NinjaBookBox August Review

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll probably know that I enjoy treating myself to the odd subscription service (or ten)

There’s something great about the idea of coming home from work and, instead of just finding bills & junkmail, discovering a box or envelope full of surprises is awaiting you.

One of my most looked forward to subscription treats is definitely my Ninja Book Box.

So, What IS a #NinjaBookBox ?

A NinjaBookBox is a particularly special kind of subscription service.

Each bimonthly box is available as either a full box, containing a book and a selection of themed or associated gifts and extras, or as a mini box featuring the book and a few of the ninja-created extras.

The August GOING HOME Box

The book is never revealed prior to box delivery, and the first clue to a box theme is when the name & an associated image is released on social media.

Image © Ninja Book Box

I tend to try and avoid spoilers, so a little clue as to the theme of the book and other associated box contents is enough to whet my appetite!

Finally, delivery day came, and my box arrived.

I couldn’t wait to delve in and discover just how we would be Going Home

The Book Ninjas very cleverly always seal the accompanying newsletter featuring book info, interviews with the authors, and recommended additional reading etc, in a spy-proof envelope.

Just one of many thoughtful touches! So, are you ready? Let’s explore….

  • In addition to the enclosed newsletter, there’s always a little “Welcome to this month’s box” note, which is nice.
  • The book, and some of the other contents of the box are tissue-wrapped. This means the actual book remains a surprise right up until you open it! I like to explore all the other bits first, in an attempt to guess the book, author or genre.

Actually, that brings me to another point that shows just how much care and attention is spent on selecting the perfect items to accompany the books included in Ninja Book Boxes. Did you know that the Ninjas read each shortlisted book, then read it again once chosen, to get inspiration directly from the book? How cool is that?

  • The first thing that caught my eye was this cute little card & envelope with fun quote print from A Spoonful of Sugar & Co
  • Next was an item which is included in every box. Each theme has an associated charm, and you can add to your collection with each box. I’m eager to discover just how this cute little scooter links to the story.
  • Another item which makes a regular occurrence is the Ninja Recipe Card. Again, the Book Ninjas attention to detail shines here, each box including a recipe directly inspired by the book. I spotted another clue to the book here, as the card mentions it is set in Tulsa.
  • Next to be unwrapped was this adorable pouch/pencil case, custom made for Ninja Book Box by Curious Miss Clay. Isn’t that sketchy monochrome print gorgeous?
  • The next wrapped gift is extremely intriguing, this Writing Map promises to inspire writing of all sorts including stories and poems during a trip to an art gallery.

On opening it out, I discovered a large double-sided brightly coloured selection of prompts.

  • Unable to put it off any longer, and quite frankly now beside myself with excitement, it was time for the book reveal…

A Map Of Tulsa, written by Benjamin Lytal and published by And Other Stories, is a book I hadn’t yet heard of; but the blurb sounds like it could be an interesting read.

A stunning debut novel of first love set against the art scene of late-90s Tulsa by a former New Yorker editorial staffer.

The first days of summer: Jim Praley is home from college, ready to unlock Tulsa’s secrets. He drives the highways. He forces himself to get out of his car and walk into a bar. He’s invited to a party. And there he meets Adrienne Booker; Adrienne rules Tulsa, in her way. A high-school dropout with a penthouse apartment, she takes a curious interest in Jim. Through her eyes, he will rediscover his hometown: its wasted sprawl, the beauty of its late nights, and, at the city’s center, the unsleeping light of its skyscrapers.

In the tradition of Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Map of Tulsa is elegiac, graceful, and as much a story about young love as it is a love letter to a classic American city.

This is yet another reason I particularly love the #NinjaBookBox. Because the books are always from small presses and/or independent publishers, they are often relatively unknown, thus adding to the surprise and widening my reading horizons.

  • Since it was now safe to do so, I returned my attention to the Spoilers! envelope inside which I found the usual newsletter with a short Ninja Review (& reasoning behind selecting this particular book for inclusion), suggestions for recommended reading either also set in Tulsa or with a similar feel, and a useful list of suppliers and where to find them. Also included was a lovely hand-drawn map that I am assuming was created by the artistically blessed sister of Head Ninja, Bex.
  • Last, but not least, there was also a little teaser slip for November’s box which; as it coincides with Ninja Book Box’s 1st birthday; promises to be something special!

