Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breathless Tour Recap & Giveaway


Last week I had the amazing opportunity to tour seven cities with three rockstar Penguin authors: Marie Lu (Legend), Brenna Yovanoff (Paper Valentine), and Andrea Cremer (Nightshade series). Here's a quick photo recap of what went down with the West Coast Breathless Reads tour--and at the end, you'll have a chance to win one of three prize packs about which I am very excited because they are supremely epic and unique and I'm still considering not giving any of them away and just keeping them for myself because that is just how supremely epic they are.


So we started in Los Angeles. Here we are at the Grove Barnes & Noble. It was like, three stories tall and pretty much as epic as a bookstore gets. We got to ride on a lot of escalators. I am a big fan of escalators because, well, stairs. Also, this store posted our tour as the Breathless Domination Tour and I mean COME ON PPL THAT ROCKS so Penguin, if you're listening and you're considering tweaking the title of the tour any time soon... well, just sayin', here's a kickin' idea for you. 

(left to right: Marie, Me, Brenna, Andrea)

I was pretty stoked about the LA event because I got to see my uncle, who lives there, and who I don't get to see very often. He drove me around Beverly Hills and we looked for movie stars, but we didn't find any. Oh well.

So then the next day we drove up to LaVerne, CA for an event at Mrs. Nelson's Book Shop. I was really excited about this because I'd met a lot of the Mrs. Nelson's staff at a SCIBA dinner on the Queen Mary a few months before, and heard a lot of great things about this adorable and personable bookstore. Speaking of the staff at Mrs. Nelson's, here they are:


Us authors being authorly:


The next day was San Francisco, at A Great Good Place for Books. The store was packed full of people, which was pretty awesome, and also we got to meet Andrea's brother, wife, and extraordinarily adorable niece.


Speaking of Andrea...


I'm getting out of chronological order here, but just go with it. So before we went to A Great Good Place we went to the Las Lomas High School, and were hosted by the school book club which contained some of the most enthusiastic readers I've ever met. Seriously. These kids had us walking ten inches of the ground by the time we left, so we're pretty much enamored with them.


Andrea and I geeked out over the library copies of our books, because they had actual library card inserts--you know, the kind where you can pull out the card and see what other kids have been reading the book before you, and their check-out/check-in dates so you can see how long it took them to read it and compare your own speed (oh wait... maybe I was the only kid who did that...) Anyway, it was pretty sweet and so we took pix.

The next day was Portland day. I'm a huge fan of Portland because it rains a lot there and I'm the kind of person who enjoys sitting around staring out rainy windows contemplating things because it makes me feel deep and artistic and anyway, that's beside the point because what I really want to tell you about is that

A) the awesome hotel we were at put copies of our books in our rooms for us to sign, so they could add it to the hotel library which was stocked entirely with books by authors who had stayed there (I mean how much schnazzier can you get?)



And also I found this waiting for me. Because you see, I married this guy and he's sort of like the sweetest, best, most awesome guy ever because he had Valentine roses delivered to my room since, you know,  we were on opposite sides of the continent which was kind of a bummer considering it was V-Day and all. 
Anyway, I like him a lot.


Also in Portland I got to see my other uncle, and my aunt, who took me out for droolworthy Portland Lebanese food. 






Next up was Boulder, CO, on Valentine's Day. Several super awesome things happened this day. First, it snowed. This is a significant detail if, like me, you are from the South where it snows properly maybe once a decade.


Other notable moments: the amazing readers who braved the snow to come to the event at the Boulder Bookstore. And the delicious Latin restaurant we went to afterwards with the fabulous Kristin Nelson, who is Marie's agent and who also gave us V-Day chocolates, so three enthusiastic cheers for Kristin! Thanks, lady! 

So then there was Austin, TX, a city I've become quite a fan of recently, ever since the epic epicness that is the Austin Teen Book Festival. Anyway, we had the pleasure of going to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and it is every bit as awesome as its name (due in part to the fact we were welcomed by their marquee) (it says "Reading leaves us breathless):


There are several reasons why this stop was so memorable:


1. We each got to sit in the "author chair" and then sign our names.  There were some pretty kickin' names on that chair, let me tell you. This chair has seen many a rockstar's derriere. 



