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!

Leigh Bardugo’s Ruin and Rising Launch Party at The Last Bookstore!

I’m just going to start off by saying this: Leigh Bardugo and her friends really know how to throw a party. A launch party that is.

The first “real” launch party that I ever attended was Leigh’s last year for the middle book of the Grisha trilogy series, treat Siege and Storm. It was a total blast so when Leigh told me about her party back at the Festival of Books, ambulance I knew that this was something that I could not miss.

I met up with my friends Sylvia and Alex, and we ate some delicious pizza and Slurpees that were literally perfect for the moment. We then drove to pick up my friend Cassandra and made our way to The Last Bookstore.

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If you’ve never been to The Last Bookstore in LA before, its an incredible place to go. There are books everywhere, and rooms that are like mazes, and tunnels and really cool doors and its just beautiful. Its one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve ever seen. Leigh could not have picked a better place to launch her final novel in the Grisha trilogy.

There was lots of food to eat, and drinks too called “The Ruin” and “The Rising.” They were delicious, both the non-alcoholic ones and the ones with a kick ;)

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The decorations were SUPER awesome. The entire bookstore was transformed to celebrate the series, and I just wanted to take pictures of everything.

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The first pages of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising

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Leigh was introduced, in such a lovely way, and talked to us for a bit. She never fails to both make me laugh and inspire me. She read a bit from a diary that she had when she was about ten years old, and it was SO funny. Then she went through the basic plot line of Labyrinth. Yes, the David Bowie Labyrinth. It was, and has remained, a favorite movie of hers and she talks about why that is. We reach this pivotal moment of the film, where it goes from being a children’s movie to something a bit more, and she believes that it is YA. She talks passionately about YA, about reading it and writing it, and it was just plain beautiful. Leigh is incredibly inspiring.

She also read a very small bit of the beginning of Ruin and Rising, and then we all were dismissed for food, drinks and fun…oh and signing too.

My friends and I immediately departed for the photobooth. I had a TON of fun with it last year, and I was eager to get back into it again, with some of my most awesome friends :)

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I also had the guts to get into the booth by myself this time. I SO would not have done that a year ago!

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They also had a manicure station as well, but I’m a compulsive nail biter and I tend to stay away from that haha.

We finally decided to get in line to meet Leigh and it was a great time, as always. We talked a bit, and I told her I would see her in Vegas next week for the Fierce Reads stop and she signed my copy of Ruin and Rising. We also got lots of swag, which is always good. I love getting my hands on more bags, and bookmarks and pins.

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And I got my special launch party edition sticker too, which my Siege and Storm has, and was MUCH needed for my Ruin and Rising.

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As we were saying goodbye to everyone, and leaving the venue, there were two guys manning the front security desk. We had asked them early if there was a way to get our hands on the giant posters, the ones that I posted earlier, that had the first pages of each novel of Grisha trilogy. We were told that we couldn’t have them, because they were needed the next day at Leigh’s event down in San Diego. I know I was disappointed but it was okay. As we were leaving though, the two guys flagged us down and handed the posters over, making us SO incredibly happy. We ran back into the bookstore and made sure to get these posters signed by Leigh!

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All in all, it was a great night, full of a TON of fun, especially the book kind, which is my favorite :) It is always a blast hanging out with my friends and meet new ones, and to see Leigh Bardugo again. She’s brilliant, hilarious and inspiring.

I definitely can’t wait for more launch parties for Leigh in the future!

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Oh! I also got to talk to Leigh’s mom again, who remembered me from the last launch party, and a picture was totally necessary. I even put them back to back so you could see. What a sweetheart and so proud of her daughter. I love it!

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I have finished Ruin and Rising already so watch out for a review coming VERY VERY soon!

Happy Reading everyone!

L.A. Times Festival of Books 2014: Day One and Day Two Recap Vlogs!

Guys, doctor I just had SUCH an amazing weekend. This weekend was the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at U.S.C., where the entire weekend is dedicated to the amazing culture of reading. It’s one of my favorite weekends of this year, and this year was no disappointment.

There was a team of five us: me, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, our friends Cassandra and Alexandra and my sister, Jessica. We had our game plans, and despite minor hiccups along the way, we managed to do everything that we wanted to do.

