The Awakened Blog Tour – Author Spotlight + Guest Post + Review + Giveaway

Official Awakened CoverOkay. I am SO EXCITED to be part of the The Awakened Blog Tour. I love apocalyptic novels, especially zombie ones, and the author, Sara E. Santana, better known as WhatANerdGirlSays, has been on such a journey to get this one published. I’ve been following her blog for a while, and it’s so great to see her finally a published author.

Today I’m featuring Sara here on the blog. She going to tell us about her writing space and method and the struggles of writing a book, offering some do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing a novel. I loooove getting a peek into author’s lives and writing processes so I’m thrilled to share this with you today. I’ll also include my review of her soon to be released debut novel, The Awakened at the end of her guest post, including a link to the giveaway she’s hosting! You can preorder The Awakened now for Amazon Kindle. Paperbacks will be available for purchase on the day of release, which is the 1st December.

I would also like to note that if you preorder the Kindle version, you can get a free signed bookmark. In order to claim your bookmark, you must message your proof of purchase/preorder and your name and address to

About Sara E. Santana

Official Author PhotoSara Elizabeth Santana is a young adult and new adult fiction writer. She has worked as a smoothie artist, Disneyland cast member, restaurant supervisor, nanny, photographer, pizza delivery driver and barista but writing is what she loves most. Her first story was written at age nine. She runs her own nerd girl/book review blog, What A Nerd Girl Says. Her favorite books are a tie between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling and Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce. She lives in Southern California with her dad, five siblings and two dogs. Her debut novel is The Awakened.

Website Twitter | Instagram | NaNoWriMo | Facebook | GoodReads

Enough from me…let’s hear from Sara…

Hey there! Sara Elizabeth Santana here, author of the debut novel, The Awakened. I am so excited to be here on Reading and Reviews, sharing some of my writing do’s and don’t’s. I could go on for ages but I decided to just share a few with you guys.

Here’s one thing I’ll say before I say anything. I’m not an expert. Even though I’ve written five books and now have an actual book being published, I still don’t feel like I have any idea of what I’m doing, which leads me to my first don’t…

Don’t…Don’t ever feel like you need to know what you’re doing. Don’t get discouraged. I know that’s easier said than done, believe me, but none of us are experts. Each book is a different experience, and each one is a challenge. I’m about to be published…and I still stare at my computer screen, at the blank pages of the sequel and scream WHYYYYY. Its normal. Believe me.

Do…Do read a lot. Read what influences you! Read your favorites and read them again. They are your biggest influences. I can’t imagine what my stories would be like without my favorite authors influencing. Oh, I’m sure I could have written books without them but I definitely wouldn’t be the writer that I am or written the book that I did without them. They are incredible influence. Read. Read. Read.

Don’t…Don’t give up. It sounds so simple but its so easy to do that and I will tell you the first thing you should know about being a writer: it is NOT easy. Its hard work, a lot of rejection and a lot of sacrifice. Don’t ever give up!

Do…Do ask for help! Get to know more writers! It is literally the best thing you will do. Through my blog, I was lucky enough to become friends with aspiring writers and published authors and their friendship has been so invaluable to me. You need that support, and you push each other and awesome stuff happens!

Don’t…Don’t be afraid to write badly! You’re going to write badly. I think a lot of people sit in front of the computer and think that everything the type has to be beautiful and perfect and that’s so not true. Its the hardest thing I’ve had to work through but you have to give yourself permission to write badly. You can always go back and rewrite or fix something. Get that crappy stuff on the paper and worry about fixing it later 🙂

Do…Do have fun! Even though there are days where I want to tear out my hair or throw something or scream WHYYYYYYYY, I really do love to write. Its a really cool thing to write this whole new story. I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else and even on the bad days, I remember how much I love it and how much fun it really is.

My Review

3.5 out of 5 stars
~ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review~

Zoey Valentine’s life revolves around avoiding her irritating next door neighbour, Ash, and surviving the constant self-defence classes her police officer father makes her take. That is until the zombie apocalypse hits the USA, and the entire country is thrown into a frenzy. What seemed like an unusual illness, is actually turning everyone into a zombie-like state. Except, they’re much faster than the usual. When Zoey learns that the US government decides to bomb every major city, including her home city NYC, she finds herself on the run with her father and Ash in a desperate dash for survival.

I can just begin this review to say how I excited I was to read a zombie novel?? They’re literally one of my favourite genres, in any format, book or movie/TV! My originally NaNoWriMo this year was supposed to be a zombie novel but I opted for my automation sci-fi novel as I was more invested in that.

Anyway, enough of me, this is a review for Sara’s The Awakened! This book was really great, in some sense, was really guessable in certain scenes but the way Santana writes makes it a really interesting read with a great cast of characters, each different in their own unique way. I enjoyed the doses of humour and heart within the novel and alongside Sara’s writing style which is easy to follow and compelling to read. She has the makings of a decent storyteller with this fast-paced debut novel.

You can read my full review here!


Sara is also holding aGiveaway Graphic giveaway which begins today! Click here for the Rafflecopter link. For some reason, I am unable to place the actual widget on here.


  • Starts November 26th and ends December 12th
  • Prizes will be shipped AFTER Christmas
  • Available internationally

The prizes include:

  1. One Grand Prize Winner – Signed Copy of The Awakened, Signed Exclusive Poster, Signed Bookmark
  2. One First Place Winner – Signed Poster and Signed Bookmark
  3. Two Second Place Winners – A Kindle Edition of The Awakened and a Signed Bookmark

Continue the blog tour!

Check out the entire tour for more information about the book, interviews, guest posts, excerpts and more! I’ll be updating this post so the links will take you straight to the post.

November 26th: Reading and Reviews / What A Nerd Girl Says

November 27th:  Living Within Fiction

November 28th: Lisa of Literature / Seeking Bazinga

November 29th: Chloe’s Book Nook / Book and Movies Addict

November 30th: Tine’s Reviews / Escape from Realities

December 1st: What A Nerd Girl Says / The Book Academy / Bookish Wonderland

December 2nd: Recently Acquired Obsessions / Morgan Reads

December 3rd: Case Maynard, Author / Movies, Shows and Books

December 4thBout of Bibliophilia

December 5th: Tesairie’s Book Reads / iFandoms Collide

December 6th: Just One of Those Bibliophiles / A Traveling Book / Endlessly Readings

December 7th: My Life in Blog / Erin Rhew Books

December 8th: Metamorphic Books / Knightingale Reviews

December 9th: Reading Over Sleeping / Always and Forever Fangirl




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