Friday, January 10, 2014


Hey Quirks! I have a special treat for you today!

To help spread the word about authors Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando going on tour for their new YA/NA novel ROOMIES, I'm posting my very own ROOMIE story. After you read it, you can check out where Sara and Tara will be visiting on their tour and then enter to win a ROOMIES gift pack!

Sara Zarr                                                                                      Tara Altebrando

My ROOMIE Story:
During my first couple weeks of college, my roommate, Sarah, and I were both involved in sorority recruitment. We were in that stage where you go each night to a themed event. We'd been doing this for a few days already and we were tired of the hustle, bustle, and trying to impress people. To top it off, we'd already made some amazing friends with the girls on our dorm floor, and while they were busy making plans and going out, we were stuck dressing up for events we weren't really into.

One of those nights our dorm friends said they were going to the UC later to watch a movie in the auditorium, and it was a movie we both really wanted to see: Mean Girls. We felt torn - we'd made a commitment to go to these events...but we really, really wanted to hang out with our new friends and go see the movie. Sarah and I debated back and forth about what we should do, and at the end of it, we decided to email our recruitment leaders and let them know that we were withdrawing from recruitment. Sarah and I did this at the exact same time, helping each other write the emails and bolstering each other to hit the send button. When the task was done, we high-fived and, with lighter hearts, got ready for our movie night.

That night turned out to be one of the best of the year. Not only did we have fun with our new group, but that movie became a running theme between us and our friends. We papered our dorm room with quotes, made up songs based on lines in the movie, and even dressed up like the Plastics for a Christmas party (the proof of that one is below). To this day, I remember it as a lesson in following my heart, and I'm glad I got to have that experience with my ROOMIE.

L-R: Me, Shannon, my roomie Sarah, Mona

That was fun! To read more ROOMIE stories, check out NOVL, a YA Tumblr site brought to you by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Now for the important stuff! Hopefully you will get to meet Sara and Tara at one of their confirmed events:

January 12, 2014 - New York, NY: McNally Jackson [more info]
January 15, 2014 - Salt Lake City, UT: The King's English [more info]
January 16, 2014 - Provo, UT: Prove Library [more info]
February 4, 2014 - San Fransisco, CA: Books, Inc, Opera Plaza [more info]
February 5, 2014 - Petaluma, CA: Copperfield's Books [more info]

So what is ROOMIES? Here's the book synopsis from Goodreads:
It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

Sounds great, right?! I know I can't wait to read it! If you don't want to wait around and see if you win the giveaway, you can find ROOMIES at the following online retailers:

Before you jump down to the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win a copy of ROOMIES, here are some important rules and information for this particular giveaway:
  • To enter, you must have a US STREET ADDRESS (no PO Boxes, sorry)
  • The book will be sent out by the publisher, not Writer Quirk.
  • The winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter widget after the giveaway is over.
  • The giveaway will end at 11:59pm CST January 14th.
  • Entering the giveaway means you agree to comply with all terms and conditions.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ink Anticipation [17] - January 2014

Welcome to Ink Anticipation! This feature is for sharing the top five YA releases I am looking forward to this month. 

Don't forget to share your most anticipated releases in the comments!

Goodreads / Release Date: January 7th

Goodreads / Release Date: January 7th

Goodreads / Release Date: January 21st

Goodreads / Release Date: January 28th

Goodreads / Release Date: January 28th

Monday, January 6, 2014

Favority-Fave Reads of 2013

Hey Quirks! Welcome to my favorite reads of 2013 post. Unlike last year, I have limited myself to only 13 books for this list. They are in alphabetical order and all received a rating of 9, 9.5, or 10 from me. Clicking a title will take you to each book's Goodreads page.

All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) by Cristin Terrill ~ Released 2013 (full review)

The Dark Unwinding (The Dark Unwinding #1) by Sharon Cameron ~ Released 2012 (full review)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Released 2013 (full review)

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
Released 2013 (full review)

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Released 2013 (full review)

Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire
Released 2013 (full review)

The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine #2) by Bree Despain Released 2010 (full review)

Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera
Released 2013 (full review)

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Released 2013 (full review)

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Released 2012 (full review)

A Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding #2) by Sharon Cameron ~ Released 2013 (full review)

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi ~ Released 2012 (full review)

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
Released 2011 (full review)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Goodreads Rundown [November - December]

A new year, a new and improved update post! To be honest, not much has changed for these posts except the name, but if you aren't familiar with my Goodreads Reading Challenge updates, this is where I give more detailed stats on what I've read so far this year.
I've reached my goal! I was batting for 90 and I surpassed last year's total of 101! Yay! I think for 2014 I'm going to go ahead and set my goal as 110. ^_^

Reading the stats: In my #/# calculations, the first # pertains only to the current months; the second # is the total thus far for the year.

