Tag Archives: Blog Event

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 5 Pre-Sign Up FAQs + Info

secret sister project

Hey there, friends! We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and positivity shown during The Secret Sister Project! Thank you all so much for your kind words to those of us who host, and for being there to provide cheer for one another. It is really something to go through the hashtag and see you all lifting each other up despite only being matched to one “sister.” Your generosity shines through and it is heartwarming to be part of a group filled with strong, uplifting people!

Most of you can imagine how much work goes into a project like this. The three of us are expected to always be available to answer questions, keep on top of people who are not abiding by the standards we set, promote the project and so on. It’s tough and frustrating at times, and we are doing everything we can to make it easier on everyone for next round. That being said, this post is going to be LONG and DETAILED and should provide you with all of the information that you need if you want to sign up for the next round.

We ask that you read this post thoroughly, and refer back to it PRIOR to reaching out to us with questions during the project. In addition, keep in mind that the hashtag #otspsecretsister is ALWAYS a fantastic resource for information needed, odds are that someone participating knows the answer to your inquiry!

THE BASICS

The What:

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups will go live on July 16, 2016
  • This round will run from August 2016 through January 2017

The Who:

You guys! But there are some conditions that must be met prior to signing up, we are going to outline those below under “The Rules.”

The How:

On July 16 we will be posting questionnaires on our blogs for you to fill out. In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. The Google form is NEW this round, but it is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET.

FAQs

What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?

This is a commitment, we can’t lie to you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Do I have to send presents?

Yes, unless you are signing up for the pen pal group you are expected to send a little something on top of a card or letter. Keep in mind that this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club, so though you must abide by the price guidelines you should also be sending letters and cards to keep communication open.

Look at how extravagant that package is! I don’t have that kind of money…

Neither do I! This is why we have different price ranges, one of which is strictly pen pals – that means NO trinkets, etc! You should never, ever feel as if your package is inadequate as long as you are meeting your price range “standards.” Trust me, it is much more meaningful if you stay within your price range but then send an extra letter or card just to check in that month! Anyone who is getting caught up on the size of the gifts is missing the entire point of the project and will be dealt with accordingly.

Do we have to remain secret?

No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself whenever you wish! Some have used the same sending and return address, which is sneaky and perfect. It is entirely up to you! (If you are looking for some tips on how to remain secret -like if you want to send an e-book, for example, we can help ya out!)

Do I have to be a blogger to join?

Technically, no. You absolutely do need to be bookish, however. We are book people over here! We do have some non-bloggers who have joined us but full disclosure they are people that we know and trust. That is not to say that we won’t allow you in unless you are a blogger, but as this project was started and is promoted in our blogging community, it is filled with mostly bloggers.

Is this project international?

It has been in the past! We are going to have to again gauge how many international participants wish to join, and see if we have enough to keep you all secret. Please keep in mind that if you are international and wish to join, you may have to send international in order to be allowed in. We didn’t have to do this last round, and we hope that we won’t have to but we have to gauge interest first!

Umm…I’m a guy so…

That is wonderful! Welcome! I know it is a little off putting to see the word “sister” up there but honestly we just did that because it sounded better than “The Secret Person Project.” I personally would love a secret bro, pal, dude, or friend regardless of gender and we had a few males join us the past few rounds!

What are the price ranges, and can we have some examples of what a package would look like for each range?

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers.
  • $5-$10: Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!
  • $15-$20 Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a paperback from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!
  • $25+ The sky is the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!

THE RULES

Here is where things differ from last time, and where we go all “mean mommy” on ya. We ask that you pay attention because we are going to hold you to these standards with no exceptions. I am sure that you all realize that we absolutely do not have the time or patience to deal with nonsense and when I say that, it is coming from a place of love and experience as we did have some issues before. If you think this is too strict and “not fair” then we are sorry you feel that way, but we made some exceptions before and spent lots of time chasing after people and yes, even kicking people out for neglecting to do their part. NOTE: There are no exceptions to these rules unless otherwise stated. Also, If you send back an unfinished questionnaire I will send it back to you. Thanks in advance for understanding.

    • You must “know” the hosts in order to join! The hosts are Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), and myself(@bookaddictguide). What does “knowing” us entail? First and foremost, you should be following all three of us on Twitter, you should know our names, and if one of us reaches out to you, you should know who we are. It is embarrassing (for you) when we reach out to you and you do not know that we are the creators of the project to which you belong. (Seriously, there have been circumstances where we had to reach out to someone regarding the project and they didn’t know who we were. Incredibly embarrassing for them.) We are all pretty active on Twitter and really like chatting. Tweeting at us a few times saying “Hi! I want to join The Secret Sister Project!” does not count. We want to get to know you, there are three of us and our tastes range – this shouldn’t be too hard. Not to mention that we have been promoting this project for months and have been telling you to chat us up! We even wrote up a “get to know us” post to make it easier for all of you to chat us up! Please keep in mind that there is absolutely no “vouching” for people you know, so please do not try. Start forging those relationships with us, or you will not be allowed to participate.
    • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project (The ONLY exception to this rule is If you are under 18 and have participated before, just please make a note of this when you send your sign-up email in two weeks)
    • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister to thank your sister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project. It is worth mentioning this again, USE IT TO THANK YOUR SISTER!! We get TONS of emails asking things like “It says my sister’s package was delivered last week but I never heard anything?” This is unfair, creates more work for us and quite frankly is rude. Be courteous and classy, thank your sister. If you are not abiding by this, we will ask you to cease in participating. In addition to this “rule,” use the hashtag to interact with one another, ask questions, and answer questions put forth. We promise, this makes the whole project more fun!
    • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating. If you are going to be late, tell us. You will not be in “trouble” if life gets in the way and you let us know. If we have to chase after you, then we will have an issue.
    • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating. We DO understand that life gets in the way and time gets away from you, so be honest. We DO NOT abide liars, so keep that tracking handy!
    • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US. We have had some who have reached out to us at the end of a round to say they hadn’t been receiving. Please don’t do this. We need this information to help you and ensure that no one suffers in the same way in future rounds. We are not going to be checking in with all of you throughout the month so it is imperative that you let us know if you are not receiving! Please do NOT ever feel uncomfortable reaching out to us to say that you didn’t receive something. We WANT to help you with this, you DESERVE to get cheer as you are sending cheer!!
    • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately. We will not judge. We will not ask why. We will simply thank you for informing us and then pair your sister off to someone else so she isn’t missing out.
    • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact.
      • Your sister will contact this person to ask things such as “Can you ask Sally if she likes citrus or flowery smelling candles better?” This person can also say things to your sister such as “Hello Joan, Sally ended up buying a copy of “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” off of her wishlist so please do not purchase it.
        • This person will only act as YOUR buddy. They will not be acting as moderator for the hashtag or as a stand-in for any of the hosts.
  • You will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list that is specific to The Secret Sister Project, start working on this now!
    • The wishlist must have 20 or more books on it and must contain new and older titles – SOME ARCs are fine but keep in mind your sister may not have access to these.
    • This list MUST contain books that you are not going to purchase for yourself. IF you simply cannot resist a title here or there then please let your “buddy” (see above)  know PRIOR TO BUYING so that they can tell your sister – but please refrain from doing this.
    • Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. We had a lot of people buying things their sister already owned due to someone else buying off of this list, and it was a waste of money and went against our specified rules.
    • If your Goodreads profile is private, your sister cannot view your wishlist.
    • If you do not wish to make your Goodreads profile public then you may use another format for your wishlist such as, Amazon, or by providing one in the sign-up email.
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • We are asking that you put a little more emphasis on the “pen pal” aspect this round.
    • This means if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister. This is one of the things people have been asking for, so please don’t forget.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
    • OK to say: “I love owls!” “OMG I am obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment!” “I just got engaged!!”
    • NOT OK to say: “Please send this to me…” while providing links to something expensive or “#OTSPSecretSister this toaster would look excellent in my new apartment!” Even linking to something you think is super cool while using the hashtag seems grabby, and believe me, we see what you’re doin there, so let’s not.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag.
    • Things such as “Wow, I wish I knew if my sister got her package” or “I wish my sister would use the hashtag more” are statements that promote negative communication. We will see them, and we will call you out. If you have issues like this, reach out to the person your sister designated as her “buddy” or to your point person and we will do our best to solve any issues.
  • Do not send your sister ARCs unless you are also sending additional things to compensate as we know no one pays for ARCs and you are to abide the monetary limit.
  • Do not send packages straight from Amazon. We had some people who completely forgot about their sister and then sent things directly from Amazon to try and make up for it. This is not okay. The emphasis should be on the cheer and the thought that you are putting into your sister and her happiness.
  • Please refrain from sending “swag.” Unless you KNOW that this is something your sister would love, random bookmarks etc. you have received from publishers, etc. just looks like filler and do not go toward the monetary limit.
  • Please pay attention to your sister’s likes, wish lists etc. This is hard to say, because it seems as if we are emphasizing the gift aspect, but it is a waste of money for you to send something that your sister will not enjoy. If your sister says she loves coffee mugs, try and cater that to her fandoms, etc. There are exceptions to this of course but we don’t want you to waste your money on things!
  • If allowed to participate, you will be given the contact information for one of us. You are to contact that person, and that person only regarding any and all Secret Sister Project questions, or concerns. This will help us keep things more seamless, and will let us have divvy up the “work” a little better.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Use the hashtag and interact with one another! The whole point is to bring positive feelings into the our community. Be as thorough as you can when answering the questions. There is no “writing too much” when answering these questions! Remember that this project is The Secret Sister Project, wouldn’t you expect your actual sister to know LOTS about you? The best advice I can give you is to be creative and keep in mind the entire reason for the project is NOT about gifts, but fostering a positive environment. If you are looking for ideas, chat us up, we would love to help! Or ask your fellow sisters! I saw some fantastic monthly themed packages last round! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at Gals on the Same Page)!

READ THIS!

