Product Review, review, Writing

eOriginalArt

Morning! Ready for a brand new product review? This one is extra special because part of this package was made just for us! eOriginalArt is run by the awesome Eren Simpson, who makes personalized rings, buttons, necklaces, teething accessories for you mamas out there, tote bags, and bracelets. You can see her whole line at her Etsy shop here!isbl_1680x420.24811133_28r7sl8t.jpg

 

♥Kelsey’s Thoughts♥

Let’s start with the packaging. It was simple, cute, and I loved it. You don’t need fancy wrapping and expensive bows to make an impression. Sometimes it’s the simpler things that really highlight the products, which is exactly what you see here! Also, she shipped it ASAP. There wasn’t a crazy waiting time or anything, it seemed like we talked about the order and it was there the next day! It was awesome.

Next, let’s talk about the bracelet. Eren made this specially for us and put a lot of thought into it. As you can see, it says “A Kiss at Midnight”! She even asked for our wrist measurements so they would fit perfectly. And the bracelet itself was so light, it hardly even felt like I had it on. Like, I usually take all my jewelry off when I’m writing and editing, but it was like I wasn’t even wearing something on my wrist!

qwdqw.jpg

I’ve been wearing it every day since I took it out of the box. And when I had a little writer’s block last night while working on a book, seeing the name of the blog on my wrist gave me a little push to reevaluate my story and continue typing. While this bracelet is obvi just for us, it was made in a style that she already carries. You can check it out here and grab your own personal bracelet for $12.50. Worth it.

Finally, Eren put a little something extra in our boxes, and it was perfect. Even though Sarah and I live in different states, we’re basically the same person. We are published by the same company, we blog together, we are involved in all the big and little things in each other’s lives, and we work as writing partners. Eren recognized our BFF status and gave us each half a heart that spelled out “Sister From Another Mister”. Hella true. Grab your own necklace for you and your other half here for $20.00.

IMG_9485.JPG

I give this shop 6/6 Glass Slippers!

♥♥♥

♥Sarah’s Thoughts♥

Like Kelsey said, this shipped quickly. She got hers first and I was unbelievably jealous. However, my package came the next day. I was so excited about the “friendship necklace” because Kelsey and I grew up in the 90’s. If you didn’t give your best friend a friendship necklace for their birthday, did your friendship even count? But this is the adult version and it is perfect because of how far apart Kelsey and I live. Now, I can’t wear it on a daily basis, since I have to go to work, but I keep it for the casual days. It’s light, inappropriate, and black so it matches about everything I wear.

img_2561

Now, the bracelet. Like Kelsey said, we had this commissioned and it was easy. Kelsey and I went onto the eOrigional’s etsy shop, looked at the bracelets and asked for the black thread. So, this isn’t a flimsy bracelet. It is a solid bracelet with an easy clasp. I know Kelsey said she had some issues attaching the clasp, but I was able to slip it on. I was a little more liberal with my wrist size. What I like about the bracelet is that it kind of shines when the light hits it. No, this isn’t an editing trick. This is actually how the bracelet looks outside. And ps, it was mad raining when I was taking it.

img_2571

I like the ability to customize things but this site makes it easy. You don’t have to come up with the idea all by yourself. There are enough examples that you have a variety of options to choose from. But…there are tons of options you can buy that have already been made for you to choose from. Basically, you have endless opportunities. But the best part of it all, I wore both the bracelet and the necklace for two days straight, except the shower, and I didn’t break out. I didn’t get itchy. I didn’t have a reaction. So those of you with a problem with nickle, you’re all good.

img_2593

6/6 Glass Slippers

  • See all of eOrigional’s lovely items at their etsy shop here

  • Follow her on Instagram here

  • Tweet at her Twitter here

isbl_1680x420-24811133_28r7sl8t

You can see the rest of our product reviews here! If you’re interested in seeing us review and feature your product, please contact us here! PS, here’s a special coupon code to get your own awesome piece!

