Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat by William Braden

It was just a link to a video and it was the first time I visited Tracey's blog over at Pen and Paper. The image showed a cat. I love cat videos, I thought, so I clicked on it, but I was completely unprepared for the malaise I was subjected to by Henri. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. Perhaps when I was watching a video of Simon's Cat. I used to link on the Caturday thread at Fark every Saturday for my LOL cats, but this was so much more and yet so much less.

I had to share the video with everyone I knew and I posted it on Facebook. I watched it more than once. I laughed just as hard every time I watched it. In gathering images for this post, I was happy to find that there are more Henri videos and I must watch every single one.

I met Grumpy cat, well, we weren't properly introduced, but I was so close to her. They wouldn't let me take a close up, though, without getting on the line from hell. You'd think Star Wars was being released in the theater again the line was so long. So, while I wasn't introduced and wasn't close enough to touch, I was at least in the same building at the same time. Actually, I was near her and did take a picture from across the aisle, but she's tiny as a pin head on my camera phone. She was on site to promote her new book.

So, when I was looking up her book, I saw that to my surprise, Henri also had a book and his was already available! I immediately added it to my wish list, the public one as my birthday was coming up and I hoped beyond hope that someone would get it for me. And in fact, they did. My Sister-in- Law, Shannon, got it for me. Best gift this year, well, that and money to put towards my iPad, but I digress.

I read Henri's book in one sitting. It's hard not to. It's a short read, but even if it was longer, I would not have been able to put it down. I was captivated. I was alone in my room with the air conditioning on and I was guffawing uncontrollably. I'm telling you, Grumpy Cat may have more of the eye of the public, but I don't think she can stand up to Henri's intelligence and biting wit.

Favorite quote: My thumbs are not opposable, yet I oppose everything.

If you like the brooding, angst-ridden thinkers and are looking for a laugh, do yourself a favor and pick this up. Or watch a video.

Travails of Henri can be found at 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday - Best Books of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks list is the Top 10 books read so far in 2013. I figured this one would be easy, and it was in a way. I am the type of person that never leaves the house without one or more books, well, over 100 if you count my eReader. I read all the time, every chance I get, which I will admit is not often enough for me, especially as of late. It's my hobby, my life, really. It's the thing I do, the thing that defines me, or at the very least one of the things that defines me.
So how is it that we are 6 months into the new year and I haven't read much more than 10 books?

Okay, let me qualify that. I actually have read above 20, but I lumped all the Covenant series books by JLA together. And there are about half a dozen books I read, but didn't love. And I read a bunch of manga.

So, for me, there wasn't much choice in my Top 10, but here it goes:

1) Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt - This one was probably my favorite book I've read so far this year.

2) Covenant Series by Jennifer L Armentrout - An entire series I couldn't put down. And the squee factor was pretty high. Although, I still need to read Apollyon.

3) A Midsummer’s Tights Dream by Louise Rennison - This one was the most amusing book I've read this year. I really love my Brit Chick Lit. Although, this series is about Georgia's cousin, Tallulah, it still the same sharp wit and humor as the Georgia Nicholson books.

4) The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller - This one was the story of my life. Well, not really, but I could relate with the main character on account of the fact that I'm a, well, nerd.

5) Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus - Another real page turner. I requested a sample because I had seen good things about it on other blogs. Once I started reading, I was hooked immediately. Sadly, it took me several months before I actually picked the book up to read. It was worth waiting for.

6) Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg - This one was some what haunting. It kept me guessing. And I kept guessing wrong, so I was really glad I couldn't easily figure out all the plot twists. I really like In My Room, but this one was better. It was a little darker and more emotional I thought.

7) From When I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas - This one was my guilty pleasure. I wouldn't call it a road trip book per se, but it ends up being one, and I just couldn't put it down. Vegas doesn't have anything on Ensenada, Mexico. That's all I'm saying.

8) Cinderella in Skates by Carly Syms - Love and Hockey. What more could I want? Well, a frelling Stanley Cup, but that privilege went to the Chicago Blackhawks. There's always next year.

9) This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith - Movie Star falls for small town girl. It's a beautiful idea, in theory, but I'm not sure it would work. This book dealt with the reality of tomorrow in a relationship that is the stuff of dreams.

10) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Holy.....I'm not sure there is much else I can say.  I read it in like two days.  Fantastic.

 There you have it, my best of 2013 so far. I'm looking forward to what the second half of the year will bring. There are a lot of awesome books coming out I can't wait to get my hands on!!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - Goodies Abound

Well, I did manage to kill yet another Kindle, which makes four all together. I just don't know how I do it. Well, this last one I do know how I did it. I was at the Book Blogger's Convention and was completely unprepared for the number of books I received. I had them all in one tote bag and there were 18 books I believe. It was the end of the day and I had had my Kindle out and I put it in the tote bag with the 18 books but on the side of the stack. I think it was just too much pressure on the screen.

So, I called Amazon Tech support and they were not really able to assist. My warranty had expired, you see. The did offer me some refurbished models, but I didn't really want to buy one that someone returned and they repaired. I have a bad enough reputation with brand new Kindles.

I decided to wait. I was weighing out buying a new Kindle or an iPad, which I have been wanting for a while. The iPad won out. I cashed in some Visa gift cards, a Best Buy gift card and cash from last year's and this year's birthday and came away with a shiny new toy.

So that acquisition trumps everything else I received this week, even Neil's new book, but here's what I received this week.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - Cannot wait to get to reading this one! I may have to push it to the top of the list. I've been carrying it with me everywhere I go in the house since I got it earlier this past week.
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan - This one I ordered from Amazon's Marketplace. I was so excited to find that it is actually a signed copy of the book!!!
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris - Elizabeth Norris was signing her second book at BEA, but I missed her. I picked up book one as a bargain book.
If I Die by Rachel Vincent - Finally, I am completing my collection of this series. Now I only have to start reading. Well, I have to finish book one and read the rest.
With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent - Ditto
The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People by Ellen Datlow - I found this one on line after BEA. I have the first two collections Ellen Datlow edited in this series, The Green Man and The Fairy Reel. I didn't know there was a third one in the series, but this one was also a bargain book.
The Taker: Book One of the Taker Trilogy by Alma Katsu - Alma Katsu was at BEA signing the second book, The Reckoning. I also missed her, but I was able to order book one as a bargain book. It sounded intriguing.
Hellboy Library Edition Volume 6: The Storm and the Fury and The Bride From Hell by Mike Mignola - Well, it's heavier than the comic books the stories are taken from. I can tell you that. Love Hellboy. I'd love to see Dark Horse make another movie.

Gifted Book:
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X) by Richelle Mead - My very excellent friend, Terri over at Alexia's Books and Such, was nice enough to send me her review copy when she was done reading it since I, you guessed it, also missed Richelle Mead signing copies of this book at BEA.
Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat by William Braden - Thanks to Tracey over at Pen and Paper, I saw the video of Henri, the Angst-Filled Existential Cat. I couldn't stop laughing and had to watch the darn thing over and over. I shared the link, posted it to Facebook and forced hubby to watch it with me. You can imagine my surprise when I found a book about him!!! I think I found it when I was looking up Grumpy Cat's book. Anyway, I put it on my Amazon wishlist and my Sister-in-law, Shannon, bought it for me for my birthday!!!

