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Sunday, May 31, 2015

BEA Day 3 - The Choices Made

BEA – Day 3 – May 29, 2015

The theme of the day was “Making Choices”.

Friday was Meg Cabot day. I had to ensure I got in early enough to get a ticket. I just had to! I set the alarm for 5:00, rolled out of bed by 5:30. Remember I’m still dealing with muscle and tendon issues. It’s been hard getting up as I’ve been very stiff. The muscle rub has helped a great deal, though. But I digress.

I was out the door about 5:50. I thought about Dunkin Donuts, but remember haw the raspberry cheesecake square made me feel. And the iced tea I bought the day before didn’t get drunk. I only drank about a quarter of it and had to throw it out. So no DD for me. It’s amazing how much lighter the traffic is at 6:00. Still backed up a little in Secaucus, but overall I made good time. I got on the ferry a little past 6:30. It was a kind of surreal feeling, actually. I walked out onto the dock and no one was there. I found that odd. I figured Friday morning at almost 6:30 there would be a lot more people. I saw people getting on another ferry down the other enclosed walkway and thought I may have gotten it wrong. But, I stood and waited, taking in the sunshine, the wind whipping through my hair, the plaintive cries of the seagulls. It was peaceful and for that one moment, that one shiny moment, all was right in the world. And I realized it was going to be a good day that the universe was giving me a gift and all would be right. Then I saw the ferry coming.

I think I was first on. I walked up the bow and stood so I could have my face in the wind as we rode over. When I turned around, I was amazed! There were almost 100 people clamoring to get on board!! Where the heck did they all come from? They were all stealthy as ninjas because I didn’t hear any of them. How can that many people be so quiet? Still they all sat up deck or inside, so I had the whole bow to myself and that feeling that all was right with the world stayed with me the entire time.

When I arrived in NYC, I hoofed it to the Javits. After stowing my suitcase, I tried to go up the closest escalator, but it was closed off, so I had to go the long way around. They probably did it for just that reason. Anyway, it wasn’t even 7 when I got in line and I was….probably a couple hundred back from the front of the line or so. I was all agitation. So many people. I found myself looking at each and every one of them trying to determine if they were Meg Cabot fans. There’s really no way to tell. Finally the line started moving. The stress was killing me. The anticipation was painful. Finally, it was my turn. I asked and they provided. Yes, I scored my Meg Cabot ticket. I also asked for JLA signing Scorched and Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce signing a new kids book collaboration. I was happy, relieved and walking on air. I even got to line up on the floor before they broke, so I was among the elite hundred or so that would get on the floor first. Then they made half of us move.

Fret not. We were displaced only temporarily. They pulled a huge folded up banner out of a box and laid it out straight. Then they brought down The Dork Diaries banner. I thought it was to be replaced, but the backside was white, so they were hanging a banner on the backside. Then I watched as they raised the banner again. It was actually kind of cool to watch the production. Once the banner was safely in place, we could move back to our spots on line.

First choice, right out the gate: Booth signing of The Anatomy of Curiosity with Maggie Stiefvater and crew, Margaret Stohl signing Black Widow: Forever Red at Disney or the Penguin Galley drop which included Reawakened by Coleen Houck. Well, Thursday’s debacle over the signing at the Disney Booth kind of soured me, so I ixnayed that. Well, that and I thought it was only a sample, but it was the actually galley. Still wouldn’t have changed my mind. Where Maggie Stiefvater goes, legions follow and I didn’t not want to get tangled with the masses so early, so I went for the galleys.

At 10:00, I had too many choices. There were four different galley drops, a Cassandra Clare tote bag for grabs and two autographings. I managed three of the four galleys, the tote and was able to jump on the end of the line for Carrie Ryan. So that all worked out well. 10:30 was another story. Sandy Hall was signing her new book, but so was Leigh Bardugo and there was a Spencer Hill book I wanted called Never Never. Peter Pan stories seem to be very popular right now. There was also a galley drop I really wanted to pick up, so I ran for the galley and ran back to the autographing booths.

Just as an aside, the floor set-up was different this year. Last year, the tables were all to the south end by Macmillan, Penguin and Little Brown. The autograph tables were all the way down at the other end by row 300. So if I was checking on a galley, I would walk the length of the floor. Then back to the autographing area again the length of the floor. All day Thursday was me walking from end to end. Just to give you an idea, I walked over 20,000 steps on Wednesday alone which was a half day. But back to business.

I rushed back to the autograph chutes and asked about Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. She was capped. It was like 10:37. Then I tried Never Never. Same thing. However, for Never Never I was told I could wait on line and perhaps get a postcard signed. Again people! It is not about the signature, although that is nice, it is about getting the book!! I was able to get on Sandy Hall’s line, though, but as I stood in line, I saw Leigh Bardugo (right)on one side and Jan Brett with her Turnip (below) book on the other.


At 12 noon, I had three signings, one of which would be dropped as a galley at 2:00, but I also realized I should be on line for JLA at that time. Her signing was 1:30 – 2:30 as was Maggie and Pearce’s and I had tickets for both. So I went for the signing that would be dropping the galley later, Kissing Ted Callahan by Amy Spalding ( above right).  I was like 7th or 8th in line! It was awesome! Closest I have ever been to the front.

