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Morning Meandering… Let Me Introduce You To Armchair BEA 2014


Good morning!  Yesterday was a pretty sweet day here in Central Minnesota…. it was warm (well 50 degrees makes me happy at this point) and looks to stay this way moving forward (*cartwheels* * back flip* *High fiving anyone and everyone*)  AND when it starts to feel like spring…

I start to think about BEA (Book Expo America).

I have been able to go every year since 2010 and I have been amazed every year.  If you are on the decision side of should I stay or should I go…. you should GO.  And over the next 7 or 8 weeks… you are probably going to see me chat about BEA a lot here…. however, before you think “Sheila, this totally does not apply to me, I will not be attending and I really do not want to hear about something I am not taking part in…”

Oh but wait my friend….

Have you heard of Armchair BEA?

Armchair BEA is a way for those who will not be attending to get the feel of the event from their very own homes.  Through this site you can participate with daily discussions, giveaways, and live videos and posts from the event itself. It will be like being there without the expense of the plane train or automobile to get there.

Armchair BEA

I a, super excited to be part of the On-Site Correspondents Team.  *SQQQUUUEEEE* What that means is that myself as well as 3 other awesome bloggers will be the eyes and ears on site for those participating from home.  We will take video of what we are seeing and doing.  We will do interviews and give you as much BEA as you handle.  I am SUPER excited to be a part of this team.

Registration will soon be open to sign up to be an Armchair BEA participant.  I do hope you will all sign up and hang out with my virtually for a week at the end of May.  I will keep you informed here when registration is open, in the mean time, please check out the site and grad the button I posted here for your side bar.

It’s going to be a good good time.



As far as books that came to my home this week… I am never short of reading material that’s for sure…


Hope your Sunday plans are something fun or relaxing or both :D  I will be working on our book club read this afternoon and possibly going to the movie Noah with my hubby.


Morning Meanderings… Sheila… Friend Of The Power Readers :)


Good morning!  Its going to be one of those days… I first typed “goo morning” and then corrected it to say “goof morning”… hopefully this post is not a miss typed mess. :razz:

So I shared a little bit on my Day 5 BEA recap about the two Power Readers I met in the elevator of my hotel while I was in New York.  (Power Readers…. I love that.. it brings up images of super powers and awesome capes… two things I want :D )  There were two ladies I met in the elevator I gave my card to, chatted with, was excited for them and encouraged them to start a blog and come back to BEA next year as bloggers.  Now I don’t know if they will do that, but I was super excited yesterday to see I had a comment from them:

My twin and I are the Power Readers from your Day 5: Getting Your Potter on BEA update. We were not disappointed with BEA! Got to meet great authors, got some great reads and met lots and lots of other Power Readers. Already have the date saved for BEA 2014 (thank goodness it’s in NYC again).

I love love love that they contacted me and that they had a great time!  :D  That is so cool! 


Power Readers!

What I did not share with you is that this was not my only Power Reader encounter.  Later that last day of the expo I was in the shipping area trying to decide what to do with my half full box of books.  If you have been to the expo you know the shipping is a bit spooky and UPS is $39 before they ever even weigh the box, that’s just for the honor of them being there (Thank you thank you UPS *bows low*).  So needless to say, I did not want to ship a half empty box home. 

Next to me was a girl who I learned her name was Hannah.  It was her first year at the expo as a Power Reader and she was gushing about her experience.  We started talking about my half empty box and I told her it was fine as I had sent other books home already.  Some how we got on the subject of blogging ( go figure!) and I gave her my card and told her she should start a blog and come back next year as a blogger.  I told her that if she emailed me, I would help her get going.  Shortly after I returned home she emailed me.

Hannah has started a blog that she has coolly called Indiereadergirl0329.  Cool right?  She has posted a couple of reviews and joined the Monday meme yesterday.  She is doing great and we have continued to email and I have encouraged her to start commenting and building a reader base.  I would love it if you would take a moment and pop on over to her blog and welcome her.  How fun that she has taken this next step!  :D

Tonight is book club and I am uber excited!  This is the review of The Fate Of Mercy Alban and we do our secret book exchange for July!  I don’t even know what book I am going to bring yet!  :D

Morning Meanderings… BEA: Day 5 – Getting My Potter on (oh and the BOOKS!)


Good morning!  Happy Saturday ya all!  :D  Today will be my final BEA recap post and I will be tying it in with the Saturday Snapshot post now being done by West Metro Mommy!


BEA:  Day 5

Last Saturday was the last day of the book expo in New York and the day that for the last two years they have opened up the expo to Power Readers.  What are power readers?  They are basically book lovers like fellow bloggers, but without the blog (in most cases).   When I got up Saturday morning and went down the elevator to breakfast there were two women in the elevator with me. 

“She is going too!” I heard one say to the other.  They had seen my BEA Badge I was wearing.  I asked if they were at the expo as well and they said just today.  Power Readers.  I told them they were going to have an amazing time.  We exited the elevator and picked up our breakfast.  I had brought my lap top and was going to write until Cindy came to join me but the two Power Readers were asking questions and I got caught up in their excitement so I wound up sitting with them.  I shared my experience with the expo and as they were both book lovers and twin sisters, I found out, I suggested maybe they start a blog together.  They were excited and I gave them my info if they wanted to bounce questions off me.




