Tag Archives: Giveaway

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer | Giveaway!

Not ready to let go of The Lunar Chronicles yet? Get ready for STARS ABOVE!

In case you missed it, Marissa Meyer and Fierce Reads are teaming up once more to bring a collection of short stories to Lunar Chronicles fans everywhere! STARS ABOVE includes a few short stories that have already been released as well as brand-new tales of your favorite characters — prequel info, backstories, and new stories including a WEDDING!

STARS ABOVE is on sale February 2nd, 2016 so make sure you pre-order this epic collection! Find it listed at any of the following retailers (and more):
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

I was fortunate enough to receive a manuscript (!!!) of STARS ABOVE! I’m in the middle of it now and it’s simply amazing. It’s the perfect way to close out the series since I wasn’t quite ready to let go at WINTER and it’s bringing back all of the wonderful feelings that I had throughout the series!

The team at Macmillan and Fierce Reads was generous enough to offer me this manuscript to read early but that’s not all! You’re here for a giveaway, right? That’s right! They’re offering up one hardcover copy of STARS ABOVE for one lucky winner to arrive ON the publication date of 2/2 so you can receive the book immediately after publication! Check out the details and rules below and full out the Rafflecopter form to enter!

 

GIVEAWAY!

RULES:

  • US addresses only (sorry!)
  • Must be 13 years of age or older to win
  • Receive extra entries by following me/Marissa/Fierce Reads via the links in the Rafflecopter form!
  • Winning entry will be checked so please only fill out the extra entries for giveaway if you do them!

Okay, that’s it! Go forth and enter! And good luck!! 

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The Blog Most Likely To…

I’ve been meaning to read Huntley Fitzpatrick’s debut novel MY LIFE NEXT DOOR for years now. No, really — literally years. I promised everyone last year that I would be reading it over the summer in an attempt to read some summery contemporary novels but as usual, things came up and my plans didn’t pan out. When I heard about the “Blog Most Likely To…” campaign for Fitzpatrick’s latest book THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO (coming out August 18, 2015), I knew it was the perfect time to finally get into gear and read MY LIFE NEXT DOOR like I had promised! I just finished it (loved it, of course) and now I’m even more excited to read WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE and THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO in the following summer months!!

   

In honor of THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO, Penguin Teen has asked bloggers get to come up with their own superlatives for our blogs. The idea sounded like so much fun and I hopped on board to participate! But… it was hard to come up with for my own blog than I thought! I tried to think of what I might be “known” for here at The Book Addict’s Guide and sometimes it’s hard to pick that stuff out for yourself! I’d say the things that probably come to mind when you think of The Book Addict’s Guide might be my Book and a Beverage feature, but “The Blog Most Likely to Drink While Reading” makes me sound like a bit of a lush and with the word “addict” in my blog title, that’s not quite the angle I’m going for here! (BOOK addict, people. Addicted to BOOKS.) So I kept thinking and my brain turned to my book collection and how I’ve started quite a few large ones for my favorite series and authors! It’s something that’s gotten away from me a bit (psh, not really. I’m in control… I just love collecting books) but I don’t know that I’d really be the only (or one of the only) bloggers “known” for a massive book collection because I’ve seen quite a few fabulous ones! So I finally decided on something that I think might suit me well…

THE BLOG MOST LIKELY TO GO ALL IN

So what exactly does that mean? I’ve been blogging for over three years now and I’ve had many ideas, projects, groups, collaborations, and events along the way. Some have gone swimmingly and others didn’t quite turn out the way I had thought they would but one thing is for sure — when I commit to a project or idea, I go all in. I put my heart and soul into it and really try to make it the best it can be — as a reflection on myself and to be entertaining to my friends and readers. Sometimes I’ve learned the hard way that there IS such a thing as going overboard on projects (I tend to overthink or overplan at times) but I really put a very strong effort into maintaining and growing my blog, all the while growing as a person in this community and connecting as well.

This community has been amazing for the time that I’ve known it and it’s kind of hard to imagine that I was ever NOT blogging. I’m just so thankful that I decided I needed an outlet for my book reviews besides Goodreads because I absolutely love having a blog and all of the friends, opportunities, and growth that it’s provided me.

Sometimes there are features that no one is interested. There will always be bad ideas, but trying some of those out can lead to great ones. I’ve learned that holding back on a specific idea doesn’t mean that I’m not giving it my all — it just means that a portion of that effort is better spent somewhere else and that it’s just a learning experience to figure out what sort of effort to allot and where. So “The Blog Most Likely To Go All In” on a project? If I were really known for that, I’d take the title proudly!

What would YOUR blog’s superlative be? The blog most likely to… finish a book in one day? DNF? Write a letter to an author? Use GIFs in a post? Tell me all about it!

GIVEAWAY

Penguin Teen is also providing a giveaway for a few lucky people for THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO by Huntley Fitzpatrick! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

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The Book Addict’s Guide’s Three Year Blogoversary!

blogoversary

It’s my three year blogoversary!

Wow, three years of blogging have already gone by! In a way I feel like I just started and yet it feels weird to remember a time in the recent past that I wasn’t blogging. I say it at every major milestone but I am SO thankful that I found this hobby and such an amazing group of people to share my love of books with! I’ve met best friends, taken great trips, and fulfilled dreams that I never even knew I had! It has its ups and downs but reading and blogging has definitely enriched my life in so many ways that I can’t even begin to recap everything in one celebratory post! I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you over and over again for welcoming me into this community and for every way that you as a community have helped me grow.

