Event Coverage + Giveaway: Fierce Reads Spring Tour 2013 – The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis, TN


On June 11, 2013 I attended my first ever author signing and the first ever (but hopefully not the last) Fierce Reads event to come to the Memphis area. Featured at the event were four amazing Macmillan authors: Anna Banks (Of Poseidon, Of Triton), Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm), Jessica Brody (Unremembered), and Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14, Sky On Fire).

Needless to say, I was on Cloud 9. Not only was it my first signing, but I had the honor of meeting some of my favorite authors and some of the most intelligent, hilarious, and amazing women I’ve ever known.

tohrucryingWhen the day arrived, I spent all of it pretty much freaking out. I sat at work from 6:30am until 2:30pm literally shaking and imagining everything that could possibly go wrong. Pathetic, right? My co-workers probably thought I was on crack. But ANYWAY, 2:30pm finally arrived and I took off like a bat out of hell. I knew I had to make the hour drive to my house to change clothes and finish crafting the gift I’d been working on for one of the authors. Then I had to drive 20 minutes back into the city to pick up my husband from his job, and we’d be on our way. So of course I ended up being late and then the husband couldn’t figure out where I’d parked (which was right in front of the hospital, for the record) so we didn’t get on the road until a good 30 minutes after my goal departure time. Which of course meant that by the time we walked in to The Booksellers at Laurelwood, we were about 5 minutes late and the event had already started. This made me even more nervous…and then the cherry on top was me attempting to take a picture of the author panel and forgetting my phone wasn’t silenced until the extremely loud shutter sounded off in the middle of Emmy talking.

I could have died.

But things got so much better afterwards that soon my nervousness was long forgotten. The event moderator started by having each of the authors talk about their stories. This was incredibly informative and interesting because while I’d heard of them and their books, I knew very little about the plots for Emmy’s or Anna’s. And hearing Jessica and Leigh talk about their plots was interesting as well because it wasn’t just some blurb from the dust jacket – I was getting to hear the authors themselves tell me about their stories and it was amazing.


I couldn’t get Emmy in the shot! :(

my-swagAfter the introductions, the moderator opened the floor for questions. My hand immediately shot up and I asked the question I’d been preparing for all day: “My question is for Leigh. How did the idea for the Darkling come to you?” Before she could answer, I was awarded with a bottle of blue Siege and Storm nail polish for being one of the first 5 people to ask a question. In addition, Jessica Brody announced that I had also won a flash drive with some special extras for her book, Unremembered, including a never-before-seen sneak peek of book 2, Unforgotten because I was the first to use the code word for the event (Darkling)! (You can see the swag I won in the picture over there < < - nail polish, flash drive, a bookmark from Leigh made by Hebel Design, and a triton charm from Anna also made by Hebel Design.)

Did I mention Cloud 9??

I was so excited that I don’t even remember how Leigh responded – or what Jessica, Emmy, and Anna said when Leigh asked them to talk about how they’d come up with their main characters. Thus we learned our first Rookie Event Goer lesson: next time we’ll remember to bring the flip cam for recording! I did manage to take notes on a few of the questions however.

Q: If you were going to use one word to describe your story, what would it be?

Emmy: Torque!
Jessica: Memorable.
Anna: Romance.
Leigh: Epic.

Q: If you hadn’t become an author, what would you be?

Emmy: A midwife! Jessica: A midwife..? Wha…why? Emmy: Because I love babies and children!
*everyone laughs*
Jessica: I’d be a pro poker player.
Anna: I’d be in NASA.
Leigh: I’ve always been into makeup and graphics so I’d probably be a special effects makeup artist.

Q: If the apocalypse happened, what would be the one thing you’d miss most about the world as it is now?

Emmy: Hot baths…
Jessica: My iPad.
Anna: Fried chicken. *laughter* Leigh: Fried chicken, really? Anna: What? I love fried chicken.
Leigh: Hmm…well I’m going to go with Project Runway. I’ve recently become addicted so yeah.

