Fierce Reads Event Recap- Bethesda Library + Epic Giveaway

24 October, 2012 Giveaways 171 comments

One night I was lounging in my room, reading an awesome book. I was barely able to contain my excitement for the event later that evening. Of course, I should have been getting ready, but I was plauged with the same issue any avid reader experiences: just-one-more-page syndrome.

Suddenly my thermocapsulary dehousing assister nudged my foot. He quickly informed me I had received word from Macmillan in the form of a hologram.

It startled me and I realized it was none other that Obi-Wan himself delivering the message. I listened intently as he relayed exactly what was asked of me. It went a little something like this:

“Stephanie Sinclair, I have a message for you from Macmillan. We were informed you were attending the Fierce Reads event in gamma quadrant 4269, section 12, also known as, the Bethesda Library. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be the designated blogger and  meet up with Fierce authors Leigh Bardugo, Marie Rutkoski, Gennifer Albin and Caragh O’Brien for a Q&A session before the event. Upon mission acceptance, you will receive all of the author’s books for a giveaway to your readers.”

I stared shell-shocked at such an amazing invitation.

“Sinclair!” Obi-Wan snapped.

“Oh, right. Sorry. I was just busy counting my lucky stars,” I replied sheepishly.

“Well, what say you then?” he asked.

“Hell yeah!” I responded. I mean, because really, is there any other response a blogger should give?

“Excellent. The package of books should arrive momentarily,” he said just as an owl hit my window.

I opened my window to retrieve the package and it’s just who I suspected. Errol.

Mercy. Of all the geriatric birds to send, it’s Errol?” I muttered.

“Er… perhaps you should ready yourself and be on your way? The event starts in an hour.” Obi-Wan said.

“Gadzooks! You’re right. I need to suit up and pick up my bestie! R2-D2, fire up my ride!”

Once on the road with bestie in tow, I had to think swiftly for questions to ask. Usually, that kind of task is not difficult for me, but I found myself coming up with the strangest questions like: “Which Smuff do you closely resemble?” or “Red pill or blue pill?” and for some reason, I had Kat’s voice whispering the ultimate question: “Are you easily kidnappable?” I knew those alone simply wouldn’t do. They’d probably think I was a stalker or worse, that I sparkled! I quickly decided I would just wing it.


……Okay, so maybe the above didn’t quite happen like that, but it did in my head, which is pretty much the same as real life… er… sorta. But I did get to meet the Macmillan’s Fall Fierce Reads authors and was the designated blogger! If I’m being honest, I was really nervous about the Q&A session. But luckily, there was another person interviewing as well who was way more prepared than I was asked awesome questions. While I had only ideas and scribbles for questions, she had two pages. I was so impressed. Later when she asked me what school I went to – because I probably look like I’m fresh out of 8th grade – I learned she was only 14! When I grow up, I want to be just like her… organized. But there’s plenty of time for that later. ;D

Here’s a little sample from the session, with a few photos from the main event:

**Authors, please forgive me if I misquoted anyone. I tried very hard to get everything right!**

Which was your favorite character to write?

Gennifer: “I like Cormac and I’m not gonna lie. And I know that he’s slimy and all that jazz, but there’s something about writing a guy that compulsively wears a tuxedo and throws back some bourbon. It really works for me. [laughter] It’s like the things that come out of his mouth when he opens it…”

Marie: “I had the most fun writing a minor character named Jims in The Shadow Society. The things that would come out of his mouth like, ‘You prefer your men sweet and empty like a hollow gum ball you could buy for 25 cents at a grocery store.’ [laughter] Those things… I couldn’t believe that they were coming from my brain and they just were fun to flow out onto the page.”

Leigh: “I think in book one I liked writing Genya because she’s sort of “chin up, fabulous” no matter what’s happening to her, but she also sort of has all this pain she’s carrying around with her. My favorite character of the whole series appears in book two and he’s a privateer named Stermhond who is… honestly I’d just like to write a whole book of him! Yeah, he would like for me to write a whole book of him just going on and on.”

