Okay so wow, it took me a week or two to finally get to chronicling the MAIN day!! You know why? ‘Cause I don’t want it to be over yet, and “journaling” Book Bash kept it going, you know? This will be the end until next year… *sigh*.
You wanna know what else? I can’t remember walking into Book Bash, Saturday morning. Nada. Nothing. I remember doing my hair with Tarryn Fisher earlier that morning. Yep!!! Crazy right? I got to help straighten Tarryn’s hair. It’s beautiful, by the way. All shiny and soft. But I digress. At some point we separated, and when that happened, my mind went blank. I lost my tie to her, and apparently lost my tie to reality…
I can’t remember leaving my room, taking the elevator down, or entering the event. I don’t remember seeing… anything. I can’t remember sitting down at my table. There are pictures of me from that morning that are helping me piece it together. It’s like it was such an explosive, monumental moment for me, that I went completely… blank. I was walking, talking even. And so happy! There are pictures that prove this. Pictures, that I don’t even remember posing for.
I was functional and obviously on auto-pilot. Maryse was there, but she wasn’t “home”. LOL!!!! Sensory overload? I suppose it was either go blank, or faint. I was both excited and frightened out of my skull. Literally, it would seem. It’s so crazy how the brain works at a time like that. When it’s just SO much… too much, that you overload into… nothing.
Wait. I just had a flash!! Eddie, my event manager coming up to me with a silly grin on his face, squeezing my hands together and saying… “Everyone in both lines have all been scanned in and wrist-banded, already.” I think I squee’d at him and wrapped myself around his neck. That was one of my big fears, you know? I wanted everyone to be ready to enter when the event opened. And so I remember the relief when he confirmed this.
After that? I think my next memory is when Sylvia Day walked in. YES!! I remember that, walking her to her table, asking if she needed anything. I totally remember taking a few pictures with her a little while after that, having her sign my book. Eddie, just as excited to meet her as I was, huddling next to me. She was beaming, and so were we. That was SO cool!
Oh!! I remember when my mom and aunts entered the room… again, before the event started (during setup). My mom was waltzing down the middle of the room, all glamourous-like. In slow motion, no less. I swear it’s how I saw her! And Eddie (yes, Eddie was holding me up that day) behind me, muttering in my ear… “Here comes mama.” LOL!!! Yeah, she can put on a show when she wants to. I remember that! My mom laughed when I described that moment to her. She insists it was nothing like that, but hey, I’m just telling you what my mind remembers.
I remember the author and volunteer group photos, and the videographer’s crazy hovering-helicopter camera capturing that moment. The balloons flapping with the gusts, Kendall Grey’s hair blowing dramatically in the wind (no for real – look at her picture – she’s in the front) and the camera guys telling us to just… “ignore the helicopter above our heads”. Yah right!!! LOL! But actually, the authors did ignore it and they took THE BEST pictures ever!
Oh!! Tarryn just told me what happened. She said:
“You went down before me. With Kevin.”
GAH! I left her. Yep! My husband just told me the rest. He came up to our room and said “Maryse! We gotta go downstairs!” and I said “But we’re not done yet…” He said I looked done, and Tarryn said she’d be down soon, and for us to go ahead and Kev called out “Bye Tarryn!!” and kidnapped me.
Yep. I left Tarryn freakin’ Fisher to get ready by herself. In my room. *giggle*
At some point during setup, we met up again ’cause look! There’s a picture. And you guessed it. I don’t remember taking it. But apparently she was none the worse for wear ’cause she looked GREAT! ———>
But what I do remember clear as day is when Eddie announced that we were opening the doors, and from that moment forward, everything came into focus. We were so ready!! I remember my excitement as I saw everyone filing in. The energy was amazing and stayed that way throughout the day. Everyone was smiling. No. BEAMING. And I got to hug SO many of you in person.
It was the best day of my entire life. Happy *squeeee* moments as we finally got to meet for the first time. Calm and casual. But that’s ’cause I was at the very front, facing the “quiet” part of the room. The entrance. And since everyone had already “entered”, my entrance-view was a serene one. But all I had to do was look over my shoulder to see the electrified, pulsating packed room behind me and I’d *eeeeep!!* and hyperventilate a little. My eyes bugging out at how AMAZING and a little crazy it all looked.
