Event Recap: Epic Fangirl Road Trip and RT Convention 2015!

I warn you in advance, buy information pills this is the longest blog post ever. But it has lots and lots of pictures. So at least its pretty. Mostly…

I’ve officially decided something: my friends and I are absolutely crazy!

We had been dying to attend the Teen Day events of the RT Convention ever since my friend Cassie had attended the 2014 convention in New Orleans. It looked like a ton of fun, buy information pills and she had photo booth pictures with authors and she brought home a ton of really awesome stuff and a ton of amazing authors go, that never seem to make it west to California and we knew we had to go.

So we started planning. And here’s the thing: we are big talkers. We’re always like, we’re going to go here and do this and whatever and…we. Never. Do. It. Seriously. Big talkers here. We don’t get very far haha.

So putting this together: booking our hotel room, renting a car, buying our tickets for Teen Day, all of that? Totally huge for us. Maybe not for others, but I think sometimes it boils down to the fact that we are damn spoiled. We hardly ever have to leave the comfort of our LA backyard to see all the authors we want. But we got our butt into gear and we saddled up and drove 30+ hours there and 30+ hours back in order to spend ONE day with a bunch of super amazing authors.

But it turned out to be SUCH an awesome time. First off, we decided to road trip. One, it was going to be a bit cheaper, especially since we could haul all of our books with us, and two, because who doesn’t want to go on a road trip! I’ve actually never legitimately been on one before and I knew I needed to make this happen.

The way there was SUCH a blast. We left late Wednesday night, and drove through Arizona to the Grand Canyon, down through New Mexico to Roswell, through Texas to Arlington (needed to see that baseball stadium) and finally, into Dallas, where the RT Convention was taking place. We also brought along Flat Cassie because our friend Cassie could not road trip with us, and met us in Dallas on Friday.

2015-05-13 23.25.19

Starting the trip off right with some 7-11 food. Because that’s how we roll.

2015-05-14 03.00.04

Made it to Arizona!

2015-05-14 07.17.52 HDR 2

What you can’t see here is that I’m absolutely TERRIFIED that I’m going to die. I absolutely HATE heights.

2015-05-14 08.07.58-1

Always, always, always have to represent books. Even when the scary but absolutely beautiful Grand Canyon is in the background.

2015-05-14 13.48.17

Made it to New Mexico!

2015-05-14 23.23.35

Me, an alien and Flat Cassie in Roswell, NM. The city itself was fairly disappointing but my friends and I always manage to turn it into a good thing ;)

2015-05-15 00.55.16

Made it to Texas!

2015-05-15 08.44.03

At the time of this picture taking, I had yet to read Stay With Me. I finished it last night so now this picture has a little more meaning haha. But while on this road trip, my friends and I fell only *slightly* in love with Waffle House. And Jax…

2015-05-15 09.33.18

Now, its no secret that I’m a total baseball nerd. A HUGE one. I love all sports but baseball is near and dear to my heart. UGH. I love it. So my huge bucket list item is to hit every baseball stadium on the MLB circuit. Well, on the way to the baseball stadium, we ran into the football stadium…and I had to stop. Because its beautiful and looks like a damn spaceship…

2015-05-15 11.39.58

I did eventually make it to the baseball stadium ;)

2015-05-15 11.59.29

My dad’s favorite player ever is Nolan Ryan, and he’s passed on that NR love to me, of course, so I had to take a picture with the statue!

2015-05-15 12.09.02 HDR

Oh yes, and the street sign too!

We made it to Dallas safe, checked out Waffle House (seriously, so yum), the Dallas Cowboys stadium AND the Texas Rangers stadium, and then checked into our hotel. We eventually picked up Cassie from the airport, and got ready for a dinner with the super awesome and amazing Tonya Kuper.

For those of you who don’t know (or just don’t pay attention to my IG at all), Tonya is the debut author of Anomaly. She’s awesome, super sweet, perfectly nerdy and her debut book is fantastic. She invited us to hang out that Friday and I was so excited for it. She turned out to fit in SO well with us. We talked all night about all kinds of stuff from books to boys to food to cupcakes back to books and boys and it was just the best. We introduced her to the wonders of a BJ’s pizookie AND the amazingness of a Sprinkles ATM.  Because, yes, even I can sniff out cupcakes in a totally new state.

