Fierce Reads Blockbuster Event!

Can you guys believe that its been about three weeks since I’ve done a book event? Yeah! Three weeks! Insanity! Ever since I got back home from ALA in Las Vegas, link I’ve been overwhelmed with work, abortion and my novel, that I just haven’t had much time for blogging or going to book events.

Luckily, that is about to change VERY soon. I had an awesome time tonight at the Fierce Reads event at The Grove in Los Angeles, and will be attending a James Dashner and a Maggie Stiefvater event in the next few days and I’m very excited for those. Things are picking up guys.

Tonight I headed down to one of my favorite bookstores for what was sure to be an awesome event. I love Barnes and Noble in general, but I love going to the one at The Grove because they always have such great events and the event coordinator, Lita, is just a doll. I got there early, grabbed my wristband, and had lunch at Veggie Grill (yum yum!) before heading back to the store for the event.

The authors attending this event were four total YA all stars:

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Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles series, including Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and soon to be, Winter. Winter hits bookstores next year, but before that, a prequel story about Queen Levana will hit bookstores. Yay!

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Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy, including Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. She’s currently working on another series, which takes place in the same Grisha world, not long after the end of Ruin and Rising.

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Anna Banks, author of the Syrena Legacy, including Of Poseidon, Of Triton and Of Neptune. She also has a new book called Joyride heading to bookstores next June!

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and

Ann Aguirre, author of the Razorland trilogy, including Enclave, Outpost, and Horde. And soon to be a TON of other books! This includes a new adult trilogy whose titles are Backstreet Boy’s songs. I call that a win.

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I was SO excited because I love all of these authors so much, and I always have a good time going to these events.

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We took our seats, and Lita talked up the event and the authors, and even talked about the moderator, Anthony Breznican and his debut novel, Brutal Youth. She talked it up so much that I immediately went downstairs to pick myself a copy of it. He was so awesome, a great moderator and was fun to talk to after the panel. He seemed happy that some of us grabbed copies of his book; it must be SO nerve wracking to have your debut novel out there!

Then Lita and the fantastic people of Macmillan Teens had a surprise for us early arrivals: ARCs! You know me, I can NEVER get enough of books :) I immediately went forward to check out what they had. I had most of them, from ALA, but they had a copy of Caragh O’Brien’s Vault of Dreamers, which I hadn’t managed to score at ALA. That was exciting. I also had my sister with me, and she was kind of my assistant for the event, so she grabbed a copy of Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire. Now, if you guys pay attention at all, you’ll know that I already have a copy of Trial by Fire so this one is going to be up for grabs very soon!

Then the event! Yay!

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All four ladies were so much fun in the panel. I honestly haven’t laughed so hard in so long. Leigh was her usual hilarious self and Marissa had a quirky little sense of humor. Ann Aguirre had a sort of awkward sense of humor, which remind me so much of myself that I just couldn’t stop laughing. And ohmygod, Anna Banks’ dry sense of humor was KILLING me. I could NOT stop laughing. It was too much.

They talked about their books, their inspirations for them, how they tackled them. They talked about books they loved, and what books inspired them. What I really loved is how they dove into the appeal of YA to adults and the growing diversity in YA books. Those are two very important topics and I was eager to hear what they had to say about it!

Then was the signing, of course. I got books signed by all of them, because I’m spoiled that way ;) I got Mortal Danger signed by Ann Aguirre, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, and my extra copies of Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo.

Because I already have my entire Lunar Chronicles signed (so far), I bought an extra copy of Cinder (and also Shadow and Bone) and those will be up for grabs soon as well!

I think I cleaned up pretty nicely after this event!

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Not a bad haul from the event!

I also managed to get my hands on some extra stuff! Check it out!

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I bought extra copies of Cinder and Shadow and Bone and those are both signed by the author. I got my hands on that extra copy of Trial by Fire, which doesn’t hit bookstores until September! I also got an Of Poseidon sneak peek booklet signed by Anna Banks and a bookmark signed by Ann Aguirre, and ton of other cool bookmarks and pins. Keep an eye out because a giveaway is coming VERY VERY soon!

