A Week of Awesome (mostly) + GIVEAWAYS!

Looking back, it’s hard to believe I only started this whole book blogging thing only 2 months ago. In that short time I’ve experienced A LOT of new things; some of those experiences have been really good (like REALLY good) and some of them have been, well…not so good. But overall I’ve had positive experiences and for that I’m very grateful.

You see, when I first decided, “Hey, I’ll blog about books!” there were a lot of things I didn’t know. One being how important it would become to me. Another being just how difficult it can be sometimes. I’ve yet to cry over anything…but I’ve definitely spent some days (and nights) feeling sad, angry, depressed, and stressed to the max. Of course, I had to realize that these were emotions I was inflicting on myself – unnecessarily – to overcome them. Finding something you absolutely love to do, more than just about any other thing you could do, and then having to accept that you don’t really have the time or energy or resources or support to do it…that’s devastating. Especially when you’re surrounded by people who DO (at least appear to) have those things.

Thankfully, I’ve also been surrounded by some amazing friends – people I’ve never even met, but truly consider friends – who have been a crucial part of not only my “success” as a book blogger (success in that I haven’t given up yet) but also my continued sanity*. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least some of them (I am SO sorry if you feel you should be here and are not – feel free to berate me on Twitter!) so…a huge, heartfelt thank you to Octavia @ Read. Sleep. Repeat., Christine at Oh Chrys!, Nancy at Tumbling Books, Kelly at Effortlessly Reading, Meagan at Reviewing Wonderland (#BEA14 OR BUST!); River at Innocence Walker, Kelley at Another Novel Read, Wendy at Book Scents, Ashley at Nose Graze, Anna at Anna Marie Moore Designs, Natalie at Books, Etc., Candice at Grown Up YA, Samantha at NeverCat Books, Claire at Bitches With Books, Erin Albert, E.J. Stevens, Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner, Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, Emmy Laybourne, Anna Banks, and anyone else who has ever offered me kind and/or encouraging words about Twilight Sleep. Truly, you are my people. *sniffle* ♥


NOW THAT THAT’S OUTTA THE WAY. This week was particularly amazing for three reasons, reasons which I share with you because I’m a newbie and totally excited and not in any way to gloat. I can’t help but talk about them because I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t!

Reason #1

Epic Reads is like an essential vitamin to a book blogger. To THIS book blogger, anyway. I’ve been following them for a LONG TIME – much longer than I’ve actually been blogging about books. One of the things I love most is their Wednesday afternoon video stream known as #TeaTime. #TeaTime is…well, magical. And I say that in all seriousness. Never has something so frivolous had such a powerful effect on the state of my well-being – other than books. And music I guess. BUT ANYWAY, I look forward to Wednesday afternoons because I know I’m going to come away from #TeaTime feeling refreshed, pumped about books, and just plain ol’ goofy-grin-happy. This Wednesday was a little sad because the ladies announced that #TeaTime would be cut back to bi-weekly for the summer while they work on ways to improve it. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with myself every other Wednesday from 2:45-3:15pm now (my boss would probably enjoy it if I worked, but what fun is that?) but I hope that all shall return to normal once autumn arrives. But what made this Wednesday’s #TeaTime super special was the fact that not only did I get a shoutout from the hosts (Margot and Aubrey) on the air, but I also won the giveaway – which was a copy of either RUSH by Eve Silver, The Ward by Jordana Frankel, or In the After by Dimetria Lunetta PLUS an unrevealed ARC!



There was a lot of dancing on my end. Good thing I’d stayed home to take a mental health/reading day. *thumbs up*

Reason #2

I sent my first request for an ARC (advance reader copy) direct to a publisher and not only did they send me my request, THEY SHIPPED IT NEXT DAY AIR. I am currently a little in love with the wonderful folks at Disney/Hyperion. Thank you SO MUCH for deeming me worthy enough to enjoy an ARC of one of my most anticipated books of the year:

thesebrokenstarsIt’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

Reason #3

As if 1 and 2 weren’t amazing enough in themselves, 3 absolutely takes the cake.

