Thank God Its Monday Blog Tour featuring Jessica Brody’s A Week of Mondays and My Best and Worst Mondays!

AWOM_blogtour

I love Mondays. I really do. I know to most people that probably sounds super strange but I actually do really love Mondays. But Monday is also the first day of my weekend, diagnosis so maybe I’m a little biased :). Either way, buy I’m super excited to be a part of the A Week of Mondays blog tour, more about which is a brand new book coming in just a handful of weeks by one of my favorite authors and dearest friends, Jessica Brody.

A Week of Mondays!

A Week of Mondays_Cover Image

Add the book on GoodReads and Preorder the book at your local bookstore or at the following links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Book Depository

Ellie is having the worst Monday of her life. She messes up her school speech for the class vice presidency position, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball tryouts, and the icing on top of this awful cake: her perfect boyfriend who is in a high school rock band dumps her. At the end of the day, Ellie wishes she could redo everything. When she wakes up the next morning, she discovers that it’s Monday again! She has six more chances to redo the day in the hopes of having everything go exactly the way she wants. But in the process, she just may find out that what she really wants and what she actually needs are two very different things.

About Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

You Can Find Her:

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter / Her Instagram

My Best Monday 

Like I said before, I adore Mondays. At the moment, I’m typing up this blog post with a Starbucks in my hand, enjoying the beautiful gorgeous sunny California day. It has already started out as a great day. I adore Mondays. But let’s see, my best Monday ever. I probably couldn’t pinpoint an exact day, that would just be too hard to remember. But I’ll tell you what could potentially be a great Monday.

My best Monday would include all my favorite things. I would wake up and go get breakfast at my favorite breakfast place, which is a little place called The Filling Station in Old Towne Orange. They have the most amazing breakfast and mimosas and that would just be an amazing start to the day. After that, I would drive down to Universal Studios, spending a handful of hours in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which has easily become my favorite place to be since its unofficial open in February. My friends would be there and I would enjoy a butterbeer, go on both rides, do some magic with my interactive wand and watch the frog choir – which is my absolute favorite. After that, I would hop on the freeway to head home, making sure to stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes. I would grab some dinner at Mad Wolf Mongolian BBQ, which is my hometown and is literally my favorite place to eat; I can’t get enough. After that, I would head to Angel Stadium with my dad and siblings and watch a game, because the Angels and baseball are some of my favorite things in the world, and I would go home super happy, because they would have won, of course. On the way home, I’d stop by Barnes and Noble before they closed and spend the last few minutes in the store, shopping for all the new books that I could buy.

Simple. I think that would be the best Monday ever. All my favorite things.

My Worst Monday

Okay, so this is how it would start. It would start with me waking up way earlier than I want to. Remember, Mondays are my day off so I do not like getting up early on Mondays; that’s my one day to actually sleep in and it would be the daycare behind my house. The kids would be loud and wake me up from a fabulous dream involving me being a Shadowhunter and Matthew Daddario (aka Alec Lightwood) would be my Shadowhunter boyfriend. My hair wouldn’t straighten right, I wouldn’t be able to get my winged eyeliner exactly right, and my favorite shirt would have a massive stain on it – and I’d have no time to wash it. My favorite restaurants would be closed and it would be freezing cold (I’m such a baby when it comes to the cold). All of my friends would be busy and there would be no new books to read and Sprinkles would run out of my very favorite cupcake. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be so crowded that day and I wouldn’t even be able to get my hands on a butterbeer. The Angels would lose that day. My worst days are always the ones where all the little things add up and I just feel like I can’t win. My car wouldn’t start. That sort of thing. I certainly hope that I don’t have one of those Mondays any time soon because the Monday I’m having today and the Monday I described above sound so much better than a bad Monday!

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Thank you so much for hanging out for A Week of Mondays blog tour! Look out this week for a spoiler free review of the book!

Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Spotlight on Kristin Halbrook!

Hello all! I hope you are all enjoying the awesome blog tour that’s been going on for the Ontario Teen Book Fest, dosage which is going on THIS Saturday! Don’t forget to head on down because its going to be amazing. And if you can’t make it to the event, case stick around, learn a little about the amazing Kristin Halbrook, and enter our giveaway!

But first, some reminders of the details of this epic event.

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When:

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

9:30 am to 5 pm

Where:

Colony High School Branch Library
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Once Upon a Time by purchasing a book!

