Sunday, August 21, 2016

My night at A Night of Magic

My night at A Night of Magic

August 13, 2016  Los Angeles, CA

     I’m back from my magical weekend vacation, and what a weekend it turned out to be!  I got to meet some amazing women, finally meet my best book bud (Lissa) in person, win books in a silent auction while donating money to two very worthy charities (Race to Erase MS and Reading is Fundamental), hear very exclusive readings some two upcoming new books, and to top it all off, a bagpiper!  How cool is all that? Let me break down my night for you, so that you can be both jealous, and prepared to go next time a similar opportunity pops up somewhere else.

The event took place at a fan-girls (and guys) dream shop, called Whimsic Alley. It was like all the cool little items from those monthly geek boxes got together and opened a store just for my shopping pleasure.  Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Star Wars, Sherlock, you name, they had it.  In the back of the store, there is a banquet room, but not just any banquet room, oh no, this banquet room was decorated like Hogwart’s Great Hall, complete with the starry ceiling.  I was simply amazed at the details that went into the decorations in this one room.  I tried to take pictures, but they do not do the room justice.  I borrowed some pictures from Stacey Marie Brown because hers turned out WAY better than mine.  THANK YOU!                                         

   They also had some vendors set up in each of the rooms at Whimsic Alley to sell their handmade wares.  I got these cool book boxes from Kit’s Designs by Kit on Etsy (Facebook and Twitter).  Lovely designer.  She also made the Chelsea Fine book charm bracelet that I won in the silent auction.  


Next, I got this cute little teacup candle, called the Fantasy Mystery Candle.  It had this delightfully light vanilla scent, so it didn’t interfere with my migraines, and as I burned it, I realized there were charms inside the wax.  Eight in all, with an Alice in Wonderland theme to them.  I LOVE IT, and I just purchased another one from her Etsy shop with a Harry Potter theme.  You can find them at Bewitched Bazaar on Etsy.

Then we have the FANDOM scarf.  Guys, this scarf is awesome.  When they said EVERY fandom, they meant it.  It is amazing.  I didn't get a picture of mine before the girls confiscated it, but here is one off their website. These same ladies also made the tote bags free swag came in, and was designed by S&Sink on Etsy.  You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook

    Also there were vendors from The Sorcerer's Phone, Leelo Jewelry, and Simon and Duffy (Who made a special candle just for Heather inspired by The Collector's Society called "The Catalyst" that smells like old books and tea!)

     During the talks and readings and silent auctions, we had Tress Maksimuk, the amazing bagpiper.  I've heard the bagpipes played before, but it was so cool to watch them being played up close and personal.  Tress played wonderfully and beautifully and no, I did not cry during Amazing Grace, though I really wanted to. 

     Lots of items were up for bid in the Silent Auction to benefit the charities, and I am not even sure I got all the names of those who donated.  I'm not even going to attempt to list them all, but I will show you pictures of the lots that I won.
     Part of my winnings were the Anew and Best Kind of Broken boxes from Kit's along with the Chelsea Fine bracelet.  I purchased The Collector's Society one along with a Harry Potter one for the oldest daughter.

I won three Alice in Wonderland themed bracelets, which I have already put up for Little A for Christmas, along with the Time turner Necklace that came in our Swag bags for Big A


Books, books, books, how I love thee.  I won two separate auctions of books.  The first one was donated by Heather Lyons's publisher and contains several authors and I am excited to read all of them.  The second one was donated from Melissa Haag and contains books from her judgement of the six series as well as a copy of one of my favorites, Touch

Now on to our front liners.  The ladies of the night.  The Authors.  Four fantastic ladies that gave their time to answer our questions and let us in on some secrets, as well as do a reading for us.  There is nothing as spectacular as hearing a book read aloud by that book’s author.  If I had access to a TARDIS, I would sit at the feet of great literary minds such as Charles L. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), J. R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and more importantly Jane Austen and Mary Shelley, just to listen to them read.  So for me to hear these ladies read from some of my favorite contemporary novels, was a true treasure. 

I would post the pictures from the photo booth, but I didn't want to get banned from all author events in the future!
 I’m just going to go in order of how they were sitting at the table because I cannot rate one woman over the other.  They are all fantastic, and I will continue to stalk all of them. (I stole this picture from Stacey Marie Brown, too!)

