Heartbeat Weekly (101): November haul & YALLfest 2017

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 26, 2017 | 2 Comments



What I got this month




Rep stuff

  • Flick the Wick candles: Niffler, Haunted Mansion, and Hello, Autumn!

My code is JESSI10!



Thanks so much for the trade, Ruthie!! <3

YALLfest Haul

Signed books

Most of these I already had, but I did have to buy about 8 of them for the festival. These are all the books I brought with me!

Freebies from the festival

YALLfest 2017 recap


After several years of wanting to go down for Friday’s events, we FINALLY did it! I decided to splurge on a mini vacation and got a nice suite hotel room. The drive down was thankfully uneventful, unlike last year (got pulled over for speeding) and the year before that (blew a tire on I-40, the WORST stretch of highway possible). We listened to The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, and Aaron actually enjoyed it!

The hotel room at Hawthorne Suites was GLORIOUS. Honestly the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in! Although, the parking was super limited and we had to walk quite a distance (and upstairs) to get to the room. The set up was awful -___-


We slept in until 11:30 or 12, then I got up and got ready for the day’s events!

2 pm

We got there about 20-30 minutes early to get in line for Laini Taylor. I got SUPER lucky because we got there later than I’d hoped and there was already a pretty large line forming, but as we were heading to the end I heard my name being called, and it was Kate and Maura! I was able to get into line with them fairly close to the front!

During the wait for Laini’s line to start we got even luckier because one of the girls with Kate & Maura (I forget her name) came back to line and told us that Becky Albertalli was in Blue Bicycle Books (she wasn’t signing until 2). We ran over there – no one else knew she was there – and she signed our books for us!

Laini was so nice, of course! It was the second time I’d met her and it was just as awesome. I gave her Lull and Mesarthim candles from my shop! (Which I didn’t get a photo of *smacks forehead*) She was very gracious and told me it was humbling to see names she created on a product.

3 pm

Thanks to seeing Becky early, my plan was to hit up Angie Thomas next. But when we got there, the line was insanely long! So instead I decided to hit up Margaret Stohl and come back. Margaret complimented my hair and asked for a picture of it (like she did last year!). Then we headed back to Angie’s line to wait. We were some of the last people in line, and almost missed the cutoff (4:30). By the time we got through it was pretty close to that!

I’m so glad I finally got to go on Friday! It wasn’t all that different from Saturday – crammed and chaotic. But it made my Saturday WAY easier getting to the big hitters on Friday!

That night we had a wonderful date night – we got Moe’s (if you haven’t ever had it, TRY THEIR STACK. Steak with queso -mmmm!) for dinner and brought it back to the hotel to eat. After dinner we went to go see Thor: Ragnarok, which was SUPERB!! We loved it so much!


10 am

We didn’t get there as early as I’d hoped. The parking garage I always park in was blocked off for some reason so I had to go to one a bit farther away, so by the time we parked and got down to the area it was already 9:30. I had planned to start the day off by hitting up the Get Underlined booth near the Charleston museum for a free tote bag, but when we got there the lines for the publisher tents were INSANE! I’ve never seen them that long O__O I didn’t have time for it so I went to the big tent stand in line for Rhoda Belleza – who was super nice!!

After Rhoda we went back toward the museum and the publisher tents. Fierce Reads was hosting Tomi Adeyemi with free ARCs of Children of Blood and Bone so I went to stand in line for that. But, as it turns out, I got into the wrong line by accident, and by the time I got into the correct one I had missed the cutoff :( I was SO upset. That was the thing I wanted to get to the most the whole festival and I had missed it over a stupid mistake, I was pretty crushed! (Turns out it all worked out anyway because I got it from the publisher in the mail a week later! Yay!)

By that time it was almost 11 so I got in line for Joelle Charbonnaeu!

11 am

I got to see Joelle, then after that I jumped over to Brendan Reichs’ line, since it was right next to hers! There was no one left in his line so I didn’t even have to wait! Thank goodness, because I left freaking Night of Cake and Puppets in the car, forgetting that I wanted to see Jim Di Bartolo (the illustrator and Laini’s hubby!), so we had to make a run back to the car to get it. He was thankfully still signing! Laini’s line was long and they were signing together, but I was able to sneak in to get to just Jim (who had no line), since I had already seen Laini the previous day.

After that I managed to catch the end of the Jennifer Nielsen line since hers was so long. (Four authors in one hour is unheard of! I was beasting!)

12 pm

We went back over to the museum (again – it was back and forth aaaall day – keep in mind that the museum is like a half mile away from the big tent) to hit up the publisher booths again because there was supposed to be a giveaway at the Fierce Reads tent. Turns out it was just to sign up for it, they weren’t handing out free stuff, but I signed up for it anyway. Then I went and got in line for Sarah Beth Durst, who was sweet!

After I saw Sarah I went back down to the train museum (halfway between the Charleston museum and the big tent) to see Ryan Graudin. I’ve had her on my list for the past 3 years and always manage to miss her, so it was awesome to finally meet her!

