2015 Coastal Magic Convention Recap and Giveaway

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This convention was a blast! I wanted to give a quick shout-out to everyone who bought raffle tickets. The money raised from the charity raffle baskets went to Habitat For Humanity, and it looks like Coastal Magic raised $431 this year. Rock on!

If you don’t want to sort through all my pics and ramblings about the con, you can skip down to the bottom of the post for the giveaways.

The Convention

It was so wonderful seeing so many awesome friends again and making new ones over the course of the con!

Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic

Plus the views in Daytona were spectacular.

The Beach
The Beach
The Only Kind of Snowman You Will Ever Encounter In Florida
The Only Kind of Snowman You Will Ever Encounter In Florida
A Random Sand Sculpture
A Random Sand Sculpture
The View From My Hotel Room
The View From My Hotel Room

Anyway, I’m sure you’d rather hear more about how the con itself went, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

Thursday

Thursday night was primarily for the featured bloggers and authors to get together. The speed dating was entertaining, and I had a chance to circulate and meet a few new-to-me authors.

Coastal Magic - Author Speed Dating
Coastal Magic – Author Speed Dating

Friday

On Friday, I started my day with an early panel on Non-“Others” (with fellow authors Chudney Thomas, Kiernan Kelly and Jordan K. Rose) where I think I may have lamented a bit too much about my need for coffee.

[Non-Others Panel] Kiernan Kelly, Me, Jordan K Rose, Chudney Thomas [with mods Chelle Olson and Carol Malcolm]
[Non-Others Panel] Kiernan Kelly, Me, Jordan K Rose, Chudney Thomas [with mods Chelle Olson and Carol Malcolm]
Next up was the Bite Me! panel (with fellow authors Terry Spear, Amanda Carlson, Stephanie Julian, Molly Harper, and Jan DeLima). I’m pretty sure I terrified a few people in the audience with my, “RAWR, JESS WILL HULKSMASH BOOKS WITH ______ TROPE” declarations. Again, I blame the lack of coffee.

[Bite Me Panel] Jan DeLima, Amanda Carlson, Molly Harper, Me, Stephanie Julian and Terry Spear
[Bite Me Panel] Jan DeLima, Amanda Carlson, Molly Harper, Me, Stephanie Julian and Terry Spear
I enjoyed the 1001 Dark Nights Q&A with authors Larissa Ione, Carrie Ann Ryan, Donna Grant, Elisabeth Naughton, Lexi Blake, Christopher Rice, and Julie Kenner.

1001 Dark Nights Q&A Panel
1001 Dark Nights Q&A Panel

That night, we had the long-awaited Cinema Craptastique Bad Movie Tweetup of The Legend of Hercules (2014 version starring Kellan Lutz and Gaia Weiss).

The Legend of Hercules

That movie was every bit the cinematic turd it was promised to be (hint: it has a 3% critic score/34% audience score rating on Rotten Tomatoes), and the resulting tweets were glorious. Of course, Damon Suede made a lovely, gracious, pantsless host, so I strongly recommend you come to Coastal Magic sometime to experience the full glory of his MST3K-style movie commentary. Not to mention his excellent taste in boxers.

Cinema Craptastique - And The Pants Come Off
Cinema Craptastique – And The Pants Come Off

Saturday

On Saturday, I enjoyed listening to Eric R. Asher, Vaughn R. Demont, Elliott James and Christopher Rice speak in the Man Up panel.

Man Up Panel
Man Up Panel

After that, Damon Suede, Lucienne Diver, Kiernan Kelly, Nancy Holzner, Lisa Kessler, Alivia Anders and Jeffe Kennedy had me in stitches with their off-the-cuff Flash Fiction panel just before the signing.

Flash Fiction Panel
Flash Fiction Panel

The book signing itself was fun and busy!

Coastal Magic Book Signing - The View From My Seat
Coastal Magic Book Signing – The View From My Seat
My book signing table buddy, Molly Harper, smiles for the camera. (PSA: Read her books. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go get them now. They're amazing. I'll wait.)
My book signing table buddy, Molly Harper, smiles for the camera. (PSA: Read her books. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go get them now. They’re amazing. I’ll wait.)

That night we had the mixer. I fortified myself beforehand.

Protip: If you're visiting Daytona, swing by Mai Tai's for a peach elixir martini. You won't be sorry.
Protip: If you’re visiting Daytona, swing by Mai Tai’s for a peach elixir martini. You won’t be sorry.

Sunday

Sunday was the last day of the con. It started out for me with the Kick-Ass Heroines panel (with fellow authors Paige Tyler, Christina Farley, Tawdra Kandle, Lucienne Diver and Julie Kenner). I didn’t end up getting any pics of this one.

My weekend ended on a bingo-laden note at the meet and greet (with fellow authors Eric R. Asher, Tere Michaels, and Kait Ballenger).

Meet & Greet
Meet & Greet

Now… on to the giveaway!

