Tuesday, 25 April 2017

End of the School Year Celebration

Hey guys! I know you're probably wondering where I've been, but schools been a crazy time this month. I am in the process of writing exams and wrapping up a few things. During this time I'm also trying to find a summer job. Such fun times I tell you...

Onto more exciting things that doesn't include exams or staring at textbooks hours on end. I recently reached out to a small business ownder who runs a monthly subscription box. Her name is Alexis Lampley and she is the owner of NerdyPost!

For those of you who don't know what NerdyPost is, it's a monthly subscription box that has features a fandom each month. Some of the fandoms featured include; Harry Potter, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Disney and Sherlock. In these boxes include specially designed items, most of the items are handmade from Alexis, but she partners up with other designers . Each box always has an 8.5" x 11" high quality poster, a sticker, a double-sided bookmark and a postcard that each subscriber can colour in, along with some other fandom related items.  I've been a subscriber since October and I loved everything that I've gotten. 

Recently, I caught up with Alexis to talk about the company, her journey and future plans!


1) What made you fall in love with calligraphy?

I honestly have loved lettering all my life. I love the way letters are formed and the artfulness of it. I loved writing in cursive and fancy old school calligraphy growing up and then as I leaned toward graphic design in high school and college, I always found myself getting frustrated with how fonts played (or rather, didn't play well) together and ended up incorporating a lot of drawn type. It wasn't until after college that I realized what I was doing was a thing unto itself, and once I realized that, I really dove in. But it's been a lifelong love of letterforms themselves and every shape they take.

2) What made you want to start NerdyPost?

I had just quit my 9-5 to stay home with my daughter more and needed some kind of small income, which I was struggling to create through Etsy (which I sucked at) when I was asked to contribute a bookmark to The Bookish Box. I had offhandedly mentioned a few times in the months prior to that how I would love to create my own book box with a more art and fandom lean, but didn't think I had what it took to run something so complicated and massive, so I brushed it off. This seemed the perfect compromise. But then my husband and I started talking and we realized I could make a fandom art box without a book and for relatively low price for customers even internationally (which was important to me since so many of my bookstagram friends were international) if I did all the designs myself. I wanted to share my love of fandoms and my artwork in a way that would reach more people, and I thought there was this big open space in the sub box market for bookish artwork and heck, why couldn't it be me who filled it? It would potentially be better for cost/purchasing purposes than Etsy was. So it made sense. And I thought the longer I waited to start it, the more potential there would be for someone else to jump in. So with my husband's help and encouragement, I went for it. It took us a few months to get everything into place, but then it just took off and hasn't slowed down since!

3) What is the best part of the whole box making process?

Oh, man. That's a tough one. I love that I can work *with* my ADD instead of against it, and form my design hours to take advantage of that. I love the time of month where I just soak up whatever theme I'm on and start coming up with ideas. It's such a creative part of the process. And then when the items arrive on my doorstep. It's always fun and a little scary because there's the potential for something to have been printed wrong or to exceed your expectations when going from screen to print. Plus it's like Christmas because I get so many packages!
4) Are there any particular artists or designers you'd like to work with?

There are SO many. I pull inspiration from everything and I'd love the ability to showcase some of my most inspiring artists. I can't even begin to list all of the people I want to work with. But if I follow them, there's a good chance I'd be happy to have them contribute.

5) What are some items you'd like to have in future boxes?

I would love to be able to add cooler prints with foil and cutouts. Mugs and totes and stuff like that, but we run into weight issues there, so that kind of stuff is what we are opening our Nerdy Store section to potentially include in the future. I'm really pumped about the washi tape and want to include more of that. I've got some cool stuff coming up that is different than I've done before that I hope people like. Branching out a bit more than when we started but I like to try and keep things fresh while also delivering on the staple items that make us reliable and consistent, too. It's a delicate balance.

Bonus Question: can you hint to any upcoming box themes?

If you follow all my accounts you start to notice a pattern on my obsessions or things I'm focusing on or reading more of. Generally that means I'm "studying" and making sure I've got the best possible quotes. Sometimes it won't lead to a box, but sometimes it does. There are a couple themes I'm dying to do but I'm nervous they won't have the following we need to keep business up. I'm scared for the day I say "this is one of my top five fandoms we are doing next month" and like 700 people skip it and we lose money and can't pay our bills! (Lol) so those might end up being one time boxes so we can judge the interest better.

Bonus Bonus Question: Have you thought of doing a Hamilton box?


Hamilton falls under that exact category I just mentioned. There are so many great quotes so it definitely stirs my creativity and makes me want to do one, but I don't know how big the fandom really is. So, yes, I have thought of it. But I am hesitant about it holding its own on the rotation.

