Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review of The Black Hand Ball in Sydney

Welcome to the Becca Fitzpatrick Aussie Blog Tour! Today you're going to hear all about The Black Hand Ball in Sydeny and discover just what happened!

The next stop on the tout will be at:

Shirrleyy's Bookshelf, where Shirley is giving away a complete set of Becca SIGNED books!

And don't forget to head over to:

Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic TODAY with Erin and find out Becca's Top 10 Books!

And here we go.....

I’ve only had the pleasure of attending a few author signings or events since I’ve began reading, but I can say without a doubt that The Black Hand Ball is the best one I’ve ever been to. Everything from the incredible people I met there, to the atmosphere and the amazing Becca Fitzpatrick herself not only met my expectations, but exceeded them. And then some!

(The decorations and when people started arriving)

I’ve been looking forward to this event for quite a while, so I was anxious to get there. So anxious in fact that I dragged my mum (who is just the best for always attending these kinds of things with me) there an hour earlier in the rain, and we arrived before everything was even set up. Seeing the Ball before it was set up and the transformation it undertook was incredible. The Establishment and the team over at Simon & Schuster out did themselves with the decorations and setting! It was simple, yet elegant and set the night.

(Me and Caroline)

Begin there early also gave me the chance to meet Caroline straight away and let me just say...ahhh! Caroline Payne is even more awesome and beautiful in person than she is over email! It was fantastic getting to talk to her and being able to put a face to the personality who has been so wonderful to me since I’ve started working with Simon & Schuster as part of The Rest Is Still Unwritten. Caroline talked to me for ages and we chatted a lot during the night, even as the poor girl ran around organising everything the entire time. She was so lovely and easy to talk too—just amazing.

(Me and Marketing Director of Simon & Schuster Lou Johnson)

Throughout the night I also had the chance to meet, talk and even dance (yes we danced!) with some of the other vibrant ladies at Simon & Schuster and let me just say they are all incredible people! They were so fun and hilarious to be with. I met the amazing head of Simon & Schuster; Marketing Director Lou Johnson early on in the night and she just so friendly and warm and certainly knew how to party. Lou talked to me a few times during the night and I made sure to get a picture, although it came out a tad blurry. Wah! My camera played up on and off during the night *sigh*

(My lovely signed books. Aren't they pretty?)

Yet the best part of getting there early was that I got to meet Becca BEFORE the event began! There were only two other fans there when she arrived and Becca signed our books early for us and then sat chatting with me for about 20 minutes. Honestly, she has to be the nicest, friendliest author I’ve ever met and you could tell how happy she was to be there. She was so natural and relaxed off the bat and she really lit up the room. She told me briefly about her time in Australia and some of the signings she’d been too.

(People mingling)

(Me and some of the angels)

At this point people had begun to arrive and soon the party began! The music began to pulse and then the Angels descended. Ha! I might add hot, sexy angels that went about serving drinks to everyone and who were more than happy to pose for photographs. And yes, I made sure to get a photo...or three, with some of them. The guys themselves were really friendly and open and everyone there was already having a great time.

(Talking to fans)

Becca mingled with the crowd straight away, talking to fans and even signing some books for fans there as well as posing for photographs. All the fans were so happy and excited and it was easy to talk to everyone, I even made a couple of friends that I spent the night talking to which was awesome. I mean, who doesn’t wanna be able to gush about books at these kinds of things?

Finger food was offered by the many waiters (not angels) that went around serving and it was delicious! I admit I didn’t eat that much as I was caught up in the excitement, but what I did have...yum!

(Becca captivated us all!)

Soon Becca took to the stage to talk and the entire crowd was captivated. Becca had an incredible stage presence and shared some funny tales with us, including how she came to write Hush, Hush, her experiences attempting to get picked up and she even told us the inspiration for some of her scenes, characters and plot lines! There are some scenes in series I certainly think differently of after hearing Becca talking and hearing Becca’s teenage experiences that were the inspirations for some of her funnier scenes defiantly made me smile. Then Becca answers some questions posted in by fans and we got a secret message from Patch. Oooooh! And it was good *drools* I recorded the whole thing, but I’m not going to post it just yet as I don’t wanna spoil it for anyone else attending the other two balls.

After the message, Becca went and began signing books for everyone. I’d already had my books signed early on in the night, but I wanted to get a nice picture with her. The lines were enormous---practically everyone lined up and it was slow going as Becca took the time to talk to each and every person as she signed books, tickets, post cards and posed for photos.

I’d already met her briefly during the night, but I had the chance to talk to Becca’s agent Catherine Drayton at this point, a wonderful woman who was just so inspiring to talk to. She was so friendly and had some great tips about writing and wanting to be a part of the publishing industry. Oh, and we also got to laugh and giggle about the hot angel servers. Definitely a great woman!

(Massive line!)

Even now the line for signings was massive, so I waited a bit and instead danced with Caroline, Lou (yes, the Marketing Director of S&S danced like a woman on a mission, lol) and some of the other Simon & Schuster gals to kill time and get the party started. There were a few people dancing, but not many and attempts to coax some of the Angels into dancing failed, but all in all it was still fun. I spent a lot of the night with a lovely girl named Paige who I met and I dragged her up to dance and we had a great time as the lines for signings shrunk.