Untitleddssfd.jpg

Read all about Kelsey’s historical and contemporary romances here and learn about Sarah’s college romances here.

history, outlander, television

An Outlandish Clan History Part6

Wow, we certainly have a lot of readers with Scottish roots! Remember to look back at part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5 of this little series to make sure you’re not missing any of the history goodness! Let’s dive right in and see what there is to learn about some of your own, personal, clans…

Clan Nicolson

nicolson-clan-badge-heraldry

  • Clan Motto: Generositate- By generosity

nicolson_mod_big

  • This lowland clan came from the Norse raiders, but there are two different lines it could have originated from, although both versions were seen as early as the 800s. The name may have come from the common name “Olson” with the added “Nic”, which in Scottish Gaelic means “Daughter”, and was seen throughout the middle ages. But it also might have come to pass during the Scottish-Norwegian War in the early 1200s, when Hakkon IV of Norway sent Anders Nicolassen into Scotland, where he stayed.
  • While this cannot be verified, it is thought that before being the Nicolsons, they were members of Clan MacNeacail.

Clan Guthrie

clan_guthrie

  • Clan Motto: Sto pro veritate- I stand for the truth
  • There’s no exact story of where this ancient Scottish name came from, but one of the more popular legend is that in the 800s-900s the Scottish king named a certain piece of land “Guthrie” after a poor fisherman “gut three” fish and served them for the king’s supper.
  • Being an old family gave the Guthries a certain level of respect. Like during the Scottish War of Independence, the Laird of Guthrie was sent to bring William Wallace to Scotland, sparking more support for the side of Scottish independence.
  • They were very close to the royal family throughout history, and were often given royal pardons when they wronged a rival clan. They were also often given titles, land, and certain privileges. However, that mostly ended when some of the Guthries began to take arms against the Scottish government, particularly the king, when they began to devote themselves to the Covenanter belief system in the 1630s.
  • Guthrie Castle was built in the mid 1400s, with various additions being added on through history. It remained in the Gustrie family until 1983. But, now it’s a lovely golf course and event area where you can even get married!

Clan Macrae

macraecrest.jpg

  • Clan Motto: Fortitudine- strength
  • War Cry: Sgurr uaran- refers to the highest part of the mountain range within the Clan Macrae lands.

macrae_mod_big

  • This is an armegerous clan and the name comes from Macraith, which means “son of grace”. It is said that the clan came from Ireland and shares a common lineage with the Mackenzies and the MacLeans. However, that is under dispute.
  • They participated in the Jacobite Rebellion in 1715 and it went terribly. Like, everyone died, even their strongest warrior, a man named Duncan Macrae, whose claymore was taken by the English and displayed in the Tower of London for a number of years. However, the sword has been missing for years and it is thought it was lost in the fire of 1841. It is because of their failure in 1715 that they opted out of the rebellion in 1745.
  • At one point, their main clan rivals were the Frasers of Lovat!

giphy-1.gif

Clan Nesbitt

190px-Clan_member_crest_badge_-_Clan_Nesbitt.svg.png

  • Clan Motto: I Byd It- I Endure
  • Clan War Cry- A Nesbitt!

(It’s iffy what the actual Nesbitt tartan is, or if there even is one, but this one is recognized as largely being theirs. If you are a Nesbitt and know for sure what your tartan is, please let me know!)

nesbitt_mod_big.jpg

  • This Scottish border clan was originally titled “de Nesbit”, as seen in historic documents from the 11 and 1200s. They were also close to the royals from the time of Robert the Bruce and enjoyed favor from time to time.
  • One of the most famous clan members was Alexander Nisbet. Nisbet was known as the expert on all things historic and herald. He is still regarded as the expert on Clan Nesbitt and many of his writings are still seen as valid today.
  • By the 17th century, the Nesbitt clan were largely royalists, and in full support of England.

The Buchanan Clan

big_201050607424137.jpg

  • Clan Motto: Clarior hinc honos- Henceforth forward the honour shall grow ever brighter
  • War Cry: Clar Innes!- Refers to an island in Loch Lomond
  • This armigerous clan comes from the Loch Lomond area and gets their name from the parcel of land, which were given to Gilbert Buchanan in 1231. However, some members claim heraldry from ancient Irish kings, although that is widely accepted as myth.
  • From the time of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, the Buchanans have been supporters of the Scottish crown, and due to their allegiance in battle, were often awarded more lands and titles.
  • But the Buchanans didn’t just fight the British. In the 15th century, they were in many skirmishes with other clans. Particularly the MacLarens and Mackenzies. It is said that, more often than not, the Buchanans initiated these fights, battles, and sometimes executions.
  • The clan, as a whole, didn’t participate in any of the Jacobite uprisings. However, there were several members of the clan that actively supported the Stuart cause in 1745/46.
  • They have a rich history and numerous active members in dozens of national and international organizations that promote their particular history. If you’re a part of this clan, I suggest doing some looking into it!