2. And then there was the school's totally mind-blowing obsession with Doctor Who. The moment I saw their life-size TARDIS cutout I basically was in love. When I saw their life-size cutout of David Tennant I was ready to propose marriage. Problem was, so was Marie. Well, all of us, really. Whovians FTW! I think we would have tried sneaking DT onto the rest of the tour with us, except maybe the librarian would have sent her life-size cutout Daleks after us to get him back (I don't know if they actually had life-size cutout Daleks but after what I had seen thus far, I wouldn't have put it past them.) Also, I just happened to be wearing my You never forget your first Doctor shirt that day so, you know, can you say DESTINY??



Hands off, Marie! He's MINE!


 

*vworp, vworp*


Our final stop was in Salt Lake City, UT, where we were joined by the inimitable Ally Condie (Matched) for our last panel at the Barnes & Noble in Orem. With standing room only, this event was a perfect conclusion to the Breathless tour.


( also pictured: Jessica H. from Cracking the Cover blog) 


 All in all, I have never been so honored to be part of such an inspiring group of talented authors, and it was a joy and privilege to learn from Brenna, Andrea, Marie, and Ally as the week progressed. I was so humbled by the amazing response we had from readers, teacher, librarians, and booksellers all over the western United States, and extend a mighty THANK YOU to everyone who attended and made these events possible! And a huge THANK YOU to Penguin Teen's matchless publicists, Elizabeth Zajac in particular, for putting together this tour and making every stop so memorable for all involved!

Read on! Stay Breathless!

Breathless Tour Fun Facts:

1. Both Marie Lu and I wrote Redwall fanfic as teenagers and we both subbed failed high fantasy manuscripts before Legend and Origin.


2. Brenna Yovanoff's first drafts look like giant MadLibs because she leaves blank spaces when she can't think of the perfect word to put in a sentence.


3. Andrea Cremer began writing when a horse crushed her foot and she was laid up on a couch all summer as a teenager.


4. Both Brenna and I played varsity soccer in high school and college; and we both rock at it.


5. Marie still dreams of being a fighter pilot and is currently on a quest to do a ride-along with the Blue Angels' No. 7 pilot, despite the Navy not returning her phone calls.


6. Both Andrea and I are fiercely proud of our Scottish heritage; my clan fought for her famous ancestor Robert the Bruce in the Scottish War for Independence (*cue bagpipes).


~~and now for the giveaway portion of this program~~

To celebrate the success of the Breathless Tour, I'm giving away three prize packs! You have to enter each giveaway separately! Entering one will not automatically enter you for all of them. 

The Prizes:

1. Pia's Library
In Origin, Pia's reading material is severely limited by the scientists. But what if she had access to any one of the amazing bookstores we visited on tour? What reads would she pick first? The Breathless ones, of course! This prize pack consists of PRODIGY and LEGEND by Marie Lu, THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff, and an ARC of SHADES OF EARTH by Beth Revis.







2. Alai's Spots
In researching for the creation of Alai, Pia's pet jaguar in Origin, I learned so much about the dire situation surrounding the big cats of the world. Not just jaguars, but lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs--almost every species of big cat is in danger of deforestation, poaching, illegal pet trade, and dwindling numbers. Each item in this prize pack goes toward supporting causes to save the big cats, in particular, the "Cause an Uproar" project run by National Geographic, which is dedicated to the preservation and nurture of big cats all over the planet. This prize pack contains the NatGeo DVD program In Search of the Jaguar, a "Cause an Uproar" wrap bracelet, and a one-year subscription to National Geographic.



3. Eio's Jungle
Jewelry and accessories plays a large part in Origin, from Eio's jaguar necklace to Pia's bird pendant to Uncle Antonio's snakeskin belt. This prize pack contains two unique jewelry pieces inspired by the Amazon rainforest: a pair of vintage, enamel-leaf earrings and an orchid necklace with pearl and amethyst accents, representative of the deadly but beautiful elysia orchid which gives Pia her immortality. Also included is a signed hardcover copy of Origin!





