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!


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

Ode to the Ruby Slippers

Soooo if you haven’t caught on already, I’ll just go ahead and tell you: I’m the late one. Like the last time I was actually on time was when I was born. I’m a procrastinator. And this week I was out on a ranch in the middle of ranch-nothingness Texas (and loving every minute) and was always doing something else (doing a lot of planning for a big trip, but that’s another post).

Anyway, I was supposed to have posted this on Thursday… I think… To go along with Rae’s Ruby slippers picture and Gallagher Day ūüôā

Well, anyway, here it is. Enjoy!


Ruby Slippers
Ode to the Ruby Slippers

Beyond the great and sacred walls
Down the long and gleaming halls
Poised, silent, in calculated rotation
Anchored, safe, in precise location

Created with the power to take you home
Wrought to save you from being alone
Many come, see, and, unchanged, many go
The pull never feel, the gleam never know

Guarded, protected, yet through the glass
Unknown, unseen, calls together a class
Two worlds aligned, one thing in mind
One way to find two of a kind

N’er again to grace the feet of a girl
Held in place by the sight of the world
Yet through the glass can confer
A spirit for more to him and to her

As would a beacon with jeweled red light
A warning goes out of the coming night
Each made for the other, fit together
Now are joined, for dim, for dark, forever.

Road Trip: Montgomery County Book Festival

Roadtrip with The Girls in Plaid Skirts is synonymous with one word…


Rae and JB, along with a lovely accomplice, Caroline, rose bright and early, packed up the car (luggage, books, comms & portscreens, plaid skirts, cupcakes, blankets, pillows, snacks, the “Justin Case”, atlas, all check), the only thing missing was me. Like the trooper that I am, I had overslept. (It had been a very crazy week and my sleep schedule had gone haywire.) But soon we were on our way. We didn’t get very far before I realized that, in my haste, I had left my purse in my car. Meaning I had no money and no driver’s license. Cue facepalm. But being that I was among the dearest of friends, I was assured I would not go hungry. (Thanks girls, you’re the best! and I owe yall. Like for real lol…) So we journeyed on.

We continued to journey until, in the middle of reading aloud the special Thorne story in the back of Cress*, when Rachel realized that she forgot to mention that turn we were supposed to make about an hour back… So out came atlas and the phones,¬†because our predicament was two-fold: first was “Where are we?” the next “How do we get there from here?” ¬†Thank heavens for technology! ¬†Soon we were once again on our way. ¬†After a little time, a lot of laughter, lunch, and only one potty break ¬†(I know right??) we arrived safely at the

book festival

Book Festival! And with just enough time to do a little book shopping before Marissa Meyer’s panel! ¬†Naturally we were¬†excited to see her again, but especially excited because after the panel we had an interview!!! On the same panel were notable¬†authors, P.J. Hoover of Solsitce, and Lindsey Cummings of The Murder Complex. ¬†¬†

After the panel we were given a table in the Authors Only room for our interview, where we waited, with cupcakes and questions at the ready. ¬†(I would like to take a moment to note that coming up with questions that aren’t old hat is hard sometimes… more on that and the cupcakes later.) At last she appeared!! And looking quite smashing, no?


We had our slightly giddy cordialities before getting to the actual ‘interview’ part ūüôā Joining her on Cress Tour was her husband, who seems just wonderful. He enjoyed the cupcakes very much. ¬†Because the lovely Mrs. Meyer was the keynote speaker, we wrapped up our interview so she would have some prep time. ¬†She had delightfully fitting topic for her keynote: The Art of the Story, during which she graced us with the telling of three classic version fairy tales! ¬†Notes on the Keynote are soon to follow! ¬†

Marissa’s reaction to the cupcakes came a little later, via twitter:

Holy Peanut Butter Batman!


Although we had but a short time, it was a good time. ¬†And it was followed by really really good food! ¬†Local Mexican place, El Bosque… omgoodnessyall. ¬†Everything was amazing and not expensive, my favorite combination!

Back at the hotel, we challenged ourselves with a little late night riddling via thisisnottom.  (the perplexing process to access a shrouded novella, compliments of John Green).  We made it to level 6.

