Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2016

Public Library Used Bookstore Hustle

While reading may be a little slow this week (spending over a week with a book that’s good, but can’t quite intercede the distractions that make up life), I’ve decided to stop over-browsing my public library’s used bookstore and actually buy something.  These two books (and many more left abandoned) have been in my hands throughout each of my visits there.  And both for good reason.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sisters Doing It For Themselves | The Female Mystery Lead Haul

Remember that Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin song “Sisters Are Doin’ it for Themselves”?  Good if you do.  Because I believe it's a suitable theme song for my recent book haul.  A haul where I unintentionally visited three different bookstores in an afternoon, led mostly by divine inspiration.  I know how "divine inspiration" sounds.  But what else describes visiting one bookstore and–in passing–somehow three-point turn your way to stop by another?  Just because it was there to catch your eye.  In lunch hour traffic.  Imagine.  So while everyone else was lined up at Chick-Fil-A's drive-thru, some of us were chewing on organic brownie bars and throwing down at the local bookstores.  It had to be done. 
So I attribute the song to this collection of recent purchases–because they’re mysteries carried by women leads.  You know, just about the only gender class in mysteries I raise up to read about.  I mean, a time or two I’ll give the guys a chance.  It’s just male characters in this genre seem so outmoded.  Or, for the sake of sounding redundant, passé.  In the future I may have to eat my words.  Still, unless the male character is gay, I’m less likely to find genuine interest in his story.  And, subsequently, the investigation.  And true there are self-published Kindle books nowadays with a gay male solving crime.  I just need to do a little more research to find good ones.  You know, because the book still has to tell a great story at the end of the day.  But on the general tip: I need a good, kick-ass female to pull me through a mystery.
So with the chatter bucket out of the way, I’m here to share four new crime novels centered on the female sleuth.  As well as a lot of deserts in Arizona...
First there's Firestorm, book #4 in Nevada Barr's park ranger extraordinaire Anna Pigeon series.  This is one of those books–after reading book three–I legworked used bookstores for months to find.  Not until I went over the mountains to a Barnes & Noble did a copy surface (I finally found a used copy later the same day.  The irony.).  

Nevertheless, my experience with Anna Pigeon’s debut, Track of the Cat, was everything.  Here was this flawed, borderline alcoholic who remade her life after losing her husband in a freak accident.  So in a stretch of parallels, she took herself out of the concrete jungles of New York and into Texas back country as a park ranger.  However, the Texas back country is only her first locale.  In proceeding books, Anna's new career takes her to a variety of other National Parks.  So her surroundings are always fresh to her and the reader.  As well as the murders she finds herself wrapped up in.  After the first book, Barr's blend of National Park studies and murder ticketed me for Anna's line of adventures without further convincing.
Unfortunately, the following two books, Superior Death and Ill Wind, sold me lukewarm feelings.  I was still grinding on the Anna train; I just wasn’t there completely after those reads.  Regardless, I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to this series, and have since kept an eye out for Firestorm.
In Firestorm, Anna's stationed at the California Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Sounds pretty cool, right?  Until a forest fire erupts, leaving Anna to confront it.  

Within the blazing chaos, two men are found dead.  One a victim of the fire.  The other stabbed in the back.  The kicker: a winter storm is descending on the park, leaving the remaining ten forest fire survivors stranded.  That’s Anna, eight other people, and one killer in the mix.  Anna’ll have his (or her) ass for sure.  And I must say, I feel like Firestorm will breath another life into the series.  One in which I have no intentions of giving up until I see Anna through to the end, anyway.  Her story and adventures are too unique to pass up.

