Tag Archives: Jeri Smith-Ready

NYC Teen Author Festival

12 May

Last month, one of my favorite NYC bookish events returned for it’s annual appearance! The NYC Teen Author Festival.

It was a busy work week for me, with back to back photo shoots mixed in with author panels. But I managed to catch a group of authors at a NYPL panel, and the “finale” Mega-Signing at Books of Wonder!

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Elizabeth Eulberg, Tara Altebrando, Jenny Han, and Stephanie Perkins at the NYPL.

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Stephanie Perkins.

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Sarah Mlynowski.

At Sunday’s mega-signing, there were almost too many authors to count! I hauled a giant grocery tote full of books half-way across NYC to have signed by those appearing.

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The always amazing Gayle Forman.

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Jocelyn Davies and Anna Carey.

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Kim Harrington.

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Stephanie Perkins! Who I took a million photos of, because 1. She is adorable and SO BRIGHT. And 2. She’s awesome.

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LOLA

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“Fixing” a book for a fan who purchased a book from Barnes and Noble, already signed to some random dude!

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Another great redhead: Andrea Cremer!

The funky lighting in Books of Wonder made a few of the authors rather “glowy”.

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Barry Lyga.

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David Levithan.

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Jenny Han.

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Corey Whaley and Jennifer E. Smith, with Mitali in the middle!

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Jon Skovron with his awesome book, Misfit! (One of my 2011 faves.)

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Jeri Smith-Ready

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Melissa de la Cruz, who signed every.single. Blue Bloods book for me! –Ok, except the 2 I’d already had signed. 😉

We snagged Stephanie again after the signing for some fun portraits:

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Michelle, Stephanie, and Bethany.

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Me and Stephanie

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Getting goofy!

See the full photo set here.

And my 2011 TAF post here.

BEA Recap: Day Two

2 Jun

I started my second day of BEA by breaking the cardinal rule of attending book expo: don’t be late. My roommate Jenn (a media publicist) and I both seemed to have trouble getting out of the apt. that morning, and also vastly underestimated the length of time it would take to get us from the subway to Javits Center on the far west side of Manhattan.

And: it was HOT. And very humid.

By the time we did walk in to Javits around 9:20am, I already felt dead. But I sucked it up, and after waiting in a very tiny line for our passes, dashed over to the first signing on my list– Jeri Smith Ready. Sadly, there were only 40 or so books available, so I definitely missed getting a signed copy of Shift. Having met Jeri the night before, I didn’t feel too badly, so my next stop was Scott Tracey’s signing for Witch Eyes. I was really excited to pick up a copy after hearing so much discussion of his book on twitter.

Along with roomie Jenn, I ended up hanging out with Lindsi of Books, Sweets and Other Treats in the signing lines. Apparently a crazy older woman actually BIT Lindsi in the arm when she reached past her for a book that AM—an event that would later reach BEA Urban Legend status. (Edit: You can read her account of the incident here.)

Lindsi was shaken by the experience, but appeared rabies-free, so we decided to hang out while we waited for signings to begin. Together, we made an awesome team, and were able to get each other books we would have otherwise missed out on. At one point, running around Javits, we met this bookish Piggie:
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Shortly after we met Melissa de la Cruz (signing Bloody Valentine and Witches of East End), who remembered my blog from the very early “Most Wanted Books of 2011” post I had written about Witches. I’ve met her twice now, and each time Melissa is completely and utterly awesome. She also has the honor of being one of my longest read YA authors (second only to LJ Smith)–I’ve been a fan of hers since the second Au Pairs book!

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Melissa De la Cruz.

After Melissa’s signing, we double teamed the lines of Alma Katsu (The Taker), Claudia Gray (Fateful), Trinity Faegen (The Mephisto Covenant, one of my most highly anticipated YA reads of BEA), and Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Trial by Fire). After, Jenn went back to continue her half day of work, and Lindsi headed to some other signings. I stopped by the Harlequin booth to meet Rachel Vincent. The lines were a bit hectic, but I managed to snag a copy of “If I Die”, and have Rachel sign it. Along with one other similarly named blogger friend in front of me, we all had a nice discussion about the proper way to spell Rachel:

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At some other point that afternoon, I met Trinity Faegen, Jana Oliver, and Jeri Smith Ready again:
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R-L:Trinity, Jana, and Jeri.

