Books

Moon List: WWII Books

Welcome to the very first ever Moon List.

In this edition I will be listing books on WWII. All of the books listed here have been read by me unless otherwise stated. This list will include title, author, a link to purchase on Amazon (if I own the book, a picture taken by myself), and maybe an extra fact about it if I have one available.

Please note they are in no specific order. An asterisk will be added to those I consider unmissable. Feel free to ask about any of them (or about WWII in general).

The Most Common Ones

Here are the usual recommendations I get when asking for WWII books (I’m going to gloss over these since they are quite popular and there is a LOT of information on them and some have films/docummentaries too).

Young Adult/New Adult

There is a surprisingly good amount of fiction about WWII (and the Great War, but I will cover that on the next list) for readers that aren’t adults and most of these books are amazing at telling stories during such a difficult time.

A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian

This is by the same author of Goodnight Mister Tom. She has a few more books regarding WWII but this little gem stayed in my heart. The story is mostly told not on the battlefield but about those that stayed behind, specially young girls and how they had to be sent away to be kept safe. There is a bookstore involved if my memory doesn’t fail me. Very sweet, quite endearing, easy read. You can buy from Amazon here.

Codename Verity by Elizabeth Wein*

20170918_190856.jpg

This is a story of friendship, of women, of being a prisoner of war, and of course, pilots. It is not exactly the happiest story but the writing is powerful and gripping. A must read that you can buy from Amazon here.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein*

This book alongside Shades of Grey (it is included further down the list) were the ones that opened a world of WWII YA fiction to me that I didn’t know existed. It also helped me find out a lot more about concentration camps and start learning more about Ravensbruck and the Rabbits. You can buy this from Amazon here.

Cross my Heart by Carmen Reid

20170918_190937.jpg

I admit I have not read this one yet but it is in my TBR list and I have heard great things about it. You can find on Amazon here.

The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner

A strange one in the mix and probably my least favourite one of the ones included, it is set in Britain and touches on cinematics and film alongside happenings during WWII. Very difficult to describe withoutgiving a lot away, so you can buy it here.

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys*

20170918_190838

This was my first WWII YA fiction book, and I remember going to the bookstore and asking for it and the lovely assistant asked me if I really wanted this one or maybe I was looking for ’50 Shades of Grey’. You can’t compare the two at all. This is about surviving being deported and thrown into a train alongside your mother and brother during WWII. Ruta Sepetys has a magical way of writing even if it is quite raw and can be sometimes brutal but there is such beauty in it, it goes into the must read list. Buy it on Amazon here.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys*

The story is told through the eyes of four different people and it tells their journey to get to the Wilhelm Gustloff. The ship was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board, so this is based on truth and it makes the sinking of the Titanic  a banal thing. A must read again you can buy here.

A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson

This one surprised me. The writing is like a fairytale and it tells you the story of a young woman who wants to teach and how she moves from England to Austria to an experimental school. There she helps with the children and meets a young man who intrigues her. Yes, this sounds more like a non war story but trust me it gets quite interesting as the story progresses and Hitler’s troops advance through Austria. You can find it here.

The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson

When Hitler’s forces invade, Ruth’s family flees to London, but she is unable to get a passport. Quin, a young professor and friend of the family, visits Ruth and, in an effort to bring her back to London, he offers a marriage of convenience.This becomes quite interesting and get convoluted as time goes by, once again it is not just a romance story but history. You can find it here.

The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson

Sent to boarding school in London to avoid the war, Tally isn’t very happy. But this is a story about friendship and endurance. You can buy it here on Amazon.

A Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman*

Gretchen has a secret she doesn’t know is secret. She is Hitler’s ‘niece’ and dotted on by him, until an anonymous letter makes her start to question everything. You can find it here.

A Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman*

Continuation of A Prisoner of Night and Fog, Greatchen has to decide fi she will go back to Germany and break her rules to save Daniel and clear his name. Don’t miss out on it and buy it here.

Adult Fiction

My choices for adult fiction are less cheerful and deal more on how adults took and reacted to the war. They may be in a way less heroic stories but are equally gripping and interesting.

Meet Me Under the Clock by Anne Murray*

This is my favourite one of her books but she has so many set around WWII, that half of the list would be only about them. Instead, I will tell you about the sisters that are making an effort to move through the hard times of WWII at the home front and how each copes with the changes and makes her own effort to contribute. You can find it here.

