Fangirl Friday: Author Signatures Pt. 7

Back in January, I had the opportunity to meet 2 authors that had quickly made their way to the top of my TBR based on the synopsis and premise of their books/series.  So, even though I hadn’t read more than a chapter or two of either of their books, I drove a little over 2 hours one way on a work night to meet Susan Dennard and Elise Kova.  And I took a friend who had even less knowledge of these two than I did.

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Fangirl Friday: Author Signatures Pt. 4

As promised, here are some signatures collected from past ARCHONs!  It’s always exciting to see who the writer/artist guest of honor will be and then to meet them in person.  My earliest favorite author, Tamora Pierce, attended a couple years back.  I went to almost every panel she was on and even invited her to my bachelorette party.  Unfortunately, although she agreed to make an appearance that night, she was not feeling well.  Instead, she sent her assistant with a lovely note apologizing and congratulating me.

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Fangirl Friday: Author Signatures Pt. 3

Another week to feature some fun author signatures in my collection.  Next weekend, I’ll be attending ARCHON 2016 in Collinsville, IL, so part 4 of this series will feature authors that regularly attend the convention.  The week after I return will feature newly collected signatures, and the following week will showcase any remaining authors that didn’t fit into those two posts.

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Newly Acquired Author Signatures

Here are some of my new bookplates!  I’ve worked with E. Rose Sabin, Shelby Bach, and Sara Wilson Etienne to add their signatures to their respective books and my collection.  I was so excited to receive these over the last week.  Thanks to all of these lovely authors for both the signatures and the stories.

Throwback Thursday: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

R: Recommended (This is at the top of the pile.)
Creative Must (Does something different really well.)
This was an amazing retelling/sequel to the world that is Oz! I will freely admit that I might not have read this if it wasn’t for meeting the...

R: Recommended (This is at the top of the pile.)

Creative Must (Does something different really well.)

This was an amazing retelling/sequel to the world that is Oz!  I will freely admit that I might not have read this if it wasn’t for meeting the author at ALA Midwinter 2015, just because I’ve never been in love with the Wizard of Oz.  But I’m very glad I read this because the storytelling was great and the retelling aspect was almost seamless.

Pros:
Amy, the MC, was compelling and likable
Wicked characters did not completely change sides
The new characters mixed well with familiar ones
Characters were diverse and interesting

Cons:
Pacing seemed off sometimes-slow exposition bits
Tin Man/Scarecrow/Lion are now horror-level creepy w/o explanation
Still not convinced why Amy must be the one to kill Dorothy

Some of the cons are rectified with the reading of all the side novellas, which explain a LOT of the backstory I was wondering about while reading this novel.  But I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

#ALAleftbehind Book Haul

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My company is only able to send one person from my department to ALA, but my boss was willing to take my list and grab fun stuff again this year.  She was able to pick up everything on my list of confirmed swag as well as a few little extras!

 

Some of these I tried to get at BEA16, but was unable to secure:

Heartless by Marissa Meyer-Such a hot item at BEA that I waited in 3 different lines without success

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst-This is the book HarperCollins tried to tell me didn’t exist at BEA.  I’m so excited to have the chance to read it!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber-I had a ticket and was in line at BEA16 for this title, but the line was soooo slow that I gave my ticket to someone holding their friend’s spot in line but wished she had her own ticket.  I was excited to see her name on the signing schedule for ALA

Replica by Lauren Oliver-OK, so this one is on my list because I kept hearing about it at BEA.  Unfortunately, Lauren was unavailable for signing due to contracting the flu.

Here are the new ones at ALA16:

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff-After meeting him at BookCon and reading the description for this book, I knew I needed it!

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill-This is currently the only December book in my 2016 challenge, so I was happy to see that she was signing.

Harley Quinn and Power Girl by Amanda Conner-This is my favorite iteration of Harley Quinn right now.  I had sent Harley Quinn Vol. 1 for signing, but the author had taken a trip to Italy, where she broke her hand.  I hope it heals quickly!

My boss also scored some fun socks, Dragonwatch branded post-it notes, mini colored pencils, and Monstress bookmarks.  I feel really lucky that all of this made its way to me and hope that everyone had a great time at ALA this year.  Look forward to reviews of many of these titles–right here–very soon!

