Leigh Bardugo’s Siege and Storm Release Party!

So I feel like its been forever since I went to an author event. Its probably only been a couple weeks, sickness but it feels like SO much longer haha. I think the last one I went to was the Mission Viejo stop on the Summer Lovin’ Tour with Suzanne Young, ambulance Sarah Ockler, try Shannon Messenger, Morgan Matson, Jessi Kirby and Kimberly Derting.

You can read all about that here :)

So I was starving for some author interaction!

And luckily enough, my dear friend Perla told me all about Leigh Bardugo (who I met about a month ago at the Ontario Teen Book Fest, which you can read about here) and how she was having a super cool release party for Siege and Storm, the second book in her Grisha Trilogy, preceded by Shadow and Bone and followed by Rune and Rising (coming sooooon).

I was SO excited about this.

I just recently read Shadow and Bone, probably about two weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I am a big fan of YA fantasy writers like Tamora Pierce and Cinda Williams Chima, and this felt similar but also unique to these two, and she just created a great story. You can see me review for it here.

(Side Note: Follow my friend, Perla, on Tumblr! She goes to author events ALL the time. In the last week, she’s met SO many. She’s meeting Richelle Mead tonight! She’s bombtastic :) You thought I met a lot of authors!)

I have never been to a book release party before. I’ve been to events where the book is released for the first time, but it was never termed a “party”, and I was never told to dress up!

And I totally didn’t dress up by the way, because I’m uberly lame and impossible when it comes to costumes and such. My version of a costume is making a tutu in a specific color, pairing it with a tshirt of that fandom and calling it a day :) I did wear a dress and some nifty high heeled boots so I felt pretty awesome.

So me, Tatiana, Sylvia, and my awesome friend Erin headed down to the Hemingways Lounge in Hollywood, California to go to this book release party.

Can I just say it was SO weird having my little beat up Honda valeted? The guy took my keys and looked at my car, completely with personalized Harry Potter license plate (and frame!), Harry Potter stickers, Star wars stickers, Hunger Games stickers,…and he just kind of sighed haha.

But anyway! What an awesome, awesome, awesome event! They went above and beyond for all of this! First off, there was a raffle for every single person who attended and the prizes were SO cool. There was this awesome grab bag of all sorts of cool Grisha swag, that my friend Sylvia won!

They also had a prize that was like 15-20 brand new books of various authors in Los Angeles. I wanted that one so bad. I didn’t win though :( Which was okay!

I was one of the first twenty five people to arrive, so I was able to get a tote bag, which I LOVE. I love me some tote bags!

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I was also able to grab a TON of swag, like buttons and all kinds of stuff. I’m hoping to have a Leigh Bardugo contest by the end of the month, so check back to see if you can grab yourself some of this swag, and who knows, maybe a signed copy of Shadow and Bone ;)

Book Swaaaaaaaag

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They also had a really cool photo booth set up as soon as you walk in where you could pile in with your friends, get some props and make some awesome faces.

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It was a seriously awesome time though. I had never been to a book release party so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it, but if book release parties are all like this, I want to go to more! There was all the free swag and the photo booth to begin with. There was an open bar that was serving this sparkling sweet wine and waiters and waitresses were going around, passing out little hors d’oeuvres, like mini burgers and mac n cheese and all sorts of yummy.

Leigh was mingling with the crowd, hanging out, looking like she was having a seriously fun time :) I ran into her once, and she totally remembered who I was, and knew who I was, which was pretty cool, I’m not going to lie. She is so funny, and she’s so down to earth too. I honestly really love that she is so available to her fans through social media. I’m friends with her on facebook and she nearly always replies to my tweets. She is SO available to her fans.

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And she’s so hilarious! For her presentation, she read some writing she did when she younger about the kind of abilities that she wished she could have. There were the usual, like flight and invisibility and being able to read people’s minds (though with an on/off switch haha, but the best one was the ability to write and publish a novel.