Monday, March 28, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness | Challenge #6: The Pet Detective

Well, #MarchMysteryMadness is coming to an end in a couple of days.  Color me sad, especially with two and half challenges still stuck in my lane.  I took a break from reading mysteries to take in Ruth Pointer’s autobiography, Still So Excited!  It was a necessary, necessary task to take.  And one I enjoyed.  If anything, the autobiography re-charged me to tackle the remaining challenges.  Beginning with the 6th #MarchMysteryMadness challenge, The Whispering Pet Whisperer mystery.
Of course Rita Mae Brown is my go-to for reading pet detective mysteries.  I adore her window into the perspectives of animals, with their given abilities used to help their human companions solve crimes.  So the idea was the read the first book in Brown’s Mag Rogers series.  The series is about an ex-Wall Street employee who decided to make a break for her aunt’s Nevada ranch.  In turn, the two–along with their pet dogs–solve a local crime.  The crime begins with someone pipe-bombing the community’s water pumping station.  Knowing Brown some level of politics comes in hand.  But it sounds interesting, right?  
Well, it was.  Then I realized I would have to take on a new cast of characters populating a new community with new dynamics.  You see, Rita Mae Brown packs her series with characters.  Lots and lots of them.  So many she includes a mini List of Characters dossier before the story even starts.  You know, for the reader to revert to during the story's progression.  Should the reader become disorient during a scene where many characters, with different purposes, converse and perform.
Really, I wasn’t in the mood to take on a whole new cast.  No ma'am.  Not this late in the game.  I had my heart set on the book at first, though.  Yet, three chapters in, I was already flipping back to the mini dossier.
It was just too much work trying to warm up to this new crew.  So this is where my emergency care package fell in.
Hell, I went back to pick up where I left off reading Brown’s Mrs. Murphy series with book #10, Catch as Cat Can.  And I picked it back up with a sigh of relief.  It was a familiar stage.  Familiar climate.  Familiar tone.  Hell, even the damn streets' layout was already embedded in my brain.  Yet, most of all, the cast of characters were fictional friends.  I’ve already spent 10 books getting to know them (had trouble in the beginning, but obvious managed).
I devoured the book over the weekend and enjoyed every second of it.  Tiger cat Mrs. Murphy and corgi Tee Tucker saved me on this one.  Had I not sprinted back to their territory, I believe I would’ve been stuck in Brown’s A Nose for Justice.  And, subsequently, furthering my slothfulness this late in the challenges.
Lord, forgive me.
Man, but seriously.  This cozy mystery series is such a treat to me.  I get excited every time I start a new book.  And I long to pick the book back up when I'm away from it.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have pets but always wanted one.

Mystery Madness
Mystery Madness 2 members 2016 March Mystery Madness Challenge Group. More details to follow.

Books we've read

View this group on Goodreads »

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Blog Haul: Saturday's LIFE & DRAWING

needed Saturday.  I needed that time with my cousin and her daughter.  Driving around town with some generally nice (a touch breezy), sunny March weather to lead us.  For me, spending a Saturday out and about is one of my favorite ways to appreciate this day of the week.  As a kid, that's just what we did.  J. C. Penny's, the mall, Wal-Mart, bookstores, and eating out all took place on Saturdays.  From late mornings until early evenings.  And after breaking out of winter and into spring, I was up for it.  

Yet I needed this past Saturday for a specific reason.  The truth is I suffered an anxiety attack Thursday afternoon at work.  You see, I think I finally hit a wall in that place.  A heavy, soul-sucking, and burdensome wall at that.  There's nothing pretty about feeling caged in for three years until you find yourself holding two choices: unsheathe your claws or make a run for it.  I did a balance of both.  And it was frightening for me to be so out of control of myself physically and mentally.  And all the sweet but low key narrow-minded platitudes from others who've never been in my position don't mean a thing.  Matter-of-fact, I'm tired of being around people who subscribe to systems over their own inner compasses.  But I digress.  Maybe I’ll write more about the incident later–outside of my journal that is. 
I want to share Saturday’s haul with the Comic Towel readers.  To just talk about a few of the things I got to fill the “LIFE” tag to my blog, as well as the “DRAWING” tag.
LIFE: Metaphysics to the Rescue