Its going to be an incredible event and I’m honestly counting down the days! I hope you can come along for the ride, in the days leading up to the event.  Check out the full blog tour here!

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 22nd – Spotlight on Andrew SmithWhat A Nerd Girl Says

February 23rd – Spotlight on Alexandra MonirThe Consummate Reader

February 24th – Spotlight on April TucholkeAdventures of a Book Junkie

February 25th – Spotlight on Alexis BassA Traveling Book

February 26th – Spotlight on Marissa MeyerRead Now Sleep Later

February 27th – Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth SantanaMovies, Shows and Books

February 28th – Spotlight on Robin ReulRecently Acquired Obsessions

February 29th – Spotlight on Katherine KottarasiFandoms Collide

March 1st – Spotlight on Stephanie DiazMy Fangirl Chronicles

March 2nd – Spotlight on Virginia BoeckerThe Reader’s Antidote

March 3rd – Spotlight on Mary McCoyBook You Very Much

March 4th – Spotlight on Brad GottfredSeeking Bazinga

March 5th – Spotlight on Michelle LevyMy Fangirl Chronicles

March 6th – Spotlight on Elana K ArnoldRead Now Sleep Later

March 7th – Spotlight on Kristin HalbrookWhat A Nerd Girl Says

March 8th – Spotlight on Jessica BrodyThe Windy Pages

March 9th – Spotlight on Nicole MaggiNite Lite Book Reviews

March 10th – Spotlight on Jay AsherA Bookish Escape

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Today’s Spotlight Features:

Kristin Halbrook

Taken from her website: When I was little, I wanted to be a writer, the President of the USA or the first female NFL quarterback. Despite being able to throw a wicked spiral, I didn’t really grow to the size needed for the NFL. Then, as I got older and studied more, I came to realize there were better ways to effect positive change than becoming president. The first one, however, stuck. Even when I was pursuing other dreams, I always took time to write here and there.

When I’m not writing or reading (which is what I do all day, in all of my work), I’m spending time with three pixies, my Mad Scot soulmate, and one grumpy cocker spaniel; traveling across oceans and time; cooking and baking up a storm; and watching waves crash and suns set on the beach. I currently live, love and explore in The Emerald City, though I occasionally make wispy, dream-like plans to move to Paris or a Scottish castle one day (if just temporarily).

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter / Her Instagram

Her Books

Kristin is the author of a couple amazing contemporary YA novels, but her most recent release, Every Last Promise, will be featured today!

Kayla saw something at the party that she wasn’t supposed to. But she hasn’t told anyone. No one knows the real story about what happened that night—about why Kayla was driving the car that ran into a ditch after the party, about what she saw in the hours leading up to the accident, and about the promise she made to her friend Bean before she left for the summer.

Now Kayla’s coming home for her senior year. If Kayla keeps quiet, she might be able to get her old life back. If she tells the truth, she risks losing everything—and everyone—she ever cared about.

Find His Books at Your Local Bookstore of the Following Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Book Depository

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The Interview

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Nerd Girl: Give us a short pitch of your most recent novel

Kristin: At a party, Kayla Martin saw something terrible she wasn’t supposed to see. Now, she needs to decide to either stay silent, and be able to remain in the home she loves, or speak up and lose everything she has.

Nerd Girl: What is something you’ve learned about writing since becoming a published author?

Kristin: Everything takes times. A lot of time. Writing a novel, editing a novel, the whole publishing process. But that time isn’t a bad thing; novels become better when they’ve had time to rest, when the author has had time to rest. Coming back to a project after a period away brings freshness and clarity that can be lost when focus in incessant. The book will wait while you live your life!

Nerd Girl: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Kristin: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” That’s a (summarized) quote by Anton Chekhov. I didn’t receive it personally, of course, but it’s been a guide to me throughout my entire career as a writer. I think the quote holds a double punch; it’s phrased beautifully, showing the power of each word in a sentence, and it’s giving great show-don’t-tell advice.

Nerd Girl: What is one of your favorite memories from when you were a teenager?

Kristin: Sitting in a garage at night with friends, listening to someone strumming the guitar against the sound of rain on the rooftop, arguing about nothing in particular or cuddling with partners, or eating and drinking. Or all of the above.

Nerd Girl: Your book Every Last Promise tackles the very serious and very relevant issue of sexual assault and speaking up about it. Why did you write about this?

