Heartbeat Weekly (70): YALLfest 2015 & Giveaway

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 18, 2015 | 4 Comments



Books I got this week

yallfest 2015 haul

new book totes bookish button pin collection


From YALLfest:

Signed books:

Most of these I already had. I only had to buy 4 books for the event!

Free stuff I scored:

  • Front Lines by Michael Grant (won)
  • Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan (won)
  • EpicReads *book shimmy* tote bag
  • First in Line “I read ____ before you did” tote bag
  • “I read Illuminae before you did” button
  • Endgame water bottle
  • Legacy of Kings journal
  • Rogue necklace, Cobalt’s color :)
  • Author buttons (Julie, Alexandra, Mindy) + Team Dragon button
  • Mortal Instruments tattoos
  • Various swag/bookmarks

I also bought some YALLfest buttons!

From the Jay Kristoff signing (all signed):

  • Illuminae (signed by Amie Kaufman as well)
  • Stormdancer, Kinslayer, and Endsinger US versions
  • Stormdancer and Kinslayer UK versions
  • Stormdancer Polish version

I want to send a HUGE thank you to Inky (Hannah @ Book Haven) for being awesome enough to get all these signed for me! If she hadn’t done so at the Cali signing, I would have had to drive aaaaaall the way to New Jersey to meet Jay, then drive through the night to get down to YALLfest the next day. Whew!

For review (not pictured):

Weekly Recap

Posts on the blog:

What I’ve been up to this week:

Oh my goodness, I have had an insane week. And TERRIBLE luck.

I traded shifts because of the South Carolina trip, so I worked 7-7 Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and was planning to leave at 4:30 am on Friday morning. That left me ONE day to do everything I had to do before my trip. On Tuesday I went early to go get my oil changed, but they didn’t have room for me. The wait was 90 minutes just to get in (then another 20 to do the oil change), so I made an appointment for 2, even though I knew it was pushing it because I had a hair appointment at 3:30. I went down to the Cinci area to the Hamilton County Humane Society to look at kittens because they were having a $10 special. I had seen a white and orange kitty on their website named Goblin that was cute, but I was really looking for a white or gray kitty. I did look at a couple of white kittens, but they didn’t seem to want anything to do with me. When I took Goblin out, I fell in love and decided to take him home! I renamed him Orion because he looks exactly like the kitty in Men in Black (plus I like the name a lot). I paid $10 for him and that included EVERYTHING – spay/neuter, ALL shots, microchip, flea & worm treatment, and even a little bag of kitten food. I’m very happy to add him to my furry family! The adult cats hated him at first but they’re getting used to him now :)

When I got to Midas for my oil change, they told me that a ball bearing or something was loose on my right front tire and he quoted me at $589 to fix it. My first reaction was Umm, hell no… but knowing I was about to drive hundreds of miles, I decided to get it fixed. I couldn’t get into my usual mechanic in time, so I ended up paying an arm and a leg for the damn thing. I had to leave it and find a ride to my hair appointment, though, which was a nightmare. Then, when I picked it up at 6:30, the steering was jacked! I was SO pissed. I had just spent almost $700 to fix it (they lied about the $589 quote, it was $678), and it wasn’t actually fixed. I called back and the guy was like, “Oh it probably needs an alignment.” Okay, so why didn’t you do it when it was there?! I told him I wanted it fixed and that I shouldn’t have to pay for it and thankfully they agreed to do it for free. They even came and got my car because there was no way for me to get it there with me working all day until it was time to leave. THEN, when they dropped it off, the guy was like, “There’s something wrong with your steering wheel, it’s catching really bad.” Oh, so you want MORE money? Um, no. Screw off dude. I feel like maybe they were trying to take advantage of me because I’m a female and clearly know nothing about cars. Sigh.

On top of all that, I pre-ordered a copy of Winter for YALLfest. It was GUARANTEED delivery on the release date, which was Tuesday. Thursday comes, and still no book. (No bookS, because Inky sent me a copy to get signed for her and hers didn’t make it either!). I contacted Amazon, and it turns out it was “damaged” in shipment and they sent a replacement without bothering to contact me and tell me what was going on. The replacement wasn’t scheduled to arrive until Saturday! I was so ticked. I told them I didn’t want a replacement, because even though shit happens sometimes, if I had known it wouldn’t make it in time I wouldn’t have ordered it. I could have bought it somewhere else. Thankfully they gave me a refund and let me keep the book!

Then, Thursday, the YALLfest page announced that Rick Yancey (one of my top four authors) cancelled due to sickness.

