UnBoxing & Interview: My Chronicle Book Box.

UnBoxing & Interview: My Chronicle Book Box.

Hello readers!  It’s Sunday afternoon here in Ireland and boy do I have a treat in store for you.  For this weeks blog post, not only will I be unboxing November’s My Chronicle Book Box, which is one Hell of a box by the way, but I will also be featuring an interview with the creator of and force behind the book box, the lovely Louise.  So, make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy….

mcbb-nov-2This month’s box features not one, not two, but THREE books, two of which are hardbacks.  First up and with a truly drool worthy cover, we have The Corset by Laura Purcell:  Dorothea and Ruth.  Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.  Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.
When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted to have the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.  The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption.  Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer? 

Next, we have Believe me by J.P.Delaney:  Claire Wright likes to play other people.
A British drama student, in New York without a green card, Claire takes the only job she can get: working for a firm of divorce lawyers, posing as an easy pick-up in hotel bars to entrap straying husbands.  When one of her targets becomes the subject of a murder investigation, the police ask Claire to use her acting skills to help lure their suspect into a confession. But right from the start, she has doubts about the part she’s being asked to play. Is Patrick Fogler really a killer . . . Or the only decent husband she’s ever met? And is there more to this set-up than she’s being told?  And that’s when Claire realises she’s playing the deadliest role of her life . . .

Last, but not least, we have Cold Breath by Quentin Blake:  Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head.  Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together – too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man’s past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience – or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.  Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.

As if this wasn’t good enough, we get a signed book plate from two of the authors (Laura Purcell and Quentin Blake) to make them extra special.  All three of these books are right up my street and are perfect for curling up with under a warm blanket and getting lost between the pages.  I love nothing better than a good crime thriller during a cold winter’s day, what about you?

MCBB Nov 5Along with these gorgeous books, there is a whole host of specially selected bookish goodies.  First up, there is this fabulous Phrenology print inspired by one of the featured books, The Corset by Laura Purcell.  I have a bit of an obsession with all things Victorian so this one will be going right on my wall. 

Next, we have a divine smelling candle by Bookworm Candles and Crafts called ‘Cosy Winter Reads.’  Perfect to set that cosy reading atmosphere, this candle smells and looks beautiful.  Finally we have two bookmarks- first a set of Murder Mystery page markers by That Company Called IF.  Each one features a crime based image, with my personal favourite being the chalk body outline!  Second, we have a cute little 2019 crime themed calendar bookmark, perfect for keeping track of the days lost in reading.

This is the second My Chronicle Book Box I have received and it’s even better than the last one.  It is so evident the amount of care and thought put into every one, from the way each book is individually wrapped, to the wax sealed letter, to the beautiful items themselves, I am seriously impressed.  I have got a lot of book boxes over the years and this one truly is exceptional.  Check them out now and use my discount code MIRRORS10 for 10% off now…trust me, you won’t regret it.

So who is the incredible woman behind this amazing book box?  I had the pleasure of getting to know Louise while we have been collaborating and the more I got to know her, the more impressed and inspired I was…she is basically superwoman!  She has been kind enough to let me interview her for this blog post, so you could get to know her too….

mcbb-interview.jpgTell us about the MCBB team.

Primarily the MCBB team is well… me! I do get a lot of help and support from my wonderful husband whose many talents extend to website design and the technical side of operating our business/website.  I recently resigned from my sensible, secure job in accountancy to concentrate on My Chronicle Book Box and I spend my days selecting books, liaising with wonderful publishers, authors and suppliers, wrapping books, packing boxes, and taking care of my three childre

What inspired you to start My Chronicle Book Box?

I am a devoted book lover and spent much of my spare time reading and reviewing a wide variety of books. I loved the whole idea of book subscriptions and helping others discover new books and authors. I watched and read about many unboxings on social media and yet I never subscribed to one. I got to wondering why not and realised that most of the unboxings I had seen were focused on young adult fiction and that many of the subscriptions available were not focused on my favourite genres. The majority of the books on my bookshelves are crime novels or science fiction and fantasy based, or a diabolical combination of the two!

From the nebulous idea that I would like a book box tailored to my own interests the idea for My Chronicle Book Box grew. I began thinking about what I would like in my own book box and through chatting with friends and family I found I was not the only one who would like to buy such a subscription box for themselves or as gifts for others.

Add to that a long-held desire to run my own business and here we are!

What makes it different to other subscription boxes?

There are a few things that give our box its own character and set us apart from some of the other subscription boxes. We only include the latest releases and every box has author exclusives such as signed books, signed book plates, interviews and letters making the boxes extra special.

I like to give the boxes a personal touch each containing a personalised letter and envelope sealed with a wax seal which we stamp ourselves. I also gift wrap every book that goes into the subscription boxes and take great care on the packing so that every box is like receiving a gift.