I want in, How do I get one?

That’s simple! Head on over to NinjaBookBox.com and order one!

Ninja Book Boxes ship quarterly (in February, May, August, and November) and each box becomes available for individual purchase on the 1st of the month before (January, April, July, and October).

The site is easy to navigate, and as well as box subscriptions, they have an online store which stocks various books and bookish gifts.

Current Prices:

  • Individual Boxes £29.99 per box (£15 Mini Box)
  • Annual Subscription £27.50 per box (£13.75 Mini Box)
  • Quarterly Recurring Subscription £26 per box (£14 Mini Box)

Subscriptions are always available, except when the current box is sold out.

The Ninjas champion Indies, all the books included in the boxes are from Independent publishers, and all the gift items are either created in-house or sourced from small business makers, so you are guaranteed to find a few unusual little treasures.

DISCOUNT CODE

Do you know what I like even more than a subscription box? A discount code! So here’s one for you to use in the Ninja Book Box online shop.

Enter HEATHER15 at the checkout to receive 15% off any shop purchases over £5.

At present, discount codes won’t work on recurring quarterly subscriptions, but you can use them to get 15% off stand-alone boxes, such as the GRAND ADVENTURE Summer Reading Box, or any of the other goodies instore.

And the best bit? Unlike most discount codes that are one-use only, you can use my referral code as often as you like, so you can claim your 15% off EVERYTIME you shop! (I also receive a point each time you use it, so I can accumulate rewards too)

Have you tried the #NinjaBookBox yet? If not, have I tempted you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, or any other bookish boxes you’ve tried.

As always,

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

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[MailCall Monday] 28th August 2017

Well, the week started off rather nicely with not one but two items of fun mail waiting when I got home from work on Monday!

First up was my #NinjaBookBox.

The Ninja Book Box is an awesome quarterly bookish subscription service. Each box has a theme, this one being GOING HOME.

Each box contains a book related to the theme, together with a small selection of items carefully chosen and created to match the theme.

The books are always from independent publishers, and the curated items are sourced from small businesses and independent makers. This championing of indie suppliers is integral to the Ninja Book Box ethos and is definitely something to be applauded.

There’s always so much to explore in a Ninja Book Box, that it’s probably best that I do a standalone post dedicated purely to my unboxing.

But, in the meantime, if you need a bookish fix; remember code HEATHER15 gets you 15% off orders over £5 in the #NinjaBookBox shop!

Next was a surprise gift:

LUCKY DIP CLUB X HELLO DODO

Mr Crafty actually purchased this for me as a lovely surprise.

I have received Lucky Dip Club boxes in the past, but after taking a baby break, Leona has returned to the subscription market with an update.

I must admit, I was intrigued when I heard about this collaboration with HELLO DODO, as I love their prints.

Inside I found an intriguing soft lightweight item, wrapped in sunshine yellow tissue; and a brightly coloured zine.

When I opened the tissue-wrapped gift, I discovered the most adorable bold flamingo print adorning a fab fabric zippered pouch.

  1. I adore flamingos
  2. I love puns
  3. Summery ice-cream shades are fab
  4. You can never have too many storage bags

I haven’t decided just yet what exactly I’ll be storing in my pouch; make-up bag or pencil case seem good options but I don’t want the inside to get dirty!!

Later on in the week was Boxcitement day…

Boxcitement is a lovely monthly subscription box which features a gorgeous selection of stationery, jewellery, housewares and decorative items; all curated around a theme, which this month is FANTASY ISLAND.

Again, look out for a full unboxing post coming soon!

BookMail

The first BookMail of the week was this fantastic foil-embellished, signed copy of INVICTUS by Ryan Graudin.

I received this Sci-Fi Fantasy; likened to Doctor Who meets the Guardians of the Galaxy; as part of a Twitter Giveaway, hosted by the Bournemouth Waterstone’s store .

Time is running out . . .

Farway McCarthy was born outside of time. With nowhere to call home and nothing to anchor him to the present, Far captains a crew on a dangerous mission into the past. When he collides with Eliot – a mysterious, secretive girl, whose very appearance raises questions about time itself – Far immediately distrusts her. But he must take a leap of faith, following Eliot on a race against time, if he is to protect everything he’s ever loved from disappearing forever . . .

