Arrows and Atlases is Open for Business!

I just want to start by saying what a fantastic week this has been. My Etsy shop is finally open, I made my first sales, and tomorrow I have a consultation call with an editor to be working through Flowers in the Snow, the novel based on my short story, Fall into Me. But we’ll talk more about all that later.

It’s been a lot of work getting here, and the launch didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but I’ve been so happy with the reaction so far. I want Arrows and Atlases to be a place for readers and writers alike that love love, adventure, and the planet we all share.

All my bookmarks are made with VOC free, FDA approved epoxy resin and inspired by popular novels, nature, and hopefully someday soon my own writing. With that all that in mind, I’ve committed to creating as little waste as possible by using reusable silicone mixing tools and cups instead of disposable plastic cups and popsicle sticks.

The packaging is all compostable material: One hundred percent composable bubble mailers, plant-based “plastic” bags, Thank you cards ordered from Vista Print because of their sustainable forestry practices, and lastly, sustainably sourced paper and twine to wrap each of your items as if it were a gift.

Snowflakes, night skies, and evergreens inspired the 2020 collection. This year I’m really missing the snow here in Virginia. There has been less and less every year. So, I’m going to donate $1 from every bookmark sold to the Environmental Defense Fund – An excellent non-profit organization dedicated to fighting climate change, protecting our forests, and so much more. Even if you don’t need a new bookmark, every little dollar helps.

There will be more coming to this collection throughout mid January including a few to celebrate the New Year before the Valentine’s day bookmarks begin, so be sure to follow the blog or my Instagram @arrowsnatlases for updates.

All my life, I’ve wanted to have a job I was passionate about while making a positive impact, and here I am still trying. Here’s to hoping the orders keep coming, the words keep flowing, and I influence at least one person to take a proactive step to clean up and rejuvenate our beautiful blue planet.

Out of the Ordinary Update

Hello, my loves!

Well 2020 certainly has gone to Hell in a handbasket, hasn’t it? Global recognition of the struggles of the black community and those of indigenous peoples, acknowledging that there’s a global environmental crisis, and the reality that the pandemic isn’t a hoax to get Trump out of office certainly seems to have some people triggered.

The kind of people who love to throw around the word “libtard”, and start sentences with “I’m not racist, but”, and use their religion to justify why they are trying to dictate what decisions another person makes about their lives, even though it in no way affects them personally. But I digress.

Besides dealing with a barrage of ignorance on my personal Facebook over all the above controversies, my health hasn’t been the best. I’ve always been a little on the sickly side, however an inability to maintain my weight and a recent fainting spell has since landed me in the offices of a vascular surgeon, a cardiologist, and a neurologist in an effort to figure out what’s wrong with me. The only things I know for sure at the moment is that I have a Vitamin D deficiency and at least primary Raymond’s Phenomenon.

Needless to say my situation has changed significantly. A light work order has knocked me down to working only 10 to 15 hours a week and numerous doctor’s appointments have taken up a lot of my time. When I am home, I’m spending time with my son, keeping the house clean, trying to cook homemade meals more often, and then dealing with the clean up from that while also trying to start a small side business selling resin tumblers and art to supplement my income. Unfortunately, that’s left very little time for reading, writing, and photoshoots.

I’m in the process of trying to get back on track, but that means I’m going to have to change the way I do things. I’m not sure exactly what that means yet, but I hope we can find out together. What I can tell you is that I can’t afford to do the monthly giveaways anymore. Of course, there will still be giveaways on special occasions and Christmas, but monthly giveaways have become too much of a financial strain.

May’s fantasy art feature will still be posted in the next week or so, despite them being two months late and I have a couple of reviews to type up and a couple of articles I’m drafting. Just bear with me guys.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy day,

Alexa

The March Hare’s Revolution Manga Review

If you’d like to read the condensed, spoiler-free review, pop over my Goodreads. If you’ve already read the book and you’re just here for my thoughts, or you just don’t care, keep scrolling.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Like all Alice in the Country of Hearts/Clover, The March Hare’s Revolution is a wild ride of violence, mischief, and romance. I’ve owned this one for a while, but recently reread it and decided to post a review. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Elliot and Alice’s relationship. Elliot is one of the more interesting characters in the series (at least, in my opinion) with his sorted history. Despite his turbulent life as a mafia member, he has a sweet side and a want to protect Alice from the wars of Wonderland rather than drag her into them. Not to mention, I live for those rabbit ears.

