Tuesday Top Ten – Favorite New Releases of 2014!

I seriously hate writing these lists. Seriously. Because the segment is called the Tuesday Top Ten. I’ve read 120-something books this year and, sale yeah, sick sure, a good number of them were either re-reads or books that were released previous to the year 2014. But I would say a majority of those books were brand new releases.

And I’m just supposed to narrow them down to the ones that I liked the most. I mean, come on. That’s just mean. And hard. I’ve read so MANY great and fantastic books this year. It just blows my mind how authors can just continue to write amazing stories over and over and over again.

And yes, I’m the brains of this operation which means, technically, I could make a whole huge list of books that came out this year that I loved but they legit would all make the list and the point of this is to highlight the ones that really stood out to me this year.

So that’s just what I’m going to do! Check it out :)

10. All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

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I was looking forward to this book because it has three of my favorite things in the world: romance, hot boys with abs and football. I hadn’t been massively impressed with Cora so far but this book completely changed my mind and I loved the second one as well. I definitely could use more Rusk boys in my life.

9. Cress by Marissa Meyer

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I was DYING for this book and when I finally got my hands on it, I was in the worst slump ever. Took me about a week and a half to read this book, but when I finally did, I was just blown away. Cress is an incredible character and I absolutely love this book. I couldn’t believe how long I had to wait (and am still waiting) for the final book.

8. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Oh Morgan  Matson. Please never stop writing. The closeness I felt to this book, the inability to remember how to do things, live life, make friends, have fun without your best friend…I totally understand that. Plus she’s just such a fun writer. Reading her books is easy, you just get sucked in and suddenly you realized hours have passed and you haven’t even moved.

7. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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This book completely blew my mind. I needed a really good fantasy book in my life and this one completely and totally delivered. I was just blown away by the incredible world building that Sara created in this novel and I loved every character that we meet, even the villains because I can appreciate a really well written villain. And I loved the surprises. I love when I’m reading and I feel like I have a handle on the story and something completely throws me off. Its beautiful and I absolutely love it. Get this book.

6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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I LOVE Anna and the French Kiss. I LOVE Lola and the Boy Next Door. I literally ADORE and am OBSESSED with Isla and Josh and this story. I read this just a week before I broke up with my boyfriend and when I knew things weren’t good, and that’s kind of why I like this novel. This book is about romance, about how we get caught up in it and we forget that it can be hard work and that things aren’t always easy and they aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. That hit me hard, and the beautiful reality of love in this story just broke my heart. I love love love this book. It has a happy ending, which is fantastic, but I loved seeing the struggle to get there.

5. Alienated by Melissa Landers

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I am sure you are all so tired of me putting this in your face but guess what? Nope. Not at all. Because I truly love this book. I seriously seriously love this book. I am so glad I ran into Melissa at ALA and brought this book into my life! Its so beautiful. Great science fiction, awesome humor and the romance is just…ugh, I’m fangirling.

4. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

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Dear Richelle Mead, Can I be your daughter? Love, Sara. I really liked The Fiery Heart but The Indigo Spell is my favorite so it was hard to follow that. Silver Shadows is now just below The Indigo Spell, because it just blew my mind. I loved the dual point of view and I loved the build up to the incredible climax and omg that cliffhanger broke my heart. A month until the end of it all!

3. The One by Kiera Cass

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I am so glad I got into Kiera Cass this year. I read The Selection at the very beginning of the year, at the urging of…someone. I can’t remember who. But I hadn’t really had a desire to. And now, I’m just stoked that I did because its such a good book. The Elite is a bit of a struggle to get through BUT The One was just a beautiful book. I was so emotional and I cried and when I met Kiera, I fangirled way too hard.

2. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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Dear Leigh Bardugo, please teach everyone in the world how to end a series. Seriously. So many series enders have been so disappointing, so lacking but this book just blew my mind. I sat down and just consumed it. It was absolutely fantastic. Everything came to an end, and it was heartbreaking, utterly heartbreaking and surprising and just…ugh. It made me so happy. I wish I could have even just a fraction of the talent that Leigh has.

1. Grasshopper Jungle and 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

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I cheated ;) I put two books for my number one but that’s just because I legit could not choose between these two. They are both so different but so unique and just brilliant. Andrew Smith is such a one of a kind author that just blows my mind. 100 Sideways Miles was incredible and Grasshopper Jungle was unlike anything I’ve ever read in my life. I literally have never read a book like GJ and it just was….it was about everything and it was bizarre and funny and all of that. He’s truly brilliant. He might just end up on my top ten at the end of every year haha!

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What were some of your favorite new releases of 2014? Share in the comments

Release Day: “Until Midnight” by Melissa Landers!

