Highlights from BEA, The Children's Breakfast, and the Teen Author Carnival!

So sorry for the delay on this post, bookworms! I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation, because going to the Book Expo of America (BEA), fun as it can be, was stressful.

I've been sleeping a lot in my spare time.  I had off yesterday, but I spent the morning doing nail art so I could match the books for the Young Authors Give Back tour stop I went to last night. It was so much fun and I have presents for a giveaway and an audio transcript and all kinds of fun, so stop back tomorrow for that post!

And my phone is being mean again, so I never got those pictures I promised uploaded.

They're on Pinterest now, though, and some are also on this post. ^^;

I went to New York with two of my co-workers.  We had so much fun together and need to replicate this adventure. Like, soon.

And our hotel room!

We stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania literally right across from Penn Station. I've stayed there a few times before, but never had a room this nice!

I have never seen such a big hotel room in my life. Heck, it was bigger than my bedroom!

We had three beds, two couches, and a dresser and room to spare. Look!

Angle #1
Angle #2
Window View!

Amazing, no?

One of my favorite restaurants, Kyochon Chicken, was only a few blocks away from the hotel, so we stopped there on our way to the Teen Author Carnival after snagging our BEA passes at the Javits Center upon arriving in NYC and checking in to our hotel.

I love the sandwiches at Kyochon.  The bread is infused with green tea, crispy and delicious! It's a Korean recipe!

My delicious dinner!


Okay, moving on to what you really want to hear about...

Teen Author Carnival

On Wednesday night, we went to the beautiful Jefferson Market Library for the Teen Author Carnival.

The library is utterly gorgeous, especially at night:

Jefferson Market Library

There were two panels running simultaneously, then another two an hour later.

First, we chose Panel #1, "World Play," moderated by Kate Treadway.

The panel featured authors Erin Bowman, Alexandra Coutts, Susan Dennard, Mari Mancusi, Sarah J. Maas, Georgia McBride, Cristin Terrill, and Kat Zhang:

The authors of "World Play"
Here are my (formerly) live tweets from the event!

Panel 1: World Play

At #TeenAuthorCarnival with SO MANY amazing authors!
http://rainymood.com is a great way to write with a stormy atmosphere.
Alexandra Coutts said TUMBLE & FALL took a long time to develop, but not to write. (***This is my writing issue with fantasy!)
Susan Dennard's series came from a dream...but no one sparkled!
Sarah J. Maas was watching Disney's Cinderella, and there was 30 seconds of dark music better suited for a darker story...and then she added assassins!
Kat Zhang came up with her idea from the inner monologues of Lizzie Maguire!
Authors' biggest fears? Needles, flying, buried alive, falling & breaking teeth, aliens (Thank You THE 5TH WAVE!), underwater caves, clowns...
Sarah J. Maas is a good friend...she'll roll on you in your sleep and she'll scare you with clown photos! ^.~ (with Susan Dennard, Erin Bowman, Kat Zhang)
Sarah J. Maas gets so into her writing that she'll act out her scenes on the floor, weeping alongside her characters!
Susan Dennard went to a Philadelphia cemetery and acted out being chased by zombies!
Erin Bowman and Kat Zhang might be on government watch lists now after the things they've done in the name of research! ^.~
Sarah J. Maas changed her series ending COMPLETELY after writing last year's four ebook novellas! (I'm dying to know more ^.~)
Kat Zhang had an original vision of her story's romantic interests when writing her series synopsis, but when writing, there was more chemistry with another character!

Next, we chose Panel #2, "Heroes and Heartthrobs," moderated by Melissa Walker.

The panel featured authors Erin Bowman, Susane Colasanti, Alexandra Coutts, David Levithan, Elizabeth Scott, Jennifer Smith, and Allen Zadoff:

The authors of Heroes and Heartthrobs!

Here are my (formerly) live tweets from the event!

Panel 2: Heroes and Hearthrobs

"You must rise to the occasion which is life" from Virginia Woolf is one of David Levithan's favorite quotes. 
David Levithan and Elizabeth Scott don't write about real life. David Levithan will imagine someone on the subway's life & he becomes THAT GUY.
Allen Zadoff gives his characters courage in ways he never had before when he himself was growing up.
While Jennifer Smith may be a magpie and steal bits from people, it's mostly wish fulfillment.
Susane Colasanti's characters become her BFFs!
Elizabeth Scott's characters form their own lives and find their own destinies. (I know this well myself!)
Elizabeth Scott does horrible things to her characters, but she's made of stone. Pfft, she doesn't cry!
Cover Commentary Time! Susane Colasanti's KEEP HOLDING ON: A flower took up most of the cover! It was problematic, so for ALL I NEED, they asked her what she wanted!!
Elizabeth Scott's HEARTBEAT photo shoot didn't come out well...it's still being worked on. They want it to be perfect and she has some input!
David Levithan's TWO BOYS KISSING: He wanted two boys kissing. He'd met a teen photographer at an event, who photographed his friends!
(Check out the awesome interview with Entertainment Weekly for more behind this cover!)
Allen Zadoff has always had great consultation. He just saw the final BOY NOBODY cover for the first time at the Teen Author Carnival. It has a thriller flavor to it!
Erin Bowman was a web designer first and scared of letting go of the reins! She wanted TAKEN to feel ominous and mysterious. She loves it!
Jennifer Smith: It's cliche, but THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE just makes her HAPPY!!

