Monday, August 28, 2017

Extra #CFRR2017 Readers #Swag Bags for Sale

As noted on our Facebook Page on Friday, August 25th, we have 3 extra bags left from #CFRR2017. Each bag is available for purchase at $75 (includes shipping).

Only open to US mailing addresses and non-CFRR2017 guests.

Each bag includes: 

NOTE: These are the bags our readers received at CFRR, minus any additional prizes won at the event. Not every bag is the same or have the same amount of swag/books.

TO PURCHASE, use the "Buy Now" button below.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Things I Am Excited to do at CFRR by Rachel at BookwormMama

Here's a post from a CFRR2016 alum & 2017 attendee, looking ahead to this year's fun! Thank you, BookwormMama, for letting us repost this here too!

I recruited some help/input with today's post. Because we are ALL so excited!!! And there are so many things that I am excited to do. For those of you who don't know what CFRR is Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. It is a One Day event where readers get to hang out with their favorite authors. Events include: Discussion Panels, Speaker Sessions, Worship, Book Signings, Speed Chats...It is SO exciting! This is their second one and I am SO blessed that I get to go again! Eeeeep #FOFA (Freaking Out and Flailing About)!!!! My Name Twin over on Rachael's Reads has provided us with Survival Tips for attending CFRR. You can read her post HERE. Today I am giving you 10 things that I (we) are excited about for CFRR this year!

The unanimous vote is HUGGING!!! This is just one thing that we are all excited. For cyber best friends....virtual hugs just aren't the same. I can not believe the relationships that have blossomed since CFRR 2016. Not only do we talk about bookish things with each other...We pray, encourage, tease, support, help, and love on each other...from afar...very far. So this is the one time during the year that we will (ALMOST) all be in the same building! Pretty sure it's safe to say that tears, laughs, and tackle hugs will be the first order of business! This photo --------------->

is Author Meghan Gorecki, Rachael from Rachael's Reads (aka my Name Twin), and me.

Here, showing off a sneak peek of our swag bags this year, is the adorable Gabby! (Thank you Just Commonly for the use of the photo.) Last year our swag bags were PACKED with all sorts of goodies! From chocolate and bookmarks, to books and fans...OH it was INCREDIBLE! And I know a few of the goodies in the bags this year (because I created them) and I tell you what...I think this year is going to blow everyone away! Eeeeeep!

The first thing my sister-in-law said to me when she found out CFRR 2017 was located in Cincinnati was that I HAVE to try Skyline Chili. A chili that has spaghetti, chocolate, cinnamon, and a MASSIVE amount of cheese? I'm game! I am so excited!

As one of the event coordinators, Carrie from Reading is my SuperPower says: Seeing everyone having fun, knowing that all the hard work paid off. Chatting and hanging out...spending quality time with authors and readers.

Mikal Dawn - Author Extraordinaire said: "I am SO EXCITED to be with my people!!! Those who GET me and my quirks and love for Christian fiction. Also, hugs. ALL THE HUGS!!!! And being with other Canadians who don't hear my accent. "

Melony Teague said she is excited to hear all of our "funny" accents. We have Pacific Northwest, Southern, Appalachian, Midwest, Canadian, and more. 

I have had several phone calls, video chats, messaging/texting/snapchatting and group video chats with my bookish friends...but there is just something about being together in the same room...laughing till we pee our pants and fan girl flailing till we can't breathe!

Beth from Faithfully Bookish says that CFRR 2017 is her "Mommy Vacay". "I am excited about recharging and letting my inner book nerd fan girl go wild." 

I am right there with you Beth! I am looking forward to some good quality time with y'all!

"I'm leavin' on a jet plane...." I am super excited to get some good reading time in on the flights and during layover. I have several kindle books downloaded and a couple of audio books. I still need to download music though. My earbuds will be my best friend for sure! 