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

This is a story where little things have huge after effects in a subtle way. See what a little kindness can do during WWII. You can buy a copy here.

Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow

An interesting story telling us about Mary, a nursing sister at Lancashire prison camp for the housing and treatment of German POWs. It follows her, and her family alongside one of the German POWs and how life was at the home front. This is a series but can be read as a standalone and you can buy it here.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

A tragic story of good intentions and set in two different times, the past and the present. (There is a film for this one, or you can buy the book here).

Spitfire Girl by Lily Baxter

20170918_190846

This one has been on my TBR for a little bit and it is about Susan who dreams of flying and helping her country. Of course I like planes, so it was a must. You can find a copy here.

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

This kinda shouldn’t be here but at the same time it should. It spans the years between WWI and WWII and follows the story of a young poet and a soldier as they exchange letters while the war wages. You can find a copy here.

Non Fiction

Most of my non fiction is based on Aircraft, specifically the Lancaster Bomber. I promise there is a good reason for that and it will be revelead soon enough on one of the “Meet the Character” posts. Meanwhile, enjoy some interesting non fiction.

My Dear Bessie: A Love Story in Letters by Chris Baker

This doesn’t need much of an explanation, the title says it all. It is a moving read. You can buy it here on Amazon.

Odette by Jerrard Tickell

During some of the darkest days of the Second World War, a young Frenchwoman living as a mother and housewife in England left her ordinary life to become a British agent, working covertly in France to aid the Resistance. This is her story, and you can buy a copy here.

If This is a Woman by Sara Helm*

20170918_190904.jpg

Of all the non aircraft related non fiction books featured on this list, this is my favourite one. Sara does an amazing job at showing how Ravensbruck and concentration camps came to be and how life was there. This is a tough read because of the topic, but the writing is good. I took this one slowly but it is a must read. You can buy it here from Amazon.

The Female Few: Spitfire Heroines of the Air Transport Auxiliary by Jacky Hyams*

Through the darkest days of the Second World War, an elite group of courageous civilian women risked their lives as aerial courier pilots, flying Lancaster bombers, Spitfires and many other powerful war machines in thousands of perilous missions. Very interesting information here.

The Lancaster at War: Books 1 to 5 by Mike Garbett and Brian Goulding

20170918_190652.jpg

A compilation of books on the Lancaster Bomber. Absolutely worth it. You can it here.

The next few are ones I’d recommend but since they are non fiction and cater to specific interests, will only add title and link to the book.

Famous Bombers of the Second World War by William Green

20170918_190709.jpg

There are also other alongside the series likie Fighters instead of Bombers. You can find it here.

The Secret Life Of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay

20170918_190829.jpg

I am always interested in code breaking and cyphers so Bletchley Park should definitely feature here. I have loads of books about it on my wishlist but this is the one I actually own. You can find it here.

Handbook of Great Aircraft of WWII by Alfred Price and Mike Spick

20170918_191002.jpg

One of the most illustrated and easy to digest handbooks for aircraft of WWII I could find (as you may notice this is not the only one I have but it is the easier to approach and learn from if you’re not as crazy about the topic as I am). You can find it here.

Blooper Book

20170918_190949.jpg

This little guide is an original I found on an antique bookshop so I don’t expect you to want this one, but I found it interesting and have added it to my collection. There also some Penguin original editions still making the rounds through odd bookshops (manuals for pilots, ration books, etc). It is interesting and amusing to see how they tried to get the soldiers ready for the continent and being in France.

Set during WWII and mention it but aren’t specifically about it

  • The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
  • Narnia books by C.S. Lewis

This last part of the list may get expanded on as my mind remembers books that fit this category.

And I admit that as I wrote this list, more and more books came to mind. Some I only remember a tiny bit of the story or the feeling that reading the book gave me, so I did use synopsis from Amazon/GoodReads to help me out. Others I remembered but didn’t want to give much away. Still, I hope you find a lot to read here and a lot that you hadn’t heard about before.

Disclaimer: There are Amazon Associates links, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. All these books are recommended solely because of my own research and looking into the topic.

