BookCon: Survival Guide

So, as many of you probably already know, I’m going to BookCon tomorrow!!!!!!

Since this is my first time attending – and because I am very Type A – I have been obsessively scouring the web for information on what exactly I should expect. The amount of information out there is overwhelming. So I thought I would compile it here for both your benefit and mine.

When I began my research, the very first place I consulted was the BookCon Website itself, which contained a very helpful overview of the process.  Using this as my base, I have added and modified until I have assembled the final product that I will now present to you, in a very logical and organized fashion.

Step 1: Registration

Activating Your Badge

BookCon actually has a couple of registration process that you may have to go through. the first and only required one is Activating Your Badge. BookCon has a through description of this process and why it is necessary here.

Autographing Area

This is a process that is new to this year. Basically some of the more popular authors have signings in the Autographing Area. To be able to get into these signings you had to order tickets online from the Autographing Ticket page on the BookCon website. This is closed now, but don’t worry. All extra tickets are kept at the Registration Desk on Level 2 of the Javits Center, so if you’re browsing the website and see an author with a signing in the A.A you still have a chance at getting your book signed.

Step 2: Planning and Using Your Resources

As I said before, I am a very Type A person, so this is something I always do. But even if you aren’t an organizer you should at least glance over the following lists and places so you have a dim idea of the things that are happening and the events you don’t want to miss.

The BookCon Website

As you can probably tell from the links scattered throughout this article – I find this site pure gold. It isn’t the best site I’ve ever navigated, but it has information, and a lot of it.

The BookCon App

Available on the Android and Apple Appstores, this app not only has a list of all the events, panels, and exhibitors, but also have a devout community of readers, many of whom have gone to BookCon before and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Social Media

This is a BIG one. Not only should you look at this the day before, but also the day of as many publishers post information about exclusive swag or ARC drops only in these places. Some publishers also have secret pass codes posted as well. But never fear! Rather than having to wade through hundreds and hundreds of tweets, the awesome Chi-Chi Millaway has done it for us and made a ginormous spreadsheet! See it here.

Step 3: Packing

Here is a simple list of the things you should bring with you to BookCon

  • Badge
  • Autographing Area Tickets
  • Rubber Bands
    • To roll up any posters you might get and lessen the risk of folds!
  • Ziplocs
    • To protect your ARCs/Galleys/Swag
  • Battery Pack
    • Lines are going to be long and outlets far away. If you don’t want your phone to die bring a battery pack. Of course, even if your phone does die, you’ll be surrounded by many many fellow book lovers, so you’ll never get bored.
  • Charger
  • Money
    • Some booths only accept cash, others only credit, so bring both!
  • Snacks/Lunch
    • The Javits Center allows outside food to be brought inside, so I would suggest you do so, especially because the food there is known to be mediocre and overpriced
  • Luggage
    • You can’t bring wheeled bags onto the Showroom floor, but you can check them into the coat check! This way, when you have tons of books you need to unload, simply go to your luggage and do so!

I think that’s everything. Have Fun Guys!

A Court of Wings and Ruin: Initial Impressions

Squeeee!!!!! I got my copy of ACOWAR in the mail yesterday, and I’ll tell you right now – I read that sucker in 3 hours flat. It was so good. I am still an incoherent mess 12 hours later.

First Impressions? SJM outdid herself. She really truly did. While ACOMAF will always hold a special place in my heart, ACOWAR is quite possibly on that pedestal with it. I’m not sure yet, because I need to reread, absord, and just come to terms with just how good that book really was.

But. The feels. 

Ahem. I will be posting a full review later, probably not this week or the next, because they’re AP Exam Weeks, but definitely soon after that. I will try to pop in and out a little during these weeks, but I’ll be a sleep deprived incoherent mess. 🙂

ACOWAR Countdown: 6 Days Left

Only 6 more days left. That’s it. I can’t wait before I finally have the book in my hands, and can inhale that smell unique to a great books, feel the weight of it in my palm . . .
Sorry got lost there for a second. But. I have excellent news for you!