Main Breakdown 
Books read to date: 109
Books read in November: 3
Books read in December: 10
Average books read per month: 7.5/9
Books reviewed: 5/43
Type Breakdown
YA books: 13/92
Non-YA books: 2/17
Print books: 3/37
Audiobooks: 12/72

 Genre Breakdown
Paranormal: 12/49
Contemporary: 0/12
Fantasy: 0/4
Science Fiction: 0/14
High Concept: 0/2
Historical: 0/6
Dystopian/Apocalyptic: 0/6
Mystery/Thriller: 2/8
Classic: 1/8
Reference/Craft: 0/0

 Title and Review Breakdown
Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way by Lisi Harrison
Back and Deader Than Ever by Lisi Harrison
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (WQ Review)
What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
 City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (WQ Review)
Fade Away by Harlan Coben
Back Spin by Harlan Coben
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (WQ Review pending)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard (WQ Series Review)
The Runaway Queen by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Reese Brennan
The Midnight Heir by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
The Rise of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson 
Infinityglass by Myra McEntire (WQ Review)

How did your 2013 reading challenge go?
Link a post or review if you wish! ^_^

Thursday, January 2, 2014

From Where I'm Standing [13] - 2013: The Year of Making Memories

Well, quirks, I did it again. After intending to do more FWIS posts this year, I still only posted two in 2013 (Bringing YA 2 U and SOKY 2013). The sad thing is, I went to some amazing events and met some of the most spectacular authors that I will probably never have the chance to meet again, as well as some I adore and got to keep running in to at other events.

It was also an exciting year in my personal life. I got to celebrate my second wedding anniversary with Captain Italian and my little sister graduated college. Meg (Myth-Illogical) had a baby boy, and my friend Sina had twins. I got to see my buddy Gina and her daughter a few times when she came to visit, and my friend Sarah got engaged. And my friend Caitlyn continued to be awesome and supportive and even made me some more WQ jewelry (because she's amazing that way).

On top of all that, I got to know my friend and fellow blogger Hannah (The Book Vortex) better and we spent a lot of time on trips together this year, making some incredible and unbelievable memories. So I'm just going to do as I did last year and run through the events I didn't post about in 2013. There will be many pictures, so apologies in advance.

Hannah created an event in June called Forever YA. The panel included Courtney C. Stevens (Faking Normal), Kristin O'Donnell Tubb (The 13th Sign), Sharon Cameron (A Spark Unseen), Heather L. Reid (Pretty Dark Nothing), and Amanda Havard (Body & Blood). Lauren from The Housework Can Wait was the moderator. Not only was this an amazing group, but the panel itself was so fun and informative. We got to hear the authors speak about their process, read from their books, and answer questions. Lauren was a great moderator and Hannah did a fantistic job organizing everything. Afterwards, we all got to go out to lunch with some of the authors and the audience.

L-R: Lauren, Courtney C. Stevens, Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, Sharon Cameron
Heather L. Reid and Amanda Havard

Nashville got really lucky in 2013 because famed author Neil Gaiman put the city as a stop on his final book signing tour. Meg and I could not miss it so we drove to the event, which was beyond amazing. Gaiman read from his latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, brought on Béla Fleck to accompany a reading from his children's book, Fortunately, the Milk, and answered questions from the huge audience. Then it was time for the signing. Each section was drawn from a bowl, and of course, Meg and mine's section was one of the very last. We waited 4-5 hours in the auditorium before we could join the line, but it was so worth it.

L-R: Me, Niki Castle (Parnassus Books), Neil Gaiman (!!!)

Meg and I again journeyed to Nashville for the Vicious launch party. If you've seen my blog, you've more than likely seen something about the amazing writer Victoria Schwab. While Vicious is not a YA novel, Victoria is one of my faves, so I had to be there. She read from the book (which was chilling), served awesome refreshments, and handed out masks (black=hero; red=villain) for everyone to wear. On top of that, my friend Bekah was also able to join us for her first taste of the book world and how excitable we book people are. All in all it was a great night!

Victoria Schwab
Bekah and me

My favorite event of the year is always the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. SoFest always has amazing authors and this year was no exception. In fact, there were more YA panels this year, which meant we (Hannah and I) could not possibly make it to them all and the signings as well, so there was a lot of sitting for a few minutes in one panel, dashing to another, then rushing to a signing.

