New Friends and Book Festivals…Life is Good

Subtitle: Monkey and Mommy and a Day of Books!

New faces and new adventures.That’s what life is about, right? I know I keep telling you I’ll be a better blogger, a better social friend. And then what happens? FAIL. I get a big fat fail stamped on my forehead. But things have been a little crazy on the writing side for me. But that’s good!

This last weekend I decided to take a little break, and when my amazing friend, Tameri Etherton, asked me to join her for lunch, I said YES! I stepped away from the computer, away from the laundry, and the dishes, and enjoyed delightful conversation and grown up time with fellow authors and writers.

I got to know inspiring young adult author, Bethany Lopez, the marvelous young adult author, Jessica Therrien, and incredible children’s author, Sheri Fink. Meeting these ladies added to the thrill of my planned attendance to Sunday’s Orange County Children’s Book Festival.

Isn’t that one of the best things about any vocation? Meeting people and establishing new relationships? These ladies are gems!

Come Sunday, my little Monkey begged to join me on the trek down to the festival. I warned her, it was a very long drive. An hour and half long. She smiled and said, “No problem.” She wanted to spend the day with her mother. I had also warned her that Mommy would be spending some time doing some not so fun things, like talking to people. It didn’t deter her one bit. So off we went together, after a long gathering process of getting Monkey ready to go. She’s definitely a girly girl in that respect.

My plan was to be out the door between eight and nine. Things rarely seem to go by my plan anymore. We pulled out of the garage closer to ten. I can’t recall all the reasons that slowed us down now. Monkey has never been good about mornings. But I do recall there was more than one wardrobe change, and a discussion over shoes.

When we got there the place was packed! Being this was Monkey’s first book festival she had no idea what to expect. She was delighted when we stepped inside to a petting zoo and multitudes of miniature railroad setups.

You can’t go wrong when you have the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – in train form, no less!

Being a good hearted child, she indulged her mommy and let me say “Hi” to a few people before beginning her kiddie torture on me. 😀 Stumbling upon Sheri’s booth first, Monkey immediately went into “shy” mode.

Was it because Sheri’s booth was just so darn cute?

OMG! There were balloons, fluffy stuffed flowers, beautiful table covers, ribbons, and a giant life-sized cardboard gnome! – Standing right in front! Monkey hid beside me as Sheri signed books for my little scared primate.

All the children’s books we picked up there. Many great reads! Sheri’s are both the story and abc versions of “The Little Rose,” plus “The Little Gnome.” Monkey also couldn’t pass up the bling at author, Christine Dzidrums booth, so we got “Princess Dessabelle. She laughed up a storm to “Cassie and The Wild Cat, Meet and Greet” by Pat Hatt, found at Wayman Publishing’s booth. Also acquired there, “The Mer-sons & The Sword of Senack” for Gamer.

If you have a little one, I highly recommend any and all of Sheri’s books. They are fabulous and beautifully illustrated. Monkey loves them, and we had a ball reading through them once we were in the safety of familiar company. Mommy had to have a talk with her about their care. She is liable to love them to death.

With new bootie in hand, we made our way to the YA court, making a stop for shaved ice along the way. The syrup had to be deep red and blue. It wasn’t so much about flavor as it was about color. Isn’t it great being a kid?

So many books! So little time.

It was in the YA court that we found authors Jessica Therrien and Bethany Lopez. Monkey was distracted by the face painting booth at this point and was getting a little anxious. Can you blame her? Jessica was on a panel when we arrived, across the court, and looked so cute as she rushed back to the booth. Do you enjoy fantasy? Paranormal? Stories dealing with mythology and the gods? If you are a lover of Immortal Monday there is a good chance you do. Jessica’s book, Oppression, looks like a wonderful piece for a future Immortal Monday discussion. Fans are anxiously awaiting book two, due this February, titled Uprising. If you like shorter reads, something you can get through quickly, Bethany is your gal. Her books follow a young high school student in a journal style, in the About Melissa series, allowing you into her innermost thoughts and dreams.

Monkey let me appreciate the moment before pushing me on to bigger and better things – the bounce house! Of which we got back in line for, on three separate occasions.

Finally tearing her away, and popping her face full of dots (yes, ice cream dots), I was able to drag little Monkey back into the line of tent covered booths again, in search of my beautiful blogging friend and writer, EC Stilson (Eliza)! I was so excited to finally get the chance to meet her in person. Did I mention she also plays an amazing violin? Well, she does! And has a CD out, as well.

They make beautiful music together

Eliza is one of the first bloggers, I came to know when getting my feet wet. I was drawn in by her crazy marketing stunts for her very first book, The Golden Sky. A true story, journaling the death of her son. It will touch your heart. I was pulled into the blogging event, as bloggers everywhere shared their own stories. It was amazing. Eliza’s kids befriended Monkey. Drew her pictures and made little bows for her. A book on the table depicting an arrogant cat on the front caught Monkey’s eye and she had to have it. It came home with us (see picture above). I picked up a book for myself and one for the boy while we stopped and chatted as well.

Adult and young adult reads scored over the weekend.

Before we could make a clean break, an uproar exploded from my pack. It took us all by surprise.

While Thor is away, Loki’s jealousy has grown to uncontainable proportions.

Puny god.

Poor Eliza was the first of his victims. Who’s next?

That was our amazing crazy weekend! Getting out and meeting new people – good! Enjoying book festivals – good! Delighting in newly discovered books – always good!

How about you? How does the weekend ahead look for you?


Reminders: It’s never too late to jump on the Thor Tour.  All you need to do is drop me a line. Thor has his own page now, by which you can track his progress, catch up on older updates, or just check out fun trivia, videos and pictures that will be added to on a regular basis. Check it out! Thor’s World TourFind the link at the top of the page.

