Be prepared to scroll for all the awesome author goodness below!
Checking in we had really cool key cards waiting for us:
Here are some pictures from inside the first night we got there and had dinner:
My stepmom went with me. This was as we were waiting for our food.
Here's a view to my side that night. It would have been cool to stay in one of these rooms and sit and people watch, but I guess they might have been a bit more expensive. I might think about one of these rooms next time I go.
Here I am that first night waiting for my dinner. Wearing my Book Bonanza 2018 shirt.
Just like last year we got an awesome bag full of swag, a new t-shirt, and even new books!
The first morning started with a opening event where we got to hear Colleen Hoover, Anna Todd, Caroline Kepnes and E.L. James talk about their books and their books being turned into movies or tv shows.
That was followed by three fun panel sessions - with six choices at each hour session, although some crazy people at the convention were lined up waiting to get in to see the authors for autographs instead. Which was a little annoying since they said you couldn't line up until 2 hours before, and that was like 5 hours before, and is probably why I didn't get to see Anna Todd and Hero Fiennes.
The first panel I went to was about audiobooks and not only had some of my favorite authors, but also a couple narrators from one of their books that I love! On the left is one of the narrators from Penny Reid's Winston Brother series. Then Helena Hunting, JA Huss, Amy Daws, Cora Carmack, another of the narrators from the Winston Brothers series and Corinne Michaels at the end. Penny Reid actually was the moderator for the panel. Johnathan McClain was supposed to be there as well, but he ended up being unable to make the whole convention because of a death in his family.
The second panel I attended was called Giving Us the Giggles, and all the authors there not only write hilarious stories, but they are just as hilarious in person to listen to when they are just hanging out! The moderators were the two authors at the far left in this picture, the two authors who make up the writing duo of Max Monroe. And while I've never read them before, after this panel I went to their table in the autograph session and not only met them, but bought three of their books to give them a try. I mean, it was $15 a book, or buy two get one three, so yeah, how could I not buy three? The authors in order of the picture above are RS Grey, Amy Daws, BB Easton, Sara Ney, and Meghan Quinn. Oh my gosh, the funniest stories from them, and this was a great panel. All those people sitting in line for the autograph session missed out on some good times.
After the panels there was a sack lunch that was part of our convention fees, which was nice. My stepmom and I took our lunch up to our room and ate in peace and a chance to just be comfortable. I also hadn't brought the books I wanted signed down with me to the panels, in order to save myself from carrying them any more than I had to. While I did make my own autograph book, it's just almost impossible to not take some books to get signed. Here is a picture of my autograph book if you didn't see it in my July wrap-up post earlier this month:
Now, on to my awesome first autograph day's autograph and author meeting session. Although we had to wait so long just to get in. The line wrapped clear around the hotel and almost over to the elevators to get to my wing of the hotel that first day. Enough about that craziness, let's get to the goodies!
While I was waiting in line for the first author, I saw narrator Andi Arndt walk by and I got her to take a picture with me.
Even though I've only read one book by Mary Ting, Jaclyn and the Beanstalk, I still needed to meet her!
I had my picture taken again with Daisy Prescott, loved her Tinfoil Hearts book. I had to tell her that I was a Believer!
While I met R.C. Boldt last year at Book Bonanza, I hadn't yet read her book. But I bought Clam Jam from her and read it and loved it, so had to get my picture with her this year.
As always I had to go see K. Bromberg. Of course I also put in a pre-order with her that I had to pick up too.
So far I've only read one book by Avery Flynn, Parental Guidance, but it was pretty good. So I had to meet her.
I met J.D. Hollyfield at Kinky in Kansas City a few years ago, and really enjoyed her books, but didn't get my picture with her until this year.
I've read Karla Sorensen's story in my Cocktales anthology, but hadn't read any of her other books yet. However I think she has one in the SmartyPants romance series, called Baking Me Crazy, that I hope to read.
As always I have to get my picture with Amy Daws, especially since I had my t-shirt on that is about her books!
