Midnight Tales: Leigh Bardugo Takes Michigan

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If Leigh Bardugo has an event within a five to six hour radius of me you know I’ll be attending, so of course I was thrilled by her Midnight Tales tour announcement. Grand Rapids on my Saturday off, heck yes! I jumped early on tickets for my friends and I, then anxiously waited for the actual day.

We left early on Saturday and made a quick stop in Holland, MI for a lovely lunch a quick tour of my alma mater, Hope College. Then it was off to Grand Rapids and Schuler Books. The place is absolutely massive and I probably would have got lost in there if I had the chance.

The set up was little wonky for so many people but I managed to get a standing spot so I could see the stage. To my surprise, one of my BEA buddies, Stefani was also in attendance so it was wonderful to catch up with her.

Leigh was as fabulous as ever chatting about everything from upcoming projects (of course I’m losing my mind over King of Scars) to writing and publishing tips. My favorite question though was the very last asking if the Six of Crows crew was on Chopped, what would they make. Wylan would make a souffle (intensive, detailed), Jesper something spicy, Nina would obviously make waffles, Inej would have mad knife skills (duh), Matthias would make a traditional Fjerdan dish, and Kaz would craft an extravagant meal and be like what, are you surprised.

After that came the signing which we were thankfully early on in line for since there were 200+ attendees. Leigh was rocking a gorgeous top that I would love to purchase for myself and was exceedingly kind. She even took a picture of me in my Wylan cosplay.

After that it was Chipotle for dinner and back to Ohio. Overall an absolutely wonderful day.

Have you gotten the chance to meet any authors? Any on your wishlist?

Let me know in the comments below!

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BookNet Fest 2017: Witch Wanderings & Panels Galore

Guess who started out September in the best way possible!

That’s right. It’s me!

The inaugural BookNet Fest, a book community convention created by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes and Marines of MYNAMEISMARINES, was held September 1-2 in Orlando, FL and I’m so thankful I could attend. I’ll be honest, the biggest thing that convinced me to go was the optional Day 1 trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but I was also excited for the more intimate gathering and the focus on panels.

Needless to say attending was the right decision!

So Day 1 was the HP trip and I would really just like to live in the wizarding areas of those parks. Walking up to Kings Cross and the London buildings was ridiculously exciting and spotting the Knight Bus was an added bonus. Diagon Alley is beyond belief and my eyes could not move fast enough. There’s just so much to freaking see! Being able to taste butterbeer for the first time (it’s gluten free), seeing Celestina Warbeck perform, looking into all the shop windows. It was a dream come true!

Of course I had to catch the train to Hogwarts as it was September 1st after all. It’s a super cool experience and also saved my feet from extra steps in the heat. Hogsmeade and Hogwarts brought more gleeful moments though. I was so distracted by a wizard snowman that I didn’t even notice the castle! The detail in every little thing was just extraordinary and my excitement never diminished. I was able to go on all the different rides and think the Gringotts one may be my favorite. I even got to have a meal at The Three Broomsticks.

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My wallet definitely suffered the consequences of my unending HP delight and with some master packing skills I managed to get this all home in one bag.

The BookNet Fest event on Day 2 was the perfect laid back affair to recover. Everything was held in the same area of the hotel with two panel tracks running right next to each other. The morning began with an Opening Keynote from the creators and than there was panels, panels, panels. I attended US & the Industry, On Reviewing, For the Love of YA, a Gameshow, Romance, Sex, & OTPs, and Diversity in the Book Community.

 Sam and Marines did such an outstanding job bringing this event to life and it ran so smoothly. Each panel was interesting and informative with wide variety of panelists bringing their own unique perspectives. It was interactive, inviting, and intimate. I had such an amazing time and felt reinvigorated in my book efforts and desire to engage with others.

By far my favorite panel was Diversity in the Book Community. The conversations were real and honest with such emotion behind all of it. It brought to the forefront important discussions that this community is starting to have and needs to continue having. Honestly it could have lasted like two more hours and it still wouldn’t have covered everything.

Overall I had such an amazing time at BookNetFest and HP World! It was the perfect Labor Day weekend trip and I’m so glad I decided to go. It reignited my soul in a lot of ways and I hope to carry this passion through the rest of 2017!

How did you spend your Labor Day? Have you been to Wizarding World Orlando? Gone to any book events?

Let me know in the comments below!

Free Comic Book Day ~ 2017

Another Free Comic Book Day has come and gone and my wallet is quite a bit lighter. This yearly event takes place across the globe at independent comic stores. Publishers sponsor preview issues of their upcoming work and bring more attention to small businesses in the process!