I met (and met again, for some) amazing authors this weekend: John Green (OHMYGOD), Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Oliver, Marissa Meyer, Sarah J Maas, Robin Benway, Veronica Roth, Lauren Myracle, Leigh Bardugo, Deb Caletti, Kiersten White, Andrew Smith and Stephanie Perkins.

But I won’t keep you from seeing my awesome vlogs. I vlogged while at the Fest so you get some pretty awkward and hilarious moments from me, a short video of my conversation with John Green and…lots of awkwardness haha.

Check it out!

Day One!

Day Two!

Yay! I hope you enjoyed seeing the awesomeness that was my weekend!

I managed to grab extra copies of Cinder, Anna and the French Kiss and Fangirl for a giveaway. There will NOT be a giveaway for the month of April (as of now), but there is a HUGE giveaway coming for my Blog Birthday in May so keep an eye out to see how you can get your hands on these books!

Oh! And don’t forget you can check out ALL the pictures on the What A Nerd Girl Says Facebook page here!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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Exclusive Interview with Jewelry Designer Viviane Hebel!

Its not hard to be part of the fan girl world, prescription and not run into the awesome and talented, Viviane Hebel.

Vivi Hebel runs her own business, Hebel Design, which specializes in handcrafted jewelry based on your favorite novel series like the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, the Curse Workers and Faerie stories by Holly Black, Unremembered by Jessica Brody, the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and SO many more.

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The first I heard of Vivi and Hebel Design is when I met Cassandra Clare back in March, and interviewed. As a gift, Cassie gave me a clockwork angel necklace, that I wear SO often. Almost exactly a month later, I met Vivi at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books when she pointed out that I was wearing her necklace. I’ve been addicted to her stuff ever since. Her family rings, rune bookmarks, and jewelry for all books are just TOO beautiful.

She’s also been featured in Huffington Post, Epic Reads, The Examiner and more!

So, of course, I had to try and get her on this blog, with an interview and I’m really excited to bring her to you guys today!

Sara: How did you get into jewelry making and jewelry design? What sort of skills did you have to learn? 

Viviane: I went to college for integral design-graphic, textile and industrial. So I had my base in materials and methods. I’ve always been more interested in 3D than 2D work so it was more of an evolution for me. Some 10 years ago, I took classes in silversmithing and so it began.

Sara: How did you get involved with all these authors like Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Anna Banks, Jessica Brody, etc? 

Viviane: I read Cassandra Clare’s 3 first books from TMI, what was published so far, and fell in love with the world and the Runes. I had some kind of vision and did some research before I contacted her to present my idea. There’s always been a market for movie props and replicas so I thought fans of the books would like them too. It’s been an evolving thing since then I thought of expanding to other series. So the process is the same, contacting the author and proposing my ideas. Since I’ve been in business for a bit, sometimes authors come to me with their ideas.

Sara: Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you read the books to design these pieces, or do the authors ask for something specific? 

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Viviane: I always like to read the book first, to get the whole context. Whenever there’s a new book in the series that is not available to read yet I have to rely on author’s descriptions. Then I try to get details of when, where, why, who…and so on.

Sara: What is your favorite part about having this business? 

Viviane: Being able to create an actual piece that an author just conjured in her head. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to go from imagination to reality, I like those the most.

Sara: Was having a jewelry making business always something you had wanted to do, or did you have other career aspirations? 

Viviane: As I said, its been an evolution as a designer. I like looking for new things to do. Jewelry has been the longest one so far, so many possibilities.

Sara: What is the process like when making a piece for your business? 

Viviane: First, I need to visualize how it would look more or less, then sketches and possible materials. Making samples and prototypes, sometimes it stops there, sometimes production of molds and such.

Sara: What are some of your favorite books to read, movies to watch and bands to listen to?

Viviane: The list is super long. I am a big fan of fantasy, paranormal and science fiction. In movies too, I like animated movies a lot! I just love their attention to detail. Music is very eclectic, if you looked at my playlist, it has all kinds of old and new, from pop to rock to latin, country, new age. All time favorites that I never get tired of are James Taylor and Prince…Goo Goo Dolls, see a pattern here? Not really.

Sara: What are some of your favorite book-related pieces that you have designed? 

