Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











Before you scroll down to the winners, I wanted to take a quick second to thank YABC and especially New York Times bestselling author CJ Redwine, and movie critic at The Mix 92.9 and Redwine and Movies, Clint Redwine, for the spectacular last-minute hosting they did of the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards. Their lip sync…

via Congratulations to the Winners of the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards — Utopia Con <== CLICK TO READ THE REST ON THEIR PAGE!!!



Ready Player One.pngFrom Goodreads: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

_________________________________________________________

Ernest Cline’s bestseller, Ready Player One, packs a serious punch that any gamer in our Galaxy can easily get behind. But what about non-gamers? No worries, you’ll still be drawn in as the characters are fleshed out and their story between the real world and the virtual OASIS intertwines. I’m not an avid gamer; I haven’t played video games in probably ten years, but the idea behind a society where people are jacked into a virtual game, where they can live their entire lives, going to school, working a job, etc., and at the same time, immerse themselves in the past, mainly the 1980s, well, that kind of tickles my fancy. Especially because for us, right now, the 1980s isn’t that far in the past, and for me, it’s still fresh in my memories, so traveling down memory lane, focusing on movies and other fun 80s mementos makes for a fun background to the story.

I really liked how Cline began his novel, stating the ending outright, and then circling around to explain how everything came to be. Yet, even though I was aware of how it all would end, the novel was still fraught with suspense as Wade fights his way through both the game and the real world as well. With many friends and foes, this novel is really a non-stop ride, one I highly enjoyed and hope that you’ll give a try, especially as this novel is slated to hit the big screen in 2018. This is one I’ll be watching on release night, but just remember, the book is always better than the movie! Five stars.

5 stars

Pick up your copy today from

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Title: Death Blinks

Series: Death Series #8

Author: Tamara Rose BlodgettBLINKS#8eCopy

Genre: Dark Dystopian Romance

Release Date: July 28

Goodreads

Synopsis

Paxton Hart has used his ability to escape the grasp of the Sanction Police, who want him for the illegal import of the undead.

From a parallel plane.

Unfortunately, Pax has blinked the entire group to an earth more corrupt than his own, where the undead serve the living in illicit sex trade, and cyborg-human hybrids are slowly taking over humanity.

When Deegan and her zombie, Mitchell, become separated from Paxton during a recent blink, they find themselves in a world where soldiers have a form of blinking they call Reflection.

Reflective Lance Ryan pronounces himself judge and jury as he discovers that Deegan has more than Affinity for the Dead, but the dangerous Atomic ability.

Deegan just wants to find her family and return to their earth before the Reflectives can punish her for an ability she can’t help having—and doesn’t want.

As the group finds one other, a new reality of fertility and danger rears its head. Do the women stay where they can conceive children who are so rare and risk their lives? Or do they return to an earth where certain persecution awaits them, and a lifetime of barrenness?

Should Deegan put Mitchell to rest? Or will he become more than anyone thought possible? Including her.

Death Blinks Teaser

The Series

The Death Series Books #1-6 form a complete series.

Books #6-8 consist of a spin of series. The initial series does not need to be read to enjoy the second half of the Death Series.

Series

AMAZON

PreOrder Now

AMAZON * AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA * AMAZON AU

About the Author

Tamara

Tamara Rose Blodgett: happily married mother of four sons. Dark fiction writer. Reader. Gardner. Dreamer. Home restoration slave. Coffee addict. Digs music.

She is also the New York Times Bestselling author of A TERRIBLE LOVE, written under the pen name, Marata Eros, and over eighty-five other titles, to include the #1 international bestselling erotic Interracial/African-American TOKEN serial and her #1 bestselling Amazon Dark Fantasy novel, DEATH WHISPERS. Tamara writes a variety of dark fiction in the genres of erotica, fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi and suspense. She lives in the midwest with her family and three, disrespectful dogs.

NEW RELEASE ALERT:

bit.ly/NEWS-TRB

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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This week, we’re talking Sched. Haven’t used the scheduling app before?  Trust me, it’s an amazing app that will help you schedule all your events at UTOPiA in a jiffy.

Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

Check out the 2016 schedule here: http://utopyacon.com/2016-schedule/, and be sure to head over to Jo Michael’s blog to learn how to sign up! She’s got step one all mapped out for you, from signing up or logging in!  Then, head over to the Paisley Reader for step two to learn how you can bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar!

And I’ve got step three below:

Need help? Watch the following short video I made in 2015.  While it says 2015, rest assured that the same process works for 2016 concerning adding events and panels to your schedule:

Easy, right?  That’s all there is too it!  but wait, there’s so much more you can do with Sched!  Check out the tutorial line ups below:

Jo Michaels: How to sign up/sign in and update your profile
Paisley Reader: How to integrate the schedule app with your calendar on your phone
A Book Vacation: Adding events and panels to your schedule
A Little Bit of R&R: How to get more information on a panel from the schedule page
Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous: How to buy or adjust tickets bought and add friends to your list!



Authors!  Were you a part of the Richmond’s Readers Rehab signing that was canceled? 

Janet says: Any author OR attendee who emails us their ticket or receipt from the cancelled event (Richmond’s Readers Rehab: https://www.facebook.com/events/1588953351376746/) is welcome at ‪#‎UTOPIA2016‬ free of charge. Email info@utopiacon.com to RSVP.



Utopia Con Blogger Badge

Remember to check out all of the official blog posts this month for more awesome Nashville sites and eateries:

Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: A Book Vacation and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes



Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

REVOLUTION

A 5th Year Anniversary Anthology for UTOPiA

Revolution-Cover-640x1024A diverse and celebratory collection of stories based on the theme of Revolution.

With eight stories written in a variety of genres, from Paranormal Romance, to Sci-Fi Dystopia, to Magic Realism, to Political Realism, the anthology, ‘Revolution’ is a page-turning, myriad collection of voices from different times and places, but all with a strong positive message about the power each of us hold to make change in the world.

FOREWORD by Janet Wallace, Founder of UTOPiA: http://www.utopiacon.com/

ABOUT by Carlyle Labuchagne, Founder of Help Build A Library in South Africa Foundation: http://www.carlylelabuschagne.com/

AUTHORS & STORIES:

Raye Wagner: Narcos

Christina Benjamin: Wings Of Liberty

Jessie Campbell: Sacrifice

Kelly Risser: Rise From The Ashes

Desira Fuqua: Rebellion

Caroline A. Gill: All The Good In The World

Tricia Zoeller: The Last Thunderbird

Nooce Miller: Shattering Glass

PUBLISHER: Little Bird Publishing House. London: www.thelittlebirdbookstore.com



Securing A Copy:

Revolution-Order

As the Anthology is a charity project, it’s important that we don’t over-order copies, so that we can maximize the amount of profit going to the ‘Help Build A Library In South Africa Foundation’. Although there will be some copies available on the days of the convention, please help us by pre-ordering and securing your copy using the pre-order form.

LIMITED availability in Paperback from the UTOPiA 2016 Con

PRE-ORDER form for Paperback editions is http://goo.gl/forms/zsClNDmwrz



ABOUT THE STORIES:

Raye Wagner: Narcos

They are invincible. Words spoken so often they are believed to be true. The Narcos follow their own rules. The people, the laws, even the government bow to the power of the drug traffickers.  And they will either pay off or kill anyone that stands in their way. An annual twenty-thousand deaths within the blood-soaked borders of Mexico attest to this fact.

In Xtepal, Rai Madra’s life is interrupted by the arrival of the the Narcos. The drug traffickers invade and subdue the small town, but a young Rai turns a blind eye to the growing parasite. As his friends cross the threshold into adulthood, the Narcos pressure each of them to take sides. When tragedy strikes, Rai will need to risk everything to expose the biggest lie of all.

The Narcos are not invincible.

Inspired by actual events in the city of Tepalcatepec, Michoacan, Mexico.

Christina Benjamin: Wings Of Liberty

On a dark and misty night, Paul Revere, Civil War revolutionary, is undertaking what will become his famous midnight ride, only it’s not just enemies lurking in the woods he needs to fear. Beautiful, mercenary witches have aligned themselves with the enemy and are intent on ensuring Paul Revere’s destined dash to the Sons Of Liberty never succeeds.

‘A fun blend of history, magic, love, and revolution.

Jessie Campbell: Sacrifice

After the nuclear winter wiped out the rest of the planet, the last remaining city is under the dictatorship of the powerful Lord of the Dead. To protect her little brother, a sixteen-year-old girl makes the ultimate sacrifice and volunteers to join the army of dead soldiers. But something goes horribly wrong, and she’s put her family in grave danger. Only a revolution can protect them now…

Kelly Risser: Rise From The Ashes

Over a century and a half ago, a volcano exploded, wiping out life as we know it. A group of scientists and their families escaped to an underground bunker. What had been their salvation is now a prison to Connie, a seventeen-year-old descendent. She longs for freedom, fresh air, and sunshine, and battles the complacency of her friends and family. Like her hero, Amelia Earhart, she will stop at nothing for the sake of adventure.

Desira Fuqua: Rebellion

In an attempt to overthrow a domineering, tyrant-king, Thera and her rebels group together with the hope of returning democracy to their people, but revolution is a bloody endeavor and not without terrible losses. Thera can only hope that the price of freedom is worth it.

Caroline A. Gill: All The Good In The World

Time is running out. Daydreamers, the holders of the portals Between, have always held open the doors of Creation. Now they are all dead –  except for Allie, the one woman Joshua, one of the last TimeKeepers, loves more than life. What is the cost of sacrifice? What will he pay for the one he loves?