The next day, after the oh so important breakfast, we headed off to the Johnson Space Center, aka



There we poked around the cockpit of a shuttle (our Cress was rather excited)…


…played inside a booster funnel (miss Scarlet was having a little too much fun)…¬†20140218-130609.jpg

…touched space (via the transitive property of existance)…20140218-130747.jpg

… got a look through the most awesome moonroof ever…20140218-130757.jpg

…and took a saunter down the spaceship catwalk!catwalk


In short (or long lol)  a grand time was had by all and when the night came, we slept, each in our own beds, with visions of Lunar adventures dancing in our heads.

till next time…


* The Bonus story can be found in the Target editions


We had a blast at the Austen Teen Book Festival!

We had a blast at the Austin Teen Book Festival

This past Saturday could not have gotten here soon enough and went by too quickly. We had been looking forward to ATBF13 with much anticipation! It meant a break from work, writing lesson plans, slaving over school assignments, and a chance to completely nerd out! We were even more excited that we got to attend not only as fans this year, but also as volunteers, and we also had the opportunity to represent our blog. It was exciting experience!

We woke up early Saturday and donned our plaid skirts. Planning classy plaid outfits is a lot of fun! Then we made our way down to the Austin convention center. Finding parking was tricky. Getting to the center early meant lots of swag to choose from, and guess what? We even picked up some swag for our awesome readers, so make sure to check back next week for an ATBF swag bag giveaway! We quickly made our way to the volunteer table to pick up our MEDIA BADGES! I don’t think anything can make a person feel cooler than a badge! After that we went to the opening keynote where we listened to an inspiring talk from Maggie Stiefvater (Did you know fear and imagination come from the same place?).

From there we went to our first panel, and it was here we met with our first fellow blogger friend, Alex. It was exciting to finally put a face with a name. Later, we also got to meet the adorable Arial! After the panel we went to mingle and look at more booths, and it was here we ran into our very own local librarians. It was so cool to find someone from our hometown (which is a six-hour drive from Austin), and JB was offered a job!

However, I must say the biggest highlight of the day was interviewing Marissa Meyer! We chatted about the Lunar Chronicles, her inspirations, and the upcoming¬†Cress!¬†I’m happy to say, according to her… I look like Rapunzel in her novel. Nothing could have made a Rapunzel fanatic like me happier!

After the interview, we split our ways as we went to our volunteer postitions. As the festival wrapped up, we had the splendid opportunity to take a group picture with Julie Murphy. She invited us to her launch party for Side Effects May Vary, which we are eagerly looking forward to.

The festival came to an end, and we were hungry and worn out, so we ate the delicious Curra’s Grill. Then Julianne asked JB and me the cryptic question, “So, which of you is willing to let the other go first?” Confused, we were unsure of how to respond, and she told us she would explain later. Once we were back to the hotel, Julianne asked the question again. Still confused, I asked if this was a test. (I guess that is why I am the¬†Liz of the group!)

Julianne reached down in her bag and pulled out an ARC copy of ….. wait for it…..¬†Cress!¬†Marissa Meyer had requested that the Girls in Plaid have one of the two ARC copies she had with her. It was a wonderful way to end an already amazing day! Needless to say, ATBF13 was unforgettable and we are looking forward to attending next year!

– Liz (aka Rachel)


Hello world,

It seems there is this interesting bookish gathering commonly referred to as ATBF (Austin Teen Book Festival, for those not in the know–or in Texas) coming up in a few days. In regards to this gathering, The Girls in Plaid Skirts¬†would like to announce an exciting opportunity we have been given.

Are you ready for this?

Are you SURE you are ready for this?


She is author of¬†Cinder¬†and¬†Scarlet,¬†and if you have not read them-you should! (Take it from somone who just finished¬†Cinder 10 minutes ago! –Rach)

Isn’t that cool?! We meet her last year at ATBF12 and were very happy she was returning. We are even happier she that she agreed to an interview! So, PLEASE stay¬†tuned for more news on the interview and to see how it goes!

Thank you, you may now go back to your lives.

-Liz (aka Rachel) coming to you live from The Girls in Plaid Skirts!