My shop, Carol & John’s Comics, always puts on two massive events, one on the day and a midnight release. Since I had to work Saturday, my friends and I decided on the Friday night shindig and got there early enough, 7:30 PM, to get a good spot in line. It had rained all day but there were still a ton of people already there.

I had planned on cosplaying as Rey but it was pretty darn chilly so that went out the window. There were plenty of people out willing to suffer though and there were some excellent outfits on the night. Of course I’m always a fan of the Rebel Legion and 501st Star Wars costumes.

Starting at 10 PM, there’s an artist alley with local artists open to drawing free sketches and selling some of their prints. I’m a sucker for art and grabbed a couple of things on the night. By far my favorite is this Hamilton hug from Erin Schechtman of Super Group Hugs. I also had to have her Han and Leia hug. I also picked up a few Dee Pio pieces with my DC female faves and had her sketch me an adorable Princess Leia.

I make it a point to always purchase a couples of things in store for FCBD since the shop does so much for the event and their customers. I picked this year’s themed art print featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy as well as the two comics currently in my file and the third part of ATLA’s North and South storyline.

Then it was just waiting and waiting and waiting for those free comics. I picked up an excellent selection of previews and the shop was also giving out free trade paperbacks to the first 100 or so in line. I’m excited to dive into these and see if I need to add any titles to my list.

So did you make it out to Free Comic Book Day this year? What titles interest you the most? Are you as big of a sucker for art as I am? Let me know in the comments below!

A Schwab Signing: Saying Anoshe to Shades of Magic

When Victoria Schwab announced her tour for A Conjuring of Light the question was how far would I need to travel to see one of my favorite authors. Thankfully it was only a measly four hours to Crestview Hills, KY and my friend and I made plans right away for a Saturday adventure with clear schedules and fingers crossed for good weather.

Luckily no snow came our way and on Saturday March 4, the two of us set out for a fun filled road trip. The back of my car was stuffed full with two of the most important things on this planet, books and food. Seriously we had close to a full refrigerator of snacks back there. We arrived at Joseph-Beth Booksellers with three hours to go before the event so of course some damage was done to my wallet.

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Moments of Wonderland: Marissa Meyer Tour Recap

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On November 13 Marissa Meyer stopped by the Parma Snow Branch of the Cuyahoga Public Library to chat about her most recent release Heartless and of course The Lunar Chronicles. Despite not the best week I trekked down there with my huge bag of books in tow and had a marvelous time. The auditorium was packed with people and completely full making things all the more exciting.

After being introduced Marissa gave a brief description of Heartless which I’ve already reviewed HERE and then asked for some volunteers for a very special talent show. I, of course, stayed firmly in my seat but six other attendees more courageous than me took the plunge. It was a wonderful icebreaker and the audience was treated to impersonations, songs, poems, feats of strength, etc.

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#TroubleMakersTour : Bringing Ketterdam to Cleveland

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I was so freaking excited when Leigh Bardugo announced her #TroubleMakersTour dates and Cleveland was on the list!!!! While I did get to meet her at BEA (which was glorious), I wanted to get to one of her book tour stops and it worked out perfectly.

So Crooked Kingdom released on Tuesday and I wanted to have finished it by Wednesday night for the tour stop. I managed to devour the whole thing by the morning of and my emotions were all over the place. Review will be up tomorrow by the way. I made sure to give myself plenty of time to drive to the event since rush hour traffic is a horror show and it was on the other side of Cleveland than me.

I arrived to the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of the Cuyahoga Public Library System right about 6 o’clock and got an amazing seat since I was an hour early. It was all about the waiting game then and I was anxious to know if my friend would make it on time. Thankfully she left work thirty minutes early or she definitely would have been late. Continue reading

Stiefvater on the Road: The Raven King Tour

Look! An author event finally right in my backyard! I was so thrilled that Maggie Stiefvater was making a stop in Cleveland for her Raven King Tour despite getting to see her at BEA. There never seems to be anything around me so I was lucky not to drive far for this one. Plus it was at my local Barnes & Noble so I felt right at home. I haven’t been to an event there since the midnight release of Deathly Hallows.

On the day, I arrived at about 5:15 pm and grabbed a numbered ticket from the customer service desk. My B&N is two stories and the event was on the second floor by the cookbooks. There were a fair amount of people already sitting and I quickly grabbed a seat in the middle. While waiting, I made small talk with those around me as the area began to fill up.It was packed by the time Maggie arrived at 7:00 pm! Continue reading