For the 1:00 block I had even more choices to make. There were 3 signings and a galley. Once of those signings was the Harlequin Teen authors. I didn’t even bother with Harlequin. First time I didn’t get the YA books. At 1:30, I had two signings and a galley. Even though there were things I could do for 1:00, I decided to get in line for JLA early and just sit and rest my dogs. I was almost 1 ½ hours early, but there really wasn’t anything that was critical.

My plan was to go through JLA’s line and then jump on Maggie and Pearce’s line for their mythical creatures book. I was 28 in line I believe. Still very close to the front. I thought it would be possible. One of the things that happened to me this year was that I was often around people who were talking about events that had inside information, like when galleys are going to drop, etc. And I would listen. As I sat on JLA’s line someone was talking about Leigh Bardugo’s book and how there would be limited galleys available at the booth at 2:30. I knew this and had factored that in figuring I would be done with Maggie and Pearce as they also ended at 2:30. It would work perfectly, like a well-oiled machine. However, what the person was saying was that at 2pm, the publisher was giving out tickets for the galley drop at 1:30. Well, now you’re playing with a whole new set of rules. Do I go with the original plan or develop a new one?

I decided to forego Maggie and Pearce for the now, figuring I would get me a ticket and then I could run back to M&P’s line. I got to Macmillan before 2:00, but there was already a line forming for the galley, so I got in line and parked my behind. They counted us once, they counted us twice. They may have counted more than that. They only had 77 galleys and I was in the safe zone. They did not hand out tickets, though, well, not until like 2:10. AT that point, I figured why bother going back. I was not going to jeopardize my chance at owning one of the most sought after galleys of the show. So I stayed put and waited.
JLA, BTW, was as gracious as ever and I was happy I had the opportunity to thank her face to face for putting up The Dead List for free on Watpad for her fans. I was glad I could do that. Usually I can’t think of anything to say, but she is always so nice.

While I waited on line for Six of Crows, though, I had three more signings and two galley drops. The one galley was the same one I got autographed at noon. The other galley was at Macmillan and my friend Terri requested it if I could pick it up. I was able to jump line for a moment to get it for her.

At 2:30, I had a signing, one at 3:00 as well as a galley drop at 3:30, but my feet hurt so bad, I decided to go wait on line for Meg Cabot which wasn’t until 3:30. So I got to sit for an hour. I wasn’t too far for Meg, maybe around 40 something, but when she started signing, there were a mess of people who used their special jump the line trump card on Meg, so we had to wait. And they just kept coming. Had to have been at least 20 people jumping the line. Meg was wonderful to meet. I had my fangirl squee moment and just gushed how much I have loved her books. I follow her on social media and have kept up on her posts and she just seems like the kind of person I could be friends with. She was naturally wearing her tiara and she signed ARCs for Royal Wedding coming out next week. It was probably the highlight of BEA for me.

I missed a galley at 4:00 because of all the line jumpers, but I didn’t care as it was not intended for me. There was a book I wanted to get called The Accident Season. The signing was at 4:00 at table 1, which made no sense as Meg was still signing. I realized I only wrote down half the information. I figured it was Penguin because they had 4 tables around the booth for signings and galley drops. But I went over there and didn’t see the book on any of the signs for the tables. I went to the info booth, but they couldn’t help as I couldn’t remember the author’s name. Had I just thought about it, I could have gone on my app and pulled up my agenda, but I didn’t. Instead, I found a discarded PW show daily because I thought I saw it listed in there. I didn’t. Imagining things again. I walked around a bit more, but decided to throw in the towel. When I did pull up the app at home, I found that I had been correct, it had been Penguin. I could have asked somebody, but didn’t. So with that being said, I couldn’t really be mad about it.

The final day of BEA was done, at least for me. My suitcase was not quite as heavy as Wednesday and Thursday. I did not have to switch hands quite so frequently although I noticed this suitcase is starting to tear near the zipper at the bottom. Perhaps one too many BEAs. AT least this year I did not leave feeling like I could have done more. There was no feeling of regret really. Friday was an awesome day to end the show, Meg Cabot being the highlight! I didn’t get everything on my list, but I got a lot. I was finally organized on Friday with my events in order of scheduled time so it was easier to keep track.

Bea might have come and gone, but I still had Book Con to look forward to so stay tuned for that.

Friday, May 29, 2015

BEA Day 2 or Missed It by That Much

BEA – Day 2 – May 28, 2015

The theme of the day was, “Missed it by that much”.

On Wednesday, I stumbled upon the Ticket Booth. I have been to BEA for several years now and must confess I never knew where the ticketing booth was. I always kind of thought you needed to know someone or you had to get in at the crack of dawn to get a ticket for a signing. As I have never gotten out of bed by the time I wanted to for BEA, I have never tried for a ticket, plus the whole not knowing where the kiosk was. How many times have I walked by it and just not realized what it was? What a revelation!

Armed now with that information, I decided to get up early Thursday so I could claim my tickets. They may not be golden, but some could argue that the prize is even better than a lifetime supply of chocolate.

