Monday, November 5, 2012

2nd Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up

Watermark Irish Pub
On Saturday, November 3, 2012, over 70 Ontario book bloggers, publishers, and authors met up in downtown Toronto at the Watermark Irish Pub for an amazing afternoon of book-related fun! For many people, it was a day to finally put a face to a name after months of online chatting, a chance for bloggers to meet their fave authors, and an opportunity to greet the book fairies who work at publishing houses.

The Ontario Blog Squad members met up at the restaurant at noon for last minute preparations, lugging the dozens of blue tote bags filled with goodies and making sure everything was set up for when the attendees arrived. Nicole had been keeping the contents a surprise from us so we wouldn't accidentally give anything away, and it sure felt like Christmas morning to see all the bags filled with awesome books! (Also, thanks to Jessie, Hayley GMeg, Avery and Ashley who arrived early for the event and helped us carry them!)

Look at all those goodie bags!
Just when I thought there were no more tote bags to come, Nicole appeared with more boxes filled with books and swag to give away! Everyone who attended the event received a copy of Elizabeth Miles's Envy and a HCC Frenzy magazine, which we distributed to all the tables. In no time at all, we also had an extra table completely covered with books like Libba Bray's The Diviners, Julie Kagawa's The Lost Prince, Beth Fantaskey's Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Maria V. Snyder's Inside, Robin LaFever's Grave Mercy and more.

The event officially kicked off at 1 p.m. with a steady trickle of bloggers coming in, introducing themselves and then taking a seat. Michele and Angel checked people in, crossing off names and handing name tags to everyone which included our names, twitter handles, and blog names. Wendy helped to hand out blue tote bags to each person filled with goodies... and I'm not sure how anyone could not resist peeking inside right away!

Credit: Tiff from Mostly YA Lit
Soon enough, the restaurant was filled with the loud chatter of hyper book bloggers, and arriving authors guests and publisher contacts. When we organized the Meet-Up, we wanted to keep the event casual, yet intimate, and I think we accomplished this. We encouraged everyone to mingle and not be afraid to introduce themselves to others. It was very difficult to stay in one place when there were so many new people to meet and familiar faces to greet once again! 

Nicole Greeting Everyone
After everyone had arrived, we managed to get everyone to quiet down a few moments. (Everyone may think bookworms are quiet and shy, but bring them all together in one place and we're LOUD.) Nicole took charge and introduced us Ontario Blog Squad members to everyone in the crowd, and then Jen later took over to point out where we could find the special author guests sitting in various spots across the room.

If you've been keeping up with the announcements on the blog, you'll know we were thrilled to have nine authors join us at the event: Lesley Livingston (author of Starling), Allison Baggio (author of In The Body), Brian Francis (author of Natural Order), Grace O'Connell (author of Magnified World), Susin Nielsen (author of The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen), Elizabeth Miles (author of Envy), Maureen McGowen (author of Deviants), Joanne Levy (author of Small Medium at Large), and Cinda Williams Chima (author of The Crimson Crown).

Bloggers and Authors at the OBS 2012 Meet-Up... Can you spot authors Joanne Levy, Maureen McGowen, Susin Nielsen and Elizabeth Miles?
Cinda Williams Chima with Bloggers - Credit: Tweet from Author
After the general introductions, everyone was free to walk about the huge area of the pub that was dedicated to the Meet-Up! Last year, the venue choice was a bit difficult to really mingle and meet people, so we were more confined to sitting at our tables, but it was much easier this time around to venture around. During the lead up to the event, we helped to encourage people that the Meet-Up was a great opportunity to swap books with other bloggers and they sure took our advice. I saw plenty of stacks of books and quite a few people brought mini suitcases on wheels to transport them!

And for bloggers, the event was also a great opportunity to meet with marketing contacts from publishers to say thanks for all the awesome books they send for review, or to introduce themselves if they hadn't met before. Lindsey from Random House Canada, Pamela from Tundra Books / Random House Canada, Vikki and Shannon from HarperCollins Canada, Michelle from Simon & Schuster Canada and Amy from Penguin Canada were some of the publishing representatives we were absolutely delighted to have joining us at the event!

