Mundie Moms

Saturday, June 25, 2016

#BEA16 Recap / Giveaway!

It's been over a month since I was at BEA, and I still feel like I've not come down from that high of such a fun week. I realize my recap is way late... but better late than never, and I've been meaning to get my post, and now that school is out, I can. BEA16 was in Chicago this year, and it was so much fun! This is my third year going to BEA, and this was the most fun I've ever had at BEA. I had amazing roommates (Heidi from YA Bibliophile, Sara from Novel Novice & Amber from Me, My Shelf & I), connected with some amazing people, reconnected with fabulous friends, and had a lovely time at the publisher events I attended. This was also the first year I moderated at BEA, as well as participated in and attend Blogger Con. Both were so much fun! WARNING, this post is long. Sorry! I even edited a ton out of it. 


The day in which we all arrived to Chicago. It was also the day that have after years of being online friends, Sara (Novel Novice) and I finally met in person! It was also the day in which I finally got to see Emmaly (who is our MM's Forum) again, and her SIL Alison! Both flew in from Australia to come to BEA! I loved seeing them. Myself, Sara, Em, and Alison all went to a White Sox game. Wrigley Field is AWESOME! We had such a blast at the game! 


Wednesday kicked off with a few of us bloggers getting together for breakfast. Heidi and I met up with friends, grabbed breakfast, visited with a few other bloggers whom were also at the same place, and then we headed out to explore parts of Chicago. We ended up going to the Zoo, which was seriously so much fun. The park the Zoo is apart of is beautiful! I was really surprised at what a beautiful city Chicago is, and it's so clean too. 

BEA kicked off with the Blogger Con, which took place the day before BEA started. This year I had the previlleage for being a round table discussion leader with Lexxie of UnconventionalBookViews. Our table discussion was about "balancing personal life and blogging". I had a lot of fun during our round tables. It was so great to meet Lexxie too! She is awesome. 


My evening ended with an amazing publisher dinner with Disney. This was seriously one of the most memorable publisher events I've been to. The intimate dinner took place in a place called the Library, it's stunning! I loved meeting so many wonderful people I've had the chance of working with over years with Disney, as well as seeing friends again. They have an amazing team at Disney!  *Pictured above from left to right: Myself w/ Alexandra Bracken, and Eoin Colfer / Myself with Mo Willems and Ryan T. Higgins 

During the dinner they celebrated the 25th anniversary of Disney Hyperion, as well as Mo Willems 25 years of writing books! I don't think they could have brought together a more wonderful group of authors. The laughs were nonstop! I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time.  Mo, Eoin, Shannon and Dean Hale,  Melissa de la Cruz, Sara Sheppard, Alexandra Bracken, Ryan T. Higgins, Dan Santat, and Laurie Keller each talked about their upcoming releases, and some took turns razing each other, which was hysterical.  
*Pictured above: Disney Royalty: Alexandra Bracken, Shannon Hale, Melissa de la Cruz & Sara Shepard  

Mo Willems getting a piggy back ride from Dean Hale. Don't ask.... you seriously had to have been there to get why this was so funny. 

Thank you to Disney for an unforgettable night! Definitely add these Disney goodies to your TBR lists! They're going to be great! 


This year I didn't take a signing schedule with me. There only a few arcs I was hoping to get, and I was lucky to have made it into each of those signing lines. The two hours I waited inline for A Torch Against The Night, was totally worth it! Between authors events, and signings, I lucked out and received the few arcs I really hoping to get. Other than that, I felt like I was saying no thank you, vs saying thank you, when it came to taking arcs. Not that those arcs were bad or anything, but I had limited space flying home, and couldn't afford to ship a ton home. To be honest, it was great not being caught up in what I got or didn't get. If I hadn't gotten the few arcs I was really hoping for, BEA would have still been just as fun. 

What I love about BEA is networking. I love connecting with publicists, fellow bloggers, online friends, and reconnecting with those I've known for years. It's what makes the BEA experience totally worth it, and the purpose of my attending. Some of the best network happens at publisher events, and while waiting in line for a signing. I had such a blast at the publisher events this year. *Pictured above: books from the Simon Teen breakfast (I loved listening to the authors talk about their upcoming releases)

Another thing I loved, were the publisher parties! They were so much fun this year. They're always fun, but this year seemed different. I felt like they were more intimate, and laid back. It was so great visiting with those I've worked with for so long within each publishing house, as well as visiting with author friends, meeting new authors, and seeing so many wonderful blogger / online friends. *Pictured above from the Fierce Reads party: authors Kami Garcia, Marissa Meyer, Caleb Roehrig, and Leigh Bardugo, bloggers: Andye from Reading Teen, myself and Heidi. 


The night kicked off with a party hosted by Bloomsbury. We had so much fun! Heidi, Sara and I all went together. We visited with friends, authors who were there like Elizabeth Eulberg, and Danielle Paige, and those who work tirelessly behind the scenes at Bloomsbury. Check out some of their upcoming releases, and add them to your TBR lists! 


After Bloomsbury, we all headed over to the Fierce Reads party. This party was so much fun! It was so great to mingle with book friends, authors, and the wonderful people who work so hard behind the scenes at Fierce Reads. Their Photo Booth was a blast! We might have all had a little too much fun with it. I love these photo booth pictures, and the one above with the Fierce Reads authors. 

Check out Fierce Reads's upcoming releases featured at the BEA party, and add them to your TBR lists! I am so excited about these reads! 

Sadly I didn't take any pictures at the Big Hancho party that was after the Fierce Reads one. That was a lot of fun as well. It was fun getting to spend the evening with so many wonderful book promoters. From the publishers, to book reviews, to you tubers and so forth. It's such a wonderful, diverse group of book pushers. 