Kristin: All of my fiction tackles topics that are personally important to me, whether because I or someone dear to me experienced them, or because they are (unfortunately, too) prominent in the various segments of our national and/or world culture. A large number of small town sexual assaults were in the headlines as I was writing and revising Every Last Promise, and I started to wonder about the people in those towns: what they were thinking and feeling, whether they supported the victim, how hard it must have been for the victim to stand up against their very small, local culture. That last question, especially, was one I wanted to explore. Victims are silent for a variety of reasons, and understanding those reasons makes us all better advocates for those who need us.

Nerd Girl: Who have been some of your biggest influences?

Kristin: Melina Marchetta, Stephanie Kuehnert, and Meg Rosoff were three of the YA authors I read early in my writing career who taught me that yes, I can write YA. I have a story to tell. I can tell this contemporary, realistic tale with literary language and it will find a home. But all the influences that led up to me becoming a writer and writing the way I do would fill a book on their own! I’ve been a ready pretty much forever, and every book influenced me, somehow.

Nerd Girl: Who are some of your favorite authors to read?

Kristin: Again, there are so many! I’m currently on an adult women’s upmarket fiction kick, so I’m really into Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn. But I also love coming across a gorgeous YA contemporary, or a sweeping YA fantasy, especially if it’s based in an ethnically diverse setting. I recently enjoyed The Smell of Other People’s Houses and I’m really looking forward to reading The Star-Touched Queen, out next month.

Nerd Girl: Have you ever had a fangirl moment with an author or celebrity?

Kristin: Not really, but I recently dreamed that James McAvoy bought all my daughters’ Girl Scout cookies and I was fangirling on him pretty hard, there. Both for just being James McAvoy, but also for taking all those boxes of cookies off my hands.

Nerd Girl: Who is your fictional crush?

Kristin: Lately, I’ve been devouring books about terrible people, hee, so haven’t crushed on anyone in a long time, but I’ve always loved Gilbert Blythe. Oh, and Jonah from Jellicoe Road.

Nerd Girl: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!

Kristin: Thanks so much for having me. I’m really looking forward to the Ontario Teen Book Fest; it will be a blast!

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The Giveaway!

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One winner will receive an official Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by ALL attending authors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Spotlight on Andrew Smith

I am so pleased to, visit web yet again, approved bring the official Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour to What A Nerd Girl Says and other amazing Southern California bloggers! This event is one of my absolute favorite events of the year and I’m sure this one is going to be just as great, even not better, than previous years!

When:

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

9:30 am to 5 pm

Where:

Colony High School Branch Library
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Once Upon a Time by purchasing a book!

Its going to be an incredible event and I’m honestly counting down the days! I hope you can come along for the ride, in the days leading up to the event.  Check out the full blog tour here!

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 22nd – Spotlight on Andrew SmithWhat A Nerd Girl Says

February 23rd – Spotlight on Alexandra MonirThe Consummate Reader

February 24th – Spotlight on April TucholkeAdventures of a Book Junkie

February 25th – Spotlight on Alexis BassA Traveling Book

February 26th – Spotlight on Marissa MeyerRead Now Sleep Later

February 27th – Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth SantanaMovies, Shows and Books

February 28th – Spotlight on Robin ReulRecently Acquired Obsessions

February 29th – Spotlight on Katherine KottarasiFandoms Collide

March 1st – Spotlight on Stephanie DiazMy Fangirl Chronicles

March 2nd – Spotlight on Virginia BoeckerThe Reader’s Antidote

March 3rd – Spotlight on Mary McCoyBook You Very Much

March 4th – Spotlight on Brad GottfredSeeking Bazinga

March 5th – Spotlight on Michelle LevyMy Fangirl Chronicles

March 6th – Spotlight on Elana K ArnoldRead Now Sleep Later

March 7th – Spotlight on Kristin HalbrookWhat A Nerd Girl Says

March 8th – Spotlight on Jessica BrodyThe Windy Pages

March 9th – Spotlight on Nicole MaggiNite Lite Book Reviews

March 10th – Spotlight on Jay AsherA Bookish Escape

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Today’s Spotlight Is:

ANDREW SMITH 

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Grasshopper Jungle (2015 Michael L. Printz Honor, 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Carnegie Medal Longlist) and Winger. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. The Alex Crow, a starred novel by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, is his ninth novel. He lives in Southern California.