To Enter the giveaways
complete the forms below!
Remember: each prize pack is its own giveaway; you may enter for all three packages but to do so you must enter on all three forms!

Three unique winners will be decided at random. The more entries you complete, the higher your chances of winning. Contest ends on Sunday, March 3 and winners will be notified by email. If you are a winner and do not reply to your email within fourteen days your prize will be forfeit. 

Open to USA and CANADA only!

Questions? Ask them in the comments!


Enter here for:
*Pia's Library*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter here for:
*Alai's Spots*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter here for:
*Eio's Jungle*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

65 comments:

  1. That tour looks sooooo awesome! Gotta love Portland, esp that hotel!! So swagtastic. :D

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  2. I have yet to read the books! But I have Origin because of the cast contest! And I have this necklace of a dog I have because I love animals!

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  3. I wish I could have been there, it's cool that you have so many things in common.
    I loved Divergent, I guess I have to say that's the book that left me breathless, I just read it for the first time about three months ago

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    1. I have a watch that was my Mom's, it's very special because it's one of the things I have left of her

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  4. Ah, I was there at the Boulder stop! :D It was absolutely amazing getting to listen to everyone talk about themselves and their books, and I was so sad when the event was over. And I love being able to read about some of the other stops on here, wish I could've attended those ones too! (What can I say, I love hearing about books and their authors)

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    1. As for a book that I've recently read that left my Breathless, I just finished reading Andrea Cremer's Nightshade trilogy, and the third book, Bloodrose, definitely left me breathless. The ending completely took me by surprise, it was amazing!

      As for a special piece of jewelry, mine is a necklace that I always wear. It's a key, and it has a wolf, wings, and a green gem on it. I'm a writer, and when I was younger, one of my characters was a wolf with green eyes (a character I still have kept around since, honestly), and that still has an importance to me. Anyway, I found this key necklace up for sale on an art site, and it was titled "Green Eye of the Wolf." I just couldn't walk away, I had to buy it. A wolf with green eyes has way too much sentimental importance to me, so I bought it, and I think I've worn it every single day since I got it. Honestly, I feel naked without it now, haha. It just means a lot to me.

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  5. This looks so epic! I was going to go help out with the Mrs. Nelson's stop but I had to go to Stanford for a debate tournament and that clashed with the time. T.T The next time y'all tour, though, I'm definitely not going to miss it. I'm a gigantic fan of ORIGIN and the gushing may be a bit wacky, not gonna lie, but hey, fangirling is what fangirls do best, amirite?

    Anyways, so before my grandpa died, he and my grandma used to go to this yoga/massage center in China. (We were living in China at the time.) They can earn credits for doing certain activities, and those credits can be exchanged for prizes. Once I went with them, and there was this long glass table full of prizes and I saw this chocolate-colored heart-shaped beady necklace (It's like those beady necklaces with the beads all strung across the string, and the heart is the "charm" in the front center). So I really wanted it (I was like seven or eight) and my grandpa didn't have enough credits, but later on he surprised me with it and says he convinced the guy to let him buy the necklace for me instead. I haven't worn it much, just because it's so precious, but it's... it's nice. :)

    Thanks for the giveaways! You rock.

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  6. Pivot Point left me breathless!

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  7. This is cliche, but I have to go with my engagement ring. My husband and I were at an antique store years ago (we had been together about 6months) while we were on vacation at my favorite beach town. I saw this amazing ring and he noticed my staring at it in awe. We had not been together long enough to discuss marriage so I never brought it up. He went behind my back and bought it for me because even though we weren't ready for marriage, he knew that I was the one. About a year later he pulled it out and proposed. It is definitely my most cherished piece of jewelry!

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  8. I think the last book that I read that left me breathless was Good For You, by Tammara Webber. It was amazing seeing one of the main characters grow in so many ways, and it was an inspiring change. I really loved that installment in the series, and I can't wait 'til the fourth novel is released !