Q: If you could time travel to any time period, what would it be?

Emmy: Shakespearean England.
Jessica: I’d go to the time of Marie Antoinette….but before she made the heads roll. I’d skip out on that.
Anna: I’d go to the 1700s because pale, chubby chicks were considered attractive then.
*more laughter*
Leigh: I’d go to the future. We pretty much already know what happened in the past – I want to see what’s to come.

Once we wrapped up with the questions we were able to get in line for cupcakes, punch, and book signing. THREE OF THE BEST THINGS ON THE PLANET. Jason (the hubby) and I somehow ended up at the end of the line but it moved quite quickly so it wasn’t bad. I knew I probably needed to be at the end of the line anyway because I had about 50,000 things for the authors to sign. As soon as I reached Leigh and presented her with the gift I’d made her, she knew immediately who I was; but if that wasn’t awesome enough, Anna, Jessica, and Emmy all recognized me too! Talk about a confidence booster. It made me feel really good that our conversations via Twitter were memorable enough to forge connections between us. I finally got to tell Brody about my undying love for her (I’ve been a fan since her first book, The Infidelity Files) and she pretended not to be totally creeped out. And did they SIGN ALL THE THINGS?? Yes they did.

Which means I have awesome stuff to giveaway because, you know, I’m awesome like that.

BUT FIRST: PICTURES! (Click to see larger versions.)

bookshirtwreath leighwearingwreath2 meandanna

meandjessica meandemmy group

And of course there was the obligatory Emmy pose:

tennesseewelcomeMaking the 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Memphis was beyond worth it; even my husband (who knew nothing about these authors before the event, other than my harassment about him needing to read Shadow and Bone) had a wonderful time. When we got home he went straight in and added all of their books to his to-read list and started Shadow and Bone that night! I was so proud! Now he’s almost done with Siege and Storm and I’m just jealous because he has more time to read than I do…CAN I PLEASE JUST CATCH A BREAK?? *ahem* Sorry. Anyway, now if I could just get him to write some reviews for the blog, he’d be like…the perfect husband. Ok, ok, he’s already pretty perfect. But he’d be even perfecter then. *side eyes hubby*

Grisha Crafting

As you can see in the pictures I did a bit of crafting for this event – the mini-wreath I gave Leigh and the shirt I wore were both made by me (with some help from the hubby – he designed the stag antlers!). Both Leigh and Emmy have suggested that I should start an Etsy store selling these items and after some careful consideration, I’ve decided to do just that! I’ll be announcing it here on the blog when everything goes “official” but, in the meantime, if you’re interested in either item you can feel free to contact me for a price quote!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…


One lucky person will win a signed copy of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, signed swag (including a sneak peek booklet of Unremebered and a temporary tattoo) from Jessica Brody, and signed bookmarks from Emmy Laybourne and Anna Banks!


Contest is open to US residents only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends at 12:01 am on August 31, 2013.

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About the author /

Hi. My name is Shannon and I like books. And photography. And video games. I use this space to talk about books, review books, and generally participate in badassery.


  1. Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads

    I have been to one, but only one sadly! I went to the YA2U event in Tennessee with Beth Revis, Marie Lu, Victoria Schwaab, Marissa Meyer, and Megan Shepherd. It was awesome! I had to drive 6 hours just to go to that one, since nothing exciting ever comes to Ohio. My state is so lame lol.
    I’d looooove to meet Tahereh Mafi! I’ve been jonesing for one of her defaced copies of Unravel Me!

    • Shannon

      J, my state is lame too! I live in Arkansas and nothing ever happens here – and places like Dallas are just too far away to be financially sound when all you want to do is meet an author but you’re broke, like me, lol. I was beyond ecstatic when I saw that the Fierce Reads tour was coming to Memphis. Hopefully there will be more events that I can attend in the future!

