June Owlcrate Unboxing: Make it Out Alive

Zombies? Check.

Survival Stickers? Check.

I am ready for this month’s Owlcrate unboxing… are you? This months theme is Make It Out Alive and it contains 2 complete books. Which makes it a winning box in my opinion.  Read on to find out what was in the box and my thoughts and then click the link below to check out the unboxing video. My kids assisted with the unboxing and they have a special request for you at the end of it.

Unboxing video

The complete contents of the box… except the magnet. I stuck it on my metal lamp and forgot to photograph it until later.

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My favorite non book item was bath bomb  from the Fizzy Fairy Apothecary. ( I adore that name!)  This bath bomb was created exclusively for Owlcrate.  It was amazing and  turned my bath water a fizzy DARK green. So dark  that it would have been easy to let the silver tree charm inside it go unnoticed if I had not an inkling that there was something inside it.

The box also included a bookmark, a magnet, the author letter, and the signed bookplate. Isn’t this magnet adorable? I love the quote.

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My daughters favorite item is the zombie sleep mask. It has already disappeared into her room along with the multi colored pen that came in last months box.

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Joshua liked this month’s button and the sleep mask as well.

The box also included survival themed stickers. Now that I have started reading the book the theme and related items are clicking into place. Although, I have not deciphered the meaning of the iron on patch that was included.

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On to the books. The featured book is The Sandcastle Empire. I am already on page 120 and it is keeping me interested, but as of right now I don’t think it will go on my list of favorite books for the year.

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The second book is a paperback called New World Rising and I am excited to start reading.

Next month’s theme is  wanderlust. The box will include a licensed product from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I get the feeling that I am going to have to fight to keep that item from my kids.

Get your own owlcrate box here

Which brings me to the challenge I mentioned at the beginning of the post.

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I made a deal with my kids and you get to help them out.  I told them that when we get 10 views of our video and 10 new subscribers to my YouTube channel I will order them there very own Owlcrate Jr and let them make there own unboxing video. They have been begging me for months to order them a box so let’s make it happen!

June Owlcrate Unboxing Video

 

 

 

 

Book Love Review: Scarlet By Marissa Meyer

I hate reading series books out of order. I avoid it at all costs but sometimes it happens and I have to make the best of a bad situation. That is exactly what happened with Scarlet, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

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Here is how it happened. Sometime, long ago, I read Cinder. Fast forward to a few months ago when I needed an audiobook for my travels. The library was out of titles that appealed to me. Having just read, Heartless, I snatched up Cress, The Lunar Chronicles.  I I couldn’t remember if I had read Scarlet or not.

(Don’t judge – I read a lot. It is easier than you think to forget about reading a book. The worst? Cover changes. Not only do I judge a book by it’s cover – I remember it by its cover. Well. Sometimes. In hindsight, I read Cinder in ebook form. I think I read a sample chapter of Scarlet, which lead to the confusion. )

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It didn’t take long for me to figure out I had not read the prior book but I was already on the road so I continued on with Cress. Once I finished it I had a great debate. Go back and read Scarlet or move on to Winter?

I loved Scarlet & Wolfe in Cress, so I decided to backtrack and I am glad I did. So, on to the review. I am going to pretend that I did not already know the outcome of this book when I read it.

What I loved:

  • Scarlet. She is feisty, loyal, and determined. She falls hard and fast for Wolfe.
  • The relationship. Okay, I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but I know this romance may be called unhealthy by some. To some degree, I understand but in the context of the story and what Wolfe is I like the romance and connection between them.
  • Wolfe. I love that in finding Scarlet he finds a part of himself that he did not know existed.
  • Iko. She is one of my favorite characters even if she is a ship in this book.
  • Following Cinder, Ki, and meeting Captain Thorne are also high points in the book for me.
  • The plot is well written and interesting. It would have been better I were experiencing it first hand, instead of reading with knowledge of what happens in the next book.

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Who should read this book:

  • If you enjoyed Cinder you will want to continue the story with this book. Don’t skip ahead. Just don’t do it. You will kick yourself like I did.
  • Fans of Fairy Tale retellings will adore this take on Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Fans of Marissa Meyer, but that really goes without saying.
  • If you love a blend of fairy tale, fantasy, sci-fi, with a good dose of Cyborg tossed in you should add this to your reading list.

On another note, If I find this book on Audio at the library or have an extra audible credit I will be checking it out. I felt that Cress was well done on audio and I would like to experience this book in that format. Which is staying a lot, because I don’t reread most books. That is reserved ONLY for book with a special place in my heart. At this point, I don’t know if I would re-read this book but I would listen.

