Shelflove Crate Unboxing: White City

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Hello Lovely Readers!

This box comes from Shelflove Crate it is their special edition box inspired by the series Stalking Jack the Ripper. My box finally arrived after being late and it not getting delivered on time from USPS. So many issues with this box but honestly, the contents were worth the wait! I loved everything that was included and only ended up selling one item.

Shelflove will be reworking their business plan starting next year so hopefully that will help with their boxes being late. I have tried a couple of their monthly boxes but I much prefer their special edition ones.

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  • Exposition Art
  • Faux Leather Carry Case (@kitstercronk)
  • Notebook (@noverantale)
  • Chess Pieces (@silketara)
  • Dustjackets (@abbymalagaart)
  • Board Game (@taratjah)
  • Necklace (@ironandinkdesigns)
  • Tea Towel (@blanca.design)
  • Candle (@_iceydesigns)
  • Paper Dolls (@ermillerdesigns)
  • Fan
  • Tea set
  • Passport (@morgana0anagrom)

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My favorite item was either the tea set, board game, or the dustjackets. I can’t decide! Everything was awesome.

My least favorite item would have to be the chess pieces. They have added them to each box since January but I haven’t collected them and don’t want to so I sell them and make some money back.

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Have you tried Shelflove Crate? What do you think of this box? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

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Flick the Wick Unboxing: Investigating The White City

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Hello Lovely Readers!

Today I am sharing an unboxing for Flick the Wick’s September box: Investigating The White City. For the theme, it was all based around the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Although I didn’t like the last book, I still liked the series as a whole. This is a candle box company that I have really enjoyed. I have bought a few of their boxes now and am excited for the October one to ship since it will have a blanket!

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Included In This Box:

 

  • Mr. Cresswell Candle (4 oz. glass jar)
  • Miss Wadsworth Candle (2 oz. glass jar)
  • The Streets of London and Bran Castle Candles (2 oz. tin)
  • Enamel Pin (@dreamyandco)
  • Drawstring Backpack (@eviebookish)
  • Tumbler (@dreamyandco)
  • Wooden Bookmark (@dreamyandco)
  • RMS Etruria Bath Bomb (Ritzybath)
  • Notepad (@dreamyandco)
  • Double-Sided Sturdy Print (@taratjah and @dreamyandco)

My favorite item had to be the art print of Audrey and Thomas. It has been my favorite depiction of them. My least favorite would have  to be the bath bomb. I just don’t take baths so it isn’t practical for me.

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Have you tried Flick the Wick before? What do you think of this box? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

 

 

Fabled Merch Unboxing: Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Hello Readers!

Here is another unboxing for you! This one is Fabled Merch which was Wick & Fable but they changed their sub box name. Their September box was themed around the series Stalking Jack the Ripper.

This was my first purchase from this company. I will say that it was an okay box but I did end up selling a few items from it since I didn’t care for them. I definitely prefer Flick the Wick over this company.

They also have a tendency to ship a bit later than when they say so it’s something to be aware of.

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Included In This Box:

  • Audrey Rose Inspired Candle (4 oz.)
  • Thomas Inspired Candle (4 oz.)
  • Bran Castle Inspired Candle (2 oz.)
  • Murder Hotel Inspired candle (2 oz.)
  • Ceramic Campfire Mug (@jezhawk)
  • Book Pouch (@stellabookishart and @kirsty.carter.art)
  • Glow-In-The-Dark Enamel Pin (@jezhawk)
  • Character Cards (@artbyisambeleza)
  • Sturdy Print (@darkandbeautifulart)
  • Wooden Bookmark (@blanca.design)

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Favorite:

My Favorite Item was definitely the campire mug. It is so pretty! I probably won’t use it to drink out of because it’s a nice decoration for my shelf, haha.

Least Favorite:

My least favorite item was either the book pouch or the art print/character cards. The art just wasn’t my favorite interpretation of the characters. The book pouch is a nice idea but it isn’t going to keep my books safe.

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Have you bought anything from Wick & Fable or Fabled merch before? Like any of the items pictured? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

 

Beacon Book Box Unboxing: Capturing the Devil

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Hello Lovely Readers!

Since I did an unboxing for Faecrate’s Capturing the Devil box yesterday I thought it would be a good time to get my unboxing up for Beacon Book Box’s Capturing the Devil box.

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When it came to prices, the only different was about a dollar. I felt that Beacon’s was a bit better when it came to the items they decided to include and were definitely more practical than some of Faecrate’s items.

The only issue I have had with Beacon is their customer service. I have been waiting on replacement prints from their other box and it has taken almost a month, a few emails, and hopefully they will be delivered this week. If not, time to go back to emailing.

