Unboxing the July Bookishly Subscription

This is my second month receiving this Bookishly subscription and I have to say it is rapidly becoming one of my more anticipated subscriptions. Bookishly is, as the name implies, a book based subscription. They are based in the UK. There are different types of subscriptions, I signed up for the vintage book and coffee. they do have classics, science fiction, fantasy and various crime/mystery options. You can also choose tea instead of coffee. I have to admit I was curious about what books they would choose for vintage. So that is the subscription i went with. The subscription charges on the first of the month and ships out on the 20th. My package arrived on the 28th.

Each month I get a book, with a bookmark and a bag of coffee with two pots worth of grounds inside. At least it is two pots the way I make coffee. The company for the coffee is PerkuLatte Coffee Co. That is the same as last month. The type of coffee is different. This month we have a Guatemala El Boqueron with flavor notes of Blueberry, Cranberry and rose. I have not tried this particular type yet but it sounds interesting. I very much enjoyed the last one as it was good quality coffee. I like that they put the roasted date on the bag as well.

Shall we go on to the book?

I love that the book itself comes wrapped like a present. It somehow makes this subscription just a little bit ore fun to open. This month’s book is The Sea and the Jungle a travel and Adventure Book by HM Tomlinson. I have to admit, I have never heard of the book or the author (which is one of the reasons I wanted to try out the subscription, to bring books I might not find on my own to me).

According to Goodreads…

wrapped up on arrival

Considered a masterpiece of travel literature for nearly a century, The Sea and the Jungle is a wise and witty book of firsts: ostensibly a lighthearted story of a Londoner’s first ocean voyage, it is also a carefully crafted journalistic account of the first successful ascent of the Amazon River and its tributary, the Madeira, by an English steamer. First published in 1912, The Sea and the Jungle remains one of the most popular accounts of a traveler’s experience in Amazonia. As Peter Matthiessen observed fifty years later, ” The Sea and the Jungle is one of the few level-headed works in the literature of this region. . . . accurate and difficult to improve upon.”


I am looking forward to curling up in my reading chair and reading. One of the reasons that I wanted to try pout this subscription was because a lot of my book choices have become stale. I find myself looking at the same books and same authors. Part of that is the situation. While my local library has gone through phases of being open and closed, most of the books I’ve taken out have come from their electronic lending library. Which is fine, but whenever I get in a rut with books, at the library I tend to just pick an aisle and wander slowly looking for something interesting that I’ve never checked out before.

an older book but in perfect condition

I have found some of my favorite authors and books this way. The library system does have recommendations but their recommendations rely on running an algorithm based on what you have checked out from their system before or are based on what books are popular in the area. If you base it on an algorithm then I just get more of the books like the ones I’ve already read. If you base it on what everyone else is reading then I just realize that my tastes tend to differ from many of my neighbors. At least according to the computerized system.

So for me this is a really good way to try out something completely random and from a different country entirely. I found this subscription by poking randomly around on Cratejoy and I am really glad I did. I also like that it reaches me at the end of the month. It lets me sit and read the book and about the time i have finished and am ready for a new one, the subscription arrives again. So for August it looks like I will be exploring the Amazon with Bookishly and sipping on Guatemala El Boqueron while I do. I’ll have to let you know how the blueberry, cranberry and Rose notes work out for me.

Shop the newest subscription boxes at Cratejoy!

self care gifts

The Daily: July 14th, 2022

Today has been a very good day my darlings. I have been working on The Academy for a really long time. It has felt like the cursed manuscript. Anytime i got close to finishing it something would happen. I lost the document twice (partially due to computer glitches and partially because of my own stupidity – always back up your documents) So I actually wrote the bulk of this manuscript three separate times. There were also multiple family emergencies, two surgeries and a death. Anytime I uttered the words, ‘I think I’m almost done with this,’ something would happen. I have never had this much trouble getting a manuscript finished before.

But it is done now. The curse has been lifted.

As you can imagine the bulk of today was my own personal mini celebration. I didn’t do much that was out of the ordinary. I walked, I did my yoga. I chased the birds away from my blackberry bush because last night’s storms sent the netting flying across the yard leaving the berries exposed. I did paperwork.

Okay at lunch I took some of the fizzy water from my Soda Stream bottle, added a splash of grenadine and a twist of lemon peel and put it into one of the fancier cocktail glasses in my collection. Because even cursed manuscripts need a little celebration.