From being able to attend events like BEA, ALA, and all of the wonderful events that Anderson’s hosts to meeting my best friends through blogging, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my blogging experience. I’ve been so fortunate to have so many amazing opportunities and they’ve just enriched this experience for me even more.

blog collage 2015

I’ve also been able to really improve myself in many ways too. I never expected to discover a few things about marketing and publicity from the industry and from marketing my own blog through social media. I’ve always made my own graphics and I used to be very, very amateur but I’m pretty pleased with how far I’ve come so far! I’ve also discovered how to do some very minor CSS for my blog to tweak it to my specifications. It’s just been so great to have this experience and see all the ways it’s influenced my life!

Okay, since it’s my THREE year blogoversary, I’m going to share my top THREE favorites in a couple categories. It’s always so interesting to see how things have changed over the past couple of years and what posts are still popular! (And again, it would be nothing without people to read it, so thank you for sticking with me and my blog!) 

Top Three Posts (by views)

Top Three Reviews (by views)

Top Three Events

Top Three Discussions (by views)

Top Three (Info)graphics (by views)

Top Three Other Fun Features (by views)

GIVEAWAY

This year I’m doing a little bit of a different giveaway! I actually saw this idea on Jaime from Fic Fare’s Instagram so I need to thank her for allowing me to use the idea as well! I’ve had a few bookish totes here to giveaway for a while so I’ve created FOUR mystery prize packs (yes, four. I have a lot of books I’m getting rid of!) plus one Divergent-themed prize pack. Each one has a theme and not all prize packs are created equal. Based on their theme, one may have more books than another but every single mystery prize is a combination of hardcovers, paperbacks, and ARCs (some new, some old) including swag and the bag it comes in. Not bad, right?

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From left to right: Contemporary (light), contemporary (heavy — aka more serious topics), paranormal/fantasy, sci-fi-/dystopian

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Divergent Prize Pack: Two sets of (3) posters, Insurgent T-shirt, Allegiant tote bag, Hardcover copy of Allegiant (signed), Paperback copy of Divergent (movie version), various swag

[bctt tweet=”.@bookaddictguide is giving away FIVE prize packs to celebrate three years of blogging! Check out the post to enter: ” via=”no”]

HOW TO ENTER

  • Each “prize pack” will have a different theme (adult, contemporary, etc) and when you enter the Rafflecopter, your “free” entry will be to let me know which prize pack you want to enter to win (list as many as you want to be eligible for). Choose from (1) Contemporary – light, (2) Contemporary – heavy, (3) Paranormal/fantasy, (4) Sci-fi/dystopian, (5) Divergent.
  • Sorry, but this giveaway will be US ONLY. I just can’t afford to ship so many books outside of the US and these will be some big boxes!!
  • I love having photo ops as extra entries and lately my book collections of my favorite series have been growing and growing. I want to see YOUR book collections so here’s a fun extra way to get some more entries for the giveaway!
    • Take a picture of your book collection of your favorite book/author/series! If you don’t collect series or a specific author’s books, snap me a picture of your ENTIRE book collection (aka your bookcase).
    • Share your picture on social media with the hashtag #BookAddictTurns3! Only ONE photo entry will be valid so you can take as many pictures as you want but only one will count towards the giveaway ** If you want to enter the giveaway and take your picture later, Rafflecopter WILL let you sign back in and you can add the link later with all of your previous entries already saved**  Submissions must include hashtag to be valid and must be linked up in the Rafflecopter form. I WILL be checking so please be honest! Each photo will be worth 5 extra entries into the contest! Photos can be posted anywhere that you can link me to and I can find a hashtag! Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, you name it!
    • The giveaway will be open through 4/17/15 so all photo entries must be posted & entered by midnight on April 17th to be valid!

Okay, pesky rules, I know. But that’s that and don’t worry, we’re all done.
Time to enter the giveaway and cross your fingers for some good luck! 

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The Book Addict’s Guide Birthday Giveaway 2015!

birthday_giveaway

Hooray! It’s my birthday!!! I guess I’m not THRILLED about getting older but hey, I’m always excited for my birthday! (I mean, 28 isn’t that old, right?) It’s the one day a year that’s allllll for me (really, how could you NOT like that?) but as always, I’m sharing the birthday festivities with all of my blogging friends!

Each year, I’m more and more grateful for everything that blogging has brought into my life. I had no idea that when I started this endeavor almost three years ago (my blogoversary is in April!) that I would make life-long friends, fangirl about authors, go to book conferences, and pick up a hobby that became more of a lifestyle. I’m SO happy that I started my blog and I can’t imagine how different things would be now if I had never started it!

Last year on my birthday I shared my top five things that happened that year, but there are just TOO many good things that happened this year so I’m choosing things in threes! Here are my top three…

EVENTS

  • BEA 2014: BEA is always one of my favorite events but this year was even more special for me! I got to room with both Alyssa and Amy, attend the YA Rooftop Party, AND attend a blogger party hosted by Macmillan — not to mention that we also snuck in a viewing of Maleficent, of course all the books, and I got to meet Cary Elwes (HE WINKED AT ME (although I think he winked at all the ladies, BUT STILL))! I’m not going to BEA this year (vacation time and money UGH but next year it’s in Chicago!) so I treasure it even more!
  • ALAMW15: I also attended ALA Midwinter in January this year! I had never been to ALA before (didn’t even realize that bloggers were allowed to go until last year) and I had SO much fun even though I was only able to attend on Saturday. I had to miss out on the Bloomsbury dinner because of the crazy snow storm that happened Saturday night/Sunday morning, but I’m so glad I got to grab most of my must-have titles, meet a few new friends (bloggers & publishers!), and spend the day doing awesomely bookish things! Since I’m not going to be able to go to BEA this year, I’m thinking ALAMW16 in Boston…….
  • Fierce Reads Tour Fall 2014 (Chicago): I ALWAYS love the Fierce Reads tours, but this one was extra special for me! Not only did Macmillan ask me to be the “featured blogger” of the event (meaning I got to have a special interview with the authors), but they also asked me to MODERATE THE PANEL omg. AND Marissa Meyer was one of the authors. I was so panicky but in a good way and it all turned out to be supremely awesome! Macmillan totally made my dreams come true (a dream I didn’t even know I had until that point) and the authors, as always, were delightful! Marissa Meyer was also SO GRACIOUS and personalized ALL of my Lunar Chronicles books (which as we know is a LOT).