Once at the expo I had to get my yearly pic behind the info desk.  If you recall, two years ago Reagan and I set there to enjoy our coffee prior to the first days opening of the expo and we had about 50 questions.  We had a blast answering the questions, we knew all the answers except one, and therefore it has become a yearly thing.  That’s how I roll….

Sure enough, Cindy took the picture for me and while I was there I answered three questions.  :D




Chris Matthews, Master of Ceremonies Helen Fielding John Lewis Diana Gabaldon
Chris Matthews
Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked
Simon & Schuster
(November 12, 2013)
Helen Fielding
Title TBA
Alfred A. Knopf
(November 2013)
John Lewis
March (Book One)
Top Shelf Productions
(August 13, 2013)
Photo Credit: Eric Etheridge
Diana Gabaldon
Written In My Own Heart’s Blood
Delacorte Press Hardcover
(December 10, 2013)
Photo Credit: Elenna Loughlin

I had another Author Breakfast on Saturday.  Again I sat with Jill and Candice, and Alison too.  As you can see above, this is who was speaking.  This was a great group to listen too and we were excited to learn almost first hand that Diana Gabaldon’s series is going to be a movie.  She had just found out the night before.  That is great news!  For me, that means I have work to do as I have not yet read her series. :razz:

After the breakfast, I met Alison’s book club members who had come for the Power Reader day.  She was going to show them around so I went my merry way thinking I would do more browsing today then picking up books.  Uh yeah…. that is not true.  The following are a few author signings I went to:


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Jamie Ford! Author of Hotel of Bitter and Sweet and has now written another one, Songs of Willow and Frost. SQQQUUEEE!!!!
I told him my book club loved his book.



Nancy Horan author of Loving Frank has written a new book, Under The Wide and Starry Sky.


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The Harry Potter new book cover unveiling was actually earlier in the week but I forgot to post about it.


Not super clear as I had hoped but there it is…




The yearly pic of Alison and I…. not at Harper (we forgot!) but at the Penguin Bash!



Around 1:00 the expo started to wind down.  People were closing up their booths, books were no longer plentiful… it was pretty much over.  I shipped the last of my books and Cindy and I walked over to where the Potted Potter play was showing to see if we could get tickets.  We did, and we picked up the $99 tickets for $49 which was great seats.  We went to that at 5 pm and it was a BLAST!  We laughed so hard we cried and I HIGHLY recommend that if you love Hatty Potter, you have to see this show.  It is 70 minutes of all 7 books.  AMAZING!


After the show we walked over to Cake Boss (you just have to when you are in New York!) and picked up a couple of cookies to bring home for Al.


We (Cindy and I) ended the evening by meeting up with Jill, Candice, and Kathy at that Irish Pub I mentioned in my Day 1 post.  We were all leaving at different times the next day and it was fun to wrap up the week together. 

Ok and now, I hate to do this today but I am done with the BEA posts so please bear with me as I give you… the books I brought home from the expo:










Ok, that is a LONG post and I know… a lot of books.  Be sure to come back tomorrow which is my official 4 year Blogiversary where some of these books will be offered in several giveaways in celebration!  :D  (that post will go up right after midnight – central time. )

Have a great Saturday – my day is full… I have a funeral this afternoon and a birthday celebration tonight.  In between, I hope to get out in my garden a bit and work on my hostas as – it is NOT raining. 

For the previous BEA recap posts…

BEA Day 1:  What is up with my pants????

BEA Day 2:  Blogger Con and I love Harper!!!!!

BEA:  Day 3:  Least Favorite Book Of The Expo

BEA Day 4:  The Home of A Favorite Author!

Morning Meanderings… BEA Day 4: The Home Of A Favorite Author


Good morning!  It is Friday!  That is exciting to me in so many ways!   I was supposed to be heading out this afternoon for the MS 150 but sadly my commitments caused me to have to cancel out.  I do have one work commitment today – and tomorrow I have a funeral to attend and a birthday celebration.  I am bummed about the ride, but as I sit here with a sinus infection coughing and sniffling it is probably for the best.  I do love that ride though and have to figure out a way to make it work along with New York and not becoming over committed/ booked.

Today I will talk about the 2nd official day of the expo in New York:


BEA Day 4:

Last Friday, Cindy (roomy) and I woke up early to get ready to go to breakfast at Adriana Trigiani’s home.  Yes, you read that right.  We were going to her home in Greenwich Village for breakfast at 7:30 am.  We walked down the block to another hotel to meet up with Candice and Jill, and the 4 of us took the subway.  Note:  I never take the Subway in New York, I do not know my way around well enough but when others know their way around I am happy to follow their lead. :D

We arrived a little early so we sat in a beautiful park in the area.

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Far end of the bench: Candice, Cindy, and then Jill closest to this end.


When it was time to go to Adriana’s we joined about 12 other blogger/reviewers at her home.  Adriana was gracious as always.  She had out lovely china for us to use saying, “What’s the point of having china you do not use, only to die and people saying, well she had a lovely set of china.”


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Adrianna is someone I could listen to for hours.  For people who have not read her books I say if you listened to her speak, so passionately and witty, you would find yourself wanting to read everything this woman has written.  She is an amazing story-teller.  What a gift!