Otherwise it was a pretty typical work day. But I have to say even the typical work conundrums don’t feel bad today. Because the book is complete. Bring on the paperwork, I am fine with it. I feel like I can tackle anything right now. I know the feeling won’t last, but while it is here, I am going to revel in it.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha Liquid Silk Primer

Foundation: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer

Bronzer: Buxom Cosmetics Staycation Bronzer

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Powder: bareMinerals Mineral Veil

Eyeshadow: Lunar Beauty Nude Prism Eyeshadow Palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: bareMinerals Mineralist Moisturizing Vegan Lipstick in Perception

I know, today I went bareMinerals heavy. I couldn’t help it. I saw the newly arrived tinted moisturizer and though about how much I love their blush so I decided to use it. Next to it in the drawer was the bareMinerals Setting powder which I really enjoy and then when I looked at the lip products I saw the glosses from bareMinerals which are summer time go-tos but then I saw the actual lipstick and you know I love a good deep lip.

I figured that since the eyeshadow leaned in a reddish tint direction I would lean into it. I am still testing out the Tatcha and the Buxom was still out from it’s last use. So that was my decision process. I don’t regret any of it. They are all really good products.

This was the first use of the tinted moisturizer. I think it might be a shade too light for my skin at this time of year, but with the bronzer I made it work. It is one of those products than can go on for really light coverage but be built up for a medium one. Because of the tone I went for the lighter side. When playing around with it I will attempt to build it up to see how it performs, but I really like the way it looks as an almost sheer coverage. It evens the skin tone and blended in well. It feels like I am wearing absolutely nothing on my face. It was a really good first use and I am looking forward to playing around with it.

The other first use was the Lunar Beauty palette. One tap knocked off any loose powder so there was no fall out during application. The shadows are slightly on the powdery side, at least the mattes are. The shimmers are quite soft. They aren’t deeply pigmented but they are buildable and they blend really well. The dry shadow brush did nothing with the shimmers. Next I’ll try it with a wet brush but today I used a fingertip and they applied well. There was just no pigment gathered with the dry shadow brush from the shimmers. I’m going to break out both the setting spray and the cotton swabs for this palette test, but honestly it was a decent first test. No fall out and I like the shades.

Off to a great start.

And now I am going to let my good mood help my afternoon paperwork seem less onerous. So it is back to work for me. Have a great afternoon my darlings and I’ll see you back again tomorrow morning to round out the week.

Free Bag of Biltong or Jerky If You Spend $5 with code BAGONUS2022

New Book Release and Shameless self promotion

In case you have been wondering what it is that I have been working on lately, here it is. It is out and now available on both Amazon and Smashwords! The Book is The Academy and it is the second book in the Nameless Series. The first book is called Nameless in case you are wondering. This is one of those characters I absolutely love to write. I am so very pleased that the book is finally out.

The Academy: Book 2 of The Nameless Series

Having fled Balosh and the assassin Harold Red Hand for the safety of the Hidden Kingdom, Nameless settles into the Academy to catch up on his studies before the other students return for autumn classes.  But things don’t go as smoothly as he hoped. No one knows what skills he will develop or when but his new friends are prepared to help where they can even though his rising power proves unexpected and hard to control. 

While Nameless learns to trust those around him and struggles with his new identity as someone other than the Prince’s assistant, he stumbles into plots and political machinations in both the Hidden Kingdom and Beyond. Suddenly lessons are the least of his worries.

Available on Amazon and Smashwords

As a reminder Smashwords is still in the middle of their Annual Summer sale. Most of my books are 50% off and there are thousands of other authors participating as well. It is a great place to pick up your next read or take a chance on a new author or even series you just find interesting.

Shameless Self Promotion: A New Book Release

For those who have read my posts for a while you now that in my other life I am a writer of fiction, predominantly Fantasy and Science Fiction. My latest book, Through the St. Claire Gate is now available. It is light Science Fiction. (not very heavy on the tech) For those interested I have posted the information below.

I am happy to announce that Through the St. Claire Gate is now available on both Amazon and Smashwords. I am very excited to have it finally be available. It is not in any of my existing series, it is something entirely new. But don’t worry I will be returning to my existing series. A new Channel Riders books is in the works and the Sequel to The Ravenwood Arms will definately be out this year. That being said, I really enjoyed writing Through the St. Claire Gate and really hope you enjoy reading it. as I said you can find it on both Amazon and Smashwords. The links will take you to whichever site you prefer. The book info is posted below.

And don’t forget the Smashwords Annual Read an E-book Book Sale is still going on through March 13th. It’s a great place to stock up on books from your favorite author or find a new author to love.

Through the St. Claire Gate

Thirty years ago, Dr. Robert St. Claire established a portal to another planet in a far distant galaxy.  His scientific achievement was kept secret by a group called the Conclave who wanted to reap the benefits of this new world, Tarnos, without sharing with the rest of the earth. Twenty five children were sent thought to Tarnos as part of a genetics project, but only three survived. 