Because of the way panels were split up, we never visited the panel "Reality Bites," moderated by Jeremy West and featuring authors David Levithan, Cat Patrick, Leila Sales, Elizabeth Scott, Ann Stampler, Suzanne Young, and Allen Zadoff.

We also never got a chance to hear "She's No Pushover," moderated by Tiffany Schmidt and featuring authors Susan Dennard, Cat Patrick, Mari Mancusi, Sarah J. Maas, Cristin Terrill, Suzanne Young, and Kat Zhang.

We had so much fun on the panel we did see, though!

I was able to re-connect with Frankie Mallis, a local blogger and writer, though I never got to see her blogging partner in crime Donna this time around. ;_; I was able to see Frankie for a bit on Thursday, too, which was nice!

Anyway, after we left Jefferson Market Library, we stopped for delicious crepes and bubble tea...

I have been craving Harajuku crepes because Daisy Whitney's
reminds me of how
much I miss these delicious treats!

BEA, Day I

Thursday started off with a BANG.

Veronica Roth (Author of DIVERGENT and INSURGENT) tweeted earlier in the week about a special stunt and giveaway at 8:30 a.m. with a special giveaway featuring her upcoming highly-anticipated series finale ALLEGIANT. We made sure we were there early and found some of the HarperCollins team making their way over to a huddle:

ALLEGIANT pre-stunt huddle!
When it came time for the stunt, we followed them as they walked in two single-file lines:

Marching in Formation!
They regrouped and broke into the five factions, then called out, "Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite." After doing this a few time, they handed out fabulous tote bags with ALLEGIANT's cover on them. This is one of my favorite BEA goodies! *clings*


Next, we wandered around BEA and split up. I decided to check out ARCs while the girls headed off for an early signing at the Author Stage. I knew I wanted to do galley drops first thing for Amy Tan's THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT and Simone Elkele's WILD CARDS and managed to snag both books. We re-grouped at Scholastic to get armbands because Harry Potter series cover re-design artist Kazu Kibuishi was signing lithographs of the new artwork for HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE. Scholastic also unveiled the new artwork for the second book in the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS:

Cover Reveal!

I'm a huge fan of these new covers, btw. So much fun!

While we were waiting in line, we received an awesome canvas HOBBIT tote, another BEA favorite item!  We were stopped and asked about where this bag came from so many times! I heard that they were dropping the bags at various times throughout each day like book galley drops. We were very lucky!
Our most awesome tote bags! Spirit Animals, ALLEGIANT, and THE HOBBIT!
Throughout the day, we alternated between the author signings and the floor. I went in line to meet Veronica Rossi, Teri Brown, and Ally Carter, but also went into some signing lines where there wasn't a long wait to meet more authors!  I had been contacted ahead of time to visit Penguin for a visit with the virtual Gugor from upcoming novel and interactive app THE CREATURE DEPARTMENT by Robert Paul Weston. It's going to be really fun for kids! I was also asked to take a peek at the new non-fiction release THE SCOOP ON BREASTS: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths by Drs. Ted and Joyce Eisenberg because they're local authors. I have copies of both of these to share at some point as well.

BEA Autographing Area!
Some of these lines were HUGE!
There are so many fun ways to reveal cover art, titles, etc.  For example, check out the publicity for this fall's highly-anticipated new Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel:

Cover Reveal!
In the evening, I was invited to a lovely event with Macmillan, one of my favorite publishers! I was so excited to finally meet the publicist I've worked with for so long, as well as everyone else who makes Macmillan so much fun to work with. I even reunited with someone who worked with me extensively when I covered a local Fierce Reads tour stop last year!

I was also excited to see fellow bloggers Jamie from The Broke and the Bookish and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, since I've met both in person before. I decided to be brave when they had to leave and sat down with people I didn't know. This turned out to be wonderful, because I met the fabulous Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks, one of my new favorite bloggers! The two of us chatted with our fabulous Macmillan publicist, and it was epic!