About 9:30 am Cindy and I grabbed a taxi back to the Javits.  After walking around for about a half hour I wondered over to the autograph area to see who was signing.  As I was reading the names I seen one said, “Adriana Trigiani signing 10 – 11 am”.  I thought, that can not be right, when I left at 9:30 she still had a good 15 people in her home and she was completely relaxed and chatting away – but sure enough, unless Adriana has a twin, there she was with a long line leading up to her to have books signed.



Friday as you can imagine I was quite wiped out.  Before I had gone back to the Javits that morning I had stopped at a little store and picked up an iced coffee and this bag of some sort of grainy chips.  After I got the Javits I stared at this bag of chips and thought, seriously, I am not carrying these around.  So I put them in my shipping box to keep. :D  Later, actually not that much later as I was wiped out – I was in the shipping area, people watching and eating those chips.  My Facebook and twitter status was something like this:

Is it wrong that I am so tired that I am hanging out in shipping, people watching and eating grain chips?

Janis Ian Bill Bryson Louise Penny Brandon Sanderson

I did leave the Javitz for a while to go relax at our hotel room and catch a break.  At  4 pm that afternoon I had a ticket to the narrators tea, but I also had an rsvp in to go with a group of bloggers to have cocktails with Dorothy Benton Frank.  I tried (and failed) to do both.  Since Dorothy’s event went from 3:15 – 6 pm, I thought I could do the first half of the authors tea, leave there by 4:30, catch a taxi and catch up with the rest by 5:00, hang out until 5:45 or so and then catch up with Cindy at the Random House Canada get together. 

Yeah… that didn’t work.  At 4:30 when I left to catch the taxi I started by the Javits and could not catch a cab.  I moved around to other blocks eventually winding up by my hotel.  I tried until I was hot and tired at 5:30 and then I called the wonderful ladies who had sat this gathering up apologizing for my lack or appearance and then caught up with Cindy to go to her invite.  Sadly, I could not do it all. :(

Cindy and I were at the Random House get together for a little over an hour.  They had lovely horduerves and she and I were able just to relax and talk and that was nice as we were both tired out.  We ended out evening by going over to Chipolte which Cindy had never had before and I told her it was a must!

That was out Friday.  Back in the hotel we were asleep in no time. :D


Today, this morning I am going garage sailing.  YAY!!!  Then I have a meeting, and this afternoon a friend of mine and her daughter our coming over to help me open up my BEA boxes.  (You may remember Camryn, she wrote YA reviews for me last summer :D )Then I will spend my later afternoon organizing the books.  All of which, as us book lovers know – is so much fun. :D 


For the previous BEA recap posts…

BEA Day 1:  What is up with my pants????

BEA Day 2:  Blogger Con and I love Harper!!!!!

BEA:  Day 3:  Least Favorite Book Of The Expo

Morning Meanderings…. BEA Day 3 – And least favorite book of the expo


Good morning!  It is Thursday and looks like it is going to rain – but is not raining.  Looking at the forecast, it calls for rain, tomorrow no rain, and then this weekend… RAIN.


So, we will talk about better things…

BEA Day 3

Last Thursday was the first day of BEA.  Wednesday was the conference, but the actual expo did not open until Thursday morning and I did things a bit differently this year.  For instance, in past years I have walked to the Javits about 7 am grabbing a coffee along the way at a Mr. Donut.  Then I would people watch (occasionally behind the info booth – but that is another story coming up in a couple of days).  This time, I had bought the author breakfast tickets.  This would be my first time checking these out.  Rumor had it that you would have the authors books waiting for you on your chair when you went in and then each of the authors would talk about their upcoming book.

Chelsea Handler, Master of Ceremonies Ishmael Beah Doris Kearns Goodwin Wally Lamb

This Thursday morning breakfast was as you can see above, Chelsea Handler, Ishmael Beah, Doris Goodwin, and Wally Lamb.  I have read Ishmael and Wally before. 

When we entered, I was hanging out with Jill (Rhapsody in Books) and Candice (Beth Fish Reads), there was Wally’s new book on our chairs, an insert for Ishmaels upcoming book, and a postcard about Chelsea’s.  I was a little disappointed we did not get Ishmael’s full book and Doris’s would have been great too – I probably would not read Chelsea’s, but it was fine – for $27 it still was fun to hear them all talk about their books, Chelsea was funny, Ishmael deep, and Wally really has a quick wit that I enjoyed – playfully poking at Chelsea.

After the breakfast the Expo was in full swing.  By this time I had caught up with Alison (Alison’s Book Marks ) and we walked the floor touching base with publishing houses that we work with, and picking up a few books along the way.  We did this for hours. And eventually made our way over to where the Autograph signing are was.  This is is where there are about 25 lines of authors signing their books.  You can find a line for an author whose book you would like and have it signed. 

I seen one author with no one in their line.  This is not unusual, sometimes when they are at the end of their signing hour everyone has gone through.  I looked at the cover of the book that was being held up and nodded at Alison, “I am going to go and check out this book.”  Alison said she would come as well. 

