I am strong and I am weak #CapitalCrime

Capital_Crime

I reported everything that went on from 26-28 September at Capital Crime in a previous post. Today I’m sharing some other highlights.

First though, I just want to stress again that I had the best of times at the book festival so please don’t see this post as negative because it wasn’t a negative experience, I have only happy thoughts looking back.

It only seems fair that I let you in on that other side of me when I was there, the one that nobody sees very often because I can hide it fairly well and because people don’t realise some of my thoughts. I was debating whether to do this or not but with WorldMentalHealthDay just behind us, I’m feeling strong and I want to give you a look behind the curtain.

I received really great support from my friends and the lovely Meggy (@choconwaffles) of Chocolate’n’ Waffles in particular (she’s a team on her own) but of course I had some weak moments. I didn’t want it to taint my report about the festival but it’s only fair I share the good with the bad so here’s a little more about the latter in this post. There are definitely some things that I want to do differently if there’s a next time and that I know now I shouldn’t have stressed about. It seems silly now but it is what it is. This is my journey, and there are a lot of lessons to be learned in life, this is just one of them for me. 

So here were some of my stressed out-thoughts from a few weekends ago.

Train

The first day, it went wrong quite soon. The train to get to the Eurostar was cancelled. Of course I had calculated this too into my planning (I am nothing if not prepared to the fullest) but still, it made me wonder if the rest of the day would go this way too, the start of my adventure could have been better. No real panic there yet though, I took the train in the other direction to a bigger town and then took a direct train to Brussels. I have done this once or twice before so I wasn’t too stressed. Luckily, someone told me where to find the Eurostar terminal in the trainstation because I didn’t see the signs for it. I was a little anxious though going through security because the security check is exactly the same as when boarding a flight where you have to put items on a conveyer belt. I have a fear for flying so I couldn’t shake that feeling of unease. I knew I was boarding a train but it felt as if I was going on a plane. Once seated and seeing we weren’t flying off Harry Potter-like, I was able to relax more on my two-hour ride and I was assured again that Meggy would be there waiting for me so I was ok by the time I got to my destination and in a good mood.

St. Pancras train station

I was quite overwhelmed when I arrived at London St. Pancras station. It’s really big and easy to get lost in which was what probably had happened if I were alone. I counted my lucky stars that I had Meggy to lead the way (I even tried to mislead her but she knew very well where to go haha). I had some fears beforehand about getting on the tube (the underground) as I had read up (a lot) beforehand about different cards (the oyster card or the travel card) only I didn’t know which one and where to get them, but I just had to hold my bank card next to a reader and I had paid. Who knew, so simple! Again, if she hadn’t been there I hadn’t known and would have spent at least an hour getting to the venue. We were there in no time instead so I stressed about this for nothing beforehand again.

Proof copy

It was lunchtime when I arrived so there were no panels and we had about an hour to kill. We went to a secondhand bookstore then where I spotted a proof copy of Will Carver’s novel Nothing Important Happened Today which isn’t out until November! I’m not going to name the bookshop because I don’t want to have anyone put it on their list to go shopping for proofs. Let’s just say that Meggy rectified it with the shop’s owner! I’m in complete awe that she did that. My style would be to tuck away that book somewhere on the lowest shelf behind other books or something but going to talk to someone about it, I wouldn’t dare.

Goodiebag

It’s hard to speak up for yourself in any situation. I need more time to think about what to say and how to react which is why I avoid unpredictability (which is why I always avoid arguments and fights at all cost too). There’re a few situations I certainly could have handled better, if only I wasn’t so shy. One example was the goodie bag. When I received the Weekend Pass at the registration desk they didn’t give me such a cool tote bag (with 2 books and plenty of samplers in it). The lovely Meggy went back with me and asked for it. If she hadn’t I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have two more books to read.

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Wrong name

I’m not good at talking to people I don’t know, I hate bringing attention to myself… even when ordering food or a drink in a café I always try to have the other person order for me. I’m lucky there are still some gallant men (and women) who don’t mind doing that.

