Monday, August 15, 2016

FIRST EVER BOOK SIGNING: Once Upon A Book Author Signing and Happily Ever After Ball

Hello everybody, my name is Jenny Bynum, and I am the owner of Black Words-White Pages, and I am so super happy to have you all stop by and read about my experience at my very first book signing, Once Upon A Book Author Signing and Happily Ever After Ball and all the events leading up to the event. So, enjoy my point of view through my eyes, and here we gooooo........

My boyfriend and I were suppose to go to UTOPIA in June, but due to car problems, we were unable to go and it hurt and depressed me a little bit...Ok, maybe a lot. But I quickly got over it when I saw this pic listed below and my boyfriend said, 'Hey, its not so far, we can go', and of course I got excited again. 

I had entered into a giveaway to win a Golden ticket to the event.....and......I GOT A GOLDEN TIICKET!!! That's right, I won the ticket to go to the ball and VIP the next day with the authors one hour before the signing and a tote full of swag, along with a sack lunch. I also needed my boyfriend to go along and so we purchased tickets for him as well. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have been able to go.

So, as the weeks, days, and hours came closer, the more excited and nervous I became. I was nerouscited (nervous excited) and I was so worried that my introvert side would come out and that people would see my brace and walker and judge me. I have Degenerative Osteoarthritis, which in layman's terms means that I don't have ANY soft tissue in my knee caps and my knee moves all around and to keep it from moving and me falling, I have to wear a brace on the right knee and walk with either a walker or cane. But that wasn't the case at all.....I will get to that in a minute though.


So, the day finally came, August 12, 2016, and my boyfriend, Marvin Mullins and I loaded up the car and headed to Frankenmuth, Michigan.

And finally after 4 hours and 5 pit-stops later, we made it to our motel, Heidelberg Motel. This motel was only 5 miles away from the event and it was in our budget. We had arrived at 3 pm EST.

This is what the inside of our room looked like and it was cozy and very comfortable. We were so glad to have finally made it, that we unpacked and then proceeded to relax before the nights events started at 7 pm EST.


Then at 6 pm, we started to get ready. I actually wore a dress. I am not usually one to wear a dress, but I did. I was dressed as a Fairy Godmother, hence the wand. We were suppose to dress as our favorite Fairy Tale Character for the Happily Ever After Ball. Since, I am self conscience about my brace on my right leg, I wore black leggings underneath to help hide the brace from site. Here I am all dressed and getting ready to head out the door for the ball. 

So, at 6:45 pm EST, we were off to the Bavarian Inn Lodge for the ball and registration. And look.....the event was featured on their sign outside as we drove in. This place was HUGE and we got lost twice before we found our way. LOL

This was the sign that greeted us as we came into the Lodge for the ball, and I was so super happy to know that there was elevators along with stairs. 

(Photo Taken by Lynn Shaw)

We got to meet Robin Hood on our way into the door (Jay Rourke, Stacey's Husband). LOL

The Evil Queen & Robin Hood
(Photo by Stacey Rourke) 

After we were registered and got into the ball, this is what we saw...Hundreds of beautiful people dressed up in their favorite Fairy Tale Characters. It was breathtakingly beautiful!!

After we got inside, I met my very first guest and I was a squee'ing fangirl after I figured out who it was and it sank in...... It was my all time fellow blogger, book reviewer, and behind the scenes girl of The Anchor Group Publishing Company, Lynn Shaw!!

(Me and Lynn Shaw of 2 Girls and A Book)

We walked around a bit, taking it all in and we even got our pictures professionally taken for free.

We finally settled at a table in the back of the room, right by the bar, so I could meet everyone who went up for drinks. This is the setting for our beautiful table below.

As I sat at the table, impatiently waiting for things to start, my beautiful friend, Author Crystal Bozeman Clifton came up to my table to hug me and say hi!!

(Photo taken by Crystal Bozeman Clifton)

Then everybody found their seats so that the event could start and this was the dress rehearsal that started the event. Three Author's were chosen by random to be part of the skit at the beginning to start off the show.

Then after the small rehearsal, the Evil Queen, Stacey Rourke was introduced and all sorts of action happened. 

(Photo by Stacey Rourke's mom)

After the introduction was over, we were serenaded with beautiful music and a voice so awesome, it was like silk listening to her, and she sang two songs for us. Then while the music played we were served dinner. We started off with a salad.

The main course was buffet style and we had the choice between chicken or beef with green beans, chicken and noodles, stuffing, corn, and garlic bread. See below pics.

The Buffet

The Line-up

My Plate

Warm Apple Pie

After I was done eating, I went and tracked down a couple of authors that I have followed for several years now. I couldn't wait any longer, I just HAD to meet them. I bawled like a baby when I finally got to meet Stacey Rourke (on left) in person and I was a sqeeing fangirl when I finally got to meet Mary Ting (on right)!!