(The bad luck continues on the trip…)

YALLfest 2015



My boyfriend and I left right around 4:40. Just inside of the North Carolina state line, I blew a freaking tire. I think I might have ran over something but I’m not sure. I just heard a giant thump and then the tell-tale sound of a flat flapping around. And of course, it was on the WORST possible stretch it could have been on the entire trip – I-40. 40 is a extremely curvy (like curve left, immediately curve right, immediately curve back left, repeat for miles and miles). There’s also practically NOTHING on the highway because it’s in BFE, so there’s sometimes 10+ miles in between exits. My wonderful boyfriend changed the tire for me (not that I don’t know how, but I still hate doing it) fairly easily. I searched on my phone for places to buy a new tire because all I had was a donut. The closest town was 28 miles away! There was a Walmart that I set as the destination, assuming they’d have a tire center. My freaking phone gave me the wrong directions, so it sent me to the next exit (8 miles away) and had me turn around. I thought it was wrong, but I turned around anyway. Had to go back the 8 miles to the last exit and turn around yet again. This is also with a max speed of 45 mph on the donut, on the freaking interstate, with nothing over 3 axles allowed in the left lane. I was going so slow I had to stay in the right lane, so I had semi trucks barreling down on me because they legally couldn’t pass me. Once I got over because there was a long line of semis, and almost got in a wreck because the cars were going super fast in the left lane and of course were pissed about me blocking it. It was AWFUL.

It took us an hour to get to the Walmart, and I was way beyond stressed. As it turns out, Walmart didn’t even have a damn tire center, so we had to find somewhere else – thankfully that was close by. I had to drop $135 for a new tire and installation (thank goodness for credit cards!), and at that point I knew I wasn’t going to make it for the YALLcrawl at 3 pm. (We blew the tire at 10:30. It was after 1 by the time we finally got the new tire on.) By the time we got to the hotel it was 6:30! It took us FOURTEEN HOURS to get down there. It’s supposed to be a 10 hour trip! Aaron kept saying that we HAD to have something good happen because that week had been going so badly!

I was kinda disappointed that I didn’t make it to the YALLcrawl, because I didn’t go to it the previous two years either, but thankfully there was no one I was seriously dying to see since Rick Yancey cancelled.


It was a little after 9 by the time we got parked and made it to King Street. I went straight to the book booth to buy Winter, and – surprise, surprise – they were sold out. *sigh* I kind of saw it coming, though. I didn’t have any authors until 11, so I stood in line at the EpicReads table to get a tote bag and perused the YALLfest merch table, then went back to the EpicReads table for their swag giveaway.

10 am

We got into the Marissa Meyer line an hour early, and it was still pretty darn long. I started a conversation about bookish things with a couple of girls in front of me while Aaron went to go get coffee!

11 am

They started taking people for Marissa Meyer. Apparently the line had been wrapped around somewhere we didn’t see, so it was even longer than we thought it was. We didn’t start moving until 11:30.

12 pm

I finally got up to the table to see Marissa! She was very nice, of course. At 12:30 I went over to Julie Kagawa’s line, since it wasn’t very long. My plan had been to get into Marissa’s line early, make it over to the Train Museum for Marie Lu and Sabaa Tahir by 12:30, and come back to catch the tail end of Julie’s line. I figured Sabaa and Marie’s lines would be long so I would have some time. Julie’s line was moving very slow – probably because she’s the most personable author ever and was talking to everyone! It was awesome to see her again, too! (Um, that was my fifth time. XD)

As I was waiting for the Julie line, I noticed that Margaret Stohl’s line was SUPER short. She was sitting right next to Julie, too. But sadly I had left my books for her in the car, because I was sure I wouldn’t have time to go see her. Argh!!

1 pm

I finally made it over to the Train Museum. Marie’s line was still going strong, but I couldn’t find one for Sabaa. I asked a volunteer and she went to check. When she came back out, she said “You’re in luck!” and had Sabaa in tow as she was walking out to leave. She signed my book real quick (she was super nice, too!) and I hopped in line for Alexandra Bracken because it had already started even though her signing wasn’t until 3 pm! I wanted desperately to get in her line as early as possible because I’d seen on her Twitter that they were giving ARCs of Passenger to the first 50 people in her line. Sadly I was past the 50 person point and I didn’t get one. I also ended up missing Marie Lu.

