Merchandise Review: Wick and Fable candles


As you guys may know, I am somewhat of a candle connoisseur; that is, I have a massive bookish candle collection (like, it would be embarrassing for me to post how big it is). All my friends ask me for bookish candle recommendations, and just like when I was always asked for book recommendations, I decided to start doing merchandise reviews for bookworms. You can check out my review of Novelly Yours here, and today, I'm going to talk about Wick and Fable, another bookish candle shop that has a few more goodies in its inventory as well!


Owner: Jess
Goods: bookish candles, tea blends, spa items

Shop Links:
    


Overall rating: 4.5 stars
Shop rating: 4 stars
Product rating: 5 stars
Customer service rating: 4 stars


Disclaimer: I have only purchased candles from Wick and Fable. I am not a rep, I have not been gifted any of their candles, and this post is NOT sponsored.

Shop rating

Wick and Fable offers a variety of bookish candles, literary teas, and will soon release a line of bath & beauty products. I believe each of the candles are offered as a wax tart, 4 oz candle, or 8 oz candle. One thing I REALLY like is that each of these size items is offered in the same listing so if you change your mind and want a larger or smaller size, you don't have to search for a separate listing. I also love the bundles available. My first two W&F candles were courtesy of this bogo 8 oz/2 oz bundle, and I've also taken advantage of their pick 4 sampler, or there's this pick 2 sampler. Additionally, Wick and Fable offers a monthly fandom box with a handful of candles plus some great swag. And, like many stores that run on shopify, Wick and Fable has a rewards program where you can earn points for purchasing items, leaving reviews, recommending the shop to friends, following on social media, etc.

Wick and Fable has a pretty large inventory of items, but the list of fandoms represented is fairly small and rather typical of a candle shop. That is to say, there's TOG/ACOTAR, Six of Crows, HP/Fantastic Beasts, Wintersong, Caraval, Outlander, Sherlock, Gilmore Girls, Strange the Dreamer, Flame in the Mist, etc. However, the amount of candles for most of the fandoms is pretty extensive so if those fandoms are yours (particularly SJM), you'll probably still be pretty happy with the offerings. I do like that there's an option to shop by fandom OR by scent so if you're searching for something in particular, it's fairly easy to find.
Product rating

So, the first time I ever ordered from Wick and Fable, I got my candles, and I was... underwhelmed. When I smelled the two candles I got (Starfall and Giggle Water), I was not very impressed with the scents at ALL. However, with both, I fell in love after burning. I don't like to rate my candles against each other for the most part, but Starfall is now probably one of my favorites from any shop. That's why it's really important for me to actually USE my candles rather than just take pictures with them as props. 

Now, I quite like the scents that Wick and Fable uses. They're perhaps a little perfumier than most people are accustomed to, but it works for me. Plus, the candles burn well and have an absolute MARVELOUS throw. These will definitely fill up a room, even with a fan going. Also, they solidify nicely so there aren't bubbles that make the surface uneven after you burn them. They still look pretty.

Also, Wick and Fable's labels are GORGEOUS, which is a definite plus, but something that frustrates me is that they either have the scents OR a quote from the book/character. I would prefer scents over the quote, but if they could find a way to do both, I'd be thrilled. I just like to know exactly what I'm smelling without having to pull up the website to check.

ACOMAF fans are all about chapter 55 (and sometimes 49), but my favorite scene is Starfall. It's sweet and a little bit silly, and it's an emotionally pivotal moment for Feyre & Rhys. What's your favorite scene in ACOMAF? 🌠 This Starfall candle from @wickandfable is delicious! It smells sweet, like flowers and wine and burgeoning love, and I adore it! It's perfect paired with my favorite print from @taratjah, whose ACOMAF fanart is my favoirte! 🌠 Check out the link in my profile! I just reviewed Amy Tintera's Avenged, and I'm giving away a signed arc this week! 🌠 #acomaf #starfall #instabook #bookstagram #wickandfable #yalit #booksandflowers #bookshimmy #igreads #booklover #bibliophile #ireadya #booknerd #bookporn #signedbook #bookandcandle #Bloomsbury #SarahJMaas #acourtofmistandfury
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Customer service rating

One thing that is frustrating about Wick and Fable is that the shipping is a little slower than I'd like. Expect to wait a couple weeks before your candles come; if you preorder a box, it will probably ship toward the end of the month so that will be a while longer. However, I know Jess is now using a different system (I think she's going by inventory instead of made-to-order...?), and shipping is now a bit quicker.

