PennedCon Recap and Haul & Weekend Book Haul

IMG_6350

This past weekend, I was able to experience a new convention, Penned Con!, thanks to the lovely author, Elise Kova, who shared some free tickets to the event, which is how I found out about it!  Great big thanks to Elise!  I’m so glad I could attend and hope to go back next year 🙂

As this was my first time going, I wrangled a friend into going with me and we drove a little over two hours to arrive for Friday’s afternoon session of signing.  We were able to find parking pretty easy and check-in was super quick.  We even had a few minutes to scour the swag tables before they reopened the doors to where the author tables were all set up.

Earlier this week, I tried to do as much recon and research as possible to find out how this works and who was planning to attend.  The above picture shows all the books that were already on my shelves that I took with me to get signed by attending authors.  Obviously, that included all my (not yet signed) Elise Kova books as well as a couple for Kel Carpenter, and I saw that Shannon Mayer was able to attend!

There were so many people in such an enclosed space that it was really hard for me to hear anything for most of my time exploring, so I didn’t do much talking.  However, I did pick up my preorders and a few impulse buys (only a few due to budget reasons!) as well as lots of information to look up later.

IMG_6349

My preorders are along the bottom, the two newest from Elise Kova and the first two from Audrey Grey’s new series.  Across the top, you’ll see two of my impulse purchases, The Fire Prophecy by Megan Linski and Alicia Rades and Or Dreams and Dragons by Karpov Kinrade (which has been on my Amazon wishlist for awhile and I hadn’t realized this author would be here).  Shannon Mayer was giving away copies of the second book in her Rylee Adamson series for free and is definitely a good reason to locate a copy of book one.

And the last one I picked up will actually be mailed to me because the author was hit by the Amazon Disaster (Amazon had a printing/printer issue and wasn’t able to deliver product to many of the authors in time for the convention).  But I am excited to receive it in the mail soon!

The Faerie Games (Dark World: The Faerie Games Book 1)

After we were done flitting between the two stuffed ballrooms of people, my friend and I decided that we were all peopled out and would not come back for the free evening dance.  However, we did have a couple other things we wanted to do while in St. Louis, so off we went!

IMG_6352

After spending a bunch of money on books, we sold your old books to Half Price Books, where I found the third I’ve Been Killing Slimes light novel and four books in the Otherworld series (on clearance), which I decided meant that I should reread the books I have and continue the series.  Because my TBR isn’t long enough 🙂

IMG_6351

Then on Saturday, I was shopping with my mom at our local used bookstore, where I found a bunch of the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire, which I haven’t started yet but I love her Toby series, and a book I had just added to my wishlist, Black Blade Blues.

What a wonderful book-filled weekend!

 

Advertisements

Waiting on Wednesday Review: In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)

Hardcover, 208 pages
Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Tor.com

This book feels like me in a nutshell.  A thin, compact tome of distilled essence.  My essence.  How Seanan knew what was hiding in my heart, I may never know.  Perhaps we share a kinship in this.  A little anyway.  Every new Wayward Children novella is a little piece of perfection.

Lundy’s story is one that we learned the overview of in the first book, but I’m so glad that Seanan chose this one to share next.  Even though I knew what the ending had to be, I loved the complete story.  All the bits and pieces that make it special feel like spoilers, so I guess this review will be rather brief.  I’m just incredibly happy to be able to read this series and hope that the publisher keeps it going for a long, long time.

Summary:

This is the story of a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

For anyone . . .

Throwback Thursday Review: Parasite by Mira Grant

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)

Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Orbit
 To be honest, I probably would not have picked up this book on my own.  But after listening to the author (i.e. Seanan McGuire) speak at ArchonStL a couple of years ago, I knew I had to read at least the first book.  And this is why.  She willingly swallowed a tapeworm egg and allowed it to live within her digestive system for 2 years. 2 YEARS!  That is some awesome dedication to your craft.
As to the story itself, I found it compelling.  Although I guessed the big reveal about half way through the book, I enjoyed following the author’s path.  As well as the in-denial characters.  It feels like a zombie story in some ways, which I normally don’t like.  However, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.  I’m curious to see what happens next!

Summary:

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

Waiting on Wednesday: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

Hardcover, 160 pages
Expected publication: January 9th 2018 by tor.com
As expected, I loved this installment just as much as much as the previous two!  This story picks up shortly after the end of Every Heart a Doorway and gives us several new characters to fall in love with as well as checking up on others from the first book.  I really enjoyed the mix of fresh and loved character development.  We were even treated to more diverse characters such as a Muslim baker and a bigger girl happy with her appearance.
I can’t wait for more of these books to follow!  Seanan confirmed that there are plans to continue the series for another couple of books at least.  And hopefully more.  As long as they keep selling, they will keep coming.  I wholeheartedly support this trend and will do my best to make sure that the publisher knows we want more!

Summary:

Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

#OTSPsecretsister August and September!

I decided to join a fun little project through Twitter called The Secret Sister Project, which runs for a six month period (this one is August through January) and is meant to bring a little joy and cheer to strangers accepted into the program and secretly paired up.  You can check out more details here.  It’s been so much fun to plan little care and gift packages and writing back and forth on real paper, so I decided to share how awesome my Secret Sister is this round!  I’d share the packages I’ve put together, but then my secret sis would totally figure out it was me 🙂

IMG_4188

For the first month, which was August, my secret sister put together some great little fun things with no theme.  Gel pens, positive stickers, Legacies signed by Rosemary Edghill, and the Valerian soundtrack!!  Not to mention that steampunk octopus art notecard created by Jessica Douglas 🙂  On point and amazing!  We have so much in common it turns out and I’m loving our new friendship.

IMG_4307

So for this month, I received a wonderfully themed box: Classic Redux.  Another glorious art piece from Jessica Douglas, goldfish (rainbow), Monster High stickers and a mini (children of classic monsters), Prince of Egypt (musical retelling of Moses), and Indexing by Seanan McGuire, who I’m so excited to meet at the end of next week!!  And the book is a fairy tale retelling in an urban setting as a police procedural.  Loved it (expect my review very soon)!

I’m so impressed with my sister’s attention to details and love exchanging letters in between packages.  We have so much to talk about that it’s a great well to relieve stress and spread a little bit of fun and fandom.  I can’t help but want to do little things for my awesome sister, so I’ve sent a few signed bookplates her direction and will probably continue to do fun things like that for the rest of this session.  Love this program so much!!

Manic Monday: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

Hardcover, 176 pages
Expected publication: June 13th 2017 by Tor.com
Last year, Seanan McGuire made a splash with Every Heart a Doorway, introducing a world that puzzles an answer to the questions, “What comes after a portal adventure for the children who go through the door?”  And I loved every page, the only downside was the length, since it was only a novella.  Much to my delight, a second and third book was announced, and I awaited with greedy, grabby hands.  I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy through a friend!
Just as short as the first book, this story packs a punch.  Although we were given a brief sketch of Jack and Jill’s back story in book one, this provides so, so much more.  All the emotional turmoil and parental “guidance”.  The longing and desire for companionship and expression of self.  Seanan truly knows how to create depth and characterization while being economical with words.  Did I mention this world is an interesting mash-up of horror monster tropes?  I truly cannot wait for Beneath the Sugar Sky, and look forward to what else the Tor.com lineup will bring my way.

Summary:

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.