Kindle Books:
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer – Kindle Deal of the Day
Holiday Spirits (Shadow Hills) by Anastasia Hopcus - I loved Shadow Hills, now I just need to review it.
Shattered Promises (Shattered Promises Book 1) by Jessica Sorensen – Free Kindle Book
Graveminder by Melissa Marr - Kindle Deal (100 books for $3.99 or less), but it's just until the end of June.

I know I've asked this question before and I still have to wonder. Why is it, that I went to BEA and got all these new shiny books, but still feel compelled to buy more books??? Perhaps it the thrill of the hunt. I love findings bargains and upcoming books I wasn't aware of as yet. Will I ever be satisfied with the books I have? Just wondering.

Until next time.....TTFN!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book Expo America 2013 - Top 10 Hits and Misses

So, I wanted to take a few to highlight some of things I was most excited about, but also the things I missed that I really wanted to pick up or see. And while I came away with quite an awesome collection of books from some of favorite authors, I don't think it's possible to get everything unless you've only got one book on your list. I was able to find more on my list than I missed, but that's okay. It will take me a while to read what I have. So without further ado, here in no specific order are the Top 10 books and events at both ends of the spectrum...

BEA Top 10 Hits and Misses

  1. Neil Gaiman – Why is Fiction Dangerous?: The lecture was awesome, we got two free books and I managed to snag one of the promotional pins.
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander is one of my Top 10 all time favorite books and I really showed my fan girl side meeting Diana Gabaldon.
  3. Teardrop by Lauren Kate: Lauren Kate was another one of the big authors for me. I was very excited to pick up her new book.
  4. Hero by Alethea Kontis: I loved, loved, loved her first book and am really looking forward to the sequel, plus Alethea Kontis had in the show.
  5. The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise: This was the first signed book I picked up. I had actually read about it before BEA, so was very excited to see the author was doing a signing.
  6. Grumpy Cat: Helloooo! Biggest celebrity on the planet??? She is only tres bon and so tiny and cute. I walked near her, but I would liked to have met her.
  7. The Hobbit tote bag: Mission accomplished. I was able to snag one of the most sought after totes bags in the whole show. Everyone who was anyone was sporting the tote.
  8. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher (galley): Shakespeare and Star Wars? These are a few of my favorite things. I just don't know why no one thought of it earlier. I was able to snag a galley as I waited in line for my last signing of the show.
  9. Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker and Holmes Novel by Colleen Gleason (galley): This one looked really interesting. It's Steampunk and the best thing about it is that I managed to get the last copy of the galleys.
  10. Julie Kagawa – The Eternity Cure: Love Julie. Enough said. This was the first time I met her, so I was pretty excited.

  1. Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund: My first debacle at the Autographing tables. I stood in line for probably close to 45 minutes before they advised they were out of books. The cut-off was like 5 people at moist in front of me.
  2. Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer: I had a conflict for this time slot so I guess I'll be buying it.
  3. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: The line was really long and it was conflicting with Harlequin Teen hour. If I got in line for Holly, I might have missed the Harlequin books. Four books vs one book? Hmmm.
  4. Shadowlands by Kate Brian: I really wanted to get this one as I got a galley of book two, but sadly, her signing conflicted with Neil Gaiman's lecture.
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone signed print: I didn't even know they were handing out these beautiful signed prints at the Scholastic booth. I thought they were only signing big posters. It most likely would have gotten destroyed anyway. What am I chewing on? That would be sour grapes, my friends.
  6. Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney (galley): This, for me, was probably one of the biggest galleys I wanted to get. The booth must have put it out first Thursday morning while I was lost in the labyrinth of booths. When I finally found the booth, they only had one display copy and the event schedule did not indicate any galleys drop for the title, but someone got a copy. Of course, it could have been the one display copy.
  7. Star Wars Reads Day Celebration: I actually would have had time to see most of this, but I went to another booth across JJC and completely forgot about it. And I call myself a Star Wars fan??? I also missed the signing for Art2 D2, a book on paper folding.
  8. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake: This is another book I was looking forward to, but by the time I got to the autographing tables, they were out of books.
  9. Breathe by Abbi Glines: I haven't read a lot by her, but I have liked what I have read. Unfortunately, there was a conflict with this time slot as well.
  10. Jim Gaffigan – Dad is Fat: I did get to hear Jim Gaffigan for a few minutes while in line for Diana Gabaldon, but our line moved entirely too quickly. Jim had a question and answer period and then he was signing copies of his book. He is a very funny guy in my opinion and it would have been a hoot to meet him.

So there you have it; my best acquisitions and my biggest disappointments. I've got one or two more posts to wrap everything up, so until next time, keep reading!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Expo America 2013 - Successes and Failures

So, I wanted to talk a little bit about what I saw that worked and didn't work.  I must say, after the initial shock of Thursday, the rest of the show was awesome and I will have a list of reminders for Future Self to make my experience even better next year.  It will already be better, because my friend Terri of Alexia's Books and Such has sworn she'll be up for next year's event.  See, P, now you have to come.  I've already told everyone.

I didn't want to mention the quality and quantity of the giveaways as that is a given or the fantastic authors on site this year. I did feel quite lucky to be able to attend and I thank Terri for talking me into starting a blog in the first place. (I owe all my free books to you, but that doesn't mean you can have them...well, not all of them.) Things seemed to run smoothly without any drama, well, other than the mob scene at Chronicle Books for Grumpy Cat.

I also didn't necessarily want to add all the positive things from the show, like networking, meeting new bloggers, etc, as that is not unique to this year. 

Anyway, without further ado...

So, what worked this year?
1. After the initial day of overflow from the autographing tables, the staffers set up the dividers with the blue partitions so they could better control the runoff from the chutes in front of the table. While it did make it a bit more difficult to get to the end of the line, it did keep the lines much more organized and I’d like to believe, helped prevent cutting in line.

2. Random House and other publishers that adopted the free ticket strategy for autographings were on the mark. The tickets were available starting a half hour before the signing and if you had a ticket you were guaranteed a book. It freed people up to go take care of other things before hopping back on line for the book signing. It was a brilliant strategy. Although, I would point out the lines were all kind of parallel to the autographing tables and right in from of the Downtown stage, so if there was more than one big name signing at once, the lines became somewhat blurred and difficult to maneuver through if one had to make a quick pit stop elsewhere.

3. The Power Readers program seemed to have been much improved upon from last year. I know when I was on line for Diana Gabaldon, I was watching people scoop themselves so hot, fresh popped popcorn. It made my mouth water just looking at it. And the lounge idea was brilliant. I know there was more than once I was looking for a place to sit if only for a few minutes and I had to try to find a spot so I could pull up some floor. The Power Readers had chairs for crying out loud.