The day started when I asked my cousin if she wanted to visit the metaphysical gift shop, The Dream Maker, with me.  A month ago my powdered incense caught her interest, so I invited her to come along with me when I went to get more.
I ran out of Anna Riva's incense powder Thursday, after using my last to get myself together post that disastrous work shift.  I’d already made up my mind that I wanted to grab some new powder anyway, so the timing was right.  Metaphysically, I can’t give an exact answer on the powder's effectiveness.  However, the smell (and the placebo influence) is fine with me.  It’s all about charging a positive environment and mindset.
This time I got the green powder for Horn of Plenty.  According to the Wiki, the definition of this familiar phrase is: Cornucopia, a symbolic, hollow horn filled with the inexhaustible gifts of celebratory fruits.”  So I see this powder as a catch-all tool for generating plenty wherever your focus lie.  Yet, seeing how green is a color representative of money and abundance, the obvious intentions are truth.  It has a low, musty but citrus scent to it.  The other powder is red, a color with a multitude of spiritual and metaphysical meanings.  Still, in the case of this bottle of powdered incense, it represents attraction.  Nothing specific to its aim, or focus.  Still, like many things in metaphysics, you’re open to apply your own intentions.
Doing a little research on the powders beforehand, I came across a book written Anna Riva.  It’s call Power in the Palms.  I don’t have the book, but from what I’ve researched online, it does mention the use of candles in our prayers.  So I bought the appropriate candles with the addition of a small pink one.  (Could that be for attracting love?)  I’ll get into praying the Psalms at another time.  Just know it’s a fascinating discovery that I plan on utilizing in the future.
That’s all I got this time at The Dream Maker.  For once, I didn't spend over $20.  Which is easy to do in this place.
DRAWING: Crafts Please Take Control
All you crafty and art people out there, ever find yourself in a creative funk that lasted months?  What do you do to re-energize your lust for the creative?  If you’re like me you go to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to load up on inspiration, tools, and ideas.  And even further, you tackle the clearance section for some crafting deals.  Which is what I did with these items I got from Michael's.  
My brain going into creative overload, I grabbed these Jolee’s Boutique breaker and test tube stickers.  Captivated by the glittery colors, I knew I could think of something to use them for in the future.  So I grabbed this pack quick, led by the $1.79 clearance sticker.  I also got these black chalk tiles for 79. a pack.  Stirred by another idea for their use.  Last, I snagged these letter crafting beads.  Which, if I was thinking, I should've grabbed craft glue to go along with them.  I believe I'm almost out of my 10+ year old bottle.  Anyway, a little mini haul at Michael's is just what I needed to bring me back to me just a little more.  Some do therapeutic shopping through clothes, I beeline for the art stuff!
She's in Progress
I’ve been working on this character for a month or two (of course see image on your right-hand side).  I guess I'm lazy about taking my time to give her more shape and direction.  My hopes is that some of these recent crafting goods will get my juices flowing so that I can finish her up.  I remember I used to nail myself down to draw something every day.  God willing–with everything I’ve gotten over the weekend–I hope to find myself back in the drawing mood.  Hopefully, more often so that I can flush out my ideas routinely.  And in a way that only allows peace and tranquility to fill my voids.  There's a certain catharsis I get from watching colorful characters come to life.  And with all that's been happening in my immediate surroundings, I owe myself a session.  Or two.  Or three.  Or infinitely!
Let go and let God...
Anyway, a small little weekend haul I wanted to share.  How do you go about rejoicing and honoring your spirit and creativity?  Share your thoughts below!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness | Challenge #5: The Syndicating Spell-Caster

(Taken from my Goodreads #MarchMysteryMadness post announcing my choice for this challenge.)

With the beginnings of every series comes a personal story. Comes a reason why we pick them up. And another reason why we decide to keep reading book after book. A lot of that dedication has to do with our interest in the character. And sometimes, we don’t even have explanations of how/why we connected.

