Mundie Moms

Sunday, July 6, 2014

ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Recap

I have to admit that I was over-the-moon-excited to go to my very first book conference, and because ALA was just a hop and a skip away from my home, I made a very last minute decision to attend. Now I know a lot of you have been to book conferences before, so I apologize for my Spinal-Tap-style-we-go-to-11 level of excitement.

It's been a few years since I visited Vegas, and I have to admit, there are some pretty new additions to the skyline.

Bright and early (okay, around 10-ish and armed with caffeine), we headed out to the Convention Center and the very first signing we went to was, Shaunta Grimes:

My cousin-in-law, Daphne (right), with Viral Nation's Shaunta Grimes (left).
If you guys haven't picked up Shaunta Grimes' Viral Nation, yet, well you're in luck because book 2 in the series, Rebel Nation, just came out this past week. The series is a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi story and it was one of my favorite new books of 2014. You can check out my 5-star review on goodreads. 

Jennifer Holm (left), co-author of the Babymouse series and moi (right).
Jennifer Holm is hands-down one of my girls' favorite authors. In fact, my youngest did a shoebox diorama of Babymouse last year in school. If you have a 1st-4th grader in your house, be sure to check out that series. My 9 year-old snatched this book (The Fourteenth Goldfish) out of my hand, and we can both hardly wait to review it for Mundie Kids.

Now, I was really hoping to run into a few of my favorite bloggers, but I kept thinking it will be so busy and I'm sure I won't see them. But kismet being kismet, I literally ran into Nancy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader (she along with my favorite Northern Cal -- shoutout to Jamie from Rockstar Book Tours -- bloggers were a godsend of advice on approaching lines and signings). Nancy's style (her instagram is full of inspirational, artsy goodness) is one that closely matches mine and the wonderful dresses I wore to ALA were all thanks to her recommendation!

Nancy (left) from Tales of a Ravenous Reader
Heather and I have been online friends for five (!) years now and share a lot of common interests beyond book reviewing. Check out her blog, Fire and Ice, for reviews and deals. She's always so on top of things.

Heather (left) from Fire and Ice
Aly (Kid Lit Frenzy) and I literally ran into each other in an aisle. She is one busy educator, reviewer and writing mentor. Her advice on what books my kids should read next has been so very valuable over these last five years. I was thrilled (in spite of only three hours of sleep due to waiting for my lost luggage) to meet her.
Alybee from Kid Lit Frenz
I was really happy to meet Michele, a fellow reviewer for Page Turners Blog. Her reviews are always so honest and up front. Of course, I was just blabbing away to people behind us when she turned around and introduced herself. The entire day, we had been trying to touch base on social media, but we just ended up literally standing in line together. I know, I cannot believe the coincidence either. 

Michele from Page Turners Blog and Insane About Books

Oh my goodness just look at my face, it says it all -- you guys, it's Holly Black! Holly was at ALA to accept her Newbery Honor award for her perfectly written Doll Bones (my 5-star review on Mundie Kids).  Congratulations Holly!

Oh boy do I look exhausted in this picture, but exhaustion didn't stop me from going to Julie Kagawa's signing. This pic was snapped just after I said, "Mother of Ash" to her and she quipped back, "played by BinBons." I cannot believe that we finally, finally met in person.

Mother of Ash and Mundie Mama
Later that evening, we were invited to a very swanky and fun cocktail party by Harlequin Teen. Spending more time chatting with Julie was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Note her funny name tag. Only Julie would draw something so perfect!

After some much needed sleep, we returned on Sunday to meet Lauren Myracle, who was there signing the new book in her Internet Girls series, yolo. My 11 year-old daughter adores her Flower Power (5-star review of Oopsy Daisy on Mundie Kids) series as well as her The Winnie Years series. 

 I also spotted this handsome warlock hanging around Simon and Schuster's booth:

And I got to meet Victoria Schwab (Vicious, Archived, The Near Witch) in person. She is every bit as sweet as she is online. 

You will be as amazed as I was, because I did not tackle-hug Judy Blume. You guys, THIS is Judy Blume!!!!

No I swear I was not stalking Holly, but I did let out a fangirl squeal when I saw the copies of The Iron Trial. 

With not too many books, but a whole lot of memories, I left Las Vegas behind in a trail of happy, book-dreamy dust. If you can attend an ALA conference, I would highly encourage you to do so. It's well organized and the lines are fast-moving. I only wish I could have stood in more lines and said hello to some of the bloggers I know I missed. 

New To My Shelves #178- The Mortal Heart Edition

Happy Sunday! Welcome to this week's edition of New To My Shelves (previously known as In My Mailbox (IMM) / Stacking the Shelves (STS) or My Weekly Round Up in the Stacks. This week's posts features a few of the goodies that have recently arrived. You can check out all the goodies that have arrived via my Instagram account. 

Here are a few of the goodies that arrived this week. Is it bad that I can't find the books I purchased this week? haha That's what happens when you re-organize your YA bookcases and your books out of place. I'm looking forward to reading these new editions to my shelves.

For Review


  • Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers- THANK YOU to Andye at Reading Teen for this FABULOUS gift! I am so excited to read this book! This was one of three books I was hoping to get at BEA, and missed. I LOVE this series and can not wait to read this. 
Thank you to Simon Teen, Penguin Teen, Entangled Teen, Random House, Simon & Schuster, William Marrow and Reading Teen for this week's fabulous reads!

What books did you receive this week?