1 pm

We FINALLY got a break! There was no one I wanted to see at 1 so we went back to the car to dump some books. After that we went ahead and came back to the courtyard (basically next to the tent) to get in line early for Stephanie Garber. On the way back I caught a giveaway and signing for an ARC of The Traitor’s Game (Jennifer Nielsen). Stephanie’s line wasn’t very long yet because we were 45 minutes early, but of course we had a long wait because we were so early. Aaron left to go find food because we were starving! (I said that next year I’m bringing a wagon with a cooler and some chairs haha)

2 pm

Stephanie’s line finally started, and we still had to wait about a half hour or so. Renee Ahdieh was right next to her, and I didn’t have any books for her to sign but I still wanted to have her sign my bag so I ran over real quick before she left and got back into line. It was amazing to meet Stephanie, she was so gracious!

After Stephanie I went back to the tent to catch Scott Reintgen – he didn’t have a line so I got to go right up! He was SO nice!! We talked a bit about Nyxia, I got Katie’s UK copy signed for her and he asked about the temporary tattoos I was wearing (from her shop Bookmark’d Tattoos) and talked about designed one for his upcoming book. AND HE SHOWED ME THE COVER TO NYXIA #2!!! Ahhhh!! Spoiler alert: It’s called Nyxia Unleashed ;) And it is GORGEOUS! I can’t wait until it goes public! (I think he said it may not have been final, though.)

I also learned that the Jason Seigel & Kirsten Miller line was actually ticketed and the tickets were gone so there was no way I was hitting up that one. Apparently Jason is an actor?! I had never heard of him before *shrugs* So I didn’t get to get Otherworld signed like I had planned.

3 pm

After seeing Scott we went back to the museum (AGAIN) and I got in line for Roshani Chokshi. I ran over to the publisher booths to get some swag while Aaron held my place in line. The Roshani line took a good half hour even though we were pretty close to the front. She was lovely!! She looked at my copy of The Star-Touched Queen and said it looked well loved (the pages are bristling with sticky tabs!) and I said that it definitely was and that I was ashamed that I hadn’t read the second book yet.

Erin Bowman was right next to her at the signing table, so I jumped in her line afterward.

4 pm

After Erin’s line we went back to the courtyard, planning to hop into Marie Rutkoski’s line. It was super long, so we went back to the museum for the Fierce Reads giveaway that I had entered (you had to be there at 4:30 or you couldn’t win if you were picked). While we were waiting I got in line at the NOVL booth for a free tote bag. I didn’t win the massive Fierce Reads giveaway, sadly – I’m so jealous of the girl that did, she got like 30 books or something crazy like that!

We finally went back to Marie’s line and it was still going. By the time we got to her table it was getting dark! Under the tent it was dark. Poor Marie, I don’t know how she could even see and it was also getting super cold. She had to be freezing! After the signing I talked to Kate and Maura one last time, and someone came by passing out goody bags with food in them. I wanted to go to the Smackdown show but Aaron didn’t, so we went back to the hotel and crashed. We made steak and mac & cheese for dinner and relaxed before the long drive back on Sunday!

In conclusion

I did AMAZING this year!! Without having as many big hitter authors on my list, I was able to get to a whopping 16 authors! That is seriously incredible for a festival that packs 8+ authors in an hour. It’s the most I’ve ever been able to do – with the exception of last year (13 authors), I usually only see 5-6 authors. Going Friday helped majorly! I’m also getting better at planning who I see. I choose carefully who to go to first based on how long I think their lines will be. I’m becoming a pro ;)

Authors I got to see this year:

  • Laini Taylor
  • Becky Albertalli
  • Margaret Stohl
  • Angie Thomas
  • Rhoda Belleza
  • Joelle Charbonneau
  • Brendan Reichs
  • Jim Di Bartolo
  • Jennifer Nielsen
  • Ryan Graudin
  • Sarah Beth Durst
  • Stephanie Garber
  • Scott Reingten
  • Roshani Chokshi
  • Erin Bowman
  • Marie Rutkoski

In addition to seeing all these wonderful authors, I also got to meet a TON of cool people! I had candle samples from my shop that I was passing out, and I also posted about being there on both my personal and shop IG accounts, so I had a lot of people approach me to say hi! It was awesome! I want to give a special thank you to everyone who approached me to say hi, especially those of you who were fans of my shop. You guys keep me going and it was so so rewarding!

What I’ve been up to

Same old, same old! I had a 5 day weekend for the holiday so I’ve been doing some major cleaning. I’ve also been trying to relax a bit. I finished Warcross yesterday, finally (loved it!) – the first book in two full months not counting the audio T.T  I really miss reading but I just don’t have the time anymore. We’re spending a full week on the beach for Christmas so I’m hoping to get some reading in then!

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

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Features | Tags: , ,

Subscribe to Novel Heartbeat to get more posts like this!

2 responses to “Heartbeat Weekly (101): November haul & YALLfest 2017

  1. How awesome! So glad you decided to splurge on yourself and enjoy that suite! YALLFEST sounds like it was a blast. I spotted a few authors I have heard of on your list, but not many. I’ve kind of pulled out of the YA world. You walked away with TONS of books!! I hope you get to start cracking open books from that stack. Happy reading!

Leave a Reply

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