We can’t say this enough…please PLEASE only sign up if you are willing to send something monthly and give 100% to this project. Though we had very few issues the first round, each round proves to be more difficult and frustrating. Please recognize that this is a commitment and that there is someone out there relying on you to follow through. Not to mention the fact that the three of us have full time jobs and busy lives, we love hosting this project but absolutely loathe having to chase people down for being inconsiderate.

SO HOW DO I SIGN UP?

The sign-up post with all questions that need to be answered will be posted on our blogs and promoted via Twitter starting on July 16. Do NOT send a sign-up email prior to seeing the post on July 16. Please also do not forget to sign up via the Google form in addition to sending your sign up email. If you do not do both then you won’t be qualified for the project. Sign-ups run for two weeks until July 30, so you will have plenty of time.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you, friends! If you still have any questions then please reach out on Twitter. If you are new to the project then I encourage you to use the hashtag to talk to your fellow sisters as they may have the answers you are looking for! Thanks for sticking with us and being so generous and kind!

Life Lessons From Gayle Forman | Favorite Quotes

Gayle Forman is one of my all-time favorite authors. IF I STAY was one of the first young adult contemporary books that I read (thank you, book bloggers, for the rec!) way back when I first started blogging. I instantly fell in love with her writing, her characters, and how much emotion she could pack into a story that was just over 200 pages. I didn’t hesitate to pick up every book of Gayle’s that followed and I’ve truly loved each and every one of them.

One of the things that I love the most about Gayle Forman’s books is the ability to feel the intensity of each character’s feelings and how well I can relate to them on any scale. There are some amazingly beautiful quotes that have really touched me personally and some wonderful characters that I felt completely connected to, like Allyson in JUST ONE DAY and Adam in WHERE SHE WENT.

I’ve become a little bit (okay, a lot) obsessed with Gayle Forman’s books… and the collector in me naturally couldn’t resist any format of her collection that I could get my hands on. I started with adding the hardcovers to my collection when I purchased them upon meeting her (!!!) and then slowly but surely filled out the entire collection! I only collect the books that really mean a lot to me so clearly this shows exactly how much they really are a part of my life!




Today, we’re celebrating the life lessons that Gayle Forman has taught us in conjunction with Penguin Teen’s celebration and launch of the I WAS HERE paperback release. I’ve selected some of my all-time favorite quotes to share with you today and my favorite life-lessons that I’ve learned from Gayle Forman books. I’ve said it in previous posts but it always bears repeating that I truly have learned so much about myself through her characters and the stories that she’s penned for her readers. I relived and worked through situations from my past through their experiences and learned to let go of things I didn’t even realize I was holding onto. Her books have truly been life lessons to me and I’m so grateful for each one of them and the things that I take from them!

FAVORITE QUOTES

if i stay quote     where she went quote Just one day quote     just one day quote just one day quote     i was here quote

Which Gayle Forman quote or book is your favorite? Which book speaks the most to you? I think for me, it was JUST ONE DAY!

And don’t miss Penguin Teen’s own life-lessons on their Tumblr account! Check out “Six Life Lessons You Learned from Gayle Forman“!

GIVEAWAY

Oh, yes! There’s also a giveaway! Penguin Teen is giving away Gayle Forman’s complete collection in paperback to five lucky winners! The  books included will be: I WAS HERE paperback, JUST ONE DAY box set (JUST ONE DAY, JUST ONE YEAR, JUST ONE NIGHT), and IF I STAY box set (IF I STAY, WHERE SHE WENT). US Residents only, please. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. Good luck! 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 4 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

Okay, the moment you all have been waiting for…#OTSPSecretSister sign-ups for round FOUR are here! YAY!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do before signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the Google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CANNOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refers back to it throughout the project. We are going to have to put more strict standards in place this round and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. IN ADDITION to this, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Last thing, sign-ups run from January 16th to midnight on January 29th!

The Rules:

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join!
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. *Stop stressing out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • Keep in mind that this round will have more emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letter here or there to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag.
  • ARCs do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post. If you do not abide by the rules, you will no longer be allowed to participate.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?
It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com by midnight on January 29th! ALSO In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. The Google form is NEW this round, but it is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET. Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” We will send back any unfinished questionnaires, so be as thorough and detailed as you can! If you need some help filling this out, head back over to last round’s FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone, and for your pen pal to get to know you.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we can not guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, which will most likely be chosen by the majority vote, in order to ensure that you all get a match!

HERE WE GO! SIGN UP USING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.)

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary that you would like to be cheered up on!):

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)


Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above, do not forget, or you WILL NOT be paired!!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!


Please copy and paste the questions into an email when you send. We copy and paste your answers directly to your match (when we have it) so a Word doc or attachment makes things harder, not easier!
If you have any questions, don’t forget to check the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag on Twitter! Everything should be answered in the FAQ post but we are answering other questions there as well so we may have already answered yours!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), or myself (@bookaddictguide) for any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!

Sign-ups will be open from January 16th through January 29th. No submissions will be accepted after January 29th (this is two weeks to sign up so you have plenty of time)!! You will receive an email once we’ve matched you so please be patient! Matches will be emailed January 30th and 31st.
Have fun!!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 4 Pre-Sign Up FAQs + Info

secret sister project

Hey there, friends! We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and positivity shown during The Secret Sister Project! Thank you all so much for your kind words to those of us who host, and for being there to provide cheer for one another. It is really something to go through the hashtag and see you all lifting each other up despite only being matched to one “sister.” Your generosity shines through and it is heartwarming to be part of a group filled with strong, uplifting people!

Most of you can imagine how much work goes into a project like this. The three of us are expected to always be available to answer questions, keep on top of people who are not abiding by the standards we set, promote the project and so on. It’s tough and frustrating at times, and we are doing everything we can to make it easier on everyone for next round. That being said, this post is going to be LONG and DETAILED and should provide you with all of the information that you need if you want to sign up for the next round.

We ask that you read this post thoroughly, and refer back to it PRIOR to reaching out to us with questions during the project. In addition, keep in mind that the hashtag #otspsecretsister is ALWAYS a fantastic resource for information needed, odds are that someone participating knows the answer to your inquiry!

THE BASICS

The What:

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups will go live on January 16, 2016
  • This round will run from February through July 2016

The Who:

On January 16 we will be posting questionnaires on our blogs for you to fill out and email back to us. In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions on a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. The Google form is NEW this round, but it is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET.

FAQs

What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?

This is a commitment, we can’t lie to you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up forIt is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Do I have to send presents?

Depending on the group that you sign up for, it may not be necessary for you to send presents. Keep in mind that this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club.

Look at how extravagant that package is! I don’t have that kind of money…

Neither do I! This is why we have different price ranges, one of which is strictly pen pals – that means NO trinkets, etc! You should never, ever feel as if your package is inadequate as long as you are meeting your price range “standards.” Trust me, it is much more meaningful if you stay within your price range but then send an extra letter or handmade card just to check in that month! Anyone who is getting caught up on the size of the gifts is missing the entire point of the project and will be dealt with accordingly.

Do we have to remain secret?

No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself whenever you wish! Some have used the same sending and return address, which is sneaky and perfect. It is entirely up to you! (If you are looking for some tips on how to remain secret -like if you want to send an e-book, for example, we can help ya out!)

Do I have to be a blogger to join?

Technically, no. You absolutely do need to be bookish, however. We are book people over here! We do have some non-bloggers who have joined us but full disclosure they are people that we know and trust. That is not to say that we won’t allow you in unless you are a blogger, but as this project was started and is promoted in our blogging community, it is filled with mostly bloggers.

Is this project international?

It was last round! We are going to have to again gauge how many international participants wish to join, and see if we have enough to keep you all secret. Please keep in mind that if you are international and wish to join, you may have to send international in order to be allowed in. We didn’t have to do this last round, and we hope that we won’t have to but we have to gauge interest first!

Umm…I’m a guy so…

That is wonderful! Welcome! I know it is a little off putting to see the word “sister” up there but honestly we just did that because it sounded better than “The Secret Person Project.” I personally would love a secret bro, pal, dude, or friend regardless of gender and we had a few males join us last round!

What are the price ranges, and can we have some examples of what a package would look like for each range?

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers.
  • $5-$10: Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, paperback straight from Amazon (thank you Prime shipping!), baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!
  • $15-$20 Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!
  • $25+ The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!

THE RULES

Here is where things differ from last time, and where we go all “mean mommy” on ya. We ask that you pay attention because we are going to hold you to these standards with no exceptions. I am sure that you all realize that we absolutely do not have the time or patience to deal with nonsense and when I say that, it is coming from a place of love and experience as we did have some issues before. If you think this is too strict and “not fair” then we are sorry you feel that way, but we made some exceptions last round and spent lots of time chasing after people and yes, even kicking people out for neglecting to do their part. NOTE: There are no exceptions to these rules unless otherwise stated. Also, If you send back an unfinished questionnaire I will send it back to you. Thanks in advance for understanding.

