Events, spoiler free

London MCM Comic Con Report – October 2019

event report

Better late than never right? I attended the Sunday of London MCM Comic Con at the end of October and I thought I should finally get around to writing a report. For the first time in years, I didn’t take loads of pictures and I didn’t vlog at all so I just got to enjoy the con as it was which was lovely and I found I actually got a lot less stressed. That being said I’m debating not going next year and attending Thought Bubble instead but we shall see, anyway on with the report!

Having originally planned to go on my own I managed to persuade one of my friends and my mum to come along with me. My mum has just got back into Dungeons and Dragons and basically, I wanted to essentially take her dice shopping. This was fun and not only was the journey a lot better with company and by car but it was fun having others to chat to and generally geek out excitedly at things.

As I have done the past few years I started off and spent most of my time in the Comic Village/Artists Alley section of the convention. I wanted to place a couple of commissions and decided first thing was probably a good idea. We came back here a lot because this is easily my favourite part of the convention in recent years. A lot of things in the con are mass-produced and easy to find and buy online and are there year after year so it tends to become the same thing every year. In the comic village, although a lot of the artists are the same this actually works in their favour I think as I go in knowing exactly what stands I want to check out because I know I love their work and almost every convention they have something new, whether it be a new issue of their self published comic, or new prints, accessories or the like. Walking around this area of the con just really feels the most friendly and I adore it.  As you can see below too, pretty much my entire haul of goodies is from here too!

We trawled the usual stands like Magic Madhouse, Critit and Firestorm Cards etc that sell the most dungeons and dragons items such as miniatures, books and most importantly DICE. We all brought at least one set of dice each (with most of us getting two), my mum was pleased to find some mini’s that would represent her character in our game nicely and I did my best to resist all of the Descent into Avernus blind box minis because I have a problem.

We stopped off for a late lunch (we didn’t even get in until just gone 12) and a break outside where the weather actually wasn’t bad for an October con which was a pleasant surprise. Returning inside, at last, we swung back around to pick up our commissions and a few last-minute items before heading to the PS4 area where they had playable demo’s for the new Final Fantasy VII remake. Initially, I had gone to rub it in my husbands face that I had got to play it while also reassuring him that it was good but after getting into FFXV recently I was actually quite excited to play it just for me! The Demo was actually really good and I love what they’ve done with the combat system. Not to mention it was so nice to hear everything being voice acted. We were the second from last group to get to play so I’m glad we headed over when we did. Queue getting my picture taken with an 8kg replica of Cloud’s buster sword next.

The Con was then drawing to a close, I managed to meet up with a friend who I play D&D with online which was really awesome and we all made a collective dash for the chocolate stand we had all been eyeing up over lunch and got hot chocolates and chocolate-covered strawberries (this has been a con staple for me for the last three years) which we then devoured in the car park while waiting for it to empty out enough for us to leave.

We then played Dungeons and Dragons for three and a half hours once we got back. I slept very very well that night. It was a good convention but as I mentioned earlier I think I might try a different convention next year like Thought Bubble which is a lot more art-based. Did you attend MCM London Comic Con this year? If so what did you get up to? Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here for Six for Sunday in a couple of days!

Events, spoiler free

London Darkdawn Launch

event report

So, if you’ve been reading my blog for the past couple of years or so you might notice that I’m a bit of a Jay Kristoff fan. I fell in love The Illuminae Files and more recently, finally read The Nevernight Chronicles (although I’m yet to finish Darkdawn) and fell head over heels for everyone’s favourite knife wife, Mia Corverre, her friends, her companions and her enemies. So when tickets for the London Darkdawn launch with the man himself went live I frantically ordered myself and my husband (who adored The Illuminae Files too) one each right away.

We travelled up with friendlings and had lunch beforehand before heading to Goldsboro books to pick up our special editions of Darkdawn. I’d never been before and the store was small but lovely. I think the Goldsboro edition of Darkdawn may be one of the best-looking books I have ever seen and certainly my favourite. When we purchased our books the salesperson wrapped each one with a protective plastic covering which to me, was a beautiful personal touch and I certainly plan to order from there again in the future.