Vikki and Shannon from HarperCollins Canada
Lindsey and Pamela from Random House Canada and Amy from Penguin Canada

We didn't have any official book signing times, so attendees were also free to grab their books and have them signed by the authors whenever they had a spare moment in between chatting with fellow bloggers. Sometimes when you go to a book signing at a bookstore, you don't really get a chance to talk with an author for very long, but the Meet-Up really gave you a chance to converse with the authors for a longer portion of time.

Jen, Christa and Wendy asking trivia questions
I don't think I'm alone in thinking we were all too busy happily talking about books to remember taking more pictures of the event! It was only when our lunches arrived when many of us began to take our seats. 

Afterwords, Jen, Wendy and Christa made their way across the room to ask trivia questions. Whoever could raise their hand the fastest with the correct answer was able to win a free book! Here were some of the book-related questions asked:

Michele and Wendy raffling prizes
~ This phenomenal novel had readers of all ages falling in love with it's New Beijing setting and the irresistable Prince Kai. Answer: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
~ This series takes place in a dystopian Chicago, who's society is divided into five factions - Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. Answer: Divergent by Veronica Roth
~ This novel follows the UNBECOMING of a female protagonist who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. Answer: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
~ This incredible fantasy novel by Erin Morgenstern follows the enchanting tale of a circus that arrives without warning. Answer: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
~ Banshees, ghosts, and a hilarious reaper named Tod. Answer: The Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent  

When it was already around 4 pm, we began to raffle off more books! If an attendee's lucky ticket number was called out, they were able to pick one of two books from the raffle table. And since we also had a few more boxes filled books that had been dropped off by Dan from Raincoast Books, Jenn H and I went around to each of the tables offering such books as Janet Gurtler's Who I Kissed, Jo Weiner's Among Others and Chevy Stevens's Never Knowing to whomever wished to have a copy if it sparked their eye.

Lesley Livingston Closing the OBS 2012 Meet-Up
But like most things in life... all good things come to an end. We officially ended the 2nd Annual Blog Squad Meet-Up at 4:30 p.m., but most of us were reluctant to leave right away. We were honoured to have Lesley Livingston close the event for us, thanking all the bloggers for their hard work in taking the time to spread the word about their books.

The day would surely not have been nearly so successful without the support and generosity of the following publishers: Raincoast Books, Thomas Allen & Son Ltd., Random House Canada, Simon & Schuster Canada, HarperCollins Canada, Penguin Canada, Kensington Publishing, Harlequin Teen, Scholastic Canada and Hachette Book Group Canada. Thanks so much!

As well, thank you to Elaine Levine, Cassandra Carr, Linda Poitevin, and Anna Hope for reaching out to us, and providing books and swag to give away to attendees. And a warm thanks is also extended to authors Joanne Levy and Maureen McGowen for providing books for door prizes and the raffle draws!

And what's that? You'd like more pictures from the event? Here's some more!

Lesley Livingston with Bloggers - Credit: Tweet from Jenn H
Authors Grace O'Connell and Brian Francis Introducing Themselves to Bloggers
Bloggers at the OBS 2012 Meet-Up
Bloggers Meeting Author Elizabeth Miles - Credit: Natalie from Browsing Bookshelves
Bloggers at the OBS 2012 Meet-Up
Author Allison Baggio Chatting With Bloggers - Credit: Tiff from Mostly YA Lit
Ottawa Book Bloggers

On behalf of the Ontario Blog Squad, we'd like to thank the bloggers, publishers and authors who joined us at the event! It's hard to believe that after months of planning, organizing and anticipating the big day, it's already over and we're left waiting for the next time we can all see other again!

Ontario Blog Squad: Christa, Angel, Nicole, Liz (me!), Jen, Wendy and Michele - Credit: Tiff from Mostly YA Lit

If you attended the 2nd Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up, we'd love for you to link up and share your blog recaps and pictures below. And if you weren't able to make it to the Meet-Up, we still have extra copies of books... so be on the lookout for upcoming giveaway posts on the blog!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up FAQ's - Part II





I am back once again with another FAQ post for the Second Annual Ontario Blogger Meet-Up that is taking place on November 3, 2012.  For those of you who are registered to attend, I know I can speak on behalf of my fellow organizers when I say, that we are so excited to see all of you this Saturday.  The response from the book blogging community has been absolutely amazing and we are looking forward to putting on an awesome event.