I attempted to grab lunch in my downtime, but due to a major Javits FAIL, I wasn’t able to eat. Turns out the entire convention center had lost the use of their credit/debit card network, leaving many attendees unable to purchase food. I was actually chastised by a cashier for not bringing cash, which as a New Yorker, I can say is completely ridiculous. So I continued on, scarfing the only food I had brought with me: a banana, and some peanut butter crackers. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be eating lunch at all that day.

After my lunch disaster, tired, and hungry, I got in line early the Tahereh Mafi signing line for Shatter Me. Which was a good decision, because that line ended up being huge. Tahereh was super nice (and more shy than she seems on twitter), so when I ended up randomly running into her at the Harper Collins booth later that day, she signed a second copy of her book for me to give Jenn, and inscribed it with a “Happy Birthday” message for her!

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Tahereh Mafi.

Post-Shatter Me, a small group of bloggers and I got in line at the Penguin booth for Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines signing later that afternoon. We seemed to be blocking the show floor and the current signing line, so a Penguin employee handed out numbered cards, and told us to come back about an hour and a half later for what was sure to be the biggest YA signing of the day.

As expected, things did not go as smoothly as planned.

People were confused by the number system. People got in line where they didn’t belong. And bloggers were told the number system was “canceled” and the line was a free for all.  Luckily, a smart publicist did a last-minute line organization, so we all managed to get back in line close to our original numbers, and meet Richelle. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to meet her a second time. Since Richelle is 5 or 6 months pregnant, I was surprised she even came to BEA! She was amazing, as always, and we had a brief chat about how busy she was going to be around the end of August. (She has I believe 2 books, a graphic novel, and the baby due all within a week!)

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Richelle Mead.

After scoring both Bloodlines and Shatter Me, I was pretty confident in my author meeting and book procuring abilities. I only had one other “must have” book left to get Wednesday morning.

I got in line to meet Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring, but sadly the books ran out 3 people in front of me –after a BEA volunteer had counted out the number of people in line and told me I’d be the last person to receive one. I was sad, but got over it. I did manage to get Leigh Fallon’s Carrier of the Mark, another book high on my want list, so that pretty much made up for missing out on Faerie Ring. One last stop at Jeff Hirsch’s line for The Eleventh Plague (a highly anticipated post-apocalyptic YA novel), and we were done with day one!

Kind of.

Lindsi, and her hotel roommates Casey, Farrah, and Britney needed to go to the post office, so we hopped on the cross-town bus with our massive suitcases (much to the chagrin of the other passengers), and headed to the giant 34th street USPS location. It ended up being much much cheaper than shipping at Javits, but took forever. I sat outside on the steps and got some sun while I waited, and ended up meeting a woman who works as book reviewer & writer for a Canadian newspaper—who has been going to BEA for 20 years! It was insane hearing the stories she had to tell about past conventions.

After all of day 1’s books were securely shipped off, our group headed to Chelsea to one of my favorite cafe’s, Grey Dog. It felt absolutely amazing to sit down, and finally eat some food. Not only is Grey Dog super yummy, but it’s pretty laid back, which was just what we needed after a long day running around like crazy people doing bookish things.

Finally, I made it home. Where I did not go to bed early (mistake!), and instead pet my new books, and read more of an old one. Other than a few books I missed out on, I had a very successful first day on the show floor. And felt like I was slowly learning what not to do on day 2. Check back tomorrow for that story!

I will leave you with this crazy photo. The end of day 2 book pile, featuring books from Monday and Tuesday:
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BEA Recap: Day One

2 Jun

BEA feels like one hundred years ago after the madness of the last week! After returning to the US Monday, and editing all of my Jamaica trip *and* BEA photos, I’m finally ready to share my experience.

My unofficial first day of BEA was on Monday May 22. I started my morning at the Simon and Schuster Blogger Lunch. I was really excited to hear all about S&S upcoming Fall 2011 releases from the awesome ladies on the marketing publicity teams, and finally meet some of my blogger friends I chat with regularly on Twitter. I also got to see some old friends, the ladies of Good Choice Reading.