Viviane: The ones that have been more of a challenge. The Clockwork Angel, the Morozova Collar, the Family rings. The Midnight Flower just came up in my head and it actually came out like I imagined. Not always it happens like that. I also like when I can reproduce exactly what’s described in a book, like the turquoise necklace. I love the new Lynburn hands.

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Sara: Do you have any pieces, or new collaborating authors that we can look forward to? 

Viviane: There’s always new stuff in the works…just to keep the interest up!

Sara: I ask this to all my interviewees, who is your fictional crush? 

Viviane: You’re allowed to have more than one, right? Rhett Butler, as a classic, growing up. Will Herondale tops this list, but there’s so many more, I could actually embarrass myself.

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with Viviane, and that you are able to head to her website, and check out her awesome work. I seriously want EVERYTHING, especially a stele pen and the Lightwood family ring. Her stuff is awesome.

All pictures are courtesy of HebelDesign.com

My Reading Journey

So i was doing my daily journey through the blogs that I follow and I came to one of my favorites, no rx The Perpetual Page Turner, there run by the lovely and awesome, Jamie. Her most recent blog entry talks about her Reading History (which you can read here) and the different books that shaped her life.

I loved it. It was so cute, and it was nostalgic and it really brought to my mind my own reading history.

See, the one thing I’ve noticed in my journeys as a reader, as a writer, and as a blogger is that so many people that I’ve met have that “moment” or that “one book/book series” that just does IT for them. It brings them into the world of reading. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard, “Harry Potter/Percy Jackson/Mortal Instruments/Divergent/Hunger Games/John Green/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/etc got me into reading”. Which I think is absolutely wonderful and is a testament to how wonderful YA literature can be.

And I get that question a lot. “What book got you into reading?” because people know how insane I am with books and reading. And I always feel really perplexed when I get that question. Like…”Um, Green Eggs and Ham? Go Dog Go? The Polar Express? Chicka Chicka Boom Boom?”

Because, the thing is, reading has exploded over the past decade, and I do think that it is in LARGE part to do with the young adult literature boom. So many people are picking up these books, loving them and becoming readers, and picking up more  YA books.

But for me? I’ve ALWAYS been a reader. I can’t pinpoint a moment in which I discovered reading because its long before my memory can remember. I’ve been reading since I was a small child, three, maybe four years old. Reading has always, always, always been a part of my life. I can’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t reading. But I am seriously curious about the different books that I’ve read through out my life and so this is where I talk about my reading journey.

Thanks Jamie for an awesome post, and I hope you don’t mind that I’m borrowing it!

Childhood (3-10 years old)

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In my childhood days, I spent most of my time reading probably what most kids read: LOTS of Doctor Seuss, lots of Berenstein Bears, lots of Shel Silverstein. However, those books got really easy and really “boring” super fast. So I was already moving on to chapter books, formula books, by the time I was about five or six and I stuck with those for quite a many years. I’m talking Baby-Sitter’s Club, Pony Pals, Boxcar Children and the various Sweet Valley series (Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Jr HighSweet Valley College). I ate these books up SO fast, and they probably were way below my potential but I could read a couple Baby-Sitters Club books a day and I loved that. I also read a lot of Judy Blume books in those days too.

I also realize now that reading all those Sweet Valley Books as a nine-year-old was probably unbelievably inappropriate. The high school and university series TOTALLY has sex in it and I was so cavalier about it, when I was a child. Interesting.

But those were the books I loved as a kid. They weren’t challenging and they were easy reads and I could bust through those books so fast, making me seem like a better reader than I probably was because I wasn’t challenging myself!

Preteen/Middle School (10-14 years old)

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I was 10 years old when I discovered Harry Potter, and this seriously changed my life in so many ways, I couldn’t even begin to write about it. That is a whole ‘nother blog post. But it changed the way I read books. Books didn’t have to be short, and they could be so different and interesting and challenging and wonderful. Harry Potter was the first book that I read that wasn’t a formula book, really, and I just loved it. I ate that up so fast and it was the first step I took into a whole different world.

Also when I was in middle school, I discovered both Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot, both of whom are still some of my absolute favorite authors. This is where I discovered YA literature, and this is why I’m still obsessed with YA and I”m writing this blog. A friend of mine gave me Dessen’s Someone Like You and I loved it so much and went out and bought That Summer, Keeping the Moon and Dreamland and I’ve bought every book since then on the day its come out. For Meg Cabot, I went and saw the movie The Princess Diaries and realized it was a book. Then I read the book and realized how much better it was than the movie and I’ve consumed every single Meg Cabot book to come out since then.

