Sin Eater is an enthralling debut set in an alternate 16th century England. The old faith has been replaced by a new religion, but the tradition of confessing one’s sins to a Sin Eater remains.
Fourteen-year-old May has lost her mother and her beloved father and though she continues her work as a washerwoman finds the poverty and resulting hunger unbearable. She commits the crime of stealing a loaf of bread and is unfortunately caught.
To her surprise, she isn’t sentenced to death, but perhaps to a fate worse than. Her punishment is to face the remainder of her days as a Sin Eater, or an untouchable who isn’t allowed to speak except when saying the holy words to a person confessing their sins. There is a food to correspond with each sin. The Sin Eater’s job is to eat this food once the person has passed on, thereby taking their sins from them. A Sin Eater is always a woman, of course.
May finds herself as an apprentice to an older Sin Eater who is sentenced to death after refusing to eat a deer heart, as the terrible crime it represents was not among the sins the deceased confessed to. May vows to avenge her mentor’s death and discover who placed the deer heart on the coffin and for what purpose.
This was a compelling story with a protagonist who is clever, resourceful, and so very human in the most heartbreakingly beautiful way. The language was vivid without being overly descriptive and luscious. I was utterly entranced by this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC to review.
Jess Kidd’s “Things in Jars” is a dark tale spun with magic, intrigue, and a hint of the bizarre.
Bridie is a tiny, yet fierce female detective in Victorian era London. She smokes a pipe, is well-versed in human anatomy; and is often accompanied by her extraordinarily tall, bewhiskered housemaid and a mysterious ghost.
Her last case didn’t go too well, so she’s rather anxious to solve this next mystery surrounding a kidnapped girl. This girl isn’t any ordinary child though; rumor has it she’s a merrow—a creature similar to a mermaid but with needle-like teeth.
Bridie’s past returns to haunt her as she goes about attempting to retrieve the missing girl, and unearthing clues as to her true identity. At the same time, she slowly begins to piece together the identity of her faithful ghost companion who she’s rather fond of without knowing why he’s so familiar.
This book was phenomenal. Each character was brought to life in the most vivid way. I don’t know which character I loved most—Bridie, the ghost (Ruby), the housemaid (Cora), or even Prudhoe with his ravens.
It was dark and at times disturbing, but there was just enough humor and tinges of hope to make this one of those rare books that one won’t easily forget.
Thank you to NetGalley for gifting me this e-book for review purposes.
The Body in the Garden is a delightful historical mystery featuring a protagonist I loved from the first page.
Lily Adler is sharp, observant, witty, and compassionate. She is also a grieving widow in Regency era London who ends up solving a murder with the help of her friends; the charming rascal Captain Jack, and the bold and cunning Miss Oswald.
This was a time in which women had very little freedom. Lily, as a widow, is able to get away with more than most, but due to her social status decides to rely on Captain Jack perhaps more than she would like. Fortunately, he is up to the task and somehow manages to lead when it is needed but otherwise steps aside to let Lily shine.
This was just the cozy, historical mystery I’d been looking for. It’s written in a similar style as Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody series. It’s full of humor and witty banter; the characters are interesting and likable; and the historical details are well-researched and add to the flavor of the whole without taking over.
The mystery definitely took a backseat to the conversations between Lily, Captain Jack, and Miss Oswald. That said, it was well executed and had me baffled up to the reveal. It’s not that I didn’t like the mystery itself, it’s just that I adored the three main characters so much that I would happily read any story featuring them.
I’m thrilled that this is to be a series. Katharine Schellman is my new favorite historical mystery author. I can’t wait for book two.
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane books for giving me a free galley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Hello is a Dangerous Word: poetry
It’s been awhile since I last shared one of my poems, so in honor of the Yuletide season here is one that is very much from my heart. Blessed be.
We never said farewell but the end crept
I’ll always remember
you smell of salt
from the sea,
rich, dark soil,
and milky tea.
Still, your labyrinth
wants to tangle
for all eternity.