I’m so SO excited to be promoting “Until Midnight” by Melissa Landers today! Its a novella, purchase taking place between her debut novel, visit this Alienated and its sequel, Invaded, which releases in February. I’ve read both books already so I’m VERY excited to read “Until Midnight”. I’ve read the first few pages and I’m already in love. I can NEVER have too much Aelyx in my life!

Lets jump right into this, shall we?

About Melissa Landers

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Melissa Landers writes romantic science fiction for teens and the young at heart. To learn more, or just to say hello, visit her at www.melissa-landers.com

You Can Also Find Her At:

GoodReads / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

About Alienated

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Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Find Alienated at your local bookstore or at the following links:

Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

A Message from Melissa About Until Midnight!

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Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after ALIENATED ends and before the sequel INVADED begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd.

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

You can download UNTIL MIDNIGHT from the following e-tailers:

Kindle / Nook / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

*If you live outside the USA, no worries. I’ve uploaded the story to Scribd for you. (The only downside is it doesn’t include the bonus preview chapters, due to technical reasons from the publisher.) Link: http://www.scribd.com/AuthorMelissaLanders

To celebrate this new release, I’m offering TWO lucky winners an autographed swag pack complete with a personalized bookplate, mini-poster, bookmarks, and stickers—open internationally! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck!

Ontario Teen Book Fest 2015 Authors Revealed!

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My favorite event is JUST around the corner and I am bursting with excitement to finally release the list of authors that will attending.

The Ontario Teen Book Fest will be taking place Saturday, viagra March 21st from 9:30 am to 5 pm at Colony High School. More details of events, information pills and all of that will come in February as I host the Ontario TBF blog tour! Yay!

Check out their official website here.

For now, viagra its time to announce all the AMAZING authors that will be in attendance this year. Brace yourselves!

Make sure to click their names to head to their website, to find out more about the authors and their books!

Jessica Brody

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Anna Carey

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Cecil Castellucci 

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Debra Driza

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Katie Finn (Morgan Matson)

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Maurene Goo

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Claudia Gray 

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Aaron Hartzler 

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Jessica Khoury

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Melissa Landers

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Shannon Messenger

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Lauren Miller

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Elizabeth Ross

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Sherri Smith 

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Mary Elizabeth Summer

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Kasie West

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Also included in this WONDERFUL list of attending authors are the three moderator/authors that will be in attendance as well:

Gretchen McNeil

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Catherine Linka

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Brad Gottfred 

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I’m SO excited about this year’s list of authors and I canNOT wait for this event. I hope you all can join me in March! Stay tuned for more as the blog tour, and giveaways and all sorts of fun stuff comes in the future!

NaNoWriMo 2014: Fancasting for My Novel!

Okay, sale so I was not going to do this post because, well, I didn’t really feel like I needed to and I had other things on my mind.

But I like fan casting. It helps to give me a better background for my characters. When I create my characters, I do have a basis for them in my mind but I do have that sort of blurry image for their face because its hard to create an entirely new face in your head. So I use actors and actresses as basis. Sort of the way I use Santa Cruz, California as a basis for my town, Macon, California.

So I was writing and I was having a little bit of a hard time on something so…I started googling people and fancasting for my five main characters: Evie, Lucy, Austin, Jesse, and Connor. And then because I am so completely perfect at procrastinating in actual writing (damn you, Gilmore Girls!).

So instead of writing 3K words like I planned to do for the day (its 3 pm, I have plenty of time), I’m working on a post about fan casting for my novel.

Let’s jump in!

Elizabeth Olsen as Evie and Lucy Cordova

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Evie and Lucy are really difficult because I made them really unique. I actually based them a lot on my sister, Jessica. My siblings and I are mutt children: two races. There are multiracial kids alllll over the place but I think the differences, the uniqueness that comes from multiracial kids can be skipped over sometimes. I’m half Mexican and half white, meaning pretty much every European country out there. I look like a Mexican kid, just a little lighter, I think. You can kind of tell that I’m a biracial kid but for the most part, people assume that I’m hispanic. I swear, this is going somewhere. But my sister, for most of her life, looked biracial. Blonde hair, dark brown eyes, etc. She has a pretty mix of both of her heritages and I think its awesome and I used that for both Evie and Lucy, who are identical twins. They have dark blonde hair, dark brown hairs, tanned skin, a mix from their Spanish father and their Mexican mother.