On the first day I surprised myself when I initiated a conversation with an author – Deborah O’Donoghue who wrote Sea of Bones – who was waiting in line at the loo (and yes I did manage to call her by the wrong name but it’s because I wanted to be quick, I saw the opportunity and didn’t want to miss it… and I just don’t do quick very well) but all was well, she was actually super nice and we had drinks together. I couldn’t say no when she proposed, could I? Not that I wanted to do that of course. So I did and I enjoyed myself. I did have a small panic attack when she left me with another author afterwards that I hadn’t read the book and didn’t know anything about, but Merilyn Davies, the author in question, was super friendly too and made me feel very much at ease. I’m really determined to read When I Lost You soon as well.

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Heidi Perks, Rachel Kennedy, Deborah O’Donoghue

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Merilyn Davies

Who’s who

The event was very well organised but I wished people had nametags. There was no way of knowing who everyone was. If some authors weren’t pointed out to me by the others I would have missed some of them at least. If I was there alone I would have missed out on some great intel.

I love the bloggers I met, they’re normal people, my kind of people, and so sweet and friendly really… but we were a very small group. Where were all the other bloggers? I thought the blogging community would be a real community there too who would get together but that didn’t happen. It made me realise you better do know someone who plans on going to an event… if Meggy wouldn’t have been with me, I’m also not sure I would have dared to talk to Ronnie, Zoé and Danielle by myself or hung out with them for so long, and it would have been a lovely festival anyway but pretty lonely too.

Hotel

I feel almost embarrassed (ok not quite, I’m grateful) to say so but Meggy walked me to the hotel and stayed with me until I checked in at the reception. Even then, I still managed to get lost inside. I KNOW! Well in my defence the receptionist pointed to the left hallway and I needed to go right the other way. Luckily someone from security crossed me and asked where I was headed, he gave the right directions and I did find it then. The room was quite fine but then I realised that the electrical outlets were different and I couldn’t charge my phone. The phone I needed to let my father know when he needed to come and get me at the train station the next day. It suddenly felt like that phone was my life line.. cue small panic attack :-). Well I needn’t have been anyway because on the way back home I suddenly saw a screen in the train that there was a plug under the seat. I gave a shout, hit my head when bending down to see it (the person in the seat next to me did have a good laugh) and when I arrived in Brussels again on Saturday my phone was 100%. The room was ok but there was no hairdryer so I didn’t dare wash my hair if it meant going out with wet hair. The duvet was also too thin so I was cold the whole night and I didn’t bring a sweater or anything warm for an extra layer. I think I slept for two hours and was up at 5 again.

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The sound of silence

I’m getting to the crux of my story now. Is it a surprise that day 2 was a bit of a struggle? I wasn’t myself and godawfully emotional by the lack of sleep. My absolute lowpoint must be that I saw the lovely publisher Karen of Orenda Books and I didn’t say a word. I want to crawl under a rock now. I feel sooo bad about it because I really wanted to tell her that I was so thankful for the blog tour invites and the books I received in the past and I wanted to say something about her great taste in the books she publishes, how much I loved them and… I didn’t say ANYTHING. I have no excuse even… it just didn’t come out of my mouth, it was like the mute button was on all of a sudden. I didn’t say anything to Antti Tuomainnen either when I stood right there and I think someone else asked for a picture for me with Will Dean because I certainly didn’t have the courage. Everything passed in a bit of a blur. The tables for the signing were crowded, there were a lot of people and everyone was wriggling there around those tables, I don’t know but it made me close up. I’m even going to spare you the embarrasement with C.J. Tudor, I had a minor breakdown in front of her but luckily she didn’t react to it. Let’s just say that Meggy deserved that novel of The Other People so much more and made me get tears in my eyes. She’s an angel really for letting me have it but I still feel incredibly guilty too.

