Blog Tour: The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkowski (GIVEAWAY)


The ‘Winner’s Curse’ is an economics term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted – but at too high a price.  What would you pay too much for?

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do for this blog tour. I mean I loved the book, see my review from yesterday, and loved The Winner’s Crime, but I wasn’t sure there was anything I would pay too much for. I’m usually really careful when spending my money and think though cost to wear ratio on big ticket items. And then it came to me. There are two things I want badly and would probably over spend to get; an amazing closet and the perfect reading area.

I scoured the internet and found 4 of each that I absolutely love and would 100% pay too much for.


Click on picture for source.

I saw this shoe wall when I was browsing Google and I was sold. Currently my shoes are all in boxes taking up a TON of room. Not to mention my jewelry in a tupperware container. Yup, I would pay WAY TOO MUCH for this closet.

Click on picture for source.

Can you imagine a closet with stairs? I mean STAIRS? Nope, neither can I. But how EPIC would this be? Summer stuff on one floor, winter on the other? Just take my paycheck for the year.

Click on picture of source.

Probably the most simple of the 4 I have selected, but I love the dress form, different levels for different types of clothing and the cabinet feature. I can already see where I would put what. I must admit that I would probably use a different rug though.

Click picture for source.
Click picture for source.

I love everything about this closet. I love the rug. I love the chaise. I love the picture of the wall. I have taken creative liberty and decided that the bars for the clothing extend all across the wall from one end to the other and the other wall has an epic show rack. Either way I love it!


Click on picture for source.
Click on picture for source.

I don’t know it is the the massive walls of books, the gorgeous window setting, or the green pillows that drew me to this reading nook. All I know is that I want it, and I want it now!

Click on picture for source.
Click on picture for source.

Those couches! Those couches! Those couches! I would totally start a book club and have you all over so we can sit on these things.

Click on picture for source.
Click on picture for source.

That window seat is EVERYTHING. I know there are minimal book shelves around it, but I can get up and get my books. To sit in that window is totally worth it.

Click picture for source.
Click picture for source.

I don’t think I need to explain why I picked this one. If you are a reader…you 100% under stand.


That was a lot of fun! Make sure you check out the other tour stops HERE and check out the master website for Marie’s Winner trilogy HERE. You can also play Bite and Sting, a game from the book, HERE. And don’t forget to check out both The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime (out March 3rd).

The giveaway is US ONLY and provided by the publisher. Winner will choose between a copy of The Winner’s Curse or The Winner’s Crime (this will take longer to ship out).  Please enter below. Runs January 24th at 12am to January 30th at 11:59pm EST.

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Thanks Macmillan for the fun tour.

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There Will Be Lies Blog Tour- Boston Sports Superstitions


A big shout out and thank you to Bloomsbury Children’s for this blog tour! When I read what the tour was about I was in because if Boston knows one thing, it is sports superstitions.

On January 6th There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake was released. Here is a little about the book:

There Will Be Lies Blog Tour- Boston Sports SuperstitionsThere Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Shelby Jane Cooper is seventeen, pretty and quiet. It's just Shelby and her mom, Shaylene, a court stenographer who wears pyjama jeans, stitches tapestry, eats ice-cream for dinner and likes to keep Shelby safe. So safe she barely goes out. So safe she doesn't go to school. Because anything could happen, to a girl like Shelby. Anything. When Shelby gets knocked down by a car, it's not just her leg that's broken: Shelby's world is shattered. Her mom turns up to collect her and drives off into the night, like it's the beginning of a road trip, like two criminals on the run, like Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde. And somehow, everywhere she looks, there's a coyote watching her, talking to her, telling her not to believe.Who is Shelby Jane Cooper? If the person who keeps you safe also tells you lies, who can you trust?



