June Band of Bloggers

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Toes in the water, sunshine on the skin, evenings spent watching blinking fireflies or brilliant fireworks, all the little indulgences that only summer can bring.  As it’s arriving soon (in the northern hemisphere), for June we want to know the special ways you indulge during the summer months.  Any activities you look forward to?  For some, it involves dodging bugs, to searching for respite from soaring temps.  But for everyone, it means longer daylight hours.  What is your summer indulgence?

I’m not sure how much of an indulgence something can be if it cost 75 cents at the secondhand bookstore, but one of my favourite things to do in the summer is bury myself in a stack of Christopher Pike young adult thrillers and pretend I’m 12 years old again.  I was just discussing this with a friend the other day, but those beloved books (all published in the late ’80s and ’90s, for those not familiar with Pike’s work) really hold up quite well.  You know, provided you’re into Egyptology, time travel, teen cannibalism, lizard people from Mars, mild drug use, vampires, devastating childhood trauma and a hell of a lot of female characters named Ann.  Last summer, whilst in the midst of a major Pike-a-thon, I created this manicure.  I may have also rhapsodized a fair bit about my deep, abiding love for the 1980s YA teen thriller; you can find that post here.

Christopher Pike Collage

Continuing with gratification, what’s the most indulgent fragrance purchase you have ever made or been gifted?  A special bottle of perfume, exclusive wax opening, or pricey, fancy pants candle?

Every Christmas my parents gift me with a two-wick Voluspa candle in one of my favourite fragrances, French Bourbon Vanille.  This candle is a real luxury item – silky smooth, clean-burning coconut wax, a lush, gourmand fragrance, that beautiful mercury glass container – and it’s got the price tag to go along with it – $38 Canadian.

That my parents willingly – I’d say even gleefully – purchase this for me every year is nothing short of amazing, as they are not the type to splash out on something as banal as a candle.  My parents have always been exceedingly financially responsible.  It’s what has allowed them to enjoy a comfortable life, all while continuing to be quite generous with their only daughter (come on, you knew I was an only child!)

Having said that, my parents are still a long way off from Dickensian tightwads.  They spend their money on the things that matter to them; luxury candles simply aren’t one of those things.  Dollar Store firestarters will do just fine, thanks!  But my, do they love purchasing this candle every year.  I think it gives them a weirdly illicit little jolt – “Wayne!  We’re buying a $40 candle for our kid.  Is she bonkers or are we?”

Voluspa In the Dark

Lastly, how would you indulge if $ was no object?  It could be a luxe fragrance you desire, a pampering spa package, a legendary retired scent, etc.  What is your dream way to treat yo’self?

If finances and environmental impact were of no concern, I’d enjoy freshly laundered linens every day, and fresh cut flowers thrice weekly.  Thrice!  I love bedding down in clean sheets (bolted downstairs at 9:30 pm on New Years Eve, actually, to throw a load in the machine so I could begin 2017 unencumbered by 2016’s scuzzy sheets) and fresh flowers are simple sunshine in a vase.  Love the little luxuries associated with both.

Luxurious Photo

Please feel free to answer these questions for yourself in the comment section below.

And we hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Jaybird at The Candle Enthusiast

Jessica at The Meltdown Blog

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Lauren at LoloLovesScents

Liz at Furianne

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

Summer Reading

Christopher Pike Collage

Long before Twilight and The Hunger Games and whatever other dystopian, supernaturally-tinged young adult book series comes along next, young readers like my friends and I were spun for YA novelist Christopher Pike.  To walk into a bookstore and see a shelf of brand new, neon-splashed book covers bearing Pike’s name was just the best thing on earth – it meant that once I had arrived home in half an hour’s time (I would have started powering through those books in the backseat of the car, were it not for the fact that merely reading passing billboards made – and still makes – me feel a bit queasy) I’d grab a drink and a cat and a handful of snacks and screw off to some shady, remote part of my family’s hobby farm to devour my teen thriller in one spectacular sitting.

R.L. Stein, a contemporary of Pike’s and the author of the wildly popular Goosebumps and Fear Street serials, never did it for me the way Christopher Pike did.  Goosebumps skewed a bit young (it was really more for readers aged seven to 10) and the Fear Street books felt flimsy and juvenile.

Pike’s books, though, felt like works of some substance.  Violent, pulpy and occasionally a bit too advanced for their target audience (The Midnight Club is a story about teenagers dying in a ritzy hospice; that’s a really hard nut to crack for an 11-year-old) Christopher Pike’s books were my introduction to genre writing, ranging all over the spectrum from supernatural romances (See You Later) and noir-ish thrillers (Last Act), to tales of Nikita-esque vengeance (Witch) and proto-torture porn (Whisper of Death.)

077 straightened

I think the thing I loved the most about Christopher Pike’s books, though, was they did not talk down to their young audience, nor did they round off the edges of teenage excess – Pike’s characters drank, took drugs, had sex.  Occasionally they also got infected with alien bat creature virus after engaging in some very ill-advised lake nookie with the handsome quarterBAT of the high school football team and ate their nerdy best friend alive, but hey, that’s the risk you take if you’re the main character in a Christopher Pike novel (Monster.)

Years ago my husband bid on six or seven large lots of Christopher Pike books following a discussion we had about our favourite childhood novels, and then promptly forgot about all of them once he won the first.  Over the next month or so, we took delivery of approximately 150 Christopher Pike paperbacks, the duplicates sometimes numbering three or even four.  Every summer since then, I dig out my seriously pared-down collection and, on beautiful days and nights, immerse myself in Pike’s twisted world of revenge fantasies, supernatural thrillers and murder mysteries, gladly welcoming back those wonderful feelings of nostalgia that only come from revisiting cherished moments in your life.  That we should all be so lucky.  And now I’ve put them on my nails. 🙂

Christopher Pike Fingers