From Goldsboro we headed straight to the venue (give or take some coffee and ice cream), St James’s Church, just past the huge Waterstones Picadilly store. Having been to an event there before with Leigh Bardugo and then again with Cassie Clare and Holly Black we knew that arriving early was essential to getting a good seat and to be in with a chance of getting our books signed fairly quickly so we didn’t get back too late. We arrived at around 3pm and there were only two other people in front of us which was a bonus. I had brought my Waterstones copy of Darkdawn with me to read in the queue and my 3DS but in the end we actually all ended up chatting to each other and friends as they arrived. About 3:30/4 Jay actually popped out to see us which was awesome, he seemed genuinely shocked that we were waiting there for his event that didn’t start for another four hours. I maaay have embarrassed myself when I saw him, greeting him with a “Hey Loser” because I have no idea how to actually be cool and it seemed funny at the time? I’m not sure my friends or husband will ever let me live it down…

We were let into the venue (I think) a little earlier than seven which was nice and it was starting to get chilly and looked like it may rain. We managed to get one of the front seats which was brilliant, especially as I’m pretty damned short! It was nice chatting to everyone and in what felt like no time at all the event was underway, starting with a talk chaired by Samantha Shannon who I’ve seen chair a few times now and she’s absolutely fantastic at it. The talk lasted an hour with some questions at the end and it was probably one of the best talks I’ve been to, it was hilarious, heartwarming and informative. Some highlights were:

  • Finding out Nevernight came about after an argument between two friends one New Years Eve about the “dreaded” C-Word and whether it was an insult or not (If you’ve read Nevernight this will make a lot more sense).
  • World Building – Jay likes to address the broad first, i.e the key differences between our world and the fictional world.
  • The three things Jay can talk about at the drop of a hat are marvel comics, Lord of the Rings and Ancient Rome.
  • A lot of Jay’s inspiration for his writing comes from history, saying “The weirdest thing you can probably imagine has actually happened and it was probably weirder than you can imagine.”
  • “Jesus is okay with F*ck” (in response to not using the C-Word in church but dropping all of the F-Bombs.
  • Blowing Samantha Shannon’s mind when she discovered you could sleep with characters in some RPG video games, this example was The Witcher (Jay’s a Yen man y’all) and the unicorn scene. This moment was hilarious and as a gamer, it felt like chilling out chatting with a bunch of friends.
  • His number one piece of writing advice is to get to the fun (he used a brilliant Simpsons analogy “When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?!” Nevernight originally featured a ten-year-old Mia exploring Godsgrave.
  • Jay’s shadow companion would be a Jack Russell.
  • We got some more information about Jay’s next adult fantasy book “Empire of the Vampire” which I’m crazy excited for and may have whopped and cheered when he announced it.
  • The book that changed everything for Jay was The Hobbit, saying “I found my people in that book” and I actually got misty-eyed here because this was a big important book for me too for many of the same reasons.
  • I got to ask a question about his use of slang in most of his books (my favourite, “Son of a biscuit” it turns out was an Amie Kauffman invention) and he showed me how to correctly give someone the knuckles (I was SO close).

img_8774-1.jpg
After this came the signing and it was a little bit of a mess to be honest, some people were pretty peeved that those who had arrived after them were being let up to sign before them etc but we were still in the first row that were able to do so which was pretty awesome with me and we didn’t have to wait long at all. I was however incredibly nervous! After a joke about throwing his books, I had got a shirt personalised for myself (which I was wearing) and one for him saying “I only throw Jay Kristoff books” and felt like maybe it was a bit weird but it turns out he actually loved it (see vlog at the end of this post for reaction). He doodled a Mr Kindly in my copy of Nevernight, signed my copy of Godsgrave and a Nevernight poster I’d brought with me as long as our copies of the Illumine Files and chatted with Chris about getting back into reading etc which was lovely. We did have our picture taken with him too but honestly me and Chris look like nervous wrecks in it so have a nice picture of one of my signed books instead.