Now a lot of you have been asking us questions on twitter and we have been doing our best to answer them.  But here is a comprehensive post of some more FAQ's for you all.

Directions!


Now out of the group of organizers, Michele and I tend to be the navigators of the group.  So when people began asking for directions and trying to decide on taking the train in to Union or driving down, we weighed in on the debate.  For those of you who are still undecided, here are the directions.


Walking

Exit Union station on Front Street and make a right onto Bay Street.  Take Bay street south to Queen's Quay.  Make sure you cross the street as you want to end up on the South West side of Bay & Queen's Quay.  Head west on Queen's Quay until you reach a building called Queen's Quay terminal.  Hint: It's right on the water and has a Sobey's located in it.  Head inside the building and make your way through the shops to the Watermark Irish Pub.  A map, courtesy of Michele and Google maps, of your route is below.  The entire trip takes about 15 minutes.

Direction from Union Station to the venue.

BY TTC

You can also take the TTC. If you decide to take the TTC, please be advised that the fare for an adult is $3.00 each way.  At Union Station, customers must board buses on the west side of Bay Street, just south of Front Street. You will be taking the 509 Harbourfront bus from Union Station at Bay Street and Front Street to the York Street stop. 

BY CAR

Take the York Street exit from the Gardiner Expressway.

PARKING

Harbourfront Underground Parking Lot Located to the west side of the building.

Standard Parking Lot
Located across the street from the building.

Book Limits

So there will be a 8 authors at the event this weekend.  We know that you guys are excited to meet them and get books signed.  We ask that you stick with a signing limit of 2 books for each author.  

*Note* courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada, there will be a finished copy of Envy by Elizabeth Miles for every attendee available at the event. to get signed.

Please also remember that this is a casual event.  There will be no official signing period, but we ask that you not interrupt the authors while they are eating to get books signed.

Also, don't forget to check out my original FAQ Post here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #9 - Cinda Williams Chima


Are you ready to hear who will be the ninth and final author guest for the Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up? It will be... *drumroll* ... Cinda Williams Chima!

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade, and novels in junior high school. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming.

Chima’s best-selling YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) and The Gray Wolf Throne (August, 2011.) The Crimson Crown is scheduled for fall, 2012.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. Her books also appear on numerous state awards lists. Both series are New York Times bestsellers.

Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.

We're excited to be welcoming YA fantasy author Cinda Williams Chima as one of our guests at the Meet-Up! The Crimson Crown, the fourth and final novel in her Seven Realms series, is officially hitting bookstores TODAY! Here's a bit more about the book...


A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love.

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she's falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.


The Crimson Crown Book Trailer:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #8 - Joanne Levy


Our eighth author guest for the Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up is... *drumroll* ... Joanne Levy!

About the Author:
Joanne Levy’s love of books began at a very early age. Being the youngest and the only female among four children, she was often left to her own devices and could frequently be found sitting in a quiet corner with her nose in a book. 

After much teenage misadventure, Joanne eventually graduated from university and now spends her weekdays as an executive assistant at one of Canada’s big banks planning meetings and thwarting coffee emergencies. When Joanne isn’t working, she can usually be found at her computer, channeling her younger self into books. Joanne still lives in Ontario with her husband and kids of the furred and feathered variety.

We're very excited to be welcoming Joanne Levy as one of our guests at the Meet-Up! Joanne's debut MG novel, Small Medium at Large, was just released earlier this summer! Here's a bit more about the book...  


After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #7 - Maureen McGowan



Maureen McGowan will be stopping by the meet-up as our seventh VIP author! 

Maureen has several YA novels published through Silver Dolphin Books, and her newest book, Deviants, will be released by Marshall Cavendish Books on October 30, 2012.

She spent her childhood in various Canadian cities, and also briefly lived in California and Philadelphia before settling in Toronto. Among her favourite things are shoes, art and dance.


In a post-apocalyptic world, where the earth is buried by asteroid dust that’s mutated the DNA of some humans, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Glory must protect her younger brother and escape the domed city that’s been her entire world.

Outside in the ruins, they’re pursued by the authorities and by sadistic, scab-covered Shredders who are addicted to the lethal-to-humans dust now covering the planet. Glory’s quests to transport herself and her brother to safety make up the thrilling and fascinating first volume of The Dust Chronicles.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #6 - Elizabeth Miles

 
Our sixth author guest for the Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up is... *drumroll* ... Elizabeth Miles!

