The time it was a clear your shelf hop

Time for another giveaway hop!

This one is hosted by BookHounds and I Am A Reader, Not a Writer.

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I’ve been slowly trying to get rid of the books that are taking over my apartment.  As some of you know, SDCC was last month and somehow I came home with even more books.  So for this hop, I’m giving away some of the books I got while I was there. Up for grabs:

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Winner can choose 1 of the arcs in the above photo. Click the title to be taken to the Goodreads page.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Unmarked by Kami Garcia {signed}

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes {signed}

Contest is international and additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you’ve entered here, check out all of the other blogs on the hop [listed below] for a bazillion chances to win other phenomenal books! You can also check out the host blogs at BookHounds and I Am a Reader.

The time I reviewed a book {9}

I was invited to be part of the Eternal Night blog tour a couple of days after reading the book.  I had really enjoyed reading it, so of course I agreed.

EN Blog Tour

Before we get to my review and the interview answer from Carina, let’s check out the book.

22617086There are gods among us…

Six young gods are hiding in plain sight among mortals, living secretly in cities across the world. From lavish penthouse soirees to pulsing underground clubs, for them, the party literally never ends. Until now.

On a hot June morning, the body of a beautiful girl is found floating in the rooftop pool of the Jefferson Hotel, her white-ink tattoos revealing the story of a life much longer than seems possible. Only the immortals know the truth: Nadia was the goddess of hope. Now she’s gone, and the world as they know it is ending. The Hudson River has turned blood red. Storms rage overhead. Mania is rapidly spreading across the globe.

It is up to the remaining gods—Lola, Dean, Weston, Mark, Nike and Peitha—to put aside centuries of betrayal and heartbreak, and stop the mysterious source of darkness that is taking over… before the sun sets forever.

Carina Adly MacKenzie, writer for The CW’s hit series “The Originals,” has penned a steamy, romantic, and ultimately redemptive story of forgotten gods, the persistence of hope, and the power of love to save us.

Sounds good, right?  Onward to the review.

**Thanks to my pretty prancy PA AKA Christina from The Book Hookup for letting me steal borrow her review format**

Rating & First Reaction:

4 stars. I was immediately drawn to the cover and eagerly requested it on NetGalley after reading the intriguing premise.  When I got approved for it, I was so excited to read it and it didn’t disappoint.

MCs:

There are six gods: Lola, Dean, Weston, Mark, Nike and Peitha.  The chapters alternate with different POVs and it was a great way to get the background story on everyone.  I think if there would have been one narrator, it could have been a rambling info dump.

My favorite god was Lola.  She was quirky and sort of adorable and I really liked being in her head.  Because of the god she is, she has some insecurities and for me, it made her a bit more relatable.

{I’m being vague on purpose — it was fun figuring out who was who}

Secondary characters:

Jude: We don’t realize who he is — or who he will be — until later, but every scene he has with the gods is entertaining. Jude is blind and the opening scene immediately introduces us to him and his humor:

“I’m guessing that there are lots of big, glass display cases in here, and that they wouldn’t fare particularly well on a collision course with a hundred and seventy pounds of idiot. So, if you don’t mind leading me around.”

– quote taken from the e-arc of Eternal Night at 2%

I especially loved Lola’s interactions with Jude and found myself wanting more of them.  And when we get the reveal of Jude’s role in all of it? Gah.

Plot & Pacing:

The story was a bit of a slow burn, so it did take me a bit to get settled in. However, once that pivotal shift happened, it was a roller coaster. I found myself wanting more from whatever god’s chapter I was just finishing with. The only complaint [for lack of a better word] is that I wish we would have gotten an epilogue. The ending is hopeful, but I would have liked something more concrete.  However, it kept me entertained.  The spark that I often complain some books don’t have? Don’t worry, this one has it…

Rec It?

Yes! If you want an interestingly unique take on the ancient gods, this is definitely for you.

Interview Question

Which character are you most similar to? Which one are you least similar to?