Still, I feel
the world from me.
is a dangerous
What does one of my oracle card readings in story form look like?
Although most of you are familiar with and know what to expect from a one, two, or three card reading, there seems to be a bit of confusion as to what my story readings are like.
I decided to share this as an example, so you have a better idea as to what to expect.
1. The amount of cards vary according to the querent’s question and my own intuition.
2. I include a standard “this is what the cards are telling me in response to your question” in the same pdf file as the story.
The above spread was in response to the following question: How do I overcome the obstacles/blocks that prevent me from achieving my goals and dreams?
The querent chose my Wisdom of Avalon cards. She also shared with me that her main goal was creative in nature, but she had fears that prevented her from moving forward.
The cards told me that:
1. She was in the process of a major transformation
2. Her need to create is something she should take seriously. It has potential to grow into something meaningful and fruitful.
3. She’s had a lot of grief and hard times and has been healing. Her thoughts prevent her from trusting her intuition and moving her projects forward.
4. She hasn’t received a lot of help and would benefit from asking for help from those she can trust, and/or building relationships with new friends and asking for help for what she needs to move forward.
5. There is a lot of potential for surrounding herself with loyal friends. By trusting in her own abilities, asking for help and learning to receive, and keeping close and loyal friends nearby she will succeed in making her dreams a reality.
I included the above (worded a bit differently, but this is the general idea) and then attached the story. It was something like this:
Once there was a creature who lived in dark, murky water. She had experienced much grief, and pain, and loss. She lived all alone and had to rely on herself without receiving any help from others. At one time she had given freely to others, and they took and took without giving anything back or offering their thanks. This exhausted the creature and she retreated further and further away from her fellow creatures. It’s quite possible that she was hiding away, licking her wounds in private. Although she didn’t know it, this serpent creature was in the process of shedding her snakeskin. Her transformation had begun.
Though she lived in a dark place, she carried a secret glimmer of light in her heart. This light was similar to the special stone carried in the left pocket of a sea otter, only Sea Otters’ stones are solid and useful tools whereas the serpent’s stone was invisible—though every bit as precious. This stone, a heart-stone, was like a a seed planted in her heart, waiting to blossom. It contained all of her creative potential, her hopes and dreams.
On a day much like any other, the creature noticed a flicker of light. Completely entranced, she followed the light, which grew brighter and more luminous the closer she found herself to it. Ignoring her thoughts and trusting completely in her intuition, she followed the light to the place where sea meets shore. The light grew into a gargantuan being, so bright the creature had to look away. When she glanced back she saw a magnificent horse!
The horse spoke to her. It said, “I am your guide. I have been waiting for you for as long as I can remember. Let me help you find your way back to your path.” The creature didn’t know how to reply. She wasn’t used to accepting help. Finally, with tears in her eyes and a heart full of gratitude she agreed. The creature slithered out of the water, and in another flash of light found that she too had transformed. She barely recognized herself, but accepted her new snow-white feathered form with much thanks. She was surprised and glad to see her heart-stone for the first time. It was a brilliant jewel tied around her graceful, swan neck.
The swan learned to see with her heart, and to listen with her spirit. The moment she accepted help from her horse guide, she discovered that he was no longer a horse, but a golden dog—her most loyal, faithful companion. The two friends wandered side by side, walking along paths next to each other, occasionally finding they were walking the same path for a time, but always near to each other. They helped each other find their way through the world. They trusted their hearts, accepted as well as gave gifts, and shared their creations with the world.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask right here. .
You can book your own Story/Oracle Card Reading here.
Choosing a Word of the Year for 2020 With Tarot.
I usually wait until January 1st to choose my word or theme for the year ahead, but perhaps because the first new moon after winter solstice arrives on December 26th this year, and that is the start of the Birch Moon in Ogham (new beginnings), I have chosen my word early.
This time, I chose my word with a little help from a tarot deck. It was a beautiful process, and one that you might wish to try.
Here’s what I did.
