Recap + Giveaway: Apollycon 2016

Meet Sam Winchester. He has taken up permanent residence in my house.
He is just one of the spoils of war Alejandra and I walked away with from Apollycon. But we shall get to that later.

Day 1 (Friday): We arrive in beautiful Savannah, Georgia and immediately check into our hotel. Our room at the Holiday Inn Express in Historic Downtown Savannah overlooked East River Street, the Savannah Riverwalk, and of course the Savannah River. After having a complimentary Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktail, Alejandra and I head out to explore the city. After pulling up google maps on our phones, we navigate the city to find a restaurant for dinner. We discover Rancho Alegre. We walk into the sounds of a live band and a packed house, and know that we are more than willing to wait the 30 minutes to be seated. Needless to say, the food was DELICIOUS, and completely worth the wait.
After dinner, it’s time to head over to The Gribble House Paranormal Experience. Now, Alejandra and I have been on several haunted tours, we love them, but this was just a wee bit different. This time, we got to act as ghost hunters, complete with ghost hunting tools, and enter an abandoned warehouse that was the site of a triple ax murder. This site is so famous, that it has even been featured on Ghost Hunters on the Travel Channel.

It was scary as shit. The staff teaches you how to use the equipment and then hands you a tiny ass flashlight, because there are absolutely no lights on in the entire place, tells you some sample questions you can ask the spirits, then sends you off on your own to explore. Alejandra and I had our arms locked together the whole night. We were never more than a few inches apart. The things we heard and felt were incredible. I can honestly say I will never repeat the experience, once was more than enough!

With the night come to a close, Alejandra and I walk back to our hotel for some much needed rest before Apollycon on Saturday.

Day 2 (Saturday): Apollycon 2016 took place at the Hilton DeSoto. It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Vanessa and I purchased VIR (Very Important Reader) tickets which allowed us to get into the event an hour before the general public. Thank “sweet baby Jesus in a manger” we did!

We arrived at the hotel for the 9:00 am registration, which was quick and painless. We received a VIR SWAG BAG at registration, which included a copy of The Power, along with lots of other goodies!

We also got our VIR badges which allowed us early entry into the bookstore and signing.
After registration we had the opportunity to browse the pop up Barnes and Noble. That is where we met the most handsome bookseller that we have ever encountered in our book travels. I picked up Bloodspell by Amalie Howard. Vanessa picked up Every Last Breath, to complete her collection of the Dark Elements Series by none other than Jennifer L. Armentrout.

After purchasing our books, which came with complimentary Apollycon bags, we made our way outside to get in the VIR line. While in line, we noticed that there was a bookstore right across the street from where we were waiting in line. Of course we had to go!

After our adventure in the E. Shaver Booksellers, which I HIGHLY recommend if you’re in Savannah, we decided to strategize and make a game plan for how were were going to tackle seeing all the authors we wanted to see. Vanessa, of course, had way more authors to see than I did, so we really needed to be strategic, as we only had one hour in the event space before the event was open to the general public. Of course number one on both of our lists was Jennifer L. Armentrout, with Sarah J. Maas coming in a close second. Although there were several other authors we wanted to see, we needed to get our priorities straight!

The doors to the event opened right at noon and we dashed our way inside to make the line for Jennifer. Thank goodness we decided to see her first, because her line was ridiculously long in a matter of minutes, and stayed that way the ENTIRE event. While in line for Jennifer, we met some new book buddies, as per usual.

When we finally round the corner and see Jennifer flanked by Seth and Daemon, my heart speeds up and I want to pass out. Jennifer does this to me every single time. I was nervous that she wouldn’t remember us, but when she looked over and caught a glimpse of Vanessa and waved...we both lost it! Vanessa shoved me away from her in excitement and instantly realized that she almost killed me with that shove. We both started sweating and got completely red in the face! The anticipation started building and we could not wait to talk with her and have our books signed!
After Jennifer we quickly made our way to see the beautiful Sarah J. Maas. We couldn’t have asked for better timing since we only waited in her line for a few minutes to get our books to be signed. Sarah is absolutely gorgeous and so gracious!
Thanks to our battle plan, within an hour we were able to see all of our favorite authors and get our books signed. After the event, we headed back to the hotel to drop of our goodies, then hit the city for some sightseeing and lunch. A good thing too, because when we walked out of the event space, the general public line wrapped around the hotel.

Savannah River Walk was our destination, and it was absolutely amazing. We visited cute little shops, took pictures by the river and had a yummy lunch at Barracuda Bob’s. After lunch it was most definitely nap time! We needed to make sure that we were ready for the Apollycon After Party. However, you know what they say about the best laid plans… We ended up hitting the roof top pool instead of napping. The view of the city was beautiful.
8:00 pm couldn’t have arrived any sooner, and we finally made it to the After Party! When we arrived we received another Swag/Goodie bag! There were high-top tables throughout the space, filled with swag which for the taking. There were several food stations, an awesome cake and cupcakes, and of course, a DJ. There were also several life size cardboard cutouts placed around the space, which included characters from Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. Authors from the event were at the party mingling with everyone.

Jennifer was running late because she was signing books till 7:30 pm because she is just awesome like that! Once she arrived with Seth and Daemon, the party began. After lots of dancing, eating, and general merriment, Jennifer had a surprise for us, the cover reveal for The Struggle, the third book in the Titan Series. Once I saw the poster, I knew that I had seen it before. At her signing table, Jennifer had stacks of bookmarks for the taking. When Vanessa and I got back to to hotel and investigated all the goodies in our swag bags, I mentioned to her that one of the bookmarks was for the new book.

Well, Jennifer proceeded to ask if anyone had seen the cover before and I jumped in the air with both arms raised over my head while I screamed “MEEEE!!”. She looked over and said “Of course it would be you. Well, it’s yours, you can take the poster home.” I could not believe it! She signed the poster and so did Drew who is the cover model for Seth. And just like that, I won the official cover reveal poster for The Struggle.
After the reveal, Jennifer led several rounds of trivia, where Jennifer asked questions about different book and authors from Apollycon. The first person to call out the correct answer for each round would take home one of the life size cutouts as their prize. Here is where Sam comes in. While I was busy swooning over my poster, Jennifer asks, “In Jay Crownover’s book Better When He’s Bad, what is the name of the male lead?” Before Jennifer could even finish her sentence, Vanessa is screaming “BAX!”, at the top of her lungs. Hence, why Sam has now taken up permanent residence in her home. After the game, the music kicked up, and we spent the rest of the night dancing, taking pictures, meeting new friends, and having one hell of an amazing time.
One lucky person will win this Apollycon Backpack
Filled with 7 books, 4 signed posters, a shit ton of swag, and a partridge in a pear tree!


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