Saturday, March 29, 2014

Haven Series Collection Books 1 & 2 Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


Today I have 2 book reviews to share with you. and D.C. Akers provided me with an e-book compilation of the first 2 books in the Haven series. Here's a little bit of background information about this series:

Known as a place of refuge, Haven is a sanctuary for those with supernatural abilities. Decades of peace between the Witches, Vampires, Goblins, Elves, and Orcs is coming to an end. Now the once tranquil world is shrouded in deception and corruption. Dark secrets tear at the very fabric of their alliance, giving way to an evil that stirs in the shadows. Exhilarating and utterly gripping, the HAVEN series is an action-packed journey full of suspense, magic, mystery, and intrigue.

I've been reading a lot of vampire themed series lately (namely Twilight and all of Cassandra Clare's novels) so I thought this sounded like it might be interesting. These books weren't quite what I expected, but let me start with Book 1: A Stranger Magic:

Sam Dalcome thinks he is so completely average that no one ever notices him. Until he discovers a mysterious stranger outside his home. Bewildered, he tries to uncover the stranger’s intentions. But Sam is sidetracked when he and his friend Travis discover a secret passageway deep in the town’s quarry that leads to a hidden cavern. What they uncover next will not only change their lives forever, but will uncover the first clue to a deadly Dalcome family secret. Sam finds himself drawn into a world of mystery and magic he never knew existed, which brings him closer to a destiny he never knew was possible.

A Stranger Magic was quite short, easy to read, but quite frankly I found it a little boring. It wasn't until the very end that things started getting interesting, but even then I wasn't too excited. I found the characters to be annoying, and some what unrealistic. This story contained a lot of pop culture references, which I suppose helps some people make the characters more realistic in their minds, but which I just find to be irritating. I probably would not have read the entire story if I had just been reading this for my own pleasure. Personally, I feel this story would have been better if it and book 2 were not broken up into 2 individual books. Here's a look at Book 2: Revenge of the Viper:

The Great War of Haven ended thirteen years ago but Alisa Dalcome is about to discover that the war did not end for her. Placed on Earth as a sleeper agent for the Majesty of Haven, Alisa had one objective—protect the portal keys at all costs. In the wrong hands the magical keys could jeopardize the safety of everyone on Haven. But Alisa’s relocation was more than just Majesty business; it was also a chance for her to escape her enemies, enemies that still wanted her dead. Alisa wasn’t thinking about herself when she left Haven, she was thinking about her children Sam and Sarah. The Great War had already taken her husband Rylan; she would be damned if she would let it take her children too. But what Alisa didn’t count on was her inquisitive son Sam and his friend Travis. Sam’s world has turned upside down after discovering magic is real. After barely escaping the caves Sam begins to piece together the past day’s events when he stumbles onto his mother’s secret past. With the clues mounting, Sam must dig deeper to uncover the truth that could change his life forever.
But Sam doesn’t realize that his mother’s past has already caught up with them. Hidden within the shadows nearby is Haven’s most malevolent predator—the Viper. A hunter forged from the blackest of magic, it watches, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Can Sam uncover the truth in time or will his mother’s past collide with the present placing them all in grave danger?

After reading A Stranger Magic, I was a bit hesitant about Revenge of the Viper, but I found I did enjoy it more than what I thought I would. By the end of the story, I found myself saying "that's it?" and wanting to read more. It became obvious the author is a Harry Potter fan, as I could read a lot of J.K. Rowling's influence in this book. The story was interesting, and the characters did become less annoying in my mind. However, I found a lot of the elements of the characters to be quite typical, with little or no creativity. For example, the idea of witches having familiars is nothing new, and some might argue this is a traditional idea but it's one I feel has been done to death.

I do believe these books are for a younger audience than myself, so putting my pickiness aside, I do think I would have enjoyed these when I was about 13 years old or so. There are elements of the story which remind me of being a kid, when fantasy movies such as Legend and Labyrinth were popular. So even though I wasn't crazy about A Stranger Magic, I think I would be interested in reading Elixir of Life, which is the 3rd book in the series, estimated to be released sometime next year.

You can read A Stranger Magic for free by getting it as an e-book on Amazon.

Find out more information about D.C. Akers on his Web site:
on Facebook

1 lucky person will have the chance to win the collection e-book in a giveaway! Winner will be chosen on April 21, 2014 and the item will be sent on April 22, 2014. Good luck! :)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review: Majestical Jewelry Hoop Tortoise Shell Style Earrings

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Majestical Jewelry has a lot of great looking jewelry in a lot of different styles, and they provided me with a pair of earrings to review. These are their Hoop Tortoise Shell Style Earrings available on their Web site for $9.

One of the first things I noticed about these earrings was the quality. OK, I understand nothing is perfect and there is going to be some minor defects in any product but I think you can tell from my picture above, there is quite a gap in the settings with the earring on the right.