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NEW-TO-ME AUTHORS

REVIEWS

  • Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg: I’m actually kind of surprised at what some of my top reviews were (in terms of how many views they got) but I’m delighted to see Better Off Friends as one of them! I really enjoyed this book. Elizabeth Eulberg’s characters are always just so much fun!
  • Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer: I’m actually not surprised by Cress and it makes me oh so happy! It’s one of my favorite reviews too! 😀
  • Altered (Crewel World #2) by Gennifer Albin: This is another one that surprises me but in a good way! I still need to read the last book in this series but I REALLY enjoyed Altered! It’s another series that I didn’t realize how popular it was!

BOOKISH GRAPHICS

  • The Book Addict’s “GUIDE” to Crossover Books: I love making infographics & reading guides and it seems that lots of people loved this “guide” to “crossover” books — I wanted to share some YA books that adult readers might enjoy and vice versa and this is still one of my favorite graphics to-date too!
  • If You Liked… If I Stay: I also created a new “series” of recommendation graphics and started off with a few books whose movie adaptations were out this year. I LOVE Gayle Forman and all of her books so I wanted to share some books that I loved that felt similar to me.
  • If You Liked… The Fault In Our Stars: This was another recommendation guide that I had a lot of fun making! It was actually the first one, right around when the movie came out too.

if_you_liked_if_i_stay             thefaultinourstars

BLOG FEATURES

  • Book and a Beverage: This is always one of my favorite features! I LOVE featuring a new blogger each week! I’m still catching up on the current schedule for now since I have people scheduled through May but I THINK I will open sign-ups again in April! 🙂
  • Have You Seen This: This was a feature that Andi and I came up with and the idea behind it was that we were both looking for some hard-to-find ARCs and special editions to add to or complete our collections of books. We wanted to have a spot for other people to add what books they were looking for and help a blogger out! I’m SO impressed by the success it’s had so far and I’m so thankful for everyone’s generosity to each other!
  • Pub Date: Pub Date is another one of my favorite features, started this year. I wanted to put my love of books and beer together, so each week, Estelle (Rather Be Reading), Andi (Andi’s ABCs), Maggie (Just A Couple More Pages) and I posted a book and beer-themed post. They don’t always get the most views or attention but I LOVE doing this feature with them and I really enjoy featuring these two favorites in my life together!

Pub Date

BLOG EVENTS

  • Book Blogger Organization Challenge: I really wanted to work on getting more organized this year but in a low-stress way. I feel like blog maintenance is really overwhelming for a lot of people so I created the Book Blogger Organization Challenge which focuses on something different each month to help people have a specific focus and not get bogged down on ALL THE THINGS. If you still want to join, you can hop in at any time! You don’t even have to officially sign up, but it’s there if it helps to keep you committed! 🙂
  • On the Same Page Secret Sister – Round 2: We started the second round of our Secret Sister project! We had SUCH a great response and hope that anyone who didn’t make it in this round because they missed sign-ups will join us for round three in July/August!
  • Fairest Blog Tour: I got to be on the blog tour for Fairest! I was just SO happy to share my love for The Lunar Chronicles all over again and tried to spread the word to even MORE people about how awesome this series is!

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GIVEAWAY!

If you participated in the birthday giveaway last two years, GOOD NEWS! It’s the same again this year! The giveaway is simple: The winner gets to pick ANY book that I’ve reviewed so far on my blog and I will send the winner a physical copy (granted the physical copy exists and it’s not ebook only). All YOU need to do is leave a comment on the review of the book you’d like to win letting me know that’s your choice (and maybe a leave a little meaningful comment about the review as well? :))! Need help figuring out which books you can choose from and where to find those reviews? Here’s the index of every review I’ve written on The Book Addict’s Guide so far!

// —> INDEX OF REVIEWS <— \\

Okay, so here are the details:

  1. This contest is US and International! If you are an international winner, your book will be shipped directly from The Book Depository. If you’re a US winner, the book will mostly likely ship from Amazon. One winner, only!
  2. You will have from today, 3/11 until next week 3/18 to enter and to let me know which book you’d like to win! Since other reviews may be popping up throughout the week, please limit your choices to reviews posted before this week.
  3. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter and don’t forget to leave a comment on the review for the book you’d like to win!

And that’s it! Not too hard, right? Right! Check out the Rafflecopter form below for entry and extra entries too!!! If you have any questions, let me know!

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Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler: Review, Interview, and Giveaway!

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler: Review, Interview, and Giveaway!Title: Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler
Publishing Info: December 9, 2014 by Dahlia Adler
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 30, 2014

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.
    But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate.
    Until he does.
    Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.
    Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

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Pretty much every since college, I’ve been looking for a book that incorporates a college atmosphere. I fell in love with young adult, but I was still craving those books that reminded me of my college years and there just weren’t that many out there. With the emergence of the “new adult” category, I got very excited but upon sampling a few selections, none of them really did it for me. Yes, many more sexy times happen in college than in high school but I didn’t want to read just a romance novel in a younger package than it usually is.

Then came this year. I swore off new adult for a while (unless it leaned heavily towards the young adult side), not wanting to try another one unless I really felt confident that I would enjoy it. I saw that Dahlia Adler had a new adult book coming out and because I love her so (and was genuinely interested), I immediately jumped on the chance to read, review, and promote. I finished LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT in a single day because I couldn’t put it down. I absolutely loved it and it really was the perfect new adult for me.

