Tag Archives: books

A Bath for a Rainy Day (an SC Post)

Greetings fans, SC here. (uh oh, it’s an SC post…probably short with bad news, where’s my Content! I’m bored!)

I actually have been planning to do a post or two since PuzzlePaws and myself are now Sheltering-in-Place (vs. me leaving the house to work).  Basically, I got laid-off. It’s more complicated than that, but it isn’t germane to PuzzlePaws’s blog, so I decline to digress.

Y’know how you’ve got that Really Nice bath stuff you’ve been hiding in the closet for a rainy day? (Our stash is a bit large, ATM.) Well, since we’re all stuck at home anyway, now is the time to use it!

Being stuck in the house is no fun for anyone, add in the current pandemic and it is a recipe for stress.  What better way to remove some of that stress than to break into your stash and have an enjoyable bath?  (Now you see where I’m going with this.)

Now, I will take the odd bubblebath or use a bathbomb once in a while, and while those are enjoyable I wanted to truly relax.  I needed something that literally felt like it pulled the stress out of me.  So, I dug deep into the closet and found a favorite that PuzzlePaws and I discovered at ToyFair NYC about 2 or 3 years ago: Ooze Baff.

If you are familiar with the works of Anne McCaffrey, specifically her Crystal Singer series, you remember the odd, viscous liquid called Radiant Bath. (Hint: the Crystal Singers would immerse themselves in it to take out some of the crystal song in their blood when fresh off the Ranges. I’ll post a link to the first book at the bottom, cracking good read, that. The audiobook is perfect for the bath to come.)

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What you will need:

  • Ooze Baff 50g or 150g
  • Bathing tub to fill with hot water (Do not use in a hot tub or anything with a pump in it.  Puzzlepaws Blog is not responsible for damage)
  • Hands-free entertainment (I used some music I enjoy)
  • Optional: Candle(s) for mood lighting
  • Optional: Epsom Salts (to thicken the Baff)
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50g on the left, 150g on the right.  Attentive readers will note the packs are called “Slime Baff” and “Slime Play” (the European name).

Before drawing your bath (baff?), make sure your drain is clear of anything that might cause it to drain slowly.  (Other than PuzzlePaws, everyone else in the house has long hair.  Cleaning the tub/shower drain is a monthly exercise.) Once you have cleaned your drain and reassembled the plug, draw about 2-3 inches of warm water.  Before opening your package of Ooze Baff, make sure none of the powder is clumped together, if it is clumped up, break it up in the package.

Open the pouch of Ooze Baff and sprinkle it all over the surface of the water, a bath will take a minimum of 50-75g to create.  (Ideally, use 100-150g of powder per bath for the best experience.)  Stir the water with your hand until the powder is fully dissolved.  The water will turn the color of the powder and will smell slightly sulfurous. (This is the only design flaw I have found.  I have not experimented with adding scent/oil to the water to “improve” the scent.  I prefer the effect, I can ignore the smell.)

 

Sorry, no bath pictures here.  This is a family blog.

 

At this time, set up your bath, start your music, etc.

Shortly, the water will feel slipperier and become noticeably thicker.  If it isn’t as thick as you’d like, or you want something else to relax your muscles, add some Epsom Salts.  Once everything is dissolved carefully “hop” in (while bracing your body, or with assistance, carefully crawl into the tub and get comfortable.)  Continue filling the tub with the hottest water you can tolerate. (I use a temperature just below “Hell, No! I’m not getting into that!”)

NEVER try to stand in a tub of Ooze Baff, you WILL slip and fall!

This is an odd chemical reaction.  The powder combines with water and creates a mucous-like slime.  Epsom Salts enhances the slime effect (thickening the slime).  It is an endothermic reaction, thus you use the hottest water you can stand. (Endothermic – the reaction absorbs heat, making the resulting fluid cooler than it was at the beginning.)

Fill the tub as deep as you like with you in it (I prefer about 1/2″ from the rim).  Rest in the water until you feel your stress melt away. Don’t get too comfy, you’re still going to have to shower this off.  (Even the least buoyant individual will feel supported.  I’m pretty low body fat and my arms floated comfortably in the bath.) Don’t worry if you get this slime in long hair, you can shower it out.  The slime will form a thin, slippery coating on your entire body.

Please use common sense, don’t use Ooze Baff if you have open wounds or are allergic to any of the compounds in it.

When you’re ready to get out, pop the drain on the tub and let it drain with you in it.  DON’T try to stand up yet.  Once the tub is drained, start the water and rinse the bottom of the tub until you have a place to stand.  Once standing, turn on the shower.  (Yes, I have been known to write manuals.) If you’ve gotten the slime in your hair, draw the slime towards the ends of your hair until you’ve gotten most of it out.  Shampoo as usual until the slime is gone.