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    1. Special piece of jewelry... I think it would have to be this charm that my grandmother gave me a few years back. Or would it be called a pendant... either way, it's this flat, circular, silver disk that has a rabbit engraved on one side, and the Chinese character of it engraved on the other. I was born in the year of the dog, in regards to the Chinese zodiac. My grandmother told me that the rabbit was the protector of the dog, while the dog watches over the rabbit(if you think that's weird, apparently the chicken is the protector of the tiger and vice versa). Although I'm not a superstitious person, I find a sort of comfort in wearing the charm on a necklace around my neck, and even though it has little monetary value, I treasure it more than any other piece of jewelry I own~

      On another note, thank you so much for hosting this giveaway ! You rock :D

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  9. I have a small necklace with a tiny diamond-encrusted heart that my aunt gave to me when I graduated from high school. She has three daughters (my cousins), and I am an only child. She told me "All of the sisters got on, and I know you're like a sister to them, so we all wanted to get you one too." It made me feel really loved :)

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  10. I won an ARC of STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood. I just finished reading it and it was amazeballs! Definitely left me breathless...and anxious for more!

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  11. First off I'm loving your red shoes as well as your Tardis shirt.
    I don't have any special jewelry I actually wear, but I do have a few things I have stashed away; like my late grandmother's watch and a handmade Keiko (Free Willy) pendant I got when I visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium as a kid. Things like that hold memories for me, so I don't get rid of them.

    Also the last book that left me breathless was probably Dualed by Elise Chapman, I'm reading it now and there are moments where I'm just blown away by some of it.

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  12. The last book I read that left me breathless...well, if we're talking fiction books, it would have to be Pegasus by Robin McKinley. Definitely a page-turner. I've been on the edge of my seat for a few years now waiting for the sequel which comes out next year. But Plot and Structure, a non-fiction book on writing, left me "breathless" in a way. It let me believe that I could actually write something worth publishing.

    My most meaningful piece of jewelry is my granny's engagement and wedding ring set. She passed away last year from cancer, and she left them to me. :)

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  13. Looks like it was a blast! And how cool to find a Tardis and David Tennant in the library??!!

    The last book that left me breathless was Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. So beautiful and emotional.

    The piece of jewelry that's meaningful to me is a gavel necklace I was given at my college graduation since I was starting law school after. It reminds me that I can do anything I determine to do. :-)

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  14. EEK! Looks like a terrific tour for you!

    The last breathless read for me would probably be The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand. I don't usually read MG books, but this? Just mindblowingly awesome and dark. Another would be Heartsick by Chelsea Cain, which is a psychological thriller that had me bending over backwards with the suspense and twisted psyche. I'm currently in the middle of Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock and so far everything looks pretty good.

    A piece of jewelry . . . I rarely wear jewelry since it's just not my thing, but one would be a necklace with a circular orb and a dolphin curled around it because my mother gifted it to me a few years ago.

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  15. Actually I just read Beth's Shades of Earth and literally the entire last third of the book I was like, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHGTppKiLjE

    Seriously.

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  16. I wear a plain ring, just a silver band on my right ring finger everyday. It's my great grandmother's wedding band and it's engraved on the inside with her initials and wedding date: M.E.S. 12-22-28

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  17. A book that left me breathless was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Just perfect!

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    1. Oh, I also have these pair of earrings I love, and I love them because I wore them to my first dance. Now they are kind of a keepsake.

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  18. Guys i read Slintered by A.G. Howard and i died emotionally!! This book is practically my life i know it is my dreams on paper and it was fabulous it is a classic twist novel and i loooosvvvvvveeeeeessssss it!!!!
    I wear my grandfathers dogtags as a neckless and a flame i made of bronze to rep my love for him and my dauntless fandom <3

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  19. Sever by Lauren DeStefano definitely left me breathless! Love that series!

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  20. I'm reading Rise right now and it's sooo good!! Definitely leaving me breathless here :D I have all the breathless books but havent had a chance to read any!! I'm really excite to read Origin though!
    I dont really wear jewelry but I made this necklace that has a piece of a page from Pride and Prejudice! Its pretty badass :P
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  21. Sever probably is what left me breathless recently. It's a beautifully dark series

    My grandmothers engagement ring. My grandparents were one of those couples that were truly truly in love and it reminds me of that when I wear it or look at it. Like she's always there cheering me on.