I ATTENDED MY FIRST EVER BOOK TOUR/AUTHOR SIGNING! The hubby and I drove to Memphis Tuesday evening to see the wonderful ladies of the Fierce Reads summer tour: Jessica Brody, Anna Banks, Emmy Laybourne, and Leigh Bardugo!!! Naturally I was excited because it was my first signing, but I was even more excited because I was getting to see two of my favorite authors of all time, Jessica and Leigh! I’d never read anything by Emmy or Anna although their books are on my to-read list; but after hearing them talk about their books I’m definitely planning to remedy that soon. It was such a great night – I finally got to tell Brody about my undying love for her the fact that I’ve been a fan/follower/stalker since her FIRST book and I discovered that they are four of the most intelligent and HILARIOUS authors/women on the face of the planet. They even impressed my husband so much that he added all of them to his to-read list too, and immediately started Leigh’s Shadow and Bone when we got home (at 1am Wednesday morning). And when we went up for the signing, they knew who I was and seemed genuinely happy and excited about meeting me in person! Talk about boosting a person’s confidence. They loaded me down with TONS of swag to give away to some of my lucky readers and treated me to a few things for myself (Leigh gave me a bookmark from Hebel Design and Jessica gave me a flash drive with lots of extras from her book Unremembered, including a never-before-seen excerpt from the second book, Unforgotten). It was amazing. The hubby and I ended the night on Beale St. in one of my favorite places, B.B. King’s Blues Club, where we enjoyed some mellow blues and old school before driving home. Quite possibly the best Tuesday night I’ve ever had.

I’ll be doing full event coverage of the Fierce Reads tour experience on Monday the 17th, where I’ll be giving away the first of several swag packs from the authors! Be sure you stop by and check it out. :D

So that’s a recap of the highlights of my week! Did anything super-awesome happen to you this week? If so, tell me about it! If not, you can tell me that too. :] And, because I’ve been feeling very blessed and therefore very generous all week, how about we do a giveaway?? Yes, I like that idea. It’s past time to kick off this Summer of Giveaways! I kind of unofficially started it this week by gracing some lucky readers with $5 Amazon gift cards all day Wednesday, but let’s go bigger.


Giveaway #1

I’ve been tweeting about this but so far it hasn’t garnered any real interest, so maybe if I post it here it’ll be all official sounding and more people will get excited about it! That being said:

My 50th email and Bloglovin’ subscribers will both receive a $25 gift card for Amazon or a bookstore of their choice!

The catch: I’m not revealing where I currently stand on subscribers for either method. So you won’t know if you’ve won until you sign up – and you can’t win unless you sign up. Ahhh, a little tricksy, huh? But for $50 I figure I deserve something too. :P


Note: Please be sure you’ve read our giveaway policy before subscribing to win. This particular giveaway is open internationally, but be aware that the gift amount($25) is USD and if you choose a bookstore outside of the US, it must be able to process a USD payment.

Giveaway #2

I’m also giving away FIVE copies of The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead to 5 lucky winners! The Indigo Spell is book 3 in her Vampire Academy spin-off series, Bloodlines – so keep that in mind when you enter. If you haven’t already read books 1 and 2, you’ll definitely want/need to before reading this one! Here’s the blurb:

theindigospellIn the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

To enter, just use the widget below! This giveaway is for US residents only (so sorry Int’l folks) and the giveaway and privacy policies mentioned before also apply here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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. Kelley (Another Novel Read)

    Yaaaay, I’m so glad you decided to stick with it, even if you don’t have as much time for blogging as you want to have. That is so cool about the #TeaTime shoutout and giveaway! I’ve never seen the tea time thing, but I’ve heard a lot of people love it, and I do follow their blog. Lots of fun. :)

    OMFG I am so jealous that you got These Broken Stars! Your success story has inspired me to try requesting one too! (Wait, I think my sister has a copy, so I can just borrow hers.)

    Okay, it is so awesome that your husband joined you at the Fierce Reads tour and that he’s reading Shadow and Bone! I hope he loves it. :D And SOOOO cool that the authors recognized you and gave you all kinds of swag! I love author events, because it’s so much fun connecting with them. :D

    Congrats on all the awesomeness!
    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted…Review: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaMy Profile

    • Shannon

      Yes….there are still days where I want to throw my hands up and just say forget it, but then I realize I’m acting like a kid and I get over it, haha. Did your sister let you borrow her copy of TBS?? You’ll probably get to read it before I will so I’m interested to hear what you think about it!

      And yes, I’ve got a pretty awesome hubby – so far he is definitely loving Shadow and Bone! He’s almost done and I told him he had to wait on me to finish like 3 books so that we could read Siege and Storm together and he was like “Nuh uh! You better read fast!” lol.

      The author event was definitely a big highlight of my year so far. I’m so glad I got to go and got to meet some amazing authors. I hope that I’ll get to go to many more! Thank you for the congrats!