Books, Subscription Boxes

September’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Leafer Box

Since I was very happy with Leafer Box last month, I messaged them and asked if there was a way to bundle up the Sci-fi and Fantasy boxes into one. Skip one of the chocolates (since technically each box comes with chocolate) and if there are ever repeat items between boxes, skip those too. I also really liked their logo sticker so I asked if they would kindly send some so I could use them to decorate my drawing clipboard and/or laptop, and they did!

Also, drum roll please, after promoting them unofficially, I am now an official rep for LeaferBox which absolutely made my day once we agreed on it. (They are quite small so there was no rep search but I have seriously been recommending them after being impressed with the boxes).

20170914_132851

So the contents of my mixed box are as follows (I tried to leave Fantasy in one side and Sci-Fi on the other but it is also a mix so there you go). Starting on top left corner with the book.

  • The Fantasy box book was A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall. It has a female main character and sounds like a great read that I will probably want to read quicker than is humanly possible.
  • A bath bomb that smells delicious (I have yet to try it but oh, scented items just make my day, specially bath bombs and bubble bars/bombs).
  • Thorntons Classic Selection chocolates which I have been enjoying at work to make the time go by.
  • The Sci-Fi book, The Echo by James Smythe. Space adventures and once again, sounds quite interesting.
  • In the little bag there are some space stickers (I didn’t take them out because they are small and I was dying to have the chocolates so wanted to take picture quick. This seems to be a repeating thing with this box).
  • Super cute and adorable and I am dying to use them and just look gorgeous on my desk Earth sticky notes.
  • A small sampler of Ginger Green tea which I am happy to try soon.
  • A sword and gem keyring, for a second I thought it was a letter opener and then realised it wasn’t but it is still cool. This is probably the only item I won’t actually use, and this is mostly because I have more keychains than keys currently so limiting the amount of them. But this one is quite cool.
  • 3 pens with galaxy/space decoration. My boyfriend ended snagging one so he could make notes about the power for one of his model airplanes and he liked it. I have yet to try them but they worked quickly and easily on top of several not ideal surfaces (why keep paper around when you can use scrap, right?)

Overall I was very happy with the box(es). Each box is almost half the price of most other subscription boxes (£12.99, shipping is not included but for UK is £2.99 , keeping still very affordable) and the only “downside” is that the book isn’t a super hyped YA read that is about to release or has only just been relased. I can live with that, since most of the time, by the time I get to those books they are not that new, woops (hey, I read Book Box Club books first and whatever my mood wants).

If you think this is the box for you and would like to give it a go, there is an even better pro: you can buy it any day of the month. To get September’s box, any day in September that you submit your order, you will get the September box, it can be the 1st, 12th, 26th or 30th and you will still be able to get it. They usually are quick to ship boxes and mine usually arrives next day or two days after shipping (not bad at all).

Are you convinced now? You can choose from Historical, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Chick-Lit, Comedy, Thriller or Surprise. And you can use code KESTREL10 for 10% off whatever you buy (1 month, 3 months, 6 months). Just remember this does not renew automatically so you have to visit their etsy page to buy the next one.

 

Book Review, Books

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy Review

Today I am going to review the complete opposite of my last book review, a children’s book.

Cover RFA

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy by Maxine Sylvester

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen. 
In this first exciting chapter in the ‘Ronaldo’ series, our hero is faced with his toughest flying test ever – The Endurance Challenge! 
Can Ronaldo triumph over mean bully, Dasher, and win the ‘Golden Wings’ medal? Spurred on by Rudi, his quirky, loyal best friend and with a belly full of his favourite carrot pancakes, Ronaldo takes on the challenge of his life! 

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

When I first saw this I hoped it wouldn’t be too much of a Christmas read, but decided to put that notion aside and give it a go. Oh boy was I wrong! This was a really cute read and my only complaints are a) there is no physical copy of this book available and b) I wish it was longer.

Of course, neither is actually a bad thing. The story is the right length for young readers (if I am not mistaken the target reader is 5-10 years old) and it is nicely broken up into little digestible chunks by illustratons of what you are reading. This brought a smile to my face as I was reading and made it even better. I think as a younger reader, the pictures in the book will encourage them to read it and not feel like it is a ‘boring book’.