The thing I’ve been craving the most in new adult — the college feel — was very much a part of the book and almost all of it takes place while Lizzie is at college at Radleigh University. I just love the campus feel and the change-up from roaming the halls of a high school to dorms and quads and lecture halls. Throw in a hot YA (hey, I’m sure a lot of us had a hot teacher/TA in college) and things just got even more interesting!

From the very first few pages, the emotions were running high. From a string of “big mistakes” to an all-time low, Lizzie Brandt was already have a terrible year and things just started piling on after her parents’ death. I really just loved how realistic her reactions to everything were. Lizzie is very protective of her brothers and immediately starts planning what she can do to keep the rest of her family together but she’s not totally un-selfish either which I liked. Of course she wants to do the best thing for her brothers but she’s also still in college and has a lot of her own life to live. Everything gets turned upside for her so quickly and it’s incredibly difficult to manage.

I really loved how everything was handled with the story line too. I’m sure some people are thinking, “Student relationship with a TA? No way.” Because in any other book, I’d be hesitant about it too. The relationship between Lizzie and Connor felt totally natural and I wasn’t quite sure exactly how that relationship would start. Despite the natural hesitance about the two getting involved (hey, they had qualms of their own, of course!), I was always rooting for them to make it work somehow. I absolutely love Connor and yes, it was infuriating and scary at times watching this romance pan out for Lizzie, but boy did I want those two together! Everything really fell into place as the story progressed and I think Dahlia Adler totally hit the nail on the head with this pairing and how the entire conflict was handled.

I KNOW you’re wondering, “But what about the sexy parts?!” WHEW, BOY, you guys. Yes, there are sexy parts. Lots of them. And GOOD ONES. I’m not a romance reader (just contemporary where things tend to not get as steamy) but things got hot and heavy in LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT and I loved it. (Also holding my Kindle away from my husband so he didn’t read over my shoulder during the more detailed scenes because I was blushing). I thought the characters had great chemistry and yep. I’ll admit it. I totally had a thing for Connor too.

For someone who’s been hesitant about new adult for so long, I’m so happy that LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT started to bring me back towards this category of books. This book was utterly addicting and so much fun to read. I finished and immediately wanted more! If you’re on the fence about new adult, DEFINITELY try this book! It’s one I will be highly recommending!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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 BUY IT!

I absolutely devoured this book and I highly recommend it! If you’re hesitant about new adult, this is one to try! It has a great college feel, a steamy romance, and awesome characters.

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BOOKS LIKE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

when joss met matt      the sea of tranquility


INTERVIEW WITH DAHLIA ADLER

I also got to interview the wonderful Dahlia Adler about her new release (on sale now!) and it was so much fun to find out a little more background on the book! Check out the interview below to see more about Dahlia’s experience with new adult, LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, writing, and more!

Brittany: I’ve really been looking for a new adult book that incorporates the college experience a lot into the story and so happy that it was such a big part of Last Will and Testament! Was their a lot of your own college experience in the book?
Dahlia Adler: Yes and no! I chose Byzantine History, honestly, because it was my college class with the hottest professor, and Lizzie takes Russian because it was my favorite class in college. Even Stats was taken from my own syllabus. I certainly didn’t hook up with any TAs, and I didn’t go to any frat parties (the Greek system was kinda meh at my school), but I also had a really rough time in college when my dad was diagnosed with cancer (see Behind the Scenes), so the parts about needing to beg some teacher patience and miss class because being in the hospital came first were definitely part of my experience.

B: Your debut novel Behind the Scenes was a young adult novel and you have a companion YA novel — Under the Lights — out in 2015. Was Last Will and Testament something that just came to you or a specific choice to write in a “new adult setting”?
DA: Last Will and Testament came to me very specifically, based on a conversation with a friend. Somehow it came up that her parents set her up to be the guardian of her younger brothers when she turned 18, even though she was going to college in upstate NY, which is hours away from her home, and I just knew there was a book in it. I wrote the first chapter quickly, but then set it aside to work on YA. But as soon as I hit some roadblocks in the YA side of my career, I knew I needed to write something else, for myself and potentially to self-pub, and I immediately picked LWaT back up.

B: I feel like new adult books still have a little bit of a stigma for being over-sexed or romance novels in a younger package. Was there anything you intentionally wanted to include or avoid in Last Will and Testament based on the current generalizations towards the new adult category?
DA: I’m not someone who shies away from writing sex, or who has a problem with there being a prevalence of sex in NA – it is a lot of the adolescent and college experience, whether or not you’re having it. What bothers me about sex in NA, often, is A) romance novel terminology that doesn’t sound anything like how people actually talk and think, and more importantly B) perfect fantasy sex. I don’t use phrasing like “his length,” so that didn’t require intent from me, but having sex scenes in which they don’t both finish was very intentional. Because that’s sex sometimes!
Also, Lizzie’s someone who is unabashedly sexually active, as are her friends, albeit to varying degrees. There is no slut-shaming, no virgin-shaming, and no magic manparts; Connor isn’t the man who taught her how great sex can be. All those things were important to me to show as well.

B: Were there any particular hardships about publishing LWaT? Was it more difficult because of content or age range?
DA: Honestly, nothing but my own know-how limitations. I write YA on the upper end anyway, so it’s not a huge content jump for me, and I had so many people graciously answer my questions and help point me in the right directions. I did hire people for more than I thought I would, and I’m glad for it. I’d rather focus my energies on the things I’m good at and learn fewer things well.