His Website / His Facebook / His GoodReads / His Twitter / His Instagram

His Books

There are actually so many that he’s written, and all of them are absolutely fabulous. I encourage you to follow him on GoodReads and add ALL of the books. However, I am spotlighting Stand-Off since its his most recent release :)

It’s his last year at Pine Mountain, and Ryan Dean should be focused on his future, but instead, he’s haunted by his past. His rugby coach expects him to fill the roles once played by his lost friend, Joey, as the rugby team’s stand-off and new captain. And somehow he’s stuck rooming with twelve-year-old freshman Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with extreme claustrophobia and a serious crush on Annie Altman—aka Ryan Dean’s girlfriend, for now, anyway.

Equally distressing, Ryan Dean’s doodles and drawings don’t offer the relief they used to. He’s convinced N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner—and then he runs into Joey’s younger brother Nico, who makes Ryan Dean feel paranoid that he’s avoiding him. Will Ryan Dean ever regain his sanity?

Find His Books at Your Local Bookstore of the Following Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Book Depository

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The Interview

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Nerd Girl: Tell us about your current work in progress. What can we expect from you in the future? 

Andrew: I just submitted a novel to my editor, and I’m not really allowed to give specific details about it at this time, but I can say it’s a crazy speculative futuristic space opera-ish kind of thing. With a giraffe in it. I put the giraffe character in the book as a nod to my friend Jandy Nelson.

 

Nerd Girl: Your most recent release is STAND OFF, the sequel to Winger: what made you decide to continue Ryan Dean’s story?

 

Andrew: Probably it was pressure from readers. I still get emails every day from people of all ages, all over the world, about WINGER. Also, I really missed those characters, and writing STAND-OFF was so fun.

 

Nerd Girl: Ryan Dean struggles a lot with anxiety and PTSD in the second book in STAND OFF, after what he experienced in WINGER. As someone who struggles with similar mental issues, it felt very realistic and relatable. Was it hard to write him with this change in his personality, and did you have to do any research in order to write it the way you did?

 

Andrew: Ha ha! Been there, done that, too. Also, I never actually used terms like PTSD or anxiety in the book, I only wanted to key in on the feelings Ryan Dean was going through, and I think that made those experiences more relatable on a broad level for readers.

Nerd Girl: What is your writing process like? How do you balance writing full length novels with working your job as a teacher? How do you keep yourself motivated?

 

Andrew: Whenever I teach writers, I stress that self-discipline is an invisible but perhaps most important ingredient in what we produce. It’s easy to talk about craft, mechanics, and technique, but if you don’t get off your butt and hit the keyboard, absolutely none of that matters. It’s very difficult at times, and time exists in finite quantities, so you just have to make sure what you’re doing is going to get you where you most want to be. But as far as my personal writing is concerned, I motivate myself by building puzzles into my stories, and by always trying to do something I’ve never tried, and something that nobody else is doing. At least, I try.

 

Nerd Girl: Seeing as this is a teen book fest, I’d like to ask what were some of your favorite books as a teenager? Also, what are some of your favorite current teen reads?

 

Andrew: I read a wide range of thick, weird books when I was a teen. I remember reading–on my own–books like MOBY DICK by Herman Melville, THE IDIOT by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and FOUNDATION by Isaac Asimov.

Current YA that I’ve enjoyed (and I hope you know my favorite author is A.S. King, so I’ll spare you the expected list of all her titles): THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER by Tim Federle and THE MEMORY OF THINGS by Gae Polisner. But I don’t think those are out yet.

 

Nerd Girl: What is one thing you learned about writing that you didn’t learn until after you got published?

 

Andrew: Like most people who get published, I didn’t know ANYTHING about the publishing industry when I got published. But, as far as writing goes, I think that working with the amazing editors I’ve had the opportunity to work with has taught me to recognize some of the common mistakes that young writers make in terms of craft, and this has definitely helped me to be a better, more efficient, writer.

 

Nerd Girl: You get the phone call that you’re getting published: what is your reaction? How did you celebrate?

 

Andrew: I kind of passed out, I think. And nobody in my family knew I’d been writing all those years. So I took my wife and kids out to dinner and told them what was going to happen.