There were several things that I liked specifically about this story line. For starters, that it was one of the easier ones to follow. Because of the chaotic nature of Wonderland, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the character’s and certain details you need to notice to better understand later parts of the story. This one was pretty cut and dry and considering these stories are just supposed to bit of high action romance, I liked that.

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Somehow Alice seemed more mature to me in this book than in others. Maybe it was that the nature of their relationship wasn’t as sexually driven or superficial. They actually spent time together going on dates, and Alice isn’t in denial about her feelings. Being uncertain of his feelings and being uncertain whether his lifestyle was suited to her own are legitimately things any woman would and should worry about. I know I would certainly be concerned if I found myself in a shoot out in the middle of a date.

Elliot bringing Alice the apology necklace she only glanced at while they were in town was the sweetest and most thoughtful thing. I love the way his ears droop whenever he’s worried or feeling bashful. While I also have soft spots for Julius and Boris, Elliot would absolutely be my pick.

The artwork for this one is just amazing. Ryo Kazuki’s art style is gorgeous and it brings so much to the story. I’ve like other Alice in the Country of Hearts/Clover less for their artwork, but The March Hare’s Revolution is on par with the main trilogy. A definite must have if you’re a fan of the series, and my favorite bunny boy.

May Fan Art Features

Hello, lovelies. Thank you so much for coming to view another of my galleries. It’s a privilege to be able to support artists and share their work here on the blog. In case any of you are wondering how this program works, you can check out the official page here.

This month’s fan art features include a couple of #sixfanarts , some beautiful #mermay pieces, and a few randoms that I just loved. I hope you enjoy, and if you love an artist’s work, don’t forget to go give them a follow or maybe even buy some merch. (I am not affiliated with any of these artists and receive no compensation for sharing their work or links. I’m simply a fan.)

So, without further ado…

@jorjecroft

27.9 K followers

Bio reads: Be educated

@whitllanier

15.8 K followers

Bio reads:  Illustrator, 3D modeler, nerd, and just my awkward, silly self.

Redbubble

@theanimatedlife

373 K followers

Bio reads: Visual Development / Character Design

Patreon / Tee Public / Redbubble / Society 6

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@pizza_arti

773 followers ( Let’s see if we can get her a few more.)

Bio reads: Feel free to send a DM or art.of.pizzaart@gmail.com 

Don’t use my pictures without my permission

(I have permission.)

six fan art by pizza_arti on instagram

Do you know who all of these iconic characters are? Leave the answers in the comments.

@fintastic_plastik

2,259 Followers

Bio reads: Just a guy who LOVES mermaids, toy collecting, and drawing! Legs are boring. 😛

@drea.d.art

10.6 K followers

Bio reads: PATREON IS HERE!!!! Freelance Illustrator making strange and unusual fan art and dark humor greeting cards at home with her Goblins in the Pacific NW!

Patreon / Society 6

@naomi_lord

(Yes, again. Lol. I’m a huge fan of her cutest.)

169 K Followers

Bio reads: Freelance illustrator! UK

COMMISSIONS closed! (email business inquiries)

Please credit if you repost! (Please DON’T EDIT!)

Check out my Etsy store!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book Review

If you’d like to read the condensed, spoiler-free review, pop over my Goodreads. If you’ve already read the book, and you’re just here for my thoughts, keep scrolling.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Let me start by saying that while I’ve been a fan of the movies since their release, I’d never read the books. I purchased the first book, intending to, but never got around to it. It sat on my shelf until just recently when it came up in a follow loop on my bookstagram that I hadn’t read them, and I decided it was finally time.

Naturally I had high expectations picking it up. The movies are true magic, and J.K. Rowling has won countless awards for her books and writing. Most of the world knows her name and her stories, so I expected it to be a masterpiece…

It was not.

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At least, not in my opinion. Just to be frank, I considered giving this book three stars instead of four but having loved the magical world of Harry Potter for so long, I couldn’t do so in good conscience. While there’s no denying Rowling’s incredible imagination, I don’t think she did an excellent job of translating it onto paper.

