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So this past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary by traveling down to Austin for the Texas Book Festival.   It’s a free event held every year down at the capitol (like, IN the capitol building), but unlike the Teen Book Festival, it covers everything from cooking to memoir to fantasy to history.  Of course, I was only there for the Young Adult authors, but still 🙂  And I have to say it was an interesting experience getting to sit in say the House Chamber and listen to R.L. freaking Stine talk and read a scary story.  I mean come on!

It was amazing! 🙂 🙂

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So, first off let’s talk about the goodies!!!

Here’s my array of free things I picked up this weekend…

IMG_3852 IMG_3860So the poster, of course, was from the Neal Shusterman signing, and this is my favorite series EVER, so of course I had to pick this one 🙂  (and yes, that is his signature there on the left!)

Also, I got stickers and a bookmark from Kami Garcia, bookmarks from Aprilynne Pike, Jessica Khoury, postcards, and yes, even TWO free books and a free sampler book from Penguin!!!  How freaking awesome is that?!?

IMG_3854Next we’re on to the new books I picked up.  Of course, I had to get Unsouled, the brand, spanking new one from Neal Shusterman and Scorpion Shards which is one of the few books of his I haven’t read yet.  And Beautiful Chaos, the next one I needed to own in the Caster series.

Now, you wanna see all the books I got signed???

IMG_3858BAM!  Yes, there are 6 books from Neal Shusterman (My idol!  Plus he signed each in a different color and put a unique message in each one!)  Then we have two from Kami Garcia, Defy the Dark which is the collection of short stories that I just won from Epic Reads about two weeks ago (woohoo!!!  Plus Aprilynne Pike signed her story she wrote!) and last, but certainly not least, we have Switched by R.L. Stine who happened to mention that it was one of his favorite books he’d ever written and he seemed really pleased that that book was the one I chose to have signed 🙂

Also, Neal acted excited when I showed him the upside-down “e” or schwa symbol on the back of my shirt and the Skinjackers reference, too!

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Want to see some pics of the authors??? Great!

R.L. Stine!!!

R.L. Stine!!!

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Me and Kami Garcia

Me and Kami Garcia

Me and Neal Shusterman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me and Neal Shusterman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then, to top it all off, Saturday night we got to go listen to R.L. Stine telling ghost stories, in the dark, in a graveyard….WHAT?!?!  My husband said, “Now you can cross this off your bucket list!”  Um, I don’t know of a world in which I would have fathomed that would happen!!!!  But yes, it’s checked off now!  (Sorry there are no pics from that, after all, though, it was in the dark!)

So that’s about it!  I do have a new list of books to add to my “wish list”, including:

Wings by Aprilynne Pike, Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta, Doomed by Tracy Deebs, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin (Who I apparently had a short by story in ANOTHER book that I didn’t figure out until too late.  Dang!), and Origin by Jessica Khoury.  Good thing Christmas is coming!

And, in closing, here are some random pics from my trip!

Penguin bus!!

Penguin bus!!

HEB cart that you can drive from the kiddie seat!

HEB cart that you can drive from the kiddie seat!

How cute is that??? Get it?  Smarties for smart girls??? :)

How cute is that??? Get it? Smarties for smart girls??? 🙂

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Bats at the Congress Street bridge

Bats at the Congress Street bridge

For my momma who's a teacher!

For my momma who’s a teacher!

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Inside the capitol

Inside the capitol

Me and the hubby!  Waiting (I think) for R.L. Stine

Me and the hubby! Waiting (I think) for R.L. Stine

These are from the Austin Zoo.  It’s a non-profit that only takes in rescued animals.  You should check it out if you’re in the area!

He really wanted that ball, but it was stuck in the water.  He apparently did NOT want to get wet...


He really wanted that ball, but it was stuck in the water. He apparently did NOT want to get wet…

This jaguar appeared to be almost blind.  Sad day :(

This jaguar appeared to be almost blind. Sad day 😦

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