The genres we offer set us apart from other boxes too, you can choose between crime & mystery and sci-fi & fantasy (my favourites!).

How do you decide what books and bookish goodies to include in your boxes?

This is a crazy juggling act and really, really difficult! There are so many great books and bookish goodies out there all of which I would love to include 😊

I spend a lot of time reviewing publisher schedules, reading ARCs, finding out author availability, drinking tea, chatting with book-loving friends, reading book blogs and keeping up with industry news to identify trends and possible book choices.

Then I have to consider what combination of books will work together, what will physically fit in the box, the budget (unfortunately), the time frame needed by suppliers, etc, etc…

I do have a few guiding principles for my choices:

  1. I read all the books that go into the boxes before making the final decision.
  2. The books have to be new releases preferably in the 3 months prior to be boxes shipping which reduces the risk of subscribers having already read the books.
  3. The books also must be standalone, I don’t want to include books that would require our subscribers to go and read previous books in order to enjoy the book they receive from us.
  4. In terms of goodies I like them to add to the reading experience and I like to include things that tie in to the selected books and/or the genre of the boxes whenever I can.

Speaking of which, if authors and businesses wanted to be in your awesome box, can they approach you?

Absolutely! Authors, designers, makers and suppliers are always welcome to drop us an email at contact@mychroniclebookbox.comor contact us via social media letting us know what they can offer or suggesting how we could collaborate.

What’s next for MCBB?

We have grown a lot in the last year or so and as I say I am now focussing on the business full time (or as full time as three young children allows!). This should allow me to share my love of books and reading with more and more subscribers while maintaining the charm and personal touch of our boxes.

I’m also planning more single purchase special boxes celebrating books, authors and series that we are already in love with by commissioning special items to accompany new releases. Our A Discovery of Witches special edition book box was the first of this kind and went down a storm – we had to curate a second batch it proved so popular!

 

 

 

Unboxing: October’s Monster themed Wildest Dreams book box.

Unboxing: October’s Monster themed Wildest Dreams book box.

wdboxoctAutumn is finally here…the temperature is slowly creeping down, the trees are shedding amber coloured leaves and Halloween is nearly here.  To honour one of my favourite months of the year, Wildest Dreams book box have given their October box a spooktacular theme- We are Monsters.  So what does this monster edition of the book box contain?  Let’s check it out…

First and foremost, we have this month’s book and it would be an understatement to say I am particularly excited about this one.  The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke sounds like a dark and suspenseful tale:
Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are Boneless Mercies – death-traders, hired to kill quickly, wdboxoct4quietly and mercifully. It is a job for women, and women only. Men will not do this sad, dark work.
 
Frey has no family, no home, no fortune, and yet her blood sings a song of glory. So when she hears of a monster slaughtering men, women, and children in a northern jarldom, she decides this the Mercies’ one chance to change their fate.  

But glory comes at a price …

wdboxoct3Now that sounds like my kind of Young Adult novel and has been placed high up on my ever growing to be read pile…a perfect October pick.  But along side the books in these boxes, there is always an epic selection of bookish goodies as well and this month is no exception.  Alongside this twisted tale, there is a Vampire Diaries inspired bath bomb courtesy of Pretty Suds.  The bath bomb contains patchouli, vanilla, notes of rose absolute, orange and jasmine and it smells divine!  According to the label, releasing it into my bath will unleash the darkest of souls so I am very excited to see what happens when I plonk it in my bath!  Keep an eye out on my Instagram for a video and picture of the results!

Next, we have another delicious blend of tea by Rosie Lea Teas.  The ‘It’s a Monster’s World tea’ inspired by ‘This Savage Song’ is a caramelised pumpkin tea…yes you read that right.  As I sit watching the trees blow in the wind outside surrounded by flickering candles and the smiling faces of my pumpkins and other Halloween decorations, I literally cannot think of anything more perfect to drink!

But it doesn’t stop there my ghoulish guys and gals…there is also a bloody syringe pen, wdboxoct2perfect for writing down a tale of horror or for simply writing your shopping list (don’t forget the sweets for the trick or treaters) and as a little extra surprise, my very own Halloween tricky treat in the form of a pair of candy eye balls!  They did not last long after I photographed them and they were yummy!  Thanks guys!

Overall, this is by far my favourite box from Wildest Dreams…every item screams Halloween (one of my favourite times of year) and I am super excited for the book.  My rep period with this company will be coming to an end shortly and I am genuinely gutted!  With all honesty, each box has been a wonderful gift to receive through the mail.  If you are looking for a book subscription box, I really recommend this one!  They are well chosen, nicely packaged, great value for money and a joy to open each month!  Thank you for having me guys- you rock!!

