Unpacking Below The Surface: Whisper by Lynette Noni


Our third box has landed on our subscribers doorsteps, check out what was inside!

This quarter we returned to the usual of featuring one book. Having done a YA Fantasy and some Romantic Non-Fiction and Poetry, we decided this time around to do Sci-Fi!  Jordan has been a huge Lynette Noni fan for some time, and so we couldn’t resist putting a box together around Whisper, her recent release! The story focuses on a secret, underground organisation and society, thus the theme: Below The Surface. Whisper hooks you with a mystery, holds you with intrigue, unexpected moments of joy, and leaves you wanting more. We hope you love it, and the accompanying items, just as much as we do!

Let’s get stuck in to unpacking Whisper and concept of our Below The Surface box!

First things first, our featured book:

Whisper Lynette Noni Below The Surface Box Bookcase

Jords found this gem during her internship with Pantera Press (which was really awesome and you can read all about it here) when she was paid in books and took home Akarnae, the first in Lynette’s other series, The Medoran Chronicles. From here, Jords fell in love with Lynette’s writing and worlds, and upon speedily reading through all four books available in that series, she emerged a wreck of herself, but eager to read more. Thus, she didn’t wait to dive into Whisper and within a couple of days was crawling back out of her Lynette cave, shouting praise from the rooftops.

With a vision of the May box forming in Jords’ mind, she nabbed a copy for Mel (because her copy needs to sit PROUDLY on her bookshelf) and begged her to read it. While other manuscripts were read and considered, we came back to this one because it has everything we love in a story - a strong female protagonist, a believable love interest/connection, conspiracies and good plot twists! It left us with burning questions and the yearning for more. The writing is fantastic, and the world building is surprising when you learn where we are!

Lynette is a phenomenal author and definitely one to sink your teeth into. We highly recommend picking up a copy of Whisper and/or Akarnae. Both worlds will leaving you wanting more!  

Working with Aussie Women (Part 3)

Once again we have found amazing women to feature in this box! They create fantastic and unique literary products by hand. The products are handpicked, and one we commissioned, and boy did we have a ball shopping for you! Curating the gifts is by far the best bit about creating these boxes (other than reading the books of course!) and we had such a blast looking for suitable items. We chose items that relate to the theme and ideas presented in Whisper.

Lynette Noni

Lynette Noni grew up on a farm in outback Australia until she moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast and swapped her mud-stained boots for sand-splashed flip-flops. She has always been an avid reader and most of her childhood was spent lost in daydreams of far-off places and magical worlds. She was devastated when her Hogwarts letter didn’t arrive, but she consoled herself by looking inside every wardrobe she could find, and she’s still determined to find her way to Narnia one day. While waiting for that to happen, she creates her own fantasy worlds and enjoys spending time with characters she meets along the way.

Litwick - Zoe

Some words from the creator:
Hi, I’m Zoe, the creator behind Litwick! I started this business to indulge in my passion for books and as an excuse to read more. I make candles based on books I’ve read and loved. I believe that every fandom, regardless of size, should get a chance to experience their literary home through candles. You can find me on Instagram @litwick_au where I am always happy to discuss candles and books.

Why we chose Litwick’s Dillyberry candle:
We chose Litwick candles because some of the flavours are inspired by Lynette Noni’s first YA series, The Medoran Chronicles. We settled on Dillyberry Juice, rather than the other flavours, because it ticked more than one box. Dillyberry juice is a prominent drink in the series, and the purple colour is electric and fun. Light this baby up when you dive into Whisper and enjoy the deliciousness of Dillyberry scent.


Below The Surface Box BookcaseAus

The Curio Boutique - NJ

Some words from the creator:
Curio Boutique (aka “Curio”) is an Etsy shop set up by bookworm and polymer clay hand-crafter NJ Hu. Art, crafting and reading are some of NJ’s favourite things to do, as a result Curio was born. What you have in front of you is exclusively made for Bookcase Australia subscribers and custom crafted with love. To see my latest handmade miniature items and craft reveals check out and follow The Curio Boutique on Etsy and social media

Why we commissioned Curio’s Falling Alice Pin:
We met NJ at our very own launch in October 2017, and have been excited to work with her ever since! NJ has done a fantastic job with the ‘Falling Alice’ pins and we are thrilled with the result! We came up with the idea while brainstorming about underground adventures, and found ourselves drawing parrallels between the main character in Whisper with Alice. In many ways she falls down her own rabbit hole and nothing is ever the same again. She meets many characters of questionable loyalty, sees things she never imagined could be possible, and must learn her own place in her new reality.

Artwork & Design

As usual I (Mel) put together the design for the paper products in this box, and as usual I had great fun! It was more challenging with this book to brainstorm ideas for the artwork and products, as there was slightly less obvious symbolism in the story. Even so we had a lot of fun working through our ideas until we found scenes and ideas that felt meaningful for the theme.

The print entitled "The Library" is based on a scene in which the main character has her first experience of comfort for the first time in a number of years, both physical and emotional. It's in this room that she gets to reconnect with books, something she felt had been lost to her, and she reflects on how she has missed the escapism, and on her own relationship with words. I created this piece with ink and watercolour, and I had a great time picking out a peaceful colour palette. I wanted it to be clean and detailed and I'm really happy with how it turned out. The books were really fiddly to paint! 

Next up is the bookmark! I did a simple watercolour texture for this one because I knew I wanted to design this one digitally. After scanning in the background I experimented with fonts and the nicknames featured until I felt the vibe and emphasis was right. You'll come across all the names featured on the bookmark in the story, each with their own context and significance to our main character.

For the final paper product in this book I designed a recipe card featuring a recipe Jords and I put together to represent another important scene in the story. In this scene the protagonist makes her first honest friend in the story, and has one of her first taste of chocolate in years! The innocence of the recipe, really highlights and sets the tone for her friendship with this character, and emphasises how harsh her reality has been in the years leading up to the story. I can't take credit for the watercolour elements of this one, as we purchased them, but I did put together the pattern and design, and Jords and I had fun coming up with an appropriately delicious recipe!

To see more of my artwork you can check out my etsy store, and find me on social media @thelittleinkery

We had so much fun putting this box together, and we hope our subscribers had just as much unboxing it. For those of you who didn’t get your hands on one, watch this space for an exciting upcoming giveaway! Tell us in the comments below your favourite aspect of the box, or quote from the book.