Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Our Awesome Time at #RARE17 Berlin and What to Expect from #RARE18 ROME Plus a HUGE Giveaway

Hey Everyone,

If you follow the blog, you know that together with my co-bloggers, we came back from an amazing Signing event in Berlin. The one and only Romance Author & Reader Event 2017 Berlin. Or for short #RARE17 Berlin :D. I've been a devoted RARE fan since the very first one organised by Amy & Co in Edinburgh 4 years ago. That was my very first signing so it has a special place in my heart. That's also where I met Azahara. We were rooming together and we just clicked :D We loved the same books, had similar opinions on things and so we became fast friends. And won't you know it, few months after we met, I joined her in spreading our love for books through this blog :) And the rest as they say is history :D

Until last year when I met Elisa at another RARE signing. OK, to be honest, I met her for the first time at another place but we started chatting at the RARE page so I count that one as the place I met her :D And as you know, she joined the blog few months later. 

And that's how the Three Musketeers came to be :D

So now, you can understand why (apart from the incredible organisation, authors and simply awesome atmosphere) all three of us are such huge RARE fans. And it doesn't hurt that the signings give us the excuse to travel to new places and see some amazing things.

But I am getting off topic here :D I was talking about #RARE17 and our time in Berlin :)

Berlin is a beautiful city and there are so many beautiful places to visit. Like the Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Dome, Museum Island and many, many more. And if you are into ancient art, sculptures and somewhat sexual figures, be sure to check the Altes Museum and the Room of Pleasure. To be honest, I never expected to see something like that in a museum but what do you know :D Together with Elisa, we had a blast at that one. It was so much fun :D

But of course, the biggest attraction and experience for me was #RARE17. As always, the organisation was impeccable. With 70+ authors and over 500 attendees, the event space never felt crowded. And with the exception of an author or two, there never more than few people waiting to meet their idols and get their books signed. Of course, the line-up was incredible as always. There were so many great authors, some new to me and some that I've been dreaming to meet for years, that it was extremely difficult to decide where to go first.

Well, to be fair, I did know where to go first :D For a second year in a row, I was lucky to be assisting the lovely and talented Terri E. Laine (sorry Terri, but you are not anonymous anymore :D ). Her stories are emotional and sweet and a little bit heartbreaking. You might know her through the books she wrote together with A.M. Hargrove ( the Cruel & Beautiful series and Wilde Players Dirty Romance series) or through her personal series, Chasing Butterflies. I've read most of these books and some of them I also reviewed for the blog, and trust me, you definitely need to add them to your TBRs, and read them as soon as possible. I can  guarantee that you won't regret reading them and you will end up loving them :) And in addition to being a great author, Terri is an even more amazing person. She is one of the nicest and generous people I've met (on that note we have one of her books to give away ;)). So if you get the chance to meet her at a signing, be sure to pass by and say hi :)

If you haven't read Anne on her own (A.M. Hargrove),  you should correct that mistake quite fast :) It was my first time meeting her, and I loved her. I can honestly say that Anne is an amazing person an author. Btw, just on a side note, I will be raving about authors through the whole post, so don't expect me to say anything else than I love them, adore them or that I am in awe of them :D

So, as I was saying, Anne is amazing. She is releasing a new book in a few weeks and the cover is amazing. I can't wait to get my hands on it :D As you probably already figured out from my blabbing, Anne is an incredible author. But she is also so much fun to be around and if you recognise her anywhere, you can simply go and talk to her. That's what I did at the hotel lobby :D I hope she doesn't remember me as the crazy person who accosted her at the hotel and talked her year off :D

I also got to meet one of my all time favorite authors. A woman whose books are my #oneclick addiction. A woman who I admire for her strength, independence, survival skills and generosity. If you haven't figured it out yet, I am talking about Catherine Bybee. Her books were one of the first that pulled me into this amazing book world few years back. And since then, I've been a devoted fan. I have to say when I first saw her, I was a little bit star struck. I mean, you don't meet your idols every day. But Catherine is so down to earth. We spent hours talking and laughing during the few days we had in Berlin and I can honestly saw that she is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She is the life of the party but she is also a person who can really listen to you and give you an advice, if you need one. The memories of this first meeting with Catherine will stay with me for life and I think this experience was my most memorable one from this year's #RARE17. I can guarantee that this signing will be also memorable for you, as we have a signed copy of Catherine's latest book, Making It Right, to give away ;)

Of course, Catherine wasn't the only amazing author I met in Berlin :) I had the chance to see again Lauren Rowe. I've met her for the first time in Edinburgh last year (at RARE16 of course) and I remembered how open and friendly she was with the readers. I remember the first time I saw her was at a pub I think, where we've organised a pre-signing meet-up. She introduced herself to everyone and managed to live through few hours of grown up women fan-girling over her :D Thankfully, this time, I had the chance to spent a little bit more time with her and talk books, blogs, life and everything else :D And the stories Lauren can tell are simply hilarious :D If by any chance, you still haven't read her books, you are missing a lot. I am currently reading Ball Peen Hammer and I am so loving it. And I know that Elisa read The Captain and couldn't stop raving about it :) We might also have a copy of The Captain to give away to one lucky winner ;)

