The Ninja Book Box – Subscription Box Blog Tour

blog-tour-button
Hello wonderful people of the world! So today I get to be part of a blog tour for an upcoming subscription box called The Ninja Book Box, run by a wonderful lady named Bex! For the tour, I interviewed Bex and asked her about her process in creating and launching the box and what it was like for her! Before we begin, here’s a little bit about the box…..
Ninja Book Box is a quarterly UK based box featuring a title from an independent publisher plus useful and quirky gift items and extras aimed to help you learn about and become immersed in the world of the book. The box launches in November and will ship quarterly after that, in February, May, August and November. Each box will be themed around the box and it will ship worldwide. Find out more information and sign up to our newsletter via our website
And now for the interview:
1. How did you come up with the idea for the Ninja Book Box?
  • I was actually looking for a box to subscribe to myself! I’m a very eclectic reader, and all of the boxes I could afford (i.e that were based in the UK or Europe) seemed to cater specifically to YA or be just ‘a book a month’ type subscriptions. I really wanted to excitement of opening a whole box of goodies and discovering a new book, so I started thinking about making it myself. I’ve also been trying to buy and read mostly independently published titles this year, in a bid to find out what other excellent books are out there beyond the ones that get pushed at me by advertising and blogger hype, and as I was thinking of making this box it just came to me that it would be a great idea to combine the two things and make it an indie book box. I had a quick look around and confirmed that although these types of boxes do exist they’re not the same, and they’re all in the USA, which unfortunately often makes the cost of postage prohibitive to Europeans ordering them, so I thought I’d set up my own and see!
2. Why did you decide to make it quarterly rather than monthly?
  • I decided to make the box quarterly honestly just for practical reasons. I have two young kids, a day job and various other projects and commitments, so in order for me to do the best possible job of making the box brilliant and filling it with awesome stuff plus having the time to do the reading and find the titles to include, monthly would have been too much! Also because we’re working with small publishers the cost of goods is higher than would probably be the case with bigger companies, meaning the box has to be that little bit more expensive, so quarterly seemed like it would be most accessible to the most people.
3. What was the process like to actually create the sub box?
  • The process has been very much one of learning on the job! Although I’ve worked in retail for a decade and have loved books my whole life and blogged about them for over five years, I had very little practical knowledge of how to run a subscription box business when I started out. Fortunately I’m a quick learner and I learn best when I’m thrown in the deep end, so it’s worked out pretty well so far! I started off by creating the Kickstarter project and thought I’d just see if it got funded and go from there. Now I’m pretty much just waiting for the funding from that to come in so I can place firm orders for all the excellent stuff I’ve ordered for the first box! The internet is such a goldmine of information, but I have had to curb my wild imagination several times while sourcing things to include in the box – since we’re working with small businesses and designers I’m very inspired to think up crazy, exclusive products to include and have to be calmed down on a regular basis. There’s a lot of boring stuff involved (sourcing the actual boxes themselves was not fun. Ditto finding out how much postage will cost to all the countries!) but most of it has been so much fun,and it’s been amazing to work with small publishers who are so enthusiastic about the project.
4. What’s your process in picking the indie book to be featured?
  • Process is quite a strong word I think, it implies some kind of order when actually my method is fairly random. I’ve been doing an indie feature on my blog for the last year so I started off just browsing the catalogues and backlist of the publishers I’d already featured and choosing a couple from each publisher who published genres that my initial market research had indicated people wanted to read more of (historical, mystery, graphic novels and science fiction) and then broadened it out to other genres – the box is going to be genreless after all, meaning the book could come from absolutely any genre! I read many many titles that were really good but not quite what I wanted for the first box before finally selecting the first book, which absolutely blew me away. I’ve also been making a list of UK based indie publishers on twitter, so I’m using that as a reference as well. It’s both easier and harder that the box won’t focus on just new releases – it means there’s less worry about people having duplicates of a newly released, hyped book, and also keeps the element of discovery of new things that’s so central to the box possible, but it also means that there’s such a massive array of choice from each publisher that I’m inevitably missing things! Thankfully several of the publishers I’ve got in touch with have been super helpful recommending titles they feel should have got more love, so watch out for some underappreciated goodness!
5. What was the hardest and least hard thing you had to do to create (and eventually launch) the Ninja Book Box?
  • The hardest thing I’ve had to do so far is to calm my anxiety! I’m a natural worrier and at every stage so far I’ve found something to panic about. Gradually I’m learning to relax and let it go – I know the idea of the box is great, and I know that I have the capability to make it a thing people will love, but sometimes it’s hard to remember that! The least hard thing has been talking to all the suppliers and working with people who’s products I am so excited to share with others! I really love that I’m supporting small businesses with this project, it really makes me feel like I’m making a difference to people’s… maybe not lives, but income I guess!