The Dalrymple Clan

60ce48abe94e324c5772ac2fbbf9d867.jpg

  • Clan Motto: Firm

imagecreation-aspx

  • This lowland armigerous Scottish clan is so small, most describe it as just a family, but it is recognized as a registered clan.
  • Most of history only remembers the Dalrymple name due to the act of one man, the Lord Advocate John Dalrymple. in 1603 the Union of the Crown, where King James VI took charge of both England and Scotland. However, many clans still favored the Stewart blood line and that caused years of unrest. In 1691 King William III planned to pardon all the clans, if they pledged their allegiance to him by January 1, 1692. Some clans waited for the deposed Stewart king to give his permission before making the pledge and the MacDonalds of Glencoe ended up missing the deadline. While King William wasn’t too stressed, John Dalrymple wasn’t one to wait, although he himself was Scottish. He sent troops of redcoats to the Glencoe lands, where they pretended to want hospitality. Then they slaughtered a large number of unsuspecting MacDonald men, burned their homes, and caused the death of many women and children.

Clan Brodie

190px-Clan_member_crest_badge_-_Clan_Brodie.svg.png

  • Clan Motto: Unite
  • No one quite knows where Clan Brodie came from, but it is widely accepted that they descended from the ancient Picts. The name is so old, it’s still under debate where the name comes from, what it may mean, and even what language it originated from.
  • They were allies of Clan Mackenzie and they were staunch supporters of the Scottish crown. The English saw the Brodies as such a threat, Oliver Cromwell actively tried bribing and wooing Lord Bordie of Brodie to join their fight. But in 1650, Brodie told Oliver where to stick it and joined a party to fetch Scottish King Charlies II back to his throne.
  • In the mid 1600s, one chief, Alexander, was a real witch hater. At least two are on record as having been burned executed on his order.
  • Their traditional seat, Brodie Castle, was pillaged and overrun several times throughout history, but it has since been rebuilt…and it’s amazing. You can even get married there!

Brodie-Castle-4e88347ed3ca0_hires.jpg

Clan Lamot

Lamont clan badge colour no LAMONT Web Page.jpg

  • Clan Motto: Ne Parcas nec Spernas – Neither despise nor fear

220px-lamont_tartan_vestiarium_scoticum

  • This clan is super ancient and hails from the old Irish prince Ánrothán Ua Néill, who lived in the 500s.
  • During the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Lamonts supported the MacDougall’s claim to the throne against Robert the Bruce. At the time, they ruled a large piece of land in the highlands. But after Robert won the war, he punished the Lamonts and gave parts of their lands to the Campbells. If that wasn’t bad enough for the clan, in 1646 the Campbells decided they wanted more and took a good portion, forcing the Lamonts into a tiny corner.
  • Because the Campbells had the Lamonts boxed in and cut off from the world, they did not participate in any of the Jacobite rebellions, which ended up being a blessing in disguise, since they were spared afterward.

Clan Cunningham

1124900_1887839_1372025779.png

  • Clan Motto: Over fork over

Cunningham_mod_big.jpg

  • This is an old name, first being noted in the 6th century as “Canowan” but it was changed to the modern Cunningham in 1059. They gained most of their lands through grants from Scottish kings by fighting off Norse invaders.
  • They also supported the English claim to Scotland until Robert the Bruce came along and wooed them over his side. However, that didn’t last long, as by the time of the Wars of Scottish Independence, they were were back on the side of the British. They were even involved in the later Battle of Culloden. Captain Cunningham’s Company shot Grapshot at the Jacobites.

