Oh, hello there! It's been very quiet around here for almost 2 weeks, but I think I'm back? I'm still feeling a bit meh and it's been hard to find the motivation (and time) to read and blog, but here goes with jumping back into blogging.
Ally, Melissa, and I had so much fun attending YALLFest for the first time last year that we absolutely wanted to go back. The logistics involved in pulling off this year's trip were much trickier with everyone's insanely busy schedules, but, fueled by our love of books (and lots and lots and lots of coffee), we were determined to return to Charleston.
Once again, a small group of authors had signings on Friday, the day before the actual event. We made really good time driving up to Charleston and arrived early enough to walk around for a while and do some shopping before the Alexandra Bracken signing in the afternoon. Both her Friday and Saturday signings were limited to a certain number of people, so Ally and I figured that Friday was our best shot. We also went to her signing last year, and she was incredibly sweet both times. She actually asked me if we'd met before, and I told her yes, at last year's event. It was very flattering to be recognized, and I swear I'm not a stalker or anything, lol. I got my copy of Passenger signed:
After grabbing an early-ish dinner, we checked into our hotel and worked out our strategy for Saturday. The signings, panels, and events at the publisher booths all go on simultaneously, so prioritizing is a must. This year, we spent more time checking out the publisher booths; several of them had hourly giveaways and/or contests. We did attend the opening keynote featuring Sabaa Tahir and Victoria Aveyard, and while we were waiting outside the Charleston Music Hall for the doors to open, we spotted Veronica Roth, Margaret Stohl, Leigh Bardugo, Susan Dennard, Justine Larbalestier, and Scott Westerfeld. Maggie Stiefvater also passed by on the way to her signing, which unfortunately was at the same time as the keynote. We weren't terribly disappointed we didn't get to go, though, because we got to meet her back in June during one of her tour stops promoting The Raven King.
While the three of us spent most of the day checking out the publisher events, I went to the Victoria Schwab signing in the afternoon. I thought it best to get in line pretty early, and I did not regret my decision. Not only was there already quite a bit of a line when I got there, but there was a hiccup when it got closer to the signing time. She was supposed to sign in the bookstore, but the room wasn't ready for her at the start time, so she stood outside the bookstore for a while and started signing books to keep to the schedule. How AWESOME was that of her?! By the time it my was my turn, we had moved inside the bookstore, where they were playing the Hamilton soundtrack. :D Victoria was so, so, so lovely, and I love what she wrote in my copies of Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic:
The last event of the day that we checked out was Riveted's YA trivia contest, which featured free yummy cupcakes (yay!) and the chance to have your name picked from the "Chalice of Flames" to compete on teams with authors Jenny Han, Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds, Scott Westerfeld, and Suzanne Young. Alas, none of us were chosen, but it was still a lot of fun to be in the audience and watch. We also received ARCs of Cristin Terrill's Here Lies Daniel Tate.
After the trivia contest, the three of us were more than ready to call it a day, so we headed back to the hotel to munch on leftover pizza and snacks from the stash we'd brought for the trip and to check out our goodies. Here are a few pics of my haul:
The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron
Denton Little's Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
Not pictured: the cookie that was also handed out to everyone who received an ARC of The Valiant. When you received your book, they asked you to pick your weapon: swords, bow and arrow, or trident. You then received a cookie decorated with your weapon of choice on it. The cookie looked so tasty, I ate mine before I had a chance to take a photo of it, LOLOL. Mmmmm . . . cookies.
Everyone who was at the Scholastic booth for the Just Another Girl ARC giveaway got to meet David Levithan! I was also super, super excited about the ARC of Frogkisser! They also gave out lip balm, which you can see in the photo below and which I thought was some very clever marketing!
The New York City postcard is actually a cool promo piece for Brandon Sanderson's Firefight. I got the NYC mug while we were out and about on Friday browsing the local stores. So basically I went to Charleston, South Carolina to buy an NYC mug, lol.
Riveted gave out excerpts of the upcoming Shadowhunters novel, Lord of Shadows, along with these awesome posters:
After a whirlwind two days, it was time to pack up the car again and head home. We went to this awesome bagel place for breakfast one more time, where I got to eat my second garlic bagel of the weekend. Mmmmm . . . garlic bagels. I've rarely found them here in Florida, and as an NYC native, bagels are practically their own food group to me. XD
For the second year in a row, YALLFest was an amazing experience, and I absolutely recommend checking it out to anyone who's thinking about going, We definitely hope to make a third trip there in 2017!