When we made it to the author, I asked her if it was her first book, “No,” she said, it was her third.  As we made small talk she opened the book cover and asked who she should write it too.  Now – normally I juts have them sign it unless I know the author, but for some reason I held up my badge and said, “make it out to Sheila.”  That is when I noticed, in a small paragraph on the inside page it said,

Short stories and essays of erotica.


Now, if you know me… this is not my genre or choice at all.  But – here I am, about to get my name signed on her book and there was nothing I could do but smile and think, “oh no, Alison is behind me.”  Then Alison has her turn and I wait for her.  Gracious as always, Alison asks the author what her book is about and the author proceeds to tell her.  Alison does not miss a beat, has her book signed (not autographed) and we make our way out of the line.  We are not making eye contact at this point.  Once out of the line, and out of ear shot, I turn to Alison…. “I am so sorry…. I owe you for that one.”  We both laughed….well…. it makes for a funny memory.

As the day went on I did wind up with a box worthy of books and took my books to the US post office where it was must more reasonable to ship books home.  What would have cost $56.00+ at the expo USP, cost me $17.95 at the post office.  I do this every year and my post office boxes always beat and UPS boxes I ship to my door.  Same is true this year, the post office boxes are here.  I hope UPS arrives today.

We had a full evening schedule this day.  Alison and I headed back to our hotels around 3 pm.  I cleaned up, changed and was out the door by 4:20 pm for our 5:00 pm gathering at Simon and Schuster.  I was so excited as my great friend Sarah Pekkanen was going to be there as well as other authors.  It was a lot of fun, the usual blogger friends I hang out with were there and we chatted away for about an hour.

Then… Alison and I grabbed a taxi and went to Workman Publishing’s open house.  We had never been there before but had heard it was crazy busy and amazing.  Yes it was.  We went up the elevator and it was so crowded we could hardly get off the elevator.  Completely insane!

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Workman Publishing party

I made my way to a safe “non trampling” corner and talked for about 20 minutes with a book store owner from Wisconsin.  He was baffled that us bloggers do what we do without being paid.  I told him the expo was my yearly reward (oh yeah, plus lots of great reading!)  :D

Next stop – Penguin Publishing.  My roomy Cindy was already there having secured one of the only tables available.  Nice!  This was a blast as always!  I was able to catch up with many bloggers, meet a few authors and had an amazing conversation with author Sue Grafton and her husband who gave me her email to talk to her about writing.  (There are moments each year at the expo I have to say…. this is not my life.) :D


Sue Grafton and I

After the AWESOME (did I mention it was awesome?) Penguin Bash, Alison and I had one more commitment.  We had been invited to the City Of Bones party, in celebration of Cassandra Clare’s book being made into a movie.  It was AWESOME!!!  We went in not knowing what to expect but the venue was one of the best I have been in, in my 4 years of BEA attending.


Beautiful Venue!

Let me just say it was pretty amazing.  We had a great time, and we were able to hang out a bit with Cassandra Clare!


Yup, that is me with Cassandra Clare!

They also had a signature drink, a blood orange jalapeno margarita.  I know, right?  But yes, I had to try it and it was….ok.


There were rumors that John Green was going to make an appearance and that was enough for Alison and I to hang out in that case, although we never seen him.  We left around 10:15 or so, tired but happy.

So that was last Thursday.  Today I work, hope my UPS boxes arrive today (I have a connection at the local UPS so they will call if they see them), I also have a friend’s birthday dinner tonight so life…. is never dull. :D


For the previous BEA recap posts…

BEA Day 1:  What is up with my pants????

BEA Day 2:  Blogger Con and I love Harper!!!!!

Morning Meanderings… BEA Day 2 – Blogger Con and Harper!


Good morning!  Ready to talk about day 2 in New York at the expo?  I am!


Day 2:  BEA

On Wednesday of last week my room-mate Cindy and I woke up and had a little breakfast at our hotel, the Hampton Inn.  I was heading to the Blogger Conference at the Javits and she was going to come along to get her badge and then go shopping for the day.  The badge is your ticket to all things BEA.  I have all of mine from the past 4 years. 


At the blogger con I went down to the area where they would be holding the conference and got in the line.  I was talking with a fellow blogger in line when I introduced myself and she started laughing.  It was Elizabeth from Silver’s Reviews.  She frequents Book Journey and had recently sent me an email saying she hoped we ran into each other at BEA, but as big as it, probably not.  Here we were in line next to each other and we sat together at the Blogger Con.

The Con was ok for me.  We sat with a great group at our table including two authors and Danielle from There’s A Book.  Our main speaker was Will Schwalbe author of End Of Your Life Book Club and he did a wonderful job.  He talked about the role of bloggers and how much he believes they mean to the book industry.  He also spoke to the importance of the question. “What Are You Reading” which gave me a couple of ideas for tweaking the Monday What Are You Reading meme as we go into fall.  Stay tuned… I think it will be exciting.  


After Will (Will… like I know him :D )  We had opportunities to break into either adult book blogger or YA book blogger sessions.  I review both, but decided to stay with the adult book blogger session.  For me, it was a lot of repeat of what we have talked through before: online presence, handling negative comments/feedback, accepting reviews…  two of the three bloggers on the stage had spoken at a past Blogger conference, which many in attendance may not have known.  I think if you were new to the Blogger Con this would be valuable.  I however wish I would have went to the YA sessions just to hear different speakers.  It was good, just nothing new for me.