 

Nerd Girl: You’ve often said that you don’t necessarily write books FOR teens but ABOUT teens…so why did you choose to write about teens? And why do you think its important to make the point that your books aren’t necessarily just for teens?
Andrew: Some of my favorite books ever have adolescent protagonists: THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain, ‘SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King, and Cormac McCarthy’s ALL THE PRETTY HORSES and THE CROSSING. I’ve always liked writing about the adolescent experience for two main reasons: First, adolescence is universal; it’s something we’ve all gone through, and second, I think we all look back on our teenage years as being some of the most significant, shaping years in our lives; times we tend to think about every day.

 

Nerd Girl: What is one of your favorite moments from when you were a teen?
Andrew: Stealing my dad’s car, ditching school, and driving to the beach.

 

Nerd Girl: Last question, who is your fictional crush?
Andrew: Oh gosh. I’d have to say Buffalo Bill from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.

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The Giveaway!

One winner will receive an official Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by ALL attending authors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday Top Ten Launch Day Edition – Ten Things You Should Know About The Awakened!

Happy Release Day to me!

Official Awakened Cover

That is probably one of the weirdest and most surreal things I’ve ever typed up on this blog. I’m seriously blown away by that!

But its today! Today, order  The Awakened is a real book out in the real world! All over the world, decease people can go online and buy a copy of MY book, either in Kindle and paperback format! This is crazy to me. But also it feels amazing. This is what I’ve spent most of my life hoping for. Working my ass off for. I’m glad its finally here.

Have you gotten your copy of The Awakened yet? Its okay! I’ve provided a beautiful link here for you ;)

Even better! In just half an hour, I’ll be starting my SIX HOUR Twitter party extravaganza. If you don’t follow me on my author twitter yet, you definitely should! I’ll be on Twitter from noon PST to 6 pm PST, celebrating the release of The Awakened. I’ll be answering any and all questions you have, and reading alongside anyone else who is reading it! I’m going to be sharing snippets from The Awakened and even smaller ones (but still cool) from the rough draft of The Awakened 2. I’ll have giveaways, including signed bookmarks, signed posters and Kindle copies of the book.

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Definitely come and check it out! You don’t have to stick around for the whole six hours so come by anytime, shoot a question my way, anything! I’ll be happy to chat with all of you!

Now moving on to this week’s Tuesday Top Ten. Today is a special one, since today is my release day! So excited! Today I’m sharing ten things you should know about The Awakened before you read it! There are NO spoilers below, so don’t be scared to go beyond this part!

Also below is the schedule for the blog tour! SO many amazing and fantastic blogs are participating, sharing in The Awakened celebration and hosting me as a guest writer or in interview form. There is also information for the giveaway as well! It runs until December 12th so get those entries in!

Now, let’s get to it!

The book is about zombies…sort of

For so long, I hesitated to compare the Awakened to zombies but there are similarities for sure. They’re both undead, and they both crave one thing: human flesh. However, the Awakened don’t really have the same origin as zombies and that’s a huge plot point in the novel. And they’re smarter. They’re reflections of their old selves, but their overwhelming hunger outweighs that and makes them the monsters they are.

Zoey and Ash aren’t perfect. 

I’ve had beta readers and reviewers and several people tell me, I loved the book but Ash drove me insane or god I got annoyed with Zoey. And I’m okay with that! I want you to feel that! Both of these characters are incredibly flawed! They’re 18 years old and kind of sheltered, very taken care of, until the world goes to sh*t and so they mess up a lot. They make a lot of mistakes. And that’s okay. That’s a huge part of the book, having these two figure out what the hell they are doing.

The bombing was an accidental scene. 

I didn’t intend to bomb every major city as part of a plot point. I remember watching The Walking Dead with my boyfriend at the time and saying, jokingly, “Why don’t they just nuke everything? Why do they just let it get out of control?” Well, because my brain can’t shut off, it got me thinking and I wondered, what if they DID bomb everything? Where would you go? What would be the consequences of that? And that’s why I wrote it in.

“Nightmare” by Set It Off is the unofficial theme song. 

I was having SUCH a hard time at the beginning of this novel. I had this idea and for me, it was very risky. I don’t write science fiction! I’ve always stuck to romance! So this was out of the box for me and I was feeling doubts about actually accomplishing it! I went to a concert where Set It Off was opening, the first time I actually saw them. They played Nightmare and it just immediately stuck to me, and that song, plus the entire Cinematics album was on repeat while I wrote.

All the settings are done by research not experience. 