Clan McIntyre

35844b24198b922cf8154db097440a90.jpg

  • Clan Motto: Per ardua – Through adversity
  • Clan War Cry: Cruachan! (the name of a mountain in their lands)

180px-macintyre_tartan_vestiarium_scoticum

  • They get their name from a trade, as do many, and theirs means. It comes from the Gaelic  “Mac an t-Saoir”, which means “son of the carpenter”. It’s said that the McIntyres are descended from a man named Maurice MacNeil, a carpenter and shipwright who saved the ship, and life, of the King of the Isles (the Hebrides and the Isle of Man) Olaf the Red during a raid on the Isle of Skye. Fun, right?
  • This clan was known for being great bagpipers and foresters. They often joined the MacDonalds, Menzies, and Campbells in battle as their official pipers and enjoyed a very close relationship to the Campbells throughout their history.
  • When the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 came, the McIntryes were asked to not participate by their allies the Campbells. So, as an official body, they didn’t fight for either side. However, a large enough number joined the Stewart cause that they caught the attention of historians and generally being Jacobites.

The Irvine Clan

irvineclancrest

  • Clan Motto: Sub sole sub umbra virens- Flourishing in sunlight and shade

irvine-anc_big

  • This clan comes from the High Kings of Ireland and gets their name from the Irvine lands. They really began to rise in rank and power after really helped their neighbors, Clan Bruce, put Robert on the throne. Good call for them, since they began raking in the land. I mean, at one point, William Irvine followed Robert into hiding, literally hiding in bushes from the soldiers searching for the Scottish throne claimant. And Robert the Bruce isn’t one to forget a friend, so he even gave the Irvines the clan badge with three holly bushes to remember all the good times they had together.
  • They were basically always on the side of the Scottish crown in all wars. They even helped ransom King James I from the English and participated heavily in the Battle of Culloden as Jacobites.
  • If there was one thing the Irvines hated more than a British guy coming in and telling them what to do, it was a member of Clan Keith. The two clans were constantly warring with each other, even when a Scottish king would tell them to knock off the fighting or he was turning the country around and no one would get dessert. You know when they did finally declare an official end to their feud? 2002. Only, like, 600 years since they first decided they hated each other. Talk about commitment.
  • Their family seat, Castle Drum, is beautiful, and also available for special events!

Drum-21.jpg

Clan Munro

190px-Clan_member_crest_badge_-_Clan_Munro.svg.png

  • Clan Motto: Dread God
  • Clan War Cry: Caisteal Folais ‘na Theine! – Castle Foulis in Flames! (Castle Floulis is their family home)
  • The Munros are of Irish stock, hailing from a line of Irish chiefs in the 1000s. Their name translates into something akin to “Man from Ro”, referring to an area in Ireland surrounding the River Roe. They got their lands from the Scottish king for their victory against Norse invaders. That began their close relationship to the crown.
  • They were also known as a war clan, almost always participating in battles. This military way of living made them formidable enemies and often ensured they were on the winning side. Along with the Frasers, they even helped Mary Queen of Scots take Inverness Castle, which was thought to be impossible.
  • But the Munros weren’t Jacobites. in 1715, they fought for the British, which pissed the Jacobite Mackenzies off. The Mackenzies invaded the Munro lands, who then invaded their in retaliation. in the 1745 rebellion, the highlands generally hoped the Munros would join the Jacobite cause, but they stayed with the English.
  • Shout out to Hugh Munro, the bringer of dragonflies in amber and super spy extraordinaire!

f8a82c96321a811b4abea7a5e28006d2

Clan Colville

colvillebadge.gif

  • Clan Motto: Oblier ne puis – I cannot forget

colville_ayrshire

  • The Colvilles come from ancient Norman stock, hailing from the Colville lands in Normandy. In the 1170s, a Colville was granted some land in the southern area of Scotland by William the Lion, who was then the king of Scotland.
  • They were a small clan that followed nobles, no matter the crown. They can be seen through history serving both the Scottish and British kings. But they usually placed their allegiance to the British crown, and retained their titles and lands because of it.

Clan Turnbull

turnbull_226

  • Clan Motto: I saved the king

turnbulldress_small

  • This clan has a fun name origin story. One tale says that during the Scottish Wars of Independence, Robert the Bruce was being charged at by a giant bull. Well, this guy named William wasn’t having any of it, and tackled the beast to the ground, saving his king. He turned the bull around. Get it?
  • The Turnbulls kept up their namesake, as they were always ready to fight. It’s said that a man from another clan went to the Turnbulls on behalf of his chief, to ask for their support for the chief’s claim to the throne of Scotland. The Turnbulls apparent answered something like, “we don’t give a flying haggis what you politicians do, we just wanna get out there and smash some skulls!” These brass balls stayed throughout the centuries, as one modern member of the clan, James Turnbull, held the German’s at bay for 24 hours with only a machine gun during WWI.