U.S. Only Giveaway

I brought back a ton of swag and books for you, my lovely readers! Be sure to follow and thank these authors for signing their books just for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Signed by the author

The above prizes will come with an official Coastal Magic 2015 swag bag. In addition to the books, the winner will receive bookmarks, pins, coasters, candy, etc., from authors like Elisabeth Naughton, Tigris Eden, Jordan K. Rose, Hildie McQueen, Olivia Gaines, Carrie Ann Ryan, and more!

(Sorry, no international entries as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive.)

NOTE: Winners have 72 hours to reply to their notification email with a mailing address. After 72 hours, if no reply is received, a new winner will be chosen.

Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about these special giveaways so they can play along at home, too!

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Friday Funnies – Shiarra Waynest Talks About New Year Resolutions

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra and her friends are going to discuss her New Year Resolutions.  Over to you, Shia!

______________

Sara: Ha! Since when is Alec Royce your friend? I thought he scared the daylights out of you.

Shiarra: He does.

Royce: Do I really? How intriguing.

Shiarra: Yeah. See, you creep me the fu—

Sara: Ahem!

Shiarra: . . . err. Yeah. I hardly consider us bosom buddies.

Royce: Interesting choice of words, Ms. Waynest.

Shiarra: Hey! That’s not what I meant. See, if you don’t stop acting creepy like that, I don’t know how I could ever consider you a friend.

Royce: Why not? I’ve done more for you than that fleabag who shadows you.

Sara: That’s not very nice.

Royce: I never claimed I was nice. I’m simply stating a fact.

Shiarra: Okay, first of all, that “fleabag” is—was—my boyfriend, so of course he spent time with me. Second of all, Chaz does not have fleas.

Royce: No? Would “tick-infested” be more accurate? Those werewolves do like to spend their time wandering in the woods, I hear.

Shiarra: Ugh. That is the last thing I want to think about when it comes to someone I slept with. You don’t have to rub it in. I’m already kicking myself enough for making that mistake.

Royce: As you should be.

Shiarra: Man, what is your problem tonight? Why are you so mean?

Sara: He’s a vampire. I think that means he automatically turns into a grouchy old man in a young guy’s body.

Royce: If that wasn’t such an apt description, I might have taken offense.

Sara: . . . thanks?

Shiarra: Anyway, we’re here to talk about making a resolution for New Year’s. My resolution is going to be to spend less time with pervy, manipulative vampires.

Royce: I’m hardly a pervert, Ms. Waynest. I simply enjoy watching you squirm.

Shiarra: Ew!

Sara: Oh, yuck! I’m with Shia on this one. You are being gross.

Royce: My, you two are squeamish. I had no idea you were as affected by me as Shiarra, Ms. Halloway.

Sara: Affected? Don’t you mean “totally creeped out by?”

Royce: Perhaps. It’s not like I haven’t sensed desire from you both at one point or another.

Shiarra: One. More. Word. Just give me a reason to smack you.

Royce: Ah, that’s right. Our contract does give you certain liberties. It would be an interesting experiment to see how you fare without your stakes.

Shiarra: Stop talking dirty and maybe we won’t have a reason to resort to violence, Mr. Pervy-McPerv-Pants.

Sara: On topic, I think your resolution should be never to use “Pervy-McPerv-Pants” in a sentence ever again.

Shiarra: Gee, thanks.

Sara: My resolution is going to be to take more insurance work. The pay is better.

Shiarra: What? That’s not much of a resolution.

Sara: Yeah, well. You keep bitching about me paying to keep the company afloat, so.

Shiarra: There, that should be your resolution. No more money out of your own pocket to pay the company’s bills.

Royce: Ladies, might I remind you this is a public forum? It might not look very good to prospective customers if they know your business is in such dire straits.

Shiarra: Considering what’s been in the papers, I’m not sure that it will come as much of a surprise to anyone. Anyway, you’re right. Back on topic!

Sara: What about you, Royce? What kind of New Year’s resolution does a vampire make?

Royce: I’m not sure that I need to. It’s not something I’ve paid much mind to. Though it dates back to an ancient Roman custom, the manner of its celebration has changed over the years. Originally, one was meant to ask the god Janus for forgiveness for their past transgressions and for the god’s blessings for the coming year. At the time, the people made promises to do something to better themselves or their families on a more personal or spiritual level. It didn’t even take place in December—it was sometime in the spring. March, if I recall correctly. The fad of choosing to diet and whatnot instead has only gained momentum in the last, oh, fifty years or so.

Sara: Hey, that reminds me. I want to lose ten pounds this year.

Royce: . . . why do I bother?

Shiarra: Hey, I’ve got it! Maybe your resolution this year should be to stop being such a snarky asshole.

Royce: I’ll take that under advisement.

______________

Do you lovelies have any New Year’s resolutions this year?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Talk About What They Do On New Year’s Day

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra and her friends are going to talk about how they spend their New Year’s day.  Over to you, Shia!

______________

Chaz: New Year’s day?  I love going to see the latest blockbuster to hit the theaters.

Sara: I like going to Rockefeller Park to go ice skating.

Arnold:  Yikes.  I’d probably fall and break my ass.

Sara:  That’s okay, sweetie.  You can watch me for a bit, and then we can go get some hot chocolate and snuggle.

Royce:  Ugh.