I’m not going to lie, I kind of teared up at that. Because the fact that when she was younger, she paired writing and publishing a novel with something impossible like being able to fly. But she did it, and she’s a fantastic writer, and so popular, and her book, Shadow and Bone, has been optioned to be a film. It really gives aspiring writers, like myself, a lot of hope. Writing and publishing a novel seems as impossible as becoming a Major League baseball pitcher, or a Grammy award winning musician. But its possible :)

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Sorry for the blurry pictures. It was all dark and funky lighting so it was SO hard to take good pictures.

Moving on though, Leigh also did a Q and A, which was fun because most of the questions, and all of the answers, were making people laugh. She also read a little excerpt from Siege and Storm, a scene between Alina and the Darkling, which was awesome, and which you see above. (And yes, that is Margaret Stohl holding her flashlight for Leigh to read).

There were so many authors there as well :) I saw Morgan Matson and Jessica Brody, both of who were SUPER excited to see us, and remembered us (Morgan told us we needed our own reality show, and Jessica said we were loud, but in a good way). Jennifer Bosworth was also there, as well as Melissa de la Cruz, Lissa Price, and Marie Lu. I’m sure there were more, but it was hard to tell. Its always fun to hang out with authors, especially when you look up to them so MUCH. Such a fun time :)

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Meeting Leigh again was REALLY cool, and she’s seriously a fun lady. Her remembering me was a nice little cherry on top to a super fun night, and I loved that she really took the time to talk to each and every person who came and take pictures with them, and sign their books and all of that. She really reached out to all of her fans, and it was awesome. She makes me laugh, and she wrote “I’m hilarious” in her books, when I had a word vomit moment and asked her to write something funny in my book, because I’m awkward like that.

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I’m having SUCH a blast lately, with all these author events, and making author friends, and getting to meet the people whose books are so amazing, and inspire me so much. Its been SUCH a blast.

I just started Siege and Storm today (I had to read The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen first, and I finished that in less than a day), and I’m already loving it, and I’m only 50 pages in. I hope, hope, hope, and should be done with it by tomorrow and I’ll have an AWESOME review for you guys!

I’m going to see her again (and Marie Lu, and a couple other cool people) on June 26th at the Grove in Los Angeles so I hope to get a pretty copy of Shadow and Bone signed for you guys! You guys love giveaways, don’t ya? I know you do! And then I can throw some of those buttons in there too!

Hope you enjoyed my recap of Leigh’s party!

And come back tomorrow for the Book of the Week, and keep an eye out for Sara’s Quick PicksEpisode Three, and an interview with the AMAZING Cinda Williams Chima!

Happy Reading!

Happy 1st Birthday WhatANerdGirlSays and Epic Giveaway!

So today is the first birthday of this blog, search WhatANerdGirlSays!

I am so happy and proud and excited and all sorts of happy emotions about this day and this blog in general. What started out as something for me to do, visit web a place where I could come to talk about all the books and movies I love without driving my family and friends and my boyfriend, viagra buy became something that I am extremely passionate about, something that I work so very hard on. It has become something that I want to be part of my career, as I pursue a career as an author.

And I’ve had some amazing times and awesome opportunities as a blogger. I’ve met several authors. I’ve had the opportunities to interview Cassandra Clare, Eoin Colfer, Jessica Brody and I have plans to interview Cinda Williams Chima and Tammara Webber. I’ve met some amazing, fantastic, inspiration authors. I’ve had the chance to learn my ways around new conventions, expand my cosplay knowledge and get into movie premieres and meet cool celebrities. I’ve been able to meet some of the best fandom friends a girl could ask for: Megan, Sylvia, Paulina and Tatiana.

And the best part: I’ve had the chance to meet all of you!

I had three goals to meet by my one year anniversary of this blog: I wanted 200 followers on my blog, 300 followers on Twitter,  300 likes on Facebook and 10,000 views on this page.

Right now, officially, I have over 500 followers on the blog, 325 followers on Twitter, 3o3 likes on Facebook and 11, 625 views on the blog. So I surpassed my expectations :) And I’m ready to keep going and keep trucking and make this blog bigger and better than ever. I have goals to keep this blog going and to start and finish my third novel and to find an agent and sell it and make my dreams come true. I can do this, and I know I can do this because I have so many of YOU who believe in me.