The Paterson Clan

crest_paterson.jpg

  • Clan Motto: Huc Tendimus Omnes – We all strive for this

paterson_mod_big

  • This armigerous lowland clan gets it’s name from the Gaelic “MacGille Phadraig”, which means “son of the devotee of Saint Patrick”.
  • The Patersons are mega small, in the historical sense, but it’s one of the most common names in the lowlands in Scotland. Some even consider them to be a sept of the MacLarens.

Clan Davidson

190px-clan_member_crest_badge_-_clan_davidson-svg

  • Clan Motto: Sapienter si sincere – Wisely if sincerely

davidson-1332a

  • There are many stories of where this clan came from, but they all point to Clan Davidson being among the oldest in Scotland. But it’s generally believed that they are descendents of Gillichattan Mor, who was the first chief of the Chattan Confederation.
  • They were a strong fighting clan until 1370 when Clan Cameron virtually wiped them out. But their numbers rose and by the time the Jacobite Rebellions came into play, the Davidsons fought for Scotland. In the end, a great number of them were banished to the North American colonies, where they settled mainly in the mountains of North Carolina.

Names asked for, but not included: Wilson (sepf of Clan Gunn), Achmoody (not a clan, but a last name), Mollahan (not a Scottish clan, but an Irish last name), Jeffrey (sept of Clan Donald), Harbinson (Scottish or Irish last name), Maynor (a Norman/English name with Germanic roots), Irwin (sept of Clan Irvine-see above), and McCracken (sept of Clan MacNaughton).

clanstartan

TKeep coming back every weekend to see what Scottish histories and Outlander articles and quizzes we have for you. Check out all the past Outlander Saturday posts here!

1140x500_1060x

Finally, do you want to treat yourself and love FREE shipping? Check out our review of several bath and body products by Bellissima Bain here and see what super cheap and amazing products the lovely owner has for you. Arlene, the owner, is currently battling breast cancer, yet still pursues her passions. Nothing more inspirational than that♥

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

wfwef

book review, Product Review, review

Bellissima Bain

Morning, lovelies! We had a delightful treat for you guys from a little company called

Bellissima Bain. It’s run by a wonderful French-Italian woman named Arlene, who is currently battling breast cancer. Yes, she’s fighting off an illness that would leave some bed bound, but she’s still lovingly honing her craft to create luxurious products that left us feeling pampered. So let’s dive right into Bellissima Bain

‎♥Kelsey’s Thoughts♥

IMG_9277.JPG

First, let’s start with the packaging. I thought it was quite nice, clean, and professional. I mean, look at that business card! It’s something worthy of the spa experience I felt I received in my own home. In my package, I received Candy Heart Lip Scrub, Sugar Cookie Body Scrub, and Cocoa Body Butter.

My favorite product I received was the Candy Heart Lip Scrub. While that was a Valentine’s Day special, the rest of the lip scrubs are available here.

IMG_9361.JPG

Winter had be really harsh on my lips. I’m constantly putting on chapstick, which can make things worse. I hadn’t actually ever tried a lip scrub before, although I had heard about them. Let me tell you, this Bellissima Bain scrub converted me into a regular user. A simple swipe and a little massage is all you need for perfectly kissable lips. And it was so sweet! The added ingredients made it much tastier than the original candy heart, so putting it on was a treat by itself! If I can suggest some flavors for those who looking to try a jar, I would say the Honey Lemon Drop, the Peach Bellini, and the Rose Milk all sound amazing! You can check out the whole lip scrub line here! And at $4.50 a jar, it’s really quite the steal.

Next was the Sugar Cookie Body Scrub.