    • You must “know” the hosts in order to join! The hosts are myself, (@bookaddictguide), Amy (@trippingbooks), and Alyssa (@withthebanned). What does “knowing” us entail? First and foremost, you should be following all three of us on Twitter, you should know our names, and if one of us reaches out to you, you should know who we are. It is embarrassing (for you) when we reach out to you and you do not know that we are the creators of the project to which you belong. (Seriously, there have been circumstances where we had to reach out to someone regarding the project and they didn’t know who we were. Incredibly embarrassing for them.) We are all pretty active on Twitter and really like chatting. Tweeting at us a few times saying “Hi! I want to join The Secret Sister Project!” does not count. We want to get to know you, there are three of us and our tastes range – this shouldn’t be too hard. Not to mention that we have been promoting this project for months and have been telling you to chat us up! We even wrote up a “get to know us” post to make it easier for all of you to chat us up! Please keep in mind that there is absolutely no “vouching” for people you know, so please do not try. Start forging those relationships with us, or you will not be allowed to participate.
    • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project (The ONLY exception to this rule is If you are under 18 and have participated before, just please make a note of this when you send your sign-up email in two weeks)
    • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister to thank your sister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project. It is worth mentioning this again, USE IT TO THANK YOUR SISTER!! We get TONS of emails asking things like “It says my sister’s package was delivered last week but I never heard anything?” This is unfair, creates more work for us and quite frankly is rude. Be courteous and classy, thank your sister. If you are not abiding by this, we will ask you to cease in participating. In addition to this “rule,” use the hashtag to interact with one another, ask questions, and answer questions put forth. We promise, this makes the whole project more fun!
    • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating. If you are going to be late, tell us. You will not be in “trouble” if life gets in the way and you let us know. If we have to chase after you, then you will be asked to cease in participating.
    • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating. We DO understand that life gets in the way and time gets away from you, so be honest. We DO NOT abide liars, so keep that tracking handy!
    • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US. We are not going to be checking in with all of you throughout the month so it is imperative that you let us know if you are not receiving! Please do NOT ever feel uncomfortable reaching out to us to say that you didn’t receive something. We WANT to help you with this, you DESERVE to get cheer as you are sending cheer!! In this vein, we want to emphasize the “you” part of this requirement. We had several instances last round of people telling us that SOMEONE ELSE told THEM that no package was received from their secret sister, but WE had no idea. Confusing, right? This also winds up being frustrating for us, and it creates and extra unnecessary step in resolution. So again, PLEASE don’t ever feel bad or like a tattle tale for reaching out to us if a month goes by and you haven’t received anything yet.
      • You must mail your package so that your sister receives it DURING the current month. You do not have until the last day of the month to mail your package. 
    • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately. We will not judge. We will not ask why. We will simply thank you for informing us and then pair your sister off to someone else so she isn’t missing out.
    • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. 
      • Your sister will contact this person to ask things such as “Can you ask Sally if she likes citrus or flowery smelling candles better?” This person can also say things to your sister such as “Hello Joan, Sally ended up buying a copy of “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” off of her wishlist so please do not purchase it.
      • This person will only act as YOUR buddy. They will not be acting as moderator for the hashtag or as a stand-in for any of the hosts.
  • You will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list that is specific to The Secret Sister Project, start working on this now!
    • The wishlist much have 20 or more books on it and must contain new and older titles – SOME ARCs are fine but keep in mind your sister may not have access to these
    • This list MUST contain books that you are not going to purchase for yourself. IF you simply cannot resist a title here or there then please let your “buddy” (see above)  know PRIOR TO BUYING so that they can tell your sister – but please refrain from doing this.
    • Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. We had a lot of people buying things their sister already owned due to someone else buying off of this list, and it was a waste of money and went against our specified rules.
    • If your Goodreads profile is private, your sister cannot view your wishlist.
    • If you do not wish to make your Goodreads profile public then you may use another format for your wishlist such as, Amazon, or by providing one in the sign-up email.
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.” 
  • We are asking that you put a little more emphasis on the “pen pal” aspect this round.
    • This means if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letter here or there to your sister. This is one of the things people have been asking for, so be prepared.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
    • OK to say: “I love owls!” “OMG I am obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment!” “I just got engaged!!”
    • NOT OK to say: “Please send this to me…” while providing links to something expensive or “#OTSPSecretSister this toaster would look excellent in my new apartment!” Even linking to something you think is super cool while using the hashtag seems grabby, and believe me, we see what you’re doin there, so let’s not.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag.
    • Things such as “Wow, I wish I knew if my sister got her package” or “I wish my sister would use the hashtag more” are statements that promote negative communication. We will see them, and we will call you out. If you have issues like this, reach out to the person your sister designated as her “buddy” or to one of us and we will do our best to solve any issues.
  • Do not send your sister ARCs unless you are also sending additional things to compensate as we know no one pays for ARCs and you are to abide the monetary limit.
  • Do not send packages straight from Amazon. We had some people who completely forgot about their sister and then sent things directly from Amazon to try and make up for it. This is not okay. The emphasis should be on the cheer and the thought that you are putting into your sister and her happiness.
  • If allowed to participate, you will be given the contact information for one of us. You are to contact that person, and that person only regarding any and all Secret Sister Project questions, or concerns. This will help us keep things more seamless, and will let us have divvy up the “work” a little better.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Use the hashtag and interact with one another! The whole point is to bring positive feelings into the our community. Be as thorough as you can when answering the questions. There is no “writing too much” when answering these questions! Remember that this project is The Secret Sister Project, wouldn’t you expect your sister to know LOTS about you? The best advice I can give you is to be creative and keep in mind the entire reason for the project is NOT about gifts, but fostering a positive environmentIf you are looking for ideas, chat us up, we would love to help! Or ask your fellow sisters! I saw some fantastic monthly themed packages last round including book subscription boxes one month! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at On the Same Page!

READ THIS!

We can’t say this enough…please PLEASE only sign up if you are willing to send something monthly and give 100% to this project. Though we had very few issues the first round, each round proves to be more difficult and frustrating. Please recognize that this is a commitment and that there is someone out there relying on you to follow through. Not to mention the fact that the three of us have full time jobs and busy lives, we love hosting this project but absolutely loathe having to chase people down for being inconsiderate.

SO HOW DO I SIGN UP?

The sign-up post with all questions that need to be answered will be posted on our blogs and promoted via Twitter starting on January 16. Do NOT send a sign-up email prior to seeing the post on January 16. If you do, we will delete the email and we will assume that you do not know how to follow directions and therefore cannot trust that you can handle being a part of this project. Sign-ups run for two weeks until January 30, so you will have plenty of time.

We hope that this post has been helpful to you, friends! If you still have any questions then please reach out on Twitter. If you are new to the project then I encourage you to use the hashtag to talk to your fellow sisters as they may have the answers you are looking for! Thanks for sticking with us and being so generous and kind!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 3 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

Okay, the moment you all have been waiting for…#OTSPSecretSister sign-ups for round 3 are here! YAY!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Just to cover all of our bases let us reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules. We go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. IN ADDITION to this, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

The Rules:

  • You must “know” the hosts in order to join! (see details on this in the FAQ post!)
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than twice to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (Twitter and/or email address) of a “buddy” close to you who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. *Seriously do not stress out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads (or Amazon) wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project, start working on this now!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • Keep in mind that this round will have more emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letter here or there to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag.

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post. If you do not abide by the rules, you will no longer be allowed to participate.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?
It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com! Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” We will send back any unfinished questionnaires, so be as thorough and detailed as you can! If you need some help filling this out, head back over to the FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!
Please copy and paste the questions into an email. We copy and paste your answers directly to your match (when we have it) so a Word doc or attachment makes things harder, not easier!

If you live outside of the US and wish to participate, (we’re referring to you as our international friends), we are requesting you hold off on filling out the questionnaire for now! We will be gauging whether or not we have enough people to make international happen. If you have not yet emailed us to let us know you’re interested, please do so. If you have already sent us an email, we will contact you directly with a yes or no. We will be deciding based on how many email responses we get!

** SIGN-UPS FOR ROUND 3 ARE NOW CLOSED! CHECK BACK IN JAN FOR ROUND 4 INFO! ** 

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose ONE (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts. If you see yourself between ranges, please pick the ONE you think you will fulfill best.)

  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, paperback straight from Amazon (thank you Prime shipping!), baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!)
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!)
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!)

Would you prefer if your sister was located closer to you rather than further away? (*NOTE: We cannot guarantee a match with someone in a close region but we will do our best if you say yes!)

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary that you would like to be cheered up on!):

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)


** Please copy and paste the questions into an email when you send. We copy and paste your answers directly to your match (when we have it) so a Word doc or attachment makes things harder, not easier!
If you have any questions, don’t forget to check the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag on Twitter! Everything should be answered in the FAQ post but we are answering other questions there as well so we may have already answered yours!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), or myself (@bookaddictguide) for any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!

Sign-ups will be open from July 12 until July 25th. No submissions will be accepted after July 25th. You will receive an email once we’ve matched you so please be patient! (Should be by the end of July!) Have fun!!

** SIGN-UPS FOR ROUND 3 ARE NOW CLOSED! CHECK BACK IN JAN FOR ROUND 4 INFO! ** 

 

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Pre-Sign Up FAQs + Info

secret sister project

Hey there, friends! We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and positivity shown during round two of our Secret Sister Project! Thank you all so much for your kind words to those of us who host, and for being there to provide cheer for one another. It is really something to go through the hashtag and see you all lifting each other up despite only being matched to one “sister.” Your generosity shines through and it is heartwarming to be part of a group filled with strong, uplifting women!

Most of you can imagine how much work goes into a project like this. The three of us are expected to always be available to answer questions, keep on top of people who are not abiding by the standards we set, promote the project and so on. It’s tough and frustrating at times, and we are doing everything we can to make it easier on everyone for next round. That being said, this post is going to be LONG and DETAILED and should provide you with all of the information that you need if you want to sign up for the next round.

We ask that you read this post thoroughly, and refer back to it PRIOR to reaching out to us with questions during the project. In addition, keep in mind that the hashtag #otspsecretsister is ALWAYS a fantastic resource for information needed, odds are that someone participating knows the answer to your inquiry!

The Basics

The What:
The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups will run July 12 – July 25 (Do NOT send an email prior to July 12, it WILL be deleted!)
  • You will be paired up with your secret sister by July 31
  • This session will run from August 1 – January 31 (this means that your last something will be sent in January)

The Who:
You guys! But there are some conditions that must be met prior to signing up, we are going to outline those below under “The Rules.”

FAQs

What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?
This is a commitment, we can’t lie to you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Do I have to send presents?
Depending on the group that you sign up for, it may not be necessary for you to send presents. However, regardless of the monetary group, it is encouraged to send a little something special during these 6 months. Keep in mind that this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club. However, in the six month period we will be going through Halloween, Christmas, and maybe your secret sister’s birthday!