2015-05-15 22.23.41

Us at BJ’s :) We look like we’re having a fun, classy dinner together as ladies but oh, we had the best time, laughing and all of that.

2015-05-15 23.12.44

CUPCAKES. I love cupcakes and I think we might have made a cupcake monster outta Tonya ;)

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 4.53.11 PM

Yes. Yes, that is me in a dress. I had to pair it with Converses so I didn’t feel totally weird…

The next day it was all about RT. We packed all over our books in the rental car (which was SO hard, considering our rental was so little and we manage to pack a punch when it comes to book luggage) and headed down to the Hyatt. We picked up our wristbands, got in line, and waited. And waited. And waited.

I had an AMAZING time at RT, I really did but I will tell you this: there are definitely some hiccups that could have made my day better. One, the fact that the Giant Book Fair with all the signings started at 11 and we didn’t even get in the door til about 11:30? Yeah, not a fan of that. You only get 3 hours to run around like a nutcase and I wanted every minute of it that I could.

I also didn’t like that they had a rule of only 10 books into the room at a time. You had to check your bag at a bag check, take the books in, get them signed, and get them checked out. I can see why they did it, because they wanted to separate the books you brought with you from the ones you grabbed from an author’s table to buy BUT it was a hassle, an annoyance and it made it so I missed out on a TON of authors. I met a ton of great ones too but I was irritated.

Luckily, there was the Teen Day party that night. We got in line for it, and ended up scoring a table with some other fangirls and authors, Liz Czukas and I feel so bad for not remember the other’s name. I’m horrible. But anyway, we had to do a trivia contest, all about YA books, and we totally rocked it. We got a perfect score, along with another table, which means we got to grab the swag bags and head into the swag rooms first. Of course, Sylvia and I had to sit out because, you know, being adults and all LOL. But Liz, aka Ellie Cahill in the NA world, grabbed an ARC of her new book and passed it along to me.

In the end, we managed to get our hands on some bags and swag, and ARCs, once all the teens had their turn so that was awesome. Then the rest of the time was spent eating, mingling amongst the authors and just having a total blast. All the books I had not gotten signed at the book fair, I managed to get signed at the party. And then I was able to hit the photo booth not only with the awesome Tonya Kuper but also the one and the only, Kiera Cass. Shenanigans went down.

2015-05-15 20.15.47

I got matching RT/Road Trip bracelets for me and the homies ;)

2015-05-16 15.14.46

We ran into our dear friend Morgan Matson, who we know very well back home in California. We were surprised to see her there because she wasn’t an official attendee of RT so it was like an unexpected reunion!

2015-05-16 13.08.23-1

Cora Carmack. She knew who I was, and addressed me by name before I even approached the table, and we hadn’t even met in real life. I died, only slightly.

2015-05-16 23.07.17

Me and Liz Czukas. SUCH a sweetheart. I’ve read one of her books and can’t wait to dive into her NA one!

2015-05-16 23.09.50

Me and my queen, Richelle Mead. I swear, I’m much happier to meet her than my face shows.

2015-05-16 23.10.14

Me and Sara Raasch. If you haven’t read Snow Like Ashes yet, you are so sorely missing out.

2015-05-16 23.10.53

Me and Bethany Hagen, who writes Landry Park. I managed to score a copy of the second book in the swag room, and I was pretty stoked.

2015-05-16 23.11.23

Me and Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love and 99 Days. I swear, again, I am much happier than my face suggests.

2015-05-16 23.12.17

This absolutely darling picture of me and Kiera Cass ;)

2015-05-16 23.13.58

SUCCESS. Finally meeting Jennifer Armentrout aka JLA aka J Lynn aka I love her. And the beautiful model that graces the cover of Wicked.

2015-05-16 23.14.26

Me and the amazing, one of a kind, fantastic Tamora Pierce. I cried, I babbled, I made a complete fool of myself. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of meeting her. It just blew my mind. I can’t. I just can’t still.