A fast-paced, heart-stopping journey that will leave you breathless.

Via ReadersFirst; I received an ARC of Vince Cable‘s debut novel, OPEN ARMS; a political thriller which spans all the way from the parliamentary buildings of Westminster to the slums of Mumbai.

Kate Thompson – glamorous housewife-turned-MP – surprises everyone with her meteoric rise at Westminster. When Kate is sent as a trade minister to India, she hopes it will be her moment to shine. But, embroiled in a personal scandal, she gets drawn into a dangerous world of corruption and political intrigue… Billionaire Deepak Parrikar – head of an Indian arms technology company – is magnetically drawn to the beautiful British minister. But while their relationship deepens, India’s hostilities with Pakistan reach boiling point, causing more than just business and politics to collide. In the race to prevent disaster, can their conflicting loyalties survive being tested to the limit? Open Arms is an explosive thriller which circles from Whitehall to the slums of Mumbai. Cable’s sweeping tale combines unrivalled political detail with international intrigue, desire, and the quest for power. An electrifying debut.

Published by Corvus, OPEN ARMS is due to be released on 7th September 2017, and I’ll be reviewing it soon.

So, that was the contents of my mailbox for the week, did you receive any fun mail? Share in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Hugs, Crafty xxx

DISCLOSURE

  • Although I have a referral code for #NinjaBookBox, I receive this box through my personal paid subscription.
  • I also receive Boxcitement via a paid subscription.
  • The Lucky Dip Club item I received was purchased as a gift.
  • I regularly receive Advance Reader Copies of upcoming releases from ReadersFirst, these are sent free of charge, on the understanding I will read and review them; giving my honest and unbiased impression.
  • The signed copy of Ryan Graudin’s INVICTUS I received was won via a randomised draw hosted by the Waterstone’s store.

[MailCall Monday] 21st August 2017

Snailmail

General Snailmail was sadly lacking this week! I had plenty outgoing but the only incoming envelopes held junk mail offers for home insurance, and there was the usual smattering of takeaway menus.

CurryMail

Recently a friend was telling me about Curry for Change , a project which aims to raise awareness of world hunger through encouraging both food businesses and individuals to host fundraising curry nights.

She had attended a pop-up restaurant event around this time last year, and knowing that I enjoy a) a good curry, and b) a good fundraiser; she thought I might like to get involved. Of course, I did!

I signed up, pledging to host a curry night in September, and am eager to try out some of the tasty looking recipes shared on the site in preparation for the big event.

I’ll share more about my night nearer the time, but if you’d like to know more or are interested in participating, you can visit the Curry for Change website, or visit them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

BookMail

On the other hand, there’s been NO shortage of books!!

The last week has certainly brought a lot of BookMail, arriving from a variety of sources.

First up, Tarn Richardson sent me a signed copy of his book The Fallen, along with some signed promo cards; one which he added a cheeky wee personalised message to.

The Fallen is book two of The Dark Hand trilogy , a fantasy horror inspired by WW1 events in Italy.

Set in 1915, Demonic possessions are sweeping across Rome and the Vatican’s Eagle Fountain is running red with blood. Something evil is coming…. Only Poldek Tacit, the Catholic Church’s most determined and unhinged Inquisitor can hope to push back the forces of evil and unite those for good. But what happens when Tacit finds that the path he walks has already been prophesised and that where it leads threatens the very future of a world on the edge of the abyss?

The Fallen will draw you into a dark and captivating world full of demons, werewolves, ritualistic terror and fast-paced action.

It looks like an exciting read, and Offspring #2 has his eye on it after I’m finished reading it.

ReadersFirst is a regular source of my BookMail, as I enter their weekly draws by leaving my First Impressions, after downloading and reading opening chapters.

A large number of the books they promote are by up and coming authors, and there’s always 1 or 2 that catch my eye.

It’s also a great way to expand my reading horizons as I find myself reading and enjoying books and genres that I may not necessarily pick up on my own.

A DARKLY HILARIOUS LOVE STORY ABOUT FACING FEARS – ONE SNAKE / SPIDER / POTENTIALLY UNSTABLE FOURTH FLOOR BALCONY AT A TIME.

