2019 LA Pen Show

The Los Angeles Pen Show was the fourth show location I’ve attended (DC, Baltimore, Philly, and now LA). There were a decent number of tables, but the layout was appalling.

We arrived around 10:30, assuming that would allow us to avoid the opening crush of people we’d heard a lot about.

The exterior line at the LA Pen Show
The half of the line outside…
The interior line at the LA Pen Show
… and the half of the line inside.

Unfortunately, we arrived to find a line that wound down the corridor, out the door, and about half way down the building. Surprisingly, the line moved fairly quickly, but getting into the show was less than half the battle.

An unconsidered side-effect of arriving after the show had started was a lack of street parking. There wasn’t much to start with, but it was all taken by the time we arrived. Parking at the hotel ended up costing us around $20 for the little time we were there. I don’t want to know what people who stayed the whole day paid.

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2019 Philadelphia Pen Show

As I sat down to write my post about the LA Pen Show, I realized I’d never written a post about the Philly show. Therefore, even though it’s over a month late, allow me to share with you my experiences at the Philly show.

We drove up from the DC area with a friend of ours, and, thankfully, there was no real traffic. Upon arriving, I realized how fortunate I am to have the DC and Baltimore shows.

My immediate thought was that the show is overpriced for its size. We paid $13 online (it’s $15 at the door), a single-day price higher than DC, Baltimore, and LA. It’s also smaller than those other three shows.

I will say that the aisles were roomy, on par with Baltimore and far surpassing DC and LA. The selection was fairly evenly dispersed between vintage, new, expensive, and affordable. There was a decent selection of inks. And, for the overall size of the show, a decent number of nibmeisters.

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Review – Ardently

Ardently

by Caitlin Williams

ArdentlyGenres: Classical Rewrite, Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: June 7, 2015
Pages: 312
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

So much in life depends on chance and sheer luck. How much do we often owe to being in the right place at the right time?

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet plans to visit the Lake District with her uncle and aunt, yet ends up at Pemberley instead, just as, by coincidence, Mr Darcy also arrives home. They meet, understand one another better and all eventually ends well.

But what if they did not have such luck? What if Elizabeth actually went to the Lake District and was nowhere near Pemberley, and she and Mr Darcy never met again until another four years had gone by?

Now they are very different people, altered by marriage, time and situation, although, Mr Darcy’s failed proposal in the Parsonage at Hunsford still haunts both of them in different ways.

Elizabeth is a companion to her Aunt, Mrs Mountford, a widow of great standing in society who married exceptionally well and ‘Miss Bennet’ finds herself accepted in the very best of circles and able to marry whomever she might chose.

Mr Darcy did his duty by his sickly cousin, Anne de Bourgh, and married her to protect her from the tyrannical force of her mother Lady Catherine. He has come to Bath, however, a widower, with his family, the Fitzwilliams, and his sister, Georgiana. Darcy sees Elizabeth, the woman who rejected him, in the opposite box at the theatre and cannot help falling in love with her all over again. Now though, it seems there are even more hurdles to overcome for them to be together, including Elizabeth’s new suitor, the handsome and charming Mr Yorke.

Mr Darcy is still a little proud, still not able to ‘perform to strangers’. Can Elizabeth see past his reserve and awkwardness to the decent man underneath?

This book is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice from Chapter 36 onwards (Darcy’s failed proposal and the delivering of his letter). It is a light-hearted mix-up of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, with a nod and a wink towards Northanger Abbey.

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Review – The Ruin of Elizabeth Bennet

The Ruin of Elizabeth Bennet

by Darcie Rochester

The Ruin of Elizabeth BennetGenres: Classical Rewrites, Historical Fiction
Release Date: September 27, 2018
Pages: 340
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

After the deaths of their parents and the public disgrace of their youngest sister, the Bennet ladies are alone in the world. It falls upon Elizabeth to navigate their way, a nearly impossible task given their meager funds. When she becomes reacquainted with Mr. Darcy, she hopes she has found her salvation. But it is ruin he offers her.

This book contains dark themes and scenes of a sensual nature. Reader discretion is advised.

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Ink Dupes #5: Bungubox and Bungubox

I just so happened to purchase samples of both of these at the same time, so they got swabbed right next to each other. I couldn’t miss the similarity. So if you missed out on Kabayaki, you can grab a bottle of Nostalgia. Unfortunately, I can’t find a review of Kabayaki, so you’ll have to do without.

The Inks

Bungubox Kabayaki of the Hamanako Eel
Price: ~$43 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.86
Availability: Discontinued?
Bungubox Nostalgia

Price: ~$43 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.86
Availability: Readily available
Comparative ink swabs, writing samples, and chromatography strips for Bungubox Kabayaki of the Hamanako Eel and Nostalgia.

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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Review – The Ghostly Father

The Ghostly Father

by Sue Barnard

The Ghostly FatherGenres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Classical Rewrite
Release Date: October 6, 2018
Pages: 252
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Was this what really happened to Romeo & Juliet?

Think you know the world’s most famous love story? Think again. What if the story of Romeo & Juliet really happened – but not quite in the way we’ve all been told?

This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers.

If you love the Romeo & Juliet story but are disappointed with the way it ended, this is the book for you.

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Review – Becoming Mr. Bingley

Becoming Mr. Bingley

by Samantha Whitman

Becoming Mr. BingleySeries: Ditching Mr. Darcy, Book 2
Genres: Classical Re-write, Historical Fiction
Release Date: July 20, 2018
Pages: 402
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Letting the man of her dreams go would have been much harder had he been a real person. Living happily ever after with her soul mate would be much easier if reality was as uncomplicated as her dreams. And for Elizabeth Baker, the future would be much clearer if the lines between dreams and reality were not blurring yet again.

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Ink Dupes #4: Diamine and Montblanc

This is my second Diamine vs Montblanc, and I have to say Montblanc is seriously disappointing. For the price, I would expect SIGNIFICANTLY different colors. These two are so similar I can’t help but wonder if UNICEF blue is just rebottled Aqua Blue.

The Inks

Diamine Aqua Blue
Price: ~$15 USD
Bottle Size: 80ml
Price Per Ml: $0.19
Availability: Readily available
Montblanc UNICEF Blue
Price: ~$40 USD
Bottle Size: 50ml
Price Per Ml: $0.80
Availability: Discontinued
Comparative ink swabs, writing samples, and chromatography strips for Diamine Aqua Blue and Montblanc UNICEF Blue.

If you have any suggestions for future comparisons, let me know in the comments. And check out my other Ink Dupes posts.

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