I found little pieces of myself in all the characters, but I could really relate to something in Weston – this urge to know everything, and to spread important messages. I want to know everybody’s secrets and understand everything that’s happening, all the time – I like to think as I’ve matured I’ve developed a certain respect for people’s privacy, but I’ve been called out for eavesdropping more than once in my life.  I think Weston is like that too. He feeds on information and loves the idea of using that information to reach out to the masses. The irony is that he’s been keeping his own secret for centuries. I think that after the events of the book, Wes would go on to use his modicum of celebrity for activism, to use his voice to stand up for the voiceless. I really like that about him.

I am least similar to Nike. I really, really hate to run.

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carinam_hs1_lowCarina Adly MacKenzie grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she boldly defied the no-reading-at-the-dinner-table rule time and time again. After studying English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Carina moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career. Carina was a television critic and entertainment reporter for Zap2it.com, the Los Angeles Times, and Teen Vogue, among other publications. Currently, she spends her days obsessing over vampire sibling rivalry as a writer for The CW’s new drama, “The Originals.” She loves coffee, Twitter, and her little dog Pacey. Eternal Night is her first novel.

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Huge thanks to Paper Lantern Lit for the invite.  Make sure you’re checking out Carina’s website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page and adding her book to your TBR shelf on Goodreads.

Click here for the other stops on the blog tour.

Eternal Night comes out on August 26th.  You can pre-order at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Amazon.

The time it was my birthday {2}

I just happened to see the tweet from either Kasie West or Shannon Messenger about the quick summer tour with Amy Tintera and Debra Driza. I immediately added it to the calendar and figured it was a sure thing because the LA date was the same as my birthday.

On the day of the event, I left work early and headed up to the Barnes and Noble it was being held at. Traffic on the 5N was a total hooker and it took me almost 3 hours to get there.

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Since I had skipped lunch, I arrived at the bookstore famished. I grabbed books and headed up to the cafe to grab a snack and pay for my books. The person at the cafe said they couldn’t ring up books and suggested I go to the third floor for checkout. I paid and went up to the third floor, but there wasn’t a cashier at the register area. I headed over to customer service and asked if the register area was open. She told me that it wasn’t and the only place I could purchase was at the main register area on the bottom floor.

When I got to the bottom floor, there were 5 different people around the register area, but only 2 people ringing anyone up. One man was explaining who knows what to a lady with kids and the woman was trying to find out how to ring up batteries that were needed for the event. The other 3 people were a combination of watching the other two or moving magazines around.

Needless to say, I was finally able to get my things paid for and eat my snack before it got too cold.

The event area was set up and I was told that it would officially open around 6. I took a seat at the back and proceeded to eat, people watch a bit and read.

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They let us into the event area around 6:15 and I was able to grab front row. I finally got to meet Stacie and we chatted for a few minutes.

And then there was more waiting.

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The ladies got in at 7:20 because there was an accident on the freeway. There was a moderator and she had the ladies introduce themselves and talk about their books.  After a brief synopsis, they played two truths and a lie:

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S: When I was a film student, we almost burned down the high roller room, I was on a flight next to Steve Carell and made Get Smart joke on the way to the bathroom, met David Spade and told him he had really nice hair and asked what shampoo he used.

Lie: Was next to Steve Carrell but refrained from making the joke.

D: Got sent to principle”s office in 3 grade for pretending to be a frog and jumping all over the tables, handed an author a book soaked in cat pee, {I didn’t get the third one}

Lie: The book was given to Shannon and it was actually puppy pee.

{At some point while this was going on, I did get called out for being at the events so frequently, that I wasn’t allowed to guess because I knew the answers}

K: Teenager talking to cute boy and sucked in hair when taking a deep breath and then walking away when he asked if she did that all the time, while out of town chipped tooth and dentist said to super glue it back on, walked around all day with a Ghirardelli chocolate square stuck to my behind.

Lie: It wasn’t chocolate, it was junior mints

A: Used to be a bus driver, had an epic meltdown because of crickets, worked at a talent agency and was promoted to agent in under 6 months.