Look at how extravagant that package is! I don’t have that kind of money…
Neither do I! This is why we have different price ranges! You should never, ever feel as if your package is inadequate as long as you are meeting your price range “standards.” Trust me, it is much more meaningful if you stay within your price range but then send an extra letter or handmade card just to check in that month! Anyone who is getting caught up on the size of the gifts is missing the entire point of the project and will be dealt with accordingly.

Do we have to remain secret?
No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself whenever you wish! It is entirely up to you! (If you are looking for some tips on how to remain secret — like if you want to send an e-book, for example, we can help ya out!)

Do I have to be a blogger to join?
Technically, no. You absolutely DO need to be bookish, however. We are book people over here! We do have some non-bloggers who have joined us but full disclosure they are people that we know and trust. That is not to say that we won’t allow you in unless you are a blogger, but as this project was started and is promoted in our blogging community, it is filled with mostly bloggers.

Umm…I’m a guy so…
That is wonderful! Welcome! I know it is a little off putting to see the word “sister” up there but honestly we just did that because it sounded better than “The Secret Person Project” I personally would love a secret bro, pal, dude, or friend regardless of gender.

Is this project international?
Maybe! If you are an international participant wishing to join us then please email us at onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com and let us know where you are located and that you are interested. IF we have enough interest in certain areas, then we may be able to allow you to join! Yay!

What are the price ranges, and can we have some examples of what a package would look like for each range?

  • $5-$10: Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, paperback straight from Amazon (thank you Prime shipping!), baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!
  • $15-$20 Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!
  • $25+ The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!

How will people be paired up? 
The pairs are essentially random. You will be matched up with someone in your same price range selection. Last round we also paired by region to cut down shipping times but that made it easier for people to guess who their sisters might be so this round it will anyone in the country! We’ve TRIED to match people up with similar interests but based on who signs up, what price range they’ve selected (and let’s be honest, how much time it takes to assess every questionnaire), this is NOT a guarantee. You may not be paired up with someone who has similar interests as you so please be prepared to do some nice research on your sis and investigate what she likes!

The Rules:
Here is where things differ from last time, and where we go all “mean mommy” on ya. We ask that you pay attention because we are going to hold you to these standards with no exceptions. I am sure that you all realize that we absolutely do not have the time or patience to deal with nonsense and when I say that, it is coming from a place of love and experience as we did have some issues before! If you think this is very strict and “not fair” then we are sorry you feel that way, but we made some exceptions last round and spent lots of time chasing after people and yes, even kicking people out for neglecting to do their part. Thanks in advance for understanding.

    • You MUST “know” the hosts in order to join!
      • The hosts are Alyssa, (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), and of course, myself (Brittany (@bookaddictguide)).
      • We’ve said previously that you only need to “know” one of us but really, please do follow ALL of us (since we ARE all hosts afterall) and attempt to make an effort to say hello to each of us. We’re not fishing for followers here but it seems pretty logical and respectful to follow ALL of the hosts for a project that you’re asking to join. Capisce?
      • What does “knowing” us entail? Well, we are all pretty active on Twitter and really like chatting. Tweeting at us a few times saying “Hi! I want to join The Secret Sister Project!” does not count. We want to get to know you, there are three of us and our tastes range — this shouldn’t be too hard. “Knowing” should include commenting here and there on Twitter — we don’t have to be IRL besties but one of us needs to see your name during sign-ups and go “Yes, I recognize Denise”. Not to mention that we have been promoting this project for months and have been telling you to chat us up! That being said, if you haven’t already gotten to know us, it is unlikely that you will be asked to join this round. 
      • WHY do we need to “know” you? Well, it’s a six month project and someone else’s happiness is in your hands. They’re counting on you for cheer. We’ve said it before but this is a COMMITMENT. Chatting with us and making the effort to show interest in the project shows us that you’re willing to take the time this project entails.
      • Now, we DO take the time to check up on those we aren’t familiar with — if it seems as if you are active on Twitter with people we know and trust, you have a good chance of getting in otherwise, start forging relationships and maybe you can join us for round 4! There is absolutely no “vouching” for people you know. We like to keep this project happy and fun but we ARE very serious about this “getting to know us” rule and there’s no reason why participants can’t take the time to tweet us so we know who they are. This shows us that they really care and are willing to make an effort which is all we ask of this project.
    • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project (If you are under 18 and have participated before then you’re fine, just please make a note of this when you send your sign-up email in two weeks)
    • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
      • Use the hashtag to interact with one another, ask questions, answer questions and most importantly: USE IT TO THANK YOUR SISTER!! We get TONS of emails asking things like “It says my sister’s package was delivered last week but I never heard anything?” This is unfair, creates more work for us and quite frankly is rude. Be courteous and classy, thank your sister.
      • People also use the hashtag a lot to grab ideas for their sis so it’s VERY helpful if you pop in to check up on it.
      • Aside from showering our own sisters with love, we encourage the sense of community that comes from participating in the hashtag as well.
    • If we have to reach out to you more than twice to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
    • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating. We DO understand that life gets in the way and time gets away from you, so be honest. We DO NOT abide liars.
    • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US. We are not going to be checking in with all of you throughout the month so it is imperative that you let us know if you are not receiving!
    • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately. We will not judge. We will not ask why. We will simply thank you for informing us and then pair your sister off to someone else so she isn’t missing out.
    • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (Twitter and/or email address) of a “buddy” close to you who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister.
      • Your sister will contact this person to ask things such as “Does Sally like citrus or flowery smelling candles better?” This person can also say things to your sister such as “Hello Joan, Sally ended up buying a copy of “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” off of her wishlist so please do not purchase it. This does not have to be a person you know inside and out! Picking a very close friend may make it easier to get your sister quick answers but it can be ANYONE of your choosing that is willing to answer your sister’s questions or message you to get an answer for her. 
      • Please designate ONE good friend (or two if you have a tight group like we do — for example, my “buddies” would be Alyssa and Amy) to be this contact person. They will be privately contacted (email or DM) by your sister so please make sure they are okay with this too! This person is someone YOU choose for your sister to contact with questions. They do not have to be a bookish person (or participating in the project or on Twitter) but they should know a lot about you to hopefully give your sis quick answers!
      • This person will only act as YOUR buddy. They will not be acting as moderator for the hashtag or as a stand-in for any of the hosts.
      • Your “buddy” should be there as support for your sister. They should NOT be passing along suggestions of what to buy unless your sister asks for specific ideas.
      • Please do not seek out to be someone’s buddy. Any participant should be selecting their own buddy to help their sis to the best of their ability.
    • You will be asked to provide a Goodreads wish list that is specific to The Secret Sister Project, start working on this now!
      • The wishlist much have 20 or more books on it and must contain new and older titles — SOME ARCs are fine but keep in mind your sister may not have access to these.
      • If your profile is private, your sister cannot view your wishlist.
      • If you do not wish to make your Goodreads profile public then you may use another format for your wishlist such as, Amazon, or by providing one in the sign-up email.
      • This list should contain books that you are not going to purchase for yourself. IF you simply cannot resist a title here or there then please let your “buddy” (see above)  know so that they can tell your sister — but please try and refrain from doing this.
    • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.” This info is important!! If you don’t have a lot to say on a specific topic, just do your best. We’d rather know you don’t like coffee OR tea OR hot chocolate than deleting the question and having your sister wonder.
    • We are asking that you put a little more emphasis on the “pen pal” aspect this round.
      • This means if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letter here or there to your sister. This is one of the things people have been asking for, so be prepared.
    • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
      • OK to say: “I love owls!” “OMG I am obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment!” “I just got engaged!!”
      • NOT OK to say: “Please send this to me…” while providing links to something expensive or “#OTSPSecretSister this toaster would look excellent in my new apartment!” Even linking to something you think is super cool while using the hashtag seems grabby, and believe me, we see what you’re doin’ there, so let’s not.
    • Do NOT tweet negativity while using the hashtag.
      • Things such as “Wow, I wish I knew if my sister got her package” or “I wish my sister would use the hashtag more” are statements that promote negative communication. We will see them, and we will call you out. If you have issues like this, reach out to the person your sister designated as her “buddy” or to one of us and we will do our best to solve any issues. (This is something that really bothered me last round — I know it wasn’t intended to be negative when it happened but it made me feel icky and sad to see someone you don’t even know yet called out like that. If you’d like us to nudge your sis, please do so in the proper venues!)

Anything else I should know?

Use the hashtag and interact with one another! The whole point is to bring positive feelings into the our bookish community. Be as thorough as you can when answering the questions there is no “writing too much” when answering these questions! Remember that this project is The Secret Sister Project, wouldn’t you expect your sister to know LOTS about you? (I will also be providing an example of a sign-up email at the bottom of this post) The best advice I can give you is to be creative. Alyssa’s secret sister from the first round handmade  bookmarks featuring my favorite dudes and it was honestly the best things she received. If you are looking for ideas, chat us up, we would love to help! Or ask your fellow sisters! We saw some fantastic monthly themed packages last round and someone received a Loot Crate one month! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at On the Same Page)!

READ THIS

We can’t say this enough…please PLEASE only sign up if you are willing to send something monthly and give 100% to this project. Though we had very few issues the first round, round 2 proved to be much more difficult and frustrating with having to constantly check in with some people. Please recognize that this is a commitment and that there is someone out there relying on you to follow through. Also, the three of us have full time jobs and busy lives — we love hosting this project but absolutely loathe having to chase people down for being inconsiderate. It hurts your sister’s feelings to be neglected and causes headaches for us to have to chase people down or constantly reassure someone. We’re not mean ladies but we had over 100 people sign up last round and anticipate even more this time. We are always happy to help but even between three of us, it’s a lot of work so we REALLY appreciate all participants being as proactive as they can be!

So how do I sign up?
The sign-up post with all questions that need to be answered will be posted on our blogs and promoted via Twitter starting on July 12. Do NOT send a sign-up email prior to seeing the post on July 12. If you do, we will delete the email and we will assume that you do not know how to follow directions and therefore cannot trust that you can handle being a part of this project. Sign-ups run for two weeks until July 25 so you will have plenty of time.

