Oh, you know we love a book fest.

Last week, we went to the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving, TX (close to Dallas). It was a ton of fun! Unfortunately, Rachel wasn’t able to come because she was at a tech festival back in Louisiana. BUT we were super excited that our wonderful friend Faith came! She was very happy to plaid with us! ūüôā



We (of course) went to several panels featuring the one and only Ally Carter, who is still our favorite (of course.)


We ate PB&Js. (A festival tradition.)

A bit of festival advice: take a picnic lunch! Sometimes concession lines are long (last year people waited in them for over an hour!), plus PB&J is yummier than nasty nachos.


The line to get TO the signing line was crazy and insane! But NTTBF had a pretty good system down which really cut the crazies. Next time we’ll know to get closer to the front of the line for more time in the signing lines!

Also, shout out to all our awesome line buddies! We met lots of really awesome people while we stood in line, which was a great experience! Thank you all for talking books with us! We really enjoyed! (Also, we randomly met a girl—hi Sarah!—whose family goes to our church. Small world!)


Jules took this time to catch up on some reading.


Some of the authors we had sign our books:
Soman Chainani
Victoria Aveyard
Kristin Rae
Ally Carter

I feel like there were more¬†(we split up a few times, so I don’t know who all saw who), but I just can’t remember. We didn’t get to all the authors we hoped to, but there’s always next time!

The amazing Ally Carter was amazing and recognized us (“I was wondering if y’all were here. Y’all have been quiet today!”) and told us SEKRETS and signed a million of our books. (Nine. She signed nine. The limit was three per person, which I’m sure she was appreciative of!) She really liked that I had all my favorite parts sticky noted. (Obviously there were a lot of sticky notes.) Also I kind of surprised her by pulling out a copy of Cheating at Solitaire, her first book. (If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because it’s an adult book and no longer in print.)¬†We asked if we could take a pic with her and she said, “Only if you’re stealthy.” Thankfully, we learned stealth from the¬†Gallagher Academy!


I think we counted 37 books in my trunk.


After the festival, we met up with Jules’s sister and ate some amazing Mexican food. A good rule for life: When in Texas, eat Mexican food! We always find random Mexican places to stop at and we’ve never had a bad experience yet. Before we left town, we pulled out some sparkling pear juice to drink on the drive home!



On the way home, we stopped at Buc-ee’s. My first time! I was told there would be a slide. There was not a slide. For some reason, I had it in my head that it was basically a grown up’s Chuck E. Cheese. It wasn’t. It was a big convenient store. That’s it. BUT they had very nice bathrooms so it will definitely go on the list of places for potty stops.


A big thank you to the NTTBF committee, the volunteers, our wonderful line buddies, and (of course!) the authors. NTTBF16 was a great festival we are sure to remember!


Week 5: Out of Sight, Out of Time


This week we’re reading¬†Out of Sight, Out of Time.

For funzies, we’re sharing some pics of the first time we met Ally Carter!


When we heard she was going to be in Austin for the Austin Teen Book Festival (now the Texas Teen Book Festival), we couldn’t NOT go! So we:
-packed up the car after we got off work
-decorated the car
-left two hours late
-got lost on the way (“We were supposed to turn… an hour ago.”)
-got pulled over for driving without lights on (in my defense, I was driving a car I wasn’t used to and I’d JUST pulled out of the gas station. I would have noticed a few minutes later!)
-had a brief moment when *name redacted*¬†tried to be more Bex-like. (“YOU ARE DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.”
-got caught up in traffic for the state festival
-and FINALLY made it to Austin at 2:00 in the morning.

The next morning, we donned our plaid skirts again.
austin3Since we were only going to see Ally Carter, we decided to skip the morning sessions and go to the Texas State Capitol. (This was our first festival, so we didn’t know how awesome ALL the panels were! Now we go to as many as we can!)

That photo is my favorite of us. ^ So funny!

Then… the book festival! We spotted Ally Carter from afar before walking in and all of us just stopped.
“It’s her!” we squealed among ourselves.
“Go say hi,” my mom told us.
“We can’t just… go up to her!” So we didn’t, and just creepily stared at her until she went into the panel. Where we stared at her more. Jennifer Lynn Barnes was the moderator for the panel and told us all that Ally Carter had been Homecoming Queen and we’re like,¬†yeah she’s totally a queen.