* I thought about my year (2019) as a whole. What was it I had hoped would happen versus what actually happened? What was my main struggle this year?
* I realized my main struggle involved a lack mentality, so in order to fix this I needed to focus on WEALTH. Next year (2020) my focus will be on receiving prosperity. I gave so much this year, and while I’m grateful for so much, if I’m really honest with myself I received very little in return. I won’t stop giving, but I do need to work through blocks with RECEIVING wealth.
* I then intuitively chose a tarot deck, shuffled it, spread out all the cards, closed my eyes and chose a card. My card was Shaman of Discs (King of Pentacles). This card just confirmed for me that my focus for next year needs to be on receiving wealth.
So, in 2020 I will manifest WEALTH. This is my intention for the year.
Have you chosen your word/theme for the year? What’s your process for deciding?
The Bare Bones of November
It was sunny and unseasonably warm today, so I took a break from writing (I’m participating in NaNoWriMo in the hopes of completing a novel good enough to publish) and went to soak up what might be the last of the warm sunshine until next May.
I love noticing the small things that when woven together form a whole. October was all sapphire skies and warm, flame colors. It was vibrant and energetic. A storm blew in on Halloween, causing the trees to shed their leaves until next year. I awoke on the 1st of November to discover a dramatic change in the landscape I view from my window. The cathedral of gold leaves is gone, replaced by bare skeletal bones. The few remaining leaves have turned from bright gold to more muted earth colors. It’s the start of a new season—the time of year to plan and dream. It’s the time of year when the world sleeps and I awaken.
I view Samhain as the start of a new year. It certainly feels that way this year. I went to sleep on Samhain Eve, still enveloped in a cocoon, and awoke to find everything has changed. There’s a deep sense of longing for something I can’t quite explain. I feel it most as I dream, or when I walk in nature. I feel a shift has happened. Others may not see it in me, but I know I’ve been through a death and a rebirth.
When I returned to my cozy house after my walk, I was inspired not to write but to play with color. I created a palette I named “Misty, Milky, Foggy, Moody” after one of my favorite Instagram hashtags. I think this palette conveys the mood of November, as well as being a fairly accurate visual representation of the current landscape where I live. There are rosehips, lichens, silvery tree branches, spruce and hemlock evergreens, dried grasses and wheat, some lingering chicory and asters. It’s the palette I feel most at home with.
It’s also the palette/mood I envision when I think of my current work in progress. I plan on glancing at this mood board as I write the enchanted forest scenes in my book.
If you had to create a palette that feels like home, or the visual expression of your soul, what colors would you include and what would you name your palette?
I hope you are having a beautiful beginning of November. Happy belated Samhain.
The Ghost in the Mirror. An original short story for Halloween.
There’s an exciting collaboration between myself and a childhood friend in the works. More on that to come, but let’s just say it prompted me to revisit some old stories I’d written. This one seemed appropriate for Halloween, so I decided to share it. Please note it’s still quite rough. I hope to rewrite it soon, but for now...here it is!
THE GHOST IN THE MIRROR
It was a misty, chilled to the bones day in October and Ivy was searching the shelves of Raven’s Nest Antiques for a miracle. Each object she picked up told a story, but so far not one told the story she was looking for. She opened a silver locket engraved with initials inside a broken heart, and found a lock of hair inside. It looked like it had been flame-red at one time, but had faded to dirty penny over time. She closed her eyes and focused on feeling vibrations from the locket and lock of hair. The scent of malt whiskey and vanilla tobacco, the tinkling of a crystal chandelier dancing in the breeze from an open window, and the faint brush of a kiss against a cheek. The woman was exquisite. Her hair was red and her silk gown elegant and understated in a “I am rolling in money, but attempting to look middle class” kind of way. She was lovely, but unfortunately, the red-haired woman wasn’t her ghost.
