Bookish Merch, For the home, Products I love!!

Top Bookstagram Props

Kiss of Deception The Remnant Chronicles ReviewShopping for props and putting together photos for Instagram (Bookstagram) is so much fun. But sometimes finding just the right prop can be a challenge so I have created a list of some of my favorites! Almost all of the items below I have personally ordered and used and I will continue to add more as I find new and wonderful products.

Crowns:

I use the crowns ALL the time in my Bookstagram photos! I love the sparkle that they add to pictures, but can still be used in darker themes.

Click on the below photos to shop for these crowns and more!

Backgrounds:

I change out my background every few months. I have tried several different options but have found its worth spending a few extra dollars for a nice matte backdrop. I tried a few stick on options or cheaper plastic options and they either did not last of caused terrible lighting glares that made editing a nightmare.

This is the current background that I am using in my photos, I highly recommend it and will be purchasing in a darker color for fall/winter here soon!

Swords/Daggers:

Swords and daggers make such a fun throw in for photos, especially for someone like me who reads a ton of fantasy where main characters are often warriors or assassins. They can also be used to add an extra edge to creepy photo styles.

Flowers:

Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan Book ReviewFlowers are a wonderful way to fill up blank place in photo set ups and they tend to add such a great touch! I usually pick up flowers from my local hobby store for a few dollars a stem.

You can use flowers or foliage to enhance any theme set up, it does not have to be a “fluffy” set up to include them. I like to use muted or darker colored flowers to accent my darker aesthetic photos and then use bright white flowers for my lighter themes. I have also seen some folks do amazing rainbow themes with their flowers.

Scarves:

I use scarves in the background of TONS of my photos to break up the wood color and add another layer to the photo. I personally have a ton of scarves that I wear throughout the year so I really enjoy being able to leverage my collection for photos as well.

Fun Accessories:

I am always on the hunt for unique accessories to fill spaces in my photos, I personally can not stand having a lot of open space. I have included links to a few of my favorite items that I have picked up (just click on the pics below).

You can also add layers to your photos using folded old books, book pages, or rolled pages. I have picked up a couple of old dingy books from the dollar or resale shops to re-purpose.

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Storm Crow Book Review

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Overall Rating: **

Reading Rate: **

Romance: **

Release Date: July 9, 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

I received an ARC of The Storm Crow in a Fairyloot box and was very excited to read it. I was really sad when I had a very hard time getting through this book. It took me several weeks of picking up and putting back down to finish, which is very unusual for me. The book kicks off with the Illucian Empire invading and easily destroying all of Rhodaire’s rookeries and crows.

To start I just felt the situation that the book was based on should never have happened and after it was hard for me to keep going with the story line. In response to the tragedy instead of stepping up to help her country the Princess goes into a depression. I think too many books are based on women that start out weak and broken, and while I understand that they are trying to convey what people really go through the trope has just been overdone for me, and it didn’t add to this book in my opinion.

The book started to pick up towards the middle. Thia’s personality begins to develop when she finds the Storm Crow egg and begins great banter with the Illucian prince. I was getting excited for the how to book would develop and end when they introduced another guy into the mix…and we all know how I feel about Triangles at this point (tear laugh face).

What I liked:

  • What is not to love about magical crows that you can ride!!
  • I like the way the author set up the world and the differences and strained relationships between the nations. I enjoyed learning about the different cultures she built out and was eager to learn more as the story developed.

What I didn’t like:

  • There were some holes in the concept of the magical crows and the fact that only one country had them and needed them to survive.
  • The “major events” that  occurred in the book only occurred because lack of caution and preparation, this was very hard for me to get over.
  • I have a hard time with characters that are constantly down on themselves and continually take strong side characters for granted. This is just my personal preference but it did make the book harder to get through for me.
  • I think the romance story line was on a great track with an enemies to lovers with the Illucian prince but then took a U-Turn with the introduction of the inventor.

I originally I had this book at three stars, but when I came back to it and started thinking about all of the elements I took issue with I had to lower it to two. The way the book ended means there will be more to this series. While I didn’t feel the usual urge of needing to know what happens next I will most likely give the second book a try to see if the series picks up any before deciding to DNF. I cant say I would recommend anyone to run out and buy this book, more of a wait and see what happens with the series first.

Synopsis:

Eragon meets And I Darken in this thrilling new fantasy debut that follows a fallen princess as she ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them. 

Have you read The Storm Crow? Tell me what you thought in the comments below!

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

The Bargainer Series Book Review

The Bargainer Series by Laura Thalassa Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

Romance: *****

Reading Rate: *****

I blew through this entire series in about 3.5-4 days and then immediately started searching for anything else by Laura Thalassa  that I could get my hands on.

To start this is definitely an adult book with quite a bit of smut and language. The main character “Calli” is a Siren, and I love how dark her character is. I feel a lot of stories start with this pure broken female lead and while she certainly had her demons, she was also a bit of one herself. I cant even with the Bargainer… just “sigh”… he is terrible and I love it!

The first book toggles back and forth from Calli’s present day interactions with Des the Bargainer and her teenage interactions with him. I was a little concerned with the age dynamic early on in the books thinking it was about to go down a road I was not comfortable with, but stick with it and I feel things were pretty quickly cleared up.

There are three books and a novella in the series:

  1. Rhapsodic (The Bargainer) (Volume 1) 
  2. A Strange Hymn
  3. Dark Harmony 
  4. Emperor of the Evening Starts (2.5/Novella)

I really wanted to give this series 5 stars because I enjoyed it so much, but it is not a story for everyone and does have the cliche romance element. If you were a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, I think you would really enjoy this series as well.

Rhapsodic Synopsis:

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear. Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects. But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more. For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken. If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

Have you read this series? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

– Megan

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

A Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein Book Review

Overall Rating: ****

A Pack of Blood and Lies was a fast paced read that pulls you right it, no struggling to get hooked here! You are left wondering what will happen to Ness next from the get go as her Werewolf family comes to force her back to Colorado after the passing of her mother. Ness has all the makings of the fierce female lead set out to avenge her family and teach the backwards pack a lesson, but her reckless streak lands her in more trouble than she started out with…. Thankfully the steamy Liam always seems to be there to save the day. Yes, it’s a little cliché but has all the juicy tidbits that keep you coming back for more along with a few twists and turns you don’t see coming. I do wish more detailed physical descriptions of characters was provided up front. Its left to the imagination in the beginning so my mind formed its own descriptions to find out later in the story that person appeared differently. This story wraps up just enough to leave you satisfied but ready to dive into the next installment. I would have started reading to sequel right away!

Official Synopsis:

The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane–son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.

A Pack of Blood and Lies does not release until April 30th but is available for pre-order now!

Thank you to NetGalley and Twig Publishing for the opportunity to review this ARC for my honest opinion.