About Nick Lake

Nick Lake is the much-acclaimed author of In Darkness, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, and Hostage Three, which received three starred reviews and was named a Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year. He is also the Publishing Director for fiction at HarperCollins Children's Books UK. Nick lives near Oxford, England.

boston Boston is a town that deeply immersed in their sports. We breath, eat, drink and sleep hockey, baseball, football and even basketball. We bleed for our teams. But with that blood comes a whole lot of superstitions, both on the personal level and as a city as a whole.

Google Image
Google Image

1) Sports Illustrated Cover Curse: It is well known in Boston (and other cities) that you don’t want your superstars to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The cover is a curse, a jinx, an automatic groan made by fans. In 2001 Nomar Garciaparra of the Boston Red Sox  was on the cover of the magazine; one week later he broke his wrist altering his entire career. In September of 2008 Tom Brady of the New England Patriots (left) was on the cover; first game of the season he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee. This stuff is no joke in these parts.



Actually Sign in Boston. (Google Image)
Actually Sign in Boston. (Google Image)

2) Curse of the Bambino: The age old story of why the Red Sox never won a World Championship for 86 years (1918-2004). It is a complicated tale of a trade for cash of one of the Red Sox greatest players to one of their biggest rivals all for a play to be made. The story has changed over the years as stories often do, but it all goes back to the same thing, the Red Sox luck changed with that trade and it wasn’t reversed until 2004 when they were able to finally win it all again.

3) Player Superstitions: Even the players have their own habits and quirks. They have to eat the same thing everyday before a game, listen to the same music, wear the same socks. Nomar Garciaparra had some of the most noticeable and infamous habits before a game.


4) The Playoff Beard: Boston is lucky enough to see a lot of playoffs whether in football, baseball or hockey. On of the most notcible things, especially in hockey, is the playoff beard. When a team is in the hunt for the Stanley Cup, they refuse to shave. It is a major superstition that makes a typical clean-cut guy look like he has been living in the woods for a decade. I mean take a look at the difference in Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins).


boston11) The Shirt: I have a clothing superstition when it comes to sports. It goes back to 2004. When the Red Sox were down 3 games to none in a 7 game series to the Yankees in the ALCS I put on my red Derek Low t-shirt (if you know me, you know I can’t wear red). Well the Sox won game 4. Therefore I wore it for game 5. Won that too. Game 6, Game 7, and all 4 of the World Series games (I even wore it to a bar under an different sweater so I knew it was there!) I wore that Derek Lowe shirt and the Sox never lost.  Since then it has become my thing in playoffs for all my Boston sports. Not the Derek Lowe shirt, I retired that, but if they win when I’m wearing something, I have to wear the same thing for the next game. I am now that girl.

2) Profile Pictures/Avatars: I won’t change mine on any social media if my team is winning. This means I could have a Santa profile pictures until February, but I just don’t care. I believe it helps them win and I’m sticking with it.

3) The Venue Switch: I have actually gone from watching a Patriots game at home to a bar because the Pats were losing badly. At half time, me and my friend decided it was best to change their luck by changing our location. Got up and went out. This one sadly didn’t work, but I would do it again in a heart beat.


So there you have it, Boston/My Sports Superstitions and curses. What superstitions are in Nick Lake’s book There Will Be Lies? Well you will have to read it to find out. But here is your chance. Bloomsbury has one copy of THERE WILL BE LIES up for grabs! The winner must be 13 years of age or older and a resident of US ONLY. Sorry, international! Just enter below!


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All Broke Down by Cora Carmack Release Day Launch + a Giveaway

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Yowza! We are extremely excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack’s ALL BROKE DOWN!! ALL BROKE DOWN is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 2nd book in The Rusk University Series.

All Broke Down

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes


In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love.

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

ABD Teaser 1



I think I get it then. That decision I saw in her eyes back in the kitchen. That’s what this, what I’m about for her, too. I’m just another part of whatever rebellion she started earlier today. About doing what she wants, not what’s expected of her.

“We’re not talking about me, though,” she says. “So you went to meet your friend, and then what happened?”

