Kim: Well folks, another year, another BEA.
Layla: Says Kim! Another year, and BABY’S FIRST BEA. (That’s me. And it was my first BEA.)
Kim:I was so overwhelmed by my first BEA I can’t even believe I signed up for another! Layla, you were such a pro babby BEA-er. *sniff* So proud! By the way, did you know that it is actual magic when co-bloggers meet irl for the first time? You can actually wish upon a star from the magic of co-bloggers meeting. Or maybe that’s just us.
Layla: Oh, I second this. My heart grew three sizes that day.
On the floor at BEA
Layla: I can show you the world … replete with shining, shimmering, and splendid ARCs. A herd of bloggers amassed for the drop of Disney’s A Whole New World, a retelling of Aladdin in an alternate universe where Jafar finds the lamp first! The funny thing about this was that I had no idea this was happening and just showed up and then found out a galley drop was in the near future. Anyway, you can see everyone gathered at the booth, expectantly keeping their eyes on the prize. I really loved getting to meet folks while waiting in line for galley drops – while I heard stories of folks diving to get copies of Truthwitch, everyone I met was so lovely and so generous with their information.
Kim: Oh yes, I couldn’t agree more! The vast, vast majority of attendees at BEA are so sweet and courteous and polite. BEA is pretty much just one (seemingly endless) line after another and we’re all really just in it together. Let us all offer up our hands in praise to each other for the sheer fortitude that BEA requires. Make no mistake, you will be hurting at the end of any BEA day. But the burn is worrrrrrrrth it.
Kim: EpicReads always has such a lovely party and this year was no exception. The best part about these parties is always getting to chat with fellow bloggers and publishing professionals. But the EpicReads photo booth is such a highlight. As you can tell, Layla and I had a great time. OR DID WE.
Layla: We did. It’s not every day that I get to cavort with a giant rubber chicken head, after all. It was a great party! That was really my first opportunity to meet folks I’d only previously met online, which was pretty neat. Also, there was book swag aplenty + rice krispie treats, which is all I need in life. Finally, Kim continued her campaign to convince me to watch Doctor Who, and at this party, she began to rally her supporters.
Kim: The campaign is eternal. It won’t stop until you watch. *stares at you creepily*
Layla: Eleanor Herman at Harlequin Teen’s Blogger Breakfast. While this was early – 7:30 a.m.! – it was really wonderful. Not only was there food and good blogger company, but all of the authors – Adi Alsaid, Jennifer Armentrout, Eleanor Herman, and Katie McGarry – and publicists there spent five minutes apiece at each table talking about their work or what was coming up in the next few months. Here, Eleanor Herman – whose book, Legacy of Kings, looks really exciting! – demonstrates her royal heritage by holding aloft a fancy goblet and wearing a crown. (She’s apparently a descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine, which makes me more jealous than anything.)
Kim: Whaaaaaat. But I want to be a descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine! *pouts petulantly*
Layla: Look at the crowd gathered for Macmillan’s party at The Strand. Also, look at all of the rare books lining the walls. I was incredibly worried that I was going to spill something but luckily that didn’t come to pass. Kim and I perused some of the pulp fiction on display, we chatted with a bunch of bloggers, and then we took advantage of the photo opportunities.
Kim: I was also very concerned with those rare volumes! They appeared to escape unscathed however. At least from the two of us….*ominous stare*
Layla: Me, Josephine Angelini, and Kim wearing some super nifty glasses. Josephine Angelini was just so fun to talk with! I really enjoyed hearing about her upcoming sequel to Trial by Fire, Firewalker, which she says is even steamier. Sign me up! I haven’t read Trial by Fire, although I know both Kim and Wendy loved it, so I’m looking forward to joining the fan club. Also, she obviously far outranks both Kim and me in her ability to strike a pose.
Kim: She really was so fun and personable! I think bookish folk are, for the most part, usually introverted and/or shy. So ice breakers and small talk at these parties can be something of a challenge (they are for me at least!). But Josie just immediately jumped in to talk to us and was so friendly and sweet. I was already so excited to read Firewalker but now it’s multiplied! (And yes, Layla, you really do need to read it. ((AND SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE)) So. Much. Chemistry. *fans*)
Kim: Not only did Macmillan throw a great party for us, but the giveaway totes had seriously amazing swag. Here I am just being super thrilled that, not only is Leigh Bardugo signing my Six of Crows ARC, but we had a great chat about Sansa, ASOIAF, and women in fantasy in general. One must always seize upon the opportunity to talk with fellow Sansa fans when the opportunity presents itself. Don’t mind me being sort of a creeper, Leigh!
Layla: This is true. Mind you, I ran into people while waiting in line – whom I’d never met before – who recognized The Midnight Garden and remembered talking about Sansa Stark with Kim at BEA LAST year. It was *delightful.*
Kim: This makes me untoward amounts of happy.
Kim: In an alternate universe, that may or may not be known as my dreams, I had brunch with Susan Dennard and Sarah J. Maas. They are as amazing and lovely and weird and down to earth as they seem. And they, and their books, preach feminism and lady power, and they’re just basically all of the best things. Perhaps maybe one day one of us might be cut out to say a word jaaaaaeeeerrrbb.
Do note: THIS PHOTO MIGHT NOT BE REAL. IT MIGHT BE A DREAM THING. Just fyi.