I've had a couple interactions with Jess, both via Etsy conversation and the contact form on the new site, and she was very responsive. I also appreciate that she occasionally sends out site updates through her newsletter. I think a lot of shops rely on Instagram stories for updates, which is frustrating because what if customers aren't on instagram? What if you miss it? What if you don't have a connection? That's lazy and limiting. I'm not saying Jess never uses stories, but I do like that she actually uses the newsletter function. 

Recommendations
And here are my favorite Wick and Fable candles. If you like candles, these are the ones I most highly recommend.

Starfall | RhysandInejNight CourtEver After (This candle has actually been discontinued, but Nina or Giggle Water are fairly comparable alternatives with similar strawberry and champagne scents)



Blog Tour: Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin



Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: young adult historical romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: Book 3 of the Stranje House series


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Jean Book Nerd Blog Tours. This does not affect the content of my review. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!

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Summary:
It’s 1814. Napoleon has escaped his imprisonment on Elba. Britain is at war on four fronts. And at Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, five young ladies are secretly being trained for a world of spies, diplomacy, and war….

Napoleon’s invasion of England is underway and someone at Stranje House is sneaking information to his spies. Lady Jane Moore is determined to find out who it is. If anyone can discover the traitor, it is Jane―for, according to headmistress Emma Stranje, Lady Jane is a mastermind.

Jane doesn’t consider herself a mastermind. It’s just that she tends to grasp the facts of a situation quickly, and by so doing, she’s able to devise and implement a sensible course of action. Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save the brash young American inventor Alexander Sinclair, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?

Fans of genre-blending, romance, and action will love this Regency-era alternate history novel filled with spunky heroines, handsome young lords, and dastardly villains―the third in the Stranje House series. Don’t miss the first two books: A School for Unusual Girls and Exile for Dreamers.

Mary's Minute: My Inner Circle


The other day, I received an email with a promising subject line: CREATE AN INNER CIRCLE. For those of you who don't know, I'm kind of in love with Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Mist and Fury (I like books 1 & 3 too, but ACOMAF is by far my favorite), and one of the reasons I love it so much is because of the close-knit group of friends the main character Feyre makes. For a second, I though it was a promo email from Bloomsbury, and I was super excited! Unfortunately, the email was some super preachy spam email with lots of Bible references so... not at all what I expected. 

However, the idea of building my own Inner Circle is an intriguing one so I have decided to go ahead and make my own Inner Circle so thanks for the idea, Myra Perry, whoever you are! As a matter of fact, I like this idea SO MUCH that I'm going to create TWO Inner Circles: a list of fictional characters who I would want in my theoretical Inner Circle and a list of IRL actual humans who already are because if there's anything I like, it's talking up books I love and bragging about my friends!


Fictional Character Inner Circle
Before you check out my picks, I just want to say that I ADORE Feyre, Rhys, Mor, Cassian, Azriel, and Amren, the six in the ACOTAR Inner Circle, and obviously I want them all. However, as I tried my hardest to pick individuals and not entire groups and the actual Inner Circle is at its best when they're all together, I gave myself the rule that I couldn't use any of them. Same with other large groups of characters. Otherwise I'd just end up with an Inner Circle that would be entirely comprised of entire casts like TLC + the Dregs + the Inner Circle + all the Starbound & Illuminae groups + the Cullens + everyone from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines etc.


 
Nina Zenik. I want the heartrender from Six of Crows on my list for several reasons: 1. she's a HEARTRENDER, hello! 2. She's got a great sense of humor. 3. Waffles. 4. She comes with friends who will totally end up part of my Inner Circle (welcome, Inej & Matthias!). 5. I love her!


Also part of my fictional Inner Circle is Levi from Fangirl. I adore this actual Good Guy. He's sweet, he's adorable, he's kind, he's chivalrous without being patronizing, and he makes me laugh.



Tarver Merendsen is a broody soldier, but he's in my Inner Circle because he would be the one keeping all of us alive! He's great at his job, but he has the heart of a poet. Plus, as much as I love him, like Nina, he'd also come with friends: notably, his debutant-computer-programmer girlfriend Lilac. And Lilac and I would totally be shopping buddies. I mean, girl's got style for days!