I found this happening with Madelyn Alt’s witch character, Maggie O’Neill.  I decided to pick up the first book back when I was shelving books at this bookstore. It was a mystery involving a witch–which was intriguing enough. But then I thought it could help me with my own writing, seeing how Alt was another cozy author blending genres. It’s taken some years, but I’m slowly making my way through this series about this low-key witch solving murders in a small Indiana town. Maggie is not exactly flashy and quick-witted like, say, Kinsey Millhone. She doesn’t have the legal brains or athleticism of V. I. Warshawski. And she certainly doesn’t have an ugly/dark past like Eve Dallas (though it looks like her family is making a profound appearance in this fourth book). But I like Maggie. Maybe because she isn’t all those things. Yet she’s a witch in the subtlest sense because she doesn’t look at herself in terms of power. She’s just a woman who happens to be able to do small, little witchy things that helps her solve these murders she falls into.

The books are harder and harder to come by, and I think Alt no longer has a contract. But I had to use this Challenge to order and read the 4th book, NO Rest for the Wiccan. If anything, I want to see more of Maggie (and secretly find out how she’ll resolve her relationship issues with two men.)

Relate with me; does anybody have a series you love diving in and out of but isn't sure what is it that resonances with you?

Mystery Madness
Mystery Madness 26 members 2016 March Mystery Madness Challenge Group. More details to follow.

Books we've read

View this group on Goodreads »

Monday, March 7, 2016

Spring Cleaning Sale | Behind the Books on the Bookself

Spring Cleaning!  Something I need to do more often than just in spring.  No, seriously, I’ve got to get rid of some of this stuff.  It was nagging at me to reach behind the books on my shelves and grab the forgotten treasures stashed in the shadows.  DVDs.  Boxsets.  Video games.  Even a PC gaming controller that’s never been opened!  What the hell could I do with any of this stuff?  Other than throw the SOB’s onto Amazon Marketplace and see if they’ll sell their way out of my door!  Everything in the above image isn’t listed yet (when did Amazon get a limited posting policy on media items?).  Even so, if anyone’s interested, you can visit my Amazon Marketplace store to see what’s there.  Meanwhile, I have to get a rag and start dusting elsewhere.  I need some serious book space, I would attribute the rise in digital streaming to the lack of necessity for actual movie/TV show discs.
Yet.  Books will always be.  There must always be room for books!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness | Challenge #4: The Rule of True Crime

First time going for Ann Rule (RIP). I’m going to be reading A Fever in the Heart.  It’s a collection of her slimmer written cases. As opposed to those massive books by her you find bowing bookshelves. I had the intention of reading the last quarter of the book where all the small case are. I mean, because the first case is 283 pages out of this 424 page book. But then I thought, “Hell no. If I’m gonna go into this, I have to have my full curiosities met!” Along with a little OCD realized. My initial intentions were to do the #MarchMysteryMadness challenges down the line. But now I’m skipping my re-reading of Poe to use this week to tackle The RULE. (High-five for knocking out the first two challenges in a week.) 

It’s funny because I feel like I’m going to get a Lifetime Movie feel from these cases, but just a touch bloodier. Along with the catch that these stories are about real people–real tragedies. I can only wonder how far along I’m willing to go before I do like I did the TV show The First 48 and drop it. I’m a believer in inviting realities and energies (if you will) into our own. And I know y’all are probably like “oh but you read all those murder mysteries.” Lol. Yes. Fiction. But believe me, the processing is totally different. 

A few years ago I read this amazing book  From my very first childhood inkling of the Jonestown incident I’ve always, always had an interest and fascination with the case. And this was the book I needed as an adult for answers. And while I highly recommend it, the problem was I couldn’t sleep the night I started the book. I had a nightmare about the Jonestown incident. I finished the book, all right. But I walked around with this weird, pondering “sickness” for at least a week. And that’s what I mean about inviting certain realities into your energy. We’ve all been there where we hear about a murder, and then spend time with the details chewing at our imaginations for some time. But NEVER would I thought the same thing would happen from a book! Lol.

