House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

Book Review: ‘House of Furies’ by Madeleine Roux

HarperTeen recently published Madeleine Roux’s newest novel, House of Furies. This gothic story is an ideal read for those who enjoy historical tales of paranormal horror.

Looking for a better way of life, seventeen-year-old Louisa is drawn to become a scullery maid at a boarding house. She assumes it will be hard work in exchange for honest pay and a roof over her head. What she doesn’t suspect is that it’s the last stop for evil men and women before they leave this life for good. Coldthistle House’s proprietor, the enigmatic Mr. Morningside, brings death to those who opt to stay in the manor with the help of his workers, who are not what they appear to be. When Louisa finds an innocent young man has come along with his cruel uncle, can she save him from certain death? And at what cost to her?

This story was good and spooky and I loved that Louisa was an innocent without necessarily being what one would call a good girl. She’s had a hardscrabble life and doesn’t apologize for what she’s had to do to survive. However, she has a good heart and in the end, she tries to put others before herself.

While the book doesn’t have you on edge the whole way through, it’s not for the faint of heart. Certain scenes are filled with gore and others give a good scare. It’s an excellent addition to the YA horror genre.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I haven’t yet read the Asylum series, so this was my first introduction to Roux. I will gladly pick up more of her work in the future. If you’re a fan of YA horror and you enjoy a gothic tone, you’ll want to grab this one as well.

4 out of 5 stars

Book Blitz: ‘Something Beautiful’ by Amanda Gernentz Hanson and Giveaway!

Hello. I’m going to be trying something new on this blog by hosting book tours, cover reveals and giveaways for a variety of indie reads. I promise to always stick to books I would be willing to read myself. I won’t push anything I don’t believe in. My first attempt at this is with Something Beautiful by Amanda Gernentz Hanson. As someone with a history of mental illness in her family, I am a big advocate for getting help when you need it and relying on the love and friendship of others to get you through your day. Something Beautiful deals with teenage depression and it looks like an amazing read. I personally will be adding it to my TBR pile. If you’re interested in seeing what it has to offer, look below for an excerpt and a giveaway for paperback copies and book swag. You’ll also find links to buy the novel.

Something Beautiful
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.

However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1—Now
October 2014

“Fresh off of her book tour, I have here an advocate who is actively involved in fighting inequality in her daily life. I give you, Cordelia Quinn!” The rally organizer steps aside, and I can finally see the crowd. I wave, and the rally organizer gives me a dazzling smile before she continues. “Cordelia Quinn is the bestselling author of The Yellow Wood, a coming-of-age story about a boy and a girl who are best friends as children but choose different paths as adults and then come together later in life. She is also an award-winning screenwriter and one of the most outspoken LGBTQ allies in publishing. Please join me in welcoming her to the podium!” The crowd breaks into thunderous applause that echoes through the cold air, and a smile pulls at the corners of my mouth.

I can’t lie—I’m nervous. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, so I’m afraid that people might be able to tell. I hate crowds, and I hate public speaking. I’ve managed to avoid it ever since I spoke at high school graduation.

“Hello, Topeka,” I begin. My voice is shaking. God, I hope no one notices.

The crowd is rumbling below me, waiting for me to say something good. I’m not even sure I have anything good to say. I’m so bad at this. But I’ve learned that being honest is usually the best way to go, so I decide to veer away from my prepared speech and try for candor.

“I’m going to admit something to you,” I say, gripping the sides of the podium to keep my hands from trembling. I can’t be trusted to hold papers or they’ll be shaking so much that I can’t read them. “I’m not a fan of public speaking, and I don’t usually speak at rallies like this one. But this issue… it’s really important to me. Those of you who have read my book know that. So, when my publicist asked me to come here and talk to you, I couldn’t really turn her down.”

The crowd cheers, and I smile and take a deep breath. With each breath, I feel more at ease, more comfortable speaking up here in front of everyone. I close my eyes for a second, trying to center myself. I see my children’s faces, and my grin widens.

“Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say,” I continue, gaining confidence. “I believe in equality. I believe in love. And I believe that the government should not tell us who we are allowed to love and marry.” At this, all I can think about are the people I left at home—the people who I love, the person I married. I’m lucky. I’ve never had to fight for those rights. “The politicians who are fighting against marriage equality are all active in their conservative churches—well, ladies and gentlemen, I find two issues with that. First, this country was founded on the separation of church and state—it’s in the First Amendment of the Constitution. What ever happened to that?”

I’m on a roll now. My hands have stopped shaking and everything.

“And second, marriage isn’t just about love. Anyone who has made that kind of commitment to someone can tell you that. There are legal rights that come with marriage that should be available to everyone, no matter who they love!”

I can’t help it. I start looking for him. He’s here. I can feel it.

And then I see him, and my face breaks open into the giddy sort of smile I wish I could contain. I knew he’d come. We’ve been apart for weeks now while I’ve been on my book tour, and I’ve missed him so much. Almost as much as I’ve missed the kids. God, I wish they were here with me.

As I make eye contact with him, an idea strikes. I decide to roll with it. “I’m very pleased to tell you that the person who inspired my book is with us tonight. I’d like to call him up here, so that you can meet the first man I ever loved—Declan MacLeod. Come up here, Dec!”

People turn to look at him as he shakes his head and starts moving toward me. I can nearly feel my body vibrating. I can’t wait to be next to him again, to feel his warm hand in mine. My smile is so big it feels like it’s going to split my face in two.

“I’m going to kill you,” he whispers in my ear as he wraps his arms around me. I want him to hold me forever, to never let go of me, to keep me safe and warm wrapped in his strong arms. But we’re in front of all of these people. He has to let go.

“No, you’re not,” I murmur back. “You’re better at this stuff than I am. Tell them something. Anything.” He starts chewing on his bottom lip as he thinks, and I throw him a sharp look. I’ve been on him about that since high school, but he always slips back into the old habit when we’re apart.

He makes his way to the podium and clears his throat. “Hello,” he starts as he waves at the crowd. “I had no idea that I was going to be speaking here tonight, so I apologize if what I say doesn’t make any sense.” He takes a deep breath and glances back at me. “As Cordelia mentioned, I’m Declan MacLeod. I grew up across the street from her in Hamden, Connecticut. Now, I spend most of my time in New York, performing on Broadway.”
The crowd is hypnotized, and I don’t blame them. I’ve been told that, together, Dec and I are hypnotic. We have an energy. I’m not sure I agree—I think he’s the one who radiates energy and charisma, whose skin feels electrifying, no matter how many times I touch it.

As I watch him look out into the crowd, I know one thing—he’s everything. He’s my reason, my why. He’s it for me. I’d be nothing without him.

Author Bio:

Amanda Gernentz Hanson has been writing stories since the third grade, when she entered a five-page story about talking dogs into a local youth arts contest. She is an instructional designer by day and an everything else by night. Amanda is a proud Latina who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hope College and her Master’s degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University. You can find her on the internet at browneyedtwentysomething.com, diverseladybookproject.tumblr.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @amandamariegh. If you see her in the wild, she probably has a book in her purse.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!

There are three copies of Something Beautiful up for grabs as well as some awesome book swag. Click below to enter with Rafflecopter! Contest ends June 29.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl

Book Review: ‘Secrets in the Snow’ by Michaela MacColl

I love a good historical novel with romance or mystery thrown into the mix, so I thought Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl would be an ideal read for me. While the first 80% of the novel was wonderful, throwing too much in at the end of the book ruined it for me.

This book uses Jane Austen as a fictional character, exploring her family and love life. Her mother wants to find her a husband, but Jane refuses to lower her standards. She wants a man who will love her for all of her traits including her strong mind and need to write. When she meets Mr. Tom Lefroy, he’s arrogant and rude. However, as they get to know one another, they come to appreciate each other’s quirks. Could this possibly be love? When someone is murdered on the parsonage grounds, will the resolution push Jane and Tom apart?

I found Jane to be an interesting and intelligent character for most of the novel. Her love story with Tom wasn’t instantaneous which made it believable. I was thoroughly enjoying myself up until the author threw in the dead body. Why she waited until the last 15-20% of the book is a mystery to me. It made the investigation move way too quickly and predictably. The two people who were suspected were actually the perpetrators – no red herrings. Also, the way that Jane reacted to the murderers was ridiculous. It immediately made me dislike the character I had been enjoying throughout most of the book. The murder absolutely ruined the story for me.