Lie: Demoted at a talent agency

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What comes first: world or character?

A: Wren was talking in my head.  I realize that makes me sound like a crazy person.  I built the entire book around her. Romance came next, so right after Wren was Callum.

K: All of them were different. For The Distance Between Us, it was setting. I was waiting for my daughter to finish with guitar lessons and saw a porcelain doll shop and thought it would be a great setting. For On the Fence, it was plot, I’ve always loved the boy next door story. For Pivot Point, it was also plot.  I liked the idea of the Sliding Doors story.

D: For the book I wrote that was unpublished, it was a scene. It was all about a girl at the party and thinking that she’s there to kiss her crush, but instead stabs him in the head.  For Mila, it was thinking what it would it be like if there was an android with emotions like a teenage girl.

S: I wanted to write a fantasy book without magic because all of the awesome magic stuff was already done by JK Rowling. I got stuck and ended up writing a short story about a side character. {There was a lot more to this, but Shannon talks a lot faster than I can type.}

For LTSF, I had a dream about the word “wind walker” and that turned into Vane. Then a song came up on my iPod and turned into Audra, but without being a creepy stalker.

Tension and momentum: how do you keep it?

A: There’s a lot of action in my books. It’s often the characters that keep it going. What they’re feeling or what they’re doing. Sometimes I try to make a character do what I want, but I’ve found it’s better if I let them do their own thing.

K: I don’t have people killing people. For contemporary, it’s all about the characters. You have to find other ways to bring in conflict. I find it easier to write than the mummy chasing people.

D: My first book is almost 2 books in 1, so the first part of the book is filled with what teens are going through: she’s grieving her father and meeting a cute boy. Then it’s all action filled and has explosions.

S: It’s going to make me sound like a horrible person, but I was told to find my character’s Achilles heel and then just keep poking at it. Basically I get to torture imaginary children.

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If you could be any character in another book, who would you be?

S:  Anna from Anna and the French Kiss.  Cute boy plus Paris? Sold.

D and K: That’s who I was going to say!

K: I can think of a ton I don’t want to be, like Katniss. So I’ll say any girl in a contemporary book.

A: Celaena. She’s awesome and wears dresses and eats cake.

D: I’ll say someone from Dune so I can watch sand worms.

Who would your characters be friends with?

A: I’ll say June from the Legend series. They would be plotting to take over the world.

K: I think Addie would be friends with Mila.

D: I’ll say Mila could be friends with Anna.

S: Audra and Vane would be friends with Amy’s characters.

What tv shows do you watch?

S: I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. I love that David Tennat was so dark that he could have let an entire race of people die. I also love Sherlock. I don’t stand in lines for many things at SDCC, but I did stand in line to get my Sherlock shirt.  I bet you all were thinking that I was going to say I stood in line for the panel.  No, as soon as I found out you had to line up 3 days before, I couldn’t do it.  I like to shower.

D: I did stand in line with my son last year to see the Doctor Who panel at SDCC.  We got there the night before and camped out. {She said something about Joss Whedon, but I was taking photos}

K: I like Veronica Mars, but lately I’ve been watching a lot of So You Think You Can Dance. It inspires me.

A: I’m also a big fan of Joss Whedon. I saw him last year at SDCC and it was the best hour of my life.

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Which YA movies are you most excited for and which books do you want to see made into movies? 

A: If I Stay is one of my favorite books ever, so I’m really excited it comes out in two weeks. I would love for my books to be movies. They’ve been optioned, so we’ll see. I would also love to see the Legend series by Marie Lu be made into a movie.  I think they would look great on screen.  Plus, Marie is so nice and I like to see nice things happen to nice people.

K: The Maze Runner and If I Stay. Any YA book that gets made into a movie I’m really excited for.

D: The Maze Runner because my son read them, so we can go see the movie together. Legend too because I think it would look good on the screen.

S: I’m really excited for the fantastic beasts movie from Harry Potter. It’s so epically far away.

How many cats do you have?

S: I have 6. I’m on the side of crazy cat lady. The only thing is that I tell my husband that he has to stay.

