Thursday, June 28, 2012

ARC Giveaway Time!

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen that I'm giving away some ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of books I received at Book Expo America (BEA) and American Library Association (ALA). These are books that I've already read and I'd like to pass on to others to read and review them.

**If you're not going to read them, please don't enter to win. If you're not going to review them, please don't enter to win.**

Reviewing a book is as easy as posting up why you liked it on your Goodreads review, write about it on Facebook, tweet about it. If you start reading the book and you know you're not into it, please pass it on to someone else!! Pay it forward! :)

Check out my giveaways on Twitter: @Melissa_Buell  (You don't need to follow me or do extra posts or anything like that. Just @ me with your name, etc.)

I'll be giving away at least one ARC per day until they run out. :) (This could last for quite a few days!) Most of the ARCs are YA novels. Several are signed by the author.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

ALA 2012 Recap / Book Haul

I went to ALA (American Library Association) Annual meeting this year. It was in Anaheim! Super close to my house. :)

On Friday night, I went to the Anaheim Convention Center and met up with some awesome writers/bloggers!
Two I know through SCBWI - Shannon Messenger and Jessica Love. They introduced me to new bookish friends!
-The girls from YA Confidential: Cambria Dillon, Sara McClung, Cristen Terrill.
-Sasha of Sash and Em

I also met the girls from YA Sisterhood (Crush tourney!). So sweet!

We prowled the aisles together on Friday night and ate dinner at the hotel restaurant because we were SO incredibly hungry!!


This was a day of several (wonderful!) babysitters and driving around for me to be able to come to ALA.

In the a.m., I began to prowl the booths again.

I met H.D. from Reading, Breathing, Writing. (I might have scared him. I saw him the previous evening talking to the lovely ladies I had just met but I wasn't able to meet him until Sat. morning. Me: "Hi! I saw that you just followed me on Twitter! I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself to you last night!" Him: "Um...hi." And then we chatted about bookish things and I encouraged him to introduce himself to Tahereh Mafi. :) )

I saw Lindsi and stood in line with her for a book.

I also got to see Farrah and Kelsey again!

Got CROSSED by Ally Condie signed. (I had gotten MATCHED signed at BEA.)

Met up with Cambria again and we stood in various lines for books. Got some lunch and headed back in for another signing. As we walked around, we saw George R.R. Martin - author of THE GAME OF THRONES in a booth. He was taking pictures with fans so we stood in line and took one with him. He is really nice! I love it when big-time authors are so personable!

Met Becky and her friend Amy from Stories and Sweeties while in line for Kendare Blake's new book.

Picked up books here and there. There weren't as many books at ALA as there were at BEA. Also, a lot of the books available were for sale. That kinda put a damper on things for me. As much as I love books, I can't spend all of my money on them.;)

I had to head out at 2 to pick up my kids from my in-laws house. Headed home to rest for a few hours and then dropped the kiddos off at my sister-in-law's so that I could go to the YALSA Meet and Greet at Morton's.
I met several lovely librarians while I was there! Chelsea from Georgia and I talked for a long time about books that we both like. Saw Dana with her hurt foot. :(  I met Allison and Michelle from Authors are Rockstars, along with their librarian friend Lali. They invited me to come to dinner with them. We ate at the Marriott hotel restaurant where the YA Highway meet-up was going to take place. After dinner, we headed out to the pool area and met LOTS of people! (I'm sorry if I've forgotten any of you!!)

-Gretchen MacNeil, author of TEN
-Magan from I'd Rather Be Reading
-Jenny from Books to the Sky
-Mickey from I'm A Book Shark
-Lena from Addicted to Novels

The best/strangest part of ALA was people looking at my bookmark that I was handing out and saying, "Oh! I've heard of this book!" I'm sure my eyes were huge and my mouth was hanging open! :) :)

So, if you decide to read my book and like it, let me know! I'd love to connect with you. And..I suppose if you didn't like it, you could tell me that, too. But only in a nice way. Otherwise, I'd probably ugly cry. But I wouldn't post in on the interwebz. Or bash you on Twitter. ;)

I headed back on Monday and took my kids with me. I got SO many books on this day! People were handing books to my kids, which I very much appreciate! My kids read a lot. :)

We stood in line at Disney-Hyperion for a multiple-author signing. Yay! :)

(Do you see Ally Carter's new book?!?! PERFECT SCOUNDRELS is due out next year.)

Calvin was very excited to see the book cover for THE MARK OF ATHENA by Rick Riordan.

We saw Henry Winkler (the Fonz from Happy Days)!!! He spoke to me! I was fangirling for awhile. :)

We saw more people that we knew, picked up books, bought some books, and then raided went through the publishers booths that were giving away books at the end of the day. Thank you to all of the fabulous publishers who gave away great kids books!

