Unboxing “Mr. Booker’s Summer Vacation” Sci-fi Novel

This was the book I asked for as a subscriber to author Mark Lages’s newsletter. If you are interested in getting a free book of your choice by Mr. Lages, drop by his website and sign up. You can read my post >>here<< for more information. In the meantime, enjoy my unboxing video of the book.

Preparing Notebook for 2022

Around this time of the year, I prep my writing notebook for 2022. I use a Hobonichi Techo and normally buy directly from the 1101 store (Japan). However, the cost of shipping has gone way up. It was $20 the years before, but now it’s $80. I didn’t think it was worth it, so I ordered the notebook from Jetpens and the cover from Etsy. Last year, I didn’t like any covers from the 1101 store, so I ordered from Etsy as well. This year were a couple of covers I liked, but it wasn’t worth the shipping cost.

I ordered the cover from an Etsy shop called, XIAMUhandmade. I also wanted to try out their watercolor notebooks so ordered one of those. When I received the shipment, they included a mini watercolor notebook, stickers, and a couple of washi tapes. That was so sweet. I was so happy to get these little extra goodies.

I’m awaiting the cover-on-cover from another Etsy seller (Jetpens was sold out). Once I have all the pieces, I’ll share my setup.

How do you keep organized in your writing, journaling, life goals tracking, etc?

September 2021 Playlist

Didn’t really listen to anything new in September, just revisiting old songs, so I’ll share some of my favorite songs in ASL by Youtubers.

“Unconditionally” by Katy Perry, signed by ASLDisney

“You Say” by Lauren Daigle, signed by Hannah Mars

One of my favorites that I frequent every now and then: “I See Fire” by Ed Sheern, signed by Tyler Dominguez.

And another favorite that I’ve watched a long time ago and still can’t get enough of: “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias, signed by actor, Sean Birdy.

Book Review: Gold Spun

Title: Gold Spun
Author: Brandie June
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published: June 8th, 2021

Date finished: September 17, 2021

Gold Spun by Brandie June is a Rumpelstiltskin retell about a 17-year-old girl named Nora who finds herself in a mess after rescuing a fae. The fae gifts her with a golden thread and promises to return to her every time she calls upon him. Excited about this golden thread, in her haste, Nora comes up with a plan to make money using it. This captures the attention of the prince who tells her if she could spin a room full of straw into gold, he’ll marry her. If not, she’ll pay a heavy price.

It’s been a long time since I read Rumpelstiltskin, so I had to search it up and brief through it. Gold Spun follows the storyline somewhat but with slightly different characters. I like the idea of the fae and the way he was portrayed. He felt likeable, yet you couldn’t really tell if he was trustworthy, so there was a mysterious edge to him. The prince at first seemed cocky and full of himself, but he turned out likeable. His affection for Nora made him protective and supportive and a real gentleman. As for Nora, I liked that she was always quick on her toes. She doesn’t give up and she has so much love in her for her family and the villagers. However, I also found her a bit childlike. I think she was meant to be intelligent and brave and was supposed to play it down, but I didn’t get that. I wanted her to be a little more mature for someone who was responsible for a lot of things.

The overall story was enjoyable. I love retells and Gold Spun did an excellent job with it. I found the love triangle just so cute. Also, Ms. June’s writing style is flowy and smooth and makes you want to keep reading.

Who should read this book: All lovers of retells, love triangles, and fairytales. This was a truly fun read with magic, faeries, royalty, and everything you could ever ask for in a fast-paced young adult fantasy romance story.

Note: I was given this book to read and review but the opinion is purely my own.

Le Stallion Notebooks

Left to right: Henson (Desert Brown), Garanno (Cocoa Brown), and Ariegois (Ashgray Black)

These notebooks are honestly beautiful. I love that they have a table of contents and numbered pages. As a writer, these two features are what’s most important to me in a notebook, but the soft and pliable faux leather, metallic charm, and burgundy brown edging of these Le Stallion Notebooks add a little excitement each time I grab for them. I haven’t written in them yet, but they are on the table next to me and I’m always finding myself running my hands over them and flipping through the empty lined pages.

It’s crazy how important looks is…but I would know that as an avid reader and writer. I’m often drawn to pretty looking book covers, and admit, I’d choose a good looking book cover over one that is mediocre. However, this isn’t to say I would never read a book that didn’t have a nice cover. Blurbs are important too and I mostly go by blurbs after gushing over the covers. I think I treat notebooks the same. Looks matter, but what’s most important is what’s inside, and as mentioned earlier, the table and contents and numbered pages sold me.

I rarely use the back pocket but I’m always in favor of it because there may be times when I’ll need a place to tuck scratches of short scenes or maybe even a list of name of characters I know I’ll forget if I don’t jot them down. I often use sticky tabs in my notebooks and have kept them in the back pocket.

It’s hard to capture the true color of the edging but it gives the notebooks a clean look.

There are four colors available: Ariegeois (Ashgray Black), Garanno (Cocoa Brown), Henson (Desert Brown), and Galloway (Khaki Cream) [not shown]. These notebooks are available for $19.95 each on Le Stallion’s website.

To watch my unboxing video of three of these notebooks, click here >> Unboxing Le Stallion A5 Notebooks.

What’s Coming…

Okay, I’m super excited because I’ve finished recording the unboxing of these packages and currently editing, but I wanted to share my excitement. Unfortunately, my camera’s audio isn’t great so I have do the voice overs during editing but if you were able to hear me you’d know I was super giddy with excitement when I first opened the packages. Two of the packages were books and the other two were notebooks from Le Stallion. I normally only review books but I couldn’t pass up these notebooks and I’m so glad I didn’t. They took my breath away.

I’m hyped about the books too. I know one is a fantasy but I wasn’t sure about the other one. It sounds like fantasy, but we’ll see. Either way, I’m very happy and excited to share my reviews with you all.

So, keep your eyes out. I’m working quickly at getting the videos and photos up.

Unboxing Video: Chic Sparrow Callahan Jaffe A5 Cascade

I uploaded the video a week ago wanting to share the video and photos at the same time, but the photos were delayed because something else came up, and then couldn’t decide if I should go ahead with the video and share the photos later. Finally decided to wait and do both video and photos together.

This leather, Jaffe A5 Cascade, was actually not available when I wanted to buy it. I submitted a notification request for it, just in case. A lot of leathers I like are limited edition and the Callahan line is one of them. The Jaffe leather is so rugged and beautiful that I had to have my hands on it. I’m so glad I was able to get one.

August 2021 Playlist

I skipped last month’s play list, but I’ll list it below. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Empire of the Sun, but I really like their music. I’m sure I’ve heard of their music, but I may have just not known it was them. Anyway, really good stuff.

“Alive” by Empire of the Sun

August’s list:

Epic Soundtrack Collection Mix (on YT) – Borrtex

The Father’s Full Album – Dwayne Ford

“We Are the People” – Empire of the Sun

“Walking on a Dream” – Empire of the Sun

July’s list:

“Heaven Will Come” (Vox Mix) – Lustral

“In Your Arms” – Medina

“Revive Me” – Jeremy Camp

“Smell of Desire” – Enigma

“Dark Night of the Sour” – Philip Wesley

“Brave for Me” – Conjure One

“The Leader of the Pack” – The Shangri-La’s

“White Rabbit” – Jefferson Airplane

Unboxing Video: Chic Sparrow Express Glas B6 Folio with Leather Comparison

This video was uploaded a little late because I was out of town but here it is. I personally prefer thicker leathers but for some reason, this one speaks to me. I love the color and how pliable it is. The striations give this notebook character. It’s just an overall happy little notebook.