Absolutely invited to the party is Susannah Simon, commonly known as Suze, from the Mediator series. Suze is a tough chick. She's not afraid to kick some serious ghost butt on a regular basis OR the occasional human butt when living flesh-and-blood people get in her way. Also, she would absolutely go shopping with me and Lilac.


Actual Real Life Inner Circle
First of all, my fantasy football league Game of Throws ladies: Lindsay (aka Bookie Crumbles aka cookie goddess aka our commish), Wendy (of Book Scents), Ellice (of Paper Riot), Jess (of Gone with the Word), Andi (of Andi's ABCs), Tonya (of Lily Bloom Books), Lauren (of Bookmark Lit), Morgan (of The Bookish Beagle), and Danielle (formerly of Love At First Page aka the triangle hater). These ladies are My People. We came together because of a mutual love of books and football, and we stay together because we're way too freaking weird to unleash our full selves on the general populace (I'm.... only partially kidding). We laugh, we cry, we tell weird jokes and gossip and rant about fandoms and Marvel and hot guys and books and food and diets and exercise and family and friends and jobs and being moms being wives being single basically every single thing. The group DMs (because of COURSe we have multiple group DMs for each of our fandoms in addition to the main chat :D) smart, talented, loving, kind, hilarious, ridiculous, amazing women has become my one-stop-sanity-shop when I need a pick-me-up or just to talk, and I am absurdly lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.

Then there's Jessica of Stuck In Books, who is my most-frequent IRL Inner Circle member. Jess and I live about 3.5 hours apart, but we see each other as much as possible, which is fairly often considering all the book events in Texas. Jess and I are those friends who can start a conversation in one place (like Twitter) and seamlessly transition that conversation to Instagram, Twitter DMs, text, Instagram stories, and Instagram DMs and then switch back-and-forth indefinitely but also manage to keep track of rants and stories that require being shared in-person because there's no other way to appreciate it. We're kind of brain twins, but that doesn't mean we always think exactly alike or share the same opinion. Jess is the kind of friend who always tells me the truth, even the difficult ones, and always thoughtfully responds to my comments. She's the Inej to my Nina, and I love her, and I'm  already counting down the 27 19 days until I get to see her next! (I wrote this post last week & needed to edit :D)

Lastly, there's Katie from the Polished Page Turners. Have you ever met someone and just thought, "Yeah, this is my person" because they get you and you get them & you just... click? That's Katie. She's fantastic, and I love her to pieces. I'm so glad that a mutual love of soccer, sports romance books, and Rob Conrad from As Long As You Love Me brought us together! I wish desperately that we lived closer to one another because she's SO much fun to hang out with in person. We've had some amazing adventures together, despite the fact that my family once though that Katie was a serial killer I'd met on the internet (lolz), and I can't wait until the next one, whatever city it may be in. Here's to good food, taking absurd selfies, and smacking down badly behaving jerks at RT, Katue! ;)


So my question for you is: who would be in your Inner Circle? Feel free to share some of your favorite fictional characters or give a shout out to IRL awesome people. :)

Giveaway: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes


Welcome to the Girl Against the Universe seven days/seven giveaways paperback tour! I ADORE Girl Against the Universe (check out my review here), and I'm so happy to help Paula spread the word for the paperback release. Keep scrolling to learn how to enter and for the schedule for the other SIX giveaways that are happening this week!

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Status: standalone
Links: Girl Against the Universe review

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Maguire knows the universe is against her. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when she's around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or the time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash--and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. 

Despite what her therapist tells her, Maguire thinks it's best to hide out in her room, far away from anyone she might accidentally hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star who wants to help her break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for him is to stay away, but it turns out staying away might be harder than she thought.

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Available from:
   

Paula: Hi everyone! Girl Against the Universe releases in paperback on June 6, 2017 and I’m so excited about that I decided to do an entire blog tour of giveaways to celebrate! In the story, main character Maguire creates her own list of seven challenges to help her overcome her fears. This week I have seven challenges for you, and seven chances to win a shiny GATU paperback :D These contests are international, but due to shipping costs US winners will receive signed copies sent by me and INT winners will receive their books from Wordery or The Book Depository, with signed bookplates mailed separately.