She keeps her eyes down as she picks up the gauze and begins winding it snugly around the knuckles of one hand, and then the other.

“He said the wrong thing.”

“Which was?”

“Dylan.” Now it’s her that’s pushing too hard. I didn’t want to talk about things with my friends, and I won’t talk about them with her, either, no matter how gorgeous she is.

“I’ll guess. You were mad about what he did, and he wasn’t sorry.”

“This isn’t middle school, Pickle. He didn’t hurt my feelings. He said some shit he had no business saying, and it pissed me off. The end.”

“But you don’t think some of that anger stems from what you feel is a betrayal of your friendship?”

She finishes taping down the last of the gauze, but doesn’t let go of my hand.

“I think you’re analyzing me again. Making things more complicated than they are.”

“And I think you’re just a guy who doesn’t like to admit he has feelings.” She drags out the word, teasing me with some goofy smile on her face. I turn my hand over so I can clutch her wrist. I curlmy other bandaged hand around her waist and pull her closer.

“I feel plenty of things.”

The teasing stops. She swallows.

“I wasn’t talking about that kind of feeling.”

With her standing and me sitting, I’m eye level with her chest. I see the sharp rise and fall as she sucks in a breath. I want her in my lap again, straddling me this time.

“Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about that kind of feeling. Or experiment with it.”

“Is that Stella girl an ex?”

I cough, surprised. My throat twists uncomfortably, and it takes me a couple of solid breaths to get a hold on myself.

“Ah, no. Stella and I have never dated.”

“Have you—”

“Do you ever run out of questions?”

“Not ever.” She turns playful again, and I’m done doing this the careful way. If she wants a rebellion, I’ll be the one to give it to her. I want her against me, and I’m tired of waiting.

I pull her forward, insinuating my knees between hers, and her body naturally follows, settling across my thighs. Her lips part, but she catches herself before she gasps this time. I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.”

Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment.

“Okay then. Are you—”

I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.”

I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

All Lined Up

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.




Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads


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Release Day Celebration for Loop by Karen Akins + a Giveaway

I’m a huge fan of this book so I am very very happy to take part in the release day celebration for Loop by Karen Akin. I just loved this book so much and I think you all will to. Make sure you scroll all the way to the end to enter to win a copy of the book and swag. And if you are interested you can read my review HERE.
loop2About The Book
Loop #1
Author: Karen Akins
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

“A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers’ intelligence.” – Kirkus
“LOOP is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!” – Julie Cross, Author of the TEMPEST series
“Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, LOOP is a mind-bending good time!” – Melissa Landers, Author of the ALIENATED series 
loop1About The Author
Karen Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her.

Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.


Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US Only
One Winner will get a signed final copy of LOOP + a swag pack
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Guest Post: Amy Finnegan from Not in the Script + a Giveaway {CLOSED}


My debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, includes many technical details about acting and filmmaking that I wanted to be as accurate as possible. To make that happen, I not only took acting lessons from someone who starred in a major TV production for over a decade, but also enlisted the help of my brother who works on the Fox studio lot. Tyler answered countless production questions throughout my writing process and took me on several on-set tours. He also introduced me to a Parks and Recreation crew member, Rachel Parkin. At first, Rachel was only brought into the loop to be a second set of fact-checking eyes for my manuscript; but she and I became fast friends, and I soon found myself not only sitting in on the production of Parks and Recreation, where Rachel currently works as a set costumer, but also on the sets of Parenthood and Melissa and Joey.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I loved every second of it.

During my two days on the set of P&R, I followed Rachel everywhere she went: in and out of the costumes trailer, in and out of the actors’ trailers, on and off set. We must’ve walked at least four miles every single hour. Rachel had to be here, there, and everywhere all at once. I wondered how she stayed so calm and cheery, but she said it was just a regular day on set! She clearly enjoys her job.