This was the beginning of my foray into young adult literature. I had dipped a toe in, in the contemporary world of YA lit. I think this is also when I sort of discovered that I liked to write too, at about 10 years old. I think that’s when I realized that I liked the way these YA authors wrote, so relatable and so real, like you were stepping into the messy minds of teenagers.

High School (15-18 years old)

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This is what I am going to call my exploring years. I read a LOT during high school, and a lot of that was classics because of school. And I’ll tell you: Shakespeare? Steinbeck? I get they were great guys and all and changed literature and all that…but ugh, ugh, ugh. I can’t read either one without wanting to drown myself.

But I did discover a lot of classics I did like. I loved The Great Gatsby. Gone with the Wind. Poisonwood Bible (okay, which isn’t a classic, but is a great book). Brave New World. Huckleberry Finn. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! (Hey, I named my dog Scout for a reason).

This was also the time that I was really getting into fantasy, especially young adult fantasy. It hadn’t QUITE broken out yet but it was definitely getting there. I had consumed the Lord of the Rings books with fervor, because I just loved the movies so much. (I had read The Hobbit as a kid). I was still reading Harry Potter like crazy, and I had discovered two of my still favorite authors, Tamora Pierce and Libba Bray. Tamora Pierce introduced me to a world of pure fantasy and it still is one of my absolute favorite fictional worlds to be in. Libba Bray gave me the sort of urban fantasy that I didn’t really know existed. I didn’t know that you could read fantasy books in a world you recognized, even if it was a Victorian England you never actually lived there. This is where I think my obsession with the supernatural, the fantasy, and all that started. I was full on 100% obsessed with Harry Potter and my reading habits were growing and growing by the minute.

I will also say that it was during this time that I discovered Twilight. Now as much as I don’t think its a well written book and all that, it was also very instrumental into the books that I enjoy now.

Young Adult (19-now)

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And this is where the trouble started :) This is where all the build up, all the YA I’d been obsessed with like Sarah Dessen, and Meg Cabot, Tamora Pierce, Libba Bray, Harry Potter just escalated.

Now, as you guys now, I read YA by the stacks and stacks of books. I consume YA so fast and so easily. I have discovered The Mortal Instruments (and in turn, the Infernal Devices), Percy Jackson and The Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, Seven Realms series, The Hunger Games, Divergent, John Green, The Lux Series, the Legend trilogy, the Grisha trilogy, and so so so so so many more that I couldn’t even begin to tell you them all.

But I’ve also continued my love of contemporary YA as well, as that is what started the journey. I still love Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot to no end. I read John Green now and David Levithan, Morgan Matson (!!!), Jessica Brody, and so many more. And this love of young adult books and what motivates me to do this blog and its what I read most of. I still read adult books but for the most part, its YA all day.

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So that’s my journey through books. Its been a long journey but an enjoyable one and I know its going to continue because my love for books only strengthens every day. I discover new authors and new books every day. I’m so grateful to my parents for pushing me so hard to read as a young child because I’ve been reading for longer than I can remember and books are magic to me, they are therapy, they are entertainment, they are escape.

So what was your reading journey? Did it start early like mine, or was there certain books or series that helped you to become a reader? As always, let me know in the comments!

And if you write a post as well, let me know and I’ll link it in this one :)

A Little Less than Famous is On Sale!

Hey guys, ambulance hope you’re having a GREAT week!

I’m heading off to The Grove in Los Angeles to go to this SUPER awesome panel featuring two of my fave authors, sickness Leigh Bardugo (of the Grisha Trilogy) and Marie Lu (of the Legend Trilogy) and other guests, thumb Michael Dimartino (the creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra) and Seth Hoffman (brains behind The Walking Dead television show).

It should be super fun, and look for an epic contest coming VERY soon :)

But in the meantime, I am SO stoked to share that my second novel, A Little Less than Famous, a contemporary YA/NA novel, is on sale for Kindle for a WHOLE WEEK, for only 99 cents!

You can find it at THIS link!

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Definitely take advantage of this now because on July 5th, it will go back up to 5.99!

Hope you guys are able to check it out!

And stay tuned for a giveaway VERY soon!