Sunday, July 22, 2018

Book Bonanza 2018 Recap

So the last two days have been both awesome as well as mega-crazy.  There were so many awesome authors to meet, but there were also so many fans there to meet them!  I've been to a few different book conventions, BEA, Romantic Times Convention, NOLA StoryCon, Apollycon, Kinky in Kansas City, and last month, ALA.  This weekend was the first ever Book Bonanza, and I'd say it was a pretty neat experience, even if it definitely had some growing pains that will hopefully be easy to fix before they, hopefully, have the 2nd one next year!  In fact, by the end of today's last signing time, things seemed to really be going pretty smoothly!  While I didn't get the chance to go meet a lot of authors I didn't already know, I got to meet or visit with all of my top planned authors. 

This is going to be a looooooooonnnnngggg post.  Lots of pictures!  

Below is a picture of all the planning I did from the beginning list of authors I had until late last night when I was trying to streamline the final two signing times based on what I'd learned at the first one.

Last minute purchases of post-it notes and highlighters - needed because what I did have was at school and I couldn't get to over the summer because of construction.  A pad of regular size post-its from a fellow BB attendee that was very useful in marking my name on the pages I wanted signed by the authors.

When I got to Denver and went to registration on Thursday night, I got this awesome tote bag filled with all these goodies.  Now, for some reason I got a 4XL sized t-shirt, which was way big for me. But the awesomeness and organization that went into this made me able to stop back by the registration desk on Friday morning to switch it out for the XL that was the actual size I needed.

Here is a video I took of the book I made to get autographed when it arrived a week before the convention.

Book Bonanza Attendee Group on Facebook

All the book bloggers were invited to meet with the Bookworm Box to talk about how we can work together to help them promote what they do, especially since what they do is all in a great support for different charities.  Here is the picture of all of us after that movie.

There were some awesome panels.  I took a couple pictures.

Rachel Hollis panel - She was such a great motivational speaker!

 Jenga Writing - From A to B:  This panel had some great ideas to help with writing.  Authors included:  Rebecca Donovan, Kenzie Hart, Rachel Higginson, and KA Tucker.
Words and Cliches We Love to Hate - How do you avoid the slippery slope?  And then we had the awesome and hilarious panel where it was discussed the words that we all cringe over such as moist, turgid. The authors talked about their preferred terms for body parts, etc. and other funny things about writing sex scenes.  Authors on this panel included:  Willow Aster, K Bromberg, JD Hollyfield, Raine Miller, and Tabatha Vargo.

Next are all the books!  Even though as I showed above I made my own book to get signed so that I wouldn't have to carry a bunch of books around, well, let's just say my weakness showed when there were book to buy.  I mean, I drove, so it's not like I have to worry about how to get the books back.  Just don't probably need them all?  But you know, they're books!

So these are the free books I got. The bottom two from Book Bonanza just for coming!

These are the books I brought that I got signed.  You can see my book I made at the top.  In the middle you've got Cocktales and Felony Ever After both had multiple authors for me to get.

These are the books I bought.  Only 11, that's not horrible, right?  Two on the top are coloring books, and then another two are ones I'd read as e-galleys and wanted a physical copy to get signed.

And then there is all the awesome swag!!

Cool pens.  Yeah, the top one is from Meghan Quinn.  It is what it looks like.

Bookmarks galore!

Cool buttons.

Lots of stickers!  Some temporary tattoos, which are cool, but I'd rather have them as stickers to keep on my blogging calendar.

Then there were the interesting odds and ends of random type of swag. Some coasters, a tote bag, bracelets, fans, candy, magnets, post-its, and more!

Of course there were the cool postcards and even a signed picture of one of the cover models.

Other than the t-shirt that came with the tote-bag for the event, I was able to get another free one from the Bookworm Box, as well as I bought a shirt with a cool Outlander quote.

Free shirt from Bookworm Box!

Cool Outlander quote t-shirt from The Bookish Shop.  

Okay, now, here is the reason I really had to attend Book Bonanza as soon as I heard about it, all the awesome authors!  Some I'd never met but am now in LOVE with their books, and others that I'd read a story by and wanted to read more, and finally ones that I'd met before, but still LOVE all their books and had to say hi to again.  There will be a lot!  So hopefully you don't get bored and enjoy looking at them!

Had to find Amy Daws right away!

Kami Garcia.  I've met her before, but only have a picture with her and Margaret Stohl, so now I have one with just her!

Helena Hunting was one of my MUST meet authors!  She was so nice, and so fun to talk to.  Her husband was there and he was nice as well!

Celia Aaron was there Friday night, wasn't expecting her till Saturday.  Loved her husband's shirt which said "I make Celia Aaron moist.  Ask me how."  He said no one had asked him yet.  I was not going to be the first one.  

Sara Ney was another MUST meet author.  Also sat in on a panel with her that I forgot to take a picture of.  But she was a blast!

Yet another MUST meet author was Cambria Hebert.  Also, I'd lost my sunglasses when I went to register on Thursday night.  I was saved from having to either drive to find a Target, or buy the $25 ones in the hotel gift shop because she had some for swag giveaways - bonus - they were pink!