So I got my picture with Michelle Mankin again, author of Rock F*ck Club, and one of her cover models was there. I didn't get his name though, oops! He doesn't look quite so rock star hot here though, he's still a cutie!
And finally, my unicorn author for the whole event, Penny Reid! I was so afraid I wouldn't get to meet her, she is one of those awesome authors that spend time talking to each fan/reader, and her line was just taking so long. But she said she would stay until she got everyone who had gotten a wristband, and she sped up towards the end of the first session. And when I tried to be nice and quick and just get a picture by leaning over the table for someone to take a picture of us together, she insisted I deserved a picture just like she'd done with everyone else. So I couldn't say no! She was so sweet and nice, and even though originally she was just going to be there Friday night signing, she ended up coming back Saturday morning to try to get to all the readers who wanted to meet her. Even more fun was the cardboard cutouts she had of her Winston brother characters that had changeable clothes. And her two audiobook narrators were there, so I got their autographs as well. here are the cardboard cutouts:
She said she's thinking of putting the character designs onto buttons or t-shirts or something we can buy them on!
The swag I picked up on day 1:
I did my best to not buy too much, and this was it for the first day.
Cockpit was a pre-order, the top three were the Max Monroe books I bought, and then I couldn't resist this SmartyPants romance book that was available early! It's not supposed to be out until October. Plus, it is a library theme/setting, so had to have it.
I also pre-ordered this event souvenir Book Beau, even though I don't really use one, because it was just too cool!
On to day 2!
I had to stop by and see Kansas City author Sierra Simone.
And of course I had to see Helena Hunting again, I love her books so much! I also had a pre-order to pick up with her.
I loved the book Dumplin' so jumped at the chance to meet the author of that one, Julie Murphy.
Had to meet Kendall Ryan, author of Bro Code.
So I thought it would be neat to have my picture taken with Sara Ney and Meghan Quinn together, since the book I was getting signed, Love, Sincerely Yours, was the one they wrote together. They kind of squished me between them, they were so silly! But they were excited because no one else had asked them to do a photo together yet!
And my unicorn author of day two, that I was so afraid I might not get to meet was Ilsa Madden-Mills. But I was able to, and it made me so happy!
I actually met and talked to a lot more authors, but as the lines seemed to be crazier, I often skipped the pictures. So there are a lot I don't have to share. Like I got to see Kylie Scott again, but her line was so crazy I didn't spend the time getting another picture with her. Now, let's look at the swag and the things I bought on the second day.
So the amount of swag from day 2 was crazy!!! Some of this I actually sent along to my friend Sara who was supposed to go with me, but since she got an awesome job with MacMillan Publishing a few weeks ago, she was unable to go.
I found another book from the SmartyPants series that was also in the library part of the series that was available already, so I had to buy it! And Katie Ashley also had a deal on her books, so I bought two and got one free. But since I'm not much of a MC romance, I may do a giveaway for Vicious Cycle. Pucks and Penalties was my pre-order. Then I saw a physical copy of the Team Player anthology, which I never got to finish reading, so I had to buy the humongous book. And I had actually pre-ordered a bunch of the candles, but had to cancel that order. So I ended up buying a few when they put them on clearance at the end of the day on Saturday.
I decided to buy one of the Bookworm Box packages that had a chance of having passes to next year, and got an awesome book, one of my favorite authors, Emma Hart. Along with buying that I got three free books, the three on the bottom by Tamara Hanscom. Those may be part of a giveaway as well! I also had to buy the BB19 Christmas ornament since I have the one for BB18.
I'll have to skip Book Bonanza 2020 because it will once again be in August, and I had to finagle a bit with my Principal in order to miss the first two days of school this year. But in 2021 it is supposed to be during the summer again, so I'll have to try to go again then.
If you get the chance next year, I highly recommend going. The resort is so cool and the authors are great and it is so much fun to be surrounded by so many fellow book lovers!