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!
Whitney 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.
Recommended read: Ten Below Zero
“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.
Amy 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.
Recommended read: Under Different Stars
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?
Tammy 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.
Recommended read: Destiny Binds
Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in:
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.
Martina 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.
Recommended read: Compulsion
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.
Erin 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
Recommended read: How We Lived
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.
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:
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 2: A Book Vacation (Me) and Delphia Reads Too Much
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.