 Sarah J. Maas finally released her ACOWAR excerpt! It’s over here. Go check it out now!

7 Days Until A Court of Wings and Ruin

So. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I’m a HUGE Sarah J. Maas fan. She, for those unfortunate souls who have not been introduced to her work, is a goddess who is … I can’t think of a single adjective that will do adequate justice to the beauty that is her.

Let me try to describe her.

Most authors have a weak point, world building, character development, the story arcs, something. Sarah J. Maas doesn’t have this issue. Everything she writes is just about perfect. That isn’t to say that she doesn’t make mistakes, she does, but the pure awesomeness of the rest of her work outweighs the small, tiny really, blunders she makes.

This is seen nowhere better than in her plot twists. The littlest of things the smallest of details, they change ENOURMOUS things. I swear, she could have one of her characters dye her hair and have it be a secret message, a trap, and a disguise all while you think it’s just for vanity. And the reveal will come at the moment you least expect it and leave you just gaping

All of this is just my opinion of course, but, I dare you to read her works and not feel the way I do, or at least something close.

To prepare for the third book in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorn and Roses series, j will be rereading the first two books and posting my reviews here. These reviews, unlike what I normally post, will be full of spoilers, and theories for ACOWAR.

Let the reading begin!

Release Day Spotlight: Darkstorm

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been neglecting you for a while. 😦 I promise I’ll try to do better in the future.

I’m here today to tell you about a new masterpiece being released today. Introducing …


Cover.jpgFaced with an imminent cataclysm that will destroy the magical heritage of their people, a conspiracy of darkmages resolves to open the gateway to Hell. The only mages who stand a chance of opposing them are Sephana Clemley and her acolyte, Merris Bryar, along with their protectors, Braden and Quin Reis: two brothers with a turbulent past and a caustic relationship.

Will Braden and Quin be able to protect Sephana and Merris long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they fall victim to manipulation and become darkmages themselves?


Grab a copy from Amazon today!

Author Bio:

M.L. Spencer grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She was also awarded 1st Place Prose in in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration.

Ms. Spencer lives in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by night she sweats over a beaten-up keyboard. She is now in the process of expanding the Rhenwars Saga into a trilogy.

Visit her at:






This blog tour was hosted by:UFB Banner

Release Day Spotlight

Hey Guys! Remember that review I did awhile back for Chameleon Assassin? Well the second book has just been published!

Introducing … Chameleon Uncovered! Now in stores!

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The dark sequel to the best-selling Chameleon Assassin.

Libby has a chance to build a legitimate reputation when she’s hired by one of the world’s most prestigious museums to bolster their security. The gig is in Chicago, where her heartthrob lives, so she hopes for a little romance.

She’s on a first-name basis with larceny, mayhem, and death, but Libby’s not used to being on the receiving end. Chicago is far darker and more dangerous than her native Toronto. Amidst terrorist bombings, stolen treasure, and murder, a mutant prophet calls for revolution. Away from her family and friends, Libby has nowhere to turn as enemies assault her from all sides.

Their mistake. Libby is a dangerous enemy.


Author Bio:

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

As to my other interests, I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff.


eStories: A Review

Some time ago, I was contacted by to do a review of their system. For those of you who might not recognize the name, eStories is the non-Amazon version of Audible. I was given a book credit and one month free trial in exchange for an honest and open review about my experience. Here is what I have seen.

The Selection

When I first logged on, I did so armed with a list of books to try and find. I did not really expect to find that many of them, as let’s face it. Most book sites that are not the big three (Amazon, Google, and Barnes and Noble) don’t really tend to have that large a collection.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I found that most of the big names on my list were not only on the site, but in fact had a decent sized collection of their works available. A little research, and information from the marketing manager at eStories, revealed that this is because TriPlay (the company that runs eStories) has landed contracts with many of the big publishing houses, and has in fact over 80,000 bestselling titles and new releases.