I was hurting. I’ll be honest. My feet were still tender and I was feeling a bit stiff. And with the weather and all the pollen, I’ve been having to take Benadryll every night to try to keep everything clear. Taking Benadryll before bed is not conducive to getting up early in the morning. I set the alarm for 6, got up around 6:20 and was out the door a half hour later. Again, I had no issues with traffic until I hit Secaucus. It’s like a vortex for all the traffic in the state. I had stopped at Dunkin Donuts before I left my town. I needed supplies. It’s not like I couldn’t find any sustenance where I was going, but rather an issue of not wanting to cut off my arm to get it. So, I stocked up on a large ice tea and a raspberry cheesecake square. If you have not tried them yet, I recommend you do. Better yet, don’t. They’re addictive. They probably add an addictive chemical that makes me crave it fortnightly. No time to eat, it’s drive time.

Other than the ridiculous amount of traffic in that vortex called Secaucus, I arrived at the ferry without further issue. Having purchased the 10 ride pass made it all the more easy as I just had to get to the dock. The clouds looked forbidding, but I rode out the waves on the bow of the ship. Arriving in NYC, I was optimistic. I should know that whenever I get my hopes up, they are about to come crashing down on my head…hard.

I stowed my suitcase and hightailed it to the ticketing booth. There was no line. I walked up to the window confidently. Well, I say window, but it’s really more like Lucy’s Psychiatrist’s booth. It’s fitting I suppose. Anyway, confident, yes. I was asked if I may be helped and I responded that I would like a ticket for Gregory Maguire. Her face gave nothing away, but I am certain she was laughing behind her smile. She sadly shook her head at me (I may be embellishing for dramatic effect) and tried to let me down easy informing me that they were all out of tickets for Gregory Maguire, Jesse Eisenberg (doesn’t he know he’s missing an I) and Brian Selznick. All others were available, so I decided to do something nice for hubby and my former boss. Neal Stephenson for hubby and Mary Higgins Clark for my old boss.

Somewhat mollified in receiving any tickets at all, I went and found a place on line to await the opening of the doors to the Inventing Room. First on my agenda was Josephine Angelini at 10 for Fire Walker. After the disappointment of The Truthwitch, I felt it only right I pick up Firewalker. I picked up some galleys first. By the way, I finally figured out after several years of attending that the door by the ticket booth is the door to enter through as Simon & Schuster, Little Brown, Macmillan and Penguin Random House are all right there. I was heading on my way to the autograph shoots, which, by the way are on the opposite end of the building this year. This is a crucial bit of information for later.

As I was passing the Disney booth, though, I saw copies of Passengers by Alexandra Bracken on the table. The PW daily had indicated the books would be available at 9:30. Thinking this was a simple galley drop, I went off in search of the end of the line, which went on and on and on and on. Just kidding. I tacked on an extra one. It seemed fairly long, but not to worry. Galley drops move pretty quickly. I waited for the almost half hour and still nothing happened. I’m not sure what clued me into the fact that this was a signing and not a galley drop, but I wanted the book, so I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. I became very intimate with a beverage cooler as I had to stare at it forever. They finally came around with numbered post-its. Mine was 128. It got to be 10:00 and still I am staring at the cooler. To spare you the details of my count of the threads in the rug, it was almost 11:00 and I was still waiting in line. What made it even worse is that a woman a few people ahead of me comes galloping back to her friend who was waiting on line with a copy of Firewalker. She had snagged the lost copy. And there my hope died of getting my book and running for Josephine Angelini’s table.

I was feeling resentful, but it was so challenging to stay angry. I could see exactly what was happening. Alexandra Bracken is such a sweet person and cares about her fans that she was stopping to chat with each and every person, add photo ops in there and the sum was a disaster of a signing line. Now keep in mind that I was 128. That was out of 100. I was a little over half way and it took her 1 ½ hours to get to me. How long did the poor suckers behind me have to wait?

I had bypassed the Dangerous Deception signing in favor of Passengers, so all I could say is that I hope the book is worth it. That one line threw off my schedule for the rest of the day. There were galley drops I missed and signings I missed because I was on the line that never ended. So I tried to go to Macmillan for The Clasp by Sloane Crosley, but I missed that. I headed over to the autograph chutes and picked up Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia, which was pretty fast, so I was able to jump on Rebecca Serle’s line for Truly Madly Famously.

By this time it was 11:30ish, so I figured I would try to get a spot on line for the Harlequin Teen signing. They were signing 5 books, three of which I got the day before at Blogger Con, but I wanted the Adi Alsaid book, which was on the table, but at the end I didn’t start at and with all the sharks circling I did not get a copy, which is fair as I probably did the same thing to someone else. It wasn’t horrific in front of the booth so I asked where the end of the line was. I was informed that the line continued around the side of the booth, but that the tickets had run out, but I was free to stay on line and meet the authors. I just wouldn’t get any books. Say what now? Wait on line for over 2 ½ hours to say “Hi” with nothing to show for it? What are they on?

As I found out, though, this was not the last time I would hear this same offer.
I was aggravated, but so be it. I headed to the autograph chutes again for Megan Shepherd’s The Cage, but the line was already closed. After that, I was lost. I wandered aimlessly. I was in pursuit of I know not what, but I needed to find something. I started walking by booths that were doing signings and I could only grunt and the length of the lines. My feet hurt, my back was stiff and my shoulders ached. I had made a couple of stops at my suitcase so I guess all was not lost.