I have not been to ANY of the settings that are in the novel. I know, crazy right? I was originally going to have Zoey from Los Angeles, since I’ve lived here in Southern California my entire life but my book before The Awakened took place here so I needed a break for sure. So New York, and all the other settings, were researched. It was hard at times. I forgot that Zoey and her companions would be FREEZING at times because it was winter. Winter isn’t much of a thing here so that was actually genuinely tough! There is a setting that appears at the very very end of the book, and I have been there. That setting is way more important in the second book and I’m glad I’ve actually BEEN there LOL.

The Awakened was supposed to be a standalone. 

When I originally started writing the book, I had no plans to write more than the one book. As I continued to write, however, I realized I had created a world and a scenario much, much bigger than just one book and I realized I’d have to split it in two. People keep asking if it’ll be a trilogy but I think I’d lose my mind if I attempted that LOL. It’ll be two books and that’s it!

Zoey and Ash used to be Kate and Nate. 

Kate. And. Nate. Did I ever mention how absolutely AWFUL I am at naming characters? I am truly truly awful at it. I would just name all my characters the same thing if I could because names are baffling to me. It took me a second to realize their names rhymed and I was so horrified at myself. So I changed Nate to Ash. Then eventually I changed Kate to Zoey. I tend to do that a lot, change character names. I like change and I get tired of names quickly. I almost changed it from Zoey too until my friends were like, NO. I’m so glad they keep me in line…

The 5th Wave, Alienated and Unremembered were the biggest influences on the book. 

I love all three of these books so much and they all had huge influences on The Awakened. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey did a lot for the survival part, especially since my characters are teenagers like Cassie. It was beyond helpful. I LOVED using Alienated by Melissa Landers to incorporate the romance between Zoey and Ash, but also still make it about the science fiction. Though Alienated is definitely more romance, it was so helpful. I think one of the most helpful though was Unremembered Jessica Brody. Its SO science fiction but it has a heavy foot in reality, in the reality we know and it showed me that I could totally write this book. It had a HUGE influence on this book.

The Awakened gave me the confidence to write more science fiction. 

I honestly didn’t think I could write science fiction before this book. I still sometimes don’t think I can do it. The book I wrote about this one is called Benched and is a new adult sports romance novel. Much shorter, and felt much easier to me. But I do feel the confidence to take these ideas I have and go with it. I’m currently working on the sequels to both The Awakened and Benched but I have an idea for a sort of space/robot/cyborg story about a girl named Nadia, who is the last human, the last princess, left in existence, surrounded by robots and cyborgs, until she finds out maybe she’s not. Its daunting but I really believe I can tackle it.

The sequel to The Awakened will open the world even more. 

The Awakened focuses a LOT on the main characters and their own problems, their own survival. Its very very centered on them, and for good reason. Its all about Zoey and her companions. However, in the sequel, its going to be very much about the rest of the survivors as well. Its going to be much more about the bigger picture. This is SO daunting to me but I’m excited for it. I’m excited to open up this world and exploring the bigger consequences of everything that has happened.

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I hope you guys enjoyed that and that you enjoy reading The Awakened! I am so excited that its out today. Don’t forget that there is a great giveaway going on, hosted by me, which has no effect on me saying its great ;)

Up for grabs is a signed book, poster and bookmark, more signed posters and bookmarks and kindle editions of The Awakened!

Giveaway Graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour for interviews, guest posts and more!

November 26th: Reading and Reviews / What A Nerd Girl Says

November 27th:  Living Within Fiction

November 28th: Lisa of Literature / Seeking Bazinga

November 29th: Chloe’s Book Nook / Book and Movies Addict

November 30th: Tine’s Reviews / Escape from Realities

December 1st: What A Nerd Girl Says / The Book Academy / Bookish Wonderland

December 2nd: Recently Acquired Obsessions / Morgan Reads

December 3rd: Case Maynard, Author / Movies, Shows and Books

December 4thBout of Bibliophilia

December 5th: Tesairie’s Book Reads / iFandoms Collide

December 6th: Just One of Those Bibliophiles / A Traveling Book / Endlessly Readings

December 7th: My Life in Blog / Erin Rhew Books

December 8th: Metamorphic Books / Knightingale Reviews

December 9th: Reading Over Sleeping / Always and Forever Fangirl

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Book Release: Sweet by Tammara Webber + Review!

Congrats to Tammara Webber and her brand new release, healing Sweet!