I uploaded my Book Haul video so that you can see all the books I got. After I read and review the books, I'll give them away so that YOU can read them, too! :) If you see one that you'd desperately love to have, let me know. ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ALA Schedule of Authors

Are you attending ALA (American Library Association) this year? It's in Anaheim, CA - home to Disneyland! It's also about ten minutes away from my house so of course I'll be there! :)

There's a schedule of the authors who will be there signing books: ALA Annual - Authors

I'm planning on being there Friday night, Saturday, and (possibly) Monday. Here's my list of authors I'd like to meet!

Friday - June 22

ABRAMS Books - 2449

Tom Angleberger, Author
Fake Mustache/ Origami Yoda series
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

HarperCollins Children's Books

Rae Carson, Author
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Saturday - June 23

ABRAMS Books - 2449

Tom Angleberger, Author
Fake Mustache/ Origami Yoda series
10:00 am - 11:00 am
(If I don't get to this booth on Friday...)

Disney-Hyperion - 2463

Mo Willems, Author/Illustrator
9:30 am - 10:30 am

Egmont USA - 2529

Penny Warner, Author
The Code Busters Club: The Secret of the Skeleton Key
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

HarperCollins Children's Books

Jon Scieszka, Author
Guys Read: Thriller
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - 2401

Laini Taylor, Author
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Penguin Young Readers Group - 2616

Ally Condie, Author
Matched and Crossed
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Marie Lu, Author
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Scholastic Inc. - 2634

Brian Selznick, Author
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Maggie Stiefvater, Author
The Scorpion Races
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

John Corey Whaley, Author
Where Things Come Back
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
David Shannon, Illustrator
Robot Zot!
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Sourcebooks - 2352

Miranda Kenneally, Author
Stealing Parker
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Monday - June 25

Penguin Young Readers Group - 2616

Joan Bauer, Author
Close to Famous
10:00 am - 11:00 am

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

James Dashner, Author
The 13th Reality: The Blade of Shattered Hope
9:00 am - 10:00 am

I learned from BEA to have a few items for each hour slot. That way, if a line is too long or they run out of books, I can go to another event / line / author. If you're going to be there, let me know! We can hang out. :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Percy Jackson series vlog

My son loves the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series / The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. He even vlogged about it! (I wonder where he gets the book love from??) ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

BEA Book Haul / IMM

 I went to Book Expo America and brought back a bunch of books! :)

From BEA
[Some are finished copies, most are Advance Reader Copies (ARC) ]
Books mentioned:
MATCHED by Ally Condie (autographed, personalized to me!)
THE RISK AGENT by Ridley Pearson (autographed, personalized to my husband)
KINGDOM KEEPERS V, SHELL GAME by Ridley Pearson (autographed, personalized to me!)
EVENTIDE by Tracy and Laura Hickman (autographed)
SHINE by Jeri Shine-Ready (autographed, personalized to me!)
FATHOMLESS by Jackson Pearce (autographed)
PRINCESS ACADEMY: PALACE OF STONE by Shannon Hale (autographed, personalized to me!)
KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger (autographed, personalized to me!)
CAKE POPS by Bakerella (Angie Dudley) (autographed, personalized to me!)
THE GOLDEN DOOR  by Emily Rodda
MAGISTERIUM by Jess Hirsch
A SOLDIER'S SECRET by Marissa Moss
3 BELOW by Patrick Carmen
KISS AND MAKE-UP by Katie D. Anderson
SKINNY by Donna Cooner
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
WHEN YOU WISH UPON A RAT by Maureen McCarthy
MARTY MCGUIRE by Kate Messner
NARC by Crissa-Jean Chappell (autographed, personalized to me!)
JAKE, DAD, AND THE WORM by Martha Sears West
THE CANDY SHOP WAR by Brandon Mull (autographed, personalized to my son)
THE CANDY SHOP WAR - ARCADE CATASTROPHE by Brandon Mull (autographed, personalized to my son)
STAT - DOUBLE TEAM by Amar'e Studemire
ENTICE by Jessica Shirvington
ECHOES OF TITANIC by Mindy Starns Clark, John Campbell Clark (autographed, personalized to me!)
CREWEL by Gennifer Albin (autographed, personalized to me!)
CAPTAIN AMERICA JOINS THE AVENGERS (autographed, personalized to my kids)
DELIA'S DULL DAY by Andy Meyer
SCARLET by A.C. Gaughen (bought by me after BEA)
BETA by Rachel Cohn
GOLD MEDAL SUMMER by Donna Freitas
THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen
BURN FOR BURN (chapter sampler) by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

In My Mailbox
PECULIAR TREASURES by Robin Jones Gunn (thank you SO SO SO much, Robin!!)