I was going to go to the Soman Chainani, but found that it was only a poster, that I would end up destroying, so I walked on. He wrote the series The School of Good and Evil. I totally spaced the book I was going to get my nephew who is obsessed with all kinds of trucks, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. Judah Friedlander was signing at 2:30. For those of you who do not know, he is or was on a TV show called In Search of Bigfoot and I saw him at a panel at Comic Con one year. I was going to get it for hubby. And no, it is not about Bigfoot. The book that is. But I could not find his table. I looked at all the signs at the mouths of every chute and did not see his name. So I missed that one too.

As I was missing Judah Friedlander, I also missed Lev Grossman signing The Magician’s Land. But it was getting close to three anyway and 3:00 brought its own set of problems.

  • I got two tickets for ticketed events that were scheduled in the same time slot. How to prioritize? Go for the shorter line and hope the longer line is shorter by the time I was done. Shorter was Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves.
  • The writers of Welcome to Nightvale were signing their novel at the same exact time. Their line was apparently even more ridiculously long than either of the two ticketed events I had.
  • Mary Higgins Clark writes slow as molasses. I jumped on her line after Neal Stephenson. I have to respect MHC for her age and all she has brought to the literary world, but I was in line for my former boss. HarperCollins was giving away galleys of After Alice at 4pm. The clock read 3:45. There was still the main chute and our run off chute. MHC had a hard stop at 4pm. I asked the only logical question. Can I get a copy of the book and ixnay the signing? The answer was affirmative, but I started a revolution. Soon, everyone on the run off chute was asking for just the book without her signature. I got my book and hightailed it to HarperCollins to get in yet another long line for Gregory Maguire’s ARC. Which I actually did get.

Once I got that, I made my last rounds and made ready to leave. My suitcase was pretty heavy, but most of the books I picked up were for other people. I had to wheel it back to the ferry which is always so much more difficult that walking to the Javits. I had to keep switching hands and I could only baby step. MY shoelace had actually come undone several times throughout the day and once on the way to the fairy, but my back was so stiff I could barely reach over and tie my shoes.

I made to ride the bow as I had in the morning, but the pain in my feet made it impossible and very uncomfortable, so I finally sat. It was ridiculous I couldn’t walk straight because my entire body was stiff. Then the parking ticket machine wouldn’t work right for me, but I finally got it all squared away, got to my car, stowed my stuff and started for home.

I went about 2 miles maybe when I hit traffic. And I hit traffic for about 15 – 20 miles. One thing to keep in mind is that I drive a stick. Another thing to keep in mind is that my feet were actually causing me pain and I had acquired a cramp in my left calf. Add to that the exit ramp onto Route 3 is uphill in inching traffic and I was in a sorry state. I finally came across a sign, and when I say finally, it was like 5 hours, but in reality only a few miles down the road, that advised that there was a 15 minute delay on the merge from Route 3 to 46. You have got to be kidding! I sat in this traffic that was going nowhere my entire drive home. When I finally hit 46, I finally understood the issue. They were resurfacing the road and closed off the right lane just before my exit. In fact. I couldn’t even take my exit. I had to take the next one down and turn around.
The drive took almost two hours of stop and go traffic with my aching calf and sore feet.

To top it all off, I had to, had to, had to go to the food store. My little Eggie needed supplies. As much as it pained me, I didn’t want to leave him in the lurch. Making the supreme sacrifice, I parked at the food store and proceeded to do the Tim Conway old man shuffle because that was as fast as I could move. Baby steps. Baby steps. It was painful, but worse was to come. I had to get everything, books, groceries and all, in the house. By myself. As hubby was off playing in the woods for the week doing his LARPing thing.

I thought I was gonna die. The exertion of pulling the pounds and pounds of books and then the driving in stop and go traffic was too much for me and I started a coughing fit. It lasted 2 ½ hours. I took Benadryll again when I got home and after I had some soup for dinner it pretty much put me out. SO, Terri, I have no idea what I may have texted, but I’m sorry if it made no sense.

It was a day of want to haves and could have beens, but mostly turned into a day of aggravation, frustration and regret. But there was always the next day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BEA Bloggers Con - BEA 0.5 - May 26, 2015

 I got a late start as I had to take out the recycling and the cat litter.  I had to get my stuff together and by the time I got out the door, it was 7:30.  Traffic was pretty good until I got into Secaucus.  Then it was like a parking lot.  I finally got to the terminal for the ferry and approached the window to purchase a 10 trip pass.  When I went to pay for it, I realized I had left my check card at home.  Luckily I had a credit card on me so I could actually pay for it.

The trip across the river was uneventful as was my walk to the Javits Center.  I brought one of my large suitcases today as I knew I would be on the floor for at least some on BEA today.  The baggage check has been right inside the door to the right and the escalator to the Blogger Con is right there.  This year, however, there is only one baggage check and it is way down almost to the other end by Starbucks.  So I had to hoof it all the way down to the other end, drop off my suitcase and then hoof it all the way back.