I was lucky enough to get an early copy and be a part of the release day/week/month/time awesomeness. I adore Tammara a TON so I’m excited to tell you about her book today!

But first, viagra buy let’s learn a little bit about Tammara, in her own words.

Tammara Webber

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of EASY and BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart series – NA), as well BETWEEN THE LINES, WHERE YOU ARE, GOOD FOR YOU and HERE WITHOUT YOU (Between the Lines series – YA/NA).

I’m a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon. I married my high school sweetheart, and I’m Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

You Can Find Her At:

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her Twitter / Her Instagram

About Sweet

Contours of the Heart #3

The best part of this though is you do NOT have to read 1 or 2 to read 3! Its part of a series of books taking place in the same universe but 3 stands alone from the first two!

Sweet

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.

She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.

She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:

Sweet.

Find the Book: 

Good Reads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks

Seriously, try to get through some of these without splashing some water on your face!

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My Review 

I’ve been anxiously awaiting for this book to be released and I was really excited when an epub showed up in my inbox. I’ve been very lucky in developing a friendship with Tammara and getting to preview her books early. That being said, that also has NO influence on my review of this book whatsoever. Honest review, every time :)

This book was HOT. Tammara has always managed to write books about characters that are real and genuine and sexy as hell and she does that again in this novel. Both Boyce and Pearl drive you crazy and I kind of spent the whole book wanting BOTH of them. They’re both determined characters and they’re so frustrating as well. We get both point of views and so watching them both fall madly in love with each other, but be so pathetic and not realize their feelings are reciprocated was frustrating but it keeps you reading til the end.

I liked a LOT that it takes place in the same universe as Easy and Breakable so we get a little bit of Lucas and Jacqueline, because I adore those two so incredibly much and I was totally happy to get a little bit of them, even just the smallest bit we do get.

What I really love about this story, what really stands out about this one is that these characters have known each other for years, since they were children. They have a connection over the course of over a decade and so that makes the story different and unique and amazing. Don’t get me wrong: I love romance period. And I love romance developed between two characters who meet and fall in love but there was something fun about these two characters who have ALWAYS loved each other, figuring it out as adults and finding their way to each other. It was beautiful. I loved every minute of it and I loved each character. They had a lot they were each dealing with it, and they dealt with it together and they grew up together. I really like their story a lot.

The only small beef I had with the novel was the end. There is an instance where a character returns and some sh*t goes down and…to me, it seemed sort of random and unexpected. I didn’t really mind that it happened, it just seemed to come out of nowhere. Like, whoa, hey, random plot twist…Like I said, not necessarily a totally bad thing but it threw me off a little bit.

All in all, another win for Tammara. I told her as soon as I finished it: keep writing and I’ll keep reading and I definitely stand by that :)

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer

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I am so pleased to be bringing you the Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour once again! This is one of my absolute favorite events of the year and I’m honored to help promote it as much as I possibly can. There are a ton of wonderful authors this year and an equally wonderful batch of bloggers to help me spotlight them.

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When: March 21st, advice 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Once Upon a Time by purchasing a book!

Its going to be an incredible event and I’m honestly counting down the days! I hope you can come along for the ride, in the days leading up to the event.  Check out the full blog tour here!

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West — Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 2nd: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred — Recently Acquired Obsessions

March 3rd: Spotlight on Catherine Linka — Read Now Sleep Later

March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza — Read Now Sleep Later

March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn — Fearless Kurt Reads YA

March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray — A Bookish Escape

March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger — People Like Books

March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller — The Thousand Lives

March 9th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 10th: Spotlight on Anna Carey — The Reader’s Antidote

March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith — Movies, Shows and Books

March 12th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross — Kid Lit Frenzy

March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury — The Consummate Reader

March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo — The Windy Pages

March 15th: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci — Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody — The Romance Bookie

March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil — Movies, Shows and Books

March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler — Fangirl Feeels

March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy — The Consummate Reader

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Today’s spotlight is on:

Mary Elizabeth Summer

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Taken from her Website:

Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal leanings. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is “you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland Oregon with her wife, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat.

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter / Her Instagram / Her Tumblr

Her Book

TrustMeImLying

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

Find Her Books at Your Local Bookstore of the Following Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Book Depository

The Interview

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Nerd Girl: Trust Me, I’m Lying is your debut novel. Talk about what it was like to find out your novel was going to be published? 