B: Who was your favorite character to write in LWAT and why? (Personally, I hope it’s Connor. Yum!)
DA: Haha alas, it’s Lizzie, though Connor was a lot of fun too. I just really enjoy writing irreverence. And arguing.

B: With the topic of a student dating a TA, I had a few guesses at what might happen in the end (though I was still surprised!)… No spoilers of course, but did you always know how LWaT was going to wrap up or did you go through a few possibilities?
DA: Oh, no, I definitely did not. In fact, that ending now is about 10K words longer than it was when it went to my first betas. I know not everyone is going to love the way that things play out, but when I finally finished the ending that it is now, I knew it was the truest way things would’ve happened for these characters.

B: Do you have any habits or rituals that help you throughout the writing journey?
DA: Writing sprints are hugely instrumental to me on days it’s just not coming naturally; god bless Twitter and writer friends.

B: If you could pick one of your characters to hang out with for a day, who would you pick and what would you do?
DA: From any book? Probably Vanessa. I feel like she’d be a lot of fun to just walk around the Grove with, and definitely to go shopping with, and then end the day in front of the TV. I’m lazy – those are all my aspirations.

B: I love your “rec-ing ball” posts and tweets — recommending books is one of my favorite parts about being a reader & blogger! (This may be an evil question but) which books do you recommend that most?
DA: Oh man…I rec a lot! I think the books I’m most known for rec-ing are probably Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, Unteachable by Leah Raeder, and OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu. Possibly Deeper by Robin York? My rec-ing for Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St. John Brown has gone a little quieter, but I’m working on picking that up; that’s a little sleeper NA I’ve gotten extremely good rec response to. And of course, I push my CPs’ and accountabilibuddy’s books as much as humanly possible, and love them all – The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall, Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca, and Sekret and Skandal by Lindsay Smith!

A BIG BIG thank you again to Dahlia Adler for this wonderful interview and the opportunity to read LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT early! I loved it so much and want people to read it that I’m also doing a giveaway! Enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win an ebook version of LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT! (This will be a Kindle or Nook version, depending on what the winner has for an ereader.)

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Best of 2014 Book Giveaway!

 

best of 2014 book giveaway graphic

I can’t believe it’s December already! The year has truly flown by. But this also means I get to do one of my favorite things which is recapping and sharing with you my favorite reads of this year! Ginger at GReads! hosts her own Best of 2014 Book Giveaway and invited other bloggers to hop in on this event so when Ginger asked me if I wanted to be a part of it, I immediately said yes!

The past few years, I have been terrible at keeping track of what my favorite books were. I mean, Goodreads basically does the work for me and I had a favorites shelf and I could go back and see what I read, but as the years go by, I get more and more organized. This year I actually made a “Best of 2014” shelf so choosing which books I want to share with you today will be a snap!

RE-READS

   

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
Walk Two Moons – Sharon Creech

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: This book gave me some SUPER FEELS all over again! If you’ve already read this & loved it, I HIGHLY recommend a re-read and if you haven’t, you probably need to win this giveaway so you can ask for it! 😀

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: This book is SO beautiful and the audio is simply fantastic too, if you’ve an audiobook person! I loved my first read of this but I think the second was even better. Brought so many feels back and I had forgotten exactly how it ended so that was a nice little surprise too!

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech: I’m not really expecting someone to pick this if they win the giveaway but it has to be noted that this middle grade re-read was one of my best books of 2014. I read it as a kid and it’s STILL powerful to me today. I don’t know if reading it for the first time as an adult would hold the same weight for others since I did have all those childhood feelings creeping back but I still think it’s wonderful!

BEGINNINGS AND STAND ALONES

            

Dissonance (Dissonance #1) – Erica O’Rourke
Dangerous Girls – Abigail Haas
Open Road Summer – Emery Lord
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) – Scott Lynch

Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O’Rourke: This was SUCH a “me” book. Parallel universes, romance, music theory, set in Chicago… Totally Brittany. I absolutely loved it too! The science behind everything was fascinating and the romance was so sweet.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: This mystery/thriller is totally realistic and totally swept me away. I read it in a single day and just devoured it. I was totally hooked and don’t fear the hype — it’s totally amazing!

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: Soooo many feels for this book (Matt Finch!) and I even liked the country music aspect of this! Who would have though, right? The friendships, the romance. Gah. This book has it all!

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch: If you’re looking to get into fantasy or adult fantasy, try this book! It’s a bit lengthy compared to most YA novels but it’s soooo much fun (and I hope you don’t mind cursing). It was a laugh a minute with brilliant characters and the best bromance I’ve ever read to boot.

BOOK THREE SEEMS TO BE MY FAVORITE

   

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) – Veronica Rossi
Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3) – Leigh Bardugo
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) – Marissa Meyer
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) – Maggie Stiefvater
Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) – Robin LaFevers

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi: I think the second book may have been my favorite of this trilogy but ItSB was so wonderful and exactly how a series/trilogy should end. I thought Veronica Rossi totally knocked it out of the park and it made me SO happy to have such a wonderful ending to the trilogy because I want to keep on recommending it!

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo: I just love this series to pieces. If you’re looking for a great fantasy series and you haven’t read this yet, START IT. Leigh Bardugo penned a fantastic trilogy here and it’s one I will recommend and re-read many times, I’m sure!

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer: I actually read this back in 2013 but it was released in 2014 so it counts! If you know me but at all, you know that this is one of my favorite series. I still remember ALL THE FEELINGS when I read this and it was honestly so cinematic! Just a masterpiece.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater: Oh. My. Gansey. This book just killed me. How am I supposed to wait for book four again!?!? I love this series and this was by far the best one so far. OH, THE FEELS.

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers: I just LOVED these companion novels but omg, MORTAL HEART. It was so amazing! I’ve always been dying to find out Annith’s story and I really love how this whole series comes together!