If you’re a historical fiction fan and you think you can overlook the poorly done mystery at the end of this novel, give it a try. Otherwise, I suggest trying a historical mystery such as the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn. They’re much more complex and entertaining.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Unboxing: Woman Up Box June 2017 ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ subscription box and coupon!

Even in today’s modern society, women are judged daily. Whether it’s their fashion choices or hairstyle, decisions they make as a mom or as a corporate climber, there’s always someone there to shoot them down and diminish their happiness. Why do we let this happen? What’s worse is when the condescension comes from other women. We should know better. That’s why I was ecstatic to find a subscription box that caters to lifting women’s spirits – both your own and those around you. I sent them a proposal and they mailed me a box for review. They even included a highly generous coupon!

Woman Up Box sends items to soothe stress and inspire happiness. They have two levels of boxes you can choose from – their regular subscription with 6-8 products and their petite box with 3-4. The products range from edibles to beauty items and jewelry. Everything is made by women artisans or women-owned businesses. Along with the goodies, they include a card that encourages you to lift up other women in surprising ways. This month’s theme was ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy!’

Their shipping box is shown above. It’s very girl power and I love that they steered away from the more traditional pink. Not all women appreciate pink. Instead, they used a vibrant red on the white background, from their logo to their slogan.

Woman Up Box June 2017 Don't Worry Be Happy packaging

Upon opening the box, I was amazed at the lengths they went to in making sure everything arrived whole. Everything was wrapped in tissue paper or bubble wrap and the bottom of the box was lined with extra bubble padding. The wrap did its job and everything got here in one piece.

The inventory card and monthly lift up card were placed on top. They were very bright and cheerful, as well as easy to access. The lift up card included tips for inspiring young girls, teens, co-workers, other women you come across, as well as yourself. It had some great ideas and was one of my favorite parts of the whole box.

Woman Up Box June 2017 Don't Worry Be Happy edibles

The first items I grabbed from the box were this month’s edibles and a pocket mirror. There was a tea tin with 6 lemon mint mate teabags. The inventory card suggested trying it iced which I did. You could taste the mint and mate with a hint of lemon. Very refreshing. Also included were two lollipops. I gave the pomegranate tangerine flavor to Mike who said it was very fruity and extremely sweet. I ate the strawberry mojito flavor. To me it tasted mostly like sugar, but with a slightly fruity base. They were good, but I don’t think we’ll be using the coupon they threw in to order more.

The pocket mirror reads “Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic – Rosalind Russell.” There were a few different designs you could receive. Mine had a red diamond background. The mirror is enclosed in a plastic sleeve to keep it safe since it doesn’t close up. I love the quote and I’ll be keeping mine in my purse.

Woman Up Box June 2017 Don't Worry Be Happy necklace

The big ticket item in this box was a mandala beaded necklace made with wood and shells. According to the inventory card, it has a value of $24. It’s not my usual style, so I’m going to pass the love along to someone who can enjoy it more.

Also included were a worry stone in green parrot stone and a set of mandala coloring cards with a small box of colored pencils. The worry stone is smooth and cool. I used to carry one with me everywhere when I was a teenager. It’s a habit I’ll be glad to start again. They help to focus your mind in stressful situations.

The coloring cards were stamped on cardstock from a hand carved stamp. The design is intricate and pretty. I colored one and used it as a Father’s Day card today. Even with adult children, my parents appreciate handmade touches, so it was perfect.

Woman Up Box June 2017 Don't Worry Be Happy beauty items

Last in the package were some spa items. One is a full-size container of strawberry mint gelato foaming sugar scrub which came with a cute little wooden ice cream spoon. It smells delicious and is made with 99% natural ingredients. I used it in the tub last night and it had enough sugar to exfoliate without being scratchy. The lip tint is natural as well and smells wonderful. It will be easy to put on when I want a touch of color without a fully made up look.