If Sophie was going to date, who would it be?

S: That’s the no comment question. Honestly, I don’t know. It’s going to be Sophie’s choice in the non-depressing way. I know what I’m going to throw at them, so we’ll see who she chooses.

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How many books did you write before you got published?

I missed all of these answers because I was taking photos and mid answer, Kasie said that I wasn’t allowed to post the photo of her red face.

What coming up next?

S: Book 3 of the Keeper series.

D: I’m finishing up book 3 of the Mila series.

K: The Fill in Boyfriend comes out May 5.

A: Hopefully a fantasy series.

From then, the Q&A was over and we were told that we could just make lines for each author.  I had Jaime and Erin’s books for Amy and Kasie, so I went to Amy first.  We chatted for a bit and then I got in line for Kasie.  While waiting, I was talking over the head of a young girl and discussing traffic with Debra while stealing candy off of the table.

When I got up to Kasie, she laughed at the amount of books I had.  She started out signing my book and then Jaime and Erin’s.

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After she was done, she stood up to give me a hug and thanked me for coming.  I told her that she was my birthday present and she apologized for forgetting my cupcakes.  She asked me to stay and we would go have cupcakes.  I told her I couldn’t, that I needed to go home.  She hugged me again and said that I couldn’t hate her and sort of shouted happy birthday.  And then my bracelet got caught in her hair and we were stuck together for a couple seconds longer.

I quickly said goodbye to Stacie and started my drive home.  These four ladies are awesome together.  They’re charming and adorable on their own, but together, it’s filled with charisma and laughter.  I can’t recommend them or their books enough.

The time it was a book trailer reveal

I feel like everyone knows of my love for all things Patrick in Something Real by Heather Demetrios.  If somehow you haven’t read that book yet, you’re really missing out.  Oh, and Patrick is mine, I have proof.

Anyhoo.  When I saw that Heather was putting together a special blogger caravan to help promote her upcoming book, Exquisite Captive, I was alllllll over it.  Watch the blog for exclusive news, giveaways and all things awesome as it pertains to Exquisite Captive.

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Today is officially 2 months until release day and the bloggers on the caravan get to exclusively unveil the book trailer!

 

 

 

 

Are you ready?

 

 

 

 

Perhaps sitting down?

 

 

 

 

Did you even read any of those words up there? {Pay special attention to the Patrick-is-mine part}

 

 

 

 

Okay, here it is!

 

 

 

 

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Doesn’t it look amazing?

Huge thanks to Heather and Balzer+Bray for letting us reveal this first!  Make sure you’re subscribing to Heather’s blog, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page and adding Exquisite Captive to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

Make sure you tell me what you think in the comments!

The time it was a Make Monday Suck Less giveaway

A few months ago, I was invited to be part of the Fierce Reads street team.  We were assigned a book or “team” and were given a set of challenges to do.  Somehow, I missed the part that said if we completed all of the challenges, we got the entire set of Fierce Reads books.

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And since I have almost all of them, I’m going to give them to you guys.  All of the books have signed bookplates in them.  Up for grabs:

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Yep.  That list is:

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Broken Hearts, Fences & Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

Of Neptune by Anna Banks

Now here’s where it gets tricky.  Read carefully.

I’m also posting this photo on Twitter as a “Follow & RT” contest. You can enter {and win} on both as there will be 8 winners total.  I will be picking 4 winners from Twitter and 4 winners here on the Rafflecopter. All 8 winners will be contacted at the same time and will have 48 hours to answer me.  I will write down the order in which the answers came through and will then go to each winner one by one asking for their choice of book.  There will be another 48 hours given to each winner to give me their selection.  If the 48 hour window is missed on either step, that person forfeits their win.  Contest is international, additional rules are here.

I know that’s a lot of info, so if it doesn’t make sense to you, contact me and I’ll clarify.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The time it was the July real book recap

And so we meet again! Ready for the July recap?