Tricia Zoeller: The Last Thunderbird

A rebellious girl. An ancient creature. One shot at freedom.

Anna, also known as Little Bird, has experienced terrible loss in her life, but then something triggers a spark in her to question everything she’s known to be true.  

As the mining town of Menolark abandons many of its Native American traditions, Anna uncovers a nest of corruption at the heart of their community, which she believes has led to an eternal thunder that threatens to suppress, and ultimately abolish their way of life forever.  If anything is to be salvaged, then Anna must defy her elders and undertake a terrifying initiation ceremony.

Nooce Miller: Shattering Glass

An eerie plague decimates the world’s population just as a new ice age strikes the globe. Olympic archer Greer Mason is searching the frozen desolation of North America for her lost love, Boone. A note in his apartment leads her to the ruins of New York City, but the amazing high-rise greenhouse and survivor settlement Greer finds there is not what it seems.



RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

Open to all those attending UTOPiA (Hamper to be collected from the Anthology Stand)

Hamper prize to include; Signed Paperback copy of ‘Flying Away’ by Caroline Gill, and a signed poster of ‘Mango’. A Signed Paperback copy of 7, and special mystery swag pack from Kelly Risser. An Amazon gift card and Mystery Swag pack from Christina Benjamin. A paperback of Dark Heart Anthology Vol I and II and mystery swag pack  From Little Bird Publishing & Katie M. John.  An eBook of both Curse of the Sphinx and Demigods and Monsters by Raye Wagner & other swag items

Rafflecopter Link http://www.thelittlebirdbookstore.com/blog/pre-order-your-advanced-copy-of-the-2016-utopia-anthology-revolution-be-in-with-a-chance-to-win-a-huge-book-hamper-open-to-attendees-of-utopia-2016-only



AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: JESSIE CAMPBELL

JessieShort bio

Jessie Campbell’s short fiction has appeared in over fifteen indie publications. She is a writer, a freelance editor, and a reader. Her wanderlust led her to sell everything and move to Costa Rica, where she lived for two years. Only a job as an editor in the book business finally drew her back to the US, where she now lives in literary Boston, Massachusetts. One day, her time travel novel will be published — if it doesn’t kill her first. She can be found at

www.jessiecampbell.net.

What is the title of your story in the UTOPiA Anthology?

Sacrifice

What is your short story about?

After the nuclear winter wiped out the rest of the planet, the last remaining city is under the dictatorship of the powerful Lord of the Dead. To protect her little brother, a sixteen-year-old girl makes the ultimate sacrifice and volunteers to join the army of dead soldiers. But something goes horribly wrong, and she’s put her family in grave danger. Only a revolution can protect them now…

Was this a familiar genre / style for you?

My (yet-to-be-published) novel is a time travel set in Ancient Egypt. I generally write fantasy. Dystopian was a fun challenge, and I would definitely write in it again!

Funny story. I had a vivid dream one night that I was killed to be raised as a zombie, but my corpse went missing. I didn’t know how the story ended, but I was fascinated by the premise. That dream was the seed for this story. When I submitted the first thousand words, I had no idea how the story would end. I’m thankful for everyone who voted for me. It put the onus on me to flesh out what was, until then, just an idea.

What book / series are you best known for?

I’m still in the process of being published. But keep an eye out! In my forthcoming book, Lilith accidentally falls back in time to ancient Egypt, where she becomes Nefertiti’s slave. When one misstep triggers the senseless execution of an innocent, she vows revenge against the powerful heretic king. An alliance with the gorgeous queen’s guard may put her in the right place to serve justice. Can she survive long enough to put things right — and find a way back to her own time?  

What’s your UTOPiA experiences?

In August of 2011, I joined the Nashville KidLit meetup spearheaded by Janet Wallace of Social Deviants and UtopYA Con. I had lurked on the meetup boards for months before I finally forced myself to attend a meeting. It’s no exaggeration when I say that simple act changed my life. I found my writing group home — a group I still participate in via Skype to this day even though I’ve moved over a thousand miles away. Encouraged by these amazing writers, many of whom make up the UTOPiA Con staff today, I finished writing the book that was scorching my soul.

I was invited to be a panelist at UtopYA 2012. I served on the Goddess Complex panel with published, successful YA authors to talk about world-building. I was sure I was out of my league, but they — and the others in the room — embraced me with open arms. I even heard myself quoted later that day by someone I didn’t know. Better yet, I made new, incredible writer friends. In 2013, I returned to moderate the Goddess Complex and Finding Writing Groups panels, and I was a panelist in the Query Letter Zone.

I missed 2014 and 2015 because I was living in Costa Rica and flights were cost-prohibitive. I can’t wait to return in 2016.

UTOPiA is filled with collaborative, smart, awesome professionals in the world I love. It lights a fire to chase my dreams and be better in everything I do. It’s about finding your tribe. It’s about lifting as you climb. It’s about having a safe place to learn and grow and network. And yes, it’s also about tackle hugs.



KATIE M JOHN

(LITTLE BIRD PUBLISHING HOUSE)

SPONSORS OF THE UTOPiA 2016 ANTHOLOGY

Kaite

Katie M John

 

 

Little Bird

Little Bird Publishing House

 

 

 

 

A NOTE FROM Little Bird Publishing House by KATIE M JOHN

www.katiemjohn.com

www.littlebirdpublishinghouse.com

www.thelittlebirdbookstore.com

In 2015, after years of watching it unfold on social media, I attended UTOPiA. Being London based, and UTOPiA being in Nashville, Tennessee USA, it didn’t only feel a long way away in terms of dreams but in distance and finances too.

Despite all the barriers to me attending, I booked a ticket knowing somehow, I would make it happen.

The experience was transforming. It is not hyperbole when I say that UTOPiA and the work Janet does, changed my life.

The journey I have undertaken both as an indie author and the founder of the small press house, Little Bird Publishing, has often been lonely and full of doubts. UTOPiA vanquished all of that negativity; it filled my life with incredibly clever, funny, kind friends, and it equipped me with specific skills and knowledge to flourish – which we both have – the author and the publisher, and this is very much down to UTOPiA.

As such, I wanted to pay something back into the UTOPiA community, and it occurred to me that organizing and publishing a celebratory anthology was the gift I could give back – not only would if offer the opportunity for several UTOPiAN authors to showcase their work, but it would also raise money along the way.

Janet Wallace, being Janet, immediately suggested that the money made after publication costs went into a charitable project founded by another dear UTOPiAN, Carlyle Labuschagne.

Carlyle, similarly inspired by the UTOPiAN community is the founder of the ‘Help Build A Library In South Africa Foundation’ It seemed a natural synergy that our community should extend the hand of friendship and enablement into another community.

It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside everybody involved in the project. Each and every author has demonstrated not only the most amazing talent, but utmost professionalism, making the anthology an absolute joy to work on. THANK YOU for that.

LITTLE BIRD PUBLISHING HOUSE

www.littlebirdpublishinghouse.com & www.thelittlebirdbookstore.com

Founded in 2013, Little Bird Publishing House was established as an antidote to some of the commercial self-publishing houses that were targeting the indie author community.

Little Bird was established on the model of a co-operative artistic community, in which authors became part of a family, supporting one another, cheerleading and being responsible for one another, and offering authors the chance to engage with high end services of editing, cover art and publication with none of the fees.

Little Bird Publishing is about celebrating diversity of voice and celebrating the individual right to creative expression.

We are currently a community of thirteen authors, and take on five to six authors a year.

As part of our house, we also established the Dark Heart & Night Shade Anthology project as a way of new writers gaining publishing experience and platform.

It has been a delight and a privilege to work on the UTOPiA Anthology, REVOLUTION and pay back into the community that is so dear to us.



Utopia Con Blogger Badge

Remember to check out all of the official blog posts this month for more awesome Nashville sites and eateries:

Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: A Book Vacation and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes



In exactly 64 days, UTOPiA 2016 will begin in Nashville, and I’m so very excited!!  For the official bloggers feature this month, we’ve got a forum for you to ask Keynote Speaker Alessandra Torre questions, awards info, and two new sponsors!  Check it out below:

Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

 

Have questions for Alessandra Torre?  Use the google doc below to ask!  This is so cool, and I can’t wait to hear what all Alessandra has to say!

Be sure to check her out on Amazon and her website, and ask your questions here:

KEYNOTE QUESTIONS

Alessandra Torre

AWARDS INFO and SCHED:

Sometime this month, the academy will be notified via e-mail. Voting will start at the end of April/beginning of May—more info to come!  Eligible books are those published between April 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016 that fall into the categories set forth by Utopia; good luck!

Also, be sure to use Sched to set up your daily itinerary while at the con!  It is seriously so helpful: http://utopia2016.sched.org/ — more about this next month!

And a VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Wise Ink and Vellum for their sponsorship of the con!

WiseVellum



UTOPiA 2016: 5-Yr Anniversary Book Lovers Convention and Celebration for Writers and Fans

UtopYA, LLC

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 7:00 PM Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM (CDT)

Nashville, TN

Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

Deep breath! The countdown is REAL! UTOPiA 2016 starts 2.5 months; I can barely contain my excitement!  And that means it’s time to get ready for real–no more lists in our heads of what we want to bring, who we want to see, and what we want to do–we’ve got to start preparing now, because it can be a daunting and scary process leading up to the con, from packing, to traveling and getting to the hotel, to meet and greets, and toting your books around and getting to the right places, and waiting to the last minute is really not advised!  But rest assured, I’ve got some great tips and advice for you.