What books do you love in audio format?

 

 

 

Unboxing: Ipsy Glam Bag

Guess what happens when you hug a book to your chest while recording the video review of it ?

Well, if you are clutching said book on top your microphone you get fuzzy audio. That brings me to today’s video. Rather, the video you are not getting today.

This not a review of Heartless. The book review video could not be saved though editing. Yes, it is the second time I have recorded it and failed. Let’s move on.

The last thing I want to do is skip uploading a video for you . Luckily, my daughter and I made this video of our Ipsy Glam Bag unboxing for fun. While it is not the normal sort of video I post it is free of fuzzy audio and that’s gotta count for something right?

My IPSY Glam Bag Unboxing Video

So,What is Ipsy?

If you love cosmetics and trying new products at a budget price you will love IPSY Glam Bags. They are a monthly subscription box that includes a make up bag, samples & full size cosmetic products that are picked for you based on the profile you fill out.

I love it because you can change your profile questionnaire and  the types of products you would like to receive at at any time.

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For $10 a month you will receive full size products and generous sample size products. I have found several new products that I love via my IPSY Glam bag. It gives me the opportunity to try out a wide variety of colors and products with out breaking the bank.

The samples are generous sizes. I pack my favorite sample when I travel. It saves me space and money.

Get your own Glam Bag HERE

Ipsy Glam Bag Vlog

POST VIDEO PRODUCT UPDATES:

I am happy with all of this months products.  

Eyeliner: It went on smooth and the color was nice.

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Lip Color:  Love the color. Love the feel. It is not long lasting but it is very moisturizing. I will buy this product when it runs out.

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Bag: Super cute. Great size.

Mask: Have not used yet.

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Mascara: Not bad. Not great. I will use it for travel.

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Blush: Nice color but it is a bit to red on me. I will use this shade in the winter when my skin tone is lighter. 

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Have a blessed & beautiful da

 

 

VLOG: Indie Spotlight – Prophecy of Three By Ashley Mcleo

Does this post look familiar? Having De-ja-vu? Never fear. It’s not you. It’s me.

If you have been reading my blog for a bit, let me assure that is not simply a repost of my prior review of this book.

Well, Not exactly.

Yes. I have already written a blog post about the Prophecy of Three.  But, that is not what I am sharing to today. What I have for you  today is the new video review. The original coordinating video review of this book was a big fat fail and I had to scrap it.

Why? I forgot to mic check. The audio was beyond terrible. I had no time to re-film and edit it.  This also happened with Heartless which will featured on Friday’s Vlog.

I refuse to let failure rule me. I re-filmed and edited new videos. Because I love you and I love talking about  books.  So get to clicking on the link below to check out my (almost) spoiler free review.

(Remember – my vlog & blog posts are rarely ever the same even if they are on the same book or topic.)

Prophecy of Three: The Starseed Trilogy by Ashley McLeo

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Click the link below to buy the book. It is available in ebook or paperback. If you have kindle unlimited you might be able to read it for free.

Amazon Link For the Book 

(Just an F.Y.I. I provide links to make it easy for you to find the book & support the author.)

Have a blessed & bookish day!

Motivation Monday: Struggle = Progress Plus Vlog with Writing update.

Difficulties. Roadblocks. Setbacks. The list of obstacles that seem to keep us from making progress and achieving out dreams can seem endless. If we focus on these things in a negative manner it is easy to find out selves in a pit of discouragement.We begin to doubt ourselves and our dreams. We have reached a point in our journey where giving up seems easier than trudging though the troubles.This is a good time to remind ourselves of an important truth.

Video: Struggle = Progress Motivation & Novel Update

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  • Struggle ultimately leads to progress. It is in seasons of difficulty that we learn important lessons. As in nature, intense conditions often birth the most beautiful and sought after things – like diamonds.

Let’s dig deeper into that for a moment.

The formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures. The organic process of diamond formation requires four key ingredients: carbon, pressure, heat and time.

Like diamonds, when we persevere we become stronger. We come out on on the other side of our roadblocks with things that we did not have before. Knowledge is gained. Compassion is born. We are strong and sturdy. We have the ability to shine because of the difficult times we endure.

Imitation diamonds are easy to find and so are people who appear to be something they are not. These may be the same  people who achieve things by taking shortcuts and avoiding roadblocks but in the end they are only shortchanging themselves. True diamonds have a  strength, hardness and beauty that can not be imitated. Strength is built from time, heat, and pressure. Imitations may have sparkle and appeal but they are not true diamonds.

