Its Banned Books Week!

Guys, more about its Banned Books Week!

Its like…Halloween and Thanksgiving (oh, viagra buy mashed potatoes) and Christmas and my birthday all got together and thought, visit meh, we’re nothing compared to Banned Books Week!

I am trying to picture your reaction to the sentence I just wrote above and I’ve come to the conclusion that you either think I’m a crazy person, that I’m silly (I kind of like that one), or you just totally understand.

See, here’s the thing. I love books. I absolutely completely love books. I love books with a passion. I mean, you should see how crazy I get about books. Wait, you guys kind of do…

Anyway, its incredibly baffling to me that someone would want to actually ban books. Look, I understand that there are books you don’t like. Or that have content that you don’t agree with, but I believe that censorship in writing is just wrong. Its just wrong. I mean, sure, I don’t want someone to write a book that teaches me how to kill a child or whatever, but I’m pretty sure someone would never actually publish that because ohmygod what is wrong with you?

BUT. Censorship. Its wrong. Its just wrong. Just because you don’t agree with something (and there are things I absolutely positively do NOT agree with in books) doesn’t mean you should censor it.

I also think that a lot of censorship in books comes from, well, the inability to look past your biases and see the real story. Often times, a book is challenged, honestly, for the most ridiculous reasons. Animals talking because its too fantastical and against nature.  A blow job because its inappropriate for teenager readers. (Really? Really? Do you really think teenagers aren’t sexually active? REALLY?). Things like that.

I was doing some research while writing this post and I came across this quote from a August 15th article on Christianity Today, that actually pleasantly surprised me and I thought I would share it:

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Now there are hundreds of books that have been challenged, adult books and young adult books, nonfiction books (SERIOUSLY? FACTUAL BOOKS ARE CHALLENGED!), children’s books…so many books. But of course, because this is my blog and I’m the all powerful master of everything that happens on this blog, I am going to talk about some YA books I love that have been challenged. 

Because you know what? I want to shout out to these awesome books. Keep your head up authors, if someone hates your book so much to try and get it banned completely…that’s pretty awesome.

Moving on…

Harry Potter Series 

Of course. It promotes Wiccan practices (which, I mean, is centered around nature so what’s so bad about that?) and Satanism (to each their own) and witchcraft to children. People have complained that the books avoid the discussion of religion period, and there was even an uproar when JK Rowling revealed that she had always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Harry Potter is about so much more than shoving witchcraft down your throat and everyone needs to hush, Dumbledore is fabulous.

The Giver 

The Giver has been challenged many times. In fact, its one of the most challenged books and it ends up on the top lists quite often. Its cited simply for “violence” and “not suited for the age group”. Apparently the book is too dark for children to read. Its also been pointed out that there is drug use, and brainwashing and things like that. Did no one else get that the whole drug use, brainwashing and that sort of thing was a BAD thing in the book? Or was that just me?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Challenged by parents in different school districts because of sexually explicit content and foul language. (Have they literally never met a teenager before?) Oh yes and it deals with homosexuality and abuse. Because why on earth would we want a book that deals with realistic issues that teenagers every day are dealing with? And why on earth would we want characters with different sexual preferences? Realism is so overrated anyway…

Looking for Alaska

Again with the sex. A bunch of teenagers are living in dorms at a boarding school and we really don’t expect sex to happen? Really? I’m blown away by this. There is a scene in this novel (sorry guys if you haven’t read it) that is a blow job. A really bad blow job. Like, there is an attempt at a blow job and its kind of funny. Eventually things get squared away a little and the BJ goes a little bit better, but apparently its the worst scene to ever exist in the history of YA literature. Looking for Alaska has topped the challenged book lists in the past couple years and I just want to roll my eyes. Must we go through this again? Teens have sex.

