Spotlight: Literary Book Gifts

Today on my blog, I’m trying something new and spotlight a company who produces gifts with a bookish theme that I think my readers would enjoy.



Melissa at Literary Book Gifts has a range of items from t-shirts to totes to backpacks that suite many literary tastes. Read on to view some of the visually fascinating products Melissa has in stock and at the end pick up a discount code just for readers of The Hermit Librarian blog!

Note: all prices and links are accurate as of this post date.


Alice in Wonderland Backpack ($58.00 USD)


The backpacks look particularly attractive. Made out of padded material with well seamed looking sides, they come in three sizes and with a padded laptop sleeve.

Also on Literary Book Gifts you can find shirts, tanks, and hoodies, available in range of colors and sizes. Some titles, like Anne of Green Gables  pictured below, are available in all three styles in complementary colors.

Women’s Anne of Green Gables Hoodie ($48 USD), Women’s T-shirt ($28 USD),
Women’s Tank Top ($24 USD)


The prices between Women’s and Men’s items are identical, which I like because I usually find a huge disparity on other sites. There’s not one between sizes, either, as of this post.

Men’s Wuthering Heights Hoodie ($48 USD), Men’s 20,000 Leagues T-shirt ($28 USD),
Men’s Cinderella Tank Top ($24 USD)


According to the Sizing Chart, all tops start at Small with Women’s going to 3x and Men’s to 5x at present. While not all sizes appear in the drop down menus right now, they will appear in the future. Until then, an email to the site can have it added to the catalog for your purchasing convenience.

Another thing to take note of: in each item’s description, it lists important information such as material, how the sizing runs (larger/smaller). Having this kind of information in such an accessible place makes me happier about ordering clothes from the site.

Regarding color, as I said, there seems to be a wide range from light to dark. I would recommend taking advantage of the preview images to see whether you think the chosen design looks right again the background. Some of the text tends to not stand out well against the lighter/brighter colors, such as the white text against certain grays or yellows.

Men’s Emily Dickinson T-Shirt ($28 USD)


Back to bags, the totes are just as nice as the backpacks. The colors, like the backpacks, are limited to the ones chosen by the designed, but I think they’ve been chosen well as they appear to be complimentary to the story or piece they represent.


Dracula Tote ($28), Peter Rabbit Tote ($28), The Garden Party Tote ($28)


There are three sizes available in totes, from 13/17/18 inches in height and 13/15/18 inches length to give you an idea of the size. No note on width, so I’d imagine you couldn’t pack these with as many books as the backpacks, but they’d do well for some shopping and certainly for gifting to that bookworm in your life.

While looking into the site, I made more than a few notes about things I’d like to buy myself and I hope that my spotlight on Literary Book Gifts has given you a few ideas as well. Melissa was kind enough to make a special discount code for fans of The Hermit Librarian. It’s good for 20% off your purchase at Literary Book Gifts. I hope you’ll find something nice for yourself and come back and share it with me. 🙂 The code is: TheHermitLibrarian20. It can be used on anything in the store, no minimum, and has unlimited uses.






All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.


Star-Touched Stories Blog Tour: An Excerpt from Roshani Chokshi’s Newest Release


Roshani Chokshi has a deft hand at her craft, weaving worlds that embrace the reader and take us away, whether it be in her novels The Star-Touched QueenCrown of Wishes, or this newest bind-up of short fiction that accompanies those two, Star-Touched Stories.

Returning to the world of Otherworldly beings and the humans that interact with them, readers are treated to new faces and old, familiar stories that go on just a bit longer and reveal depths about Death & Night, spy mistresses, and a whispered tale of doomed love.


Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads  –  Indiebound

Published: 7 August 2018

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Category: Fantasy/Young Adult/Short Stories

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

Rating: 5 Stars

Roshani Chokshi’s eloquent writing remains as beautiful as ever. The worlds crafted trend toward the fantastical, weaving intricate images of gardens and beings at the Night Market. Physicality aside, there’s also the depth of feeling the reader gets from the characters. Interacting with one another, it’s possible to really understand the depth of want, need, loneliness, fear. These aren’t passing mentions that in a lesser hand might just be words. Chokshi’s compels the reader to experience heartache right alongside her characters, to laugh with them as mock each other, to long for an answer to their problem just as much.