Published by Hot Key Books, A Semi Definitive List of WORST Nightmares is Krystal Sutherland‘s second novel, and it has much to live up to after the triumph of her debut Our Chemical Hearts.

Esther Solar is unusual. It’s not just her outfits (always a costume – Red Riding Hood today) or her family, with their unique and weird obsessions. When Esther is mugged by Jonah, an old classmate, he takes everything she has, including her phone and her private list of worst nightmares. Jonah returns the phone, with nothing left in it but his number. Esther knows she shouldn’t phone Jonah – but she does.

Jonah sets Esther a challenge: to work through her list of fears together, facing one terrifying fear at a time, plus one that surprises them both…

Jens Lapidus has certainly made a name for himself in the increasingly popular Swedish noir genre, having authored three of the country’s top crime thrillers in the past decade, and Stockholm Delete looks to be carrying on his success. Having read the suspense-filled first chapters of this legal thriller I can’t wait to read on!

Emilie Jansson has just been made partner at a prestigious law firm when she is asked to work with an unusual partner. Teddy is an ex-con trying to stay on the right side of the law while working as the firm’s fixer and Special Investigator. Meanwhile, a body is discovered in a remote house in the country after what looks like an attempted robbery – and a severely wounded man found near the scene is soon in the frame for murder. Emilie takes on the role of his defence lawyer. But when the trail of evidence leads back to her partner Teddy’s wayward past, Emilie begins to wonder what she’s taken on… In Stockholm Delete, Emilie and Teddy become entangled in a complex and dangerous web with deep connections to Stockholm’s criminal underworld. Both will be tested in terrible ways. But can they survive long enough to uncover the truth?

Full of intrigue; this thriller, from an author who has lived the life of a criminal lawyer, is wonderfully dark. Likened to the writing of Karin Slaughter and Steig Larrson, I am eager to read more.

I was recently approached by the lovely people at Duckworth, who asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing David Bergen‘s new novel Stranger, to be published in September.

Íso is a young Guatemalan woman who meets a charming doctor, Eric. When an accident forces him to unexpectedly return to America, Íso is left brokenhearted and pregnant. But her dreams of raising her newborn come to a halt when her daughter is abducted. Determined to reclaim her stolen child, Íso makes her way north, descending into a world full of danger.

In a place of shifting boundaries, she must decide who she can trust, aware that a wrong decision could mean losing her daughter forever.

Stranger is a story in which the themes of immigration and refugees, exploitation and vulnerability, rich and poor collide to make a powerful and affecting novel; leaving us with the question:

Just how many borders would you cross to reclaim your child?

In a period when the subject of immigration is on many people’s agenda, the timely publication of books such as Stranger can only help others sympathize with the plight of many immigrants; who’s only want for their families is for them to be safe and secure, together.

Bergen’s electrifying story of barriers and privilege merges modern race and identity politics with a pinch of magic realism, ultimately asking – in a world full of strangers – how much are we prepared to let the borders that we draw entrap us?

I fully expect this to be a provocative and heart-wrenching tale, and am eager to share my thoughts with you.

My final BookMail of the week arrived courtesy of Penguin Random House Children’s division.

Having recently entered a goodreads giveaway for the most recent Andy McNab novel Silent Weapon, the second in the Teen/YA Sean Barker series. I was suitably excited to receive notification that I was one of winners to receive a shiny new copy AND also a copy of the original Street Soldier book, which was first in the series.

Although I have devoured a few Andy McNab offerings over the years, I haven’t yet read any of the teen-aimed books. I am eager to see how they stack up.

Mr. Crafty has also expressed an interest in reading these, so we may well have a guest post in the offing!

6 print copies seem rather a lot, so I probably shouldn’t mention the 3 E-books I also acquired this week too…

Still, at least that long bus journey home from the new job is good for something! I’m getting around an extra hour and a half reading time a day!!

Are you reading anything at present that you’d recommend?

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

[MailCall Monday] 14th August 2017

I’ve had quite a busy mailbag this week, both outgoing and incoming, with lots of variety received.