L-R: Me, Lauren Morrill, Jennifer E. Smith, Sarah Dessen, Hannah

The first panel we attended was packed as the authors speaking were Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More), Jennifer E. Smith (This is What Happy Looks Like), and Lauren Morrill (Meant to Be). Then we split up and I went to the panel featuring Sonia Gensler (The Dark Between), Aprilynne Pike (Earthbound), and Teal Haviland (Inception), while Hannah ended up meeting one of her all-time favorite authors, Margaret Peterson Haddix (The Missing series).

L-R: Aprilynne Pike, Sonia Gensler, Teal Haviland
Margaret Peterson Haddix and Hannah

On the second day of SoFest, we got to see some of a panel featuring J.J. Howard (That Time I Joined the Circus), Gabrielle Zevin (In the Age of Love and Chocolate), and Terra Elan McVoy (Criminal). Then I got to see a bit of the one with Miranda Kenneally (Racing Savannah) and Lauren Morrill, and then we moved on to another with Sharon Cameron and Myra McEntire (Infinityglass). After that, we had to rush to get to a signing with C.J. Redwine (Deception), Kat Zhang (Once We Were), and Amy Rose Capetta (Entangled).

L-R: J.J. Howard, Gabrielle Zevin, Terra Elan McVoy
Miranda Kenneally and Lauren Morrill
Sharon Cameron and Myra McEntire
L-R: C.J. Redwine, Kat Zhang, Amy Rose Capetta

And while all of SoFest is fun, the night of the first day, Hannah and I got to have quite an experience. Let me explain. Hannah is a long-distance intern for Sharon Cameron, and they had planned to meet and talk about writing, and since I was the one that drove, I was invited along (yay for me!).

Then, as I'm standing in line at a signing, Hannah comes up to me and says that before we go to dinner, Sharon and some other authors are going to a reception held for the authors featured at the festival. You had to be with an author to get in, so Sharon was going to be Hannah's "date" and my date turned out to be J.J. Howard, who is so very cool. At the reception, we were joined by Margaret Peterson Haddix, and the five of us stood around eating finger foods and chatting while authors of many ilks milled around us. There was live music, drinks, and lots of talking and laughing. It was cool.

L-R: Hannah, Sharon Cameron, Margaret Peterson Haddix, J.J. Howard, me

Then the group decided to go to dinner, so we all walked to a small Italian place nearby and the five of us ate dinner and talked about books and writing and whatever else. It was beyond surreal for me and Hannah. After that, Sharon still wanted to talk to Hannah (as they'd never really gotten to have their planned conversation) and we ended up sitting in Sharon's car for two hours talking about writing and learning so, so much. And when we walked to our car at the end of the night, we still couldn't believe all that had happened. So yeah. Best. SoFest. Yet.

Our last big trip was to YALLFest in Charleston, South Carolina. I drove to Hannah's house, and then we drove the seven hours, with Hannah's teenage cousins in tow, and made it to our hotel. We made some memories swimming (still can't believe I did that, girls) and going out to eat and making friends with our server.

Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi
Gayle Forman

Then the next day we got up and headed to the event. Now, let me preface this by saying I am very thankful that all these wonderful authors were brought together and available for panels and signings. But....the event was a hot mess. You could either go to the panels or get things signed. There wasn't time for both due to the way things were scheduled on top of each other and the extremely long lines (fantastic turnout = lots and lots of standing). Since I'd brought a bunch of my books from home, I chose to have stuff signed.

Lisi Harrison

I got to meet several authors, but for some of my books I just had to hand them off to friends (thanks Liz and Debbie!) and friendly strangers to have signed while I stood in another line. I also didn't get a lot of pictures because I forgot my camera at home and my phone died halfway through the day. My biggest regrets are that I didn't get a picture with Libba Bray (The Diviners), who was super sweet and such a lovely person, and that I didn't get to meet Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park).

Leigh Bardugo
Alexandra Bracken

But I did get to meet Lisi Harrison (Pretenders), Lauren Oliver (Panic), Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade), Libba Bray, and Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm). I also got to see Victoria Schwab, Marie Lu (Champion), and Kami Garcia (Unbreakable) again.

Lauren Oliver

And even if I didn't get to meet them, I got books signed by Rainbow Rowell, Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me), Veronica Rossi (Through the Ever Night), and Veronica Roth (Allegiant). And despite not going to her signing or the keynote speech, Hannah and I saw Veronica Roth not once, but twice. The first time was when she walked by us at the parking garage, and the second time was when she left the restaurant she was eating at (inside), which we were also eating at (outside). That was pretty cool (and she is really tall!).

Veronica Rossi

Well, that's it! I plan to try again this year and post these trips as they happen rather than just at the end of the year.

Did you go on any big book trips in 2013?
Have any planned for 2014?
Let me know in the comments!