I didn’t like her writing style or the flow of the story. It took half the book for him to get to Hogwarts, and then I felt like everything happened very quickly after that. Literally months went by in the same amount of pages it took weeks to get through, and scenes I thought would be full of detail weren’t, like Gringott’s and the seeing the castle for the first time. (Yes, of course, she told you the castle sat high on the cliff, and that the first years ducked through vines and scrambled up onto some rocks and peddles up to the hall. But that seems a like lack luster, doesn’t it?) And the challenges happened very quickly, without much of an atmosphere.

And then they were scenes that seemed unnecessarily long, like the train ride to Hogwarts and the sorting hat ceremony. I understood the need for a little variety outside of your main characters, but you actually go through an entire list of students while reading.

That being said, if you are looking for a story about magic, love, bravery, and friendship you can find no finer plot line. I found her character’s to be even more endearing in the books. Every little “unnecessary” moment cut from the movie made the story feel so much for personal. Especially the Weasel twins, helping Harry onto the train and then showing up with Percy at Christmas time to show off their opened presents. Mrs. Weaselly saying goodbye to him after the train back to platform 9 3/4, and I even enjoyed Neville’s move active roll in the book.

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Plus there was the character they excluded all together: Peeves the Poltergeist. He’s a nasty little spirit always causing mayhem around the school. I guess, to the over all story, he isn’t really needed, but he’s a fun character anyway.

Not to mention, there’s so many little tidbits of information you learn about random things throughout the story. Like where Hedwig gets her name, and that HARRY and HERMIONE got rid of Norbert and that’s how they get detention. If you are a fan of the movies, I definitely recommend reading the books – if you haven’t and you’re still here. There’s so many things you didn’t know you didn’t know about the world of Harry Potter.

April Giveaway

– Closed –

It’s giveaway time! This month’s theme is Alice in Wonderland and I’m giving away a beautiful, classic copy of the Wonderland Collection, two floral travel notebooks, and a heart charm pen. Entry is simple. Just like this post and drop a comment with your name, Instagram username, or a book recommendation.

See? Easy. And it’s just as easy to get bonus entries. Just go to my Instagram, find the giveaway post and follow the instructions. (If you plan on claiming bonus entries, please comment your Instagram username below. It’s easier for me to keep count that way.)

Rules and Terms:

  • Must be 18 or older to enter (or have parental permission).
  • US residents only.
  • Giveaway not associated with Instagram, WordPress, or any other brand or business.
  • Accounts must to public for verification of identity and account authenticity.
  • Winner will be selected at random on May 8, 2020.

April 30, 2020

Hello, lovelies! How have you been?April was a pretty busy month for me. Camp Nanowrimo effectively kicked my ass. Out of my 50,000-word count goal, I managed just under 10,000 words. Still, progress is progress, and I’m incredibly happy with what I have written. (And obviously, I’m still working on it.) I did read more than usual. Thus, I’ve added the Reviews page to the blog, where right now you can only find my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. Hopefully, they’ll be interesting coming from a twenty-four-year-old adult having just read the book for the first time. Plus, I’ve got three manga reviews in works that will soon be posted.

Even though I didn’t get as much written on the novel as I wanted, I got quite a bit accomplished here on the blog. Obviously, the Reviews and Giveaways pages are now up, and April’s fan art features were a stunning and absolute success in my eyes. I love the #sixfanarts challenge, and you can look forward to more in May. As well as some incredible #mermay pieces that aren’t exactly fan art, but deserves to be acknowledged all the same. Which means I’ll be adding a new gallery to the blog, Fantasy Art Features, and I’m honestly pretty excited about it.

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Can’t forget to mention that I’ve officially purchased my first commissioned piece! It’s a bust of the main character, Anastasia, from my WIP, Flowers in the Snow, by the incredible @myrthena on Instagram. She said it should be ready sometime by the end of the month, and I’ll be posting it on my Instagram as soon as it’s in my inbox so keep an eye out! 😉

I’ve always believed in supporting other artists, whether it be their writing, music, or artwork, but you all have probably guessed that already. That being said, I’ve decided to commission character art and cover art from various artists using various mediums for all of my novels and short stories. Maybe even some merch if you guys were interest once the novel is released. I’m already looking for my next artist to paint or draw Griffin, another main character from my WIP.