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Watch my youtube Video – novel update and inspiration on this topic

I have experienced this in my own life. From childhood the odds were stacked against me. A family history of alcoholism, mental health issues, abuse, neglect shaped my childhood. I was crushed to see my dreams fall apart after being raped and becoming pregnant at 14. The years that followed were not easy. I struggled to finish school, be a parent, find a safe environment and deal with depression and anxiety. I was not able to graduate high school but I did get my GED and job at the age of 17. Although college did became a reality for me at 20, it was not the path I had dreamed of. I wanted to finish high school, go to college, write books, have a nice house and then adopt children. In that order.

 

That is not what happened. My path was different and very bumpy but it got me where I am today and I am thankful for every painful and joyful moment along the way.

 

So, I encourage you to take heart if you are under pressure and feeling discouraged. You are in the process of becoming a strong, beautiful, rare, and deeply valuable person.  Don’t forget to watch my vlog on youtube. It tackles this same subject & idea from another angle. Plus, you will get my novel & life update sprinkled in it as well.

As, always thanks for joining me.

Have a blessed & bookish day!

 

 

Writers Toolkit: More Free Apps Vlog

Looking for an app that makes creating quote images simple? How about an app that helps you find free photos to use on your blog, website or social media posts?  This week’s Vlog brings you exactly what you are looking for. Even better… they are both free.

This Writers Toolkit Vlog  is a bit longer than my normal APP related videos because I decided to share both apps in one video. For that reason I am keeping this blog post short and sweet.

Watch the Video Here

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PIXABAY: For Android

PIXABAY: for Apple

TYPORAMA: For Apple

I was not able to find a link for TYPORAMA on android! If you find it or know of a similar app for android please let me know so that I can update this post.

May Owlcrate Unboxing: Comic Explosion Plus Announcements!

It is Owlcrate Unboxing time! Actually, it is way past that. I filmed the video a last week but I am just now getting it posted. This box was worth the wait! Comic Explosion was the theme and OwlCrate had already let us know that we would be getting a Funko Pop figurine. I was beyond excited about that but afraid I would get one I did not like.

Hop over and watch the Video!

Oh my Gosh… I got Wonder Woman! I could not be happier. I adore her outfit and sword. I keep her on my desk with the Wonder Woman Candle that was ALSO in this box! It is tropical scented and I think it has a nice  hint pomegranate. It is adorable sized ( which is small but calling it adorable is a great marketing tool – and accurate. It is adorable. I don’t even care that is not very big.

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Here is a quick list of what was in this months box:

  • Funko pop figurine
  • Adorable sized candle
  • Comic inspired button with coordinating zipper pull/keychain
  • Organic Coffee Candy
  • Art Card
  • Comic layout spoiler card
  • Next months theme card
  • Author Letter & Signed Book Plate
  • Sample Chapter of AFAR  graphic novel
  • Eliza and her Monsters Novel

I enjoyed all the items. I ate the coffee candy before taking a good photo. I thought about photographing the empty wrapper but I decided to discard the evidence of my candy binge. I do love coffee flavored candy.  I don’t like most “hard” candy but coffee candy is the exception.

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The graphic novel sample chapter is impressive. I started reading it but then I spilled coffee on it. Gotta wait for the pages to dry before I finish it. Just call me a coffee klutz.

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I loved the author letter. The letter has become one my most anticipated things in the box. Don’t forget to watch the video – I read part of the letter.

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I have not had time to read the book but I am dragging it along with me on vacation. I love the exclusive cover.

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Please excuse the terrible background in the prior photo. Everything I have done this month has had to be done in a rush and I overlooked some details. I also had a lot of issues filming the video. I kept mispronouncing BASIC words and rambling. I had to edit out a lot of the video.

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Next month sounds like a dystopian theme! I am excited to see if I am right about it. They are also including an exclusive item from the FIZZY FAIRY APOTHECARY.

I think there is still time to sigh up for the June box! Get your box

I also share a few announcements on my video. I have an author newsletter than you can subscribe to.  It will be monthly or bimonthly and feature exclusive content, occasional freebies, giveaways, and news about what is happening with me and my books.

I have new bookish designs, inspirational items, and author related goodies in my  new Society6 store.  You can get my designs on mugs, phonecases, and other products. See my Society6 stuff

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Last but not least, I have an INSTRAGRAM only giveaway going on. You can win one of my society6 items or a Amazon gift card prize pack.  So follow me on instagram, find the giveaway post, like, comment and tag a friend.

See the Post and some of the goodies

@authorapril

Thanks for joining me! Have a blessed & bookish day!