Packing:

Wrapped BooksSo, you’ve purchased your ticket to the con, but still need to pack, right? Wait, you haven’t purchased yet?  Whaaat? Go here and do that now! 

Pack light.  You’re only at the conference for five days, and you don’t need to change your outfit multiple times a day.  TRUST ME.  You may feel like you’ll need extra clothes just in case, but you truly don’t.  PACK LIGHT. The more room in your suitcase when you arrive, the better off you’ll be when you leave with ALL YOUR BOOKS!!  Plus, I hardly packed anything to wear last year, and I still didn’t wear it all.

What you need:

  • 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants (or dresses)

  • 2 comfortable tops—you’ll probably want to buy the t-shirt at UTOPiA, so count that as a third

  • 1 pair of comfy sandals (shoes if you want) — I suggest arches.

  • 1 “formal” outfit for the awards ceremony with shoes and accessories to match (think PROM) and 1 costume for karaoke (more on this below).

  • Pajamas (we’re talking pajama parties, here).

  • Undergarments (socks optional).

  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail file, perfume, hairbrush, women stuffs, straighteners, etc.—they have hairdryers in the rooms).

  • ANY BOOKS YOU ALREADY HAVE THAT YOU WANT SIGNED and a rolling carryon.

  • Saran Wrap and Bubble Wrap (you will want to double wrap your books in stacks for the travel home so they don’t flop all over the suitcase and end up damaged)   ====> Newspaper is NOT a good idea, though, as it leaves black ink on things and is too thin.  Wrapping paper also works great.

  • SNACKS.  Seriously.  You’re going to want munchies, and sometimes the line for food in the hotel is just way too long (more on that below).

  • Cash for books—some authors take credit cards via PayPal and Square, but it’s just easier with cash on hand.  There are ATMs in the hotel, though, if you run out.

  • Name Badge that shows off your icon.  People don’t know my face or necessarily my full name, but they DO know my blog, so last year I made my own badge to stick over the white badge UTOPiA gives out, and it worked like a charm.  Bring business cards to hand out as well, if you have them (bloggers, I’m talking to you).

NameBadge



Getting There:

If you can drive to Nashville without getting car sick (like I do), then do it!  But, if you’re like me, or if it’s just too far by car, then fly.  If you’re taking SOUTHWEST, then you’re already ahead of the game–Southwest is the only carrier I’ve found that doesn’t charge for luggage.  This is a book conference, so that means you’ll have LOTS of books to take home.  You could mail them, technically, and spend a lot of dollars doing it, OR, you could fly Southwest, which allows you TWO FREE CHECKED BAGS UP TO 50 POUNDS EACH!  Yeah. <== This.

SuitcaseI flew Southwest last year based on their stellar service and the free checked luggage.  Remember, you don’t need a suitcase filled with clothes.  But you DO need lots of space for your books.  I checked two bags for the conference last year, and one was completely empty on my way down to Nashville.  Hey, it’s free, right?  And it saved me a ton of cash when I left the conference because I checked all my books… my combined weight with books, swag, and clothes was about 76 pounds between the two bags (not counting my 30 pound carryon).  And about 50 pounds of that 76 was book weight.  Imagine the price tag on mailing home 50 pounds of books?

BUT–maybe you’re not flying Southwest and there’s a fee to check your bags… find out how much that fee is for a certain weight… sometimes it’s just $25 extra for 50 pounds… still cheaper and faster than mailing them.  Check around and see your options.

ALSO–make sure you bring a carry-on, and that it has wheels.  Put as many books as you can IN IT for the trip down to Nashville, because if you’re packing light for the con, and your checked luggage is sparse, as it should be, you want to keep your precious books safe from flopping around as the luggage gets thrown around.  Plus, you will want it for the conference to transport all your books and swag (and, it’s gentler on your body). I wheeled my carryon all over the conference in 2014 year, and it was a real life saver. Even though my room was just upstairs, and totes are everywhere and they’re fun to use, carrying books around is heavy, and it hurts your back. So bring a rolling carryon.  Trust me.

And if you have the chance, do what I do when flying home: if they’re asking people to standby and take another flight because your flight is full, DO IT–if they’re offering vouchers!  In 2013, Southwest asked me to take the next flight out, which was just four hours later than my original, and they GAVE ME A VOUCHER FOR DOUBLE WHAT I PAID FOR MY ROUNDTRIP TICKETS.  That means my flight for the 2014 convention to Nashville was completely free!

In other words, make sure you don’t schedule any pressing engagements for June 27, 2016, and take the voucher on any flight if they’re offering, and it’ll add up to some awesome free flights.  I took my voucher from 2013 and paid for BOTH my trip to Nashville AND my vacation to Florida.  For real.  Take the voucher if the opportunity arises.



Shuttle:

So you’ve arrived at the airport and you don’t have any friends coming to pick you up and take you to the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel.  NO WORRIES.  The hotel does offer a FREE shuttle service roundtrip to the airport, even if the concierge tells you they don’t… however, for the sake of time, you may want to go ahead and just book a shuttle service instead, which is what I did my first year attending in 2013.

While FREE is nice, I did spend over an hour waiting for the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel Shuttle to pick me up from the airport (only seats 10), and I spent a good 45 minutes waiting for it to take me back to the airport at the end of the conference. So plan accordingly and make sure you head out for the shuttle early, especially if you are under any time constraints.

May I suggest InShuttle… a very prompt service that will take you roundtrip between the Maxwell House and the Airport for ONLY $18 (it will also take you other places, but the fee is a little higher). I used this service in 2013 and really enjoyed it.

InShuttle



Hotel:

Don’t have a room yet?  Go to http://www.utopiacon.com/hotel/ and use code (1606UTOCON).  You can also reach out to the unofficial “We Are Going to UTOPiA” FB page and see if anyone there needs a roomy.  The more in a room together, the cheaper it is!

Once you get to the hotel, check in… to both the hotel and UTOPiACon 2016 (if that’s an option at your arrival time).  You want to get registered as soon as possible… trust me. If your room isn’t ready and you have to wait in the lobby, ask the concierge to hold your bags for you (they will), and go grab a bite to eat in the Bar. <== Be sure to try the official UTOPiA drink!  They’re always fabulous!

Millennium Nashville Exterior Image

Here’s some info about the Hotel:

Facilities:

Outdoors — Outdoor Pool

Activities — Golf Course (within 2 miles), Fitness Center

Food & Drink — Restaurant, Bar

Internet — Wired internet is available in the hotel rooms for a fee of $9.95 per day, but it is free of charge in the lobby. Our internet didn’t work in the rooms at all this past weekend, so it was taken off the bill for all guests.

Parking — Free! Free public parking is available on site (reservation is not needed).

Services — Room Service, Airport Shuttle (free), 24-Hour Front Desk, Baggage Storage, ATM on site, Laundry, Ironing Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Business Center, Fax/Photocopying, Souvenir/Gift Shop

General — Newspapers, Safe, Non-smoking Rooms, Facilities for Disabled Guests, Elevator, Heating, All Spaces Non-Smoking (public and private), Designated Smoking Area

Extra Charges:

Upon checkout, the hotel does automatically add on a $50 a day amenities charge JUST IN CASE, so if you see a pending transaction for a lot more than your bill AFTER you check out of the hotel, rest assured that it will be taken off—it’s only a security measure.  But do make sure you FOLLOW UP with the hotel about it! (I would call after 3 days.)



Food:

Bring it.  Not a ton, but definitely have snacks.  The hotel restaurant and bar is indeed delicious, but they’re both tiny, and when 700+ people are all hungry for lunch, it just doesn’t work.  If you want to eat in either of these places, plan to eat during off times.  11am brunch, 2pm lunch, 4 or 7 pm dinner… avoid the crowds so you don’t have a long wait and can get back to conferencing.

Millennium Nashville Dining Image



The Conference:

2016 authors

Go in knowing that this conference is epic.  I adore it and the laid-back nature of it all.  Janet Wallace, the founder of UTOPiA, has made it an unforgettable event that you just cannot miss!

This year’s keynote speakers are Alex Flinn (Beastly), Alessandra Torre (Sex, Love, Repeat), Myra McEntire (Hourglass), and Janet Wallace (Founder of UTOPiA).  From Wednesday-Saturday, each will speak, beginning at 7pm Wednesday, and 9am the following three days.  But don’t wait until 7pm or 9am to get your seat!!  There are always amazing giveaways to start the mornings, so make sure you’re in the conference room by 8:30 at the latest (also, the bookstore opens at 7:30 so, it pays to be up early!)!!  So many people show up late, missing the opening statements and, therefore, losing out on their prizes!  Hey, more for me!  But seriously, you don’t want to be late for the opening announcements each morning.

Check out the 2016 schedule here: http://utopyacon.com/2016-schedule/ or better yet, use the Sched App, which you can sign up for, or log in to, just by clicking “sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.”

Need help? Watch the following short video I made in 2015.  While it says 2015, rest assured that the same process works for 2016 concerning adding events and panels to your schedule:

Easy, right?  That’s all there is too it!

 



Books and Pre-Orders:

Moving on, I HIGHLY suggest that you bring as many books as you can TO the conference as many authors only bring limited quantities.  Though there is a bookstore on site, I wouldn’t bank on it having every single book you want.

