BEA Wrap Up Part I

Posted June 22, 2015 by Kim in Events / 1 Comment

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So, remember that time I went to BEA? I figured it’s finally time to sit down and talk about it a little. Between returning home and promptly coming down with a horrid sinus infection and then trying to play catch up in life, at work and on the blog, I’ve been putting this off. No time like the present though.

Despite totally dragging my feet on the preparation this year, I feel like everything came together perfectly to make this the best bookish week ever. I might have waited until the night before to put my daily schedule of things together, but really this year was far more about the experiences than the books. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was seriously excited over a number of books this year – AND I even got everything on my most-wanted list – but more than anything, I was excited to see what my second year would bring.

You want to know what it brought?

A LOT of awesome memories I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

I got to the city on Tuesday, but had nothing BEA-related until late (LATE, for my old lady self) that night. So what’s a girl to do when it’s hot as Hades in Manhattan and she’s going to be walking miles in a convention center the next few days? Find a table at her favorite park and enjoy the sights and sounds of her favorite city – and a good book.

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Manhattan through the trees in Bryant Park
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This was too cute for words. (The guy and the dog, naturally.)
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I couldn’t resist this shot of the ESB reflected in my iPad

I made a quick stop by 7/11 by the hotel to pick up dinner – all class all the time – and actually had a guy follow me into the store to tell me I was “lovely” and that my (non-existent) significant other was a lucky man. It sounds a lot creepier than it felt at the time, but honestly I was happy when he went on about his merry way. Oh, New York, you always leave me with stories to tell.

Much later that night I finally caught up with my roommates – and met two of them for the first time! – and went to a party on the roof of our hotel. It was so much fun. I got to meet a couple of my favorite publicists – Jessica and Erin, I’m looking at you – and bloggers I’ve followed for a couple years – Andi from Andi’s ABCs and Becca (formerly) from Pivot Book Reviews, namely. I also got to catch up with blogger friends like Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Hannah from the Irish Banana Review, and publicist super star KP Simmon from Ink Slinger PR. There was all kinds of book talk – and sex in book talk – and we had a fantastic time. And cookies. And wine. I won one of Becca’s wonderful tote bags and returned to the hotel room with a swag bag full of awesome.

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So freaking accurate. And cute.
Why take a picture of a stack of books when you can take a book chevron? This is Tuesday night’s swag bag haul.

After a lot of in suite book talk and very little sleep – which would become the theme for the week – we ate breakfast at the hotel and headed to the Javits pretty early on Wednesday to grab our badges. The show didn’t open until 1:00, but we decided to stay there, pull up a patch of floor and get into the line. What happened next was HOURS of sitting and talking and making schedules and, really, just having a good low key time while we waited to get the show officially on the road.

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So official … and somewhat organized

I only spent a couple hours in the tradeshow on Wednesday. As you can see from my schedule/wishlist above, there wasn’t a whole lot I was overly interested in and I actually ended up cutting my list down even further when I realized I could get some of the books another day. Honestly I really wasn’t feeling it. My big win on Wednesday was the signed copy of Sara Benincasa’s DC Trip, which I was first in line for. I had to have that book if for no reason other than I have every intention of taking a photo of myself reading it on the national mall in DC. My weird moment of the day came when I decided to get Lee Greenwood’s picture book signed for shits & giggles and I inadvertently offended him. My grandparents were huge fans of his and I have fond memories of listening to Proud to Be an American with them. That’s the main reason I got it signed. But, when I told him my name, he said “Oh, that’s my wife’s name, too. Did you know that?” I, of course, said no. He responded “Well, most of my fans do. She’s pretty famous herself.” Oops. I was uncomfortable and mumbled something about my grandparents being fans and it was nice to meet him and I went on about my way. Yep. That happened.

After freshening up at the hotel, it was time to head to my first ever publisher party – the Harlequin High Tea! Of course, I was thrilled to be invited and have a chance to meet with the authors, publicists and other bloggers – but I was just as excited about getting to go into the Woolworth Building. I’ve admired it from afar nearly every time I was in NYC, but I’d never been inside.

After a terrifying ride downtown in rush hour traffic, we made it… and in one piece, surprisingly.

Things are looking up at the Woolworth Building

Sadly, photos were not permitted in the lobby. It was gorgeous though. You’re just gonna have to take my word for it.

The Harlequin team was so welcoming! The rooms they had setup for the tea were so cute and everyone was really friendly. Several authors were there and they made their rounds and chatted us up. So did the publicists. There was a lot of wonderful romance book talk that night and, while I’ve not yet read a book from any of these ladies (I KNOW), I’ll be doing it soon because we got an amazing swag bag full of so many books.

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Authors Kristan Higgins, Karma Brown, Marie Force, RaeAnne Thayne and Jodi Thomas talk about their books
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Look how cute the table was!
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I’m still kicking myself for not grabbing one of these…
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It’s a little teapot, short and stout…

Roommate Kelly (from Belle of the Literati) and I took an Uber back to the hotel – and might have stopped for some good ol’ McDonalds along the way. We all spent the rest of the night chatting in the hotel room and gearing up for the first full day of BEA… Thursday. But, I’ll talk about that later. Until then, here’s a shot featuring all my books from Wednesday’s festivities…

Mass market paperbacks from the Harlequin Tea swag bags
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Trade paperbacks from the BEA floor and the Harlequin Tea swag bags

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of my BEA wrap up! Look for more later this week. 🙂 I originally planned to make this one post, but it would’ve been so long no one would’ve read it.

A little later in the week, I’ll also be sharing the BEA wealth with an ARC giveaway… stay tuned!

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