And that’s all for the interview! Sounds awesome, eh? Well I’ve got more! First off there’s a Kickstarter campaign running to start up the box and it’d be awesome if you can donate (or at least tell your friends about it!) Second off, you can win the first month’s box! To enter the Rafflecopter, click here! That’s it!

blog-tour-scheduleThank you to Bex for letting me interview you and thank YOU for reading this post! I can’t wait to see what the first box looks like, don’t forget to donate/share and I wish you luck in the giveaway! Before you leave though, follow the rest of the tour! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

This Adventure Paints by Emma Mills – Blog Tour

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Hello peepsies! So today I get to be part of a blog tour for This Adventure Ends* by Emma Mills and, for it, I did a painting (don’t worry it’s not spoilery at all)! Before I show you the painting, though, let me share with you some book details:

tae This Adventure Ends* by Emma Mills
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida―especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines―and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

LINKS: Amazon* | Goodreads

Sounds interesting right? Well it is but instead of doing a review and gushing about this book (it’s quite good!), I did a painting! Now, a little background info on my thought process…. Originally I was going to paint The Dream (the beloved painting the gang is searching for) but then one complication happened and I also realized it’s spoilery for me to show y’all what the painting looks like when it’s such a huge secret in the book. So, instead, I decided to combine the cover & the painting and paint the blue frame of the painting with the “painting” being the cover of the book. Am I confusing y’all? (yes LOL) Well, let me show you…..

This Adventure Ends

What do you think?? I love the cover for This Adventure Ends* so much – it reminds me of those paint mixing videos and July 4th sprinkles – so I thought I’d show you my painted version of it. So, in total, you should read This Adventure Ends, I’d love to know what you guys think of my painting and if you’ve read TAE yet, let me know your thoughts in the comments below please!

 

Also, thank you to Fierce Reads, Brittany Pearlman and Emma Mills for letting me be on this awesome blog tour and thank YOU for reading the post! Before you leave though, follow the rest of the tour down below! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

Blog

Date

Content

thatartsyreadergirl.com 15-Sep This Adventure Travels
http://www.crossroadreviews.com/ 15-Sep Review
Toofondofbooks.com 16-Sep Interview with Emma
https://avdreader.wordpress.com/ 17-Sep This Adventure Paints
http://www.bookrambles.com/ 17-Sep Review
whatsarahread.com 18-Sep Moodboard
alexalovesbooks.com 19-Sep This Adventure Explores
mybookmuse.com 19-Sep Review
http://www.loveisnotatriangle.com/ 20-Sep Would you Rather Questions
Fiercereads.com 21-Sep This Adventure
https://takemeawaytoagreatread.com/ 21-Sep Review
gonepecanla.wordpress.com 22-Sep Guest Post: How Emma researched about art in TEA and what pieces inspired her?
http://supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com/ 23-Sep This Adventure Creates
www.bookrookreviews.com 23-Sep Review
http://skizzles22hu.blogspot.com/ 24-Sep Friendship Post
http://bookbriefs.net 25-Sep Review
exlibriskate.com/blog/ 26-Sep This Adventure Blooms
fictionfare.blogspot.com 26-Sep Guest Post: 10 Things We Didn’t Know About You
http://booksandmakeup.blogspot.com/ 27-Sep This Adventure Inspires
www.pageturnersblog.com 27-Sep Review
yabibliophile.com 28-Sep Guest Post: Road Trip Essentials
https://itstartsatmidnight.com/ 29-Sep This Adventure Swims
http://eaterofbooks.blogspot.com/ 29-Sep Review
http://darkfaerietales.com/ 30-Sep Guest Post: Friend Vacations
http://fireflyreadit.blogspot.com/ 1-Oct This Adventure Begins
http://danasquare.blogspot.com/ 1-Oct Review
readwritelove28.com 2-Oct Guest Post: Talk about your character building process specifically regarding Sloane’s family?
swoonyboyspodcast.com 3-Oct This Adventure Swoons
http://curling-up-with-a-good-book.blogspot.com/ 3-Oct Review
aperfectioncalledbooks.blogspot.com 4-Oct Pinterest Board

