Subscription Boxes

Truth & Lies Wildest Dreams Unboxing

Third Wildest Dreams box I have received.

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Let’s start with the book and go clockwise:

  • The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr. I’ve heard a lot about this book so I am looking forward to reading it.
  • Lies Require Commitment candle by Taken Moons Candles. It smells of cherry and has glitter.
  • Hogwarts houses bookmark
  • Veritaserum (truth) tea by Rosie Lea Tea and teabags (I now want a test tube wooden rack to display my teas).
  • Sweets, which I love.
  • Signed bookplate
  • Letter from the author.

Another sweet box from Wildest Dreams :), which sold out and apparently March’s Family Ties box is almost sold out! I am so happy for Zoe 🙂

Book Review

When My Heart Joins The Thousand Review

I am not sure how I ended up deciding this was a book I wanted to read but I did and I am so glad for that.

When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A.J. Steiger

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I do not have any of the conditions any of the main characters feature so this is just my review from my point of view. However I have worked supporting people that present autism.

I was impressed by the way Alvie is presented and how you as a reader have to wonder if she is asking questions or not same as the characters interacting with her.

Admittedly, that first chapter was confusing as can be and it made me wonder if I actually wanted to read this, but then as I got into the story I was rooting for each and every one of them and wondering about both of their pasts.

The half fox is just lost because of some incogruencies that are minimal but that bugged me throughout the book. Otherwise it is amazing and I cannot recommend it enough.

Moon recommends

Definitely reading When My Heart Joins The Thousand, and if you don’t get the reference or need a refresher, why not read Watership Down too?

Book Review

The Ice Garden Review

In case you didn’t know I am mild to medium photosensitive/photophobic (it does NOT mean I am scared of light or pictures). This basically means an allergy to light and it can be just the sun, any source of UV light, etc. It varies, it is not very common (it took 12 years to get diagnosed) and it makes life difficult (to me it is normal but it does mean I have to do certain things other people think are odd).

What has this got to do with the review? Well, I found out two books which have a main character that present photosensitivity. The first one is The Ice Garden.

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The Ice Garden by Guy Jones

 

Rating:

The premise is lovely and I actually really enjoyed the representation in this book, and the whole ice garden part was beautiful. I do really wish there were more books around like this one.

It slightly made me think of The Secret Garden and Little Princess (but in a good way) and I rushed through it. I felt happy at the end, and was glad about it all.

As I meantioned above my levels are mild to medium so I do not get rashes/bruises as horrible as Jess did, but I do get rashes and it was intersting to see how it is difficult to have a normal life when it is not mild.

I think one of my favourite things was the whole representation of the illness/condition and how it affects you but also that there is hope and that you can have a life despite it. I am glad Guy Jones decided to write about it (even I do not know what made him choose to do so).

Moon Recommends

If you like fantasy, quick reads and would like to read about photosensitivty, I definitely recommend this little book. The only other book I know about that represent photosensitivity is Lovely, Dark and Deep by Justina Chen (which I will be reviewing as soon as I can get hold of it).

 

Announcements

Hiatus on Deviant-art

This is going to be a rambling wordy post so feel free to skip it.

I have an account on Deviant-Art (DA) that I have had for over 11 years. And after a lot of umming and erring I made the decision to leave it be.

When I started the internet wasn’t as “full” as it is now and it was quite inspirational to see my artwork there. However as the community grew there, white knights appeared telling you that your artwork (fanart) was a rip off and you had to take it off. There was also the fact that you could spend ages on the site and get no views or anything in return despite working hard on it.

To give you an idea of how much work there was, here’s my stats. Notice how many comments I have given compared to the ones I have received.

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Please ignore the journals and deviations I had many more but I set almost everything to storage.

As you can see, there has been a LOT of effort put into it. However I stayed round DA because I was part of two groups and was helping out in both of them.

Then last year, after having helped out hugely for 3 years, I had a glitch where I couldn’t see my notes during the weekend, and without telling me or even letting me explain what had happened they kicked me out. No explanation, no nothing. It wasn’t until after I asked another member to upload my information that I had missed during the weekend that someone told me it was due to my not replying to notes for a weekend.

Worst part was that I contacted them back and explained the situation, but they never got back to me and completely ignored me afterwards, as if I wasn’t good enough and I had never contributed to it at all. It hurt me and made me want to give up there and then with the site.

I still had the other group and I kept with it until around Christmas when life got a little busy and I wasn’t keeping up with it, so I politely told them I couldn’t keep doing it (despite wanting to).

Without those groups connecting me to DA, I realised there was too much negative in it for me. It wasn’t bringing views or commissions. It wasn’t giving me a platform to socialize with artists (most of them were more critical and harmful than helpful) and it was making me sad.