Ooze Baff is colored-hair-safe (I have neon pink hair, the slime didn’t harm the color at all), non-staining, and easy to clean up.

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Ingredients: Acrylamide/Sodium Acrylate Copolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Blue No. 1.

Where to buy:  Ooze Baff and related products are available on Amazon.  At this time, delivery takes about a week.  Zimpli Store on Amazon

If you want larger quantities, you can purchase it directly from the maker: zimplikids.com

Crystal Singer is available from Amazon as well: Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey

The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

 

High Heels & Beetle Crushers – Review and Giveaway Blog Blitz!

I love nonfiction and history, so I jumped at the chance to review this upcoming memoir.

High Heels Cover

The Blurb:

A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women’s Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid 60s, Skingley’s memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery.

While the title is a little odd, it refers to the footwear of her young adult life; high heels when a civilian or on leave and “beetle crushers” black heavy shoes when on duty. Jackie’s memoir takes us from her earliest memory through her service with the Women’s Royal Army Corps.

Her writing style is relaxed and easygoing, I honestly felt as if Jackie were in the same room, telling me stories from her Army days. The depth of emotion when discussing her relationships with her family and beaus is wide-ranging. There is Jackie’s struggles against the expected roles of women in her time and the trials of finding love. Her fears and losses are heartrending and all too human, as is the slow recovery from grief.

She is frank when talking about sexual harassment and the attitudes of the 1950s-60s about affairs, premarital sex, and homosexuality. There are small asides in many of the chapters relating historical anecdotes or mentioning at what time in the future things changed.

Overall, I loved this book. My only real complaint is that the book ends with her military service in 1963. Write more of your following adventures, Jackie!

Rating: 5/5

  • Title: High Heels & Beetle Crushers: The Life, Losses and Loves of an Officer and Lady
  • Author: Jackie Skingley
  • Publisher: Chronos Books
  • Released: January 1st, 2020
  • Language: English
  • Format: Ebook
  • Pages: 328 pages
About the Author:
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For Jackie Skingley, adventure has been her quest since childhood. Life with the British army allowed Jackie to live all over the world and gain huge appreciation for different cultures and customs. Since 1999, Jackie and her husband have lived in the Charente region of South West France where Reiki, jewellery making, painting and mosaics, as well as writing keep her fully occupied. Member of the Charente Creative Writing Group, mother and grandmother
Jackie Skingley: Twitter / Facebook
Where to buy:

High Heels & Beetle Crushers: The Life, Losses and Loves of an Officer and Lady will be available on Amazon and bookstores on January 1st, 2020. If you click the above link, you can preorder the book for either Kindle ($10.69 USD) or Hardcover ($29.95 USD).

 

Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of High Heels & Beetle Crushers (Open UK / US Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK & USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Giveaway Link: RaffleCopter

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ebook from the publisher in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Shave the Princess?? Acceptance and Self-Discovery on the High Seas.

The Princess Beard is the third in the Tales of Pell series, and while I’ve listened to the previous two books on audiobook, this was the first time actually reading one. There is a definite difference between listening to someone else interpret puns and wordplay, and reading and discovering that wordplay yourself.  Either way, this book is a delight!

The Princess Beard

The Blurb:

Shave the princess? Inconceivable! The hilarious bestselling authors of Kill the Farm Boy and No Country for Old Gnomes are back with a new adventure in the irreverent world of Pell.

Once upon a time, a princess slept in a magical tower cloaked in thorns and roses. 

When she woke, she found no Prince Charming, only a surfeit of hair and grotesquely long fingernails—which was, honestly, better than some creep who acted without consent. She cut off her long braids and used them to escape. But she kept the beard because it made a great disguise.

This is not a story about finding true love’s kiss—it’s a story about finding yourself. On a pirate ship. Where you belong.

But these are no ordinary pirates aboard The Puffy Peach, serving under Filthy Lucre, the one-eyed parrot pirate captain. First there’s Vic, a swole and misogynistic centaur on a mission to expunge himself of the magic that causes him to conjure tea and dainty cupcakes in response to stress. Then there’s Tempest, who’s determined to become the first dryad lawyer—preferably before she takes her ultimate form as a man-eating tree. They’re joined by Alobartalus, an awkward and unelfly elf who longs to meet his hero, the Sn’archivist who is said to take dictation directly from the gods of Pell. Throw in some mystery meat and a dastardly capitalist plot, and you’ve got one Pell of an adventure on the high seas!