Now with the Gate failing, those children, now adults, are returning to earth. Can Robert help them establish normal lives, blending with other humans or are they destined to spend the rest of their lives as objects for others to study? And will the sciences they bring back be beneficial or destroy the world as he knows it?

Book Sale Announcement

Yes my darlings, I am afraid it is time for a moment of shameless self promotion. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short and sweet. Smashwords is having their annual Year End Book Sale. It runs from December 18th through January 1st.

During the sale, my books will be 50% off with some of them even available for free. (this link will take you to a listing of my books instead of the general page)

If my books aren’t to your taste, no worries.

Smashwords literally has thousands of authors participating in the sale. Personally my supply of books I haven’t read has been running a little low so I will be picking up several new books at the sale hoping to find new authors to enjoy and with luck new series to obsess over.

Not only do the topics offered by the books on Smashwords range far and wide, but the e-books can be downloaded in almost any format imaginable. Even if you don’t have a dedicated e-reader, you can download the books as text documents.

Smashwords is an excellent way to find new books to read and during the sale it is a good and inexpensive way to stock up on books, whether from your favorite author or a new one.

Happy reading!

Momentarily, Something different…

As those of you who have been reading a while know, in my other life I am a writer (among other things) While I occasionally post my book releases and information on book sales, and still will moving forward, I have a new writing themed website. It is called Ten ’til Midnight. On it you can find lists of my books, and postings of new releases.

Each week day I also post a writing prompt and then (since I actually do the writing prompt myself) post what came out of my brain in the fifteen minutes.

There are also chapters available to read that can be found nowhere else. On the first of the month I post a chapter of an as yet to be released book. I actually started posting the monthly chapters on a different website, so I transferred all of the currently released chapters (which is why even though the writing prompts appear to start in October the Chapters started in February.

The book currently being posted is called Tansy Moves In and is the first book in the as yet to be released Oak Hill Series. October’s Chapter was Chapter 9. At the moment all previous Chapters are posted. They will remain up until January and then earlier Chapters will start disappearing.

For those interested, I hope you’ll check it out: Ten ‘Til Midnight.

And now back to our regularly scheduled posting.

New Book Released: Cursed: A Seven Thousand Kingdoms Novel

And now for something completely different. Yes, my darlings, I am taking a moment of shameless self promotion for my non Mimsy self. My latest book Cursed is now available for purchase on Amazon. Normally my books are on both Amazon and Smashwords, but I have entered this particular book into the Amazon Storyteller’s contest and so it is only available on Amazon for the duration of the contest. It is however available as both an E-book and a paperback. Sorry for any inconvenience that causes any of you.

I have to say, this was a really fun book to write. It is a fantasy novel. I started with a bored fairy godmother and a princess afflicted with a sleeping curse who had no intention of going to sleep and just sort of went from there. It gave me an entirely new world to play with and I am certain I will be returning quite often.

So, without further ado, my latest book Cursed is now available.


Esmeralda has served as godmother in the Seven Thousand Kingdoms for several hundred years.  She arranged countless Cinderella tales and heroic quests, dealing in both happy endings and in setting the occasional curse, when she can’t talk the kings she is required to serve out of it. She has seen it all.  She chafes at the restrictions placed on her by the Assemblage, the ruling body that governs all those with magic and wishes desperately that something would change. When the Kingdom of Charalond starts persecuting all those with magic, it seems she may get her wish.

Princess Aria is cursed. She knew all her life that on her 18th birthday she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and both she and the kingdom would sleep for a hundred years with the prince who rescued her becoming the new king.  But the Queen has finally presented her father with a son, the prince he always wanted to rule after him. Now Aria has to find a way to escape her curse or risk being killed so her brother can inherit the throne. But can Aria trust the godmother to help her?

And thus ends my moment of self promotion. Thanks for reading and keep your fingers crossed about the contest.

Summer Book Sale Announcement

I just wanted to do a quick post to let all of you know that the Smashwords Annual Summer Book sale is now going on. It runs the entire month of July. All of my books are 50% off with some of them even being free. (released as Valerie Gaumont not Ms. Mimsy)

If my books aren’t your cup of tea, no problem, there are literally thousands of authors participating in the book sale. You are sure to find something new to tickle your readerly interests. Who knows, you just may find your new favorite author.

Smashwords is a publisher for independent authors and as such has books available to download in pretty much every conceivable e-reader format. In addition, if you don’t have an e-reader, you can download the book as a readable text document.

Happy reading!