All contests will end on May 31, 2017. All winners will be contacted via Instagram, Twitter, or email as well as posted on my blog in early June. If you’re going to enter a Twitter or Instagram challenge, be sure your account is set to public during the contest period so I will be able to see your entries.


Challenge #3:

Ready to get your poetry on??

It’s haiku time! haiku are three-line Japanese poems with a syllable pattern of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. If you want to win, you’ve gotta get the pattern right—it’s harder than it looks! Not sure if you’re aware, but Mary is one of the internet’s most talented YA book-related haiku writers ;)

(Mary: this is true. Paula and I became acquainted through a Twitter party for The Art of Lainey in which I killed the competition with my rad and more-than-slightly inappropriate haiku skills.)

You can write your haiku about any of the following things, all of which play somewhat important roles in Girl Against the Universe: good luck, bad luck, tennis, dolphins, roller coasters, California burritos. Or if you’ve already GATU, you can write your haiku about anything you want related to the book.

For this contest, you’ll need to fill out the Rafflecopter for bookkeeping purposes. One entry if you post your haiku in the comments, two more entries if you post your haiku on Twitter in plain text, and an additional five entries if you post your haiku as a graphic on Twitter. Your post must include these tags so I can find it: @pstokesbooks, #GATUpaperback, #haiku.

Here’s an example I made using a free image from Canva, but I’m not nearly as skilled as Mary!



I made a #haiku about luck for @pstokesbooks #GATUpaperback blog tour contest!

If you make a visual haiku, you can claim both the 2 entries for tweeting your haiku and the 5 entries for tweeting an image without tweeting twice. Happy haiku-ing! You can enter one poem before May 31, 2017. Questions? Put them in the comments :)

Tour Schedule:

About the Author:
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.


When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

Author Links:
    

Giveaway:
One winner will receive either a signed paperback of Girl Against the Universe (US) or a paperback copy of Girl Against the Universe with a signed bookplate mailed separately (INT).

Mary Had a Little Book Blog is not responsible for lost prizes. Chances of winning are determined by number of entries. Good luck!


Merchandise Review: Novelly Yours Candles



I want to kick off a new-to-me feature here on Mary Had a Little Book Blog: merchandise reviews! Bookish merchandise has really exploded in the YA community thanks to cool publisher bonus swag, bookstagram, and subscription boxes for every imaginable genre and fandom. I'm going to take some of the shops and boxes that I've tried out and give you guys a look at my experience with the shops and their merch. First up is the shop that got me into candles: Novelly Yours!


Owner: Brittany @ Book Addicts Guide
Goods: bookish candles

Shop Links:
    


Overall rating: 5 stars
Shop rating: 5 stars
Product rating: 5 stars
Customer Service rating: 5 stars







At this point, everyone should know Brittany's shop Novelly Yours. Brittany got in this candle game way back in Fall 2015 and has been killing the candle game ever since. Disclaimer: I have only ever purchased candles from Novelly Yours or won them in giveaways so this is just me gushing about them as an extremely satisfied customer.

Shop rating

Novelly Yours offers a WIDE variety of size options from wax tarts to 2 oz, 4 oz, and 8 oz tins to 12 oz jars so there are plenty of options for the casual candle lover and the candle aficionado alike. You can buy in themed sets or do a mix-and-match to find what you like! The shop has two different candle-of-the-month options (8 oz or 12 oz layered candle and it looks like she's also starting up a possible monthly themed set!), and you can sign up for a subscription for those candles via the shop's Etsy page (which is the ONLY thing I recommend buying on the Etsy shop. Use the website for everything else so you can earn reward points!)

Fandom wise, I think Novelly Yours does a great job with item variety. There are plenty of candle shop staples like Harry Potter, Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Maggie Stiefvater, and Marissa Meyer items, but there are also a TON of other great unique options like Outlander, The Winner's Kiss, The Princess Bride, Illuminae, etc! But wait! There's more! There's also a fun Disney princess collection and several unique sets of generally bookish candles ON TOP of 2-3 seasonal or limited edition candles offered on a limited basis for a few months. Oh, AND Novelly Yours offers custom candles for individuals or for bulk orders. Just contact the shop for info.