      And Tahereh Mafi is NUMERO UNO on my list of authors I want to meet. I managed to score a personalized signed copy of Unravel Me through a friend but I didn’t get to meet her and the book is not defaced. I NEED A DEFACED COPY. So yeah, totally feel you there.

  2. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    I’m glad you had a great time! It’s pretty awesome that you got some cool stuff just for asking a question, that’s really awesome of them. I’ve been to two book signings. One was for Zahi Hawass (former Head of Antiquities in Egypt) which was after his lecture and the other was for Lauren Morriel, Lauren Oliver, and Lenore Applehans. I’d definitely say that my favorite was the three awesome YA ladies, they were so sweet and they actually had time to talk to everyone.

    • Shannon

      Thank you Michelle! I know, the whole thing was just full of awesomeness. I hope that I’ll get to attend many more book signings in the future but they are hard to get to because of where I live and my frugal means as we put my hubs through pharmacy school…

  3. Kathy L.

    I once went to an author signing be accident! I was just going to the book store and Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs were both there! I ended up buying Tempest Rising and getting it signed! I didn’t talk much with them and this was several years ago so I can’t recall exactly what was said, but I remember thinking they were very nice.

    • Shannon

      Wow, that’s gotta be one of the coolest accidents that’s ever happened to you, right? Haha!

  4. river

    I’ve only been to one… in university I met Jacqueline Carey (she’s from my state! Not too far from my hometown) and I remember the crowd was SO small… I ended up getting her to sign a book for a friend and totally forgot to get her to sing one for me!!! lol. I can’t wait until I’m back in the USA and can go to book signings!!!

    • Shannon

      Ack, that sucks! I was so excited at this signing that I was afraid I’d forget to have someone sign something. I think I managed to get it all though!

      You’ll have to get me some signed books once you get here, lol. Oh, the woes of living in a small state.

  5. Christine

    I haven’t been to an author event, but I would love to meet Leigh Bardugo.

    • Shannon

      Leigh is the best, you would love her! She’s so smart and REALLY funny!

  6. Erin Albert Books

    I’ve been to one and met Nicholas Sparks. But I would love to go and meet more YA authors. In my fantasy world, I’m on tour with some myself one day!! ;)

    • Shannon

      Erin, that would be so awesome! I believe it will happen!!! And when it does, don’t forget about us little people, ok? ;D

  7. Lindsay Katz

    That is so cool you got to meet all of them! I am still waiting to get to an author signing, one of these days hopefully!

    • Shannon

      My fingers are crossed for you!

  8. Crystal Leach

    I’ve never been to a signing but hope to make the next one in Memphis!

    • Shannon

      The Harlequin Teen #YEAHYA tour is in Memphis on the 16th! I’ll be there, will you??

  9. Danielle

    That is soo awesome! I’ve never been to a book signing!! The not so great perks of living in the middle of the U.S! Lol looks like you have a wonderful time :) I would love to see all my fav authors! Ha which is many!!

    • Shannon

      Don’t worry, I feel your pain! I live in the middle of the US too, and in a really small state at that. I was beside myself when I saw that the Fierce Reads tour was coming to Memphis! Sure, it was a drive – but 2 and 1/2 hours is much better than the 6-7 it takes to get to Dallas!

  10. Wendy

    Love what you made for Leigh! What’d you make it out of? So cool!! Wish we were closer and then we could’ve gone to the same one together! I went to the stop by me alone and got caught in traffic and was late so I totally know exactly how you felt!!! But they seriously are the sweetest!!

    Also, ummm awesome that you got your husband to read YA! I also tried to force my fiance to read shadow & bone, hehe. He actually said he’d think about it. It’s a step!

    • Shannon

      I make these wreaths pretty often – it’s mostly deco mesh and pipe cleaner! I wish we were closer too, would have been awesome to go together! Maybe someday when I come visit you in Seattle, YES???