About the author:
Elizabeth Miles grew up in Chappaqua, New York, not far from New York City. She graduated from Boston University in 2004, and has worked ever since as a journalist for an alternative newsweekly. She has been honored by the New England Press Association and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Elizabeth is a former trustee of the Portland Players, a community theater and second home. She loves pizza; she can often be found running around on stage while scantily clad; and a cold winter night in Maine is one of the creepiest and most beautiful things she can think of. Fury is Elizabeth’s first novel.

Isn't it exciting to hear that Elizabeth Miles will be coming to Canada to join us at the Meet-Up? I sure think so! Simon and Schuster Canada has also created an event page on Facebook for Elizabeth Miles coming to the event, so join in and tell them if you'll be attending! 

Envy, the second novel in The Fury Trilogy, was released earlier in September 2012. Here's a bit more about the book...


The Furies are back in the second book of a chilling paranormal trilogy where revenge rules the day—and “sorry” isn’t going to cut it.

Spring is coming, and the ice is slowly melting in Ascension... revealing the secrets buried beneath.

Emily Winters knows the Furies have roots in Ascension, Maine—but she’s about to discover that they’re deeper than she ever imagined. With the help of her new friend Drea, she vows to dig them out. But it’s hard to focus when she’s desperate to make up with JD, and to figure out why Crow, a mysterious Ascension High dropout, seems to be shadowing her.

Meanwhile, new girl Skylar McVoy is determined to leave her own dark past behind. So she’s thrilled when popular Gabby takes her under her wing, and the stunning and sophisticated Meg offers to give her a major makeover. But everyone knows what happens to the vainest girl of all…

It’s tempting to be naughty. But beware: the Furies are always watching, and their power grows stronger by the day.


Fury Book Trailer:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #5 - Susin Nielsen



Our fifth author guest for the Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up is... *drumroll* ... SUSIN NIELSEN!

About Susin Nielsen:
Susin Nielsen got her start writing a spec script for the popular television series Degrassi Junior High. She went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit television show and four of the Degrassi books. Since then, she has received two Canadian Screenwriter Awards and a Gemini Award and has written for many home-grown TV series. Her novel Word Nerd, published to much critical acclaim, was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Book Award and won the Red Maple, Rocky Mountain, Willow, and Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards. This was soon followed by the hilarious and heartwarming Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, which has received rave reviews and has already been translated into French, Portuguese and German. Susin Nielsen lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Susin Nielsen's latest novel, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen was just released in September 2012, and it's one I absolutely loved reading! Here's a bit more about the book...


Thirteen-year-old Henry’s happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his older brother, Jesse, picks up their father’s hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning. What follows shatters Henry’s family, who are forced to resume their lives in a new city, where no one knows their past. When Henry’s therapist suggests he keep a journal, at first he is resistant. But soon he confides in it at all hours of the day and night.

In spite of Henry’s desire to “fly under the radar,” he eventually befriends a number of oddball characters, both at school and in his modest apartment building. And even though they know nothing about his past – at least, not yet – they help him navigate the waters of life after “IT.”

Susin Nielsen has created a fantastic new character in Henry, whose journal entries are infused with humor and provide a riveting read about a family in turmoil.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #4 - Grace O'Connell



Grace O'Connell is the fourth VIP author that we'll be hosting in November! 


Grace's debut novel, Magnified World, was published by Random House earlier this year. She is a freelance writer and editor, and she currently resides in Toronto.

Her work has also been published by The Walrus, Taddle Creek, and the Quill & Quire. She also teaches at the University of Toronto.


What's a girl supposed to do after her mother kills herself by walking into the Don River with her pockets full of unpolished zircon stones? Maggie removes the zircon stones from the inventory of the family's New Age shop and opens up for another day of business. 

Then her blackouts begin, as do the visits from a mysterious customer who offers help for Maggie's blackouts and her project of investigating her mother's past in the American South. Is Maggie breaking down in the way her mother did, or is her "madness" a distinctive show of grief? Nobody really knows, not her father, her boyfriend or her psychiatrist, and especially not Maggie, who has to make some crazy decisions in order to work to feel sane again. 