If you are a religious follower of our blog, you know that one of the first ever reviews I wrote was for The Curse Keeper series by Denise Grover Swank. For me, that's the best PNR series I've ever read and I adamantly recommend it to everyone. I think I've managed to convince nearly all my friends to read it and they all loved it :D But Denise writes also some of the best mysteries out there. Whether it is the Rose Gardner series or the Magnolia Steele Mystery ones, these stories are so fast paced and suspenseful, that you will be devouring the books one after the other. To be honest, I think Denise writes in nearly every genre, and she is incredible in each one of them. She is one of the other authors, who similarly to Catherine, pulled me into the book world. I was lucky enough to meet Denise few years back in London, but I needed to get few more additions to my Denise collection. And I managed to snag copies of the first 3 books in the Magnolia Steele Mystery series plus I managed to snag the first two books of The Blood Borne Series and with original covers at that :D I call that a huge win :D Btw, if we have any German readers we have a signed German copy of 28 and a Half Wishes to give away ;)

I also had the chance to meet again with the lovely Katie Ashley. She popped my rock romance cherry :D And I've been a fan ever since. I mean, how can you not fall in love with Jake and Abby. I think Jake was actually my first book bad boy crush. It's been quite a few years since than but he still keeps a special place in my heart :) And if you've met Katie, you know that she is amazing :) So nice and friendly :) We also have few special treats for all Katie Ashley fans. First is a signed copy of Vicious Cycle but we do have few more custom made prizes :) If you follow the blog, you know that for each signing, we have custom made postcards. Well, we do have that for few of the authors, but we also have few signed Jake and Abby wedding invitations. I can guarantee that you can't find these anywhere and they are just awesome. If I dare to say so myself :D

Just beside Katie, was sitting the lovely Ruth Cardello and I managed to get my hands on a signed copy of In The Heir. Plus, we might have a signed book or two also to add to our ever growing giveaway :D I suppose, you've read Ruth's books (if you haven't, what are you waiting for) and if that's the case you know what a talented author she is. But in addition to that she is also an incredible person. I've got the chance to chat with her a little bit on FB before the signing and also for a few minutes during the signing, and she is simply a blast :) In addition to all the books she brought with her, she also had this packets with amazing lemonade. Ruth, if you are reading this, next time I see you, I am bringing more white chocolate in exchange for lemonade. I need at least few packs :D

Of course, I got to squeeze Harper and Felicia again. As always, they were so much fun to be around. I kind of didn't recognise Felicia in the beginning though (lowers head in shame) With the new hair (darker colour and curls) She looked like a completely different person. And I actually asked her where is Felicia. Real blonde moment on my side, though I don't even have one blonde hair on my head. So sorry about that Felicia. I blame it on the early morning. You did look amazing though :) As for Harper, you all know her. She is a blast :) We talked book boxes, books, signings :) I am meeting her also in Vegas few months from now, so I will be getting my hands on a signed copy of Kiss My Boots <3

If you follow what I am usually raving about on the blog, you know that I love the Revenants series by Amy Plum. Those books are so incredible and I really think that everyone should read them. Even though they are more YA PNR and slightly defer from my usual reads, Amy is such an amazing author that she will grab you from the very first sentence and keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end. And on that note, OMFG!!!! You need to read Dreamfall, the first book in the Dreamfall series. It is simply incredible (stay tuned for a review in the next couple of weeks). I also heard a rumour that it might be optioned for a movie. And I surely hope that's the case because the book is simply out of this world!!! There might be a signed copy for one of you lucky book lovers ;)

I got to meet also one of our Oscar winners. The winner in the New Author category, Natasha Madison. She is so lovely and I had a blast meeting her. If you haven't read her yet, you should rectify that mistake immediately. Whether you are looking for a suspenseful read that will keep you on the edge of your seat (Heaven & Hell series) or a funny read that will make you belly laugh (Cheeky, Tempt the Boss), you simply can't go wrong. Natasha also has a new book coming out in a few weeks, Something So Perfect. The cover of this one is simply delicious and the story is definitely a must read :D So be sure to check it out once it is released.