We were then on lunch break and I went with Elizabeth to grab something to eat before I left the con.  I had a headache all morning and think I was dehydrated from the long travel day.  I left and went back to our room to lay down for a bit.  I then connected with Alison  (Alisons Book Marks) to see if she was going to the 5 pm Harper Collins invite.  She was and I told her I would meet her there. 

I can never judge taxi time.  I was in a taxi by 4:30 and thought I was a rock star.  I text Alison to tell her that I was in the taxi and on my way.  She text back that she was already there. Buggers.  :razz:  As it was, with traffic and well, New York, I arrived at 5:10 pm, just in time to get in line for delicious cheese, grapes, and crackers.  I walked into the conference area where everyone was already seated and chatting away.  Alison had a spot next to her and it was great to see her.  She is my go to blogger buddy at BEA and we try to synchronize our schedules. When we then went around to quickly introduce ourselves, it was fun when they got to me to see the bloggers I love to see each year pop their heads up and wave:  Kathy (Bermuda Onion), Julie (Booking Mama), Candice (Beth Fish Reads), Nicole (Linus’s Blanket), Jennifer (Jenns Bookshelves) and Gail.  They had not noticed me come in late so were surprised when I said my name and blog. 

This was a wonderful event.  Many of the editors spoke about the books that were each piled in front of our spots we sat at.  Books, glorious books that were now ours.  As they talked about each one I found myself wanting to tear into them right then.  As it was, we had a surprise appearance from author Joshilyn Jackson, and while the other books were put in boxes to graciously ship to us (thank you Harper Collins!), Joshilyn’s new book made its way into my book bag I was carrying, and later into my carry on for the plane ride home.


After this amazing event we went to the Harper Collins party which is always a blast.  Alison and I have a tradition of having our picture taken at this event as this is where we met 4 years ago.  We had such a blast at this event as well.  Cocktails and horduerves, bloggers and authors galore.  I finally seen Jill (Rhapsody in Books), she is so fun.  As Alison and I were chatting catching up on what our kids were up to and life, in walks Adriana Trigiani and lets just say that woman’s personality fills a room with joy. 


I adore this woman!

I think I talked to Adriana for about 15 minutes, then Wally Lamb (I know right?), and Joshilyn Jackson as well who I told that I had listened to all her books on audio as I love her narration and she told me I was her best friend.  Then when she seen Adriana those two were super excited to chat but she looked back at me and said, “just because I am all excited about Adriana, you and I are still best buds.”  LOL

I mingled and made my way to Cindy who had found a place to sit and as we were collecting ourselves to call it an evening I seen Stephanie Evanovich.  Stephanie (I believe) is the niece of Janet Evanovich, and the author of (I know) Big Girl Panties…. which I need to read as I hear it is fantastic. 


Stephanie Evanovich! What fun!

Alison, Cindy, and I had another Blogger Bash to attend after Harper Collins but decided that after we made it through town by taxi and got there we would probably leave in a half hour and need another taxi – so tired, Cindy and I walked back to our hotel.

Once in the hotel I was changing in the bathroom when I yelled out “OH NO!”  Cindy thought something terrible had happened and yelled back. “Are you ok?”  I came out of the bathroom all crestfallen…. “We forgot the annual picture at Harper!” I cried.  I text Alison to let her know that we had indeed forgot to have our picture taken and I was hoping we could still be friends.  :D 

She replied… “We will see.”  :razz:


So that is day two.  I must get ready for work now.  No boxes arrived at my house yesterday so I am hoping for today.  It is STILL RAINING here in Minnesota.  My grass… is really really green.

Morning Meanderings…. BEA Recap Day 1 (What is up with my pants?)


Good morning.  Happy Tuesday.  I am writing this early this morning.  5:30 to be exact.  I stayed up late watching Little House On The Prairie episodes (thanks to Confessions of a Prairie Bitch) and admit I wasn’t sure I could get into the show again as I had as a child but find myself being pulled into the early days of the Little House.

As I had planned, today will be the first of several days of Book Expo recap.  I love these recaps as I can go back and look at them each year and suspect these recaps will some be valuable proof when I am elderly and my grand kids or great grand kids think I could never have done anything crazy or amazing… it will then be time to dust off the old blog and show them…. I knew how to kick it once in a while.  :D

New York – Day 1

I arrived in New York exactly one week ago today.  It was Tuesday.  I woke up in my Minneapolis hotel at 3:00 am and caught the 4:00 am shuttle to catch my 5:40 am flight.  Yes, I like early flights.  If I am going somewhere, I hate to put it off, so I go as early as possible. I get to the airport and through security and get a COFFEE.  Once boarded and the plane is in the air, the beverage service comes around and as I put my tray table down to get some water, I dump my coffee cup I am so carefully (or not) balancing in my hand and proceed to pour coffee on to my right pant leg.  The coffee has cooled, that is not an issue – however it has left a lovely brownish stain on my jean capris.  *sigh*  I dab at it with my napkin and my water that I wanted to drink but am now using for cleaning myself up.

