Saturday, May 9, 2015

Return to Texas :) My adventures at TLA!

So as I mentioned before, a few weeks ago, I flew out to the big ol' state of Texas and attended TLA.  My bestie and sometimes guest reviewer, Amy, recently moved to Missouri so not only was it a trip to go hang with some awesome library and book people, it was the first time we got to visit each other in 10 months. She hadn't been back to CA and I hadn't yet made it to MO, so we figured it was the perfect opportunity to meet in the middle!
There we are! :D

I've been to lots of conferences before, but I have to say, I think this little jaunt out to Texas might have been my favorite so far! This is a great conference! With it being a smaller conference, everything is just much more chill, more time to chat and visit and look around.  I got to meet up with the lovely Lena from Addicted2Novels again, and I met Jasmine and Marissa from Beneath the Moon and Stars!  Everyone we chatted with was super friendly, lots of people curious about why we came all the way from CA & MO (we were probably two of the very few people from outside of the state) and the signings...OH the signings, people! I couldn't have been more impressed with the amount of amazing authors they had attend! And ALA organizers, TAKE NOTE!! TLA does an amazing job at running the signings. They are in their own separate area---so no aisles and booths getting blocked by lines which is a common problem at ALA. It made for a wonderful relaxed experience for everyone.  Here are just a fraction of the incredible authors!
From top to bottom:
Rachel Caine, Sarah J. Maas, the ever so sparkly Aletha Kontis, Becky Wallace, Marie Rutkoski, Renee Ahdieh, April Lindner, Micol Ostow, Mary Pearson, Gena Showalter, Andrea Cremer, and Martha Brockenbrough.  Somehow I forgot the pic of Sherry Thomas. She was such a sweetheart---told me my beauty mark (above my lip) is in a very lucky place according to her culture! :D

Yes, all very organized, though at one signing, Martha Brockenbrough's, the books got lost. Noooo!  But Martha handled it like a pro, taking the time while staff searched high and low for her books, to visit with everyone in line and thank them all for lining up for her debut, A Game of Love and Death! She even jumped up on a chair and did an impromtu reading for us!
Isn't that awesome!! If you're wondering who the guy is in front of her: the chair was quite wobbly, so Amy's hubby stepped up to hold it steady for her. And she had the cutest dress, tights, and cat-eye glasses!

Books were not the only fun thing to see at the conference! There was a guy shooting a video, a crazy clown guy up on stilts,...oh and guys, I got to hold the tiniest baby monkey I've every seen!!
You can see my fingers at the bottom of this pic so you can tell how super-itty-bitty he was! Cutest thing ever! Looked like something out of Jim Henson or Dr Suess!  And this guy was roaming around too:

Outside of the conference, we had a great time seeing Texas again.  Texas holds a special place for hubs and I--we lived there quite a few years ago. It's where our lives started out together since we were stationed there shortly after getting married! It's where our first two kids were born, too! So we went back to see our first apartment and hit a few of our old hang-outs for a nice little walk down memory lane ♥

We also hit a few great places to eat in Austin and San Antonio.  Lena  recommended the local favorite, Torchie's Tacos, and they were absolutely the best!!
 Then we ate at Saltgrass in San Antonio and had the best fried zucchini EVER.
It poured down buckets of rain while we were in San Antonio, and we ate outside on the covered patio of the riverwalk while it thundered loudly..but that was wonderful, the wild thunder and lightning storms is one of the things I missed most about Texas. :)

Well of course, I can't end without showing you some of the lovely treasures I came home with from the conference, right? There were a few more, but this pic is of my favorite finds!

Beastly is mine!!
I also love how super excited the publicist at Algonquin was for this book LOL. He made me promise to let him know what I thought.  So many that I am just over the moon excited for, guys. And some really amazing looking MG books that I'd never heard of, like Out of Abaton, Anyone but Ivy Pocket, and Crown of Three.  So. Much. Bookswooning!!

Well that was my adventure at TLA!!  Thanks for reading! :D


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