Thursday, May 31, 2012

My BEA Schedule

So, if you're interested in hanging out during BEA, you're likely to find me at one of the following events/lines for an event. :)  In the evenings...well, we're still working on that. I might be going to other events in the evening...I'm not sure yet. Trying to stay fluid and do what my roommates and other friends are going to do. (I'm not going to walk around NYC by myself!!)  If a line is ridiculously long, I'll probably head over to one of the other events/books that I'm interested in. If you'd like me to save you a spot in line, I'll do that! Just let  me know.  I won't have my laptop with me but you can always email me (yay for smartphones!) and I'll write you back.

BEA Schedule of Awesomeness

(Arrive on Monday afternoon at JFK. If you see me walking aimlessly around the terminal, say hi! Or help me. You know, whatever works for you.)

Tue. Jun. 5 10:30 am - 11:00 am - Booth: 8
Autographing Session: Messenger, Shannon - Keeper of the Lost Cities
  11:00 am - 11:50 am - 1E12/1E13
Pack The House - How To Host Great Author Events That Get Maximum Turnout!
  11:00 am - 12:00 pm - Booth: 3632
InBooth Autographing Session: Handler, Daniel [a.k.a. Lemony Snicket] - "Who Could That Be at This Hour?"
  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Uptown Stage
The Ongoing Evolution of YA Fiction
  1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Booth: 11
Autographing Session: Hale, Shannon - Princess Academy: Palace of Stone
  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
InBooth Autographing Session: Condie, Ally - Reached
  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Booth: 3351
InBooth Autographing Session: Oliffe, Pat - Captain America Joins the Avengers
  3:00 pm - 5:00 pm - 1E02/1E03
The Apocalypsies: Meet the Authors of 2012's Must-Reads!
  6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Teen Author Carnival
Wed. Jun. 6 8:00 am - 9:30 am - Special Events Hall
Children's Book & Author Breakfast
  10:00 am - 12:00 pm - Booth: 4022
InBooth Autographing Session: Dudley, Angie - Cake Pops
  10:30 am - 11:30 am - Booth: 26
Autographing Session: Green, John - The Fault in our Stars; The Abundance of Katherines pb
  11:00 am - 12:00 pm - Booth: 19
Autographing Session: Pearson, Ridley - Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game
  12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - 1E11
The Journey Of A Book - From Writer To Reader
  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Booth: 3676
InBooth Autographing Session: Peirce, Lincoln - Big Nate Makes The Grade AMP! Comics for Kids collection
  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Booth: 3339
InBooth Autographing Session: Pike, Aprilynne - Destined
  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Booth: 3339
InBooth Autographing Session: Roth, Veronica - Insurgent
  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Booth: 3657
InBooth Autographing Session: Ray, Rachael - The Book of Burger
  3:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Booth: 19
Autographing Session: Colfer, Eoin - Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
  6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
SF/Fantasy Event at NYPL
Thu. Jun. 7 10:00 am - 10:30 am - Booth: 4158
InBooth Autographing Session: Blum, Nicole - Improv Sewing
  10:00 am - 11:00 am - Booth: 3039
InBooth Autographing Session: Mull, Brandon - The Candy Shop War: The Arcade Catastrophe

**I'm totally geeking out over the possibility of meeting Veronica Roth!! As well as many other fabulous authors, bloggers, agents, publishing houses...and just the general EVERYTHING of BEA.

The "little kid" books I'm getting in line for are for my kids. <3 They want souvenirs and these are the best kinds of souvenirs!! ;)  (I'll also get some snowglobes, too. Don't worry - they won't be deprived.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recommend A . . . {2}

From Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit comes "Recommend A . . . "

This week's prompt: "Recommend A Book With A Green Cover."

My book is MATCHED by Ally Condie.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I just bought it last week at the Scholastic warehouse store and I finished it super fast. A really great dystopian novel but without the violence or bedroom scenes. A very good read for a younger YA reader. :) (And my husband is reading it now!)

Getting Ready for BEA [4]

"I'm leaving on a jet plane..." Well, not until Monday morning at 6 a.m. I've already started packing because that's the way I am. :)

So, some new ways to get ready for BEA that I've discovered in the last week or so.