Photos

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I never want to be in any photos, be it a work thing or leisure but I had thought about it in advance and prepared myself for this eventuality. Even though I’m still happy I have photos of me with Mark Edwards, M.W. Craven, Merilyn Davies, Will Dean and C.J. Tudor, I still hate the way I look. I should have paid better attention how I presented myself on the photos. I should have lost my jacket/coat at least and I’m asking myself why I didn’t do something about my hair. I washed it the day I came to London but it looked like I hadn’t washed it in a week. I could at least have fluffed it a bit or something. Gah. Good thing nobody sees these photos.

Language

I haven’t spoken to anybody for more than 5 minutes in English in ahum 15 years, maybe longer? So I was a bit apprehensive about that. I was determined to pay attention to my pronounciation and accent but I don’t think I was there 5 minutes before I forgot my good intentions. I know I can do it if I put an effort to it (usually I read two sentences in a book out loud that way, and that’s pretty much it) but it’s just too exhausting. Everyone did understand me though, so there’s that.

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I know and I think I handled it all okayish, for me being me. In life there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think something couldn’t have gone better if done differently (perfectionist, much) or that worries me, I even exhaust myself sometimes so it’s only natural that it comes with me on my travels. Meggy’s help was amazing, but still, I wish I had a redo button and do a little better. I have absolutely no regrets of going though. Those two days were exhausting and yes overwhelming but very worth it, it also gave me a really good energy to take home with me and I did feel proud of myself for other things like being accepted in the group. I have proven to myself and hopefully to you too now that you can go to festivals and enjoy yourself, even if you’re an introvert and even if you have anxiety… seriously, if I can do it, you can do it !

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WWW Wednesday (09-10-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

The three W’s are:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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What I finished reading:

I received this novel orginally in a book subscription box. It was an ok read but not outstanding in my opinion as it was pretty predictable. I have no idea yet how to review this one so it’s still very much a work in progress.

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

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What I’m reading now:

I have C.J. Tudor’s third novel ‘The Other People’ to read now (yay!) but I also have the first one thanks to a blogfriend who sent me her proof copy, so I’m happy to do things in the right order. I started this novel on vacation actually but the holiday was over sooner than the book was finished :-). It’s an easy read and has a very enjoyable writing style so I know it’s an author I want to read more books from and I’m thrilled that I can now.

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

A difficult choice and I still haven’t read the novel I mentioned in my post last month but I’m thinking it’s cold and wintry already so it might be a perfect timing for nordic noir. Red Snow is the second novel in the Tuva Moodyson series, the follow-up of Dark Pines and I can’t wait to see where it’ll take Tuva this time.

Red Snow by Will Dean 

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TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

#CapitalCrime : What’s next?

2020

I know, I know, I just got back and my thoughts are already on the bookfestival next year, which will take place in September 2020. So many authors were already listed this year, so is there anyone left to fill a programme that’s every bit as mouth-watering as the first time? Why yes, I think there most definitely are.

But before I tell you mine, you must tell me, who would you like to to see on next year’s edition, have you thought about it already?

Well OK you don’t need to twist my arm, I’m happy to share with you my suggestions first and you can add others as you wish.

Karin_Slaughter_2012

Karin Slaughter is right at the top of the list. She’s one of the few authors I know who regularly attends events in Belgium and The Netherlands, and for this alone I think she’s amazing already. Unfortunately it’s always at a location that would take me as much travel time as going to London so I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet. She’s one of the first authors who kick-started my love for reading thrillers and I love the attention to detail in her novels, I always learn something new about an investigation (loving the crimescenes!) and well, with her love for cats, she just seems like such a lovely person, one I’d love to meet.

Now there’s room for 100 authors give or take a few, so why not add some other names to the list. I’d be delighted to be even a few minutes in the company of Helen Fields, John Marrs, Jack Jordan, Rebecca Tinnelly, Elizabeth Macneal, Johana Gustavsson, Matt Wesolwoski, Claire Douglas, Chris Mc George, Laura Purcell, Robert Bryndza, Carol Weyer, James Carol, Jane Casey, CL Taylor, Heleen Kist, Isabel Ashdown, Lucy Foley, T.M. Logan, Gytha Lodge, Gillian McAllister, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Richard Parker, Soren Sveistrup, Ane Riel and if we’re talking even further away I can’t help but think that Chris Carter would have such interesting things to say as well.