Additionally, the post isn't straight at all and seems pretty flimsy as if it's just waiting to break off. The other earring seems much better quality. To me, it seems as though I got one good earring, one factory reject, but that's just how it seems to me.

 Unfortunately, while these earrings probably do match my colors, they don't match my personal style or tastes at all. They did seem to be quite heavy though that may be just because I'm not used to earrings as bulky as these. I do have some metal allergies and I found they irritated my ear holes, so unfortunately I didn't wear these much for those two reasons.

Majestical provided me with a promotional code to share with my readers. You can get $15 off orders of $55 or more with code 15DOLLARSOFF. Thanks to Majestical for sharing this promotion!

You can find Majestical Jewelry on social media:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Easter water color nails with KKCenterHk water decals

I received this item in exchange for an honest review.

So tomorrow is my birthday, and St. Patrick's Day is just a few days away but today I'm wearing Easter nails! Yep, I'm early on a manicure for once! :P

I received some water decals from KKCenterHk to try out, and they're Easter themed. So I thought it would be a lot of fun to break out my watercolor paints and paint my nails sort of like Easter eggs. The decals I received are item number N.NAIL Easter Water Decals Nail Art- WDBLE406 [NNAIL-WDBLE406]

I don't have a nice off white polish, so I started with one coat of Chrome Girl Between the Sheets and topped it with one coat of Birthday Suit. Then I just painted on some water color.. which I might add, is kind of neat because if you don't like how it comes out, you can just wash it off and try again.

I found these water decals to be quite fragile. I had to try I think 4 or 5 different top coats before I found one which was usable. Unfortunately, most of my top coats seemed to dissolve these decals at least a little bit. My LA Splash top coat ate the decals completely! I mean literally, there was nothing left on my nail when I was finished trying to use it. In the end, OPI RapiDry Top Coat worked the best, but I still did have a little bit of deterioration even with it. Here you can see where I was practising with my different top coats a little bit before I found one which worked.

I don't think you can tell, but the orange bunny in this picture actually lost half an ear and I had to put the pieces back together again. So not just the top coat made these fragile, they apparently rip easily, too!

 I'm really happy with how this manicure turned out, I'm just sad the decals didn't hold up a bit better. 

I especially like how these two nails turned out.. except my poor little bunny is missing a chunk out of his head! Poor bunny.

Use code GETFANCY at checkout for a 10% discount.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

KKCenterHk N.Nail Noble Black Lace Flower Nail Foil Transfer [NNAIL-E32]

I received this item in exchange for an honest review.

KKCenterHk provided me with some more nail foil to sample, and this one I think is pretty unique. Most of their other foils look like, well, foil. This one though has a pretty black lace pattern stamped on it, which I have to say is absolutely awesome. This foil was so much fun to work with, and so easy. I really hope they will make more of these because I can see it as a quick and fun replacement to stamping. It's a lot easier in my mind than stamping although not as flexible, I suppose.

You can get great results with this foil, which is perfect for a beginner who doesn't really know much about nail art or stamping, so for them I think it would be perfect. For people like me, who just don't have the skill level or patience to try to do something like this by hand or with stamping, it's just as perfect. To say I'm happy with the results is obviously an understatement.

This is item number N.Nail Noble Black Lace Flower Nail Foil Transfer [NNAIL-E32] which you can find on their Web site here.

I decided to test this out over Jade Mystic Gold, a gold holo polish which I showed you yesterday. I wanted to see if the glue would dull down the holo effect at all (it didn't) and I thought it would look pretty amazing shining through the lace effect of this foil (it did, I think! you be the judge!)

The only issue I had with this foil is that you can't really tell just by looking at it which side is the correct side. Both sides look the same to me :P I found that the inner coil was the side you place down, while the side that faces outside the roll is the side you want facing up. Hopefully that makes sense.

Here you can see the pattern a little better as the image was taken a bit in the shade.

Oh, also I should mention that a few times little pieces of the image didn't take to my nail, but to me that wasn't a big deal. Some of the images on this foil are quite big also which would be great if you have long nails but since mine keep breaking I couldn't fit much of some of the images on my nails. I think it still turned out great regardless.

I'm going to keep my eyes out for more foils like this, and I'm sure you'll be seeing this one on my blog again. Like this look? Let me know!

Use code GETFANCY at checkout for a 10% discount.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jade Mystic Gold

I bought this polish.

If you're not familiar with Jade, they're a Brazilian brand. I'm not too familiar with them myself as I only have the one polish I'm going to show you today, but the swatches I've seen on the Internet have been absolutely stunning. Their holos have been some of the most gorgeous I've seen available. I'll definitely have to pick up some more of these some day.

This is how it looks with normal light, where you can't really see much of the holo effect...

.. and here it is with the flash. Wow just look at the difference! I wish I could live under bright lights, just to see this beauty in full spectrum all the time. It really is gorgeous when you get a ton of light shining on it.

