Heartbeat Weekly (94): YALLfest 2016 Recap & Giveaway

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on December 27, 2016 | 4 Comments


Took me long enough to get around to a recap, eh? Only two months >.< And now I’m SUPER behind on my hauls! Here’s what I got last month, I’ll do a separate haul for December!




November Haul

From YALLfest:

All of these are signed!


  • From Evie’s Society6: Raven Boys pillow, 2 Raven Boys mugs, Hunger Games mug, A Darker Shade of Magic mug
  • From NerdyGrlDesigns: Pumpkin King bookmark, Six of Crows bookmark, mug & turkey bookmarks

Rep stuff:

  • From the Page candles: Newt’s Suitcase, Mrs. Weasley’s Jumpers, A Mad Tea Party wax tarts (not pictured because I couldn’t wait to take a photo to put them in my wax melter!)
  • From Serengetee: Anchor print laptop sleeve & galaxy pillow, (not pictured:) lumberjack beaver sweatshirt, long-sleeved plaid pocket tee, palm tree pocket baseball tee, & travel more ball cap
  • November “Wonderland” themed OwlCrate (see below)


November OwlCrate:

YALLfest 2016 Recap


Originally, I had planned to drive down Thursday and stay the night so I could go to Friday’s signings. After the schedule was released, however, I decided against it because there wasn’t really anyone I wanted to see on Friday and it wasn’t worth paying an extra night of hotel. One of these years I’ll make it to the Friday events!

We left Ohio around 8:30 or 9 am. It was a little later start than I’d hoped, but I wasn’t really in much of a hurry since we had all day to lose. The trip down was WAY better than last year, thank goodness! (Last year we blew a tire in NC on I-40, and IT WAS HORRIBLE.) I did get pulled over though, heh. I had my cruise set at about 78 (in a 70), and I went to pass this one guy and SURPRISE! it was an unmarked state cop, I just about had a heart attack when he flipped his sirens on. He gave me a good lecture about how I needed to slow down, and how he was running my plates through the system so EVERY cop everywhere would know who I was (insert eye roll at drama here). The first thing he said to me was, “You make a habit of passing state cops?” …well, seeing as how I didn’t realize he was a cop… heh… But surprisingly he didn’t give me a ticket, just a warning. Whew! (My dad poked fun at me for getting pulled over and then he got pulled over the following day. MWAHAHAHAA KARMA.)

Had a bit of an issue with the hotel, too…I had pre-reserved my room via hotels.com to save some stress. They called on our way down and said my card was declined, demanding payment right then and there or they would cancel my room. 1) I wasn’t comfortable giving my card # over the phone, and 2) I didn’t even want to pay with card, I wanted to pay cash. She said she couldn’t reserve it unless I paid, so I had to cancel. We had a hell of a time finding another hotel when we got down there! Thankfully it worked out, though.


We arrived at the festival around 9 or so and made our way down after parking!

10 AM

I picked Alex London’s line first, getting in line at 9:30 hoping to get in and out early enough to run to see Rachel Cohn. I ran into the lovely Maura (@armywife2310) while I was waiting, as she was standing in the line next to us! 10:20 rolled around, and Alex still hadn’t showed up yet, so I was forced to abandon his line. Almost all of my authors were smashed into a 3 hour span, so I knew I didn’t have any time to waste. I was able to run over to Rachel’s line and get my books signed without a wait.

11 am

After Rachel we went to Sabaa Tahir’s line early because Maura mentioned that she was only taking about 100 people. I didn’t want to miss out! I met a couple of awesome girls while waiting – Melissa & Elizabeth. We were able to pass the time in conversation! 12 started creeping closer and closer and I had to leave Aaron behind to hold my spot so I could go to Veronica Rossi real quick and come back. Veronica’s line was pretty short, though! I stopped by a couple of the swag booths on the way and got lucky enough to catch Sharon Cameron at a little impromptu signing, yay! That cut some time out of our day since she wasn’t signing until much later. I went back to Sabaa’s line to wait some more. Melissa had to abandon the line since it was taking so long, so I took her book to get it signed for her. Kate (@0cheekykate0, who I met at KMM’s Burned launch last year) & Maura were going to be in the Jay Kristoff/Amie Kaufman line, so I was planning to head there after Sabaa. Sadly, it took longer than I thought it would. I was starting to sweat by the time I finally got through!