The Hunger Games 

There is SO much wrong with this book according to those who want to ban it that I kind of don’t know where to start. Its anti-ethnic, anti-family, violent, has themes of occult and satanic nature, its insensitive and has foul language. Now, I can understand not wanting your child to read this book. It is pretty violent. I don’t agree with some of the other stuff, but I can still see why someone wouldn’t want their child to read that. But that’s a whole ‘nother story at the end of this post.

Twilight

Hell yes I went there. Putting aside the fact that is NOT a well written book and the story is so incredibly lacking in plot structure, character development and that sort of thing, I do like it. Sometimes you just need a cheesy romance that its an incredibly easy read. You just do. Its mostly been banned because of sexual content but also some schools have pulled it off shelves because Bella was a bad influence for girls. Now, while I totally don’t disagree with that, I don’t think that this is enough reason to completely pull this book off shelves. But more on that later…

Eleanor and Park 

I read an article with immense distaste (god, I can’t handle it) that Eleanor and Park was such a disgrace as a book because of the foul language and the age inappropriate content. Its also apparently “sexually charged”. I’m getting the disgusted shivers just thinking about it. Blergh. This leads me almost perfectly into what I want to end this post with…

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Basically, the issue that comes with a lot of YA books is this: inappropriate material. Drug use, abuse, sexuality, sex period, all kinds of stuff. But there’s the thing, you may not LIKE this subject matter but banning books doesn’t get rid of this completely. You can’t deny that there are people using drugs and drinking alcohol, yes as teenagers. And yes, teenagers are having sex. Lots of it. And okay, not all teenagers, but its happening and yes its more than just your traditional sex, they’re having oral sex too! Surprise, surprise. And violence and foul language, all of these things exist and keeping books away from your kids isn’t going to keep them from being a reality. Even the sort of things that appear in a fantasy book or dystopian or science fiction still has some basis in reality.

So here’s my thing: banning books, pulling them from shelves, forbidding your kids from reading them? Doesn’t make any sense and honestly is pretty pointless. But talking to your children and being open and honest with them about the material in the books, and deciding when they are mature enough to read books with that material….that makes a lot more sense to me. If you don’t want your kid to read The Hunger Games, sure, that’s fine. Don’t ban the book! Talk to them about the issues you have with the blog, discuss it and then decide when they’re old enough to read it.

Plus, I’m just saying, when I was younger, if my parents told me not to do something, forbade it, made sure that I totally and completely did not do it, I would probably make sure somehow that I did it. Luckily, I have parents that have always been awesome and open with me about all sorts of things. I’ve never felt like I read about books with material too mature for me, and if I ever did, I felt confident that I could approach my parents and talk it out.

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Basically, I love banned books week. I love talking about books and book controversies and looking up articles from all the book banning people and laughing a little at the overdramatic arguments they make against books. I love this week and I hope you can join me in celebrating the love of literature and the ability that authors have to write something new and awesome and controversial enough (apparently) to anger some people. Because you know what, I want people to hate my book as much as people love it because hate is a strong reaction and that’s still pretty badass.

Thanks, as always, for listening to me ramble :)

And don’t forget to share your own favorite banned books in the comments!

Vlog: Reading Chapter Five from The Awakened!

Oh yes, viagra order you read that right. I read a WHOLE chapter at about 2:30 in the morning on my YouTube channel just for you guys!

I’m so nice, visit this site aren’t I?

Okay, so I have no idea if anyone actually cares about The Awakened enough, but I WANT you guys to care! Hence the reason that I post all these snippets on Instagram and I’m constantly sharing my journey of writing, and now I am sharing an entire chapter. Its not really one of my favorites but I think you’ll like it. A lot of my favorite chapters come later in the book but they’re so massively full of spoilers that I just can’t post that kind of that thing.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, The Awakened is my novel. Its not the first novel that I have written, but its the first one that I have felt secure about it, and comfortable enough to put out there, to try and sell it, get it an agent, get it in bookstores. I’ve worked hard on it and I am continually working on it.