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  22. The Thief of Always (re-read) left me breathless. :)

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  23. Book I read that left me breathless was (ironically) Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker. That book had me holding my breath the whole way through it.

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  24. Piece of jewelry that has special meaning is a butterfly shaped opal and diamond ring my Granddad picked out for my Grandma. She passed it on to me after he died, and I'm supremely paranoid something will happen to it.

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  25. I do not wear jewelry but I have a stuffed soc 'farmer' my mother made when I was very small. I never go anywhere without it. It sits by my writing desk at this very moment.

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  26. The last book that left me 'breathless' would have to be Sidekicked by John David Anderson. I cannot even begin to describe why this book took my breath away, but the story was just fantastic that I actually made myself read it slowly just so it wouldn't end.

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  27. Prodigy made me cry a river! It was breathtaking!!!
    -Jon G.

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  28. The last book I read that left me breathless was Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker. It was truly magical both the plot, the characters, and the surprise ending.

    The piece of jewelry I keep close is a ring that says "faith" and has Hebrews 11:6 on it. I got it as an award for completing a program as my church so it helps me remember what I've accomplished and what God is doing in my life.

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  29. Scarlett by Marissa Meyer left me breathless!! LOVE the Lunar Chronicles!!

    The piece of jewelry I keep close is my grandmother's necklace. My grandfather gave it to her the day of their wedding and I never taken it off. Its my goodluck charm.

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  30. Wow!! It looks like you had an amazing time!!! I love red heels in the snow picture. I have sea glass earrings that are pretty special to me because it was most likely one of the pieces that found with my dad and sister. I also a pearl necklace that is special to me because it was from my uncle/godfather, Bill. He was a really good friend to my family. I also like my high school class ring :D
    This is a wonderful giveaway, thank you so much!!

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  31. One book that i just read was Phoebe Pope and the Year of Your by Nya Jade, a really cool shapeshifter book :D

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  32. Oh man, what a freaking fantastic tour! But just a warning, you all would have to fight me for Tennant. Yummy.

    Let's see, the most recent book that left me breathless was probably Bruised by Sarah Skilton. I rarely like contemporaries, but I loved this one!

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  33. Recent read that left me breathless was the sequel to SANCTUM by Sarah Fine. It left me a mess of emotions.

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  34. I don't wear jewelry much, but I have lots of keepsakes that are meaningful. Probably the one that means the most to me is a miniature doll carriage (made of wicker) that belonged to my grandmother. She brought it back from Switzerland when I was born, and I played with it often when I got old enough to lug around a doll. I can't look at it now without thinking of my Grandma.

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  35. Not to suck up but Origin left me pretty breathless!

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  36. Also. About jewelry, I don't wear much consistently except for my wedding band which is pretty self explanatory. I love my hubs and my ring! It's nothing fancy but it means the world to me. :)

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  37. My grandfather passed on before I ever got the chance to really know him. I have this photo of him, though, of when he was a young man. He's posing in front of a marble statue of a nude woman. She's lying beside a lion, hand behind her head, stretching as she looks for something in the distance. He's lying down on the ground, a smile on his face as he imitates her pose. The longer I look at it, the funnier it becomes. The photo helps me feel closer to him and know him better. I once thought of him as the dying old man I knew as a kid. Now, I think of him as the humorous young man he truly was. I look forward to the day I will get to see him again in heaven. Until then, I'll being keeping the photo close.

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  38. A book that recently left me breathless was Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. It's so good! I have loved this series from the start.
    One keepsake that is important to me is a small yellow jewlery box with a horse on it that plays music when you round it up. My grandpa gave it to me for my 8th birthday, a couple of days before he died. We were very close and I miss him very much.

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  39. Thanks for the giveaway and sharing the tour! I wish I was there; I've got Fan Love <3 ! I want to be an author too so bad! A keepsake for me is my burnished gold starfish necklace that my mom got for me when I was little. She gave it to me to give me confidence because I was so shy. She called me the star of the ocean (we live close to the beach)!
    Thanks again for the awesome giveaway and I am a Who fan too!!!
    -Cali W.