Here’s the thing, I get that people that run these companies have other responsibilities and that compared to others they are a small business. But, for your business to grow you need great customer service. Although they have been real nice about the situation, it still sucks that I have been waiting a month when each time I email they tell me they will get it out the next day. If you can’t do it the next day then tell me in a week. I am fine with that, it’s the not getting it that is the problem.

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At least, their boxes are good and their shipping is on time, ha.

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Included In This Box:

  • Thomas Cresswell Blanket (@dianadworak)
  • Audrey Rose Pillowcase (@dianadworak)
  • Escaping From Houdini-inspired Wallet (@kdpletters)
  • Aunt Amelia’s English Tea (@thesimplybookishco)
  • Hunting Prince Dracula-inspired Notebook (@catarinabookdesigns)
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper-inspired Tote Bag (@stellabookishart)
  • Thomas and Audrey Rose Woodmark (@sjwonderlandz)
  • Team Cressworth Pennant (@abbygale)
  • London, Bran Castle, RMS Etruria, and Chicago World Fair Prints (@pinapali)
  • Moonlight Carnival Candle (@spideyscents)
  • Bonus Content from Author
  • Signed Copy of Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

My favorite item out of the whole box was the wallet. It is such a practical item and it is large!

My least favorite item would have to be the pennant or the notebook. I just don’t have enough room on my wall for everything and I think the pennant would have been better if it had a cool design instead of just words. The notebook is practical but honestly, I just have too many, lol.

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Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

Faecrate Unboxing: Capturing the Devil

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Hello Lovely Readers!

Today I am sharing an unboxing for Faecrate’s Capturing the Devil Special Edition box. I have a lot of feelings about this one so strap in because it is going to be a very bumpy ride!

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I would like to start off this unboxing by saying that this is my last box from this company. There have been many things that have led me to not wanting to give them my money. One of those reasons is their boxes consistently being late. This one was 3 weeks late and they also never gave updates on why until many people started complaining. Since that also has to do with customer service, it brings me to my next point. It took them 3-4 tries to send my sister the right items after they screwed up back in May on a different box. Those 3-4 times took about 3 months. It shouldn’t ever take that long in my opinion.

My other reasoning for not purchasing from them again is that a majority of their items just feel and seem cheaply made. If I am spending a good amount of money for a box then I want quality. And last but not least, their professionalism is not the greatest. One of the owners has used their child to try and garner sympathy on their instagram and talked badly about their customers who just wanted an update as to why boxes were so late. If a company doesn’t care enough to keep me in the loop and acts unprofessional even on their own profile, that’s a no for me.

So yeah, they have had too many strikes against them and I am not here for it. I will also say that a design in this box was used in a different box last year, the only difference is the quote. A Faecrate owner claimed to “design” it on the spoiler card when she found all the graphics on the website Creative Market. Faecrate also claims at the top of the spoiler card, “All items included in this crate are Faecrate exlusives”. It’s right to an extent but when all you do is slap on a quote from an already made template found on the internet, well that just doesn’t sit well with me. That is pretty misleading if you ask me.

But alas, I have learned my lesson. Anyways, let’s just get into this unboxing!

P.S. I ordered this box in April, I believe, not knowing all of their issues.

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Included In This Box:

  • Thomas Cresswell Plushie
  • Dracul Family Crest Collectors Coin
  • Constellation Orchid Pin
  • Audrey Rosehips Tea
  • Dragon Cane Hair Sticks
  • “Stand Out” Wall Hanging
  • Fleece Throw Blanket
  • Character Card Set
  • Daciana’s Gift Bath Salts
  • “If Lost” Socks
  • Silken Booksleeve
  • Audrey’s Steamer Luggage Cover
  • Signed Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Set of 4 Exclusive Dust Jackets
  • Preorder Items
  • Deleted Scene & Author Letter Booklet

My favorite item is the dust jackets. They are gorgeous and I can’t wait to frame them to hang them on my wall. I will say that is one thing they have going for them. They have a great artist to collaborate with.

My least favorite item is pretty much everything but if I had to pick it would be a toss up between the luggage cover and the chopsticks. Although the cover is an interesting idea I just don’t see it being practical. It could easily rip on a plane ride and it would have to be taken off just to open the luggage. The chopsticks are just plastic with a sticker on top. They are super long and I’m not sure how comfortable they would be because of that.

Overall, I will use a few items like the tea, blanket, and dust jackets. The artwork on the booksleeve is nice but it is very thin and flimsy. I’m not sure how it would keep a book safe. I also don’t get the plushies.

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Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

The photo on the left is the art print included in Alchemy and Ink’s 2018 box called “Gloriously Gothic”. She never claimed to be the designer for it. The photo on the right is the tapestry from the Faecrate box. The color of red is a bit different and the quote is changed but that is it. Misleading to claim it is exlusive and designed by one of the owners.