Her friend Chloe referred to her ghost as “your clingy roommate,” so that people tended to think she had a roommate she couldn’t get rid of. It was true that she couldn’t seem to get rid of her ghost, but she was nothing like a roommate. For one, she only ever appeared in mirrors. And secondly, she really didn’t take up any space, eat the last of the ice cream, steal her favorite earrings, or possess any of the other annoying habits her last roommate had maintained. She did, however, make Ivy feel cold and despondent anytime she happened to catch a glimpse of her in any reflective surface.
“How about this one.” Ivy held out her hand to touch the object Chloe had discovered. It was from around the right time period, the early 1900s, and was an ornate brass jewelry box. After sighting the ghost countless times, Ivy had begun sketching the details she could remember: The ghost was willowy and pale with a cloud of dark hair, and was dressed in a crisp shirtwaist and blue rose damask skirt. Chloe, who was studying fashion design, considered herself an expert on period clothing. She had determined the style of clothing had been popular in the early 1900s.
A few weeks ago, Ivy had visited a psychic in the hopes of getting rid of her ghost once and for all, and was told that a ghost might need a physical connection with an item that had some meaning for them. This connection might help them to complete any unfinished business so they could move on. Fortunately, Ivy’s gift for psychometry would make a seemingly insurmountable task somewhat doable. So, Chloe with her lion’s mane of waist-length golden hair and her whimsical, hand-sewn clothing, had loyally accompanied Ivy to every single antique shop in town, searching for any object that may have been touched by the ghost. Raven’s Nest Antiques was their last hope.
Ivy took the brass box from Chloe. It felt cold and heavy in her bird-bone hands. She focused on the texture of the box. It was bumpy in places and smooth in others. She opened the lid and smelled a strange fragrance, musty like the pages of an ancient book. There was the faintest trace of the scent of opium left clinging to the blue velvet lining of the box. As she inhaled the fragrance and felt the box against her skin, wisps of smoke images appeared and then solidified into almost tangible memories. The box had belonged to a philosophy student. He had once been warmhearted, if rather serious, but was left broken and unfeeling due to a tragedy Ivy couldn’t quite see. It was so deeply buried. He lost himself in drugs and dreams. She sighed.
“This is hopeless,” she said as she glanced at Chloe, who was nervously picking at her fingernails. She wanted the search to be over as much as Ivy did.
Ivy replaced the box on the dusty shelf with a bit more force than necessary. If it had been glass, it would have shattered. Her shoulders sagged and she felt lightheaded. She couldn’t handle any more dead peoples’ memories today.
Chloe seemed to sense her friend had reached her limit, for she draped her arm around Ivy’s shoulder and said, “Come on, I’ll treat us to some hot chocolates from Cookie’s Coffee and then we’ll come up with Plan B, C, D, and Z if we have to.” Her bouncy optimism was one of the most endearing traits Chloe possessed. It was one of the reasons she was Ivy’s best friend, as they were polar opposites.
Ivy gave her a weak smile and said with a shrug, “It was a longshot anyway. A hot cocoa sounds amazing right about now.” She started to follow Chloe through the narrow maze that would lead them back to the front counter of the shop and out the door, when a shadow from a doorway caught her eye. There was a door leading to another room. How had they missed it?
“Wait a minute, Chloe. There’s another room.” Without waiting to see if Chloe had heard, Ivy walked through the doorway. There was nothing obviously wrong with the room. It was much cleaner than the rest of the shop, with lots of light streaming in through the many widows that lined the entire wall opposite the door. Yet somehow, the jam-packed maze of antiques, although full of the energy of the people who had once owned them, gave Ivy a feeling of comfort whereas this room felt prickly and oppressive. She had the sudden urge to run from the room and never return. Where was Chloe anyway?
Ivy swallowed her fears and began taking in details. There was another smaller room, or a closet perhaps, leading away from this one. It was separated by a beaded curtain. The beads jangled. Ivy watched, mesmerized and yet frozen in sudden inexplicable fear. Cold shivers creeped down her spine. Her mouth flew open, but no sound came out. She gave an audible sigh of relief when a woman emerged through the curtain. Her presence broke whatever spell had been cast over the room, which Ivy now realized was a photography studio.