>(Paige (on left) and some friendly faces in the signing line--such nice girls!)

Then when there was a 45 minutes left of signings I jumped in line to get my picture and was able to chat with Paige some more (like a tonne) and other fantastic faces in the lines. We gushed about the Hush, Huh books as well as all our other know, VA, The Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices and just laughed and talked the entire time the line was moving. Everyone was so happy to be there and the atmosphere was just incredible! People dressed up for the event and looked a million dollars and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a soul in the room that hadn’t had a great time. I know I sure did!

Finally I got my lovely picture with Becca and thanked her for signing my books earlier; wishing her a great stay for the rest of her time in Australia and then it was almost time to go. The event and book signings ran over, but Becca stayed and made sure every book got signed and everyone got a picture and she was so graceful and happy about it---honestly the woman shone!

(Me and Becca!)

Upon leaving we were presented with out goodies bags which contained, well....goodies! The chocolate was to die for and I’m already tempted to dive into the book I got.

And that was it!

I can’t say what the other balls will be like, but Sydney’s was a night to remember! I have no faults with it—none whatsoever. I haven’t smiled or laughed that hard in a long time and it was such a brilliant night.

I can’t thank Dolly and Simon & Schuster enough for putting on such a fabulous event and am so grateful to Simon & Schuster for letting me attend! And of course to woman of the hour, Becca Fitzpatrick herself, for making the night so special with her incredible desire to meet her fans and dedication to making sure everyone was happy.
Thank-you all so much!

And since this is a review, I’m giving it (and Becca =D) Five Patches!



  1. Sounds like you had an awesome night! ;)

  2. Totally amazingly out of this world awesome! I wishwishwish I could of gone! Ashame she did't come to Perth :| Looks like you had a groovy time, it looked amazing! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. I soooooooooooooo don’t want to be the only male attendee going tomorrow night. You’ve got to save me Rach lol. I’m not sure how I’m going to review it being so intimidated by those angels. rofl. Glad you had fun!

  4. It was really awesome Erin and Rebbecca! To die for! Oooh, you live in Perth Rebbecca. Are you going to the Sarah Alderson signing? I'd kill to go to that, lol.

    Awww, Braiden <3 I'm sure it won't be too bad! I mean there were a couple of guys at this one other than angels. Boyfriends I think ;)
    Besides you're gonna review the hell outta it! Can't wait to see what your Ball's like and then Lisa's of course!

  5. AHHHH WHY DIDN'T I GO?!?!? WHY?!?!?! Must've been such an amazing night!! Those shirtless angels! *drools*
    Glad you had so much fun!!

  6. Ooooh looked so fun and you got to hang out with Angels! Mmm...

    Braiden just go without a shirt and your knickers showing. Tell everyone your an angel. No one will know the truth. Promise :)

  7. Oh Amazing posting Rachel!! Awesome pics etc. I am so looking forward to Saturdays! Braiden don't worry I am probably oldest at our event in QLD, hubby will probably be only guy at ours...ssshhhh if I tell him I will be looking for a replacement ticket...ha!!


  8. Gabbie: If they see I don’t have slim stomach or a six-pack they WILL know the truth.

  9. I went!!! im in two of the photos XD your review was great... :)

  10. Okay, I'm locking away my insane jealous so I can squee in happiness for you! It sounds like it was SUCH an amazing time, Rachel!! I am so happy you enjoyed yourself, met the brilliant Becca, the incredible S&S team, made new book-loving friends and... well, *admires the sexy angels* hehe. Seriously, can one night get any better than that?

    Your enthusiasm totally shows <3 And it's nice to see the lovely Caroline! By the way? You're both absolutely gorgeous :)

  11. you're so lucky to have gone! i was pretty upset when i found out there wouldn't be a black hand ball held in perth. oh well, maybe some other time. the place looks amazing, and becca sounds like she is just as amazing a person as she is an author. i love the hush hush series so much!

  12. Oh my god you are SO lucky! Looks like it was awesome!!!

    Xpresso Reads

  13. Hi Rachel! :) Thanks so much for joining our TBR PILE reading challenge! You asked if it's ok to include books that you bought in 2012 but that were released in 2011 and earlier - of course! Anything that was released before 2012 is fine, doesn't have to be on your bookshelf yet, just on your TBR Pile :) *even an imaginary one*

    And this book tour is WAY cool! I am so envious! I'd love to meet Becca too! not to mention the angels! :D Lucky you!!!

  14. Rachel if you get this message, I can't recieve emails at the moment, some silly error message I can send them not receive??? My mobile is 0408822715 if you could text me your address, please. I 'm not sure due to my tech ineptness how long this silly code will be going on until I can fix it...not that I know how..ha! Anyhoo off for the couple hour trek to the ball....Yes Tim's cover there is far more to this than it's rather naughty!!!


  15. I was so sad I couldn't make it to this! I tried to enlist friends to come and it just didn't happen. And it looks so amazing! And OMG, so do you! I love your dress!

  16. Hi Rachel

    Thanks for chatting on the way to Brisvegas on Saturday:D I had a great time ! Met some QLD bloggers, hubby was almost only guy..ha!! had a cuddle with the winged!! Caroline made me...I felt a bit old..ha!..but I did it. I wanted her in my place:D

    Anyhoo I shall send you what we talked about and have fun with them:D



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