I love me a good body scrub, and this one smelled delicious! It was like I was being exfoliated by the Pillsbury Doughboy. My skin came out smooth and lightly scented. I was worried I would smell like a Bath and Body Works cashier, but it was really lovely. Not overpowering and just added the lightest hint of sugar to my skin. You can get the Sugar Cookie Body Scrub here, and it’s only $13.50, which I think is a pretty nice deal for something in such a sizable tub. I did my whole body and probably have enough for 5 more uses. There are also so many scents to choose from; Cocktails/Drinks, Desserts, and Herby/Fruity/Floral scents. I recommend the Chai Latte, the Crem Brulee, or the Lemon Sea Salt.

Finally, I also received a Cocoa Body Butter, which smelled delightfully like hot cocoa.

img_9433

It was smooth and I only needed a light covering to coat my arms. Again, the smell was there, but not overpowering or with those fake undertones that ruin a lot of otherwise great products. Also, I have sensitive skin, so I was worried about reactions, but I’ve worn this body butter several times now without issue and my skin stays perfectly soft all day! You can get this tasty Cocoa Body Butter here, or maybe you’d like to try the Rose Milk, which I’m adding to my shopping list!

I give Bellissima Bain 6/6 Glass slippers!

‎♥Sarah’s Thoughts♥

I was sent the Blueberry Margarita Body Scrub and I actually used it on Margarita Day! So, it doesn’t smell like tequila and bad decisions. The blueberry smell is pretty overpowering but I actually really liked how sweet it was. I used the scrub before shaving my legs and…geez it made a difference. My legs were silky smooth for longer than normal. It did make me look like the purple people eater, but it came off with the water. Just be careful with this, it left a blue ring on the side of my tub. It came off easily, but you want to remember to make sure to wipe the container, so it doesn’t spread the colors.


I also got the key lime pie lip scrub. Like Kelsey, winter (well, the like two weeks of cold weather we’ve had) was hard on my lips and I have a sexy husband that I like to kiss. At night, I started using the scrub and then the lip balm before going to bed. I wake up with smooth lips no matter how badly chapped they were the night before. I definitely am adding this to my nightly routine and I’d suggest you do too. It makes it so much easier to put lip stick on.

IMG_9472.jpg

Now, the Key Lime Pie…it actually smells amazing.

Finally, I got the Strawberry mimosa petite body butter. This was a lot smaller than my blueberry one and I felt I was going to use it all pretty quickly. Overall, it didn’t really smell like a mimosa but the strawberry flavor was on point. Between the two, I liked the blueberry more but that could be because I know it will last. But the petite body butter, would be great for traveling. However, it is pink and that’s all I need in life. Well, that and tacos.


All three of these products were light and not the slightest bit greasy. I saw on their page that they are now making face scrubs, and I am very interested in trying that.

I give them 5.5/6 glass slippers. 

♥♥♥

Some final notes before we say farewell: First, Bellissima Bain does bulk orders that can add a special something to your party, wedding, or baby shower. I mean, are you getting married and have a signature drink? Check out the page here to see if they have any products to match your bar. And the best thing about this shop? Bellissima Bain offers FREE shipping to all orders made in the US! What a steal.

  • Check out all Bellissima Bain has to offer on their website here
  • Follow them on Instagram here
  • Friend them on Facebook here
  • Tweet them on Twitter here

And a very special thank you to Arlene, who we hope beats breast cancer and continues spreading her wonderful body and beauty products with the world!

2016-10-11_15.38.11_1024x1024.jpg

You can see the rest of our product reviews here! If you’re interested in seeing us review and feature your product, please contact us here!

Read all about Kelsey’s historical and contemporary romances here and learn about Sarah’s college romances here.

book review, New Book

Cauldron

It’s here! My review of Meredith Stoddard’s Cauldron, book two in the Once and Future series. To refresh your memory, here’s my review of The River Maiden. I wouldn’t dream of reading Cauldron as a standalone.You need the info The River Maiden has to offer in order to really immerse yourself in this wonderful tale.

51xP4yANqrL.jpg

Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Genre: Scottish Folklore Fiction

Sarah MacAlpin’s life is in disarray. The events of the previous months have left her reeling and wondering what in her life is true and what has been a lie. This doesn’t just include her love life with handsome Scottish folklorist Dermot Sinclair, but her own roots. Sarah’s mother, Molly, has been gone for years, leaving an aura of mystery and unanswered questions in her wake. But Molly has left something behind for her daughter, something that could help clear up some of the muddled truths.

giphy.gif

Old faces and new come into play in Cauldron, taking you on another fantastic journey, picking up right where The River Maiden left off. You feel Sarah’s heartache over Dermot’s return to Scotland and commiserate when she finds out her carefully cultivated research turns out to maybe not be as trustworthy as she thought. Most of all, you get to know Molly, thought of as a mad woman by those who knew her. She’s left a story behind for her daughter, and you learn what secrets it holds.