A vivid look at the various confusions that can set in after a trauma and an insightful, gently funny portrait of a woman in her early twenties, especially relatable to readers who grew up in the eighties and nineties, Magnified World dramatizes the battle between the head and the heart and the limitations of both in unlocking something as complicated as loss.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #3 - Brian Francis


Our third guest author for the Second Annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up is... *drumroll*... BRIAN FRANCIS!

About Brian Francis:
Brian Francis’ second novel, Natural Order, was published in hardcover by Doubleday Canada in 2011. The paperback is scheduled for release in August, 2012.

Natural Order made Best Books of 2011 lists for the Toronto Star, Kobo Books and The Georgia Straight. The novel has also been short-listed for the Ontario Library Association's 2012 Evergreen Award and 2012 CBC Bookie Awards.

Natural Order tells the story of Joyce Sparks, a senior woman trying to come to terms with the lies she told surrounding the life - and death - of her only child.

Brian’s debut novel, Fruit, was published in Canada by ECW Press in 2004. The novel was published in hardcover in the U.S. by MacAdam Cage in 2005. A paperback version was published by Harper Perennial the same year under the title The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington.

Fruit was selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Canada Reads and was also a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.

Fruit tells the story of 13-year-old Peter Paddington as he tries to fix everything he feels is wrong with him by the time he finishes his Grade 8 year.
 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #2 - Allison Baggio



Our second guest author is the lovely Allison Baggio

Allison Baggio has an Honours B.A. in English and Mass Communications from York University. She is also a graduate of the Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program in Creative Writing, where she worked on Girl in Shades with celebrated author, Shaena Lambert. 

She currently resides in Whitby, Ontario and works as a freelance fundraising copywriter for non-profit organizations. 

Allison has had her writing and commentaries appear in numerous magazines and newspapers, including: The Toronto Star, Surface & Symbol (Scarborough Arts Council), Whitby This Week, The Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent magazine.


Sweetly funny and deeply perceptive, this novel follows eleven-year-old Maya Devine's search for her mother, her father, and above all, herself, offering a fresh take on what it means to grow up and discover who you really are. Maya has always seen color around people’s bodies, and can sometimes even hear what’s going on inside their heads. These insights make everyone a bit more interesting, but the one person she'll never figure out is her mother. Marigold has never been like the other moms, but still, Maya sometimes feels like she is all she has.

When Marigold is diagnosed with cancer and vows to spend her final days in the tepee she’s set up in the backyard, neighbors and strangers, believing the dying Marigold to be a prophet, camp out in front of the family’s house. As her father grows ever more distant, Maya finds solace in the music of Corey Hart, but when Marigold’s death leaves questions unanswered, she sets off to discover the truth about her family and identity.


Building on themes introduced in the author’s previous novel, this collection of 12 short stories further explores the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. The array of stories includes “Spilt Milk,” in which an ordinary fare leads an Indo-Canadian taxi driver, who is unhappy with his current circumstances, to marry his passenger’s unattractive sister. In “Possessed,” a man receives a heart transplant and begins to suspect that his new heart is still attached to its old owner, triggering a psychological thrill ride. In the novella, “As She Was,” a motorcycle accident leaves a teenage girl with a serious brain injury that dramatically alters her personality and body. The four people closest to her must reflect on who she was in order to accept who she has become, revealing the details of the accident and their own feelings of guilt in the process. Showcasing a range of voice and breadth of vision, this anthology marries a gentle probing of familial relationships with an incisive look at the human body, exploring the ways it defines, fails, and frees humanity.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up VIP Guest #1 - Lesley Livingston



We are super excited to announce that Lesley Livingston is our first VIP guest for the Second-Annual Ontario Blogger Meet-Up.


Lesley is the author of the Wondrous Strange trilogy from Harper Collins, Once Every Never from Penguin Canada, and the newly released Starling from Harper Collins.

This mutli-talented Canadian author is laugh out loud funny and we look forward to spending an afternoon with her.

Be sure to take a look below at the trailer for her latest book Starling!


Second Annual Ontario Blogger Meet-Up: Tips!