Based on the inventory card, the full value of everything in the Woman Up Box adds up to almost $78. That’s excellent considering the full-size box only costs $49.95 with free US shipping. If you’re looking to cut costs even further, try using coupon code SUBLOVE10OFF in checkout for $10 off your first full-sized box. Or go with the petite box for $34.95. Click here to find their website.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Unboxing: DateBox Club May 2017 Puzzle War subscription box

With all the packing going on, my fiancé and I haven’t had much time for dates, so when DateBox Club sent me their May 2017 box to be reviewed, it was greatly appreciated. Mike and I have been together 8 years this month. We wanted to be able to celebrate without the hassle of going out and this gave us a way to do so. Mike was happy to see it had a puzzle theme as he enjoys jigsaw puzzles. Ready to see what was inside? Here we go.

Above, you’ll get a look at what I saw when I opened the box. DateBox Club always includes an envelope on top that has a list of instructions and goodies for the date.

DateBox Club May 2017 Puzzle War packaging

Under the envelope, everything was padded with pretty pastel blue tissue paper. There wasn’t anything breakable this month, but I’ve never known anything from this company to arrive broken.

DateBox Club May 2017 Puzzle War Instructions

Here, you’ll see what was inside the envelope. The instructions included a link to a Spotify playlist for the date which added to the romantic atmosphere. There were also two cards for an acronym game you could play with each other’s names. We ended up not playing with these yet. We’re saving them for another night.

DateBox Club May 2017 Puzzle War goodies

Here are the three main items from the box. They include a bag of gourmet caramel corn, a Simply Vanilla scented candle from Bella Lucis Soy Candles, and two jigsaw puzzles with a love theme. The caramel corn was made with sea salt that gave it the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Mike’s not big on salted sweets, so I ate this bag over several sittings by myself. We pulled out a bag of chips for him instead. The candle burns brightly and has just enough odor to scent the room without being overpowering.

DateBox Club May 2017 Puzzle War completed puzzle

The instructions gave us a choice of either racing each other by making our own individual puzzles or to complete one together. We’re not a competitive couple, so we enjoyed the slow process of cooperating to put one together. It was a lot of fun just munching and finding pieces with music and a candle going in the background. It made for a very peaceful date which is what we both needed right now. You’ll see our finished masterpiece above.

While the goodies inside might not fully add up to the cost of the box, everything included is high quality. I find that having someone else plan a monthly date night for us is worth the extra money. It also costs less than a night out and if you have kids, you don’t have to pay for a sitter. How’s that for value?

If you’re ready to sign up or are looking for more information, click here to check out their website. The subscription costs $35 plus $1.99 shipping in the USA.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Book Review: ‘Talking as Fast as I Can’ by Lauren Graham

I discovered Gilmore Girls when it was in reruns. I’ve never really been one to watch television on an appropriate timeline. So, I’ve seen a lot of episodes, enough to know I love the show, but I’ve watched them out of order. I’m currently working my way through chronologically on Netflix so I can get to the new movie length reboots.

Lauren Graham has always seemed to be a down-to-earth celebrity with a good sense of humor, so when I saw she wrote a Gilmore Girls based memoir, I thought it could be a lot of fun. However, while Lauren’s personality definitely shined through, I was disappointed to find that it didn’t really dive into her life or the show with any depth.

Lauren touches on a lot of subjects in her book. She lightly covers her rise to stardom, her seemingly old-fashioned views on life, her relationship with Peter Krause, and of course both versions of the hit show. However, she seems to whitewash everything. We don’t get anything more than surface deep. When reviewing the ‘90s run of the show, she sticks with hairstyles and technology differences rather than stories about the making of the episodes or meaningful relationships with cast members. Even the reboot, where she pulls out journal entries, are more about who stopped by and were added to the extras than to anything that might add to our love of the show.

If you love Lauren, this might be worth a read. Her quirky personality and ability to make you laugh are there. However, if you were looking for more of a history of the show or her personal life, this isn’t it.

3 out of 5 stars

Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn

Book Review: ‘Dead Souls’ by J. Lincoln Fenn

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a horror novel. I love them but have to be in the right mood to read them. I was given a copy of J. Lincoln Fenn’s Dead Souls for review and I found it spine-tingling and twisted.