22034813_IMG_9381.JPG

As with the first, I loved this book. When you open page one and see a bit of Gaelic, its very comforting. Realism in writing is something that I cherish, and Stoddard certainly puts a lot of research and effort into her work. Everything in this book has a purpose, even if you don’t see it right away. There are breadcrumbs to follow and mysteries to unravel. I know I’ll be waiting for book three with baited breath! Like, will Sarah and Dermot make it work? And what about James and Duff? I highly recommend this series to people who love mysteries, Scotland, Gaelic, fiction, folklore, romance, and reading in general!

wfwef

New Book, Writing

Taking a Break!

We’ve gotten so much Outlander Saturday love from you all, that we hate to take a break, but we both have our first books coming out and are in the initial editing phase. It’s very time consuming, but we promise to be back next Saturday with an all new Outlander post! Until then, you can check out our past Outlander posts here!

birthday_028.jpg

If you’re curious about what we’re working so hard on, we’ve left Claire and Jamie behind for the day, you can read about Sarah’s contemporary college romance here and Kelsey’s Scottish historical romance series here!

book review, New Book

YA Superwomen Smack Down

With all the superhero movies out there, I’ve noticed a serious lack of woman power. Now, I love staring at Chris Hemsworth in a cape and Chris Evans in spandex as much as the next girl, however, I decided to go looking for a new super woman story, since I have to wait so long for “Wonder Woman” to come out. Along the way, I found Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram and SuperNova: Heroes of Arcania by Liz Long. So, let’s talk about both stories together.

untitledwdwd

Heat: ♥

Genre: Young Adult

Overall Rating: Wait Until The End

Let’s talk about the superheroes first, Jamie and Nova.

Jamie is new to San Francisco. Her family moved after there was a terrible accident involving Jamie and her boyfriend Derek. Her car was hit by a truck carrying, yes you guessed it, dangerous chemicals. Then a lamp post fell, and between the chemicals and the electricity, Jamie got her powers. But we’ll talk about the powers later. Derek was killed in the accident and Jamie hasn’t recovered. She’s known as the ice queen.

frozen-queen-elsa

Not that one. But Ryan is determined to break  the icy exterior and learn more about the raven haired beauty. However, Jamie thinks it’s too dangerous to let him in because of her powers. They’re a secret. Her parents are afraid that if anyone finds out about them, they’ll take her away and do experiments on her…or worse. But there are only so many times that Jamie can turn down the blue eyed football star.

Now, how about Nova? She is also recovering from a loss. Her sister was killed by a super villain named Fortune. The worst part, Nova had her powers at the time, but she froze. Now, she blames herself. But, senior year is starting and she meets two people who start to bring her back to life. You see, Nova, unlike Jamie, was born with her powers. They’ve been growing as she ages, but until Cole and Penelope enter the scene, she hadn’t met anyone with powers. As she gets to know Cole, she begins to realize that it’s not just his powers that she’d interested in.

Alright, let’s get into the powers. Jamie has kind of unlimited powers. All of her senses have been heightened. She can run at super speed, like from San Francisco to the Grand Canyon in a matter of like thirty minutes. She can hear and see from about a mile away, and she has super strength. This all seems to be from the chemical waste. As for the electricity, it pretty much flows through Jamie. She can pull electricity around her, shut it off, and eventually, control it. Jamie is like Spider-Man, she woke up one day with powers and struggles to control them in high school. Her powers are directly related to her emotions and as most of us know, teenage girls CANNOT control their emotions. As a result, being around Ryan is dangerous, her very kiss shoots him with so much electric juice that he is up all night. Anything more could kill him.