Shiarra:  I think this year I’m going to go to the Museum of Modern Art.  I haven’t gone there in a while.

Arnold:  Oh, oh, I want to see the Tim Burton exhibit!  Do they still have it?

Sara:  I hope they do, that sounds like fun!

Chaz:  Awesome!

Shiarra:  Man, I can’t wait.  Looking forward to waking up to a beautiful sunrise, a nifty parade, and—

Royce:  Do you mind?

Shiarra:  . . . excuse me?

Sara:  Oh.  OH.  Yeah, Shia, that wasn’t nice.

Chaz:  What, sunrise?

Royce:  Yes, you insensitive cretin.

Shiarra:  Oh, please.  This isn’t about you.

Royce:  Then why am I here?

Chaz:  Because we like to see you suffer?

Sara:  Wow, that was cold.

Royce:  Honestly.

Shiarra:  Come on, you don’t do something special on New Year’s?  Even if it isn’t during the day, sun shining, birds singing in the trees . . .

Royce:  Ms. Waynest, if you keep this up, I’m going to be forced to do something to make your New Year’s day one you’ll never forget.

Everyone:  . . .

Shiarra:  . . . what?

Chaz:  Are you hitting on my girlfriend?

Royce:  What?  That was a threat, you idiot!

Shiarra:  That was really creepy.  In a pervy way.

Royce:  That just goes to show where your mind is when it comes to me.

Chaz:  I dislike your tone.

Shiarra: I dislike him.  Period.

Royce:  Somehow I doubt that.

Shiarra:  Violently.  Dislike you.  Violently.

Sara:  Hey, pervy vamp man?

Royce:  Don’t call me that.

Sara:  Are you being grumpy because you’ll be spending New Year’s day alone?

Royce:  Hardly.

Arnold:  Oooh, think you touched a sore point there.

Chaz:  He should spend it alone.  Who the hell wants to share a coffin with a leech?

Royce:  I’m not about to share my list of conquests in a public forum, but if you want to compare notes later—

Shiarra:  I don’t think so.

Chaz: But honey—

Shiarra:  NO.

Royce:  *smirks*

Chaz:  You and me, buddy.  Later.

Royce:  I’m looking forward to it, dog.

Shiarra:  . . . ew.

______________

Er, ew.  Okay, what about you, folks?  How are you planning to spend your New Year’s day?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Discuss Their Christmas Plans

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! This was originally written as a guest post for the Christmas holiday in 2012. Remember when everyone was freaking out about the world ending because the Mayan calendar was also ending? Shiarra is here with some of her friends (and otherwise) to tell you about it. Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra: Well, we’re still here, so I guess the Mayans got it wrong.

Royce: Actually, the event had more to do with new beginnings than death.

Chaz: How would you know, dead man?

Royce: It’s called research. You might want to try it if you can tear yourself away from the gym once in a while, dog.

Chaz: You son of a—

Sara: Ahem. It’s almost Christmas. We’re supposed to be filled with good cheer right now. Hint, hint.

Arnold: Hey, I’m filled with good cheer. This is pretty entertaining.

Shiarra: No kidding.

Sara: Blood spatter and flying fur isn’t very festive.

Shiarra: Maybe it is for vampires and werewolves. Hey, we’ve got one of each here. Why don’t we ask them?

Chaz: You never used to take that sarcastic tone with me before.

Royce: Clearly you have not spent enough time around her.

Arnold: Man, I never dated her, and even I know she’s a walking punch line.

Shiarra: Hey!

Sara: Can’t argue with that.

Shiarra: Oh, come on.

Chaz: I never thought you were a walking punch line.

Shiarra: That’s great. You’re still an ass.

Chaz: What?

Royce: Ms. Waynest, if you would take five minutes to stop and think about your actions instead of rushing headlong into things, perhaps you would not have such terrible luck in your affairs—personal and otherwise.

Sara: Shush. That makes sense, and you know that’s taboo territory around here.

Arnold: You know you’ve got problems when the big, bad vampire is the voice of reason.

Shiarra: I hate you all so very much right now.

Arnold: Hey, where’s your Christmas spirit?

Shiarra: Left it in my other purse.

Chaz: Since the world didn’t end, maybe we could do something to celebrate.

Shiarra: Oh, yeah, like I’m going to be caught dead going anywhere with you.

Chaz: You’re here, aren’t you?

Shiarra: This is different.

Sara: Yeah. No interviews means no money to keep the biz afloat. Don’t want H&W Investigations going under, you know. We’ve got a secretary’s Christmas bonus to pay and all that.

Arnold: You know, I’ve been thinking. How are you guys going to celebrate the holidays without your families? I mean, being on the run and all.

Royce: And you lot call me the cold, callous one.

Arnold: Shut up, fangs.

Royce: Watch your tone, spark. Don’t test me.

Sara: Stop it, you two. Anyway, I guess Arnold has a valid question.

Shiarra: Like we need him rubbing it in. It’s not my fault the cops are after us!

Sara: Ahem.

Shiarra: . . . okay, maybe it is my fault.

Chaz: If you’d stayed with me, you wouldn’t be in so much trouble.