So what do you think, did I forget anyone? Let me know in the comments!

Capital Crime: for the Belgian jury… 12 points! @CapitalCrime1 @MidasPR

Capital_Crime

I’m back from Capital Crime, the first thriller festival in London with over one hundred authors! I arrived on Friday and went back home on Saturday and it doesn’t seem long but it feels like it wasn’t two days but two weeks that I went away.

Even though it was exhausting and overwhelming, it was still totally worth it (and don’t you want to feel like you’ve been away much longer than you really have ;-)). I only need a bit of time to process all that’s happened to me, but now that it’s fresh I’ll share with you some of my highlights.

But first of all I want to give a special thanks to the lovely Anne Cater, Amber Choudhary at Midas PR and to my blogfriend Meggy because without these three I wouldn’t have been there!

My arrival

I had a bit of stress (ok I didn’t sleep well the night before) but as soon as I arrived I saw the lovely Meggy of Chocon’Waffles waiting for me outside of the gate of the Eurostar terminal. She’s been my rock throughout the festival, seriously. She’s just as lovely and kind as I hoped, she’s a true friend and I’m eternally grateful for sticking by me. It meant so much to me that she didn’t leave me alone there, even walked me to the trainstation again the following day!

BAM

The venue itself was gorgeous, with big halls and chandeliers… a really nice location, I was impressed. There were 2 big rooms (and the bar which was also frequented at a regular basis)

So, then, literally 2 seconds after stepping inside of the Grand Vere Connaught Rooms, I saw my first author! Mark Edwards was coming down the steps. Meggy asked me if I wanted to talk to him but of course no, no, too soon, much too soon :-).

Friends

I then met the rest of the bloggers I would hang out with these two days: Ronnie of Ronnie Turner, Penny of What Do I Read Now, Danielle of The Reading Closet, Zoé of  Zooloo’s Book Diary and on day 2 I also met blogger Jen of Jen Med’s Book Reviews. They are all wonderful and kind people, they made me feel very welcome and actually pleased to meet me. I love them all!

If you want to have the bestest of blogfriends, add them on Twitter here:
@Choconwaffles, @W2readnow, @Ronnie__Turner, @book_obsessed1, @zooloo2008, @JenMedBkReviews.

I was afraid of walking into a group that already knew each other and I’m certainly not a kisser or hugger (I spent my birthday at home alone to avoid the kissing at work (and also because I’m making my own special day and don’t want to work then)) but I felt really at ease among them. I still won’t initiate a hug but I was very happy with the hugs they insisted on giving me. Zoé is an amazing hugger, not too long or too short, not vice-like or half-hearted, just perfect. I knew in advance that there would be a question for a photo with me in it and I’m happy they didn’t insist but respected my wishes. It was a pleasure to have met the crimesquad!

Panel

I had my first panel of the day then with Claire McGowan asking questions to Lisa Jewell and Mark Edwards (it’s karma I tell ya) about The Psychology of Tension. I knew I was in trouble soon because I wanted to read both authors after their talk (I only read one novel by Mark Edwards years ago). I finally chose one author and bought the book. Two guesses which one :-).

The psychology of tension.JPG

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Mark Edwards is a very friendly author, I’m quite happy he’s the first author I ever saw in real life. I can’t wait to read his book Here to Stay now, his mind is fascinating… and he doesn’t kill off the cat in his books, he pays attention to giving the readers what they want and what do we want? That’s right, to SAVE THE ANIMALS!

This panel and all the other panel discussions I attended were great, it was really interesting to hear the authors talk on so many topics and answer questions about their favorite murder weapon or if they like to kill more men or women in their books, or how they react when people ring the doorbell when they’re writing… I should have taken notes really.