For those interested, I’ll share my written blog post on A Thousand Lives HERE:

But at the end of the day, I'm a person who likes to make sense of real things. Who likes information. Who likes to keep an open-mind and see what I can pull from places unforeseeable (so I pray) from my own reality.

Will that happen in Rule? Challenge accepted! 

(I jacked this post from the #MarchMysteryMadness Goodreads page.  You, reading this, SHOULD be there!  Link below.)

Mystery Madness
Mystery Madness 2 members 2016 March Mystery Madness Challenge Group. More details to follow.

Books we've read

View this group on Goodreads »

Thursday, March 3, 2016

GUEST POST: Raking the Dust by John Biscello

The Zharmae Publishing Press Presents:

Raking the Dust by John Biscello

Author: John Biscello
Genre: Erotica, Sci-Fi
Length: 341
Release Date:March 10, 2016
ISBN:978-1-943549-54-2 ($14.95)
Publisher: Zharmae Press
Cover Artwork:Cris Qualiana Basham
Synopsis: In this rogue’s tale, full of sound, fury and erotic surrealism, we meet Alex Fillameno, a writer who has traded in the machine-grind of New York for a bare bones existence in the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico. Recently divorced and jobless, Fillameno has become a regular at The End of the Road, the bar where he first encounters the alluring and enigmatic D.J, a singer and musician. Drawn to her mutable sense of reality, the two begin a romance that starts off relatively normal. When D.J. initiates Alex into the realm of sexual transfiguration their lives are turned inside-out, and what follows is an anti-hero’s journey into a nesting doll world of masks and fragments, multiples and parallels, time-locks and trauma; a world in which reality is celluloid and what you see is never what you get.

Interview with John Biscello on Raking the Dust
What drove and inspired you to write this particular book?
I moved to Taos, New Mexico from New York in 2001. It was quite a dramatic change in culture, tempo, and way of life.  I never would have imagined fourteen years later I'd still call this "black sheep" of a high-desert town home. The energy and character of this place is rich and challenging; its vibe eclectic.  It was only a matter of time before I tried to capture and reflect its spirit (or how it has impacted and influenced my spirit in myriad ways) in a book or collection of stories. 
Most of my novel is set in Taos–with strains of autobiographical fiction.  Yet it veers into the realms of the mythical and surreal.  And one of the driving catalysts behind that is the character, D.J.–who becomes the love interest of Alex (the protagonist). D.J. was supposed to be the main character in a play I was writing, but she disappeared when no one was looking and reappeared in this novel.  Here, she has found a home of sorts. 
Which were the hardest areas to write?
Perhaps the last section, where the novel changes locations from Taos to San Francisco.  In a sense, it almost become a different book. A new setting, a new set of characters (with D.J. and Alex still at the heart of it all); and having to trust in the strange or surreal directions inspired by Les Etoiles de Diables ("Stars of the Devil").  Which is the name of a mysterious club on San Francisco's Embarcadero waterfront. 
This summer, when rewriting the novel, I rewrote the S.F. section in trying to streamline and concentrate the storyline.  Furthermore, manage the intense build-up or break-down between D.J. and Alex. 
What makes your book standout?
Well, an urban-bred Brooklyn boy's perspective of high-desert living is one slant. Also–about a quarter of the way into the novel–what seems like a "straight" love/obsession story between an alcoholic writer and mercurial musician takes a sharp, unexpected turn.  Into a playscape that could be called ... anatomically reconfigurative (Cue old-time-radio suspense music). 
What advice do you have for the struggling writer?
If this is your deep-down passion, if you truly love words and stories and your relationship with them, then putting them down and getting them out means you are actively living your dream. There will always be a million and one alibis ready to sidetrack and derail us. Ignore them. Live the yes. Stay the course.
Author Information & Links
John Biscello is the author of the novel Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, which was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Adobe Walls, Yuan Yang, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. A poet, performer, author, playwright, and drama teacher for young people, he is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Taos, NM.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness TBR (Video)