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Jamie and Anna.

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Maria, Damaris, and Wanda from GCR.

Author Elizabeth Miles told us all about her new book Fury, which sounds totally awesome, and was already on my goodreads TBR list. Then we saw a short slide show featuring all of the upcoming Fall YA releases. Let me just say, there are some AMAZING books on that list. People in the audience were especially were gasping over The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and The Pledge.

During the presentation, a mini contest was held giving out some of the current and upcoming books. I won a copy of Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Damaris was even luckier, and won the entire re-designed Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld:

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Love the new covers!

After lunch, Ellen Hopkins arrived, and read us snippets of her new novel Perfect. Like all of Ellen’s books, it was a bit graphic compared to most YA. But still sounds completely engrossing, and totally original. After more book chatter, the lovely Simon team had a surprise for us: we were going to the Top of The Rock! I’ve lived in NYC for 5 years, and still haven’t made it up there.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t really cooperate and it was incredibly foggy. But it actually made it even cooler, because it felt like we were on a movie set or something. I joked that with all the fog, it would make for a great cover shoot for a YA book about angels. Too bad you can’t plan in advance for weather like that!

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Jenna and her sister Lillie in front of the creepy fog background!

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The ladies of Simon and Schuster.

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April, who is the proud owner of one of the first book blogs I started reading regularly.

After Top of the Rock, Jenna, Lillie and I made a mad dash to SoHo for the Teen Author Carnival. We arrived just as the library started to get packed. I was the evening’s official photographer, so I got settled in, and started documenting the event. Sadly, I broke my best lens on the way to Sunday’s Books Of Wonder signing with Megan McCafferty and Elizabeth Scott (my bag just barely bumped the floor, and the lens now refuses to focus), but I still managed to get some great shots of the huge group of authors in attendance.

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A handful of the authors who participated, before the panels began.

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The schedule.

Some of the books for sale at the event:
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Carrie Jones and Hannah Moskowitz.

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Yara and Damaris with the always wonderful Andrea Cremer.

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The crowd. Or rather, half of it!

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Authors chatting before the panels.

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Mitali and Devyn, introducing all of the authors.

Panel # 1 was called: “Kick Ass Females in YA: And Why It’s A Big Deal To Have Them”.
Featuring:
1. Malinda Lo
2. Andrea Cremer
3. Michelle Zink
4. Courtney Allison Moulton
5. Carole Estby Dagg
6. Elizabeth Scott
7. Michelle Hodkin
8. Kirsten Hubbard

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Carole Estby Dagg

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Courtney Allison Moulton and Andrea Cremer.

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Michelle Hodkin and Kirsten Hubbard.

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Moderator Lisa DesRochers

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Michelle Zink speaking.

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Malinda Lo.

In an additional space, the “Otherworldy Adventures: With a Bit of the Real World Thrown In” was about to begin. I bounced back and forth between each of the panels, but before #2 started, I ran into these two characters:
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Scott Tracey and Leah Clifford. Authors, and roommates. I felt like I already knew them, after participating in a few of Leah’s hilarious late night live shows on BlogTV.

Panel # 2 was introduced, giggling commenced, and I quickly realized this was the goofy author panel:
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The entire panel: Nova Ren Suma, Carrie Jones, Michael Northrop, Leah Clifford, Scott Tracey, E. Archer, and moderator Chelsea Swiggett.

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Karsten Knight was co-moderator.

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The packed in audience!

Back in panel #1, Elizabeth Scott really did not want to be the first author to answer a question:
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I ran into Ellen Hopkins, Mitali’s Mom, Devyn, and Korianne in the hallway.

After a few trips back and forth between each panel, it was time for the second hour of programming to begin:
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Before the authors began speaking, I chatted with Lindsi. Who did not want her photo taken candidly.

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Mitali and Devyn introduce the authors.

Panel #3 was called “Teenage Angst: Getting It Right – The Emotions, The Voice, The Drama” and featured:
1. David Levithan
2. Susane Colasanti
3. Melissa Walker
4. Kody Keplinger
5. Hannah Moskowitz
6. Gayle Forman
7. Torrey Maldonado
8. Caridad Ferrer

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Kody Keplinger, Torrey Maldonado, Caridad Ferrer, and moderator Ellen Hopkins.