Royce: If she had stayed with you—

Shiarra: If you finish that thought, I am going to do something very un-Christmas spirit-y to you.

Arnold: Scary.

Royce: How interesting. I think that’s the first time you’ve threatened me in quite some time.

Chaz: Keep looking at her like that, and it’s not the only threat you’ll have to deal with tonight.

Sara: Um. I don’t think the fangs and fur are allowed here, Chaz.

Shiarra: Whatever. I’m so done with these guys.

Sara: No kidding. Someone’s not getting that Doctor Who Limited Edition Giftset he asked for on his Christmas wishlist if he doesn’t ease back on the throttle.

Arnold: What? You got—holy crap, no way! That’s sold out everywhere!

Sara: Yep. It would be a shame if you didn’t get it this year. Honey.

Arnold: Blackmail! Not fair! I was behaving!

Sara:  Ahem.

Arnold: Okay, okay. I’m sorry.

Sara: Not to me.

Arnold: Sorry, Shia.

Shiarra: Yeah, whatever.

Arnold: Come on, man! This is the top item from my wishlist on the line!

Shiarra:  Cry me a freakin’ river.

Sara: Ahem. Shia.

Shiarra: Okay, fine. Apology accepted.

Royce: You are such children.

Chaz: I think you’re just mad because the mage didn’t have to apologize to you.

Royce: As Ms. Waynest so succinctly put it—“whatever.”

Shiarra: Don’t do that. It’s creepy.

Arnold: Man, everyone’s filled with holiday cheer tonight.

Sara: ‘Tis the season to be snarky. I think it’s time we retire to the very spiked eggnog.

Shiarra: Seconded. Let’s go open some presents. I could use some consumerism spirit right about now.

Arnold: Hell to the yes.

Chaz: Hope there’s something under that tree for me.

Shiarra: Sure. A giant lump of coal with your name on it.

Chaz: That’s not very funny.

Royce: Actually, I agreed with Ms. Waynest. We both thought it was amusing. I even had your name inscribed on it.

Arnold: If I wasn’t so afraid of you, I’d fistbump you so hard right now.

Shiarra: Having a vamp in your pocket comes in handy now and then. Merry Christmas, people. Sleep tight. Don’t let the vamps or Weres bite.

______________

Looks like Chaz got just what he deserved under the Christmas tree. What about you? What do you hope to find under your tree this year?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – Shiarra Waynest Talks About Her Christmas Wish-List

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is going to tell you a little bit about what she wants for Christmas.  Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra:  This one is easy.  I want one of those nifty sunglasses that are also MP3 players and spy cameras!

Sara:  Really?  Those are so cheesy, though.

Shiarra:  I know.  It’s perfect.

Arnold:  I want that Hayao Miyazaki boxed set.

Chaz:  Was that English?

Arnold:  It’s a DVD boxed set!  It comes with Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke

Royce:  Cartoons?  Really?

Arnold:  It’s anime.  They’re not just “cartoons”—it’s art.

Chaz:  Uhm.  I’m with the vampire on this one.

Arnold:  Says the guy who reads DC comics when he’s not trying to be a Schwarzenegger impersonator.

Shiarra:  Back in the land of adults . . .

Sara:  Don’t worry, sweetie, I’ll get you your DVDs.

Arnold:  Yay!  And a “This Land” T-shirt.

Sara:  Err.  Sure.

Shiarra:  What do you want, Sara?  I need to get started on my shopping.

Sara:  Cripes, you really put it off to the last minute there.  Get me that Godiva chocolate truffle gift box again, that was amazing.  None of that See’s crap, though, that stuff is nasty.

Shiarra:  Aw, man.  See’s is awesome.  And cheap.

Sara:  Heathen.

Chaz:  I need a new set of weights.  I broke my last set.

Shiarra:  . . . I am not even going to ask how that is possible.

Arnold:  The vampire is being very quiet.  Should we be worried?

Royce:  I don’t see much reason to get involved in this immature banter.

Shiarra:  Is the big bad vampire too good for Christmas or what?

Royce:  I have seen the passing of too many winter solstice fads to feel a need to participate.

Shiarra:  You don’t buy anything?  You don’t give your employees a Christmas bonus?  What kind of Scrooge are you?!

Royce:  I never said I didn’t participate on any level.  I’m hardly that heartless.

Arnold:  Could’ve fooled us.

Royce:  I do give my employees plenty of time off around the holidays, as well as bonuses and gifts.  People would hardly want to work with me if that wasn’t the case.

Chaz:  I’m surprised anyone wants to work with you to begin with.  Are the gifts supposed to make up for 24-7 blood breath?

Shiarra:  Oh, ew.  I didn’t even think of that.  I thought you were going to say something about being forced to work under duress and pain of biting or something.

Royce:  Gods.  What do you people take me for?

Arnold:  An evil, soulless vampire with no morals to speak of.

Shiarra:  Except when it’s convenient!

Royce:  . . . I must concede your point.  However, I still don’t celebrate Christmas, personally.  I can see why others get involved, but it holds no interest for me.

Sara:  Oh, come on.  There must be something you want.  Money doesn’t buy everything.  Believe me, I know.