*****T H E C H A L L E N G E S & B O O K S*****
My TBR (all links are Amazon affiliate) mixed with written reviews of related material:
1.  The Food/Craft/Hobby Cozy ~ I chose is Susan Wittig Albert's Witches' Bane (Book 2 in her China Bayles series).
2.  The Person of Color in Lead ~ I chose Blanche Among the Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely (Book 2 in her Blanche White series).
3.  The Christie/Poe Complex ~ I'm going with Poe again.
4.  The Rule of True Crime ~  I'm going with the queen of True Crime, Ann Rule.
5.  The Syndicating Spell-Caster ~  Madelyn Alt sounds good for me with the 4th book in her Bewitching Series, No Rest for the Wiccan.
6.  The Whispering Pet Whisper ~  My girl Rita Mae Brown is at it again.  I'm taking her on with the first book in her Mag Rogers series, A Nose for Justice. 
7.  The Baggage Claims ~  Oh how I love Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series.  It's about time I got to the 3rd book in her series, The Mummy Case.  
8.  The Not-So Kid Gloves Sleuth ~ Going with Nancy Drew on this one 

Friday, February 19, 2016

#MarchMysteryMadness Challenge List

Goodreads Group: March Mystery Madness
~~~~~ The Food/Craft/Hobby Cozy~~~~~
1.       “It wasn’t the way that Hannah preferred to attract new clientele, but she had to admit that finding Ron’s body had been good for business.  The Cookie Jar was jam-packed with customers.  Some of them were even standing while they munched their cookies, and every one of them wanted her opinion on what happened to Ron LasSalle.”
Everybody has a craft–a hobby.  Whether it’s baking sugar cookies or crocheting Forget-Me-Not dollies.  Maybe even culturing herbs for organic dishes.  Or are you into nature photography and are a dedicated bibliophile?  Now imagine engaging with your day-to-day passions when a body suddenly crosses your path.  What would you do?  Do you have what it takes to balance your craft with solving murders?  Explore the possibilities by reading a cozy mystery with a food/craft/hobby theme.
~~~~~ The Get Christie Love Lead~~~~~
2.       “Finally, after all my procrastinating and avoiding Bessie’s calls, I was able to put the finishing touches on my report, explaining exactly how I had spent her money (I didn’t include the manicure), apologizing for what I hadn’t been able to find out, but pointing out that her involvement may have sparked the cops’ renewed interest in the case.  I included the name of the lawyer that Jake had given me as well as the contact for the program for Rayshawn.  I also warned her in strong language that Rayshawn had been on the verge of committing a serious felony and had some serious problems that had to be dealt with, and if she and Viola didn’t make sure he got help, I’d be forced to go to the authorities with information that would result in his arrest.”
Find and follow your inner Christie Love and Foxy Brown.  Read a mystery/crime fiction novel powered by an African (-American) female sleuth.  Or, from Tokyo to Seoul.  Shanghai to Kolkata.  Or even New York to Los Angles.  Read a mystery/crime fiction novel featuring a sleuth with an Eastern perspective on matters.  (In general, a book featuring a person of color taking lead.)
~~~~~ The Christie/Poe Complex~~~~~
3.      “I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”

Did you know Edgar Allan Poe did mystery and crime fiction before mystery and crime fiction were even a thing?  Let’s face it; he’s the godfather of the genre.  He’s the seed to this entire challenge.  Therefore, your challenge is simple: indulge in one or all three of Poe’s mystery shorts…
A.     The Murders in the Rue Morgue
B.     The Mystery of Marie Roget
C.     The Purloined Letter
Or how about the matriarch of mystery and crime fiction, Agatha Christie?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

#ReadSoulLit Jubilee by Margaret Walker

QUICK.  Get on Twitter and Youtube and search #ReadSoulLit!  You may be asking what does that mean–outside of its obvious nature.  However, as a quick explanation, many Booktubers are reading Jubliee by Margaret Walker during February.  For Black History Month of course!  I'll link to Booktuber, Frenchie at Brown Girl Reading's, video on the project HERE.  As for myself, I recently got my copy of the book.  I'm behind on the reading, but still wanted to share for those reading this post who would like to jump on board and participate.  That is all…