I apologize this is being shared with short noticed but I want to give one lucky US/Canadian reader a box as my gift to you! The reason for this being short notice is that May's box theme is...
May Nerdy Post and Nerdy Tees theme reveal! Subscribe now through April 30 for this box/shirt! Link in the bio ••• Also listen, if you don't know what I wrote or can't read it, please be kind about it in the comments. I know everyone's take on letters is different and sometimes what comes naturally for me as reading a certain way doesn't read the same way for others, but that's perfectly okay and common so just don't be rude about it, okay? I don't mind explaining it if you need me to. Just be kind. Kindness gets you so much farther. ••• #hyperlapse #Handmadefont #thedailytype #typegang #typedesign #handtype #lettering #handlettering #lettered #handlettered #letters #letteringvideo #typography #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #sarahjmaas #acomaf #acotar #bookish #throneofglass #cursive #letteringlove #typematters
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Sunday, 19 March 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi Review

28458598
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Review Copy: ARC won from giveaway
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
When Dimple Met Rishi is one for the books. Not only is it just a beautiful rom com, but it's also an amazing story about breaking barriers and stereotypes.

Books that teach me about different cultures are always intriguing to me, especially when it's part of the story and not some textbook I read in school. It feels more like a natural conversation between me and the book. WDMR is heavy on Indian culture and traditions, and I loved that about it. There's definitely some taboo about arranged marriages in this century, but people need to realize they're more common than we think. People in arranged marriages do it for many reasons, and not just money. As a western society we need to be more accepting of these different beliefs and cultures, especially when they're not our own. Thank you Sandhya for opening my horizons.

I want to talk about stereotypical gender roles. That whole girls wear pink, boys wear blue nonsense has got to end. In this book, we have Dimple, whose super smart in computers and could give two shits about makeup. All the power to Dimple! Just because she is could care less about how her hair looks and such, doesn't mean she isn't going to run the world or make a change. A woman doesn't have to have all her shit together in order to be taken seriously or make a difference. Bitches are going to get the shit done!

I absolutely loved the plot of this story. The concept of using a summer program as the background plot, you know it's going to be a good time. We have teens that act like teens, that make memories, mistakes, fall in love and all the other gushy things that can happen. There wasn't a chapter of this book where I wasn't giggling over one thing or another. Half the time I would be reading on the bus and have to control my laughter without causing a fuss.

There's not many contemporary books where there is a male POV, but when there is, I savor it for as long as I can. the book world definitely needs more male YA books, especially in the contemporary genre. Guys can be just as intense and emotional as girls and it's important to show that there's no shame in that. It's another bubble that people need to pop.

I love the importance of family in this book. It gave me My Big Fat Greek Wedding vibes throughout. Nowadays, there's often a disconnect between families. Either families are 100% together or they 100% don't care about what is happening. But its become more normal for families not to know how other family members are doing and that needs to change. I definitely appreciated the families getting into their children's businesses, as that's a common thing. But it gave me a good laugh as to their timing and what they'd discuss, as i realized that would would be my future after I moved out on my own. It made me feel like the book was hugging me.

I was super excited to have won this arc and I cannot wait for more people to read it once its out in stores. Readers need more books with the various components I mentioned above.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Stranger than Fanfiction Review

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Title: Stranger than Fanfiction
 Author: Chris Colfer
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Review Copy: From publisher in exchange of honest review


Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime--but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.
When people hear Chris Colfer, they automatically associate him with Glee. But the realm of skills that Chris has goes beyond just Glee. He’s a director, screenwriter, and one bloody talented author, and don’t forget singer.

Stranger than Fanfiction is a book I related to on more than one level. For those of you who don’t know, outside of blogging, school and reading, I help with our local comic con here in Winnipeg. I will spare you the details of that life for this is a book review and not a story about me. But in summary, I have experience with celebrities behind the scenes. On this level, I related to all the characters.

This book felt raw, and but the good kind. Chris brought to light both sides of what it’s like to be a fan but also, what it’s like to be that person everyone looks up to. I would want no other author than Chris to write such a book. He lives and breathes it on a daily basis.

I want to give a shout out to Chris for having all these 90 kids’ references in the book. I definitely had my share of giggles and the odd laughing out loud moments. In hindsight, it makes me sad that readers won’t understand all of them.

The actual story was fairly meaty, it had the odd cliché contemporary moment but from such a plot as the book was, I fully expected these moments. We have Sam, Topher, Joey and Mo who are on a whirlwind high school graduation road trip. They each have their own weight on their shoulders due to a secret each of them are hiding from the group. Then we have Cash Carter who has thrown in the towel to life’s responsibilities and join them on their grand adventure. From the first chapter you can feel something is affecting him on an emotional level. This plus the interesting plot is what kept me wanting to read more. Secrets that felt like life or death to the character.