4. The camaraderie of the blogger community was amazing. I heard more than one story of a complete stranger giving a fellow blogger an extra copy of a book when they missed a book they really wanted. It happened to me and I am still amazed by that one selfless act. Since I am a relatively new blogger, I haven’t spent much time in a social environment with other bloggers and it was truly heartwarming.

5. I didn’t see a whole lot of ill behavior other than the debacle over the pins for Neil Gaiman’s book. I had heard all kinds of horror stories about previous years, including a story of someone getting bit over a book there were plenty of copies of. Everyone seemed to be very well behaved and I didn’t witness any kind of incident. Everyone seemed to act like mature, professional adults. No pushing or shoving.

6. Grumpy Cat!!!

7. The booth signings were well organized and even the long lines seemed to move quickly.  I actually got more things signed at the booths rather than the tables since the run off from the chutes was an issue at first.

What didn’t work this year?
1. I think Penguin could have laid out their galleys to allow easier access. The galleys were set up against the inner walls of their booth. It was fine if nothing was happening, but to get to the books, you had to navigate all the round tables set up for them to do their business and if there was a signing when a galley was dropped, you had to navigate that as well. I felt like I was always in the way or intruding when I tried to check out the books. If they put the galleys to the outside of their booth, Expo goers would have an easier time picking up the books without getting in the way of Penguin doing business.

2. A lot of big name authors were all signing early on Thursday and at the same time. It made it difficult to navigate anywhere near the tables and if you weren’t first in line, you had very little chance of making it to another table for a signing that coincided. I would have preferred the big authors to have been spread out more across all three days.

3. Some of the publishers did not provide enough copies of the books for signings for the demand. This left more than a few disgruntled Event goers including yours truly. The YA signings were by far the most heavily sought after genre and some of those signings had far too few books for the number of people seeking them out.

4. The BEA T-shirt booth ran out of most sizes before the first day was even half over. There were three designs and I will tell you, the cupcake design was not quite so popular. My suggestion for anyone wanting to purchase a t-shirt next year, order it when you register for BEA. That way, you get the size you want and you just have to pick it up at the booth. I didn’t realize it was going to be such an issue, or I would have done so. Sorry about that, P.

5. All the publishers had their event schedules out, but you had to get to their booths to pick them up and by then, you could have missed things, like me. I don’t know if it would be feasible to have the events schedules at the registration table or to publish all of them in the daily newspaper. If the publishers had enough advance knowledge of their events schedule, it could be posted on the BEA website. I found a lot of the galley giveaways on line prior to the show, but not what day and time they were going to be dropped, so I did miss some things I really wanted to pick up.

6. The food court was a FAIL for the Book Bloggers Convention. Since I already discussed my irritation previously, I will simply say that next year I might bring my lunch.

7. While the Power Reader has improved tremendously from the prior year, I think BEA should make more of an effort to have more going on the last day and publishers should not be so premature in starting to take down their booths. Some booths only had giveaways on Thursday and Friday. They should try to keep some things for Saturday.

8. While wheeled luggage was not supposed to be allowed, I saw more than a few wheeled suitcases being dragged around.  In fairness, they were the small, carry on sized suitcases, but still.  I'm sure everyone would like to have a box on wheels, but there is a reason they are not allowed on the floor.  I would have loved to have a small wheelie thing as after four days of lugging books around, my neck and shoulders were killing me and they still are.

9. There should be an option on the BEA website to download your agenda to your phone app.  I didn't see anything, unless I missed it.  I spent a lot of time going through the website and adding things to my program only to find that I needed to do it again for my phone.  I just didn't have the time.  There were certainly time the phone would have been easier to manage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Expo America 2013 - Power Reader Reflections

So, Power Readers. I know I didn’t really say much about them. So let me take a few moments to chat about the program. I have now been on both sides, so I am really going to try to remain impartial. Last year, I had only been blogging for three months by the time BEA rolled around. I really couldn’t afford to take the time off from work either. When I looked at the stats required to get in to BEA as a blogger, I knew they would not accept my registration. I felt the only option I had to be able to attend was the Power Reader program. Of course, that meant I could only go in for Saturday.

Paula Poundstone used to do this skit were she was an employee of an airline and she was announcing all the cool stuff out the window, but it was always out the right side of the plane. She would go so far as to say they were purposely flying the plane so the people on the left couldn’t see. The people on the left ruin everything. The people on the right are the best people. Well, I kind of felt like that a bit last year. It seemed like all the really cool stuff happened Thursday and Friday and by the time Saturday rolled around there were not as many activities planned.

Don’t get me wrong. I got a bunch of cool books and I got to meet other bloggers, as well as the authors and such. But the Power Reader as a program seemed to be a Fail. There was supposedly a lot of exclusives for the Power Readers that I didn’t know about last year and I found very few things for Power Readers, but I suppose I could attribute that to not knowing where to look for things. I did not have the inside scoop. My finger was not on the pulse of the Expo.

This year, it did seem like they had the program much more together. The had a Power Reader lounge which looked pretty awesome. There were actually chairs to sit down in and they had a popcorn machine running and it looked like coffee/tea available. It was all free to the Power Readers. In the daily newspaper for the show there were adds and in the Expo program, there was an entire section of programs all happening on Saturday and some things were only available to Power Readers. For instance, there was one booth that had a “Spin the Wheel” game only for Power Readers. There were still some big name authors scheduled on Saturday; for example: Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, Jim Gaffigan, Harlequin had their Teen hour again. Saturday was also the Star Wars Reads Day Celebration.

They got the word out and they did a lot more advertising to tell people where the stuff for Power Readers could be found. When I saw Neil in the morning, a lot of people were Power Reader’s. They seemed to be a lot of the same places as me. I guess that makes sense. I am, after all, a geek.

It was disappointing, though, that a lot of booths started closing up early and there were some booths that didn’t open at all, like the Mystery Writer’s booth. Was it because of the Power Reader’s? I think the perception was that they were going to swarm the place like ants on an ant hill. Some of the rumors I heard also suggested that some of the publishers might have thought the Power Readers would be ill behaved. I saw none of that behavior exhibited.

I am a bit miffed regarding the logic of the Power Reader program. Is it to increase readership? If so, I think the Power readers are all pretty well read. One gentleman I was speaking with couldn’t understand why there was a Power Reader program in the first place. Since they are not in the industry, this gentleman thought they didn’t belong. This opinion does in no way reflect the opinion of this blogger.

So whichever side of the argument you reside on, it cannot be denied that the program was vastly approved over last year. And for those of you in the area wanting to attend BEA, if you can’t get off Thursday and Friday from work, you might want to try that Power reader option. I can only imagine it will be much better in 2014.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Expo America - Day Three - Post 3.3

With books in hand, I headed back to the show floor. I had an agenda. My first stop was to HarperCollins for the galley drop of Burning Skies by Sherry Thomas. Also at 11am, I had a lecture scheduled which I skipped and four other signings. But first, I wanted to grab a ticket for Diana Gabaldon who was signing at 11:30. I headed over to Random House, found her line, asked if there were more tickets and was told to go back to the end of the line to see. I got there and asked just as two other women arrived, but they only had one ticket left. The other two women took pity on me and allowed me to have the last ticket, but they were advised there may be extra books available, so they stayed in line. I wanted to go to the Romance Writer’s booth for a signing of The Reckoning by Alma Katsu, but I felt guilty about taking the last ticket and so didn’t ask if they’d hold my spot. More people lined up behind us on the off chance there might be extra books. Diana was signing copies of Outlander in trade. At one point, someone came over and asked where the end of the line was. The bother was making very sure that anyone who had tickets got in front of the people without tickets, but this person wanted to turn in her ticket, so one of the ladies behind me took it. Luckily, it happened again and both women had tickets. I was relieved and asked them at that time if they would watch my spot. However, by the time I got to the Romance Writer’s booth, the signing was over. I think they ran out of books. Although disappointed, I had to keep my eye on the prize and that was a book signed by Diana Gabaldon.

