As always, Authors After Dark was a fabulous, fun-filled convention that I’m missing already! If you don’t want to sort through all my pics and ramblings about it, you can skip down to the bottom of the post for the giveaway.
The Road Trip
This year, I did something very different. While I’m no stranger to driving across state lines to get to conventions, this is the first time I’ve done it with someone else for such an extended trip. Ryan and I made a decision: we would go on a paycation and visit with family and friends, first up to Delaware for the state fair where Ryan works as a vendor, and then to Savannah, Georgia for Authors After Dark. We’ve been on the road for a month, and I have to tell you, as fun as this trip was, I am so glad to be home!
FYI: After this I’m taking a break from the con circuit until Coastal Magic in Daytona in February, 2017).
Along the way, we got to see lots of friends and family, as well as a bunch of weird tourist attractions, abandoned buildings, and strange things at the fair.
I do want to thank Chuck and his mom, Troy and Sarah, and C.J. Ellisson for being fabulous hosts and all around wonderful people for giving Ryan and I a place to crash on our trip. Thank you, guys! Can’t wait to see you again!
I’d like to say I didn’t see it coming, but I totally did. On August 3, 2016, Ryan Bluestone did me the honor of asking for my hand in marriage–and I said YES!
When I have more time, I’m going to save what’s left of this delicious ring in a shadow box.
While you might think he was channeling Deadpool, I’ve actually been telling him for a while that he could give me a twist tie or a Ring Pop and I would be just as happy. We stopped at a sketchy Southern buffet on our way down to Georgia and they had a pile of them beside the register.
His reasoning for doing it then, he told me, was that we not only didn’t kill each other over this trip, but I agreed to come with him back to the Delaware State Fair again next year, which is a sign this relationship is meant to last.
Yes, we are very silly, and yes, that really was the ring he used to propose to me. Strawberry, mmmmm! We’ve been talking about getting married for quite a while, and he actually said yes to me first (sorry, baby, but you know it’s true!), but after this crazy road trip we decided to make it official. The real ring will come later.
Once again, I was thrilled to attend Authors After Dark!
I’m deeply saddened to report that this was their last year, but it’s been a good run, and I had a fantastic time in Savannah. You might recall my last trip there for an AAD in 2013.
We arrived late on Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop us from re-visiting (or, in Ryan’s case, introducing him to) our tour guide, Nicodemus from Beyond Good and Evil Tours. There’s no better way to get to know the city of Savannah than to learn about it’s sordid, ghost-filled past from such an insouciant, knowledgeable guide.
As for AAD, I sat on two panels this year (Dragons and the Young Adult panel) and had a fantastic signing. While I did enjoy talking about YA novels, I had more fun talking about dragons and some of the authors who truly inspired me as a kid, like Anne McCaffrey, Patricia Wrede, Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, and the DragonLance novels.
It was so awesome to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon in person, and sit on a panel with her, too! Not to mention making lots of new friends, like Lily Vega, Cait Reynolds, and Auriella Skye, and seeing old pals like Jenny Trout, Leanna Renee Hieber, Julie Morgan, Marianne Morea, Joey W. Hill, and career readers like Donna, Ann M., and Erinn P. I know I’ve missed a few, but you’re all amazing. Love you, ladies!
After the signing we had the fantasy ball. I usually like to dress up for that, but I got too tired after to get dressed. That didn’t stop me from taking a ton of pics of all the beautiful dresses and costumes!
Also, yes, I’m a total sellout and joined the Poké-craze. Let me tell you, that hotel was a hotbed of Magicarp and Dratini, and I regret nothing.
This barely scratches the surface of everything I saw and did (and what Pokémon I caught, hehe) while I was there.
About That Giveaway…
If you couldn’t make it to the AAD Convention, I have not one but 5 (yes, FIVE!) separate prize packs just for you!
Everything you see below will be split into multiple prize packs. Yes–you’ll even get an official Authors After Dark Convention swag bag, complete with cherry-picked promo, swag, and a random selection of the physical books you see in the picture, just as if you had come to the con yourself!
Please be sure to visit the participating authors on Facebook and Twitter (and buy their books) to thank them for playing along! Remember, this giveaway is supposed to be fun–think of it like a scavenger hunt, where the object is to find new authors to follow and great books to read.
These giveaways are intended to go to people who really wanted to go but couldn’t make it this year or don’t otherwise have the means to get their hands on these books. If you attended Authors After Dark, be sure to tell your friends about this giveaway so they have a shot at winning all of the wonderful things you brought home from the con!
Enter To Win Authors After Dark Prize Packs! (U.S. Only)
Enter to win books, books, more books! There is an eclectic mix of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, contemporary romance (new adult, cowboy, sweet, etc.) and more. These stories vary from saccharine to melt-your-panties hot. There are shot glasses, pens, pins, magnets, even a T-shirt! Whatever the flavor of books or swag you enjoy, there is something in here for you!