Development of characters was average for what you’d expect for a book with 5 alternative points of view. While I appreciate the effort Chris put into the characters, there were times where I wanted more meat.

This book portrays perfectly how the illusion of what you see on screen, or on stage can be shattered in an instant. Sam, Topher, Joey and Mo come to see as Cash as someone like them, wanting adventure, to live life to the fullest but also having people to join them on this journey. It makes you as a reader to step back and think of who we admire and look up to, and think about what do we see from them; is it an optical illusion or not.


Sensitivity Note: There is one paragraph in the book that talks about disability that can bother some readers depending on how their view is with some wording. This happens in the first bit of the book and it’s not mentioned again until the end for a few sentences. As someone who has a disability, I felt it was necessary to point out. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Black Dawn Blog Tour - Promo



Title: BLACK DAWN
Author: Mallory McCartney
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Pages: 352
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: Amazon, B&N
Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and bringing Emory back she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.


Some things are better left in the shadows.

Week One:
2/6/2017- Literary Meanderings - Interview
2/6/2017- Literary DustReview

2/7/2017- Daniel RidingExcerpt
2/7/2017- Bibliobibuli YAReview

2/8/2017- Books,Dreams,Life- Interview
2/8/2017- A Dream Within A DreamReview

2/9/2017- Don't Judge, ReadGuest Post
2/9/2017- Book BriefsReview

2/10/2017- Kayl's Krazy ObsessionExcerpt
2/10/2017- Taking It One Book at a TimeReview

Week Two:
2/13/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
2/13/2017- YA and WineReview

2/14/2017- Margie's Must ReadsExcerpt
2/14/2017- Lost in Ever AfterPromo

2/15/2017- The Autumn BookshelfInterview
2/15/2017- FiktshunReview

2/16/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post
2/16/2017- Mundie MomsReview

2/17/2017- Captivated ReadingExcerpt
2/17/2017- Owl Always Be ReadingReview


About the Author
Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.  
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Monday, 13 February 2017

Island of Exiles Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway



Title: Island of Exiles 
Series: The Ryogan Chronicles #1
Author: Erica Cameron
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: February 14th, 2017
Amazon - B&N
In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.
On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.
But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.
To say that Erica's new book is amazing, is putting it lightly.

I fell in love with her words when I received an arc of her first book, Sing Sweet Nightingale back in 2014; and every time I keep wanting more. Erica has a way with storytelling that I wish more people had the experience of reading. In Island of Exiles she has a way of educating the reader about cultures, how weather patterns work and how to live in the dessert. Now I'm not saying that I'd rely on it as a survival guide because this world is completely fictitious.

As I was writing this review, I was debating on what I wanted to showcase first; the characters or the story. So, I decided on the plot. When a synopsis that involves death is included, sometimes the death has already occurred, to which we then get some background history as to when leads to what happened. What I learned after starting the book, is a sister whose protecting and preparing her younger brother. This just shows the strong bond the siblings have for each other. Which in the story, is odd for the world we're in. This is what drives Khya to learn more, question authority and trust those outside her circle. This story shows us that the adults may feel they're protecting their family, clan or country; but how they're going about it may not always be the best option. Following authority blindly is how history repeats itself.

There's a couple of things I wanted to point out that I loved about this fantasy book. Not all the characters are straight when it comes to their romantic orientation. Readers need to find pieces of themselves in a book; whether its on a sexuality level, hobby level, emotional level etc. Readers will connect and want more if they can identify with aspects of the book. Before I go any further, I want to thank Erica for having Khya have her period in the book. If there's ever something that is crucial when creating female main characters, it's ensuring they have the same bodily functions as other females. I'll be happy when we get to a day where we don't have to point it out in fantasy novels. Another thing that she normalized is the characters having sex. I don't care if you're in a real world or not, teens are horny and have sex. It's a thing that happens! Another thing that I'll love when I don't have to make the shocked face when it's brought up.

Before I forget, I wanted to mention that there's a beautiful dancing scene and I can't stop thinking about it!

This book, along with Erica's other stories need to be shared with more readers. She's the amazing hole in the wall breakfast restaurant that I'd always go back for more. Keep breaking down those literature walls and I'll keep shouting out praise.


About the Author
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, asexual, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.


Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance. Riptide’s new YA imprint Triton Books will release both books in the Assassins series, Discord and Nemesis, in 2016. The Ryogan Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy set to launch through Entangled Teen, will launch in 2017 with Island of Exiles.
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