Then after everybody stuffed themselves and the dishes cleared, it was time for the awards show.


(Photo by Lynn Shaw)
(Left to Right) Delphina Miyares, Alicia Michaels, Mary Ting and Ethan from Ethan's Story: My Life with Autism

After the awards show was over, the stage was cleared and the dance floor opened. Marvin and I didn't stay because we were tired from the trip. So, we headed back to our motel to rest up for the next day.....THE AUTHOR SIGNING.

As we were leaving, I stopped and got my picture taken with Melissa Ringstead (on left) of There For You Editing Services and Author Tracy Millosovich and Evelyn Sword (on right)



Saturday morning came and I was excited to see what was in my tote bag that I received the night before, so I opened it and dumped it out and look what I found....

Look at all of this awesome swag!!

My magazine that Stacey was featured in was in my tote.

I started fangirling when I saw this signed bookmark by Cindy Springsteen. I don't have anything signed by this author, that is until now.

The event magazine


So after a quick breakfast guessed it, McDonalds, I got dressed and ready for the Author Signing. Here I am ready for the day!!

I even went prepared with my own swag and gifts for Authors too.

And here we are on Saturday at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, ready to greet the day and some awesome Authors and fellow bloggers!!

(Photo by Lynn Shaw)

(Photo by Lynn Shaw)

(Photo by Lynn Shaw)

(Photo by Crystal Bozeman Clifton)

(Photo by Lynn Shaw)

(Photo by Crystal Bozeman Clifton)
Delphina Miyares & her Daughter Deedle signing my copy of Mermaids Can Ride Bicycles

I also got some painting done on my arm too. LOL

There were so many authors, it is hard to name them all but below is a smash up photo by Stacey Rourke that shows quite a few of them!!

We started at 9 am EST and it took until 1:30 pm EST for me to meet all the authors and get autographs. It was fun and well worth it, but I was hurting extremely bad and was ready to head home. The event was over at 3 anyway. Below is the pic of Marvin and I leaving the event, tired and sore, but VERY happy.

Then after 3.5 hours and 2 pit-stops later, we made it home and were so glad to have made it.

After a good night's sleep, I dived right into my three totes, that's right, three totes full of swag and books. HERE WE GOOOO.....

(My Book Haul)
Unveiled by Kristin Clarke
Cowboy Up 2 Anthology
Mermaids Can Ride Bicycles by Delphina Henley and Deedle Miyares
In My Head by Alicia Rades
Twists in Time Anthology signed by Kelly Risser
The Freelancer by Brenda Hasse
Breaking Fences by Susan Burdorf
If I didn't Have You by Kimberly Larson
Free Will by Diana Kathryn Plopa

(Mary Ting Swag)

(My Swag Haul)


(Two Children's Books for our Child Reviewers)

(The Giveaway Signed Tote and Swag)

Marvin's best part of the whole thing, you ask?
 The candy!! LOL

I got the most beautiful surprise from the fabulous, Crystal Bozeman Clifton!! 
An Angelic Worry Stone, thank you again, Crystal, I love it!!


Wow, this was a mystical and magical experience and one I sure won't forget anytime soon!! Nobody cared that I had a brace or a walker, but they all recognized my face. I felt like a celebrity during this whole event. People I have known on Facebook for years or just recently, called me by name and came around to give hugs, and the people who didn't know me, heard everybody else that did know me, talking about me. It was an overall phenomenal experience and I will treasure all the time I had with each of these awesome people!! Stacey Rourke and her team did a supreme job at putting this all together. All their blood, sweat, and tears went into making this event possible and I give them a five book review and a standing ovation!! 

Thank you, Stacey, and I can't wait to be there again next year and see everybody again!!


  1. What a lovely tribute to an amazing event. I am not sure anyone else will be able to sum it up so well. I am so happy I got to see you and I hope you enjoy my book! Oh, and the other books, too. Cannot wait to see you again.

    1. Thank you so much Susan!! I was so happy to have finally met you too and I know I will enjoy your book and I will make sure you know when I post my review!!

  2. Well said! It was a lovely event and even nicer since I was able to meet you in person. Enjoy The Freelancer! See you next year at OUAB!

    1. Thank you, and it was so nice to meet you too, Brenda!! I know I will enjoy Freelancer and I will let you know when my review is posted!!

  3. It was great meeting you! I'm so glad that you were able to attend.

    1. Thank you and I was so glad to have met you as well!!

  4. I'm so glad you won the golden ticket! It was truly a blessing to meet you!

    1. Thank you and it was truly a blessing to meet you as well!!

  5. Jenny you brought me to tears I was so very excited and honored to have finally meet my sweet Jenny. Love you my friend ❤❤❤

    1. I am so glad to have been able to meet my awesome and sweet friend, Crystal too <3 <3 <3