Here are some of the other panels I chose to attend. I wish I had a time-turner so I could have gone to the other panels that were happening at the same moment but unfortunately I had to make some tough choices.

When Women Make Murderers

Fiona Cummins and CJ Tudor really stood out for me in this panel, but maybe it’s because I only read their novels so far…

Chilled to the Bone

Of course I couldn’t miss the authors from Orenda Books. I was a bit horrified when the conversation went towards killing puffins… but there were a lot of funny quips, it was a great panel too!

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And then there was this one of course. I only read MW Craven so it was mostly for him that I wanted to attend, but the others were really interesting too and Amer Anwar even took a picture of the audience (the other way around!).

Britain's Toughest Streets

There was also a quiz between two teams of authors and it was just brilliant. There were questions about the other author’s books, genre what type of car was used in this or that book, but they also had to reenact a scene and the other team had to guess. It was such fun to just see them all going for it (well especially one person) and the quiz host, Paul Clayton, was superb.

Here’s the winning team although they only won with a difference of half a point, so both teams are winners for me 😉

Whosecrimeisitanyway

Approachable

In general, all the authors were all very approachable and I had no idea they would be so open. They’re people I often look up to and they have the same status as a rockstar to me, I’m in full admiration of what they can do with their pen and mind, so it took me by surprise you could easily talk to them outside of the signing sessions too.

If you followed me on Twitter you’ll also know that I called an author by the wrong name. Well I was forgiven right away because the lovely Deborah O’Donoghue (author of Sea of Bones) invited me to drink tea (I’m not English so coffee) with me. I also met Heidi Perks, Rachel Kennedy of Cornerstone publishers and the sweet Merilyn Davies (author of When I Lost You) with whom I had a good talk. It’s not evident for me to talk to people I don’t know but she was so friendly that I was comfortable talking to her. I sometimes wonder how people so sweet can write such crime but then I’m sweet too (if I’m allowed to say that of myself) and I love the hard, gritty thrillers too.

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I also received a keyring from Carol Bridgestock who writes novels together with her husband Robert under the name RC Bridgestock. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know them but it appears the couple has nearly half a century in combined police experience and they take this experience turning real cases into fictional stories. Carol was also suuupernice to me. Another author whose books I really want to try now.

So today I have Carol and Robert’s as well as my own fingerprint on a keyring!

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Perfect ending of the day

I finished the day with a lovely dinner with Meggy where we – guess what – talked even more about books. It was perfect for destressing and I very much enjoyed our time together… if only she lived closer and not in another country.

I picked a hotel only a 5 minute walk from the venue and I’m quite happy I did that, although I did have a few problems in the room.

Meeting Mike Craven

I had a sleepless night so day two wasn’t my best day. I was already overwhelmed by so much that happened on day 1 so I was too emotional and a bit in lockdown, much quieter than the day before. I’ll tell you more about it in another blogpost. I did have one good streak though and I HAVE to share this with you: my encounter with MW Craven.

I was standing in line with Meggy for Zoé to get a book signed and I saw Danielle and Ronnie talking to him! I brought my book (from Belgium) to get it signed so I was excited to spot him (he’s hard to miss with the metal t-shirt and he’s not so small either). Meggy was urging me to go to him and then she was shouting at Danielle who was still talking and didn’t hear her at all 😉 and she was saying go, go, go to me… I went on automatism really, obeying that voice… so I came there and I seriously don’t remember but it’s possible that I just butted into the conversation (so sorry Danielle) and asked for a picture of him with me. He was reallyyy nice and I was already packing the book away again when he said, do you want me to sign it? I was of course too shy to ask but YES! He then asked my name and even wrote it on his hand to get it right (it seems my name is a difficult one for English people so in case you’re wondering INGE is pronounced as in sing-ING and then followed in one swoop with a dull E that sounds like UH). So that’s the story how M.W. Craven got to sign my book. Not everyone has a story like that eh?