THANKFULLY–Pre-orders are available for a TON of authors!  Check out this pre-order list hosted by Maria Pease of THE PAISLEY READER. You can check out what kind of deals/sales the authors are offering, and find some amazing swag. Just click the name of the author to go to their pre-order page, and MAKE SURE you write down what books you purchased on a spreadsheet so you don’t forget, especially if you’re buying a lot! Many authors also have deals for those pre-ordering, like extra swag, lower prices, etc., so do check out the pre-orders list.

TPR

Likewise, you will acquire much swag and meet tons of authors you haven’t read yet.  So bring cash in case you decide you want to buy their books as well—I met so many new authors and after connecting with them and learning about their books, I just had to have them!  Set a budget and plan accordingly.



Mailing Books Home:

If you didn’t drive, or you just can’t check anymore bags for whatever reason… so you need to mail them home.  That’s cool, just make sure you send it USPS (regular mail) and tell them it’s MEDIA MAIL (if you’re mailing in the USA ONLY–media mail doesn’t exist for international mailing)!  I highly suggest avoiding FedEx because it’s mad expensive.  USPS is the least expensive, and media mail makes it even less so. But you can ONLY send books media mail—not swag, so I suggest putting on the swag in your checked luggage as it’s light (and make sure you put any and all magnets in your checked bag—I made the mistake of putting my business card magnets in my carryon and the TSA agents flagged it and were seriously nervous about going through my bag).

media_mail_1



Costumed Karaoke:

And did I mention costumed karaoke?  Because, yeah.  That happens, too. BRING AN OUTFIT–you don’t have to sing!!  This year it’s…. 80’s THEMED!!  GET READY!

Minion Love



The Awards:

The awards are a BIG DEAL at UtopYA.  It’s like a red carpet event; it’s not a sit down dinner event, but there is a cocktail hour prior to the awards, and the hor d’oeuvres are delectable, though you still might want to eat a light meal prior to the awards ceremony.Awards

What to wear?  Well, really it doesn’t matter.  Since it’s like a red carpet event, most people are dressed to varying formal degrees—from sundresses to prom dresses, I saw them all.  I also saw slacks and jeans, so don’t feel like you have to dress up!  It’s not mandatory.  The only thing that is mandatory is that you have a good time, and that’s a given.

And make sure you stick around for the after-hour dance party, which is great fun!



And over the course of the year I’ve posted a TON of information about UTOPiA–check them all out below.

{UTOPiA 2016} Nashville Hot Spots For Food, Fun, And Celebrity Sightings

{UTOPiACon 2016} Sponsor Spotlight: Fire Quill Publishing, Sponsorship, and General FAQs

{UtopiaCon 2016} Severus Snape and the Mauraders Screening, the Idea Exchange, and a Romance Author Documentary

{UtopiaCon 2016} Invited Guests Information and Ticket Sales



All in all, UTOPiA is beyond fantastic! What do I love about it?  Everything!  But especially that authors and aspiring authors, publicists and publishers, bloggers and readers, cover designers and cover models are all in close proximity to one another, chatting, networking, eating, singing, dancing… and the list goes on. It’s like one HUGE slumber party for four days, and mixed in are awesome activities, with keynotes, panels, visiting booths, signings, pool parties, an awards ceremony, dancing, costumed karaoke, games, and even some sight-seeing, should one so choose! I love that it’s a camaraderie of talents where attendees are willing to share their experiences, jump out of their comfort zones, do some crazy fun things, and all the while make long lasting friendships. You’re going to have a blast.  What are you most looking forward to???

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru June 22, 2016:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $119 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $199 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $41.30 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).

Utopia Con Blogger Badge

Remember to check out all of the official blog posts this month for more awesome Nashville sites and eateries:

Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: A Book Vacation and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes



Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

It’s about 3.5 months, y’all.  3.5 months to Nashville and UTOPiACon, to fun, friendships, great food, great books, great panels, and, or course, celebrity sightings!!! I. CAN’T. WAIT!

First, I want to talk about a little restaurant you really outta try.  It’s called Monell’s, and it’s maybe about 10 minutes from the hotel–you can get a cab or make friends with someone with a car–there’s plenty of people heading to UTOPiA that will be driving, and I’m dead serious when I say you should try out this historic, family-style restaurant!

MONELLS COLLAGE

I was blessed enough to eat at this restaurant with Misty Provencher, her family, and Carol and Adam Kunz, all amazing authors who seriously light up my life!  I didn’t realize Monell’s was a quaint homestyle resturant until we were seated, and it was just amazing!  The menu is already set, the tables are huge, and strangers come together for good eats and fellowship–we met some really cool people who were also visiting the Nashville area on holiday, and I just love everything about this place!  Perhaps the coolest rule of all: NO CELL PHONES at the table!  Monell’s helps create that good-old fashioned fellowship by pairing guests and strangers together; it’s so cool!

So… when in Nashville do what the locals do…Pass the Peas…Please! Great Southern Food served Family Style in Historic Settings. Skillet Fried Chicken, Green Beans, Cheese Grits, Cornbread, Biscuits and gravy, pork chops, pot roast.

The menu changes each day. Go on in, grab a seat at large tables, and start passing the bowls to your left. There’s a set price, which includes meats, vegetables and salads of the day, plus a drink and dessert.

MENU:

Skillet Fried Chicken Served at Every Meal!
All meals served with our famous skillet fried chicken, meats of the day, several hot southern vegetables, salads, drink, dessert, and biscuits.

All you care to eat. Food served communal style, first come, first served.

  • Monday: Chicken and Dumplings and Meatloaf
  • Tuesday: Spinach Lasagna & Pot Roast
  • Wednesday: Pork Chops, Baked Chicken and Fried Chicken
  • Thursday: Sliced Roast Beef w/ Gravy and Meatloaf
  • Friday Lunch: Fried Catfish & Spinach Lasagna
  • Friday Dinner: add BBQ Ribs
  • Weekend Country Breakfast: Smoked Sausage, Bacon, Biscuits and Gravy, Country Ham, Fried Apples, Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Hashbrowns, Cheese Grits, Skillet Fried Chicken, Corn Pudding, Coffee
  • Saturday Lunch: Meatloaf & Pulled BBQ Pork
  • Saturday Dinner: Add Fried Catfish
  • Sunday Lunch: Skillet Fried Chicken and Chef’s Choice of meats.

Prices:
Tax not included
Price includes a variety of meats, southern vegetables, salads, dessert, bread and drink.

Lunch:   
Mon– Fri            $13.95 + tax
Saturday            $14.95 + tax
Sunday              $21.00 + tax

Dinner:  
Tues – Thurs    $16.00 + tax
Fri & Sat            $19.00 + tax

Country Breakfast:
Sat & Sun:        $14.95 + tax

Children 3 and under Free.  Children 4-12 at a Child Price.  Children 13 and older full price.

 On the go? Try Cafe Monell’s on Bransford Ave near 100 Oaks Mall – open 7 days a week.

Seriously!  You have to try this place!!



 

Other awesome places you may want to check out include:

AND OF COURSE–these Celebrity Hotspots, too:

 

  • Kid Rock, when in town, can be found at one on Nashville Gentlemen’s Clubs. Until he is back with Pam, then they like to eat at Valentino’s on West End.

  • Justin Timberlake likes Bread & co.

  • Garth Brooks was a regular at the Sonic Drive In on Dickerson Rd in Bellshire.

  • Most any of the high end restaurants and Starbucks in the Vandy/West End or Cool Springs Area you might have a shot at seeing a star. Weeknights are best, as they don’t keep the same hours as the normal working class.

  • Kenny Chesney likes PF Changs in Cool Springs and has been spotted there quite a bit.

  • Nicole Kidman likes the Starbucks at 5 points in Franklin, along with the Country Boy restaurant in Liepers Fork, and she and Keith have been seen at J. Alexanders on the West end, and they like the Green Hills area on Sunday mornings.

  • Keith Urban goes to the Franklin Farmers Market quite often (every Saturday morning through October…get there early).

  • Carrie Underwood just moved into Fieldstone Farms in Franklin and has been spotted in the Publix grocery in her subdivision.

  • Faith Hill has been seen shopping at The Iron Gate on Main Street in Franklin and Leiper’s Fork’s Serenite Maison.

  • Bluebird Cafe and the Grand Ole Opry (guaranteed sightings)



 

What are you most looking forward to???

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru June 22, 2016:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $119 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $199 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $41.30 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).

Utopia Con Blogger Badge

Remember to check out all of the official blog posts this month for more awesome Nashville sites and eateries:

Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: A Book Vacation and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Toni Lesatz and Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes

 



Announcing a new book by M.R. Merrick!

Synopsis: In a world where being Supernatural means you’re in danger, Ash Lawson is front and center. After years of helping others escape ATOM—a government entity known for abusing Supernaturals—he’s captured, and saving himself will prove to be the most difficult task he’s undertaken.

Tryst Rivera is a Succubus and veteran at the Academy, a facility tasked with converting underage Supernaturals into cooperative ATOM soldiers. She’s endured her time mostly unscathed, but when Ash arrives and their lives are tethered to one another, she’s placed in immediate danger.

With escape at the forefront of his mind, Ash struggles with the idea of life under ATOM’s thumb. He’ll die before he converts, but his life isn’t the only one he’s responsible for, and he already has more blood on his hands than he can bear. When a chance for freedom arises, Ash needs to decide how much—and who—he’s willing to risk for a second chance.

Add to Goodreads

Coming March 15, 2016

 



 

About the Author

 

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, and The Rise of Genesis. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and a large bowl of cereal.

 

 

 

Connect with the author

 

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads



 

It’s January, and that means UTOPiA 2016 is only 5 months away… I can’t wait!

Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

So, it’s time for some details about one of the awesome Utopia sponsors, without whom it just wouldn’t be possible!  Utopia has several amazing sponsors, and the bloggers and I will be highlighting them all month long! So without further ado, I bring you Fire Quill Publishing:

Firequill.png

http://www.firequillpublishing.com/

From Fire Quill’s Homepage:

Fire Quill Publishing is located in sunny South Africa. We strive to only publish and distribute pre-eminent novels to our audience, and work to offer superb marketing services to our authors. Each division is run by a team of experts in their respective fields in order to make your experience in the publishing industry as fun and exciting as possible, whilst still offering the highest quality and professionalism.

Fire Quill Publishing operates internationally, and supports international authors.

Our aspiration is to market popular genres such as fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, in South Africa. However, we are most certainly open to other genres as well. Please visit our Submission Guidelines  for detailed instructions on how to submit your manuscript to Fire Quill Publishing.

From the “Meet the Team” Page:

EricaErika Bester is the founder of Fire Quill Publishers. Her love for novels is beyond words, and she has a unique gift for seeing the potential in each and every author she meets. She values each novel for its own unique story, and believes wholeheartedly in their truly magical ability to reach audiences around the world. Her interests include YA, NA, fantasy, paranormal, and erotica. Her favorite authors of all time are Suzanne Collins, J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, George R.R. Martin, Patricia Briggs and many more. You can reach her at erikab@firequillpublishers.com

CarlyleCarlyle Labuschage is the co-founder of Fire Quill Publishing. She loves and works in the marketing industry, and has a talent for getting FQP authors‘ novels out into the market place. Other than losing herself in words of othersshe loves to swim, fights for trees, and is a food lover who is driven by her passion for life. Carlyle also writes for IU e-Magazine India, an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world through words. Carlyle is also the founder of the first annual book drive―Help Build A Library in Africa Project. Her favorite genres are sci-fi, YA, dystopian, and anything with good, well developed characters, plots, and story line. You can reach her at carlylel@firequillpublishing.com 

For more information about the amazing team at Fire Quill Publishing, head over to their page: http://www.firequillpublishing.com/meet-the-team.html

Fire Quill does a lot for Utopia, and we’re so proud to have them as a sponsor!

Give them a follow!
Twitter
Facebook
Blog



 

How would YOU like to be a sponsor for Utopia 2016?

Want to Reach Every Attendee?  Sponsor UTOPiA and Prosper!

With an audience, a delivery system, and a hunger that’s growing, the contemporary and paranormal middle grade, young adult, and new adult mania is picking up incredible momentum these days, and UTOPiAcon is the fastest growing conference out there right now that attendees talk about year round!

Reach & grow your audience with intimate access and profile-raising opportunities that eager eyes will see, experience, and be talking about before, during and after the event on their blogs, in texts, through social media and much more!
Contact info [at] utopiacon.com for premium sponsor deck and information.

Promotional Opportunities at UTOPiAcon

HOST YOUR OWN PRIVATE PARTY!

Thursday or Friday or Saturday, book an EXCLUSIVE party room in the heart of the conference area and host your own private event for up to 400 people!

TWO HOURS
$1,000*

THREE HOURS
$1,500*

Day or Nighttime hours available. Email for availability & to book now info [at] utopYAcon.com with subject line: Private Party
Perfect for:

  • Book Release Parties
  • Publishing House appreciation events
  • Business or Brand launches
  • Educational workshops
  • Fan appreciation Giveaway lunches or dinners
  • and more!

INCLUDED: tables/chairs set-up, trash bins, linens, water
* Catering and Audio/Visual needs not included, but we can work discount with hotel if you require it.  To find out available hours and book your party, email info [at] utopYAcon.com with subject line: Private Party 


 

OR, take over the whole room for ONE or TWO full days of the conference

ONE-DAY ROOM TAKEOVER
$3,000

Includes:

  • six-hour room takeover 10 AM – 4 PM Thursday, June 18 or Friday, June 19
  • room tables, chairs, linens set-up by hotel staff
  • water
  • trash bins
  • ability to change the name of the room — complete branding authority
  • wi-fi, if needed
  • basic, one- mic/p.a. set-up
  • rooms available for 25-400 people

TWO-DAY TAKEOVER
$5,500

  • six-hour room takeover 10 AM – 4 PM Thursday, June 18
  • six-hour room takeover 10 AM – 4 PM Friday, June 19
  • room tables, chairs, linens set-up by hotel staff
  • water
  • trash bins
  • ability to change the name of the room — complete branding authority
  • wi-fi, if needed
  • basic, one- mic/p.a. set-up for two days
  • rooms available for 25-400 people

* catering, projector/screen, more complex a/v needs and other requests are additional cost. Email for availability & to book now info [at] utopiacon.com with subject line: Room Takeover


Other opportunities also available include:

WELCOME BAG  INSERTION
$500

Want to ensure you reach every single attendee, exhibitor and panelist at the 2016 utopia convention at 2015 prices? With over 650 people in attendance at #utopia2016, Welcome Bag insertion is pennies on the dollar per bag no matter how many items you want to give away. You only pay $500 to reach every single person at the convention!

Email info@utopiacon.com with subject line: Welcome Bags to get your swag to everyone at utopiacon!

** We do not accept food or flammable items. While we allow paper, we discourage it due to environmental reasons. If you’re going to use paper, make it useful — a download code or discount offer of some kind. Don’t just create a flier or postcard.

WELCOME BAG SPONSOR:
$1,000

(Only 5 available)

Imagine every attendee carrying your logo, web site or book cover design – from the moment they check in at registration, and months after the show! Upon registration check-in, each attendee will receive a beautiful bag to carry important materials throughout the conference. Your logo will appear along with the utopYA 2015 logo. Sponsorship includes placing an item in the bag (see above) – what exposure! You will be branded as one of the Welcome Bag sponsors in all pre-conference marketing materials!

LANYARD SPONSOR:
$1,500

(Only 1 available)

Every attendee is required to wear a name badge throughout the conference, and lanyards are a great way to enhance your brand and increase your visibility! This is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your name/your book/your web site will literally be in front of every attendee. Sponsorship includes branded lanyards. Your company will be branded as the Lanyard sponsor in all pre-conference marketing materials! Sponsorship includes reduced rate for Summit attendees.

Email  info [at] utopYAcon.com with subject line Promo Opps to get in front of and in the hands of everyone at utopYAcon!

FOR MORE EXCLUSIVE, CUSTOMIZED AND PREMIUM SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES, PLEASE EMAIL Kelly @ utopiacon.com

For more info, visit http://www.utopiacon.com/sponsorship-promo-opportunities/



 

FAQs:  You’ve Got Questions? We’ve got answers!

–I would like to be a guest author/ How can I be a part of UTOPiAcon/ How can I get on a panel?

UTOPiAcon is a WRITERS CONFERENCE, so the entire conference is for you in some way. Attendance would benefit your career as a whole.

Because we are absolutely overwhelmed with requests to be on panels, we have developed a process that seems to be working better for all. First we decide the panel topics provided often by your own suggestions. Then we invite the moderators — who have experience, professionalism, and a strong knowledge of the topic — to preside over the panel. Those moderators are then tasked with choosing TWO panelists for that panel whom they feel are best qualified to serve the topic and audience.

The UTOPiAcon team, then fill in any remaining slots with people we feel are qualified to represent the topics and the con well, who the fans have asked for, and/or who round out a diverse and knowledgeable panel.

You can request to be on a panel, but please know that there are no guarantees that you will get chosen. If you feel qualified to be on a panel, please submit the following information to be added to a list:

  • your name
  • links to your books or to your vendor web site if you are a vendor or service provider, not an author.
  • description of your books or service or product.
  • any milestones: including, but not limited to Amazon rank, sales etc., awards you’ve won, high traffic to your blog, number of subscribers/followers, or mentions in the media.
  • topics about which you feel qualified to speak.
  • links to a website or social media profile so we can get to know you better

PLEASE SUBMIT TO: info @ utopyacon.com

If you are not chosen it should NOT be considered a reflection of your work. We are simply buried in requests. In fact, we encourage those who have never attended UTOPiAcon before to do so first and get a feel for our community. You do NOT have to be on a panel to participate or massively impact your career at UTOPiAcon. The environment of the panels/sessions is one of engagement and is highly inclusive of audience questions, comments AND expertise. Just because you’re on one side of the session table, doesn’t mean your influence and impact won’t be felt and heard by all. And there are many opportunities outside the panel rooms to network, meet fans, and grow your business.

–Does my ticket get me into UTOPiA Awards?

Yes. This may not be the case in the future, so definitely cool beans to be able to attend both for one price right now. We also have Awards-only tickets for those who only wish to attend the Awards.

–What is the REFUND POLICY?

FOR TICKET HOLDERS: 
Full refund for 60 Days from purchase or until March 31, 2016, whichever comes first. Amount minus processing fee after 60 days or until March 31, 2016, whichever comes first. No refunds, transfers or exchanges allowed after March 31, 2016 for any reason.

FOR EXHIBITOR SPACE: 
Full refund for 60 days from purchase or until March 31, 2016, whichever comes first. Fifty percent (50%) refund after 60 days or until March 31st, 2016, whichever comes first. No refunds, transfers or exchanges allowed after March 31, 2016 for any reason.

–How do the Awards work — how are nominees chosen, how do people win, how can I get my books considered?

