Some of you might be reading the title of this post and thinking to yourselves "wasn't BEA two weeks ago?" Yes. Yes it was. I'm clearly running a bit behind on my recap post :-) I've been both lazy and busy with work (an interesting combination to be sure), so it wasn't until this weekend that I finally had time to sort through pictures and put this post together. *pats self on back for being on top of things*
Most bloggers who attend BEA do impressively detailed multi-post recaps about their time in NYC, but as mentioned previously, I'm far too lazy for that kind of undertaking, so I'm just going to merge my favorite moments, pictures, and books into one absurdly long ramble. So sorry in advance!
BEA is always something I spend a full year looking forward to, not just for the books, but for the opportunity to spend time with people I don't get to see nearly often enough and the chance to meet entirely new people who love books just as much as I do. BEA just wouldn't be BEA for me though without my amazing mom and mother-in-law who have been so kind as to accompany me the past 4 years. We make a whole week of it, arriving early to do touristy things and staying after to catch a show and hang out with friends, and I couldn't love the two of them more if I tried.
They're going to be less than thrilled with me for posting the below pictures, but I think they look adorable and therefore need to be seen by the entirety of the internet :-) You're welcome, Moms.
(Left: My mother-in-law Cathy; Right: My Pammy)
We arrived on Tuesday morning and just wandered around the city, eating at Chelsea Market and walking the High Line before meeting up with my beloved Danny from Bewitched Bookworms for dinner.
(This picture was actually taken on our last day in NYC, but it's my favorite picture of us. And I swear I brought clothes other than this sweatshirt and the jean jacket you'll see below, but the weather in NYC was much cooler than I'd anticipated, so I had to recycle the only warm clothes I brought!)
Wednesday was the BEA Bloggers Conference which is always fun for me if for no other reason than I get to stuff my face with pastries and hang out with other bloggers. The highlight of the day, however, was attending a brunch hosted by the wonderful people at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. For those of you who don't know, LBYR launched a site called NOVL a while back to bring together readers, authors and book lovers in general, and the brunch consisted of the NOVL team sharing the upcoming titles they're most excited about. This was a truly spectacular way to kick off BEA, and I can't thank everyone who put it together enough for including me.
That same evening I was also lucky enough to attend a party hosted by Epic Reads wherein I completely sucked at trivia and helped lead my team to a rousing loss by coming up with exactly zero answers to the bookish questions we were asked. I'm going to spend a good chunk of time in the months between now and BEA 2015 studying just in case more trivia games are to be played in the future. WATCH OUT EPIC READS, I WILL DAZZLE YOU NEXT YEAR!
The first official day of BEA started out on a high note with a breakfast hosted by the hugely generous group at HarlequinTEEN, and those of us in attendance had the distinct pleasure of chatting with their various authors, editors and publicists, all of whom were incredibly sweet and so very enthusiastic about their books.
After a full day of standing in line after line of awesome and getting to meet a variety of fantastic authors, bloggers, librarians and other bookish people, I got to spend cocktail hour with the team behind MacKids. A huge thank you to them for letting me be a part of their event!
(Left: Danny, Lauren and me; Right: Danny, the wonderful Ksenia and me)
Thursday wrapped up with the YA Author/Blogger Party hosted by Liza Wiemer of WhoRuBlog (with the help of Andye and Hannah!), a truly spectacular evening full of books, food and fun, and I was honored to have the opportunity to attend with my BEA partners in crime, Danny and Mary.
(Top left and right: The view from the party's outdoor space; Bottom from left to right: Me and the adorable Faye from Little, Brown; Danny, Josie Angelini and me; Danny, me and Mary)
Friday was yet another whirlwind day that seemed to be over in the blink of an eye, and then suddenly it was Saturday and my BEA was nearly over. Saturday started out with an amazing breakfast hosted by the team at Bloomsbury, and their crazy delicious donuts gave me the energy (or sugar rush, whichever) needed to tackle the masses in attendance thanks to BookCon (BEA opens its doors to the public via BookCon on the very last day). Before I say a few words about BookCon however, I just want to say again my sincerest thanks to everyone at Bloomsbury and all the other publishers who hosted events and were nice enough to include me.
Now, to BookCon. I'm probably in the minority with my thoughts on BookCon, but I walked away from the last day feeling hugely encouraged by what I saw. While there is certainly room for improvement moving forward (as there always is with anything), what just blew me away about BookCon was the sheer number of people. People who were excited about books. And authors. And book publishing. I may not have loved wandering through a massive crowd wedged into a too-small space, but it made me indescribably happy to see so many people, young and old, show up to meet their favorite authors and proudly flaunt their love for books.
Before I wrap this up with my top 5 books, I do need to mention a little something special about BEA that always brings a smile to my face. What's this grin-inducing something special you ask? The Ellora's Cave booth my friends, the Ellora's Cave booth. You see, they don't just have books at their booth, oh no, they bring their cover models as well. Their muscle-bound, tank top-wearing cover models, and Mary and I never miss an opportunity to get our pictures taken with them. Last year there were only two models available, but this year we snagged three. SUCCESS! I think next year we need to try for four :-)
MY TOP 5 BEA BOOKS:
I got some truly oustanding books this year, but these five are the ones that were immediately moved to the top of my to-be-read pile!
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Talon by Julie Kagawa
Compulsion by Martina Boone
A few last pictures before I go!
Both a personal and professional highlight, as well as a completely surreal moment, for me was meeting author Kelsey Macke. Some of you may remember me posting about a cover design contest hosted by Spencer Hill Press back in October of last year for Damsel Distressed, a contemporary YA releasing this coming October. I was completely floored when my design won that contest, and seeing it in printed form for the first time with people carrying it around BEA was beyond anything I could have imagined. Kelsey is the cutest thing in the world, and I'm so grateful to her and the team at SHP for giving me the chance to make a dream career become a reality!
(The shot at right was the moment I walked up to Kelsey's table. If my mom had taken a shot of my face, it would have held the exact same expression:-)
(My biggest supporters!)