Below you will find a brief sample of answers to SOME of the questions that we will be asking (aka don’t use this as a guide to start answering on your own yet, as we are changing things up for this round). Use this as a guide on how thorough you will answer the questions provided and keep in mind that you can NEVER give too much information…

  • Your Likes: Harry Potter (total Slytherin), Zelda, Sherlock, Game of Thrones (books and show – I am a Targaryen), The Steelers (love football!), Shakespeare, The Princess Bride, Doctor Who, chocolate covered nuts and espresso beans, Chaucer, Fairytales, Robin Hood, Krampus, The show Friends, villains, especially Loki and Maleficent.
  • Your Dislikes: Chocolate covered fruits of any kind, peppermint things, anime, fruity teas
  • Do you have a favorite store: Etsy (anything fandom or literature related), Society6, Redbubble, Amazon, B&N, Teavana, Starbucks
  • Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where? Yes! To the above stores, actually!
  • Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind? I would!
  • What Do You Splurge On?: anything quirky/literature related, usually artwork
  • Favorite Flowers: I like all kinds! Usually anything bright!
  • Favorite Color?: GREEN (in all shades)
  • Do You Collect Anything?: ANYTHING Wizard of Oz related (the books and movie), teapots, coffee mugs, macabre artwork
  • Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?: Yes to all three! Preference is tea, coffee, then hot chocolate
  • Do You Have an E-reader?: iPad so compatible with Kindle and Nook
  • Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:Yes, I would love it. My email is <redacted>
  • Tell Us Some Books on Your Wish List! My wish list: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4809138-alyssa-books-take-you-places?shelf=wishlist (Though I am open to surprise books as well!)
  • List some of your favorite authors: NEIL GAIMAN! JULIET MARILLIER! Fantasy is my favorite genre, I also like historical fiction and some horror but more supernatural and less thriller. Also anything with dragons. I like MG, YA, AND Adult!
  • Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read? Erotica, Christian/religious, Stephen King, I don’t love contemps
  • Tshirt size: Men’s medium
  • Hogwarts House: SLYTHERIN.
  • Favorite Disney movie and/or princess: Just one?! Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, Tangled, Frozen & for princesses I would say Belle
  • Is there a craft or hobby that you have been thinking of trying? yo-yo quilting! I also scrapbook and cross stitch, and have a sewing machine I have yet to turn on due to sheer intimidation
  • Any magazine you wish you had a subscription to? Health Magazine
  • Anything else we should know about you? Anything else we should know about you? Alright! Brace yourselves! All things Alyssa are coming!
    • I have my Bachelor’s in English/Elizabethan Lit which means I LOVE LITERATURE! Shakespeare, Chaucer, Poe, Stoker, the Bronte’s, Mary Shelley – the darker classics are my fav! (Not a fan of Austen)
    • I wrote a 30 page thesis on Robin Hood while in undergrad so I clearly love the dude. I also have my MLIS so librarian things are fun as well!
    • I am a Neil Gaiman fangirl, I have seen him speak 5 times and counting.
    • I Love Harry Potter (who doesn’t) and Game of Thrones. I am 100% a Slytherin, and Targaryen.
    • Dragons are bae.
    • Strong, fierce women, queenly women, are my soul sisters.
    • My tastes are pretty unique as I enjoy the macabre, skulls, and darkness honestly the darker the better, the name of my in-home library is Elysium – yep, the Elysium in Greek religion…the Elysium fields as told by Homer where mortals related to the Gods stayed instead of in Hades….told you, I am a special snowflake! I especially love dark/macabre artwork. I love work by Brom and Abigail Larson, I would love something from her shop: http://society6.com/abigaillarson

(I already own Snow White & Rose Red, and The Night Circus from her and am coveting Pretend to Sleep)
    • I am newly obsessed with the podcast Lore which is a podcast about true details behind tales of the supernatural – surprise, surprise I also love Halloween.
    • I love literary or fandom related things, tees, candles, scarves, jewelry – love them all. I also love crazy socks!
    • I have two cats named after Shakespearean characters and am a total cat lady.
    • I like being outside, but hate being hot. Hiking, going on picnics, letter boxing, and geocaching are my favorite outdoor activities.
    • When I am snacking, I like cinnamon candies, airheads, chocolate and toffee, chips and popcorn.
    • I almost always like the villain more than the hero and sympathize with the dark, twisted characters.
    • I like to think I am an open book, I give away a lot on Twitter! 🙂 Full disclosure: If you have a question regarding whether I will like something or not, my co-hosts Amy @trippingbooks or Brittany @bookaddictguide know me VERY well!

We hope that this post has been helpful to you, friends! If you still have any questions then please reach out on Twitter. If you are new to the project then I encourage you to use the hashtag to talk to your fellow sisters as they may have the answers you are looking for! Thanks for sticking with us and being so generous and kind…see you back for sign-ups on July 12!

An Open Letter to My YA Self

Open Letter to YA Self

I’m so thankful to be participating in this project put together by Ginger from GReads! As soon as I heard about it, I immediately hopped on board. One of the things that’s been the most important thing to me as a reader over the past couple of years was how much I learned about myself and how many things I was surprised to see myself working through.

I’m fairly confident and happy with my life as it is right now — I’m happily married, own a house, have a steady job, wonderful friends, and a great family — but it’s surprising how many things I’ve discovered as I’ve read young adult books that seem to stick around even after ten or more years have gone by since I’ve experienced them. It’s still incredibly painful to revisit some of those memories or situations and I was so surprised to find that by reading YA, I was able to work through some of those nightmares from my past, forgive others, and most importantly, forgive myself. (Oh. There we go. Already tearing up as I write this.)

high school collage

This open letter to my young adult self, I think, was a very important thing for me to write. Even though I know I’ve worked through some of these things through reading, it’s just one step further to actually spell them all out in sentence-form and transition from feelings into words. I’m also grateful that I get to share this piece of myself with the people who read my blog. I didn’t start blogging until I was 25 so this is a big piece of my life that I don’t really talk about even though it’s the age range I’m often reading — mostly just because we didn’t know each other back then.

So here is my Open Letter to my YA Self… maybe something I should have done a long time ago that I never knew I needed.


Dear teenage Brittany,

I wish you had known some of these amazing YA heroines back then like I do now. I’ve only been reading young adult for a few years now — only after passing all of those awkward teenage years (sorry. Things are still awkward as an adult… but you do learn to handle them better, I promise) — and I wish I had a time machine to send these books from the present into the past. I know you could have learned a lot from these amazing authors and the characters that even now feel like they could have been you or your best friends. I wish I could have saved you a little grief by having these books as a way to work through some of those less-than-pleasant moments (although I can’t save you from those moments themselves).

I wish you could have met characters like Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Cricket from Leila Howland’s Nantucket series, and Allyson from Just One Day by Gayle Forman because maybe it would have helped you work through some hard situations Anna and the French Kissand feelings at the present time instead of ten years later (although better late than never). These ladies learned that you don’t always end up with your first big crush or first kiss or first boyfriend. They learned that friendships will get you through some of the hardest things in your life but they won’t always be easy themselves.  They learned how important family is and how to let them in. I wish you could have known authors like Stephanie and Leila and Gayle and Rainbow and Emery and Katja and all of the amazing characters, strong heroines, and touching stories that they would write. Through reviews or tweets or blog posts, I cannot express to these authors enough how much their books mean to me. I wish I could have known these books all of my life. Maybe the lessons wouldn’t have been absorbed or noticed right away, but as much as you’ve loved reading all your life, I know you could have easily thrown yourself into these books to get lost or find a friend or have a good cry.

If books like The Lunar Chronicles and The Grisha Trilogy had been around when you were aCinder - Marissa Meyer teen, maybe they would have held your interest in reading. Books used to be fun when you were a kid but they still are! They always are! Don’t be afraid to go to the bookstore or the library and find books that are not just for school. Sometimes it’s too hard to read when there’s a lesson attached and a huge analysis so find some books to read just for FUN and go get lost in them.

DO find books that YOU want to read. DON’T write books off just because school is taking the fun out of them. DO keep the lessons that you read (you never know when they’ll be applicable). DON’T believe that YA is for kids (you are a teenager afterall). DO re-read for fun (that was always a given). DON’T forget about the worlds you’ve already visited as a kid.

Harry Potter will always mean a lot to you. Meg Cabot is still fabulous 10+ years later. Authors are now your rock stars. Books will lead you to some of your best friends and rekindle your friendships with some of your current BFFs. Books will be a big part of your wedding (oh, yes, I said wedding) and change your life forever. You will write 1000 blog posts (don’t be afraid. It’s fun!) and go to book conferences.

But maybe I should set this letter to self-destruct because if I’ve learned anything from the books that I’ve read, the truth about the relationship between the past and the future is this: Everything that’s happened was always meant to be and can’t be changed (Loop by Karen Akins). There are already hundreds and thousands and millions of parallel universes Dissonancewhere this has already happened and can continue to happen in different ways (Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke). Sometimes no matter which path you take, you’ll always end up where you need to be (Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas & Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young).

I guess it’s really hard to say what I should tell you, my YA-self. Every decision you’ve made — for better or for worse — has taught me a valuable lesson and led me to where I am today and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Everything you’ve done has led me to who I am today and who I surround myself with, who I spend the rest of my life with. I do wish books had never disappeared from your life outside of a classroom (thank goodness we always had Harry Potter) and if there was anything I’d change, that would be it. Books could stir up your imagination, teach you lessons, provide comfort, bring you closer to a friend, inspire you so I do wish that had always been a part of your life… But as we know, hindsight is 20-20! But no matter what happens, just know that you will end up exactly where you need to be. No matter how hard things get, your friends and family will be there for you and books will guide you even further.

Love always,
Present-day Brittany


Thanks so much for taking the time to read this personal note to myself! It actually turned out quite a bit differently than I thought, but I think that’s a good thing. I expected to reflect back on the harder times in my past but honestly and truly I can say reading the books and the authors mentioned has helped me work through A LOT that used to be so hard to think about all over again. I cannot thank them enough for all of those words.