But, my husband, Eddie and the volunteers had this thing covered, so there I sat with Paul on one side of me and my mom on the other, keeping me grounded. All I had to do was look to the front, and my blood pressure would stabilize and I could breathe again. I can’t even begin to imagine how the authors were feeling amidst that incredible fervor. You know the old adage, “out of sight, out of mind.”? Well, okay, that’s pushing it in this case, ’cause there was no way I couldn’t feel that amazing energy coursing through the entire room, but you know… my calming front-view helped me. And there some of you were. Some of my fellow readers and friends, smiling back at me.
Ahhhhhhh panic attack averted (except for the times when I’d overhear my mom recounting my “childhood/teenage” moments to anyone that would listen. Usually, Paul. MOOOOMmmm!!!! Okay so I had teeny tiny mini panic-attacks as I’d try to reign her in. Hehe. I love my mom. Nothing fazes her.
Oh!! I remember another thing! When I was having a “bonding” moment with a group of fellow readers (we were… discussing the attractiveness of a few ummm… certain…) *blush* well anyway. I looked over and noticed the videographer pointing the video camera in our direction but from a good “sound-safe” distance. He was much too far, and the event was far too loud for him to capture anything I was saying from all the way over there. Except his grin had me nervous.
We all looked over at him, and I immediately felt for my “mic” (from where they had me wired up the previous night), and remembered… ahhhhhh. I’m free!! Nobody mic’d me today! YAY ME!! And I proceeded to inform the girls that we were safe, he was filming but he couldn’t hear me. Until he slowly shook his head side to side, grinning… suggesting that he could hear everything. WHAT!?? How?! Look up?
Awwwwwww COME ON!!!!! What the heck IS THAT? Oh. A Booooooom mike. Nice. Grrrrrrrr! Yep. He chuckled again and moved on to his next victim, I mean… subject.
And here’s Abbi Glines getting the “Boom Mic” treatment, too. See? None of us escaped it.
But overall, the best day of my life and it went off, pretty much, without a hitch. It stayed busy and non-stop the entire time ending on a high note for everyone. I scrambled for a few last minute photos with exiting authors, and I received the most AWESOME signed photo frame (handed to me by K.A. Linde) – signed by all of the authors there, that day. WOW!!! Blown. AWAY!! I will be putting the author group-photo in it (and I think I want it to be the silly one). I love that one SO much.
I was thrilled! Plus, the day wasn’t over yet. There were still after-parties to get ready for. YAY US!!!
You guys wanna see even more amazing pictures of that day?
CLICK HERE to see them on the Book Bash Facebook page (and more will be added over the next week).
Things I learned that day:
- I can function well even on a mind that has seemingly went blank. I can even pose and smile for pictures that I may, later, not remember taking.
- Nervous Maryse will abandon her favorite authors in her hotel room without thinking twice about it. Okay I must have hesitated… right? Either way, I don’t remember that at all.
- Moms cannot be trusted with embarrassing childhood memories.
- Having a “Black Dagger” brother (okay… cover model) casually hanging around will surprise many (like Gloria from Globug and Hootie. She was sitting right next to us and her double-take had me giggling – I love her!!). Some fans might even (and one did!) burst into tears (not Gloria, but her expression was just as priceless). Darn why wasn’t there a video of those? Oh!! But there’s a tweet from her.
- I didn’t get to meet half of the authors I intended to. Well, I actually intended on meeting ALL of them, but we were all so busy throughout the entire day that I missed out on quite a few photo and autograph opportunities. Some of my books came back home with me, naked.
- Not being “mic’d” doesn’t mean I’m not being recorded… grrrr!!! I got caught on camera, AGAIN!
Ryan Winfield is tall. Very TALL. And he’s very patient with the photo-ops and all of my silly giggling as my family and friends took pictures of our extreme height difference. I’m extra short, so yes… there was lots of giggling.
Jamie McGuire is really tall, too! (Or maybe everyone just seems so tall because I’m so… NOT).