Wow!  Can you believe that we are only 59 days away from the Second Annual Ontario Blogger Meet-Up?  It seems like just yesterday that we started planning the event and putting ideas down onto paper.  While the event last-year was a huge success, we had the idea when we began planning this year's event that we wanted it to be even better.

Not only will you be finally meeting a lot of bloggers you have only had the opportunity to talk to over the Internet, but you will also be getting the chance to meet some special VIP guests.  Keep in mind that the event is a great networking opportunity with other bloggers, authors and publishers.

Did you catch that?  On top of bloggers being at the event, there will also be authors and representatives from our amazing Canadian Publishers.  Exciting isn't it?  Here are some little tips for the event from myself and my fellow organizers.

  • Be courteous - I know it sounds pretty obvious and I probably shouldn't have to say it, but I am anyway.  We all want you to have a great time at the event and to ensure that we are asking that everyone be on their best behaviour.
  • Don't crowd the VIP guests - We know everyone will be excited to meet them, but lets all try to give them some breathing room
  • Mix and Mingle - Be sure to meet some new people.  Try not to stay in one clique or group, and yes, this goes for the organizers as well.  There will be so many new people there for you to meet so get out there and mingle.
  • Bring a tote bag - This is also not mandatory, but a good suggestion all the same.  Whenever I get together with my fellow organizers it tends to result in a giant book swap of doom.  This may be a good opportunity to swap books with your fellow bloggers.
  • Business cards - Again, these are also not mandatory, but a good idea nonetheless.  Maybe you want to work with another blogger on a project, or you want to work with a publisher you have never worked with before.  Well the easiest way to make sure you can connect with them after the event is if they have your contact information.  Remember, they don't need to be fancy and you don't have to run out and spend huge amounts of money to get business cards done.
 Oh yeah, stay tuned.  In the next hour or so, we will be releasing some info on our first VIP guest!

Remember, if you have any questions or comments about the event to email ontarioblogsquad@gmail.com and we will get back to you ASAP.




Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blogger of the Month-August





I can not believe it's already August. Seriously, where did the time go? 
It's time for our August Blogger of the Month:



 1.When and why did you start blogging?


I wanted to work in the Publishing Industry with an emphasis in Marketing, and I was told by a colleague in PR at Penguin Canada, that a blog is a great way to make connections. Once I started my blog I realized how much I enjoyed reviewing books, especially Young Adult and I didn't want to work with just one Publisher but all of them! And it was from there that I decided to go back to school for my Master of Library Science. 

2. What's your favourite genre/style of book?


YOUNG ADULT ALL THE WAY! haha, I really love a good Urban Fantasy read as well. So long as there's a good romance story in the plot (I'm constantly teased for this :)).

3.What has been a blogging challenge for you?

Consistency. I tap my hat to those bloggers who are able to blog 6-7 days a week. I do my best to blog 3-4 times a week but it's hard sometimes when you're working full-time. I always feel guilty that I'm not contributing enough time and then I'll worry my reviews aren't up to par.

4. Are there favourite memes or features that you participate in/ favourite blogs you check out on a regular basis?

I love In My Mailbox or Stacking the Shelves by The Story Siren and Tynga's Reviews. I love to see what titles other book bloggers are reading and then grow green with envy at all the amazing titles and ARCs they receive.

5.How do you organize your bookshelves?

I don't. It's awful, I actually have thousands of books and have had to store (or hide them from my Dad) them in various boxes throughout the house, because they unfortunately don't fit all on my shelves. As it is right now, I have books stored in front of other books on my shelves which is awful because than I always end up buying doubles because I didn't realize I had that title. As I write out this answer I'm starting to think I may have a hoarding problem haha. My dream though is to have a library with wall-to-wall shelves, stacked with books- So I guess you could say I'm looking towards the future :).

7.Favourite review you've written (include a link)

I'd say my favourite review was the one I wrote on Kate Ellison's The Butterfly Clues. It was such a beautiful book and I really enjoyed typing out my thoughts on it.


8. What is your biggest book blogger related dream (goal)?

My dreams and goals keep changing, but my current one, making it to BEA! Haha I swear I plan to go every year but circumstances always arise, beyond my control and I'm forced to cancel. So I'm always stuck saying, "Next year," but I mean it this time, next year I'm going! haha.

Happy reading fellow book lovers!!!


Thanks Hayley!!!!!!