The Experience

I have to be honest. While I used to be obsessed with audio books when I was younger, as I have gotten older and busier I have slowly turned away from them. This was a wonderful opportunity to turn back to the joy of hearing someone else’s interpretations of the characters. Going to the technical side of things, I found both the site and the app (I have an Android) easy and intuitive to navigate. Not only is it easy to find and download books, but one account can connect to up to 10 devices, making one subscription easy to use for the whole family 🙂 Not only that, but device brand is not a problem. According to the marketing manager who  contacted me this service “works with ALL devices from ALL brands” and even offers a “cloud service to upload your existing collection to eStories” for easy access.

The Cost

At $11.95 a month, this service is the most affordable out there. In addition, for a limited time only, subscribers get their first audio book for free. Adding in the knowledge that over 80% of the audiobooks are DRM free – meaning you are free to do with them as you will – and this service is a very good bargain.

Get your free audiobooks trial here


*As stated before, I recieved a free 30 day trial and audiobook credit in exchange for my review. All views expressed are unbiased and my own.*

Added Focus For Reviews

Hi everyone.

As you may know, I have generally focused on reviewing Urban Fantasy, SciFi and YA Fiction on this blog. As the months have gone by, I have realized that I have another genre that I enjoy just as much if not more than these three. So I have made a decision. Along with those genres I review currently, I am adding romance to my repertoire.

Expect to see some new reviews soon!


Blog Tour and Author Guest Post!!!

Hi y’all!


I have some exciting news for everyone! I am one stop on the Stack a Deck Virtual Blog Tour, and as a part of this stop Bestselling Author Sue Duff is here to write a guest post on how she began writing! Let’s all welcome Sue.

Sue Duff

I stumbled into writing. Well, more like tripped, if that’s even possible with skis that don’t eject because they’re set for an experience skier. Only a newbie skier would be stupid enough to slowly ski backwards down an icy run, watching as your son navigates the ice cube hill you just finished. Stupid me, I was worried about him and didn’t see the mogul that reached up and grabbed my rear ski tip, sending me on a tumbleweed journey down the slope. It ended with my son standing over my prone body, then had the audacity to say, “Well that was embarrassing.”

The inevitable surgery two months later laid me up for the entire summer. The beforementioned son, however, eventually discovered that the handicapped car sticker was good for something. A small price to pay for waiting on mom the first couple of weeks. I was used to being active, independent and resourceful. I had to put that aside, along with my self-esteem, and scoot down stairs on my rear and traverse my house while hopping from one stable surface to another.

I turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. It also helped to ignore the whiny teenager who wasn’t old enough to drive himself anywhere and had convinced himself that mom had chosen to make him a prisoner in his own home. Like that would have been my first choice. EVER!

The novel that emerged from that summer was a welcomed respite from my frustration, lack of control and the inevitable self-pity. I loved the newfound control over a world of my making, but especially characters that I loved and loved to hate. Who needs therapy when you can hang out with people of your own creation, have them fall in and, if you feel like it, out of love. Instead of killing my teenager, I killed others and avoided incarceration in the world that frowns upon such atrocities. I found out that I not only enjoyed writing, but that I was good at it. Racing thoughts transformed my fingers into a typing machine and I’d stay up till the middle of the night, having forgotten to feed the dog, eat more than a single meal, or provide sustenance for the boy who peeked around the corner, no doubt wondering where his mother had gone, and who this stranger was that took her place.

I LOVE writing! On my journey to a successful series with four novels and two anthologies, to-date, lining my shelf, more than anything, I cherish the writers I’ve met along the way. They are incredible people with more talent than I, and I want to be them someday. All it took was a stupid accident. May you be so lucky 🙂

If you want to follow the rest of the tour, click the banner below to see the other stops.