★ May Wrap-Up ★

Hello, all! We wrapped up our school year last week, and my job as an elementary school paraeducator was amazing. I’m going to miss the kids over the summer, but I’m also ready for a break! Between work, family, and just being tired in general, I haven’t spent much time blogging, so it’s good to be back.

I read seven books in May, some I’ve already reviewed, and some I hope to eventually:

  • TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY by Linwood Barclay ★★★★★
  • FAMILY OF LIARS by E. Lockhart ★★★★★
  • BURIED IN A GOOD BOOK by Tamara Berry ★★★½
  • A SECRET SHARED by Patricia MacLachlan ★★★
  • THE SHADOW HOUSE by Anna Downes ★★½
  • INSOMNIA by Sarah Pinborough ★★
  • MOUTH TO MOUTH by Antoine Wilson ★★

My first summer project was reorganizing my bookshelves, which took two days to finish. Now all the books are alphabetical by author’s last name again. I had to part with one large shopping bag of books to make room for all of them. Ginger wasn’t happy about the chaos around her couch.

I don’t have a summer reading list set in stone, but a few books I’m hoping to read are:

  • THE BOOKWOMAN’S DAUGHTER by Kim Michele Richardson
  • THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT by Williams | Willig | White
  • THE HOTEL NANTUCKET by Elin Hilderbrand
  • SUMMER FEVER by Kate Riordan
  • THE FINALISTS by David Bell
  • THE SWELL by Allie Reynolds
  • DEEP WATER by Emma Bamford

Have a wonderful June! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

Immortal Perfumes: Fragrances Inspired by History


Seriously, is 2016 over yet? What a horrid year, one awful thing after another. I’ve been in a major reading slump for the past two months, so instead of talking about books, I’m going to talk about perfume!

I discovered IMMORTAL PERFUMES about two years ago. I was searching Etsy for Edgar Allan Poe inspired fragrances. I know, sounds weird, but that’s me. Weird. ;-) I ordered one called “Lenore” from them, along with a few others, including their popular “Dead Writers” fragrance. They all smelled amazing – unique perfumes inspired by literature and history, each one with a different story.

Their latest line of fragrances is the Literary Lovers collection: Catherine & Heathcliff, Capulet & Montague, and Persephone & Hades. I purchased the sample set to give them a try (pictured above). All of the masculine ones were a big hit with me, though Catherine was my favorite. I bet it does smell like rain on the moors. :-)

You can find their complete line of perfumes HERE.

** All of the fragrances I’ve tried from IMMORTAL PERFUMES were ones I purchased myself. **

2016 Reading Wrap-Up:

For a very quick look at the books I read this year, check out → MY YEAR IN BOOKS ← on Goodreads. I’m planning to finish one more book before midnight on the 31st, bringing my yearly total to 82. Hopefully starting a new year will haul me out of my reading slump!


Reading Wrap-Up {4} – 2 Gothics from the 1980s

Reading Wrap-Up is an occasional post where I share a few quick thoughts on books not received for review. I borrowed these two Gothic classics from the library:

by Susan Hill

I’d always thought this book had been published around the turn of the last century, so I was surprised to learn it came out in the 1980s. The author captures the eerie atmosphere of an old fashioned Victorian Gothic perfectly. There were a couple of scenes that really gave me the chills. I think I said, “No! Arthur, don’t go in that room!!” But, he did. :-)  I liked the ending of the book. It was fitting for the overall story, but also very sad. Malevolent ghosts aren’t reasonable creatures after all…

by Mary Downing Hahn

Another ghost story from the 80s! FYI: This is a middle grade book about a restless spirit named Helen who haunts a blended family, especially the youngest daughter, Heather. I love how they lived in an old church out in the middle of nowhere, with a cemetery just a few yards away from their bedroom windows. Creepy. The author did a great job with the creep-factor, though nothing over the top scary. It was fun trying to figure out why Helen was targeting Heather, and what connection, if any, they had to each other. My daughter read this book in 4th grade, and she enjoyed it too.

Reading Wrap-Up {3}

Happy New Year’s Eve!! It’s time once again for Reading Wrap-Up, my “book thoughts” post for non-review books I’ve read recently. I’m trying to squeeze one more of these in before the year ends.

2015 wasn’t the best year for me for number of books read – 50 total – but it was a great year quality-wise, which to me is most important! I read (or re-read) several classics by Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, and Edgar Allan Poe. I read some really good suspense/thrillers (my favorite fiction genre), and some amazing historical fiction, like Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell series, books one and two.

Since the clock to New Year’s is ticking, I’ll move on to the wrap-up:

LineofBlood A Line of Blood
by Ben McPherson

Great murder mystery, set in London (yay!), BUT it had some of the most unlikable, insufferable characters you’ll ever meet. They were nails-on-a-chalkboard annoying, but I couldn’t quit reading until I knew what really happened to that poor neighbor.

Brother Brother
by Ania Ahlborn

I absolutely LOVED her last book (Within These Walls), but this one – not so much. BROTHER was dark, which I like, but it was really gory and violent, with nothing in the end that made all that worthwhile. I suppose it was a look at what the endless cycle of abuse can bring about. Sad.

TheGrownup The Grownup
by Gillian Flynn

This was an intriguing short story (or novella?) by the author of Gone Girl, one of my faves from last year. I enjoyed it. It was fun trying to figure out if there really was some paranormal woo-woo going on or not. Nice creepy Gothic vibe.

PrideandPrejudice Pride and Prejudice (Audiobook)
by Jane Austen

What can you say about Pride & Prejudice that hasn’t already been said? For my re-read, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Carolyn Seymour. She was fabulous with the voices! I especially loved her performance as Mrs. Bennet. Wonderful.

Reading Wrap-Up {2}

Hey! It’s time once again for Reading Wrap-Up, my “book thoughts” post for non-review books. This time around, it’s also a belated wrap-up post for the R.I.P. Reading Challenge.

JaneEyreJane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë

One of my favorite classics. I’m always amazed at how modern Jane’s (or Charlotte’s) thinking was. She was no bird, or angel…

“I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me — for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”

DarkRendezvousDark Rendezvous at Dungariff
by by Lois Stewart

A Zebra Gothic published in the late 1980s. A young American librarian inherits a fortune from her long lost Scottish uncle. The catch: First she has to live a year in Scotland. Soon, bad things start happening at the ancestral castle of her kin. Unfortunately the plot and characters never grabbed me on this one. Struggled to finish.

NightSisterThe Night Sister
by Jennifer McMahon

I enjoyed this one very much. The creepy atmosphere and puzzling mystery kept me turning the pages! I especially loved how the story spans three time periods, the 1950s, 1980s, and present day. It was fun trying to figure out how the different parts fit together. Overall, very suspenseful, and a very unique ending. Loved it!

by Daphne du Maurier

REBECCA is just so darn good. The presence of her husband’s deceased first wife haunts the young narrator. We never learn the narrator’s name, because it didn’t matter! It was all about Rebecca. The perfect blend of mystery and suspense, and a cast of memorable characters. Daphne du Maurier was an amazing storyteller.