The Awakened is a young adult science fiction novel that follows the main character of Zoey Valentine. Here is the synopsis that I’ve basically been sharing with everyone:

Eighteen year old Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take to keep her safe in their New York City neighborhood and avoiding her school bully, Ash Matthews, whose latest transgression includes dumping glitter on her during fourth period. College is just around the corner and she’s ready for it. 

That’s when the virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They’re like zombies, but worse: faster, smarter, working together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh. 

The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with these awakened victims. Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country. 

Now, I’ve read you chapter five. The set up is in the video so scroll down, press play, and most importantly, let me know what you think!

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Let’s Talk About….Social Media As An Author!

Its been awhile since I did a “Let’s Talk About…” but I’ve had something on my mind and I feel like talking.

I was talking with a friend recently about the idea of social media and marketing yourself. Now, information pills some of you may not have really been around for the part of life when social media wasn’t really a thing. When I first got into the book world, people didn’t have Twitter, or any of that. What got your book out there was advertising in the places where you would find books: bookstores, libraries, etc. And of course, just the word of mouth if your book was good.

Things have obviously changed a lot since then. We have Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest and blogs and all sorts of medias out there to be up front and personal with your fans and with potential fans.

Now, as I was sitting and talking to my friend, another aspiring author, he was talking about how much he disagrees with the whole social media thing. And he had a lot of good points about using it as a marketing tool and all that sort of thing. If you want to read about it, you can read it on his blog here. He wants his work to stand alone, speak for itself.

And I can definitely understand that. As a writer, you spend most of your time plotting and writing and replotting and rewriting and outlining and outlining and basically banging your head against the wall, going back and forth between “I’m the best writer ever” and “Oh my god, I should work at McDonalds because I’m the worst writer ever”. Literally. That’s what we do. Writing a book? Its not easy, and I’ve written five. Do you know how many of those have been published? Zero. Zero! So its not an easy thing to accomplish.

So I can understand my friend’s opinion that marketing, especially with Twitter and that sort of social media sites, is unneccessary and like work for him. He wants to write his books and have them stand alone, as good works. I get that.

But I will have to respectfully disagree.

Now, its no secret that I absolutely love social media. I love the potential of it. I love that I have met friends through it. I love that I’ve met all these authors that I’ve become friends with. I love that I’ve discovered new books and learned new writing things and all sorts of different things through social media. I love that I can connect with people with similar passions as me all over the world. I have friends in all different countries. I have reached out to fans in different countries, which is incredible. I’ve had emails from the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, India, and other countries, from people who wanted to tell me how I’ve impacted their life. As a blogger. I haven’t even published a book yet, but I’ve already had those connections with people and that means a lot to me. A comment on a picture on Instagram, a comment here on the blog, an email from a fan…it can turn a bad day into a really good one.

Okay, I’m going into prime cheese mode and we don’t want to get too far into that. But basically, I love social media. Without social media, I wouldn’t have this blog. Without this blog, I wouldn’t be as ambitious as an author as I am, I wouldn’t have had the strength and drive to finish The Awakened, I wouldn’t have learned so much about writing and querying and agents and publication and all that sort of thing. I wouldn’t have you guys! Obviously social media means a lot to me.

But its more than that. Sure, I love posting my daily antics on social media. I mean, go look at my instagram page. Its a hodge podge of pictures of books and selfies with authors and yes, the must see pictures of my food. I like social media. But here’s the thing:

When I first started writing, I knew I was writing YA. As a teenager, I was heavily influenced by the authors Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti. They still remain my biggest influences, and when I write contemporary romances, they are always what I’m thinking of. Young Adult was just in the beginning of its prime. The Hunger Games hadn’t been released, Twilight was a thing of the future, and Twitter didn’t exist.

But those things exist now. Young adult literature exploded in my late teens and its huge now. Young adult literature has exploded so much, that people outside of the typical age group (12-19) are reading it. A good chunk of YA readers are actually in the 20-30 years old range, like me. One of the many reasons I love YA is that I feel everyone can find something they like in YA, it has every genre. Every one. You can read contemporary, romance or fantasy or science fiction or crime or mystery. Anything. You literally can read any genre in this type of literature.