35.looking like a Christmas tree.jpg

This is most certainly not a boring book and now I am curious what other adventures Ronaldo and his friends get into (also, I am ever so grateful I don’t have a knitting reindeer granpa).

As an extra thing that made me very happy, all the references to actual flight academies and flight training were good and my aicraft crazy self was like “look, this is the right term to use, oh that one is a good use for this situation, I like this”.

Moon recommends

I recommend this book for anyone young at heart (or in actual age). It is also a good read aloud book, with a lot of room for “voices” and fun sounds. It has a Christmas vibe but in truth can be read anytime (it did make me wish it was winter and I had a fire next to me and some hot chocolate).

If you are interested in reading this, it is currently available for Kindle on Amazon here.

Disclaimer: This book was provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have done. There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.

Art

Moon Draws: Book Box Club Bookmarks Pt. 1

So this month, Book Box Club is celebrating their first anniversary and while commenting on Maja’s instagram, the idea came of making a colouring bookmark for them. Of course, me being me, one colouring bookmark to celebrate the occasion became 12 bookmarks. Why not? This is the moment I have to tell myself that I already add so many details to any design I make, so 12 is not a good idea, but hey ho!

It took a bit of brainstorming with myself to decide what exactly I was going to do. I knew I wanted one bookmark per box and for it to match the theme of the box. But then, that is such a broad idea, so what else?

I dug out all my “theme cards” and suddenly the sparks came. I could not only base it on the theme, but make sure they were a very commemorative exclusive design. Add to the design kudos to items included in the box, or Easter Eggs regarding the book included.

And so, 12 designs were born. (Feel free to guess the book if you didn’t get the box or have fun finding the Easter Eggs if you did).

20170914_073001.jpg

You can see Enchanted Forest (September 2016), Freedom Squad (October 2016), Secrets & Sisterhood (November 2016), and Magic by Night (December 2016) above. Followed by Immortal Stories (January 2017), Troublemakers (February 2017), Time Travel (March 2017) and Belles & Beasts (April 2017).

20170914_073008.jpg

Finally, we have the last four designs: Wizards at War (May 2017), Schoolroom Scandals (June 2017), Spells & Remedies (July 2017) and Fearless Females (August 2017).

20170914_073016.jpg

So what do you think of the designs?

They are in the process of being inked digitally (Part 2 post will show more about how this went) and should be available soon. If you are interested in buying a set please let me know as they are an exclusive design and will only be available for a short period of time.

Subscription Boxes

Warbringer SpecialTea Bookish Tea Box

As you may know, I am a tea drinker. And not just have a cuppa now and then, but the kind of tea drinker that has a lot of loose leaf tins, pesters tea companies to help her find alternatives to tea bags or make their tea available (if you liked FairyLoot’s Warriors & Legends tea, look for Blend No. 66 here). And I am always looking out for new tea blenders and tea providers that care about their customers and specially about your tea.

This brings me to Zilan and Bookish Teas. She comes from a family that blends tea and has been blending tea since she was a child, and it shows, trust me. Every single one of her tea blends that I have tried has blown me away.

So today, I am unboxing one of her Bookish Tea Boxes, one inspired by Warbringer.

20170909_181143

As soon as I opened the box, the fragance of the teas welcomed me. Delicious as usual. The contents were:

  • 3 tea blends. Sisters in Battle (it was the one that had the most inviting smell and I couldn’t resist it, so I made a cup of tea almost as soon as I had unboxed it). Warbringer and Steve’s Gift. (I have yet to try this other two blends but they smell delicious).
  • Two delightful Warbringer pins by eachchronicles illustration.
  • A Themyscira lip balm by Behind The Pages.
  • A Wonder Woman bookmark with a lovely quote by wordsbyjasmine.
  • Themyscira bath salts by The Bookish Beauty Court (this made me very happy and I proudly boasted about them to my boyfriend).
  • A gorgeous illustration by LisyCorner showing Diana as a child and as Wonder Woman, it definitely catches your eye and makes you want to display it somewhere.

I admit I had actually missed out on getting this beforehand, or before first shipping, but once I saw an unboxing of it, I knew I had to have it and I do not regret this at all. Absolutely worth it.

 

 

Books

The Love Letters Review

The Love Letters featured in my favourite book(s) post, and it probably the hardest one to review properly, mostly because it is not YA and it is so much more an adult book than the rest of them.