Thanks for joining me and all of the other bloggers participating in the “Open Letter to My YA-Self” event! If you’d like to follow along, check out the hashtag, #OpenLetterToYASelf. A few authors will be sharing letters with everyone as well so you won’t want to miss that!

GIVEAWAY

There’s also an event-wide giveaway and thanks again to Ginger for putting all of this together! You can enter the giveaway on any participant’s blog, but since you’re here, check it out in the Rafflecopter below! 😀

Open Letter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 2

Well, after one very successful round of Secret Sister, Alyssa, Amy, and I as co-hosts for On the Same Page will be opening up sign-ups for a new round of Secret Sister TODAY! Thank you to everyone who made the first round SO successful — we had so many great responses and so many people excited to sign up for round two!

secret sister project

THE WHAT

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

THE WHEN

  • Sign-ups run January 12, 2015 – January 23, 2015
  • You will be paired up with your secret sister by January 30.
  • This session will run from February 1st – July 31st (this means that your last something will be sent in July).

THE WHO

You guys! The only “rule” we have is that before signing up, you must “know” at least one of us. Us being myself (@bookaddictguide), Alyssa (@withthebanned) & Amy (@trippingbooks) and “knowing” one of us means that we must have spoken on Twitter or SOMETHING. We are just really concerned with someone not following through, and that would just make a bad time for everyone.
We will NOT be limiting the amount of people who sign up for this round, though! It’s come one, come all! If you haven’t chatted with us before, start hitting us up on Twitter so we can chat and get to know you!
INTERNATIONAL: If you are outside of the United States and wish to participate, we are allowing you to sign up BUT! We are not sure how many international friends will be interested and where they might be located so we cannot guarantee that you will be matched up 🙁 If you are an international friend wanting to sign up, please include your location and where you are willing to ship in your email and we will try our best to find a sister for you! (We will not ask US folks to ship internationally.)

FAQs

// What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?
This is a commitment, we can’t lie to you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card OR gift to your secret sister a month. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receiving anything themselves! In addition, we are asking that you PLEASE use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister on Twitter and Instagram to interact with all of us. Most of us used this hashtag to ask questions and get to know our sisters better! Also, (and this is most important) use this hashtag to THANK YOUR SISTER! One of the biggest complaints we had about round one was the lack of thank yous received!
Your OTSPSecretSister may also be buying you books and we can’t guarantee it will be someone you know well! If you have the time & energy to keep & maintain a Goodreads wishlist AND “currently own” books list, I’m sure it would help her out a lot!

// Do I have to send presents?
No, you don’t have to send anything big, this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of clubHowever, in the six month period we will be going through Valentine’s Day, Easter, and maybe your secret sister’s birthday! It is encouraged that you send one or two presents during these six months (think a book from their wish list, some Easter candy, or if you’re feeling really fancy, some flowers for their birthday!) but please don’t think of this as “Secret Santa every month”. We don’t want you going broke doing this!

// Do we have to remain secret?
No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself whenever you wish! It is entirely up to you! (If you are looking for some tips on how to remain secret, like if you want to send an e-book, for example, we can help ya out!)

// Anything else I should know?
Use the hashtag and interact with one another! The whole point is to bring positive feelings into the our bookish community. Try and answer ALL of the questions below and be as thorough as you can, the more you share, the easier it is for your sister to spoil you! The best advice I can give you is to be creative. Some of the handmade and personal things meant so much more than just books so you don’t HAVE to send gifts just to show your Secret Sister you care! Some people exchanged letters back and forth, and even some baked goods. If you are looking for ideas, chat us up, we would love to help! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at On the Same Page)! 

// READ THIS:
We can’t say this enough…please PLEASE only sign up if you are willing to send something monthly and give 100% to this project. We had very few hiccups the first time around but the problems we encountered were people neglecting to send something to their sister in a timely manner. First, If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately. We will not judge. We will not ask why. We will simply thank you for informing us and then pair your sister off to someone else so she isn’t missing out. Second, if you have not received anything by the last week of the month you must contact us. We are not going to be checking in with all of you throughout the month so it is imperative that you let us know if you are not receiving!

// So how do I sign up?
EDITED: Sign-ups for round two are now CLOSED. Please check back in July for new sign-ups for round 3!

Thanks to everyone for your AWESOME support and interest in this project! We are so excited to have so many people interested in round two of Secret Sister! Can’t wait to get it started!


** UPDATE **

Secret Sister sign-ups are now closed and Round 2 is underway! Missed the sign-ups? Just finding out about Secret Sister and would like to join next round? Here’s what you need to know!

// Yes, sign-ups are CLOSED closed. If we have people who are no longer able to participate along the way, we will simply re-arrange the pairs. I’m sorry, but we are not taking on anyone new mid-round!

// The next round will start in AUGUST. Round 3 will run from August 1st, 2015 – January 31st, 2016. Unless we end up reassessing the project, duration and procedures will remain the same.

// This means that sign-ups will mostly likely happen in July 2015. We kept Round 2 sign-ups open for 2-3 weeks and that seemed like a decent amount of time! We didn’t want to keep people waiting TOO long to get their matches.

// We WILL be enforcing the “we need to know you” rule this time around. We let some people sign up in Round 2 that we didn’t know… but with so many people interested, we get a bit more worried and we just want to make sure everyone has a great time! If you don’t know Alyssa, Amy, or me yet — DON’T FRET. You still have time to get to “know” us. All we ask is that you start chatting to us on our blogs or on Twitter (@bookaddictguide, @withthebanned, @trippingbooks) so we know who you are and that you’re super interested in being a part of this project!

// Follow any or all of us to find out when new sign-ups are opening! We will ALL be post a blog post and CONSTANTLY tweeting about it. If you don’t want to miss sign-ups, make sure you’re following us and you cannot miss them!

If you have any other questions, send me an email! We hope to see you next round!

Fierce Reads Tour Fall 2014 (Chicago): Recap, Author Interview, and Giveaway!

FIERCE READS TOUR

Marissa Meyer, Gennifer Albin, Jessica Brody, and Nikki Kelly
Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Arlington Heights, IL
October 10, 2014

Macmillan is amazing. The Fierce Reads tour is really always one of my favorite tours and I was SO happy to accept the offer from Macmillan to not only be the official blogger on this stop of the tour, but also to moderate the event! I was so excited but admittedly terribly nervous too! (Not to mention how nervous I was meeting Marissa Meyer for the first time!!!) But I buckled down, put my questions together, and I was so ready to get my interview on with the Fierce Reads ladies!

I had a blast interviewing the Fierce Reads ladies! Let’s see what they had to say on books, writing, and more!

(Portions edited for time and reading purposes and will not affect the overall outcome of the show interview.)

Brittany: If you had to describe your book as THIS meets THAT — like Dracula meets Mean Girls — what would yours be?
Jessica Brody: Mine I’ve always said is Bourne Identity with an Inception-like twist.
Marissa Meyer: I would say that mine is Star Wars meets The Brothers Grimm.
Gennifer Albin: The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Matrix.
Jessica: I like Madmen meets The Matrix.
Gennifer:do like Madmen meets The Matrix…
Nikki Kelly: I’m gonna look to Jessica to answer this one for me!
Jessica: Well, Supernatural meets… City of Bones?
Nikki: Everyone wants to say Twilight —
Jessica: It’s not Twilight, though. It’s very different.
Nikki: It’s not — it’s very different. Maybe True Blood. Supernatural meets True Blood? Although that’s quite risqué.
Marissa: Is string theory the theory that’s all about different dimensions?
Gennifer: No, it’s universes are on strings, basically. Time is a string.
Nikki: What was that movie where [whoops, that’s a spoiler! Taken out so we don’t spoil LAILAH for you!] Maybe Supernatural meets City of Bones, then.
Jessica: The Mortal Instruments meets Supernatural.
Nikki: Yeah, we’ll go with that!

Brittany: Were there any major influences from other authors or books that really inspired your writing?
Marissa: Authors or books specifically?
Brittany: Either one. Or movies… TV…
Marissa: Well my biggest influences are Firefly, which is the most awesome sci-fi TV show ever because in Firefly is has this crew of totally random people that have completely different personalities and it’s like, “Let’s stick them on a spaceship and see what happens!” So going into The Lunar Chronicles, it was like “I just really want a whole bunch of people on spaceship to see what happens!” And then my other big one is Sailor Moon which is really what gave me the idea for the Lunars and a lost princess.
Gennifer: I’m now imagining The Lunar Chronicles like it’s a reality show. [announcer voice] Four princess, contained on a spaceship! What happens when people stop getting along?
Jessica: Who will be voted off next? I’d watch that show!
[laughter]
Jessica: One has been locked in a satellite for years and the other is just crazy!
Marissa: We need to make this a thing!
[we all bring it back around to the question]
Jessica: I think I was really influenced by the TV show Lost in just kind of the mystery and… hopefully my ending is better than theirs, but just the way they pieced these little pieces together and I love the mystery of that show. And I’ve always loved movies like The Matrix and Inception, obviously, and The Bourne Identity because the memory loss thing. I just love the idea of someone waking up with no memories finding out they’re a superhero. That’s just… the dream, right?
Nikki: Better than waking up post-apocalyptic!
Jessica: Waking up and the world’s been taken over by zombies! Not the dream.
Gennifer: For some people it is…
[Zombie tangent!]
Gennifer: Umm, influences… well, I think ever book you ever read influences you in some way. I hate pointing to a specific book because then people like to be like, “OH, now I see how you ripped that off.” [laughter] So I’m gonna go with movies and TV! And I would say that the kind of back and forth banter came from my love of screwball comedies of the ’40s. So like Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant… that whole crew, how they were constantly going back and forth. Actually, I think Cary Grant would make a great Cormac… which is impossible but he would be very handsome and suave and do a good job with the one-liners. And I always used to joke that I went to the J.J. Abrams school of writing because I like to leave a chapter on a… BOOM! A major revelation to the person! Or they finally kissed! Everyone’s like, “God, now I have to read the next chapter!” And I’m like, “That’s the idea!” [everyone agrees] I had another writer say to me one time, “Well I like to end it so people can shut the book and go to bed” and I was like, “You’re doin’ it wrong!” Sometimes when people shut the book and go to bed, they forget to ever open it again. That happens to me!
Marissa: That’s so crazy that a writer would say that.
Jessica: Let’s hope we don’t know this person!
Gennifer: So the Alias school of writing because I didn’t watch lost… I stopped watching Fringe after the first season because I already the second book written but I was like, “I’m going to be influenced by this” so I stopped watching it and I just finally watched all of Fringe and I was like, “WOW!!! We were REALLY on the same page on lots of things! I’m really glad I didn’t watch you. Also, why don’t I write for your show?” So yeah, J.J. Abrams and screwball comedies from the 1940s. Obviously these two things go together.
Jessica: So another answer to the first question is, it’s screwball comedies meets J.J. Abrams.
Nikki: And I’d probably say, do you remember Sliders from the 90s?
Gennifer: YES, I own the box set!
Nikki: That’s when I first discovered Jerry O’Connell… and then he popped up in Scream! But I loved that show and all different dimensions, different to what’s going on in Lailah with three set dimensions but they would use their little um… doobie-doo device. [Talking about Sliders for a while and possible spoilers for the show! Which convinced me that I really do need to watch more of this show…] And the thing would probably be Tales of the Unexpected which was an 80s and 90s show as well which was 15 minutes shorts where at the end it was a “tale of the unexpected” so there was a twist at the end of each episode and I think that’s why I write with twists now.

