Leavin’ On A Jet plane and Heading To BEA Bloggers

Tomorrow, I leave on a jet plane for Book Expo America aka BEA in New York City. BEA is the highlight of my year. This will be my third year in a row to attend, and I am looking forward to seeing all of the people I am fortunate enough to know through the wonderful book blogging community.

On Wednesday, I’ll be attending BEA Bloggers. BEA Bloggers takes place at the Javits Center from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This year BEA Bloggers utilized a Conference Advisory Board made up of six bloggers. I was honored to be on the advisory board and to have the opportunity to brainstorm with such an amazing group of book bloggers. From the looks of the conference schedule it appears the dedicated staff that runs BEA Bloggers took several of the advisory board’s suggestions.  I’m part of a panel called Extending The Reach of Your Blog Online. It’s at 3 p.m. in room 1A14.

I can’t wait to see everyone at the conference. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and making new blogging friends. See you there!


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Mandy Does RT Booklovers Convention

A couple of weeks ago I attended the absolute most exciting publishing industry convention I have ever been to. It’s called RT Booklovers Convention. I was a first time attendee, and I went because I was giving a workshop called 10 Ways To Improve Your Author Blog during the conference. I was shocked when I got to the conference. Immediately upon arriving at the hotel I knew I was in for a an awesome few days.  My room key had the cover of Jaci Burton’s book One Sweet Ride on it. From the moment I received the room key on I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. I was immersed in the land of romance, and it was awesome.

From the fun and informative reader and writer panels during the daytime to the dazzling nighttime parties, I could not get enough of the convention. Oh, and did I mention how awesome it was meeting up with new and old friends in the bar between parties? It was so nice to see familiar faces and make new book lovin’ friends.

Perhaps the best part of the conference was getting to see the readers’ smiling faces when they got a chance to talk with their favorite authors. I think involving the readers is what makes this conference special. I met so many budding authors and voracious readers during the few days I attended.

Carol Stacy and the entire RT Staff did an amazing job organizing the convention.  I occasionally contribute reviews to RT Magazine, and I relish any time I get to spend with the ladies I normally just get to talk to on Twitter and by email. One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to hear Kathryn Falk, the founder of RT Magazine speak at the 30th Anniversary Ball. (She told a hilarious anecdote about Fabio. I’m still laughing about it.) Most of all hearing Kathryn and the writers being honored at the ball speak reminded me of how far the Romance genre has come. It made me incredibly proud and a bit weepy to hear the authors reminisce about the barriers they broke through when they got their books published.

I definitely plan to attend RT Booklovers Convention next year in New Orleans. It was an experience I never want to miss!

The following are pictures from the conference:

RT Booklovers Convention Hotel Decor

Pictured Above: Elevators decorated with book covers! Honestly, all elevators should be decorated with book covers. Above right is my room key for the conference.

RT Booklovers Convention Swag and Books

Pictured Above: Amazing author and super sweet friend Tiffany Reisz gave me an ARC of The Mistress and pretty much made my week by doing so! The rest of the photos are author swag and hilarious buttons I received at the conference. I only brought five or six books back with me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit more than that in my luggage. Somewhere in the above photo collage you might spy a photo of me surrounded by hunky cover models. Yes, that happened! lol

Above are some pictures from the parties. I finally got to meet Tiffany Reisz at the Men of Romance party. She is so nice and so damn talented. Yes, that’s me dancing with Andrew Shaffer. I think we were trying to dance sarcastically or at least I hope that’s what we were doing. I hope I don’t just look like that when I dance. Haha. The Ellora’s Cave party had awesome swag at every table. I was super bummed that the lava lamp wouldn’t fit in my suitcase, but I did leave it as part of the hotel cleaning service’s tip.

Above are random pictures of me throughout the convention. I think my feet hurt and I sat on the stage at one point looking sad. I randomly decided to dress like Steven Tyler one of the days. (But I did rock a Kingsley T-Shirt with the Steven Tyler look.) Me wearing a headset getting ready for my workshop and finally making a sad face with Andrew Shaffer. I uh can’t remember what the sad face was for. I think it was because I had to fly out the next day and miss the rest of the convention.

Above is a picture of me giving the workshop I was at the convention to present. I got this picture from the Flickr page by RT Book Reviews. If you’re interested in seeing more pictures from the convention, you should definitely check it out!


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#BookBlogHelp: BEA Bloggers Call For Speakers is Up

It’s already time to start thinking about BEA (Book Expo America) and BEA Bloggers Conference. It seems like BEA 2012 was just yesterday! I wanted to let everyone know according to an announcement on The Bean, BEA’s conference blog, that the BEA Bloggers Conference call for speakers is up. The deadline to apply to speak at the conference is January 18, 2013. According to the call for speakers, BEA is looking for applications as well as input regarding possible session topics and who you would like to see speak at the conference. Click here for more info.


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Digital Sisterhood Network Features The Well-Read Wife

I was so happy yesterday to see that one of my favorite places on the internet, The Digital Sisterhood, featured me as a Digital Sisterhood Leader. I met Digital Sisterhood founder Ananda Leeke on my way home from Blissdom last year. Sitting around talking with Ananda and Cecily K while we waited for our flights felt like chatting with a couple of old friends. I can’t wait to see them both at BlogHer 12 next week!

Click here to read my interview on Digital Sisterhood Network. I loved answering Ananda’s questions about social media and its effects on myself and the world around us. Thanks for having me on Ananda!


