book · review

Chameleon by Zoe Kalo


Chameleon
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: Young Adult, Horror

Chameleon is a metaphor

The book is titled so as a metaphor, as we know that it is an animal that could change its color. The title and cover does not tell you much about the story, while the synopsis serves to reel you in even more. From the summary, you know that Paloma was kicked out of school for trying to hold a seance.

Then what?

At the new setting: an ancient convent that Paloma was placed to rehabilitate her back to her Christian roots. Being ancient means there are bound to be a few ghosts and skeletons somewhere. Soon enough, Paloma experienced an event that made her hold another seance. By now, you (I did) would be rolling your eyes and wonder if this was a real horror. Well, I put it in the young adult section, because it was more thrilling than horrifying for me.

Paloma is a great heroine, she’s strong and inquisitive, totally the type of girl you want as a friend. The problem with Chameleon, is that it is placed in a convent. Its greatest strength is also its weakness, having one less aspect to draw upon in the genre. Despite that, the book managed to charm with friendship and a mystery.

Verdict

Chameleon by Zoe Kalo was a good book, but probably not her best work Click To Tweet

Having read some of her other works, Chameleon fell short for me. I liked the girls surrounding the story, they all have secrets and it is amazing how Zoe managed to make me question everything initially. By the third chapter, the charm had worn off, it was easy to see where the story is going, so that was disappointing for me.

Plus, the whole plot was a bit amateurish for someone of her caliber, which adds to my chagrin. In the end, even though I enjoyed the book and how it went, I decided not to recommend this book. Zoe Kalo could do better, and she had done better as well.

bloghop · book

Safe and Sound Release : Grab a Copy

Safe and Sound 
Series Promise Me Series Book 1
A
uthor: Alli Hope
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Genre: sexual abuse, young adult + supervision

Warning: this release contains explicit language and a scene that portrays explicit sexual abuse & molestation. If you are sensitive to sexual abuse issues, please be advised.

Get it now for e-book!
Books2read
Amazon

Giveaway
2 signed books from Katie McGarry. To enter: visit Alli Hope’s website:

About Safe and Sound:

While most of sixteen year old girls are planning their sweet sixteen, or talk about their next date, Hailey Perish had to look after her drug addicted mother. Life couldn’t get any worse than unpaid bills and eviction, her only bright spot is her friend/ childhood love Carson Hart.

Apparently, rock bottom is not low enough, Hailey’s mom had used Hailey as a stake in a poker game. Well.. if she won, there would be no story. Now, the heroine faces something worse than living in squalor and starving. Hailey must act quickly, or risk losing herself. In this first book of the Promise Me series, the 16 year old has to make hard decisions to save herself.

Read my review here

I received the book a month ago, and have reviewed it before the release. I highly recommend this book if this is the genre that you like. We all know that the world is not always fun and rainbows, if you do want to give this to your sixteen year old or older, do so with discretion. It can be emotionally trying, and confusing to younger readers.

Overall, Safe and Sound is a book everyone should read, because it is not a story to some children out there.

book · review

Wait for It by M. O’Keefe

Wait For It
Author: M. O’Keefe
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Sold by: Random House LLC
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid 4
ASIN: B01I85PPSA

Wait For It….what are we waiting for?

I got this book from Netgalley, after all I have read most of M. O’ Keefe’s other works. Naturally I was keen on reading Wait For It, which is somewhat related to the Everything I Left Unsaid.

The book is in first person point of  view, for two people: Blake and Tiffany. The story starts off with Blake offering Tiffany money to disappear, which she took it to move on. As a brother- in- law, Blake was trying to protect his own mother from his younger brother Phil.

A few months down, Tiffany had to sought help from a mutual friend, Annie. Annie story was Everything I Left Unsaid first of the series. It did help because I have read it from book one, but the characters in the story do not have much to do with each other, so that is fine if you want to plunge straight in.

The characters are clashing in the beginning, so Wait for it is a story where enemies turn friends. Misunderstandings are the main conflict in the book, there is no shortage of it from start to finish. The sex is hot as usual, O’ Keefe seems to have that part of the story down pat.

Verdict

Wait For It is hot, steamy and romantic, what are you waiting for? Valentines? Click To Tweet

It is simmering, but not a full blown steamy and hot kind of romance story like the previous books of the series. Granted, both are quite hurt by a man, the guy who put them together in the first place is a mean and heartless bloke. Overall, it fell below her usual standards, there are holes in the story and the whole relationship needed a different angle.

But I shall let this one slide, even if I do not recommend it, I still think the series itself is pretty good.

 

beauty

Facial Mask You Can Do At Home

Mask is the easiest skin care product you can DIY at home

You can make almost anything small scaled at home, with the right ingredients. Moisturizers require emollients like paraffin or beeswax mixed with water and a vehicle, usually glycerin. A cleanser, you can your own using bicarb and oil, not that I would recommend it.

Essentially, if you are determined enough, you can swear off buying beauty products, and make everything yourself in your own pantry. It is however, a time consuming effort. Not to mention you have to own a lot of things, by then it will no longer be cheaper.

But, the only thing that I can recommend doing it yourself, are the facial masks. Mainly because it is easy.

The Easiest

Our Humble Avocado, it can be expensive here in Adelaide, like $5 for 2 is the cheapest when it is abundant. If you like eating it, then this mask will be for you. Simply scoop out the flesh to eat, and smear the remaining onto your skin (after cleansing of course). Avocado’s vitamins and fats will help nourish your skin, plus the skin can be an exfoliating scrub. Just scrub on and leave on until you want to rinse it off.