I got downstairs and approached the registration table.  After standing there for a few as the woman at the table was assisting another, I tried to pick up my badge, but I was at the speaker registration.  I was told the blogger registration was a little further down.  So, I went to the next table which I confirmed was the right table.  I had my e-ticket in hand and  gave my name.  They had a Smith, but it was a Cindy Smith.  The asked me was I registered for Blogger Con.  The asked if I was a speaker.  They asked that I was a blogger.  After several minutes, she finally found my badge which was mis-alphabetized.

Finally with my badge, I made it into the Continental Breakfast which was bagels, danishes and muffins, tea and coffee.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but some water would have been nice.  Luckily I had my own bottle of water.   

The keynote speaker is a speaker panel this year and not just an individual speaking.

It was a question panel and I have to admit, I wasn't paying overmuch attention. The discussion was on the state of blogging.

The panel tracks were "Building a Better Blog" and "Blogging at the Next Level". The first session for Building a Better Blog was all about WordPress. As I use Blogger, it was not going to be relevant to me, so I went the advance track. The discussion was Creative Content Opportunities with Your Blog. I guess it was interesting enough, but after attending the Blogger Con for several years, I am finding that there seems to be a lot of repeat material. A lot of it is geared towards bloggers that know what the heck they're doing. Even though I have been blogging for a few years now, I still feel like a newbie, time being the biggest issue. I work in corporate America and not to make excuses, but my job is hectic at best and can be really stressful. By the time I get home, it's usually 7pm and I have other things to take care of. I don't always have time to write the way I want to or put a lot of time into developing my blog. But I've gone off topic.

So for the first session I will admit I was only half listening. I kept checking the schedule and I was checking Twitter. The big new everyone was tweeting about was the Susan Dennard signing of Truthwitch. And I really wanted a copy of that one. The signing was at 3pm. My plan was to sit through the first two panels, get my voucher for lunch, eat real quick and head upstairs until it was time for the cocktail hour at the end of Blogger Con.

The second panel of the day, I chose the beginner track which was Safely Navigating Social Media. I walked in and there were about 10 people or so in the room. The started late waiting for more people to show up and then the speaker starting telling her story about security issues on social media sites. It seemed more like an episode of True Confessions or something like that. Yes sister, please stand up and tell us your story. It was like a testimonial. And I just completely blanked out. She was not an interesting speaker, and I am talking about her speaking skills, not her content and I just couldn't stay. So, I checked out Tactics to Create Killer Content Fast. But I kept checking Twitter and I started getting nervous about Susan Dennard's book. There was already a line forming for the book and I decided I couldn't wait anymore.

I also decided that a $10.00 lunch voucher was not enough of an enticement to stay at Blogger Con. I decided to skip lunch and jumped on line for BEA. I feel a little bad about that, but I will tell you that many people from Blogger Con were doing the same thing. I wasn't horrifically far in line. I had some good company while waiting, which was about 1 1/2 hours. I was at the farthest entrance, which is where Macmillan, Penguin, Hatchette and Disney were. As soon as I got through the door, I hightailed it to the Macmillan booth stopping at Penguin briefly to pick up a copy of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof. By the time I got to Macmillan, which couldn't have been more than 5 minutes, all the tickets for Susan Dennard were gone. So that hurt, but they did give me a bookmark. Of course, I later found that the bookmark got folded in half in my bag. So that stung even more.

Then I walked around for a while, hit all the major publishers, dropped off a load of books. Little Brown had a giveaway at 2 for three YA ARCs, the trouble being that you could only have one and the books were being kept behind one of the stands. I wanted a copy of Scott Westerfeld's Zeroes so I asked when the book was being dropped. The drop was at 4pm.

Since the floor didn't open until 1pm and there weren't a lot of other signings or galley drops for the day, I decided to head back to Blogger Con at 2:30 for the last panel. I again went tot he beginner level which was Working with Publishers, Authors and Promotions. This panel was not organized so well in my opinion. There was the moderator from Viking/Penguin and a blogger from a more adult audience and someone from Harlequin Teen and a vlogger with a YA audience. So the way this one worked, the Viking rep and the adult blogger took turns asking each other questions for half the panel. Then they switched half way through so the other two could do the same thing. It was like I was listening in on two private conversations. I wasn't getting a lot out of it, but about half way through, my phone rang. It was hubby wanting to know how Day 1 went not realizing Day 1 was still in progress, so I had to leave the panel to take his call because man, those rooms echo.

When I got off the call, I decided to wait in the hall for the cocktail hour to start. They were late letting us in and they had black suit-clad security type personal guarding the galleys which were under a black cloth. One of the bloggers asked if they were going to hand them out right away, but she was told 4 or 4:30. Some of us wanted to get back upstairs. The finally gave them out probably a little before 4pm and it was like feeding time in the shark tank.

They gave no direction as to where to start. They were first come, first serve and some were in very limited supply. For instance, they had the new Adi Alsaid book, which I wanted but couldn't get. So what happened is one group of people started at one end and the rest started at the other end and everyone got mashed up in the middle. I got stuck there for a good minute not able to back out, go forward or backward. It was ugly!

As soon as I got my books, I scoured the floor for what was out and ended up leaving about 4:30.

So, what didn't work? Let's start there.