The UTOPiA Awards Academy was created in 2012. The academy is made up of invited convention guest panelists and moderators. These outstanding members — consisting of authors, editors, designers, models, publishers, producers, agents, book formatters, photographers, and more who are active in the publishing and entertainment industries — are the ones who nominate their peers for award consideration.

Those with the most nominations make it to the final nominee list. Then the public, the fans, vote for the winners. UTOPiAcon founder and full-time staff are not eligible for nomination, nor can they vote in the awards.

–What should I wear to the conference?

Nashville is hotter than Hades in June, but the meeting rooms have been known to be cold at times. We recommend bringing a hoodie or sweater/wrap with you to the indoor meeting spaces. Dress comfortably or as your author brand demands for the con.

–What should I wear to the UTOPiA Awards?

Something you want to have in pictures! Doesn’t have to be super formal, but definitely think hot night out on the town, MTV Awards or prom/first date/TV appearance.

–Is dinner included at the UTOPiA Awards?

Dinner will not be provided at the utopYA Awards. We will be serving hor d’oeuvres at the pre-awards happy hour event, though.

–Can my kid get in free?

Kids under the age of 12 can enjoy UTOPiAcon free of charge, but must be accompanied by a ticketed/badge-holding adult. They are not allowed into the UTOPiA Awards, however, without the purchase of a ticket due to space limitations. If child who has received complimentary admission is found to be older than 12-years-old, badge/admission of child and adult guardian may be revoked, and the guilty parties may be banned from future UTOPiAcon events. This policy is subject to change at any time. PLEASE BE AWARE that some panels focus on mature content not suitable for children.

–Is there daycare?

At this time, daycare is not provided by utopYA, LLC or the venue.

Please be courteous and mindful of other attendees if you do decide to bring your young child with you to panels or UTOPiAcon-sanctioned activites. If your child cries or gets fussy in a panel or keynote, please exit the room with your child until he, she or they are quiet again.

We LOVE kids, but want the UTOPiAcon experience to be one everyone can understand, hear and enjoy together without distraction.

–Can men attend (and participate in) UTOPiAcon?

UTOPiAcon is heavily weighted toward women, who, we felt at the time utopYAcon was created in 2012, were propelling the publishing world forward in new and undiscovered directions. We also feel that UTOPiAcon has the incredible loyalty and vibe it has because the women writers and service providers in the publishing industry right now have made it their place to share, grow, learn and swoon in safety and with confidence while navigating the sometimes daunting business side of the industry. We don’t want them to feel trivialized or embarrassed by asking questions or having crushes on fictional characters. This is a safe haven where the only thing shunned is snobbery and closed mindedness.

We feel that many other cons out there cover a very male-dominated entertainment world. That being said, we DO still invite several men to be on panels – authors, agents, editors, podcasters, husbands, lawyers, managers and many others — because we know there are many amazing men out there contributing to and supporting the industry. It will probably always be weighted in favor of the estrogen; however, men are more than welcome to attend the event in general and we encourage spouses and partners to come so that they can see the wonderful world their loved one has gotten themselves into!!!

And finally, we will always pick male authors who champion strong female characters!



 

Please be sure and visit the other official bloggers this month! They have information on some of our other great sponsors.

Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: A Book Vacation and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Toni Lesatz and Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes

Utopia Con Blogger Badge

 



Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

“Severus Snape and the Marauders” Official Screening

In case you haven’t heard, a screening of “Severus Snape and the Marauders,” a Harry Potter fan film, will be at UTOPiA in June 2016.  The official screening of the fan-made short film will be followed by a Q&A with the writer-director, Justin Zagri of Broad Strokes, as well as some of the cast!!

Set in 1978, Severus Snape, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Lily Evans have just graduated from Hogwarts School. As James and his friends known only to each other as The Marauders drink at a bar, Snape enters as well, hoping to find Lily. Knowing their dark future, and the part Snape might play, James decides to do something about his longtime rival once and for all.

Check out the teaser trailer:

Like what you see?  Then make sure you watch the first full length Harry Potter film below!

If you’re not familiar with the Broad Strokes team, their first short film that takes place in the Potterverse, “The Greater Good,” is set almost a hundred years before “The Sorcerers Stone.” It explores the end of a friendship, the beginnings of the dark wizard Grindelwald, and the tragedy that left the Dumbledore family in ruins.

It has been watched over three million times on YouTube. It clocks in at a little over 17 gripping minutes. It’s awesome. Watch it NOW:

Questions?  Use this Q&A form for Justin Zagri. Questions will be answered live on the air first week of January–stay tuned for a link to that! And be sure to connect with Justin on his HP FanFic FB page: https://www.facebook.com/hpuntoldtales

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The screening is currently on the schedule for Thursday, June 24, 2016. Time is still to be determined, and schedule is subject to change.



Ideas with Heart™

In the vein of TED talks, UTOPiA is excited to announce the return of the popular UTOPiA Idea Xchange talks, Ideas with Heart™. This is a time for leaders in the community to share powerful ideas that have the potential to shape the present and future of the publishing industry.

These talks will no doubt be inspirational, educational, and motivational. What they will not be is a rant or negativity toward authors, vendors, or particular paths of publishing. The purpose of the UTOPiAIdea Xchange is to share ideas that can help everyone move forward in this crazy beautiful world.

Today I’m highlighting the first three speakers and the titles of their upcoming talks:

Angeline KaceAngeline Kace: Exercising Your Demons

I went from writing about vampires and demons to wrestling with my own. But I was able to go from feeling lost and defeated to living my best life in less than a year — raising a son who is the light of my life, and helping others conquer years of struggle to feel more confident and healthy.

In my talk, I’ll share how you can banish demons in your own life, and how to attract and harness positive people and epic results within days not years.

Angeline Kace is a lifestyle coach and a fitness rep for Beachbody. Author of the paranormal YA Vampire Born Trilogy and the NA romance Wicked Thing.

Angeline Kace Books 2

Heather HildenbrandHeather Hildenbrand: The Audacity of Self-Love

We are bombarded by media almost every waking hour in the modern world. And the messages tramsmitted in the name of advertising and pop culture often say we’re too fat, too skinny, too loud, too quiet….too wrong in one way or another. That dysfunction affects our self-esteem and, subsequently, our choices. We choose hobbies and friends and even jobs and futures based on what we are “supposed” to be. And then wonder what went wrong when we discover we aren’t happy.

By breaking free of that cycle, by learning to love ourselves as we are, we change everything. Our choices are different, our attitude, our future–everything shifts. But it starts with loving ourselves. Pampering and especially protecting ourselves from those nasty messages society wants us to believe. This talk will address these issues and how to transform them.

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) She writes Young Adult & New Adult romance including the bestselling Dirty Blood & Imitation series’, the latter of which was optioned by NBC. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs. Heather is also a publishing and success coach dedicated to teaching fellow writers how to create their own Laptop Lifestyle. For more information visit http://www.fictionauthorcoach.com. You can find out more about Heather and her books at http://www.heatherhildenbrand.com.

Heather Hildenbrand Books

ChelseaChelsea Fine: How to (Legitimately) Root For the Competition

Although competition can be a healthy thing, it can quickly become an obsessive thing, leading to bitterness and frustration.

But when people root–honestly root–for the competition and invest in others’ triumphs, their own success and achievements become that much more enjoyable.

In this talk I’ll share how to root out the weeds in your habits and thinking in order to root for others for increased happiness and success.

TEDxYouth Speaker Chelsea Fine is a women’s activist, and the author of the bestselling NA romance Finding Fate series, as well as the author of the YA Archers of Avalon series. 

Chelsea Fine Books

For more information about the Idea Exchange, and to see the full list of speakers, visit UTOPiAcon.



“Love Between the Covers” Authors Documentary Official Screening

Romance is the behemoth of the publishing industry. It outsells mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy combined. Yet no film has ever taken an honest look at the amazing global community that romance writers and readers have built. Until now.

About the Filmmaker, Laurie Kahn:

Director/Producer Laurie Kahn’s first film, A Midwife’s Tale, was based on the 18th century diary of midwife Martha Ballard and Laurel Ulrich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book. It won film festival awards and a national Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction. Her film TUPPERWARE! was broadcast in more than 20 countries, won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for a national Best Nonfiction Director Emmy. Before starting her own production company, Kahn worked on Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, The American Experience, FRONTLINE’S Crisis in Central America, All Things Considered, and Time Out. When she was in her 20s, she taught philosophy, she now teaches film and history when she’s not in the middle of making a film, and she’s a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center.



 

With all the epicness above–have you made plans to attend UTOPIAcon in June?

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru December 31, 2015:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $110 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $190 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $55 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).



Tata for now!  Be sure to visit all of the bloggers this month!

 Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: Me and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Toni Lesatz and Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes





Another giveaway? Why, yes!  I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!  So… I thought I’d give away some more awesome books and swag!

Win yourself a little something special this holiday season:

GIVEAWAY

Excited?  Of course you are!!  Enter to win these gems, and tell all your friends…

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway from A Book Vacation Reviews. <==Please LIKE our Facebook page so you never miss an epic giveaway again!

To enter you must:

-Be 18 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in at least one question on Rafflecopter (the more you complete, the more entries you earn)

-Be okay with the fact that Beauty From Love by Georgia Cates has a “lips” sticker over a misspelled name

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on January 4th. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave a comment!


And don’t forget to enter my other giveaway:

Signed paperbacks of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire plus some awesome swag (ends December 23):

Jamie McGuire Giveaway



And… are you coming to the UTOPIA Writers/Book Con in June?

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru December 31, 2015:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $110 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $190 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $55 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).