So...we will have quite a few of us Rach(a)els there this year! And I am HOPING we can get a shot with all of us. I know these lovely ladies will be there and if there are more  that share our name, they had better jump in the photo too! Rachel Hauck, Rachael's Reads, Me, Rachel McMillanPhotos taken from their websites (Rachel McMillan's facebook)

I am unashamedly biased! Pepper Basham is one of my favorite people and working for her the last few months makes me even MORE excited to see her this weekend. Phone calls just aren't' the same as hugs. You can read more about why I love Pepper HERE and enter the giveaway(open till 9/1/17 12:00am PDT).

Some of you have seen this photo before. My friends lovingly call it my "Jen Turano Face" for yes, I was pointing at Jen as she was signing books. I had SO.MUCH.FUN with her last year in Nashville. Meeting authors is one of the highlights of my "career" as a book reviewer. I love emailing and chatting with them, but when we actually get to put a voice and a hug in the picture....AHHHHH #bestilmynerdgirlheart 😍 There are a few authors that I will b meeting for the first time this year...and some that I had the opportunity to meet last year...I can't contain my excitement! It is bubbling up and overflowing!!!

I mean, who would go to a Reader/Author retreat if you weren't excited about the books. I know that we will be getting a couple books in our swag bag and there will be giveaways and books for sale! Yay! 💗 All the books! Last year I came home with a hiking backpack STUFFED full of books. I won a box of books, plus bought a bunch, plus what was in the swag bag....oh it was bliss! One of the books in my swag was Close to You by Kara Isaac. I fell HEAD over tea kettle for this story. PLEASE check it out. 

Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher/tour logos, and author pictures not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva unless stated otherwise. (Photos of the Rach(a)els are not owned by me)

Thank you, Rachel! We love your excitement and we share it!!
What are YOU looking forward to doing at #CFRR2017?

Monday, August 7, 2017

See you on Saturday for CFRR 2017!!!

Hello readers, bloggers and authors! We're counting down to a matter of days before we get to squeal, worship and just enjoy a day of fun together!

Here are some last minute reminders and info to take note of:

SCHEDULE:  Click on the "Schedule" tab on the website menu to take you to the day's events.

  • Authors, signing begins at 8:00 AM for you.
  • Readers, signing begins at 8:15 AM and runs through 9:00 AM. 
  • Readers, please take note of the author panels. Two panels will occur at the same time. Be prepare to choose one to attend during the time slot. 

  • Readers, please bring a picture ID, and your tickets (or ticket number) to sign in. 
  • You will line up according to your FIRST name. 
  • During sign in, you will receive your guest bag, Event Badge and raffle ticket(s) for the Grand Prize. All guests are required to "sign" for their guest bag. 
  • Your personal books for author signing will also be "tagged" at this point. 

  • As a reminder, each guest are allowed to bring a maximum of 10 books from their personal stash for authors of the event to sign.  Guests are allowed an unlimited number of books purchased at the event for signing. 
  • Author signing is only allowed during the designated signing period which starts at 5:45 PM/6 PM.

  • As noted in the registration, the only meal we will be able to provide a dietary option is the lunch meal. Dietary alternatives will not be available for the light breakfast and afternoon snack.  Please also note that this event is not a nut or soy free event/environment.  

  • If you're arriving via air at the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky airport (CVG), there is a shuttle service that takes you to the hotel. Check it out on the "Lodging" page for more info and how to obtain the discount.

Again, please be aware that all activities at CFRR are opened to ticketed guests only, and not for the public, including the author signing segment. All unauthorized guests will be asked to leave. 

Thank you!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Last Prayer Email Before CFRR 2017

Thank you so much for praying! 

Can you believe it! CFRR 2017 is almost here! 

 Thank you to every single one of you for each and every prayer offered for our event on Saturday. After all this time, we are so close! We need prayer now more than ever, for peace for everyone involved and for safe travels. I love how everything comes together for the Glory of our God and it is my particular prayer that you, dear prayer worrior, will feel a special blessing this last week. Know that YOUR PRAYERS have helped protect against disaster, direct decisions and plans, and prayer really does change things, in the spiritual realm. It also changes us, and brings us closer together.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer. First, let's offer up our praise for the prayers already answered.