  • Making today a half day of BEA there was not as much scheduled, but tomorrow and Friday are really jam packed.
  • Overlapping Blogger Con with BEA is a bad idea. So many of the bloggers were jumping ship and heading to the floor looking for those elusive titles.
  • The panels were not as full as they should have been because bloggers were MIA.
  • The panel content was not as good this year. Again, a lot of repetitive information and some of the panels just didn't really apply to me, so I picked the lesser of two evils and didn't pay close attention.
  • The panels need to be organized better. The speakers should be dynamic and the discussion should be engaging.
  • The Keynote speaker panel was okay, but I prefer having one speaker, like Maureen Johnson last year. She was amazing!

What did work?
It seemed like the organizers were trying to find ways to keep attendance at Blogger Con when BEA was going on.

  • One way was to give out the galleys at the end of the day so people who ditched, like me, had to come back for them.
  • They were also giving out raffle tickets. We got one when we signed in, two more at lunch and two more during the cocktail hour. They were raffling off I want to say $50.00 Visa GCs. So that's pretty persuasive.
  • They always have the $10.00 voucher for lunch which is a nice perk because at least you know you'll get a meal and you won't pay out unless you exceed the $10.00. Like I said, not enough of a draw for me this time around, though.

So now I need to get my stuff together and get organized for tomorrow and then hit the hay. For any of you attending BEA, maybe I'll see you around!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

BEA Prep - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It is now 9:30. I have been on my computer for at least 8 hours, probably more trying to get myself together for BEA. I realize tomorrow is the Blogger Con, but BEA overlaps. I believe the floor opens at 1pm tomorrow for BEA while the Blogger Con is the entire day. I believe this will cause some lower attendance in the afternoon sessions as everyone is going to want to hit the floor for all those ARCs. At Blogger Con, we actually get a good number of ARCs, but they are always held and given out at the cocktail hour which I think is around 3:30 or 4. I need to check my schedule.

I'm conflicted. Checking the autographing tomorrow, there is only one I really want to pick up and that one is at 3pm. I'm not sure I will make it. I have to see how the schedule works out for Blogger Con.

So what have I been doing all day? I've been finalizing the publishers so I know where I'm going. I've been finalizing the galley drop titles trying to match them up with booth numbers. I've been making a list of all the books to look for and the autographing schedule for each. I then took those book titles and plugged them all into an event grid so I can see exactly how long the signing is for, where it's at and what it conflicts with. The name of the game is need and sacrifice. Which titles do I want most and which titles need to be dropped off the list.

That is as far as I got. I got all my spreadsheets together and printed them as well as my electronic badge for tomorrow.

I still have to take all those spreadsheets and put them into a binder for carrying ease. I also have to make a list of the things I need to bring with me for BEA Thursday and Friday, like water and an umbrella, aspiring and gum, etc. I have been told it is going to be raining or thunderstorms all week long, so that is just perfect. I need singles for my baggage check and for any signed books I get.

I also still need to get to the store for some foodstuffs and I need to get to the clothing store. It is going to be hot and I have exactly one pair of shorts that fit me. My other pair crapped out and ripped in a straight line down from the pocket. The problem with my one pair of shorts is that they are white and they are not going to remain white if I have to wear them more than once. We all spend a lot of time sitting on the floor.

I still have to get my schedule together for Book Con. They do have an autographing schedule for Book Con, but I am going to warn anyone who is reading this and going to Book Con. I checked the schedule and almost all the autographings I am interested in require a book purchase from the Con bookstore and space is limited for the signings. I'm not really happy about that, so I think I will be attending very few signings over the weekend, but we'll see.

I went to the ATM today, so I am good with that. Continental breakfast starts at 8am tomorrow, so I have to make sure I get my butt out of bed and don't go back to sleep.

Am I forgetting anything? I will make sure both my iPad and phone are charged. And I will grab a couple of the larger totes. I won't be taking more than that as the vendors practically run you down trying to give out tote bags.

BEA won't start in earnest for me until Thursday, so please, if anyone out there can think of anything I missed, please leave a comment. I feel like I have been very late in getting myself together that I am sure I am forgetting some things. I feel like I was so much more prepared last year, but fingers crossed!

Stay tuned for news from the front lines.....

Book Review: The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

As I said before, I had The Dead List on my wish list and I was waiting for it to come out in April when it changed status to be "Not Available".  I got notification from GoodReads that JLA was going to give the book to her fans by posting it on Watpad.  I immediately signed up for an account and followed her.  And I added The Dead List to my library.

The Dead List by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book Description (From GoodReads):
The Dead List is a full standalone novel, coming in at roughly 93,000 words. It’s a Young Adult Romantic Suspense Yes. Lots of Romance. Sort of like Don’t Look Back, but a throwback to movies like Scream and the sort of campy fun ones. Think I Know What You Did Last Summer meets Scream. But with more romance.

My thoughts:
JLA decided to give this book to her fans and she serialized it on Watpad. I had previously posted the information. The book has now been posted in its entirety and I have to say, it was frustrating to have to wait for the next installment.

Ordinarily, I don’t really like suspense stories or thrillers, but I do like everything I have read by JLA. She is one of those authors I follow blindly and I have to say The Dead List did not disappoint.

The action in the story really starts when Ella is attacked leaving a party, but it was a situation where her life was in danger. She was attacked by someone wearing a clown mask and she almost died. Just the thought of that is horrific enough, but students in town wind up missing.