Macmillan gave us a fabulous present--a spiral-bound manuscript with a special BEA stamp on it! I've never had anything like it before, so it's officially the first book I'm reading from my first trip to BEA. I just keep stroking this book and thinking how nice it would be to see my words bound up like this someday...

The girls met up again with Frankie and her friends while I was at Macmillan, and they hit up the Union Square Barnes and Noble for an evening with some great Penguin authors. They saw Marie Lu (and got books signed for me! LOVE!!!), Andrea Cremer, Sarah Dessen, Richelle Mead, and Rick Yancey.

We met back up for some PinkBerry frozen yogurt. Yum!

...And that was our fun but EXHAUSTING Day One!

I won't list every book we acquired, but here are the ones I'm most excited about!

Book Highlights

Of all the books on Day One, these intrigued me most and will be read soonest!

(The book I'm currently reading from my Macmillan goodie bag, which I think might still be a secret I can't reveal, but it's really good so far!)
COUNTING BY 7S by Holly Goldberg Sloan
THE TWISTROSE KEY by Tone Almhjell
STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney
THE RETURNED by Jason Mott
WILD CARDS by Simone Elkeles
THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas
Jennifer Smith: It's cliche, but THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE just makes her HAPPY!!


Friday morning was one of the highlights of BEA for all of us. We went to the Children's Breakfast and were greeted by this fine swag:

Children's Breakfast Swag

I love that there was swag from each author present.  There was an ARC of Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer's debut novel, paperbacks of Veronica Roth's debut novel DIVERGENT, t-shirts for everyone featuring either Camp Half-Blood or Camp Jupiter from Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus series, and porcelain Magic Tree House mugs featuring Mary Pope Osborne's "Reading Buddies Week" from October 12~19, 2013.

BEA streamed the breakfast live for everyone around the world to listen to!

Octavia Spencer was the host. She talked about her debut novel THE CASE OF THE TIME-CAPSULE BANDIT, part of the Ninja Detective series for children, and explained how important diversity in literature is.

Octavia Spencer

Mary Pope Osborne made us all cry as she read letters she's received from all over the world over the years. Some were sweet, others were funny, and more were heart-wrenching. It was an honor to listen to her speak. I can't believe she's releasing the 50th Magic Tree House book this summer!

Mary Pope Osborne

Next, we got to listen to Rick Riordan talk, the true highlight of the breakfast. This man is HILARIOUS. He oozes charisma and is so at home on stage, perhaps because he was once a teacher.

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan surprised us all by revealing the cover of THE HOUSE OF HADES at the breakfast:

Cover Reveal!

Isn't it amazing and epic? It's seriously my favorite cover yet. (I know, I always say that... Because it's always TRUE. These covers!!!)

Finally, Veronica Roth talked about how she grew so much as a writer and learned to take advice and not focus on ignoring good feedback. It was enlightening to hear her growing pains as an author, and I'm honored that she opened up and shared so much with us! (After Rick Riordan's amazing surprise, we were all hoping for a DIVERGENT movie teaser trailer, alas, not yet...)

Veronica Roth

After the breakfast, we rushed to the autographing stage to meet Kat Zhang and snag ARCs of her upcoming sophomore release ONCE WE WERE, sequel to WHAT'S LEFT OF ME. We also really wanted THE WOLF PRINCESS by Cathryn Constable, whose line wasn't long at all! I also wanted to meet Jeannie Lin, since an author I love, Cindy Pon, recently highly recommended her on Twitter. 

Kat Zhang

After that, we split up. SO MANY THINGS happened at the same time throughout the day. For example, do you go get Jennifer Armentrout's FRIGID or Mari Mancusi's highly-hyped SCORCHED if they're on opposite ends of the building with huge lines at the same time? The answer? Split up! I went to meet Mari Mancusi and had a great time hanging out at the Sourcebooks booth and meeting everyone in line.  I kept staring across at something going on at the Algonquin booth. They had authors signing and a ton of books on the table. It was still going on after I snagged my autographed copy of SCORCHED, so I headed across and found out that Algonquin Young Readers is new. Three of their authors were signing ARCs: Hollis Seamon with SOMEBODY UP THERE HATES YOU, Amy Herrick with THE TIME FETCH, and Sara Farizan with IF YOU COULD BE MINE.

I also managed to hop into the signing line for Harlequin Teen Hour--and they cut off the line one person after me! LUCKY! I got to meet Katie McGarry (DARE YOU TO), Elizabeth Scott (HEARTBEAT), Julie Kagawa (THE ETERNITY CURE), and Amanda Sun (INK), with a surprise visit from Dawn Metcalf (INDELIBLE).