After we land in Atlanta I proceed to go into the lady’s room and do a little better job at cleaning up my pants.  I have time so I go and relax in a sunny window by my departure gate and continue reading the book I had brought along while snacking on dark chocolate covered pretzels from my carry on.  After a while I consider using the lady’s room before we board (I hate having to use plane bathrooms) and as I get up I notice that one of the chocolate pretzels has landed on my pants, in the same area as I had earlier cleaned up coffee and has melted into a gooey chocolatey mess.



I arrive in New York (after my two + hour layover in Atlanta) at approximately 1:45 pm.  It is raining.  I am bummed… Minnesota has rained every day for three weeks.  I really really could do without the rain.  I text my roommate for the week Cindy to tell her I have landed and on my way to find a taxi.  Once outside with all luggage intact I see a bus that is $13 one way and will drop me off at Port Authority, approximately 3 blocks from my hotel.  What a deal!  A taxi usually costs me about $45 to go to the hotel.  I purchase the ticket and board the bus and after we sit for about 25 minutes or so we go.  We have a couple stops on the way and eventually (not sure what time it was but my guess would be 2:45 ish…. I arrive at Port Authority where I am plopped in the rain with carry on and luggage and told to go “3 blocks that a way” and I will be at my hotel.

Now, it takes me a little while to get oriented and landing in Port Authority I exited out a door and started walking looking for my hotel on 39th.  After about 2o minutes of walking in the rain and being on what I think is the right block but I am sooooo unsure, frustrated and WET I text Cindy this message:

I am wet and I think lost.  I am standing under an awning staring across the street at an Irish Pub thinking it might be a nice place to stay for the week.  I shall live there and eat and drink there.  It looks warm and dry… all thinks I am not.

At this point I discover I am about 1/2 a block from my hotel.  Cindy asks if I want to go to Serendipity and I ask what it is and does it have to do with food as my mid morning chocolate covered pretzel snack has long been gone and I am sooooo HUNGRY.  Yes, she assures me it has food and the famous frozen hot chocolate.  I am in.   We met up with Kate and Pam. They were fun to chat with while we hung out in a line to get in to Serendipity


Serendipity was  part of the filming of the 2001 John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale movie with the same title, Serendipity.

Once seated we proceeded to order and the 4 of us each ordered the frozen hot chocolate.  And it arrived….

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Yup.  None of us finished it.  It was good but LARGE and between the ice cream and the warmth of the cocoa and bits of chocolate and orange it was very filling.  My advice, if you go, share one. :D

Later that evening Cindy and I walked from our hotel to Yum Yum, my favorite New York restaurant (as of this writing).  It is Thai food and so good.  For $16.95 you get choice of an appetizer, soup or salad, a main course, and green tea ice cream for dessert.  It is tasty.


This Irish Pub will come up later in the week as well.

After that we returned to out hotel for the night.  I was tired and Wednesday would be the Blogger conference and the Harper Collins Party. And that… will be what I share tomorrow. :D

Yesterday afternoon the first box of books I sent home arrived.  I suspect the rest will follow either today or tomorrow.  I have not opened the box yet, I like to wait until they are all in house before I dive in.  It is another rainy day here in Minnesota.  I plan to work and then hit the gym later this afternoon. 

Quick Update – Live!!! From New York!



First of all my sincere apologies for appearing that I had dropped off the face of the earth, was eaten by a bear,  or had taken a vow of silence.  I am alive, and well, and in New York for the Book Expo, my fourth year attending.

In past years I have been able to at least put up morning posts letting you know what is going on, who I am seeing and where I have been.  This year it seems like I am running even harder from early in the morning (up around 6 am) and dropping back into my hotel bed of way too many pillows around 11 pm or so.  When I get up I seem to have no time to write and at night I am way too tired to write.  The reason I am able to write this post is that I took a little break from the expo this afternoon to put my aching feet up a bit and chill before I go and mail books home and hit it again.

I will do a day by day recap once I am home but for now let me give you highlights of what you will be hearing more about in future posts:

  • A wet wet entrance into New York
  • Frozen Hot Chocolate
  • Joshilyn Jackson in person!
  • Books… oh books!
  • Adrianna here and there and then at her house for breakfast.
  • 4 event Thursday- Simon Schuster, Workman, Penguin Bash, and SimonTeen
  • The City Of Bones Party!!!  SQQQUUUUEEEEE
  • The Expo
  • New York and New Yorkers….anything goes
  • Post Office win!

and more to come.  Anyhoo – I am alive, I am tired but well and good things and pictures to come :D

The Unathorized Guide to BEA ;)


Their definition:  BEA:  Book Expo Of America – an event that takes place yearly for book sellers, media, and publishing houses and authors all to mingle together in promoting books that will be coming out yet this year and possibly next spring.

My definition:  Heaven for Book Lovers.  

I remember that June day in 2009… I received my first comment on what I referred to at the time as my online book journal and I was stunned.  How did they find me?  Was it spam?  It had to be spam!  Yes I would click on the link in their name and I would certainly go to a site that would be horrifying inappropriate and probably virus my computer to a fast yet complete death.

I clicked the link anyway….

This moment in June turned my world around forever.  I discovered there were others out there like me… book lovers who loved to write reviews, lots of them…. thousands of them…. how silly of me to think I was the only one.  :shock:

And that my friends is what led to going from online connections with book lovers, to four years ago taking a plane to New York to meet some of these amazing reviewers in person.