Then came the infamous photobombing. Then we met authors! Ally Carter’s line was crazy long (as always), so my mom and aunt held our spot in line so we could meet other authors.

We met:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Ally’s bestie, who told us that she named some of our favorite characters)
John Corey Whaley (who grew up in a city near ours!)

Dan Krokos (We told him he needed to watch Doctor Who)

Will Richter (The story behind the photo: someone called him and, since he was busy signing books, he handed the phone to Jules and said, “Talk to him for a minute.”)

Marissa Meyer and Eliot Schrefer (A year later we contacted Marissa for an interview and she remembered us.)
atbf3We also met a lot more! And we bought some books that we ended up LOVING!
atbf8We were sad to leave, but knew we wouldn’t miss ATBF13. We’ve been every year since!
(Those super tall guys in the background are Lex Thomas–authors of Quarantine.)

atbf10 ATBF11

Question of the Day: If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?
Gallagher Girl readathon logo hosted by thegirlsinplaidskirts.com

Happy April!!

     Hello April!!

Not only is it the month celebrated by the pulling of pranks on friends, family, and unrelated passers-by, but we also celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and throw in candy, eggs ( a symbol of new beginnings), fake grass and colorful baskets, and an oversized bunny that, like Santa, knows where you live.¬† In addition to that, and the topic of today’s post (I know it’s late but it’s still today!), is that…..

April is National Letter Writing Month!!   

I love love love stationary and writing letters, but I hardly ever get around to sitting my tush in a chair and actually taking time to put pen to paper.¬† Writing more snail mail is on my list of New Years Resolutions¬†and here’s my chance to check that box!¬† So, this month is dedicated to doing just that!¬† It’s time to scribble that ink and lick ‘n stick that scallop-eged square in the top right corner and into the blue box it goes! (thankfully saliva isn’t necessary for postage adhesion these days. ick..)

So here’s the super fun part!!¬†¬† If you want a letter from The Girls in Plaid, send your mailing address to girlsinplaidskirts@gmail.com


If you want to send a letter to us, that would make us so happy… we might even send you something nifty in return…¬† just shoot us an email and we’ll let you know where we can be snail mailed!

(Just for clarification and all that jazz, we won’t sell, trade, or give away your address or anything like that. We just want to send you a letter!)

Well, cheers all! Hope to hear form yall soon!

‚̧ Jules

North Texas Teen Book Festival Recap

Let’s just get this out there: Julianne and I agreed that¬†NTTBF was one of the best festivals we’ve¬†ever attended.

Tons of incredible authors, countless panels to choose from, and we managed to win a signing line pass which helped us to hit up all the authors on our list without lots of waiting! (Though we still hung around until all the authors left.)

We started out our day with caffeine. Because we woke up at 5 AM. So obviously caffeine was necessary.

caffeine please NTTBF

Panel 1: Boarding Pass

I started out at the Boarding Pass panel with Adi Alsaid, Ally Carter, Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith (moderated by Sarah Enni). This is when I fell in love with Elizabeth Eulberg—she had me laughing the entire time. (Funnily enough, Jules had read her book¬†the night before the festival and gushed about it on the way.)

Highlights and notes:

-“Boys are stupid. Especially in high school. Boys are dumb. And they don’t get better with age.” -Elizabeth Eulberg

-“Fellows, a cupcake and I’m yours.” -Elizabeth Eulberg

-“I SHIP THEM!” -Ally Carter

-Basically everyone wants to marry Stephanie Perkins husband. Boarding Pass panel at NTTBF15 with Adi Alsaid, Ally Carter, Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, Jennifer E. Smith, moderated by Sarah Enni

