Review: Skin & Co Roma – Truffle Therapy Whipped Cleansing Cream

What It Is: Cleansing Cream

What It Does: Cleanse, Purify, Nourishing, and Brightening.

Active Ingredients: Sulfate-free, Sweet Almond Oil, Chamomile, Black Winter Truffle Extract, and Mallow Leaf

Verdict: I can’t recall if I was sent this in an Allure Beauty Box or if this was part of a Fab Fit Fun Box, but whatever the case is, the first thing you will notice about this cleanser is the AMAZING SCENT. It simply smells so luscious and expensive, and I guess it’s no surprise that it’s made in Italy. This cleanser is silky smooth, not a gel, so it’s perfect for those that have dry skin. I was a bit hesitant at first since my skin is oily but despite the cleanser feeling oily/nourishing it actually didn’t leave my skin feeling oily at all. It actually felt rather moisturized so that’s why I think this cleanser would especially benefit those who tend to have drier skins. I really look forward to using this at the start and end of my day. Like I said, the scent is simply so luxurious that you can’t help but think that you’re being pampered when you’re using this product. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a cleanser or wanting to try a new one out.

Price: $35

Where To Buy It: https://skinandco.com/

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Just Married!

I’m well aware that I don’t talk too much about my personal life on my blog, mostly because I tend to be a private person unless we’re close friends and then you’re stuck with a ton of TMI you didn’t even ask for. And I’m well aware that the only times I offered some look into my personal life it was through my series, “My Bad Romance.” But I can now say that my bad romance days are over (well, they’ve been over for the past six years and hopefully stay that way).

So last Wednesday I got married!

It was an intimate ceremony at the Santa Barbara Courthouse (cause ya know, Covid restrictions) but it was still very lovely nonetheless. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better location to be honest (and we’re still going to have a ceremony/reception with all of our family and friends in November).

After the courthouse we headed off to my husband’s family beach house and had a beach day (when I told a friend that she said, “That’s so very California,” and I guess it is). We took a swim in the Pacific Ocean (the water was freezing but we still managed to get a little swimming in!) then we warmed up under the sun and then decided to check out the final installment of the Fear Street Trilogy, Fear Street 3: 1666. We almost went to In & Out for dinner (if you’re from Cali you know it’s THE BOMB) but didn’t only because of the ridiculous long line so we opted to have sushi instead from Sushi House which is totally BOMB too.

All in all it was a very lovely day and I’m very excited about the future. I know this isn’t my usual blog entry, but since some of you have been following my blog and writing career for a few years, I feel like I wanted to share the incredible news with my readers.

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Book Review: My Heart Is A Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

“Some girls just don’t know how to die….”

Pre-Order on Amazon!

Release Date: August 31, 2021

Publisher: Gallery/Saga Press

Price: $17.29 (hardback)

Plot Summary:

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

Grade: A+

Review:

The book opens with a very dark and creepy prologue – but I’ll admit that I wasn’t crazy about the two foreign tourists and was happy to meet the actual protagonist, Jade Daniels. Now Jade is everything a horror lover as myself loves, in fact had we been in high school together we would’ve had slasher sleepover parties. Jade is cool in the way that girls that love gore are – meaning her styling choices are questionable, her social skills nonexistent except when she’s spouting slasher speak and slasher trivia – and honestly I ADORE HER FOR IT.

We follow Jade – a recent high school graduate as she slowly begins to believe that a slasher film is unfolding in her very town. This convinces her to see beautiful rich girl Letha Mondragon as a potential final girl – and ultimate savior. For a slasher fan as myself I reveled in the slasher speak and pop culture references. I know many have mentioned this in other reviews, but the only fault this novel has is that it’s a slow burn.

Honestly, if Jade weren’t such a compelling character I don’t know if I would’ve enjoyed the journey so much but Jade is a total badass and I know that Jones’ delivers when it comes to horror and gore – so I patiently waited for the bloodbath. To say that Jones’ doesn’t disappoint is an understatement – if this were a movie, Jones’ budget would’ve blown just on the fake blood expense because there is SO MUCH OF IT & I AM HERE FOR IT. I mean, I directed a short where we used almost ten gallons of corn syrup, because I literally wanted to be drenched in it. And by the time you’re finished reading the gory, batshit crazy final pages you’re going to feel like you just waded in ten gallons of blood too.

Don’t walk but RUN to buy this book if you’re a fan of all 70’s & 80’s slasher flicks, cause you will LOVE this. Also, have I mentioned how awesomely badass Jade is? Go on, you know you want to get to know her! This book is fucking brutal and a wild ride.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Gallery/Saga Press for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Poetry: Love Does Kill

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

Long ago, in a lost dream,

I saw myself dying.

The look of surprise and pain crossed my face;

(The blade went down.)

It punctured my heart.

All the lies that you told me,

at that moment seemed so trivial.

All the hurt that you had done to me,

at that moment was all forgotten.

(The blade came down harder.)