“Oh, you gave me a fright,” said the woman, clutching onehand to her heart in an exaggerated, overly dramatic gesture.There was a roll of film in her other hand, which she proceeded to clip to a string that hung across the wall over the counter. She was short and dressed all in black, her long black hair in a braidtrailing down her back. She spoke with a trace of an accent. Ivy couldn’t tell where she was from, but it was obvious she wasn’t a local.
“I didn’t hear you come in. Are you wanting to book a session? I’m not available today. I’m actually off to do a shoot at the Botanical Gardens. I could be free tomorrow, or (she glanced at her phone) next Sunday?”
Chloe poked her head around the door at this moment, “I thought I lost you. How did you disappear into thin air like that?”
“Oh, there are two of you. I’d be happy to fit the both of you in on Sunday. How does that sound?” The woman in black looked up from her phone, her black, cat-eye glasses sliding down her nose. She hastily pushed them up again, wrinkled her forehead, and looked at them hopefully.
“Oh, no,” said Ivy, “We didn’t realize this was a photography studio. We were just browsing for antiques and happened upon you by chance.”
The photographer sighed, “Yes, I thought as much. That happens all the time. It’s the one drawback to sharing a space with another shop. I’m way in the back of the building and easily overlooked, but this space has the best light, and I have an unlimited supply of props to borrow any time I want.” She made a vague gesture toward the antiques piled up in the next room and pulled a couple business cards from her pocket. She handed them to Ivy. “Well, if you change your mind.”
Chloe had wandered into the room now too and was paging through a book on the counter. “Wow,” she said in obvious admiration. Her blue eyes were round, and her cheeks flushed in the way they did when she was really excited or had discovered a new passion. Ivy looked over her shoulder.
“Your work is incredible,” agreed Ivy. It really was. The photographs in the sample book were mostly portraits of people and animals. There was the occasional photo of everyday items that somehow seemed extraordinary due to the camera angle and quality of light. The portrait photography was Ivy’s favorite, though. There was a timeless quality to the photos. They managed to look both contemporary and like old-fashioned daguerreotypes at the same time. Ivy thought they belonged on the walls of a gallery or museum.
“Thank you,” said the woman. “I really must dash. Feel free to keep looking through my book, and do give me a ring if you change your mind and want to book a session.”
“Okay, will do,” said Ivy. She glanced at the card the photographer had giver her. It was simple and elegant, with the photographer’s name listed as Damiana. Ivy wasn’t sure if this was her first name or surname, or some kind of invented professional name.
“These really are fabulous,” said Chloe. “Hey, isn’t Jaxon’s birthday next month? I know he’d love professional portraits of you.”
“There’s an idea,” said Ivy. It really was a good idea. It could be an engagement and birthday gift in one.
She found herself seated in the photographer’s studio the following Sunday, looking through a book of photographs, and feeling thoroughly creeped out by the energy of the studio. It wasn’t anything she could put her finger on though, so she tried to settle her nerves by concentrating on admiring the images in the book. Damiana wanted her to choose her favorites so she could get a better sense of what kind of portrait she was after. There were lots of gorgeous images, but one in particular caught her eye and made her heart stop. The woman in the photograph was wearing the same blouse and skirt as her ghost.
Damiana returned from the back room and wandered over to her client. “Ooh, that’s a good one. She was one of my favorites. Just look at her bone structure and how the light highlights the beauty of her collarbone.”
“It’s a beautiful photo, but I’m curious about her outfit more than anything,” said Ivy in barely more than a whisper. Her voice didn’t seem to be working properly.
“Ah, yes. That was going to be my next question. We have a whole trunk of costumes and props to use. I’m pretty sure that outfit is still with the rest. You can sort through it in a moment and choose what you want to wear. We can choose a chair or other props from Raven’s Nest too.