GURD8309

I had a fantastic time and despite the organisational issues with the signing (which were a lot worse as time went on, we were very very lucky as a friend in the fourth row waited for over two hours). I really really hope Jay decides to come back to the UK in the future, maybe him AND Amie for one of the Aurora Rising releases or maybe Empire of the Vampire who knows!

Did you make it to one of the events? If so what was one of your highlights? If you couldn’t make it but would have liked to what would one question would you have asked Jay?

 

 

 

Events, spoiler free

YALC 2019 Report

event report

So I’m only doing one YALC post this year as I only went for one day! I enjoyed myself but I defintley want to do more than one day again next year. I enjoyed myself for the most part but there was a bit of a winding down feeling and a this is all lets left look to some parts which got me a little down after seeing some of the awesome activities, giveaways and books others got during the first two days. One of the stands I was looking forward to the most was the Rock the Boat stand as they had a fun little Aurora Rising quiz and a tombola with a chance to win an AR proof but when I got there Sunday morning the person running the stall didn’t seem to have a clue what was going on and there was no tombola so I was pretty disappointed that we weren’t given the same opportunities as those who could make the other days.

I somehow managed to get to the venue on just before the event opened, with Sunday trains this is no small miracle and Gaynor (from paperbacks and pinot) and her daughter Biba spotted me and called me over, it was lovely to finally meet them both as me and Gaynor have been chatting online for a little while now and attending completely alone for the first time it was lovely to find a friendly couple of faces. Once the entrance line started moving we chose to take the elevator and I’m glad we did as those who had chosen to take the stairs were stopped for some reason and not allowed to go any further, resulting in a large group of people being stuck on the stairwell which sounds terrifying to me.

Once on the YALC floor all three of us headed to the Rock the Boat stand where we took part in the Aurora Rising quiz (once the person manning it read some instructions as they didn’t know what to do) me and Biba both got Alpha and Gaynor got face I believe! It was fun and we got little cards and badges with our roles on (although my badge didn’t match and was actually a face one). I picked up some Once and Future bookmarks as well as I was gutted we weren’t able to get them via preorder like in the US and I love the art of Ari and Merlin on them.

We headed to the Illumicrate table next and I picked up a badge for a friend and I entered the raffle, I was already starting to get frazzled by the heat in the building and finding it hard to think straight and am gutted I missed out on the Vicious pin. We went our separate ways for a bit after this as when I’d finished queuing I headed to the chill-out zone to try and cool down for a bit and get my head straight. Thankfully I’m actually pretty comfortable sitting on the floor as there were only a couple of chairs scattered about that I could see and I’m sure I had seen people asking YALC on Twitter about chairs in this area because, for a number of reasons, not everyone is comfortable sitting on the floor and they were assured there would be enough chairs, I’m fairly certain this was not the case. Nevertheless, I found a spot on the floor, had a drink and cooled down a little, I was still a little fritzed and over the next couple of hours I still found I had trouble with my words getting muddled up and constant sweating which was not fun and meant to had to sit down to try and cool off a lot.

The first author I got to meet was N.J Simmonds which was lovely as she was the first author I met at my very first YALC and her book “The Path Keeper” was the first book I brought, the new version was also the first book I brought at this YALC and let me tell you it’s beautiful! I can’t wait to read it! I battled the queue for the VQ tickets then wandered around for a bit, entered a couple of raffles (note to self, in future write on the back of raffle tickets so you know where they’re for and when they draw them) and then went to the signing for Christine Lynn Herman, author of The Devouring Gray. I know I was a bit off when I met her as I still didn’t have a clear head but I did manage to tell her how much I loved her book and Issac!