"Here is the classic--and true--story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his black mistress, a Southern Civil War heroine to rival Scarlett O'Hara. Vyry bears witness to the South's prewar opulence and its brutality, to its wartime ruin and the subsequent promise of Reconstruction. It is a story that Margaret Walker heard as a child from her grandmother, the real Vyry's daughter. The author spent thirty years researching the novel so that the world might know the intelligent, strong, and brave black woman called Vyry. The phenomenal acclaim this best-selling book has achieved from readers black and white, young and old, attests to her success."
~ Synopsis from 

Friday, January 22, 2016

He Wants the B(OOKS)! Book Haul Video

BOOKS MENTIONED (Amazon Affiliate Links)
1.  Leslie by Omar Tyree:
2.  Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler:
3.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs:
4.  No Longer a Slumdog: Bringing Hope to Children in Crisis by K. P. Yohannan:
5.  Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix:
6.  China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan:
7.  The Train Now Departing by Martha Grimes:

1.  FreeFormLady [Leslie]:
2.  Musical Tait [Parable of the Talents]:
3.  Dale LaRose [Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl]:
4.  Yesmissjane [China Rich Girlfriend]:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Year, New Metaphysics Haul

A new year brings a new visit to the metaphysics gift shop to freshen up Life's pages.  Okay.  Well, something like that.  You all know what I mean.  Anyway, I do this just about every January, so I'm back again with another Dreammaker haul to share.  
The first thing I asked when I stepped in the shop Saturday was whether the proprietors had anything new.  New crystals.  Incense.  Gemstones.  Anything worth a try for the upcoming year.  It's been a year since I last stepped in the place, and because I like trying new New Thought items, I had to see what was new.  Experimenting with different powders and such, but not so ritualistically.  If you will.  

I ran out of my Anna Riva powdered incense from two years ago, so I decided to head in this direction for 2016.  There's so many to choose from, though.  I went back and forth during my visit.  You have the incense powder you burn for attracting love, finding success, and meditation.  There's even a powder as specific as winning a court case!  (I pray I never have to indulge myself in that specific blend.)  
I decided to get the incense blend for better business and healing–both self-explanatory on their purpose.  But outside of their function, I really love the actual aroma of each.  The better business has the same lemon/lime scent as Anna Riva's money powder.  (In parts, it smells like money.)  And the healing powder has a peppermint and spicy vanilla scent.  According to Anna Riva's website, this particular powdered incense is best burned on Sunday's.  As a purifying and protective fragrance lingers throughout your home. 
That's right.  Quick money herbal spell mix.  I had to grab this one.  Especially after getting off the phone with a student loan company the day before.  As well as standing for eight hours at work previous to my Dreammaker trip.  A grueling and mind-numbing eight hours I must add.  Anyway, I've never had a herbal spell bag before.  And it was new so why not?  I dropped a pinch or two into my crystals/gemstone pouch and'll burn the rest.  You know.  To see what cracks and crevices of life some little money will seep through.
(Note: this stuff doesn't burn well.  But let's be clear: anything I buy from a metaphysics and New Thought gift shop is hardly used in its traditional sense.  It's usually about fun and experimentation.  So I wouldn't count on me to understand the exact purpose of this mix.)

I was long overdue for a new smudge stick.  My previous one is just that: STICKS.  So I finally got a new one for cleansing and purifying space, body and mind.  Oh, and crystals/gemstones.  
But check this.  I read an article not long ago that linked burning white sage to clearing bacteria out of the air.  So the Native Americans continued to have it right.
Well, that's all I got for.  Here's to 2016.  More progress.  More growth.  Evolving with good people and better opportunities.  Remember to visit the Dreammaker website for your own New Thought gifts.

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