What made this year's BEA stand out among the rest, was being invited to moderate the Tor Teen Panel at BEA. Surviving Fictional Worlds with Tor Teen, featured Susan Dennard, Kristen Simmons and Sarah Porter. These ladies are so absolutely fabulous! 

I loved moderating this panel with these ladies! I've had the pleasure of meeting both Susan and Kristen previously, and it was great meeting Sarah. We had a lot of fun on our panel! Thank you to everyone who came out. 

A huge thank you to Tor Teen, Susan, Kristen and Sarah for such a memorable day! This was one of the most fun events I've moderated. 

I love it when I get to catch up with authors I've known for years, and get to meet those I've known on line, but haven't met in person before. BEA is the perfect place to social with authors. I seriously adore my author friends. I normally don't fangirl, but when Hannah (Irish Banana) and I spotted Jay Kristoffer walking around on the floor, we had to go introduce ourselves, I might have fangirled a little bit. He was seriously just as cool in person as he is online. I also loved having a few minutes to catch up with another I seriously adore, Jennifer Armentrout. I also covet her awesome hair! 

I had the most fun with my roommates! We had such a blast together. We all had fun doing our own things, as well as doing things together, and with other friends, like Em, Allison and Emily. Of course what happens at BEA, stays at BEA, but I will say that we made a lot of memories, and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt the next day. I loved that I had roommates who loved to have fun. We closed down BEA by meeting Rosemary Wells who was signing a children's book, and we of course had to take a picture with the dinosaur from The Magic Tree House series. *Pictured above: Sara, Myself and Amber

Amber, Myself, and Sara. We totally missed Heidi in this picture! 


Book Con was not as crazy as it normally was in the years I attend in NYC. It was so much nicer having more room here in Chicago. While I didn't have a lot of time at Book Con, because I had a flight to catch, I loved that I still got to see a few friends before I left, and quickly walk the floor. It's always fabulous seeing Maggie Stiefvater. I snapped a quick pic of her before her signing kicked off. I always LOVE seeing Cassie! Time was on my side that day, as Cassie Clare arrived prior to when I had to leave. Sadly I missed her panel, but I loved that I got to spend a few minutes seeing her. I also loved meeting Ursula Uriarte and seeing Kami Garcia again too! Along with Cassie, we all visited for a bit in the Greenroom before their panels. 

This picture is one I love, because I'm the only non-Aussie. Em, Alison and I were walking the floor during Book Con, and ran into Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.  It was so great meeting Amie! This is a stellar group of people! 

Over all, this year was the most fun I've had at BEA. Between my roommates, those I spent time around, the events at and surrounding BEA/Blogger Con, and taking time to really enjoy the city all made for more memorable trip! Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I finally felt like I knew how to just enjoy the convention, and all it offers, vs getting caught up with everything there is do while at BEA. This year I finally felt like I got it. Don't get me wrong, my first two experiences at BEA in NYC were a lot of fun, and I did some pretty incredible things I never thought I'd be able to do, and made some great memories in process. Sadly I don't think I'll be able to make it to next year's BEA, because it's taking place during the last week of school for my kids, however, I highly recommend attending BEA at least once, if you can. It's so worth it!

THANK YOU to BEA, Blogger Con, Book Con, the publishers, and authors who all put so much heart and time into this year's events! 


What BEA the most fun, was this year I made sure that each day I took some time to enjoy Chicago. It was my first time being to the city (the airport doesn't count), and though we weren't close to anything, we used Lyft and Uber to get around town, (though I would recommend Lyft over Uber any day. They were nicer and cheaper than Uber). From having breakfasts with friends, to walking through the city parks, seeing 'the bean', Buckingham Fountains, the zoo, and going to Wrigley field to see a Cubs game. Every day I took the time to really enjoy the city, and connect with friends. Not saying I didn't do that in NYC, because I did, but this time it was different. I took the time to do that each day. Some days we were out and about for a hour, or two, and other days it was for a few hours in the evening. I took a ton of pictures, most of which I shared on my personal Instagram account. I seriously fell in love with Chicago. I loved that I had travel buddies with me. Heidi, Sara, Em, Alison, Emily, and Andye, I loved touring the city with you guys!


I know how exciting it is to attend BEA, and I know what it's like to wish you could attend. In the 7.5 years I've been blogging, I've spent more years wishing I could go, then I've actually been. It's a blast being around fellow bloggers/readers, and it's exciting when you get an arc you've been coveting, where from a publisher event, or signing. Today's giveaway features some of the arcs I was really excited to receive at BEA. Each of these arcs are ones I received in the mail after I had already received them at BEA. I specifically put these arcs together to giveaway, because these are the arcs I was excited to receive myself to read. Why so many? Well if you had gone to BEA, chances are you would have gone home with a great selection of arcs yourself, so why not give the chance for someone to win a collection of some of the most highly anticipated arcs at BEA. 


I want to thank each of the publishers who generously sent me these arcs/chapter samplers, and provided me with the chance to share in the book love with another fellow reader. 

1 Winner Will Receive ARCS for: 

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir 
  • Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman
  • Frost Blood by Elly Blake
  • Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
  • The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
  • The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  • A chapter sampler of Stranger The Dreamer by Laini Taylor 
I would love to open this internationally, the cost for shipping a box this size over seas is unfortunately not something I'm able to cover at this time. While this giveaway is open to residents in the US, I'm more than happy to accept an international winner, provided you cover the shipping costs. I'm working on putting together an swag giveaway that will include a chapter sample, signed swag and more, which will be up soon, and open internationally!

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GOOD LUCK and Happy reading! If you're looking for some great upcoming middle grade reads, check out my feature for the mg books I received at BEA, here