Marie: “He sounds sexy, actually.”

Leigh: [laughter] “He’s sexy in a very particular way! That’s all I’m going to say for now.”

Gennifer: “When will we get this book?”

Leigh: “Umm… 2013. I hear you have a hook-up, though, with the publisher.”

Gennifer: “I do have a hook-up…”

Caragh: “My favorite character is Gaia, the main character. I know that’s not so imaginative to say, but I’ve just been fascinated with her from the first minute she showed up and delivered a baby and handed it over to the Authorities. I’ve really been fascinated to find out how conflicted she is as a person and what she has to do in these complicated moral situations. I just like how she’s not simple and I can’t always predict what she’s going to do. So it’s been really interesting for me to see how she has changed over three books.”


For Gennifer: Since weaving is a big part of your book, are you crafty in any way?

Gennifer: “I get asked this all the time and I do not weave. I’ve gone and looked at looms. That’s as far as it’s gone. I tried to crochet some baby hats for my daughter before she was born – I’m so proud of them – and I went to put it on her head and it was like a teeny, little beanie on top and it fell over… so that was the end of that. But I do sew. So, actually, I think the only thing that I maybe, possibly get right when trying to describe what the fabric of the universe might look like is how textiles weave together and the way things change. And I would rip up fabric.”

Leigh: “I want you to make a vlog post of you just [makes ripping sound].”



Asked by other interviewer: All of your books carry a general theme of government and authority and how far they should go dominated people’s lives. What are your personal opinions on this?

Leigh: “Whoa, that’s intense!”

Gennifer: “Who are you voting for in 2012?!” [laughter] “I think that’s always a very tricky balance. I think the difference in power structures and governments… when we are all exploring is when it becomes about power and control for the sake of being ambitious. That’s when we start to get evil and corruption. When it’s about ‘I really want to do the best for everyone else and I’m willing to maybe sacrifice some of myself,’ I think that’s what most of our characters are struggling with.”

Leigh: “I guess for me in creating a world, I think I actually have to play against… ummm… Alina takes a long time to come to her power. I think, in part, because she’s been so fundamentally powerless her whole life. And I think that’s something that’s hard for a modern teenager to accept because this is somebody who lives in a society that essentially a cast based society – I mean, you know, for all intents and purposes – where she has no mobility, she has no agencies, she’s never been able to make decisions for herself, she’s a refugee, she’s an orphan. Her place in the world has always been dictated by somebody else. She’s always known she was going to be drafted into the army. So then to have that power thrust upon you, I think it takes her a while to come to a place where she can even understand that she can use that for herself or some other purpose than what other people are dictating.

But I guess in terms of personal opinion, I think at the heart of the story there’s really a conflict between personal liberty and the good of the country or the good of the whole. And I’ve said before, Alina doesn’t always make selfless decisions. She doesn’t make patriotic decisions. I think she makes decisions this character would make at age 17 and she’s going to have to live with them throughout the trilogy.”

Caragh O’Brien during the event talks about heroines and tells the audience, “I like strong, strong girls!”

Marie: “I guess, similar to Alina, Darcy is somebody who has not really had a sense of her own authority for a long time because she’s been shuttled around in the foster care system and has gone from home to home. And is somebody who actually prides herself on the ability to stay strong through that and to rebuild herself in every new environment. I think in terms of how she fits in with the representation of authority in the book, is that she is somebody who sees two cultures clashing. Instead of maybe thinking of it in terms of authority being held over various people, I think The Shadow Society is much more about two cultures who very much hate each other and how they’re able to negotiate that and move beyond it.”

Caragh: “It’s a really interesting question. I think I’m interested in a place where government is no longer this authority that’s beyond us, but a place where individuals overlap. So in our own society, we think of politics being run in the government from Washington, but actually the school teachers are employees of the government and our police are employees of the government. And the people who run things in our own communities are people we vote for and are us.