And there’s more!! If you haven’t been following the awesome that IS #Utopia2016 over on Facebook this week, there’s still a bit of time to get in on the fun!!  Head on over to the UTOPiAcon 2016 Event Page and check out the awesome book giveaways they’ve got running–just in time for Christmas!!

Here’s some that END Monday, November 30:

#1—EBOOK of FROST from Kelly Martin:

Giveaway 6



#2—$10 AMAZON OR PAYPAL GIFT CARD from Susan Burdorf:

Amazon GC



 #3—SIGNED PAPERBACK OF TUR and an EBOOK SET of THE ELSKER SAGA from S.T. Bende

STBende



 #4—10 DIGITAL ARCS of RYLEN (Tangled Web Series #1) from Morgan Wylie

Morgan Wylie



If you haven’t been following the awesome that IS #Utopia2016 over on Facebook, now’s the time to do so!!  Head on over to the UTOPiAcon 2016 Event Page and check out the awesome book giveaways they’ve got running–just in time for Christmas!!

Here’s some that END TOMORROW, November 29:

#1—TWO PAPERBACKS by Erin Hayes:

Erin Hayes


#2—THREE EBOOKS from Chris Cannon:

Chris Cannon Giveaway


#3—SIGNED SET of PAPERBACKS from Morgan Wylie:

thanksgiving-background_zyOQkowd_L


#4—THREE AMAZON EBOOKS from Nichole Greene:

N.L. Greene


#5—YA MYSTERY BOX FROM Christina Benjamin:

books-with-question-mark_zkEuUUu_



Win yourself a little something special this holiday season!  I have a signed set of Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster up for grabs, plus some awesome signed swag… excited?  Of course you are!!  Enter to win  these gems, and tell all your friends…

Jamie McGuire Giveaway

 This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway from A Book Vacation Reviews.

To enter you must:

-Be 18 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in at least one question on Rafflecopter (the more you complete, the more entries you earn)

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on December 23rd. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!



Be sure to enter my other epic giveaway:

Win Signed Paperbacks of: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer, Beauty from Love by Georgia Cates, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, and Letting Go by Maya Banks, PLUS a signed UtopYA Tshirt from the 2014 Con! (Ends January 4)

GIVEAWAY



And… are you coming to the UTOPIA Writers/Book Con in June?

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru December 31, 2015:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $110 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $190 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $55 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).




It’s the weekend!  I’m looking forward to finally relaxing a bit after the craziness that has been my life.  And guess what?  It’s almost Thanksgiving!  And UTOPiAcon is getting set to give you a week-long party to celebrate!!!

Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

Thanksgiving week, Janet Wallace and the official bloggers will be running an awesome Utopia Facebook party, giving away awesome goodies like tickets, books, signing space, table space, and more!!!  Make sure you’re a part of the event by joining on Facebook HERE!

And, if you’re in the mood to donate any goodies for this Thanksgiving party, click HERE!

I’m heading to NCTE this coming week in Minneapolis, and if all goes as planned, I’ll have a SIGNED COPY of The Giver, by Lois Lowry, that I’m donating to the Facebook party to give away.  Don’t miss it!!



And of course, it’s November, so that means a new UtopiaCon Tee exclusive is for sale!!

Check out this beauty below–I scooped up the grey hoodie the moment I saw it!

Can’t wait to wear it around this winter!

November tees

This months design is just epic, and it comes not only in hoodie form for the holidays, but also as a racerback tank top, short sleeve tee, short sleeve v-neck tee, unisex fitted tee, and female fitted tee.  So many choices!!! Most come in white or grey, but a few come in black as well.  Happy shopping!

The idea behind the design stems from “Whit & Ware and Indie-Visible, [who] have teamed up to create a series of eleven limited edition T-shirts (one per month) honoring the amazing Janet Wallace, and her incredible gift to us all….the place we all call home once a year – Utopia!” But after November 20, this particular design will disappear forever, so act fast!!



Are you coming to UTOPIA in June?

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru December 31, 2015:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $110 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $190 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $55 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).



Well, that’s all for this month’s Utopia Post.  Be sure to check out the other official blogger’s posts!  Ta ta for now!

Visit all the bloggers this month!
Week 1: Jo Michaels and Maria Pease
Week 2: Me and Delphina Miyares
Week 3: Toni Lesatz and Ren Reidy
Week 4: Ashley Bodette and Kathryn Grimes

Utopia Con Blogger Badge



Utopia 2016 Fight For Your RightI can’t help but look at the changing of the leaves and wonder where the time has gone; it’s nearly November! 

And that means that Utopia is getting closer!  In fact, Founder Janet Wallace just released the next keynote speaker info…

Are you ready for this?

Alex_Flinn_collageALEX FLYNN!!!

Author of Beastly, Breathing Underwater, and many, many more awesome novels!!  Check out the official announcement HERE!

I am beyond excited–I’ve been reading Flynn’s novels since 2010, before I began blogging, and I can’t wait to meet her!!!

Make sue YOU have a chance to meet her in Nashville too; grab your tickets now!! Trust me when I say it’s worth every penny.

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Event Pricing thru December 31, 2015:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $110 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $190 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $55 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link above for prices and info

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).



And guess what else?

The third limited edition tee for Utopia is available until November 4!  And once again, I am in love with this new design!

The idea behind the tee stems from “Whit & Ware and Indie-Visible, [who] have teamed up to create a series of eleven limited edition T-shirts (one per month) honoring the amazing Janet Wallace, and her incredible gift to us all….the place we all call home once a year – Utopia!” But after November 4, this particular design will disappear forever, so act fast!!

Capture

The next design will arrive sometime in November, and in case you were wondering, the “goal with these Limited Edition shirts is to raise funds so that we can provide UtopiaCon with killer branding all over the hotel such as standing banners with panel schedules outside every conference room, welcome banners at the hotel entrance, etc. We’re also handling the signing posters, some fun stuff for the writing cave, and some extra awesome swag for attendees. Any money that is left over will go to Janet Wallace, which she can use as she sees fit to make the 2016 the best year yet! We know how hard Janet works to give our crazy tribe an inspiring home every June, and we wanted to take some of the weight off her shoulders by taking care of all these details so she can focus on the big picture!”

For more information, or to buy this amazing shirt and help support Utopia, click HERE!



And last but not least, as one of the official bloggers, we thought it would be great if we shared a little information about ourselves this month so you can get to know us better.

Q: What you do for work outside of blogging?

A: I teach high school English.

Q: What’s the one thing you feel you’ve gained by blogging?

A: Friendships with likeminded readers and authors across the globe. I had no idea that blogging book reviews was such a wide practice until I got into it, and it has been amazing.

Q: How did you find Utopia?

A: Tiffany King. She invited me to my first Utopia convention in 2013 and it was an absolutely amazing experience.

Q: What did you learn or gain at Utopia that you don’t feel you would’ve gotten anywhere else?

A: This was the first time I really understood that my opinion matters. It was also the first time I actually got to meet the authors and readers I had become friends with through blogging. Getting to meet my idols in person, and connecting with new authors, bloggers, and readers was so much fun—like a 3 day slumber party.

Q: How do you feel you contribute to the writer world at large?

A: Over the past year, I’ve begun betaing for both indie and traditionally pubbed authors. Being able to give feedback and contribute to the story makes me feel like a million bucks.

Q:What’s your ultimate blogging goal?

A:To share my love of reading with the world.

Make sure you check out all the official blogger’s posts concerning UTOPiA and more invited guests, and subscribe to their blogs as well:

Week 1: Jo Michaels Blog and The Paisley Reader

Week 2: A Book Vacation (ME) and Delphina Reads Too Much

Week 3: My Book Addiction and A Little Bit of R&R

Week 4: Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous and Tsk Tsk What to Read (AND A GIVEAWAY!!)

Every Two Weeks: Lulo FanGirl

And, make sure to check out all the other ways you can keep up with news about the goings on at UTOPiAcon for 2016.

Utopia blog | UTOPiAcon BUZZ Flipboard | A Daily Cup of Jo Radio Show | We Are Going to Utopia! Unofficial Facebook Group | UTOPiAcon Official Facebook Page | @utopia_con on Twitter

Come join us and FIGHT FOR YOUR WRITE!

Utopia Con Blogger Badge



unnamedIt’s no secret that I love me some Tiffany King, and her latest novel, A Shattered Heart, just release today!  This second novel in The Fractured Lives series is sure to please just as much as A Shattered Moment did!!  Scoop it up, stat!

From Goodreads: A Shattered Heart is the story of Kathleen “Kat” Darby who discovers that although you can run away, you can never escape the ghosts from your past.

Physically, Kat Darby walked away relatively unscathed from the tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation. Emotionally, her scars run much deeper from the loss of two of her best friends and her longtime boyfriend, Dan. Unable to face the constant reminders of the person she thought she would love forever, Kat leaves for twelve months to study art in France before returning home to start her life again.

Life in Florida proves more difficult than Kat anticipated with remnants of the accident still lingering. The only solace she can find is in her love for art until she runs into Brian, the younger brother of her deceased former boyfriend. Finding they can lean on each other, Kat and Brian find comfort in their emotional common bond. When an unexpected romance develops, Kat must decide if she is willing to face the ghosts from her past in order to love again.

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Tiffany King new profile pictureAbout Tiffany King

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

For information on any of Author Tiffany’s titles, visit her blog at www.authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

Where to connect with Author Tiffany

Twitter@AuthorTiffany

FacebookAuthorTiffanyKing

PinterestTiffany King

Blogauthortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

GoodreadsTiffany King

Email– authortiffany@yahoo.com

“Dreams do come true…Dream big.”