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For the month of July, I read a total of 22 books with only 7 of them being real books.  Since last weekend was SDCC, I needed to get ahead of myself with review books.  And then SDCC kept me busy, so I didn’t really read much. I read Isla a couple of months ago, but I wasn’t allowed to say anything about it, so I’m including it here.  I also reread a couple of favorites {like Degrees of Wrong and Splintered}.

Anyhoo.  The real books for July are:

1 2 3

4 5 6

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With July’s books, my total is 80.  Only 70 more to go to complete the challenge! How many books did you read in July? Which one was your favorite?

The time it was SDCC 2014

SDCC is always a given for us. 2014 was my 18th year going and it’s something I look forward to every year.

We didn’t get preview night this year, but went down to the gaslamp quarter to hang out. We walked around a few art galleries,  got drunk ate at Barley Mash and met up with Colleen for even more drinks.

Thursday

Thursday was our first official day.

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We picked up our badges and headed straight to the Penguin booth to get signing tickets for Morgan Rhodes.

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From there, we headed over to Macmillan to get Ruin & Rising polish say hi to Molly. We ended up running into Katie and Michelle at the booth and took photos before making plans to meet up again at Penguin.

On our way through Artists Alley, we found these awesome metal bookmarks and talked to the artist for a bit.

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We found Karen Hallion and took a photo with her while I was wearing her shirt. Her booth was sort of a mess of people, so we didn’t stay long.

Somehow we ended up in Ballroom 20 and watched part of the panel for Under the Dome while eating some snacks, drinking some water and resting our feet.

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We made our way toward Penguin and stopped at the Harper Collins booth. I had seen the Epic Reads tote and wanted one, so I went in. I somehow ended up with a ticket to see Veronica Roth the next day.

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We got over to Penguin just in time for Morgan to start signing. They were giving away paperbacks of Falling Kingdoms and arcs of Gathering Darkness. As Morgan was signing, I went to take a photo. She looked up at the same time and started a conversation about resting bitch face and how she’s trying to remember to make herself look happy while on panels because she has resting bitch face.

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We made our way around to buy a Doctor Who Yahtzee set in a Pandorica and Hubs bought a zombie Kirk Hammett for an autograph ticket. And then the goal of the day was to find Daniel from MasterChef. There is a long, somewhat detailed story about why I wanted to see him {much more than it being because I love the show and he’s my favorite contestant}. It involves Paula Stokes and twitter and our maybe threat of objectifying him.

While looking for Daniel, we stumbled upon Yaya Han.  Like, literally stumbled.  There was a bit of a hold up in one of the aisles and there may or may not have been some slight pushing.  Turns out Yaya was signing some paperwork in front of her booth.  After she was done, she posed for photos and was genuinely so nice.

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We kept wandering around a bit more and I kept my fangirl eyes open so wide and yet, I didn’t see Daniel.  Fast forward a bit and I got this…

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The worst part? I was already home and Daniel was only going to be attending Thursday.  I guess I’ll just have to continue to objectify him on Twitter.  Sigh.

Friday

Friday brought us right to Mysterious Galaxy for signing tickets to Marie Lu, so we went there first. On the way we ran into Ksenia from Macmillan and chatted with her for a couple minutes. When we got to MG, I ended up getting numbers 3 & 4 for Marie.

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We stopped at the Harper booth to see what time the line up for Veronica Roth was going to start. They told us that the it would start at 10:15. We wandered around and then at 10:15 a huge mass of people swarmed the aisle. It was a hot mess, but Harper handled it.

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We got up to Veronica pretty quickly {thank you, Harper Collins people for being so organized and running a great signing!}. She wasn’t taking posed photos, but you could take photos from the line. When we got up to her, I thanked her for doing the signing. Hubs showed her the selfies he was taking with her in the background. She laughed and said it was awesome.

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From Veronica, we went straight to the line up for Lo & C. As I was waiting for them, Christina and Lauren saw me and stopped to say hi and give hugs. I had my manuscript of Sweet Filthy Boy to have signed and Hubs took a copy of Beautiful Bastard for reasons unknown.