2015-05-16 23.14.53

The photo booth with Tonya and Kiera! I had Kiera sign mine because why not?

2015-05-16 23.15.22

Tamara Ireland Stone, who just wrote an amazing book called Every Last Word about OCD and anxiety that was so close to my heart. It was beautiful.

2015-05-16 23.16.10

Me and Victoria Scott. I adore her so much and she told me my pandora is a penguin and that’s all that matters in my book ;)

2015-05-16 23.16.31

The ever so lovely Gretchen McNeil :)

2015-05-16 23.17.04

Kate Brauning, whose book, How We Fall, I snagged at the event. Tonya had talked it up SO much the night before that all four of us KNEW we had to get our hands on it!

2015-05-16 23.18.28

My dear, dear Meg Cabot. She was blown away that I had ten books for her, and I was like, you have a million books out AND I’ve been reading you since I was 12…do the math lol

2015-05-19 16.12.03

my haul from the day. I brought a ton of books but I also got a bunch, and a TON of swag AND that tote bag is the best. Its actually sitting right next to me, I’m massively in love with it.

The next day, we hit the road again and headed back to California, making some stops on the way. We said one last farewell to Waffle House (oh, please, come to California), took Cassie back to the airport and set off. It was a long, long drive home but we made a few stops. We hit the Oklahoma border, in order to say we visited one more state, the Four Corners monument, and Phoenix, in order for me to the Diamondbacks stadium.

It felt SO good to be back in California though. I know I had not been gone for long, but when you’re crammed into a tiny car with a ton of luggage (mostly books…we are SO getting a bigger car next time), it feels good to get out of it. I missed the California sun, and I missed home. I’m definitely excited to go on road trips again in the future but I’ll definitely be prepared in different ways, so I’m not so homesick so fast!

2015-05-17 13.57.24

We were quite sad saying goodbye to the Waffle House.

2015-05-17 14.06.27

We were driving along when Cassie spotted this out of nowhere. Jax is the main guy in Stay with Me and owns a bar so this was absolutely perfect.

2015-05-17 14.25.42

Randomly ran into the Texas Motor Speedway while driving out of Dallas. The sports nerd in me had to stop.

2015-05-17 19.18.58

No biggie, just lying in the middle of the bridge, over the Red River, dividing Oklahoma and Texas.

2015-05-17 20.11.09

Super stoked to be in Oklahoma. We only saw a small part of it but it was beautiful!

2015-05-18 08.14.28 HDR-1

Reading in four different states at once at the Four Corners monument. I’m that talented.

2015-05-18 12.21.41

We found a volcano and super wanted to go visit it. But then we realized it was super far off our path and didn’t do it. So instead we took random pictures in the woods. Cuz that’s how we do things.

2015-05-18 15.59.44

The absolutely gorgeous Chase Field. The people working there were so awesome and it made me miss my Mark Trumbo immensely.

2015-05-18 18.42.25

Very happy to be back in California ;)


All in all, it was an amazing time. SUCH an incredible experience and I definitely want to road trip again, for much longer, but with stops at hotels this time because I’m still exhausted and I got home three days ago LOL. But it was a blast. I can’t wait for next year’s RT, especially since it’ll be in Vegas and that’s just a short drive compared to driving allllll the way to Texas. I’m so grateful to all three of my friends, Sylvia, Alex and Cassie for putting up with me, especially Sylvia and Alex because it takes true friendship to put up with your friends that much in a teensy tiny car.

If you’d like to see more pictures, check out the #EpicFangirlRoadTrip hashtag on Instagram for pictures from all four of us!

Until next time!

Oh, and make sure you come back to this blog in just a couple days to celebrate my blog’s THIRD birthday! EEK!

Blog Tour: “Anomaly” by Tonya Kuper + Review + Giveaway!