But there’s a problem with that, of course. Because YA has blown up so much, there are SO many books out there and getting yourself out there…its not easy. Its hard enough to find an agent, sell your book, get published and then get it on the actual shelves of book stores.

Once you get past all of those headaches, you have to hope they’ll actually sell. Because if they don’t sell, that’s it. Good luck selling another book. There’s hundreds of other aspiring YA authors out there who have books that might sell better than yours did.

So what’s the secret to that? How do you get your book to sell, to get yourself out there besides spending a painstaking amount of time creating the book and getting it on shelves? Your book can’t just standalone anymore. You need social media. You need to get yourself out there and get noticed.

Take, for example, debut author Lindsay Cummings. I know that a lot of you know who she is, and her debut novel, The Murder Complex, just released this past summer. Her middle grade novel is actually hitting shelves this week! Yay Lindsay!

Now, how doesn’t a completely unknown author like Lindsay suddenly have a ton of fans, with her books in a ton of stores, being bought by fans all over the place? She has the most incredible social media presence. She’s smart as hell. I became a follower and a friend of hers a YEAR before The Murder Complex was even published. She came by my instagram and we talked books. She followed me, I followed her, and we just talked books all the time. Because of this, I kept up with her and was VERY excited for her book release.

And she did this on a grand scale. She became friends with people, talked books, was a real person. She fangirls, she’s awkward, she reads the same books as us, she’s one of us. She felt like a friend and of course you’d head out to a bookstore and buy the brand new book of a friend. Its brilliant. Now, I think Lindsay is actually this awesome, fangirl but its also just a great marketing strategy.

And I think a lot of young adult authors have figured that out, and are working at that. Becoming friends with me, reaching out to bloggers, sharing on Twitter and Instagram. They connect with their followers. I like that. I like authors that reach out to their followers, and share that same connection that I get when I talk to you guys. It makes the world a little smaller. It sounds kind of weird but hearing that a certain author reads the same books as you and is probably influenced by the same authors as you really makes me want to read their books.

Sure, the title, the synopsis, the cover, word of mouth, that all counts still, of course. But I’m hearing more and more about new authors through social media. When you guys share a status on Twitter about a new book that you loved, I take that into account, and so on. When an author follows me on Twitter, I’m curious and I check them out. Which I might not have done if they hadn’t followed me. Blog tours get the word out there. When a handful of blogs do features on an author and that author’s new book, that helps increase the exposure of it so much. I’ve learned about new authors and new books because of the bloggers I follow.

And let’s face it, without this blog, no one would care about The Awakened besides, I don’t know, maybe my friends and family, which they do so in a very grudging and loving way. But because I have this blog and I’ve been able to share my experience of writing it with you guys, a lot of you guys want to read it. I get about 2 to 3 emails a week from you guys wanting to know when it’ll be published (cross your fingers, guys, I believe its gonna happen!). You guys are invested in me and my book, which not only means the world to me, but is also incredibly helpful. My book is already marketable because I already have an admittedly small but already existing fanbase that would head to the bookstore to buy my book.

Do you know how huge that is? With thousands of YA books being released all the time and no way to tell what is good, what is bad, what to buy and what not to buy, you have to get yourself out there. You can’t let the work standalone, unfortunately. You could have an incredible book but if you don’t market it right, including a social media presence, you may have a hard time finding an success with it.

Look, I’m rambling. That’s what I’m good at it. Anyone who comes to this blog knows that I don’t write blog posts with precision and that I don’t take care to choose every word to make a beautiful post. That’s for my writing, for my novel. I created my blog, and the rest of my social media, in order to express my love and passion for things nerdy, and to share that passion with all of you.