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Photos

I also have photos of me with authors C.J. Tudor (I won a copy Those Other People!), Merilyn Davies (When I Lost You), Deborah O’Donoghue (Sea of Bones), Lizzie Barber (My Name is Anna), Will Dean (there was a lot of fangirling beforehand and I seriously didn’t know why but yes, I must admit he is in fact really good-looking in close-up too) and Mark Edwards. These photos are for my private collection only though, I don’t particularly feel the need to share.. you must know what the authors look like by now :-).

Conclusion

I’m not going to lie, the 24h I was there was long enough for me. Maybe I would feel a little differently if I had slept better but I’m not sure it would make all the difference either. It was just really full-on with authors everywhere, I didn’t know where to look first. The panel talks also gave a lot of information, I was quite happy there were signing sessions in between and a break for lunch. London is a strange city too so with every step I was looking around at everything new and it was a lot to take in.

I highly recommend this book festival though. I know it’s the first and only one I attended but it was very well organised, it had big author names on their programme, the panels were great and of outstanding quality (you won’t get bored, promise), there was a good vibe and atmosphere and the location is easy enough to reach. Don’t miss out on attending next year is all I can say !

My sweet friend Meggy made it so much better for me of course, I didn’t feel lost and I didn’t get lost (ok I did, twice even, but I’ll tell you about that in another blogpost). On day 2 she came with me to the trainstation again where I took the Eurostar home. In Brussels I took another local train then and after 4 hours (3 in reality but with the time difference 4) I was home again. The adventure might have ended in the present day but I’m still reliving it in my mind…

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It was an amazing experience and I’m grateful for meeting so many authors, new and old but all very friendly, for everyone I met there and the friends I made. I’m happy I did it!

Ah before I forget…. I came to London with one small rucksack and I went home with 10 books (and two I had brought from home) so that’s 12 books (and one of them is so thick it can even count for two). It’s a wonder I haven’t dislocated my shoulder or hurt my back.

Here’re the books I bought (I bought 3 in a secondhand bookstore too at lunchtime) and 2 were in the Capital Crime goodie bag.

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So what do you think? Who wants to attend Capital Crime next year? I hope I could convince you it’s really worth it!

The Book Fairy Box #Unboxing @the_bookfairies #bookfairybox

Book Fairy Unboxing

Hi lovelies! For the third year in a row I have purchased a one-off subscription box. It’s my birthday soon after all and I want books for my birthday! That’s not so strange is it? Every year it’s a quest to find a box that:

a) ships internationally,
b) isn’t exorbitant in (shipping) price,
c) can be ordered just one time, and
d) delivers books that I actually want to read.

It looks easy – there are a lot of book boxes – but surprisingly, not many tick all these boxes (excuse the pun).

So this year I found the Book Fairy BoxWhat’s in a name huh? I loved it already (and no it’s not a fantasy box)! Check out their lovely website to find out more.

To make it easier, I’ll already tell you what they have to offer in every box:

  • Book fairy exclusives
  • A new book and a second-hand book, to encourage the idea of reusing
  • At least one item that supports a greener lifestyle
  • SO MANY OTHER GOODIES!!!!
  • We promise no one-use plastic or any unnecessary plastic packaging

The boxes will be shipped as orders come in!

So here’s the box when it arrived, shipping was super quick too btw. Now it’s only a brown box, nothing special about it so I haven’t taken a pic of the closed box, but when I opened it, the look of the content really made up for the plain exterior.

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First of all there’s a little Book Fairy Survival Kit. There are little cards that you can leave in books if you want to let them fly in the wild and some cute little pins.

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Next up was the package with all the goodies, wrapped up in delicate paper. The first thing I found was a sachet to make ice tea. You just pour it in a glass and add ice and water. I’m certainly going to try this out!

Next item was a special book fairy cookie cutter from etsy shop Petit Craft. I’m not a great cook but I’m sure I’m going to try that one in the future. It’s a stupid question, I know, but how do you make THE BEST cookie dough? If I start googling I’ll find a hundred different recipes with other measurements that I won’t know which one to use probably.