So I think in Birthmarked, Gaia starts out seeing people on the other side of the wall as the people in charge and she gradually realizes that she has some responsibility and leadership herself, both in how she’s going to rebel or deal with people who are the authorities inside the wall. Then in the second and third books, she takes on a role of leadership. So I guess that mirrors my understanding of how I feel we should be participating in how we govern our own society. I think we do that. We just don’t always recognize it as the name because we think of government as these politicians, but I think it’s really us.


For Leigh: If you had to choose between the Darkling and Mal, who would it be?

Leigh: “I would wait till book two before making any decisions.” [laughter]

Gennifer: “I hear the Darkling’s going to eat a kid in that book.” [laughter]

Leigh: [Slightly proud that I grossed her out :D] Umm… I…they’re my characters. I can’t possibly think of them that way. It just gives me the grossies honestly!

Gennifer: “You’re like their mom. Eww!”

Leigh: “I guess, if I had to pick one, I would pick the Darkling because he’s not 17, so I wouldn’t go to jail. Very creepy and weird.” [more laughter, possibly giggles] “Honestly, I’d wait till book two. There’s some new characters.”

Gennifer: “Ohhhh… options!”

Marie: “I like this lieutenant.”

Leigh: “The privateer? Who doesn’t like a privateer. I mean, a little Hans Solo… you know what I’m saying?

[We all nod]

Leigh: “I totally blushed.” [tons of laughter]

Gennifer: “I think it’s safe to say the rest of us are team Darkling.”

Marie: “No, I would choose Mal.”

Leigh: “You can’t take the Darkling to Brunch.”

Gennifer: “I don’t need to take him… okay…” [laughter]

Marie: “I think the Darkling is someone I would date and he would break my heart. And then hopefully, I would end up getting married to Mal.”

Gennifer: “That’s very practical of you.”


For Gennifer: In your first book, you challenged gender issues specifically as far as female empowerment. Are you still planning on following the same theme in book two?

Gennifer: “Yes and no. I think that for certain reasons we’re in a different situation, but I did a lot of exploring with the dynamics between women and women who are oppressed by men. And some of that will come into play in the second book, but there will also be a little discussion about how the guild actually oppresses men, that they don’t know about. ‘Cause I think that that’s interesting too. I don’t think gender dynamic issues should only focus on women. This particular book focuses primarily on women, but we learn other things are going on behind the scenes. Here’s your clue: If you’ve read the short story, you know that there is a male version of the spinster. So men are very important in book two.”


For Marie and Caragh: What are you guys working on now?

Caragh: “I’m working on another YA trilogy. It’s a science fiction story.”

Marie: “I don’t want to say too much, but I have The Winner’s Curse and it’s the start of a trilogy. It’s going to come out in either fall of 2013 or winter 2014. It’s about a girl who’s an aristocratic member of a warmongering empire. And there are duels and balls and a growing rebellion.”


The very nice librarian informed us it was time for the event to start so we wrapped it up, but not before we took photos!

And here’s a little video from the audience Q&A about writing (Sorry that the video cuts off. It seems the signing was a little too exciting for my phone.):


Then, of course, there was the signing where I got to chat with Jennifer from Bawdy Book Blog, who is AWESOME. I can’t wait to meet up with her at the next event. I also met the very cool Rick Lipman – who is even more cooler in person – and he stole my precious authors away from me by the end of the event. *weeps*

That moment where you get to meet one of your favorite authors and you realize she’s just as awesome as she is on Twitter. Yeah… THAT.

Caragh was so sweet and I’m so glad I got a chance to meet her and the other authors!


A Very Fierce Giveaway

Okay, so this is a HUGE giveaway thanks to the lovely folks at Macmillan. And when I say huge, I really mean supercalifragilisticexpialidociously HUGE! I’m talking *signed* books of Shadow and Bone, Crewel, The Shadow Society and the entire Birthmarked Trilogy. And did I mention awesome swag?! Buttons, bracelets, nail polish and eye shadow. Oh, my!