Jim Gaffigan was on stage at noon right by where I was standing and after that, he was going to be signing books. I got to hear him a little, but the line moved up and out of earshot. There was another Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J. Lynn book pre-signed being given away at 11:30, but I’d want to meet her. I had two other signings at noon, one of which I made. That one turned into a line signing. I wanted to pick up The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorenson, but there were two other adult romance writers signing as well. So, I got hers personalized and the other two just signed.

From there, I wanted to pick up a book called Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea. Unfortunately, this was a signing you had to buy the book for. The book was $20.00. Not that I am against that, but I knew nothing about the book or the author other than there was a mermaid in a creek, I didn’t feel compelled to pick the book up. I did put it on my Amazon wish list, though.

With that being a bust, my next stop wasn’t until 1pm. Ellen Datlow was signing another collection at the Horror Writer’s booth, so I made my way over there, but got there way early, so I sat in line. We got moved around a bit as we kept blocking other booths, but finally, Ellen started signing the books. Of course she didn’t remember me from the day before, how could she seeing so many hundreds of people daily, but she seems really nice and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to meet her.

From there, I had a signing at Sourcebooks at 1:30, so I made my way over and just happened to walk through Penguin booth just in case anything was going on. What I didn’t expect was a mob scene!!! Okay, it wasn’t a mob scene as much as it was a very well-formed line, but the line was so long I’m sure it went into Canada or at least out of the building. Okay. It was neither, but it was really long. I think I’ll just buy the book. At that point, I probably wouldn’t have gotten one anyway and she had just started signing. I went and got my book signed at Sourcebooks, My Life Until Now by Jessica Verdi, and headed back to the Horror Writer’s booth for a signing of Twice Shy by Patrick Freivald. 

At this point, I had almost an hour to wait. I was first in line which was a first for me. Of course, I completely spaced Star Wars Reads Day Celebration happening from 1pm – 2:30. I could have totally made most of it. I saw some Star Wars characters in Shakespearean garb walk by later which is what reminded me of it. My last even of the day was a signing by Chuck Wendig, Gods and Monsters. I had a while to wait, but it ended up being fortuitous as Quirk books was close by and they were giving away ARCs of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I was talking to the girl in front of me. Her name was Molly from She had mentioned she had been to the Star Wars Day Reads Celebration and I asked her about it. She said they had lots of activities and were giving away some Star Wars books. I’m sorry I missed it. I told her the one book I had tried to get was Star Wars Jedi Academy from Scholastic. I had a little friend named Tara who is 8 and she is a huge Star Wars fan. Molly told me she got two copies and she gave me one. So thank you Molly! You have made one little girl very, very happy!

So, I got my book signed and I was done. This signing was at 3pm, but while I was on line, it sounded like a lot of booths were already taking stuff down. At one point I looked down the aisle and I saw that all the shelves were empty. After four days of carrying a ton of books, I was just too tired to care anymore. A lot of the display copies of books were gone, picked over by the carrion eaters, I mean attendees, but I was just too tired to care. I took a quick walk by all the big publisher booths and headed down comic row. Dark Horse was having an author signing for the new Star Wars comic, so I got one of them signed for Tara and one for me. And then it was time to leave.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - Book Expo America 2013 Edition

We interrupt this regularly scheduled BEA blog post to bring you the following news.

Well, it's not news really, but I had to take a break from the BEA commentary so I could post my BEA book haul, plus some extra stuff on the side.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Books Received or Bought:
Mouse Guard, Labyrinth & More FBCD 2012 by Jeremy Bastian, et al.
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Hatter M Vol 4: Zen of Wonder by Frank Beddor
Towering by Alex Flinn
From What I Remember by Stacey Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Alice in the Country of Clover Ace of Hearts 1 by QuinRose
Doctor Who Dalek Collectible Figurine and Illustrated Book by BBC / Running Press
Doctor Who Light-Up Tardis Kit by BBC / Running Press

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald – Kindle Deal of the Day
Forbidden Boy by Hailey Abbott
Last Resort by Rebecca L. Boschee
Inescapable (The Premonition Series Vol 1) by Amy A. Bartol
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Anew (The Archers of Avalon, Book One) by Chelsea Fine – Kindle Deal of the Day
Obessesion (Entangled Covet) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Honeymoon for One by Beth Orsoff
A Dawn Most Wicked: A Something Strange and Deadly Novella by Susan Dennard

Free Kindle books:
Reverance (A Significance Series Companion Novella) by Shelly Crane
Descension (The Mystic Series) by B.C.Burgess
Collateral Damage by Katie Klein (Companion to Cross My Heart)
The Guardian (The Guardians, Book One) by Katie Klein
Sleeping Beauty (A Novel) by Elle Lothlorien
Sleeping Beauty WAKES UP! (A Novel) *Alternate Ending* by Elle Lothlorien
The Witch Sisters by Alma Katsu
Verity (Cursed #1) by Claire Farrell
Before by Jessie Harrell (Companion to Destined)
Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade, Book One) by Stephanie Rowe
Lost to You by A.L. Jackson (Prequel to Take This Regret)
The Tempest: A Guy of Gisborne Story (The Gisbornes) by Charlotte Hawkins
Shadow (The Paper Gods) by Amanda Sun (Prequel to Ink)

BEA Haul:

Children's Galleys:
Boris Gets a Lizard by Andrew Joyner
Family Tree Book Two: The Long Way Home by Ann M. Martin
Heaven is Paved With Oreos by Catherine Golbert Murdock
How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks
Janitors Book Three: Curse of the Broomstaff by Tyler Whitesides
Magic Marks the Spot: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Book One by Caroline Carlson
Spirit Animal Book 1: Wild Born by Brandon Mull
Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
Starring Jules (In Drama-Rama) by Beth Ain
Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry by Jennifer Ann Mann
Tales from Lovecraft Middle School Book Four: Substitute Creature by Charles Gilman
The 39 Clues Unstoppable Book One: Nowehere to Run by Jude Watson
The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson
The Apartment by Greg Baxter
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
The Carpet People bt Terry Pratchett
The Creature Department by Robert Paul Weston
The Dario Quincy Academy of Dance Book Four: Twin Dangers by Megan Atwood
The Fantastic Family Whippe by Matthew Ward
The Infinity Ring Book Five: Cave of Wonders by Matthew J Kirby
The Lost Kingdon bt Matthew J Kirby
The Odd Squad: Zero Tolerance by Michael Fry
The Returned by Jason Mott
The Song of the Quarkbeast: The Chronicles of Zazam Book Two by Jasper Fforde
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
Treasure Hunters by James Patterson
When Did You See Her Last: All the Wrong Questions Book Two by Lemony Snicket
Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi

Teen Galleys:
15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
Awaken by Meg Cabot
Broken by Elizabeth Pulford
Curtsies and Conspiracies: Finishing School Book the Second by Gail Carriger
Dare Me by Eric Devine
Entangled by Amy Rose CapettaA Most Dangerous Deception: Palace of Spies Book One by Sarah Zettel
Frozen: Heart of Dread Book One by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnson
Game On: A Varsity Novel by Melanie Spring
Ghost Time by Courtney Eldridge
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Inhuman by Kat Falls
Jessica Darling's It List #1 by Megan McCafferty
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young
Pretenders by Lisa Harrison
Relic: The Books of Eva by Heather Terrell
Riptide by Lindsey Chheibe
Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine
Splintered with Preview of Unhunged by A.G. Howard
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Taken: A Give & Take Novel by Kelli Maine
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
The Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker and Holmes Novel by Colleen Gleason
The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
The Last Present by Wendy Maas
The Raven Cycle Book Two: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This is W.A.R. by Lisa and Laura Roecker
Unbreakable: The Legion Book 1 by Kami Garcia
Under an Empyrean Sky: The Heartland Trilogy Book One by Chuck Wendig
Unfed by Kirsty McKay
What We Lost in the Dark by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Adult Galleys:
A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam
A Fairy Tale Sampler by Eloisa James
Beautiful Day by Elin Hildebrand
Born Wild by Julie Ann Walker
Carved in Darkness by Maegan Beaumont
Charming: Pax Arcana Book One by Elliot James
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves
Death of the Black-Haired Girl by Robert Stone
Gone by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Hild by Nicola Griffith
Morning Glory by Sara Jio
Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain
Never Come Back by David Bell
Reasons Mommy Drinks by Lyranda Martin Evans and Fiona Stevenson
Shadow Catcher by James R. Hannibal
The Apartment by Greg Baxter
The Assembler of Parts by Raoul Wientzen
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon
The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron
The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
The Incrementalists bt Steven Brust and Skyler White
The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonnert
The Lord of Opioum by Nancy Farmer
The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Potzsch
The Returned by Jason Mott
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle
The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri
Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker
White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
William Shakepeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz
You're Only Human by The Gecko

Signed Galleys:
Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

Personalized Galleys:
Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz
Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Extracted: The Lost Imperials Book One by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler H. Jolley
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Hero by Alethea Kontis
Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
Ink by Amanda Sun
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Mister Max : The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voight
Scorched by Mari Manncusi
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook
The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin
Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

Finished Books:
A Mark Twain's Christmas by Carlo Devito
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Drawing Out the Dragons: A Meditation on Art, Destiny and the Power of Choice by James A. Owen
Foods That Harm / Foods That Heal Cookbook by Reader's Digest
Gods & Monsters: Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig
Hauntings by Ellen Datlow - Personalized
Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers - Signed
It Had To Be You by Jill Shavis - Signed
Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman - Signed
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi - Personalized
Outlander by Diana Gabladon - Personalized
Platinum Promises by Zuri Day - Signed
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells by Ellen Datlow
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard - Personalized
Star Trek Next Generation Classic Quotes by Cider Mill Press
Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes by Reader's Digest
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise - Personalized
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa - Personalized
The Listners by Harrison Demchick - Signed
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani - Personalized
The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen - Personalized
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland - Personalized
Twice Shy by Patrick Freivald - Personalized
Welcome to Royal Prep by Lisa Ann Margoli

Audio Book:
Flat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin

Now I may have miss-categorized some of the books in Adult Galleys that may be Teen, but I did the best I could considering the volume.  This should about do it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Book Expo America - Day Three - Post 3.2

It was time. They let us into the room around 9:15. It was a mad dash to the best seats in the room. I managed the fourth row back with a good shot of the podium. I had an awesome view. There was also a leather backed comfy chair on the stage. I watched as minions brought out water for the podium, then later water for the comfy chair, then later still, more water for the podium. There were index cards and anyone who has heard Neil speak knows that the cards are for questions. He always has a question and answer period, but the questions are from the cards. So, I wanted to think of a really good question. I had time, but I had a question left from the show he did with Amanda Palmer, so I wrote that one down and passed my card along. Was it brilliant? Most definitely not. Would it get chosen? Probably not, but you never know.

My question, you ask?
If you could be any one of the characters from your stories in real life, which one would you choose to be?

After I sat there thinking about it, I thought of some others:
What are you reading?
If you had 60 seconds to get out of the house and could only grab one book, which one book would you grab?

People behind me in the audience
I sat there thinking of the folly of my choice of questions and what would have been a better question. I sat wondering if Little Brown & Co had put out galleys of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. I sat there perusing my agenda to make sure I had a plan once Neil’s lecture let out. I sat staring at the walls. I was antsy. I could have read my Kindle, but I killed it. So, I sat…and waited…and thought. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Neil finally crept up to the stage while being introduced by his editor.

He approached the podium looking at the water there to the water near the leather backed comfy chair and back again, clearly not knowing where he should be, but he opted for the chair. It was more a conversation than a lecture anyway, as I would soon discover. Upon realizing the people on the left side, my left and his right, could not see him because the podium blocked their view, he pulled the chair forward to the edge of the stage and leaned in towards the audience. He was given a bag of promotional pins for Fortunately, The Milk and he decided to throw them out into the audience after he read them aloud. They were great works of fiction about milk. Some examples: The Grapes of Milk, Charlie and the Milk Factory, Westward Milk, Wuthering Milk, etc. He threw one in my direction and I reached up my hand to catch it, but it ended up being a tip in and the person seated behind me came up with it. So disappointed, to be that close. He decided to stop before he beaned someone in the head.

Rather than start this conversation about the topic on the program, he started off talking about the two books he has coming out this year. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is an adult book about a child and Fortunately, The Milk is a children’s book about an adult.

He started out by saying that Fortunately, The Milk was written to assuage his guilt somewhat, an apology if you will to all the fathers out there. He told a story about how when his oldest son was about 7 years old, I believe, he got really mad at something Neil was telling him to do, something very parental. His son declared, “I wish I didn’t have a dad. I wish I had a…” and here he seemed to be unable to think of a suitable substitution. “I wish I had a goldfish.” So Neil wrote a story called The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish about a little boy who swaps his dad for two goldfish, but then realizes he needs to get him back, so he goes to the kid he got the goldfish from, but that kid had swapped his dad for something else. So the little boy goes off on a hunt to find his dad again, who keeps getting swapped away for something else.