      And yes, I love it that the hubs reads YA with me. He finished Siege and Storm before I did! Hopefully your fiance will decide to take the plunge!

      • Wendy

        Yes!! Come visit!!! =D

        Yeah, he doesn’t have a lot of time to read but I’m not-so-subtly urging him. =) He does read (mostly sci-fi, lots of stephen king) so it should take too much for him to take the YA plunge!

        • Shannon

          My hubby was the same way, he liked sci-fi and mystery so it was pretty easy to ease him into YA – now he’s like me and it’s almost all he reads! :D

  11. Kelley

    Wow, sounds like you had a blast! So awesome that you won some Grisha nail polish – I”m so jealous! :D Also, can I just say how freaking awesome it is that your husband joins you for events like this and then GOES HOME AND ADDS THEIR BOOKS TO HIS TBR? So cool. <3

    • Shannon

      DEFINITELY had a blast – one of the most fun nights of my life! After we left the signing we went down to Beale St. and listened to the live band at B.B. King’s Blues Club; perfect end to a great night!

      And yeah, my hubs is pretty cool…I snagged a good one. ;D

  12. whatanerdgirlsays

    I have been to so many book signings, I feel so lucky. I’ve really loved all the ones I’ve been to this year. I have met Cassandra Clare a few times, Jessica Brody, Morgan Matson, Andrew Smith, Veronica Roth, Sarah Dessen, Leigh Bardugo. I love going to these events and mingling with the authors. Its also been really cool to meet these authors as a blogger and have them remember you because you’ve covered their event or their novel, or interviewed them or something. It sounds like this tour stop was super fun. I love allll of these authors so that’s just SO awesome for you!

    • Shannon

      Wow, you are very lucky indeed! I did have a lot of fun, one of the most fun nights of my life! Thanks so much!

  13. Mariam Dhalai

    I have never been to a book signing before,it would be amazing if I attend one. I would love to go to a book signing from all my favorite authors! Can’t choose just ONE lol!

  14. Esther Saavedra

    I have been to only one :(((
    I went to a Michelle Hodkin signing in Miami. And it was excellent. I loved seeing someone I admired in writing, in person. I would love to attend more, many many more. Like all of them heh. boOOOOooKs!

  15. Samantha Randolph

    I have been to one! I went to the SOKYBookFest a few months ago and loved it. They had I think about 200 authors signing, and I bought lots of awesome books and met lots of awesome authors! I’m looking to go to a couple later this year as well.

  16. Leanne

    That’s so awesome all the authors recognized you! And omgosh an hour commute to work? YUCK! And omgosh you’re going to open an Etsy store?! That’s rad! I actually considered opening my own, at least for the summer, but I’m going to think it over a bit more before making a decision. It’s pretty fun you got your husband interested in all those books just from getting him to go to a book signing with you. :)

  17. almendra

    no i havenĀ“t been in a author event or a signing !! i would like to see veronica roth or maybe julie kagawa … ijij

    thanks for the giveaway

  18. Angie

    How fun and exciting!! I love to go to author events.. this one came through my town but I didn’t make it over there. :( Love the pictures! So nice they take time to take pictures with everyone. The author events I have been to the authors won’t pose you have to do like a photo drive by with them.

    Angela’s Anxious Life

  19. Jalyn

    I went to see Beth Fantaskey at a library once. She was awesome! She answered so many questions and gave advice about writing. I’m also planning a trip to Charleston, SC for YALLfest this November. I can’t wait! :)

  20. Hannah

    Nope never been to a signing before! But i would love to meet Sarah Dessen! And many more!!
    Thanks for this great giveaway!<3<3 Good luck to everyone:)

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Hi. My name is Shannon and I like books. And photography. And video games. I use this space to talk about books and particpate in badassery. You can read a bit more about my awesomeness and how Twilight Sleep came to be (the name has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, contrary to popular belief) on the about page. :]

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