Ella is one of four best friends growing up. There was also Penn, Jensen and Gavin. Jensen was her first kiss and he broke her heart, Gavin was her ex-boyfriend and Penn committed suicide several years prior. Jensen moved away, but he was now back in town with his family.

Ella had broken up with Gavin months before because while she loved him, she wasn’t in love with him and she felt he was more serious about her than she was about him.

At the beginning of the story, one of the students has gone missing, Vee. She‘s been missing for two weeks. After the attack, Ella decides to take a self-defense course. Her guidance counselor gives her a contact and when she shows up for her first lesson, she finds that is Jensen, the boy who broke her heart. They used to be such good friends, but since he’s come back, he doesn’t speak to her. This isn’t going to be awkward at all.

I don’t want to go into any more detail than that. This is a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat and I found that I was uncomfortable more than once. It was certainly a different way to read a book, having to wait for the next installment which was several days away. The characters are good, the story really had me at the edge of my seat and I can’t wait for the book to actually be published. This is an unedited version, so I found I had to edit a lot as I read.

Even so, it is really awesome of JLA to give this story to her fans! So if you don’t have a Watpad account, sign up, follow JLA, add The Dead List to your library and read it all the way through. See if you can figure out who done it!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - May 24, 2015

It has been a quiet week, no book sales to attend, but I did get coupons in my email for B&N, so naturally had to go. The month of May has also had some good titles in the Monthly Kindle Deals listing as well as The Big Deal listing. I downloaded and read samples earlier in the month, but The Big Deal ends today and the Monthly Deals end next Sunday, so it was time to pull the plug. Still, I don't think I did too badly. I behaved myself. Mostly.

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

Books Purchased:
The Eternal City by Paula Morris

Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer - This book is a really nice edition.  It is illustrated and the chapters are printed in different color ink.  Very nice.

Kindle Books Purchased:
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld – Kindle May Monthly Deal

InterWorld (InterWorld Trilogy Book 1) - Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves – Kindle May Monthly Deal

Fall With Me (Wait for You) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Kindle Daily Deal

Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy, Book 1) by Blake Crouch – Kindle May Monthly Deal

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin – Kindle “The Big Deal” sale

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby – Kindle “The Big Deal” sale

The Boy From The Woods: A YA Paranormal Romance by Jen Minkman – Kindle “The Big Deal” sale

Saturday, May 23, 2015

To Buy or Not to Buy: Sparks in Scotland (Flirt) by A. Destiny and Rhonda Helms

Sparks in Scotland (Flirt) by A Destiny and Rhonda Helms

Book Description (From Amazon):
First crush, first love, first kiss—Ava learns about more than her heritage while vacationing in Scotland in this addition to the sweet and clean Flirt series!

Ava is going on vacation to Scotland, where she’s supposed to learn more about her Scottish heritage. She’s excited to see the castles, abbeys, and coastal hills—and maybe even catch a glimpse of Nessie herself—but Ava doesn’t expect to meet Graham.

He’s cute, sweet, and has the perfect Scottish accent…but does he like her as much as she likes him?

And if there is something of a mutual attraction there, Ava wonders, is it worth pursuing a crush when she’ll be on the other side of the Atlantic in just two weeks?

My First Impression:
I know this is a nitpicking stupid little thing, but Ava is described in the book as have a blond bob haircut. The model on the cover has long flowing hair. That alone would not have dissuaded me as the story takes place in Scotland during a family vacation.

The truth is I didn’t find the writing to be all that captivating from the sample and the family barely got out of the hotel room before the sample ended. As much as I love stories of foreign travel and especially Scotland, I don’t hold out high hopes for this one or any of the series.


Not to buy, which is disappointing.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Triple Play Thursday - Cover Battle

I think maybe I spend too much time looking up books and scrolling through genres. If I didn't spend the time I do looking up new releases, I'd never find so of the same cover art.

Today up for grabs we have:

Wild Thing (Billionaires in Disguise: Georgie and Rock Stars in Disguise: Xan, Episode 2): A New Adult Rock Star Romance by Blair Babylon
Breakable by Tammara Webber
Little Dancer by Melanie Marks

It's anyone's battle.  Who will stand and who will fall?????

Is it my imagination?  Or is this not the same model from the cover of Easy?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: January 6, 2015 | Age Level: 12 - 18 | Grade Level: 7 and up

Maddy Spier's been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls. How can she make him realize that they can be partners off the ice as well?

Gabe’s relationship with Maddy is vital. He can’t imagine skating with anyone else, and together they have a real chance at gold–maybe even making it to the Olympics! So he’s decided to think of her as a sister. After all, family is forever, but he’s never dated anyone for more than two weeks.

Then their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, and everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big break-up that Gabe has always feared?

My First Impression:
Maddy and Gabe have been friends since they were little. Now teenagers, they are also figure skating partners. Their coach, realizing that they are on the verge of adulthood, decides to turn up the heat and bring passion and more emotion into their skating routine.
Maddy is all for it as she has a crush on Gabe.

Gabe is against it wanting to keep Maddy in that friend /like a sister zone.

No matter what, he can’t lose her and taking that step and tapping into those feelings might tear them apart.