The hour or so after this was a bit of a blur but I did get to meet the lovely Kirstin from Barrington Stoke and popped over to say hi to my friends at Geeky Clean. I took part in the Vanessa Jones “Sing” panel and I’m so glad I decided to do it because it really helped to clear my head. It felt a bit like a drama lesson from back at school (I went to a performing arts school) and was full of improv games that were a lot of fun. I swapped some books at the book swap and had a little lunch before the “One small step for man, one giant leap for YA” panel. Sadly Lauren James, who was meant to be chairing the event had to pull out that morning after her dog (poor Ollie, hope you’re feeling better) got injured but Taran Matharu stepped in to join Alistair Renyolds, Temi Oh and Sasha Alsberg. It was a good panel and I regretted not bringing my Alistair Renyolds books to be signed because he seemed like he would be really interesting to chat too.

I had no panels or signings for another hour or so and decided to check out some of the books for sale, I was gutted the pop-up Waterstones had sold out of copies of the Gilded Cage by Vic James as I was meeting her later but did pick up a good few books such as We Hunt the Flame, STAGS, Lifes a Beach, Perfectly Preventable Deaths, GodsGrave, Jemima Small vs the Universe, Lady Smoke and The Kingdom and all were pretty good deals with most being £5 each or three for £10.

Next up I watched the Monsters and their maker’s panel featuring Kristen Ciccarelli, Natasha Ngan, Samantha Shannon, and Taran Matharu with Eleanor Pender as chair. This was another great panel and I actually enjoyed it more than the sci-fi one which I was shocked by. I also bumped into Fiona from Felfira Moon Designs which was lovely (and I won a light fury pin!) Then headed to the Kristen Ciccarelli signing after, I again made an idiot out of myself and told her that I loved Asha and actually have a character in a dungeons and dragons game based on her.

I wound down the day by hanging out with the Geeky Clean Crew which now included Emily helping out too (if you’re reading this Em, I honestly don’t know where you get all that energy, you’re amazing) which was lovely and made me feel a lot more comfortable. Not long after Vic came to hang out as well and we got to chat, I told her how much I loved Sanctuary and how much it stressed me out which was fun, she told me she loved my hair and she signed my book! I’m kind of glad I didn’t look at what she had written at the time because I looked when I got home and welled up, she’d written “stay fantastic” in it. I know it might sound silly but I felt so honoured that this person who had written this book that I adored remembered my blog name.

After randomly bumping into Jason Mamoa while filming for my YALC vlog (see below) I headed down to the London Film and Comic-Con floor, grabbed some cake from the lovely Cake in a Jar and headed home. The trip back was actually really easy and fairly relaxed which was nice. I had just about enough energy when I got home to unpack a little and take a picture of my haul which I don’t think was too bad for a Sunday to be fair and I love some of the prints and posters I got, most of which are already up on my wall! Overall I did enjoy the event but I think I’ll defintley aim for more than one day next year so I don’t end up trying to fit everything into one day.

Did you go to YALC? If so how was your experience?

Events

MCM London Comic Con and Blogger Brunch

IrMaZa2C

I’ve been attending MCM London for more years than I can remember, to the point I still call it just “Expo” from the days when it was called MCM Expo and the past few years I’ve been helping out my friends on their stand so this was the first Expo in three/four years that I was there as purely an attendee. I had already planned to go with a friend and then Jamie-Lee from Tor and Quirk books announced there would be an exclusive blogger brunch happening on the Sunday with some of their authors including Susan Dennard, Ash Poston, Kristina Perez, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Zen Cho, Linda Rodriguez and RJ Barker, alongside pastries, sandwiches and swag – I couldn’t say no!

We got to enjoy the relative quiet in the morning which was lovely, the air con in the halls was very welcome and we got a nice chance to look around before I had to rush off to meet Jamie-Lee and my fellow bloggers. I did buy a Pokemon Terranium (as did my friend) after seeing them at conventions before but usually not until last thing when we don’t have enough for one. Torchic is one of my favourite Pokemon and after seeing Detective Pikachu last week (review to come?) my love for the Pokemon world had been well and truly rekindled.