- Katie (one of our awesome Book Bash volunteers) is super-stealthy. Apparently she was enlisted as the big-secret-frame-signing girl (she carried the frame to each author that day), and I didn’t notice a thing. Not even when I walked right up to her and chatted (as she was holding the frame). No worries Julie. Apparently my mind blanked out then, too, ’cause I didn’t see a thing. Thanks for telling me that tidbit though. Tee hee!
- Last minute author interviews between Book Bash ending and after-parties beginning is exciting (and nerve-wracking). I can’t even begin to describe how I felt when I looked over at my dinner table in my suite and saw our crew casually chatting with authors Sylvia Day and Shayla Black as we prepared for the interview sessions.
- Getting to go to two after-parties is fun!! And hectic. (more to follow on my “Afterparty Chronicles”).
- Book Bash official DAY 3?! Feeling ECSTATIC and ohhhhhh sooooo relieved!!! IT’S PARTY TIME!!!
Book Bash volunteers have some hilarious Book Bash tidbits of their own. Wanna hear what they told me?
VOLUNTEERS Chronicle their own version of Book Bash:
Maryse: Look what JA Redmerski calls you guys! “… team of superhero volunteers.” I think we’re gonna adopt it!
Elizabeth: I was assigned to her row and she was SUPER nice! I think she was surprised that her line stayed so busy! So glad I got to meet her and her daughter.
Kirsten: I wanted to share this story yesterday because I thought it was funny but I never got around to posting it. I laughed at the bell hop as I checked out yesterday morning. He started asking me about Book Bash. He goes “we knew some sort of “book convention thing” was coming and we were expecting quiet people who like to read. On Friday I was tipped with a $10 bill and two condoms from a woman who said she was an author and I realized I probably had misconceptions about women who like to read.”
Lori: That’s hysterical!
Laura: OMG I love this. So hard.
Elizabeth: LOL!! That’s awesome!! I asked the security guards Saturday morning if they were prepared for Book Bash. I don’t think they had any idea what to expect!
sidenote: we all “guessed” the same on who that author was. Love her! Who knows… maybe she’ll confirm.
Elizabeth: I gave Kristen (Ashley) a hug and when I pulled away, I realized that both of our sequined shirts were stuck together! YES…one of the highlights of that weekend was getting stuck by the boob to Kristen Ashley! I’m so glad Lori got pics of that moment!
Lori: One of the most awesome parts for me was how many people had extra tickets and have them to me to give away. Elizabeth and I had a fair share of really happy/crying with joy ladies who flew in from around the country without a ticket and were so thankful and nice about it.
Elizabeth: Ohhh yeah!!! We absolutely did!! We even had a couple to fly in from Venezuela just to come to Book Bash!
Laura: I got the chance to go to Disney with Karina Halle, her editor Kara, and Chelsea Cameron. Kara sat in some gum so she and I became super close, because I had to pick it off her. I had Chelsea go get some ice to harden it up so I could get it. We got some funny looks in the bathroom Also – I GOT TO HANG OUT WITH FABULOUS AUTHORS.
Sherry: My 2 cents are, how AWESOME every one of those authors and assistants were..They were very easy to work for. Best time EVER.
Elizabeth: Katy Evans and JA Redmerski had their kids with them and they were all so great! I think they had a great time and didn’t expect to see that their moms are so popular.
Steven: After I left for City Walk, I had a group of girls run up to me and take my photo and they asked me what book cover I was on. I then had to tell them that I am not famous. They still brought me up to their VIP Booth though so, that was pretty sweet.
Lori: By the way, I LOVE the picture of all the volunteers, minus Steven done by the photographer. Steven, why weren’t you there?
Steven: I think I was busy with Andy and the videographer trying to come up with a gameplan.
Katie: SC Stephens had the longest line all day long!!! I was assigned to her row so I was tag teaming with her publicist to keep the masses happy & to keep people trying to get to the other authors tables on the back row moving. Shannon’s team did a bang up job and no one in line got upset about waiting. Her assistant & I passed out pens, swag & water to everyone. I was so impressed with her team & her fans. I already love her but I love her even more.