 

 

 

 

Capturing the Devil: Book Review

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43496862._SX318_.jpgTitle: Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

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Synopsis: “Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?” (Goodreads)

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My Review: (Spoilers Galore. Sorry!)

I can officially say that this year has been the year for disappointment when it comes to series finales and continuation of series. Maybe it’s just me. I am sure this will be an unpopular opinion but oh well, here we go!

There wasn’t much change with how the characters were compared to the other books in the series. The only change was that they are more infatuated with each other. That is where one of my problems with the book began. Don’t get me wrong, I do like that they are together but at the same time I don’t want more than 50% of the book to be about it. The relationship really takes away from the adventure and thrill of the murders. There are a couple murders in the beginning and then we get nothing for a long while. It felt like this was more of a Historical Fiction Romance with a pinch of Mystery (but not really because everything was pretty obvious).

Of course since it was more about their relationship, a plot twist was introduced to stop their courtship and add shock. The thing is, sure it was a bit shocking but at the same time the author eluded to it a bit here and there so when it did eventually happen it was just like, “Oh, okay.” There also wasn’t much development when it came to the plot twist either. It happens, is talked about for a bit, and then disappears until the end of the book when it is taken care of. It just felt unnecessary.

When it came to the plot and as I said above, it mainly focuses around their relationship. There is murder but it is nothing compared to the other books. It didn’t get interesting for me until around 80% or so. I knew that the ending would be rushed because as the synopsis states, it is supposed to take place in Chicago with the Worlds Fair, expect they didn’t even travel there until 50% in. The murderer was also obvious from the start and we were introduced to him quite quickly, like right at the beginning of the book. He is also present throughout. The synopsis even talks about the Infamous Murder Hotel but there wasn’t much detail for the “castle” as they referred to it in the book. It was there and gone within 10-15% of reading. As such a big murderer in history, it was quite the letdown.

Mephistopheles comes back for this book and I am not really sure why. Thomas tried to paint him as the murderer but it was obvious he had nothing to do with it and it was just another unnecessary plot twist.

My other issue with the book was how there were many political issues talked about. I’m not saying that I don’t like when they are talked about or that authors shouldn’t add their own opinions, but a couple just felt unnecessary and if you were to take out those sentences it wouldn’t take away from the book. Although I had more of an issue when religion was brought up and Adam and Eve were talked about because it was inaccurate. This is what was included:

“The one question no one can answer is always, if Adam had been warned, why didn’t he pass the message along to his wife? Seems he was more to blame than she was.” -Capturing the Devil

I’m not sure what the author’s intentions were when it came to this statement, but in the Bible although it doesn’t specifically say that Adam told Eve, she still knew it was wrong because she said this to the serpent:

“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” Genesis 3:2-3

Another issue I had was with her brother. As they did more research he became less of a monster and he actually wasn’t the murderer. Here’s the thing, I am not a fan of this whole “redemption” trope. It takes away from the first book and shapes her brother into a different character. Sure, he still did some bad things but again, it takes away from the whole picture we had of him.

Overall, I found myself wanting to DNF more than once. I didn’t care if I picked it up again when I had to set it down to go do something. As a most anticipated read for the year, I am disappointed. There was no shock factor like the rest of the series had and this might as well been a romance novel. This book had a lot of potential and a great premise, I wish it would have been executed better. I am just going to pretend that this one didn’t happen.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

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Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

If you follow me on Instagram you would see that I read a lot of different books from different genres. I don’t know if I’d be able to answer this specific question because I have read a few books from genres I don’t typically read and have found a new love for that genre. So, I am going to be listing books that “were” outside of my comfort zone that I ended up enjoying and now have read more books from that genre!

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354299991.) YA Contemporary

Wild Blue Wonder got me into YA Contemporary. It was just really good and I loved every minute of reading it. Since then, I have picked up different YA Contemporary books and although some may not be for me I do find myself enjoying one every now and again.

 

 

405904272.) Historical Fiction

This one is a complicated genre for me. The Governess of Penwythe Hall was a book I took a chance on and was definitely outside of my comfort zone. Historical Fiction and I just don’t mix. It’s more hate than love but I do every now and again like to branch out and see if I will be able to find another that piques my interest.

 

 

44284639._SY475_3.) Romance

I decided to request Would Like to Meet from NetGalley. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone but it was just so good! I haven’t read any other Romance books yet but I am sure I will. Now, there are some I will definitely stay away from, haha.

 

 

4.) YA Mystery/Thriller

This has been one of my new found genres/sub genres. Whatever you want to call it, I love it! Stalking Jack the Ripper, Truly Devious, and any book by Kara Thomas has really made me love this genre. I am obsessed and will pick one up when I am feeling a slump coming on from Fantasy.