SERIES

throneofglass    mistborn

(prize would be your choice of book from the series)

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass # 0.1 – 0.5) – Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) – Sarah J. Maas
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. Maas
Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) – Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) – Brandon Sanderson

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I binge read this series in the summer/fall and gahhhh. I fell in love. HEIR OF FIRE, OMG. These books really got me even deeper into fantasy and I am already dying for book four. Eeeek.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: I also binge read this series and WOW. Another adult fantasy collection that I just fell head over heels for. I almost wish I hadn’t binge read it…? Because now I want so much more of it haha. I will have to stick to the spin-offs and other Sanderson books afterwards!

GIVEAWAY

So those are my best of 2014 books! Whew, all the feels just thinking back on them! And now for the giveaway because I want to share them with YOU! Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (so long as The Book Depository ships to your location and has your selected book available). US winners will be shipped from Amazon.
  • Format of the book is up to you! The winner can pick whether they want paperback or hardcover.
  • The winner can pick from ANY of the above books mentioned. If the book is in a series or if, for example, you see a book three of a series you haven’t read yet and want to start it (Like The Lunar Chronicles, Grisha Trilogy, etc.) , you CAN let me know if you want book one of that series as your choice! Yes, the book #3 was my favorite of 2014, but I want you to love this series too!
  • Winner will have 48 hours to reply to my email to claim their prize. If I do not hear back within 48 hours, your prize will be forfeited to the next person. Winner must be 13 years or older to win.
  • Please allow time for the book to be shipped and arrive since the giveaway is taking place during the holidays.

That’s it! If you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, happy reading & entering!

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Don’t forget to visit the other blogs involved in the Best of 2014 giveaway too! They’re hosting their own giveaways this month as well!

Ginger @ GReads!
Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
Jess @ Gone with the Words
Heather @ The Turning Pages
Jen @ Pop! Goes the Reader
Danielle @ Love at First Page
Sarah @ What Sarah Read
Amy @ Tripping Over Books

Book Nerds Unite: A Sharing is Caring Giveaway!

Tis the season…and all that jazz. You know how it goes. The holidays start (earlier and earlier these days) and it is all about giving. Well now it is time for some getting. With the help of 19 other bloggers we bring to you, Book Nerds Unite, a Sharing is Caring giveaway!

Book Nerds Unite: A Sharing is Caring Giveaway

**Graphic by Rachel from Hello, Chelly

Here’s a little backstory for you: Andi — the wonderful Andi of Andi’s ABCs — had the wonderful idea after seeing so many fashion blogs give out high-value items to apply that giveaway idea to book bloggers. With a bunch of people pitching it, it’s easy to give away large gift cards and high-money prizes! After a shout out to Twitter, she gathered up the other lovely bloggers that are a part of this project and I’m honored to be one of them!  Each blogger pitched in to bring you not one but TWO top dollar prizes for one exciting giveaway event!

It’s pretty easy to enter. Just click on the Rafflecopter link/widget and start following some great bloggers. For your trouble we are offering a first place prize of $150.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card and a 2nd place prize of $50.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Really you are the big winner either way as you get to add some fabulous new blogs to your blog feeds. Just a few rules to follow before you get started:

  • Giveaway is US only. (Sorry to international folks!)
  • It runs from 11/24/14 to 12/11/14.
  • Winners are selected at random.
  • PLEASE don’t mark a blog as followed if you haven’t in fact followed. All entries WILL be checked and we are putting together this giveaway just because we want someone to win this awesome prize so please don’t take advantage of the generosity of these other bloggers! <3 Happy giveaway, happy winners!

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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!

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 (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.)

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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.)

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Fierce Reads Tour Summer 2014 (Chicago): Recap & Giveaway!

FIERCE READS TOUR

Leigh Bardugo, Ava Dellaira, Jennifer Mathieu, Emmy Laybourne
Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
June 20, 2014

I always love the Fierce Reads tour. It’s no exaggeration when I say that it’s one of my most favorite book events that comes to town! The authors are always amazing, the books are fantastic, I always love Macmillan, and the tours are just plain fun. They also draw a really amazing crowd and I got to see so many friends that I haven’t even seen in a while!

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The event started just a bit late on account of the authors being interviewed by the book store owner for the Naperville cable access show (and somehow that made me think of The Princess Diaries and Lily’s cable show… But moving on…) so we finally gathered and started the event around 7:15! We were all just excited and buzzing with anticipating! Rachel from Anderson’s Bookshop was moderating the event and had some really fun questions for the authors! (Questions and answers will be paraphrased.)

QUESTION: Did you start out with the title of your book before you began writing or did you go through a few titles before one stuck?
// Emmy Laybourne‘s first title was “We Are ValueMart” which she ended up changing because it sounded too happy… and it would have been confusing if she kept it because the store’s name changed from ValueMart too!
// Leigh Bardugo said the working title for Shadow and Bone was just “The Grisha” but she was told it needed to “be more Googleable”. When she would tell people what the title was, they heard “the Grecians” and it didn’t seem like a book title but more like a series. She came up with Shadow and Bone and then found out about Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone and tried to change it, but it was too late and Shadow and Bone was the winner! As for Siege and Storm/Ruin and Rising, those actually came pretty easily!
// Ava Dellaira thought of the title first as she was driving. Love Letters to the Dead inspired her story.
// Jennifer Mathieu‘s working title was “Alice Franklin is a Slut” and then it got sort of… “toned down” to “The Truth About Alice Franklin” which they just ended up shortening to The Truth About Alice.