He started writing The Ocean at the End of the Lane as a short story. He would write a little bit at a time and go back to it later, as he seems to do with a lot of his writing. Some of his stories start as a thought written down on a page, ignored for years, sometimes taken out and polished up with some new text and put back away again. As he wrote the new story, he realized that it seemed a bit long for a short story, so went to Wikipedia to determine the word count to be considered a short story. Safe for the time being, he continued to write until he could no longer deny the story had grown too large to be considered a short story. It had become a novelette. Still he wrote and still the story remained stubbornly unfinished until he had to admit it had become a novella. By the time he was done with the story, he phoned up his editor and said, “I appear to have written a novel. I hope you don’t mind.” He assured us she didn’t.

Neil bought himself a Mini Cooper. Having the same car myself, I was very excited. Ridiculous I know as we’ll never be in a Mini road rally together, but he has a Mini! And I have a Mini! Mini solidarity, man!

Neil was telling us how he was very proud of his Mini and when his dad came over from England to visit, he asked him what he thought of the new Mini. His dad thought it was very nice and not unlike the Mini they had when Neil was a child, but he had forgotten about the Mini. It was white. When he asked his dad what happened to the car, his dad was a little surprised he never told him. Apparently, they had a lodger from South Africa when Neil was young. The lodger had brought his money and money from his village back home. I guess he was supposed to use that to acquire additional capital, but he gambled it all away at Brighton and lost everything. The lodger stole the Mini and drove it down to the end of the lane and committed suicide.  He was talking about how working on this book brought up some memories that had been left alone for quite some time and how some elements of memories found their way into the book.  

After he talked some more about the process of writing The Ocean at the End of the Lane, he finally started talking about the topic, Why Fiction is Dangerous.

He was asked to give to take part in a discussion at BEA. He agreed. He was asked what he would speak on. He said why fiction is dangerous, figuring he’d have 6 weeks to come up with something. About a week before BEA, he got a call to verify everything was a go and he asked who was taking part in the discussion with him. He was advised no one, upon which he said that was not a discussion, it’s a monologue. He then said he knows why non-fiction is dangerous; for example, 1001 Things Boys Can Do and then do them, like using red beat dye to dye his dad’s white shirts purple. Or reading up on toffee making in which he made a toffee the size of a softball and put it in his pocket to take it to school. Upon having to wipe his nose, he pulled out a pocket handkerchief which then was stuck to a softball sized ball of toffee which when dropped, shattered like glass on the floor and no, he didn’t do it on purpose.

He then went on to tell us why fiction is dangerous:
Fiction is dangerous because it gives you empathy.
Fiction is dangerous because it lets you into other people’s heads.
Fiction is dangerous because it makes you believe the world doesn’t have to be like the world we live in.

Fiction allows us to imagine the impossible. He talked about a Sci Fi convention he went to in China. It was the first allowed in the country. Science Fiction was traditionally been banned from Chinese culture along with anything else that could be considered subversive or a challenge to the current government and he asked why now? Why was the Chinese government allowing a Sci Fi convention now. Well, China has not been in the forefront of technological advances, so they came to the USA and visited Apple, Google and Microsoft and asked all the creative minds what they read as children and they all answered Science Fiction.

Then we came to the question and answer period. And no, my question did not get read. His editor read the questions and it seemed she started from the top, but whatever.

Anyway, one of the questions was what was the worst line Neil had ever written. He edited a book with Kim Newman called Ghastly Beyond Belief which was a worst quotes collection. He said the worst one was, “He wasn’t going to leave Janice Williams alone, crabs or no crabs.” While he didn’t technically write the line, he did have to put it to paper for the collection.
One of the questions was regarding what he dreamed of being when he grew up. He said he always wanted to be a librarian or English teacher. When he was 7, he had all his books alphabetized on his book shelf. He spent all his free time in the library and read all the books in the children’s section in alphabetical order by the time he was 12.

He was also asked about All Hallows Read which he started a few years ago and has been gaining in popularity. The idea is for people to give each other scary books for Halloween. Stephen King thought it was a good idea. Information can be found at

It was time for Neil to leave us, but he also left something with us, he left copies of signed copies of Make Good Art and Fortunately, The Milk. And yes, I was one of the first 500 people. All the stressing in the morning was for nothing. It all worked out anyway. There were also on the back table next to the door some of the promotional pins, but there was a pack of wolves tearing them apart, or rather there were a gaggle of people that were taking the time to pick them up and read them looking for just the right title about milk. Some people were taking more than one, but there weren’t enough to go around. I was getting irritated by the people who were just lolly gagging and blocking the table for other people to see, so I just reached my hand between two people and took the pin I came away with. My title? Westward Milk.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Expo America - Day Three - Post 3.1

In retrospect, I should have checked the ferry schedule for the weekend before setting out from the house. I didn’t relish driving into the city and trying to find a place to park. I knew the doors would be open by 8am as the author breakfast was at 8am. It was almost 7 by the time I found the schedule and weighed my options. Although, well aware of the fact that it might have cost me an autographed book by Neil, I decided to wait it out for the ferry. I had hoped that decision didn’t haunt me.

I had my Kindle app on my phone, so I read for a while. I got out of the car around 7:30, unpacked the suitcase and headed back over to the ferry terminal. I got my round trip tickets for the last time for this expo, validated my parking for the last time and went down to wait in line for the ferry for the last time. While in line, some other attendees lined up behind me. The girl directly behind was talking about Neil and that she was going to try to go, but she had heard people were already lining up. I cursed myself out. I tortured myself the entire way over and figured I’d better come up with a Plan B, which would have been to get Kate Brian’s Shadowlands signed as I don’t have the first book in the series yet. I decided a plan of action was in order.

So, my plan was to get to the show, check in my luggage immediately and go see how bad the line for Neil was. I was expecting the line to go around the building. Okay, so I exaggerate. If the line wasn’t bad, I would sit my butt down and wait it out. But if the line was really ugly, I was going to go get in line for the show. I walked as quickly as I could to the JJC, checked my luggage and went off in search of the line for Neil Gaiman.

Not surprisingly, I was a bit confused. He was going to be in 1E12 and 1E13, but for some reason, I was thinking 1A12 and 1A13, so I went to the hall where the Book Bloggers convention was. It was eerily silent. No line, no nothing. There appeared to be something going on all the way down towards the end which I believe was the author’s breakfast. I started walking back and ran into a staffer, although not literally. I asked her where Neil Gaiman was and she looked at me like I had three heads. How to explain who he is? Very early on in our conversation, I also realized there was going to be a bit of a language barrier, so I thanked her and went on my way. I almost went up to get in line for the floor show, but I was not quite ready to give up.

I headed down the long hall downstairs, passing by several wings and went through the food court, it was there in a hall with an arrow pointing that indicated 3A – 3D, I found the line for Neil. It wrapped around the wall, but looking at the number of people seated, it did not seem like there were 500 people in line yet. So, I sat down to wait it out. That was one of the most difficult things I had to do. It was fine until 9am, but once the floor opened up, I was thinking of all the shiny new books the publishers put out for the final day and Power Reader Day to boot. I know the best things were going out first thing and I was stuck in line sitting it out as I waited to be ushered into the lecture rooms for Neil. Now, it is a trade-off I would gladly take again and again, but only if he changed up his lecture. I wouldn’t want to hear him repeating the same lecture over and over. Don’t be daft. But anyway, this Shirley was alone on line without Laverne, so I had to tough it out reminding myself Neil was worth it.