First, to download Hop Stop for my phone. This was recommended to me by Tirzah over at The Compulsive Reader (one of my roommates for BEA). This app will make sure I get off at the right location when I take the subway or buses.

Second, to pack according to outfits, not random clothes thrown into a suitcase(s). I usually do this when I go away but it's still good advice. If you know you'll be out for one fancy dinner, pack one fancy dress. If you know you're taking an afternoon to go walk around Central Park, Broadway, Times Square, etc. pack comfy walking shoes and shorts. If you're planning on doing networking in a professional capacity, pack skirts, dresses, and slacks and blouses. Make sure your clothes go together so you won't have to rush out and go shopping in the time that you don't have while attending BEA.

Third, have a game plan!! Log on to BEA online, map your events using the "Show Planner", and then PRINT IT OUT. If your laptop or smartphone fails, you need to have a hard copy of what you want to see. If you're neurotic like me, print out two copies. (Yes, I really do this sort of thing.) Use the floor map to find out where the booths are that you want to see each day so you're not swept up in the huge crowd of people pressing toward who-knows-where to get That Book.

Fourth, ask people if you can come along to events. Let people know that your evening is free and see if they are doing something cool or meeting anyone that you'd be able to meet, too. Most bookish people are cool about this, I'm come to learn. Don't be lame and go cry in your hotel room. TALK to people! Introduce yourself and ask if you can hang out! Put yourself out there! That's why you're at BEA, right?? To meet new friends and make connections! I thought so.

Fifth, use those comfy shoes you bought just for BEA before you get there! I found these shoes at Sears. Here's my story about finding them:
I went to DSW to find shoes to fit my odd feet. (Other post about that here.) I spent about 45 minutes at DSW trying on shoes. The ones that I had picked out online didn't fit quite right. Other ones weren't on sale. The ones that fit the best cost $45 and I didn't love them. I finally left the store feeling very disgruntled. I headed off to Sears to see if they had anything (they were the closest store in the mall) before I had to get back home. I walked into Sears and BAM! There were the perfect shoes!! Only problem, there was only ONE of the shoes of the pair. What?! I asked the employee and she said that sometimes people take one of the display shoes. Why, oh why, would someone do this?! There weren't any other size 10 shoes. I felt like crying. (Mind you, I also needed to eat and it was rather warm in the store so I wasn't feeling my best.) I wandered around the aisles half-heartedly, searching for anything that might work. And then! I FOUND THEM! Size 10 shoes of the perfect shoes that I loved earlier! Both of them!! And they were on sale! Only $25 and I love them. I've been wearing them every day for the last week and a half to break them in before I  walk all over Manhattan in them.

I'll try to set up some blog posts while I'm gone in NYC next week. (I'm not taking my laptop because I won't have wi-fi at the hotel I'm at / won't have time to blog.) 
My other roommate, Erika, and I will be checking out the touristy things to see in Manhattan once the sessions during the day are over. If you're going to BEA, let me know! We can chat about books and life and stuff. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

TGIF at GReads! Covers

TGIF at GReads!

This Friday's Question:

Show Me Your Cover: What are some of the worst book covers, but hold some of the best stories inside? Don't be embarrassed, show us your cover!

This has NOTHING to do with the book!! I finished reading it and thought, "A really good story! A weird cover!"

She looks ill and she's not! The book itself was fantastic. 

I HATE HATE HATE this cover. This is my very favorite book of all time and they had to go and Twilight-ize it! That is so not Jane Austen. Grrrr!!!

The threads for Emma's hair are totally creepy. Medusa?? This book is also fantastic. (Yes, I'm a Austen fan!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - May 22

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

RED GLOVE by Holly Black (the second book of The Curse Workers series)

"Barron walks to the front and begins telling a story . . . about climbing a mountain and the various meaningful things they learned about each other along the way. It's touching. It's also completely plagiarized from a book we had when we were kids."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Book 3 is done!!

Just wanted to post that I finished writing Book 3 of my YA fantasy series. My brain is now broken from using ALL THE WORDS.