In this new escapade set in the magical land of Pell, Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne lovingly skewer the tropes of fairy tales and create a new kind of fantasy: generous, gently humorous, and inclusive. There might also be otters.  

The Princess Beard is a book that makes you think, even as you laugh until you cry. Much like the movie that the title references, this story is beautifully complex and multilayered. I have read it twice over, and know that there is still much left to uncover the next time I pick it up.

Honestly, it’s hard to decide where to start gushing. I adore fairy tales and their retellings. The premise of the princess rescuing herself and becoming a pirate is only the start of the story. At its heart, it is about facing your personal demons, and embracing them to find your true self. The fact that this is accomplished by challenging traditional gender roles or stereotypes (Vic and Morgan), or by having to face both the disapproval of family and an inevitable fate (Tempest), or by forging an entirely new path (Alobartalus); it is done with both grace and humor.

I adore excellent wordplay. I grew up reading both Xanth and the Callahan series. Puns fly frequently between SC and I. Kevin and Delilah have made a world replete with clever words and multiple meanings. There are macguffins, and anagrams. There is edge-of-your-seat action sandwiched between genuine feelings and laugh-out-loud hilarity. And at the very end, there is the warm fuzzy of finally coming home.

Rating: 5/5

  • Title: The Princess Beard
  • Series: Tales of Pell, Book 3
  • Authors: Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson
  • Publisher: Del Rey
  • Released: October 8th, 2019
  • Language: English
  • Format: Ebook
  • Pages: 384 pages
About the Authors:
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Kevin Hearne is the NYT bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, as well as The Seven Kennings, an epic fantasy trilogy, and the Tales of Pell, a humorous fantasy series co-authored with Delilah S. Dawson. INK & SIGIL, a new urban fantasy series set in the Iron Druid universe, will be out in 2020.

 

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Delilah S. Dawson writes whimsical and dark Fantasy for adults and teens. Her Blud series for Pocket includes Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants, winner of the RT Book Reviews Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013. Her YA debut, Servants of the Storm, is a Southern Gothic Horror set in Savannah, GA, and HIT is about teen assassins in a bank-owned America. Her Geekrotica series under pseudonym Ava Lovelace includes The Lumberfox and The Superfox with The Dapperfox on the way. Delilah teaches writing classes at LitReactor and wrote the Island of Mesmer world for Storium.

Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta. Find out more at www.whimsydark.com.

Where to buy:
The Princess Beard is available on Amazon in Hardcover, Kindle and Audiobook. The hardcover retails for $27 USD, but is currently on sale for $19.80 USD. The Princess Beard is in bookstores right now!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary ebook from the publisher in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

It’s My Party….And I Had a Blast!

Today is my birthday. Officially, I’m older and presumably wiser. I’m not sure I’m convinced of that, as I’m currently paying the price for a weekend of excitement and excess. I came home from my trip with a hellacious head cold that has confined me to bed for the last few days. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Absolutely!

So…definitely not grown wiser this year. But I’m out living my life and enjoying the heck out of it; despite my disabilities and health.

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It started as a question. Would I be interested in going to a Book Fest that my Bestie’s boyfriend was going to be speaking at? Such a silly question! I had never been as far west as Nashville, Tennessee.  So I did research, and found that The Southern Festival of Books was in it 31st year, and was a celebration of local authors, historians and readers. It’s a program presented by Humanities Tennessee, and as a veteran of many conventions, this was a treat to visit!

Nashville shuts down an entire street from the Nashville Public Library to the State Capitol Plaza. There were booths for everyone! The children’s section was closest to the library. Performance tents were tucked to the sides of the plaza and self-published authors were cheek-to-jowl- with both large and small press houses.

I got to meet Karen Abbott, the author of Ghosts of Eden Park, which was the one book I desperately wanted for my birthday.

That was Friday, and started the whole weekend on a high note!

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The Nashville Public Library is both beautiful and ginormous! On top of using it’s various learning spaces for the many scheduled author talks, they also hosted their annual book sale in the lobby. I won’t lie, I came home with a duffel bag of used books & movies.

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My Swag haul of books for review.

Now, I didn’t just live in the library all weekend. Brian Allison, who wrote Notorious Nashville and Murder and Mayhem in Nashville was able to guide me to some of the fun landmarks within walking distance of downtown.  We mutually geeked out about local history and murder.

My favorite place was the infamous men’s bathroom of the Hermitage Hotel. It is an Art Deco wonder! The entire hotel is beautiful, but that bathroom is amazing.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend. There was awesome company, great people to talk to and a new city to explore! I hope to visit again next year!

Disclosure: The opinions are my own.  All links are direct; I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!