Next up was the blogger brunch! It was so lovely to find the sizeable group of bloggers all waiting outside ready to go in and I loved putting faces to twitter handles and blog names! Once we all had our industry passes (my first ever, I was very excited!) we were led to our own lovely air-conditioned room with books, beverages and snacks, basically my idea of heaven, not to mention we each got a lovely MCM swag bag filled with loads of books and other goodies.

After an introduction by the lovely Jamie-Lee, each of the visiting authors mingled, spending a certain amount of time with each table just chatting and answering questions etc. The whole vent was absolutely chilled out, the atmosphere was so welcoming, relaxing and fun, definitely a style of event I will happily attend again, I cannot thank Jamie-Lee enough for the invite. I apologise for the lack of pictures from the brunch and MCM in general, it’s so hard to keep taking your phone out when you have arms filled with bags and no pockets! It was lovely to enjoy both however without worrying about pulling my phone out every five minutes. (I did film some of the brunch but I chose the seat with the absolute worst lighting so if I can clean it up it’ll be made in a video for my YouTube channel but no promises!).

The first author at our table was Adrian Tchaikovsky (Shadows of the Apt series and Children of Time), who spoke about spiders (of course), the perceived horror in his books and the reason for it, as well as one of his books I’m yet to read that sounds fascinating called “The Tiger and the Wolf” about clans of shapeshifters and its sequel which takes an interesting turn when non-shapeshifters arrive, it was really interesting to hear him talk about how the points of view in that book and his others really help to shape the experiences depicted in them.

Next up we had Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly, the Witchlands series) who I was particularly excited to meet, although the Witchlands series have turned out to not really be for me I love to hear her writing advice and was interested to hear about some of her other works, one of which it turns out is on wattpad and sounds fantastic! The Executioners Three can be found here for free and I’m excited to dive into it! She spoke passionately about fanfiction, her own fandoms and told us about a stack of cards she has to help her keep tabs on all the information, the reveals and secrets in her Witchland books and how it has become a hydra of sorts in that she’ll finish with one and can remove it but then finds another two or three have appeared in their place which I can absolutely empathise with.

Our third author to visit the table was RJ Barker (Age of Assasins, The Bone Ships) who was absolutely hilarious. Apparently, one of the war steeds in one of his books is super sarcastic and is basically the horse from Tangled, he told us that he wanted to write a fantasy book about detectives but “Age of Detectives” didn’t sound as interesting and in the rough set time period Assassins were pretty much “the closest thing.” He also spoke about his upcoming book (September 2019 from Orbit) “The Bone Ships” which sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it!

Next up was Zen Cho (The True Queen, Spirits Abroad) who had me completely captivated me talking about her new novella arriving this year called “The order of the pure moon reflected in water” which she says has a very “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon feel” (one of my absolute favourite films). She also talks about some of the changes made to some of her previous books, like The True Queen and how those changes helped to make one of her characters “less of a dick” once we see things from their point of view as well.

The penultimate author we met before I had to head off was Ash Poston (Geekerella, The Princess and The Fangirl) and she was a complete delight. She spoke about fandoms which are prevalent in her books and thanks to some brilliant questions by one of the wonderful other bloggers on our table we really got into discussing ownership of fictional characters and stories by the fans and the effects of that on culture now, especially in light of petitions calling for changes to fictional stories, the good, such as the revival of Brooklyn 99 and the bad, like Season eight of Game of Thrones. She spoke about her love of fanfiction, D&D and that she uses a D20 ring to help her when she’s stuck writing (a method I absolutely want to try) and before long we were fangirling about Garrus and Solus from Mass Effect and Dragon Age as well as how much the entire table loved Season two of Star Trek Discovery and Anson Mount as Captain Pike.

Before I had to head off I got to chat with one more author for a little while, Kristina Pérez who spoke about her Tristan and Iseult retelling, Sweet Black Waves and how it’s not just a romantic love story but is about sisterhood and female relationships, even changing some moments to better illustrate this. Next, she also gave us the elevator pitch and then a bit more description for her newest novel “The Tesla Legacy” which she describes as “if Bruce Banner were a high school girl” which sounds intriguing and is yet another book I will definitely need to pick up.