Each winner will get at least 10 paperback books (minimum 3 signed by the author[s]). First two paperback books are winner’s choice; remaining books will be picked by me so everyone gets a little of everything. One RANDOM winner will receive the Abigail Barnette audiobook and one RANDOM winner will receive the Linda Mooney ebook on CD. All winners will receive a signed copy of my latest release, SMOKE AND MIRRORS.
(Unfortunately, as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive, this giveaway is U.S. only.)
Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about this special giveaway so they can play along at home, too!
The Authors and Their Books
Due to new constraints on Facebook rules about page likes, I am not including “liking” or “visiting” FB pages as entries in the giveaway as it’s too easy to click over without actually doing anything on the author’s page. However, I do want to give you the option to visit and check out the websites and Facebook pages of all of the participating authors so you can follow them if you choose, thank them for providing all of these fantastic books and swag, and see more about their books and what they write.
Participating authors and books are listed below. Authors with a * beside their name have signed their book(s). You’ll find the covers of all books included in the giveaway below the author list are linked to Amazon so you can check them out or purchase if you don’t want to wait for the results of the giveaway.
* Jess Haines (SMOKE AND MIRRORS x5): Website · Facebook
* Kerry Adrienne (ARTIST’S TOUCH and SCULPTOR’S DESIRE and BEFORE THE RAIN and COME UNDONE [Anthology]): Website · Facebook
* Louisa Bacio (THE BIG ONE): Website · Facebook
Abigail Barnette – aka Jenny Trout (FIRST TIME – Audiobook): Website · Abigail: Facebook / Jenny: Facebook
Chance Carter (BAD BOY DADDY): Website · Facebook
Lynn Charles (CHEF’S TABLE): Website · Facebook
* Emily Cyr (PUSH AND PULL): Website · Facebook
* Lia Davis (SUNSTONE’S FIRE: CURSED IN STONE): Website · Facebook
* A.L. Davroe (NEXIS: A TRICKSTERS NOVEL and FOR YOUR HEART): Website · Facebook
Cerys du Lys (HIS ABSOLUTE ARRANGEMENT: A SCANDALOUS BILLIONAIRE LOVE STORY): Website · Facebook
* Eliza Gayle (BAD KITTY): Website · Facebook
* Landra Graf (RAVEN PIRATE ASSASSIN SPY): Website · Facebook
* Dirk Greyson – aka Andrew Grey (DAY AND KNIGHT): Website · Facebook
* Cat Johnson (NIGHT WITH A SEAL): Website · Facebook
Gina Kincade & Kiki Howell (COWBOY BOOTS AND HANDCUFFS): Gina: Website · Facebook / Kiki: Website · Facebook
* Lori Handeland (IN THE AIR TONIGHT [*error – signed to “Susan”]: Website · Facebook
* Amy J. Hawthorn (PROTECTING KATE): Website · Facebook
* Kathryn M. Hearst (NAUGHTY BEDTIME STORIES: SECOND CHANCES [Anthology]): Website · Facebook
* Leanna Renee Hieber (THE ETERNA FILES): Website · Facebook
* Joey W. Hill (TAKEN BY A VAMPIRE): Website · Facebook
* Lisa Hughey (VIEW TO A KILL: THE NOSTRADAMUS PROPHECIES): Website · Facebook
* Melanie James (GERTIE’S PARANORMAL PLANTATION and COOKING WITH THE CRAZY LADY AUTHORS [Anthology – multiple signatures] and FUR EVER YOURS [unsigned]): Website · Facebook
Krista Lakes (SALTWATER KISSES): Website · Facebook
* Evelyn Lederman (NIGHTSHADE): Website · Facebook
* K.N. Lee (NETHERWORLD: THE CHRONICLES OF KOA): Website · Facebook
* Sheri Lyn (GOATED BY THE GODS: DEITY DATING BOOK #1): Website · Facebook
* K. Margaret (ENDLESS NIGHTMARE: THE ORIGIN OF A DEMON): Website · Facebook
* Gracen Miller (PANDORA’S BOX): Website · Facebook
Linda Mooney (THE BATTLE LORD’S LADY – Ebook on CD): Website · Facebook
Julie Morgan (REDEMPTION: CHRONICLES OF THE FALLEN): Website · Facebook
* Marianne Morea (HOLLOW’S END): Website · Facebook
* Cara North (THE ART OF ETHAN): Facebook
* Tonya Plank (SASHA: BOOK ONE): Website · Facebook
* A.D. Roland (HELLBORN): Website · Facebook
* Colette L. Saucier (ALICIA’S POSSESSION): Website · Facebook
* Char Sharp (THE KISS OF LIFE): Website · Facebook
Milly Taiden (MATCH MADE IN HELL): Website · Facebook
* Lily Vega (GOING ALL IN x2): Website · Facebook
Cree Walker (WHISPER ON A SCREAM and WILLING SACRIFICE): Website · Facebook
* Jamie A. Waters (THE TWO TOWERS): Website · Facebook
* Catherine Winters (MADNESS): Website · Facebook
* Roxanne Witherell (MOUNTAINSIDE RESORT): Facebook