QUESTION: If you could hang out with one character from your books for a day, who would it be and what would you do?
// Emmy Laybourne said Max and she would parent the hell out of him! His uncle is the bouncer at a strip club in the books and poor little Max is always around all kinds of crazy happenings so Emmy would make him grilled cheese sandwiches and take him to the playground and really just be a good parent to him!
// Leigh Bardugo said Strumhond (AND WE ALL AGREED). They would go marauding, have all kinds of adventures… you know, general activities with Sturmhond. She said with his attitude and being so cavalier, she could probably only hang out with him for a day or two though and then she would be exhausted of him!
// Jennifer Mathieu said Kurt. She said they were fairly similar in ways and he’s actually a lot like her husband is. She loved how he was a friend to Alice and he’s just one of her favorite characters.
// Ava Dellaira said she’s cheating a little bit and go with Amelia Earhart. She would love to spend time with her and maybe fly around in a plane. (Then jokes were made about how maybe that wouldn’t end well!!)

QUESTION: What’s your writing process like? Do you outline or fly by the seat of your pants?
// Emmy Laybourne said she outlines! With fourteen characters, she really has to in order to know what’s going on and where everyone is!
// Leigh Bardugo plots as well. She uses the three act structure and basically comes up with an outline of her whole book using this method and then fills in the gaps. She never ends up writing and then hitting a wall because she already knows the beginning, middle, and end.
// Ava Dellaira spent a long time listening to her characters and really letting them shape the book. She spent about a year getting to know her characters and then another year touching up the details and the rest of the book so everything fit well together! She took a screenplay approach and made sure all of the scenes really flowed nicely.
// Jennifer Mathieu is very organized with many things, but she sort of lets the characters guide her too. She likes to think she would be more of an outliner but sometimes her characters just take her where they want to.

QUESTION: What’s one thing from your books that got cut that you wish hadn’t?
// Emmy Laybourne didn’t really have to cut anything because she has an outline of her book that she works on with her editors and then once they’re all on the same page, she goes from there. But she’s working on the screenplay for the Monument 14 movie and she got to add something she did want, which was a funny scene between Astrid and Sahalia.
// Leigh Bardugo didn’t really have much she had to cut either, but some of her “gallows humor”, not matter how much she tried sneaking it back in there, didn’t make the final cut.
// Ava Dellaira ended up cutting a lot of details about one of Laurel’s old friends who was one of her favorite characters. The character was still in the book but a lot of her story got taken out.
// Jennifer Mathieu ended up cutting a whole character named Carmen who was one of her favorites! She really loved her but it was just too many voices. She’s hoping Carmen will be able to make an appearance in a future book instead.

QUESTION: What are you working on right now?
// Emmy is working on a new series that’s a horror/comedy! It’s about a cruise involving a whole bunch of (fake) B/C/D list celebrities that are all there advertising this new beverage but… the beverage becomes strangely addicting! Everyone drinks EVERY possible drop they can — even finding it in the materials that it’s clinging to on the cruise ship — until it’s all gone and the only place left they can smell it is… In each other’s blood! She’s also working on the screen play for the Monument 14 movie.
// Leigh is working on her new series, The Dregs! It’s been marketed as Ocean’s 11 in the Grishaverse and guys — this sounds so much like The Lies of Locke Lamora that I am DYING. It sounds amaaaaazing. Humor, heists, grishaverse. I cannot wait.
// Ava‘s book got optioned for a movie by the same people who did The Fault in Our Stars so she’s very excitedly working on the screen play!
// Jennifer‘s working on her next book which is sort of a cult-tale, but so much more than that. It’s about a girl from a very religious family and she sort of gets the chance to step outside of that and see the real world, see what it’s like, and then decide if she wants to go back or not.

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There were more questions from the Q&A but I don’t remember all of them! As always, the Fierce Reads ladies were FANTASTIC and I had such a good time! I got to tell Emmy Laybourne that it was so good seeing her again because the Fierce Reads tour from two years ago in 2012 was my first book event EVER and she and Leigh were at that event so it’s always very special to me to see them again as well as read their books. I was also excited to see Leigh again! I’ve met her a few times now and have almost all of my books from her personalized (except for my dang B&N special edition of Ruin and Rising which didn’t arrive in time, but got my pre-ordered copy from Amazon signed)!

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GIVEAWAY!

I put together a fun little prize pack for a giveaway that I’m calling The Fierce Reads starter kit! I love these ladies and these books so much that I want to get one lucky winner on their way to falling in love with these books/series! The starter kit includes:

  • Signed paperback of SHADOW AND BONE
  • Signed paperback of MONUMENT 14
  • ARC of THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE
  • Fierce Reads tote
  • Fierce Reads poster
  • Some signed bookmarks
  • RUIN AND RISING and MONUMENT 14 buttons
  • SHADOW AND BONE and RUIN AND RISING nail polish
  • Other swag

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UPDATE: One more book added to the giveaway! I also have an ARC of Broken Fences, Hearts, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn! 

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One winner will be chosen at the end of the giveaway to receive everything in the picture you see here! Winner must be 13 years of age or older and have a US mailing address. Sorry, no international entires, please! Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notifying email before the prize is forfeited to the next person. 

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The Book Addict’s Guide’s Two Year Blogoversary!

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My blog turns two years old today!

Gosh, two years. *whistles* It’s hard to believe that two years have already gone by and yet it seems like SOOOO much longer. This past year has been nothing short of amazing and I could not be more pleased with how it went.

Before I get into a recap of some of my favorite things from the past year, I wanted to first share some of my blogging expectations and how they’ve changed.

