Book Beat C2E2 bonus edition! Signings! Bookhaul giveaway!

A new Book Beat post and it’s not the 1st or 15th of the month? Why yes! Welcome to a bonus edition to recap all the bookish fun at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (aka C2E2) this past weekend!


C2E2 kicks off the pop culture convention circuit for the year and it’s always a blast because it doesn’t have the crazy intensity of San Diego or New York, but there’s a big variety of things to do and time to hang with friends and, well, a chance to breathe! With the biggest book event coming to Chicago in May (Book Expo America and Bookcon), I was happy that several publishers and authors came out to my fair city this past weekend.

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Penguin Random House came and conquered with several signings, panels and a well-stocked booth that generously gave out books (both finished copies and advanced reader copies). Claudia Gray, author of the much-anticipated new Star Wars book, Bloodlines, was on hand all weekend to sign an exclusive, double-sided poster with our favorite general/princess.

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Bloodlines belongs to the new Star Wars Canon line which means the book are telling stories that officially intersect with the movies. Bloodlines takes place before The Force Awakens and focuses on Leia’s story. If getting a whole book about Leia isn’t cool enough, Bloodlines will give more backstory on what happened to the New Republic, First Order and Resistance formed. I don’t think I was the only confused about all those groups in the movie. Claudia was super careful not to giveaway spoilers about Bloodlines since it’s still not out until May 3rd.

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Claudia was really friendly at the signing and happy to sign the other books I brought for her. I really enjoyed A Thousand Pieces of You so I plan on bingeing the last two books in her Firebird series about parallel universes when A Million Worlds With You lands in November.

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Michael J Sullivan was also signing daily at Penguin Random House. He has a new fantasy series starting next month with the launch of Age of Myth. What happens when the gods who ruled the world are no longer invincible? Yeah, things get interesting. The book releases June 28th.

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C2E2 had several book panels which were followed by group signings since not all the publishers had booths. The” Fight the Power” panel had several YA-friendly authors including Arwen Alys Dayton (Seeker series) and Lisa Yee who is writing MG books about DC superheroes.

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That signing also included Rachel Caine who was happy to sign a Morganville Vampires book I had for Alicia (aka The Novel Strumpet) and I had her sign Ink and Bone which is the first book in her Great Library series. (The next one, Paper and Fire, is out in July).

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Kristen Simmons wins the award for worst travel day since she was routed through Detroit where snow delayed her flight for several hours. She valiantly made it to C2E2 and happily met fans all weekend. Kristen was cheerful and friendly and signed my Glass Arrow book. I can’t wait for her next book, Metaltown, which is being pitched as “Newsies meet Les Miserables!”

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While Epic Reads didn’t have a booth, they were everywhere since they sponsored the badges for C2E2. It was fun to see the variety of books featured on all the different badges.

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Epic Reads also had a panel which featured Kathryn Purdie (Burning Glass), Brittany Cavallaro (A Study in Charlotte), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die series), Heidi Helig (The Girl from Everywhere) and Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes series). All these talented ladies were very friendly and having a great time with the fans.

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Yes, meeting such cool and talented authors made for a great weekend!

Also, the Penguin Random House booth means ARCs and swag! In between all the signings and panels, they had a steady stream of giveaways to promote favorite or new books. Between the booth and the swag the authors brought, I may have picked up a few things this weekend…

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On the Penguin Random House Teen side of the booth, First in Line featured a few upcoming titles including the highly anticipated And I Darken by Kiersten White.

Have you visited the First in Line website? Register with the site since members get access to special exclusive bonuses with that month’s featured title. The extras are fun since they range from interviews with the authors about their process to taco recipes. Also, First in Line members can sometimes get extra swag. This time, First in Live will be mailing members who attended C2E2 a collection of 6 books! (Thanks First in Line!)

Sad that you couldn’t make it to C2E2? How about taking a little bit of C2E2 home?

Through the generosity of First in Line, I have an extra copy of And I Darken to giveaway! I’m also adding a few other books including next month’s First in Line pick: The Darkest Corners and swag for Calamity and Illuminae. The Darkest Corners is a mystery that will appeal to people who recently binged the Netflix series Making a Murder. Lots of twists and turns here!

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This isn’t the final prize pack for this giveaway! A friend couldn’t fit all the books in her suitcase and left them with my sister. I’ll  add them to this pack for for an added bonus!

Follow me on Twitter (@Cambear) and look for the giveaway tweet in the next couple of days with the complete prize pack!

I’ll have more on C2E2 which is just the start of my con season. Next month I’m off to RT Booklover’s Convention, followed by YallWest, BEA, Bookcon, San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con. So much fun ahead this year!!

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