Layla: It looks like a magical unicorn of a photo. I’m afraid to look at it directly.
Layla: Penguin Teen hosted a lunch for bloggers with Sarah Dessen and Carrie Ryan. This was really a blast; Sarah Dessen and Carrie Ryan fielded questions about their YA literary crushes (fellow authors or characters? characters, as it turns out) what they’d be doing if they weren’t writing, and current favs in TV, movies, and music (Sarah Dessen told a cute story about how Taylor Swift favorited one of her tweets! D’aww). It was really a pleasure to get to listen to them chat together.
Layla: Bloggers during the Q&A segment of the Dessen / Ryan lunch. Questions included things like, “Who would you kill, kiss, or marry in your books?”
Kim: Lunch with Sarah Dessen!!!! So epic. This looks like it was such fun and I’m so glad you got to attend. It looks like it was such an intimate and lovely lunch!
Layla: It was an action-packed day for both of us. After our respective lunches and after wandering the floor a little more, Kim and I joined forces again to go to the Atria party later that afternoon. We had several lovely conversations – with Tory Lowry, a publicist at Atria, and with Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, whose upcoming new adult book The Status of All Things asks what you would do if you could rewrite your life by rewriting your Facebook statuses. (Spooky, scary. In my case, there is nothing but cat videos and passive-aggressive song lyrics. Maybe I would change those?) It was fascinating to talk to them both – they’ve been lifelong besties! – and hear about how their writing process works. It was a fun group to talk to!
Layla: Me and Kim at the Bloomsbury Kids brunch! Not only did they provide us with the opportunity to be crafty and design our own tote bags (I didn’t, but I saw some really swell ones), they fed us doughnuts and let us take pictures with masks. Of course, Kim wanted to take a picture with Throne of Glass, because she is nothing if not a loyal fan.
Kim: Yaaaaaaaaaasss. Thank you, Bloomsbury, for having us and also thank you for the donuts from the Doughnut Plant which were the best donuts I have had in my life. And, OBVIOUSLY, I made us take our shelfie with Throne of Glass. Who do you think I am??
Kim: So you may have noticed, by which I mean, HOW HAVE YOU NOT, that we are big fans of food here at TMG. I, of course, had already spotted and planned out many options for us to feast and imbibe while in NYC.
Layla: We were looking at menus at least two weeks out, is what she’s saying. Kim was nothing if not dedicated and her hard work paid off – in the form of delicious pierogi. Veselka is my new favorite place in the entire universe. Kim – who graciously served as tour guide and navigator – picked it out and I still don’t have the words to describe it beyond “I ate everything” and “I would like to live in that kitchen.” You should go and eat all those pierogi though because they were heavenly.
Kim: Yes, please. Do look at this heaven. That borscht, though. The dill was so fresh the fragrance was wafting off of it. The pierogi were fried to perfection and filled with the most sumptuous cheese and potato. Give my regards to the chef and please also just, like…I would like an existence based off of skulking around Veselka for all time.
Layla: That borscht was truly a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Let me just add that the blintzes were delicious as well and I would 100% order MORE FOOD if I were to go there again. So many things I didn’t try!
Layla: My final – not like, forever-final, but for now-final – visit to Shake Shack. You all, they put CHEESE INSIDE A PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM (and then they fry that mushroom). I mean, I’m not sure about the order actually, but the finished product is delicious. After hearing about Kim’s deep and abiding love for Shack Shack for the last few months, I can safely say that I was not disappointed. Immaculate Shake Shack, your praises we sing.
Kim: Good…good. I am glad to ensnare you into the Shake Shack lair. I am so glad I was able to take you to the Mother Shack aka the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. It’s such a pretty location and really just optimal for prime Shake Shack enjoying. Soooo happy it did not disappoint!
Kim: Of course we have awesome goodies for you! Both Layla and I reserved copies just for our readers. We have not one, but two, prizes for this 2015 BEA giveaway. Two lucky winners will receive BEA giveaway packages from us! Mine will be the books you see on the right. Layla’s winners will receive a bundle of highly coveted ARCS from BEA that she has set aside, and mine include the 10 titles shown below.
Layla: It is a mystery bundle. The real mystery, though, is whether all my books will arrive through USPS today. I can tell you that Richelle Mead’s Soundless will 100% be in it, though, as I actually brought that one back in my suitcase.
All you have to do is is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us why you’re interested in the ARCs you’ve heard about from BEA.
Open to all US readers aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See entry form for complete rules. Good luck!
Giveaway copies were provided by the publishers. Photographs by Kim and Layla!
Kim: Layla, I had the best time with you. I would add saying goodbye to you on Saturday morning to my “made my heart hurt” shelf on Goodreads.
And, in general, the best part of BEA is always seeing blogger friends and meeting new blogger friends. An immense, immense thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who welcomed us and guided these newbie(ish) bloggers, as always.
Layla: It was by far the most painful part of the weekend, and that’s saying something when you consider how much walking and standing and book-carrying we did. But I’m sure this is only the beginning of our in-person hangouts, and look forward to coercing you (and Wendy, muahaha) into visits. I can’t promise Veselka, but I will feed you donuts and sing any duet from Jekyll and Hyde with you.
And, totally seconded? It was such a delight to meet everyone and you are all the nicest.