Royce:  *looks at Shiarra*

Shiarra:  AUGH.  Okay, that’s it!  We’re done!

______________

What about you?  What’s on your Christmas wish-list?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – The H&W Team Talk About Whether They’ve Been Naughty or Nice This Year

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is going to tell you a little bit about whether she and her friends are getting gifts or coal in their stockings this Christmas. Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra:  Okay, I’m here, and—WHOA.

Chaz:  Do you like it?

Arnold:  What the hell is that?

Chaz:  It’s a reindeer antler headband.  With some added tinsel.  And bells.  I liked the Christmas lights.  You press a button here and it either blinks or stays solidly lit—

Royce:  Can I leave on the grounds that this is too ridiculous for anyone with an ounce of dignity to endure?

Sara:  No.  If we have to put up with it, so do you.

Shiarra:  Honey, could you maybe put those away for a while?

Chaz:  But… *puppy dog eyes*

Shiarra:  Err…

Sara:  Good god, you guys.

Arnold:  I thought I was overdoing it with the Santa hat.  Yeesh.

Shiarra:  Man, and I thought today’s topic was going to be uncomfortable.

Arnold:  Hey, I like this topic.  Put me on the naughty list!  I want some of that Santa’s coal bubble gum in my stocking this year.

Sara:  You’re so ridiculous, sweetie.

Arnold:  I know.

Sara:  I was good.  I didn’t throttle my sister or let any of my clients or any of the people I was investigating get away with fraud or infidelity.

Shiarra:  I was sort of good.  Does it count if I broke a law or two because I had no choice?

Arnold:  Beats me.

Royce:  I suppose it may depend upon the circumstances and what you did.  I can speculate, but I’d be curious to hear what laws you believe you have broken.

Shiarra:  Yeeeeeeah—no.

Chaz:  Don’t worry, love, I don’t care what you did.  Anyway, I think I was pretty good this year.  I helped save some lives, tore apart some vampires…

Royce:  That’s not a rousing endorsement in my book.

Shiarra:  But it is in mine.  Keep up the good work, honey!

Chaz:  You got it, babe.

Royce:  I almost wish it was possible for me to be ill.  Ugh.

Arnold:  You are such a Grinch.

Shiarra:  No coal bubble gum in your stocking, mister.  You get the real deal.

Sara:  No kidding.  I’d toss in a few stakes and garlic cloves for good measure.

Royce:  Just try it, children.  I might have a few solstice surprises in store for you.

Arnold:  I don’t think anyone is interested in what kind of surprises you’ve got planned.

Royce:  Of course not.  The only times I ever see any of you are when you wish to steal something that belongs to me or when you come crawling to me for assistance.  I’m getting rather tired of this farce.

Shiarra:  You complain too much.  Are you trying to distract us from whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year?

Royce:  What?  Of course not.  I think it’s rather obvious where I fall upon the spectrum of morality.

Shiarra:  I don’t know.  You’re scary and occasionally mean, but sometimes you do nice things.  You donate to charities and you helped me a couple of times when you didn’t have anything to gain, even if it was in a really weird way.  I think you’re nicer than you’d like people to think.

Royce:  I have my reasons for acting as I do.

Arnold:  Such as?

Royce:  Cultivating donors isn’t a task done overnight.  Gaining the trust of a human that fears me—such as Ms. Waynest—is an endeavor that takes time and patience.  The payout is what makes the hunt worthwhile.

Shiarra:   . . . okay, I could’ve gone my whole life not knowing that.

Chaz:  Don’t worry, love, I won’t let him touch you.

Royce:  Don’t be too quick to make promises you cannot keep.  You might end up on that naughty list, after all.

Shiarra:  I am all kinds of done with this topic.

Sara:  Naughty list.  The vamp is definitely on the naughty list.

Royce:  As if there was ever any doubt.

______________

So what about you? Is Santa going to put you on his naughty or nice list this year?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – She Might Be Human But She Can Still Kick Ass

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is here with some friends to tell you about how she holds her own against the big, bad, fanged and clawed things of the night. Take it away, Shia!

______________

Shiarra: Wait, we’re talking about me?

Royce: Of course. I don’t know anyone else who has gone on murderous rampages against Others lately.

Thrane: Murderous rampages—what?

Shiarra: We’re not talking about that.

Clyde: Considering you’re taking advantage of my hospitality, I’d like to hear about it.

Christoph: I thought werewolves were the only ones who went on murderous rampages. It’s in the rules, somewhere.

Shiarra: It’s not like I go werewolf hunting every day. Come on, that was extenuating circumstances.

Royce: Be that as it may, you’ve still killed vampires and werewolves. You’re staying in Los Angeles to put your actions behind you while I sort out the mess.

Thrane: Wait, vampires? You killed some of us? That’s it. I rescind my invitation to sit on my comfy couch.

Shiarra: Oh, come on!

Thrane: I know, it’s very comfy, but it’s not for vampire hunters.

Shiarra: . . . that . . . wait, what?

Clyde: Don’t mind him. He’s nothing but a foolish child. I, on the other hand, understand the usefulness of having a hunter in your pocket. Perhaps we could discuss some additional arrangements during your stay—

Royce: No. Absolutely not. She’s staying with you for protection, not to get in more trouble.