I also got to test my selfie capabilities and I can honestly say that I am no good at it, but I did manage to snag 2 somewhat good photos with Anya Omah and April White. Those two authors are amazing and I hope to see them again at a signing soon :)

Last but not least, here is some man candy sweetness :D I was lucky to snag myself a photo with Stu and Franggy. And I also got them to sign my photobook. I did miss Jase but I will be seeing him at the next RARE so all is good :D Hopefully, next time I will get the three of them together ;)

Of course, we had to end the night with a party and that party was a blast. RARE always has great parties, but I think this one has been the best so far. We danced the night away together with other booklovers, authors and of course the Men of RARE. I can't remember when was the last time I had so much fun :D 

Of course, I've met many more amazing authors during the signing but unfortunately, I can't post about all of them on this post. So to everyone who is not on this post, I would like to say that you all have a special place in my heart and the memories will stay with me forever :) Hope to see you soon again.

Two weeks after RARE17 Berlin, I think I finally recovered :D So now I am getting ready For RARE18 London and RARE18 Rome. I've already talked about London, but the line up for Rome was released just over a week ago and it is out of this world. I still can't really wrap my head around it.

A.D. Justice
AM Hargrove
A. Zavarelli
Abbi Glines
Adriane Leigh/

Aria Cole
Alessandra Torre
Alexa Riley
Anne Eliot
Aurora Rose Reynolds
Ava Lohan
B.B. Easton
B.B. Reid
Beth Ehemann
Brittainy C Cherry
Catherine Bybee
Cecile Bertod
Chelle Bliss
Chiara Cilli
Corinne Michaels
Daisy Prescott
Emma Hart
Erin Watt 

(Elle Kennedy & 
Jen Frederick)
Elizabeth Hunter
Felicia Lynn
Harper Sloan
JM Darhower
Jade West
Jane Harvey-Berrick
Jeannette Winters
Jennifer Blackwood
Jennifer Probst
Jenny Anastan
Jillian Dodd
Jo Raven
Julia Sykes
K.A. Linde
Kandi Steiner
Karina Halle
Kate McCarthy
Katie Ashley
Kendra Elliot
Kimberly Knight
Kristen Callihan
Laurelin Paige
LA Casey
L.J. Shen
LP Lovell
Lauren Rowe
Leisa Rayven
Lesley Jones
Lexi Ryan
LH Cosway
Liliana Hart
Lorelei James
M. Never
M. Robinson
Marina Adair
Marion Seals
Melinda Leigh
Melody Anne
Monica James
Natasha Boyd
Natasha Madison
Nina Bocci
Penny Reid
Portia Moore
R.C. Boldt
R.J. Prescott
Ruth Cardello
SM Lumetta
Samantha Towle
Sara Ney
Staci Hart
Stacey Marie Brown
Stevie J. Cole
Suzanne Wright
T. Gephart
Terri E Laine
Tessa Bailey
Tillie Cole
Toni Aleo

Isn't the line-up incredible? I know I can't wait for Rome to get closer. Btw, did you manage to snag yourself a ticket last Saturday. All three of us, managed to get our hands on tickets, so we are definitely going. There is no way we can miss the chance to meet all these incredible authors and of course party in Rome ;) Hope we will see at least some of you there :)

Now it is finally time for our #RARE17 giveaway :)

For your chance to win signed books, signed postcards and SWAG packs, just enter the Raffle below ;)


  1. i have to say i absolutely loved this x edinburgh was my very first signing and i met some amazing authors. next year i will be attending london and rome cant wait

    1. So glad to hear that Helen. It's the first time we write anything of the sort for the blog and to be honest, I was a little bit nervous about it :) Hope to see you next year :)

  2. I didn't attend the 2017 signing and not sure about 2018. Great giveaway! Thank you! :)

  3. Didn't go to RARE this year. Went to Edinburgh last year and going to London next year.
    LOVE this event!!!!

  4. RARE Berlin was my first but not last. I'll be in London and Rome as well 😊

  5. Sadly I couldn't go to RARE17, but maybe someday. Until then, I really love reading the RARE blog posts. :)

  6. Hi Azahara, Marina, and Elisa. Unfortunately I didn't attend this Rare, but I will be next year in Rome for my first RARE...yeah! I'm so excited about and hopefully, I'll meet you there. Your blog is amazing, and thanks to all of you, I've discovered amazing books to put on my list. Bye! Elisabeth :)

    1. Hi Elisabeth :) Thank you for the kind words :) It will be great meeting you in Rome. I hope we continue to bring good book suggestions :D

  7. I won tickets to #RARE2017, but to due to so much going on in my life and my health, I couldn't justify flying from Canada to Germany this year. Made me incredibly sad, as I know it may have been the only chance I'll have to attend RARE. Or see Germany. 😕😫😢💙

    1. So sorry to hear that. But I hope one day you will manage :) And who knows. RARE might go back to Canada ;)

  8. No...I will not be attending. I have a cay shelter and can't leave them. (jozywails@gmail.com)

  9. I wish I could go.maybe that should be a goal of mine for the next year or two. Have fun :). I'm totally jealous

  10. I haven't attended #RARE17 but I will be going to #RARE 18 signings if I'll be able to buy a ticket. They go so fast.


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