20170804_170243

The Love Letters, by Madeleine L’Engle

Charlotte Napier has much to learn about herself, her faith, and her marriage. She flees to Portugal, desperately looking for comfort after the death of her son and, she thinks, her marriage. There she finds solace in the letters of a 17th century nun who struggled with temptation and sin. As Charlotte achieves a clearer focus on her own pain, she gains a powerful sense of the rigorous and demanding nature of real love.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I have to say the GoodReads synopsis doesn’t really make it justice. This was the first adult book I read from Madeleine L’Engle (she writes YA and adult fiction and also non-fiction), and it soon became a favourite.

This is not a everything is well and will be well book. It is almost three parallel stories (though two of them are technically the same story). The first is the main story, where Charlotte has flown to Portugal to try to meet with her mother-in-law and in a way with herself to figure out if her marriage is worth keeping, if it ever was worth it and unknowingly, to grieve the grief she hasn’t been allowed to feel over the loss of her son. Where she ends up staying, has the book of the letter of a nun (which actually exist) and she starts reading it to pass the time and distract herself.

The letters are followed by the second storyline, which follows the nun (Sister Mariana) as she moves from a ‘perfect nun life’ to falling in love with a soldier.

The third storyline is Charlotte’s again, but this time as she looks at her past and what made her be who she is and choose Patrick as her husband.

At first the stories don’t seem very related (young Charlotte goes on about her father, Christmas, life at boarding school, etc at first), but slowly the stories become one and there is beauty in all of them.

As young Charlotte struggles to define herself amongst all the changes and constant moves, the lack of stability and even her father’s moods; adult Charlotte reflects on her decisions and her marriage. Parallel to all of this is Mariana, falling helplessly in love (in a way an act of rebellion, showing that she is untouchable, and trying to justify her actions in so many ways) and then dealing with the aftermath. Poor Mariana never really thought it through, and asked herself what a soldier would want with a nun when he has a family waiting back home (or any woman, to be fair).

The Love Letters tackles exactly what the title says, love. It tackles love from a father, love from caretakers, love from a mother to her son, love between a husband and wife, love between sisters, all the different ways love can exist (and no, it is not only romantic love, but rather family, friends, others, romantic, lust, etc).

Moon recommends

If you are up for a read that will leave you feeling like love doesn’t have to fit the Hollywood script and it is a beautiful but messy thing, then please read this book. I’d just note that it is an adult book and as such tackles topics that a little hard to understand and even relate with as a teenager/young adult.If you’d rather read a Young Adult book that has a similar flavour, I’d recommend And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle, or any other of her books. She has such a marvellous way of writing.

If you’d like to buy the book, it is being reprinted as a paperback and released on the 19th of September here. [I have my mother’s 1980’s copy, I pleaded with her to gift it to me when I moved to the UK, since the book was out of print at the time, so it makes my heart skip a tiny beat to see it is being reprinted.]

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.

Books, Subscription Boxes

Otherworlds FairyLoot

One of the boxes I am on a “permanent” subscription is FairyLoot, and somehow I haven’t done an unboxing of any boxes yet, so here goes the first one.

20170825_192459.jpg

The theme of the box was Otherworlds which sounded quite interesting. Let’s see what was inside (starting from bottom left corner, going clockwise):