Christoph: Question, Mr. Royce. Seeing as I can’t exactly shift to save my skin with this lovely little fashion accessory you gave me, am I in any danger when she gets back to New York?

Shiarra: Hey. Standing right here.

Christoph: Yup, and you can keep the crazy right over there.

Royce: She’s no longer a danger to you, if she ever was.

Shiarra: Thanks? I think?

Royce: Not to say that you aren’t capable of violence, but perhaps you’ll put a little more thought into where it is directed in the future.

Clyde: I can think of a few places to direct it.

Shiarra: I’m starting to think of one, too.

Thrane: What do you use to protect against vampire hunters? I don’t have any crosses or garlic lying around for obvious reasons.

Clyde: If you have to ask, you’ll never know.

Christoph: That’s not a very helpful answer. I want to know, too.

Shiarra: For crap’s sake, I’m not going to hurt you guys. Can’t I just plead temporary insanity and get on with my life? Please?

Christoph: I guess. When I could shift, sometimes I tore apart other werewolves and a few vamps with my bare hands. Claws. Whatever, you know what I mean. So I guess I can understand.

Thrane: Whoa, really?

Christoph: Yup. Enemies of the pack.

Thrane: As long as we’re sharing, I killed my sire with railroad spikes.

Shiarra: And you guys thought I was crazy.

Clyde: Well, when you get involved with the supernatural, you tend to learn that being ruthless is the only way to survive.

Royce: Not the only way. A little mercy and temperance can mean a world of difference in how your time with us is spent. Or ends.

Shiarra: This. This right here is why I’m glad I took self-defense classes.

Christoph: Wait a sec, those help against vampires? Sign me up!

Clyde: Perhaps. Not that it would make a difference against our strength.

Thrane: Quiet, naysayer. Hey, would those classes help with vampire hunters? Asking for a friend.

Shiarra: I guess so. You guys worry me.

Christoph: At least I know who to go to when I need someone to drive terror or a stake through the heart of my enemies.

Shiarra: Oh, fer Chrissakes.

Royce: He does have a point. You might be human, but you’ve proven to be a clever, worthy adversary, even when at your most foolish.

Clyde: I’ll pay for those clever hunting skills of yours any time.

Shiarra: Not in this lifetime.

Clyde: We’ll see about that.

______________

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – Shiarra Talks About New York City

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is going to tell you about her take on her home turf, New York City. Over to you, Shia!

______________

A little over ten years ago, when people came to New York City on vacation, it was to see the obvious. You know, the Empire State Building, Central Park, catch a Broadway show—that sort of thing.

These days, it’s a little different. Being a local, I can tell you, it didn’t take long for the new breed of tourist to go from baffling to annoying. All the out-of-towners are nuts. They want to go out of their way to eat at a restaurant run by a werewolf, see a magic show put on by a real mage, or rub elbows with vampires at one of Alec Royce’s bars.

The man’s insufferable. Believe me, I know. You don’t want to mess with the Others, let alone sign one of those contracts that lets them get intimate with you. Sure, all the brochures make it look edgy and exciting to see a real, live monster, but there’s the rub. They are monsters. That’s not something you should forget. As soon as you do, that’s when they’ll pounce, and before you know it you’ve signed your life away on the dotted line.

Yeah, yeah, I see your expression. Stop rolling your eyes. I know, you don’t want to hear about the best pizza places or where to get a decent bialy or how to stay alive in this town. You just want to know what to watch out for when you visit all the Other hot spots, right?

If you take one of those tours and visit The Circle’s high-rise in Manhattan, at first you might think it’s just another corporate office building. You might want to recall that people have died trying to escape the traps and labyrinth in the basement where the sparks hide all of their most powerful artifacts. If someone’s offering you a basement-level tour of a mage hideout, don’t stray from the tour guide, huh?

The werewolves aren’t much better. Maybe the Moonwalkers aren’t so bad—that’s the pack that started this mess when they helped pull people out of the rubble of the Twin Towers and exposed the Others—but if you ever run into a Ravenwood or a Sunstriker, do not walk, run in the other direction. No matter what kind of spin the media has put on things, Weres are dangerous. I know they don’t all eat people, but I’ve seen it happen, and I can promise you that it’s better to play it safe by avoiding them altogether.

Plus, you know, some of them are lying scumbags. Especially a certain blond, blue-eyed pack leader who is currently on my shitlist.

Just saying.

I used to think it wasn’t such a big deal to hang out in vamp-run bars, either. Did I mention I’m a private investigator? Quite a few locals are regulars which means—you guessed it—I follow a lot of leads down there to interview people or catch marks in some unsavory act. Tracking cheating spouses by checking out their haunts has led to me spending more than my fair share of time in places like The Underground and Twisted Temptations.

What? Twisted Temptations? Hey, don’t look at me like that. No, I’m not into that whips and chains stuff, I go there for work! And not that kind of work, either! Get your minds out of the gutters, people.