Panel 2: Unlikely Place for Love

The second panel I went to was with Leigh Bardugo (also hilarious!), Julie Kagawa (I’ve been pronouncing her last name wrong…), April Genevieve Tucholke, and Rachel Vincent, moderated by Naomi Bates.
Highlights and notes:
-Sherry Thomas: “I’ve sworn a blood oath to never write a love triangle.” *audience cheers*¬†Leigh Bardugo: “Y’all say that but then y’all go out and buy The Selection.”
-“Your characters have to cause each other’s pain, stand in each other’s way, and be each other’s worse enemies for a while.” -Sherry Thomas
-“Evil is often charismatic.” -Sherry Thomas
-What sub-genre do you consider your book? Leigh Bardugo: “Awesome.”
¬†-“I just read¬†The Fault in Our Stars… in the airport… which was a mistake.” -Julie Kagawa
– Do you just wake up and decide to write a book that destroys someone’s life? Sherry Thomas: “No. It takes 6 drafts to do that.”
Unlikely Place for Love panel with Leigh Bardugo, Julie Kagawa, April Genevieve Tucholke, Rachel Vincent, moderated by Naomi Bates NTTBF
Panel 3: 867-5309
This panel consisted solely of Jens!¬†Jenny Han, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jennifer E. Smith, Jennifer Ziegler, and Jen Bigheart. Jennifer Lynn Barnes gave an awesome recap on her tumblr. (Using our photo!) ūüôā
Jen Panel with Jenny Han, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jennifer E. Smith, Jennifer Ziegler, and Jen Bigheart NTTBF
planning out our day nttbf
Unfortunately that was the last panel I went to, because we ate lunch during the next session, and the last few panels were full! (But Jules somehow managed to get into Book Boyfriends 101!) So I hung out with Xander until book signings.
We were super grateful Jules just happened to bring stuff to make peanut butter banana sandwiches because the concession lines were worse than the signing lines!

peanut butter banana sandwiches for lunch nttbfBook Signings!

We were thrilled to use our signing line priority pass to skip most of the lines. (We waited¬†in short lines and jumped the long ones.) Check out the lovely authors we met! (Unfortunately I didn’t get photos with/of all of them!)

Elizabeth Eulberg

elizabeth eulberg blurry nttbf

Ally Carter: look how she personalized Jules’s book! She gave us high fives when she realized who we were and told us the hilarious story of how she walked around a fancy hotel once with her dress stuck in her panty hose.

jb and julianne with ally carter nttbfJulianne and her signed Ally Carter book nttbf

Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Isn’t she the cutest thing ever? I picked up¬†Killer Instinct at the festival and am currently rereading¬†The Naturals¬†before I start it! (The Naturals¬†is even better the second time around! It’s fun to see how things play out when you already know who the killer is!)

jb and julianne with jennifer lynn barnes nttbf

Stephanie Perkins: We adored her dress. jb and stephanie perkins nttbfOther authors I met: Tera Lynn Childs, Julie Kagawa, Sarah Mlynowski, Rachel Vincent, Leigh Bardugo (who gave me some Grisha swag!), A. G. Howard. We also stopped by to see Julie Murphy (who signed posters for us, but unfortunately I lost mine) and John Corey Whaley (Jules had him sign her ARC of Where Things Come Back).

We had a FANTASTIC time at the North Texas Teen Book Festival. I’m already ready for NTTBF16!

(The photo below is the books I took with me. Not including the books I bought¬†or Rachel and Jules’ books. We estimated that there were about 40 books in the car!)

book stack for NTTBF

The North Texas Teen Book Festival is TOMORROW!!!

NTTBFLogo-1All the exclamation points because we are so excited! Tomorrow we’re going to NTTBF15! This is the first year for the festival, and they have an awesome line up with over 50 authors. We’re excited to meet Ally Carter, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Julie Murphy, Victoria Scott, and John Corey Whaley again. Some authors I’m personally excited to meet are¬†Leigh Bardugo, Julie Kagawa, Tera Lynn Childs, A.G. Howard, and Sarah Mlynowski.

DSC_0210 - Version 2

We were lucky enough to get tickets to the opening ceremony (they were all claimed within ten minutes of registration being opened!), so we will be waking up SUPER EARLY so we can drive in and be there at 9:00. (Hi Starbucks, I’d like a tall grande venti mocha frappuccino, please. With an extra shot of espresso.)

Yes, we use an atlas. Without it, we get lost. But for real. #ATBF13

A photo posted by GirlsInPlaidSkirts (@girlsinplaidskirts) on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:34pm PDT

Our directions are printed and ready to go, we have extra phone chargers packed, Rachel has her Texas map (it’s time for a new one though—her’s still says George W. Bush is the governor of Texas). Our books to be signed are cuddled up¬†in our book bags (as seen here), sharpies (for authors to sign our bags) have been procured, and we have a Starbucks gift card nesting next to the emergency tiara in my car.