12 pm

I ran over a bit late to the Kristoff line to try and find Kate and Maura. They were the next people up at the signing table, so I didn’t feel comfortable jumping the line. I’m really sad I missed them! The setback in Sabaa’s line really screwed me up! We had to go to the back of the line, which was pretty long. I knew we’d be waiting a while, so I ran down to see S.J. Kincaid. I got ALL the way down there and realized I’d left one of her freakin’ books behind (Aaron had my suitcase in the Kristoff line), and had to jog aaaaall the way back and forth again! I was about to die by the time I came back, haha. But the line took FOREVER!

When we finally got to the signing table, I said something to Jay about meeting them before & that I gave him the book clock (which he said was in his office, squee!) and he was like “Oh yeah, I remember you. You were wearing an Avenged Sevenfold shirt.” INSERT FANGIRLING HERE. *FLAILING* Oh. My. GOD, you guys! I about dropped dead. But seriously, how did he even remember that?! Give me some of your memory skillz, Mr. Kristoff. It made my day that he remembered me! (In case you didn’t know, he’s one of my favorite authors!) It was so awesome to see Jay and Amie again!

1 pm

After leaving the Kristoff/Kaufman line, we headed back to the main block. I had 3 authors for the next hour. I hit up Suzanne Young first and didn’t have to wait. Suzanne was super nice! I talked a bit with her about the Program series, and we talked about how under-hyped A Need So Beautiful is and how much I need to read it. After that I headed over to Margaret Stohl with plans to hit up Renee Ahdieh afterward. When we were heading to Margaret’s line, I realized just how long Renee’s line was. I was starting to fret when someone tapped me on the shoulder…it was Melissa, who was in the very front of Renee’s line! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I gave her my books to get signed and went on to Margaret’s line. While standing in line, Alex London walked by and I was able to snag him to get my book signed, since I missed him earlier. PERFECT timing! (Basically, the stars were aligned for me bahaha) We had a decent wait in Margaret’s line – it wasn’t long, but was moving pretty slow. Margaret is a talker, she’s very personable! I found out that she’s actually the founder (or one of them?) of YALLfest! I didn’t know that. We talked for a couple of minutes, and she asked if she could take a picture of my blue hair, haha. After leaving her line I retrieved my Ahdieh books and bid adieu to Melissa (it was great to meet you, my dear!!).

2 pm

My plan for 2 was actually to hit up Leigh Bardugo, but I wanted to ditch the heavy ass suitcase first. After going back to the car, we went to go see Brendan Reichs, who didn’t have a wait at all! Then we headed back toward Leigh’s line. Kate and Maura weren’t there yet, and I didn’t feel comfortable jumping in line with Kate’s hubby who I hadn’t met (which it turns out a couple of her other friends did, should have just done it haha). After seeing how FREAKIN’ LONG Leigh’s line was, I said screw it. It was crazy! Not surprising, though. After a long crazy day of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I was ready to leave. I actually really wanted to go to the “spaaaace” panel with Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, and Veronica Roth, but didn’t want to wait for a full hour for it. Which is good, because I guess it was super packed and ran out of room. Oh, well.

In conclusion

I did SO good this year!! There were 13 authors on my list to see and I made it to every single one of them except for Leigh Bardugo. I didn’t actually like the Grisha books, and couldn’t finish SoC, so I wasn’t too hurt about it. Yes, I own them still…DON’T JUDGE ME. They’re pretty on my shelf and Leigh is a super cool person, okay? But she wasn’t a priority so I’m okay with missing her. I’ll meet her eventually!

This was the most successful year I’ve had so far! It also helped that I didn’t have many big ticket authors on my list. Most of the lines I went through were super short!

Authors I got to see this year:

  • Rachel Cohn
  • Veronica Rossi
  • Sharon Cameron
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • S.J. Kincaid
  • Jay Kristoff
  • Amie Kaufman
  • Suzanne Young
  • Alex London
  • Margaret Stohl
  • Brendan Reichs

Whoa, 11, crazy!! I saw 7 last year, only 5 in 2014, and 8 my first time in 2013. I would have liked to meet Renee Ahdieh in person, but I’m glad I didn’t have to stand in her super long line!

I had a SUPER fun time as always and I already can’t wait to go back next year! If you attended, I’d love to hear your YALLfest stories :D


Up for grabs is a hardcover of Gemina, signed by both Jay and Amie! I’ll also throw in some random swag from YALLfest as well :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jessi (Geo)

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4 responses to “Heartbeat Weekly (94): YALLfest 2016 Recap & Giveaway

  1. danielle hammelef

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! This event would be a dream come true to attend. All the authros to meet! The books and swag! I know I’d be going crazy just trying to choose between lines to wait in.

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