This was the line behind me.  The photo above was the line in front of me.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Expo America 2013 - Day Two - Post 2.4

I decided to go back for the other book. The line wasn’t all that long and they were signing three books. So I got in line and waited. I was on edge because HarperCollins was dropping the ARC of Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and I was desperate to get a copy so I kept rocking back and forth on my feet. The table was just around the corner, so it wasn’t until I got to the front of the line that I could see and I realized it wasn’t the same book at all. By that time it was too late to bow out of the line gracefully, so I just asked for the three books to be signed.

That having been done, I rushed over to HarperCollins and got in line for the Neil Gaiman galley which I was able to get. I have to say I was feeling a little proprietary because I kept hearing people talking about him throughout the show. And I thought, I’ve been reading him for 20 years, what about you? Do you remember when Sam Goody’s was in all the malls? I recall a time I was in the store and there were these two tween boys and one said to the other something like, “Dude, you have to check this out. It’s awesome.” And it was Led Zepplin, but they were talking about it like it was new music they just discovered and no one else knew about it. Well, other people talking about Neil was like that to me. I am happy that he has become so popular, though.
Well, once I had picked up Fortunately the Milk, I decided to see if the line for Grumpy Cat was any shorter. It wasn’t. They were still being sticklers about standing in the aisle to take a picture, so I got behind a table directly across from her and was able to take her picture between two of her guards. So, since my camera phone is tiny, you can barely see her little, tiny head. But at least I can say I was there.

While I was walking around the Chronicle booth trying to take a picture of the cat on the sly, I actually found where they stashed The Clockwork Scarab and it wasn't at all like the book I saw the day before being signed.  Oh well.  I asked if they had any copies, but everything else on the shelf was for display, but they had one copy left.  So, Score!!!

The last thing on my list was an autographing by Elin Hildebrand. I was going to get the book signed, but they handed out the galley while we were in line and I was just so tired. My shoulders were killing me from the two, well, actually three days so far and I just didn’t feel like waiting around. The signing was again at Hatchette and they seemed to be the place to be. For this signing, they had a bar up and they were serving beer. Now I might have been down with the beer, but they were serving Corona and I just can’t drink that swill. No offense to anyone who likes it. I took one last sweep of the area and decided to cash it in for the day. Loaded up my suitcase and left.

My suitcase was much more manageable. I was actually able to show some restraint. As Thursday was a day to pick up books, Friday was a day that was definitely more focused and I took the opportunity to get some signed books. So, it was a really good day at the event.

Terri, you were right. The second day was better. While I missed some things, it’s okay, because I got some other things I really wanted. I was a bit better organized as I was trying to merge everything onto one spreadsheet and I had a better handle on where everything was and the flow of the show. Had every day been like Thursday, I am sure I would never go back again, but Friday was exhilarating. Everything just clicked into place, especially time wise.

I didn’t hit too much traffic on the way home. My suitcase was manageable and the wheels held up. I remembered which berth I needed to be at for the ferry. Things continued to go pretty smoothly for me. I stopped and got two ice teas, only this time I managed to get them in the house and not spill them. After I had some dinner, I got things together for Saturday. I made lunch, got out some clothes and needed to update my spreadsheet. So for Saturday I had some work to do. I still couldn’t print anything, so I wrote on the back of my autograph spreadsheet what galleys and such I was still looking for. I made sure I had all the book titles next to the author and plotted out a starting point for the next day. Saturday was going to be a big day.

So, here was my plan. I needed to get into the city early so I could get on line. For Neil Gaiman’s lecture on “Why Fiction is Dangerous”, they were handing out 500 signed books. I figured if I wanted to get a signed book, I would need to get there early, especially since it was Power Readers Day. Power Readers are fans and fans are geeks and geeks read Neil Gaiman. I should know.

Jamie McGuire and Melissa de la Cruz were signing at 9:30, but I couldn’t make as I was planning to be on line for Neil. Likewise, I had 10 signings at 10 am and one at 10:30. I was going to miss them all, although four of them were for the Harlequin Teen Hour which I picked up the day before. I was very heavily booked, but com one! I mean, it’s Neil. That was my primary objective.

I can’t really remember what time I fell asleep. I know I was really tired after the prior three days and I had a very fitful night sleep.  When I was sleeping, I was thinking about the expo and Neil’s lecture and what time I should get there.  I was having a full on stress attack in my sleep it seemed due to the anxiety of getting to the show on time.  I really didn't want to miss Neil's lecture out of everything else in the show.  I woke up before the alarm went off. I decided to leave the house at 6am so I could get a good head start. Do you know, there’s not a lot of traffic on the way to NYC at 6am on a Saturday? The drive was uneventful, go to the parking lot, there were only a few cars. Unloaded my suitcase and walked to the ferry terminal. I tried opening the doors and was met with resistance and chains rattling. I looked all over for a schedule to no avail and decided to head back to the car. Loaded the luggage back up and searched for operating hours. I had pulled in at 6:30. The first ferry was at 8am. I had to weigh my options.

Option 1) Head out and cross the bridge over to Manhattan.
Pros: I would get to Jacob Javitts much quicker, get on line and most likely get a signed book.
Cons: By the time I pulled out, got over the bridge, parked somewhere that wasn’t 5 miles for JJC and that I didn’t have to give a kidney for, it would be almost 8am anyway.
Option 2) Wait for the ferry.
Pros: I wouldn’t have to worry about paying the toll, paying for parking or walking 5 miles to get to the JCC.
Cons: I would be pulling into NYC later than expected and might not get a signed book.

What should I do? Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Book Expo America - Day Two - Post 2.3

I opted to go stand in line, getting my nails dirty just so I could get a signed copy of the new book by Red Green. Cam always loved that show. While I found some things funny, I found I mostly scratched my head at the show, much like I did reading The Farside comic strip. Anyway, I got in line…for him…to show him how much he means to me. Plus I really love giving surprises as much as I love getting them….well, good surprises. I mean, if someone said “We’re going to nail your foot to the floor. Surprise!” I would not be down with that. Dimsdale? He was really nice, chatted with everyone and pretty much got his picture taken with everyone. While I did take his picture for posterity’s sake, I did not in fact get my picture taken with him. I hate being photographed. Anyway, I was really happy I could pick up the book.
From there, I got in line for Ellen Datlow. She was signing an anthology called Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells. I was about a half hour early, but I didn’t want to miss it. Most people were in line for Tandem by Anna Jarzab (Booth) and Cassandra Clare (Table). Since I was fairly close to the beginning of the line for Ellen Datlow, I wasn’t on line all that long. Which was good because I had things to do, places to go and people to see. None of which were any one of the celebrities in house. The place was lousy with celebrities. You couldn’t spit without hitting one.

