Where is the escape in that? What’s the point in a book that makes you feel worse by the time you finish it than you did when you started it?

What’re your thoughts on conflict in books? Like it? Love it? Let me know.

Ink Dupes #10: Diamine and Lamy

Here’s another “fan request”. While they definitely look different in chromatography and swabs, I think they’d be indistinguishable in all but the wettest pens.

The Inks

Diamine Pansy
Price: ~$5 USD
Bottle Size: 30ml
Price Per Ml: $.17
Availability: Available
Lamy Dark Lilac
Price: ~$12 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.24
Availability: Discontinued

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Diamine Pansy and Lamy Dark Lilac

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

Review: Tangle Teezer

I’ve had the Tangle Teezer (TT) for about 4 months now. I’d watched a couple of reviews on YouTube and was intrigued by the idea of something that could detangle my hair without damage.

Of course, I’m well aware that reviews can lie, and I was suitably skeptical. But the TT is inexpensive enough ($11 – $13 on Amazon) to try without being too upset if it didn’t work out.

Because it’s relevant, I have hip-length, colored hair. The bottoms tend toward dry. The hair framing my face is curly, but because of the weight, most of the rest of it is wavy. As far as thickness, my hair is fairly normal. My pony tail is about as big around as a quarter.

When I received the TT for Christmas, I was pretty excited to try it out. I washed my hair, added some leave-in conditioner (as per usual) and picked up the TT.

My first thought: it’s LOUD. It really sounds like you’re ripping your hair out, or tearing through the tangles. BUT, there’s no pulling. None. The TT is so gentle. It doesn’t hurt, doesn’t pull, it barely even tugs.

In terms of technique, it definitely works best when you section hair. I tend to divide my hair into four sections. I like to start at the bottom of my hair and work up.

The TT grips loose hairs, so I’ve found I need to make sure to pull it a bit out from the ends so loose hairs aren’t worked back into the hair being brushed, forming tangles. But if you have shorter hair, it might not be much of an issue. I have noticed, though, as I continue using the TT, that I lose less hair after showers.

It’s worth noting that the TT smooths hair almost like you’re combing through it with a fine-toothed comb. In fact, if I don’t fluff my hair after getting the tangles out, then my curls are severely diminished once my hair dries.

After my first use, I was hooked. Detangling, which typically took me up to 20 minutes, only took 5. And it was completed without pain or breakage.

I think that covers all of the important information. I absolutely recommend the Tangle Teezer. It’s fabulous in so many ways.

FanFiction Review – Results of a Proper Introduction

Results of a Proper Introduction

by dunuelos

Genre: Harry Potter
Word Count: 73,285
My Rating: ★★★

A spin-off of my Lone Traveler stories (Lone Traveler originally from The Professional). Harry gets a proper introduction with some insights from an alternate self who has lived it. What does he do with this information? How would his attitudes change?

Continue reading “FanFiction Review – Results of a Proper Introduction”

Ink Dupes #9: Organics Studio and Robert Oster

Robert Oster has two lines of ink: Signature and inkArt.ink. The former is readily available. The latter doesn’t appear to be available currently. I used the Signature ink for my comparison, but, for giggles, I included a chromatography strip of the inkArt.ink (IAI).

For those familiar with Organics Studio, you’ll know that at any given time, a certain ink may or may not be readily available. For that reason, I’m dubbing it “usually available.”

The Inks

Organics Studio Nickel Teal
Price: ~$14 USD
Bottle Size: 55ml
Price Per Ml: $0.25
Availability: Usually available
Robert Oster Morning Mist
Price: ~$17 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.34
Availability: Readily available
Comparison swatches and chromatography strips for Organics Studio Nickel Teal and Robert Oster Morning Mist.

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

FanFiction Review – Building a Better Burrow

Building a Better Burrow

by dunuelos

Genre: Harry Potter
Word Count: 35,149
My Rating: ★★★+

The Better Burrow arc from my Lone Traveler compendium: The Lone Traveler encounters the Burrow before it was expanded. Maybe it can be made into a safer and more comfortable home for this version of the Weasleys. It’s amazing how much a building can change history.

Continue reading “FanFiction Review – Building a Better Burrow”