I love figure skating stories.  When I was a teen, I wanted to be an Olympic skater.  No one told me I have to start out much earlier than age 14.  What did I know?  So, now I can only live out my dream in books.  And by watching The Cutting Edge every time it is on TV, which is pretty much all the time.


To buy

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - May 17,2015

I love my hubby.  I truly do.  But as it turns out he derailed a lot of my weekend.  I do most of my writing on the weekends and the past three weekends have been pretty much spoken for with little or no free time.  So I was really looking forward to him going off and playing in the woods for the weekend so I could focus on writing, something I have not been able to do with any sort of regularity.  Sadly, it ended up raining yesterday and he came home last night, so here I though I would write several reviews and schedule them, but no.  Better luck next weekend I guess.

This weekend, well, Thursday through today, was a book sale at a private school my friends send their daughter to.  It is an annual fundraiser that I have pretty much shrugged off every year I have known them.  This year, I decided to give it a go.  I forgot about it Thursday, but I was told Thursday is the night all the book buyers come with their book devices.  That peeked my interest.  If book buyers knew about it and were coming in droves, it was worth checking out.

I went to the sale for myself yesterday morning and bought 10 books for $20.00.  I thought that was fantastic, but my friend Liz told me Sunday was the everything must go sale.  For anyone coming through the door, they give out plastic bags and they are sizable.  The price is $5.00 per bag full.  I was horrified to learn that any of the books they don't sell are destroyed.  So, in an effort to save as many books as I can, I decided to go back this morning and shop for other people.  I got one bag full of toddlers books for my two nephews and I got another three bags full of mysteries and thrillers for my older brother and former boss.  Hubby got himself a bag full of books as well for him, his dad and some for other family members.  So for $25.00, we picked up somewhere around 80 books I think.  Well, the kids books are thin.

So I will no longer make light of the book sale and I plan to be there Thursday night next year before everything is cherry picked.  And I can take requests ahead of time for my brother and such so I know what I am looking for.  So even though I didn't get much writing done, I was able to help raise money for the school, get books for me and other members of the family and save books from being destroyed which all may actually have been a better use of my time.

I haven't been able to get a STS post up since early April, so this is a over a month's worth of books.

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

Books Purchased:
Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

The Pretty App by Katie Sise

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark – Used Book

Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik

The Winter People (Entangled Teen) by Rebekah L. Purdy – Used Book

The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski – I already have the eBook ARC, but I wanted a copy that was the edited version. Plus I want to support the author.

Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Hatter M: Love of Wonder by Liz Cavalier

The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber – 50% off at Montclair Book Center

Death Marked by Leah Cypress – 50% off at Montclair Book Center

Used Book Sale – All for $20.00
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Thirteenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling – Trade Paperback

The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Sixteenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling – Trade Paperback

The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Ninth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling – Trade Paperback

The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Seventeenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling – Trade Trade Paperback

The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2006 Nineteenth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly link & Gavin J Grant - Trade Paperback

Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen – Hardcover

And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer – Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Part Six of Three – Hardcover

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick – Hardcover

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen – Hardcover

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – Trade Paperback

$5.00 Bags of Books Close-Out Sale - These are the ones I got for myself today
Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Last Mimzy Stories by Henry Kuttner

Parties & Potions by Sarah Mlynowski

Giveaway Won:
Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas - Courtesy of GoodReads First Reads program

Kindle Books Purchased:
Destined for Doon by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon – Publisher eBook Deal $1.99

How to Unbreakup by Rebekah L. Purdy

Happy Again by Jennifer E. Smith

The Stillness of the Sky: A Flipped Fairy Tale (Flipped Fairy Tales) by Starla Huchton, Jennifer Melzer – Free eBook

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Kindle Daily Deal

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine – Publisher eBook Deal $1.99

Damsels in Distress: Book Two: Desperately Ever After Series by Laura Kenyon – Dropped to $.99

In the Stars by Whitney Boyd – Dropped to $.99

Ghosts of Kingston Cottage (Entangled Ever After) by Libby Bishop – Dropped to $.99

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire Book 1) by Sherry Ficklin

Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War Book 1) by Mark Lawrence – Publisher eBook Deal $1.99

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley – Kindle Daily Deal

Siege and Storm (The Grisha Book 2) by Leigh Bardugo – Kindle Daily Deal

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Book 3) by Leigh Bardugo – Kindle Daily Deal

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton – Kindle Daily Deal

After the End by Amy Plum – Publisher eBook Deal $1.99

Accidental Love (Accidental Crush Series Book 2) by Adrienne Torrisi – Kindle Countdown Deal

Tidal: A Novel by Emily Snow – Kindle Daily Deal

Pastels and Jingle Bells (Heavenly Bites Novella #1) (Heavenly Bites Novellas) by Christine S.
Feldman, Elaina Lee – Free eBook

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith - Publisher eBook Deal $2.99

Sweet (Contours of the Heart Book 3) by Tammara Webber

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore – Kindle Daily Deal

Sweet by Tammara Webber

Manga Purchased:
Say, “I Love You” 7

xxxHolic Rei 3

Bride of the Water God 17

Now it's time to start getting organized for BEA and Book Con.