Brittany: If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be?
Marissa: I don’t know if I can answer that because it’s kind of something I’m not supposed to talk about! I’ll say that there IS a minor character that I’d like to do a tangent of, therefore I’m probably I’m going to do a tangent of and that’s all I’m going to say.
Nikki: Oooh, that’s really leaving them hanging! That’s how we do it.
Gennifer: Approved!
Jessica: I would love to do a story from Cody’s point of view — my little foster brother — but before he grows up and gets all old. Maybe like a middle grade! Him at thirteen. I did write a short story from Cody’s point of view from the first time he met Seraphina and I had a lot of fun with that because writing him from Serafina’s point of view is a whole different experience than writing from his head so. That’d be fun!
Gennifer: I feel like… We do these things for tour where we write short stories and a lot of times they’re other people so… I have one to do for Loricel so I have that one coming up for me, but I guess I’d probably go back and maybe do some prequel bits, actually, where you saw various characters before you met them. I think it’d be interesting to see Adelice’s parents [book two spoilers redacted!] So maybe them and I’ve had some people ask me to write Valerie and Enora’s love story but I’ve never had the time.
Nikki: I have written two short stories — one Jonah and one Gabriel which are online right now — and they’re set from Jonah and Gabriel’s point of views and they’re both prequels because Gabriel’s is set 100 years ago and Jonah’s is set before we meet him in the first book so probably 10 years, 11 years prior to chapter one of book one so I already got play with that and that was fun. But maybe Hanora if I was doing another one just because she’s an interesting character. Nobody likes her so I’d like to maybe just see how she sees things and her perspective of what’s going on when it all happens.
Jessica: I did write from Zen and Kalen’s point of view — two novellas! One is out now called Undiscovered and one is coming out in January called Unleashed.
Marissa: And I got to write a prequel about the evil queen that’s coming out in January called Fairest.
Gennifer: It was supposed to be a novella… like the rest of us… and then she went way above and beyond.
Marissa: Things just always get longer than they’re supposed to.
Brittany: No complaints here!

Brittany: What’s one gadget or invention in your books that you’re particularly proud of or fond of creating?
Jessica: I love that question! …. But I have to think about it.
Gennifer: I’d say mine are actually the panels that the sunrunners use in the second book because I spent a lot of time reading about solar energy so that I could use terminology that sounded like I had some idea what I was talking about and I actually DID at that point and so those could actually exist. I invented them. Kind of.
Nikki and Gennifer: Copywright Gennifer Albin.
Jessica: I have two. One I actually didn’t invent I just kind of… stole and then expanded but recently the creator of Tesla announced that he wants to create something called a hyperloop which is a little capsule that goes like, a zillion miles an hour using vacuum? Magnets? I can’t remember which one but you can basically get from LA to San Francisco in thirty minutes and he has a plan to implement this in California in the next 20 or 50 years, so I just made the assumption that in the future they will be using these to transport themselves around so I put that in book three which was super fun to establish a world like that. I feel like all future books they travel by train and I was like, “I don’t want to do a train. I want to do something else.” So I put the hyperloop in. One thing I created that actually got taken out — this is going to be a deleted scene — Diotech creates this genetic alteration that’s called the “eternal puppy” and it’s basically where you can make a puppy stay a puppy for its entire life.
Gennifer: That’s like, the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.
Jessica: But they would mature as a dog but they would always stay cute and little for their whole lives! But I had to cut that scene because it just really didn’t do anything for the plot.
Marissa: After hearing that I’m like “Why did Scarlet and Wolf waste all their time on that train…?” Why didn’t they take the hyperloop!?
Jessica: But then they wouldn’t have had the scene.
Marissa: For me again not really my invention but all of the characters in my future world have ID chips implanted in their wrists and this acts as their identification and their money and you can scan anybody’s thing and see their Facebook profile — except it’s not really Facebook but you know — and I think that would be just so convenient. Never have to carry your purse or your phone. And every time I have my Starbucks app and I go to pay with my phone I’m like “We’re almost there.”
Nikki: Probably in Lailah, the crystal in Styclar which gives life to their world. I don’t know if that’s an inventions so much as an energy source but it creates light and life. It was from my head and therefore… I don’t think there’s a crystal somewhere in another world is there that beams out lights at a certain frequency that creates life of beings and all sorts of fun things. And for things that are not my invention, you’ll probably notice there are lots of iPhones and Range Rovers in my book and that’s because I’m hoping for a sponsorship deal! [laughter]

Brittany: What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
[kissing noise and general agreement]
All except Jessica: Kissing scenes!
Jessica: I don’t like writing kissing scenes. I like writing fight scenes! Not like physical fight “take ’em down” scenes but arguments between characters. I feel like that’s when their true personalities come out.
Marissa: Like sparring, verbal repartee, that is fun.
Jessica: Yes! And I love when my characters get in fights when I don’t plan them to. I just had a scene where I was like this is just going to be a normal scene where they walk to the locker (I’m working on a contemporary book) and suddenly they started fighting and I was like, “YES! Let’s do it!” And then once I was done I was like, “Of course they have to fight here. There hasn’t been any tension for the past three chapters. There has to be a fight! Thank you characters for reminding me about that!”
Nikki: And then us three all like the kissing scenes. Kissing and swooning! [Gennifer and Marissa agree]
Marissa: Big, epic gestures of romance.

Brittany: Your books make up some of our biggest fandoms. What are some of yours?
Gennifer: Doctor Who!
Marissa: Firefly! Sailor Moon.
Nikki: Doctor Who.
Jessica: Frozen! Is that a fandom?
Gennifer: It’s like the biggest fandom out there right now!
Jessica: There’s a lot of four-year-olds in that fandom.
Gennifer: But that’s okay!
Jessica: What are they called? Froze-hards? Oh, that doesn’t sound right! [lots of laughter]
Gennifer: The Gilmore Girls fandom is coming back HARD core now that’s it on Netflix and I’m like, “LET’S GO! Let’s do this! Let’s get our movie.” And Veronica Mars. That’s big one for me. Oh my god, I’m a marshmallow!

Brittany: Have you ever received amazing fan art for your books or received and awesome gift from a fan?
Gennifer: Marissa’s actually wearing one.
Marissa: Yes, a fan actually made me this awesome Lunar Chronicles necklace with all the charms that represent the different fairy tales. I get a lot of awesome stuff from fans!
Nikki: Some of us don’t.
Gennifer: Who got all the gifts yesterday! Lailah cookies!
Nikki: I do get a lot of cookies! And Lucky Charms cereal. Just the marshmallows! It wasn’t even the crappy fiber stuff!

Brittany: Wine and cheese style question: what food or beverage item would be a good pairing for your book or series?
Jessica: Well mine’s kind of obvious because in Unremembered she eats a grilled cheese sandwich and it’s a very influential scene…
Marissa: A euphoric moment.
Jessica: It is because it’s the first thing she remembers eating and she kind of falls in love with it so it’s kind of a pivotal scene for her getting reintroduced to the world so I would go with the grilled cheese sandwich and for the blog tour of Unremembered I actually did a video on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich so you can find that on my YouTube channel. It’s very difficult!
Marissa: For the Cinder blog tour I did a “cooking with Marissa” show and made shrimp dumplings because they eat it in one of the chapters and it was so much fun but nobody ever watched it and I was like, “I really wanted to keep making these but I guess I won’t” because it took like, all day long!
Gennifer: There’s so much food in Crewel! I would have a hard time choosing. I like to put curry in all of my books. Even in my contemporary books, people are always eating curry.
Marissa: There was a lot of curry in Cress too!
Gennifer: Yeah, I liked that about your book! And she also has a chocolate torte.
Nikki: Tea in Lailah because she makes a lot of tea, and chocolate digestives. Not cookies as the book says because they American-ized it but chocolate digestives.
[tangent about the word “digestive” which ultimates boils down to the fact that it’s a specific type of cookie although the American gals agree that “digestive” is a terribly unappealing word in America! And how a “cookie” in England is any cookie that has chocolate chips and a “biscuit” is every other cookie]
Marissa: So for mine in book three, there’s this big royal wedding being planned and there’s this one scene where Prince Kai is meeting with the wedding coordinator and she starts going over the wedding menu and it’s like a traditional nine course menu. I planned out the whole thing and it took me like three pages to describe it in the first draft and I had every course from a different so there was a Korean course and a Philippines course and my Indian course and I had so much fun designing this menu and then one of my beta readers was like, “You realize you just took three pages to design and describe a feast. So I ended up cutting it all and only a few of them got mentioned in the book but then I ended up writing a blog post about it but I really, really want to have this feast some day. I really want to have this really fancy dinner party and nine-course meal.