That place is the scariest of the lot. As you probably gathered from the name, it’s got a very “hurt-me-so-good” theme. If you’re into that sort of thing and you’re feeling particularly suicidal that day, well… I’m not judging, but the vampires who work there scare me more than the usual, run of the mill sort who just want to eat me. Twisted Temptations is something else. If you’re going to suck my blood out a bit at a time, it better not be from the whip marks on my back, you know what I’m saying?

Well, that pleasant thought in mind, if I was forced to pick one of the vampire’s clubs to recommend for you touristy types to hang out in, I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I think you’re better off spending your time at The Underground. The music on the second floor is usually better, but you should buy your drinks from James at the main bar near the entrance. Try the Bloody Mary, it’s killer. Get it? Bloody Mary in a vampire bar? Killer? Yeah, I’ll just see myself out . . .

______________

If you could visit New York in the Other-verse, where would you want to go? Would you rather visit with the werewolves, vampires, or the magi?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Discuss What It’s Like to be a Hero

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is here with a few of her friends (and otherwise) to tell you what it’s like to save the day. Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra: Wait, what? I’m not a hero.

Sara: Sure you are. You saved a bunch of people, didn’t you?

Royce: I do believe that your actions would qualify as heroic.

Shiarra: No way. I was scared witless half the time, and had no clue what I was doing the rest of it.

Arnold: So? You still saved the day.

Chaz: If not for you, half the Others in the city would be dead or under the control of a bigger monster than . . . well, than we already are.

Shiarra: Guys, I’m afraid of vampires and werewolves. I scream when I see spiders in the bathroom or roaches in the kitchen, and I’m regularly late on my rent. I’m not exactly Super-girl, here.

Royce: What frightens you is irrelevant. It’s how you react in an emergency situation. You faced me in battle with little more than a handgun and a stake.

Shiarra: Yeah, and we see how well that turned out.

Arnold: I wouldn’t be complaining about that. You lived through it. That’s more than a lot of his enemies could say.

Chaz: Give me five minutes alone with him.

Royce: Try me, dog.

Sara: Do you guys have to do this every time? I mean, really.

Shiarra: Yeah. Seriously.

Arnold: Vampires and werewolves. Cats and dogs. You know how it is.

Chaz: Wolves aren’t dogs, you know. I’m getting really tired of you guys calling me that.

Royce: Then I shall make a note to use the term more often.

Shiarra: Oh, come on. You don’t like it when we call you a leech, right? So stop.

Royce: I’ve been called far worse.

Sara: I have to admit, I’m curious what that might entail.

Arnold: Same here.

Shiarra: Blood-breath?

Chaz: Worm-bait?

Arnold: Walking corpse?

Royce: Very funny.

Shiarra: Okay, sorry. That was uncalled for.

Chaz: But satisfying. Very satisfying.

Arnold: Fun and games aside, maybe we shouldn’t be baiting the very old, very powerful vampire.

Royce: Wise words, mage.

Arnold: Thanks. I try.

Sara: I think it’s time we get back on topic.

Shiarra: Doesn’t seem like much of a topic. I’m telling you guys, I’m not hero material.

Chaz: A lot of Others would disagree with you. Including me.

Shiarra: Right. Me freaking out and being a spaz is very admirable.

Sara: You have to admit, it was kind of funny to watch you figure out that magic hunter’s belt was talking to you.

Shiarra: Yes, because like so many other New Yorker’s, I looked like an idiot talking to an imaginary voice in my head.

Arnold: Yeah, but that voice in your head talked you through how to survive a fight against vampires, werewolves, and magi.

Royce: Count yourself lucky. If you had not had the benefit of help from the magi, you would never have survived.

Shiarra: Right. I nearly died, ended up contracted to you, and spent weeks in the intensive care unit. Just how I wanted things to turn out.

Chaz: I wish I could shred that contract.

Shiarra: You and me both.

Royce: You know I won’t force its terms on you.

Sara: Yeah. Because you know she’ll stake your ass if you do.

Shiarra: Not likely. I know we doctored the contract so it swings both ways—he can hurt me, I can hurt him, yadda yadda—but I’m done with this mess. I don’t want anything more to do with Others.

Royce: Perhaps—but that doesn’t mean we are done with you.

______________

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ‘em now!

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2014 Readers & ‘Ritas Convention Recap and Giveaway

Readers & Ritas Logo

This convention was a blast! If you don’t want to sort through all my pics and ramblings about the con, you can skip down to the bottom of the post for the giveaways.

The Road Trip

Once again, I hit the road for a con. It took two days to drive from Tampa to Allen, TX (and vice versa), but since I was going it solo, I didn’t manage to snap any pics while driving.

It was about 2300 miles round trip. You’d think I’d have thought to take more pictures after having traveled so far and for so long, but on the route I took there wasn’t much to see but trees, highway blacktop, the occasional roadside stand or gift shop, and more trees. To keep myself from perishing of boredom, I spent most of the time either talking to my boyfriend or singing to the steering wheel.

Related: I may have done this song to death.

I did see a couple of interesting things along the way, like a tank being transported on the back of a truck.