This is all for one lucky winner and man, do I envy the person who wins this one! And to sweeten the deal, even though my wallet cries, “Why do you hate me?” my heart is says, “Yeah, baby! International giveaway!”

Contest Rules:

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is international and open to everyone!
  • When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond. Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.
  • Also, please understand that we reserve the right to disqualify any entries we find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

171 Responses to “Fierce Reads Event Recap- Bethesda Library + Epic Giveaway”

  1. heykelley

    GREAT Q&A, Stephanie! And I love your version of the way it all came about, even if that was only in your head. ;D
    Fricking amazing giveaway, too. Holy crap!

  2. ChristinaK

    Christina K. in the rafflecopter
    Awesome awesome awesome! Thank you for making us feel like we’re there even when we weren’t:)
    Thank you:)

  3. rabbitsfortea

    /cue jaws dropping
    This. Prize. Is. Insane.
    And thank you SO much for making this international, although I’m highly skeptical I’ll win it since I never have the luck :/
    So much fun having a group of authors do a Q&A together too!

  4. Kara_M

    You’re so cute, Steph! So glad you had soo much fun! Not entering the giveaway because I have read most of these, but I just love the photos and had to say something. So glad you got to meet Leigh. I’m jealous!

  5. Markella

    I was there and asked the last question! So funny, I didn’t know who all was there. It was a great event, can’t wait for Ally Condie next month 🙂

  6. AH

    Looks like you had an amazing time. I am so jealous! I’ve read several of these books and I just love these authors.

  7. Khal_Khaleesi

    Wow, wow, wow!! Amazing books!! All of which I want to read =D I’m reading the Crewel ebook right now and it’s so good!!!
    What a very generous giveaway =)

  8. Flannery

    How fun! I love event recaps and I definitely know how much work goes into them so thanks for doing this one, Steph. The only author of these four who was on the Fierce Reads tour last time it rolled through Seattle for me was Leigh Bardugo. (The others were Lish McBride, Marissa Meyer, Anna Banks, Emmy Laybourne, and Jennifer Bosworth) I hope the group you saw comes here!

  9. CordeliaFitzgerald

    This tour had to be amazing! Wow!  I wish I could have been a fly on the wall just to hear the secrets yall told each other about future plots! LOL!

  10. ChocolateWaffles

    This looks like and awesome giveaway. Happy reading to the person who wins it 🙂

  11. ele05gs

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! 😀 Nail polish!!!! aahhhhh LOL Just kidding.. maybe? 😉

  12. CarloShmarlo

    Damn, that’s a lot of stuff! I’m kind of boggled by the thought of having to find places to put it all. But that won’t stop me, I’m jumping in anyway. I can always throw out my Shakespeare first folio and my Gutenberg Bible to make room.

  13. Lisa FicTalk

    *Totally jealousing* You got to meet LEIGH!… and all those other authors! *waaah*
    Also, chica, you look 16. 😉
    Fantastic giveaway!

  14. desiree1612

    I am so jealous that you got to meet all these ladies! You look absolutely beautiful!

  15. Jovial_1

    Very interesting interview.
    This is a huge giveaway.  Thank you so much.

  16. cynicalsapphire

    Bahahaha, I look young too, and it’s always so awkward when people think I’m in high school. O_O
    Great work, Steph. I’m so bad about taking pictures at events/writing up wrap up posts. You’re more organized than I am anyway!

    • cynicalsapphire

      Also, MORE sexy options in the Grisha trilogy. *chin drops*
      Maybe that’s why I liked the Darkling…he’s one of the few characters in YA fiction I wouldn’t get arrested for liking. :-/ *awkward turtle*

  17. Paula F

    Wow!! Those are ones of my favorite authors! I loved the Birthmarked Trilogy (I still have to read Promised ) And Shadow and Bone! I´m on team Darkling myself. Thank you so so much for making the giveaway international.