That is all. When it is repaired, I'll write some more. ;)

Thanks for your awesome encouragement to finish the story. <3

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Recommend A..."

"Recommend A..." is hosted by Shanyn over at Chick Loves Lit.

I'm recommending...


I just read this book last week and oh, the tears!! It's a really great book, full of emotion.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Signing at Blue Chair Children's Books

Today I had the privilege to have a book signing at Blue Chair Children's Books in Glendora, CA. It is the cutest little store. Totally reminds me of The Shop Around The Corner in "You've Got Mail." A super cool bonus - they have a rock climbing wall for the kids!

I sat in the eponymous blue chair and read a portion of my book. I then answered questions about my book, writing, reading, and life! :)  A very fun morning.

Narnia mural on the wall!

Signing a book

Friday, May 18, 2012

Getting Ready for BEA [3]

As I said in my last post for BEA, I need to get good shoes. What are the criteria for "good shoes" in Melissa-speak?
-Must fit my (oddly) large feet. (I wear between a 10-11, depending on the style, where it's made, etc.) I also have a long second toe. It's a weird family thing. *sigh*
-Must be able to walk in them for the whole day without taking them off.
-Must NOT give blisters on the back of my heels. (See above)
-Must be wide enough for my (again) odd feet.
-Must not be a weird color. Or pattern. Or design. I'm a plain shoe kind of girl.

I'd like the shoes I wear all day at the Javits Center to be able to go out at night, too. (In case we happen to go to anything fancy.)

So, I'm doing shoe research right now. Here are some of the things I've found.


(But I'd get them in black)

Anyone know about these brands? Would they be comfortable to wear all day?

~~  Opinions?? I need some help! :)   ~~

Friday, May 11, 2012

Getting Ready for BEA [2]

Getting Ready for BEA [2]

I'll be making a series of posts as we get closer to BEA (Book Expo America) in NYC.

This one is going to be covering all of my latest "wonderings" about what to pack.

I've read blog posts and watched videos about what to wear and what to pack. (I've been to some...distasteful blogs, too, unfortunately, during this search. Be careful about the ones you click on when you do a "BEA" search!! Some of the ads in the sidebars are...icky to say the least.) GOOD BLOGS - The best ones I've read/seen on this topic are: Miss Remmer's Reviews , Electrifying Reviews (Alex is SO nice and helpful!),
La Femme Readers. (If you have read others, please let me know! I'll include them here.)

--For great resources about what BEA is/what to expect (from BEA 2011): Poisoned Rationality, BEA Official Podcast , BEA Countdown.

List of "stuff" to bring to the Javits Center
(based on what I've read and heard)

-Granola bars, cereal bars, fruit snacks, etc. to snack on
-Hand sanitizer, handy wipes (I'm a bit of a germaphobe so I'll be well stocked with these!)
-Bottled water
-Beef jerky, dried fruit, other food to eat so as not to buy expensive food being sold
-Camera and extra batteries
-Cell phone, stocked with phone numbers of people you want to hang out with
-Tylenol/Advil/Excedrin for the inevitable body aches of carrying around 20-50 lbs of books. ;)
-Business cards
-Bookmarks/swag (as an author)
-A lightweight sweater or a hoody (depending on how fancy or casual you're dressing)
Flats with a cushiony insert with be the best from everything that I've read.
Flip-flops aren't that great because your feet will be filthy. Do you really want to meet professionals with your feet looking like Fred Flintstone?? No.
Don't wear sneakers because you'll look like a bag lady if you're wearing a cute skirt...and sneakers. ;)
And do not, I repeat, do NOT wear heels of any sort. You'll be limping around and carrying your shoes. Nice.
-Band-Aids or moleskin for the back of your heels and the blisters that might ensue from walking so much.
-A backpack to carry books in while you're walking around the Expo. I've been told they give you bags but just in case they run out, you should bring your own.
-A rolling suitcase. You can check this in at the Expo, secure it with a little lock, and then fill it up with books throughout the day. At the end of the day, you can roll it on down to the Post Office and mail the books back home via Media Mail. (They also have a FedEx and UPS set up right in the Javits Center but it seems to be rather pricey. I'd rather walk to the USPS and ship my books for $18 and get them in 2-4 weeks than pay upwards of $50 and get them as soon as I get home. But that's just me.)