It reached my lonely soul,

My screams of agony diffused with your own.

This death so slowly;

It hurts me even more.

Why did my love have to eliminate my soul?

All of my tender, love, care; caused this killer

to leave me bare.

(The blade comes down, once more.)

Farewell, to this tormented love.

Did you enjoy this poem? You can find this poem and many others in Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

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Book Highlight: The Case of the Murderous Mr. Cream by Dean Jobb


“A tour de force of storytelling. One of the best books I’ve read this year. Dean Jobb breathes new life into Cream’s victims—who they were, where and how they lived—all the while blending in thorny issues of policing, of the fictional detectives being created, of the other serial killers on the loose. This book is both chilling and thrilling.” —Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache series


”When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream murdered as many as ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedent. Poison was his weapon of choice. Largely forgotten today, this villain was as brazen as the notorious Jack the Ripper.

Structured around the doctor’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, 
The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Dr. Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help.

Dean Jobb transports readers to the late nineteenth century as Scotland Yard traces Dr. Cream’s life through Canada and Chicago and finally to London, where new investigative tools called forensics were just coming into use, even as most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then, most investigators could hardly imagine that serial killers existed—the term was unknown. As the Chicago Tribune wrote, Dr. Cream’s crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer: one who operated without motive or remorse, who “murdered simply for the sake of murder.” For fans of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, all things Sherlock Holmes, or the podcast  My Favorite MurderThe Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is an unforgettable true crime story a master of the genre.

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Coming Soon: “Fields of Blood”

If you listen carefully, sometimes at half past midnight, you can hear her voice. Florence Wakefield. The ghost of Gold Petal Fields. Her blood is in these fields. It’s why the trees are sick, their roots gnarled. Some say if you cut through the wood, you can see it—her blood in the lumber. They never should’ve used this land for anything, but the modern man rejects folklore, says that it’s mere superstitions, that there’s nothing to be found in these fields but your own shallow breath.

I know you may think that I’m crazy, but if you’re going to heed any lesson from my testimony, it’s this: Don’t tread on Florence’s land, or you’ll be sorry. I saw her ten years ago, it’s why I look like this, so I beg you, don’t go. Don’t go to Gold Petal Fields. That land is cursed.

***

“What do you make of that mumbo jumbo?” I say to Dave as I dip another chip into the bowl of salsa sitting between us.

“I don’t know. We can’t discredit her story as false, something happened to her in those fields to look the way she does.”

I nod, although I’m skeptical of the paranormal. Just because I’ve ventured on this podcast adventure with Dave doesn’t mean that I necessarily believe all the crazy stories we get sent to investigate. Especially since we’ve been able to debunk all of the ghost sightings we’ve investigated so far. Dave and I began our podcast “Agents of Spook” together three years ago, and ever since, our weekly listeners have increased exponentially. Our winning card is having video footage of our ghost hunting to go along with our podcast on our YouTube channel.

“I believe that she had a freak accident,” I concede. “But do I think that a two-hundred-sixty-five year-old ghost is to blame for her blindness? No, I don’t.”

Dave moves the cursor back on the video, rewinding it to the last few minutes and replays it.

“It’s why I look like this, so I beg you don’t go.”

He freezes the frame.

“You see that, Blythe?” He’s pointing to the computer screen, where Amanda Manthis stares blankly, or at least just sits there—I’m not sure how you can describe someone whose eyes are missing.

“What does that prove? Besides, she sent us this video, but then warns us not to go. It’s almost like she’s begging for us to go.” I dunk another chip in the salsa, scooping up a hefty amount before putting it in my mouth

“Maybe she only wants to know if what she thinks she saw was real or if something else happened to her entirely.”

I grab the packets of paper Dave printed earlier. Anything he was able to find about Florence Wakefield are in these papers. Legend has it that Florence Wakefield, the only child of the widowed oil tycoon Beau Wakefield, was brutally murdered by a group of villagers when rumors of witchcraft surfaced. Florence allegedly gave a poisoned concoction to a young teenage girl, Lydia Carson who had sought her herbal services. Modern medicine notes that perhaps the girl, unbeknownst to her, was deathly allergic to “eye of newt” or nowadays known in less Gothic terms as mustard seeds. These seeds were found to be part of the herbal tea that the young Lydia ingested. But Lydia’s father was distraught by his favored daughter’s death and vowed to seek revenge. When Beau Wakefield left town for a business venture to San Francisco, Mr. Carson, along with eleven other men, marched to the Wakefield estate. If Florence were a typical girl of her upbringing, they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did to her. But Florence wasn’t safe at home when they came looking for her. No. She was out in the fields. According to the historical documents and newspaper clippings, the men beat her and then tied her up to a stake where the crows pecked at her eyes. By the time the servants found her, it was too late. Florence was dead.

I set the papers back down on the desk, shaking my head.

“This is so disturbing.”