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  40. Ohh, SPLINTERED by A. G. Howard! Everyone's been telling me how amazing it was and I was not disappointed at all. The characters were memorable, the world was gorgeous, and ending was perfect.

    As for jewelry, it would have to be my cross necklace. It's not very fancy, but I almost never take it off, and it means a lot to me. Or I guess my ring, which was a gift that I love.

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  41. Your tour looked amazing, and I love the fun facts! These giveaways are pretty awesome too :-D. I was most recently left breathless by The Scorpio Races.

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  42. Prodigy by Marie Lu, definitely! I mean, all those intense dialogues, plot twists that I never saw coming? And heaven forbid, that ending? My breath was truly knocked out of me by this one, and all the hype is very well deserved. (:

    I'm going to have to say that the cross around my neck is the jewelry I treasure most deeply. It's been with me for quite a while now, and it means a lot to me. It reminds me of really good memories, and important lessons learned.

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  43. A book that left me breathless is The Chornicles of Narnia. I am not finished with it yet but my goodness it is so magical I love it.

    My grandparents gave me locket that has an engraving on the back of it with their pictures in it when I was a baby. I love the piece so very much because they gave it to me.

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  44. One piece of jewelry that is meaningful to me is my Grandfather's birthstone ring. We both have birthdays in the same month and when he passed away from cancer, my grandmother decided I was the one who should have his ring. He was special to me and so is his ring.

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  45. Books that have left me breathless recently: Origin, of course! Beautiful Creatures and Reached :)

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  46. Book that left me breathless: Prodigy by Marie Lu. That book left me in many tears. (As seen here: http://froze8.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-book-that-broke-my-heart-prodigy-by.html#.USatII5buDQ )


    Describe a piece of special jewelry or a keepsake you own and why it is meaningful to you!
    Can a keepsake be a stuffed bear? Pink Bear is probably my most precious thing, he was given to me by my Godmother when I was born and has gone through my whole life with me.

    -K8
    http://froze8.blogspot.com/

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  47. The last book I read that left me breathless was probably either Hysteria or Nobody. Both were so good!!

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  48. I read Pivot Point last week and absolutely adored it! It was so good!

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  49. Scarlett left me breathless.

    I have beautiful shell necklace from Alaska that my husband bought me for my birthday while we were vacationing there.

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  50. Sever by Lauren Destefano left me breathless, because it was so beautiful!

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  51. My favorite piece of jewelry is the sapphire ring my mom bought me without even knowing that the sapphire is my sorority's stone. :)

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  52. The last book I read that left me breathless was Enclave by Ann Aguirre. I love dystopian novels and this one enraptured me from the start.

    My favorite piece of jewelry is my sorority lavelier. Its one of the most important things I own!

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  53. What a wonderful tour! The last book that left me breathless was Unravel Me by T. Mafi. My favorite piece of jewelry is my wedding ring. It just has so many memories attached and my husband had it specially made for me. Thanks for the chance to win such fun prizes!

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  54. The last book I read that left me breathless was The Last of the Mohicans. It was more of a bad kind of breathless though, 'cause it wasn't as much of a love story as I thought it was going to be. And I didn't know Uncas and Cora died at the end... But I'm glad I finally read it all the same. :)

    My favorite piece of jewelry is a rose ring given to me by my parents. Roses are my favorite flower and I wear it all the time!

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  55. The book that left me breathless was The Fault in Our Stars, I could not put it down and yet when it was over I nearly cried.
    My Favorite keepsake is a blanket my grandmother made me out of my old pajama material.

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  57. I have this blanket and pillow set with snowmen on them that's special to me. I remember getting it on a shopping trip with my mom and grandma and great-grandma. My great grandma, who is passed now bought the special set for me. It's still in great condition and I love it so much. :D

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  58. My recent read was Anna Dressed in Blood. It left me breathless indeed!

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  59. One of the special trinkets I own is a set of pearl earrings that my mom gave to me.

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  60. Shortly before her death, my grandmother(who raised me equally with my parents) gave me a dragonfly brooch of hers that is beautifully made from gold and bright semi precious gems. I plan to wear it on my wedding dress, as a way for her to walk me down the aisle.

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