Mary: I believe the first words I said when my agent called to tell me about my first offer were: “I think I’m going to puke”. She very calmly told me to not do that until after we finished discussing the details. As it turned out, I had a couple additional offers after that initial one, so there was a whirlwind of editor calls and figuring things out. When the dust finally settled, and I had officially accepted an offer, I walked around with wings on my feet for weeks. The only thing that gave me an equivalent feeling was seeing the finished book on a shelf in my favorite bookstore. Its euphoric. And slightly frightening. But mostly euphoric.

Nerd Girl: Where did the idea for Trust Me, I’m Lying come from? 

Mary: I got the idea for the Trust Me series one night while watching back-to-back episodes of White Collar and Leverage. I thought, “Man, I’d love to read a book about a teenage con artist, but I don’t think there are any.” (It turns out there are several, I just didn’t know about any of them.) Then I didn’t think any more about it till I woke up the next morning with Julep’s snarky voice in my head, demanding to be written. As you’ll discover reading the book, Julep doesn’t take no for an answer. So I spent the next year with her poking me until I finished.

Nerd Girl: Julep is a unique character in her own, a little more anti-hero than straight up hero. Is there a reason(s) that you created a character like this and can we expect more characters like this in your future?

Mary: Oh, yes. I have always loved the villains-turned-sort-of-heroes trope. There was a storyline in the original animated Voltron where the son of the Big Bad had a thing for the Princess, and he would often mess up his father’s plans (against his own best interest) to save her. And in He-Man, my favorite episodes were always the ones where Skeletor and He-Man had to team up to defeat a common foe. And then Firefly happened, which just had my villain/hero-loving heart all in a pile of mush for every episode. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for a tender-hearted villain. So the answer to your second question is a resounding YES — all of my protagonists in every book I write will be at least half evil.

Nerd Girl: What are some of your own favorite books to read? 

Mary: I love sci-fi. I could read sci-fi every day of the week. My favorite sci-fis I’ve read recently are Alienated by Melissa Landers, Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones, Run to You by Clara Kensie and Beyond Our Stars by Marie Langager. I also like paranormal and fantasy — Cracked by Eliza Crewe was one of my favorite books I read last year. And of course, myster: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano, Far From You by Tess Sharpe, The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie E. Hall and Tabula Rasa by Kristsen Lippert-Martin are all amazing.

Nerd Girl: What made you want to write for teens as opposed for adults? 

Mary: I like writing for teens, because I like writing about teens. I like how cagey they have to be, how observant and opportunistic, just to get a ride to the mall. I like how vulnerable they have to stay in order to keep their lives in order and their loved ones happy. They’re the ultimate martyrs, really, and oh, how I love to sacrifice them on the alter of…er, *cough*, I mean, bring to light the inner depths they’re capable of when their lives get turned upside down.

All joking aside, YA is a powerful genre. It challenges us to grow up before our time and yet be strong enough to hold onto our innocence and belief in magic. No other genre can say that.

Nerd Girl: Have you ever had a fangirl moment and who was it with?

Mary: I’ve had a lot of fangirl moments at book signings (because authors! :-D) But my favorite story is when I had Margaret Stohl sign my copy of Beautiful Creatures. I told her how my wife read it to me aloud while I was in labor with our daughter, and she jumped out of her seat and asked one of the other authors there to take our picture with her camera, as if were the celebrity. LOL I loved it.

Nerd Girl: Because this is for the Ontario Teen Book Fest, all about the teens, what is one of your favorite memories from when you were a teen? 

Mary: Several good moments come to mind — musical solos, murder mystery parties, a popular senior guy (who didn’t know me) asking me if I went to the Starfleet Academy because I had the sticker on my car (there was much laughter and an ‘I wish’ on my part). But if I’m being honest, my favorite memories all happened in books. I was a book addict, and every story was another set of best friends and another opportunity to save the world.

Nerd Girl: Last question, who is your fictional crush? 

Mary: This is a tough one for me because I like girls, but not the kind of girls that usually get written about. So I’m going to plead lack of options to choose from here. If I were into boys, though, I’d say my fictional crush would be Chuck from Chuck. He’s such a woobie. Or maybe Seth from The O.C. (for the same reason). I prefer smart, sensitive dudes.

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The Giveaway 

Two Prizes, Two Winners!

Each winner will receive an official Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by ALL attending authors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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