Throwback Thursday: Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

I’m more of a fantasy reader usually, which means that I absolutely LOVED Lindskold’s Firekeeper series! However, when I learned that her newest series also had intelligent animal companions, I decided to give it a try. Turns out, Lindskold is just...

I’m more of a fantasy reader usually, which means that I absolutely LOVED Lindskold’s Firekeeper series! However, when I learned that her newest series also had intelligent animal companions, I decided to give it a try.  Turns out, Lindskold is just as talented at science fiction writing as fantasy.  I was immediately pulled in by the characters and think that Lindskold kept good pacing with exposition, world building, and action.  Here’s what you need to know!

Pros:
Strong female lead character
Intelligent animal companions
Interesting, intriguing backstory and world building
Excellent pacing
Relationships have time to develop realistically
It’s the first in a series

Cons:
Choice of plot device (no spoilers here)
Strange “mechanical” blurbs at the end of chapters

Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons 🙂 Mostly the “mechanical” blurbs were lost on me when I read them, but they did make sense the further I read into the story.  I am definitely excited for the next book!

I had my brother-in-law pick up a copy of this title when the author had a signing in Albuquerque, NM.  At about the same time, I was in communication with the author regarding bookplates, which she graciously agreed to sign.  And shortly thereafter, I won the final prize in her contest, and I received an uncorrected proof of the sequel, signed of course!

BookCon Saturday: Day 4

The last leg of my book convention adventure!!  I was incredibly exhausted when I returned home, so this post is a bit late 😦

Saturday was full of bright spots but was also cluttered with messy planning and horrible lines.  The system for handing out wristbands for author signings was not well policed, and so I was able to only collect one wristband.  (More on that later though.)

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The morning was fairly relaxing as I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be, so I wondered the floor, listening to what people were excited about.  I got into line at the Owlcrate booth (nice long line all day long by the way) and spun the wheel to win an adorable notebook and an Owlcrate tote (so cute!).  Then, I went on a hunt to QuirkECat to enter Quirk Books’ Twitter/Instagram contest and found all four pretty quickly and took my pictures.

At the Anderson’s Bookshop booth, I found a signed copy of Dawn Kurtagich’s The Dead House, which was an amazing story.  The Blue Star Coloring booth was selling their adult coloring books at a discounted price.  There were so many things to see and do.  I sat in on several talks at the Uptown Stage, but my favorite was Truth or Dare with Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer.  They have some awesome chemistry and are a hoot to listen to.

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Which brings back to the wristband signing.  So I knew that Sarah J. Maas would run out of space quickly, so I got in line for Victoria Aveyard.  But, she was out by the time I reached the front of the ridiculous line, so I finally got a place in line to see Marissa Meyer and have her sign my bookplates!!

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She really is quite sweet, and I can’t wait to read her new novel, Heartless.  Well, first I should probably finish Winter, but I don’t want the series to end.  So soon, I will read it soon.  Immediately after leaving Marissa’s line, I went to join the line for Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmann.  That line was huge.  It went on for two hours, long past the stated close time.  I guess that was partially because they were signing the sequel to Illuminae, Gemina, but I was completely unaware at just how popular that series had become.  CRAZY!

Once, I collected my signatures, it was far too late to go to the last panel on my list, so I did a little more wandering the show floor.  While doing so, several booths were starting to give away their books as they didn’t want to pack and ship them back to their office.  I collected a few fun titles for other people and a couple for myself.  By then, I was completely wiped out from the whole week’s experience and the crush of people.  And I still wasn’t finished!

Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville was hosting a signing with Sarah J. Maas, and I was going to be there.  Sarah was lovely even as I had her tearing up when I thanked her for writing such genuine representations of hopelessness, PTSD, and depression in A Court of Mist and Fury.  Truly touched my soul, and now I have a fully signed collection of her work up to this point.

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The day ended on a great highlight of the week, and I certainly enjoyed learning more about the book industry.  Hopefully, I’ll get to repeat the experience next year in New York 🙂  I wish you all the best!