Leigh’s mom was there, and I’ve met her twice before, at the Siege and Storm release party and the Ruin and Rising release part, and she’s such a doll. She remembered me and gave me a big ol hug and sat next to me during the event. She’s such a sweetheart :)

I also met a “fan” of What A Nerd Girl Says today, named Laura! She was SO cool, and I always love meeting you guys so NEVER be nervous to say hi. I’m kind of a weirdo so please do! Also, she read my excerpt that I posted the other day of The Awakened, and loved it, and that gave me SUCH a boost! Thanks for that, Laura :)

All in all, a super great night and I’m always so glad to go to the Barnes and Noble at the Grove and to go to Fierce Reads events. I ADORE Macteen and they put out so many amazing books and I will go to every Fierce Reads event that I can!

Until next time, folks! And keep an eye out for that giveaway!

Book of the Week-Of Poseidon

Okay, search so I know its totally Monday and the Book of the Week post comes out on Thursday but last week got a little ahead of me and I just completely skipped the Book of the Week. I know. I know. Worst book blogger ever.

So the Book of the Week review is a little late but its here, and I’m finally reviewing a book for you. You can expect me to be back on schedule this week, with the Tuesday Top Tens and Fandom Fridays and alllll that super fun stuff.

I am also going to start posting book reviews over at my co-blog, iFandoms Collide. I read a lot of books a week so I’m trying to review as many books as possible and this will be helpful, to spread it out between two different sites. So definitely become a fan of that site, follow it on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with my book reviews.

And now for this super belated Book of the Week post!

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

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Genre:
fantasy, young adult, romance

Part of a Series?
Yes, the first novel in the Syrena Legacy, followed by the recently released, Of Triton.

You May Like if You Liked:
Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Plot Summary:

This story is a dual point of view story told by Emma and Galen. Emma is a normal girl, living in New Jersey, who literally crashes into Galen on a summer vacation in Florida. She immediately feels attraction to him, but is also embarrassed that she ran right into him. Dismissing this, she and her best friend, Chloe, going surfing where they are attacked by a shark and their vacation turns deadly. Emma escapes with her life, and returns to New Jersey, heartbroken.

Galen is a prince of the Triton kingdom, a family of Syrena (mermaids, though they won’t call themselves that). He is called to land by a human friend of him, on the authority that a girl with powers of Syrena is here on land. Galen doesn’t believe it until he runs into Emma and he feels the immediate connection. Then he witnesses Emma calling off a shark and he’s convinced that she is of Poseidon, the kingdom once allied with the Triton.

Galen follows Emma to New Jersey, determined to convince her of her powers and her legacy, and to bring her home below the water. Emma doesn’t believe him at first, but when she starts to be able to breathe under water for long periods of time, and discovers her communication with fish. Galen begins train her, so she can change, and have her fins, and discover why she was raised on land, as a human for so long.

Because Emma is part of a kingdom at outs with the Triton and if she can change and come down below, she’ll be a perfect match for Galen’s brother, Grom, who is to become king. But Galen finds himself holding back, as he begins to fall for Emma.

The Bad:

Honestly, there’s nothing SO bad that I was like, ugh, I hate this part. I’m not saying this book was one hundred percent perfect but I really, really, really liked this book. I would say…and its not really Anna Banks’ fault, but I am getting tired of all these super beautiful heroines haha. Like, Galen can’t shut up about how pretty she is. I’m really looking forward to having some chubby, average looking girls out there. Sometimes I’m like, all right, Galen, we get it, she’s pretty. But she’s also kind of badass, too, remember? So there’s that. But that’s such a small thing and it doesn’t deter from the story, or my enjoyment of it.

The Good: 

I had seen this book randomly every where but it wasn’t until I discovered Leigh Bardugo and the Grisha trilogy that this book really caught my notice. From what I can tell, Anna Banks is a good friend of Leigh’s and they just finished a tour recently for Fierce Reads with Jessica Brody and Emmy Laybourne. I had a little extra cash this past weekend and bought the book.

I gobbled this book up in one day. My boyfriend was at a bachelor party so I curled up in bed and whipped my way through this book and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it.

First off, mermaids? Okay, sorry, I stand corrected, Syrena. Mermaids is the term that they were given by human folklore but their correct name, according to Galen, is Syrena. I love it. I just love it. I love the new story of it. I love that its not vampires or demons or fallen angels or any of that. I love that its so different. I love learning something new. One of the best parts of reading books that are fantasy or dystopian, fantastical is that you get to immerse yourself in a new world, a new culture. But a lot of the stories that have been coming out have some overlap in the stories and myths. I haven’t had a chance to explore the myths and legends of merpeople so that was SUPER fun to read.

