Last June Christine sent me a couple boxes full of books and ranted and raved about this ALA conference she’d gone to and pretty much I decided I had to be at the next. And, lo and behold, the next one was where Christine lived, so I could visit with my awesome friend and get free books.

Best Weekend Ever.

It did not occur to me at the time that January is a crappy month to travel in. It didn’t occur to me later that all the snow making it difficult to get to the Seattle airport might make it difficult to leave the airport. It never occurred to me that my, MY flight would be canceled. That’s never happened before and I didn’t see why it should now.

It was so canceled.

Now, there was a big ordeal with me trying to get the heck out of Seattle. It was difficult. Nothing was leaving. I booked another flight…that was then canceled. But I got put on standby on an earlier flight and did, after over twenty-four hours, leave SeaTac for the Portland airport. With my luggage on a different flight. And I had no way of knowing if that flight was going to get canceled until we’d landed in Portland and I saw that it was on it’s way.

Then I had to wait until six a.m. for my next flight which took me to Phoenix. Then I had to switch planes and my next flight landed in Oklahoma, no switching planes though, and then FINALLY I landed in Dallas. Christine picked me up and we drove directly to the Convention Center as it was now Friday evening and the Exhibit Hall was about to open.

It was open for two hours and I got more books than I could read in a month. Then we went back to Christine’s, I had the second best shower of my life and slept. That sleep was the most beautiful thing ever.

The convention itself is a big blur of random awesome moments (eg. When I found David Levithan in the Hall and just happened to have Will Grayson, Will Grayson in my backpack) and mob mentality overtaking politeness in my NEED for that book. (There was two instances where I dived in between people toward the floor to get a last copy of book. I shake my head at myself now.)

I remember some publishers were super awesome. Most especially Macmillan, Harper Collins, and Candlewick. The very nice gentleman at Macmillan (I totally didn’t ANYBODY’S name!! I am such a failure.) just took our long, small print list and found what he could from it as we stood there. No questions asked. Candlewick took out some copies of the Froi of the Exiles for us when we started talking about it, and were just generally accomodating and nice.

And Harper Collins. Dear, dear Harper Collins. I am so sorry about my part my in the stampede that happened Sunday morning. I don’t know what came over us. It was scary. I knocked a book over. And you guys were so awesome. Special thanks to the woman who was wearing the nice white dress on Saturday (again, I completely blanked on names) who didn’t even give a long suffering sigh as we kept asking about more books. And then later on Sunday the same white dress lady (though she wasn’t wearing a white dress at the time) put out many, many books, just as we happened to by walking by. Coincidence? Maybe…but I don’t think so.

Oh my God, I feel so bad about not knowing anyone’s name.

Everyone else was really great as well except for ONE publisher, who shall go unnamed, who didn’t seem to want to give out books to bloggers. Which is fine. I understand that ALA is a librarian conference, and they’re YOUR books so publishers can do whatever they want with them. But why couldn’t they just tell us that instead of giving us a weekend of runarounds and excuses and lies. It just makes me think bad things of them.

I really loved getting to meet a lot of other bloggers especially Kaitlin and Tillie. They were a lot of fun and it’s always good to have people to talk to in lines. I’m sad we didn’t go to the big blogger meet up Friday night but I had just spend two days in various airports, so…yeah.

The BEST part of the whole weekend, though, was getting to hang out with awesome friends  Christine, Kassiah (and her two minions), Emily, Allie, Jessica and everyone else I met. It was much fun!

Oh, and meeting Mary Lindsey! That was fun too! If you’re reading this Mary, you should be writing. Just saying.

As you can imagine we have a LOT of books, so we’re going to start giving some away! Today we are giving away 12 books to two lucky winners! The first winner will get to choose six, and the second will get the rest. All you have to do is leave a comment telling us which book that is being released in the next six months you are most looking forward to! Please see the rafflecopter widget for further instructions, the giveaway will end Sunday, January 29th.

EDIT: Just adding a couple things here. Tomorrow, after the giveaway ends, I’ll be locking the comments on this post. This is in an effort to avoid any arguments starting in the comments. If you feel the need to express anything about this post, please email us or fill out the contact form. I am more than happy to read your responses, and respond to some, as I have responded privately to some comments below.

I also wanted to say that I’m sorry my actions have upset so many people. I was, truly, caught up in the moment and previous similar experiences (at Comic Con and that sort of thing) encouraged the mad rush. Thank you for remaining polite in the comments, even if you disagree with people.

Further Edit: Okay, wordpress will not let me lock the comments without deleting them all, and I don’t want to do that. So, please, everyone, just remain polite if you feel the need to comment. If any comments are impolite I reserve the right to delete them.

Because it’s six books per winner, we have to keep this giveaway US only. Sorry about that! International shipping is expensive! So, without further ado, the books to be won are:

The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George

Secret Letters by Leah Scheier

Lost Girls by Ann Kelley

Courtship & Curses by Marissa Doyle

The Queen’s Lady by Eve Edwards

Daughter of the Centaurs by K.K. Ross

Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

Infinity by Rachel Ward

The Stalker Chronicles by Carley Moore

The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer

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