*Does this mean you have to bring TWO suitcases when you go to NYC?? No! I'm already bringing a rolling suitcase for my clothing. I'll empty it at the hotel (hanging up my clothes, obviously), and bring the suitcase with me to the Javits Center. At least that's the plan for Day 1. We'll see how well that works. If it is in the way or I don't end up with tons of books, I won't bring it back for the rest of the Expo.

**The other option for bringing your books home is to not pick up too many, pack them in your suitcase and fly home with them. You could also bring them home as a carry on in your backpack on the plane. Just a few thoughts for being more frugal. :)  (Check with your airline about weight limits, of course.)

So, this is what I've learned so far. I'll add more posts as I learn more about the awesomeness of BEA.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Ready for BEA

Book Expo America (BEA) is happening in less than a month! *squee*

I've been stalking the lists of exhibitors and authors who will be at BEA. Here's my tentative schedule for the signings and events I'd like to attend. **If you want to meet me at any of them, let me know!!** Or if you know of class/workshop that I should go to, let me know that as well!

Items in bold are "can't miss it!" events for me.

My BEA Sessions

Autographing Session: Messenger, Shannon - Keeper of the Lost Cities
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
10:30 am - 11:00 am
Booth: 8

InBooth Autographing Session: Handler, Daniel [a.k.a. Lemony Snicket] - "Who Could That Be at This Hour?"
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Booth: 3632

Pack The House - How To Host Great Author Events That Get Maximum Turnout!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
12:30 pm - 1:20 pm

The Ongoing Evolution of YA Fiction
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Uptown Stage
With YA fiction being one of the bestselling categories in all of book publishing today, this panel will discuss why some YA genres were popular a few years back and why some are hot now--from paranormal romance to dystopian. Additionally, this panel will discuss what the next big thing in YA will be (and why) in the coming years.

Autographing Session: Hale, Shannon - Princess Academy: Palace of Stone
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Booth: 11

The Future Of Children’s Books: Ebooks, Apps And New Models That Will Revolutionize
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm

The Apocalypsies: Meet the Authors of 2012's Must-Reads!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mix and mingle with members of the YA & MG 2012 debut author group The Apocalypsies. Come learn about our books and us – and get swag, prizes, cookies and more. Authors include: Lizzie K. Foley, Zoraida Cordova, Sarvenaz Tash, Lenore Appelhans, Emily M. Danforth, Tamara Ireland Stone, Gretchen McNeil, Claire Legrand, Sarah Tregay, Hilary Weisman Graham, Tiffany Schmidt, K.M. Walton, Suzanne Lazear, Gina Damico, Shannon Messenger, Sarah J. Maas, Fiona Paul, AC Gaughen, Jess Rothenberg, Lauren Morrill and YA Buzz Panel Honorees Gennifer Albin and Kat Zhang.

Children's Book & Author Breakfast
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
8:00 am - 9:30 am
Special Events Hall
Ticket Required. Chris Colfer hosts a panel including John Green, Lois Lowry and Kadir Nelson at the Children's Book & Author Breakfast. (I have a ticket! I made plans with Tirzah to go to the breakfast with me. Is anyone else going?? I have the cheap ticket, up in the bleachers. ;) )

InBooth Autographing Session: Dudley, Angie - Cake Pops
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Booth: 4022

Autographing Session: Green, John - The Fault in our Stars; The Abundance of Katherines pb
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Booth: 26

Autographing Session: Pearson, Ridley - Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Booth: 19

InBooth Autographing Session: Pike, Aprilynne - Destined
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Booth: 3339

InBooth Autographing Session: Roth, Veronica - Insurgent
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Booth: 3339

InBooth Autographing Session: Ray, Rachael - The Book of Burger
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Booth: 3657

Autographing Session: Colfer, Eoin - Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Booth: 19

InBooth Autographing Session: Mull, Brandon - The Candy Shop War: The Arcade
Thursday, June 7, 2012
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Booth: 3039


You might be thinking, "Wow. She has some odd picks (as a grown up!) for books and authors that she must see!" Um, yeah. You're right. I love kids' books. I read what my kids read. I read what the kids at church read. I read what my students read. I READ ALL THE THINGS. How can you talk about books and recommend them when you don't read them??? I love the Artemis Fowl series, the Kingdom Keepers series, all of the upper MG/ lower YA books.