So not only you get to eat your guacamole, you get to wear it too!! If you like, add some honey if you have inflamed skin. A twist of lemon to lighten skin, but it will also make the avocado runny. Not a fan of avo, then yogurt or aloe vera. In fact, you can layer slices of cucumber during summer if you want too. Of course eating it or not later, is entirely up to you.

Combine your own

Green Clay is used to tighten pores and purify skin, which is why a lot of beauty masks that clarifies skin will have some of this green clay, which contains minerals like magnesium, silicon and cobalt, to name a few. With this powder as base, you can add a lot of things to it, catering to your needs. How about going all posh with Thermal Water? Or add a splash of olive oil to stop it from drying out your skin. One of the great things about powder clay, is the flexibility.

And if you loathe the clean up after, you can layer gauze onto your skin before applying the clay mask.

Gauze

The gauze allows the clay to stick onto your skin, but when it dries, you can just remove the gauze and all the clay. Then you just rinse off with warm water, instead of having to scrape clay off your face. Both ingredients are inexpensive and multipurpose, the clay can also be a body mask too.

Easy Sheet Mask

Compressed Sheet Mask Tablets

These are dried and compressed sheet masks, ready to absorb any liquid to be made into a mask. These are also relatively inexpensive, with a promise to be almost any type of mask you want. Add lemon juice or milk for lightening, blend tomato juice for lycopene. The list is endless.

IMG_20170202_202039517
Tablets come in many brands

If you are lazy like me, use what you have on hand. Like I used Body Shop’s Oils of Life to soak the mask. Let the tablet expand fully before opening the mask. If you find that the mask if dry, you can add more liquid onto it.

IMG_20170202_202441850_BURST000_COVER_TOPThe tablet will become a full- sized mask. It is not of the best quality, but it just a way for  your skin to slow absorb all the goodness. Things that people use in Asia are Collagen toner, tomato juice, and whatever good quality toner they have on hand.

I think some uses tea if the skin is inflamed, tea is good anti- inflammatory so that makes sense. Rice water is also a good choice, because it can also exfoliate a little. As you can see, the choice is limited by the state it is in (mainly liquid). But it is easy and cheap, does not take up much space when not in use.

 

 

 

Note of Interest:

If you are interested in tech, here is one for you. The Fruit Mask machine can create any fruit juice based gel mask for you, this unit comes with 32 collagen tablets. Interestingly, I have watched a show where stars made their own mask live, a lot of them disliked the product. Saying that it is too big, and the gel is not that great quality. Most importantly, they could not justify having this machine making fruit mask, when there are cheaper alternatives.

Fruit Mask Machine

Interestingly, there are many more models online that does the same thing, with varying price tags. I do wonder if it is worth the extra money to have a gel mask, rather than a normal linen one. Would it matter though, if the end result is the same?

Ways to make your own facial mask here Click To Tweet
beauty · book · review

Book & Mask 4 : A Stolen Heart Novella & Royal Jelly Mask

A Stolen Heart Novella : Review

A Stolen Heart: Lenora (The Wayward Witches Book 1)
Author: Candace Osmond
Series: The Wayward Witches 1
Genre: horror, witchcraft

I was offered to review this book by the author herself, I have read her Iron World Trilogy and the Donor. Suffice to say, Candace is good at paranormal/ fantasy horror. A Stolen Heart is a novella, introducing readers to her new series: the Wayward Witches.

Problem with novella, is that you want more from it. A Stolen Heart should not have been a novella, I would have preferred that it is a normal sized book, with all its trimmings. I liked it, because it sets a dark tone without being ashamed of it. The character promises more if you stick around, which hopefully I will.

If you want a good witchcraft horror, A Stolen Heart is here for you. Careful don't let someone steal… Click To Tweet

The story starts with a witch robbing someone for a secret ingredient. The witch’s coven wants to do a special spell, one that will be so interesting to read if they succeed. I am curious to find out if they are successful. A few pages, and the book is already hinting more horror. The gleefulness of the witch, her ambition and recklessness, it is contagious.

Hopefully, Candace releases the next one by Halloween 😉

The Mask: Royal Jelly

misc 09
Nature Republic Royal Jelly Mask

I am still in the process of going through all my sheet masks, because I bought 10 of each… Minus the ones I gave away, and ones my mom used, plenty more. This one is one of my favorites, and I will most likely to repurchase.

Royal Jelly apparently has skin moisturizing properties, although this is the first time I think I have heard of it. In Asian cultures, Royal Jelly is prized. A good quality jelly will set you back hundreds, and you eat them. It tastes like strong honey, with a jelly like texture, the good ones at least. Those that you buy in capsules or dried have a chance of it being fake. If you want to have royal jelly to eat, buy good ones.

Why? Because it is food fit for the Queen. Royal Jelly is the Queen Bee’s food, it has a lot of nutrients, because of all the eggs she needs to lay. Seems a bit pity to have it in a mask, but I am sure it is not a lot. I smell the scent of honey in the mask when I opened the packet.

As usual, I left this sitting for a good while. The after is good: softer skin and less tired looking. I do suspect that it is not all royal jelly, but no proof that it is not. I enjoy this mask, because even honey is good for the skin. The effect only lasts about a day, which is normal for Nature’s Republic. The products are good, but they are meant to be used daily, as most Koreans do.

If you are looking for a stronger mix, this is not it. This Royal Jelly mask is good, but hardly strong enough.