Fox & Wit Book Box: Unboxing and Review.

Fox & Wit Book Box: Unboxing and Review.

Hello readers!  I hope you have had an awesome weekend.  Mine has involved a lot of playing around with my daughter during the day and negotiations with her regarding sleep and the necessity of it in the evenings.  I am tired and a little frazzled, but I simply had to shake it off and post the amazing book mail I received yesterday morning…this month’s Fox and Wit book box.  I am always excited to get book mail of any kind, but after last month’s fabulous box, I was particularly looking forward to receiving this one and I was not disappointed.  So let’s take a look at what is inside shall we?

fox wit 3a

First of all, can we take a moment to just take this all in?  Every item is just so amazing!  First of all, we have this badass travel cup and wooden bookmark both featuring this adorable Lord of The Rings illustration.  Featuring Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins alongside a quotation from The Hobbit, “The World is not in your books and maps, it’s out there.”  The fact that this features on a travel mug is too perfect, right?  I am 100% taking some hot tea on my next adventure and I love wooden book marks, so both of these items make me very happy.

fox wit 2aNext up, we have this gorgeous notebook.  The illustration features maps from our favourite fictional lands, like Neverland and Middle Earth.  I love the colours, don’t you?  Mary, the person behind Fox and Wit is a very talented artist and I just love her work.  There is also this adorable Hobbiton luggage tag which was immediately placed on my suitcase for future use.  I love it when Bookish merchandise is both beautiful and practical.

There is also the most beautiful smelling incense, which came with this adorable Peter fox wit 1APan illustrated packaging.  During my last unboxing I mentioned how perfect these labels are for bookmarks and in fact after burning the incense from my previous box, I began using the labels for just that.  I have received the second in my collectable cards, an addition to the box I really enjoy and last but not least there is this gorgeous enamel pin badge reading, “The Mountains Call Me.”  I love enamel pins and have an ever growing collection, of which this will become a new and wonderful edition!

Don’t forget, if you love the bix as much as me and fancy grabbing one if yoyr own, you can use my rep code MARIE10 for 10% off!!

Wildest Dreams Book Box: Unboxing and review of a Comic Lover’s Dream.

Wildest Dreams Book Box: Unboxing and review of a Comic Lover’s Dream.

For todays blog post I am super excited to unbox and review August’s Wildest Dreams book box.  I was privileged to become an official Wildest Dreams rep and this is the first box I have received as part of my rep period and I cannot tell you how excited I am!  This month’s theme is ‘Comic Legends.’  I love a good comic book film, so I am intrigued to find out what’s inside, and if you like it as much as me and fancy grabbing your very own box, you can use my discount code MARIE!% for 15% off!

WDbox 1First up, the featured book is ‘Catwoman: Soulstealer‘ by Sarah.J.Maas:

When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.

I always love a book where the protagonist is an anti-hero or flat out villain, so I am excited to read this.  I have also never read a comic book character novel, but I always like to be pushed out of my comfort zone and so, I am interested to see what it’s like.

WDbox 2Along with this book, there are a few bookish goodies.  First up, is a set of four comic themed candles by Taken Moons.  Candles are one of my absolute favourite things to find inside a book box so to find FOUR makes me very happy, plus they smell like heaven!!  There are four distinct scents: ‘Warbringer’ a Wonderwoman inspired candle scented with desert breeze, ‘Nighwalker’ a Batman inspired candle scented with jasmine, ‘Soulstealer’ a Catwoman inspired candle scented with cherry chocolate (and good enough to eat) and finally ‘Dawnbreaker’ a Superman inspired candle scented with sandalwood.  I wish that it was possible to embed scent on a blog post, because they smell delicious.  I also love glitter and sparkle so I just love these!

Along with the candles, I have received a bag of Gotham City tea by the fabulous Rosie Lea Tea company.  I have collaborated with this wonderful company before on a giveaway, so I am super excited to taste this tea, especially when I find out the flavour: blackcurrant balanced with Sri Lankan black tea and hints of vanilla!  Can anyone else say yum?  You even get some tea bags to use with the loose teas should you not own a diffuser, which I really appreciate!

Finally, to match with the badass Catwoman book, I have received a badass Catwoman bookmark featuring that awesome tag line, “When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play.”  I look forward to using it to mark the pages when I read the book (because dog-earing is a sin!! lol).

So that’s the box and I really love it!  I plan on burning my candles and putting my feet up with a sumptuous cup of Blackcurrant tea and my Catwoman book (keep an eye out for the review down the line).  As I said before, if you like the box and fancy grabbing your own, you can use my discount code MARIE15 for 15% off.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to keep up to date with my latest posts and if you like my photos, head over to Instagram and follow me for more (my handle is @mariemcwilliamsauthor).  Thanks for reading guys and have a great week!!