*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon🙂

The Lost and The Found by Cat Clarke – Blog Tour

Hello everyone! So today I get to be part of a blog tour for The Lost & The Found* by Cat Clarke and, for it, I am doing a review! I’ll try to be as non-spoilery as possible but I make no total promises. Before I get into the review, though, let me share with you some book details:

The Lost & The Foundthe-lost-and-the-found-low-res* by Cat Clarke
Release Date: September 13, 2016

LOST.
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.

FOUND.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

LINKS: Amazon* | B&N

Sounds cool right? Not sure? Well read my review and see if it helps:

  • Plot: a girl goes missing and is then found?! I’m sorry but could you hook me even more?! Oh wait, you can because THE NOT LOST SISTER ACTUALLY LIKES HER FOUND SISTER!!! Do you know how un-cliche that is?! VERY! Like this-is-the-first-time-I’ve-ever-heard-of-that-happening much! And honestly, it’s not boring at all because there is a bit of drama – as usual – but….you know I’m not going to spoil it for you. Just read the book because you will like it! Oh and a little hint, the ending? Ya, it’s insane! Like I-thought-it-was-coming-but-it-didn’t-and-then-it-did insane….JUST READ IT!!!
  • Characters: TBH, the book didn’t go much in the way of characters but the MC was done quite well! I mean, thankfully, I’ve never had a sibling be kidnapped (and then found) so I don’t know how close the book is to reality but the MC felt real and personable and the reason for her un-clicheness didn’t feel like Cat made her the opposite of everyone else. Rather, Faith actually feels like a real person which you guys know I love!

Aaand that’s it!! The Lost & the Found* is a contemporary mystery that’s quite interesting! You guys should really get it (it’s literally only $3 on Amazon* so…..)!!!  Alsoooooo….there’s a giveaway for you guys!! You can win (3) finished copies of LOST & FOUND (US Only)! To enter the Rafflecopter, click here!

Good luck to all in the giveaway! In the meantime, check out the author below, follow her on social media and then check out the tour hosts!

cat-clarkeABOUT CAT CLARKE:

Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.

Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

LINKS: Website | Twitter 

And that’s all! Thank you to Hannah from Irish Banana and Cat for organizing this blog tour and letting me review the book! And thank you for reading the post! Before you leave though, follow the rest of the tour! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

Week 1:

 
Week 2:
*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon🙂

Unscripted, Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor – BLOG TOUR

Hello everyone!! So today I come to you with my review of Unscripted, Joss Byrd* by Lygia Day Peñaflor as part of the book’s blog tour! I will try to be as non spoilery as possible but I make no total promises. Before I get into the review though, let me share with you some book details:

Unscripted, Joss Byrd* by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Release Date: August 23, 2016

UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD_cover imageABOUT THE BOOK

In this affecting debut novel, a child actor struggles to find herself on a film set where only one thing matters: getting the money shot.

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, and her next project is a hot new Indie film helmed by a renowned, charismatic director. But on the set of The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. Her mother is domineering and relentless, her dyslexia makes it difficult to keep up with the constantly changing script, the boy playing her older brother doesn’t seem to reciprocate Joss’ crush, and the film’s gritty subject matter terrifies her. Yet none of these things appear to matter to Joss’ agent, director, or even her mother. Joss is just a cash cow, and no one cares what she has to do for the perfect shot-as long as she gets it somehow.