Then I found this cute little trinket. It’s a little locket from etsy shop Locket Library in the shape of a book, how cute! I already checked out the shop, I’ve never heard of them but they’re a great discovery :-)!

And another package to open from Literary Emporium 

BFBox 11

I found this little booklet where you can note which book you lent to who and on what date. There are no more excuses to forget who you lent a book to. I like it but I only lend my books to one person and one at a time so it won’t be useful right away but I’m sure I’ll make someone happy with it sooner or later :-).

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And then there were also… a new bookmark and a handcrafted bookplate

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BFBox 17

And last but not least of the goodies (7 in total!): a reusable beeswax wrap to take my lunch to work with 🙂 from Eco-Habit Their product is hand made using Oeko-100 certified textiles and 100% natural British Beeswax. 

The wrap is airtight, malleable, reusable and when the time comes – biodegradable. I’m happy I can do something good by simply using this. In case you’re wondering, you can clean it by using a cloth and cold water. 

I haven’t used it yet but I’m going to try this out real soon. I’ll be the hippest one at the office and they’ll all know it!

Beeswax wrap

And then the books of course… one second-hand and a new one. Now I already knew what the new one was going to be (this actually did help me decide to take the plunge and order the box). I’m quite happy with the other novel, Still Dark as well. It has good ratings on Goodreads and an author I didn’t know so that’s wonderful.

There’s also a lovely little card from a mini book fairy in one of the books. It’s official now #ibelieveinbookfairies 🙂

Here’s the full box:

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BFBox 18

I really love this box, I was happy with the goodies and the books, and I could see myself ordering this one again!

So what do you think? Would you be happy with the box (it’s ok if you don’t agree with me)? Have you read one of the books, or both? Let me know in the comments! If you know any recommended boxes for next year, also let me know, it would save me a lot of trouble researching 🙂

PS: Here are my reviews of the subscription boxes in the past:

The Bookworm Box
Page Habit
Blind Date With A Book

WWW Wednesday (04-09-2019)

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

The three W’s are:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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What I finished reading:

Amazon just told me that I purchased an ecopy of this novel on 30 July 2017. The author, Alice Feeney, recently published a second book so that meant it was definitely time to read the first one. Of course I enjoyed this read, I didn’t expect it any other way with such a great book title :-).

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

SometimesILie def

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What I’m reading now:

I don’t know if you’ll remember this from Twitter but I won a signed paperback copy of this novel in a UK giveaway last year. The only problem is that I don’t live in the UK. One of my lovely blogfriends was so kind to have it delivered to her address so that I only had to pay shipping from the UK. It’s definitely different from what I’m used to reading but I need some peptalk to face my own fears right now so I thought this book would be perfect at this time. And it turns out I quite like it!

A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

ASemiDefinitiveListofWorstNightmares def

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I’m finally having my vacation next week and this one’s on my readlist. Why did I choose this one? First of all, I received the proof copy from one of my loveliest blog friends a while ago and second of all, I saw the title and blurb of her next book and that interests me as well, so I better start with this one now if I want to read  Six Wicked Reasons later this year (I might even have a chance to listen to it as my first audiobook).

Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

DirtyLittleSecrets def

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

Should I stay or should I go? #CapitalCrime @CapitalCrime1 @MidasPR

 

Should I stay... ... or should I go_

Should I stay or should I go… it’s part of a song from The Clash (that I like to sing along with whenever it’s on the radio) but on top of that, it’s also a question I have asked myself numerous times these past two months.

How do you tempt a person with anxiety for the big unknown to take a giant leap and get her out of the door? Right, you let her know about London’s First International Crime Festival: ‘Capital Crime’. I hope you’ve heard of it but just so you know, it’s LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY and it’s in London, London I tell you, the perfect place to hold such an event.