Several minutes later, Ivy was wearing the cream-colored shirtwaist and blue damask skirt, which fit like a glove. She had pinned her auburn hair into a close approximation of a Gibson Girl pompadour. She was seated in an ornate Art Nouveau stylechair she had chosen from the many items of furniture next door. The upholstery was an elegant ebony and ivory silk. She tried to relax, but her heart was pounding, and she was having trouble catching her breath.
“You are so pale, almost ghostly. How about we play on that. Here, hold these,” said Damiana as she strode in the room clutching a bouquet of dead roses. She arranged them in Ivy’s arms and then stood back to scrutinize her subject. “Yes, that will do nicely.”
Ivy’s heart wouldn’t stop racing. Her hands felt cold and clammy. Why was she suddenly petrified of having her photograph taken? She was being silly. She took a deep breath and forced a smile.
“No, no. Act naturally.” Damiana had her clunky black camera, an actual film SLR, in her hands now and was peering through the viewfinder and examining her subject from different angles.
“Oh, I didn’t give you payment yet,” said Ivy nervously. She would love an excuse to get up, if only for a moment. Maybe she just needed to get some fresh air before returning to the studio. She started to get out of the chair, so as to grab her purse, but Damiana gestured for her to remain seated.
“Payment is always given afterwards,” said Damiana firmly. There was a hard edge to her voice now. Was Ivy imagining things or did her eyes gleam greedily? She smiled in a friendly manner, and Ivy felt calm once more. She relaxed her shoulders slightly.
“Think of a faraway place. Have you ever felt so much a part of a place, like your blood and bones were married to the landscape? Or, perhaps you feel most connected to a particular street-corner of a city. Wherever feels like home, think of that.”
Ivy thought of several places before settling on one place in particular. A small, serene smile spread across her face just as Damiana clicked the shutter of her camera. An instant later there was an odd cloud hovering around her. She was completely enveloped in a charcoal fog, so that her body looked insubstantial. Prickly, clawing tentacles sank into her body, pulling her essence through the tiny pores of her skin. Damiana was grinning wickedly, her mouth was a cavernous gaping hole greedy for something pure and light. In one horrible moment, Ivy saw the photographer’s true form. She was all rattling bones and razor teeth: a creature desperate for flesh and substance. Ivy shrieked in agony, and then her mind went blank.
“I’ll develop the film tonight and should have a few images ready for you next week. Call back then, okay? It’s been a pleasure doing business with you,” said Damiana, stretching out her hand for Ivy to shake.
Ivy heard her voice saying “thank you. I look forward to receiving them,” but it sounded so distant and oddly hollow.
“Can I help you, dear,” said a kind, gentle voice. There was an elderly woman placing glass baubles containing air plants on a shelf in the hallway just past Damiana’s photography studio. Ivy recognized her as the woman who stood behind the counter of Raven’s Nest Antiques the last time she was there.
“Oh, I just had my portrait taken,” said Ivy in a voice that wasn’t quite her own.
The woman furrowed her brow in a quizzical way, and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t think I heard you properly. Did you say you are looking for a portrait?”
Ivy pointed towards the door of Damiana’s photography studio to indicate she had come from there, but then realized in horror that the entrance was no longer there. Where the door to the studio should have been was now covered in dusty shelves and mirrors stacked rather haphazardly. She felt sick to her stomach. Her hand flew to her mouth.
“Are you alright, dear?” but she was already fleeing the shop, desperate to be far, far away from it.
When she arrived home, she placed her bag on the table and went into the bathroom to splash cool water on her face. Her hands were shaking, and she felt floaty, as if she didn’t take up any space at all.
She was hesitant to look at herself in the mirror, as she was in no mood to see the ghost appear in front of her, but couldn’t stop her eyes darting up to the mirror regardless. Her heart dropped into her stomach. She was standing right in front of the mirror and there was no longer any ghost reflected in it, but also, most surprisingly, she no longer seemed to have a reflection. The towel hanging from the back of the door was reflected in the mirror, so was the shower curtain and the painting of the vase of roses, but where she should be was just empty space.
A Poem From “spinning hair into gold.”