I don’t presume to know why you guys follow me or why you like me. Maybe its because I constantly have giveaways. LOL. But honestly what I think brings people to my blog is that I’m just me. I’ve never been anything but me on this blog. I’m awkward and nerdy and emotional and over the top and I have my insecurities and my doubts and I’m just me. I’ve never not been me. You guys see my love for books and all things nerdy but I show you pictures of my writing progress, of my messy room, of my dogs, all kinds of things. And you guys connect with that. You guys have made What A Nerd Girl Says what it is and because its become bigger and bigger over the past two years, I’ve gained so much from it. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

So to some, social media might be like work. It might seem pointless, not worth their time, whatever. And those people might avoid it completely or they might have someone else do it for them. And that’s okay. I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

But for me, its been invaluable. Its given me friends, family, the ability to make this blog bigger and better all the time, and its led me to people to make my writing better and my future writing career better. I love it. So yeah, I may post weird things and I may post really random, rambling blog posts (um…) but I do it because I like it, and I think its helpful, and I really think every effort I put into social media is going to help me sell my book, and make it what I know it can be.

Thanks for listening to me ramble guys. Sometimes I just do that ;)

And stay tuned for a vlog of me reading Chapter Four of The Awakened!

Giveaway: Win a Signed Copy of The Maze Runner!

Happy Release Day to The Maze Runner!

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this movie for quite some time, rx and was able to see it last night at the 10 pm showing and I’m SO blown away by it. As much as I enjoyed the book, I think the world that James Dashner created exploded even more on screen and it was just brilliant. Great casting, great effects…I could go on for ages but I’ll save that for later in my review of the movie!

Now, unfortunately there was no Hollywood premiere for the movie so I was unable to meet any of the cast for the movie.

BUT!

Fear not, my dear followers! I promised to have a Maze Runner giveaway and I have not failed you.

Think about this: this movie would not exist without the awesome writing and creativity and world building of one James Dashner. He’s the brains behind this operation and he’s honestly just brilliant to meet in person too.

So here’s the prize!

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One Copy of The Maze Runner signed by author, James Dashner!

The Rules (yes, there has to be rules!)

The contest will run from today, September 19th to October 1st!

The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of contest end. If winner(s) do not respond within a 24 hour period of contact, their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.

Come back every day to share on Twitter and Instagram to earn more entries!

If you check off an option on the rafflecopter, please make sure that you have fulfilled that option. Please be honest! I double check every winning entry and if you are dishonest, you will not win the prize!

This giveaway is in NO way endorsed by any authors, their publishers, the movie studios or any other affiliates.

What A Nerd Girl Says is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes. It HAS happened before, but only once!

How to Enter: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck!

Don’t forget! Get to those theaters and see the movie! YA movies depend on every ticket sold to do successful in order for sequels to have so go see the movie and see it again and tell your friends all about it!

The World of Weir Blog Tour: If You Enjoy Tamora Pierce, You Should Check Out The Heir Chronicles! + Giveaway!

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I am so pleased and excited to be a part of this blog tour. In just a few weeks, advice the final installment of Cinda William’s Chima’s Heir Chronicles series, shop The Sorcerer Heir, sales will be hitting bookstores. I, for one, am bursting with excitement for this release and was honored and happy to be able to help promote it.

I was asked to compare the Heir Chronicles to something, to bring in people to reading this series. I knew immediately what I wanted to compare it to. The first time I picked up a Cinda Chima book, I immediately fell in love and I think it was because it reminded me of an author that means the absolute world to me. I talk about her often so here it goes: Tamora Pierce.

Tamora Pierce has been writing fantasy novels since the 80s, long before the boom of young adult literature even happened. Her writing is brilliant, her stories are addicting and her characters are fantastic from beginning to end. She is one of my biggest influences, easily, and I’m not lying when I say that if I meet her one day, I’ll probably cry. No lie. I will cry.

Anyway, when I first read Cinda Chima’s books, I immediately thought of Tamora Pierce. Not only are their writing styles fairly similar, they have the same passion for fantasy. They both come up with these absolutely incredible worlds. But what makes it so great is that it feels very familiar at the same time. They are able to bring you into worlds that are so new and so exciting but you don’t feel lost. You fall into step with the story as easily as if you’d always been there.

