Camille Peters’ series The Kingdom Chronicles is one that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed. All the stories interconnected standalones that take a unique approach to the fairytale or in some cases, fairytales that they are inspired by.
They are all currently available to read for free in Kindle Unlimited. If you don’t have KU, you may be eligible for a free trial.
At the time of writing this post, Identity, which is an excellent retelling of The Goose Girl, is free to buy, but I don’t know how long this will last.
Go here for the box set page or here for the individual books series page.
I mentioned a while back that one of the things I do while not writing is make homemade stuff and that I recently made some chapstick. So this post is about that.
This is only the second time I’ve made this particular item. The first time, I used an eyedropper to fill the chapstick tubes and it took forever. This time, I bought myself a new tool to help that holds all of the tubes and I found the process to be much faster and easier.
The recipe is pretty simple, if you want to give it a try. It’s equal parts beeswax, cocoa or shea butter (I used cocoa), and coconut oil. Other than that, the only ingredient is essential oil of your choice. I prefer peppermint oil.
I wasn’t sure how much I would need and I was feeling too lazy to try to calculate it, so I just made a guess when I was working on this.
I used equal parts beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter (1.6 oz each), and I added 10 drops of peppermint oil. You can probably tell from the pictures that it only filled just shy of half of the tubes this time around. So next time I intend to double the recipe. I figure that the amount left on the top would be enough to fill the other half of a tube. The peppermint was a bit less than I’d like, so I’ll be trying it with 40 drops next time.
If you’re interested in trying it out, all you do is measure and melt. I prefer a double boiler because it makes it easier on me if I get distracted for a bit, but it’s not one hundred percent necessary. Once the oils are all melted, you add in the essential oil, then pour it into the tubes. The one I bought came with a scraper that helps push the excess in. It did start cooling on the plastic faster than I anticipated. The first time I made chapstick, it was summer, so cooling was fairly slow, but I was also trying to hold a conversation with my son at the time, so that probably had something to do with it too.
This is a picture of the filled tubes, minus the two my kids took immediately. One of them was only half filled. It only took me a few minutes, and my whole family will be set for a few months.
What do you think? Have you every tried anything like this?
If you want to try this out and need supplies, here are all the links to what I bought.
This is a book that I read recently and loved. It’s a standalone that hits all the major Sleeping Beauty beats alongside an unwanted/arranged marriage trope. Aury’s stubbornness and the cultural clashes and misunderstandings made me laugh.
I enjoyed the build up of the romance. Although this is a YA book, it was a little more on the steamy side than most YA books, though there wasn’t anything explicit. I’d say it’s more appropriate for older teens and up.
If you have KU it’s free to read. You can check it out here.
I had trouble talking about this without giving away spoilers, so if you want to read the official description, I’ve pasted it below.
Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Cruel Prince, this stand-alone fantasy romance about a human princess and her marriage to a royal, elven warrior will keep you up all night!
A human princess. An elven mage. A betrothal bound in a curse.
Today, Aury learned three things: One, she is the princess. Two, she might be a powerful mage. And three, a brutal mountain elf is on his way to the kingdom for their marriage.
Aury can’t escape her newly revealed royal parents quickly enough. If they think she is going to marry some vicious elven warrior mage, they have another thing coming. They claim she’s a mage too, but she has yet to prove it. She heads to the magic military order to get her rune-marked staff and learn everything she can. If she becomes the weapon they need instead of her not-if-she-can-help-it husband, they’ll send the mountain elf packing, right?
If they don’t, she will.
Filip is certain of three truths: One, he is bound to wed a stubborn mule of a princess. Two, the union will give his people the farmland they desperately need. Three, his nightmare of a bride has wild magic that will probably kill him before their wedding day.
But he will die before he gives up on winning her hand.
War is coming, and the first battle will be fought in the heart.
Inspired by Sleeping Beauty, this novel is set in the same world as USA Today bestselling author Alisha Klapheke’s Dragons Rising series but readers can easily start with this book.