      • Kelley (Another Novel Read)

        I haven’t borrowed TBS from my sister yet, since my TBR is pretty hefty right now, but I hope to read it by the end of the summer. I don’t blame your husband for not wanting to wait to read Siege and Storm! I just finished it and it was pretty awesome. Although I do think that letting Shadow and Bone sink in a little before getting to Siege and Storm is a nice idea. Savor it a little!
        Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted…Book Bloggery Week-in-Review (12)My Profile

  2. Erin Albert Books

    SQUEAL!!!! I so <3 Adrian!!!!

    My week as been insane!

    Thanks for the shout out above, my dear!! <3

  3. Wendy

    Awww, thanks for the shout out!! =)

    I’m always sad that I miss #teatime because I’m never available to join in during it. =( maybe one day…

    Also your gifs are awesome and hilarious! =) Loved ’em! Andd so exciting about These broken stars!!

    Didn’t enter the giveaway because I have yet to read VA. Hopefully that mailman brings it to me soooon!
    Wendy recently posted…Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoMy Profile

    • Shannon

      My pleasure, Wendy – thank you for being so kind and encouraging to me! I hate that you miss #TeaTime…technically I shouldn’t be watching it since I’m at work when it comes on but I can’t resist when it brings me such happiness – and trust me, I need some happiness when I’m at work… :-/

      I’m glad you enjoyed the gifs! I almost never use them so I was thinking I probably went a little overboard, lol.

  4. Samantha

    Well I for one am very glad that you stuck with it! I love chatting with you on twitter and reading your blog posts! I’m super jelly you got to meet Leigh Bardugo and got an ARC of These Broken Stars! It looks really good!

    • Shannon

      Thank you Samantha! I love chatting with you as well! I’m really glad we got to meet and are now getting to know each other. :D I’ll be sure to let everyone know what I think about TBS!

      • Samantha

        Me too! And I forgot to say thanks so much for the shout out! :)

  5. Octavia @ Read. Sleep. Repeat.

    Awww thanks for the shout out!! I’m happy you decided to to quit…although honestly if you would have tried I probably, no I DEFINITELY, would have bugged you to pick it back up!

    I wish I could have went to the signing with you :'( . I ate a pint of ice cream to comfort me….and a bottle of wine….and a medium pizza….and a party sized bag of Lays Wavy…with an entire container of helluva good dip. Don’t judge me! I don’t have a problem!! *runs away screaming*
    Octavia @ Read. Sleep. Repeat. recently posted…Quick UpdateMy Profile

    • Shannon

      Haha, I’m glad you got my back! I really really wish you could have gone with me as well. I was SO sad when you told me you wouldn’t be able to make it. :'( And there’s no way I’m judging you because if it would have been the other way around I would have done the same – and then some!

      The people at that bookstore told me that they are hoping to bring in a lot more tours/authors. I will definitely be keeping an eye on them – maybe someone else awesome will come and things will work out where we can have more time to plan and increase the odds of you actually being able to make it! <3

      *chases after you with kisses*

  6. Christine @ Oh, Chrys!

    LOL. Those GIFs werre amazing. A big old congratulations to you with all these new experiences! I mean, I have never ever requested a book from the publisher directly, but you did with one of the hardest publishers around from what I hear. And then you won on TeaTime! Dang, you are so lucky! I know you enjoyed attending your first author event, I have yet to do so too. So awesome! Really hope all this awesomeness continues, and thanks for the giveaways!

    • Christine @ Oh, Chrys!

      Oh, almost forgot — THANKS FOR THE MENTION! I am so honored that you find me as a friend, as I do you. :D <3

      • Shannon

        Of course!!! Thank YOU for being such an awesome friend and helping me so much with getting into this book blogging thing. If it wasn’t for you and Octavia and a few others I seriously don’t know what I would have done! BFFs FOREVA. WORD TO YA MOTHA.

        I’m actually kind of freaking out about the luck thing because so much awesomeness happened all at once. Usually I’m not what you would call lucky – just the opposite, in fact. And before last week I could count on one hand the number of times I’d won something. *looks around warily* I seriously feel like the Universe is setting me up for something cray cray. *waits for the other shoe*

  7. river

    I’m late to the party but YAY YAY YAY!!! This post is full of awesome and I’m so excited for you! And a little jealous that you got to go to Fierce Reads!!! Waaahh~ someday I’ll go, lol. Congrats on all your goodies and winnings and ARCS :Dv

  8. Christine

    My week went pretty good. Thank you for the giveaway!

  9. Makaela

    This is one awesome giveaway! My week was great, found new/fresh library books when I went to the library last weekend, so pretty exciting.

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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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