 I wanted to get to Sourcebooks for the signing of a book called Scorched by Mari Mancusi. There are dragons in the book. I figured the signing was at 3pm and Chronicle Books is really close by where Grumpy Cat was holding court at the same time. I figured I could pop over from one booth to the other with no problem. As I made my way over to Sourcebooks, I saw a line at Hatchette. The line seemed to go on for quite some length. When I asked what the line was for, I was told it was for Jan Brett. I got a book signed by her a long time ago when I was still working in retail books sales. I love her artwork and this one was called Cinders, but I had a date with Destiny and it looks like she ordered the fish.

The Sourcebooks signing was uneventful. While I was standing there, though, I noticed there was a book signing across the way at Algonquin books. One of the books looked like a galley I was trying to find, The Clockwork Scarab. So, I was going to get in line, but I decided to take a quick run down to Chronicle books and take a quick picture of Grumpy Cat.

Let me preface by saying there were a lot of celebrities: Jessica Lange, Debra Messing, Julianne Moore, Jim Carey, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Buzz Aldrin. I heard someone question whether the Beiber was there, as there was a Beiber bus or something as equally silly outside. I know there were more, but I just can’t think off the top of my head. The reason I bring all this up is that these were some of the most horrific lines in the whole show. However, these lines were nothing in comparison to the magnetic pull of Grumpy Cat.

The power of Grumpy Cat compels you! The power of Grumpy Cat compels you! I was compelled…until I saw how freaking long the line was to take a picture of a cat and she’s a wee bitsy one at that. Well, it’s not like she was going to autograph anything. Might have been able to get a paw print, but I decided to just take a quick picture of her and I was chastised by the Feline Security. They were basically standing about telling people they needed to move along and couldn’t block the aisle. When the man saw me trying to take a picture, he told me I had to get in line even to take a picture. Okay, I’m game. Walked out of the booth and turned left, then turned left and then completely lost site of the line. No. Freaking. Way.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Book Expo America 2013 - Day Two - Post 2.2

I recently stumbled upon the author Rainbow Rowell. I had been seeing Eleanor & Park so often come up in book searches that I decided to download a sample, which I haven’t read yet, by the way, but hey, I only found her like three weeks ago…maybe. Anyway, after I downloaded the sample, I searched for other books and found Fangirl. What? She wrote a book about my life? I was intrigued. Sadly, it was not out yet. So you can imagine how pleased I was to see that Fangirl was a MacMillan giveaway. I didn’t have it on my schedule, but I did see it listed in the daily paper. I could have sworn the signing was at 2pm. I was quite surprised when I walked by the MacMillan booth after I was done with the Harlequin signing. I looked to see what the galley was. Can’t remember now, but I walked by the window where the signing was and saw what book was being autographed at that moment. You guessed it. Fangirl. Had I gotten my times mixed up???? I have no idea how I thought the signing was at 2pm. I immediately went back around to the end of the line. One of the bothers was standing there. She told me that she thought the books would run out and I probably wouldn’t get one, but that I was welcome to wait and see if I wanted to. Well, I did want to. I didn’t have anywhere else to be at that moment and this actually made one less possibility for 2pm, so I decided to stick it out. People were lining up behind me and they got the same spiel. We started trying to eyeball the stacks of books that were left. Finally after about 15 minutes or so, the bother decided to go take an accurate count. Oh frabjous day! Calloo Callay! They had enough copies for me and about 10 people behind me. I was so overjoyed that I didn’t wasn’t even irritated that the bother almost talked me out of not staying on line. So, I got my book. Going back over my assorted papers, the event schedule for the booth did give a start time of 11:30. I knew it conflicted with something, but I was this close to missing it all together. So happy (sigh).

After my near catastrophe, I went to the baggage check and dropped off a load of books. I feel I was being fairly successful in my attempt at restraint. If you will recall, Thursday had me making three trips to the baggage check plus the tote I had at the end of the show. AT midday Friday, I was making my first trip of the day to drop off and I am proud to say it was the only drop off I made for the day. Any additional books I picked up I carried until the end of the day when I left.

While I was waiting to drop off, someone was standing there with an awesome Hobbit tote bag I had been seeing for the two days everywhere. Being the geek that I am and fan of JRR Tolkien, I just had to know where it came from. I was told it was being given out by Houghton Mifflin I believe, but the next drop was at 2pm. Well, I just had to get one of those bags. I grabbed my sandwich and headed back up, looking all over for the booth. I finally found it right next to MacMillan and they did confirm they were dropping it at 2pm and it would be the last chance. OMG!! The last chance??? Against any and all odds, I had to be there for that tote bag!!!!

It was about 1ish I guess, so I walked around near the booth, not hovering, mind you. Just looking for a nice flat clear space to have a sit down and eat my lunch. Some other people came and joined me on my square. I ate my lunch, checked my schedule, formulated plans of attack for the remainder of the show, but mostly killed time. When I felt a sufficient amount of time had passed, I got up to go hover around the booth. I turned the corner into their aisle and was met with chaos. They were have a signing for a children’s picture book, but people were also lining up for the tote. The line for the picture book was actually in the middle of the aisle causing all kinds of blockage. The line for the tote was along the edge. Still, quite a few people got in line for the tote thinking it was for the picture book. Even more people walked by asking what we were in line for. They seemed unimpressed that we were in line for a tote bag, but it is such a freaking cool tote bag. Do not let your hearts be troubled. I scored a tote. Aaaawesome!!

Once I had the tote in hand, I checked the schedule again. Everything was very carefully orchestrated. I had 5 events planned at 2pm as well as the tote, so I had to optimize my time. Optimization. It was my catch word for the day. There was a signing for Art2 D2 at 2pm nearby, which was basically a how-to for Star Wars origami. It was really tempting and I would have loved to pick it up as I have a wonderful little friend who is a Star Wars nut and she is 8, going to be 9 in November. I mean, she cried when she found out Ahsoka was leaving the Jedi Council on the Clone War Adventures. Anything Star Wars related tended to have a long line and didn’t last long. I had wanted to get her a copy of the Star Wars Jedi Academy book from Scholastic. Oh, yeah. That’s another thing I missed on Thursday, but I did manage to get her a Darth Maul pin. 

I’m way off track here, though. As I’ve stated many times before, I have been a big fan of myths, legends and fairy tales since I was a young child. While I don’t remember a whole lot, I do remember that. So when I saw there was a book called Mermaids in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea, I knew I had to go check it out. Sadly, it was a signing the book had to be purchased for and while I am not opposed to that, I was also not prepared to shell out $20.00 right there on the spot. Perhaps I should have. Perhaps if I had, the mermaids would have brought me good luck. But what to do next?

Completely forgetting to go back and check out the Art2 D2 book, I checked the schedule. There were some signings I had already picked up the prior day, so I could ignore them. That left a Jennifer L Armentrout signing for one of her books she wrote as J. Lynn. Now, ordinarily I would be all over that, but I found out the day before that she was not in attendance. They were handing out pre-signed books, but you still had to go stand in line at the tables. I don’t like the idea of getting a book signed when I haven’t actually met the person, so I skipped that. That left one of two options, either Viscious by V.E. Schwab which looked very interesting or I could be totally selfless and pick up something for hubby. Well I’m a softie.