Aleatha Romig was another MUST meet author.  She was so excited that there were so many people in her line she ended up having to have wristbands because the line got so long.

I'd only read one by Daisy Prescott, but she was also in my Cocktales anthology, and there was one of her books, Tinfoil Heart, that I've wanted to read ever since I did a blog promo post for it. So, I bought it.

Shirl Rickman, I've only read one of her books, but did enjoy it, so had to go meet her as well.

Now, I met Michelle Mankin earlier this year at Kinky in Kansas City, but since I hadn't read her books yet, I didn't get a picture then. But now that I have, and loved it, I had to get a picture with her.

Had to meet Rachel Hollis and get the book I bought at work last week, Girl Wash Your Face, signed.  Haven't read it yet, but her keynote speech was so good that I can't wait to start!

So, you've probably noticed all the reviews for books in the Man of the Month  series that I've done throughout the first months of 2018.  I had to meet J. Kenner. When I told her I loved the series and would need to read on, she suggested that I needed to try her Stark trilogy, and gave me the first book to read!  That was so awesome!  So that will be a book I read soon!

Jana Aston was one I really wanted to meet, she had her own page in my book that I made, with a quote that I love from that book.  I ended up buying Good Girl, because I've heard so much about it!

So, Meghan March was one of my MUST meet authors.  But as of Friday night, I was scared I might not get to meet her, because she had so many people they handed out wrist-bands, and didn't get through them all. So they were going to start the next day, and they said they wouldn't be handing out any more.  Friday night, around 11:45 pm, 15 minutes before the end of that first signing time, I was sharing my sadness about not getting to meet her at all, and the person in line in front of me gave me her wristband so I could meet her on Saturday!  Book people are the best.  Now, they did end up doing new wristbands, so I probably would have been okay, but this was still awesome!

Audrey Carlan was high up on my list to meet, and she brought the cover model from her new series with her!

I've only read/listened to one book by JA Huss, and I haven't even had a chance to review it on my blog  But, when I was able to get a wristband to go ahead and meet this author, I was very excited!  Plus, they were giving away copies of the new book, Sexpert, that I can't wait to read!

So, I've met Jay Crownover before, and wasn't going to worry if I didn't get to see her again, but as you can see, I did!  And since we always seem to have the photos with the crazy mouth, I saved that one.  I suck at it, while she always looks so cool!

Rachel Van Dyken was one I was really hoping to meet, and I did!  I accidentally left my copy of Cocktales at her table, and didn't realize it for awhile.  I was so close to tears until I had gone back to a lot of the tables I'd visited, and when I got to her table, it was there!  Yay!

I was lucky enough to slip in and see Abby Glines when she stayed into part of the 2nd Saturday signing to finish up the wristbands she didn't get to in the first signing that same day.  Love the photo bomb, by her daughter?

Yes, I've met K. Bromberg before, but I LOVE her books, and am so excited for Passionflix's movie of her book Driven, which comes out in August.  Plus I'm on her audiobook review team, so I had to go see her if I could.  And she seemed to remember me by name!  Coolest thing!

So, Meghan Quinn was a MUST meet for me, especially since she was the only author I'd done a pre-order with.  But getting a wristband to see her?  Well, let's just say that was crazy.  But I finally got over to meet her, and she was really cool!

And while I've met Anna Todd before, I really wanted to see her again and talk about the After movie that is now starting to film.  I think she was probably busy and tired by this time, she was still sweet, but not quite as bubbly and friendly as when I met her the first time.  You can tell by my picture here though, I was sweaty and tired, so I'm sure everyone else was as well.

Okay, this was an awesome event!  I'm hoping to attend next year, but we'll see.  I also hope to get to sell my house and move next year, so we'll see how I'm doing financially as well as time-wise.  

A fun time, but I was so exhausted when I got back to my hotel room Saturday night that my body just ached all over.  I had marks on my shoulders from carrying bags full of books all day, two days kind of.  So I didn't go back to the event hotel across the street for the concert.  Maybe if I'd been staying there, but now I'm in my room and just relaxing.  

I drive back tomorrow, but am happy to get to sleep in a bit.  Friday morning wasn't horrible, just got up about 7:30 am, but this morning I had to get up about 6 am in order to get in line for the 8 am signing.  I wasn't ready for school morning time yet.  It's not August!

Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about the awesome food trucks!  They had food trucks for us outside for breakfast, lunch, and dinner both Friday and Saturday.  I had them for all three on Friday, but on Saturday, I didn't make it out there.  I wasn't over in time to get breakfast and still get a good place in line on Saturday.  Then, they weren't going to start serving lunch till 11, and I was ready to get something to eat earlier so I could get back to get my last few authors from the first signing on Saturday, so I ate at the restaurant in the Marriott.  Then for dinner tonight, I just went to the restaurant at my own hotel.  I was going to just do room-service, I was that sore and tired, but needed some ibuprofen, so I had to leave my room for that anyway.

Food Truck Pictures:
These waffle cakes were to die for!! This one was a banana Nutella.

Friday's lunch was from this Mac and Cheese Truck.

This was my Cheddar Mac with Bacon.

I had pizza Friday night, but didn't take a picture to share.  Sorry!

As I said above, a great time!  You should keep your ears open for next year's info!