What sort of a thriller reader doesn’t want to go this event where you can see and meet a fantastic line-up of authors and filmmakers? I’ve never met an author in my life and here there will be so many at the same time… when is that going to happen ever again is all can think about!

Here are a few of my favorites who will be attending:

  • Anthony Horowitz: author of the bestselling teen spy, Alex Rider, and also responsible for creating and writing some of the UK’s most loved and successful TV series, including Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War. He has also written two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels and two James Bond novels. His novels Magpie Murders and The Word Is Murder were both Top Ten Sunday Times bestsellers.
  • Stuart Turton: author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa First Novel Award and a whole sling of other awards for best debut novel!
  • Mari Hannah: a multi-award-winning author whose authentic voice is no happy accident. A former probation officer, she lives in Northumberland with her partner, an ex-murder detective. She turned to script writing when her career was cut short following an assault on duty. Her Kate Daniels series is in development with Stephen Fry’s production company, Sprout Pictures.
  • Ruth Ware: she’s is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Lying Game were smash hits, and she has appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times. The film rights to all three books have been optioned and she is published in more than 40 languages.
  • Sarah Pinborough: as the critically acclaimed and award-winning, adult and YA author. Her previous novel, Behind Her Eyes, has sold in 25 territories, been shortlisted for the Crime and Thriller Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller in hardback and paperback. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.
  • Alex North: He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their sociology department. The Whisper Man is Alex’s first novel. It has been called ‘the best crime novel of the decade’, ‘mesmerising and masterful’ and ‘an incredible read’ by The Russo Brothers, Hollywood directors of the Avengers franchise who are on board to adapt The Whisper Man.’
  • OK the list is going to get too long but there’s also Ali Land, Jane Casey, Fiona Cummins, Steve Cavanagh, Lizzy Barber, MW Craven (!!), Elly Griffiths, C.J. Tudor, and countless of other amazing authors.

Throughout these two days there will be plenty of panels and sessions to attend. Here’s just a few topics that I’d love to attend if I decide to go :

  1. The Genisis of an Idea: Anthony Horowitz and Adam Handy build an idea from concept to pitch live on stage.
  2. London, The Capital of Crime: Martina Cole and a special guest discuss London as an iconic setting for the crime and triller genre.
  3. When Women Make Murderers: Fiona Cummins, Laura Sheppard-Robinson, CJ Tudor and Olivia Kiernan discuss the success of female crime and thriller authors with Amy McLeilan.
  4. Chilled to the Bone: Ragnar Jónasson, Will Dean, Anti Tuomainen and Ysra Sigurðardóttir discuss the enduring and global appeal of Scandi Noir with Karen Sullivan
  5. Beneath the Surface: Elly Griffiths, Ali Land, Teresa Driscoll, Louise Candish and Fiona Barton discuss how the truth is never what it seems with Erin Kelly

Are you getting a bit excited about this as well now? Well it’s not too late to buy tickets, and you’ll be happy to know that the organisers reduced the ticket prices!

You can buy the tickets here.

But (yes there’s a but, there’s always a but) even though I’m dying to be there and tick the ‘see an author irl’ off my bucket list and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to attend this amazing event, I’m still not sure if I’m going to get on that train on that Friday morning, the 27th. This would be really adventurous and everyone knows I’m not the type. I’m always fine if I can depend on someone else because if you’re lost or don’t know your way you always have each other and it doesn’t seem so scary but all alone, that’s really another story….

I’ve prepared as much as I can, I have booked a hotel room within 4 minutes walking distance from the venue (that I can still cancel on the day), I have printed a step by step from the Holborn underground to the venue, from the venue to the hotel, I have printed menus and restaurant locations to eat in the evening,… I’ve done as much as I could think of but it still doesn’t take away all my fears. It’s still another country you know and nobody can come to my aid, I’d be all on my own.

So we’ll see… I’m not making any promises… I can only say if I do get there (with a miracle or some serious peptalk from my family and friends who already told me not to miss this opportunity) I’d love it that you would be there too!