If you'd like to trade ARCs, let me know! If there's a book on your wish list, let me know! I'm not stingy with the book love. :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

BEA - Day 3

BEA Volume III

Day Three

The last day!!

Farrah and I

There wasn't much on my schedule for Thursday. Most of the bigger booths are done with their large book drops. I'm glad I went, though, because I got to meet some more great people and pick up some new books.

-Brandon Mull, author of THE CANDY SHOP WAR (middle grade title for my son). He was fun to talk to.
-Jeri Smith-Ready, author of SHINE. I didn't think I'd be able to get a copy of this but I did! She was in a little booth tucked in the back of the exhibit floor so I was able to get in line and meet her. She's very sweet! I told her that Ginger over at GReads! recommended this series.

I met up with Farrah, Britney, Gabi, and Amy and we wandered for a bit.

AND THEN I met John Green!!!!! Yes, really, truly!!! I even talked to him and didn't drool on myself or anything. I gave him a bookmark for my book! :) :)

 Farrah's boyfriend Hector met up with us and we made a plan to see the Statue of Liberty with Erika and Tirzah. Lunch first at the same pizza place as yesterday (it was that good!) and then...on we went! :)  And here's a video all about it (at bottom).

Hector, Farrah, Erika, Tirzah on the ferry

Freedom Towers

We then headed back to Hotel Penn where I packed my bags and said goodbye to Tirzah and Erika. I'll miss you two!!!
Train back to JFK airport, flight to LAX (again with the turbulence!), and then home! I'm very glad to be home. I'm so fortunate to be able to attend BEA and look forward to attending next year. (I hope!) We'll see what next year brings...

If I met you and didn't acknowledge you on my blog, please let me know! I'll add a link to your blog. :) (My brain was/is a bit fuzzy from jet-lag both ways. It appears that it takes a while to get back to normal.)


BEA - Day 2

BEA Volume II

Day Two

Up early for the Children's Authors Breakfast with Chris Colfer, Lois Lowry, Kadir Nelson, and JOHN GREEN!

I bought the $25 ticket (cheap seats) but it was still enjoyable. :) There was laughter, tears, and many thought provoking moments.

Chris Colfer

Lois Lowry

(If I can post the videos I took, I'll do that soon.)

And then...
-I got in line to meet Bakerella of CAKE POPS fame. She is very sweet! :)
-I met Ridley Pearson, author of KINGDOM KEEPERS as well as a new adult thriller.
-I met Lincoln Peirce, author of BIG NATE (for my son)

BEA Pics

The Javits Center

Cool stamp set from the 1930s

I was standing around, waiting for friends to have lunch with me. I saw Kristi (who I met the night before at the Teen Author Carnival). "Hey, what're you doing?" K: "Going to have lunch." Me: "Me too...Want to have lunch together?"  K: "Sure!" We met Erica and Tiff along the way and went to a pizza place up the block. It was SO SO good!! We saw the crew from Reading Teen there and ate with them, along with the West brothers and Kelsey.

I attempted to get in line for Veronica Roth but OH MY!! The line was crazy long. I then attempted to see Rachael Ray and the same thing happened! I got in line and they JUST ran out of books. I didn't pout about it, though. I pulled up my big girl socks and walked on to find more books and friends. :) :)

Post office once again and then headed back to the hotel to rest. Erika and I then went exploring to the Empire State Building. My 9 y.o. wanted me to take a photo of it. So I did. :)

The ceiling!

 Dinner at the hotel restaurant which was good because it started raining! Stayed in and went to bed early.


BEA - Getting There and Day 1

The Ongoing Saga of Book Expo America
Volume I

Getting There

My alarm went off at 3:15 a.m. All my stuff was packed and ready to go so we poured some coffee and headed off to the airport! My fantabulous husband dropped me off at LAX and stayed with me up to the security check in point. I kissed him goodbye, took off my shoes, and went through security. Thankfully, Starbucks was open in the terminal so I grabbed a coffee and sat down to read on my Kindle while I waited the hour and a half for the plane to depart. Finally boarded and found a pillow and blanket in my seat! What a nice surprise! (I flew United there. Would definitely do it again.) Slept a bit, read some, tried to ignore the crazy turbulence. I closed my eyes and pretended we were off-roading. Yes, it was that bad. SO thankful when we landed 5 1/2 hours later at JFK airport.

I easily found the Airtrain and took it to Jamaica Station. Bought my MetroCard and took the train to Penn Station. I didn't get lost, no one was rude, it was a great trip!

Penn Station is literally across the street from the hotel I stayed at - Hotel Pennsylvania.

Picked up my room key at the front desk, dropped off my stuff, and headed down to the Javits Center to pick up my badge early. I just missed my roommates Erika and Tirzah who were heading back from the Book Blogger Convention at the Javits. Met up with them at the hotel and we headed out to the Scholastic Blogger Party!!