Brittany: Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Nikki: Oh, yeah, I do. Obligatory cup of tea and twerk in the kitchen before writing. And then I write in my pants (which is knickers). [And yes. She does mean twerking as in twerking.]
Gennifer: I don’t really have… I need something to write ON and I prefer to have paper and pencil nearby because I like to scribble notes to myself and do some diagramming.
Marissa: Yeah, I like to have paper, and something to drink. Usually water but sometimes coffee or wine or something. Depending on whether it’s before or after noon!
Nikki: I like how you went from water to coffee to wine! Brandy… vodka…
Jessica: For me, I only drink coffee when I write so coffee has an extra, special effect — it’s like magic juice — so I have my coffee and I have my giant, noise-cancelling headphones where I blast this white noise with a special technology called brain entrainment so there’s actually a frequency that gets played under the white noise that brings your brain into focus mode.

Brittany: Are there any questions you always dread being asked?
Marissa: “Where do you get your ideas?” I don’t really dread that because the answer is so easy because you get asked it all the time.
Jessica: I’m always curious too but you just get tired of it. I don’t like getting asked my favorite book and I know it get asked all the time because I just can’t choose. It’s just so hard! I feel like if I don’t give “the right answer” someone’s going to come smite me. It’s a lot of pressure!
Marissa: Every once in a blue moon, you’ll get someone who’s like… trying to stump you. They’ll ask you a question about the world building or the technology like, “In chapter 40, you said THIS but did you know that actually scientists have said –” you know, that sort of question. And a lot of times it’s stuff I actually have considered and usually have a thought out response but every once in a while it’s like, “I don’t know. How was I supposed to know that?”
Nikki: That’s when you just say, “It’s fiction.”
Marissa: Creative license!
Nikki: If you feel like something’s missing, it was intention. You’ll find out in the next book!
Gennifer: You always get lots of writing questions on these panels. And there’s sometimes that mix when you go into an event and … I tend to just want to talk about books and fun stuff and there’s a couple of people who show up and they actually want you to figure out how they’re going to be come writers so the questions aren’t even broad-based questions but like, “How many queries did you send and what was your rejection rate and did you send them at a specific time of day?”
Marissa: I think I was on the Cress tour and it was in a really small town and so the bookstore that was hosting it was worried that they wouldn’t be able to get anybody to come and so they marketed it as writing workshop and I showed up and I was like, “I have no intention of giving a writing workshop! I’m just gonna talk about my books.” And there was only maybe like twelve people in the audience and one of them bought a book. They were just writers and they wanted the secrets of getting published.
Nikki: You should have said, “Buy five books and I’ll talk.” [laughter]

Brittany: The last question is actually “What’s one of the books that your recommend this most?” — Not favorite!
Jessica: That’s different! I recommend Eleanor & Park [by Rainbow Rowell] to anyone who lives and breathes and reads. And even if you don’t read, I’ll still recommend Eleanor & Park to you.
Brittany: Audiobooks!
Gennifer: I have been known to recently push The Discover of Witches series [by Deborah Harkness] on basically anyone who will listen to me so I would have to go with that one!
Marissa: Right now my two big series are The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo which all three books are out so you can sit and read them and marathon them so you don’t have the pain of waiting for the next book like I did!
Nikki: And the Darkling prequel is in the Barnes and Noble edition of Ruin and Rising so you can have that too!
Marissa: And then I am also super obsessed with The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski and there’s only one out — The Winner’s Curse just came out this year and I just finished and early copy of The Winner’s Crime and it was AMAZING.
Nikki: I would just echo Marissa and say I was on The Grisha Trilogy for about six months. I came into it when the third one was just coming out so I came into it at the right time.
Jessica: Oh wait, can I add one more? I also pitch The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

I had SUCH a great time interviewing these wonderful ladies and what a fantastic night it was! Another huge thank you to them for some really great answers and such a fun interview!

After the interview, we headed downstairs for the live event! I was so excited to moderate and I cannot express enough how excellent these ladies are! They really had such great answers to everything, they’re so much fun, and had great interactions with the crowd. Since the first interview is SO detailed, I’ll just give you a brief rundown of how the event went + some important things from the Q&A!

FierceReads2014

 (I stole this picture from Katie/Polished Page Turners! I didn’t have a picture of me moderating since, well… I was moderating!) 

  • After the authors introduced their books, I asked them which of their characters is their favorite to write. Jessica Brody said that she loves to write Cody. Her editor actually wanted to cut that character but Jessica fought for him to be kept in the books! (She sends her editor all the fan letters for people who have told her that they love Cody!) Gennifer’s was (of course) her villain and Marissa’s favorite is Iko.
  • I asked the authors which power or ability from another panelist’s book they’d like to have and most agreed they’d want Seraphina’s super genius skills! Jesssica then said she’d want Adelice’s powers so she could rip people from universes if she didn’t like them.
  • The authors talked about the challenges they face in building worlds in their books and one of the hardest things was making sure everything worked in future books so the advice was to make sure you have those plans first! Marissa also created a very diverse and vast world incorporating many cultures so she had to make sure she did each of them justice.
  • I asked them about how their writing has changed from the beginning of the series (or book) to the end and many noticed their writing matured. Others ended up spelling things different (Nikki spelling “cruel” like “Crewel” and Gen finally fixing a typo!)
  • I asked which Hogwarts house their main characters would be in (the audience LOVED this) and they said:
    • Jessica: Seraphina –> Ravenclaw
    • Nikki: Hasn’t read or seen Harry Potter! (The only British person on the panel hasn’t read it, she said haha) She said “the best house” and knew that Slytherin was bad so NOT that one. The other ladies decided Lailah would Gryffindor
    • Gennifer: Adelice –> Gryffindor (and she has red hair! Maybe she could be a Weasley!)
    • Marissa: Agreed about Gryffindor and red with Gennifer for Scarlet. Cinder would also be Gryffindor and Cress would be Hufflepuff. Later a fan asked about all the boys and she said Kai would be Hufflepuff. We pressed “What about Thorne?” and she couldn’t decide. I said, “He probably dropped out!” and the authors laughed and agreed!
  • We wrapped up with panel with some audience Q&A!

Another HUGE thanks to these four wonderful authors! They were so fantastic and gracious for letting me grill them about their books all night and I couldn’t have been more thankful for the experience. A HUGE thank you to Macmillan to for providing me with this opportunity to interview the authors, moderate a book event, and make some of my dreams come true! It’s such an honor to be working with all of them.

Then after the panel, I stayed and chatted with some fellow bloggers and other event attendees before getting my books signed by all of the authors! (Poor Marissa. I made her sign my whole stack but she was really kind about it and happily personalized all ELEVEN. What a lady.)

10520845_981374011888074_3414176125481486915_n 10374517_981375095221299_7706222768183489008_n 10312357_981376248554517_2335301704717270163_n

 

GIVEAWAY

The giveaway is thanks to the wonderful folks at Macmillan!! One lucky winner will receive ALL FOUR featured Fierce Reads books: UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody, UNRAVELED by Gennifer Albin, CRESS by Marissa Meyer, and LAILAH by Nikki Kelly! (This giveaway is US only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project

Hello, all! A little while ago you  may have seen Alyssa asking around about a “Secret Sister” project. The great news is, we have decided to put this project out into the world and we are finally ready for sign-ups to begin! Together Alyssa, Amy, and I as co-hosts for On the Same Page will be bring you THE SECRET SISTER PROJECT! For those of you who aren’t sure what this is, well, everything is explained below!

secret sister project

THE WHAT

A secret sister is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

THE WHEN

Sign-ups run July 18- July 25. You will be paired up with your secret sister by August 1. This will run for six months from August 1st, 2014 – February 1st, 2015.

THE WHO

You guys! The only “rule” we have is that before signing up, you must “know” at least one of us. As in, we must have spoken on Twitter or SOMETHING. We are just really concerned with someone not following through, and that would just make a bad time for everyone. Also, we might be limiting the number of sign-ups so it doesn’t get too out of hand, this is just a trial run! If we have good success with the first round of Secret Sister, we can expand to accept more people! 🙂

FAQs

What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?
This is a commitment, we can’t lie to you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card/gift to your secret sister a month. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receiving anything themselves!

Do I have to send presents?
No, you don’t have to send anything big. This really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club. However, in the six month period we will be going through Halloween, Christmas, and maybe your secret sister’s birthday! It is encouraged that you send one or two presents during these six months (think a book from their wish list, some Halloween candy, or if you’re feeling really fancy, some flowers for their birthday!) Honestly, this is as fun as you make it!

Do we have to remain secret?
No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself when you send a Christmas present, perhaps? It is entirely up to you!

So how do I sign up?
Easy! Just fill out the form below!

How are you pairing people up?
People will be paired somewhat randomly but we will also try to take general tastes and preferences into account because it’s just more fun to buy for someone who has similar tastes & lifestyles!
We are opening sign-ups to international bloggers as well but since there will be a smaller number of international participants and it will be more challenging to pair them up, we can’t make guarantees about pairing up international bloggers to others within their same country/region. If you are an international blogger signing up, please indicate somewhere in the notes if you will NOT ship to any specific areas. We will do our best to match international folks by area!
We will not be pairing up US/Canada participants with international participants due to shipping costs. As far as within the US, we will be focusing more on similar tastes/lifestyles than region 🙂

Anything else I should know?
For fun, take some pics of your goodies and share them with us using the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister or follow one of us (or all of us at On the Same Page) on Twitter!

UPDATE! For all those who weren’t able to get in the first round of Secret Sister, we will be opening up sign-ups for round two soon! Check back for sign-ups around the first week of January. Alyssa, Amy, and I will all have sign-ups posted on our blog so you only need to sign up once! The next round of Secret Sister will officially start on February 1st, 2015.