I liked the mystery of Emma, her true parentage and whether she was a true Syrena or not, because her mom seems to have no idea what is going on. I love that she spends so much time trying to figure it out and its not immediately apparent. Its a journey to discover what she is capable of, what her body is like, what she can expect of her future. I liked watching that. I love journeys, especially in the young adult genre, because that’s when so many of us are going through journeys and changes and finding ourselves.

I also liked the relationship between Galen and Emma. I liked that even though you get both of their point of views in the story, and you know that they’re absolutely crazy about each other, there’s a ton a build up and it doesn’t happen right away because of Emma’s reluctance and Galen’s duty to his kingdom and his brother and the future of his people. I love the subtlety to their relationship and that it is more about friendship and discovering the truths about Emma than their love story.

Its a really great story, an addicting one that will keep you glued to the pages until the very end, trying to figure out what Emma is, what she is going to be, and trying to figure if Emma and Galen are ever going to get together. Plus the end of Of Poseidon ends in an epic cliffhanger, which has me DYING for the next book! If anyone is feeling at all sympathetic toward a poor college student blogger, you can throw a copy of Of Triton my way :P

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 stars

Recommended or Not? 

Definitely. You may not think mermaids and their myths and lore is your type of thing, but I wouldn’t have thought that either until I picked up this book. It was nice to read something new and exciting for a change, and I can see why she, Emmy, Leigh and Jessica go on tour together with their unique stories. I think anyone with a love for fantasy and for young adult literature would absolutely enjoy this novel.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this review of Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.

Check out last week’s review of Struck by Jennifer Bosworth and stayed tuned for a review of The Abandon Trilogy by Meg Cabot as part of The Romance Bookies Meg-A-Readers blog hop!

And you can read other Book of the Week posts here.

Handmade Fandom Merch!

One thing that is really awesome about books and fandoms and all that is the stuff that comes out of that: fan art, this fan fiction, information pills fan merch, all of it. I love the creativity that pours out of people when they read these books or watch these shows. I seriously admire it. I just tend to drool over fictional characters, and curl up in a ball and cry when the authors torture us with sad parts and cliffhangers.

But, really, I admire so much the amount of awesome that comes from fans. I think its fantastic and I love to admire things like that and I love to BUY things from all these cool people.

And I know a few people, personally, who are part of this, and a couple people who I don’t know personally but I want to talk about anyway.

So I’m going to talk a bit about some shops where you can buy some really cool, handmade things, based on some of the fandoms we love!

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Ellie’s Quirky Creations

The first person that I am going to feature is my own mother, Ellie, who runs Ellie’s Quirky Creations. 

Ellie’s Quirky Creations mostly focuses on custom made dolls, of various people in different fandoms. She has made several Harry Potter characters, the 10th and 11th Doctors, and more. She does custom orders, of course, and I’ll let you in on a secret: She’s working on some TMI dolls! Check out some pictures!

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Amy Pond and the 11th Doctor

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Severus Snape

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Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Severus Snape.

She takes custom orders, and ships internationally and her dolls are absolutely awesome. They are made with sturdy fabrics and are super durable. I have a Luna Lovegood, Amy Pond and 11th Doctor and they are constantly on my bed, being tossed around and they are in perfect condition.

She also dabbles in other crafts as well, such as handmade wreaths (her Angels one is to DIE for), and cosplay costumes as well!

Check out her Facebook page for more pictures and how to order!

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FanGirlFeeels Fangirl Design

The next person I am featuring is Sylvia from FanGirlFeels, who just started her own shop, FanGirlFeels on Etsy!

So far, Sylvia is working on over the shoulder bags, with fandom symbols, but she hopes to expand to more, because she is incredibly talented. Check out some of the Divergent bags she has already worked on!

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Dauntless bag

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Amity bag. My personal favorite but I could be COMPLETELY biased because I’m Amity ;)

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Erudite, Candor, Amity and Dauntless. She also has Abnegation bags available as well.

All of these are handpainted and handsewn and are WONDERFUL. I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Each one is individually made, and super sturdy and can hold a good amount of stuff! She also ships internationally as well!