Katie: All Jamie McGuire asked of me was to get her a Red Bull! I went to the Gift Shop. The Cafe. The Starbucks… And nothing! I called my hubs in our room and sent him out. He went to 3 stores and came back with every energy drink on the market except Red Bull. If I ever come to Florida again I am bringing a case. Now I have a frig full of Monsters LOL <<< the RED BULL DIARIES
Katie: Kyla gave me the task of having all the authors sign a photo matte for you Maryse. I felt like a soldier out in the field battling lines & trying to be super sneaky so you never saw it. You even walked up to me to ask me a question while I was carrying it. I was so proud when I got the last signature. I almost ran off with it. LOL
Maryse: OH MY GOD Katie!!! I was wondering who managed that. I was wondering if they passed it around UNDER the table one table to the next, ’cause I didn’t see a THING. And I walked right up to you while you had it? LOL!!!!
Elizabeth: I remember that me and Maryse were trying to psyche ourselves up to get a picture with Dr. Ivan, but sadly it never happened…what a shame LOL
Sherry: hey I remembered one…it was actually waaaaaay back in my mind trying to forget…k, here goes. I had met Ivans dad a day before and we became *great buddies* well, the night of the Authors reception, either Paul wanted to meet Ivan or vice versa…..so we walk to his group w/his dad and assistant and introduce each other. So during some small talk Ivans dad looks at me and asks me if Paul is my son ……WHAT…..WHAT…,?!?! We got a good laugh out of that (kinda ) But Paul and I did the math, and I believe I would had to have been 12 or 13 when I had him…..so see why I didnt remember that *fun* little memory…..ugh
Maryse: LOL!!!! Ahhh yah I remember you telling me that. My funny memory is how I wanted to take a picture with him (Dr. Ivan) at the Pre-registration party, but I chickened out… sorta. I think it was Elizabeth and I were last-minute stalking him, I mean “following him” from afar as he moved about the room, but then he picked up speed and was heading towards the doors to leave. We had two choices, We would have either had to chase him (GAH!! I was already shy enough as it was to approach him non-nonchalantly – let alone CHASE him down) or let him go. So… we let him go. But! I had my chance the next day, you see. And STILL! I didn’t get my picture with him. *bok bok* <— me. chicken.
Sherry: You shoulda put me on that!!! I would have asked him anything.
Elizabeth: I never did get a pic with him either! Boo!
Angie: Book Bash went by so quickly!!! I wish it was a week long…lol! I loved seeing my “book” friends!!
Maryse: Me too! It’s like all of our “internet world” came true.
Awwww! And then there was a HUGE “virtual” volunteer-group-hug. The best team ever! *sigh* I’m feeling all nostalgic again. Okay, I’m extending the post one more day. Actually, “night”. The “after parties” will be the next (and final) Book Bash 2013 posts. Unless we come up with more, but I think by the last post, y’all will have a good idea of just how awesome that weekend was. And for that giveaway, I’ll give out a K.A. Linde swag bag and a few Gallery Books goodies (since K.A. Linde was one of the authors that hosted it and Gallery sponsored it).
Ready for today’s giveaway? We came home with a few extra Book Bash t-shirts, swag bags and a WHOLE LOTTA swag. I’m giving away another THREE Book Bash “swag” kits tonight! Each contain a signed book, and TWO of ‘em include one from Tarryn Fisher herself. A signed copy of “The Opportunist”!!!
So… a couple of books, a Books-a-Millions tote bag, a Book Bash t-shirt (with the attending authors listed on the back – you choose what size you want!), signed bookmarks and postcards – tons of goodies! A fun Book Bash prize package for us book-lovers!.
How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below (any comment will work, but if you want to let me in on a secret, let me know what you were doing on Saturday June 29th 2013 – if you can remember that far back - hey I can’t blame you, I blanked out that day too!!!), and tomorrow night (Thursday July 25th, 2013) by 10pm EST, I will randomly select three winners.
The winners will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond with a mailing address, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance. This is a open to U.S. & Canada only (but you’re welcome to comment and join in any time!!).