My favorite tale was “Death and Night”, a novella that was the first offering of Star-Touched Stories. It had all of the emotional buildup that I mentioned above, but it also had levity that I think some stories lack when the focus is so much on romance. Gupta, the adviser to Death, was a kick. He was able to make remarks to Death that few others might have dared and his demeanor was overall pleasant.

This book is considered 2.5 of the Star-Touched series, with each story taking place at intervals around the main works (Queen, Crown). I think that it would be possible to read it without having read those two primary books, but there would be something lost in the reading, especially in regards to Poison & Gold, which would actually be a bit spoiler-y for A Crown of Wishes.

Are you ready to pick up Star-Touched Stories? Read below for an excerpt from the book, a look into Death & Night:




>> 1 <<



I stood outside the home, watching as the light beaded and dripped down the length of the Tapestry thread. I waited. There was never any rush. Not for me at least.

The light dangled from the end of the string, clinging and re- luctant. A passing wind stirred the ends of the thread, teasing out strands of memory. The memories plumed into the air, releasing the scent of a life lived in love. One by one, the memories unraveled— a pillow shared by two heads bent close in secrecy, a frayed blanket kept inside an eternally empty cradle, a table that sagged from the weight of uncertain feasts. Happiness stolen from the edges of sorrow.

I stepped over the threshold.

The lights in the hut extinguished. Shadows slipped off the walls to gather around my feet. Inside the hut, someone had propped up a stingy fire. Cinnamon scented the air. Past the dusty vestibule, rows upon rows of bay leaves hung from the ceiling. Strange runes scratched into small animal bones and ivory hairpins lay in carefully constructed patterns. I laughed. Someone had tried to ward me away. But there was no door that didn’t open to me.

At the far corner of the house huddled two people. A man in the arms of a woman. Old age had blessed him, yet for all his gnarled veins and silver-streaked hair, the woman cradled him as if he were a child. He murmured softly into the crook of her neck. I watched them. She wasn’t crying.

The woman looked up . . . and saw me. How refreshing.

“Greetings, Dharma Raja,” said the woman in a clear voice.

I took in the bay leaves and bone pins. “You were expecting me, I take it.”

“Yes,” she said, hanging her head. “I regret that I cannot serve you any food or drink or treat you as a guest in our home.”

“Don’t let it trouble you,” I said, waving my hand. “I am rarely a guest. Merely an inevitable occurrence.”

Her husband did not stir in her arms. His breath had grown soft. While the woman had kept her eyes trained on me, I had taken away his pain, siphoned it bit by bit. I was in a generous mood.

“You have come for him.”

“As I will for you, one day. I could tell you the hour, if you wish it.”


I shrugged. “Very well.”

She clutched him tighter. Her hands trembled. I knew she could feel his life unspooling. She may have seen me, but she did not see his life pooling beneath him.


“May I ask something of you, Dharma Raja?” “You may.”

But I need not honor it.

“We always wished to leave this life together.”

“I cannot change your appointed time, even if I wished.”

She closed her eyes. “Then may I request, instead, that you not let him pass to the next life until I may join him there?”

Now this was interesting. I sank backward into the air, and an onyx throne swirled up to meet me. I tilted my head, watching her. “Why? I haven’t weighed your life yet. What if you were far more honorable than your husband in this life? I could pour your soul into the mold of a princess blessed with beauty and intellect, riches and wonders. I could add silver to your heart and fortify you from any heartbreak. I could give you a life worthy of legends.” She shook her head. “I would rather have him.”

“You’d rather have him, and whatever life that entails?” I leaned forward, eyeing the dingy room.

Her eyes flashed. “Yes.”

“He may not even come back as a human. Believe me. I’ve remade emperors into cockroaches and cockroaches into kings. You seem like a reasonably intelligent woman. Would you truly like to keep house for a bug?”

She lifted her chin. “I would be his mate in any form.”

A curious emotion prickled my skin, nudging the back of my thoughts. My hands tightened on the shadow throne. Before I could stop myself, the question flew from me:

“Why? ”

“Because I love him,” said the woman. “I would prefer any life with him than any life without him. Even the deities know love to the point that they will chase their counterpart through thousands of lifetimes. Surely you, oh Dharma Raja, understand how extraordinary love can be?”