You can check out Sylvia’s Etsy Store, and look out for more things from this creative girl coming soon!

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Bittersweet Stories Designs

Next, I am featuring Natasha and Delilah of Bittersweet Stories Designs!

Natasha and Delilah are BIG fangirls, with some serious creative awesomeness. They mostly are working Mortal Instruments bags, with custom fabric, as well as custom Divergent fabric as well. I know they also are working on blankets and all sorts of super cool things. Check out some pictures!

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Handmade TMI bag, featured on their site. (Photo credit to Bittersweet Stories Designs)

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Divergent fabric (credit/photo to Bittersweet Stories Designs)

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my good friend Victoria from Novel Reality, with her handmade bag.

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myself with my handmade TMI bag (photo credit to Bittersweet Stories Designs)

These girls are fantastic, and their bags and some seriously high quality. They are a little pricier than others you may find, but they are unique and they are worth it. I can tell this bag is going to last a VERY long time. I also love that they take the time to design each bag individually, that they send “proofs” of the design before making it, and all of that. They are amazing!

Check out their website here, and also their Facebook page! Don’t be afraid to contact these awesome ladies for their custom designs! They even gave some of their custom work to Cassandra Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins and Kevin Zegers!

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SugarDukes Magical Sweets

The next person I am going to feature is my friend Suzanne, and her company is Sugardukes Magical Sweets!

Suzanne gets her inspiration from the Harry Potter series and makes her way across the country, building up her business and coming up with new products all the time! She has the traditional Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Sugar Quills, but also fun ones like Dill Pickle Barrels (like root beer barrels; they’re delicious!), Sugar Plums and Ticklish Pears. Check it out!

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Sugar Quills

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Sugar Plums. THESE ARE SO GOOD! I love these!

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Ticklish Pears! Also super delicious!

She makes appearances often at Los Angeles Dumbledores Army events, and at the various Harry Potter conventions, like Misti-Con and this weekend’s Leaky Con!

You can check her out on Facebook and Etsy!

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Hebel Design

The next person being profiled is Viviane Hebel of Hebel Design.

Vivi might be very familiar to you, especially if you are a fan of The Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series, The Lux Series, the Grisha trilogy, the Lynberg Legacy, The Syrena Legacy and more. She works with jewelry mostly, but also bookmarks, keychains and more. Its hard to choose what photos to share but here you go!

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Faerie ear cuffs for the Modern Faerie series by Holly Black

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Customizable bookmarks :) Mortal Instruments is shown

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Quote bracelet featuring a quote from the Lux series

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My own personal Clockwork Princess pendant that was given to me by Cassandra Clare :)

There is SOOOO much more on that website. Vivi does absolutely beautiful work and each piece is made so well. Her stuff is absolutely gorgeous, I can’t even begin to describe it. Her stuff is a little pricey but I’m telling you, its worth it, definitely. Her stuff is made super sturdy and for long wear. I wear mine quite often.

Definitely check out her site for more pictures, because you want to get your hands on some of this awesome work.

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Karen Hallion

The last person I am going to feature is my favorite fan artist, Karen Hallion.

Karen Hallion’s claim to fame tends to be her Disney/Doctor Who mash-ups, but she also does a lot of Disney, Doctor Who and other fandom in Art Nouveau style. She does prints, paintings, cards, stationary, stickers, and you can get her shirts on various sites like TeeFury, etc, if you pay attention. Here are some examples of her art.

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Art Nouveau of Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

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Note card with a Doctor Who and Nightmare Before Christmas mash-up

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Art Nouveau bookmark of The Princess Bride characters, Buttecup and Wesley

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One of the MANY Disney Princess and Doctor Who mash-ups, this one featuring Cinderella. My favorites are the ones featuring Belle and Rapunzel!

You can check out her Facebook page here, and her Etsy page here. She also travels a lot to various different conventions so look out for her :) Also! If you check Day of the Shirt daily, you can catch her designs on various sites, if you look carefully as well!

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I hope you enjoyed checking out all this super cool, handmade fandom merchandise. All of these are super fantastic, made well, and are super creative and beautiful. I hope you all are able to buy some of these!

If you, or someone you know, has their own shop set up, please contact me, send them my way! I would love to feature them, and I’d probably love to buy their stuff too!