  • A Northern Lights print by Melissa Nettleship.
  • Underneath the print there are also two samplers, one for Blackwing and one for Godsgrave (I already have both samplers, and Blackwing is signed so this was a repeat but not complaining).
  • The book this month was Wicked like a Wildfireby Lana Popovic. It was already on my TBR list so this is a win in my eyes and isn’t it such a gorgeous cover?
  • A magnetic bookmark pairby Paperly and Co, there were 3 different pairs and I got Arwen and Aragorn (aren’t they cute?) which made me quite happy.
  • A Peter Pan inspired notebook by TJLubrano (in case you didn’t know, I really like her work so getting anything new from her will make me happy, though I do wish there were more mugs from her). Also, you can’t see it but on the inside it has a map on the back and a quote on the front. It’s really cute.
  • A Witchsoul candle by Book&Nook. I got Azareen but apparently there were 5 different smells.
  • A Westeros tea infuser in the shape of a sword. It looks really cool, but I have to say what I usually say, it is quite impractical. Getting the loose leaf tea out of it is tricky and you end up with bits and pieces stuck to it. Also, this would have been better if there had been some loose leaf tea included to match and use with it.
  • A Sarah J. Maas necklace by Oh Panda Eyes (you can see how big a fan I am just by how I wrote this description, woops. Thankfully I have a friend who loves her so she will be happy with the necklace). I don’t mind necklaces but I admit I prefer non text charms and if they are fandom related something more classic.
  • The FairyLoot postcard and the matching bookmark (I am still curious to see what the plan is for the collection of bookmarks).
  • A Blackwing temporary tattoo (I have so many left from YALC, so repeat but still okay, it’s extra stuff).
  • A sleep mask that says “Fictional Worlds fuel my dreams”. Fun item to have in a book box but I don’t really use sleep mask except to stop people from peeking when I do a piñata party and I have a fox mask and a cat mask to make for fun pictures of them trying to hit the piñata. This is too “conservative” for that, even if it is cute.

So, this wasn’t my favourite box but somehow August hasn’t been the best box month in general it seems. Still, book, candle, notebook and bookmarks made me happy.

On a wonderful note, FairyLoot for October will include two books and one is an exclusive cover edition. Sounds very exciting. (The interesting part is I am amost 100% sure I have an ARC for the book included for this box).

 

 

 

Save

Art

Meet the Character Series

Hi and welcome to a new series in my blog, Meet the Character.

As you may (or not) know, I am not only a reader, but I am also a creator and artist (and engineer but that one has not much to do here). And I have several characters that pop up in my drawings relatively frequently (some do more than others). If you follow me on Instagram you may already be familiar with some of them.

The idea behind this series is to give you a little of their story, and to let you know more about them.

This means that each Meet the Character post will include several of my sketches and illustrations that portray that particular character. There will also be some trivia information. For example, my character Moire (a Fasquee) was developed during my time at uni and has gone through several redesigns to get to her current name and design.

There may also be a palette included, and the inspiration behind the character. Maybe there will also be an explanation as to the particular times that character gets drawn or what usually prompts me to choose that particular character for a sketch. (Some characters I only draw when I am feeling in a certain way, some are my go to character to draw when I want to sketch, like Knit or Vixy/MoonKestrel logo fox).

To make this post a little less empty, I can make a short introduction to a “character”, my logo.

Meet the Character: The Flying Bean + Little Fox/Vixy

My first official watermark/logo was The Flying Bean. This started as a joke with a friend, where I was arguing that you could add wings to anything and make it look interesting/cool. You can guess what item they suggested… a bean. So I added some wings and flourishes and it became my logo.

ArtWatermark

Fun Fact: During the time this was my watermark, by coincidence I would place it on the character’s shoulder and it looked like a tattoo. To commemorate this, I have it as a tattoo on my shoulder.

I never really planned to change The Flying Bean, but one of my doodling sessions I doodled a sleeping fox and really liked it so I kept refining it until I reached the current logo I use a lot here (it is the one I use for my rating system and my banner).

Being associated with a fox is not new, and we would all draw me as a fox in any caricature we did during school (the earliest drawn record I have of me as a “fox” is from 2005-2006). During my time in uni I would draw short caricatures of friends and me and I started drawing Little Fox (that’s what it was called at the time).

d20dcf2fb7fa5ef43de3859b1a803d1f

Little Fox evolved to become Vixy (short of Vixen) and appear all over my sketchbooks as a quick way of materialising my feelings or ordering the chaos in my head.

20160908_115420_001.jpg

Then the logo came to life and somehow I knew it was me, and it was the perfect fit. The logo is a curled up sleeping fox that fits the concept of “Full Moon, Crescent Moon”, has a Vixy/Little Fox and my handle “Moon Kestrel”.

I turned it into a logo when I decided to take the plunge and buy an embosser by Ladd Designs (I have not regretted this at all, the embosser is a magical tool, perfect for books, stickers and any other idea that comes to mind). The original logo was all in Black, and there was a lot of changing the thickness of the lines and figuring the right way to make the design work well with the embosser. I now use it in a tone of orange or a light grey.

MoonKestrel Logo2 - Orange

So there you have it, an introductory Meet the Character.  Hope you enjoyed it.