If you’re a fan of Tamora Pierce, you also know that she creates these incredibly familiar and wonderful and one of a kind characters. That is one of the biggest reasons I love her so much. Alanna, Daine, Kel, Aly, Beka and the rest all stick with you long after you’ve read the novels. This is something that Cinda nails too. Jack, Ellen, Seph, Jason, Madison, Jonah, and Emma all stay in my head. They crawl up in there and they just stay there. They’re part of this incredible magical world but they feel like your best friend. You feel every single up and down, you laugh with them, you cry with them, and you feel as much a part of their journey as those along side them.

But I think the real concrete reason that Tamora Pierce fans will love the Heir Chronicles is that they both have such amazing stories. Tammy has been writing YA fantasy for 30 years now? More than 30 years? An epicly long time and she has SUCH a handle on it. Every story she brings to the table is fresh and new and exciting. She can make you laugh, and cry, and she makes me turn the pages so fast that I have legitimately ripped pages while reading. Cinda does the same thing. She has a five part contemporary fantasy series and she also has a completed epic fantasy series, as well. And each novel that she releases has a way of taking the world she’s already built and making it explode into a brand new, exciting story. Its incredible and its continues to blow my mind. With the Heir Chronicles wrapping up this October, I’m getting even more excited to see what amazing stories she comes up with next!

Basically, its simple: Tamora Pierce fans will LOVE Cinda Chima. Fantasy fans will love Cinda Chima. Readers will love her. She’s fantastic and you should definitely pick up these books.

Let’s learn more about them, now that I’ve convinced you to read them ;)

About the Tour

Those with magical powers in The Heir Chronicles series by Cinda Williams Chima are known as the Weir. The World of Weir blog tour leads up to the release of the can’t-miss series finale, The Sorcerer’s Heir (in-stores October 21st) by celebrating the magical fantasy world and the five types of magical guilds. Follow along for playlists, nail art, and more inspired by the series, plus exclusive excerpts from the upcoming finale.

WEEK 1:  THE WARRIORS September 14 – September 20

WEEK 2: THE WIZARDS September 21 –  September 27

WEEK 3: THE SEERS September 28 – October 4

WEEK 4:  THE ENCHANTERS October 5 – October 11

WEEK 5:  THE SORCERERS October 12 – October 18

Obviously I’m part of week one :) Yay!

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About The Sorcerer Heir 

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The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely. Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.

The Sorcerer’s Heir is a self-contained story, accessible to readers just discovering the Heir series, but loyal fans will be rewarded by visits from characters they love (and love to hate) from the earlier installments. Readers will be glued to their seats through riveting fight scenes, deadly political machinations, burgeoning romance, and the unfolding intrigues of a contemporary magical world.

About Cinda Williams Chima

CindaWilliamsChima

 

Website / Twitter

Cinda Williams Chima is the New York Times bestselling author of The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir, The Enchanter Heir, and the four books of the Seven Realms series: The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, and The Crimson Crown. Cinda is a graduate of The University of Akron and Case Western Reserve University. She lives in Ohio with her family.

Giveaway!

Oh yes, that’s right, you heard it :)

Thanks to the amazing generosity of the of blog tour hosts, I have a set of The Heir Chronicles, minus the newest one. A BRAND NEW SET. That’s awesome, right? Now, seeing as I own all these books, I’ve decided that the best way to convince all you lovelies to read these books is to GIVE them to you!

But I want to give you ALL of them. So while this giveaway will be going on now, it’ll be the longest one I’ve had because I want it to end on the release date of The Sorcerer Heir. FIVE books guys! Five books!

Giveaway runs from today until October 21st!

Its SUPER simple, just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Meeting Josie Angelini, Stephanie Perkins, Natalie Whipple, Kiersten White, Sarah J Maas, Gretchen McNeil and Anna Carey!