But because of this, its a little difficult to fan cast them. I found a couple pictures of Elizabeth Olsen, who is just plain gorgeous, and I liked her look a lot. Her skin could be a little darker and obviously she needs brown eyes but I’m seeing her as Evie and Lucy. I really like this particular picture of Elizabeth because she does look a little more like what I picture for Evie. Lucy would have much shorter hair, and be a little heavier, only because Evie dealt with her eating disorder. But I like this look.

Mike Trout as Austin Young 

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Okay, yes, I know it. Mike Trout is an actual baseball player. Not an actor. He probably would be really really bad at acting. Let’s be real. But he’d totally rock the baseball part. But the whole idea of the story came from the fact that I do have a crush on Mike Trout (innocent, seriously, I ship him and his girlfriend, they’re too cute together), and I did say that I wanted to marry a baseball player for a huge chunk of my life (hey, that’s still a possibility). Anyway, I think about baseball a lot because baseball is basically second to books in my life. I wanted to write a book about baseball and a sexy baseball player and the first person that comes to MY mind is Mike Trout. I mean, look at that face. SIGH.

But being serious…

Matt Lanter as Austin Young

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Hell yeah I picked a picture of Matt Lanter shirtless. Googling people is way too much fun. I like this particular picture but he looks like he could be a little country in this and Austin is a total Southern country boy. Blonde hair, green eyes, tanned from being in the sun all the time, built because he works out so much (he’s determined to make it to the pros), and he’s beautiful. Evie has a firm “no baseball players” rule and Austin’s looks plays a part in her slowly breaking that rule. I first saw Matt Lanter when he went to the Divergent premiere to promote Starcrossed. I thought he was incredibly good looking so I went home and watched the super fun and short lived show, Starcrossed, and was sad when it was canceled. Then I found out that Matt has done a TON of voice work for Star Wars, had Star Wars themes in his wedding and I just think he would work really well as Austin.

Ignacio Serricchio as Jesse Valdez

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Technically, at 32 years old, Ignacio is entirely way too old to play Jesse because Jesse is 19 in the past and 23 in the future. So yeah. But he totally has the look. Jesse is full Hispanic so he needed to LOOK Hispanic. He had to be good looking, like he could just charm the pants off of you, which he basically does and I was googling hispanic actors and this picture popped up, caught my eye and I was immediately in love. I don’t know much about Ignacio since he’s on soap operas and I’m not a big soap opera girl but he’s got the look down pat. Plus, he would look good next to Elizabeth Olsen, who would play both Evie and Lucy and both of the girls are obviously in love with him at different parts of the story so that would work so so SO well.

Dylan O’Brien as Connor Humphrey

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Besides the whole Mike Trout thing…this was one person I had fancasted from the beginning. Dylan O’Brien IS Connor. The way he looks, the way he acts, sort of a mix of Stiles from Teen Wolf and my own little extra bit and maybe a little bit of Thomas from The Maze Runner. I was so excited when I googled Dylan O’Brien and baseball and got a super hot picture, and it totally works. Connor is Evie’s best friend, but the last thing that I wanted to create with that is a sort of love triangle, friend zone thing. Evie and Connor had their thing in high school, got over it and are just friends. Connor is good looking, funny, ambitious, determined and a baseball player just like everyone else in Macon (haha!)

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Cover Reveal: “Get Dirty” by Gretchen McNeil

Okay, case this isn’t an official cover reveal, but I’m making it an official cover reveal here on my blog because I absolutely adore Gretchen McNeil and I LOVED the first book of the series and I’m ready to reveal the super cool cover of the second book!

But first off, let’s learn more about Gretchen, the series itself, and then we’ll talk about “Get Dirty”.

About Gretchen McNeil

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Gretchen McNeil is the author of a handful of YA novels, mostly known for the high body count that tends to show up in her books. Her first novel is Possess, about a teen exorcist, followed by Ten, which follows ten teenagers, trapped on an island with a serial killer. 3:59 is her science fiction parallel worlds where two girls, who are basically each other, switch places in their worlds and things kind of go haywire from there. Her most release is Get Even, about a group of four girls who form a secret society to get revenge on teachers, students, and bullies in their school. The sequel, Get Dirty, will be hitting bookshelves next summer. She is a former opera singer, has a wicked sense of humor, and got married at one of the best bookstores in the entire world. Because this is all important to know.

Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / GoodReads

About Get Even

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Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Check it out on GoodReads!

About Get Dirty 

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The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.

Check it out on GoodReads!

This book will be hitting shelves on June 16th, 2015! Make sure to pre-order this (and check out Gretchen’s social medias because she always has awesome things going on with her book releases) and pick up the first book, Get Even, if you haven’t read it yet!

And even better!

Head over to Me, My Shelf and I to get your hands on the VERY first ARC of the book! I know I entered and you should too! 

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!

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