Rachel’s contribution to NOT IN THE SCRIPT was critical to its success, so during my launch week, I asked a fellow author (and big time fan of P&R!), Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, to interview Rachel about being a set costumer. I’m sharing this interview with you today, because I think readers of Andi’s ABCs in particular will appreciate a behind-the-scenes peek into the Parks and Recreation costumes department. Enjoy!

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman: OMG! Parks and Rec–I love that show!!! Could you first explain for us what you do as a set costumer and what a typical day of work at Parks and Rec is like for you?
Rachel Parkin:
 Hi Jennifer!  Thanks for inviting me to talk a little about my job.  First of all I have to say Kirston Mann, the Costume Designer for

<c>Rachel Parkin in the Parks and Recreation consumes trailer</c>
Rachel Parkin in the Parks and Recreation consumes trailer

Parks and Rec, does an amazing job of putting together the looks you see the characters wear each week on the show.

As a set costumer, my job begins after the clothes have been shopped, chosen, fit, and altered (yes, pretty much everything you see on camera has been altered to fit each actor perfectly, even when it’s purchased at a regular store that the general public shops at).

Set costumers work directly with the actors. We are one of the first crew members to arrive at set early in the morning, and one of the last to leave. All of the costumes worn on film for the day have to be prepped and set in the actor’s trailers.  We provide everything for the actors, from undergarments and socks to jewelry and purses.  TV shows aren’t filmed in order so it’s important to keep things organized and know what an actor wears for what scene.

Besides making sure the actors are wearing the correct costume for each scene, it’s important to make sure the continuity matches while we’re filming.  What I mean by that is: If Ron Swanson has his polo shirt tucked in and sleeves down for a particular scene, I make sure he keeps it that way each time we film that particular script day!

JCB: Where do costume departments get all of the costumes?
 Depending on the needs of the Film or TV project, costumes are purchased, rented, or custom made.  Besides just showing up at the mall and shopping our hearts out, a lot of the clothing stores

in Los Angeles offer what’s called “studio service”.  They allow productions to borrow clothing from the stores for a few days in order to do fittings with the actors and get approval from directors and producers.  We’ll then return anything that didn’t make the cut and won’t be used on the show.

There are also huge warehouses full of costumes called costume rental houses.  You can find anything from contemporary clothing to medieval costumes to futuristic attire.  Some rental houses specialize in certain things such as period military uniforms or highly styled runway attire to be used when styling print work for magazines, etc…

Parks and Recreation wardrobe rack
Parks and Recreation wardrobe rack

There are also some amazingly skilled patternmakers and cutter/fitters that make any costume sketch on paper into a real working garment. Film productions have more time to build entire wardrobes for characters, so most costumes in film are sourced that way. When I worked on the Disney film “Tron Legacy” all of those suits that lit up had to be constructed.  There’s no ‘Light up futuristic costume’ store around to shop at.

On Parks and Rec we only have 5 days to prep for each episode, so it’s a lot of shopping and renting with a seamstress doing alterations.  But sometimes things have to be custom made. In season 6 we did an episode where Leslie Knope had to do a press conference in a lime green suit.  Because it was such a specific gag, the suit had to be made from scratch.

JCB: Do you have a story about the most unusual place you found/acquired a costume?
I was working on a film with costume designer Christopher Lawrence where an actress had to go through hours of hair and makeup in order to make her look ugly. One of the things she had to

do was wear a wig that made it look like her hair was thin and falling out. One of the days we were filming we found out last minute that there wasn’t time for her to go through the entire wigging processes. To solve the problem we needed a hat to cover the fact that she wasn’t wigged. Christopher looked at the hat I

The P&R costumes trailer
The P&R costumes trailer

was wearing and it was perfect to solve our problem! Talk about giving the coat off your own back!

JCB: Have you worked on other shows, and if so, how do the experiences compare?
 I’ve worked on many different shows.  I categorize them in three different ways: Single Camera Dramas, Single Camera Comedies, and Multi Camera shows.  Despite the term “single camera” there are usually two or three cameras filming at the same time.  Single camera shows are filmed on stage or on location.  Examples of Single Camera shows I’ve worked on would be: “Parks and Rec”, “Heroes”, “Parenthood”, “Switched at Birth”, and “New Girl”.