Also, prostate an appropriate title for this blog post would be “I’ve Neglected my Blog and I’ve Done a TON of Author Events in the Past Week…”

September has been quite a busy month for me, cost personal stuff aside. It feels like EVERYONE has released a book this month and decided to come to California. Which I’m not complaining about at all. I love when authors come here, patient especially ones that I’ve seen before, like a lot of the ones you see in the title above. Authors make me happy!

First, last week, I met Josie Angelini again. She’s SUCH a sweetheart and she totally remembered me from ALA and Fierce Reads in Vegas back in July. Her newest release, Trial By Fire, is out now and its absolutely incredible. It blew me away and I loved being able to finally tell her that! When I saw her at ALA, I had just started it so I didn’t have much to say. She brought us cupcakes (OMG Sprinkles…) and signed our books and looked so absolutely adorable with her preggers belly.

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Josie Angelini!

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Mini cupcakes from Sprinkles!

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SO fun.

Then a few days later, I headed down with my friends Alex and Cassie to Oceanside, about an hour drive away, to see Kiersten White at her book launch for Illusions of Fate with special guests, Stephanie Perkins and Natalie Whipple. We headed down early, grabbed some lunch and spent WAY too much money on books.

All of the authors were incredible. I haven’t read anything by Kiersten or Natalie but they just blew me away. They had great advice and they talked a lot about writing. I had actually just gotten a rejection from one of the agents I had queried and was feeling kind of crappy. But they talked so much about writing, the struggle, the up and down emotions that come with it, and all of that. It meant a lot to hear all of that.

I got my books signed, chatted up the authors, talked about writing and books and we headed home. I fangirled just a *little* bit when Stephanie asked about my book and what it was about. Maybe, just maybe, one day she’ll read it!

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Stephanie Perkins

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Natalie Whipple

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Kiersten White

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Oh yeah, and I got carried away and bought two other books. Not that I needed them but pssh, I’ve been dying to buy lots of books lately. Book shopping is fantastic therapy. I’m just saying.

Then this past Saturday, I met Sarah J Maas for the third or fourth time. I’ve honestly forgotten how many times I’ve met her. Probably because we always laugh and joke about our names because they’re the same except for one small letter. She was doing a signing at a Costco nearby and also at the Barnes and Noble, the Americana. I’ve been avoiding the Americana since the Gayle Forman event, because they’re just so massively unorganized so I decided getting my Heir of Fire signed at Costco was the best way to go.

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Probably laughing at how much crap we give each other for our names haha. I love this picture so much.

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Then last night, I headed down to the Last Bookstore in Los Angeles for a launch party. If you’ve never been to the Last Bookstore, its a must when you hit LA. Its such an incredible indie bookstore and its just straight up beautiful. I love it. Gretchen McNeil and Anna Carey were having a launch party for their new releases, Get Even and Blackbird, respectively.

There were free drinks, cupcakes, and laughs to be had. I chatted with lots of authors that I know and love like Jessica Brody, Leigh Bardugo, Morgan Matson, Jennifer Bosworth, Ann Stampler and more. I adore them all. I love how many author friends I’ve made and I love that I see them so often, supporting each other.

I’ve already read Gretchen’s new book and I grabbed a couple books by Anna, including her new release, because I’ve heard she’s great.

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Anna Carey and Gretchen McNeil :D

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Me and Anna Carey

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Me and the absolutely adorable, wonderful and unforgettable Gretchen McNeil :)

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My books PLUS a sneak peek of Get Dirty, the sequel to Get Even. After stalking Gretchen at WonderCon to get my hands on an ARC of Get Even, I am anxiously awaiting the sequel with much impatience.

So that was the craziness of my last week and a half! LOTS of authors and it only gets more exciting in the next couple weeks, including RJ Palacio, Kami Garcia, and more. Check back soon for more and thanks, as always, for reading, and supporting me!

Hope to see some of you at some events soon!

******