When I was in line for Harlequin Teen, I chatted with two Month9 authors, Dorothy Dreyer (MY SISTER'S REAPER) and Lisa M. Basso (A SHIMMER OF ANGELS). Dorothy was signing ARCs of her novel later that day, and since I was third in line to get SCORCHED and the Algonquin line moved fast, I was able to run over to Month9 for her signing that afternoon and see her again!

There were also a couple of in-booth signings for Spencer Hill authors Kimberly Ann Miller (TRIANGLES), Kelly Hashway (STALKED TO DEATH), and Elizabeth Langston (WHISPER FALLS).

Kelly Hashway and Elizabeth Langston

There were also fun swag fairies running around BEA from Spencer Hill Press giving out goodies. It was so much fun, and their booth was loaded with awesome!

Spencer Hill Press Goodies!

I was also able to meet up with a publicist I love from Walden Pond Press. We walked around and chatted. We were lucky enough to snag some of the last copies of Samantha Shannon's THE BONE SEASON, too. So many people had mentioned it the first day, and this book is being hyped the way THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern was a couple of BEAs ago, so I knew I wanted this one! I can't wait to read it!

The other big news (to me) of the day was the fact that the title for Helen Fielding's third Bridget Jones book was revealed. It will be called:


I adore Helen Fielding. Her books are hilarious. I can't wait to see what Bridget has been up to!

After BEA, the girls and I snagged some delicious NYC pizza, then headed back to PA. We decided that a third day would have been overwhelming...and I don't know where we would have put any more books! We all brought home 40~50 each. It was crazy.

Book Highlights

Of all the books on Day Two, these intrigued me most and will be read soonest!

THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon
ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein
THE WOLF PRINCESS by Cathryn Constable
HERO by Alethea Kontis
ONCE WE WERE by Kat Zhang
CHARMING by Elliott James
THE BOY ON THE PORCH by Sharon Creech
SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi
THE WRONG GIRL by Hank Phillippi Ryan
BROKEN by C.J. Lyons

BEA was amazing. I had an absolutely incredible time. I was sore from carrying so much weight Saturday and Sunday, but it was worth it!  It was amazing to make connections with so many new book lovers, as well as put faces to names for so many people I've worked with or read online! 

I was also excited to see Sarah J. Maas, Kat Zhang, Erin Bowman, and Susan Dennard again yesterday at a local signing. I'll have more on the event tomorrow!

Did you attend BEA? What were your favorite titles?

If not, what are you most looking forward to this fall?


  1. LOVE THIS RECAP! You did so many awesome things! And I'm so jealous of your hotel room - where did you guys stay?!

    1. Oops! I forgot to say! ^^;;


      Hotel Pennsylvania! It's literally right across from Penn Station.

      It was an end room because we snagged a triple!

      I did so many fun things that it felt unbelievable when recapping, like, "Did I really do ALL that? No WONDER I've been exhausted all week!"

      I need a vacation from my vacation!

  2. Awesome recap! Your hotel room is nuts - where did you stay??

    My favorite acquisitions were Frigid, Left Drowning and Fangirl. Can't wait to dive in!

    1. Oops! I forgot to say! ^^;;


      Hotel Pennsylvania! It's literally right across from Penn Station.

      It was an end room because we snagged a triple!

      FRIGID is one of the first books my friend is reading, so I'll get my turn soon! *happy dance* I have LEFT DROWNING, too, which I'd never heard of before BEA. I didn't snag FANGIRL, but I kept hearing about it at BEA, so I want to read it now!!

  3. So great to meet you and glad you were able to snag a copy of Scorched! I agree - with so many events happening all at the same time (and in totally different areas) it was hard to choose! My feet have still not forgiven me for traipsing across the Javits center a thousand times!!!

  4. Did you get to meet Kellie with Waldonpond Press? She wasn't at IRA when I went in April, but she'll be at NCTE in Boston in November. I hope to meet her then!

    I heard Rick Riordan speak at IRA (he was the keynote since he's from Austin, TX). I love him! I totally agree about his stage presence, and being a teacher myself I just adore other teachers that become authors. Did he talk about his new book? I'm so excited I can hardly wait! It's going to be a mythology anthology, and the cover designer is doing all the illustrations on the inside!

    Ok finally, after I got over my pains of jealousy, I told all my friends that live in the NY area that we HAVE to attend next year. After seeing how awesome the show floor was (and I'm for real jealous of Grumpy cat being there and the Allegiant bag), I am totally sold. What a great post! I loved seeing all the excitement.

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  6. It was awesome meeting you, and I'm so glad you made it to my signing! Reading this, I want to go back and do it all again! Such a great time. Can't wait till next year! Hope to see you there!


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