So, what else should I do/see? Are you going to be there?

I'm definitely going to see the Empire State Building (Percy Jackson!), Central Park, Times Square, etc. All of those touristy things. 'Cuz I don't know when I'll be in NYC again so I need to do ALL of it! :) :)

"Summer Lovin' Book Tour"

I am SO excited!! Last night I was able to go to the Huntington Beach Barnes and Noble to hear Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and Jessi Kirby read from their new books, answer questions, and then sign books!

Morgan Matson is the author of AMY AND ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR and SECOND CHANCE SUMMER.

Jenny Han is the author of THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY series.

Jessi Kirby is the author of MOONGLASS and IN HONOR.

And she wore red boots to the signing!! 

They were all excellent readers and their books all sound great. After the reading, they did a Q&A with each other (to get all of us geared up for questions for them). Some of them were SO funny! For example, Jenny asked, "Date, kill, or marry. Voldemort, Nagini, Dobby." !!! You could only pick one circumstance for each character. Most people chose to marry Dobby. As Morgan said, "Well, he really likes socks. And he's good at cleaning!" :) Deal breaker. Jessi asked some "this or that" questions to the other ladies. Jenny also asked about their summer romances that they had when they were teens.

They opened the floor for questions. Of course I asked the first one. *blush* "Was the first book you wrote the one that got published?"
Morgan: "No. The first one I wrote was about 500 pages long and it was only halfway done. It's in a drawer where it will never see the light of day. And that's for the good of everyone."
Jenny: "Yes. SHUG was my first book that I wrote while in college and it was published."
Jessi: "Yes. MOONGLASS was my first book to be written and published."

Lots of other questions from the audience about writing, favorite books, favorite authors, etc.

And then, the signing!!! I was the first one that got there so I was the first one to get my books signed.
I also introduced myself as an author after they recognized me from Twitter! :) :)
"Didn't you tweet about coming here?" "Yes!" *fangirl moment*

(I didn't get a pic with Jenny because she had a long line of people waiting for her to sign their books. *sigh* Maybe next time!)

I have a few friends that weren't able to come (seeing as they live in other states!) and were bummed about it. I offered to see if I could get some bookplates (that I made) signed by Morgan, Jenny, and Jessi for them. And the ladies did it!!

^^Ginger and Shanyn^^ Jessi recognized your names from Twitter! " that  G Reads? I know her!" "Yep! And Shanyn is Chick Loves Lit." "Oh yeah! She tweeted about it!" So cool! See, people, authors are awesome people who recognize readers and fans!

Two of my SCBWI friends, Dana and Jessica, were also there. Dana was telling Jenny that she had written her a fan letter. Jenny: "Did I write you back??" Dana: "Yes! It was great." Jenny: "Oh good!" :)

They are just the sweetest group of authors. I hope that you can get to see them as they go on their road trip for this tour. You can find more info about it and where they'll be on their websites or on Twitter. They'll be at Book Passage  and  Copperfield Books this week!

PLUS! We got some awesome swag! Earbuds and a music playlist for each book. A bottle of sunblock named "Burn for Burn - Don't Get Burned" for Jenny's new book, written with Siobhan Vivian, BURN FOR BURN. Also, the first chapter of BURN FOR BURN.

Each author had bookmarks and postcards for us to take. I am so glad that I went!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Book Signing - May 19th

Hey there! You are cordially invited to a book signing at Blue Chair Children's Bookstore on May 19th at 10:00 a.m. I'll be signing my first book THE SEVENTH BLESSING and talking about writing! Hope to see you there!

Link to the Facebook "event" page