Novelly Yours is constantly creating fantastic new products. Just in May, there have been the two candle-of-the-month additions, an amazing "pirates and rogues" set, Strange the Dreamer, another ACOWAR candle, a Bellas candle (from Pitch Perfect!!!!!), and a couple others. Like, that is a LOT of new stock!

Product rating

Whatever fragrances Novelly Yours uses in the candles, I really like them. I haven't disliked a single candle yet. Although some scents like coffee or pine tend to not be my favorite, I still order candles that include them because each candle is blended with several scents that make each one unique and alluring. I do know some of the candles don't have a strong throw so if you are worried about scent strength, I highly recommend checking out the shop FAQ or using the contact form to find which candle will be the best fit for you!

Which brings me to the last section I'll be grading shops on: 
Customer service

Novelly Yours gets ALL THE STARS.

I've once contacted Novelly Yours to help me with an order that I bumbled, and Brittany responded immediately and was able to help. One time she accidentally mailed one of my packages to my previous address, and she totally got that fixed asap. But it's the other things. Brittany responds to tweets, Twitter DMs, Instagram comments, and Instagram DMs (I'm assuming she does on Facebook as well). She's incredibly involved with and responsive to her customers. She takes questions and requests via the contact form and maintains a shop blog where she not only makes announcements but also answers all your burning candle questions (heh. Pun intented). I love that if the demand for a limited edition candle is there, she makes it a permanent addition to the shop. Even when she retires candles to make room for new ones, she's always bringing back the old for fans to buy their faves. Brittany is a shop owner who knows and understands her customers and does her best to make sure they're happy AND that her shop is successful.


Recommendations
There is literally nothing Novelly Yours could do to make me like them more so they're getting a gold stamp of approval from me. For kicks and giggles, here are some of my favorite Novelly Yours candles that I think you should try:

Beast's Library - smells like a library with a roaring fire full of rich old leather first editions (I loved Antique Books first, but it has been retired & Beast's Library smells extremely similar)
Cabeswater - smells like a meadow full of flowers with the sun just burning off the early morning mist
Matthias - bear with me, but this one smells somewhat like toothpaste? It's minty and clean like that just-brushed feeling that gives you chills
Mermaid's Grotto - smells like a cool beach in the late fall with salty sea air, white-capped waves and driftwood
Romance trope - smells like love is in the air!


Blog Tour: Seeker by Veronica Rossi




Rating: 3.5 stars
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: young adult paranormal
Format/Source: hardcover, from the publisher
Status: Book 2 of the Riders series (I think it's just a duology?)


Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by BookNerd Blog Tours. This does not affect the content of my review. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!

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Summary:
When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth. She wasn't losing her mind, she was gaining the Sight the ability to see the future. If she just paid attention to the visions, they'd provide her with clues and show her how she could help people. Really help them. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first and worst mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael the last surviving demon in the Kindred guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It's up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on her instincts, her intelligence, and on blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil? The very fate of humankind rests in the answer.

#ReadaDessen Campaign: The Truth about Forever & Wes's art


Today I'm really excited to be sharing some art that reminds me of one of my all-time favorite Sarah Dessen novels, The Truth About ForeverTruth is such a gorgeous novel, and I love falling in love with Macy and forever YA boyfriend Wes as well as the rest of the Wish Catering crew. Keep scrolling to see some truly spectacular works of art plus enter to win the Sarah Dessen mega giveaway!


Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: May 11, 2004
Publisher: Viking Books
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Status: standalone




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Summary:
With her sixth novel, award-winning author Sarah Dessen offers up another generous helping of finely crafted storytelling about real teens dealing with real life.

In The Truth About Forever, when asked how she is coping with her father's death, invariably seventeen year old Macy Queen's answer is "fine," when nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, she is drowning in grief while maintaining a flawless façade of good grades and unblemished behavior. Though she feels lost when her boyfriend heads to "Brain Camp" for the summer, she finds herself a job with the quirky Wish Catering crew, and meets "sa-woon"-worthy Wes, whose chaotic lifestyle is in direct opposition to her own. 

As the two share their stories over the summer, Macy realizes she can no longer keep her feelings on ice. Though it feels like her future ended with her dad's death, Macy's learns that forever is all about beginnings.