I was originally thinking of stopping in New Orleans on my way home, but I got on the road a bit too late in the day on Sunday to go that far and ended up adjusting my route. I ended up stopping in Mississippi for the night. The next morning, I took the lone pic from my road trip, which I think may have made up for not taking any others:

Mississippi River
Vicksburg, MS – Mississippi River

The Convention

First, I’d like to mention that Readers & ‘Ritas is hosted by Fresh Fiction.

Fresh Fiction Logo

A Fresh Fiction reviewer had this to say earlier this year, so you know I was just chuffed to bits to be at this con:

“ENSLAVED BY THE OTHERS is phenomenal! It’s action-packed from beginning to end. Jess Haines has thought of every minute detail as Shiarra runs for her life. The worldbuilding is superlative. The characters multi-faceted and colourful, without being over the top. Ms. Haines is an extraordinarily gifted writer as well as a master storyteller. ENSLAVED BY THE OTHERS is an absolute must-read for any fan of paranormal or urban fantasy.”

Fresh Fiction (Fresh Pick July 24, 2014)

‘Scuse me while I preen in the corner for a moment.

Someone's Feeling FABULOUS

I have to give another shout out to C.J. Ellisson for being amazing and the entire reason I managed to make it to this convention. If you’re not reading her super sexy series, the V.V. Inn, you’re missing out on some steaming hot urban fantasy. Check out her first book, VAMPIRE VACATION (and enter to win a signed copy of the whole series below!):

V.V. Inn Series - Book One

As for the actual con, I have to say, Jade Lee killed it for me in the erotic reading on Friday night. Words cannot describe the hilarity of watching a couple of women acting out a dirty scene from an erotic story Jade was reading to the audience. Plus my table mates and I had a blast cracking each other up over the magazine of adult toys that came (hurr hurr hurrrrr) in our goodie bag. (“Where do you put that?” “Where does that fit?” “Which end do you use?” “Who in the hell would put that on their ding-dong?” You get the idea…)

That said, most of the shenanigans took place on Saturday. I stuck by C.J.’s side for most of the day, except for when I had my spot in the author lounge.

Author Lounge - My Awesome Tablemates
Author Lounge – My Awesome Tablemates

I only sat in the audience of one panel (I signed up a bit too late to get in on the action–hurr hurr hurr), and it just had to be “Simply Sexual to Eye-Popping Erotica”.

The Mostly Eye-Popping Erotica Panel
The Mostly Eye-Popping Erotica Panel

Topics of conversation touched upon subjects like tentacle porn, Bronies, bigfoot porn, Christmas lesbian spanking stories, and furries.

Don’t think these things exist?

They really do. All of them.

(If you have no idea what one or more of those things are, and/or are easily offended, I strongly suggest staying away from Google and/or Amazon and not clicking on my links so you can remain blissfully ignorant. Did I mention this stuff is NSFW? Actually, now that I think about it, some might be NSFA–Not Safe For Anyone.)

You’re welcome.

Ahem.

There was also a signing for the attendees.

Readers & 'Ritas Signing
Readers & ‘Ritas Signing
Readers & 'Ritas Signing
Readers & ‘Ritas Signing

I think the highlight of the trip for me was the Bikers & Gents ball. Mostly because Damon Suede was auctioned off as one of the hot guys, and he totally killed it on the dance floor.

Bikers & Gents - Masquerade Ball
Bikers & Gents – Masquerade Ball
Bikers & Gents - Hot Guys Being Auctioned
Bikers & Gents – Hot Guys Being Auctioned
Bikers & Gents - Gotta Love the Pimp Outfit
Bikers & Gents – Gotta Love the Pimp Outfit
Bikers & Gents - Damon Suede Sweeping A Girl Off Her Feet
Bikers & Gents – Damon Suede Sweeping A Girl Off Her Feet
Bikers & Gents - Damon Giving Me A Hug - D'Awwww
Bikers & Gents – Damon Giving Me A Hug – D’Awwww
Bikers & Gents - You Can Tell Our Hot Guy Was Thrilled To Be There
Bikers & Gents – You Can Tell Our Hot Guy Was Thrilled To Be There

The money raised from auctioning off a night of dancing with the obligatory hot dudes went to a charity to promote literacy. My pics didn’t turn out that great, but the guys were good sports, and everybody had a lot of fun on the dance floor.

Now… on to the giveaways!

U.S. Only Giveaway

Readers & 'Ritas Giveaway Books
Readers & ‘Ritas Giveaway Books

I brought back a ton of swag and books for you, my lovely readers! Be sure to follow and thank these authors for signing their books just for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Signed by the author

I didn’t take a pic, but some of the swag includes bookmarks, pens, notebooks, a travel mug, and even a Mr. Squidge, courtesy of Jade Lee!

Not in the U.S.? This Is The Giveaway For You!

I haven’t forgotten about you, my lovelies outside the U.S.! While I don’t have quite as many books to offer in this one, I am including a few signed ones thanks to the generosity of a few authors from the convention. Help them out with a Facebook like and Twitter follow!

(Sorry, no bag and limited swag included with this one as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: Winners have 72 hours to reply to their notification email with a mailing address. After 72 hours, if no reply is received, a new winner will be chosen.

Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about these special giveaways so they can play along at home, too!

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