The people at Scholastic were very nice! They let me in, even though I'm not an official book blogger (I do blog about books, and reading, and post some reviews, though...). We went up to the Green House and it was SO awesome! Snacks and drinks and AUTHORS! We got to chat with a lot of people, including people from Scholastic and book bloggers from around the world. I finally got to meet Lindsi from Books, Sweets, and Other Treats. Met Andye and her daughter Kit from Reading Teen!

The Scholastic authors who were there and did a wonderful "Readers Theatre" for us were:

Raina Telgemeier, author of DRAMA
Jeff Hirsch, author of MAGISTERIUM
Kate Messner, author of CAPTURE THE FLAG
Donna Cooner, author of SKINNY

Maggie Stiefvater, author of THE RAVEN BOYS
Eliot Schrefer, author of ENDANGERED
James Dashner, author of INFINITY RING
Sharon Cameron, author of THE DARK UNWINDING

Me and Tirzah at the Green House

After this, my roommates and I decided to find some food. We ended up at "Cozy Soup 'n Burger." They had pretty much everything on the menu. The price was right so we ate and had enough energy to hail a cab and get back to the hotel.

Day One

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. I wasn't sure if I could do this, being used to PST but I think I had enough adrenaline pumping through me to get me up. We got ready and walked the five blocks to the Javits (with a stop at Starbucks on the way...). Right when we got inside, I saw Farrah! She's my editor and a super blogger and writer! I finally got to meet Britney, her co-blogger and another aspiring author. I met some more new friends in line (bloggers and librarians). I stowed my rolling suitcase in the coat/baggage check area for $3. Totally worth it! I filled it up with books as the day went on. By the end of the day, it was completely filled up. :)
Erika, Tirzah, and I took a break for lunch at the hot dog carts outside.

I met Shanyn and Tara! We ate lunch at the benches in front of the Javits.

I made a schedule for each day. At first I was worried because I had a few things that overlapped times. The good thing was that some of the lines were really long and I knew I wouldn't get a book so I headed over to the other event scheduled for that same time. It all worked out!

Authors I met/Books received/Events I attended:
-Shannon Messenger signed ARCs of her first book KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES. I know Shannon from SCBWI and it was so great to see her again. (And her book is the first one I read from my BEA books. Very good!)

-Editors' Buzz - a panel about new books coming out. I met several authors (Lenore Appelhans - author of
LEVEL TWO,  AC Gaughen - author of SCARLET, Hilary Weisman Graham - author of REUNITED) at my table and Bridget Smith, a literary agent.

-YA authors panel - evolution of YA fiction. I only stayed for 30 minutes because I went to another signing. Interesting conversations about what's coming next after the wave of vampires/werewolves/demons/witches.

-Shannon Hale signed copies of PRINCESS ACADEMY 2! I was excited to meet her. I love her writing.

-Ally Condie signed her first book MATCHED and posters for the trilogy. (She is SO incredibly nice and personable!)

Erika and I in the bubble!

-Captain America Joins the Avengers - this book is for my boys. :)

-The Apocalypsies party - 20 YA authors in one room! And cookies! And swag. Too much goodness. ;)

After we had enough goodness, we walked back to the hotel. The NY post office is on the way back so we stopped there to mail our books home. I had 22 lbs. of books! (And it only cost $12 to mail them home!)

Random - in line, I noticed a mom and daughter who also had BEA books. The girl looked familiar to me as a blogger that I follow. I finally asked, "Do you blog? Are you IBBookBlogging?" She and her mom were surprised that I knew who she was! :) It was nice running into them.

Tuesday evening
Erika and I went to the Teen Author Carnival at the Jefferson Branch library. The building looked like something from Hogwarts. I loved the architecture and the stained glass windows. We listened to two different panels from YA authors. This was a fun time to get to know the authors better. I won a box of books! Yay!
Gretchen MacNeil moderating the panel.

Lauren Oliver speaking. Siobhan Vivian on her left.

Ceiling of stairwell. The lighting wasn't fantastic but it was really cool!

I met Siobhan Vivian and told her I liked her tweet about "denim diapers." She laughed. :) Chatted with lots of authors and visited with bloggers.

We met Liz and when I added her on Twitter, I noticed that she made reference to a gluten-free pizza. Erika and I were just talking about getting pizza but Erika needs gluten-free. Liz recommended a restaurant that she had gone to that was across the street from the library. Olio is a cute garden-like restaurant. I would definitely go there again.

** I may add more books to this once I get my box of books in the mail. There are some that I forgot about in the shuffle and busy-ness and my mind being confused about which time zone it's in. ;)