I knew very well what could come of love. I had seen it. Been cursed by it. Even now, I thought of her. The way she ran away and left a shadow in her place. Love was extraordinary.

Extraordinarily spiteful. Extraordinarily blind. Extraordinarily misleading. “Bold words,” I said.

“They do not move you?”

I shrugged. “You may appeal and supplicate and wheedle as you wish, but I have heard every excuse and plea and sputter, and my heart has never been moved.”

The woman bowed her head. She gathered her husband to her chest. Her wedding bangles clanked together, breaking the silence. When I left, custom dictated that she must remove those wedding ornaments. Widows did not wear such bracelets. I had not consid- ered until now that the sound itself was a thing near death. And that chime—gold against gold—struck me far louder than any keening. In the echoes, I heard something hollow. And lonely.

I dropped the noose. It slid through the man’s skin, noiseless as silk. Life had left him. All that was left was his soul.

You never forget what it’s like to withdraw a soul. It is an un- clasping. Sometimes a soul is tough and hard, surrounded by sin- ews of memories gone brittle with age. Sometimes a soul is soft and bursting like wind-fallen fruit, all bruised tenderness and stale hope. And sometimes a soul is an ethereal shard of light. As if the force of its life is a scorching thing.

This soul belonged to light.

When the woman looked down, she knew that her husband was gone. The thing she cradled was nothing more than meat soon to spoil. Tears slid down her wrinkled cheeks.

“Come now,” I said, standing from the throne. “I have taken husbands when their wives still wore the henna from their wedding. I consider you lucky.”

“I beg of you,” she said. “Don’t let him move on without me. He would have asked the same.”

I swung the soul into a satchel and the light faded. I headed for the door, more out of formality than anything else. If I wanted, I could’ve disappeared right then and there.

“Please. What would you do for someone you loved?”

I stopped short. “I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of that provocation.”

“You love no one?” she asked, her eyebrows rising in disbelief. “I love myself. Does that count?”

And then I left.


About the Author

Roshani Chokshi CREDIT Aman Sharma

Photo by Aman Sharma


ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.






I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.


Waiting on Wednesday: Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks


Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event created by Breaking the Spine in which we highlight a title we’re looking forward to reading. You can find their website here.

I love comics. I love manga and American style and the works. So, while I can’t remember the exact moment that I added this book to my to-be-read list, upon reading the description, I sure can tell you why I added it.



Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads  –  Indiebound

Published: 12 February 2019

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Category: Young Adult/Graphic Novels/Sequential Art

A sweet, funny contemporary teen romance for the inner geek in all of us from graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks.

Miriam’s family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that’s what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, Miriam’s life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam’s grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.

In her endearing debut novel, cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks pens a sensitive and funny Romeo and Juliet tale about modern romance, geek royalty, and what it takes to heal the long-festering scars of the past (Spoiler Alert: love).

I haven’t heard a lot about Comics Will Break Your Heart which seems a real shame. The author/artist behind it, Faith Erin Hicks, has done some amazing work. Among her published works is her current series, The Nameless City, now being released by First Second, a graphic novels company after my own heart.

The plot behind Faith’s new series is inspired by a classic Shakespearean tale, but who knows? There’s a lot more at play here than the general R&J outline. There’s the possibility of young love, sure, but also poverty, resentment, justice, and an art form that Miriam and the grandson of her family’s enemy just might be able to bond over. So many angles, so much to choose from, I don’t know where Faith’s going to take this book.

I’m hoping to see a lot of depth from Miriam’s side of the family. I know there’s going to be a lot of heartbreak and probably more than a little bitterness, which from the look of things sounds rightfully earned. But who knows? Is there another side to it? Another truth, as it were? What is the co-creator’s story? Stories change throughout generations and I’m sure there’s going to be explanations galore or something of the sort. What kind though? What are these kids and their families going to have to go through to find peace?

February seems like such a long time away, but with the speed that 2018 seems to be passing, I think we’ll be there before we know it and devouring this book.






All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.