Book Mail

Three print copies this week (I also read & review E-books, but they don’t land on my doorstep…)

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In political thriller LORETICUS, J. B. Lucas has created a remarkable historical world that has parallels in both ancient Rome and modern diplomacy. I am eager to learn more about Loreticus ; in this historical fiction published by Type & Tell; as he plays spy-master to the emperor, finding himself in a tangled web of intrigues and deceit when the new emperor goes missing and Loreticus attempts to find him.

Published by Zaffre, Chris Whitaker‘s phsycological thriller ALL THE WICKED GIRLS introduced us to the troubled Raine Ryan, who finds herself with an unusual ally when she throws herself into searching for her missing sister Summer. With tension already simmering in their struggling small hometown of Grace, Alabama; it starts to emerge that not all may be as it seems with the smalltown model student, musical prodigy and all-round ray of sunshine….

Likened to tales such as The Roanoke Girls and Fargo, I have already heard great things about this one!

GOOD FRIDAY , published by Zaffre, is the third in Lynda La Plante‘s Jane Tennison series; charting the early career of the young Jane who is to become the central character in La Plante’s highly acclaimed Prime Suspect series. Set in 1970s London, Tennison finds herself a key witness after surviving an explosion during an IRA attack on a tube station, all whilst trying to convince her superiors that there is clear and present danger closer to hand than they may realize.

I love La Plante’s writing, and very much enjoyed Prime Suspect: 1973, the recent TV dramatisation of Tennison, the first novel in this series of prequels.

Look out for my reviews around publication date, all three are released 24th August!

(S)Nail Mail

The lovely Laila asked me to review her Jamberry nail wraps, so by the time you read this, we’ll be partway through our Seven Day Challenge. (Offspring#1 has more photogenic nails, so we’re both trying them)

Make sure you pop back later in the week to read the review and find out what we thought!

Flair Mail

Someone must’ve sneaked a punky pins order into my basket when I wasn’t looking!

They’re doing their mystery / blind boxes again, so I grabbed a few as they make great little gifties.

*I can neither confirm not deny that a certain amount of swapping around and pilfering may have or may not have occured.*

Beauty Mail

Birchbox sent out a replacement for the Whish face mask that was missing from my August Mermaid Vibes box.

Their customer service team is really fantastic; so far I have found that any issues are dealt with, to my great satisfaction, both professionally and speedily.

Mag Mail

Another issue arrived of the magazine I keep meaning to cancel. Please, someone keep poking me until I do it.

It DID come with a cute snowflake die though, so it’s not all bad!

Sample Mail

I received some Lemon Detox info and a free sample of Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup.

Supposedly it is going to

  • cleanse my body of toxins
  • Increase my vitality
  • Improve my digestion

As well as giving me

  • shinier, stronger hair and nails
  • clearer skin and eyes
  • And a greater sense of well-being.

*Watch this space*

Looking forward to trying these free samples from Aveeno. Their moisturising products usually leave my skin feeling fab.

And a Card

You hear a lot about truly awful in-laws, so maybe we are just lucky in the fact that we both get on well with ‘The In-Laws”.

My mother-in-law sent me this lovely card to celebrate my new job, that I start today.

So, that was my week’s incoming mail, did YOU receive anything interesting?

See ya at the mailbox next time!

Hugs,

Crafty xx

Disclosure:

All ARCs supplied free of charge by publishers, via ReadersFirst.

Jamberry samples sent, for the purpose of review, by Jamberry franchisee, Laila

Free samples are described as such.

[MailCall Monday] 31st July 2017

This week has been a bit of a mixture in terms of mail, some days there was lots of fun mail whilst others there wasn’t so much as a junkmail flyer popped through the door.

It started off well on Monday, when I came home from work to find my monthly Boxcitement subscription box waiting for me….

Boxcitement

As usual; the Boxcitement box is a wonderfully eclectic collection of stationery, jewellery, accessories; all curated around a central theme, which this month is DRAMA QUEEN

There is certainly plenty of drama, and more than enough special treats to leave me feeling royally spoiled.

It’s Fabulous, Dahlings!! But you’ll have to wait for my unboxing post to see just how fabulous.


BookMail

Lots of Bookmail this week…

 

SEEING RED is a harrowing semi-autobiographical novel written by Chilean author Lina Meruane and published by Atlantic Books.
It tells the tale of Lucina, a young  A Chilean writer, who; whilst living and working in New York; suffers a life-changing eye haemorrhage.