The next installment will introduce you to the Wig Bag Trio.

Disclaimer: All of the artwork belongs to me and has been created by myself unless otherwise stated. Ladd Designs have not paid me to promote them and I do not benefit from this in any way (unless you’d like me to design your logo for your embosser/stamp/wax seal).

Books, Subscription Boxes

August Fantasy Leafer Box

After receiving the Sci-fi LeaferBox, I couldn’t resist but decide to also get the Fantasy one (when I decided to try it, I struggled to decide between the two of them) and once again I wasn’t disappointed.

I should add a note here saying that there was no having to wait to subscribe or buy it or anything, as long as you are still purchasing it during the month you want, you will get that month’s box, so I was able to get both and try one first without issue.

Apparently the only boxes that get a theme (for now) are the Fantasy and Historical boxes, so the theme for this box was Mermaids.

20170825_191330

The box was definitely true to the theme, even in the chocolate included, so without further ado, let’s start from the chocolate and go clockwise on the content.

  • A delicious Ritter Sport chocolate, in Coconut flavour because of course coconuts remind you of beaches and seas and summer and water and it just goes to match with Mermaids. (I did a massive boo boo with the chocolate and left it in the conservatory at midday so it was melted when I came back in the evening and wanted to have it).
  • A temporary tattoo of starfish and seashells and other water/sea bits.
  • A bronze mermaid bookmark which makes me think of those figures at the front of the ships, carved to “protect” it.
  • A necklace with a mermaid tail look and a tiny mermaid charm too (I keep swooning over these simple charms, though the galaxy one still wins over this one).
  • A mermaid pencil (that is hard to show just how full of mermaids it is).
  • And the book which is The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson.

Now I hadn’t heard about this book before but hey it is about mermaids and the cover is purple and quite gorgeous so I am all up for reading it and giving it a go.

All in all the box was once again good value and easy to get. So I am still recommending it to anyone that feels like trying it and doesn’t want to dish £25+ for a book subscription box with goodies. You can check them out on their Etsy page if you’d like.

Books, Subscription Boxes

Fearless Females Book Box Club

August’s Book Box Club box was themed Fearless Females and completes the first 12 boxes from them (this being the 12th). At first I was slightly concerned this may be Warbringer since I didn’t want a repeat, but thankfully it wasn’t, and I am happy about it.

As per usual the box was packed full of goodies (and thankfully none of the bonus extras was something I already had from YALC! Bonus points there to no repeats).

20170822_193916

Starting from the theme card and going in a clockwise fashion we had:

  • Cute promotional pins of a Vespa and a film (silver screen vibes for me) to promote Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennet.
  • The actual book, Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls, which I’m buddy reading this time. It is set in the suffragette time and sounds interesting but my history crazy person is going haywire saying “please, please, don’t mess this up, it can be so good”. We shall see, await a review soon.
  • The Clubhouse do not open until the end scroll which includes the time and date for the next meeting and an interview with the author.
  • A jungle like (or at least it gives me that feeling) cute notebook by Nikki Strange. As a random fact, the first box they made also included a notebook by her too.
  • Exclusive Sarah J. Maas magnet which is currently on my fridge (alongside a few other bookish magnets and some pots and pans on hooks but that is another story).
  • A “Fight like a Girl” coaster (it is extremely pink which is a bit not me but it is still kinda cool) by Munky Make.
  • A Crooked Kingdom inspired necklaceby Compton Four, I like the green charm a lot but I have yet to read Crooked Kingdom so I have to take their for it.
  • A postcard promoting the book. (I like the vintage vibes)
  • A delicious smelling Hermione candle by Meraki Candles. There’s no going wrong by having a candle made by Heather. Probably my favourite item of the box.
  • A ‘Fight like a girl’ sticker which I am considering adding to my drawing clipboard somehow.

I have to say it wasn’t my favourite box from the girls, but I also understand they had holidays and YALC getting in the way of this box so it’s okay with me.

I am super hyped about the next box which is the anniversary box with the theme fo OUTLAWS. I wonder what is inside…

If you would like to join our bookish community and discuss the books we read with the author in the Clubhouse, you can use code MOON17 for 5% off your subscription. If you just want goods, you can choose the PURELY BOOKS option. Up to you.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs.