Secrets of a Nurse's Identity
December BoxSecrets of Nanreath Hall by Alix Rickloff
"She clapped her ringed hands until I handed her my portfolio of sketches."
- a leather portfolio with a solemn drawing of a man inside.
"Dipping her hand in and out of her apron pocket, Anna resumed her seat, replacing the album on the table."
- a white and pink apron with gift 326 hidden in the pocket.
"Anna went to her locker and pulled out the purloined photograph of the blond man kneeling in the grass beside the tumbled remains of the old cliff ruins."
- a black and white photograph of the man kneeling in the grass.
"She pulled free the nearly ruined pages, bringing with them a thin gold chain and locket that fell onto the tabletop."
- a letter exclusively written for Once Upon a Book Club by the author, along with a custom, engraved gold tone locket.
"On the table ready to be wrapped in butcher paper rested a small oil painting."
- a rolled fabric canvas oil painting of "The Red-Haired Woman".
images by @NovelPairing and @Never_Too_Many_Books
A Dream with a Time Stamp
November BoxAll the Good Parts by Loretta Nyhan
"She took her time picking through my belongings, providing running commentary on the things I needed to get through the day. "You're getting too old to chew gum.""
- a pack of chewing gum.
"I tugged on her wispy purple scarf, implying that I'd use it to strangle her later."
- a wispy purple scarf.
"You're not going to post this on Instagram or one of those sites," I said before snapping the shot."
- an Instagram posting of an inspired photo of the photo taken in the book.
"Maura touched the surface of the mirror, tracing her fingers over the words I'd painted on the glass."
- a travel mirror with the words from the story custom painted on it.
"I fished under my bed until I found my Community Health notebook, grabbed a pen off my nightstand, and drew boxes for a heredity chart."
- a multi-colored notebook with the words Amazing Things Will Happen on the cover.
images by @NovelPairing and @Never_Too_Many_Books
Spooky Mystery Romance
October BoxLost Among the Living by Simone St. James
"I found leaves scattered on the floor of my bedroom, brown and curled in the palms of my hands in supplication, dry and crumbling beneath the soles of my bare feet."
- three fake leaves.
"...the impatient boy, holding his little sister's hand for a portrait in the bright sunlight. But I turn the picture over and saw words scrawled..."
- a photo eerily similar to the description in the book with a creepy message scrawled across the back.
"It was a book. A large flat book, the hard cover gleaming in the moonlight through the window."
- a hardcover sketchbook.
"...dressed in one of my new dresses, a pair of my new stockings, and my new shoes."
- a pair of lacey, knee high socks.
"She wore a familiar grey dress and pearls."
- a set of pearl and crystal stone earrings and matching necklace.
images by @Beckys_Bookshelf and @CandaceClark22
September BoxThe Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron
"There before her, in an article chronicling the Ringling Brothers' circus royalty, was a familiar face."
- a vintage cigar box with an authentic Ringling Brothers Circus handout.
"He reached in his pants pocket, retrieved the watch, and slapped it into her outstretched hand."
- custom pocket watch necklace, embossed with the same message written on the watch in the book.
"Rosamund padded across the oriental rug back to Bella's side and took the oversized hairpin in hand..."
- a delicate, large hair pin and a thimble.
"Another note had been left for her - this one slipped under the pillow on her bed."
- a note addressed to The English Rose.
"Rosamund approached in wonder, gazing over the posters that depicted a bareback-riding beauty in various graceful poses."
- a custom designed poster made exclusively for our boxes to represent the description from the book, wrapped with a whimsical patterned hair tie with a bow.
images by @OnceUponaBookClubBox and @CandaceClark22
A Secret Life
August BoxThe Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
"She reached into her bag for a straw hat with a straight brim and a navy blue ribbon tied around it."
- a woven hat with a navy ribbon.
"She picked up her mirror, quickly rearranging her hair, and prepared to go downstairs..."
- an ornate, gold hand mirror and comb.
"She pulled the thin duplicate of a telegram out and searched for the recipient's name."
- an authentic telegram, addressed to Porter Hamilton, a character from the book.
"It's in the paper, Anita. The Boston Daily Globe. The very front page. They know."
- an authentic newspaper about Anita (a real person), regarding the situation from the story.
"...I came across a dusty stack of Vassar College alumni magazines I kept from my student years."
- a reusable faux leather envelope with photos of Vassar student, Anita Hemmings.
images by @CandaceClark22 and @FoldedLotus
July BoxLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
"Binz spat on the ring again and finally twisted it off...Matka's ring was gone. How could they just take a person's things with no feeling at all?" - A ring of blue and clear stones, inspired by the one Matka lost.
"I asked him to send back a spool of red thread as a signal that he had received and understood our secret letter."
- A secret message (required ironing to read), similar to the one Kasia wrote.
"It wasn't until Herr Fenstermacher was out the door on his way that I saw what he'd left at the foot of our bunk. The most beautiful pair of hand-knitted socks!"
- A pair of grey, fuzzy socks, similar to those given to Kasia.
"Each had kept her Russian issued leather army boots and wore the camp head scarf tied in a perfect square knot at the nape of her neck."
- A headband scarf, similar to the type worn in the camps.
"I opened the folder and flipped through the photographs inside. There were six, maybe seven pictures in there taken from the shoulders up, black-and-white, like passport photos, all of children."
- An floral patterned, cloth envelope with a photo of orphaned children from World War II.
"...Caroline's lilacs had already taken root, on their way to growing into the prettiest, strongest plant."
- A packet of lilac seeds, representative of Caroline's lilacs.
images by @jenniferwindram and @novelpairing