I do want to say a quick thank you to some people: to my dad, to my siblings, to all the authors that I’ve met in the last year who have been so inspirational and supportive, to all the authors that I’ve read, old and new, that just continue to write books that give me the belief in myself. To the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army for showing me that I’m not the only nerds out there. To my iFandoms Collide girls, for just being awesome. And to my boyfriend, Jon, because I don’t know any other boyfriend who would put up with a crazy girl like me.

And I do want to take this opportunity to hear back from you guys! Seriously! I want to hear from you, so please comment on this post or contact me. I want to hear what you love about this blog, and maybe some of the things you dislike. I want to hear suggestions and all that. And I definitely want to hear about books that I should be reading so please let me know!

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On to the fun part of this though, the GIVEAWAY! I’m sure this is what you’ve all been waiting for!

So in celebration of being WhatANerdGirlSays for a year now, and for loving this blog and for having all you wonderful people following me, I’m having a nice big contest for the Box O’Stuff! Check out this picture below!

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This epic Box O’Stuff includes:

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-Summer Lovin’ Tour postcard signed by Kimberly Derting, Jessi Kirby, Morgan Matson, Shannon Messenger, Sarah Ockler and Suzanne Young

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-autographed Shannon Messenger bookmark

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-autographed Sarah Ockler bookmark

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-a movie tie-in edition of Beautiful Creatures

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-sneak peek booklet of Jessica Brody’s 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

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-City of Bones movie poster 11×17

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-Ender’s Game pin

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-Doctor Who pins

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-copy of The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

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-copy of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan from World Book Night 2013

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-the first two issues of Marvel Now’s Thor comic books 

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So would you like a chance to win this AWESOME Box O’Stuff! Its SUPER easy to do!

Click THIS link below to enter! It’ll take you to a Rafflecopter widget, which I’m sure you’ve seen on plenty of other websites :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The last day to enter is June 1st!

This contest is international so please enter no matter what country you are in!

And you can enter MULTIPLE times so come back and try your chances :)

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Summer Lovin’ Tour at the Mission Viejo Library

I will never be able to stop singing the praises of Allison Tran, what is ed The Mission Viejo Library, and Alex and A Whale of a Tale Bookstore. I continue to have some of the most amazing times at this library, meeting some of the coolest authors. I’ve met Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare (twice), Lauren Oliver and Eoin Colfer at this place.

And yesterday, I had a fantastic time at the Mission Viejo Library once again, for the Summer Lovin’ Tour.

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The six authors I was honored to meet today were all super, super awesome.

First off, Morgan Matson. I have already met her twice in the last few weeks, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Ontario Teen Book Fest. It was awesome meeting her again because she totally remembered me and stood up and gave me a big hug, and I fangirled super hard at that because I think authors are rock stars. And an author that I love and completely look up to remembering who I am was seriously amazing. I definitely got a kick out of it.

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I really loved how they approached their presentation. You kind of get the same things over and over, the more you go to author events and you can see authors kind of becoming aware of that, and switching things up a little bit. These ladies totally did that and made me crack up. They played the game “Two Truths, One Lie“, where they told the audience three things about themselves. Two would be true, and one would be a lie and they would have people in the audience guess which ones were true and which one was false. It was really fun, and it got the authors talking and made everyone feel really relaxed about asking questions and all that.

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We learned that Suzanne Young once was a first mate on a dinner cruise, Shannon Messenger sat in the wrong seat at an Academy Awards nominee presentation and Sarah Ockler wanted to become a famous author by completely rewriting the story of E.T. when she was six years old, amongst other cool stories :)

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And it was really great to have all these authors together, giving writing advice and talking about books, and balancing their regular lives with their writing lives. It was inspiring and reassuring as well. Morgan Matson said her first book wasn’t published until she was 28. Kimberly Derting was nearly 42. Sarah Ockler was in her thirties and the other authors, while they wouldn’t give their exact age, said that it took some time. They were so encouraging in the way they spoke about not giving up on writing but they were also so realistic at the same time, telling us about the balance between life and writing, family and writing, friends and other jobs and school and writing. Sarah Ockler said that you have to really want it to make it happen, and Jessi Kirby, Suzanne Young, and Kimberly Derting all talked about managing husbands and kids and writing.