As time went on a few of us had to leave as the event as it overran a bit and we had other people waiting on us or things to get to and I headed back to the show floor where I met up with my friend again who I maaaay have dragged around the Artists Alley/Comic Village to meet all the lovely authors I love who were there today, we proceeded to buy art, comics, cakes and pick up some commissions of our D&D Characters we ordered that morning. By about 3:30 the halls were packed, it was getting very hot and stuffy and we had sore feet so we picked up some earlier purchases, said our goodbyes to friends and headed home. I was adamant I would stay awake on the journey home but pretty sure I fell asleep before we’d even left London, to be honest.

I had an absolutely wonderful time and only wish we had more time but I don’t think my brain could have coped with much more, or my feet! I’m already looking forward to YALC and LFCC in July as well as all of the new books I have to read AND have discovered thanks to the wonderful authors I met last weekend, not to mention the brilliant comics I picked up too. Thank you to Alaina for letting me travel with you and hang out most of the day and a big thank you to Jamie-Lee for the invite to the Blogger Brunch, definitely one of my all-time favourite events.

Did you go to the MCM Blogger Brunch? If so give me a shout, let me know how you found it and your favourite parts, same for if you attended MCM London, if neither of these apply to you let me know if any of the books mentioned during our author chats intrigue you! I think I’m most excited for The Bone Ships and The order of the pale moon reflected in water!

Events, spoiler free

The Quiz at the End of the World

To celebrate the release of The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James (out tomorrow! March 7th) Walker Books brought together Lauren James (obviously), Non Pratt, Alice Oseman and acting as host Sanne Vliegenthart (books and quills) for a panel and quiz followed by a signing and Q&A session aptly named, The Quiz at the End of the World.

I love attending events Waterstones Piccadilly and this one was no exception, I went on my own for a change but still managed to meet up with loads of other lovely attendees including some fellow bloggers, three of which joined me in becoming a team in the quiz! (Thank you, Nicola, from Fantastic Book Dragon, Faye from Daydreamers thoughts and Madeline from Ramblings Mads).

The event consisted of a panel first where the authors answered some great questions from Sanne, then onto the Quiz portion of the event which involved a round of guessing book covers and emoji book titles and then answering questions from Lauren, it was a super hard YA quiz which was fun but made me realise just how broad YA really is, I don’t read a lot of contemporary so didn’t managed to contribute loads (other than one Twilight question) but did found out who Lara Jean ends up at with at the end of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved before books which was my favourite spoiled I’ve ever received. After the quiz came a Q&A session where we could ask the authors questions and again this was really fun, you could really tell these authors obviously knew each other and got on well outside of this environment as well as they just gelled together so well and it made it so much fun as well as getting a little deep when we got onto the topic of who YA is really aimed at and how little input teenagers have in it which is crazy when they’re essentially the target audience.

The signing happened after and this was lovely as usual too, it was nice and relaxed and allowed us time to chat with each author as well which was lovely. All in all a great event and possibly one of my favourite panels, definitely one I would listen to again for sure.

I did film a little video with some of my journey and the panel itself as well as some of the Q&A after, I don’t like to film the entire thing as I think it’s rude but I did manage to get some of the really good moments, I apologise for the occasional cough as I was (and still am) getting over a horrid cold/sore throat thing at the moment, still I hope you’ll enjoy this sneak peek into the evening, there is no footage of the quiz as understandably phones were not allowed in case of cheating but I did film some of the Q&A as well.

Speaking of Q&A, to continue with our week-long celebration of The Quiet at the End of the World tomorrow I’m lucky enough to be able to bring you a Q&A session with Lauren herself! So I hope you enjoy the video from the event and will see you back here tomorrow!