  18. IoanaStefania

    I am SO jealous right now! I’d give an arm and a leg for an oportunity like this and I do mean the interview, not the giveaway (that’s pretty darn awesome, too, though)

  19. Amy Turn the Page

    Love the interview – what an exciting event to get invited to take part in! 😀
    Also I get the young thing all the time. Someone the other week thought I was 15. *cough* Only a decade out I suppose….

  20. Mary

    What an amazing and interesting interview! I loved it. I’m SO jealous!! (in a good way)

  21. jaskaur11

    Thank you for the awesome giveaway Stephanie! I love this post looks like you had such a brilliant time! 🙂

  22. gdcribbs

    Wow. What an epic experience and major bookgasm experience. I was thisclose to going to the nearest tour stop but missed out. Thank you for sharing for those of us who are internet onlookers. I’d love to read and review all of these. SHADOW AND BONE is my absolute current favorite. A signed copy would send me over the SUN ;p
    Thank you very much! 😀

  23. lauragmaldon

    They sound like so much fun! And so do you! I literally just subscribed and hope to meet you and the authors as well sometime soon! But since no one ever comes here I find that unlikely. But I can still hope!

  24. NicoleArellano

    It seems like you had an amazing time! I love going to author events and getting insight into some of my favorite reads.
    Awesome giveaway thanks for the chance.

  25. Dargy

    Oh man! It’s Stephanie in the flesh! And not just the über kick ass running around killing people with light sabers Stephanie I’ve made up in my head Stephanie!! Haha. So cool ough!!

  26. MiltiadouK

    It seems that you had fun!! Lucky you, I’ve never been to a book signing.
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  27. maidenveil

    Wow!  Thanks for sharing your experience with us.  The signing looked amazing.  I love these authors.  Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  28. Istalkbooks

    Loved the interview! You got to meet those lovely ladies. oh I am so jealous. :pThanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  29. Gellie

    OMGULASH. I loooooved Shadow and Bone <333 I’ve heard of the others but I’ve never gotten my hands on one of them. They did interest me though so yey giveaway! Me thankies

  30. bamayankee

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I am totally jealous you got to go see and hear all those amazing authors : )

  31. erinf1

    What a fantastic, fabulous, awesome giveaway! I’ve been drooling over all those books!  Thanks so much!

  32. kuro_rin01

    Looking good there Steph! 😀 Such an awesome recap. I will come back to read when I’m not on my crappy mobile.

  33. Lovestoread227

    OMG!! You are so lucky you got to be the designated blogger!! And the whole giveaway package looks sawgalicious!!

  34. Lea J

    Nice recap & interview! I love their answers (and now I’m very curious about Leigh Bardugo’s next book – Stermhond sounds like an interesting addition). 
    Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  35. Ina M

    WOW! o_O That’s some giveaway! And what an interesting event recap 🙂 Makes me even more curious about reading all those books! Would be absolutely fantastic if I won! That would be pushing my luck A LOT though 😛

  36. vollkopf

    I am speechless! This is so much awesomeness!!! *-* I LOVED Shadow and Bone SO much! I wrote a super gushing review for it, pre-ordered it and all… now I WOULD LOVE to have a signed copy. Same for the Birthmark series. *-* thanks for the chance!

  37. riceball1759

    I’m sorry I had to cut the tweet so short…it wouldn’t let me post it>< Anyway, thank you so much for this amazing giveaway!!!! 🙂

  38. books_n_tea

    I don’t know which is more exciting– the possibility of winning the books or the possibility of winning that nail polish. Noice!

  39. IleanaAlvarado

    EPIC! EPIC GIVEAWAY! Thank you so so much for the chance!
    Fingers crossed! 🙂

  40. Ballantines04

    First time on this blog (which I found from Goodreads) and there is this amazing giveaway!
    Thank you!!