“Oh, but you haven’t heard it all . Exactly one month after her death, people began to see her ghost in the fields at night. Or as they said, a young woman wearing a pale pink dress. According to legend, it’s believed that if you try to communicate with the ghost, she lets you taste a dose of what she went through.”

“And that brings us back to why Amanda Manthis’ eyes look the way they do.”

“Yes,” Dave says. “That’s exactly it.”

“All of this is very fascinating, but you know that I don’t believe in ghosts.”

“I know you don’t. But that’s why we need to investigate and capture any weird phenomena with our trusty Canons.”

I look back up at Amanda’s freeze-framed face. She doesn’t look much older than thirty. Her brown hair is tied back as freckles adorn her button nose. But her eyes, or at least where her eyes used to be, are hollowed out. Heavy scar tissue now covers what used to be bleeding wounds. A chill runs down my spine, but I ignore it.

“Let’s do this,” I say.

PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE

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Review: Skin Inc. Supplement Bar – My Daily Dose of Glow

What It Is: Serum

What It Does: Restores skin suppleness, smooths, and reduces fine lines.

Active Ingredients: Vitamin A, Chlorella, and Hyaluronic Acid

Verdict: You know I’m a huge fan of Vitamin A, so the moment I saw that this serum contained that, I knew it’s promise of better skin would be fulfilled. Vitamin A revives your skin and it’s clinically proven to help restore skin’s youthful appearance, tackle dullness, and combat any environmental aggressors. Chlorella is a form of algae that helps reduce pigmentation and reduce redness. And of course no serum would be complete without hyaluronic acid, it’s basically the ingredient that helps with suppleness and smoothing. Basically this serum is a triple threat to help combat all your skin issues and is proven to give you a better appearance as soon as one day! All you need is three drops daily prior to moisturizer and before you know it you’ll have amazing skin. I really love this product and highly recommend it, especially if you’re trying to turn your skin around and combat dullness, pigmentation, sun damage, and fine lines.

Price: $65

Where To Buy It: https://iloveskininc.us

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Product Review: Ghost Girl Greetings

I’ve been eyeing Ghost Girl Greetings merch for awhile now. I’ve been desperately trying to purchase the mug with the cute Annabelle/Chucky/Jason/Ghostface/Pinhead faces on it, but due to high demand, I always get to the site when it’s already “Out of Stock” (West Coast woes, yo). So, when the makeup bag with the same cute horror face combo became available I decided to snag it asap, and while I was at it, I decided to pick up the Freddy Krueger inspired lip balm I’m Your Chapstick Now in Coffee, because, why not?

Now, I’m very picky when it comes to lip balms because I need them to be a certain type of softness and consistency (meaning not sticky nor pulling a Houdini and disappearing in 20 minutes either). The good news is, that this lip balm surpassed my expectations. The moment I applied it, I felt as though my lips were embraced by a soft cloud of coffee sweetness. It was comforting, smoothing, and just plain blissful. To say that I’m in love with it is an understatement, to say that I wish to replace ALL of my lip balms with this one would be accurate.

It was such a pleasant surprise to be so pleased with the lip balm since my whole reason to purchase from their online store was for me to get the makeup bag (which is utterly adorable and I recommend any horror fan who wishes to carry their makeup or essentials in style to buy it!).

Overall, these won’t be my last purchases from this shop and I’m still holding out hope to some day own the ever elusive mug I pine for. A girl can only dream.

VISIT THE SHOP!

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Coming Soon! & Cover Reveal: Vicious Traditions – Tales of Terror and the Grotesque

After focusing my attention on multi-author anthologies for the past few years, I’ve decided to take a break from that and release a collection of my own short stories.

Most of the stories are new, although there may be a couple that have been previously published in other anthologies.

The stories you’ll find in this collection range from various degrees of dark, twisted, and speculative horror.

If you love vampire, witches, ghosts, and werewolves with a new fresh twist on old tropes, then you might enjoy the stories in Vicious Traditions.

VICIOUS TRADITIONS is due February 1, 2022.

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Review: Glossier – Ultralip in Portrait

What It Is: Hydrating glossy lip balm

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Meadowfoam, Jojoba, and Watermelon oils

Verdict: Nothing kicks off the start of summer like transitioning from a matte lipstick to a shiny glossy one – and now with mask mandates being lifted at most places, you can finally show off your newly minted glossy lips. What I adore about this Glossier formula is that it’s incredibly shiny but without the sticky ickiness that comes from traditional lip glosses – not to mention that the colour selection is PHENOMENAL. The majority of of the hues are universally flattering meaning that you can’t go wrong with any of them! This formula doesn’t bleed at the edges and leaves your lips feeling pillowy soft and nourished while also looking incredibly beautiful. So go ahead and kick your matte liquid lipsticks to the curb – summer is officially here and Glossier’s Ultralip is what should be on everyone’s lips.

Price: $18

Where To Buy It: https://www.glossier.com/

Beautiful glossy soft lips (Glossier Ultralip in Portrait).
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