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.55.06 PM

I think we’re ready! If you’re attending the festival and see a girl in a plaid skirt, come say hi! We love to meet fellow readers! (Plus we’ll give you a super cute bookmark that Jules designed.)

Hope to see you there!

JB from thegirlsinplaidskirts.com, plaid skirt, pink rainboots

NTTBF15 Excitement and (a super late) TTBF14 Recap

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

This week we are super excited because we’re going to the North Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday! Some of our favorite authors will be there: Ally Carter, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Julie Kagawa, Sarah Mlynowski, Leigh Bardugo. There will be 53 authors!

After we cleaned out our computers the other day, I came across these photos from the Texas Teen Book Festival last year that we forgot to share!


We randomly stopped at a cotton mill on the way to take photos and the owner came out and gave us a tour!PB&J

We brought sandwich stuff and made PB&Js on the back of the car at a gas station! (Cinderella blankie totally necessary.)James Dashner keynote speaker Texas Teen Book Festival 14 TTBF14

James Dashner did the closing ceremony.signing line for James Dashner of The Maze Runner

THIS was the signing line for James Dashner. It was ridiculous. You can hardly even see the little tents the authors were in! Dashner was awesome and stayed until everyone got their book signed. (Tip for book events: go with friends! You can switch who stands in line while the others visit shorter lines! Or, better yet, take friends or parents who don’t care to meet authors and use them as line placeholders!)meeting James Dashner of The Maze Runner

Julianne made us super cute tote bags with quotes from¬†Code Name Verity. We take them to book events and get authors to sign them! Here, James Dashner is signing Rachel’s bag.meeting James Dashner of The Maze Runner

And Julianne too!full trunk, Code Name Verity bag

What do you mean too much stuff?The girls in plaid skirts have too much luggage

Funny story: We were in the elevator with all our stuff and this elderly man said he’d wait for the next one. “That’s all for one night, isn’t it?” he asked as the doors closed. We just giggled. (Because yes, that was only for one night and three girls.)
the girls in plaid skirts texas teen book festival ttbf14

PC to Xander. Or Xander’s Mommy. I can’t remember who took this pic!the girls in plaid skirts and Xander from forever bookish  texas teen book festival ttbf14Us with Xander! (We filmed a vlog with him recapping¬†TTBF so go watch it!)
the girls in plaid skirts at the bat bridge in austin texas

Rachel wanted to cross¬†Visit the bat bridge in Austin off her bucket list, so we did just that! This was literally the ONLY photo out of like 60 that isn’t blurry. I also have 45 minutes of video of us rambling about bats and books which I need to edit (and shorten… a lot) and post!The girls in plaid skirts try on hatsNot sure what store this was, but we thought we looked pretty adorbs, right?


Have you been to any book events or signings? Will you be going to NTTBF? If so, let us know in the comments or on twitter! (@thegirlsinplaid)

JB from thegirlsinplaidskirts.com, plaid skirt, pink rainboots

VLOG | TTBF14 Recap with Xander!

Hey guys! This weekend we had a blast at the Texas Teen Book Festival! We came home with lots of books and goodies, and we finally got to meet Xander from Forever Bookish! We swap blogs with Xander every month for Swap From the Swamp, so we were excited to meet him in real life! After the festival, the four of us sat down and recapped the books we got and our favorite parts of the festival. Hope you enjoy!

A Bookish Weekend

This past Saturday was filled with books as JB and I (Rachel) hit up all the different book events. We started the afternoon off by attending the closing hours of a local college’s¬†Book Bazaar. The gym was filled with tables that had quickly dwindling stacks of books. We took advantage of the half-off hours! Following that, we went to go see what was going on at the newly opened 2nd and Charles’ grand opening. We were impressed with their organization, wide variety, and good deals! We are delighted with this addition to the community. Things would have only been more wonderful¬†if Julianne could have joined us!!


Centenary Book Bazaar

Centenary Book Bazaar

Centenary Book Bazaar

2nd & Charles

Book haul from Centenary Book Bazaar and 2nd & Charles

Vintage Books with Inscription

Dark Days Tour Recap

Rachel and I had a blast on Tuesday at the Epic Reads’ Dark Days tour featuring Kiera Cass, Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Derting, and Danielle Paige. We drove three hours one way in order to attend the event, and it was totally worth it.