Prayer items:

  • Pray for each attendee, as they pack and prepare for the event.
  • Pray for our worship leader, for the music and worship time.
  • Pray for our international attendees, for strength and good health and for energy and rest when needed. They are coming a long way. Also, pray for smooth border crossings or security checks at airports.
  • Praise God for a full house and for the opportunities for readers and authors to meet and mingle.
  • Pray for Annie and Carrie and Bonnie Roof's health. For traveling mercies as they prepare in these last few days before the event on Saturday!
  • Pray for those not able to attend this year, that they will trust for another opportunity.
  • Pray for every one of our authors and attendees, organizers and sponsors, for logistics, deadlines, health issues, travel plans and family challenges.
  • Please pray on behalf of those struggling, intercede and hold them up to the Father.
  • Pray for the families of the attendees, that they will remain safe and healthy.
  • Thank God for the many volunteers who are willing to help serve to make this day awesome. Pray for their protection and well being.
  • Pray for the hotel staff, that they will see the light of Jesus shining through us.
  • Pray that the Lord would go before us, prepare the way. 
  • Thank our wonderful God for being right there in the midst of us as we gather. 

Thank you for every single prayer you lift up to our Father on behalf of CFRR 2017. 

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Melony Teague

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Survival Tips from a CFRR Addict by Rachael's Reads

We love it when we see the enthusiasm readers feel about CFRR. And the following post, first appeared on Rachael's Reads is just a  perfect reminder for guests!


The Christian Fiction Readers Retreat is exactly one week away and the excitement is overflowing! On August 12th, authors and readers will be gathering together in Cincinnati, Ohio for an exciting event filled with author panels, book signings, and a lot of #FOAFA (Freaking Out and Flailing About--a hasthag I coined last year). For those of you who are attending and are looking for some preparation tips, I have your back!
#1. Bring an extra bag or suitcase
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Before I left, I told myself I would buy 2-3 books at most.


Yeah, that didn't happen.
I walked into a room lined with book tables and I was doing fine while I had the distraction of talking to people I had been dying to meet. Then I sat down to listen to the first panel of authors, and following that I lost all hope. After every panel, I had to go buy at least one more book. On top of that, our swag bags included free books as well.
I left that weekend with fifteen books.
That's five times more than I said I'd bring back.
But the story doesn't end there . . . Let's just say that TSA wasn't fond of me after this incident. I only brought a carry-on with me that weekend, which means I had to fit my clothes, the swag from the event, in addition to fifteen books in one small suitcase. When I went through security, I was wearing a sweater with my university's name on it and the TSA woman there asked if I was going back to school as she lifted my bag. I figured she asked because of my shirt, but as she moved the clothes that had covered up the books lining the bottom of my bag, I was given a look that came close to a glare and she said, "Oh, I thought these were school books. How are you even going to lift this?" Whoops. ;)
Not only that, but I had to wheel that bag across three airports. Thankfully enough, they checked it for me since the airplane was so small and I didn't have to lift it.
So, with all that said, pack an extra bag just in case.
#2. Pack bookplates
Especially if you're flying, save the room in your bags for books you buy or win instead of bringing a stack along to be signed.


Last year, I went to the store and found a package of white shipping labels that I had authors sign. You could also invest in nice bookplates, but this was the most convenient option for me. I had more room in my suitcase and was able to get more autographs this way!
#3. Warn your spouse/family to not check your bank account
When I came home after CFRR last year, I told my mom not to even bother looking at my bank account because I knew she'd probably be terrified by what she saw. If you make the same decisions I did (like leaving with a stack of fifteen books), then it may be best to warn whomever it may concern not to even bother with the horror movie your bank/credit card statement will turn into. . . for them, of course. You're getting books out of the deal!
#4. Consume a lot of coffee beforehand