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David Levithan and Hannah Moskowitz.

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Susane Colasanti and Gayle Forman.

Back in the tiny room again, the “Debut Author Showcase: The Journey to Publication” panel was introduced:
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The panel was moderated by 2012 debut author and book blogger Lenore Applehans, and featured the following authors:
1. Carole Estby Dagg
2. Amy Fellner Dominy
3. Kirsten Hubbard
4. Bettina Restrepo
5. Michelle Hodkin
6. Nick James
7. Scott Tracey

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Each author began by talking about, or reading from their debut novels.

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Nick James, Amy Fellner Dominy, Kirsten Hubbard, Michelle Hodkin, Bettina Restrepo, and Scott Tracey.

Bouncing between panels, I managed to photograph and chat with a few additional authors:

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Andrea Cremer.

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Gretchen McNeil. We had a great chat about “authors behaving badly”.

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Goodie bags, just waiting to be torn into!

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Scenes from the librarian’s desk.

Back in panel #3:
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David Levithan being thoughtful.

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Torrey Maldonado talked about challenging the stereotype that reading books is “girly”.

Panel #4 again:
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Once all of the panels were completed, the authors divided amongst the two rooms, and held a massive book signing:
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I love Elizabeth Scott, she came so prepared!

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Courtney and David were all smiles!

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Gayle and Kody.

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By the time I made it to the second, smaller and more crowded signing space, I was so weighed down with books and camera gear that I didn’t take any photos! But I did manage to grab Jeri Smith Ready (who was in the audience) to pose for a photo, and force her to listen to me gush uncontrollably about how I devoured Shift and Shade in less than 24 hours:

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Before long, the event was over, and it was time for the massive group photo:
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Trying to get in position.

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Almost there!

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Ready!

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Authors + event co-organizer Mitali

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Mitali and Ellen.

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Me and Andrea, who is beyond nice, and one of my absolute faves.

Overall, Day One was completely and utterly exhausting, but also even more amazing than I could have hoped for. I met some very sweet and kind fellow bloggers, authors, and publishing folk. I practically waddled home with all of my new books (including a highly coveted copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer!), and couldn’t feel my feet by the time I arrived. But it was totally worth it! Come back soon for reports from days #2 and #3 of BEA.

Special thanks to Simon and Schuster, and Mitali, Devyn, and Korianne!
See the full event photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/Bookshelf Lust.

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

20 Apr

Shade

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan’s band playing a critical gig and Aura’s plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend’s life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan’s sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He’s gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn’t help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura’s relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura’s heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift. –Via Goodreads.

Shade, the first novel in a trilogy, reminded me a lot of a TV pilot. You get a glimpse into Aura’s ghostly world, the main conflicts are tied up, but enough unanswered questions remain to tease you of what’s to come in the series.

I loved the unique take on ghosts, and that only those sixteen years old or under can see them. In a way, it made the concept scarier, yet also sad since only the youngest people in the book can see their friends and family who have passed on.

Shade is also one of the rare books where a love triangle actually serves a purpose. Instead of Aura being too indecisive to choose between two boys, she’s torn between her ghostly former boyfriend, and moving on with her life and her new crush.

Aura is a strong, likable main character, and it’s easy to relate to her feelings of confusion and uncertainty about the role she plays in the post-shift world. I empathized with her heartbreak over the loss of her boyfriend, who was dead, but not really “gone” from her life, while still understanding her attraction to Zach.

Shade is a fast, fun read, with engaging characters and an action driven plot that propels you through the story. There is enough mystery, hint of conspiracy, and spookiness to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

As soon as I finished Shade (which I read in about five hours), I immediately moved on to the e-arc of Shift. I’m so curious about what’s next in Aura’s life, and dying to know more about what caused the original Shift in the world.

Keep an eye out for my Shift review soon!

4/5 Stars

Shade is available now from Simon Pulse. Shift (Shade, Book 2)will be released May 3, 2011