The line was very organized this time around. They had big signs indicating where the line started and ended and took a few people at a time over to the signing table. When I got up there, Christina hugged me again. We chatted about it being a while since they had seen me and I mentioned that it had been since last year’s SDCC.

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After that, we just wandered around. Hubs had learned that the 4 guys from Impractical Jokers had gotten to the convention center and were walking around, so we went on the hunt.

At 1pm, hubs and I separated. He went to a booth for Kirk Hammett and I went to stand in line for Marie Lu. Even though the tickets were numbered, we were told that the numbers were just to control how many arcs they had to give away.

We got to Marie quickly and were able to get the SDCC exclusive arc as well as the copies we already had signed.

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Michelle and I walked back to the video game area, where we ended up running into Hubs. She went to meet up with her husband before leaving as they were lining up for Hall H that evening. We ended up stopping at Macmillan once more to take a photo with Ksenia before leaving ourselves.

Saturday

Saturday we had absolutely no agenda, so we didn’t get down to the convention center until 10:30 or so.  We found ourselves at the DC booth since they had a really fantastic Batman display set up.

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They had the masks from 1989-1997 on one side and stuff from The Dark Knight series on the other side.

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Remember I mentioned going to the art galleries on preview night? Well, the distributor for the galleries had a booth on the floor and I bought a hand drawn sketch of Toothless.   I had seen it at the gallery and pretty much fell in love with it, so I was beyond thrilled to be able to get my greedy hands on it.

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After wandering around the convention floor for a bit, we left and headed back into the Gaslamp Quarter to see about getting the Mockingjay pins.

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Instead of the Lionsgate booth giving them out like previous years, there was an entire “experience” to do before seeing the trailer and getting the pin. It was held at the Hard Rock hotel and the line was ridiculous.  However, while we waited, we saw all sorts of celebrities walking by.

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That’s Jeremy Renner, Michael Emerson and Sarah Paulson.  They were all leaving the Hard Rock and walked right in front of us while we were waiting.

After about an hour of standing in line, some lady behind us heard them say that if you didn’t want to go through the experience, you could skip the massive line and go into a smaller line.  The smaller line was just to see the trailer and then get the pin.  We were taken inside the hotel and handed the pin, then ushered to a sort of holding area.  As soon as we got around the corner, we skipped the line.  I’ll see the trailer soon enough, but I couldn’t wait for the pin.

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After getting the pins, we called it a day and went back home.

Sunday

For Sunday, we didn’t have much of an agenda either.

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We ended up mostly wandering around with Colleen and happened to walk by one of the booths when two of the men from Supernatural were coming out of a virtual reality area.

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The only thing I had planned was to see CJ Redwine. I have her complete trilogy in arcs {thank you, Rachel and Rachel} and I was dying to finally meet her.

The panel signing before the YA panel had been moved, so we were able to line up early {even if the security guard fought me on it a bit}. The first 100 people got an arc of Unmarked by Kami Garcia. I was able to chat a little bit with Katie and Michelle.

The panel of authors got to the table early, so they started early. We went to Kami first and we said hi. She signed my arc and told me to help myself to the swag she had.

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I was still standing in front of Kami when I looked over to CJ Redwine. I thanked Kami for the book and slid over to CJ. I gave her my arcs and actually identified myself by telling her my twitter handle. She said she was happy to finally meet me and I told her that Sunday was all about her. That if she wouldn’t have been there, we would have skipped Sunday. CJ told me that I was going to make her cry and stood up to hug me.

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After she signed, we took a photo. I thanked her for being at SDCC. She said that now she could say that there was at least one person who showed up just for her.

On the way out, I sort-of-maybe interrupted Tahereh Mafi to squeeze her and say hi. We chatted for a second with her before chatting for a minute with Lo & Christina.  Then we started making our way to leave.

On the way out, Hubs wanted to walk by the Fox booth to see if the Sons of Anarchy panel signing was still happening. It was, so we walked through the mass of people to take photos.

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After going through the area twice, we made our way out of the convention center. And as fun as SDCC is, I won’t be missing this anytime soon.

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