 Good evening, good evening!! This marks my first post as one of the eight official UTOPiA bloggers for the 2016 conference, and I am so excited! Today, I’m bringing you information about five of the many invited guests for UTOPiA, and trust me, you’ll certainly want to meet them all at the con in 2016, so get your tickets NOW! Utopia 2016 Fight For Your Right

whitney-barbettiWhitney Barbetti, author:

I am a wife to one and a mom to two humans and one cat. I have a deep and abiding love for nachos – especially the kind with the liquid cheese, like from Taco Bell (sorry). I run on less than four hours of sleep thanks to copious amounts of Diet Dr. Pepper. (Note: this paragraph is not sponsored by anyone except my hungry stomach.)

As a Navy brat, I grew up all over the country, from California, up the east coast from Florida to New England and Colorado. I currently live in Idaho, where we have lots of potatoes and windmills.

I write character-driven New Adult novels, heavy on the emotional connection. I LOVE love. I love writing about broken characters who find their soul mates.

WebsiteTumblr | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Ten Below ZeroRecommended read: Ten Below Zero

From Goodreads:

“In here,” he said, pushing on the skin above my heart, “you’re ten below zero. And you’re closer to death than I am.”

My name is Parker. My body is marked with scars from an attack I don’t remember. I don’t want to remember. I choose to live my life by observation, not through experience. While people are laughing and kissing and connecting, I’m in the corner. Watching them live. I’m indifferent to everything, everyone. The only emotion I feel with any kind of depth is annoyance, and I feel it often.

A text message sent to the wrong number proves to be my undoing.

His name is Everett, but I call him rude. He’s pushy, he’s arrogant, he crowds my personal space, and worst of all: he makes me feel.

He chooses to wear all black, all the time, as if he’s waiting to attend a funeral. Probably because he is.

Everett is dying. And he’s spending his final days living, truly living. In doing so, he’s forcing me to feel, to heal. To come face to face with the demons I suppressed in my memory.

He hurts me, he fulfills me, he completes me. And still, he’s dying.

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Amy bAmy A. Bartol, author:

I am a graduate of Hillsdale College and live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons.  My family is very supportive of my writing. They often bring me the take-out menus so that I can call and order them dinner.  They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real.  They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats.

They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making.  They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants.  And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them.

In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.

Website | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | TwitterGoogle+ | Spotify

Under Different StarsRecommended read: Under Different Stars

From Goodreads:

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor.

Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

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Tammy BTammy Blackwell, librarian and author:

• Has a deep, passionate love for bullet-pointed and numerated lists. Born September 14th, twenty-nine years ago in Small Town, Kentucky. (What? You’re reading this in 2025? Yeah, it was still twenty-nine years ago. Just go with it.)

• Attended the most basketball-crazy high school in the most basketball-crazy state in America. Despite being 5’8” and playing on the school team every year from second to eighth grade, Miss Tammy sucks at basketball and, for the most part, despises the game.

• Graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Integrated Strategic Communications. Don’t worry. She doesn’t know what that means either.

• Has a day job at a library. Yes, you should be jealous.

• Is raising the world’s most awesome kid along with her mother and sister. It’s kind of like a sitcom except for… Wait. No. It’s actually exactly like a sitcom

• Once accidentally waved at a Backstreet Boy.

Website | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Destiny BindsRecommended read: Destiny Binds

From Goodreads:

Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in:

rules

logic

and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan.

Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout.

When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

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MartinaMartina Boone, author:

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of SIBA Book Award nominated Compulsion, book one in the romantic Southern Gothic trilogy, the Heirs of Watson Island, which was a Fall ’14 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance, a Kansas State Reading Circle selection, Goodreads Best Book of the Month and YA Best Book of the Month, and an RT Magazine Best of 2014 Editor’s Pick. The second book in the trilogy, Persuasion, will be published in October 2015.

She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series.

From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and a lopsided cat, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Website | Blog | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

CompulsionRecommended read: Compulsion

From Goodreads:

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets.

What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

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Erin BErin Butler, librarian and author:

Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she loves to read. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially fangirls over a sigh-worthy romance.

She lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. Preferring to spend her time indoors reading or writing, she’ll only willingly go outside for chocolate and sunshine—in that order.

Erin is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal novel, and the forthcoming contemporary romance titles, HOW WE LIVED and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION​

Website | Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

How We LivedRecommended read: How We Lived

From Goodreads:

Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Larkin’s parents uninvited her to her brother’s funeral.

She just wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt—the clothes Kyle would’ve wanted her in—not wrap herself up in death. So she watched the funeral from afar, like an outsider.

Which is just how she feels.

Chase came, though, just like she knew he would.

Until a few months ago, the three of them had been best friends, and then Chase made a mistake that shattered both families. But when Kelsey looks at him, she doesn’t see her brother’s killer.

She sees the boy next door who’s always taken care of her. She sees home.

When Chase tells her his feelings run deeper than friendship, she can’t help but get lost in him. In Chase, she finally has the closure she’s been unable to find anywhere else. But the boy she’s falling in love with is still hiding secrets about the night Kyle died. Secrets that could destroy everything they have…again.

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Aren’t they just fabulous?! Trust me, you want to go to this con! So get your tickets!  Tickets, you might ask?  Why yes… here’s the breakdown for this awesome con:

Event Pricing thru September 30, 2015:

Here’s the current** price range you’re looking at to attend–prices go up as we get closer to the con:

==> $95 Silver Package

  • 5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon), including welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Admission to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards and After-Party
  • NOT INCLUDED: lunches, apparel, preferred seating at awards, workshops

==> $175 Titanium Package

  •  5-day pass to the UTOPiA convention (UTOPiAcon) with VIP Registration/Badge pick-up, as well as a welcome bag, keynote speeches, panels, exhibitor hall, karaoke, pre-awards happy hour
  • Admission to the Public Signing Event
  • Early seating to the Fifth Annual UTOPiA Awards
  • Lunch Thursday and Friday
  • Souvenir T-shirt
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops

==> $50 One-Day Fan Wristband

  • Admission for one day–you choose the day and purchase the ticket specifically for that day
  • Access to all official events — speakers, panels, exhibitor hall, signing area, other official events
  • NOT INCLUDED: Workshops, private events, or any other event listed at an additional charge on the ticket page or web site. You must wear your wristband at all times or you will not be allowed into any official area.

==> Want to be an Exhibitor at UTOPiAcon??? Click the link below for prices and info:

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

But act fast, because prices will continue to rise as we get closer to the con date.  REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE until March 31, 2016 (minus processing fee), so act now—I know it’s a few months out, and your circumstances may change, but I highly, highly suggest that you book now.

**prices subject to change—I will post updated prices as they rise.  Have questions about UTOPiA 2016: Five-Year Anniversary Convention & Celebration for Writers & Fans? Contact UtopYA, LLC

Still nervous you might not be able to attend in June? Purchase now to lock in the lowest prices, and rest easy knowing refunds, minus the processing fee, are available until March 31, 2016 (or a full refund within 60 days of purchase, whichever comes first).



And make sure you check out the other official blogger’s posts concerning UTOPiA and more invited guests, and subscribe to their blogs as well:

Week 1: Jo Michaels Blog and The Paisley Reader

Week 2: A Book Vacation (Me) and Delphia Reads Too Much

Week 3: My Book Addiction and A Little Bit of R&R (EXHIBITOR GIVEAWAY POST)

Week 4: Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous and Tsk Tsk What to Read

Every Two Weeks: Lulo FanGirl

And, make sure to check out all the other ways you can keep up with news about the goings on at UTOPiAcon for 2016.

Utopia blog | UTOPiAcon BUZZ Flipboard | A Daily Cup of Jo Radio Show | We Are Going to Utopia! Unofficial Facebook Group | UTOPiAcon Official Facebook Page | @utopia_con on Twitter

Come join us and FIGHT FOR YOUR WRITE!

Utopia Con Blogger Badge



The second limited edition tee for Utopia has released!!  And once again, I am in love with this new design!

The idea behind the tee stems from “Whit & Ware and Indie-Visible, [who] have teamed up to create a series of eleven limited edition T-shirts (one per month) honoring the amazing Janet Wallace, and her incredible gift to us all….the place we all call home once a year – Utopia!” But after August 22, this particular design will disappear forever, so act fast!!

August Shirts

This month, there are even more buying options, from unisex tshirts to tanks, which is so cool!  For more info on them, check out the video at the bottom of this post–I’ll continue posting each new shirt design as it comes along–and I just know they’re going to be amazing!  I can’t wait to collect them all!

The next design will arrive September 1, and in case you were wondering, the “goal with these Limited Edition shirts is to raise funds so that we can provide UtopiaCon with killer branding all over the hotel such as standing banners with panel schedules outside every conference room, welcome banners at the hotel entrance, etc. We’re also handling the signing posters, some fun stuff for the writing cave, and some extra awesome swag for attendees. Any money that is left over will go to Janet Wallace, which she can use as she sees fit to make the 2016 the best year yet! We know how hard Janet works to give our crazy tribe an inspiring home every June, and we wanted to take some of the weight off her shoulders by taking care of all these details so she can focus on the big picture!”

For more information, or to buy this amazing shirt and help support Utopia, click HERE!

And make sure you scoop up your Utopia tickets now while they’re on SALE! This 5 year anniversary con is gonna blow your mind!



et cetera
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