My life has never been the same.


If you are new to attending BEA, congratulations!  You just found the ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the key to the Emerald City of Oz, the magic carpet of Aladdin, the platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Crossing.


However – that first time can be nerve-racking.  How do you get to the expo?  When should you check in?  What happens when you get there?  Should I take every book offered me?  What should I pack?  How do I get the books home without breaking into my life savings?  How do I find other book bloggers?  What should I wear?  Where should I eat?  …

Today, I am going to share with you my years of trial and yeah… error.  Yet thanks to book bloggers who helped me that first year with similar posts… my trip was a lot more organized and successful than it would have been if I had just gone all solo.

Shall we begin?  Hop aboard!


So you are going to BEA…. What To Pack?


The expo is AWESOME!  This is a chance to not only meet other book bloggers such as yourself, but its also a chance to meet the wonderful Publishing Houses who send you the books to review as well as some of the AMAZING authors who write those books.  That said, you should pack and plan to wear to the expo business casual wear.  Capri’s, nice shirts, lite skirts, and nice pants/ dressy jeans.  Remember – you are representing your blog.  You can plan on more casual wear for your afternoon exploring.

Of course… pack comfy shoes.  That is one thing you will hear time and again.  You may be used to walking in heals but this is a whole new level.  You will literally walk for hours at the expo, stand in lines for book signings, stand while you grab a quick bite to eat (if you stay at the expo to eat seating is very limited – more on that later), you will walk to and from events and many times stand at that event.  Trust me… you will be thankful you packed comfy shoes.

Sunglasses, a light jacket/sweater, CAMERA, charger, sunscreen….

Flat boxes and shipping tape.  If you have room in your suitcase flatten out a box to haul books in.   The box is optional – the shipping tape I would say is not.  Toss in a roll or two… trust me – when we get to the book shipping section you will understand.



You are in New York and in your hotel.  Now what?


Ha.  I used this picture last year but it still reminds me of myself year one.  You have made it to New York. Congratulations my friend – mental high-five!  But now you need to know how to get to the expo.

Every year I have stayed in the vicinity on Times Square and every year I have walked to the Expo and back.  I can experience and see so much more by walking then by whizzing by in a taxi.  Of course that is my preference… and of course, I am close enough to do that.

SO for starters, find out where you are and where that is to the Expo.  See if your hotel has a shuttle… or check out the subway schedules.  Basically secure your plan for Expo days.

If you have arrived a day or two earlier than the expo… explore a little.  New York has so much to see… there are wonderful shows playing, great places to eat (a fav of mine is Yum Yum… just a few blocks from my hotel and oh so good!), exhibits to see and over all just fun to explore!



Day 1…. The Expo!!!!


Mmmmm Hmmmmm.  There it is.  The Javits Center in all of its glory.  I get up early.  I walk a few blocks to a Dunkin Donut and get a BIG coffee.  Yes they have a Starbucks in the Javits, however the line is like people have not had caffeine in a month.  :razz:

So first off…. you go in and get your badge.  Go early – get in line… get the badge.  The badge is the ticket to get you into the expo.  You will need this every day… this is, your magic ticket to all things BEA. :D

Next up… the waiting game.  I personally like to go early – it’s a time to people watch.  The first year I went I waited in a long line and when the doors opened (hours later….) I was shoved in with the crowd into a table and handed a book.  It was… weird.  Second year… I was smarter.  I avoided that line like the plague.  I hung out still… but talked with people, walked around and after that initial surge of people went in… I casually walked in, not pushed… just taking my own sweet time and seeing what I want to see. 

What you are about to experience is amazing.  I still struggle to put it into words.  There are books  – EVERYWHERE.  And many are there for you to take…. which leads me to my next point… and this one is important…



Oh The Expo!  Oh The Books!  Book Blogger Etiquette!


Yes the Expo is fantastic for those of us who love love love books.  Yes, I did refer to it as Heaven for book lovers.  And yes, I too get excited about all the books, all the authors, all the opportunities to come home with enough reading to last you the year… and that is where I ask you to think before you take.

I know, this may go against your very nature of going to the expo.  I know this might just have me knocked off your “bloggers I wish to follow list”…. but before you delete me…. hear me out.  My second year at the expo I, as well as many of the book bloggers I admire, witnessed something ugly.  There was a group of book bloggers – young book bloggers, who were pushing their way through lines, grabbing books, verbally angry if they did not get the book they wanted and all out behaving badly.  We as book bloggers were embarrassed.  Publishing houses were angry and a murmur started about book bloggers just grabbing books.  It was bad bad bad.

My third year at the expo I overheard a girl with a bloggers badge talk about how she was going to recover her cost of the flight and hotel in books and what they were worth.  I checked out what blog she was from (it will be on your name badge) and once home I checked out her blog.  Sure enough she had the books she picked up and their value posted next to them.  I was sick to my stomach.

All this said, please…. represent well.  Take books you plan to read and say thank you don’t just grab. It is a privilege that we are able to attend this event, not a right.   The publishing houses want the books out there to start a buzz about them as we read and review them.  I know we will not get to all of them, but we should be selecting the books we take in the mindset that we will try to read and review it.

