So when I got there, Nori immediately greeted me at the door, and it was so lovely to finally meet her! I can finally conclude that she is not a poodle and is indeed a wonderful human being. I got my wristband, tote bag of goodies (that I for some reason didn't even look at until I got home), and some raffle tickets. There were a ton of raffles to enter, but I was already running a bit late and wanted to meet everyone as soon as possible, so I held off on distributing my tickets until much later. But that's not really relevant right now...
Anyway, we were required to buy at least one book at the event from the Barnes and Noble Kiosk, so I quickly picked up a copy of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper (a book I hadn't heard about until recently that sounds AMAZING) and This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee (which I've been wanting to read since before it came out last year) before heading into the main room with all the autographing tables and panels and stuff.
I scanned the room looking for some of my blog friends, and almost right away I noticed Cat (Let the Pages Reign) and Deanna (Reading in the Rain) and had to say hello. I'd already met them in real life before, so it was nice to see familiar faces. After chatting with them for a minute or two, I got my book signed by Kendall Kulper and ran into Kelly and Melissa (Live, Love, Read) and Heather (Kelly's cousin) who I'd previously met at the PassTruth Tour stop in NYC back in January.
And then the time came to meet Rachel (A Perfection Called Books). Most of you probably don't know this, but I became friends with Rachel 2 1/2 years ago on Goodreads. In 2014, I had just joined Goodreads and had decided to explore some of the groups on there to connect with fellow readers like myself, and I became friends with some awesome people, Rachel included. I won't go into a ton of detail about all that stuff (I'll save my Goodreads life for another day), but anyway, it was so surreal finally meeting someone who I've known after so long.
My memory is a bit jumbled as to what happened next, but basically the series of events that followed: I set my bags down because I was carrying way too much stuff, I had the awkward bathroom encounter with Sush (S. Usher Evans) that I'd been trying to avoid which was proceeded by lots of hugs and laughs and book-buying, I met Mackenzi Lee and struggled to figure out how to hold a mechanical arm, I met Jodi Meadows and got to try on her magical cloak, I listened to the Surprises in Publishing panel, I met Julie Eshbaugh, and I met two of the Swanky 17s (A.V. Geiger and Amanda Foody). And I also met MC, who is an awesome blog person and twitter friend.
After the panels and signings were over, the VIP ticket-holders were invited to dinner at a restaurant across the street. I ended up sitting with Deanna and Cat, and it was super nice to catch up with them after so many months. Dinner was satisfying, but dessert was even better (the mini cupcakes were absolutely delicious). And after dessert, there was a live RQWN chat (a IRL version of Nori's famous twitter chats) followed by another raffle. It was super fun rotating between tables and sharing our answers to Nori's random questions (although as someone who is bad at meeting new people, I prefer her online chats to IRL ones).
After a few questions in the chat, Nori announced the raffle prize (13 books that released or were going to release from January 2016 - January 2017 and a poster), and I somehow won. So basically I came home with a TON of books:
Books I Bought:
- The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows (I technically bought this a few days before the event, but I never officially hauled it and I bought it for the sake of BookItCon, so I'm including it)
- This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
- Salt + Storm by Kendall Kulper
- Fusion by S. Usher Evans
- Empath by S. Usher Evans
ARCs I Received:
- My Secret to Tell by Natalie D. Richards
- Resurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis
- Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher Evans
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (thank you so much, Rachel! <3)
- Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (thank you so much, MC! <3)
- Bunheads by Sophie Flack (thank you for trading with me, Jacquelyn!)
ARCs/Books I Won:
- The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (ARC)
- Spindle by E.K. Johnston (ARC)
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman (ARC)
- What Light by Jay Asher (ARC)
- Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (ARC)
- The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (ARC)
- Run by Kody Keplinger (ARC)
- The Memory Book by Lara Avery
- Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
- South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf (ARC)
- Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown
- Of Better Blood by Susan Moger
- Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
I also got a ton of swag including stickers, bookmarks, postcards, posters, and a bunch of other things that I didn't take photos of. But anyway, I am so excited for all of these books and am so grateful to Nori for making BookItCon happen! I had an absolute blast!