At 1:30 I left the line while Aaron held my spot so I could go over to wait for Mindy McGinnis. I stopped by the Harlequin tent – I got a Iron Warrior poster, and Julie was there so I was able to get it signed! I also stopped over at the First in Line tent to get a tote bag and button. Mindy’s line wasn’t bad at all! It only took about 20 minutes to get to her. I was so angry with myself though, because I completely forgot to get the Madness So Discreet mini poster signed. Sad face!

2 pm

After seeing Mindy, I went back to Alexandra’s line. The girl behind me had an ARC of Sword & Verse, and when I asked her where she got it from she told me they were doing the spin & win at the EpicReads table. Aaron was like, “Just go, I’ll hold your place.” (Isn’t he awesome?!) So I sprinted around the block to the table and waited in line. There were quite a few ARCs on the wheel I hadn’t even heard of because they were Contemporary and I don’t really read that. There were two spaces for “Double Winner” and one or two for “Your Pick.” When I spun the wheel, I landed on Double Winner! I was so excited! I picked Sword and Verse and Front Lines. I can’t believe I actually landed on that, considering the terrible luck I seem to have lately! I sprinted back to the line to do some more waiting.

3 pm

They finally started taking people for Bracken. They only took 10 at a time, so the line seemed to move extremely slow! By the time I finally got my books signed it was 4 pm! We had been in that line for three hours!!

4 pm

After seeing Alexandra Bracken I jumped over to Mari Mancusi. She was in the Train Museum too and didn’t have a line, so it didn’t take very long at all! After that I was kind of done, but wanted to go check out the YALLfest merch booth. We decided to drop off my heavy suitcase of books first and then come back. On our way to the booth I passed Marie Lu on the street (coincidentally in the same place I passed her on the street last year) and was able to get my book signed!

I wasn’t impressed with the clothing they had left at the merch booth, so I just bought some pins. I did like the pajama pants a lot, but wasn’t willing to spend $40 on them. They had some signed books, and thankfully I was able to get a copy of Walk on Earth a Stranger that was signed, since I missed Rae Carson on Friday!

After that we went to Cici’s pizza to eat. They have a pizza buffet – it was amazing! Their pizza was really good and I ate way too much, haha.


I feel like this year went way better than last year did (aside from the car problems)! Last year I only saw 5 authors and missed one of my top authors. This year I saw everyone I really wanted to see (if you don’t count Rick Yancey cancelling), and saw 7 authors! It went very smoothly, and most of the authors I wanted to see were thankfully in the same place. Actually, the only places we went were the Courtyard, then the Train Museum. There was no frantic running back and forth, and it really helped minimize stress!

There was also a lot more neat stuff and goodies this year! I was really thrilled with all of the tents and booths that had free swag. Those weren’t there the past couple of years. I really hope they start doing more of that in the future!

Authors I got to see this year:

  • Marissa Meyer (second time seeing her)
  • Julie Kagawa (fifth time)
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • Mindy McGinnis (second time)
  • Alexandra Bracken
  • Mari Mancusi
  • Marie Lu (fourth time)

Authors I missed that I kinda wanted to see:

  • Gayle Forman (third year missing her)
  • Alex London (again, for the third time)
  • Brendan Reichs
  • Margaret Stohl

None of these were major for me. It wasn’t even so much that I wanted to meet the author, but just that I had the book and wanted it signed lol!


Up for grabs is an EpicReads *book shimmy* tote, a signed Talon bookplate, a Julie Kagawa button, A Madness So Discreet bookmark, and a YALLfest 2015 bookmark. US only, I’m sorry =/

YALLfest giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve also got a Twitter giveaway going for a hardcover (unsigned) of Walk on Earth a Stranger since I had the extra copy!

What’s in your mailbox, loverlies? Link me up!

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Features, Giveaways | Tags: , ,

Subscribe to Novel Heartbeat to get more posts like this!

4 responses to “Heartbeat Weekly (70): YALLfest 2015 & Giveaway

  1. Look at all those goodies! I love the buttons and the tote bag :D Plus, signed books are the best <3

    You had a lot of issues though. How annoying, but I'm happy it all ended up fine. Goblin, what a fantastic cat name, haha. It's a shame that Rick Yancey was sick, but at least you get to see 7 other fantastic authors. I would love to see Mindy McGinnis and Marissa Meyer!

  2. Stephanie H.

    I’m about to meet some friends for dinner before we head to the Marissa Meyer signing tonight! I also love the “I read…before you did” bag!

  3. Wow, what a terrible time you had getting to the convention. But you made it and it sounds like an insanely fun, very busy time once you got there. I wish there were more book events in my area (although a 14 hour drive is crazy!)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.