  • BLOGGING FALLACY #1: Book blogs should be almost entirely reviews. When I first started blogging, I felt like if the majority of my posts weren’t reviews then my content wouldn’t be legit. Reviews were why I started my blog and the whole reason why I was writing! Obviously I know now that this isn’t true. I DO still want my reviews to be a major part of my blogging and it still is the basis of my entire blog BUT. That’s not the only thing that my blog should be about. For me, blogging has turned into so much more than just writing reviews. It’s interacting with the blogging and reading community in whatever way that may be. I’ve written discussion posts, done surveys, started new blogger spotlight features, started new features specifically for showing off new obsessions, and participated in weekly memes. They’re all important because each one shows off a different side of my personality — both in my reading tastes and personal life. They help me connect with the people who read my blog and really, that’s what it’s all about.
  • BLOGGING FALLACY #2: Let’s go ARC crazy! Bad baby blogger Brittany found Netgalley and started to request ALL THE BOOKS. I’m still suffering from that, honestly, and now I feel terrible for all of the books that have gone unread. Sometimes it’s STILL hard not to request or download everything from Netgalley and Edelweiss that looks remotely interesting but I’m really trying and it was actually one of my “resolutions” for 2014. You know, I think it will always be exciting to get ARCs. It’s something special and it’s exciting to be able to read a book — especially one you’re super excited for — before other people… But I also learned that ARCs are not everything. I had a FANTASTIC time at BEA and got a bunch of ARCs that I was really looking forward to and put them on my “omg-cant-wait” list on Goodreads… And some of them have been published are still on that list and I still haven’t gotten to them. When you’ve got a lot of ARCs, it becomes difficult to read them in order of pub date or read them before they come out, regardless of all the OTHER books sitting on your shelf. I’m sure publishers know we won’t be able to read ALL the ARCs before they’re published, but that was another resolution of mine… And also not to neglect those “older” books on my shelves either! ARCs are glamorous, but they aren’t everything and if you try to read them all before the books are published, it may cause some reading stress! If I have any advice, it’s to cherish the ARCs but don’t make yourself go nuts over them — either requesting them or that you don’t have as many or that you have TOO many. Our hobbies should be fun and it’s great to be as organized as you can be and stay on top of things but don’t let it stress you out!
  • BLOGGING FALLACY #3: I probably won’t stray too far out of my usual genres. WRONG. Wrong. So wrong. I started blogging as a cozy mystery & adult contemporary reviewer. Then I switched to YA reading almost all dystopians and paranormal. Then I slowly started to realize that contemporary books were pretty cool too. Then I found *gasp* what!? Fantasy books that appealed to me!? Even things like historical fiction that I swore I’d never read or enjoy. I realized that I can’t put my reading tastes into a box. Sure, there may be genres I lean to or aspects of certain genres that I usually won’t like, but there are always always exceptions to the rule.
  • BLOGGING FALLACY #4: Blogging is awesome, but these people will always be strangers to me. MY WORST THOUGHT OF ALL. I could not have been more wrong. By the time I decided to get a Twitter account for my blog (a few months after I started it), I had already established a few favorites and some people I really got along with. It was nice chatting with them via comments but then talking with them on Twitter really got the ball rolling and well, you know the story. Twitter moved to texting, texting moved to marathon texting, marathon texting moved to constant contact which led to going to BEA together which meant everything got REAL. I got to meet all my blogger friends in person for the first time, meet more authors, connect with publishers, and spend a weekend with my best friends. BEA just made us closer and we became BFFs with more visits to each other and more involvement in each other’s lives! Literally best friends.

So what do you think, guys? Did you feel like any of these were true when you first started blogging? How long have you been blogging and how has your opinion of it changed?

Okay, since it’s my TWO year blogoversary, I’m going to share my top TWO favorites in a couple categories. If you  haven’t been following me since the beginning, here’s a chance to sort of “catch up”!

Top Two Posts (by views): The Best-Friend-Turned-Boyfriend Romance // Which Lunar Chronicles Character Are You?
Top Two Reviews (by views): Beauty Queens – Libba Bray // Cress – Marissa Meyer
Top Two Reviews (favorites): Cress – Marissa Meyer // Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo
Top Two Events (favorites): BEA 2013 // Fierce Reads Fall Tour 2013: Chicago
Top Two Discussions (by views): DNF Reviews // Spoiler Alert or Spoiler-Free?
Top Two Infographics (by views): The Book Addict’s GUIDE to contemporary // Seriously Social Survey
Top Two Other Fun Features (by views): Eleanor & Park playlist // Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: How to make Goodreads work for YOU 

GIVEAWAY

Okay, okay, I know you guys are mostly excited about the giveaway so heeere weeeee goooo!

The details: I have STACKS of books to giveaway.

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  • I have forty-five books to choose from and since it’s such a large amount, I will choose four winners. Each winner will get to choose up to ten books they want from the stack shown in the photo.
  • Since there are four pre-pub ARCs available, each winner will only get to choose one ARC and the other nine can be any available books.
  • Sorry, but this giveaway will be US ONLY. I just can’t afford to ship so many books outside of the US 🙁 Believe me, I wish I could!!
  • You can earn extra entries to the giveaway by following me in the various ways listed in the Rafflecopter form below.
  • Since I just got my fancy-schmancy new bookcase done, I thought it would be fun to do some photo-ops for extra entries! Here are the guidelines: Take a picture of either A) your bookcase/bookshelves or B) your favorite reading spot and post using the hashtag #BookAddictTurns2! Only ONE photo entry will be valid so please do not submit multiple entries. Submissions MUST include hashtag to be valid since that is how I will be keeping track. Each photo will be worth 10 extra entries into the contest! Photos can be posted anywhere that you can link me to and I can find a hashtag! Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, you name it! (And thank you to Alyssa, Stormy, Emily, and Lindsay for helping me refine this idea!)

Okay, pesky rules, I know. But that’s that and don’t worry, we’re all done.
Time to enter the giveaway and cross your fingers for some good luck! 

 

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