Fiona suspects her long-time boyfriend is cheating on her. While nursing her wounds in a bar, she’s approached by a man who claims to be the devil. He offers her a wish in exchange for her soul. Not taking him seriously, she wishes for invisibility to spy on her lover. When she wakes up the next morning owing the devil a favor to be fulfilled whenever he sees fit, she knows she’s in trouble. She joins a support group of other dead souls and watches in horror as their favors are called in. Can Fiona find a way out of the deal before it’s too late?

While Fiona wasn’t the most likable of characters, the story was engaging and fun to read. It was full of twists and turns from start to disturbing finish, and I never saw them coming. Certain scenes were ghoulishly macabre and the whole story had dark undertones. I had an absolute need to keep reading and find out what happened next. The story was believable which made it horrifying.

If you like your supernatural horror novels with a down to earth feel, this is the read for you. Fenn has a way of creating a world that fits so well inside our own that we believe it to be true.

4 out of 5 stars

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Book Review: ‘The Sandcastle Empire’ by Kayla Olson

Last week, HarperTeen Publishing released their new dystopian thriller, The Sandcastle Empire, by Kayla Olson. The book’s realistic premise is haunting and the plot always stays one step ahead of the reader.

Eden is a member of the privileged class, but the world has changed. The lower class has risen and taken over, placing rich members of society in gulag camps under firm and tyrannical rule. Escaping a massacre, Eden and three other girls escape and take a boat in search of a rumored sanctuary island. When they find it, nothing is as it seems. When one of her friends goes missing, Eden discovers this island holds secrets that may be more deadly than what they left behind.

I enjoy a good dystopian story, but I often find myself disappointed by new additions to the genre. Not so with this book. It kept me reading. I had to know what would happen next. It’s mix of romance, thrills and betrayal made for an excellent read. You didn’t know who you could trust and who was going to turn on their friends. While I figured out Eden’s father’s fate from the beginning, the rest of the book had me guessing.

If you love dystopian reads or quests across dangerous seemingly-deserted islands, this book should be your next summer read. This standalone story is rich and complex, leaving me stunned that this is simply Olson’s debut. I expect to see even greater tales from her in the future.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Unboxing: Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss May 2017 subscription box

Hello, everyone! It’s 90 degrees in upstate New York today and I feel like I’m melting into the couch. What was supposed to be a work day turned into a reading day thanks to having to escape an apartment that has no water for the next 24 hours. So, I finished reading my next book for review and worked on a few others. Now that things are settling down for the night, I’ve found the time to write up my review for the May shipment of the Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss.

If you’ve been with me a while, you know I reviewed this box last month as well. It’s first and foremost a romance novel subscription box, but they throw some other genres in as well. The owners sent me the box to review for you and have included a coupon you can use to take some money off your first month. Have a look at what was inside.

Up top is the dark pink box the books are shipped in. It really stands out when you open your mailbox and the logo is impossible to miss.

Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss May 2017 inside

Inside, everything is tucked in tightly without padding. Because it’s mainly paperback books, they always arrive in excellent condition. On top of the books is an insert advertising possible picks for this month’s box.

Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss May 2017 e-books

The first three items pulled from the box were cards for free e-book downloads and a sample pouch. Each month, FFB seems to throw in some kind of sample pack. This month it was caffeinated breath mints in wintergreen flavor. I haven’t tried them yet. I’m saving them for a work morning when I’m feeling drowsy. It’s an interesting idea anyway. Combat the sleepies and morning breath in one shot!

Two of the three books were contemporary romances. Lexie by Kimberly Dean is the first book in the Triple X series. The write-up doesn’t much appeal to me, so I’ll be trying to find another home for this one. Why the River Runs by JoAnna Grace sounds a bit better to me, so I’ll probably give it a try. The other e-book in the bunch was A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor. It’s a Regency romance with a bit of mystery. Based on my favored genres, I think this will be my favorite read of the three.

Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss May 2017 paperbacks

Next in the package were three mass market paperback books – all romances. The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander is another historical romance that looks like fun. I was ready to write off the other two novels, but the summary on the back of Toughest Cowboy in Texas by Carolyn Brown sounded intriguing. Even though I don’t normally like Cowboy romance, I’m going to give this one a try. However, Their Pretend Amish Courtship by Patricia Davids will be getting passed along. I’m not a fan of Amish romance novels.

Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss May 2017 hardcover

The last two books in the box were a hardcover and a trade paperback. I’m especially excited about the hardback. The Sixth Victim by Tessa Harris is a mystery set in Jack the Ripper’s Victorian London. I love Victorian novels and this one has a paranormal twist, which makes me want to pick it up immediately. I have a couple of books ahead of it on my TBR list, but I’ll be making a point of cracking it open soon. The other novel is Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon which looks a little too vanilla for my tastes.

This subscription never ceases to surprise me with how much value it packs into each box. The eight books are worth much more than the $25.95 cost. Better yet, shipping is free. And best of all, I have a $3 off coupon for my readers. Just go to their website and enter the code BOOKLOVE at checkout. If you love contemporary romance, this is your box!

4 out of 5 stars

Unboxing: Read ‘Em and Steep Kickstarter Campaign subscription box

Hello! I’m buried up to my neck in moving boxes, but I’m trying to keep the blog alive during the packing process. I don’t want to leave my wonderful readers hanging. Besides, it’s fun to take a break with a new box or a book every so often. Moving is stressful and goodies make it less so.

Upon searching Cratejoy, I discovered a new subscription box that combines books and hot beverages. Two of my favorite things. So, I sent them a proposal and they agreed to send me a box for review. The company is actually in start-up mode. They start taking orders in July for shipments starting in August. I was lucky enough to get ahold of their Kickstarter box so you can get an idea of what kind of items they’ll be mailing out.

Up top, you’ll see the brown shipping box everything was mailed in. It had a stamp on the upper left corner with the company logo.

Read 'Em and Steep Kickstarter packaging

Inside, there was a blue Cratejoy box wrapped in bubble wrap. Almost everything arrived in one piece.

Read 'Em and Steep Kickstarter infuser

The first thing I pulled from my box was an adorable tea infuser shaped like a book. The plastic covers open to hold the rubber tea section firmly in your mug. The pages pop off easily to fill them with loose leaf tea but are solid enough to remain attached when making your beverage. If this item isn’t cute enough, the infuser came with a mini-book with ideas for literary tea parties and the relevance of tea to books.

Read 'Em and Steep Kickstarter tea

What’s a tea infuser without tea? The box came with Belle’s Bookshop Blend by Biblioblends Tea. The flavor was tasty. It’s a nice mix of rose, cherry and vanilla. Also included was a cute frosted book shaped sugar cookie from Jana Lee’s Bakeshop in Columbus, Ohio. It was delicious. The butter gave it a bit of crisp, but it wasn’t hard. You could easily bite into it. I broke it in half and shared it with Mike. We both loved it.

Read 'Em and Steep Kickstarter bookmarks

The next items in the box were enclosed in a small envelope. They are two watercolor bookmarks from Bookmarks 4 Kindness. They’re both handmade and beautiful. I love that these aren’t mass produced. It makes them more unique.

Read 'Em and Steep Kickstarter mug

Also in the package was this mug. It’s really cute, but it arrived chipped. Apparently, I’m not the only one this happened to. Luckily, the customer service for this subscription is wonderful. I let the owner know the problem and she’s on top of it. Depending on what happens with the manufacturer, I’ll either be getting a new mug or a replacement item of equal value.

Read 'Em and Steep Kickstarter book

Last, we have the main attraction. The book. Read ‘Em and Steep sends out indie literature for adults. This month the novel is The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. It looks like a sweet, literary story about the power of friendship and the love of books. I have a couple of novels ahead of it on my TBR list, but I can’t wait to read it. The book also came with a mini candle by Dio Candle Company that is supposed to smell like the bookstore from the novel. It smells a bit like vanilla and is lovely.

Overall, I loved this box. Their goal going forward is to create timely monthly themes with adult goodies. Each month they’ll send a new coffee or tea for you to try along with a great indie read. You can order a single box or sign up for a subscription. They are partnered with a charity called Room to Read which helps build schools and libraries in developing countries and ensures education for children who might otherwise be left behind, so you’re doing some good in the world as well as feeding your reading habit.

If you’d like to sign up, click here to place your order. A monthly subscription is only $34 with shipping included. A single box will cost you an additional $10. Remember, orders open up in July for shipments in August.

4.5 out of 5 stars