Author Lygia Day Peñaflor’s draws on her firsthand experience as a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars in this affecting debut novel that explores the many demands made on young actors.

Check it out on Amazon* and Goodreads!

Sounds cool, eh?! Well, here’s my review:

Now, I got into this book because I love reading about the other side of a celebrity’s life – whether fictional or not – and, in that way, I loved this book! When I started reading Unscripted, I actually didn’t know that Lygia, the author, had firsthand experience working with young stars so I didn’t know how truthful the story was but I still thought it would be quite truthful. And TBH guys, the book was AWESOME telling that behind the scenes story of Joss’ stardom. It was especially interesting to see how real Joss felt to me even though she’s a star and is fictional!

I also really enjoyed the characters in the story and how connected I was with them! As I said above, Joss felt very real to me, as if I would be able to take a young star or random person from the street and see the similarities between them. The rest of the characters also felt pretty real to me – there are probably a number of IRL people who could compare to the mother, the crush and the director – but I was mainly focused on Joss and thus felt more of a connection with her than the other characters.

The other thing I reallllllly liked about Unscripted was that, not only were the characters real, but the situations they were put in were also very real. Well, as real as a young star playing in a movie can get. I can’t get into details because those situations are very spoilerly but believe me, you DEFINITELY want to read Unscripted, if only just for the similar situations!

Aaaaaaand that’s all for the review!! I very much enjoyed Uncripted, Joss Byrd* and I highly suggest you read it too! It’s a fun, quick, end-of-summer, read-during-labor-day- weekend read! Before we go, here’s some info about the author!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lygia Day Penaflor_Author PhotoLygia Day Peñaflor attended the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Seminar and received a scholarship to Southampton Writers Conference based on this manuscript. A graduate of Boston University and Columbia Teachers College, she is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl (Blogger’s Note: WHAAAAAAT?!?!?!?! OMGGGGGGG!!!!!) and Boardwalk Empire as well as Jay-Z’s reboot of Annie. She lives on Long Island.

Thanks, have a great day/night and tata for now! Thank you to Nori, Lygia and Macmillan for sending me Unscripted, Joss Byrd, organizing this awesome blog tour and letting me review the book; it was quite awesome! And thank you, you wonderful readers for reading the post!

*This is an affiliate link I have with Amazon🙂

A Letter From An Illiterate YA Reader

Dear Joe Nutt

Dear Joe Nutt,

My name is Angel and I’ve been reading YA since I was in third grade. My first YA book, as I remember, was the Harry Potter series and ever since then I haven’t stopped reading YA or writing YA. Thanks to that, I’ve gotten a ton of opportunities – both business and personal – and have excelled at reading and writing. For some reason though, you think that YA is making me illiterate. That I don’t know anything about living in the real world. That YA is just about “gossip fodder”. Let me tell you why it’s not:

Comment: It’s making me illiterate.

Answer: Well, I don’t know what dictionary you’re basing your definition off of but “illiterate” means “unable to read or write”. Simply by the fact that I can read and write, your comment is incorrect.

Comment: I don’t know anything about living in the real world; YA is just about “gossip fodder”

Answer: Just from reading the Harry Potter series – which is a kid-to-young adult series – I learned about the power of love and friendship but I also learned about depression and hard work. In reading a recent release called A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, I was able to connect with Feyre’s emotional and mental abuse as I’ve faced the same. In so many YA books, I’ve found myself learning about empathy through seeing how some people really live. I’ve seen the effects of happiness, marriage, sex, diversity, divorce, suicide, depression, anxiety, sickness and rape within YA and seen the real world staring back at me with those same elements of life. I do know about living in the real world because I’ve read about it and slowly but surely, I’m making my way to show more ways of living with my writing.

So, dear Joe Nutt,

I’d say the Young Adult genre is pretty spectacular and I hope more people read books in the genre, regardless of their age or gender.

Sincerely,

A Not-So-Illiterate Reader