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What is a book that was out of your comfort zone? Have you went back for more in that genre?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

 

Friday Favorites: Summer Reads

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Hello, fellow bookworms!

Today’s post is a tag that was created by Something of the Book and she has a whole list of Friday Favorites to follow. They are awesome and it is a fun way to find new books with a twist and see how others have answered it!

I did a summer reads list for Top Ten Tuesday a few weeks ago and here we are again for Friday Favorites!

Last time I did a summer tbr and this time I will be recommending books you should definitely read this summer before the next book comes out in the fall.

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1.) Stalking Jack the Ripper (Series)

I know I talk about this one a lot! But, it is really good and summer is the perfect time to catch up before the fourth and final book comes out in September.

 

2.) Sky in the Deep

Although This one is set in the same world as The Girl Sea Gave Back, it is more of a companion novel as the latest will be set 10 years after the events of Sky in the Deep. Such a great viking story and perfect for summer!

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3.) Give the Dark My Love

This is a spectacular book about a morally grey character who happens to be a necromancer. It is dark, intense, and thrilling! I am looking forward to the sequel and you should be too!

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4.) Ignite the Stars

There are only a handful of sci-fis that I have enjoyed and this is one of them! I love the main character because she is fierce and overall just a badass. You’ll also grow to love Knives too. No, that the weapon or utensil. He is a awesome space officer! Trust me, you’ll like him. haha. I have almost finished the sequel from NetGalley and it is awesome!

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5.) City of Ghosts

This is a spooky Middle Grade but it is amazing! I binge read this one last year and was so excited to find out there would be a sequel! The main character does a lot of traveling and in the summer, most people do. Perfect time to dive into this thrilling book and be prepared for the next in September!

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There you have it! A perfect summer reads list that is filled with awesome books that will have sequels coming out soon.

What’s on your summer reads list?

Friday Favorites: Books Outside Your Usual Genre

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Hello, fellow bookworms!

Today’s post is a tag that was created by Something of the Book and she has a whole list of Friday Favorites to follow. They are awesome and it is a fun way to find new books with a twist and see how others have answered it!

I am one to always pick up Fantasy. It is my go-to genre and one that I don’t ever see myself not ever reading. There are times that I do venture out of my comfort and am surprised by the books I read. So here is my list of books that are outside of my usual genre!

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1.) Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco Series

I have been obsessed with this series since I finished the first book. I am so excited for the third book but so sad this series is coming to an end!

2.) Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

Here’s the thing, I tend to not like Contemporary. It’s a love/hate type of relationship. I did absolutely love this one and you should definitely check it out!

3.) Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson Series

If you didn’t see this one coming then you must not have me on Instagram, haha. I love this contemporary/mystery and can’t wait for the third book!

4.) Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

I read this one recently and absolutely loved it! Creepy at times but so good!

5.) The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Yes, another one by the same author! I have been getting into thrillers and hers are just wonderful and really help to get me out of my reading slumps.

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Escaping from Houdini: Book Review

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Title: Escaping from Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Rating: 5 stars

->Click for Synopsis<-

“…every rose can draw blood as much as delight. Yet we do not hesitate to inhale their fragrance, do we? Danger does not detract from appeal; it increases it.”

I was hesitant to continue the series I have fallen in love with because there were mixed reviews for this book. Bad reviews always worry me but I have to remind myself that not everyone will like the same book and its okay to have a different opinion and so I pushed all my worries aside and dived in.

The plot, as always, is a murder mystery with our favorite characters becoming detectives once again on board a ship headed to America. Murders keep happening whenever the carnival perform and they grow suspicious of the guy running the show, Mephistopheles. Audrey finds herself entangled with this mysterious magician and Thomas gets pushed aside for most of the book. This is where many of the bad reviews stem from. I see why they would be upset because the first two books are full of the quick witted banter between Audrey and Thomas and without their budding romance it wouldn’t feel the same but I was intrigued with the new plot twist and had a few reasons as to why Mephistopheles came between them.

In the beginning when the carnival put on their first performance Meph talked about losing your heart or head, and other things. He lives for illusions and maybe everything between him and Audrey was just that. Another reason could be that she is confused about Thomas or getting cold feet since he is talking about marriage and even mentions children. Sometimes talks about those things scare people and although they have been through so much together and have seen their fair share of dead bodies, she is still human and is allowed to be scared of all of that commitment. I also don’t believe she meant to hurt Thomas in anyway and really did think she was helping her cousin out and doing her part in solving the murders. She hadn’t known Meph for much more than a few days but he was something new and quite different than Thomas in certain ways. I still felt bad for Thomas but at the same time I think Audrey was just being human.

Overall, the third book was great. They made up which I am extremely happy about and now I can’t wait to see where their next journey takes us as a few details of their next adventure was mentioned in this book! Is it September already because I need it!