Multi camera shows are what you think of when someone says the term “Three walled sitcom”.  These are filmed with four cameras at the same time on a set (with three walls) and are filmed like a play, in order, in front of a live studio audience.  Examples of multi camera shows I’ve worked on would be: “Melissa and Joey” and “The Exes”.

All three types of shows have their pros and cons for a set costumer.  Single Camera Drama episodes are generally filmed in 7 days, have longer hours (I averaged 70 hrs a week when I worked on “Heroes”), but a lot of times the shows will have more interesting and involved costumes or stunts that makes it really fun to work on.

Single Camera Comedies are generally filmed in 5 days, have decent hours (decent for the film business that is, I usually average 50 hrs a week on these types of shows), and since it’s a comedy it’s fun to watch the scenes being filmed and laugh.  Honestly, on Parks and Rec we have a great time!

Multi camera shows are fun to work on because of the energy you feed off from the live studio audience. It brings me back to my theatre days!

Costumes warehouse
Costumes warehouse

JCB: I would be hard-pressed to do my job as a writer without my computer, books for reference and inspiration, and a notebook to doodle/brainstorm in. I also need patience, courage, and a sense of humor. What might a set costumer’s toolkit consist of?
Number one tool, Organization! When you see the inside of a costume trailer you’ll understand why organization is key. Other tools would include creativity, innovativeness, basic sewing skills, and being able to go with the flow. You’ve probably heard how filming is a lot of “Hurry up and wait” and plans can change quickly, so it’s good to be able to just go with the flow and problem solve. I was on a TV pilot once where the director requested a 1970’s style bathrobe for one of our main characters to wear. No big deal, except he requested it 30min. before we were to shoot that scene!

JCB: Are there any items you regularly use that might be unexpected to people unfamiliar with your line of work?
We use A LOT of safety pins (not necessarily for pinning clothes, but for pinning the manila change tags to the outfits to keep everything organized). The other item we use a lot of is Top Stick. To the general public it’s called fashion tape. It’s pretty much just double stick toupee tape.

JCB: As writers, it can be hard to turn off our “writer brain” when we’re reading or hearing stories created by others. Do you have this problem when watching other TV shows or movies? What sorts of things do you notice?
I love seeing the nuances in how a character’s personality comes through their clothes. We learn a lot of information very quickly about a character by what they’re wearing. In contemporary film and TV I love noticing how things are styled in order to accomplish that communication.

JCB: Since Parks and Rec is a comedy, do you have any funny anecdotes about working on the show to share?
Parks and Rec is now in it’s 7th season and most of the cast and crew has been with the show since the beginning. As you can imagine we’ve become a TV family. It’s always fun to laugh and joke together. I don’t want to bore you with all of the fun and pranks that are played, but I’ll just drop two words, Whoopie Cushion.


Description of NOT IN THE SCRIPT:
The best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.


About the author:
Amy Finnegan writes her own stories because she enjoys falling in love over and over again, and thinks everyone deserves a happy ending. She likes to travel the world—usually to locations where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, came about after hearing several years of behind-the-scenes stories from her industry veteran brother. She’s also been lucky enough to visit dozens of film sets and sit in on major productions such as Parks and Recreation and Parenthood. You can follow Amy on Twitter: @ajfinnegan, Instagram: StrangerThanFictionWriter, Facebook: Amy Finnegan, Author. Or Visit her at

Amy has made some pretty great swag that she is giving away in addition to a finished copy of her book (which is adorable by the way! Review to come) donated by the awesome people at Bloomsbury. Please click on the photo to enter. US ONLY! Must be 16. Contest goes until 10/22/14.



Thanks to Amy Finnegan and Bloomsbury for letting be a part of this tour.

*all personal photos belong to Amy Finnegan

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