I am so INSANELY excited to be a part of this blog tour and to finally be able to share the love I have for this book and for Tonya! She’s an amazing debut author and she’s become a great friend and I’m so excited to bring you this stop on her debut novel, viagra buy Anomaly’s tour!

anomaly banner new

Blog Tour Schedule

Click this link to head over to YA Bound to check out ALL the blogs on the tour. There are a TON of reviews and promo posts to check that there’s just no way I can fit them all!

About Tonya Kuper


Tonya Kuper’s debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.

You Can Find Her At:

Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / GoodReads

About Anomaly 


Release Date: November 25, 2014

Published by: Entangled Teen

Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

Purchase the book at your local bookstore OR at the following links: 

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review!

I absolutely LOVED this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read it and I had such high hopes for it. I met Tonya back in the summer when I went out to Las Vegas for the ALA Conference. I was standing in line to meet Holly Black (for, like, the third time) and the line ran alongside the Entangled booth. Tonya was just finishing up her signing and she came to talk to us in line, handing us bookmarks and pens promoting her book. She was SO nice and genuine, and really excited about her book so I was immediately sold.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for MONTHS to get my hands on this book and so I felt quite lucky to be a part of the team to help promote Anomaly. I helped hand out postcards to promote it at Mockingjay, which I did at the red carpet premiere, and I got my hands on an early copy and DOVE into that book.

What really caught me about this book was the main character. Josie immediately caught my eye because…I felt like I had a lot in common with her. Within the first few minutes of reading, there were several different nerd references and I was sold, because I was laughing my ass off. As a girl who literally owns no other clothes besides t-shirts with Doctor Who, Star Wars, Harry Potter and various other fandoms adorned on them, I was immediately sold on Josie as a character. I also just recently went through a break up, so I understood that sort of “fun time” as well. Josie immediately felt real, and relatable, and because of that, its easy to follow her journey as her world gets turned completely upside down.

I also really loved how unique it was. This is a story that hasn’t been told before. The ability to manipulate reality? That’s not exactly a NEW concept but its fairly unique in the YA genre and I was immediately interested in how it would work out. Both Josie and Reid pull some off in the first few chapters and it blows my mind and I had to keep reading because I have to know how things work. Why could they do that? How could they do that? That kept me turning the pages, especially as more of the mystery is revealed. As more secrets are unraveled, more is hidden. Its incredible.

Plus there’s just the relationship between Reid and Josie. Its infuriating and beautiful. I love the banter they have with each other, how they’ve obviously attracted to each other. They gravitate to each other, they’re often so close that they don’t even realize it. But you’re sitting there, eyes scanning the page, hoping they’ll get even closer. They have such a back and forth relationship and I even tweeted Tonya one day because I was so frustrated haha! I ship the two of them so bad, and she does an amazing job of creating an incredible chemistry between these two main characters but without making it easy or flawless. Its difficult and I like that, because it leaves me wanting more and more.

Plain and simple, its a great debut by Tonya and I can’t wait for more. She’s a fantastic writer and an awesome person and this is a novel that you MUST pick up!

*      *      *      *      *

Thank you YA Bound for hosting this blog tour and allowing me to be a part of it!

YA Bounk Tour Button

Blog Tour and Guest Post: Erin Rhew “Things I Didn’t Know About Being a Writer” and The Outlanders Promo! + Giveaway

I honestly didn’t think I was capable of coming up with a longer title than that, sick but I proved myself wrong. Whoa! I’m impressed with myself.

Now, cost today, I’m here to share some info about an author named Erin Rhew and her books, The Prophecy and The Outlanders, mostly about the second one in that sentence. The Prophecy is Erin Rhew’s first book of her Fulfillment series, and recently went through a cover change and a republishing and you can learn all about that here. Definitely check that out and then head back to learn more about Erin and the SECOND book, The Outlanders.

But first, about Erin :)

Erin Rhew


Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.” A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.

You Can Find Her At:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / GoodReads


The Prophecy / The Outlanders

About The Outlanders

cover_OUTLANDERS (2)

With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.

Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.

Release Date: October 21st, 2014

The Giveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now its time for the guest post, which I’m really excited about because Erin shares some insides about being a published author and the journey that it takes to get there!