They also were all super fun, and funny as well. They have been touring together for about a week and they’ve built a sort of repertoire together and it came across a lot during their presentation. They made jokes about writing and deadlines and books with kissing and boys, and it was all so great. They also all had really terrible aim when it came to giving out candy to the people who dared guess in the Two Truths, One Lie game.

I definitely enjoyed talking to them after the presentation as well. Even though I was only able to purchase some of their books (I swear, I need a second job just for books!), they were giving out signed swag, like the postcard below, which is SUPER cool and is going to go up on my wall.

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I like that it had all of their signatures on there, and quotes from each of their books. Really cool swag to give out. A few of them had postcards and bookmarks that were signed as well, which was REALLY cool. I’m having a HUGE giveaway from my blog’s first birthday this Thursday, so come back to check out how you can win some of the cool stuff they gave out :)

And they all signed my poster as well, my writing advice poster. Do you guys remember that? Maybe not, well, last week when I went to the Ontario Teen Book Fest, where there were 13 cool YA authors, I came up with the idea to make a poster for writers to sign. I wrote “You are a writer!” in the middle (because I do sometimes forget, and fail to believe it) and I’ve had all the authors I’ve met in the last couple weeks sign it with words of encouragement or advice. I thought I would have some trouble with it, but all the authors I’ve met have been SO into it, and have loved the idea, and the six authors at this event were just the same!

You can see all the cool things writers have written on my poster in the writing advice section.

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I was also able to talk to them for a bit and they were all so encouraging and told me to keep writing and keep reading and to not give up. Kimberly said that the hardest part was knowing when to give up on a particular story but not to give up on actually writing. She said she worked on a story for over a decade and it just didn’t work but as soon as she gave up on it and moved on to something else, it fell into place.

I am always so incredibly grateful to meet these authors. One, and I’ve said it before, authors are rock stars to me and I am always super awed in their presence. Its like…when a little boy meets a firefighter for the first time, and he’s in so much awe because that’s his dream. Well, I’m 25 years old and my dream is-and has been since I was 13-to be a published author. So when I meet these men and women, I am just in awe of these talented people doing the job that I dream of doing one day. Two, as a writer, its awesome to be able to talk to these authors. They are always so encouraging and give really good advice, and they give me inspiration and belief and reassurance that I CAN do this.

And even though they’ve never read a word of what I’ve written ever, their encouraging words still mean the world to me. Because they tell me that they can’t wait to see what I do and that I AM a writer and that I can do it, and to never give up. And it really means a lot, especially coming from these authors that I admire so much. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed with my school work, and my job, my friends and family, my boyfriend, this blog and writing my novel, I just think, I can’t do this.

But these women (and men) are doing it with husbands and families, kids, and even sometimes full time jobs (props to you, Jessi Kirby) and its just fantastic. Its very inspiring.

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From left to right: Morgan Matson, Jessi Kirby, myself and Kimberly Derting

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From left to right: Suzanne Young, myself, Sarah Ockler and Shannon Messenger.

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I am so happy that I was able to meet these wonderful authors this past weekend and to be able to talk to them, and it was really cool being able to see Morgan and have her remember me :) I hope one today to count myself among super awesome authors like this.

Thanks to all the authors for taking the time to talk to me, to sign my writing advice/encouragement poster, for giving me cool swag for the blog and for just being all around fantastic. 

And thanks to Allison and Alex again for putting on another unforgettable and fun event. Trust me, ladies, you won’t ever be able to get rid of me :)

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Don’t forget to check back later this week for some awesome things!

Blogger Spotlight later today on Megan from The Nerdy Girlie

The Tuesday Top Ten tomorrow!

An Interview with Jessica Brody is coming your way!

And of course, the Book of the Week and Fandom Friday as well! So many exciting things!

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