Thank you.  :D



How Do I Get The Books Home?


My first year at the expo was an eye opener.  When it was time to get a box for my books I went to the conveniently located Fed Ex on the main floor of the expo.  I boxed up my books (I can not recall if they charged me for the box or not), taped it shut, filled out the paperwork and $65 later I walked away stunned at the price.  The next day I tried the UPS that was located in the downstairs area of the expo.  The box was bigger, but it was about the same price to ship the books home.  WOW. :shock:

So while both of these are convenient, by the end of the expo I had a much better (and cost effective plan).  At the end of the day I would take my books to the Post Office.  There is one close to the Expo, and there is one up by the hotels by Times Square as well.  For $30, and that was including insurance, I could send a LARGE box of books to my house. 

Moral of this story, while Fed Ex and UPS are convenient and serve a purpose in a pinch, note they both have around a $20 handling fee tacked on for the convenience. 

*Note this is where the box and packing tape come in.  At the post office they will charge you for a box and they will charge you to but their shipping tape.  I always bring my own tape and when I am done I give it away to another book blogger at the post office who would otherwise have to buy tape to package their books.



Stretching your Dollars!


My first time to New York friends had told me that it was very expensive there.  They said that meals could cost in the $50 range and that had me a little nervous.  I do not spend $50 on food.  Well, as in anywhere you go, you certainly could spend $50 on a meal if you wanted to… but I also found that their pricing varied just as much as where I live in Minnesota…. you can find food at all prices. 

I mentioned before that I love Yum Yum (Thai food).  That is a must stop for me.  For around $15 you get an appetizer, choice of soup or salad, a main course and a desert (the green tea ice cream is fantastic!)  You can find pizza by the slice, salads, you name it… you can spend $5 on lunch easy. 

The Expo offers food there but it does come with a price.  I ate the Chinese food their last year for lunch one day and it was close to $15.   I quickly found if you could find a buddy to go out to one of the restaurants in the area.  Not only is it a break from the busy expo, but it is a chance to sit down and talk and eat something tasty for a fair price.



Networking People!


Part of the fun of the expo is meeting other bloggers!  If you get the chance to connect with others at dinner, events, where ever, I recommend you do so.  Introduce yourself and have a blast!  One way to do that is fill out the form for the Blogger Connection list and recently I heard about a Blogger Picnic planned!



Have a way to keep track of where you are supposed to be and when!

1a9For many of the Expo attendees invites to open houses and author events may sprinkle through your time in New York and more may pop up while you are there.  Keep a small notebook handy to jot down information such as date time and address.  This is also handy to capture someone elses information. 



Branding…. and a picture please :razz:  Do you know me?

6aIf you read this blog you probably have a pretty good idea of what I look like.  Why?  Because my picture is on the right sidebar and used as part of my morning meandering post.  Why do that?  By putting my face on the blog, people who read me feel as though they know me.  For me, I think it increases a comfort with the writer, a feeling you know them and that is why I do it.  It also helps when you go to bookish events such as the expo for people to know you.  When people approach me, they know me by my face.  Many times, I have to read their Blog Name on their name badge (which inevitably is turned the other way… gah!) to know who I am speaking with.

Now I totally get that many of you do not want your face on your blog and I understand that.  However…. consider, if you are looking to connect with other bloggers putting your picture up just for this week and the week of the expo.  It will help people who read you, find you, otherwise you may pass a loyal reader 20 times at the expo and never realize that is who they are. 

Just my thoughts on that.

Also, bring a business card.  My first year I heard that and I thought why would you do that?  But I made them and found out that many of the bloggers you connect with and even authors and publishers, are grateful to have a way to contact you .  When I made the card below, that was my heard at the time and I felt that really identified me with my blog… after all, we do identify a blog layout to a person…. its true!  When people chance up their blogs and I pop in to see what they are writing, I am suddenly disoriented and have to check that I am on the right blog.  (I know… I am weird :razz: )



BEA attendees who have gone before please feel free to add to this list.  Newbies, please feel free to ask anything I may have forgotten. :D

BEA: Book Bloggers Connections List


Hi all!  Recently Jill from Rhapsody In Books  and I were discussing a way for book bloggers going to New York for BEA to connect, plan meet ups, see who else is going they may know etc…  She was saying that Bloggers did this in D.C. at the National Book Fest and it worked great.

By doing this you can see who else will be in New York and possibly get a chance to meet them face to face.  For those of us who do wish to connect I am creating the form below for BEA attendees to fill out.  Most of the questions are optional so if there is something you do not wish to share, just leave it blank.  The week before BEA a spreadsheet will be emailed to all of you who have filled out the form so you can see who is going and perhaps connect with them if you wish to do so.

This will be my 4th time going to the Book Expo and I have to tell you that meeting some of the bloggers that you chat with on twitter and frequent their blogs is such a blast and honestly one of the highlights of attending!  Every book blogger I have met has been exactly as they are online.  Something about us readers…. we keep it real.  :D

If you are going to BEA this year please let us know – and please pass this post’s information on to others you know who are going to BEA.  Lets create a great spreadsheet of attendees!


Please feel free to take the button and link back to here to let others know about connecting for BEA 2013!


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