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#BookExpo Buzz: 7 Books That Caught The Well-Read Wife’s Eye At Book Expo America

This year Book Expo America was quite a different experience for me. Last year I lacked contacts, so I really thought I needed ARCs. Also, I think I placed more importance on ARCs than necessary at this time last year. Now I have contacts, so I really just wanted to give my PR reps lots of hugs and hear about what books each publisher thought I might enjoy. I stood in exactly two and a half lines to get books signed. I am not even going to get into the “and a half” part other than to say “Two And A Half Lines” sounds like a bad BEA or possibly drug related sitcom.  Over the next week or two, I will be posting about the books that caught my eye at BEA Bloggers, Book Expo America, and at the bookish events I attended. Consider this part two of three posts containing books that caught my eye during the festivities. Some of the books are upcoming releases for this Fall and others have been out for a while. The following are books that grabbed my attention at Book Expo America:

The first two books are the ones I was most excited about getting my grubby, little hands on, and I stood in line to get them signed by the authors. Both of the books are published by Da Capo. I’m not quite sure what is in the water over at Da Capo. I imagine it’s maybe crushed up ecstasy or cherry flavored Kool Aid, because they are producing some awesome books. And by awesome books I mean the two I stood in line for. The other books in this list are in no particular order of how excited I am to read them or anything like that. I am much too lazy right now to rank my excitement in any way other than giving a really worn out thumbs up to all of them. Don’t forget! I’ll be posting about even more books that caught my attention in a third post based on book buzz at parties I attended hosted by HarperCollins, Random House, and Penguin.

With Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain

America, You Sexy Bitch by Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain If you are a regular reader it will come as no surprise that I was looking forward to snagging a copy of this book. I recently hosted Michael Ian Black Week here on the blog, and I am a huge fan of his. Click here to see the posts from MIB Week. Also, America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom (352 pages, Available June 12, 2012 from Da Capo Press) is the inaugural selection for Mandy’s Blogger Book Club.  America, You Sexy Bitch is a humorous memoir written by Michael Ian Black (A democrat) and Meghan McCain (a republican) that documents their travels  across America in an RV for a month. During their road trip they address lots of issues that are increasingly important to a country that is becoming more politically divided by the day. I believe I am going to enjoy this book so much I ordered 50 copies of it for the blogger book club.


Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin (AKA Andrew Shaffer) Fifty Shames of Earl Grey (224 pages, Available July 31st from Da Capo Press) was the other book I was looking forward to getting a copy of at BEA, and it did not disappoint. I devoured this book on the plane ride home and have read multiple parts of it over and over again. I’ve even pre-ordered copies for all of my friends who just finished the Fifty Shades trilogy. There will probably be a Fifty Shames book club night at my house sometime in August. There would be a picture of Nate (my husband), Andrew and I at the signing to the left instead of the cover art, but Nate and Andrew both blinked in the picture. (Maybe I should put it up anyway? haha) I have already reviewed Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. Click here to read the review. Warning: There is a picture of me dressed like Snookie in it.

Other Books I learned About At BEA And Am Looking Forward To Reading:

When It Happens To You: A Novel In Stories by Molly Ringwald I was really excited to hear one of my favorite actresses has a book coming out this September. When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories (256 pages, Available in September from It Books) is a collection of interlinked stories that follow a community of friends and family in Los Angeles. The subject matter of each of the stories sounds fascinating. Especially the story titled “Ursa Minor” about “a former children’s television star who tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for exhaustion.”

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
I had the pleasure of seeing  Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz speak at the Adult Book and Author Breakfast on day one of BEA. I can’t put into words how wonderful it was to hear him speak. I was basically nodding my head in agreement and elbowing my husband during his entire speech. Listening to Diaz contemplate love and passion and how it affects men who have been taught not to show they care with regards to the plot of his latest novel This Is How You Lose Her (224 pages, Available in September from Riverhead) was enough to melt the heart of every female in the room. I quickly read the sample chapter and have already pre-ordered a copy of This Is How You Lose Her. I am quite literally waiting by my mailbox for this one! (Pictured at left: Me with Junot Diaz.)

 The Art Of Procrastination: A Guide To Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing By John Perry The Art of Procrastination appeals to me for one very big reason: I am the QUEEN of procrastination! Also, I have been in the mood for some quirky nonfiction, so this was exactly the kind of thing I am looking to read lately. John Perry is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. According to the back of the book, he actually wrote The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging, and Postponing, Including an Ingenious Program for Getting Things Done by Putting Them Off (112 pages, Available in September from Workman) when he should have been grading papers. I think I’ll start this one now! Or maybe I’ll put it off til later…

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters I loved Ben H. Winters’s last book Bedbugs. It was one of my favorite books of 2011. So, I am thrilled that he has a new book coming out! The Last Policeman: A Novel (288 pages, Avaiable July 10th from Quirk Books) is the first book in a trilogy about a detective who is one of the few people still working in the face of an oncoming disaster: an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. In the midst of chaos he is trying to solve a mystery surrounding a suicide he believes is murder.

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow This book actually came out in 2010, but I learned about it from Debra, Algonquin’s fabulous online marketing manager. I was told The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (272 pages, Published by Algonquin Books) deals with “society’s ideas of race and class” and would appeal to readers who enjoyed When She Woke by Hilary Jordan. The Girl Who Fell From The Sky is also a Bellwether Prize winner. This is why I love BEA. I not only discover new releases, but I also find out about older releases that I was unfamiliar with prior to the expo.

BEA attendees, what books caught your eye on the expo floor? Leave a comment and let me know!

FTC Disclosure: Please assume that I received any book reviewed or mentioned on the site for free from the publisher. Also, if you purchase books by clicking the Amazon links throughout the site, I get a small commission.


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