Events

Sunday YA Chat Summer Secret Santa Exchange

Earlier this year those of us who regularly take part in the Sunday YA chat on Twitter created a chat group just for us to chat throughout the rest of the week when we’re not doing SundayYA and it’s been amazing! Its spawned a lot of other chats and has really helped me to feel like a part of the YA and blogger community this year, I’m so grateful for the friends I’ve made through it. Mols (@Bibookishbabe) decided to get us all together for a Bookish Summer Secret Santa exchange just before YALC and it was SO much fun being paired up and trying to work out what to get for our Partners!

38806677_1994078890611556_2571929543304544256_n

I found out me and my partner both love Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman so I decided to ask Jenn (@JennieLy) from Literary Galaxy (@LiteraryGalaxy) to help me out in creating a special Starfish themed bookmark and I loved the finished product so much I may have had to order myself one as well…

As for the book I had chosen to get a copy of Floored as they had done such a brilliant post for the blog tour and had asked for a copy to get signed at YALC. I got everything together but a couple of bits took a little longer to arrive and by the time I had all the bits it was the day before YALC! I had to message my partner in the end and come clean that I was their partner so I could meet up with them at YALC to make sure they got their book on time!

In a funny turn of events it turned out not only did we have a fair bit in common with our book tastes, YALC schedule etc but she was also the one sending to me as well and when I got home from YALC Friday evening I found a box full of wrapped goodies waiting for me!!

37967741_10155377685846581_9036069964775161856_n

I was completely blown away by the goodies picked out by my swap partner! We’d been asked to give a rough idea of what kinds of books etc that we liked and my partner got it spot on with their choices which I cannot wait to read! They were so perfect it actually made me well up a little at the thought that went into this (Chris was rather confused that I was hugging books but chalked it up to it being YALC weekend an all), not to mention all the other amazing things in my box! (Ravenclaw badge, pin from one of my favourite pin suppliers, black kitty post it notes, owl bookmark AND sweets) I got so lucky ❤

37955607_10155377685946581_935170747213545472_n

So thank you so much to my Summer Secret Santa and to Mols for setting this all up! I can’t wait to do it all over again in December!

Events

Day Three YALC Recap

37953430_10155376484971581_4163018895575220224_n

YALC Day three recap is here! After the huge post from yesterday you’ll be pleased to know Sunday was a much quieter, much less hectic day. I got a lift up with some “non bookish” friends I’d persuaded to join me for LFCC which was fun, even if we did have to take some detours >.< For the most part though the journey was pretty good and not too stressful. I popped upstairs to YALC first for a flying visit as Harper were holding a raffle for unbound proofs of Shadow of the Fox, I waited with Kirsty and was surprised to find out I had actually won a copy! As today was pretty relaxed we had a good look around at the LFCC floors which were much less crowded and stressful then I remember them being last year which was great because I got to pay a visit to my favourite stand at any convention, the lovely people at Cake in a Jar! They’ve just changed their cake recipes so that they’re now plant-based and Vegan friendly, not to mention still delicious ❤ They did so well they sold out twice and I’m so glad I managed to grab a couple of their yummy cakes!

38065510_10155377692956581_8521652978589892608_n

After a wander around I decided to head up for the Vampire Talk with Paul Wesley and Daniel Giles, I hoped if I got there in good time I might get an okay seat but nearly had a heart attack when I saw the length of the line already. I started to forget getting a good seat and become worried I wouldn’t get one at all. The line was HUGE and spanned a whole side of the gallery. I’d seen the size of the talks area and I had no idea how they planned to fit us all in. My friend spoke to some of the Showmasters crew who told her that they don’t sell more tickets than seats but I didn’t find myself convinced. Eventually the line started to move very slowly and I was horrified that by the time I got to the front of the line the talk had ALREADY STARTED! I was SO angry that I’d paid for this talk and missed almost half of it already! I will say that thankfully what I did see of the talk was FANTASTIC, Paul and Daniel had such great chemistry together and it was a laugh a minute to the point where I’d almost forgotten my annoyance. I did manage to get a seat in the end but only through complete luck as there were a few single seats left but a lot of people were left standing. I really think Showmasters need to think this through in future and maybe get people in and seated much earlier to avoid this in future.