I have stored over 200 deviations and deleted most of my journals there (11 years worth of artwork and writing). I do not know if I will go back to it or not but for now I am keeping away from it.

And it has been very freeing, as I don’t have all that negativity over my artwork and writing.

It does mean you guys will be getting some of my writing posted here every now and then like yesterday’s poem. Hope you don’t mind!

Writing

Moon Writes: astronomy under our nails

black hole that makes me miss you
then it bursts into a supernova,
deception and frustration,
seeking to move on to outer space

star dust of memories left behind
randomly fall on my eyelashes,
that’s why you see me cry,
just a speck on my eye,

nothing more, nothing less,
i don’t miss you,
i don’t need you any more,
don’t you see?

galaxies swirl around my head,
opportunities galore
and i don’t know what to say
how can i choose the way?

inside this combustible heart,
each beat births a star,
wondering if your comet behaviour
will finally make you collide with me

which of us is the moon?
you orbit around me,
as soon as you go too far
gravity pulls you back

but your erratic ways
are making turmoil with my tide
waves of emotion that
create storms deep inside

in this (not so) empty space,
two planets attracted to each other,
can’t resist the pull,
but we still try to fight

darling, moon, star,
comet, planet, sun,
surrender to
the laws of life,

crash against my atmosphere,
feel the burn in your skin
we’re turning into a
universe made up of you and i.


Today I am doing something different (it’s Valentine’s let’s be a little romantic, right?). Since I left Deviantart (see tomorrow’s post), I have a set of poems I had there that I still love and want to share so they will be popping randomly on here.

This is my favourite one that I wrote and it has a lot fo romance and a few interpretations for it.

Book Review

The Princess and The Pony Review

I blame this review on Helen from Watching Sparks.

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The Princess and The Pony by Kate Beaton

Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A BIG horse. A STRONG horse. A horse fit for a WARRIOR PRINCESS! But when the day arrives, she doesn’t quite get the horse of her dreams…

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Absolutely adorable and cute! The pony is adorable and so round and lovely and it is a funny little illustrated book that just gives you a massive smile.

Mine arrived on a Monday where I was worrying a lot and it was a very Monday-Monday so it was the perfect thing to read, also it took like 5 minutes to read. Seriously, go read this. Make sure it arrives on a Monday to give it extra pow!

Moon recommends

Grab your copy of The Princess and the Pony, then maybe If you give a mouse a cookie.

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Art

Moon Draws: Bookish Life

As you may know, I collaborated with Book Box Club for their January Geeks Unite box.

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The comission was to celebrate bookish life and what it means to be bookish. I had a LOT of ideas roaming in my head, but as I was flicking through my sketchbook I happened upon this piece and thought “I know what I will do*”.

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You see this piece is a celebration of the characters that live with you, the ones that stay around and you just can’t help but have feelings for (whatever those feelings are).

It is no surprise that I have a tendency to start my sketch on traditional media (usually A5, it is rare I start a piece in anything bigger). This was already packed with details just as a linework so really, I should’ve seen the complexity of this coming…

Once I started working on it digitally, I kept despairing and loving it at the same time. Just look at ALL the layers I used:

Layers

And that’s not ALL of them. Because I do things like making sure the tattoo shows like a tatoo or that the glasses have “lenses”.

Glasses

And since you’re looking at the close up, you can see the detail on the lips, and the shading and all the willy things that you wouldn’t be able to see in the calendar. It doesn’t matter that you don’t see it, when I am painting/illustrating/making this come to life, I have to do it right. That’s just who I am.

Of course, that meant I spent unnecessary amounts of time colouring lips, eyes and things like that that no one cares about except me, which meant I was struggling to finish on time but somehow it was all done (on the plus side, I now have a reference palette for a lot of my characters).

So now I will let you see the finished piece:

Book Box Club Bookish January 300dpi

Starting from the main lady, and going clockwise:

  • Moon, the artist with all the lovely characters behind her, colouring and enriching her life. (Why am I talking of myself in the third person?)
  • Star Fawn, she is Moire’s companion and is part of the Deema universe.
  • Naj Reyals (the one in green), part of the Wig Bag Trio.
  • Dalv Le Wot, with Ink (the squid), also part of the Wig Bag Trio.
  • Knit, Mischief (the sheep), and The Captain, part of Wig Bag Trio.
  • Cyx Red, the Soul Collector, she jumps universes/stories and is kind of like a Goddess.
  • Child Knit. She is my out of canon character but I still want to draw her since Child Knit usually appears with things that connect her to The Captain despite never actually meeting him. **
  • The Lestrange Triplets. At the bottom with a red cross, Etan the healer. Enza, the activist/adventurer, and Edlyn, the creative and nurturing one. They are part of the Deema universe.
  • Jellyfish, because I like jellyfish***
  • Moire Fox, she’s a hunter and part of the Deema universe.
  • Vixy, my artwork logo and my cartoon alterego.