Honestly, there's a chance that you won't be getting much sleep and you're going to need the energy to keep you on your feet all day. Plus, if you're staying at the hotel, there will be a gathering of authors and readers galore in the lobby at all hours. There's Starbucks nearby and I'm sure the hotel will have coffee, so bring that IV or vat full of coffee along because you don't want to miss a thing for something as pointless as sleep.
#5. Sleeping is optional

When you're surrounded by people you have been dying to meet or rarely see, sleep is not a priority. Make the most of every second, even if it means looking like a zombie the next day. Just be sure to fuel yourself up with a lot of caffeine and fangirl-geared adrenaline and you will be good to go!
#6. Invest in tea and honey . . . and smelling salts
giphy (1)
Expect squealing, chattering, and fangirling all day long. The moment you walk in those doors, you will be swept away in a whirlwind of excitement and chaos. There will be so many authors to meet, books to buy, and people to talk to, you may not have a voice by the end of the day and may need to sit down a time or two. Also, be sure to remember to *inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale* because you're going to be doing a lot of #FOAFA!

Rachael (Bookworm Mama) and I fangirling over Jen Turano and Amy Clipston

#7. Bring a fully charged phone or camera

This is the experience of a lifetime. You will be in a room filled with authors and memories you will not want to forget! Keep that phone/camera ready at all times to capture it all. Also, be sure to make sure you have enough space on your device to hold all of your photos because you don't want to have to pause your photo op to delete photos.
#8. Pack business cards or a pad of paper
giphy (2).gif

I met some amazing new friends last year and was so glad I brought a stack of business cards along to hand out so that we could stay connected. I even wrote names and email addresses down in a notebook so that I could find people online after the retreat. I'm terrible with names so this helped me out monumentally. You're going to be meeting some fantastic people and you don't want to leave without staying connected.
#9. Prepare for ALL THE HUGS!


I identify as an ambivert or an outgoing introvert. When I'm in my element, the outgoing/extroverted side of my comes out and I get really excited! This seems to be a common occurrence at CFRR so be ready to be giving and receiving hugs from your favorite authors, fellow readers, and especially me! Seriously, if you introduce yourself and we've interacted online before, I may explode with excitement and give you a hug. I just really adore my blog followers!
#10. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone
L to R: Mikal Dawn, Me, Sarah Monzon, and Meghan Gorecki

It's easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by everything going on and all the people around, but try to step out of your comfort zone because that's where some of the best memories happen. Introduce yourself to authors and readers. Tell authors how their books impacted your life. Take crazy pictures despite any odd looks you receive. Make the most out of this fabulous experience!
#11. Invest in a fan
L to R: Pepper Basham, Ruth Logan Herne, Melanie Dickerson, Janet Dean, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Julie Lessman

This is a must. Not only will you be in the same room as some of your favorite authors EVER but the panels can be incredibly swoon worthy. I just discovered that we will have a panel talking about book boyfriends. If it's anything like the "Pucker Up" panel from last year (above), then you're going to make good use of that fan!
#12. Be ready to make lifelong friends
L to R: Jen Turano, Annie (Just Commonly), Abbie, Marisa, Sydney (Singing Librarian Books), Meghan Gorecki (Northern Belle), Rachel (Bookworm Mama), Me, and Bonnie.

This is a huge one, y'all! I have met some of my closest friends online and was able to meet them in person for the first time at CFRR. Not only this, but I was also introduced to some awesome people while there and it has helped build such strong friendships. This event gave me the opportunity to connect with people across the country and that's one of the greatest things about it! I hope you walk away feeling the same!
Will you be attending CFRR this year? If so, let me know in the comments and I will keep an eye out for you! You will be able to find me at the author registration table. See y'all in seven days! :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Congratulations to our CFRR Addicts!

Congratulations to our #CFRRAddicts!! Our #BookAddict is Suzie with 793 points total!! That's nearly 300 points over the top tier! Thank you!! If you need a reminder of what you've won, check out the original post HERE or click on the image below.

Addicts who've won extra raffle tickets towards the Grand Prize Giveaway, you will receive them during Sign-In.

Thank you everyone who participated!