As she begins to adjust to a very different life of reliance on others, so too do those who love her find themselves learning to adjust to a very different woman.

 

Crime Thriller, KILL ME TWICE, written by Simon Booker and published by Bonnier Zaffre ; tells the tale of Anjelica, a victim of domestic abuse who finds herself imprisoned for murdering her husband. Forensic experts attest to finding his charred remains after an arson attack and so she turns to Morgan Vine, an investigative journalist for help to prove her innocence. 

The whole world knows Karl Savage is dead. It doesn’t matter that he was abusive. Or that Anjelica has a baby to care for. Or,  indeed, that she is petrified of fire.

Then he turns up outside Morgan’s window….

I’m intrigued to know more, but I must admit to hoping that in the end the only possible resolution is not for Anjelica & Morgan to kill him.

Rosie Fiore’s WHAT SHE LEFT , published by Allen & Unwin , is billed as Contemporary Fiction. 

When Sam Cooper’s wife Helen disappears, noone understands why. She has a charmed life; she’s beautiful, accomplished, organised; but she chooses to abandon her home & family. She hasn’t been abducted or murdered, she just walks away.

Tormented by all the questions of why, where, what? ; Sam finds he is losing his grip on work and family life; he sees Helen’s face everywhere and he’s losing control.

But then one day, it really is Helen’s face he sees…

I received ARCs of these novels, free of charge via ReadersFirst , and you will be able to read my review of each nearer their publication dates:

  • Seeing Red : 3rd August 2017.
  • Kill Me Twice : 24th August 2017.
  • What She Left : 17th August 2017.


Pen Mail (& a Panda) 🐼

I signed up to a notebook and pen swap recently, over on , and my swap partner mentioned she liked smooth writing pens with easy on the eye ink colours.

I’ve bought some of these pens from Tiger Pens before and personally find they write beautifully; they also look rather stylish, and the colour of the swirly tattoo print corresponds to the colour of the ink (except for the black ink one, which has a silver grey pattern). 

I thought they would be ideal for adding to my swap package, and I might have added to my own pen collection. I lose/lend pens at an alarming rate so tend to overstock!

I also noticed that there are refills available for these, so I think I’ll be adding a few sets to my next  order.

There was also a special offer where you could claim a free Panda squishy with orders over £15 from this particular range.

So, I got a Panda

Tiger Pens stock a huge variety of pens & pencils, everything from left handed fountain pens to everlasting metal pencils, and UK shipping is free on orders over £10.

Fabric Samples

I love when a company do samples right, and furniture and homewares purveyors loaf certainly do!

New sofa discussions have been ongoing for sometime but so far I have yet to see anything locally that has made me think “Yep, that’s the one!” 

I recently stumbled upon the loaf website, and as a few of their offerings caught my eye, I promptly requested some fabric swatches.

At the moment our sofas are dark chocolate brown leather and we’re swithering between sticking with leather or going for something fabric (in some misguided belief that as the kids are now grown, we no longer have to worry about jammy handprints; like it’s them that regularly knock glasses of red wine over…. actually, it’s the cat; but that’s another story!)

The sample mailer arrived quickly and I was intrigued by the dinky little box.

Then I opened it….

 Alongside the swatches I had requested, they had enclosed a witty little intro booklet, a blind measuring guide & templates, and a sachet of hot chocolate; to enjoy whilst perusing their offerings. 

Stamps

My attempts at used postage stamp collection and collation have somewhat fallen by the wayside but every now and then I receive an exchange bag returning home, or one of these Forever Stamp Exchange sheets. It’s essentially a chain letter (something I normally have no time for!) But they were handy to stick in envelopes I was sending to other collectors and in the beginning was a good way to ‘meet’ new people to exchange with.

Susanne from Austria found my details next on her sheet and so sent me the required 50 stamps(actually, she sent far more), and an updated copy of the sheet. Next to receive is Claudio in Italy, so I’ll dig out my stamp box and send some off this week.

Stationery Savings

I received a mailshot from Paperchase with a coupon for 20% off Back-To-School stationery. It seems rude not to….