Also, this blog will be relocating to a self-hosted site at some point at the beginning of November. I hope you’ll follow us to the new digs. My fabulous designer, Laird Sapir, and I have some pretty amazing ideas (I think) and I hope you’ll enjoy what we create there.



I love hearing from you! If you enjoyed this post or any of my previous posts, I’d be delighted to have you hit the follow button or add this blog to your RSS feed! You may also find me on twitter at @DebraKrist. Tootles! Thanks for stopping by!

26 thoughts on “New Friends and Book Festivals…Life is Good”

  1. lynnkelleyauthorlynnkelleyauthor

    What a great weekend! Mother-daughter time, new books, meeting up with your writer peeps! Awesome!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I know! So much fun. Since we got back, every night she’s been saying to me, “Mom, are you going to be an author?” 😀 “Can I go to all those events with you?” LOL. So cute.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I can’t wait to meet you, as well! It’s going to be so fun! The whole time I was typing this up Monkey was standing at my side chanting, “chalk, chalk, chalk.” The second I hit publish I was dragged out the door for what little light was left in order to draw all over our driveway. Haha. She has been keeping me busy lately.

      • susielindaususielindau

        That’s so great! It goes fast! Enjoy every minute of it!

  2. gingercalemgingercalem

    Precious memories! Last year I took my middle child who was 13 at the time down to the teen book fest here in Austin. He is a voracious reader and it was so fun to share that book-time with him.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Aw, that’s great, Ginger. I hope I can enjoy a day like that with my son in the future. So far he’s not into books enough to spend more than a few minutes looking. I hope we get there eventually. What a great memory you must have created.

  3. Diana BeebeDiana Beebe

    Thanks for sharing these books. I’m making a list for my little one now! Sounds like you had a great time.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Sounds like fun, Diana. My little one is very opinionated on her reading. And it will change from month to month. But every kid is different. yours may be content with the same book for ages. Those stories are the ones that stay with them for a lifetime. I love it when that happens. I bet you have a fantastic list. Your little one will have lots of great reading material.

  4. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    Whenever my daughter used to ask to go to something like this, I’d always take her! Anything to encourage reading. What a wonderful bonding experience for you and your little one!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Thank you, Jennette. I’m afraid she may have a false impress of what all book events are like after this fun kid’s affair. But we sure did have fun. Over time she will learn they don’t all have bounce houses and ponies.

  5. Naomi BaltuckNaomi Baltuck

    Great post, Debra. It brought back memories of the first storytelling festivals that I brought my kids to. Sharing that interest was a stepping stone to eventually doing paid performances with the kids, which I hadn’t even anticipated. What fun to share that with your daughter. By bringing her along, you are paving the way to sharing your writing and travel with her in a very satisfying grownup kind of way that will help forge a real bond and common interest for you both.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      The stuff your family does together is amazing, Naomi. You truly are an inspiration. If my kids get half as involved as yours have, I’ll count that as a huge success. Thank you for your beautiful words.

      • Naomi BaltuckNaomi Baltuck

        Hi Debra,

        I can’t imagine that your kids would not, since they have such a fun mom!

  6. Serena Dracis, AuthorSerena Dracis, Author

    I’m not a mom, and the only kids I ever wanted were the four-footed and furry kind. But, reading your post gives me a glimpse at how amazing being a mom must be. I loved reading this! How wonderful you got to go and network with authors and bond with little Monkey!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Sometimes those four-footed and furry kind can be more work than the miniature humans you can throw in the car and tote with you everywhere you go. But being a mom to one of them can be equally rewarding! I’m glad you enjoyed this post, Serena. I read a post by a famous author once that said, “If you want to be a famous author, don’t have kids.” LOL. You’re on the right path, my friend. 😉

  7. EmmaEmma

    Looks like a lot of fun. Photo of you and Tameri and the girls is lovely.

  8. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend, Debra. what fun. It’s thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so I’m in the midst of enjoying having my kids around. and all 4 of my grandchildren. yay.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I hope you had an amazing thanksgiving, Louise. It sounds wonderful, having the kids and grand-kids all there, together. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    I’m so glad you ditched the laundry to meet us for lunch! Sheri, Bethany, and Jessica are such great ladies and always fun to hang out with. The book fair sounds amazing. I wish I’d gone, but it wasn’t to be this year. Maybe next. And perhaps you’ll have a booth with your books on the table!

    Thanks for sharing your day with us readers. Monkey looked like she was having way too much fun. I’m glad you got to have a mommy~monkey day.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      They were amazing. I wish you had come, too. But is hot, and Monkey didn’t allow for me to escape the heat much. I’d actually hoped to sweat off a couple of pounds. No luck. I would LOVE to have my own booth, or be at a booth. We’ll see what happens this next year.

      Monkey had a blast, and if we ever end up going on tour together, she’ll want to come. 😀

  10. Laura RitchieLaura Ritchie

    So glad you had a day to meet up with up with some other writerly folks. Sounds like it was a wonderful time, and a great day with your daughter. I’ve never been to a book fair, and would love to get the chance someday. (Of course, the way I like to buy books, the car will likely be packed full on my return trip. lol)

    Thanks for sharing, Debra! 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Yes, that is always the danger when books are involved. I guess I was lucky that Monkey didn’t allow me to look too closely at the books that interested me. She kept me on the move. LOL. And my pack got heavy enough as it was. You will bet your chance. I know you will. You’ll get to go to events and fairs, and you’ll have a great time. 😀

  11. ElisaElisa

    You’re the best. That was so much fun getting to meet you 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      And I loved getting to meet you! You are amazing!

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