Regrettably, as you can probably tell from the lateness of this post, I still have a lot to do, but seeing as I have the next week off from my day job, I hope to get caught up on all my posting plans and maybe even get a little bit ahead. Things have been hectic around my house with renovations so I haven’t had a lot of time for much else, but that won’t continue until next week. That means seven days to spend with my little one, home, and actually work on the things I’m passionate about like my novels and this blog.

It’s been such a joy growing with you all and doing giveaways for you guys. I’ve loved your reactions so far, and I’m so grateful to be giving a little joy during these stressful days. Congratulations to Olivia Hasik (@mompam.reads) on winning April’s Alice in Wonderland Giveaway! If you’re interested, you can watch the unboxing video that and March in my highlights @arrowsnatlases. With it being #mermay can you guess which book I’m giving away this month?

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April Fan Art Features

Hello, everyone! It’s that time of the month again when I recognize some of the talented artists on Instagram. Some of this month’s fandoms include Alice in Wonderland, Frozen, and Onward. Plus several #sixfanarts from Instagram’s six fan art challenge. Just scroll down to check them out and don’t forget to go show a little love to the artists with a like and a follow.

If you’d like to know more about how Arrows and Atlases’ Fan Art Features work or see last months features, just click here.

These are my favorite of the COMPLETED #sixfanarts, and I’ll be adding more to it as more amazing artists finish their sets.

Cyarine

Hanavbara

Ninrv

Tsvetka.art

Miadresden

…. And finally just some pieces for you to appreciate.

Wandering_nicky

Imaridraws

Sesshoumaru and Rin – Inuyasha

Jellyjessbeans

Naomi_lord

Spidertams

Inesbdraws

C.roisana

March Fan Art Features

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my very first installment of Arrows and Atlases‘ Fan Art Features! I’m so excited to be sharing these amazing pieces with you. Most of the artist in these list are lesser known but should definitely be receiving more attention! Links to their Instagram and Deviant Art accounts are linked to their artwork , so if you are a fan go give them a follow.

If you would like to know more about the program and how to get featured, just click here.

@nc23_11

@gusli.jpeg

@imaridraws

@helabellaart

March 31, 2020

I feel like saying March was eventful is a massive understatement. I look back on my February post and think about how quickly things can change.

Since my last update Covid-19 has swept the globe, and to be completely frank, I’m not sure what to think about it all. The impact this virus has had in such a short amount of time has been astonishing, and as America’s death toll climbs, I find myself getting more and more anxious. Especially, at my day job, considering I come home to a toddler and there has been a recent case in my area.

I know I’m not the only one whose nerves are slowly fraying. These are trying times, but I’m trying to make the most of it. Time at home has been spent with my boy and focusing more on the blog and my books. I feel like I’m settling into a pattern with my social media and posting and things are starting to feel more natural for me.

Creating a blog has been a struggle years in the making, but I’m trying my best. I’ve finally got all my pages created (though some of them are blank), I did my first giveaway on Instagram, and my fan art features program is a success. Social distancing seems to not only be the best thing for mine and my family’s health but also my writing.

Since March began, I have started working on a rewrite for part two of my MA+ Witcher fan fiction, Biter, that in my opinion makes the first look like complete garbage. It’s still in progress and should be ready in completion with part three some time in April. I’ve also worked out a partial outline for my Camp Nanowrimo April project, Flowers in the Snow (working title), which I am unbelievably excited to write.

It’s going to be a stand alone novel based off the short story, Fall Into Me, I wrote for that publishing scam last month. If you’d like to pop over to Wattpad and read that, I’ve used the short story as the first scene of chapter one, so consider it a sneak peak. I’ll be posting the entire novel in two weekly chapter installments on Wattpad, free to the public, once the story in finished and professionally edited. Maybe, just maybe, if I finished the first draft in April it will be ready for publication by August! Fingers crossed.

Are any of you going to be participating in Camp Nanowrimo? Let me know in the comments and add me as a buddy! I’d love to have a meet a few new friends and potential critique partners this year!

As always, stay magical, my lovelies, but also stay home and stay healthy.