So, which characters would be behind your back?

*I would want to kill the past Moon who decided this was a good idea while I was sick and trying to meet the deadline.

**Theories say that she may be Knit’s subconscious.

***There’s actually more to this but shhhh.

 

 

Books

Cover Reveal: Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan

Who loves fantasy books? *raises hand*

Who loves gorgeous covers? *hand raised higher*

Who loves cover reveals? *jumps up and down*

If you said yes to it all, you won’t be disappointed today because I am revealing the cover for Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan. This is being published by Of Tomes Publishing.

Ready?


Catching Stars Final Front Cover

Look at that! Isn’t it Gorgeous? Aren’t you excited?

Here’s a short synopsis of it.

Witch. Betrayal. Hunted.

Jayin Ijaad is in hiding. A witch with powerful abilities, she carves out a life for herself in the slums of Pavaal, a city rotting from the inside out. When an old acquaintance tracks her down, Jayin is dragged back into a world she tried to escape — and is determined to escape again.
Maddix Kell is on the run. After two years in prison for crimes he did not commit, Maddix escapes and seeks out a legendary order of witchhunters who are his only chance to find justice.
But all is not as it seems and Maddix soon finds himself on the run from the people he sought as allies. When their paths collide, Jayin and Maddix must put aside their prejudices and forge an uneasy alliance that could crumble at any moment. But if they want to survive in Aestos — a brutal kingdom where magic and corruption lie hand in hand and enemies lurk around every corner — they must first survive each other.

Magnetizing—an intricate, brutal world of sorcery, betrayal, and mystery that will captivate and entice until the very last page. Emily R. King, author of The Hundredth Queen Series.

 

Exciting right? Be sure to keep an eye out for it and dive into it! I am sure you will enjoy it very very much.Also, feel free to preorder *nudge, nudge*

Catching Stars release day

Book Review

I Am Thunder Review

I received an ARC for this book which I passed on to #ownvoices reader. And then bought my own copy.

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I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, who dreams of being a writer, struggles with controlling parents who only care about her studying to be a doctor. Forced to move to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal, Muzna realizes that the bullies will follow her wherever she goes. But deciding to stand and face them instead of fighting her instinct to disappear is harder than it looks when there’s prejudice everywhere you turn. Until the gorgeous and confident Arif shows an interest in her, encouraging Muzna to explore her freedom. 

But Arif is hiding his own secrets and, along with his brother Jameel, he begins to influence Muzna with their extreme view of the world. As her new freedom starts to disappear, Muzna is forced to question everything around her and make a terrible choice – keep quiet and betray herself, or speak out and betray her heart?

A stunning new YA voice which questions how far you’ll go to protect what you believe in.

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It was quite interesting to step into Muzna’s shoes. I am not Muslim but I could still heavily relate to Muzna as a teen. The overbearing parents and the bullying and the shyness and wanting to do something different, all where parts I found interesting.

Moving school helps Muzna realise that she has a voice and I loved that, the way she starts to wonder why she has been doing exactly as she is told and questions things. She comes into herself and slowly figures out who she is.

To say much more would be to spoil the story but I found it interesting and powerful and think everyone should give this a go. However this is more definitely geared to teenagers/young adults in the writing and that is what I took away from it (it is at times a little too much for me).

Moon recommends

The only books in similar league to this are Dear Martin and THUG.

 

Subscription Boxes

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na Batman! Litjoy Crate Unboxing

January’s LitJoy Crate featured Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu and had an awesome box.

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You can also see my new background jigsaw (and one fo the two pieces missing that Vixy chewed). Starting on the book and going clockwise:

  • Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu, this is signed. She curated this box so it was extra special.
  • Blame the virus, not the fever card, it has the author’s letter on the other side.
  • Fear Clears the Mind pouch by Evie Seo, a high quality pouch which I am loving.
  • Two Batman Arkham Asylum Inmate pins.
  • Rhysand print by Arrabelle.
  • Batman Nail Polish which I have been wearing this week and it is awesome! Kinda black/purple with sparkle effect.
  • You can’t see it but there was a Batman call sign pen, and you can see the Call sign here (top of the Lit Joy black box)
  • Theme card.
  • Origami Crane necklace. I love the little box and presentation of this necklace.
  • Batman can/bottle opener keychain.
  • Two tone candle from A Court of Candles. This one smells delicious and I love that it is dark then light.

All in all I absolutely loved this box. It made my day and I really liked most of the items 🙂