I’ve already been instore recently for a sneak-peek and so far my favourite back to school ranges are:

  • FLY AWAY which is full of whimsical pastel unicorn & rainbow illustrations. 
  • BANANAS which is bright blue and yellow and features a fun graphic print.

and, of course,

  • The new HELLO KITTY collab!

      Beauty Box

      You can read my full July Birchbox review here ; but for now you can have a sneak peek!

      In the meantime, if you’d like to try a Birchbox for yourself, you can save £5 off your first box by using my referral link .

      The full link is: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/thecraftylass

      (Birchbox credit my account with a small amount to spend in their online store each time someone signs up using my link)


      So, all in all, it was a pretty busy week for my mailbox! What about yours?

      Till next time,

      Hugs, Crafty xxx 

      [MailCall Monday] 5 June 2017

      The May #Paperhaul

      Technically this should have been featured in last Week’s roundup but it ended up mistakenly going through a neighbour’s letterbox on Saturday and didn’t make it’s way home till Tuesday…

      The May Paperhaul theme was Flamingo Flavour, and featured lovely pink flamingoes, hibiscus flowers and lush green ferny palm fronds, all in tropical shades of coral pinks and deep forest greens.

      You can get a closer look at what was included by checking out my May Paperhaul review.

      Book-ish Mail

      The latest issue of oh comely magazine dropped through my letterbox.

      It’s always a lovely read, full of interesting articles are swoonworthy photos.

      And not a ‘which celeb is cheating on who with their neighbour’s dog’s pregnant husband’ story in sight!!

      A Timely Treat from Prestige Flowers

      Friday afternoon brought a rather exciting delivery, in the form of a large cardboard box from Prestige Flowers.

      I had recently been in contact with them regarding reviewing a bouquet from their birthday flowers range and somewhat coincidentally, delivery had been arranged for the weekend before my birthday!

      Of course, you’ll need to wait for my review post to find out exactly which bouquet I received!

       
      Was there anything interesting in your mailbox this week?

      As always, thanks for stopping by!

      Hugs,

      Crafty xx

      [MailCall Monday] 22 May 2017

      The last week started off pretty slow in terms of interesting mail…

      Like everyone else’s letterbox in the UK at present, there were a fair few electioneering flyers & some very tempting takeout menus.
      Towards the end of the week, however, the fun stuff started arriving.

      This is a NinjaBookBox​ Month.

      NinjaBookBox is a quarterly subscription that includes a book and a selection of associated goodies. The items are all sourced from Independent publishers and small businesses, making for an unusual & exciting box. 
      You can see my full unboxing post later this week, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek…

      Also, feel free to use my referral code HEATHER15 to get 15% off any purchases over £5 in the Ninja Book Shop. You can even use it to get a discounted ‘A Grand Adventure’ Summer Reading Box

      The Rest of This Week’s Bookmail 

      The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman is a contemporary fiction tale, full of love, obsession, and alternate realities.

      Twins Aidan & Diane live in a small American town, next door to Collin; artist, actor, misfit.

      Collin becomes involved with Aidan’s teacher, Nina and this is where the web woven by Arkadia; the large gaming company which dominates the town; tightens around it.

      Nina, is the daughter of Arkadia’s owner.

      Both Aidan & Collin become increasingly immersed in Arkadia’s online gameworld, Everwhen.

      When Aidan receives a mysterious black boX which allows him to physically enter the gameworld, he finds both the reality and his perceptions of the two worlds become skewed.

      As Collin also finds himself pulled deeper into the game, Nina begins to suspect there is something far wrong but doesn’t know how to help.

      When the two world collide, everyone involved find their lives changed, and their loyalties torn.

       

      In exquisite detail, Allegra Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy’s life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gaming realm that becomes more authentic than his real world.

      This gritty and thought-provoking read seems to me to be reminiscent of the storylines of Tron, or the Spy Kids 3D movie; or Superpowerless, by Chris Priestley. 

      It is recommended to readers who enjoy works by Margaret Atwood, Lionel Shriver, Maggie O’Farrell, Donna Target, Jonathan Franzen, or Anne Tyler.
      I was very taken by the gorgeous cover, and I can confirm that that bright explosion of colour is even more beautiful in real life!

      Look out for my review of it nearer the publication date of 1st June 2017!
      So, that was the contents of my mailbox this week, what about yours?

      Hugs, 

      Crafty, xx