We were especially excited because it was the release day for¬†The One! They had a local bookstore selling books and…¬†they ran out. Rachel was lucky enough to get the last copies of¬†The One for us.¬†They brought over a few more and sold all of those too. I hope everyone who was there was able to get a copy!

The Irving Library hosted a fantastic event. The decor was perfection with red and pink lights and pom poms lining the walls and ceilings of the auditorium. There was a super cute dessert table (unfortunately I didn’t get a photo) and the cupcakes had mini edible book covers on them! By the time I made it to the table, the cupcakes were gone, but I managed to get a creeper pic of Kiera’s cupcake. (I meant to ask if I could take one and forgot.)

One of our favorite parts about events is getting to meet fellow bloggers and readers! We got to meet Matt and his friend Bex (we Gallagher Girls love her name), and I ran into Alex as she was leaving. We also met some awesome fellow Selectioners (I’m trying to make this a thing) while we were waiting in line, and they were wearing cute tiara rings in honor of¬†The One.


The panels were fun (panels are always fun), and poor Kiera had to be super careful to not spoil, but she hinted at some unexpected friendships to come in¬†The One. When asked how she felt about her series, she said, “I’m stupid in love with this book.” And of course everyone awed when she confessed both boys were based off her husband!


The signing line for Kiera was the longest (not surprising, as it was her book birthday), so we were able to zip through meeting the other authors (we didn’t have any of their books to get signed) and talk to them and get some bookmarks, and Rachel had them sign her Kindle cover and a tote bag.


We finally got to meet Kiera, who was in high spirits and super excited. We told her that we were finally getting to check “own an entire signed series” off our bucket lists, and she gave us high fives.DSC_0649 - Version 2 DSC_0670

We posed with our tiaras and complete trilogies in the parking lot, then headed back home as we sang¬†songs from¬†Frozen. (In case you don’t follow us on Twitter—which you should—Rachel likes to sing the¬†Frozen songs in Dutch. Sort of…)

selection books

Plaid style! We’re always easy to spot at book events.

plaid styleA huge thanks to Epic Reads and Irving Public Library for such a successful event! We definitely see some books being added to our TBR list (like Taking). 


William Joyce Signing

This weekend our church had its annual youth weekend, so we had a 2:00 service yesterday in lieu of our normal 10:00 and 6:00 services. Of all days for us to have an afternoon service, it¬†would be the one on which William Joyce (of¬†Rise of the Guardians¬†and¬†The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore fame) was hosting a signing and book launch for Mischievians¬†at the local mall. Despite living in the same town as him, we’d somehow managed to never meet him.

When church was over and everyone was mingling, I found Rachel and we squealed over her super cute outfit featuring a plaid skirt (naturally), and she told me how upset she was that we missed the signing. We checked our phones–it was already 4:00 and the signing ended at 5:00.

“We can make it,” I told her. “You can finally cross meet William Joyce¬†off your bucket list!”

We ran to my car, called the parents (her) and spouse (me) to inform them of our impromptu adventure, and raced (safely) across town to Toy Fair. The parking lot was full because of the event, and the signing line was out the door. We made our way to the counter to buy Mischievians¬†and they had just sold the very. last. one. We were devastated and instead bought¬†The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore¬†(me),¬†The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie,¬†The Sandman and the War of Dreams, and¬†The Leaf Men (last three Rachel’s). And then we stood in line as caboose for two hours.

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Whilst in line, we made friends with the people around us (mostly grandparents) and took pictures and tweeted about our excitement. We checked our phones and realized that Moonbot Studios had retweeted us, so we squealed over our new celebrity status. A few minutes later, Moonbot’s marketing director, Sara Hebert, approached us saying she had been twitter stalking us and wanted to meet us. We handed her a¬†Girls in Plaid Skirts bookmark and talked a bit and were super excited that Moonbot people are so nice.

We finally made our way to William Joyce, who was still in high spirits even after signing for four hours. Sara told him that we were the “future bloggers of America” (her words) and made us sound really awesome. He let us take some pictures with him, but he only approved of the third one (he thought he looked too “frowny” in the others).

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Impromptu adventures are the best ones, and this one did not disappoint. Thank you to both Toy Fair and William Joyce for such a wonderful afternoon!