In gratitude for you lovely beings (some of whom I’ve never even met) who actually bought my book , I decided to share one poem from my book in a blog post each month. I hope you enjoy.
MORGAN LE FEY
We journey in the sunlight hours
when songbirds speak riddles.
She peeks from behind the veil,
a creature comfortable with darkness,
moth-like tendency to seek lightness
causing her disappearance
when she lingers in our sight
in the in-between places,
out of the corner of my eye places,
the realm where humans and faeries
are allowed to meet
I caught a flash of dark,
not of this world
before a wisp of smoke,
the scent of rose,
a vague on the tip of my tongue...
then you spoke and it was gone
Morgan Le Fey,
Faery, Witch, Enchantress
as I dreamed.
She offered me a ring
so I could return
to the land of enchanted things
I need to sing
my soul back home.
✨Thank you for reading. ✨
Autumn Reading List and Creative Challenge.
It’s here! Autumn is my favorite time of year, when my soul awakens after being held prisoner by Summer’s scorching heat. When the world turns gold and begins to quieten, my creative muse bursts forth with a cry of glee!
I plan on reading, writing, baking, knitting, gathering wild foods, communing with nature, and more.
Here is my Autumn 2019 Reading List to inspire you to pick up a book and join me in creating a colsie home environment. I’ve also included a creative challenge to begin at mid-September. I hope you will join me.
Autumn 2019 Reading List
I hope my Autumn 2019 Reading List is a source of inspiration to you and will help you feel that perfect, colsie, bookish hygge vibe even if autumn hasn’t quite arrived in your corner of the world.
1. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
I just re-read this charming, third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. It’s perfect for those back-to-school vibes, and Anne and Gilbert are pretty much my favorite couple of all time, so it’s a must for me when I need to feel hopeful and comforted.
2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is another comfort read for me. The narrator, Cassandra Mortmain, transports me to my favorite English countryside landscape. Every time I read this book, I feel I am returning home.
3. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison. I’ve read bits and pieces of this book, and I’m determined to read it cover to cover this autumn. If you enjoy nature and travel writing, love the rain, and like to feel colsie, this book might be perfect for you.
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. This is another book I cherish, and that I’ve been wanting to re-read. I’m planning on reading it aloud to my son. Lyra is such a charming, spunky, relatable character. This book is full of magic and vivid descriptions. I can’t wait to revisit Lyra’s Oxford. **as a side note: if you’ve read this, were you obsessed with discovering your daemon too? I’m pretty sure mine is either a crow, or a ginger cat (like my familiar—Ginevra). What is yours? I want to know!
5. A mystery book! I’m currently reading Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny. It’s a book in a series about Inspector Gamache. I love small town settings with colorful, eccentric characters, so this series is perfect for me. If you can recommend another colsie (I love this word!) mystery, or a whodunnit similar to an Agatha Christie, or a gothic novel in a similar vein to Daphne du Maurier’s books, I’d love it!
I’ve learned from experience that if I add too many books to my TBR, I get overwhelmed, so I’m limiting myself to five books for now. I tend to be a mood reader, so this list will most likely change! I think these books are perfect for the comforting gloom that is autumn. Do you agree? Have you read any of these? Which books do you want to read this autumn?
Here is my Mid-September creative challenge. If you participate in this challenge, feel free to tag your Instagram posts with #enchantedsimplicity so I can see them. I might have a special surprise for those of you who do participate!
This challenge is meant for any creator—be it writer, photographer, musician, visual artist, etc. See the above image for the prompts.
It begins on September 16 and ends on September 29. Take the prompts as a starting point and use your imagination to create whatever you want. My little book “Spinning Hair Into Gold” releases on the autumn equinox (September 22). Those of you who choose to help me promote it that day, by reposting one of my poems, tagging my account with a mention of my book, or creating a post inspired by my book will automatically be entered into a surprise Giveaway. Make sure to tag all of your posts with #enchantedsimplicity and/or tag me @enchantedsimplicity in your photos. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning the surprise/international giveaway. Have fun!
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