 

The Crowns of Croswald: Magical Book Box Unboxing & Giveaway.

crowns croswald 1

Hello Readers, I hope you are having a great week!  For today’s blog post, I was privileged enough to receive a Crowns of Croswald magical book box from the author herself, D.E.Night and I thought I would unbox it for you and reveal the magic inside.  Each box contains a SIGNED copy of Crowns of Croswald, which makes me very happy!  There is nothing more exciting than a signed book to us bookworms.  So what’s the book about?

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

Sounds great right?  I am super excited to read it, so keep your eyes peeled for a review down the line.  Along with the book, there is a truly magical artefact called the Glanagerie bottle.  I imagine this beauty plays quite an important role within the book and I cannot wait to find out how.  The best part about it?  It actually glows!  Yes this beautiful bottle lights up.  Along with the bottle, there is an explanation, a set of instructions if you will, about the bottle and its contents.  I won’t spoil it for you here, but needless to say it is the stuff of magic!  Along with these items you also receive a stunning print and a letter from the author themselves, both of which are just beautiful.  On a random side note, I am so impressed with the packaging for this box.  The Box itself is designed to look like it is made of sark wood and has old books along each side and the tissue paper your items come wrapped in is a newspaper cover featuring further clues about the book and the magical world in which its set.  I don’t mean to sound super old here, but I really appreciate the attention to detail with them and it genuinely helps immerse you in Croswald.  All in all this is a stunning box and one I really recommend to anyone interested in Fantasy fiction.

But I haven’t even got to the best bit yet…you could WIN your very own Crowns of Croswald box!  That’s right, you can get your hands on a signed copy of the book along with the other bookish goodies!  Just head to my Instagram to enter.  The Giveaway ends on the 10th of August- Good luck!!

‘Fox & Wit’ Bookish Subscription Box: Official Unboxing.

‘Fox & Wit’ Bookish Subscription Box: Official Unboxing.

Hello readers!  I am so sorry I have not posted in a while, but life and all of its complications has been keeping me on my toes lately.  Between work, family, writing and bookstagramming, I am performing quite the juggling act, but I am hoping to begin posting more regularly, hopefully around once per week.  I have some awesome artist’s collaborations coming up soon, as well as some posts about writing and bookstagramming, so keep an eye out.  If you are on Instagram, why not follow me @mariemcwilliamsauthor?

For this evenings post, I will be unboxing Fox and Wit’s July box.  If you are unfamiliar with Fox and Wit, it is an amazing shop filled with bookish goodies, perfect for every book lover out there.  As well as selling individual items such as stationary, enamel pins and incense, they also sell a monthly subscription service.  Each month’s box centres around a theme and contains six to seven book related goodies.  I discovered them on Instagram and fell madly in love with the designs.  This month’s theme is fantastic and it is ‘Wanderlust.’  Let’s see what it contains…

fox wit 2

First up, there is this gorgeous custom Dragons of Nova print, designed by the incredibly talented Lesya Blackbird designs.  I am loving this so much, it is honestly badass.  I have had a sneaky look on Lesya’s Instagram page and she is insanely talented- I encourage foxandwit3you to do the same.  The box even comes with this little wooden easel style set stand so I can display it.  Next, there is this amazing book journal, which instead of simply blank or lined pages, contains customised pages with things such as space for your ‘To be read’ list and a place to write all of your favourite quotes.  I just love the quote on the cover, don’t you?  And the design around it is just awesome.  Thefoxandwit4 very talented people who run Fox and Wit believe in providing practical as well as beautifully designed bookish goodies, and they don’t disappoint with this month’s box.  There is a Six of Crows themed coaster designed by Silketara.  I adore these little illustrations, so I am very pleased there is also a character card (I got Rhysand) designed by her as well.  You can collect all of them now!  There is some amazing smelling incense which came with two illustrated cards- they will make perfect bookmarks.  I even have a book of matches to light the incense.  This box has Kes and Inej from the Grishaverse on it and was designed by Tara Spruit.

fox wit 1

But I have saved the best until last…There is an absolutely stunning Nevernight themed cut out, designed by the extremely talented Mary Nguyen.  I am genuinely so in love with this and I will 100% be framing this and hanging it on my office wall.  It is utter perfection!  Along the top of the cut out, it reads, ‘Never flinch, Never fear, Never forget.’  Honestly Mary, this is so divine.

Well that’s July’s box, and what a box it is!  I am so grateful to be a rep for this amazing company and as such, I am able to offer 10% discount to all of my wonderful followers and readers…just use discount code MARIE10 at the checkout.