A couple of notes about this polish:

I know you can buy this from, otherwise I'm not sure where else you can get it in America. It's currently priced at $7.00 for a 8 mL bottle.

This polish STINKS big time. Think Chinese polish. It's definitely one of the smellier polishes I own.

It did seem to take quite awhile to dry. It's also a lot more sheer than I expected. This is 2 coats, but honestly I think I could have gone with 3 and I would have been a little better off. I've been wearing this for several days though, and it has held up pretty decently.

I don't really pay much attention to the ingredients in my polishes because it seems as though just about everything is 3 or 4 Free these days, so I'm not really that familiar on what those ingredients are but I will mention that I do see ani sulfonamide formaldehyde listed as an ingredient. I don't know if that's exactly the same thing as just regular formaldehyde (chemistry is definitely not my thing) but I did want to mention that for those who may be concerned and who are more experienced about these things than I :)

You'll see this polish again probably tomorrow, as I have another post coming up featuring some nail art.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Save 10% at Born Pretty Store! Coupon code

Hi guys! I recently contacted Born Pretty Store, and they were nice enough to provide me with a coupon code to share with you.

Get 10% off any order with their coupon code QTX31. Shipping is free, and they can ship anywhere in the world. They have a ton of nice stuff for really low prices, too! They sell a ton of nail art supplies, makeup, jewelry, and a ton of neat odd and end stuff. It's definitely worth checking out.

You can also check out my review of one of their holo polishes here. Here's a sneak peak :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chrome Girl Pleasure Treasure fuzzy nails

I won or was gifted some of these items. Some I purchased.

Today I have another manicure I did awhile ago. This one was inspired by a purple fuzzy sweater I've owned for about 13 years. So of course what's it going to be today? Fuzzy nails of course!

I started out with 1 coat of Chrome Girl Pleasure Treasure which is a nice medium purple color. It doesn't quite cover enough with one coat, but for this manicure that was fine. As you can see it's a little thin but I'm sure it would be perfect at two coats.

+Narmai Nan had sent me some flocking powder so I used it with this manicure.
This stuff is really pretty and cool because it has 3 different colors mixed in which makes for a neat effect. Unfortunately it also seems to be a lot more fine than the stuff I'm used to working with so it didn't quite cover as nicely as I had hoped. Next time I guess I'll have to use twice as much!

Here's a closeup along with my purple fuzzy sweater which for some odd reason looks blue :P

Nope, didn't quite cover enough but it still looked pretty neat for a day or so. Once most of the fuzzies wore off, I applied one coat of Julep Sabrina, which is a metallic crackle. I didn't get any good pictures of this in the dark, but with little light this looks absolutely gorgeous. Sabrina almost looks copper or bronzish against the purple and the combination of colors would be absolutely perfect for Halloween. I'll definitely be playing around with Sabrina again come Halloween season.
(Please pardon the mess... don't know why I didn't do cleanup :P)

I know, I know... everyone except me hates crackle. I don't care. I still love it to death :P

So, not the perfect manicures here but I got some good ideas from playing around. Once I get low on some of my flocking powders, I'm definitely going to combine some of them to see if I can't mix them and make some more pretties :)
(or I could just do it before I run low, huh? haha.)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bad polish! Pop Culture Cosmetics Pink Christmas

I bought this polish.

 Sorry for the lack of posts as of late. I started working on writing some of the ideas I've had floating around in my head for some novels for the past.. oh, 15 years, so I haven't been doing very much other than writing.

So yes, you read my title correctly. Today I am posting about a Christmas polish. Back in December, I had seen pictures of Pop Culture Cosmetics Pink Christmas and I really wanted it. I wasn't planning on making any purchases though so I kind of blocked it out of my head.. but when Mike gave me the OK to buy myself a few polishes for Christmas.. of course I thought of this polish! But of course by then I couldn't remember who made it or what it was called. I think I spent about a week trying to remember and I had just about given up on it when I realized I had written down the name of another polish and oh what a surprise! This person just happened to have made the pretty polish I had in mind :P

A couple of weeks ago it was a snowy day, and I wanted to go through some of my untrieds. I decided to try out Pink Christmas because yes, it was a Christmas polish, but it was also snowy and pink which was fine for February.

I was really, very disappointed. The formula was absolutely horrible. I mean, it was seriously probably one of the worst I've ever used. The consistency was almost like glue except glue usually is nicer to work with than this :P It was just really stringy and awful. I hate giving things bad reviews, but not as much as I hate spending money on something this awful.

I'm not sure if you can tell how bad this polish is from the pictures or not, I think it does have sort of that caked on gunky look. Top coat did help smooth it down a little bit but this really wasn't much of an improvement.

(I guess if you blur your eyes it doesn't look so terrible? :P)

I don't buy nail polish often anymore, so to have this happen was a real bummer, especially because this was the one polish I wanted a lot. I did try contacting the maker about it, but I haven't heard jack squat back. I'm not planning on purchasing from her again. (I also don't like my e-mails being ignored, either!)