Guest Post: “Things I Didn’t Know About Being a Writer”

I think most new writers start out a bit naïve about the process. When you look around, books just seem to sell. A big named author releases a new novel, and BOOM, it’s a bestseller. No one ever mentions all the behind-the-scenes mayhem that contributes to that bestseller or how many rejections that person received before he or she hit it big.

                  The first thing I didn’t know about being a writer was the process of publication. I just thought I’d write the next great American novel (as each writer aspires to do), and it would be published. Wham-bam! Just like that. But noooooo, there is a long hard road that must be hoed on the path to publication. First, a writer must send a query letter to prospective agents or publishers. And wait. Note: Waiting is the theme of a writer’s life, which is tricky for someone with ADD. Sometimes the rejections are instantaneous, and sometimes you receive them a year later. You think, “If only this person would READ my book, they’d love it.” And then, angels sing the day you get a request from someone to see more of your work. Elation fills you as you think this one may be “the one.” More waiting—sometimes as long as 6 months. And then there is the rejection—the heart wrenching, soul-crushing rejection. The person actually read your book and still said no. It’s a knife to the heart. But the day comes where someone says, “Yes,” and you jump up and down, squealing like a maniac, in the middle of a pet store. ;)

                  I don’t think I realized how many people aspire to be authors. There are so very many of us. Thankfully, the process of publication has shifted. People have options for their books—traditional, small-press, and self-published. Some choose self-publication and end up with small press contracts. Some choose small press and end up with traditional contracts. While others choose self-pub or small press and are happy to stay that way. And some dabble in all—like Jennifer Armentrout. There are also new ways, besides querying, to receive contracts. #PitMad on Twitter and other similar contests are new avenues by which an author can get his/her work seen. I think it’s a special time for authors with this smörgåsbord board of opportunities and options.

                  Writing itself is a fairly solitary process. But after having been through this process, I realized just how much support a writer needs. First, I needed a support team to help me get my writing done. I call them the Dream Team! They kept me on track and motivated while I wrote and then later as I queried. When I cried over rejections, they told me, “Stay the course! It only takes one ‘yes.’” I also needed help from my critique partners: Mary Waibel, Meradeth Houston, Michelle Pickett, T.C. Mckee, and Deek Rhew. Since they are all writers as well, they could help hone the more industry necessary portions of my piece (reduce adverbs, maintain a consistent POV, etc.). Once my book got picked up by a publisher, I received the help of professional content and line editors who shaped and molded my story into something better. And when the time finally came for marketing and promoting, I really needed other authors, bloggers, and book reviewers to help get the word out about my novel. So, what starts as a solitary endeavor grows into the work of an entire village.

                  Here’s a little slightly off-topic-but-still-related story: I didn’t know writing could lead you to your soulmate. Deek started out as my critique partner. I received one of his short stories to critique as I am the resident “grammar nerd” of our group. Editing his piece began a friendship that over a period of time grew into something more. Now, we’re engaged and getting married soon. Without writing, I would never have met him. So, being an author can change a person’s life in a myriad of ways! You never know where “the one” might be hiding! ;)

                  I think the biggest thing I didn’t know about being a writer is how much time I would need to devote to marketing and promotion. Even the traditional publishers are leaving most of the marketing work up to the authors. Gone are the days of authors being given high-powered publicists with their hands in cookies jars around the world. Now the authors themselves must do that work. It takes away from writing time. Whereas I used to sit and write for a solid hour, I must now promote for 30 minutes and write for 30 minutes. My process is slower. I’m not churning out the stories as I once did. Time flits away from me like a fairy I can’t seem to catch. I feel stressed, always behind. But at the same time, I’ve met amazing people. I’ve created lifelong friendships and invested myself in amazing people.

                  If you have written a book and are looking at any level of publication, I encourage you to pursue it. It’s worth the sacrifices. You’ll grow and change in ways you never imagined. And more importantly, you’ll never have to say you didn’t try. Always chase your dreams!


Thank you SO much Erin for being a part of this post, and everyone, get out there and get your hands on a copy of The Prophecy and The Outlanders today!