37965972_10155377693471581_8770753325046956032_n

Next up I rushed back up to the YALC floor for the Akemi Dawn Bowman signing, I had really wanted to make the talk she was in but with getting through the large crowd forming upstairs for some of the big photo ops I just didn’t make it in time. I did manage to find an excited/slightly nervous Charlotte and Lydia in the signing queue which was lovely because I was a bit nervous myself!

38011866_10155377693381581_6477345680674258944_n

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know how I feel about Starfish and I wanted to try to tell Akemi how much her book meant to me. After mocking Charlotte a little for having actual feelings (love you really!) I ended up being the one getting a little bit teary! Meeting Akemi was absolutely lovely and I’m so excited for her new book Summer Bird Blue coming to the UK next year.

38072381_10155377693406581_1497103420450930688_n

With most of my to do a list for the weekend now over with I took the time to sit and relax with my friends for a bit, we took a picture in front of this years book wall later on we managed to see Jason Momoa walk past multiple times as well as quite a few other people which was pretty cool.

38124900_10155377694051581_852086241254965248_n

I went for a bit of a last walk around YALC towards the end of the day and spotted Holly Jackson (author of A Good Girls Guide to Murder, who thanks to Charlotte I’ve come to know as Murder Lady >.<) sitting in the Book of Dust canoe. After speaking to her when Charlotte won a proof Saturday I became really interested in her book and she was pretty awesome to talk to, she’d signed a sampler for me already but I headed over to say hi and she told me she was hiding. Electronic Monkey have been doing a proof giveaway for her book where if you find Holly during certain times she’ll give you a numbered ticket and if you’re ticket matches a proof at their stand you win it! I’d tried Friday and Saturday but hadn’t thought about it on Sunday so when I realised what she meant I asked if it was okay to have a ticket. I’d seen the poor woman get pretty much mobbed on Saturday so didn’t want to seem like I’d just come over for that but seemed pretty pleased to give me one which was lovely. Once I had my ticket the flood gates seemed to open and the masses descended, I thanked her, waved and got out-of-the-way. A little later on once the crowd around the stand had died off I headed over and it turned out I had managed to win a copy of A Good Girls Guide to Murder After talking to Holly I had gotten SO excited for this book so I may have jumped up and down a little bit!

37928437_10155377693611581_8291642816870744064_n

My new friend from the Sunday YA chat who I’d been hanging out with a bit at YALC who was also excited for the book won one as well which was brilliant as now I could talk to her and Charlotte about the book which is always a bonus!

37972987_10155377693601581_6531800480098549760_n

Holly was super sweet and signed my book while we had a great chat and then posed for a picture with me and the book. Honestly I think this may have been the highlight of my day! A Good Girls Guide to Murder is next on my TBR and I’m SO EXCITED for it! Not to mention I love (although I’m sure will hate when I get to it) that the publishers ripped out the last few chapters of the book and left a note blaming the murderer at the back with an email we could contact for the last few chapters! I think it’s such a great idea and a really fun little quirk which makes it feel even more special, this was absolutely my favourite ARC I got over the YALC weekend.

38135292_10155377693726581_9220759970889334784_n

With that and my friends photo shoots done we decided to call it a day and head off. The journey back was a lot smoother and after all agreeing we were hungry and in dire need of chicken nuggets we headed to McDonalds for what was dubbed “Nugfest18”

Although there were definitely some issues over the weekend I had a great time and two weeks later I’m still enjoying reminiscing about the fantastic three days I had. Overall I think a lot of aspects were much better than they had been the year before and I hope they can continue to improve. I hope everyone else had a great time and feel free to drop me links to your YALC blogs in the comments because I’m loving looking back at it all. I’ll be back with my review of The Last Beginning by Lauren James Tuesday so I’ll talk to you all then!

38071407_10155377694066581_5513436736052527104_n