  41. Randi M

    Wow! Looks like you had an awesome time! 😀 I loved this answers to this question: If you had to choose between the Darkling and Mal, who would it be? Now I’m even MORE stoked for book 2!!! New subscriber.

  42. actimog

    Thank you for this awesome opportunity! Hope to meet these amazing authors someday too. ^^ (P.S. I had to cut the tweet short so it wouldn’t exceed the limit. >.<)

  43. Wann

    I would love love love to win. I swear shadow and bone got me back into reading after a year long break. I’m glad i did. thanks for the opportunity!

  44. HLHappyEndings

    Oh my those  look so very pretty spread out on your floor. I just want to grab a pillow and blanket and cozy on up to them for some reading time.

  45. sunnykimmylovinglife

    I loved your dream type thing-y at the start 😮 :). Oh, who am I kidding, I loved the entire post :D. I want to be like the 14-year old when I grow up too ;).  Books, authors and giveaways are awesome!

  46. goldensunangel

    This giveaway is awesome, I did notice one error when I was putting in my entry to follow the blog, when I checked my email and clicked on the link to confirm, it said it was expired. 🙁

  47. vitajayne

    What an amazing giveaway! You are very right, “awesome swag?! Buttons, bracelets, nail polish and eye shadow. Oh, my!” Love it 🙂

  48. AditiGupta

    It just goes to prove what a brave, valiant soul I am, that I enter the giveaway when 3000 odd entries have already been made. That or I am naive enough to believe in luck. cuddlebuggery

  49. HauntedOrchid

    Thanks so much for the incredible giveaway! All the books and goodies look awesome! You are so lucky that you were able to go to one of the Fierce Reads tour stops. =)

  50. MyParaHangover

    Awww, man, thanks for taking on this most awesome mission!!  I’m glad you decided to put your book down and answer your whatcha-ma-hickey (please don’t ask me to scroll up and try to re-type that monsterous quote!) 
    You, my dear, rock the pop culture!

  51. Sarah P

    Awesome giveaway, Stephanie! 😀 I think that event was a blast! Thanks so much for sharing and for the opportunity to win ginormously!

  52. FrancisC

    Oh God, I’m glad I found your blog. I’m happy to read this event interview. And cool giveaway. I love it. <3

  53. AsherKnight

    How did you restrain yourself from inviting yourself to their home to sit and watch them write? In particular, Leigh Bardugo. How did you restrain yourself from knocking one of them unconscious and stealing them to your house? I tell you, Stephanie, your will and control is unmatchable.

    • Stephanie Sinclair

      @AsherKnight *takes a deep breath* It was hard, but I managed to let them all go in the end. I especially wanted to take Leigh home and make her tell me awesome bedtime stories till THE END OF TIME. But I was on my very best behavior.

  54. _Sandra_

    Gah! What an awesome giveaway and even better books! Gimme, gimme, gimme! 🙂 Shadow and Bone is one of the best reads from this year, other books sound amazing as well. Thanks for a giveaway! 🙂

  55. lauragmaldon

    I have a very tiny chance of winning, but I am really hoping that I do. I mean, great books by great authors. I am really anxious to see who the winners are.

  56. Farah Khalaf

    This may sound repetitive and possibly redundant by now, but WOW!!!! loving the collection here. I really hope I get a chance to win. Thanks for making it international.

  57. ARoomWithBooks

    These ladies are hilarious! I wish I’d gotten a chance to see them. Thanks for the giveaway :]

  58. tworeads

    fantastic post and interview! thanks for sharing with us 🙂 and this is such an AMAZING giveaway!!
    pleeeeease pull my name out of the hat!!!

  59. KatieISperalda

    I just discovered this blog a few hours ago, and I’m jumping through posts and posts since then! You guys are so freaking amazing 😀
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  60. Ashfa

    OMG! This is too awesome for words! Thanks so much for such a fantastic giveaway and for making it international!

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