Books I had autographed by Heather Lyons
First (closest to the front) we have Heather Lyons.  Wonderful, whimsical Heather, who through our online interactions is quickly becoming one of my favorite people. I made a post previously about her Collector’s Society series which I highly recommend, and her stand-alone novel, The Deep End of the Sea. (Click the names of the books to jump to my previous posts about them).  She also has another series, The Fate series, which is on my TBR list.  Of course, I fully expect it to be on point with her other novels.  She read us the first chapter of the highly anticipated final novel in the Collector’s Society series.  The Lost Codex is set to be released sometime this fall, and I am super stoked about it.  Maybe for Christmas Heather will send me an autographed copy? (Hint hint :-P).  What I will have for you guys is a signed copy of The Collector’s Society Encyclopedia as a giveaway to prepare everyone for when it is time for The Lost Codex to release. I chose the encyclopedia because of the great pictures and wonderful information that isn't necessarily in the books, unless you have read every single classic piece of literature that is mentioned.  I sure haven't, so the encyclopedia was very helpful for me, plus Finn is HOT! If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, now is a good time to do it.  There is a form over to the side
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Books I had autographed by Shelly Crane
Next to Heather is Ms. Shelly Crane.  Shelly is a NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author! She has SEVERAL novels and series.  I will be doing a review of a few of her books soon, and I will be sure to link the posts together when I do.  Shelly is an amazingly talented woman, and she read us a little sneak peek of her upcoming novel in the Significance series.  I was stoked to hear information that she has been holding back.  It’s a secret, so if you want to know how the main characters in Undeniably Fated meet-well buy the book!  There is also a possibility of Significance being a TV show!  How fabulous is that?  Check out her website to keep up to date on her progress and release dates. 

Books I had autographed by Stacey Marie Brown
Stacey Marie Brown is next on our list, and let me just say how jealous I am of the fun she is having at Comic Con in Chicago right now.  I am buying my tickets for next year as soon as they go on sale!  St Louis Comic Con isn’t nearly as big or fun.  Stacey is the author of the Darkness Series, The Collector’s Series, and coming soon: West, and the Lightness Saga. Her character, Zoey Daniels from The Collector’s Series won Utopia 2016’s Best female Shero!          After checking my blog over, I realized I hadn't done a review of her stuff. (WHAT?)  I will work on that in the next couple of days. 
I fangirled maybe just a tiny bit (Read: so big I almost passed out) before the start of the event because she recognized who I was from Facebook and remembered my name!  EEKK!  I’m better now, but eek! (Yes, I’m a dork.)  Stacey read from City in Embers (Collector’s Series #1) and put all our signed books in these cute little Sprig bags.  If you don’t know who Sprig is, READ THE BOOKS! If you notice in the pictures, there are two copies of Darkness of Light.  That's because I plan to do a giveaway on one of them to celebrate the release of her Spinoff book, West, as soon as she announces the release date.  We meet West in the Darkness series, now he is getting his own book.  Yay, sexy man-beast!

Books I had autographed by Chelsea Fine
Last, but certainly not least, we had Chelsea Fine.  What can I say about Chelsea? Chelsea is the funny, and just slightly crazy little sister that everyone wishes they had, and I was thrilled to have met her. Since I was completely unfamiliar with her before this event, I checked out some of her books before I went to L.A.  I read the three books in the Archers of Avalon series in two days.  Then just a couple of days later I had the pleasure of enjoying her reading from the first one in the series, Anew.  Chelsea has seven published novels and just as many in the works, I think (haha).  I am very excited to see what she comes up with next, especially the newest thriller she is working on.  I don’t want to give away too much, but as soon as I get the go ahead, I will be broadcasting things all over, you won't miss them! If you notice in the picture, there are two copies of Sophie & Carter, because Ms. Fine gifted one to every participant in the Swag bags!  How cool is that.  I will be gifting one away very soon (it is UNSIGNED), so sign up for the newsletter-->
        Chelsea has given a TEDx Talk for the younger generation (it is on her Facebook, and I highly recommend everyone watching it!) and been on a panel two years in a row for UtopiaCon in Nashville.  Be sure to check out her blog and the accompanying videos, like I said funny little sister everyone wants.

     That was my weekend, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one right before school started for my kids and me.  I hope I get a chance to head out to L.A. again.


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