4a3

And for the lovely SuperNova. She is what is called an Unbreakable. As you can guess, she is unbreakable. What this means is that her skin is unpenetrable and she can’t really feel pain. She’s never had a broken bone, she’s never skinned her knees, and she’d never felt a bee sting. But she has limits. The super strength isn’t indefinite. She is strong, but not like The Hulk. There’s also this one hitch. Cole tells Nova that powers are hereditary, but her parents and sister never showed signs of powers. So, like Jamie is Spider-Man, Nova is more like an X-Men. At least none that Nova knew about.  It’s great that Nova can share her secret with Cole but their feelings make them vulnerable and it infuriates Penelope. After all, her brother is all she has.

d347ec88a3e69df965913119bdc79ac75b0ba6b0095d76ce9767953608bf49f3

Now for the boys! Jamie is trying to get over the guilt she feels about Derek’s death and is terrified of what she could do to a new guy. Ryan pretty much laughs this off and pursues her with so much gumption the only options are a restraining order or a date. He is the quarterback for the football team, like Derek was, but he has a charm and charisma about him that makes him even more desirable. On top of that, he has a girl best friend. Yes, all of you ‘When Harry Met Sally’ fans, it is possible to have a girl best friend if you’re a guy. He loves her something fierce, and she hates Jamie something wicked. Naturally, this causes problems. But at the end of the day, you root so hard for Ryan, it’s that whole charisma thing again. He wins the reader over and you beg Jamie to give him a chance, even if it means risking his life. After all, isn’t that what high school is for? Feeling with so much abandon that you fear you might explode?

07b9ea649e59ec002b3e8266ef540d2c8d464b7903952860608a192b2109c440

Cole. So the fun thing about Cole is that Nova’s book is actually in dual POV so we get to know exactly how he feels for Nova. It’s nice because all of the guesswork is gone, but at the same time, Nova is a complicated chick. Cole and his sister Penelope grew up in a very different kind of home than Nova. He was trained to use his powers and then trained in hand to hand combat so he’d never actually need to use them. In other words, picture a guy, muscles toned from working out in the gym of his basement, a heart of gold, and honey brown eyes. Anyone else swooning? Not yet? Well, have I mentioned he looks out for his sister, she’s a year younger, protects her, and actually spends time with her because he wants to? If you aren’t swooning, pretend he’s like twenty-six and you’ll be there.

anigif_enhanced-23672-1400005279-18_preview

Here’s the best part, well the best part in my opinion. Both books belong to a series. That’s right. When you’ve finished reading one, you can go back to amazon, buy the next one and continue to binge. I have only read book one of each, but I will be buying book 2 of both books.

As for my favorite…I hate it when things end in a tie, because I think that’s just someone being dishonest. I did enjoy Jamie’s book, but I liked the superhero filled world that Nova lived in. That being said, I am a superhero fan, so that may have been a part of it. Both stories were well written, kept me reading, and were error free. I’d recommend both books (I did love both of them) to anyone who enjoys YA, or someone who likes superheroes. Give it a look while you’re waiting for ‘Wonder Woman’ or read it before the movie to hype yourself up. Either way, I think you’ll have found a great new series, well two new series, to get excited over.

Being Jamie Baker can be found here and right now it’s FREEEEEEEE

SuperNova: Heroes of Arcania can be found here and it’s only $.99

1xdgfhvbjn209684503450270_5085236450813037362_n

To find out more about me and my upcoming books or for links to my author interviews click here

book review, outlander

An Outlandish Valentine’s Day

We know it’s not Saturday, but we’d still like to wish you a Happy Valentines Day with a special collection of Outlander cards, made just for you!

12679228_f5209297158_orig1109786_1407399626267_471_300graham-mctavish-as-dougal-mackenzie-grant-orourke-as-ruper-mackenzie-episode-209jpg-6535e0_765w

Outlander Season 2 Marketing Shootfrank-and-jamie-outlander-will-claire-choose-frank-or-jamie-jpeg-304892laoghaire-mackenzieolandertobiasmenziesasblackjackrandall-episode20531untitledscreenshot2819629Outlander 2014outlander208d

We hope you have a lovely Valentines Day! Check back on Saturday for more Outlander love, and check out our Outlander page here to read all our previous posts! BTW, check out the WeeBox and treat yo self to a piece of Scotland.

Sarah and I both have books out now, so if you like our posts, you’ll probably love our books! First Semester is a thrilling college romance that you can get HERE. Queen of Emeralds is a historic romance set in the highlands that you can get HERE.

wfwef